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Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健)

2021.07.12[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健)

【World Emoji Day】

Did you know that July 17th is World Emoji Day? If you did, you've got one on me, I had no idea. It was established by Jeremy Burge in 2014. He is the founder of the Emojipedia website. Apparently this date was decided because the emoji pictograms of calendars on smart phones typically show July 17th. I actually checked.

Emoji actually were born in Japan. NTT Docomo installed them in their i-mode mobile phone service. At that time, some people complained, saying that these pictographs weren't actually proper words or characters, they were just illustrations. However, they soon gained popularity, especially among young people and their usage spread.

It was finally in 2010 that emoji were added to the Universal Coded Character Set or Unicode and from there, the emoji that were originally only used on mobile phones spread to computers and smartphones and now the word Emoji is known and used all over the world.  Which emoji do you use the most? Looking at my phone, it looks like the laughing face with the tears is my most used.


【Watch out for Heatstroke】

Now, I have some information from Fukuoka City. The first is about heatstroke, something that we all need to be careful of as we go through summer. Often when it is hot and we're doing hard exercise or work, our bodies can't regulate its temperature and our water and body salts balance go off and we end up with heatstroke. And some of the symptoms of heatstroke include dizziness, a headache, lightheadedness and a feeling of nausea. If you don't feel better after cooling down and taking in fluids and salt, please call 119 for an ambulance.

It's especially in July, as temperatures reach maximum highs, that the number of emergency heatstroke patients increases rapidly. So in this hot and humid season, take care, as your body has difficulty acclimating. And though many of us have been spending more time indoors to prevent the spread of Covid-19, do not let your guard down as heatstroke can occur indoors as easily as outdoors. In addition, wearing a mask in the summer increases the risk of heatstroke and so you must take caution.

So, here are some pointers to help prevent heatstroke. First, make sure you keep yourself hydrated. For everyday hydration, water or mugi cha tea is fine. If you are doing sports or hard work then you might want to have a sports drink. If you are sweating, make sure you are replacing the fluids and salt that your body is losing.

Also, wear a hat or carry a parasol when you are out to help block the sun. And try to use your fan or air conditioner as efficiently as possible so that the room temperature does not go above 28 degrees.

 There are lots of cooling pads and ice pillows out on the market these days, picking up one of those might help keep you cool. And finally, make sure you eat a balanced diet everyday and get plenty of sleep to keep yourself feeling good.


【Preventing the spread of Covid-19】

As always, we ask that you practice basic infection prevention measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Wear a mask, wash your hands, gargle and practice the 3 C's. This means that you should avoid closed spaces, crowded places and close conversations.

2021.07.05[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健)


So, this week, our first topic is cucumbers. Ah, the humble cucumber, available at any time of the year for our dining pleasure. Did you know that it is actually more than 95% water? And, it's full of potassium which is supposed to have a diuretic effect and is good for helping hangovers as well as reduce swelling in the limbs. Basically, it's a great summer food, if you think about it! In Fukuoka Prefecture, cucumbers are pretty intensively cultivated and shipped out all year round. Actually, Hakata Port has been a trading port with the continent for a long time and so it seems that cultivation in Japan started quite early on.

When storing cucumbers at home, rinse them off and keep them in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer to keep them from drying out. Apparently, storing them at 10-15 degrees is optimum. If they get too cold, they go bitter and lose their vitamin C.

And here's a little Fukuoka trivia for you, if you didn't know. During the Hakata Gion Yamakasa, THE event in Fukuoka City, from the first of July to the 15th of July, participants are not allowed to eat cucumbers. This is because when a cucumber is sliced into rounds, it looks like the mark of the god of Yamakasa. What's your favorite cucumber recipe? I quite like them just with a bit of salt and pepper but they're good with wakame and sumiso as well!


【Covid-19 Vaccination Information】

Now, I have some important information from Fukuoka City and this is about the Covid-19 vaccination notice you should be receiving by post soon. It'll come in an envelope from Fukuoka City, so make sure you open them and check what's inside. In addition to the two inoculation tickets and preliminary exam tickets, you'll also find a booklet giving instructions in regards to the vaccine and information on the vaccine. You'll also find a leaflet informing you of when you can go for your vaccination.

