Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Strawberry pancakes




Strawberries are in season now. They are delicious on their own. But this time, I placed them on pancakes to take an instagrammable photo. And it turned out springlike one anyway but I should have sprinkled the whipped cream with chopped pistachio.


Macadamia nut sauce pancakes that I made long ago


When I went to Hawaii before, a friend who lived in Hawaii took me to Boots & Kimo’s , and their macadamia nut sauce pancakes were very delicious. So I looked for recipes that copied the sauce and made it. Although the taste was similar to it, the original sauce was more fluffy. (H.S)

Cherry blossoms after a warm winter


Life in Fukui

Unfortunately, it is raining, but along the street called Sakura-dori (cherry blossom street) in front of our office in the center of Fukui City, cherry blossom trees are nearly in full bloom already. So they will be in full bloom as early as the beginning of next week.


It will be already April next week, so it's not surprising. This year, it was a record warm winter and we had almost no snow in Fukui, a heavy snowfall area. So I didn't feel like winter, but nevertheless, the cherry blossom trees did not bloom much earlier, one month or so than usual, and did only a few days earlier.


There may be a mechanism that even if the temperature rises, they wouldn't bloom simply. It's interesting.

Helpful TV program and website about coronavirus


Random thoughts

The new coronavirus suddenly appeared in this world and has plunged the world into chaos in just a few months. Meanwhile, I was able to get two very useful information sources in recent days.


The first was NHK Special “The fight against pandemic: Can we contain the outbreak? “, which was broadcasted on March 22nd. Watching the program, I understood current Japan’s situation and a sense of crisis that experts had very well. That is, we don’t have to be scared needlessly but unless we take measures properly according to the type of virus, we expect to overshoot at any time now.


The second was:
“Information about new coronavirus by Shinya Yamanaka” (available only in Japanese) , which was created personally by a Nobel Prize-winning Professor Yamanaka, who works on iPS cells.


He shows clearly “What is known and what is unknown” on the website. I was impressed that the facts like data and his opinions based on the data were provided separately.


Through such information by scientists, I think that perspectives faced the unknown, not existing knowledge systems, that is science. Now, there is a tendency to spur speculations without evidence, wild rumors, and fringe science. But at least, I try to have perspectives like scientists.

What I bought at KALDI, which opened its first shop in Fukui Prefecture



KALDI, which is popular for coffee and imported foods, finally opened its first shop in Fukui. So I stopped at it when I went shopping the other day.


I wanted to buy Syrok, which is a Russian chilled dessert that became a popular topic on Twitter recently. It seems to be a chocolate-coated cottage cheese bar. Those who bought one at KALDI said very good. I heard that it is not available in some shops, and unfortunately, the Fukui shop was one of those. That said, Syrok is popular now, so I am looking forward to getting it at the Fukui shop sometime.


Syrok: Russian Premium Cheese coated with dark chocolate 50 gram 321 yen
Milk chocolate coated and white chocolate coated are also available. (From KALDI online store)


These are what I bought at KALDI.


Dried fruits, red curry, brie cheese, truffle cheese dip, shortbread and Shanghai fried noodles.


Be that as it may, shopping at KALDI is a lot of fun and uplifting. That day, the shop limited the number of shoppers, and I could browse there thoroughly. I think that many people stay home now, but it is a blessed relief that people could go shopping freely this way. Other shoppers also looked happy and gave space to ones picking up items kindly, which created a warm atmosphere. (H.S)

Documentary film "Becoming Who I Was"



I would like to introduce a documentary film that made a strong impression on me. The film“Becoming Who I Was”(2017), created by a Korean production, depicts a boy in northern India, Ladakh region, who is discovered to be the reincarnation of an esteemed, high-ranking Tibetan monk, and his aging godfather takes him on a journey to Tibet with beautiful images. The film won many film awards including Banff Mountain Film Festival 2017.


The boy, Padma Angdu, 9, who is believed that he is a Rinpoche (reincarnated centuries-old monk). But he cannot contact the monastery in Tibet that he used to live in his previous life due to Chinese policies. And yet, Urgain planned to take him to Tibet. Then, the two set off on a long and grueling journey for more than two months.


The boy can draw the monastery in Tibet in detail. I have heard about some children who remembered their previous lives around the world. But it seems the memories begin to fade as they grow up.


In HIS HOLINESS THE 14TH DALAI LAMA OF TIBET , it is written about reincarnation as follows.
Generally, Buddhists believe that there is no beginning to birth and that once we achieve liberation from the cycle of existence by overcoming our karma and destructive emotions, we will not be reborn under the sway of these conditions. Therefore, Buddhists believe that there is an end to being reborn as a result of karma and destructive emotions, but most Buddhist philosophical schools do not accept that the mind-stream comes to an end. To reject past and future rebirth would contradict the Buddhist concept of the ground, path and result, which must be explained on the basis of the disciplined or undisciplined mind. If we accept this argument, logically, we would also have to accept that the world and its inhabitants come about without causes and conditions. Therefore, as long as you are a Buddhist, it is necessary to accept past and future rebirth.


I was moved by the boy’s pure, innocent, and steady behavior. Also, I felt the preciousness beyond words in Urgain’s unconditional love for Padma Angdu. The scene where Urgain leaves Padma, it is difficult to watch without tears. I really wish they would meet each other again. (H.S)


Padma Angdu
(Photo from NHK online)