JAN/FEB 2021

Jan.1, 2021 Happy New Year! May this be a happy and fruitful year.

New year started amid pandemic in Japan. New Year festivities were subdued because Tokyo reported over 1,300 daily coronavirus cases for the first time since the outbreak. Nearly 229,000 cases of COVID-19 nationwide, including 3,349 death.

New Year holidays is the biggest holiday in Japan and many people visit shrines by train.

According to our family tradition, we visited Hie Shrine in Akasaka with careful attention to infection. It was a beautiful day on Jan 1 in Tokyo. The shrine is usually very crowded, but this time was different. Worshippers wore masks keeping a meter apart from one another to wait in line for worship.

We bought Omikuji fortune slips for other family members. An Omikuji tells your fortune for the year, and there are six levels of luck ranging from Daikichi (great luck) to Daikyo (very bad luck). Mine was "Shokichi" (small blessing), and I decided to cherish my small luck for 2021.

We believe that 2021 brings some good fortune. Covid-19 vaccines are on the way. This will allow for a gradual return to normal way of living. Hope we can travel around the world and many visitors to Japan enjoy cherry blossom in spring!

January 16, 2020:

Although the number of new cases of coronavirus is increasing even under the emergency state, people especially young people do not care about the infection as much as they did last year.

The calls by the government, local governors and media to stay at home are not working well enough. It’s a year since the outbreak of COVID-19, so we became all too used to warming messages.

We are trying not to go out to the center of Tokyo, but go out to nearby shopping center like Jiyugaoka. How long do we have to stay home without seeing friends and work online from home?

Gloomy days continue because of COVID-19 worldwide. I have been absolutely lost for words with no idea of what to write about our lives in Japan under emergency situation or lockdown.

However, we see some signs of improvement. Vaccination is spreading. The U.S. will be back in capable hands. Joe Biden’s victory holds important implications for democracies around the world. We hope that America will be more predictable and responsible world leader as before.

February 19, 2021:February 23, 2021:

Fine weather continues in Tokyo. The plum trees are in full bloom now at Ikegami Plum Tree Garden. We sensed the arrival of spring.

A sign of spring

We have been having a warmer-than-normal winter this year, and we can feel spring is coming little by little. February started with a mild weather of 11℃. This week it is expected to be warmer around 14℃.

We welcomes the appointment of Seiko Hashimo as Tokyo 2020 President. We hope that she will bring a fresh air to Japanese society.


February 5, 2021:

My oil painting has been selected for Art Salon Paintings Grand Prize Exhibition in All Japan and is on display at National Art Center in Roppongi.

I visited the National Art Center and was felt overwhelmed by a wide variety of art works, colors and expressions. Many of them are unique in its own way. I want to improve my skills and establish my own style of painting.

After that, I went to the Suntory Museum café to have Japanese style cuisine. – Kaga-style meal featuring “Fu” (wheat gluten).

“FU” is a bland food made from wheat. Fu is used as a meat substitute in vegetarian recipes.


Venue: National Art Center in Roppongi

February 4 ~ 15, 2020 (Feb.9 closed)

Kaga-style "Fu" meal