Moonlight Pizza Party


Today's event is very special for us.
This is the 20th Brick Oven Pizza Making event.
Nine girls of the Kihoku-cho Town Office pariticipated
in this event.

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My dear Yamachan!
He prepares dough before every event.
Kneading dough thoroughly is a strenuous job.
His efforts have made Pizza of Yugaku-tei
the talk of the town.

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Sadakun's attention to fine points and technique are
essential to a pizza event.

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That night Danish mozzarella cheese was used for female participants.

They tried mozzarella itself.

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Both tomato sauce and miso sauce are sooooooo tasty.
I may be boasting myself,
but Yygakutei's pizza is the best.

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Toss the dough so that you can get crispy pizza.

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Nan was also baked.
Dip it in curry sauce.

Another specialty is dessert pizza with
sliced bananas, canned oranges, chocolate
and blueberry jam on it.
Of course, girls' favorite.

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At the open space, a diva Mai sang fascinatingly.
Everyone there was slightly intoxicated with pizzas,
wine and her voice.

Thank you very much for your kind cooperation.
All of the staff for Yugakutei are
going to leave at the end of March.
The new staff will take over Yugakutei's pizza event.

With Gratitude,

Yamada, Mitamura, Okumura, Murata.
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The fun is yet to come.

It Don't Mean a Thing (If it Ain't Got That Swing)

Yes, it does.
Last night's concert means a thing.

A clarinet always reminds me of Benny Goodman.
I was mesmerized by Sing,Sing, Sing played by Benny Goodman Orchestra when I was a teenager.

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Mami's performance was different.
The tones of her clarinet were so gentle and comfortable that the whole audience felt really good.

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Eron was beating out percussion rhythmically and strongly.
The sounds of his intrument sounded throughout the rooms.
so cool.

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They chose very catchy music for their collaboration, which
successfully captivated the audience at the concert.

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An Invitation to a Twilight Concert on 17th.

Why don't you be a music traveller?

Yugakutei is going to throw a very special concert this coming Saturday evening.

Mami Taniguchi, a clarinettist and Eron, a percussionist will perform together
at Yugakutei.
Mami and Eron will play classical music and contemporary respectively
and then they will collaborate.

This concert is just 500 yen.

You can't miss it.

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Wandering around an old traditional house.

The Scenery of where the God dwells

Four huge photos taken by professional photographers are being displayed
at the open space of Yugakutei.

The Kihokucho Chamber of Commerce donated these photos
after the special event which they had held at Yugakutei.

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A Sea of Clouds in Hikimoto

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Kii no Matsushima of the Mist

There is Matsushima in the northeastern district.
It's one of the three top-noted picturesque spots in Japan.
Matsushima in this area can beat it.

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World Heritage "Kumano Koto (old pilgrimage pass)"
The stone pavements have been meticulously preserved.

Cherry blossoms and Norisoda (brushwood (bamboo)set in the seabed for
nori(lavers)spores attaching themselves.

These photos are all breathtaking.
Enjoy these spectacular views with your own eyes.

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Living Creatures on the paper

An Unprecedented Exhibition March 2nd through 4th

Ms.Matsuki Satoyo started her career as an oil painting artist.
Three years ago she got involved in her new artistic challenge.

She selected washi, Japanese traditional paper instead of a normal canvas.
She cut a wide variety of animals by a paper cutter and then pasted each
of them on the washi. It's a really really elaborate work.

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The animals on the paper are very vivid, cute, and dynamic.
The color selection is exquisite.


I can imagine that each work has her own idea, story and message.
However her generousity allows the visitors to feel her works
from their point of view.


Look up at the ceiling. This canopy-like work is made of a polyester organdy.
She burned a ten meter long cloth with an iron.
You can see holes of different sizes and shapes.
The holes are not just holes.
When you see the holes carefully, you'll find some kinds of animals,such as cats and birds.
The visitors are fascinated most by this work.


Cotton towels featuring a pattern of different sizes of frog are gaining reputaition and still on sale.

There are two types; one is printed in a simple color of some kinds and the other is printed in four colors.

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Garden of Gods

32 Short Flim Showing February 25th


Chambers of Commerce for Kihokucho held a special event at Yugakutei.

On the open space 32 short films featuring Kihokucho were showing.

There was a big audience. Among them, you saw the familiar faces in the short films.


28 local companies applied for this project.
The owners of each company looked so energetic and industrious.

Besides a short film showing, the photos featuring this area were displayed upstairs.

You can make efficient use of the photos for making pamphlets, posters,name cards, HP. wrapping paper or labels

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Happy lunch

Home sweet home

A workplace is a kind of battlefield. It's true.

A workplace should be a kind of home, right?

You spend most of your waking hours at your workplace.

What should you do if your workplace is full of an uncomfortable atmosphere?

Yugakutei is just the opposite.

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Every Tuesday, Nagisachan an expert in cleaning a traditional Japanese style come all the way to Yugakutei from Mikisato in Owase to show us her technique.
This Tuesday is special.
She brought us a healthy lunch of her own making.

