Reopening Fukui Prefectural Schools, Discussions Revolving June 1st Start Date

Reopening Fukui Prefectural Schools, Discussions Revolving June 1st Start Date

Making Final Adjustments While Taking in Comments From Municipal Education Boards

By May 13th, regarding the school closures within Fukui Prefecture, serving as a preventative measure against the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), it has been disclosed that prefectural and municipal education boards have entered substantive discussions towards the reopening of schools. Prefectural schools are believed to be holding discussions revolving around a June 1st start date; municipal education boards, which oversee elementary and junior high schools, are also proceeding with discussions, while taking the prefectural schools’ responses into account.

On April 28th, Fukui Prefectural Governor Tatsuji Sugimoto had announced an extension to further postpone the reopening of prefectural schools for the time being. The governor expressed, “There is a need to confirm (the virus infection situation) during the two-week period following Golden Week.” Meanwhile, there has been no report of COVID-19 infections for more than two weeks within the prefecture, since April 29th.

In regards to the reopening date, the Fukui Prefectural Citizen Guideline requests high school students coming from outside the prefecture to stand by at home for a two-week period; it is believed that current discussions revolving a June 1st start date is based on a time period when all students will be able to attend school. The municipal education boards have already received a notice regarding the planned June 1st reopening date for prefectural schools; Fukui Prefecture and the Prefectural Board of Education are making final adjustments, while taking in comments from the municipal education boards about the reopening schedule, going towards a possible request for each municipal education board to restart classes at the same time.

In response to the request for schools closures across Japan by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, prefectural high schools, special needs schools, public elementary and junior high schools, and private schools within Fukui Prefecture have been closed since March. Including the spring break period, the school closures have extended past two months. On May 11th, elementary, junior high, and senior high schools within the prefecture made use of the internet and YouTube, and began broadcasting video lessons for home study.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1085345

Video Lessons Published for Children and Students During School Closures

Video Lessons Published for Children and Students During School Closures

In order to help children study during the temporary school closures, influenced by the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Fukui Prefectural Board of Education has published “Fukui WAKUWAKU Lesson” (ふくいわくわく授業), a series of video lessons on YouTube.

In the video series, “Fukui WAKUWAKU Lesson”, the Fukui Prefectural Board of Education staff take on the role of instructors. For elementary and junior high school students, there are videos covering 4 subjects: Japanese language, arithmetic/mathematics, science, and English. For senior high school students, there are 3 subjects covered, which includes Japanese language, mathematics, and English. Each video is about 10 to 15 minutes in length. In a video, after a problem is presented, learners can pause the video and attempt to solve the problem.

On YouTube, a video-sharing site, broadcasting begins from April 14th. The series will be broadcast on cable television within the prefecture from April 20th, at the earliest.

For children who are unable to watch the videos on either YouTube or cable television, the Fukui Prefectural Board of Education will distribute the series on DVD, to ensure as many children as possible can have the opportunity to learn.

Source: https://www.fukui-tv.co.jp/?post_type=fukui_news&p=128066&page=1

While the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum is Temporarily Closed

While the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum is Temporarily Closed

Researchers Publish Videos on Their Favourite Specimens

Although the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum is temporarily closed, due to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), researchers at the museum have published videos on the internet, talking about their favourite specimens.

The project is so that children who love dinosaurs can have a museum experience while staying at home. There are fifteen roughly 3-minute videos in the series, of a researcher talking about their favourite or most recommended specimen. In addition, there are also videos of researchers and reporters going around exhibits unveiled as recently as April 4th, including the skull of a Brachiosaurus and a complete skeleton of a Probactrosaurus.

“We wish for visitors, who plan to visit, to learn about the highlights of this museum” said a Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum researcher.

Source: https://www.fukui-tv.co.jp/?post_type=fukui_news&p=127855&page=1

A Special Episode of Chihayafuru, On YouTube

A Special Episode of Chihayafuru, On YouTube

An Original Anime Created by Awara City

Fukui Prefecture’s Awara City is closely associated with the popular manga “Chihayafuru”. An original mini-anime, “Chihayafuru (Extra Episode)! Let’s Go to Awara to Visit Arata!”, has been created and posted on the video-sharing site, YouTube. Thirteen tourist attractions within Awara City are featured in the video, bringing the possibility of attracting potential tourists.