Vaccinations are available to anyone over the age of 16. You will receive two doses, 3 weeks apart. Vaccinations will be administered either at a clinic in your area or at mass vaccination center. The number of places to get vaccinated are likely to increase.


The day when you can begin to receive your vaccinations will vary depending on if you have an underlying illness or not, and your age. Please make sure you take a look at the notice that tells you when you can go for your vaccinations. It will be in that envelope you receive. And definitely, make a reservation before you go in, once the date comes on which you can begin to get vaccinations. If you can, try to make reservations for both your first and second vaccination doses on the special reservation website. If making a reservation online is too difficult, please call for consultation. And in order to make a reservation, you must have the number that is printed on your inoculation ticket.


On the day of your vaccination, make sure you have 1 vaccination ticket and your preliminary exam ticket with you, as well as some kind of ID. The vaccination ticket is a sticker, so bring it as it is, on the sheet that it is attached to. DO NOT remove it from the sheet. You will use one ticket each for your preliminary exam and vaccination. Make sure you read the instruction manual before your appointment and fill in all necessary information in advance.

You will be given the vaccine in an area around your shoulder, so make sure you are wearing clothes that allow you to expose your shoulder area easily. Make sure you come wearing a mask.

The prepared number of vaccines must be used on the day, so unless you are feeling ill, please do not suddenly cancel your appointment.

For information on places that are doing inoculations and for the most up to date information from Fukuoka City, check the Fukuoka City homepage.


If there is anything that you don't understand or if you can't make a reservation on the website, please call for consultation. The phone number for that is 092-260-8405. Again, that number is 092-260-8405. Calls will be taken between 8:30 am and 5:30pm every day. 7 languages are available at that number, including English, Chinese and Korean.


It will not cost anything to you to get vaccinated. You will not receive a bill for the vaccination. In addition, you will not get phone calls or emails asking for personal information. Please be careful, there have been suspicious phone calls and emails recently.

2021.06.21[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健) , Children & Childcare(子ども・子育て) , Community(コミュニティ)


The flower of the rainy season is the hydrangea. I'm sure you've seen these beautiful flowers already around the city. They are of course beautiful on clear days but somehow under the rain they are even more gorgeous. Gaku hydrangea are a type that originated in Japan, were imported to the West where they underwent breeding techniques and were reimported back to Japan as Western Hydrangea. Recently, both Western Hydrangea and Gaku Hydrangea come in a wide variety of shapes and colors.

Growing hydrangea is actually fairly easy but there is a little trick in pruning to make sure the flowers bloom the next year. And once they're planted, it is a long-lived plant that you can enjoy for many years. The flowers also increase year by year so as time passes you'll have more and more bountiful blooms. Here in Fukuoka City, you can easily see hydrangea in places like Uminonakamichi Seaside Park, Hakozaki Shrine, Maizuru Park and the Fukuoka City Botanical Garden. I saw a bunch over by the castle ruins, quite a few people were out taking pictures of and with them. So get out there and enjoy this Hydrangea season!

【Introducing the Tutor Program】

Now I have some information from Fukuoka City about the Tutor Program. This will be useful for those of you who are struggling with letters from school and other places because you can't understand what is written in Japanese. The “Tutor Program” is a one on one service that will match you with a tutor that you can contact online. The tutors are registered with the Fukuoka City International Foundation. You'll be able to ask this tutor to give you simple translations of letters from school or other documents from places like the ward office. You can also ask them for advice on daily living.

If you are a foreign resident of Fukuoka City and think you will be able to communicate with a tutor online, then you are eligible for the program. The program will usually cost 500 yen per month but until November of this year, it is free! To learn more about the program, please visit the Fukuoka City International Foundation's website or call the Foundation. The number to call is 092-262-1799. Again that number is 092-262-1799. Phone calls will be accepted from 8:45am to 6pm on weekdays. Definitely check it out!


【Personal counseling】

Next up is an announcement about free legal consultation and personal counseling for foreigners who live in Fukuoka. .

