Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




"SEGODON" and a singer, Anna Sato

I enjoy watching the NHK Historical Drama "SEGODON" every week. I feel the drama is close to me because the lord of Fukui domain, Shungaku Matsudaira and its feudal retainer, Sanai Hashimoto appeared in it. And another thing I like is its opening.


The images are very beautiful, and the music is excellent, too. Miss Harumi Fuuki is in charge of the music, who is thirty three years old. She is well known for the music of the NHK TV Drama "Massan". I like the music featuring Scotland's bagpipe and tin whistle. When I listen to the music, I recall the deep love of Massan and Ellie even now.


Anna Sato (From her Facebook page)


Anna Sato, who is from Amami-Ohima Island, sings the theme song of "SEGODON".
I think that her way of singing is Amami's traditional one, which is different from the way of Okinawan folk songs. It is an unforgettable singing voice. I would like to hear her singing live sometime. (H.S)


Anna Sato sings "SEGODON" live and Harumi Fuuki plays the piano.

The National Sports Festival of Japan, September 29th~October 9th, 2018



poster of 2018 Fukui Happy and Healthy National Sports Festival

Fukui Prefectural Government

*The poster of 2018 Fukui Happy and Healthy National Sports Festival is available

only in Japanese page.


As I introduced in our previous blog, the National Sports Festival of Japan 2018 will begin from September 29th, 2018. It will be the second time in 50 years for it to be held in Fukui Prefecture.


On September 29th, the opening ceremony and table tennis tournaments will be held. And then after that, from September 30th, all other tournaments will be held at many venues in Fukui Prefecture.


This year’s National Sports Festival of Japan will be the special one. It’s because we will have the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, many people are interested in sports more and more these days. Also, the Emperor who will abdicate on April 30th next year and the Empress will be attending the opening ceremony. It will be the last one for him to attend the National Sports Festival of Japan as the Emperor.


You may check the schedule of the National Sports Festival of Japan 2018 from here.

Venues and schedules

*Only available in Japanese


The National Sports Festival of Japan is the largest sports event in Japan and it is held every year, in which athletes representing each prefecture participate and compete with those from other prefectures.



This is a promotion video of the 2018 National Sports Festival, Fukui Prefecture. Enjoy!



Typhoon 21 left scars on Kehi-jingu Shrine


Random thoughts

A big tree was fallen on Tsunuga-jinja Shrine, one of the auxiliary shrines of Kehi-jingu Shrine.


On September 7th, soon after typhoon 21, which caused great damage in various places, has gone, I visited Kehi-jingu Shrine in Tsuruga City, Fukui Prefecture. Though in Fukui Prefecture, we had relatively little damage by the typhoon, there were a lot of scars caused by the windstorms in the precincts. One of the supporting pillars of the torii gate in front of the hall of worships were broken, and the trees were fallen down here and there. None of the staff who worked there for a long time have ever seen such damages.


Beginning with heavy snow, we had a series of big disasters such as heavy rains, unbearable heat, earthquakes and typhoons in Japan this year. I thought once again that nature is the biggest threat to humans.


Torii gate with the broken pillar


A natural treasure, the eucalyptus tree also appears to be miserable.

Yuino Matsuri Festival 2018 -The festival for connecting people with food, life and things in our lives-

the poster of the festival

“Yuino Matsuri” festival will be held at “Kura-no-tsuji” in Echizen City, Fukui Prefecture from 11:00 to 21:00 on October 21st, 2018. The festival is conducted by young people from Fukui Prefecture for connecting people with foods, life and things in our lives.



the poster of the festival

At the festival, there will be several kinds of food stands such as soba (buckwheat noodles), tacos and foods using local products. There will also be various workshops that anyone from adults to children can take, such as playing Japanese drums, playing musical instruments, dancing, making small chairs, doing yoga, skateboarding, etc. Moreover, DJ Yasa, who had been the champion for five consecutive years (2007-2011) at the world’s largest DJ competition, the “DMC(Disco Mix Club) World Championship” will be giving lessons as well.



The photograph is one of the performances from last year.

The photograph above is from last year’s.


When I visited the “Yuino Matsuri” festival last year, I felt that the atmosphere of the festival was relaxing and enjoyable.


The venue was not that big, so I was able to see professional singers and dancers performing closely and it was exciting.


Other than the performance, mochi-tsuki (pounding boiled rice into mochi) was conducted and the mochi (rice cake) was served to everyone there. Also, there were some people selling bags, clothing, accessories, and artist’s work.

At night, the venue was lighted up with many handmade candles, lanterns and an open fire, and it was making the mood for the festival more exciting.


If you have a chance, how about visiting Yuino Matsuri (The festival of connecting with people, food, life and things in our lives) in Echizen City, Fukui?



I’d like to share a video of one of the artists of the festival, a reggae singer from Fukui City, “Sing J Roy”, who mainly performs in Fukui Prefecture. The song of the video I’m sharing is “Danne-za”, which means that's ok and/or don't worry in Fukui dialect. Please enjoy!




What is “Kurano-no-tsuji”…

According to the "information for visitors of Echizen City" in the official site of Echizen City
“Kura-no-tsuji” has old warehouses with white painted walls (1603-1868) which are opposite the Soja Shrine. This area flourished in the Edo Era as a stopping point for transporting supplies between the Kansai area and the Hokuriku area. During that area the row of warehouses belonged to merchants. Now, the warehouses are maintained in the district activation program, and are a must-see-spot in the downtown area.

The 29th Takefu International Music Festival


The annual Takefu International Music Festival was held this year, too. The festival was held from September 9th to 16th and it was the 29th to be held. During the festival, not just daily concerts but also workshops and classes by world-class musicians were held.


I went to its opening concert held at Echizen Cultural Center on September 9th, 2018.
The concert is sort of introducing musicians who play in the festival, so each of them played the piano, violin, cello, saxophone, flute, and sang one or two songs each.
It was a rich and diverse program.


The opening number was "Love's Greeting" by Elgar. Some of the other songs played were Brahms' "Hungarian Dances"and "Lullaby", "Liebesleid" by Kreisler. They played not only familiar songs but less familiar, more contemporary ones too, so it was really a varied concert.


Kansai Airport had been closed due to Typhoon No.21, so a few of musicians from abroad changed their flights and managed to arrive at the center just in time. They did not reveal a trace of such troubles, and I was able to sense their serious attitudes and concentration from the stage. (H.S)