Nagai Stadium in Osaka, Osaka Prefecture
Spicy Pickles Forge Bonds Between Japan and Korea
Written by Fukushima Emi Photos by Takeda Norihisa
Osaka's Ikuno Ward is home to many Korean residents in Japan. One man born there, a second-generation Korean named Ko Byon Lyole, makes and sells
and other Korean food products. He also uses a door-to-door delivery service to send his products all over Japan.
is made by pickling vegetables like Chinese cabbage and
radish in salt, mixing them with red pepper, garlic and pieces of fruit, then letting them ferment naturally.
is one of Korea's best-known foods, and is gaining acceptance in Japan.
Ko is a keen soccer fan. He enjoyed kicking the ball around, and played for 12 years, starting in junior high school. He still has fond memories of the time North Korea beat the formidable Italian team during the 8th FIFA World Cup in 1966.
"Ever since I was a kid I've wanted to go and see a World Cup match. I was hoping that Korea and Japan would co-host the games, and when it was announced that it would happen, it was like a dream come true. I'm going to try to develop new products for the World Cup and do my bit for the games as a member of the food industry."
Ko can hardly wait for the World Cup next year, when he hopes to fulfill a childhood dream while realizing his present-day ambitions.
Ko Byon Lyole wants his food to serve as a bridge between Korea and Japan. His door-to-door
delivery business has 180 outlets in Japan.
The gently curved roof covers two-thirds of the 50,000 seats at Nagai Stadium. The roof has no supporting pillars to disturb the spectators' view of the field.
(website is Japanese-language only)