Sunday 7 March 2021

FSFA March Bulletin

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 – except November. Location is the Acacia Room in the Frankston Council Offices. Enter off Young Street.  Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, our meetings are still being held online for the foreseeable future!


FSFA March Executive Committee Meeting

Our March Executive Committee Meeting was held on Tuesday 2nd via Zoom video conferencing. The following items were discussed:

1.   The FSFA and SOFA Executive Committees will again meet via Zoom on Monday 15th March. SOFA meet on the third Monday of each month and this will be another opportunity to share news and information with our sister city friends. It’s ironic that the global pandemic has helped to increase the communication between our two associations!

2.    Other news from SOFA includes no new COVID cases reported in several weeks, the Woven City ground breaking ceremony (see report below), and the recent winter in Susono has been unusually warm with no minus temperatures recorded.

3.    Chairperson Julie D’Arcy’s letter to SOFA Chairperson Ninomiya outlining the unavoidable cancellation of planned events due to COVID, expressing our strong desire to visit Susono once it is safe to do so, and requesting advice on their planned October 2021 celebrations.

4.    FSFA are seeking opportunities to apply for grants available through the Frankston City Council and Victorian Government, with information kindly provided by Frankston High School’s Business Manager Carolyn Florance.

5.    A Japanese Garden working bee is planned for Sunday 21st March (see report below).

6.    Our updated Rules of Affiliation have been sent to all committee members, will be approved at our April meeting, and tabled at the AGM in September.

7.    General Business – Donations of Japanese items have been received from Steve and Vic Walker, and Colin Hampton – thank you Steve, Vic and Colin!; the 2021 Box Hill Japanese Festival has been cancelled and FSFA’s booth fee refunded; all 7 Japanese Speech Contest trophies have now been returned; Steve Walker is currently recovering in Peninsula Private Hospital after a recent hip replacement and is continuing her treatment; Hina Matsuri (Doll’s Day or Girls’ Day Festival) was celebrated on Wednesday 3rd March.


Japanese Garden Working Bee

Our next Japanese Garden working bee will be held on Sunday 21st March starting at 9.30 a.m. The focus will be to plant mondo grass in the barer areas, plus some general tidying and maintenance. If you are able to spare a few hours, we would really appreciate your assistance. Morning tea will be provided plus a sausage sizzle and drink at the conclusion of the working bee! Please ensure you bring along a mask in case we can’t socially distance!

Sumo’s March Tournament Preview

January Basho champion Daieishō returns to the sport’s elite san’yaku ranks for the March Tournament which begins on Sunday 14th March and concludes on Sunday 28th. The 27-year-old, who went 13-2 to secure his first grand tournament victory, will be one of three komusubi wrestlers including Takayasu and Mitakeumi.

Yokozuna Haku and Kakuryū head the rankings but will be under close scrutiny after missing a number of recent tournaments. Both were admonished after last November’s tournament by the Japan Sumo Association (JSA) Yokozuna Deliberation Council, the sternest warning the council can issue short of a recommendation that a wrestler retire. Yokozuna are expected to maintain the highest of standards within the sport, and ongoing absences will only increase the pressure on both wrestlers.

There are currently 10 wrestlers in the elite san’yaku ranks with 2 yokozuna, 3 ozeki, 2 sekiwake and 3 komusubi. Assuming they can all remain healthy for the duration of the tournament, it promises to be a highly competitive fortnight to determine the March Champion. After sitting out in January due to a positive COVID test, Haku should be well-rested and is my tip to win his 45th championship in what will be his 100th grand tournament appearance since joining the elite makuuchi division. Hakuho has never dropped back to the second tier juryo division, something no other wrestler has accomplished in the long history of the sport!

FSFAves – favourite Japanese recipes

This month’s delicious recipe has been contributed by Julie D’Arcy, FSFA Chairperson and former exchange student:


Dorayaki is a Japanese pancake filled with a sweet red bean paste called Anko. These pancakes are very easy to make at home. Red bean paste can be purchased from Asian food stores. When I was an exchange student in Susono in 1983 I looked forward to Japanese Festivals because there were usually Dorayaki food stalls everywhere. These delicious treats are actually two pancakes sandwiched together with the sweet red bean paste. In Japan, they are sold individually wrapped in clear cellophane so as their very smooth surface can be seen.