Legal consultations are available from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM on the first Saturday of every month, and from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM on the third Wednesday of the month. Each session runs for 45 minutes and the service is completely free. Free English interpretation services are also available so if you will need an interpreter, please mention that when you make your reservation. Personal counseling services are available every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday with a Japanese clinical psychologist in English or Japanese. If you choose to use these services, please know that confidentiality is guaranteed.

For reservations or more information, please call 092-262-1799. Again that number is 092-262-1799. Calls will be accepted between 8:45 am and 6pm on weekdays.

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2021.05.31[Mon] 09:00

Japanese(日本語) , Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健)

【June Bride】

Well, we are just a day away from June and you know what that means? In Fukuoka, it typically  means rainy season, but I'll get to that in a minute. June is the season for weddings, it's said from long ago in Europe, if you are married in June, you'll be a happy bride. There are many reasons for that, but it seems the strongest reason behind the idea of the June Bride comes from ancient Greek myths. Zeus's wife Hera, who is also known as Juno in Roman myths, from which the name June comes, is the goddess of women, marriage, childbirth, family and so on and so getting married in June is fortuitous.

Getting married in June also makes sense if you look at it from an agricultural point of view. In Europe, March to May is a busy time for farmers so weddings were supposedly prohibited meaning everyone who wanted to get married would do so after that time, in June.

The idea of the June bride spread in Japan from about 50 years ago. It seems it started because the hotel industry had a lot more free time during the rainy season and in order to increase the number of weddings at the hotels in June, they ran campaigns to push the June bride idea.

In the US, the June bride idea is a popular one and probably came from Europe. And in the US, a popular tradition when getting married goes with this little rhyme which comes from England. “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” and the forgotten line “A sixpence in your shoe.” Supposedly by having all of these somethings, the marriage will be happy and blessed.


【Kind and Easy Japanese Radio Lessons】

Now, I have some information from Fukuoka City about a new way to study Japanese. Beginning in June,“Kind and Easy Japanese Radio Lessons” are set to broadcast! This program will use “Easy Japanese” spoken slowly, for international residents who still don't really understand Japanese.

Foreign residents will able to get the information they need to know for life in Japan.

The program will be broadcast on the radio every Friday from 11:54am and the first broadcast is this Friday, June 4th. Even if you don't understand all of it or if you miss the broadcast, don't worry! The script from the program will be available on Love FM's website. And you 'll be able to listen to the program's podcast as many times as you'd like. So, be sure to listen!


【HIV Testing Week】

Some more important information to share with you here. June 1st to the 7th is HIV testing week. Just last year, medical institutions in Fukuoka City reported  26 new HIV infections and 9 AIDS patients.

To prevent the spread of HIV, the early it is discovered, the faster it can be treated.  

Even if someone is infected with HIV, few symptoms appear, which is why testing is necessary to know if someone is actually infected.

Free, anonymous HIV screenings will be held at the health and welfare centers of each ward. Screenings are on a specified day, so please visit the homepage of your local health and welfare center before you go.

If an HIV diagnosis is made in the early stages, with proper health management and treatment, the onset of AIDS can be delayed. So if you think you may be at risk, please get checked as soon as possible.

2021.04.05[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健) , Children & Childcare(子ども・子育て) , Housing(住宅)

【New Beginnings & DJ Introductions】

It's April now and I wonder if you know the wamei, or Japanese name for the month. Although we might think it's shi-gatsu, actually, it has another name and that's Uzuki with the kanji for rabbit in it. I guess rabbits kind of signal spring, at least if you think of Easter, which I talked about last week. Anyway, April is when school and company entrance ceremonies take place and it's also the time of the year when we think about new beginnings in our life. So, speaking of new starts in this season, let me begin with introducing myself again! My name is Colleen Mathieu and I have worked with LOVE FM for over 10 years now. My regular program is on Saturday mornings from 8am to 10 am and it's called Earth Feeling. It's a really chilled out morning program with pretty relaxing music to help you get the weekend started. Tune in when you have the chance! I've lived in Fukuoka for 16 years now, it's become my second hometown after Detroit, Michigan in the USA where I'm originally from. Some of my favorite things about Fukuoka is the Hakata dish, goma saba which is raw mackeral in a sesame sauce, taking walks around Ohori Park, and just how convenient the city is to get around, especially on a bicycle. Two things that surprised me when I came to Fukuoka was first, how cold the houses are in the winter. I'm from Michigan but maybe because we have central heating you never feel so cold inside! The second was how empty many of the beaches were in May and June, even on hot days. In Michigan, if the temperature was high enough, even if the water in the lakes was freezing cold, you'd see people at the beach! Maybe it's just Michiganders? What do my fellow English speakers do on those days?

