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Kagoshima character Ecology Dialect

 We introduce the ecology of Kagoshima people humorously.
 At first I introduce myself simply. I was born in Tokyo and grew up there. My parents are from Kagoshima prefecture. But I didn't know well about Kagoshima, because I have been visited my grandmother in Kagoshima several times only for the summer vacation. However when I was a junior high school student, our family moved to Kagoshima. Between Kagoshima poeple and Tokyo people don't be a big difference in the next generation. But I sometimes felt a small cultural difference. And I'd like to introduce the ecology of Kagoshima people under my feeling. You will want to object something a part of them. But this page is a humorous story and I talk half-jokingly, so please don't take it so seriously and read with a smile. We never accept any complaint! ^o^

 What is a dialect word which shows the character of Kagoshima people most?

The Mt.Sakurajima observation deck  A typical Kagoshima dialect which shows the ecology of Kagoshima people most is "TegeTege". It means "moderate". It is used : "Take it tegetege!", "Do tege." and so on. TegeTege sometimes change to Tege. Tege in fact means moderate on a word. But Kagoshima people want to say twice same word. It's just my imagination, but I think at Miyazaki prefecture nezt to Kagoshima people say Tege only.
 Kagoshima people are always a happy-go-lucky people. They are not unsociable. They are often said they are not good at the business. For example even another prefecture's people bought and then changes the producing place and buy, Kagoshima people don't care at all. They always think because thier goods are sold well, it is happy for them. There is a typical story about green tea. When Shizuoka people mixed 70% of Kagoshima tea leaves and 30% of Shizuoka tea leaves and sold as Shizuoka tea, Kagoshima people ware happy because Shizuoka people bought Kagoshima tea leaves. And they didn't advertise themselves. At last no one don't know Kagoshima is the 2nd producing place. How to show the producing place bacome strict in these days, Shizuoka people don't buy Kagoshima tea leaves a lot. So Kagoshima people realized a grave crisis, they started to show off the Kagoshima tea brand. This instance shows Kagoshima people are generous, and they don't nothing even they lose a little. The quality of Kagoshima tea leaves are best in Japan. We want this fact become famous for all over Japan.
 Kagoshima people are full of powerful vitality on the contrary. One precedent is the Meiji Restoration. They are just a dormant volcano which is usually calm but when it erupt onece, it give a severe damage. Yes. Those who don't want to make a strong rival musut not let be Kagoshima people angry.

 a meeting time = a time when they leave thier home

a station  While I lived there, I was often suprized with thiir slovenly time. When I promise to play with my friends, I reached the meeting place 10 minutes before because it was a common sense among Tokyo people. But nobody didn't come over the meeting time. I called what did they happen soon and found out they ware at thier home yet. I was suprized with hearing they wanted to leave thier home in a few minutes. Oh, no! Why did.
 Kagoshima pople do so at almost meething even it is a wedding reception party, a camping, a business discussion and so on. They may think it's about time to leave their home when the meeting time already come. However it was easy for me too. It was comfortable in its own way. Not to be tied to a schedule is so good. But Kagoshima people can do in time for example when they go to the theater. In the big cities, they come to meeting in time.
 We give an interesting story concerning time only in Kagoshima. Speaking of the exactitude of time, the train is a representative in Japan. But in a case that people live the place where the train come once a hour or people have to wait for next train more than 3 hours, the conductors do with kindness and love. When a passenger rashed to a train which had already started to leave the platform while he cried "Wait!", the train would stop for him. He could ride from the end of door sometimes it was the door of the conductor's room which was the door beside the platform. It is an unbelievable thing for Tokyo people that the train disregard the schedule and wait for a passenger even it has already left the platform. I had done it only once. This easygoing scene was daily watched at the Oosumi line whose line has already lost. "The scheduled time? I can't understand what it means." The train didn't have any mechanical smell and gave us a human's smell.

 The friend's refrigerator is mine.

The double-house  Everyone know each other at the countryside. So they don't have to fear others. When they visit thier friend home, even if their friends are not in, they go into the room. And they get tea and sweets from the refrigerator, put thier foots into the kotatsu, wacth TV and wait their friends. When the friend come home, even they are in the room and eating sweets, they don't mind. This is an our experience, but we called our relatives for a Buddhist memorial service for my grandmother. Men had a party and drunk syochu liqueur. And when we women brought dishes, we found out a neighbor drunk with our relatives without our noticing it. But they continued the party as if nothing happend at all. By the way the neighbor was only one person, but he drunk all our relatives down. Are our relatives too weak? Or is he too strong?

