Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Amazing Japanese School Lunch Part-2


Charms of Japan

As I mentioned that Japanese school lunch is not only beneficial for students

to enjoy the meals, it is also the time for the students to learn about health,

cooking, cleaning, manner, team work and knowing proper ways of eating certain foods.


The school I used to attend to in the united states had a cafeteria for lunch.

The students wait in a line, choose the foods from the foods prepared

on the counter and cooks serve the foods on students’ plates for them.

It is very different from Japanese school lunch.


Of course, the foods are completely different from what we have in Japan.

While I was in the school in the states (maybe, they serve different ones),

they used to serve French fries, hash browns, spaghetti, sausages, fried chicken,

beans, jelly, orange juice and so on. My favorite one was hash browns.


As soon as the students get their foods and sit, they start eating.

They can sit wherever they want to sit. After they finish eating,

they go throwing away their leftovers and put away their plates.


One of the major differences is the purpose of the school lunch time.

During lunch break, the students in Japan learn team work and the importance of foods.

Unlike Japanese school lunch time, the students in the states get to relax and

enjoy the time with their friends which seems to be their main purpose of their lunch break.


Another difference is that there should not be leftovers in Japan.

Leaving any foods left is considered a negative behavior.

So it is rare for Japanese students leave leftovers.

On the other hand, in America, they never judged me negatively

whenever I had leftovers. I remember they always told me not to force myself

to eat everything if I couldn't because it could hurt my stomach.


And clearly, the menu is different.

There is a culture difference behind each school lunch in each country.


Let’s see what they have for school lunch in Japan, America and other countries.


I would like to share a video of "jojonotdead",

"School lunches from around the world". Please enjoy!




Ninety-year-old and active picture book author Satoshi Kako



Satoshi Kako was featured in a TV program the other day.
He was born in Echizen City, Fukui Prefecture in 1926.
He wrote over 600 books so far and it is said that the number is the largest in Japan
as a picture book author.
Still now he sits the desk to write more than seven hours each day.
I think that many parents and children read his picture books in two generations.
Among his books, “Daruma-chan” series have sold over 6.5 million copies in total
and “Crow’s shop” series have sold over 2.8 million copies in total.


During the war, he aimed to be a pilot and tried to be involved in the war.
He regrets from the heart about that and hopes that children wouldn’t have
a mistaken idea unlike him and would be able to judge for themselves about
things around them. So he always writes books in such hope.


Listening to his talk, I wanted to read his books and soon borrowed some from a library.
The books written by him were filled with attraction such not only children,
but also adults get caught up. (H.S)


“Men who build a dam”
The first picture book he created.
My favorite passages : The men’s languages are rough. Rough, scary but kind.
The men aren’t scared away by snow or wind, blowing snow or storm. They never cry. “


It’s a large-scaled and precise book that you can look down at a river begins from a small stream in a mountain and becomes the sea finally.
Its new format which is a picture scroll version has just published the other day.


“Yasuke of Yamura Village”
Although it’s a commemorative publication for his 88-year old and not for sale,
you can read it in libraries across the country.
Yasuke works hard in the fields of a mountain village. Yasuke lives with his elderly mother.
One day someone appears in front of them. In the end, I couldn’t read without tears.
The last of “She is in a sunny spot”, which was a book I read several years ago,
came back to my memory, it was endearing but made me sad.

Yukyu Roman no Mori / BBQ site on the top of Mt. Eboshi (532m)


Places to visit

Last weekend, five friends of mine and I went on an overnight trip to "Yukyu Roman no Mori" in Echizen Town, Fukui Prefecture.

As we arrived there in the afternoon of last Saturday, we started having a barbeque.

In the afternoon, it started getting cloudy and chilly.

There was an acrylic wall surrounding the BBQ site so it was comfortable even on a chilly day like that day.

Because we took a wrong way to go back to the cottage which was about 1km down from the BBQ site, we ended up walking about 5km. Luckily there was no wind or rain so it was an ideal day for taking a walk.


Around the peak of the mountain, leaves have started changing colors.


This is a photograph of the view from the area in front of the BBQ site.

Although this is a camp site, I didn’t see any tents here.





Amazing Japanese School Lunch Part-1


Charms of Japan

As Japanese foods have become popular in the world, did you know that Japanese school lunch has been also highly valued around world as well?


Have you ever had Japanese school lunch and/or heard about how great it is? It is well balanced nutritionally and delicious. Also, the students don’t just eat their school lunch, but they also learn important lessons during school lunch time.


They learn about nutrition, health, cooking, cleaning, manner and team works.


Most Japanese school children decide who will bring the foods from the kitchen, serve the foods and clean. Usually, a group of students take that role, and they always wear surgical masks, aprons and hair net caps for them keep the clean eating environment. The group of people is changed every day, week and/or month depends on school/class rules.


Before they eat, they say “itadakimasu” which means to say “let’s eat” or “thank you for the foods” in Japanese.


While having lunch, the students learn how to eat any kinds of foods properly. During winter, some schools in Fukui Prefecture in Japan, crabs are served to each student so they can learn how to eat it properly without making a mess.


And of course, after they finish eating, another important thing they learn is to clean. The group of people which is in charge of the school lunch for the day, week and/or month, they bring everything they used back to the kitchen.


Ok, now let’s see how the students have school lunch times in Japan.


I would like to share the video of “CafCu Media”, “School Lunch in Japan-It’s Not Just About Eating!”





Unique Festival of Miyako Island, Okinawa “Pantou”

There is an unique festival called “Pantou” in Miyako Island.
In Shimajiri district, the festival is held in early September of the old lunar calendar
but its formal dates are not announced until just before the festival.
In the festival, three masked “gods” appear and visit each house.
What is shocking about it is that the “gods” are entirely covered in mud and
they daub the mud to anybody.


(From a travel reservation website "Tabirai Okinawa")


They show a policeman and tourists no mercy.
What’s worse, the mud has strong smell.
There is no wonder, the mud has cultured in its very own bog,
and the smell is poignant, so even if you wash the clothes, the smell does not wash off.
My guess is that the mud is like compost.


Still it seems like the gods drive away evil spirits so the people of the district are looking forward to appearing the gods around the time of the festival.
Also, this festival “Pantou” was designated an important intangible cultural heritage in 1993.
By the way, this year’s “Pantou” was held the other day on October 6th and 7th,
without any trouble.
I heard that the screams of children echoed throughout the district again this year.


If you have enough courage to join the festival, why don’t you visit it?
Bring a change of clothes! (H.S)