Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




The poet, Tachibana-no-Akemi's Dokurakugin (Reciting Poetry for My Own Pleasure)


Random thoughts

On a lunch break, I stopped by a cafe near GEN office OTEMACHI Cafe and saw wiritings on many pieces of paper on the wall.


Every writing on the papers, starts with “My own pleasure is…” and ends with “when I do ...”.
Elementary school students wrote these on the model of Tachibana-no-Akemi's Dokurakugin (reciting poet for my own pleasure).


“What a delight it is when, of a morning, I get up and go out to find in full bloom a flower that yesterday was not there.”
This is one of Tachibana’s Dokurakugin and the President of the United States Bill Clinton quoted in his speech when the Japanese emperor visited the USA in 1994.


As what's written in this poem, it is enjoyable to find joys from little things in our daily lives, and I think it enriches our lives as well.


To write down and remember these joys, Dokurakugin is perfect.


It is said that Akemi Tachibana used to like Japanese Sake as well as writing. There is an event, “Japanese sake and literature, and their pleasurable relationship between the two” is held at Fukui City Akemi Tachibana Literature Memorial Museum (until May 15th, 2016). Since I always liked Dokurakugin and on top of that I found that he liked sake, I feel more connected to him.



First penguin


Random thoughts

I recently heard the word ”First penguin” in a NHK morning drama series.
It means a penguin which first jumps into the sea out of a flock of penguins.
In the sea, there might be some killer whales or sea lions.
Even so, to catch fish, one must jump into the sea first to make sure of the safety.


Finally, a courageous penguin jumps into the sea.
And if the penguin rises on the sea surface,
other penguins will jump into the sea all together.
If it doesn’t rise or rise covered with blood,
other penguins will just go somewhere different.
I wonder how the first penguin feels when it jumps into the sea.
I mean, it might get eaten up right away.
So it is moving to think about the first penguin…


By the way, this word became to refer to people who start something first
despite risks or hardships in a field or an organization. (H.S)

Spring / The Season Of Farewell And Encounter


Random thoughts

Charlotte who participated in several GEN's videos.

She moved out of the city.


It was sad for us to say goodbye but it was definitely grateful to meet her,

get to know her and work together.

Dec.24th,2015. GEN Video

Jan.10th,2016. GEN Video

Dec.15th,2015. staff blog

Dec.10th,2015. staff blog

*For more blogs and videos to see, please visit our website, GEN Japan


Spring is the season of farewell and encounter in Japan.


In Japan, there are graduation ceremonies in March.

It is time to say goodbye.


And in April, there are entrance ceremonies.

So it is time to say hello.


Even though there is a full of hope for the future in spring,

spring in Japan leaves people with bittersweet memories.

It is time for us to feel gratitude for the memories which were given to us

and let them go.

Let them go to receive new ones.


We must have a little strength to move forward.


Ending something is a beginning of something new.


In the next chapter of our lives, there are smiles, laughter, joys, new friends and things

we have not seen yet.


Let's see what's coming next!



A bicycle which turns into a wheelchair


Random thoughts

The music live and movie event were held at Bhutan Museum. As I was wondering why a red bicycle was setting in the room, a person who invented this bicycle showed us how to use it. He is Mr. Nagayama from Nagoya.


First, set the shape of the frame of the bicycle into U-shaped.


Second, take out a small foldable chair from a bag, open it and put it on the bicycle. Finally, a bicycle turns into a wheelchair.


Even a woman can push the wheelchair easily and it can go over step height easily by stepping on the pedal which is attached to the back part of the wheelchair. Moreover, when the backrest is pushed back, it becomes a stretcher.


According to Mr. Nagayama, after the Great East Japan Earthquake, only the vehicle that people were able to use was bicycles so he invented this wheelchair. He introduced me several points of this wheelchair which were helpful at that time: carrying a person who couldn’t ride bicycles to wherever they wanted to go and carrying a heavy bottle of water from a water distribution point. This wheelchair definitely has high mobility and it must be very useful.


Japanese Vending Machines


Random thoughts

In Japanese rest stops on highways, there are many different kinds of vending machines.


The most common vending machines sell hot or cold beverages.

My favorite ones are the coffee machines which make a hot cup of coffee in less than 30seconds!


There are more than 5,600,000 vending machines across Japan.

Most commonly, they sell drinks such as water, soda, juice, tea and coffee.


There are also machines that sell alcohol beverages, milk, apples, bananas, snow cones, uncooked rice, baked rice balls, bread, natto (fermented beans), spaghetti, ramen, noodles, eggs, fish bait, broth, hanko stamps, textbooks, cars, beetles, umbrellas, lucky charms, flowers, and everything else in between.


The latest one is a touch screen vending machine.

Here is a video which shows Japanese vending machines, "WAO✦RYU!TV ONLYinJAPAN #44"

If you see a vending machine, make sure you stop and see what's for sale.

You might be surprised!