This weekend I was invited back to the Nishiyamas, a family that’s been living in Tokushima dating back over 300 years. The house I visited is owned by the parents of one of the teachers at my JHS. This past Saturday morning’s task involved digging up baby bamboos, which are primed for picking and eating in the spring. Deep in the country side of Itano, I performed a farming tradition modern urban Japanese families have probably never experienced. With only a digging pick in my hand I set off lead by father, son and granddaughter into a wild bamboo forrest with only one mission – to feed the women and children of the Nishiyama family. Once we arrived I was given a quick lesson in the art of baby bamboo digging and then I was on my own. There is nothing more exhilaratingg than man and mother nature clashing in a battle for survival. Nearly starving to death at the time, I chopped away at the base of the baby bamboo as mother nature desperately clung to the roots of her creation. This battle continued many times over as we left securing over 20 baby bamboos, enough for a lavish feast. Once we returned back to the house, I was given a lesson on how to prepare baby bamboo for cooking and then we ate a three course baby bamboo meal from the fruits of our labor.