Fukushima’s Peaches Were Back To The Market, and Popular

This summer,  peaches from Fukushima are back.

Farmers did decontamination very thoroughly, and radiation is ND (not-detected). They sold peaches also on the net, and I’m the one who ordered them to JA Date, too. Now waiting them to come.

In Tokyo, seen the pic they are selling them on the road.

In Toyama, such as Yamanashi Pref, Nagano Pref are main places where peaches come from. Never tasted “a bit hard” Fukushima ones.

And also, when someone started conversation on twitter “hands-up if you have had Fukushima peaches!” many ppl did so, it became a tweet collection like this. So many ppl participated.

http://togetter.com/li/359996 (Japanese)

Next comes Japanese pears and rice, but as for these Toyama is not losing:)


Coursera Funder’s Presentation at TED

Daphne Koller: What we’re learning from online education

My study at Coursera is going on. But I’m always start viewing video around 2 hours before the quiz deadline. Last Monday, video has stopped, maybe because of overload of the server, and I missed submitting the quiz of “Vaccines” by just 1 minute.

It seems that this project is still trial and error stage. “Vaccines” I mentioned above has terminated on the screen by mistake, but actually class is still going on. Apologising e-mails were sent to students. Although the class is quite exciting, and Professor Paul appears in above video just a short time.

And, sometimes subtitles, which is indispensable for ppl like me, is sometimes off. Seems that they are using automated recognition, so sometimes [inaudible] appears in the subtitle many times although even I can hear what Professor is talking about.

As for “Fundamentals of Pharmacology”, I found that I need more knowledge in Japanese at first, so will get more professional book than I have now (I’d like to work in medical field translation).

From the next month, “Modern and Contemporary American Poetry” will start. @ModPoPenn(Oct 23, corrected this twitter account) twitter account is already working on. This one is solely on my interest, looking forward to what gonna happen.

Mika Yamamoto, “Human” Journalist, Shot Dead in Syria

Belated post…I did know Syria’s situation was quite terrible, but no idea Japanese female journalist was doing her job there.

On 21st when I heard the news, I spent the most of the day reading about her.

There is a collection of news about her in English in below list.


In the title of the post, “human journalist” is her father’s point of view, rather than “war journalist”, who was ex-Asahi Shimbun journalist.

Among another collection of news in Japanese, found two links to the videos of her body. In one she was wiped and clean, but for the second one I was asked twice by Youtube if I really going to view it. Both were taken by anti-Assad force.

One of her arm had a terrible scar and skin was peeled upward, and blood on her face…it was beginning to dry. Next to her there was sad Mr. Sato, her partner journalist. Her fatal injure is said to be bullet through her neck. Hope she didn’t suffer long.

R.I.P. Mika-san, although I’ve already touched by your texts on the net, will buy your book ASAP(there are two, only in Japanese).

Colourful Portram(1)

The other day, while I was having a tea with my friend after lunch in the north Exit of Toyama Station, saw so many Portrams passing by. They came quite frequently.

Thinking of taking pics cause I know some train maniac ppl worldwide are interested in such trams.

As a tree hindered our view, could not take many, there are 7 colours of trams. Didn’t know until I saw it by my own eyes.


For the rest of the colours, I’ll try to go there near future and take some pics.

The Memorial Day For The End Of The War and My Grandparents’ Memory

On the 15th, it was the Memorial Day For The End Of the WWII.

No ordinary Japanese had known this, on that day they’ve told to come in front of the radio, then (secretly recorded) emperor’s voice started. It was difficult to hear what he meant(I hear quality of broadcast was not good) but grown-up understood the war was over, some began to sob. Children sensed that by watching adults.

BTW, my grandfather who passed away 3 years ago in the age of 101 was once served Army. He fought against China in Japan-China War, he didn’t talk about it much but perhaps desperate for participating the war. He lost his men in the battle, as well as Chinese enemy. He used to live in China(Manchuria) and missed there in later life.

In the WWII he was in the intelligent sector.

After the war he got married and became a farmer, broke the land alone and made it to rice fields or veggie fields. He was late 30s then. There were lots of critical moments when rice for family was gone then. When we visited, both of grandparents looked very happy, my grandfather let us ride his tractor, gave us lots of vegetables or fruits.

But in the calm and happy life, he could never forget about the war. Used to read lots about it alone and silently, and according to my mother, one day he just said “how absurd!”.

I hear even among Nazi members there were family oriented men. I’m not saying every Japanese soldiers were actually good men(But too much exaggerated in bad way, especially in the film industry, I suppose). Just saying in every country involved in every war, there are some portion of honest people and they suffer for a long time after the war. In that sense, I’m proud of him being such a hard-working, modest, honest and thoughtful person.

Lastly, my grandmother already sensed that Japan was losing the war around in 1945. Perhaps it’s not only her thinking in that way.

Below link has extensive information about the war.

56 years ago

Kaisen-don(sashimi on rice) lunch

Yesterday, I’ve been to lunch near of Toyama station with one of my friends.

Although it was still noon, cheers by beer.

It’s the lunch. On the warm rice, there are many kinds of sashimi. Also, Japanese pickles and miso-soup. Sashimi  was fresh and yummy, but what I’m eating usually isn’t also that bad. My nearest supermarket has variety of fish from Himi (famous for fresh fish all over Japan).

Konbu-jime, Toyama’s specialty. They sandwich sashimi with seaweed called konbu.

