Open Season for “Echizen Gani”, Fukui’s Taste of Winter

Open Season for “Echizen Gani”, Fukui’s Taste of Winter

Echizen Town, Loads of Zuwai Gani One After Another

The midnight going into November 6th marked the beginning of fishing season for “Echizen Gani” (male snow crabs), which are recognized with pride as the “taste of winter” within Fukui Prefecture. At the Echizen Fishing Harbour, in Fukui Prefecture’s Echizen Town, during the early morning of the 6th, without delay, Zuwai Gani (snow crabs) and Seiko Gani (female snow crabs) were being reeled in, one after another.

During the evening of November 5th, 48 bottom trawling fishing boats associated with the Echizen Town Fishing Cooperative set sail from the Echizen Fishing Harbour. The boats waited, and once the clock struck midnight, opening the crab fishing season, nets were casted into the water at once.

On the morning of the 6th, from before it had reached 9:00 a.m., fishing boats had begun returning to port one after the other, each loaded with fresh crabs. The fishing harbour was lively, with many diligently working with their catch of seafood.


Six COVID-19 Cases in Fukui City, Ono City, and Echizen City

Six COVID-19 Cases in Fukui City, Ono City, and Echizen City

Novel Coronavirus, Fukui Prefecture, April 7th

On April 7th, Fukui Prefecture reported six new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), of three people in Fukui City, two people in Ono City, and one person in Echizen City.

Brief details of the prefecture’s 60th through to the 65th cases are as follows:

[60] Ono City female company employee, in her 40s

[61] Ono City female company executive, in her 70s

[62] Fukui City unemployed male, in his 70s

[63] Fukui City male company employee, in his 50s

[64] Fukui City female company employee, in her 50s

[65] Echizen City female company employee, in her 50s

Excluding the Fukui City unemployed male [62], the other five people have had close or some interactions with a person who had been confirmed with COVID-19.


Jin-ai University, Portuguese Language Course Established

Jin-ai University, Portuguese Language Course Established

2020 School Year, Secondary Foreign Language Elective Course

For the 2020 school year at Jin-ai University (in Fukui Prefecture, Echizen City), a Portuguese language course, as an elective secondary foreign language course, has been established. Echizen City and Fukui Murata Manufacturing Company, working in cooperation as the university’s endowed chairs, are the course’s sponsors; even on a national level, an industry-academic-government collaboration for a university course is rare. In addition, a Portuguese language course has also been set up for the general public, in the university’s effort to contribute to the expansion of the multicultural community.

The newly-established Portuguese course will be available to first-year students, regardless of major, and as a secondary foreign language course, will receive an official credit upon completion. An Osaka University associate professor will be in charge of the course as a part-time lecturer. According to Osaka University, it is rare for a university, that is not a foreign language university, to offer a Portuguese language course. The course will be offered for four years, during 2020 to 2023; after the four years, the course will be placed under examination as to how to proceed from then. As for courses offered to the general public, in addition to language study, there will also be other courses available, including a course about the history of Brazilian immigration.

Up until recently, in line with the “Multicultural Community Promotion Plan” arrangement between Echizen City and Jin-ai University, programs like “Practical Portuguese Language Course”, for active childcare workers and students aiming to become childcare workers, have been available. This time, as the local university, in efforts to further expand the range of multicultural harmony, Echizen City and Fukui Murata Manufacturing Company, which has a significant number of Brazilian employees, will each sponsor a portion of the university courses.

At a signing ceremony in Jin-ai University, on March 13th, Jin-ai University president Shunko Tashiro, Echizen City Mayor Toshiyuki Nara, and Fukui Murata Manufacturing Company President Tadahiro Nakagawa all signed an agreement.

University president Tashiro spoke of the contributions towards the local services being regarded as the “depths of education” concerning the university.

City mayor Nara commented on the significance of this agreement “to become a stimulus for the children of foreigners, to strive for university.”

Company president Nakagawa stated, “As a global enterprise, we experience the importance of language firsthand,” expressing the company’s reason for support.


Gundam Satellite, Complete

Gundam Satellite, Complete

Supporting Tokyo 2020, Developed by Fukui Companies

On March 7th, the 2020 Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games announced that the “G-SATELLITE” mini-satellite has been completed; the project was in cooperation with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and University of Tokyo, to launch miniature models from the anime series “Mobile Suit GUNDAM” into space.

The G-SATELLITE was developed in collaboration between Fukui Prefecture, companies within Fukui Prefecture, and the University of Tokyo. SEIREN (Fukui City), Sabae Seiki (Echizen Town), and Harue Denshi (Sakai City) handled the planning and manufacturing.

From Cape Canaveral, Florida, the satellite was loaded onto a cargo spacecraft and launched towards the International Space Station (ISS) in the evening of March 6th. It will arrive on March 9th, at approximately 8:00 p.m. Japan Standard Time.

The satellite, with the models and electric bulletin board, will be ejected from the ISS during the last part of April; the bulletin board will then display messages of support for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Photos taken by the organising committee will be posted on social media.

Astronaut Norishige Kanai commented, “I’m looking forward to the taste the glory of victory (of the satellite launch) along with everyone who has been providing support.”


“A Cherry Blossom Tree” Blooming due to the Warm Winter? Already the Best Viewing Time

“A Cherry Blossom Tree” Blooming due to the Warm Winter? Already the Best Viewing Time

Echizen Town, Early Blooming of the Prunus Kanzakura

In a plot of land within the Kihisho district, located within Fukui Prefecture’s Echizen Town, a lone cherry blossom tree is already heading towards its full bloom. Although a species of tree that usually blooms early within March, the reason for this year’s early bloom appears to be due to the warm winter.

“I’d be really glad if this early bloom results in gathering attention towards the cherry blossom trees and the local area,” says Teruo Watanabe (aged 63) with anticipation, an office chief at the Echizen Town Council of Social Welfare located nearby.

Until its property transfer in 2009, the corner plot used to be a part of the Asahi district. The cherry blossom tree stands alone by the Tenno river. According to Office Chief Watanabe, the tree began blooming during mid-February, with the best time for viewing from February 25th.

With the staff at the Council of Social Welfare not knowing the tree’s species, they took this opportunity to contact the Fukui Botanical Garden, located within Echizen Town.

“It is undoubtedly a cherry blossom tree, but we can’t confirm the species until the leaves have grown out,” says the garden director, also pointing to the likelihood the tree is a Prunus kanzakura. The director assessed, “With the pleasant winter climate, blooming will take place about two weeks earlier than normal, from the 10th.”

According to a former Asahi Junior High School gardening club advisor (aged 74) from roughly 30 years ago, there used to be three cherry blossom trees in the plot. Unaware of the particulars of the tree, he pondered, “Back then, there were many cherry blossom trees at the nearby shrine and at the Tenno riverbanks. Perhaps the tree came from what remained there, or perhaps it was planted to commemorate a school graduation.”