JAL captain originally from Otaru attracts attention with in-flight announcements in Hokkaido dialect

“I hope passengers become a little more interested in Hokkaido words” says Yamaura (screenshot taken from an online interview)

Yamaura Teiichi (56), a Japan Airlines captain originally from Otaru in central Hokkaido who currently resides in Hyogo Prefecture, has been making announcements in the Hokkaido dialect on flights to and from Hokkaido, becoming a topic of conversation among passengers and aviation fans. Inspired by a conversation at a class reunion, he began making these unique announcements three years ago. He hopes that his announcements will remind passengers of their hometown and help stir a feeling of excitement toward traveling in Hokkaido.
Instead of the standard Japanese “raku de wa nai” (not easy) and “kokochi yoku” (comfortable), Yamaura uses words such as “yurukunai” and “azumashiku,” which mean the same thing in the Hokkaido dialect.

In the cockpit, where Yamaura operates the aircraft, the now famous announcements begin shortly after takeoff. He mainly takes charge of domestic flights, operating a Boeing 737. He makes announcements in the Hokkaido dialect on flights to and from six airports in Hokkaido, including New Chitose.

 In his announcements, Yamaura often uses Hokkaido words such as “waya” (excessive or preposterous), “joppin karu” (to lock something), “kappagasu” (turn over) and “chosu” (touch or tease). Passengers who hear the announcements have commented in blogs and on social media that they are “amused” or “impressed by the spirit of hospitality,” and the announcements have become widely known. One video featuring footage of the in-flight announcement has been viewed more than 35,000 times.

“I never imagined there would be so much response. I would like to continue my efforts in making it more enjoyable for people to feel the uniqueness of Hokkaido,” says Yamaura.