 A truth behind a male-dominated society

The Moriizou and the Maou  Kagoshima is famous for a conservative society and a male-dominated society. The words "Otokonshi(Men)" and "Onagonshi(women)" are used frequently. There is an atmosphere which women hane to walk behind men. And men get the higher salary than women. I had heard "About salary is \10,000 for man and \5,000 for women." in the SyansyanUma festival. Officially, Kagoshima people live in the male-dominated society. "Officially"...
 In common, women always pay due respect to men-law out of home completely. We give an instance in my university days. It was a story at a party among students. Kagoshima people drink syochu liqueur with hot water. Some pots ware prepared around the tables. The tables ware put about 7m long. Men sat on the one side, and women sat in front of them. Those who came late had to 3 cup of syochu liqueur soon. Every one watched it, and got excite. After 15 minutes a man hold out his cup to women and ordered "Make next syochu liqueur!". I was very surprised at its order. Because the bottle was in front of him on the table, and the pot was beside him. "Do you means women have to walk around the long table and make for you?" What an abnormal ideas! No one cannot do such a foolish behavior. But a women sat next to me went to him walking around the table and started to make a syochu liqueur with hot water for him. It was unbelievable for me. Tokyo people think it is natural people at the side of a pot make for another people. They never call person over the table. I though "The pot is on the side of you. How lazy he is! You must look after yourself." and got angry about the unfair thinking. But it is natural for Kagoshima people. So I sometimes got angry with them.
 I was burdened with thier pure anachronism for a long time. But I take an another look now that a male-dominated society was baced on a work separation of men and women. Women follow men, but in fact there is a tacit rule which men don't have to meddle in women's work. Even wives are not good at cooking and take an awful dish, her husbands have to say nothing and eat all. Even wives don't clean their house well, husbands have to put up. If husbands complain a few, people think the man is narrow-minded and unmanly. They never regard him highly. I remember my father didn't make any complaint when we couldn't cook well yet in our childhood. My mother is a terrible cook such as she hold meat useing the long chopsticks when she cut it, he never say nothing. Women are most strong at home. Long ago there was a rule that men didn't have to enter the kitchen. It means that men never cook with thier pride, on the other it means that men cannot enter to the kitchen because the kitchen is a territory for women.

 They never accept a traitor.

The bronze statue of Mr.Saigou Takamori  One of most famous Kagoshima hero is Mr.Saigou Takamori. Mr.Ookubo toshimichi was born in Kagoshima, but it isn't known well. The difference may be from publicity by Kagoshima people. Kagoshima poeple love Mr.Saigou deeply, but Mr.Ookubo isn't loved as same as Mr.Saigou. Now there is a statue of Mr.Ookubo in Kagoshima, but an opposition movement to put up it have happened at the first time. Because Kagoshima people never accept a traitor. They considered Mr.Ookubo betraied and deserted Mr.Saigou at the Seinan war. So they hated Mr.Ookubo. But ii is only among old people. Old people are mad about Mr.Saigou, but young people look them impartially without a prejudice. they love both of them. At last the bronze statue of Mr.Ookubo was made.
 On the contrary, Kagoshima people have a strong sense of obligation and never forget kindness. They show a gratitude for thanks as same as they never accept a traitor. We show a short real story. A small brewer tried to buy thier syochu liqueur all over Japan when people didn't drink syochu liqueur at all out of Kagoshima. They made a new syochu liqueur which was easy to drink even for out of Kagoshima people because aomost Japanese hated the smell of syochu liqueur. The syochu liqueur was named "The Maou". It taste cool without a bad smell. Kagoshima people loved the bad smell, so it didn't sell at all in Kagoshima. But it was natural for the brewer. They made for out of Kagoshima people. They ware prepared for that from first. However Japan was just in the Japanese sake boom in those days. The brewer asked many sake shop, many bar and many wholesale store to sell thier syochu liqueur. There was a shop which cooperated them and bought many Maou and sold energetically. Their stock never decrease at all. The syochu liqueur didn't move more than a year on their rack. And the shop didn't give up. They sold and sold steadily. After a long time, the Moriizou boom came. The Moriizou was made based on the same look as the Maou. The Moriizou was sold more and more, ant the syochu liqueur boom started. An entertainer told about the Maou in a day. After that the Maou was sold like hotcakes. All sake shops scrambled for the Maou, and the price raised and raised. But the brewer sell the Maou enough at a fixed price first priority only for the shops which bought even in their severe days. They never sell at premium price. A brewer make the Moriizou sell for benefactor at a fixed price without a lot too. They don't care a bit about making a profit. It is just a Kagoshima mind.

