Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




“Lessons from Madame Chic : 20 Stylish Sectrets I Learned While Living in Paris” and Zen teachings



The book became a bestseller in Japan last year, and I finally read it lately.
It shows about a lifestyle of a madam who lives in Paris, including the following


Live your daily life as something special
Snacking is not chic
When you eat, focus on enjoying food
Get rid of clothes you no longer wear
Feel happy with yourself just the way you are
Act beautifully even when you are alone
Treat people around you with good manners
Don’t buy too much
Enjoy moments of silence
Read books or newspapers
Content with what you have now
Find little pleasure
Focus on one thing


As I read through the pages, I thought what it said was similar to Zen teachings
which have much influenced the lifestyle in Japan.
I never thought that there were some common points between a madam in Paris
(and moreover, she is an aristocratic pedigree! ) and Zen teachings.
Maybe peace of mind which people ultimately get to can be narrowed beyond race or religion. (H.S)


Japanese Summer Festival Part-3

It's getting a little bit cooler in Fukui so it's more comfortable.

How was your summer this year?

Did you go to any summer festivals?


One of the highlights of Japanese summer is “Matsuri (festival)”.

Do you know the original purpose of Japanese festival?


Although there are many different kinds of purposes for each festival all over Japan,

the original purpose of festivals is to worship the higher being

and give thanks to the higher being that we can live peacefully.


Although I’m sure that we all enjoy watching fireworks displays

and traditional Japanese dance, eating delicious foods

from many different kinds of food stands and playing games,

I think we must not forget about the purpose of the festivals.


I would like to share a video of “Discover Kyoto”, “Gion Matsuri : Night Festival (Yoiyama)”

Please enjoy!




2016 Air Show at Komatsu Base of Japan Air Self-Defense Force

I went to the annual air show at Komatsu Base of Japan Air Self-Defense Force on
September 19th. The day, it was unfortunately raining and windy and I worried about
if the show would go on as planned. But when I arrived at the base, the rain stopped.
As I was waiting in line for baggage check, I heard the roar of a fighter approaching.
It sounded like the opening flights started. It brought back a sense like “This is it! I came to the air show!”


After the opening flights, exhibition flights of F-15 and F-12 start.
They show maneuvering flight which appeals their performance, formation and turning flight one after another. A demonstration of a rescue aircraft is another feature.
The members train on a routine basis, so their rappelling looks completely effortless.
I’ve heard that hovering is also very difficult to control.


In the afternoon, Blue Impulse’s acrobatic flight starts finally.
First, all the pilots from the first to sixth craft walk down to each craft orderly.
And the fifth craft takes off to check the weather in the sky and the acrobat programs are
decided by the result finally.
However, as expected, it was fewer than half the number of normal due to bad weather.
Even so, I was happy to see their “corkscrew”.


Annual visitors to Komatsu Air Show’s are about 150,000 people, but this year there were only about 72,000 people. That said, I was overwhelmed by the number of tour buses and headed back home. And I am already looking forward to next year’s show. (H.S)


Phamphlet of this year’s air show


F-15 is displayed on the apron


Less than half people of usual years but it’s pretty crowded on the apron


Before lunch time, queues of people form in front of the food stands


Rest area in the hangar is also crowed (The 1st to 3rd hangar are open to visitors)


Komatsu Base shares the runway with Komatsu Airport, so passenger airplanes also take off as usual


Formation flight of Blue Impulse(I want a telephoto lens!)


Commemorative photo corner with fighter pilots is popular


From last year’s Komatsu Air show (0:51) The fifth Blue Impulse’s takeoff is a traffic violation? That might be, but I want to see that in front of my eyes :)
Viewed more than 100,000 times.

Japanese Summer Festival Part-2

Have you ever heard anything about “Yosakoi”?

Have you ever watched “Yosakoi” dance before?

Do you know what “Yosakoi” is and when it was begun?


Simply ”Yosakoi” is a type of Japanese dance which people dance with “Naruko (clappers)”.


The name, “Yosakoi” came from an old Japanese way of saying “yosarikoi (come at night)".


”Yosakoi” was started in Kochi Prefecture in 1953.

Members of Kochi Chamber of Commerce and Industry became the act of taking the lead to come up with ideas for establishing a new festival which would be better than

“Awaodori dance” from Tokushima Prefecture.


Awaodori dancers perform without holding anything so people from Kochi Prefecture thought that in order to make something better than Awaodori dance, they should have something while performing to distinguish Kochi’s from Awaodori in Tokushima.

Finally, people from Kochi decided to have “Naruko (clappers)” for the new dance.

This was the start of “Yosakoi” dance.


Let’s watch the video of "Yosakoi" style dance in Fukui.

This is a video which I took in Fukui Phoenix Festival.

Please enjoy!




Animal photographer Mitsuaki Iwago teaches “How to take cute photos of cats”



On a TV show, an animal photographer Mitsuaki Iwago, who is well-known on Japan’s NHK BS TV’s cat show, talked about the secrets to take cute photos of cats.


To take cute photos of cats, first you need to get along well with cats.
In order to do so, you need to,
1. First, greeting
You can say “Good morning” or “Hello”. Your local language is better.
When Iwago greeted a cat in London with “Good morning” but it ignored him.
Because the greeting was American accent!
2. If there are kittens, you should say hello to their mother cat first
Where there are kittens, there must be their mother cat and is watching them.
So you need to greet the mother cat first.
3. Praise
Every time Iwago meets a good cat, he praises it “You are a good boy”
or “You are beautiful”. It seems that cats don’t feel bad hearing those words :)


After you became friendly with cats, it is time to take photos.
Iwago said,
1. First, greeting again with the eyes of cats
2. When you pet a cat, you should show your hand and pet it
(Don’t pet its head from above suddenly)
3. Use camera lower position, and take photos with praise
4. When you take photos of a black cat, it depends on light.
So you need take photos according to the light.


And now you might be able to take nice photos like Iwago?


By the way, Iwago doesn’t take photos by using a smartphone. One time when he went to a cell-phone shop to get one without camera, and its woman staff told him “I will show you how to take cell-phone photos :) (H.S)


My cat “Gil”. This angle is unusual.


The most popular cat “Mofu Mofu” in Gotanjoji Temple in Echizen City, Fukui Prefecture.
The Zen temple is well known as a “Cat Temple”.


Its back shot is pretty good too. Mofu Mofu is a Norwegian Forest Cat.