Our festival in Fukushima City, 2019

The typhoon passed through Japan on Saturday, causing devastating flooding in many places. Fukushima Prefecture had flooding, too, but fortunately my neighborhood did not have any damage.

The city’s Inari Shrine kept to its plan of having its festival on Sunday night. (Its festival is always this weekend in October.)

Here are some photos from the festival:

Even the dogs were dressed up!

CTV video from Youtube—about first moments after quake, before meltdowns began… (Commentator is discussing the threat)

This CTV video from Youtube—about first moments after quake in March of 2011, before meltdowns “officially” began and were being reported.


(I’m looking at you, new TV show about how fun nuclear war is. I won’t say the name of this TV show and give it free advertisement. But its tagline is:

“You say apocalypse like it’s a bad thing.” While showing a photo of a very happy teen boy and his skateboard and his….samurai sword?

For the record, apocalypse is a bad thing.

I like a good joke like everybody else, and I’ve watched and read dystopian fiction, but the mixture of “Fun” and “Apocalypse” aimed at a young audience makes me worry.

Cuz we all know what’s gonna happen.

When the doody hits the fan, and there really is a nuclear war (or other apocalyptic tragedy,) kids are gonna be like, “Hey, wait. This isn’t like on TV. This sucks.”

(Furthering it. Kids will not even be saying that. In a true apocalyptic scenario, kids and adults will be both be in extremely intense shock and grief, unlike the world has ever seen. Nobody will be saying much of anything. There’ll be too much shock and sadness and attempting to eek out one’s survival.)

Oh, and do the creaters of this show realize that Trump and Kim Jung Un will probably watch it? Especially Kim, he’s reputed to love American movies. Trump will be thinking, “Oh, nuclear war looks neato.” Kim (he’s probably hooked up to South Korean TV) will be thinking “Nuclear war looks awesome.”

And they’ll do it.


Cemetary in Southwest part of Fukushima City

I was riding my bike in the southwest part of Fukushima, an area I don’t normally hang around in. From the road, I happened to see something interesting…

What is it? I decided to check it out.

(By the way, the houses are very typical of the sort of houses that people live in around here. I imagine my protagonist, Haruka, lives in a house like these. That is, she lives in a recently built house that did not suffer damage during the 2011 quake. When she returns home, her house is standing. Fukushima City is not on the coast, so the tsunami did not strike her house. She’s still affected by the tsunami, though because her mom had gone to the coast for work and is missing. And later, she meets a girl whose parents were killed by the tsunami. Does this sound like a book you would want to read? I hope so. I’ve put my heart into writing it.)

It seems to be a very old cemetary.

My shadow. It was late in the day.

Something I like about Japan is that I discover little surprises tucked away into secret corners. That’s one reason I like riding my bike. It’s so easy to stop and explore!



Kansai Electric Power Company Scandal…..

It was learned last Friday (Sept, 27, 2019) that executives at the Kansai Electric Power Company have been receiving substantial gifts from a person outside the company.

Kansai is an area of Japan.

The map above is a map of Japan. The colors delineate the regions. Kansai is the light green part of the map. (For reference, Tokyo is in Kanto–the lightest blue area on the map. My home of Fukushima in Tohoku, the medium blue part.)

Kansai is the part of Japan where Osaka is. Osaka is a big city and consumes a lot of electricity. Kansai is also home to the smaller (but still quite large) city of Kyoto.

So according to news reports, twenty Kansai Electric Power Company (KANDEN) executives received “318.45 million yen worth of gifts” from a mayor of a town in Fukui Prefecture (a rural prefecture, it’s located in the darker green section of the map.) This town is the site of a nuclear power plant owned by KANDEN.

I plugged 318,000,000 million into an online converter from yen to U.S. dollars (using today’s exchange rate.) That’s almost three million U.S. dollars.

The following links are to online articles I found about this topic. (If you click on them, you’ll see the photos of three KANDEN executives who received the gifts. There are actually twenty KANDEN executives who received gifts, but the public does not know the identities of the other seventeen. Their names are–at this writing–being kept confidential.)








The Companies which provide electricity in Japan…

To tell the honest truth, most people on the internet (especially those people who aren’t Japanese or don’t live in Japan or haven’t studied the situation intensively) don’t know much about the meltdowns at Fukushima Dai-ichi Power Plant, and the situation surrounding them.

One basic thing I repeat is that Fukushima Dai-ichi Power Plant was owned by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO.) The plant supplied electricity to the Tokyo region. So why is the plant called Fukushima Dai-ichi? It’s name came about because it was located in Fukushima. Most likely, it was built here in Fukushima probably because Fukushima is a rural area, because we’re not a rich area and people need jobs here, because…. Well, lots of reasons.

You can probably think of your own reasons why a huge city would put it nuclear power plants far, far away from the huge city itself.

We in Fukushima get our electricity from Tohoku Electric Power Company (confusingly, it also has the acryonym TEPCO.) Tohoku is the name of this northern region in live in. It’s “off-the-beaten-track” for tourists from the United States, definitely. I rarely see other westerners.


I think the first thing to know is the names of all the regional electric power companies in Japan.

According to the Wiki article https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/日本の電力会社 these are the regional electric power companies in Japan:

My translation:

Hokkaido Electric Power Company

Tohoku Electric Power Company

Tokyo Electric Power Company

Hokuriku Electric Power Company

Chubu Electric Power Company

Kansai Electric Power Company

Chogoku Electric Power Company

Shikoku Electric Power Company

Kyushyu Electric Power Company

Okinawa Electric Power Company


The geography of these companies is from north to south.



Abukuma Kyuko Line’s “Masamune” wrapping train!

After I finished visiting the park and the Kameoka House in Date City, I headed back to the Abukuma Kyuko train station. It’s not much of a station, just a platform next to the track. There’s not even a staff person manning it.

I was surprised when a special train pulled up to take me back to Fukushima City. I’d seen this train before, but never ridden in it.

It’s decorated with images from the train line, and also from a comic called “Masamune Kun’s Revenge.”

That’s me in the photo above, so excited to be riding in this “wrapped” train.

(Meaning of “wrapped”: A wrapped train, car, plane, truck, etc has decorations on it.)

Even on the ceilings!

This train only has two cars. One staff person is inside–the driver of the train. He also takes tickets and so forth.

Me and Fukushima City……..

At the Fukushima City station, departing the train.



Wow, that was fun!

I may look like a tourist, but that’s my alter ego. And my altar ego is a priest. And my alter nator is Generator of Words. That’s right. I’m a paperback rider.

(image of origami crane from irasutoya website—free images if credit is given)