Saturday, 10 October 2020

Cherry Blossom Time!

 The cherry blossom trees are at their peak at the moment but unfortunately, our 2020 Hanami Party has been cancelled due to the coronavirus restrictions. You will just have to make do with these photos taken this afternoon:







Some other images from the garden:









Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Early spring in our Japanese Garden

It would appear that my winter fertilizing and dead-heading has paid dividends. The flowers are blooming marvellous and the first signs of the cherry blossom are emerging!

 

Azalea

Rhododendron

Cherry blossom

Rhododendron

Azalea

Azalea

If anyone is able to identify the specific varieties then I would appreciate hearing from you!

Sunday, 6 September 2020

Frankston Susono Friendship Association

Bulletin No. 19

          September 2020

 

Dear Members and Friends of FSFA,

Welcome to our old friends and new found friends to the FSFA monthly bulletin. It is a snapshot of our happenings and interesting things about Japan.

Don’t forget you are most welcome to attend our monthly FSFA Executive Committee meetings. They are held at 6.30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month. Location is the Acacia Room in the Frankston Council Offices. Enter off Young Street.  Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, our meetings are being held online for the foreseeable future!

 

FSFA AGM and September Executive Committee Meeting

Our AGM and September Executive Committee Meetings were held on Tuesday 1st via Zoom video conferencing. The committee discussed a range of important issues, many of which were related to coping with the current coronavirus restrictions. The following items were discussed:

1.  Our 2020-21 Executive Committee members are Julie D’Arcy (Chairperson), Simon Hast (Vice-Chairperson), Bev Hannan (Treasurer; Secretary & Public Officer), Anita Cross, David Cross, Therese Sakamoto, Adrian Thomas, Sam Warrington, Vic Webster & Helen Wilson.


A copy of the AGM Minutes is available HERE.


Chairperson Julie D’Arcy’s Annual Report is available HERE.


Vice-Chairperson Simon Hast’s Video Presentation is available HERE.


2.    FSFA’s main promotional vehicles are this monthly bulletin and our social media presence on Facebook and via the FSFA website. We invite you our readers to contribute articles of interest – especially if they involve travel to Japan, delegation visits or perhaps even hosting Japanese visitors. Please consider contributing items which can be sent by clicking HERE.


3.   No formal communication has been received from SOFA during the past month, so Julie will make contact to check how everything is going in Susono.

 

4.    Our committee again delayed making a decision on a date for our 2022 Japanese Festival.

 

5.  A Japanese Garden working bee has been scheduled for Sunday 11 October to plant Mondo grass and add mulch to the garden prior to our planned Hanami Party the next Sunday.

 

6.  Short-term exchange student William D’Arcy proposed the idea of including a Japanese recipes segment in the monthly bulletin, with pictures and perhaps a brief history of the dish.

 

7.   General Business – Thanks David for Zoom meetings; Sam reported on new local schools; Bev mentioned The Age Sister Cities article; Simon flagged Japanese PM’s resignation.


A friendship spanning 20 years – by Adele Jones (née Hobson)

I first met Haruka Seki in 2000 when she came to Australia with her school and stayed with us for a week’s home-stay. I was in Year 8 and I remember going down to Phillip Island with the rest of the Frankston High host students and our new friends. When I went with Frankston City Council as a Year 11 Ambassador for Frankston in 2003, we visited Susono but I did not have time to visit Haruka in Tokyo. Two years later, she came back to Australia and stayed with us a few nights, meeting my boyfriend and reminiscing old-times with my family.


Adele and Haruka in 2000

The following year, I continued my university studies in Kanazawa, Japan for three months then embarked on a two-week solo holiday visiting my Japanese friends. I met up with Haruka and finally got to meet her parents, who warmly welcomed me into their home. They cooked Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki and tried out their English on me! 

Over the next 10 years, we had not communicated much but when my family and I decided to go for a three-week holiday to Japan last August, I was able to contact Haruka and arrange to meet up and stay with her. Since meeting 20 years ago, we have both got married and had children. Our children could not speak one another’s language, but they played together as only children know how. She was so excited to re-meet my then boyfriend who is now my husband. Haruka’s parents came over one afternoon and it was just like it was, some 14 years earlier!


Haruka and Adele - August 2019

Such a long time between seeing one another, but what a lovely friendship we have across continents.


Susono YouTube Video –

I was recently sent a link to a 2013 All-Japan Gyōza Festival YouTube video which was held in the Fuji-san/Susono region. The video can be viewed HERE.

