Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Reading Arthur Binard



Arthur Binard is an American poet, who was born in Michigan in 1967.
He came to Japan upon graduating university, and started writing poetry and translation.
He received the Chuya Nakahara Prize for his first anthology.
After that, he received many other prizes.
Now he lives in Hiroshima City, appears on TV and radio and energetically gives lectures across Japan.


Actually, his lecture was held in July here in Fukui City too, but I couldn’t go.
My dead friend used to say about him, so I have always wanted to read his books and read his two essays only recently.


He writes that he is often asked “What is your most favorite Japanese words?” and
it is very hard to answer because he has so many. I sometimes see the same question to
foreign people on TV shows. If I am asked “What is your most favorite English words?”,
I cannot answer quickly either because I have so many ones too.


Also, it is interesting that he has gaps between English in Japan and his sense as an American. For example, in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, in Obama City, Fukui Prefecture, they supported Obama and the supporters' logo mark showed “FIGHT OBAMA”.
The term makes sense in Japanese but in English, it has totally the opposite meaning.
Afterwards, someone pointed it out and it changed to I LOVE OBAMA.
Even so, he felt a gap but it matched well with the farce of presidential race.


By the way, the Japanese words that he wants to export to the United States
is “hanafubuki” (blowing snow-like fluttery petals).
In his hometown, Michigan, when petals are are falling, they only compare it to cottons.


I recommend books of Arthur Binard, especially for English learners and translators.
I am sure that you can discover a lot. (H.S)


Here is an article about his lecture in Fukui City in July.
(from Daily Kenmin Fukui on July 4th, 2017)
An acquaintance who listened to his lecture said “It was good one than I expected and
so happy. I was almost crying. I have never met any American like him who tells the truth. ” His topics ranged from the attack on Pearl Harbor to Daigo Fukuryu Maru.

Mike Mansfield Globe


Life in Fukui

Fukui International Activities Plaza is located near Yokokan Garden,
where is well known as an excellent Japanese garden, is in Fukui City.
It is familiar facility to not only foreign citizens who live in Fukui but also the prefecture’s residents for the purpose of passport application and various events.
By the way, did you know that there is such a big globe directly inside the entrance?


The globe was donated by late Kei Wakaizumi in 1988, a Japanese scholar of international politics who negotiated with the United States for the reversion of Okinawa to Japan as a secret envoy of then prime minister Eisaku Sato.
He donated the globe in the hope of fostering dreams about the world and the earth
among young people. The globe was later named the Mike Mansfield Globe, Mr. Mike Mansfield, former U.S. ambassador to Japan, who visited Wakaizumi and the plaza. (H.S)


The Mike Mansfield Globe


You can spin the globe with the switch.


When you look closer the Japanese archipelago, you could find FUKUI and SABAE.
Although Wakaizumi was born in the present Echizen City, he lived in Sabae City in his later years.


Kei Wakaizumi when he was still alive. (photo kept at NHK)


At last, this year, “Kei Wakaizumi Honoring Assocaiton” was established by volunteers.
NHK Fukui reported on Wakaizumi and the association on June 27th.

64th Fukui Phoenix Festival Fireworks Display -Fireworks (Hanabi) Festival in Fukui 2017, Part 2-



In Fukui City, we have a festival for 3 days every year and it’s called “Fukui Phoenix Festival”.  It was held from August 4th to 6th this year. For the opening event, “Fukui Phoenix Festival Fireworks Display” was held at Asuwa River Bank upper Kida Bridge. Many festival-goers came to the venue and other areas around it, so everywhere in the center of Fukui City was crowded.

Based on the theme “twinkling”, “sparkling”, “dancing”, “thinking of someone/something”, “dreaming” and “flying” were expressed through the fireworks.


According to Fireworks display 2017, Fukui Phoenix Festival Fireworks Display has been ranked 6th in Fukui’s fireworks popularity.
*only available in Japanese


It is great to view the fireworks closely at the venue. Since this firework display is held in the center of the City, there are many restaurants, buildings and houses where festival-goers can enjoy eating and drinking, and viewing the fireworks at the same time.

Please enjoy our video, "The 62nd Fukui Phoenix Fireworks Display on July 31st, 2015"!

If you have a chance to view the Fukui Phoenix Festival Fireworks Display, please enjoy it!



Official Website for Fukui Phoenix Festival Fireworks Display

*only available in Japanese

How do cats beat the heat in Japanese summer?



It’s the middle of August now and the heat has let up.
But humans are not only ones taking the heat.
For example, my cats have been beating the heat in their own way.


Cats don’t perspire other than paw pads. Even more, they are hairy all over, so they maybe feel higher the temperature than humans. I often remove their loose hair and renew water. They take naps in cool places in my house. (H.S)


Had a stretch as far as it can do.


Had her feet out even from the top of the cat tower.


It’s an ironing board but now it’s Gil’s bed.


Are you still a girl, Miiko?


Every cat likes carboard boxes.


Gil on tatami mats (In summer, I do think that tatami is great)


He likes huddling on a newspaper too.
And, it has a protecting color for the table, doesn’t it?

The 37th Mikuni Fireworks Festival -Fireworks (Hanabi) Festival in Fukui 2017, Part 1-



Today (Aug. 11th, 2017), Mikuni Fireworks will be held at Mikuni Sunset Beach in Mikuni-cho, Sakai City, Fukui Prefecture. The highlight of this fireworks festival is water fireworks.

The pyrotechnician throws fireworks directly into the ocean.

Mikuni water fireworks

Kogashitsu Kabegami Shashin shu Muryo Kabegami (High Quality Wallpaper Collections) / "Combination of the water fireworks and Starmine of Mikuni"

(http: //k-kabegami.sakura.ne.jp/mikunihanabi2/6.html)


Other than the water fireworks, there will be 1-shaku-dama (round fireworks with a circumference of about 12-inch/30cm shells) fireworks which create an illumination 12,598-inch / 320 meters in diameter on the ocean,

2-shaku-dama (round fireworks with a circumference of about 24-inch / 60cm shells) fireworks which create an illumination 17,716-inch / 450 meters in diameter on the ocean and several other kinds of fireworks. For about one hour, about 10,000 of fireworks exploding will light up the sky splendidly.


I would like to share the video of Mikuni fireworks which one of our co-workers went view

last year and took. Please enjoy it!



Official Website for Mikuni Fireworks:The 37th Mikuni Fireworks

only available in Japanese.


Here are our previous blogs about fireworks. Enjoy!

Fireworks / The Highlights of the Japanese Summer
Fireworks / The Highlights of the Japanese Summer part-2 / Mikuni Fireworks Display
Fireworks / The Highlights of the Japanese Summer part-3 / Pyrotechnicians
Fireworks / The Highlights of the Japanese Summer part-4 / Shout!!
Fireworks / The Highlights of the Japanese Summer part-5 / Origin of Fireworks
Fireworks / Fireworks / The Highlights of the Japanese Summer part-6 / Final Episode