Thursday, December 27, 2012

End-of-year party at the Namekis

We were invited to dinner at the Namekis last night--again--and we ate lots of "yakiniku"--again! 

Our chefs!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Day

Merry Christmas, every one! 

A Brazilian style chicken pie.

Pavê and panettone--both excellent.

Good company.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Last day of the Natto Project

Friday was the last day of the natto project and we got to eat what we made. I am NOT a fan of natto, but I did manage to eat the one dish with tofu that Professor Takahashi kindly prepared and said he was sure I'd be able to eat it (photo below). He was right. I ate two whole pieces myself. I also liked the red rice that they served. The rice, too, was planted and harvested by the students in the Faculty of Social and Environmental Studies. 
The natto I actually liked.

Aliz even added an egg to her natto--did that surprise Greg?!?

Mix, stir, mix, stir.

The red rice we were lucky to be able to eat.

Three types of natto before being mixed. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

End-of-year with senior seminar students

Enjoying some cheese fondu.

Exchanging gifts.

End-of-year lunch with seminar students

My third-year students got together at lunch time on Wednesday for a gift exchange.

Evan got what he wanted.

Greg and Marie at Garam Masala

Greg--a curry lover--went to Garam Masala for the first time with me the other day. Of course he was disappointed because there was no buckwheat noodles inside the curry! He cooks his own probably on a daily basis and his is obviously very "unique."

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Kizuna Project: Students from the Philippines at JIU

The Faculty of International Humanities hosted the first group of 46 students from the Philippines participating in the Kizuna Project sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. They were here at JIU yesterday and today. They spent some days in the Sendai area and then did homestay in Mobara and Kujukiri on the weekend. I attended all of their presentations and think they did a great job as ambassadors of their countries. Their future are in their hands and I'm sure their lives and the lives of those who they've met in Japan have changed. I hope they'll treasure their encounters in Japan and will work with the Japanese towards making the future a bright one. 
In the Mizuta Memorial Hall after their presentations today.

Short speeches at the reception on Monday.

Mr. Kobayashi making flowers for all the students.

With the JIU students after group discussions and presentations.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Natto Project

We took part in the Natto Project on Friday, December 7. For those who do not know, "natto" is fermented soy beans. It's something that Japanese people especially from the north part of Japan grow up eating. Students from the Faculty of Social and Environmental Studies grew rice and soy beans and we were taught how to make "natto" using the "wara" (rice straw) and the soy beans they harvested. 

Sharla and her group members. She is holding a sample prepared by the teacher.

A Hungarian student trying natto for the first time.

Takahashi-sensei teaching about the "nattokin."

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hannam University at JIU

The soccer team of Hannam University played our team today and fortunately JIU won 2 x 1. This was the first international friendly soccer match at the Prince Takamado Memorial Sports Park, and we were pleased to play the champions of the university league in Korea. We were also honored to have the presence of Your Highness Princess Takamado and Mr. Kawabuchi, former director of the Japan Football Association. I also felt lucky I could so closely see how great a referee Mr. Nishimura is. I'm sorry I forgot to take my camera with me so I don't have good shots to share with you.
President Kim of Hannam University greeting his players.
Colorful Korean audience.

Dinner in Ginza

...and then we went to Ginza Saturday night and had a very traditional meal at the counter of a tiny restaurant. 

First experience: Chawanmushi with udon.

French Delegation at JIU

We welcomed a delegation from the Université Catholique de Lille on Thursday and Friday.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Superb artistic rolled shushi

Mr. Okada at JIU

The former coach of the Japanese National Soccer team, Mr. Okada, gave a talk at JIU today. He is now working in China an we are thankful he made time to come talk to our students. 

Cod Roe?!?

I cannot eat fish eggs and find it hard to believe my students can eat such big bowls of rice with lots of cod roe on top!! They seemed to be very happy when they were eating that. I've been living here in Japan for twenty years but that's one thing I still haven't learned to eat. Luckily, a doctor told me I should never eat that because of the cholesterol.

Togane High School on December 4

I was invited by Togane High School to give a talk about the Brazilian economy and the Japanese immigrants living there. I asked my three great Brazilian students to join me. We stopped by a great bakery on the way and each chose a piece of cake. I was surprised they all chose some kind of chocolate dessert. I guess we are chocoholics!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cold Yamagata

I went to Yamagata City on Sunday to take part in the PTA meeting and was able to meet the parents of some of our students. I saw a lot of snow on the way there especially around the Yonezawa area, but to my pleasant surprise there was no snow in Yamagata City itself. I stayed overnight and visited some high schools on Monday. For the very first time, I also went to a department store there (Sunday night with the mother of one of my students!!) and was amazed at the large amount of boots they sell for the snowy weather of the area. I bought a pair....
View from the Shinkansen.

A HUGE Yonezawa steak"donburi" at the hotel room.

Seto-san gave a talk at JIU

Seto-san came to JIU last Friday to talk about her career as a flight attendant. She works for ANA and participated in the course taught by Ms Kumai from the ANA Research Institute. She had come to the JIIU Festival, but it was great to see her again and hear how proud she is to work as a flight attendant. 

Some students over for dinner

Some of my seminar students came over for dinner the other day. Unfortunately the weather was terrible and it was cold and rainy outside, but inside the apartment we felt quite comfortable and enjoyed the warm atmosphere. It was a thank-you dinner from me to the seminar leaders who did a great job during the JIU Festival. I ate WAY too much and I hope the students did, too. 

Sweet potato pie for dessert.

Sorry--forgot to take photos of the main course...

Serious Problems

I'm sorry I haven't been able to upload anything for quite a long time. I have had technical problems, but hopefully from tomorrow on you'll be able to see some photos again. With apologies, MSI

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Yakiniku, orange picking, yakiimo--all in one day

My 3rd and 4th-year students were invited to the Namekis today and we had quite a busy day. We ate "yakiniku," picked all the oranges they had in their trees and even though we thought we were extremely full, we sat down and ate "yakiimo" after that!!

Oops I'm having problems uploading photos now.

Happy Birthday

One could say that in order to register for my Discussions course you have to have been born either in May or November. We--the May people--celebrated the birthday of the four gentlemen born in November last Wednesday. The cake was great!