The shop was on the north exit of Toyama station, I’ve seen a lot of Portrams afterwards while we were having tea. I didn’t know they have broad range of colour. Maybe I’ll go there again to take some pics.

Animated “Barefoot Gen”, Remembrance of Hiroshima A-Bomb Suffering

Many ppl know the name of “Hiroshima(memorial day 6th of August)” and “Nagasaki(9th of August)”, but not many foreign people know what actually happened.

This animation was originally manga, and author actually suffered A-bomb. On animating, some details are changed. You cannot make an actual movie and express cruelness like that…

Both English and Español are available. Latter version is full.

Barefoot Gen, Hiroshima Destroyed

Gen Pies Descalzos 1 Subtitulos en Español

The Curtains of Green-To Feel Some Coolness

If you have ever come to Japan in summer, you’d be beaten by its humidity. Even in such a rural area full of green, everyday temps up to 35C this summer.

The other day, I’ve met MikeMark, James’ brother at the pub “The White Hart”. Mikehe told me that even it’s 40 C in Cyprus, because of low humidity not feel hot at all.

Anyway, to feel some coolness, ppl plant bindweed such as morning glory, goya (Okinawan vegetable) etc. Especially from the point of view of cutting sunshine, shading, or hopefully energy-saving.

I’ve seen lots the other day I walked in Kanazawa City. Here are some.

Lastly, our morning glory this morning, though still now so grown.

Gigantic Watermelons from Toyama – Joys of Summer

Today I’ve been to local shopping centre to return DVDs. Unfortunately I was 7 mins late, DVDs were treated as delayed, had to pay the arrear of 480 yen for the ones I’ve rent in 200 yen. Ouch! I’ve once paid 3000 yen! Such a money!

As it’s already so hot as 10:00am, went around the shops and found them.

Very big watermelon. Perhaps about 20 kg. It’s from Kurobe, if you know Toyama already, it’s a place of Kurobe Dam, and Tateyama Kurobe Alpen Route.

We have a custom of sending gifts (usually foods) each other in summer and winter, in my family between relatives. Former is called o-chugen and latter is called o-seibo. In such periods gift corners appear in shops.

One another shot.

We eat lots of watermelons generally in summer. But how long does it take if you get such a big watermelon?

Soma Nomaoi

Last weekend, Nomaoi was held at Soma City and Minami-Soma City in Fukushima. It was a festival I got to know last year after the quake and wishing to go. It has a 1070 year-long history since the era of Heike’s ancestor.

It was very hot and humid as usual as Japanese summer (over 30 Celsius is usual, sometimes over 35 C with humidity).

Official Website:
National Designated Important Intangible Folk Culture- Soma Nomaoi

From Asahi Shimbun. Click the link below and you’ll able to see the map and some pics, one of them was on their Facebook.

Nomaoi festival draws an evacuated family back to home

July 28, 2012


At this year’s Soma Nomaoi medieval re-enactment festival in Fukushima Prefecture, the “samurai clan” belonging to Toshihiko Umeda will gather for a joyous family reunion.

Umeda, 59, and his family, who had lived in the Odaka district in Minami-Soma, were separated after an evacuation order was imposed following last year’s Great East Japan Earthquake and accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

But the festival will serve as a vehicle for all the family members to get together for the first time in a while.

“Everybody has their jobs,” Umeda said. “So if it wasn’t for Nomaoi, there would hardly be a chance for all the family to come together.”

The centuries-old festival, where horseback riders don full body armor and stage mock battles, kicks off on July 28.

The scale of the festival was substantially reduced last year due to the March 11, 2011, quake and the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. But this year it will return to almost normal with more than 400 mounted “samurai” expected to participate.

Many of them, such as Umeda and his family, will return from areas to which they evacuated.

Toshihiko and his 81-year-old mother, Tsumako, live in the prefecture’s capital, Fukushima. Toshihiko’s wife, Yoshiko, 58, has evacuated to another district in Minami-Soma.

Kunihiko, 31, Toshihiko’s eldest son, who worked at a local equestrian club, has settled in Chiba Prefecture, to where his horse was evacuated. And Kunihiko’s brother, Katsuhiro, 28, moved to Ibaraki Prefecture, turning to an acquaintance for help in finding a job.

It marked the first time that each of the Umedas has lived outside their hometowns.

The Umeda family has taken part in the festival for generations. Toshihiko first participated when he was a second-year high school student. Kunihiko entered in his first year at junior high school, and Katsuhiro’s initial participation was in his second year of high school.

On July 22, Katsuhiro visited the horse-riding club in Chiba Prefecture where Kunihiko works, to practice riding. The younger brother rode a horse for the first time in two years.

“My muscles ached the following day and I had trouble at my workplace,” Katsuhiro said. “But I felt the old familiar sense of being shaken on the back of a horse.”

Kunihiko said: “I never wanted to leave my hometown, because I was surrounded by my friends and older members of Nomaoi. They had helped me since I was little. I don’t know when, but I want to return to my hometown.”

Probably this video was taken before the quake and radiation.

This one is for last year’s documentary with some English scripts. Horses were suffered by tsunami, injured or starved, too. Last year, the scale of the festival was significantly shrunk, and even it’s become bigger this year, still sightseers’ number hasn’t come back.

Professor Ryugo (Ryu) Hayano at Tokyo University, who is measuring Tohoku radiation actively just after the Nuclear Plant’s explosion, also attended to Nomaoi. Below is his album.

2012.7.28-29 Soma Nomaoi Private Pics