JOE DIARY ENTRY-TODAY taro grows deep underground huge when picked but the little arms you can break off.
For breakfast, in a kitchen of rock, earth, and wood we ate fire toasted Mochi. For lunch, spaghetti, under a warm Spring sun beside a blossoming Cherry Tree. Before supper, in an ONSEN beneath towering mountains reflecting the setting sun, we washed our bodies clean from the dust of a day’s work preparing freshly harvested Taro soon to be eaten in Tokyo.
We met a 3rd generation Japanese descendant whose first language is Portuguese. He couldn’t find the village where his grandparents once lived. In Brazil, he is called Japanese. In Japan, he is called Foreigner.
We met an Italian who met his now estranged Japanese wife in London, lived in Paris, and now in Japan for 13 years. He tells that Osaka people are a Japanese version of Italians. Now he wants to farm some land in 阿蘇山.
Like many similar stories here, we met a Mum with toddler whose husband spends weekdays in Tokyo, weekends in 阿蘇山. They left their home in Tokyo when an earthquake damaged Nuclear Power Plant contaminated nearby air and water. She will soon swap these mountains for skyscrapers when she returns with her husband.
We met a ceramic artist who is neighbour to a farmer who, for 10 years, sat on a surfboard waiting for That Wave. He eventually gave up on waiting for That Wave and re-introduced an ancient root vegetable. He got the seed from an old lady who could no longer farm this ancient source of starch. The Taro.
Joe, Sam, Heidi, and Brad spent today on a farm helping prepare freshly harvested Taro, soon to be eaten in Tokyo…