In light of Tochiozan’s upset of Terunofuji, I thought I would put in a quick plug for Kochi, his home prefecture. I have not been to his actual home town but I visited Kochi city with my family and a friend and we took the Anpanman train to Shimanto-gawa (Shimanto river). It’s an amazing place. The people we met were really friendly. Kochi is the source for a lot of yuzu and is famous for a particular fish dish called katsuo no tataki. We ate it at a really good restaurant, and we were invited to the house of a friend of a friend for dinner so we had it there, too. I’m no connoisseur of fish but it was good – I can tell salmon from tuna (raw or cooked) but when it comes to white fish, I’m lost. Aji might as well be catfish. It’s all good, whether baked or fried. When it comes to yuzu, though, that is about as distinctive of a flavor as you can get. It’s a citrus but it’s not an orange, lemon, lime, or grapefruit. It’s just different.
Kochi is a wonderful place. In the future, I will post about my incredible visit to Kochi. It’s the home of Sakamoto Ryoma, one of Japan’s Meiji Restoration heroes. He’s the founder of a company that became Mitsubishi. He was also deeply involved with Katsu Kaishu in creating the first Japanese Navy. Today, Kochi is just beautiful. The best taxi driver in the world is there. He took me on a great tour of the city and then the next day brought a fresh fish to us at our hotel. Shimanto gawa is in Kochi prefecture and is one of the most beautiful rivers in Japan. There’s an Anpanman train that takes you around the prefecture. It’s also the home of Tochiozan.
So, I’m always happy to see sumo wrestlers from there. Former yokozuna Chiyonofuji, and current master of the Kokonoe stable, introduced a new wrestler to his stable yesterday. He’s a university sumo champion from Nippon Sport Science University. Several articles mentioned the new recruit. With the introduction of Brodi Henderson from Canada, there’s a lot to keep an eye on in the lower divisions come May.
Bottom line: TRAVEL TO KOCHI. It’s wonderful.