Tosa: Land of Passionate People *RERUN
The average temperature is over 17 degrees Celsius. And, here in Shikoku's Kochi Prefecture, there's also glaring sunlight and over 3m/year of rain - a lot even for Japan. Long ago, this area was known as "Tosa". Tosa's special climate gave its people a unique temperament. Even today, the men of Tosa are "igosso" (stubborn), and the women are "hachikin" (strong-willed). These strongly individualistic, goal-oriented people are Tosa's life force. They still have their unique traditions from long ago.

Lightly-Roasted Bonito

Kochi is famous for its bonito, which are caught through pole-and-line fishing. The brilliant flames of burning straw are used to carefully scorch only the outside of the fish, creating a dish that is, you could say, lightly roasted. This roasting increases the fragrance and condenses the umami. The dish, which became widespread 400 years ago, is now known not just in Kochi, but also throughout all of Japan.

Yosakoi Festival

The people of Tosa put all of their energy into the "Yosakoi Festival". In early August, once the monsoon rain has ceased, the entire city is alive with preparations for the festival. 200 teams and 20,000 people from all over Japan participate in this dance festival. All of the choreography is original. Local teams show off the results of their nightly practice, which continues for over 2 months. During the festival, dancing continues for 2 days - 20 hours straight.

The Kochi Market

This Sunday market, where 400 stands stretch for an entire kilometer, has become one of Kochi's famous attractions. In addition, other such markets appear 5 days a week. It is the women of Kochi who run these stands. These hard-working women of Kochi are called "hachikin." This word also signifies a strong will that can stand up to any man.