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January 2020 Update from the Coordinators for International Relations ・ 国際交流員日記1月2020年

印刷ページ表示 更新日:2020年2月5日更新

Telephone Fraud is No Joke ・ 電話詐欺は笑い事ではない


In Japan, one of the most common crimes is telephone fraud, a practice in which a person will impersonate a family member to trick the elderly into signing over their money. The rakugo performer Tatekawa Gajira visited Date City Hall for a performance using comedy to spread awareness of the various techniques used in telephone fraud. We were lucky enough to get to sit in on his performance.

Gajira-san gave us some useful tips on what to be wary of when receiving a phone call from someone asking for money: Communicate with them to see if they know things that only the person they are trying to impersonate would know (your pet’s name, etc.). They might say they don’t remember, but keep asking questions! Also, watch out for people claiming to have a time-sensitive offer, a limited supply, or that you are the only person they can rely on. Fraudsters often use tricks like this to pressure people into transferring money before they can think things through. Be careful!

(Posted by: Shannen ・作成者:シャネン)

A Talk on Gender Equality ・ 男女共同参画講演会


The Date City Civic Collaboration Department is responsible for promoting gender equality within the community. As part of this, the department hosted a lecture about gender equality.
With the LGBTQ+ community gaining prominence in Japan, even some of the people who attended this lecture have experienced their family and friends “coming out” as “lesbian,” “gay,” “bisexual,” “transgender,” or other sexual and gender orientations. Kobayashi Ryōko, associate director of the non-profit organization “ha-to wo tsunagō gakkō,” spoke to us about not only the meanings behind all of these terms, but also about her experience as the mother of a transgender son.
LGBTのことが日本で課題になっており、講演会の参加者の中にも、家族や友人が「レズビアン」、「ゲイ」、「バイセクシュアル」、「トランスジェンダー」、またはその他の性別および性的指向を持つと「カミングアウト」されたこと経験がある人がいました。小林りょう子さん(NPO法人 ハートをつなごう学校の副代表理事)がこの用語の意味だけでなく、トランスジェンダーの息子の母親としての彼女の経験についても話しました。


To identify yourself as an “ally” of the LGBTQ+ community, someone who is accepting and supportive of people with nonconforming gender and sexual orientations, Kobayashi-san suggests carrying something that is emblazoned in rainbow colors. She also gave us some tips on changes we can make to our vocabulary to be more considerate:

  • Homo, Okama → Gay
    ホモ、オカマ → ゲイ
  • “rezu” → Lesbian
    レズ → レズビアン
  • New Half → Transgender man / woman
    ニューハーフ → トランスジェンダー男性/女性
  • Gender identity disorder → avoid referring to someone’s identity as a disorder
    性同一性障がい → (診断名であり限定的なので避ける)
  • Onabe → Transgender
    おなべ → トランスジェンダー

At times when we need to be gender-neutral in referring to someone’s “girlfriend,” “boyfriend,” “wife,” or “husband,” Kobayashi-san suggests using the words “partner” or “koibito.”

  • Kareshi, Kanojo → Partner, Koibito
    彼氏、彼女 → パートナー、恋人
  • Dana, Okusan → Partner
    旦那、奥さん → パートナー

(Posted by: Shannen ・作成者:シャネン)

Andean Music of Peru Performance & Workshop ・ ペルー・アンデス音楽&ワークショップ


On January 18th, the music duo “KALLPANDINA” joined us at the Date City Furusato Kaikan for a performance and workshop of Andean music from the country of Peru! The event was originally planned by Date City’s International Association to take place in October but was delayed by Typhoon No. 19 (Hagibis). Thankfully, it was rescheduled and the duo’s fans came from as far as Miyagi Prefecture to see them perform!


“KALLPANDINA” is a word in the native Andean language Quechua, meaning “the strength of the Andes.” The group, now comprised of the two brothers Jorge Tinta and Antonio Tinta, began in Peru and Lima in 1996.

ホンダさん ユダさん

Our two hosts from Date City’s International Association gamely introduced the duo. One suddenly changed into a hat and poncho while the other, the head of the association, tried out some Spanish phrases in his address.



I also got to participate! For the workshop portion of the event, I was asked to dress in traditional Andean clothing and dance along with one of the songs. The audience was kind enough to join in with me.


Some members of the audience had a chance to go on stage and try out the different instruments.

circle dance

Finally, the audience danced around the hall in a massive circle.


After the event, Jorge and Antonio came out to talk with everyone, sign albums, and join us in a group photo. We hope to see them again soon!


(Posted by: Shannen ・作成者:シャネン)

Making Dried Persimmons (Part 2) ・ あんぽ柿を作ります (Part 2)


This week we got to taste the persimmons we picked in Isazawa. Click HERE to find out how to dry persimmons and make either hoshigaki or anpogaki!


Once you’ve got your hands on some dried persimmons, you’ll have to decide how to eat them!


Anpogaki have soft exteriors and gooey centers, meaning they’re great to eat as-is.


I like to eat mine with ice cream but Tony swears by eating his with peanuts and milk.


Hoshigaki are essentially just anpogaki that haven’t gone through the step of sulfur fumigation. After being hung out to dry, hoshigaki normally become black. They might seem like they’ve gone bad but we’re told these hoshigaki are perfectly okay to eat!

干し柿 トンーが干し柿を食べます

Tony suggests enjoying them with a snifter of brandy.


(Posted by: Shannen ・作成者:シャネン)

New Motorbike License Plates ・ 原付の新しいナンバープレート

On the morning of January 6th, I rushed down to the Taxation Department of City Hall to receive a new motorbike license plate.


The Lively Taxation Department ・ 賑やかな税務課

In my hurry, I forgot to bring my personal seal.


Thankfully, I was able to use my finger instead.


Reddening My Finger ・ 指に朱肉を

I felt like an actor in a historical drama.


It Is Official ・ 公式である

Before long I was granted my new motorbike license plate.


Bestowed with a License Plate ・ 与えられたナンバープレート

In Japan, small motorbikes (with engines under 125cc displacement) are registered with one's municipality of residence.


Recently cities, towns, and villages have offered decorative license plates, and this year Date City is following the trend with three new license plate designs for 50 cc or smaller motorbikes.


Ayumi’s License Plate Design ・ 亜由美さんのナンバープレート

 Shidzuka’s License Plate Design ・ 志津佳さんのナンバープレート

Date Tomomune’s License Plate Design ・ 伊達朝宗さんのナンバープレート

I chose the design with Date Tomomune, the founder of the Date Clan.


Happily, I was able to get a very low number.


Happy with Second Place ・ 二位で嬉しい

I look forward to riding around northeast Japan with my new license plate!



Original license plates are available at the Taxation Department of the Date City Hall, as well as local branch offices.


Would everyone consider using their own small motorbike to promote Date City?


(Posted by: Tony ・作成者:トニー)

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