2021.07.26[Mon] 09:00

Interviews(インタビュー)

【Today's Guest】

Supakorn Wangamnuayporn

(Graduate student)

2021.07.19[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健) , Community(コミュニティ)

【Conserving Water】

We're already heading into August pretty quickly now and it turns out that August is the month in which the most water is used in the year. We're fortunate in that we have water every day without a problem, every time we turn on the tap, water comes out and we can use it without giving it a second thought.

However, for that water to get to us from the source takes the work and dedication of a countless number of people and in fact, there is a limit to the water we have, it's quite a precious natural resource, something that we should all be aware of. So, keeping that in mind, we should try not to use water needlessly and make an effort to conserve water when we can.

You may not have known this, but in Japan, the city that has the least amount of water per person available is actually Fukuoka. And this is why it's important that we keep in mind how important our water is. So, what can we do to save water in our daily lives? Well, it's pretty easy.

First, turn off the water when you're brushing your teeth and use a cup for rinsing. Second, when  you're cooking, instead of running water to rinse vegetable and dishes, have a full basin of water ready for those jobs. Finally, when you're taking a shower or bath, turn off the water when you aren't rinsing yourself and don't overfill the bath.

 

By doing these simple things, we can conserve more of that precious natural resource, water!

 

【Consultation With An Administrative Lawyer】

Now, I have some information from Fukuoka City.

Is there anything you don't understand about residency status and term of stay regulations? If there is, free consultation is available for the foreign residents of Fukuoka at the Fukuoka City International Foundation. Consultations are held every second Sunday afternoon of the month. A gyousei-shoshi, or administrative lawyer, will answer your questions and offer consultation.   There are English and Chinese interpreters present, and so, consultation in English, Chinese and Japanese does not require a reservation. For other languages, please consult with us at least one week in advance.

Confidentiality is guaranteed in all consultations, so please feel at ease to make use of these services.

For more information or for reservations, please check the Fukuoka City International Foundation's homepage or call 092-262-1799. Again, you can call 092-262-1799.

 

And to prevent the spread of Covid-19, measures are being taken so please wear a mask and disinfect your hands when you come for a consultation.

 

【Mail Magazine】

Now, I want to share a little information about Fukuoka City International Foundation's monthly mail magazine. The magazine, published in English and Japanese, shares news and information about international exchange events and cooperation and is available to everyone! You can easily sign up for the magazine by visiting the Foundation's website. Just search for FCIF in your web browser.

 

【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. And this means that you should avoid closed spaces, crowded places and close conversations.

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)

【Cucumbers】

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.

2021.06.28[Mon] 09:00

Interviews(インタビュー)

【Today's Guest】

Gautham Praveen Raj (from Chennai, India)

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)

【Hydrangea】

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.

>> 続きを読む

2021.06.14[Mon] 09:00

Rules & Manners(ルール・マナー) , Children & Childcare(子ども・子育て)

【FM Day】

Did you know that June 13th is FM Day? It comes from F being the 6th letter and M being the 13th letter of the alphabet. A pretty simple combination but who came up with it, when and why are all questions that have no answers, it seems. I'm sure there are folks out there that listen to the radio, even while at work, these days we can listen to the radio anywhere thanks to smartphones and PCs. Have you ever wondered why there are FM and AM channels? I know as a kid, my understanding of FM and AM was that FM seemed to have more music and AM seemed to be talk radio, at least when my mom was in the car listening to it. Actually, FM Means Frequency Modulation and AM is Amplitude Modulation. The biggest difference between them is noise. In the case of AM, the amplitude, or overall strength, of the signal is varied to incorporate the sound information so if noise enters at a time when the amplitude is low, you get static. With FM, you don't get that problem. So it terms of audibility, FM is better. However, FM can only be received on a narrow range of frequencies but AM can be heard over a larger range. Regardless, being able to listen to different stations, music and talk, on the radio, is a great thing. One of my favorite stations in Detroit is 94.7 WCSX. They play a lot of classic rock, think of music like Queen, Aerosmith, Jimi Hendrix etc. It was my go to station whenever I was in my car. Nothing better than singing along to the radio with the windows down on a beautiful summer day while cruising with your friends!

 

【Status Report on the Child Allowance】

Families raising children can receive a support allowance up until each child finishes junior highschool. The amount per child varies from 5000 yen to 15,000 yen depending on the age of the child and the household income. The allowance is paid three times in four month installments, once in June, then October and again in February. In order to receive this child allowance, you must submit a yearly status report. In the first half of June, Fukuoka City sent the documents necessary to make the report to allowance recipients. Please fill the necessary information in and make sure to post the report so that it will arrive by June 30th. You can do this report online as well, using your My Number card.  Please be aware that you will not receive a payment if you do not submit the report or if there are any sections left incomplete. 