The mini-anime was created to promote the city with two events in mind: the Internation Ogura Hyakunin-isshu Karuta Festival 2020, happening in May, and the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line extension within the prefecture. The original author of the manga, Yuki Suetsugu, and the television anime production team supervised the mini-anime’s development.

At 6 minutes and 47 seconds long, the video follows the protagonists, Chihaya Ayase and Taichi Mashima, as they visit Awara City to see their childhood friend, Arata Wataya. However, they have difficulties in meeting up, travelling across various places within the city, such as Kitagatakohan Park and the Kanaz Forest of Creation, while looking for each other.

The characters are drawn in a charming 3-toushin style (in which a character is drawn 3 heads tall), and the background is a photo or video portraying the different locations the characters visit; over the phone, Arata would talk with Chihaya and Taichi about each location’s charm, speaking with his Fukui dialect. The three characters are voiced by their respective television anime voice actors, Asami Seto, Mamoru Miyano, and Yoshimasa Hosoya.

In addition to being posted online, the mini-anime will be shown in a special corner at the International Karuta Festival, and within the city’s tourist information centres.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1031740

Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Om8gnAlTXj4&

Popular YouTuber Reports on Traditional Crafts, Great Response

Popular YouTuber Reports on Traditional Crafts, Great Response

Traditional Crafts in Echizen City, Surge in Inquiries

Canadian YouTuber, Greg Lam, published several videos about traditional crafts in Fukui Prefecture’s Echizen City; about a month and a half after being posted from the beginning of last December, the total view count for the videos had closed in on 800,000. Lam manages a popular YouTube channel with 1.2 million subscribers interested in Japanese history and tradition. The city has high expectations of its effects on bringing in foreign tourists.

Using funds through Japan’s Rural Area Development and Promotion Grant, and as part of the effort to boost the foreign tourism industry in 2020, Echizen City sent an invitation for Lam to visit the city.

“Life Where I’m From” is a popular YouTube channel geared towards western audiences; Lam, the channel manager, stayed in Echizen City last October, for 3 days and 2 nights. During his stay, he gathered information about the various production industries, including Echizen Uchihamono (forged blades), Echizen Washi (Japanese paper), and Echizen Tansu (traditional cabinets).

The city requested for Lam to publish one video; but from December 4th, Lam had posted three videos. The first video is about forged blades, and centred around an interview with Koji Masutani, company president of Ryusen Hamono (located in Ikenokami-cho).

“Echizen Uchihamono were my primary interested in the visit,” said Lam.

The video was not only a compilation of the manufacturing process, but also carefully captured the philosophy of the craftspeople, with Masutani stating, “What we believe is that we are breathing life into the blades.” Just under a month, the video had exceeded 600,000 views; by January 19th, it had reached approximately 792,000 views.

“This is a great video!” and “I love Japanese craftspeople!” were among the over 600 comments on the video.

The second video featured Lam in his home kitchen, putting into practice the sharpening and polishing techniques he was taught at Ryusen Hamono. The third video had a comprehensive look on the various traditional craft industries within the city. The video began with Echizen Tansu (traditional cabinets) and the mechanisms of its hidden compartments, and then there was a segment about the rich materials and designs of Echizen Washi (Japanese paper).

“The thing about Kyoto nowadays, is there’s a ton of tourists. Over in Echizen, you can get hands-on experience with traditional Japanese culture without the crowds,” said Lam, giving the city his seal of approval.

Even when comparing to Lam’s other videos, the audience response has been excellent.

“I’m very surprised with such a huge reaction,” said Masutani, commenting on the surge of inquiries Ryusen Hamono has been receiving from people overseas.

“The 800,000 view count should not be seen as insignificant, as sprinkling water in a desert; these are 800,000 counts of the interest people have in Japan. It must be the appeal of this special market,” said a city associate, reacting to the online response.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1017157