 I understand you love the soumen. But I think you eat too much! p><q

to float Soumen  Kagoshima people love eating the Soumen which is a Japanese noodle. They eat much most in Japan. And Kagoshima is the birthplace of the Soumen-nagashi. The Tosenkyo is famous for the Soumen-nagashi. We serve the Soumen-nagashi in summer too. Even in winter we accept the reservation of the Soumen-nagashi. It is natiral for Kagoshima people to give the Soumen as a midyear gift and a year-end present. If you are at a loss what you should send as a gift, to give the Soumen is best for Kagoshima people. By the way the Soumen is made most in Nagasaki prefecture. Nagasaki people make the Soumen and Kagoshima people eat them. It is a perfect LPLC (=local production for local consumption) in the Kyushu district.
 And Kagoshima people love to eat the Soumen with another food. They eat the mikan most. They put a full of mikan within the Soumen. Another one are the watermelon, the cucumber and so on. Does it look like a Hiyashichuka? They sometimes drink the Soumen soup instead of the rice cake soup. They may feel too poor to eat only Soumen.
 We give an example in our family. We ate the Soumen for breakfast at first. And we ate the Soumen for lunch. After that we ate the Soumen for supper. It continued for 40 days during the summer vacation. We ware fed up at last, and asked our mother to take boiled rice. However the supper of that day was the boiled rice and the Soumen. Oh, Nooooooo! >_<)"q Of course, we complained. But she disregard naturally.
 There is a sequel after it. We visited our aunt in a day and we expected not to eat the Soumen. But our aunt took the Soumen with the mikan. We wanted to cry. p><q

* The Soumen-nagashi : eat the Soumen floating with water on the long bamboo tubu or the round machine.

 They want their children to be both a good warrior and a good scholar. And they impose the Spartan education.

The crane man  Do you know a word "the supplementary tuition"? The high schools out of Kagoshima have only 6 period in general. But there is a 0th period at the academic high schools in Kagoshima centred on preparing students to get into university. And the 7th priod and 8th period start after 6th period in Kagoshima. The students study mathematics, English, civics and so on naturally. The supplementary tuitions are always held even during the summer vacation and the winter vacation. A school years students have to go to the school everyday except only 3 days for the Bon festival. Officially, it is free for the students wether they attend or not. But because the teacher finish the text even in the supplementary tuition, the students who are absent will be able to understand nothing. In addition, the teacher say "Because now is the summer vacation." and give a lot of homework. The substantial vacation is for 3 days, but the homework are a book of collection of problems of the Mathematics I, a book of collection of problems of the Differentiation and Integration, 70 papers of English, 20 papers of Science etc. It is too hard for the student. They have to finish all homework on schedule and prepare and review for the supplementary tuition. If they don't so, they will be in trouble a new school term. The teacher are very strict. We ware sometimes hit our hands by bamboo stick by a historic teacher. It is this way with everything. So until the end of the first term of a two-year, they finish all 3 years text. After that they start to prepare for an entrance examination. They every day get a trial examination. The Spartan education isn't natural for another prefecture people. They looks like be possessed by something bad. So Kagoshima student are said almost of them exhaust the will to study at the same time of entering a university. Of course, only the student don't work hard. Their teacher have to work hard every day. They get \500 a tsudent, but it isn't enough. It is the same as a volunteer. But they never complain. The stsudents will be free after 3 years, but the teacher have to work hard for a long time.
 Kagoshima people don't demand only study to their children. They hope chirlren are both a good warrior and a good scholar under the slogan "spirit, technique, and physical strength". Even there are many supplementary tuitions for scholar, moreover there are supplementary tuitions for warrior too. For example those who can't swim 100m have to practice at the supplementary tuitions. A Japanese word "the Ensoku(excursion)" is consist of two characters means "En(far)" and "Soku(foots)". Chirlren even who is schoolchildren have to walk further. They start to walk at 7:00 am, walk and walk, reach the destination at noon, eat lunch, play 30 minutes, start to return soon, and reach their school in the dark at last. There is a teacher of a relief squad, they help the dropout children. Children whose home along the route always want to return. To return to the school is too trouble for them. Twalk only is too bored for children.
 Kagoshima people never skimps on the cultivation of aesthetic sensitivity. New Japan Philharmonic came our high-school when I was a high school student. They are the top class's orchestras in Japan. Our teachers called the real orchestra for students. They wanted to serve the real orchestra. I think it was difficult to get the budget for a prefectural high school, but... How they got the budget? Did our teacher pay?
 These may be born from "the Goschu education" which is an old educational system in Kagoshima.

