Freelance Announcer Aika Kanda: Falling in Love at First Sight with a Bowl on a Trip | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Freelance Announcer Aika Kanda: Falling in Love at First Sight with a Bowl on a Trip

Aika Kanda: Me, Pink, and Sometimes New York

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Every winter, Lake Akan in Hokkaido freezes over beautifully. People can walk on the lake and cars can drive on it. Visitors can try their hand at wakasagi fishing, snowmobiling, and banana boating, and during the daytime the lake is like a theme park. February is especially special. Every night, in temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius below zero, there are magnificent fireworks displays on the ice.

I too would like to see fireworks in sub-zero temperatures! So I planned a trip to Lake Akan with my mother last February. However, I contracted a new type of coronavirus at that time and had to abandon the plan. This year, we made plans again and decided to go.

© Kazuki Shimomura

After snowmobiling and watching wakasagi fishing, it was time for shopping. There, more than two dozen folk art stores were lined up, selling traditional wood carvings in various Ainu patterns, but the place was deserted with only a few groups of tourists. I am not the type of person who is interested in folk art, but I wanted to use my coupon, so I looked at all the stores.

Then I found a nice bowl in one of the stores. I asked the store keeper about it, and he told me that it was a precious wooden bowl said to ward off evil spirits in Ainu culture.

The bowl we use at home was given to us as a wedding gift, and we have been using it for five years now. It is too elegant for my wife and I, and its capacity is a little small. I have never said a word about it because it was a gift, but I have been thinking for five years that it is a hassle to get up from my seat many times during a meal to pour more for my husband, who drinks a lot of miso soup.

I want ……. It costs 5,500 yen to buy versus, but with the coupon, I can get it with zero takeout. I was told that it was the only two actual items in the line, and when I inspected them with my eyes wide open, I found a lot of dust inside both of them. I see that they must be items that had not been sold for a long time. But the curves are comfortable to the hand, and they feel smooth to the touch. I decided to buy them! I decided to buy it and submitted the coupon,

I decided to buy it and pulled out the coupon, only to be told, “Oh, you can’t use the …… electronic coupon. The old paper coupons are fine, but you can use …….” The shop keeper looked disappointed and said, “I’m sorry.

The store keeper said regretfully, “I had a two-dimensional barcode. I had an electronic coupon that was paid by scanning a 2D barcode.

We are in the process of applying to use the coupon at our place, but the phone at the office has been disconnected.

I can’t use the coupon. But I found the bowl I wanted. So the angel and the devil in me began to struggle.

Heaven “ You can only buy it here, let’s buy it!”

Evil “What? You mean buy it with your own money! No, that’s not what we’re talking about.”

Ten But it will be a good memory of our trip. ……”

Evil What are you talking about?”

Heaven If I don’t buy it now, it will be dusty again for a long time. ……”

Evil No, you can’t do that! My willpower is weak!”

Heaven Don’t say that, …… my will is strong, I …… understand. ……”

So the devil won and decided not to buy it.

Floating in the night sky of Lake Akan is ……

And that night, finally, the fireworks I had longed to see. I went out on the ice to feel the sound of the launch directly in the deepest part of my body. Boom! Pang! It sounded so much clearer than the summer fireworks, and combined with the darkness around me and the number of stars, it was like watching fireworks in space.

The timing should have been 120% impressive, but I suddenly came back to myself. Next to the huge fireworks, the face of the store keeper came to mind. I was the first customer for the store in tens of days at that time, and if I had bought a bowl, it would have been the first sale in tens of days. By now, when I finished work and was eating dinner, I could have told my wife with a smile, “I sold for the first time in dozens of days!” I might have been able to tell her with a smile on my face. As these thoughts flashed through my mind, I suddenly began to think that my decision not to buy might have robbed the store keeper of what should have been an enjoyable evening. And yet here I am, contentedly watching the fireworks. It seemed like an incredibly bad day, and I couldn’t get into the fireworks.

It was a nice bowl. I should have bought it with my own money. I’m so sorry, store keeper. And please, please, please, no more electronic coupon system! I wished to the fireworks display at the finish line in the night sky of Lake Akan. Boom! Dong-dong-dong! PANG!!!

Born in 1980 in Kanagawa Prefecture. After graduating from Gakushuin University with a degree in mathematics, she joined NHK as an announcer in 2003, and left in 2012 to become a freelance announcer. Since then, she has been active mainly in variety shows, and currently makes regular appearances as the main MC of the daytime TV program “Poka Poka” (Fuji Television Network).

From the April14, 2023issue ofFRIDAY

  • Text and illustrations by Aika Kanda

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