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Hartselle Enquirer

Japanese visitor enjoys taste of the South

Visitor (R) Hide Kikutani visits with Kango Nagayoshi.

Hajimimachite is a Japanese greeting that means “good to meet you”. This was said and heard many times at an Aug. 1 reception in Hartselle to welcome Hideaki Kikutani from Hiroshima, Japan to the United States.
Hide, as he is informally called, is the uncle of Lisa and Lee Greene Jr. of Hartselle. This is Hide’s first visit to America, one he has only entertained now, as he speaks little English and was afraid he would get lost. He has been guided on his trip by his niece, Keiko Mabe, and her daughters, Amanda and Amelia, of Everette, Wash.
The reception was hosted by Lee and Glenda Greene Sr. at their home at 102 Oak Trail in Hartselle. Guests included many of the residents at Bluff Park and other friends of the Greenes. Kikutani had Southern Hickory barbecue and other southern foods.
A couple at the reception were Kei and Kango Nagayoshi, from Osaka, Japan and now live in Decatur, connected to Toray.
After much discussion in Japanese, it turns out that Hide and Kango lived in the same neighborhood in Hiroshima, half a world away from Hartselle. They discussed the differences living in America and Japan.
Hide’s visit will include an excursion to Atlanta to see the Coca-Cola Museum, the Georgia Aquarium, and since baseball is the second most popular pastime in Japan, a Braves-Mets game. He will see the Tigers for Tomorrow preserve in Attalla, Noccalula Falls in Gadsden, and DeSoto Caverns in Childersburg. Since he is an Elvis Presley fan, he will travel to Memphis to see Graceland and Beale Street.
Through an interpreter, Hide was fascinated with the large lawns and houses in America, as Japan is very densely populated. He also noted how friendly everyone was.
Also, he is now a fan of sweet tea and pork baked beans. Kikutani will return to Japan later in the month.

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