People from all over the world come to Japan and find new lives here, and they often even play a role in supporting Japanese culture and traditions.
Here we introduce their stories and their voices. We learn why they came to Japan, what captured their heart, and the words and phrases they love the most.
The words they share with us are persuasive and truly rich in meaning.
Listen to their favorite Japanese words and learn about the treasures valued in this country.

Curtis Patterson

Name: Curtis Patterson

Nationality: U.S.A.

Activity: Koto player

Residency in Japan: 30 years

Now living in Tokyo

Favorite phrase: “Neiro”


The word Curtis likes is “neiro.” This can be translated as “the color of sound,” but its true meaning is not limited to the tone or timber of sound. It includes the nuances of distant emotions and scenes recalled with the help of sound.
“The koto can create various neiro,”says Curtis. “That is the essential characteristic of the koto.”

Favorite food: “Kinpira gobō”

Kinpira gobō

Curtis’s favorite food is “kinpira gobō.” Root vegetable called “gobō” and carrots are cut into thin slices and sautéed with sugar and soy sauce.
For Curtis, "kinpira gobō" is almost like the taste of home.