I had a flyer that landed on my desk for some picnic up in Kaminishi. That is the village near my house with the 9 student school. I didn’t know anyone else who was going to be there, but I decided it would be some good face time for the community and thought only good could come out of it, and, at the very least an included lunch. When I RSVPed, they said to get there a bit early so that I could help with getting everything set up. Well, this was all taken care of aleady, so I just had about 45 minutes to wait for the locals to get out of a meeting.
When the event kicked off, there were a couple of faces I recognized, both the principle and vice principle at Kaminishi Elementary. Aside from that I just made some small talk with a few strangers. One of the guys I talked to was a professor at the prefecture’s Kagawa University. He was from the city of Mure, but was currently living on the southern side of my island on sabbatical. His studies and interests dealt with the urbanization of these local areas, as well as what effects an aging population would have on Japan as well. These are both things that I’ve found myself think on a bit lately, so we chatted a bit about that which was nice. Fortunately for me, he had pretty decent English. He also introduced me to one of his students, a 4th year who was doing research in this small town too. Her English was pretty bad, but we got by with my limited Japanese.
The event itself was basically just eating and socializing. The name of the event translates to “filling your stomach”, so this was appropriate. On the menu was wild pig and veggies cooked over open coals. I hadn’t yet eaten this, and it was really good. Also the guy playing music was great as well. He provided the hoards of old folk with Kenny G-esq music that matched the mood of the event really well. It would have been nice to stick around a bit longer, but I had another thing I had busied myself with that I needed to get to. However, these events happen on a monthly basis, so I would think it likely that I get back, especially in the summer.
Short panorama of the scene, barely worth a video
And a picture of essentially the same thing