Well, that's just a little bit about me and I want to say thank for listening over the last year and I hope you'll continue to tune in every week for this short program!

As we all enter this new season and possibly new environments, I'm sure there are some who haven't quite got the hang of things and might feel stressed or nervous, so make sure you get plenty of rest and relaxation on your days off. This month will be a full month, but make it fun and enriching. After all, even with all the work we might need to do, we've got Golden Week at the end of it to look forward to!


【Fukuoka City Consultation Support Center for Foreign Residents】

Next, I have some information from Fukuoka City. If there's anything that you are worried about or if you want some advice on, the Fukuoka City Consultation Support Center for Foreign Residents is here to support you. This support center can give information on, as well as introduce the appropriate contacts, for things related to general life here such as residency procedures, employment, medical care, welfare, childbirth, child-rearing and child education. The phone number for the center is 092-262-1799. Again, that number is 092-262-1799. The center is open from 8:45am to 6pm on weekdays but is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays and for the New Year's holiday period. If you  call, help is available in 19 different languages. So as you start your new life here, if you have any worries or something you don't understand, don't hesitate to call.


【Preventing the spread of Covid-19】

We've still got to be careful , so once again, we are asking everyone to continue practicing basic infection prevention measures to fight against the spread of Covid-19. Wear a mask, wash your hands, gargle and avoid the 3 Cs. That means you should avoid closed rooms with poor ventilation, try not to be in crowded places and avoid close contact conversations. 

2021.02.15[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健)

【Valentine's Day】

So, as you know, Valentine's day falls on the 14th of February every year. But do you know some of the stories behind it? Apparently, in 3rd Century Rome, soldiers were banned from getting married. However, a priest, named Valentine, was secretly holding marriage ceremonies for them. Unfortunately, he was caught, charged and executed. And from this, it's said that Valentine's Day became a day to confess your love to the object of your affection. In Japan, on this day, it's become a bit of a custom to give out chocolates as in other countries around the world. However in Japan, the custom has it's unique points like the concept of Giri-Choko or “obligation chocolates” which are typically given to non-romantic relations like bosses or coworkers. Then there are Tomo-Choko or “friend chocolates” which might be exchanged among friends and the recently popular concept of Gohobi-Choko or “reward chocolates”, meaning you buy yourself some top-notch luxury chocolate to treat yourself! Cookies and macarons have become popular gifts as well in recent years. I hope you had a chance to treat yourself yesterday! If not, hit the shops today, you might get lucky and find a gorgeous box on discount. I won't lie, discounts after various holidays is my favorite time to stock up on things. I remember when I was in the US, picking up Valentine's cards for half price so that I'd be ready for the next year. It was pretty common to exchange little cards and candies at school, in fact, in elementary school, we often decorated paper lunch bags for Valentine's and taped them to our desks like little postboxes. Then during lunch, students would go around putting those cards and candies into the bags. It was always exciting to read everyone's messages and count how many candies I got.


【Fukuoka City Medical Interpreting Call Center】

Alright, well now I've got some information from Fukuoka City about help you can get if you need to see a doctor. In order to make it easier for international residents to visit the doctor, Fukuoka City has set up the Fukuoka City Medical Interpreting Call Center. The Call Center provides real time interpretation for when you are speaking to a doctor at the hospital or when you are picking up a prescription at a pharmacy. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The phone number for the Call Center is 092-733-5429. Again, that number is 092-733-5429. 18 different languages are available and while the service is free, telephone call charges may apply.


