Region event proves you can go home again


Staff Writer

Japanese PR copywriters are addicted to a new buzzword: gotōchi (homegrown). It’s being used wherever possible to trumpet the peculiarities of local cultures — from gotōchi gurume (homegrown gourmet) to gotōchi aidoru (homegrown idols).

In response to this supposed gotōchi boom, this weekend’s Tabi Fair Nippon looks to give visitors the skinny on local fare from across the country.

One of the event’s highlights will be a donburi (rice bowl) contest, where contenders will showcase their region’s own special way of making the dish.

Food is not the only gotōchi experience visitors can expect. Local artisans will be on hand to display craftsmanship handed down from previous generations from their regions. Hokkaido will be represented by a group of technicians with an Ainu background. The Ainu people have historically had to fight to keep their culture alive; a group of Ainu artisans established the brand Sarunkur Aynu to help do this. Event organizers have invited representatives of the brand who specialize in wood carving.

Meanwhile, Iwate Prefecture, one of the areas hit hardest by last year’s Great East Japan Earthquake, will highlight the natural resources of its Sanriku region by demonstrating how to create fashion accessories using amber and iron.

Tabi Fair Nippon 2012 takes place at Sunshine City in Toshima-ku, Tokyo, from Nov. 9-11. Tickets cost ¥500. For more information, call (03) 5434-8283 or visit www.tabifair.net/index.html .