Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Soon to be the first anniversary, Manager Tanaka's restaurant



I sometimes go to a small izakaya "Tanaka Mane no Shokudo (Manager Tanaka's restaurant)" in the downtown called "Katamachi" of Fukui City because the shop is close to my workplace. It's perfect for a meal before going out for a drink.


It's an interesting shop where the local softball team's head coach and manager are joint owners. And its quirky name is taken from the nick name of the manager who is good at cooking.


The impact of the coronavirus was so great that even after resuming normal operations there is far less number of customers compared to before. This shop opened on July 1st, 2019, so it is almost the first anniversary. I want this kind of cozy shop to be there forever.


Today's daily lunch menu was tofu hamburg stake.


The other day's lunch was boiled red fish.


Coffee is included for lunch. That's 800 yen in total.


At night, I first pick a few items like this,


And then I ask for a meal menu. Curry and rice on this day.


Pandemic and English


Random thoughts

Coronavirus has drastically changed our society. And, I saw many new English terms such as cluster, overshooting, and social distance in the media. Also, I want to know how to express some Japanese terms related to the coronavirus in English. So I will make sure such terms in English as follows. (H.S)


*virus: its pronunciation in Japanese [wilus] is from Latin
*vaccine: its pronunciation in Japanese [wakchin] is from German
*pandemic: the accent is on [de] but I sometimes hear the accent is on [pan] on Japanese TV
*PPE (personal protective equipment)
*essential workers
*second wave
*herd immunity
*new normal


Lunch at a cafe “misola” directly run by a long-established miso factory in Fukui City



I had lunch at the cafe “misola”, which is directly run by the long-established miso factory “Komego” in Fukui City.


The parking lot next to the shop was full but soon the president of the “Komego” guided me to the second parking lot. So I followed him automatically.


I have always wanted to come to the cafe and I finally came that day. Inside was bright, the lunch was delicious, healthy and plentiful. There is a shop on the first floor, so you can buy various miso products. I think it is a nice idea that you can enjoy lunch and shopping. I want to come again. (H.S)


Lunch plate for June that I had


Looking down into the downstairs shop


The appearance of the shop

Man who loved Fukui: W.E.Griffis’s 150th anniversary of the first visit to Japan



-This blog follows my last blog The very first student studying abroad from Fukui: Taro Kusakabe.


The letter that Griffis received was an invitation from Fukui Domain. And, Griffis left for Japan in 1870. Griffis taught in the domain school in Fukui City. He taught chemistry, physics, German, and French. The Fukui Domain built a chemistry laboratory that was rare at that time, and made new textbooks. These show the Fukui Domain was active in education. He taught his classes in English with a Japanese interpreter.


In Fukui, Griffis met Taro’s father, Kimimasa Yuri, and Tsunatsune Hashimoto (the first Red Cross Hospital’s director), who is a younger brother of Sanai Hashimoto. Griffis stayed in Fukui for only 11 months, but he achieved significant results and his students were active in their respective areas in the Meiji Period.


Afterward, Griffis went to Tokyo in 1874, but his health broke down due to his hard work and he left Japan. Since returning to America, Griffis worked as a pastor. However, he couldn’t forget about Fukui. He wrote books about Japan one after another, and the books became bestsellers, which introduced Japan to the world.


55 years after, in 1926, Griffis returned to Japan at the invitation of the Japanese government. He was 83 years old. Of course, he visited Fukui, where as many as 1,500 people welcomed him. It is said that he felt that the town of Fukui had changed but the kindness of the people had not. While he was staying in Japan from 1926 to 1927, he toured all over Japan giving talks as many as 250 times, and he urged the audience the friendship between Japan and America, and peace. Later, regrettably, Japan and America walked the path toward war. Griffis died in 1928, the year after he returned to America, without knowing Japan and America entered into a war. This year marks the 150th anniversary of his first visit to Japan. His passion that he spoke at his lectures all across Japan at that time stands up still now. The origin of Griffis, who is a leading authority of study about Japan, was a warm heart-to-heart relationship between him and the people of Fukui. (H.S)




Fukui City Griffis Museum
This museum is a reconstruction of Griffis’s home.


Sundial in front of the Griffis Museum: Griffis’s wife, Sara donated a sundial to Fukui City. But it was lost after the war, so they replicated it based on a document that was kept.


This photo shows an online company information session of our company, Japan Systembank Corp. held at GEN's office the other day.


Naturally, our session for recruiting new college graduates is held online this year.


Not only this, due to the influence of the new coronavirus, but almost all explanatory meetings, seminars, and events are held online and I have completely gotten used to rough images with time lags.


I think that there are merits that we didn't have in a conventional meeting format, such as no restrictions on place, you can record it, and you can see reactions from participants in real time through chat.


It is not sure what will happen to company information sessions in the future, but I hope that online seminars will be actively used in the post-coronavirus era or the with-coronavirus era.


She said that she would be nervous when I pointed the camera at her, but she looked quite calm.


Once she finishes the session, she has a meeting with her manager to review it.