【Preventing the spread of Covid-19】

And once again we are asking everyone to continue to practice basic infection prevention measures to fight against the spread of Covid-19. Wear a mask, wash your hands, gargle and avoid the 3 Cs. That means you should avoid closed rooms with poor ventilation, try not to be in crowded places and avoid close contact conversations.

2021.01.25[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健)

【Chinese Steamed Buns】

So, today our first topic is about Chinese Steamed Buns, yummy treats that you can easily snack on in this cold season. You often see them all toasty and warm lined up in cases at convenience stores. Have you every had one? I've had more than I can count....can't resist them!

Although they are originally from China, they were brought to Japan and people loved them. Some typical ones that are pretty popular are 'Niku-man', which are pork buns, 'An-man' which have sweet red bean paste stuffed inside, and 'Pizza-man' and 'Curry-man”which are pretty self explanatory. There are quite a few that you can buy frozen and cook up at home as well. Actually, if you've got some hotcake or pancake mix at home, you can make the bun part pretty easily yourself so why not try making some filled with some original flavors of your home country? I guess for me, I could try some kimchi or bulgogi in one and ummm...hamburgers in another? I might stick with the ones the professionals make!


【Tuberculosis prevention】

Now we have some important information from Fukuoka City. In 2019, 205 people in Fukuoka City were diagnosed with tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is a disease that causes inflammation of the lungs mainly by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is an infection disease that is transmitted person to person.

Symptomos of tuberculosis include coughing, phlegm, fever, bloody phlegm, chest  pain, lethargy, night sweats and/or weight loss. In the beginning, it does resemble the common cold. 

If you've noticed that you've had a cough for over two weeks, have had a lot of phlegm, you've felt lethargic or you've suddenly lost weight, please see a medical professional for an exam as soon as possible.

Even if you are infected, tuberculosis does not always develop, however if your body cannot fight the tubercle bacillus, over time, an infection may develop.

If you are diagnosed with tuberculosis, you can fight it off by taking the proper medicine every day according to your doctor's orders.

And, to prevent the spread or start of infections, make sure you get plenty of sleep, eat a good, balanced diet and get enough exercise. Making an effort every day to live healthily is the most effective prevention.

In Fukuoka City, there is a medical interpretation service available if you do need to find a hospital or need some advice. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The phone number for that service is 092-733-5429. Again, that number is 092-733-5429. Interpretation is available in 18 different languages.


【Preventing the spread of Covid-19】

And finally, a reminder that although measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 are being taken, more and more people are getting out and about. So, wear a mask, wash your hands and gargle and also practice the 3 C's. And so you don't forget, the 3 C's mean you should avoid closed rooms, try not to be in crowded places and avoid close contact conversations. It's up to each of us to help prevent the spread!

2021.01.11[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健)

【Coming of Age Day】

So, today, the 2nd Monday of January, is Seijin no Hi, or Coming of Age Day in Japan.

The purpose of the day is to celebrate and encourage those young people who have officially become, and are aware that they are, adults and are making their way through life on their own two feet.

Men and women who have turned 20 years old are invited to a Coming of Age ceremony, held by their municipality for these young adults. However, this year, due to the influence of Covid-19, some local governments may cancel ceremonies this year or break it up into several sessions.

At the ceremony, men typically wear suits and women will often wear kimono, however there are those who come in character costumes or really flamboyant get-ups as a group.

And it seems that recently, for kids who turn 10, more and more elementary schools have been holding a kind of half coming-of-age ceremony or Nibun no ichi seijinshiki. I guess it's nice to have milestones in life to celebrate. 

In the US, 16 is usually a big year to celebrate as it's when we can officially drive, assuming we've passed our driver's license test. 18 is another milestone year, we are officially adults and can vote, get married and join the army. Strange that we can't drink until we are 21 though, isn't it! 21 is usually a big party kind of birthday as it's the official drinking age. I guess it's sometime between 18 and 21 that we become adults, but even as a “adult” in age, I sometimes feel like I still haven't grown up at all. Maybe next year. Anyway, a big congratulations to all of those who are celebrating today! I wish you all the best as you begin “adulting”!


【Be careful of the Norovirus】

Now, I have some information for you from Fukuoka City. Now that we are in the winter season, it is really easy to get infectious gastroenteritis and food poisoning due to the Norovirus.

