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Update from Coordinator for International Relations September 2017・国際交流員日記9月2017年

印刷ページ表示 更新日:2017年10月10日更新

The Vinyards of Hobara ・ 保原のぶどう園 2017年9月29日

                  ぶどう園 ぶどう

Date City is called the Fruit Kingdom. After visiting a vineyard in Hobara the other day, I saw one more reason why. Just a short walk from the road, grapes can be seen glittering in the sunshine like bunches of emeralds and amethyst. These fruits are carefully tended to, and grown until they are juicy and ripe.


                  ブドウ ぶどうを食べってる写真

What is the secret to growing delicious grapes? Shortly after grape vines have flowered in June, bags are placed over the flowers for various purposes such as protecting the fruits from insects and birds.


 (作成者:ジェニファー Posted by: Jennifer)

Ryozen Shrine ・ 霊山神社 2017年9月29日

Last week we visited Ryozen Shrine! Unaware of the car path leading up to the shrine, we climbed a very steep set of stairs to arrive at the entrance. But it was well worth it to see the beautiful shrine at the top and it was good exercise too!


                  霊山神社の階段 霊山神社

Ryozen Shrine is one of fifteen shrines established around the country in commemoration of the Kenmu Restoration. Founded in 1881, Ryozen Shrine is a very large shrine and the details of the red roof are like none I have ever seen before.


                  霊山神社 霊山神社のペットボトル

The grounds seem to be kept very well, but I wondered why there were plastic bottles hanging everywhere. Well while we were there, we met the Chief Priest of Ryozen Shrine who showed us photos of the shrine at night. It turns out that the bottles are meant to hold candles! The next night there was a moon viewing event, so I climbed the stairs again and was able to enjoy traditional Shinto music called gagaku, along with various dance performances. There was also food for sale, including konnyaku and dango. The shrine hosts a number of events throughout the year, and each one promises to be a wonderful experience!


                  ががく ががく

(作成者:シャネン Posted by: Shannen)

Community Revitalization in Ryozen ・ 霊山の地域おこし 2017年9月20日

                                          塗り絵 防災訓練

This week I visited with Mr. Uchida and Mr. Kitazawa, two Community Revitalization workers in Date City. As a part of their work they participate in programs to network with and get to know the area residents. This month’s activity included dance, art, and disaster preparedness training.


                                          防災訓練 内田さんとジェニファーの写真

Community Revitalization Workers mission includes finding and smoothing over obstacles for people who may wish to relocate into to the community. I spoke a bit more with Mr. Uchida who is originally from Kanagawa prefecture. Mr. Uchida is responsible for working in Ryozen’s Izumihara neighborhood, an area with about 500 residents. He explained that he concentrates on education for the area’s children as well as activities with senior citizens. He spoke about how much support he has found from Izumihara residents since he moved into the area, and what a wonderful community it is.


(作成者:ジェニファー Posted by: Jennifer)

Date City's Indoor Playgrounds  ・ 伊達市の屋内遊び場 2017年9月15日


It wasn’t until the end of the day that I understood the pun in the name of Paleo Park. In English, “paleo” means “ancient” and reminds us of dinosaurs and the prehistoric. But when spoken by a Japanese person, it sounds like the English word “play,” which makes it a perfect name for the dinosaur-themed indoor playground in Yanagawa.


                パレオパーク   パレオパークの恐竜テーム

Some of us from Date City Hall went to Paleo Park and Smile Park in Hobara last week before it was time to open, and we left jealous of Date City’s children. We took pictures of the play equipment and checked the quality of the obstacle course at Smile Park for ourselves. (The slide is structurally sound!) Both parks are beautifully decorated and so well kept that at first I thought they were daycare centers. But although there are staff at both parks, parents and children play together, and I think that is very nice. I think that the most impressive aspect of the indoor playgrounds is that there is no entry fee. This makes it easier for families to bring their children out for a fun day of carefree play. It also exhibits the great extent to which Date City cares about the next generation.


