Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




"Subarushima" written by Eiichi Ikegami



"Subaru" means gathering, and integrating together. "Shima" means an island.


The writer Eiichi Ikegami raised in Ishigaki Island, Okinawa Prefecture. He is well known for his popular novel "Tempest." The "Subarushima" consists of eight short stories written about each of the eight islands of Okinawa called Yaeyama Islands. All the stories were witty and very interesting, but in particular the story "Iriomote Island" left a deep impression.


I have been to the Iriomote Island three times. The story depicted vividly the island's atmosphere such as the nature like in ancient times, the strong smell of grass in the mountains and the high humidity. So it made me feel like I was in the island again. The storyline beyond my imagination and the depiction of the primitive instinct as male and female were shocking.


Below is from the story's beginning and ending:
-Iriomote Island called "The roof of Yaeyama Islands" is an unexplored region in the southern sea. It is the largest island among the Yaeyama Islands and inhospitable. The high and steep mountains' surfaces always wear cloud veils, so it is impossible to see the whole picture. There are higher mountains than ones in Iriomote Island all over the world. But the mountains in the island are characterized not by their height but by their depth. What you look up at the entrance now is just the tip of the iceberg. As soon as you step inside the mountains and you are in a rainforest that even a compass doesn't work.


Some young men in mountaineering equipment piled off a boat. A middle-aged man approached them and said, "I study in a lab of this island. Are you, by any chance, going to camp in the mountains?"


The mountains cover over original sin and grow thickly today.-


A mangrove forest and sands of Urauchi River. Nature that doesn't seem like in Japan spreads out.


When I trekked the jungle toward Kampiree Falls, some parts of the trail had become a stream.


About an hour later, finally I arrived at the Kampiree Falls. Kampiree means "place of a god". Although there wasn't that much of height difference, it looked indescribable godly.

The film "Rocketman"



I saw the film "Rocketman".


Taron Egerton acted Elton John and sang the Elton's songs himself. When I saw him in "Kingsman" for the first time, I was sure he would rise to stardom and it happened. His straight and pure voice emphasized the beauty of Elton's songs. The scene that Elton is composing and singing "Your Song" made me cry and evoked feelings that I had forgotten.


Also, it was impressive that Elton met a songwriter, Bernie. I was surprised that the actor who played Bernie was Jamie Bell, who played Billy Elliot back in 2000. I was touched by when they met for the first time, formed a bond and their confidential relationship lasted for a long time.


I fully enjoyed Taron's acting and singing that expressed Elton's success, suffering, loneliness, alcohol and drug addiction and sexuality. Especially, his act when Elton visited his father after he became popular was amazing. And of course, you can enjoy Elton's most popular songs. (H.S)


I looked for a carrying case for large Li-Po batteries


Production notes


I was looking for a suitable case for storing and transporting large Li-Po batteries for drones for spraying agricultural chemicals. Considering the risk of ignition of the batteries, plastic is not completely safe. On the other hand, aluminum is not strong enough. So finally, I found an iron ammunition case that originally had made for a military purpose.


When I put eight batteries, each battery is about 1.6kg and the case itself is 3.2kg, so the total weighs 16kg. But there is no distortion around the handle unlike an aluminum case I tried before, so it is quite sturdy. I need a bit strength to open and close it, but it can also be expected to be airtight to block water and air. Since there was a convex part at the bottom, I put a cushioning material to make it even.


Armylike appearance


Eight batteries just fit into the case.


Summer days of my cats



I have two cats. One is Gil, an orange tabby 7-year-old male cat. The other is Miiko, a black and white 6-year-old female cat. They are not a brother and a sister. Some time after I started raising Gil, Miiko came to the space under the eaves of my house and she didn't go anywhere since then, so I started keeping her, too.


I had never kept two cats at the same time until then. I have heard that a new cat is in a stronger position than an old cat, so I tried not to give Gil stress as much as I can. As expected of a new cat, Miiko was strong and she fought back against Gil's threatening.


Now the two cats are spending their time as they please. That said, this summer is too hot for them as well, so they tried to look for cool places and live as comfortable as possible. (H.S)


Where is a cool place?


Cats like cardboard boxes. If Gil finds one, he always tries to get inside it.


Gil is eating the grass in the garden.


Stairs is one of Miiko's favorite places.


Miiko often lies on her back. It must be a comfortable position. But Gil never does like this.


Usually, they don't care about each other but sometimes get friendly.

Good harvest of tomatoes this summer


Life in Fukui

Heat wave has been continuing in Japan. Despite the heat, the vegetables in my home vegetable garden are growing well. Particularly, I got a good crop of tomatoes. Originally, tomatoes are heat-tolerant, and I think that their taste harvested under the blazing sun is more condensed than usual.


Speaking of nutrition of tomatoes, lycopene is well known. Lycopene has powerful antioxidants that is more than a hundred times vitamin E that has an effect similar to lycopene. And, when heated, lycopene absorption rate will improve so I am glad that tomatoes can be used for various menu. (H.S)


Harvest of the other day
There are eggplants under the tomatoes


Tomato curry and rice
Put peeled tomato in last. Fry cut eggplant.


Cold tomato spaghetti
Add salt in the water when you chill the spaghetti. Salt is important! Please pour lemon and put black pepper on if desired.