Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Fragrant Olive Blossoms 

In late September, there is a moment that I become aware of the scent of a fragrant olive.
It is like an announcement that I receive at certain times of the year.
And it seems like it brings little pleasure.


This year as well, the moment came suddenly too.
It was as if the fragrant olive came to inform me “I have blossomed”.
And, on the balcony where I hang out the laundry, I view the blossoms
admiring the dutifulness, which I usually pay no attention to. (H.S)



The 100-Year project for the forest of ebony wood in Yomitan Village, Okinawa

Recently, I had the chance to listen to a talk by Kazufumi Miyazawa, a former member of
THE BOOM well known for the popular song “Shimauta“, and I knew about the project.
He said that its big hit led to more people come to like Okinawan music, on the other hand, the sales of sanshin increased, and ebony wood, material for its neck (it is called kuruchi in Okinawa) had cut with no plan. So now there are few ebony wood in Okinawa.


Therefore, supporters including Miyazawa who agree with the thought that they would like to fill up Okinawa with ebony wood 100 years later, launched the project in 2012.
Ebony wood takes 100 years to grow, and they are aiming to plant and grow the trees
in Yomitan Village first.


Admiring the ebony wood grows little by little every year, they sing and drink there.
Also, they do hope that their grandchildren’s grandchildren will play sanshin
made from the ebony wood grown sometime in the future.
Then they are mowing grass and working hard even in hot weather. (H.S)


(from Facebook page of the project)
The originator Kazufumi Miyazawa(right), and the head of supporters Daiichi Hirata(left),
who has another name “Southern island poet” and has been active in a variety of fields.

A pottery studio that swallows rear their young

I visited the pottery studio of Kazunobu Maeda, who is an Echizen-yaki pottery artist,
to take photographs and interview today.
There, I found a parental swallow conveying food busily and its baby birds waiting for it,
which is not to say that I found them usual under the eaves, they were inside the studio.
It seems like an ordinary scene to Mr. Maeda who is working everyday there.


Mr. Maeda, making pottery diligently very close to the swallows.


Roses are in full bloom in Japan right now

It seems like the rainy season will start in Hokuriku region soon as well.
Actually, hot humid weather has been continuing for a couple of days.
But also, it’s the time of bloom of roses.
Even though I didn't take care of much, the roses in my garden also grew in abundance.
The photos below were taken at the rose garden in “Lily Town Park” in Sakai City,
Fukui Prefecture.



Just looking at roses makes me feel so gorgeous.
There are roses which have velvet like petals, and they have wonderful scent.
I can’t help wondering how such petals and good smell come from rose trees.
Roses have mysterious attraction, don’t they? (H.S)

Peony Flower 

It’s already May.
The other day, peony flowers bloomed in my garden.
Here is a Japanese saying which is compared a beautiful woman to flowers.


“When standing is like paeoniae radix, when sitting is like peony flower
and when walking is like lily. “


When I see peony flowers, I always think of the saying above automatically.
But actually I am not sure what paeoniae radix is like, so I did a little research.



Both flowers are similar but peony is a tree and paeoniae radix is a plant.
As for the leaves, peony’s one is mat with serrated edges
and paeoniae radix’s one is shiny and round.
So when you are not sure which is which, you should just see the leaves.


By the way, peony is China’s national flower.
On the other hand, paeoniae radix is a popular crude drug in traditional Chinese medicine
and its dried roots are used in many Chinese medicines.