Books Books Beautiful Books

Books enchant me.



And they lived happily ever after……


Sometimes books don’t enchant me.

They inform me. They educate me.  They teach me.

Like these books:


These books are at our city public library.  They educate kids about earthquakes and and other scary stuff.

Why are they on display now?



Next month on March 11, 2016, it is the fifth anniversary of the super duper mega king-sized quake that ripped through Japan.


Lots of the littler kids here in Japan probably don’t even remember it!

(I remember it.  I was reading a book at the time.)

It is important to learn about earthquakes, tsunamis and nuclear meltdown.

Oh my!



Did you know that if you are in Japan during a super duper earthquake, phone calls on public telephones are free? Even long distance ones. It’s a great time to call your mom and let her know how your day is going!



Let’s go on a walk in Fukushima City!

Hey!   Let’s go on a walk in Fukushima City!


That middle flag is the Japanese flag. 日本の国旗のイラストJapanese children love their flag because it is easy to draw.   They also love it because they love their country!



Walking along the path next to the river.


Hey, I can see some mountains!   There are a lot of mountains in Fukushima Prefecture.


I always do my best thinking while walking.   I call it “Imagination Perambulation.”


Wait.  Did we clean up our dog poop?


Japanese people are very clean and conscientious.  Let’s clean up the poop!



free images from



What is Fukushima?

You might be wondering:  What exactly is Fukushima?

Fukushima is both the name of a prefecture and the name of its capital city.    Remember, prefectures are like states, or provinces, or territories.


This is a map of Fukushima Prefecture.


This is a much clearer map of Fukushima Prefecture.  The coast, which is along the Pacific Ocean, is on the east.   The rest of the prefecture is landlocked.

A tsunami hit the coast of Fukushima Prefecture after the earthquake on March 11, 2011.  It killed many people.   Furthermore, it damaged the nuclear power plant which was located on the coast.  (Nuclear power plants must be located near water.)

The nuclear power plant was in the middle section on the east coast.  It’s all those little towns on the coast that had the most damage, both from the tsuanami and from radiation.

Fukushima City and Koriyama City are two big cities located in the center section of Fukushima.  They got hit hard, but not as hard as further east.    Basically the further west you go, the less radiation that settled.

So what was Fukushima Prefecture famous for BEFORE the earthquake?


Mountains.  Fukushima was famous for mountains.


Beautiful, unpolluted nature.


Wonderful view of the stars.


Fresh and healthy food.


Children playing outdoors in the snow.


Hot springs.   And monkeys in hot springs.


The pristine beach.


And LOTS LOTS MORE!!!!!!!!

(Free images from

Remember, I wrote a book about Fukushima?

The book that I wrote tells more about Fukushima and its beauty.

Because yes, Fukushima is beautiful.  I’ll try to show its beauty in this blog… stay tuned!


Happy Meowtines Day!


What is Tohoku?

You might be wondering:  What is “Tohoku?” 

Tohoku is the name of the northern region of the island of Honshu in Japan.  It’s where I live and, of course, includes Fukushima Prefecture.

First, let’s look at a map of Japan.


That’s Japan, right?  Well, that part in blue is Tohoku.

The name Tohoku is a great name because it means literally:  “East North.”

東北   is Tohoku in Japanese.  The characters for East and North, stuck together!  Very simple.



Wow! Geography is fun!

There are five prefectures in Tohoku.  (A prefecture is similar to a state or a province or a territory.)


From the north:

Aomori  Prefecture  (at very far north)

below that:  Akita Prefecture and Iwate Prefecture

below that: Yamagata Prefecture and Miyagi Prefecture

below that: Fukushima Prefecture

You can see that Fukushima Prefecture is the furthest south of all the prefectures in Tohoku.

What is Tohoku like?  Well, it is famous for its natural beauty.  Many other parts of Japan are densely populated, but not Tohoku.  It is abundant with nature.  It’s a place for Tokyites to go to get away from the big city.

There are not a lot of other foreigners who live in Tohoku.  Well, there are some–but not many!

Sendai City, with about a million people, is the most populous city in Tohoku.  But it is not especially large by Japanese standards.    Sendai City is only twelfth largest of all the cities in Japan.

Furthermore, Tohoku has its own distinct personality.    It has its own languages, its own festivals, its own souvenirs, its own people.

Not all of Tohoku was severely affected by the 3/11 earthquake.  The east coast felt it most sharply.  But all the people of Tohoku bond together in a spirit of northern fellowship.  We’re all in this together!

And furthermore, the earthquake effects reached all over Japan, not just Tohoku.   However, it is usually thought of as a Tohoku disaster because Tohoku felt the effects most severely.   Nevertheless, people all over Japan are rooting for us in Tohoku!


In the book that I wrote Haruka and her younger brother flee from Fukushima after the earthquake.

Do they go to another part of Tohoku?

Another part of Japan?

Another part of the world?

Another part of the universe?

It’s in the book!


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