The virus is really strong and can be transmitted even in small amounts.

This virus can enter your body via your hands or through food and if it does, causes terrible symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and a fever.

You can get sick just by inhaling the virus as it's been spread through the air due to an infected person vomiting or having diarrhea. And if an infected person cooks food, the virus can easily spread to those who eat that food. If you think it sounds terrible, well, you're right. It is.

Also, be careful when eating shellfish like oysters, because if they aren't thoroughly cooked to the right temperature, you can get the virus from them.

Severe vomiting and diarrhea can cause dehydration so if you do get sick, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

People generally recover after 2 to 3 days but even if you no longer have symptoms, the virus can still be detected in your stools from a week to a month later. 

So, to prevent the spread of this virus, please take the following precautions. First, before you cook or eat and after you use the toilet, make sure you use soap to wash your hands.   

Wash your cooking utensils thoroughly with boiling water or chlorine bleach.  Alcohol sprays aren't very effective against the Norovirus. However, the virus will die if exposed to temperatures from 85 to 90 degrees for over 90 seconds.  So make sure you cook your ingredients all the way through, really scrub any veggies and fruits that you eat raw and avoid cooking when you don't feel well.


【Prevention of the spread of Covid-19】

I've got one more thing for you today and that is to ask you to take care to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Recently, because measures to prevent the spread are being taken, more and more people are getting out. So, wear a mask, wash your hands and gargle and also practice the 3 C's. That means you should avoid closed rooms with poor ventilation try not to be in crowded places and avoid close contact conversations. It's up to each of us to help prevent the spread!

2020.12.14[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健) , Children & Childcare(子ども・子育て) , Housing(住宅) , Events & Entertainment(イベント・娯楽)

【Toji-The Winter Solstice】

Well, today, I've got another little bit of Japanese culture that I think may occur in many other countries around the world. In Japan, it's called Toji and it's on December 21st. Toji is one of Niju-shisekki, the 24 divisions of the solar year from the old calendar. And this is when we have the shortest day and longest night of the year. In Japan, on Toji,  people traditionally take yuzu baths, basically they have yuzu floating in their bath, making it quite fragrant, and eat pumpkin.

The yuzu bath is said to help blood flow which warms up the body and also helps to prevent colds. The pumpkin is supposed to strengthen the skin and mucous membranes which should provide resistance to infectious diseases. It has also long been said that if you eat pumpkins during the winter solstice, you won't catch a cold. I can't say that I've heard of eating anything special on the winter solstice, but I do know that many people say a hearty, hot bowl of chicken soup is what you need for the winter to keep yourself healthy! That, and ginger and lots of vitamin C to keep the colds away. Fortunately, It's mikan season in Japan so getting that vitamin C is no problem! With Covid-19 and influenza prevalent this season, make sure you eat lots of nutritious foods and take care of yourself as you make your way to the end of this year and into the next!


【Foundation Consultation Desk】

Next, I have some information from Fukuoka City about the Fukuoka City Consultation Support Center for Foreign Residents. This support center can give information on, as well as introduce the appropriate contacts, for things related to general life here such as residency procedures, employment, medical care, welfare, childbirth, child-rearing and child education. The phone number for the center is 092-262-1799. Again, that number is 092-262-1799. The center is open from 8:45am to 6pm on weekdays but is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays and for the New Year's holiday period. If you  call, help is available in 19 different languages.


【The Christmas Market】

I'm sure you've started to feel a bit of the holidays around you as illuminations go up around the city and every year, from November to December until Christmas Day, the Fukuoka Christmas Market is held in both Hakata and Tenjin and has become a bit of a winter tradition in Fukuoka City.

It's actually the largest Christmas Market in Japan and there are a number of shops all lined up around the square. It's an event where you can enjoy warm drinks like mulled wine and hot chocolate and delicious foods all while taking in the Christmas illuminations and decorations all around you.

This year, the festival is being held in 4 locations around the city-at the plaza in front of Hakata Station, at the Fureai Hiroba in front of Fukuoka City Hall, as well as at the El Gala Passage and IMS Square. Whether with family, friends, or a sweetheart, it's a wonderful chance to make some fun winter memories.


