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Bassia scoparia in Japan

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Bassia scoparia in Japan

Bassia scoparia is a large annual herb native to Eurasia. In Japan it has many uses both traditionally in cuisine and in the home as well decoratively. The change of colors of this plant is one reason why it is being introduced here in autumn.

Yanaka sensei introduces this versatike plant in this week's Japanese teacher's blog. Please read the Japanese, learn vocabulary and listen to video to help you improve your Japanese.











To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video. 








Do you know what “Kokia” is ? I found out about it from a pamphlet at Hitachi seaside park where I go every year in spring to view the blossoms.

In Summer “Kokia” grows a bright green and as you can see in the photograph they look like a lot of green creatures sitting down side-by-side. Then in autumn, they start to turn red little by little. By the middle of October, they are all completely red and the hillside of the park is covered in red colors. Every year I've thought to myself that I'd like to go and see the red “Kokia” blossoms, but I've always been busy and hadn't seen them. But last year, I was finally able to actually go and see them. This is a picture of the hill with “Kokia”. It was as if the whole hill had been dyed red, it was very beautiful.

There are other names for “Kokia”, they are also called “Houki Gusa” or “Houki Ki”. A long time ago, they used to use dried “Kokia”to make brooms (or 'houki' in Japanese). At the park, they even have broom-making events. The “Kokia” shape is certainly the right shape to make brooms. So I wonder exactely how many brooms you could make from all the “Kokia” covering the hill ?

“Kokia” seeds are called “Tonburi” and can be enjoyed as food with a texture like caviar, and are called 'the caviar of the fields'. I was curious to find out how many seeds I could get out of one plant of “Kokia”so I looked it up on the homepage, but it was written that the park's “Kokia” was a decorative variety which did not produce seeds. What a shame.

If I have time this year, I want to go and see the red “Kokia”. If you get a chance, please go ahead and have a look.

鮮(あざ)やかな vivid; bright

生(い)き物(もの) living things; creature

並(なら)んで side-by-side;

半(なか)ば middle

完全(かんぜん)に perfectly; completely

覆(おお)う cover

ようやく at last; finally

実際(じっさい)に actually;

丘(おか) hill

全体(ぜんたい) whole

染(そ)まる be tinged; be dyed

別名(べつめい) another name

枯(か)れた withered

~とか I heard that ~

ほうき broom

形(かたち) shape; appearance

確(たし)かに surely; certainly

埋(う)め尽(つ)くす to cover completely

いったい really

実(み) fruit; seed

食感(しょっかん) food texture; mouthfeel

楽(たの)しむ enjoy

畑(はたけ) field

一面(いちめん)の overgrown with;

興味津々(きょうみしんしん) very interesting; having a keen interest

観賞用(かんしょうよう) decorative [plant]

実(み)をつける to bear fruit; to produce fruit

品種(ひんしゅ) cultivar

機会(きかい) chance


Hajimemashite ! My name is Izumi YANAKA.
Through my work as a System Engineer, I have had the experience of teaming up with foreign members of a team. After seeing the difficulties the team members went through with communication and cultural differences, I got to thinking, "If only there was something I could do to help !" Which was what led me to become a Japanese teacher.

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What's the best phrase to say in this situation ? Is this grammar usage correct ?

If you have questions like these on your mind, I want to answer them all one by one. And in this way, without even realizing it, your Japanese will come to improve.

Once you are able to speak, it gets to be fun. It's not difficult, and not trying at all ! I will help you widen your Japanese speaking world. Let's enjoy learning Japanese together.

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Guest Sunday, 18 March 2018