Deas in the News

March 14th, 2010

One week ago today, I gave a talk about my monitor tour at an International Fair in Imabari City. The local media came out and did a story on it. Here’s my amateur slapdash attempt at translating the newspaper article that was published in the morning edition of the Ehime Newspaper last Tuesday. Many thanks go to reporter Fumihito Tawa for coming out and covering the event. I’d also like to proffer my thanks to the photographer who snapped that incredible “A-ha!” finger pointing gesture. The team made me look good! :-D Click on the thumbnail for a larger view.

Caption: Mr. Richardson (right), an American whose theme was using foods like yakitori in a plan for promoting tourism in Imabari City.

Enjoy Imabari Even More

Increase the amount of foreign language information on websites to promote short-stay food tourism

Proposed by a sightseeing foreigner

Let’s rediscover Imabari’s tourist attractions from a foreigner’s point of view. The International Fair hosted by the Imabari City International Exchange Association (ICIEA), took place on the 7th at the JA Saisaikiteya farmer’s market, where the townspeople were able to learn about local attractions as well as ideas for drawing foreign tourists to the area.

The ICIEA received a request from the city, and so set out on a project to have 7 foreign residents undertake monitor tours from June of 2009 to February of 2010. The fair was designed to showcase the results of these tours for the people of Imabari CIty.

Deas Richardson (26), an American assistant language teacher, said of food tourism with a focus on Imabari’s famous yakitori, “Of course it is not really a reason unto itself to visit, but it could easily be a reason to stop (here) on the way to another destination.” He expanded upon his ideas, putting emphasis on using short term stays centered around culinary attractions to bolster tourism to the area.

He also raised the example of websites which anyone can edit (wikis) and are frequently used by foreign travelers, citing the fact that the city’s English and Chinese language information was scarce. He encouraged the audience, saying, “The Japanese page introduces yakitori, but there is no explanation in English or Chinese. Since anyone can contribute information as a volunteer, I would really like us to try to do so.”

Mr. Martin Samoy (44), a Belgian photographer who has lived in Imabari for 15 years, presented some of his pictures of scenery around the city. Mr. Samoy’s acquaintance and coworker, Ms. Mizumi Ide (5), also of Imabari, said “I was moved by the way that he photographed landscapes so familiar and ordinary to Japanese people with a fresh perspective.”(Fumihito Tawa)

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  • Amanda aka yumyumsesame

    Nice suit! :) And good idea about updating the wiki. ;)

  • Xacur

    how cool is that!
    lol, you look so important with your finger up

  • Deas

    Thanks! Had it made for me in Vietnam over winter break. Also – I accidentally left out the example – the reporter specifically mentioned Wikitravel, though I also mentioned Wikipedia (the behemoth of all wiki sites). I'll add that now.

  • Deas

    Ha ha – pretty much anybody looks important (or pretentious, I guess) while posing that way. Try it for yourself sometime!

  • Adam

    Hi, sorry if this is a little off-topic. I've enjoyed your site off and on the past few years and I've noticed that you've changed locations, from Kyushu (I think) to Ehime. I'm currently waiting to hear if I've been accepted to JET, and was wondering how easy it is to change locations during your tenure. Is it a frowned-upon process or is it common? Thank you.

  • Deas

    Howdy – thanks for following the blog! Unfortunately, you're mistaken, I've
    always lived in Ehime. It's a common misunderstanding that people have when
    they see the name of the site. I should have called it “Rocking on
    Hakatajima” to avoid the problem – but to be honest, I wasn't aware of the
    Kyushu Hakata (which is way more famous) when I created the site. Sigh.
    Anyhoo – hope that helps.

    Btw – I can tell you that transfers between prefectures are exceedingly
    rare, and even transfers inside a given prefecture may not be easy to do at
    all. It all depends on the reason for the transfer, and whose idea it was in
    the first place. Long story short, don't count on it as a for sure option -
    it's not. Does that make sense? If you come, you should give it 100% of your
    effort to live it up in the area where you're placed. It will be a great
    experience. Hope you get good news soon!

  • Adam

    Gotcha, thanks!