【Prevention of the spread of Covid-19】

Of course, if you do go, it's important to keep in mind that we still need to take care this winter to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Although measures to prevent the spread are being taken, more and more people are getting out and with seasonal events like Christmas, New Year's Eve and the New Year holiday, there will be, no doubt, a number of opportunities for people to get together. So, wear a mask, wash your hands and gargle and also practice the 3 C's. And so you don't forget, the 3 C's mean you should avoid closed rooms, try not to be in crowded places and avoid close contact conversations. It's up to each of us to help prevent the spread!

2020.11.23[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健) , Housing(住宅)

【Labor Thanksgiving Day】

Well, we've only got about a month or so left til the end of this year.  And today is the last of the national holidays in the year. Today, November 23rd is Labor Thanksgiving Day, a holiday that was created in 1948 to commemorate labor and production and give one another thanks.

Today is also the Niiname-sai or Harvest Festival whose roots stem from when newly harvested rice was offered up to the deities of Japan to say thank you for the year's harvest and to pray for a good harvest the next year. So today, November 23rd, you should give thanks for the food that is on your table every day and all of us should show appreciation to each other for all the hard work we do day in and day out. If you think of it, Labor Thanksgiving Day is a really nice holiday, isn't it! I've got to say thank you to all the teachers I worked with when I first came here. I started off at an English conversation school and then started working in junior high schools around Fukuoka. The teachers there work so hard, every day with the students and I don't think they get enough appreciation at all! Make sure you say thank you to your teacher or to your child's teacher. I'm sure it'll brighten up their day to have their work appreciated.

Take time to appreciate yourself and those immediately around you, as well though. I guess some people might stay at home and relax, or maybe a trip to the onsen to soak the weariness away? Perhaps mom and dad might get a little thank you present from the kids. How do you think you might spend today?


【World Aids Day December 1st】

December 1st  is World Aids Day.  This day was established by the World Health Organization in 1988 with the purpose of preventing the spread of AIDS as well as eliminating the prejudice and discrimination faced by those living with and affected by the disease. Every year around the 1st of December, around the world, various events and activities, to deepen awareness and understanding of AIDS, take place.

At the health and welfare centers of each ward, HIV screening is offered. This screening is free of charge and anonymous. Early detection of HIV infection and proper treatment and management can delay the onset of AIDS. So, if you think you may be at risk, get checked as soon as possible. Screening is only on certain days so make sure you check which days before you go.

And, I don't know if you know this but the red ribbon is a symbol that shows awareness and solidarity with those affected by AIDS. The red ribbon announces to others that you have no prejudice against people affected by AIDS and gives that message that we will not discriminate against those living with AIDS. So for World AIDS Day, let's all take the time to learn the correct information about AIDS and how to prevent it.


【Beware of Fires】

As we move from autumn to winter, the air is very dry and fires happen a lot more often.  In Fukuoka City alone, last year there were 307 fire incidents. The main causes of these fires were cigarettes, gas canister stoves, and kerosene heaters. Some incidents involved drying laundry or curtains brushing against the heaters and catching fire. Others involved blankets and futons being too close to the heaters and catching fire while people were sleeping! It shouldn't have to be said, but putting anything that could burn easily should not be next to a heater. It's dangerous!

Also, make sure that you remember to switch these things off.

Gas canister fires are a big one to really be careful about as well. As it gets colder, more people pull out their gas canister stoves to make hot pots and stews. If you are using one, make sure you aren't far away from it while it is on.

I mentioned cigarettes being the cause of some of these fires. So make sure that you never fall asleep while smoking, don't collect a bunch of cigarette butts together and make sure you fully put our your cigarette when you are done with it.

Make sure that the fire alarms and fire extinguishers in your home are up to date, this is something you should do regularly. With that and being careful about how you use fire in your life, we can all work to prevent fires on a daily basis.


  • Colleen
  • Colleen
  • 誕生日:11月11日
    出身地:USA Detroit, MI
    興味のある事:I'm studying patisserie and languages