 

 【Taxes】

If you live in Fukuoka City, and have earned more than 1 million yen the previous year, from January 1st to December 31st, you may need to pay taxes. If you are a regular company employee, taxes are deducted from your salary. However, if you aren't a regular company employee, you will receive a tax payment notification around the 15th of June. Please make sure you open that envelope, it has information on when you need to pay and how much will be due. You can pay at convenience stores, the bank or even the post office. If you do not pay your taxes, you may risk facing difficulty when it comes time to renew your residence status or risk being subject to seizure of property.

If there is anything you don't understand, or if you may have difficulty making payments, please check with your local ward office. You can also consult by phone in 18 different languages. This phone number is 092-753-6113.  Again, this phone number is 092-753-6113. This phone number will connect you to the ward office after you speak with an interpreter. Please tell the interpreter which ward you live in and that you are calling about taxes.

2021.06.07[Mon] 09:00

Disaster(災害)

【Cleaning Your Washing Machine】

June is a time in which we not only get a lot of rain but also have a lot of humidity. And it's during this season that mildew and mold grow easily, so it's important to keep food and other ingredients in the fridge to keep them fresh. But there's something else you might want to think about keeping fresh. When was the last time you cleaned out your washing machine? Washing machine? It washes, so it doesn't need to be cleaned is what some might think. But in fact, you should clean out your washing machine at least once a month to help prevent the growth of germs and mold and mildew. The easiest way to clean your washing machine is with some baking soda, it's called “Jyu-Sou, which you can pick up at a 100 yen shop. Put it in the empty machine, run the cycle and when the machine fills up with water, stop it there and let the water and “Jyu-sou” mixture sit for 5-6 hours. Dirt and other bits will float to the top over that time. Scoop all of that out, and then let the machine finish its cycle. Once all the water has drained, leave the lid of the machine up so that the inside can dry out. There are also some special machine cleansing detergents on the market which can also be used to keep your machine shiny and clean, so when you have the chance, give your washing machine a thorough cleaning!

Oh and when you do the laundry, if you live in a place with thin walls, try to avoid doing your wash too late at night as the spin cycle can be pretty noisy for the folks around you.

【Rainy Season and Heavy Rains】

Now for some information from Fukuoka City. As you know, throughout Japan, June and July are the months when we get lots of rain, it is Japan's rainy season. And this year, rainy season started much earlier than usual, in Northern Kyushu, it actually started on May 15th. And with heavy rains, it's much easier for natural disasters to occur, so please take care during this rainy season.

Last year in July, we had record breaking rainfall and Fukuoka prefecture experienced quite a lot of damage from it. So, when it is raining heavily, please keep yourself safe and stay away from places like rivers, coastlines and mountain overhangs as they can be dangerous.

On the Fukuoka City Official Website, hazard maps and disaster prevention information is available for you to check at any time. So before a disaster happens, take the time to find out what areas around you might be dangerous and how you should evacuate in the case of a disaster.

If evacuation to an evacuation center becomes necessary, make sure that you do wear a mask and wash your hands to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. For more information on all of this and more, please look up “Support for Foreign Residents” and take a look at the disaster prevention information that is available on that Fukuoka City Foreign Resident Support page.

You will also find important information on the Fukuoka City's Official Facebook page “Global Community Fukuoka”, as well as on the Fukuoka City International Foundation's Facebook page “Fukuoka City International Center/ Attaka Fukuoka”, in a number of foreign languages. If you follow these pages, then whenever important information is posted, you'll be sure to get it!

 

【I-Kasa】

I have another announcement that might come in handy for you this rainy season and that is the umbrella sharing service “I-Kasa” that we have here in Fukuoka City. With your smartphone, you can easily arrange to rent an umbrella when you're stuck outside without one. Pick-up points are at places like subway and train stations as well as at department stores.

It only costs 70 yen to rent an umbrella for 24 hours which is cheaper than buying one of those cheap plastic ones and it's much friendlier to the environment. Definitely take advantage of this service on those days when the rains come without warning.

For more information, just look up I Kasa Fukuoka.

>> 続きを読む

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.

2021.05.24[Mon] 09:00

Interviews(インタビュー)

【Today's Guest】
Jim (U.S. Burger's owner)

 

https://us-burger.business.site/

>> 続きを読む

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  • Colleen
  • Colleen
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