Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




The 1948 Fukui Earthquake



69 years ago of today, the 1948 Fukui earthquake occurred.


I would like to share a video of 8282typhoon.

*Only Japanese version available.

The magnitude 7.1 struck Fukui city and towns / villages around the city at 4:14 pm (5:14pm for summer time at that time) on June 28th, 1948. Almost every house was destroyed. 36,184 houses were destroyed completely, half parts of 11,816 houses were remained, 3,851 houses were burned down and 3,769 peopled died from the earthquake.

Reference from Kotobank (only available in Japanese)

( https://kotobank.jp/word/%E7%A6%8F%E4%BA%95%E5%9C%B0%E9%9C%87-123885)


My grandmother’s sister experienced the 1948 Fukui earthquake. According to her, she saw some people under the movie theatre which was destroyed and they were stuck. And she also many buildings were on fire.


I can never imagine how bad it was but I’m sure that everyone was scared and panicked.
The residents of Fukui and the places in Fukui were seriously damaged, but somehow they reconstructed everything. I am sure that it was not easy at all for everyone after losing their family and friends, and houses. They were strong and I would like to follow their strength.


Therefore, the symbol for Fukui City and the citizens is the phoenix.


~Reference from Fukui City’s website.~


* Only available in Japanese


The origin of Fukui’s symbol (phoenix)


Phoenix looks like an eagle and it has red or gold wings. When a phoenix is ready to die, it flies into fire, it burns itself and it regenerates itself from the ash.


Like phoenix, Fukui was greatly damaged from the war and earthquake but Fukui was reconstructed. The effort that the citizens of Fukui City made to reconstruct everything is similar to how strong and beautiful phoenix. Therefore, the symbol for Fukui City and the citizens became the phoenix.


People put so much effort and time to make Fukui City this beautiful and comfortable to live.

I would like to continue spreading the charms of Fukui City as much as possible.



Revived flower of gardenia

My late mother-in-law had been taking good care of the gardenia.
However, it was in my backyard and I tended to forget to water, so it died last year.


But still, I started watering again with a ray of hope that it might have not died completely, and then tiny new leaves have sprouted.
I saw the vitality of plants and it was as if it appealed “And yet I live. Don’t throw me away.”


Moreover, I kept on caring of them and leaves have grown.
And finally it bloomed again lately.
The scent of the flowers are like mixed vanilla and floral scent.
Although I like the gorgeous scent of roses as well, the gardenia’s one is sweeter
so I am fascinated with it automatically.


From now on, I will put fertilizer and take better care of it.
And maybe I should transfer it to a larger pot.
Also, I want to multiply by division and try cuttage. (H.S)


Annual district sports festival ended successfully this year, too!


Life in Fukui

On the last Sunday of May, the annual sports festival was held in my district.
It seems that each district holds the sports festival from mid-May to early June.
I used to participate in the festival every year when my children were in elementary school.
This year, it’s our turn for the head of our district residents came up again so I had to go,
and it’s been ages since I last participated.


“The jobs of the head of district about the sports festival”
・Holding a meeting with group leaders of district and making a list of participants
・Shopping for sweets, snacks and drinks which I distribute to the participants
・If it’s rainy that day, call the group leaders to postpone
・Setting up and pull down a tent
・Asking to the participants to take the field for each sport
・Distributing sweets and snacks to the participants (put in plastic bags in advance)


Without a doubt, the number of children has been declining and it was full of parents and children before but there was enough space in the tent this year.
Of course, the parents also declined, so I had to ask to take the field in a row.
I felt sorry to ask that but young parents accepted willingly, so I was grateful for that.


At lunchtime, they eat delicious-looking boxed meals that mothers made with family. Looking such a never changing scene, I thought that such thing keeps children mentally stable and strengthen family ties and I felt warm. (H.S)


The day was pleasant fine weather which was perfect for a sport festival


Familiar “Centipede race” , the cheering became louder


The team once stops to keep pace. The finish line is right before your eyes!

Koinobori (Carp Windsocks / Carp Streamers)


Charms of Japan

Last month, as I was walking on the street in Fukui City near Fukui Prefectural Hospital,

I saw Koinobori. Koinobori is at least three set of carp windsocks, carp streamers or

carp banners which are usually hang on a pole from April to early May.


Until about 10years ago, many people used to hang up their Koinobori by their houses

but not so many of them do so now. Because of apartment rules and regulations

which don’t let residents put their large Koinobori on balconies, low birthrate

and/or many tall buildings were built, we hardly see Koinobori nowadays.


Koinobori was started in Edo era(1615-1868) and it was for the celebration

of the Tango no Sekku festival (the festival for boys, now it’s known as the Children’s Day)

on May 5th. This festival was the important day for Tokugawa shogunate

(the last feudal Japanese military government) and people celebrated at Edo Castle.


Whenever Shogun (the top class Japanese feudal lords of Japan) had baby boys,

people celebrated for the babies on May 5th by putting up banners.


Putting up the banners to celebrate for the birth of baby boys

became popular among Samurai families as well.


And then, it started becoming popular among others who were not Shogun or Samurai.


Not to be feeling lower than Samurai families,

people who were rich but not Shogun or Samurai started putting up the banners as well.

They started drawing pictures of carps on banners.

Carp symbolizes courage and strength because it can swim up a waterfall.

It is said that this was the beginning of Koinobori.

Like the carps which can swim up a waterfall, parents in Edo era wished

that their children would be healthy, strong and success as they grew up.

Even now, parents wish their children’s health and success

by hanging up their Koinobori by their houses around Children’s Day (May 5th).


If you ever have a chance to see Koinobori, please remeber how and why it started.