Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




The Japanese film “OKINAWA : The Afterburn”



I was so disappointed when I heard the news that an Osprey crashed in the sea off Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture last December. Actually, I was afraid that this could happen at some point. I have visited U.S. Air Force’s Kadena Base in Okinawa for their festival before and gotten inside an Osprey which was opened to the public. Thus I was concerned with the safety of
the aircraft. The Osprey in front of me was just huge and I felt coercive pressure.
“Can such a huge aircraft takeoff and land vertically? Can it keep it’s balance?”
Many questions came to my mind as I didn’t know about its function. When I got into the Osprey, a monitor image kept airing that how Osprey has wonderful functions and it is like
a dream aircraft…


By the way, going back to a little while before the accident, the screening of “OKINAWA :
The Afterburn” was held at a movie theater Theatre Cinq in Fukui City. It was held
by a voluntary film club “Mini-Kinema-Fukui”, which received the “Fukui Shimbun
Culture Award” with Natsu Miyashita(Writer from Fukui) last year. The film is a full-length documentary directed by an American director John Junkerman, who studied in Japan.
The producer Tetsujiro Yamagami started a film production company when he was thirty two and he continues to make films on the theme of Okinawa. After the showing of the film,
his talk show was held too.



In the film, a former Japanese soldier and a former U.S. soldier who actually fought the ground war in Okinawa appeared and talked about their own frightful experiences.
While I was watching the film, I had to face the act of folly called war which humans become not humans. Also, I was surprised to see one of the criminals of the rape of a schoolgirl by U.S. servicemen in Okinawa in 1995 appeared and gave an interview about the crime.
The principal offender assaulted a woman again even after returning to the U.S. and finally killed himself. I was overwhelmed the unreasonable situation of Okinawa that they have to accept such a brutal person.


It was just one-hundredth screening of “Mini-Kinema-Fukui” that day. They continue their activities because they want to introduce films in different genres that would not be released in local areas. If you have the opportunity, please come to their screening this year. (H.S)


The Oldest and Largest Bonsai Exhibition of Ume (plum) Trees with Blossoms in Japan


Arts and crafts

Nagahama Bonsai Exhibition of Ume (plum) Trees with Blossoms has been started since 1952, and it’s the 66th time this year. About 90 bonsai pots out of 300 are displayed in the traditional Japanese room and some of them are as tall as about 3 meters. There are also old ones which are about 400 years old. There are many visitors every year coming to see these amazing plum trees.


This year’s exhibition is held from January 7th until March 12th at Keiunkan in Naghama City, Shiga Prefecture. Keiunkan is an 8-minute walk from Nagahama train station.

As soon as you walk into the building, you can see the displayed beautiful plum trees in a traditional Japanese room filled with so much fragrant smell (they smell flowery). Not only you can enjoy looking at the plum trees, you can also enjoy the atmosphere which let you feel Japan. This time of the year in Japan is very cold, so I recommend you to dress warmly if you visit.


The video was taken at Nagahama Bonsai Exhibition of Ume (plum) Trees with Blossoms last year.



Triangular Rimmed Ancient Mirror Decorated with Gods and Animals Chocolate


Life in Fukui

Fukui newspaper, January 8th, 2017


I see, this is the bronze mirror which was made with chocolate and it looks exactly the real thing. Isn’t this interesting? There have been workshops held by Mr. Fujikawa, a curator in Fukui City History Museum who helped me with the shooting the Buddha statue exhibition was held a while ago. The workshop for this year will be held on February 11th and 12th. I wonder if he let me take a video of the workshop…


Recommendation of fried skewer restaurant in Fukui City “Kiju”



If you would like to eat fried skewers in Fukui, you should visit Kiju.
Even those who do not like deep-fried food may enjoy the fried skewers at Kiju .


Each skewer is bite-sized, the batter is thin and women will be happy with those things.
The restaurant has a relaxing atmosphere, they have many kinds of drinks and
tables at the back, so groups can visit it as well.


I usually reserve Kiju course (3,980 yen/tax excluded) and always that’s good enough for me. According to the season, they serve ten kinds of fried skewers individually at the right time,
so you are able to eat following one another at a right pace.


Please visit Kiju when you happen to come to Fukui. (H.S)

They serve seafood, meat and vegetable fried skewers using seasonal ingredients
one after another.


Even you’re full, you can enjoy a delicious side dish and rice with soup for the last.  


Happy New Year -2017-


Random thoughts

2017 has just begun!

This time of the year is always the best time for anyone to start something new,

restart something and/or start all over anything.

Do you have anything which you would like to achieve in this year?


For Hatsumode (the new year’s visit to a shrine), I visited Asuwa shrine in Fukui City.

This area is a recommendable strolling course in Fukui City.

As you walk up the stairs of “Atagozaka”,

there is “ Fukui City Atagozaka Tea Ceremony Museumwhere you can enjoy

Japanese traditional green tea “Maccha” and learn about Japanese tea ceremony.


In front of the museum, there is

Fukui City Akemi Tachibana Literature Memorial Museum” where you can enjoy the Tachibana-no-Akemi’s Dokurakugin (reciting poetry for my own pleasure).


And about a minute away from Akemi Tachibana Museum, there is a traditional Japanese restaurant, “Hanase” where you can enjoy the excellent traditional Japanese food that is pleasing to the eye, as well as to the palate.


After walking up a few stairs from the restaurant, there is

Shinpu-kan Atagozaka Martial Arts School”.


And a little further up, there is a small observation deck and the entrance of the shrine.

You can take a break seeing the great view of Fukui City and then enter the shrine.


Asuwa Shrine has over 1,500 years of history.

The shrine’s crest has the sun, the moon and a star together which is rare for a crest.


In the precinct, there are drooping cherry-trees which will bloom gorgeously during spring.


Therefore, I can recommend you to take a walk from Atagozaka to Asuwa shrine.