Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Ono Castle and a samurai residence


Places to visit


When I looked at the former Uchiyama residence from its back side, which was the residence of the chief retainer of Ono Domain in the Edo Period, Ono Castle appeared in the background. Although the present Ono Castle is a new building, there are no electric wires that spoil the view in the landscape, so I imagine that the castle must have seen like this in the past too.


When I looked inside the house, the delicate designs here and there caught my eye, contrary to the rugged impression I received from the word "samurai residence". And somehow, I felt nostalgic.


Modern-looking works on the transom windows


A cute ornament on the horizontal piece of timber


The arches of the beams in the corridor are also cool.

An exhibition titled "Cats are just cute"




The other day, I saw the exhibition titled "Cats are just cute" in Osaka. At the exhibition, you can see a lot of adorable photos, objects and arts of cats.


Photo by a cat photographer, Masayuki Oki
(The photo is from FASHION PRESS)


Felt art by Midori Nakayama
(The photo is from FASHION PRESS)


Other than amazing photos by professional photographers, the many photos by applicants from all over Japan were overwhelming. I felt once again that cats are really loved by people. And, posters of rare cats were displayed, which attracted my attention. I am fascinated by Bengal and Savannah Cat. They look almost like panthers, and it seems to be thrilling if I have one, but I heard that their character is sweet. The contrast is lovable.


The exhibition in Tokyo and Osaka was over, but it will be held in Yokohama and Shizuoka from now. (H.S)


[Video] A savannah cat goes out with its owner. (2'31")

Indeed, it looks a wild animal but obviously, it is a cat when I see it stepping on the mats.

Nogeito (Silver cock's comb)


Unique shaped flowers like candle flame were in bloom beside a rice field in Fukui. I didn't know about this flower at all but I managed to find that it was a plant called "Nogeito (Silver cock's comb)." According to Wikipedia, "There are many cases in which Nogeito with pink flowers, the original species, have spread in warm areas in the Kanto region and the west in Japan." Certainly, Fukui is included in the area.


Every time I check out names of flowers that I saw in wild fields like this, I feel how little I know about things in the world. And yet it's strange that I feel like I have known about the plant by learning its name. At any rate, I think that the flower is pretty cute because it also looks like cat's bushy tail.


Here is a photo of the whole flowers. The small white flowers in the background are buckwheat ones.

Tsutomu Mizukami Exhibition "What it is to live", which commemorated the 100th anniversary of his birth


I went to the Tsutomu Mizukami Exhibition, which is now being held in Fukui Prefectural Library. Tsutomu Mizukami is a Fukui-born novelist. (1919-2004)


There was a big panel of Mizukami's photo that shows him standing in a coat in the snow. He looked more stylish than ordinary actors. His books were displayed all over on a wall, which was overwhelming. Each book cover was tasteful. Among them, I was particularly impressed with one of "Gobancho Yugiriro", which is the title was lettered big in pale red on a white background simply.


Also, his handwritten manuscripts were exhibited. His handwriting looked soft and tender, which showed Mizukami's gentle personality. There were many red-pencil parts, of course, and I found how hard it was to finish final manuscripts.


I was touched by one sentence from an essay by him: "Looking back my childhood, I think of my poor parents who didn't talk any lessons. But now I realize that they left many better words than any other books to me."


The exhibition is admission-free, includes a precious film and sound of lectures, so you can see a compilation of Mizukami's work. It was a meaningful space and I wanted to stay there a whole day. (H.S)

Young female agriculture worker


Life in Fukui


A young woman is operating a large drone for spraying pesticides. She is in her second year at an agricultural corporation based in Fukui City. On that day, she took flying lessons at the drone school run by her corporation in Ono City.


Operating a drone doesn't need muscle strength. In Japan, as an unusual trend, there is a new word "Agriculture Girl", which means young women who engage in agriculture. But if new technologies including drone make a difference in physical strength meaningless, there may be no reasons to prevent the engagement in agriculture by women. I hope many women will engage in agriculture and change the traditional image of agriculture.