                スマイルパークで遊んだ時   スマイルパークで遊んだ時

(作成者:シャネン Posted by: Shannen)

Iwajizo in Yanagawa  ・ 梁川の岩地蔵 2017年9月15日


Yanagawa is home to a number of wonderful historic sights, but today I’d like to introduce just one. Along the Hirose river, next to the railroad tracks of the Abukuma Express, the outline of what are now quite weathered carvings of Buddhist jizou statues can be observed. It is thought that these statues could be seen on the path to the former tosho-ji Buddhist temple.


(作成者:ジェニファー Posted by: Jennifer)

Shannen Donovan Introduction  ・ シャネンドノバンごあいさつ 2017年9月14日

                  委嘱状交付式写真 幼稚園の活動

Hello, my name is Shannen Donovan. I have just begun work as Coordinator for International Relations at Date City Hall. The first time I visited Date was in the summer of 2012. I came with the Revere-Date Exchange Program and was impressed by not only the beauty of Fukushima itself but also the vibrant community I found myself in. That August I began studying at Hobara High School and made some life-long friends. I am grateful for this opportunity to return to Date and meet those friends again, as well as many more interesting and kind people while I am here.


As a citizen of Date City`s sister city, Revere, Massachusetts, I am also excited to strengthen the relationship between these two places in whatever way I can. My family has lived in Revere for nearly a century, but the sister city agreement made in the summer of 2016 seems to be the first time the city has made a connection abroad. As much as I would like to spread information about my hometown amongst the people of Date City, I am just as eager for the people of Revere to take advantage of this opportunity to learn about Date and Japanese culture. I would like many young people to enjoy the same experience that I was able to in the exchange program.


Former Kameoka Residence  ・ 旧亀岡家住宅 2017年9月6日

                  亀岡家2 亀岡家

The Former Kameoka Family Residence (Kyu Kameoka-tei) is located in Hobara Sougou park. The house was built around the year of 1897 in the area that is currently Koori town. It was relocated to its current location in Hobara Sougou park more recently. The original owner made his fortune through the silk farming industry and worked as an elected official as well.

 旧亀岡家住宅は 保原総合公園にあります。家は明治30年ごろ、現在の桑折町に築かれましたが、保原総合公園に移設されました。元の家主は養蚕業で富を築き、また群会議員としても勤めました。

 Beautifully accented woodwork can be found throughout the house. The most ornate woodwork can be found in two of the first floor rooms where the ceilings and fixtures are fitted with Japanese Zelkova. In addition to the use of Japanese zelkova, the construction of the house also incorporates various wood imported from Southeast Asia. Among all the beautiful details of the house, the most surprising thing to find was the entire 9th edition of the Encyclopedia Britanica!

 精密な木工が家内で多くのところで見えます。 一階の部屋の天井や柱、欄間などケヤキで出来ているところが特に優れていました。東南アジアから輸入された木材も使われてました。この昔からの家の中に、多くの美しい造りがありましたが、見学して一番びっくりした事は百科辞書ブリタニカでした!

                  亀岡家 窓 本

The former Kameoka Family Residence is part of the Date city history and culture museum. The museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm. With the exception of holidays, the museum is closed on Tuesdays as well as December 28th-January 4th.  Admission is 210 yen for adults and 100 yen for elementary and junior high students.


Koufuku-ji Temple  ・ 高福寺 2017年9月4日

                  壁 お坊さん                  

                  中学生 寺の彫刻

Recently, I was accompanied by a small group of Junior High School students on a work experience trip to koufukuji, a Shingon Buddhist temple in Hobara. The assignment we issued to the students was to think about what aspects of the temple would be interesting to a foreign person who had never been to a temple before. The Buddhist Priest who cares for the temple told us about how it has a history that extends back roughly 400 years, and showed us around the temple grounds. The ceilings inside the temple are beautifully decorated with images of flowers. Something unique to koufukuji is that the walls are decorated with elaborate art.


 On this visit, I learned about how the role of the temple has gradually changed across time. In light of the recent news that a robot has been programmed to lead Buddhist Funerals, it might be interesting to learn more about what the role of a temple is to a community.


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