 

Japandemonium –

Are you a fan of Japanese game shows? Do images of The Simpsons “30 Minutes Over Tokyo” iconic episode spring to mind? To view the best of brilliantly bonkers Japanese TV with clips of the maddest and funniest moments ever broadcast click HERE.



懇親会
: Sake Social Online Konshinkai –

Date: Thursday 10 September 2020

Time: 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Where: Please visit HERE to register.

This is a free online event open to anyone who wants to learn more about sake. The two featured sake for the evening are from Fukushima Brewery Niida Honke. We look forward to sharing a great sake social night!


Sumo’s September Tournament in Tokyo

The Japanese Sumo Association will again hold its September Basho in Tokyo, the usual venue for each year’s fifth tournament. The Association will allow 2,500 spectators into Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan who will again be socially distanced, wearing facemasks and only permitted to applaud the wrestlers – no cheering or shouting permitted! The tournament will commence on Sunday 13th and conclude on Sunday 27th.

Yokozuna Hakuho and Kakuryu are again the highest ranked rikishi followed by Ozeki Asanoyama and Takakeisho. Former ozeki Terunofuji, who won the July tournament from the lowly maegashira #17 ranking, has been promoted to maegashira #1. This position in the banzuke (rankings) is considered to be one of the toughest as 10 of your 15 opponents during the tournament will be ranked higher which makes a make-koshi (more losses than wins) a real possibility with demotion to follow.

However, I’m prepared to stick my neck out and boldly select Terunofuji to stay healthy and win consecutive tournaments to confirm what has been a remarkable comeback from ill health and injury. NHK World TV broadcasts live each of the three Sundays and airs a daily highlights package.


FSFAves – favourite Japanese recipes

A great idea suggested by short-term exchange student William D’Arcy, who’s first cab off the rank:

Truly my favourite dish to come out of Japan is the fabled Katsudon! An amazing combination of the crunch of tonkatsu (the Japanese equivalent of a chicken schnitzel) and a delicious sweet eggy soy sauce mixture all up on a bed of rice. What's not to love!

It wasn't ‘til I went to Japan on exchange that I truly came to terms with my love for this dish. Even now back home, it’s often my go-to dish and I'm always on the prowl for it when out and about for a meal. And it’s super easy to make!

You'll need katsu (panko-crumbed deep-fried meat) of any kind – the norm is either chicken or pork, but go wild! I know from first hand experience that this is a go-to meal for mothers in Japan, with leftover katsu, a few eggs and the ever-present rice you've got a meal in 10 minutes flat!

So, without further ado here's the recipe I follow:


Ingredients

1/4 cup dashi stock*

1/4 onion

1 1/2 cups cooked rice

1/2 tbsp mirin

1/2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 egg

1 piece of tonkatsu

1/2 tbsp spring onion

 

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice the onion and cut the tonkatsu into 1.5 cm wide slices.
  2. Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Pour dashi stock in a shallow frying pan and bring it to boil over medium heat.
  4. Add sliced onion and cook till the onion softens.
  5. Add mirin, sugar and soy sauce and cook it for a few minutes.
  6. Place the sliced tonkatsu in the saucepan and pour the eggs over the tonkatsu.
  7. Cook for a further couple of minutes until the eggs are half cooked and slightly runny.
  8. Serve rice in a large rice bowl.
  9. Slide the tonkatsu, egg and sauce out of the pan and directly over the bowl of rice.
  10. Top with chopped spring onions.

 

* Dashi stock can be hard to locate, but I found it with the miso soup in the supermarket.

 

Disclaimer: the first one you make is always a little bit of a science experiment gone wrong, but you'll get the hang of it. Itadakimasu!

William and Ryoto outside Fushimi Inari-Taisha in Kyoto

Ruka and William visiting Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto
   


Keeping in Contact

Our website http://www.frankston-susono.com/ and Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/frankstonsusono/ will help you stay connected to what FSFA is up to.

 

Upcoming Events

Event/Activity

Venue

Scheduled Date

FSFA Executive Committee Meetings

Frankston Council Chambers

First Tuesday each month @ 6.30 p.m.

Japanese Garden Working Bee

Japanese Garden Frankston High School

11th October 2020 @ 9.00 a.m.

2020 Japanese Garden Hanami Party

Japanese Garden Frankston High School

18th October 2020 – 12 to 3 p.m.

Australian Fair and Susono City’s 50th Anniversary

Susono, Shizuoka, Japan

Sunday 10th October 2021

 

Feedback

We welcome your thoughts on the bulletin and things we could include, etc. We all share a passion for Japan and its culture and traditions. This is one way we are using to share and spread the love.

Thank You and we look forward to keeping in touch!

 

Simon Hast

On behalf of the Frankston Susono Friendship Association