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Hiziki stimmered slowly in a soy broth.

Black soy beans stimmered slowly in a soy broth.

Sliced Chinese cabbage kneaded with salt and slices of boiled bonito (made by Nagisa).

Potato mimosa salad with salad greens from Nagisa's garden.

Thin sliced redbeet and Japanese radish pickled in vinegar.

The leaves of redbeet and Jananese radish pickled in vingegar with citrus juice.

80percent husked rice.

Miso soup with tofu and wakake.

Of course Miso is Nagisa's specialty.

How exquisite her lunch is!

How sweet Nagisachan is!
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Happy lunch

Gourtmet Street

There are a wide varieties of diners near my workplace Yugaku-tei.
We are privileged to enjoy scrumptious lunch.
Why don't you share information on lunch selection with me?

This is my first report.

When I get out of Yugakutei from the backyard, I come to the Mokkoku Street,
which is the busiest spot in Kiinagashima.
The Mokkoku street runs between the 42nd Highway and Kiinagashima Railway Station. Along with the diners on the Mokkoku Street,are Japanese and Chinese
restaurants and a coffe shop which serve delicious meals
on the both sides of the 42nd Highway.

Tsuru is a Japanese expression which means "slurp noodles" or the sound of
slurping. Ten is an abbreviation of a typical Japanese cuisine tempura.

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The owner's endeavor and his wife's cheerfulness draw customers to their noodle
shop repeatedly. The noodles are of his own making. You have to wait
13 minutes for noodle to be done.

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Curry noodle is male staff's favorite.
coat noodles with curry roux and taste it.
You'll be captivated by this curry noodle.

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Irresistable! I'm a weight watcher and have to take a low cholesterol diet.
Two prawn tempura, paper-thin shavings and condiments of finely sliced
long onions.
I can't stop having tempura udon.
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What's specialty of Kihokucho?

Love Meshi Contest

On the 28th, a special event was held at Kiingashima Port.


It was hosted by Kihoku Town Tourist Association.
The first grand prix was given to kaki no hitsumabushi.
Kaki hitsu and mabushi mean oyster, rice tub and sprinkle respectively.

Visitors to this event bought a meal coupon which costs 300each.
If you buy a ticket, you can get one vote.



There is a performance by HIHOKU Squadron Ababain.
Ababai, which is an old Kiinagashima dialect, means "dazzling"
Ababains appear whenever and wherever an event related to Kihokucho is held
to make an event look more attractive and interesting.

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Let's get it started!

Are you ready?


A lot of people are gathering. They are waiting for a funadanjiri to start.
This festival started in the Edo Period to pray for a rich catch.


On the float are the sons of fishermen with cute make-ups and elderly fishermen.
The young throw a rod with a fake bonito made of cloth to spectators, while
veterans throw candies which substitute baits. Figuratively spectators are fish.
A fake bonito is believed to bring good luck, so people are extremely excited to
catch it.


This year voluntary particiants carry a portable shrine ,which made this festival
look much cooler.


A funadanjiri is approaching the precincts of Nagashima Shrine. Participants
pull danjiri from Nagashima Port to Nagashima Shrine.


This is the climax scene of funadanjiri. Rice cake throwing!
Excitement reaches the peak.


Finally fishermen and fishermen to-be visit a main shrine and pray for health, safety and prosperity .
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A Happy New Year!

May 2012 be more peaceful


By Sadahide Mitamura

We should never forget March 11 of 2011. The East Japan Great Earthquake brought a tremendously serious damage to the people in the affected areas, following radioacitive contamination caused by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. Even today a lot of people are still living in the
temporary housing in the Tohoku region. And the people, who used to live in the
areas which are now facing radiation leaks,are still evacuees.

What can we do to help those people resume their normal life?

This is the first working day at Yugaku-tei.
I'm complaining about the coldness of Yugaku-tei.
I know the people in the affected areas have been undergoing hardships.
The coldness of Yugakutei is incomparable with their hardship.
Put yourself in a person's shoes.

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Magic of fabrics

A heartwarming exhibition


On the 10th and the eleventh, there was a very impressive exhibition hosted
by Mie Inabaen. Himawarinokai lieterally means Sunflower group , which is a
workshop where mentally challenged people weeves cloth called Saoriori.

This is the first time for the group to hold an exbibition.
The members of Umashikuni okoshi Mie and its support groups including Yugaku-tei
cooperate with them so that they could host this event.
This is really challenging.


On the 9th, they were trying very hard to make this exhibition look good.


A lot of people visitede Yugakutei to see this exhibition from both inside and
ouside Kiinagashima.


You can try weeving Saoriori on your own.

Inabaen grows vegetables and they sell their products in front of Yugakutei.


The vegetables sold well.


They also enjoyed baking pizzas in a brick oven.
Umachan, a cute character of Umashikuni okoshi Mie allowed the particpants
to feel more cheerful.


Mrs. Osugi and Mr. Narai sold local specailities.