 But they indulge the eldest son.

a statue of archery on horseback  Teachers impose the Spartan education at schools. But Kagoshima people indulge their eldest son traditionaly at home. They overlook an adorable mischief and let their son do what he liked. Do they let him be on his own? Or do they let him gain confidence? Or do they let him realize he will be a head of a family? I don't know why they do, but they grow up their eldest son freely.
 On the other hand, there is a class system depends on age in Kagoshima. Because the eldest son always do what he liked, so it is easy for him to be conceited. However he don't do strange very often unexpectedly. We think a reason is the class system. It is natural for Kagoshima people that the eldest son have to look after his parents, his younger brothers and his sisters. The younger brothers and the sisters are grown up strictly and ask obey their brother, but the eldest son look after them.
 We think those who have a good intuition already find out that the Japanese patriarchal system at the Meiji Era was born from the Kagoshima family system. In fact, the patriarchal system and the male-dominated society has a very short history which was born after the Meiji Era in Japan and Japanese family relations was more freely before the Edo Era.
 There is no boy in our family. And our parents let their daughter do what she liked. Their daughters could do wanted and decide the course in life. They are just as at pasture. Our parents say "There is no difference between man and woman after this!". It has not been a normal thinking yet in Kagoshima.

 The mikoshi and the Gyunyu Ikki

a festival  We think it is common for Japanese university students to go on a spree at an event. But Kagoshima students are especially foolish. They are just as the comical entertainers. For example, the fisheries students wore only a loincloth even in the depths of winter, ran the street holding the syochu liqueur bottle (Kagoshima is a a southern country, but not to drink is cold in winter), jumped into a fountain at the Nishikagoshima station and returned to their dormitory with pleasure. It is natural for people, so no one don't mind. We think even a policeman laugh loudly and ignore. We have never heard they are arrested. Now the Nishikagoshima station is called the Kagoshimachuou station, and the place of the fountain moved out of station. But because it is traditional for them, and they may do as same even now. If you visit around the station in winter, you may look the strange behavior.
 The school festival of the university of Kagoshima is strange as your expectation. After they carry a handmade portable shrine around the Kagoshima city, they form a circle while a hand-clapping patter and do the Ikki drinking. But they don't use syochu liqueur at the public place because a part of students are the minors. They drink Gyunyu. The inexperienced people can't understand, but the Gyunyuu Ikki is sometimes harder than the syochu liqueur Ikki.

* the Ikki drinkng : to drink a cup of syochu liqueur in a gulp
* Gyunyu : milk

 They hate natto. But they love raw meat.

The Fresh Slices of Chicken  Kagoshima people don't eat natto. When we moved to Kagoshima, there was a few shop which sold natto and even the shop sold only a kind of natto. They looked natto a bizarre foods.
 This was a story at a Mochitsuki festival. The staudents all brought foods put between the rice cakes for example a bean jam. The rule was one that it had to be able to eat. It was natural for young people to bring a strange foods. The common foods and the strange foods ware sorted freely on the day. When I watched the table for the strange foods, and I found out natto there. Natto looked not to be suit for the rice cake, indeed, but the problem wasn't it for them. They screamed and pushed natto each other. At last they put natto and grated radish between the rice cakes and tried to eat. Of course the foods left after that. Curiosity got the better of fear and I tried to ate it. It was in fact very delicious, but they seemed not to like it. I have asked may father once whether he liked natto or not. He said he had not eaten natto before he moved Tokyo. Natto is sold at many shop in Kagoshima now. It looks not to be sold at all.
 On the other hand, Kagoshima people love raw meat. One of most popular meat is the fresh slices of chicken. The poultry farming prosper in Kagoshima, so it is easy to get chicken. The fresh slices of chicken is sold in the supermarket in general. The fresh slices of chicken have to be eaten in a cooked day. To be sold as a standard articles shows people consume a lot. Kagoshima people love the fresh slices of beef too. They don't eat raw pork, but it is sometimes raw for the Butasyabu. I have eaten the raw deer.

* Mochitsuki : pounding steamed rice into the dough used for rice cakes
* Butasyabu : boiling thin sliced pork within hot water in a short time and eat with a sauce containing soy sauce and vinegar or citrus juice

Kagoshima character Ecology Dialect