Chūgoku, Izumo & “Dandan”

My 2nd level students are learning about Japanese geography and so am I. One of my students pointed out that “her” town was located in the 中国・Chūgoku region. I only know Chūgoku as meaning “China”, so this was new. Coincidentally, one of the settings for the new NHK asadora, Dandan is located in Izumo, in Shimane Prefecture which is in Chūgoku. I didn’t make any of these connections until I got curious about the settings of this little soap opera. I also was not going to get into this one, however, the other setting is Kyoto Gion where another character plays the part of a maiko (geisha in training). The first episode went back and forth between these two places and already the imagery alone is pulling me in, not to mention getting to see inside the life of geisha. As silly as the story may get, like a good book, I won’t be putting it down anytime soon. I may also have to give my students a peak at this as well.

And by the way, dandan means “thank you” in Izumo dialect.


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