47 Prefecture's of Japan Vol.13 - The Amazing Kumamoto!

Japan, long and thin all the way from Hokkaido to Okinawa. If the climate changes so does the people and their values. If you compare people from different areas it become apparent that not only the customs and food change, but the character traits of the people of a prefecture also. It's local knowledge that knowing this can make your trips around Japan a lot smoother. This is a series that shows you the real parts of prefectures in Japan that aren't part of sightseeing. In our 13th installment in the series we're taking a look at Kumamoto Prefecture.

Stubborn Personalities

There is a word in Japanese that explains the personality of people in this prefecture, "Higo Mokkosu". It means stubborn and inflexible, single minded people of principle, also, it's common for men from Kumamoto to hold a strong sense of duty. The women are also tenacious probably taking first or at the very least 2nd place nationwide for stubbornness.

A Strong Love for One's Hometown

People from Kumamoto love having their prefecture complimented, however, if you talk bad of it, the blood will quickly rush to their heads and they will become angry. They fully believe that Kumamoto is the most easy-going prefecture to live in within Japan. However, people from Kumamoto who move to the capital seldom decide to return.

Tap Water > Mineral Water

Kumamoto's tap water is 100% supplied from underground. It has lots of minerals in it and is said to be tastier than mineral water you can buy.

So Many Stylish People!

Kumamoto is said to be a research field for apparel-related companies, so the fashion their is much further ahead compared to other prefectures. There are even talks that certain apparel items are being sold secretly in Kumamoto prefecture prior to them even being available somewhere such as Tokyo.

The Local Character "Kumamon" Earned a Huge Amount of Money in just 1 Year

The sales for "Kumamon" related products totals over 128,000,000 billion yen!. You could already say it's a large-scale enterprise. In the past it has been picked up by America's wall street journal as well as one of China's broadcasting channels as a special edition episode. By the way, Kumamon's job is a public servant! His title is both Kumamoto Prefecture Sales Department Chief & Kumamoto Happiness Chief. His base of operations can be found in Chūō-ku, Kumamoto, in "Kumamon Square" located on the first floor of the Tsuruya General Goods store. (He has the directors seat)

People Talking in Kumamoto Dialect Often Get Mistaken that they're having an Argument

Kumamoto's dialect has a lot of strong inflections at the end of sentences as well as unique vocabulary, because of this, when people from other prefectures hear people from Kumamoto talking, they often think they are arguing. Due to there being a lot of harsh-sounding words in the dialect, when people from other prefectures are spoken to in it, they often feel like they are being talked to rudely. If you speak Kumamoto's dialect in a store from another prefecture, there are even times when the staff will ask you to take your argument outside of the store.

Putting Honorifics onto Directions

When giving directions, usually in Japanese you would say "Hidari (left)" or "Migi (right), but in Kumamoto Dialect, they add an honorific to the word and say "Hidari-san" or "Migi-san", they even use it for things such as "Kita (north)" by saying "Kita-san". They also add the "-san" honorific to various objects. It's said that Kumamoto's dialect is very harsh and mean, but in reality it's a very kind and respectful dialect.

There are various amazing and unbelievable character traits of the people of a prefecture all over Japan. This is just one article as part of a series, so we would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section on the right. Which prefecture would you like to know more about? Let us know!


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