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.

: 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:


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



  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 and Facebook Page will help you stay connected to what FSFA is up to.


Upcoming Events



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



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

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Chairperson's Report 2019-20 - Julie D'Arcy


2019/2020 Chairperson’s Report

AGM September 1st, 2020

I commenced the role as Chairperson in October 2019, and it is with pleasure that I write my first Chairperson’s report.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the past year has been very challenging in many ways for all of us. These unprecedented times have caused many disruptions to the way we live and has impacted on the plans we have for the future. Even with COVID-19 restrictions, the FSFA Executive Committee continue to make plans to promote Japanese culture to the citizens of Frankston and maintain our relationship with the Susono Overseas Friendship Association (SOFA) to ensure it remains as strong as it has always been.

The current FSFA Executive Committee members are Simon Hast (Vice Chairperson), Bev Hannan (Treasurer), Vic Webster, Therese Sakamoto, Sam Warrington, David Cross, Helen Wilson, Adrian Thomas. Ralph and Robyn Halnon have also attended our meetings during the past year. 

In the past year Peter and Margaret Patterson, Bob and Heather Tanner and Chris Hodgson have all decided it’s time to step away from the FSFA Executive Committee.

I would like to thank all committee members, both past and present, for the many contributions you have made to the organisation. Your passion for the organisation and on-going commitment is what makes FSFA such a success. The sister city relationship between Frankston and Susono has been going for over 38 years now, which is a testament to the many people who have been involved.

Our Treasurer Bev Hannan has been maintaining the FSFA accounts for 15 years now, and is the committee’s longest serving member with 33 years of continuous service! Many thanks to Bev for preparing the books and organising them to be audited again this year. It is a huge responsibility and you make it look easy, which we know it isn’t.

Last September we held another successful Japanese Speech Contest for both primary and secondary school students in the Frankston region. The speech contest proved to be very popular once again and was well attended, with over 70 students participating.  Many thanks to all the committee members and judges who gave up their time to assist in making this event so special for the students.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions this year’s speech contest will not be able to take place.

Sadly, other events have also needed to be cancelled or postponed in 2020. This includes the Japanese Festival which was scheduled to be held on November 29th. A delegation from Susono was to attend, but due to all international travel being disrupted, unfortunately our Japanese friends will not be able to visit us this year.

At this time of the year we are usually busy welcoming students and teachers from Susono who would be hosted by family and friends at Derinya Primary School. This exchange is a yearly event between schools in Susono and Derinya. The return visit of Derinya students to Susono led by Therese Sakamoto has also been cancelled. These delegations of students have been a shining example of the bond between the two cities. We can’t wait to see this program recommence!

Even though travel plans have been put on hold between the two sister cities, the Executive Committee continue to plan for the future. Thanks to David Cross (Executive Committee Member), the committee are still able to meet monthly, as scheduled. David organises the committee members to attend the meeting via ZOOM which has been both innovative and successful.

Simon Hast’s amazing work promoting our Association via social media (Facebook), the FSFA website and the publishing of our monthly bulletin is invaluable. Simon took over the task of publishing the bulletin from Bob Tanner earlier this year. Thanks to Bob for all of the contributions he made while on the Committee. Thanks is also due to Jess Hast for all her assistance with the FSFA website over the years, and to Simon for maintaining content on the site, including many photos, articles of interest, and our bulletins. Social media and the website have proven an important platform to staying connected with past and present members of our Association as well as sharing with the community all things Japanese!

Last November Simon Hast represented FSFA and presented at a Sister Cities Australia (SCA) Executive meeting. Simon demonstrated the use of virtual reality (VR) and how it was utilised to show the citizens of Susono what Frankston is like at the Australian Fair held in Susono in September 2018. The attendees of the SCA meeting were very impressed to see that so much effort had gone into this project for our sister city friends in Japan.

During December we held our Christmas break-up function in my home and celebrated a very successful year of events and achievements. We also presented Peter and Margaret Patterson with a number of gifts to acknowledge the many years of wonderful service they have given to our Association.

In February 2020, Therese Sakamoto and Simon Hast, along with Sandra Mayer (Mayor of Frankston), and Councillor Colin Hampton (Deputy Mayor of Frankston) attended a party at the Japanese Consul-General’s residence in Toorak to celebrate Emperor Naruhito’s 60th birthday. Therese and Simon had a wonderful experience representing FSFA.

Whilst only two committee members were able to attend the Emperor’s birthday celebration, all of the committee members, past and present were invited to attend our annual Hanami Party held in the Japanese garden at Frankston High School (FHS) in October 2019. The party was well attended by past and present committee members and Japanese friends who reside in the Frankston area.

