Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




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.

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.

Enjoying a quiet walk in a village forest


Life in Fukui

Statue of Taicho Daishi in the middle of Naka Shinjo hiking course of Mt. Sanriyama


Statue of Taicho Daishi on the side of Fudo waterfall in Mt. Gongen-yama


Yesterday, I went to a video shoot of the statues of Taicho Daishi to Mt. Sanriyama and Mt. Gongen-yama in Echizen City. Taicho Daishi is a famous ancient Buddhist monk who was born in Echizen (present Fukui Prefecture).


In Fukui Prefecture, there are many places associated with Taicho Daishi, and many of the places can be found around low mountains.


Near the statue in Mt. Sanriyama, there is a spring that is said that was started to spring by Taicho Daishi's spiritual power, is enshrined as sacred water. And the statue in Mt. Gongen-yama can be found beside "Fudo waterfall", which is one of the five waterfalls that are collectively called "Yanagi Falls".


Scared spring near the statue of Taicho Daishi in Mt. Sanriyama


I enjoyed taking a quiet walk in the village forest imagining how the ancient people were grateful for the water that is the most important thing for people to live. And because they were so grateful for the water, they might enshrined their superstar, Taicho Daishi at the spring.

Relocation of Fukui prefectural office building is becoming more likely


Life in Fukui

At the New Year's press conference, the governor said that he wanted to begin consideration of relocation of Fukui prefectural office building from next fiscal year.


Actually, there was a lot of criticism about the scenery that the office building is located in the Fukui Castle Ruins, where the beautiful stone walls remain, water birds rest in the moat surrounded the walls and cherry blossom trees bloom in spring.


Then, where should they relocate it? And, how should they use the site?


One of Fukui Chamber of Commerce and Industry's suggestion is that to renovate and reuse several existing buildings located in the center of Fukui City. In that case, the place would be separated for each section. But therefore, that might help to create new flow of people and make the town more lively.


And as for the site, they have a plan to create Fukui Castle Ruins Park. I hope that the park will be a resting place that people could know the history as well. Also, it would be nice if there were a small concert hall, a restaurant and a cafe. I think that the plan will be decided in four years later, before Hokuriku Shinkansen will be extended to Fukui Prefecture. I look forward to that day. (H.S)


The Fukui prefectural office building surrounded the moat (in the center of the photo)
(The photo is from Fukui Shimbun Newspaper ONLINE)

A traditional custom in Fukui “Tenjinko” 


Life in Fukui

The “Tenjinko” is held only in the northern region of Fukui Prefecture and in some regions of several other prefectures on January 25th every year. The “Tenjinko” is the day when the people offer grilled flatfish in front of hanging scrolls depicting Tenjin-sama(Michizane Sugawara) , who is called “The God of learning”. 


First of all, women don’t have the hanging scrolls of their own Tenjin-sama.
Because only when baby boys were born, the mother’s parents present one to their grandson. So sometimes there are a couple of Tenjin-samas in a family.


The 25th day is derived from the deathday of Michizane. Generally, they hang up the scrolls on New Year's Eve and put them away after the January 25th. On the day, I felt that time flew that almost one month passed after the New Year's Day. Also, it is the coldest time of the year, I expect that the first day of spring according to the lunar calendar is approaching as well. (H.S)


There are two Tenjin-samas at my house.


It is said that flatfish was Michizane's favorite food.