Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




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.

Photo exhibition of Mitsuaki Iwago "Kyoto for cats"



During the New Year's holidays, I went to see the photo exhibition of Mitsuaki Iwago "Kyoto for cats."


Iwago kept visiting Kyoto throughout the year to take photos of cats and he met many cats.
In particular, many photos of a male cat, Yoshitsune, who lives with a 91-year-old man in a thatched house in Miyama Town, were displayed. Iwago says that the man and the cat have a strong bond transcending the species barrier. He also says that if the people living there enjoy a comfortable life, the cats there also look comfortable. That means, in a town that people are happy, the cats must be happy, too.


By the way, the title of the exhibition is "Kyoto for cats" and not "Cats in Kyoto". In other words, it means photos of Kyoto through the cats and not cats who live in Kyoto. Iwago says, "For example, it seems that when I see lions, I can see a savanna." So he sticked with the title "Kyoto for cats." (H.S)


A black cat, Kurobei, walks on the red fallen leaves.


A cat, Buru, lives in a geisha house in Miyagawa-cho, Gion.


Buru plays with a young geisha.


The 91-year-old man and the cat, Yoshitsune, on the veranda


Stone beckoning cat and a real one beckons.

Photo exhibition of Mitsuaki Iwago’s World “Cats” Travelogue 



The Sea of Japan side was hit by a cold wave this weekend.
In Fukui, the snow accumulation of 70 cm was recorded, the first time in seven years.
Although I am used to heavy snowfall, looking at the snow falling all day,
I was anxious how much the snow would accumulate.
Today, snowing finally stopped and I feel relieved that I can see the blue sky.


By the way, during the New Year’s holidays, I went to see the photo exhibition of Mitsuaki Iwago’s World “Cats” Travelogue held at Seibu department store in Fukui.
Although this is the year of the Dog, people don’t seem to be interested in dogs.
The exhibition was popular.
For reference, there is the year of the Cat in Tibet and Thailand etc.


There were photos of adorable cats taken in Paris, Provence, Sicily, Belgium, Croatia, Norway, Hawaii, Taiwan and Okinawa etc. in the exhibition. Most of the cats have beautiful names such as Praline, Requy, Noel, Nina, Pichoux, Lirou, Isabel and Olga etc. which each features its location.


I was happy to be comforted by cats around the world early in the new year. (H.S)


This is the exhibition’s poster cat, Gazette (female) in Paris.
The pose is well known in its neighborhood.


*Iwago used Olympus OM-D E-M1 to take all of the cat photos.
Of course, while he was filming with a video camera for TV, he also had the camera around his neck. He appreciated it was a high-performance and a small one. And, it was a good thing for cats also.

How do cats beat the heat in Japanese summer?



It’s the middle of August now and the heat has let up.
But humans are not only ones taking the heat.
For example, my cats have been beating the heat in their own way.


Cats don’t perspire other than paw pads. Even more, they are hairy all over, so they maybe feel higher the temperature than humans. I often remove their loose hair and renew water. They take naps in cool places in my house. (H.S)


Had a stretch as far as it can do.


Had her feet out even from the top of the cat tower.


It’s an ironing board but now it’s Gil’s bed.


Are you still a girl, Miiko?


Every cat likes carboard boxes.


Gil on tatami mats (In summer, I do think that tatami is great)


He likes huddling on a newspaper too.
And, it has a protecting color for the table, doesn’t it?

My cat came to see rice planting



Finally, we finished rice planting the other day.
In Fukui, that day was a hot day with temperature exceeded 30 degrees for the first time
this year. Even so, it was one with low humidity and breezy in the afternoon, so I was able to do farm work without getting heatstroke.


I have two cats, which are male and female. I keep the female one “Miiko” indoor completely but the male “Gil” goes in and out of the house freely and he is busy hunting sparrows, mice, and lately geckoes.


At the rice planting, Gil was prowling around as always.
Then, he came over to me washing boxes of rice plants.
He seemed scared of a moving rice planting machine though, he was hanging around me
and took a short rest in the shade. Probably he felt secure as his family was nearby.


Perhaps because he was outside all the time that day, he was sleeping deeply when he came
home in the late afternoon :)


Gil is creeping along the shade…


He is keeping an eye out for around pricking up his tail in a nearby field.


Gil is coming this way. I guess he found a good place to hide.


And he has settled there for the moment.


It seems like he liked the grass. Cats are geniuses with finding cool place.


We use leftover rice plants to plant rice in corners which the rice planting machine
could not plant, or give to neighbors, or plant supplementary.


The rice fields where rice planting is completed.
The rice plants will grow on strong in a week.
Recently, it seems direct seeding has increased.
One day direct seeding may become mainstream.