FSFA has been very fortunate to have had a good relationship with FHS. Thanks to Helen Wilson (FHS Senior Campus Principal and Executive Committee Member) and John Albiston (FHS Principal) for supporting all of the events FSFA has held at FHS over the years. Holding functions at FHS allows for the opportunity for the attendees to appreciate our beautiful Japanese garden which the committee maintains under the watchful eye of Simon Hast. It’s with great pride that Simon continues to nurture the garden. Thanks to Adrian Thomas (Executive Committee member) and Ralph Halnon for your assistance in the garden, and Vic Webster, Bev and Helen for providing the refreshments at the working bees which are held throughout the year. Thank you, Simon, for ensuring the garden is so well maintained. It always looks immaculate at our functions and it is a credit to you. Recently, both entrance gates to the garden were replaced and we thank Helen Wilson, FHS Business Manager Carolyn Florance and maintenance staff Dale and Adam for their great work – the gates look fantastic!

We all came together once again in the Japanese garden on Sunday 23rd February earlier this year to celebrate the 38th anniversary of our sister city relationship. On the 22nd February 1982, our sister city relationship was formed with Susono, with ceremonies held in both cities to mark the occasion.

Our anniversary celebrations were well attended by past and present members of the Association and their families. Frankston Mayor, Sandra Mayer also attended and gave a speech thanking the Executive Committee (past and present) for all their hard work and dedication, and stated that this was the reason the bond remains so strong between the two cities after all these years.

At the anniversary party, Mayor Mayer assisted with awarding FSFA Life Memberships to Peter and Margaret Patterson and Bev Hannan. Bev was acknowledged for all of her efforts put towards the organisation. As previously mentioned, she is the longest serving member on the committee and has been to Susono numerous times.

Peter (recently retired FSFA Chairperson) was recognised for his inspiring leadership, innovation and significant contributions as the FSFA Chairperson over many years. Margaret was acknowledged for all of her hard work, support and contributions she has given to the Association. Collectively, Peter and Margaret have been involved with the association for over 40 years. Congratulations to you all as very worthy recipients!

Frankston City Council continues to support the Executive Committee in promoting and bringing cultural experiences to the community. We acknowledge the financial support which assists with funding events such as the Japanese Festival, Japanese Speech Contest, Susono Schools Visit and hosting delegations from Susono.

A special thanks to Michelle Tipton and Sharon Lozsan from Frankston Council who attend the FSFA committee meetings, take and document our minutes and provide a range of administrative support. These ladies took over this role in 2019 from Chris Hodgins. Chris decided to step down from this role after many years of attending FSFA Committee meetings each month. We thank Chris for all of the valuable contributions she has made to the Association and wish her well for the future.

The Executive Committee remains dedicated and committed to the relationship with SOFA and its longevity, especially in these trying times. Executive Committee members Therese Sakamoto and Sam Warrington are maintaining communications with SOFA members on our behalf. Over the years, many friendships have formed between the two cities and the COVID restrictions have placed increased importance on checking in on our Japanese friends.

The Executive Committee are looking forward to confirming plans and holding events in the future to continue promoting Japanese culture in our community - once COVID restrictions are relaxed!

I have been invited to give a presentation to Frankston Rotary Club on FSFA, including how the Association came about and how we promote Japanese culture in the Frankston and wider community. I look forward to sharing some of my personal experiences with the Rotarians, along with promoting the great work the Executive Committee achieve year after year.

Hopefully by 18th October 2020 we will be able to meet face to face again and gather together for our annual Hanami party in the Japanese garden at FHS, to celebrate under our cherry blossom.

Once again, thank you to all of the Executive Committee members. You are all wonderful, and together make the team what it is. Last year the Executive Committee agreed to allocate tasks to share the responsibilities which has been successful. Please remember that it’s because of you all that the Sister City relationship with Susono remains so strong, especially in such unprecedented times.

Best wishes, health and happiness to you all!

Julie D’Arcy

FSFA Chairperson

Sunday, 9 August 2020

New Gates For Our Japanese Garden!

I am pleased to report that our Japanese Garden at Frankston High School has received an upgrade this afternoon with two new gates being installed by maintenance staff members Dale and Adam. The original gates have been showing their age for some time now and were in need of replacement due in no small part to rotting timbers, broken hinges and difficult to open latches.

Foot Street end gate with bamboo, stone lantern and bamboo screen

The issue was raised at our Executive Committee meeting last Tuesday and Frankston's Senior Campus principal and committee member Helen Wilson contacted the school's business manager Carolyn Florance, who organised for the maintenance staff to undertake the replacement of the two gates.

Overport Primary School end gate

The gates are steel framed with merbau timber panels screwed to the frame, and fitted with new padbolt latches. A wonderful upgrade with thanks to Helen, Carolyn and the workers Dale and Adam!

More gate, less garden!