CORORO, a musical group performed so that the participants could feel comfortable.

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Do it yourself!!

What's your favorite!!

Have you ever made a pizza on your own, and in a brick oven?
The event of the 4th of December was different from usual.


Even kids can do it.

Instead grown-ups, minors had a lot of fun at Yugaku-tei.
The staff at Yugakutei showed them how to make their own special pizzas.




How does it taste? Did you enjoy?
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What a fantastic night!

Touch our heartstrings

A singer Mrs. Sano and a pianist Mrs. Sakaguchi held a concert at Yugaku-tei
on November 29th.
This is their second performance at Yugaku-tei.


The staff changed some space into a temporary stage.


As many as 80 people came to the concert.
Among the middle and upper age bracket, there was a young age group.
It's so nice that this concert gained support over a wide range of ages.



To the splendid playing of Mrs. Sakaguchi, Mrs. Sano sang a wide variety of songs, which were very emotional to us Japanese.
Some of the audiece wiped away the tears from their eyes with handkerchiefs.


Mrs. Sano was in poor condition. However her performance was wonderful.
There was no one better singer than a professional like her.
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Memories of this summer

Comics workshop

What one likes to do, one generally does well.

Mr. Ishiki and Mrs. Motomachi, who are married cartoonists ,moved
to Kiinagashima, have been staying at Yugakutei temporarily.
Their contribution to this area allowed us to hold a workshop at Yugakutei.


Ten people including junior and senior high school students participated
in this workshop.


A computer is a requisite tool for this workshop.


They were immersed in creating their own comics.

There's a diversion.


Curry cooked in a Dutch oven was served.


They put their favorite toppings on the dough and baked pizzas in a brick oven.


They also cleaned this more than 60-year-old traditional
Japanese style house.

All paricipants achieved their goals to complete their works.


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Exhibition only seen at Yugaku-tei


My dream came true when my longtime friend opened an exhibition at Yugaku-tei for five days from the 12th of October through to the 16th.
I'd been craving for an exhibition very unique to Yugakutei.
Yugakutei is a traditional Japanese style house that is more than 60 years old.
Along with the Japanese style rooms,the wooden staircase, long and narrow hallways and alcoves were essential props for this exhibition.
Even the rain on the 14th made this exhibition look more exquisite.


Visitors go up the staircase to the reception


At the reception desk,the purple tablecloth looks so chic.


The waiting space was a bench covered with red cloth with cushions of her own making on it.


These are the works made by her students.

The world of Setsuko Ogaki



This work gained the highest reputaiton. The combination of colors are amazing.
When you look at each figure with no face, you can imagine the face of
each woman,which enabled you to appreciate this work with more fun.

I'm tremedously happy that 350 people came to see this exhibiton at
I owe this success to Setuko, her students and those visitors.


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Exhibition by Fukiage Eisaku

The exhibition is the place where local people meet

This is the exhibition to celebrate his winning the award of IFA.



These are prize winners.

From the 28th of October through to the 30th
about 170 people appreciated his works.
A lot of men came to this exhibition, which was unusual for the events
held at Yugaku-tei.


On the last day the members of Miyama Fue no Kai
(Miyama Japanese flute group) performed a wide variety of music from children's
songs to theme songs of movies.
Collaboration between his paitings and their performace was successful.

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My homeland unforgettable

Living in a global village

My friends visited Yugakutei and stayed here on the 19th and the20th of October.
We've been friends for 30 years.
Mr. and Mrs. Nagajima live in New York and her sister lives in Hong Kong.
Mr. Nakajima left Japan in his teens following the policy of his father that
A frog in the well knows nothing of the great ocean.
Mrs. Margaret Nakajima and her sister were born in China and they were brought
up in Japan. That's why they speak authentic Japanese while Mr. Nagajima
speaks the Oosaka dialect.
One of her brothers live in Tokyo and the other lives in Canada.

Mr. and Mrs. Nakajima come back to Japan once a year with her sister Emy.

This time they really enjoyed their stay at Yugaku-tei.
They told me that they would never forget hospitality they received from the staff at Yugaku-tei.


Margaret is a good cook. She helped us with making pizzas at the event


On the morning when they left Yugaku-tei for Nagano
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Continuity is the father of success

Wood-carving Bodhidharma was completed


The first workshop started on the 20th of June.
He has participated in the event sixteen times.
Finally he made it on the 11th of November.


On the 24th of June he finished his Enku statue.
Enku was a Buddhist monk in the Edo period.
He went on a countrywide pilgrimage and carved many rough Buddhist statues His style is called Enku-bori (bori means carving)



Kannon statue is his next challenge.
Kannon is the Buddhist deity of mercy.


August 12th was when his final challenge started.
He's been engaged in carving Bodhidharma for nearly 3months.
This time a Japanese cypress was used as a material.


A Japanese cyress is hard and the hardness made his challenge more difficult.
Advised individually, he's been absorbed in his Bodhidharma industriously
and silently.
He got his work done.


I take off my hat to his perseverance.

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