1¼ cup plain flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 eggs, ½ cup sugar, 1 tbsp honey, ¾ cup milk

Anko (sweet red bean paste) pre-package or see recipe below:


Anko: 1 cup adzuki beans, 1½ cup sugar, water


1.    Put adzuki beans in a pot with 4-5 cups of water. Let boil for 5 minutes and discard water.

2.    In a clean pot, place beans and 4-5 cups of water, and let it simmer at low heat for 1 to 2 hours (add more water to keep above the beans). The beans should now be very soft, easily crushed between fingers.

3.    Discard water again, put soft beans back in the pot with sugar at medium high heat and constantly stir and mix for about 10 minutes until forming a paste that looks shiny but still loose. Immediately transfer the paste to a container.

Dorayaki Instructions:

1.               1.    Mix flour and baking soda in a bowl.

2.    In another bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, and honey together. Add milk and mix well.

3.    Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture, and whisk until batter becomes smooth.

4.   Heat non-stick frying pan with a small amount of oil and wipe excess oil well. At medium low heat, drop 1/8 of a cup of batter onto the pan, like a pancake. Cook about 2 minutes until the surface of the pancake has a lot of bubbles and the edges become dry. Flip over and cook 1 more minute.

5.    Transfer to a plate and cover with a wet paper towel.

6.   Take one cake and place a heaping tablespoon of Anko paste and cover with another cake. Wrap it with plastic and press with hands. Pinch to seal the edges of the pancakes together.

Woven City, Susono Ground Breaking Ceremony

Toyota Motor Corporation and Woven Planet Holdings, the Toyota Group company responsible for a wide range of mobility development projects, held a ground breaking ceremony (Jichinsai) for the construction of Woven City on Tuesday 23rd February in Susono City. Woven City is a project that will demonstrate a human-centered approach to community development. In Toyota’s shift from an automobile manufacturer to a mobility company, the project will bring new technology to life in a real-world environment across a wide range of areas such as automated driving, personal mobility, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI). It is expected to provide a number of opportunities for businesses and researchers around the world.

The ceremony was attended by Shizuoka Governor Heita Kawakatsu, Susono Mayor Kenji Takamura, Toyota President Akio Toyoda, Woven Planet CEO James Kuffner, and TMEJ President Kazuhiro Miyauchi, as well as others involved in the project.

Woven City will have three types of streets interwoven with each other on the ground level, one dedicated to automated driving, one to pedestrians, and one to pedestrians with personal mobility vehicles. There will also be one underground road used to transport goods. The community will start with roughly 360 residents, mainly senior citizens, families with young children, and inventors and will eventually have a population of more than 2,000 individuals including Toyota employees. The infrastructure of Woven City aims to create an environment where inventions with the potential to solve social issues are created on a timely basis.


You can view the Jichinsai Ceremony video by clicking HERE.

The Woven City official website:

Japan Cheapo –


The latest editions of Japan Cheapo and Tokyo Cheapo arrived in my inbox earlier this month and featured a number of articles with a spring theme. These include Mount Yoshino: Japan’s Best Cherry Blossom Spot; 8 Cherry-Picked Sakura Viewing Spots in Osaka; A Dark Tourist’s Guide to Tokyo; Beyond Hachiko: A Guide to Tokyo’s Other Unique Statues; and Sustainable Travel: Rediscover the Old Ways in Nagahama. Both Japan Cheapo and Tokyo Cheapo have been recommended in our previous bulletins and can be accessed HERE.


 Japanese Themed Resources –


Tokyo Cheapo: 10 Recommended Resources for Learning Japanese

Whilst this article first appeared a number of years ago, there are still many excellent resources for those studying (or teaching!) the Japanese language. Links include JapanesePod101, Imiwa?, Kanji Damage, LinguaLift, and Japanese for Busy People. You can access these resources by clicking HERE.


Japanese National Tourism Organisation –

Once again, we feature the JNTO website, which is a fantastic resource featuring great travel hints and suggestions on a wide variety of topics. Destinations, Trip Planning, First Time Visitor Information, Popular Places and Travel Highlights are just some of the huge range of resources available on the website which you can access HERE. A highly recommended resource!


Pokémon 25th Anniversary

Pokémon is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2021 by holding themed concerts, exhibits devoted to different Pokémon regions and so much more!

You can visit the Pokémon25 site by clicking HERE.

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

21st March 2021 – 9.30 a.m. start

Australian Fair and Susono City’s 50th Anniversary

Susono, Shizuoka, Japan

Sunday 10th October 2021

(Subject to International Travel)


Keeping in Contact


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



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