Shiga History January–April 2018

Chronology of Shiga Prefecture’s major news headlines for January–April 2018 (according to the year, month, day, and time posted at GMT).

Originally posted on Twitter under Shiga Headlines by Philbert Ono. Twitter posts are limited to 280 English characters including spaces and links (shortened by Twitter). Dates and times below are based on GMT, not Japan time.

2018-01-01 11:21:58 迎春 Happy 2018! Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, and productive new year. Thank you for reading Shiga Headlines, Shiga Blog, & https://t.co/MzT4BdgWjB. I’ll be adding more top-quality content in 2018. It’s the details that make it interesting and useful, and fun to write. https://t.co/kP1UPj0zm4
2018-01-06 02:12:23 Bilingual video of Kyoto University’s Biwako Shuko no Uta 100th anniversary celebration held on Nov. 25, 2017. Lake Biwa Rowing Song also sung in English. 京都大学「琵琶湖周航の歌」誕生百周年記念事業のダイジェスト版動画(66分)。グリークラブ、吹奏楽団等。https://t.co/Hj9cwLn4x6
2018-01-08 12:09:53 As of Oct. 1, 2017, Shiga had 53,211 males & 54,493 females (7.7% of Shiga’s pop.) born in the Year of the Dog. The lowest figure among the 12 Oriental zodiac years. Age 48 (b. 1970) had the highest number of Dog Year people at 20,631, while 1,458 Dog people were age 96 or older.
2018-01-11 11:52:37 The fire-walking ceremony (火渡り神事) that was held annually in Feb. by Sugawara Shrine (菅原神社) in Yasu will be canceled indefinitely from this year. The shrine’s priest passed away in Oct. and his son is unable to take over the ritual performed to dispel illness & disasters.
2018-01-11 12:00:37 Influenza warning has been issued for all of Shiga as the number of patients (1,320 as of Jan. 7) is expected to increase further. Both Type A and B have been found in Shiga. Wash your hands, etc., and take care even if you got your flu shot.
2018-01-15 10:45:13 Beautiful view of Mt. Hiei from Aeon Mall Kusatsu early this afternoon. The Food Court on the 3rd floor has large picture windows, very clean. Short bus ride from JR Minami-Kusatsu Station. #イオンモール草津 https://t.co/6IZOMZAjuQ
2018-01-18 06:55:53 Major construction continues in front of JR Nagahama Station (east side). They are building a pedestrian deck. 
2018-01-20 02:06:38 The old Otsu PARCO shopping complex that closed last Aug. will reopen as a new shopping complex in late April with about 40 stores including Heiwado, Yamada Denki, a sports shop, and bookstore cafe.
2018-01-24 13:39:30 Private email account of an instructor at the University of Shiga Prefecture was hacked from overseas, resulting in the leak of personal info on 168 students (their names, addresses, academic records, post-graduation plans, etc.). Poor students…
2018-01-25 02:48:28 Due to snow, trains are delayed on the Biwako/Tokaido Line between Maibara and Kyoto. Trains between Maibara and Nagoya also delayed, but running. Ohmi Railway trains are delayed on most lines. Lots of snow in northern Shiga. Great for skiers. https://t.co/Q9oRi30kOt
2018-01-27 06:37:15 Maibara City Hall worker Mori Atsushi (39, 森篤志) pleaded guilty at Otsu District Court on Jan. 26 for bid-rigging a construction project to expand a childcare facility in Maibara. He leaked the bidding info to a construction company he favored. Sentenced to 18 months in jail.
2018-01-27 06:37:28 In 2017, the annual number of stalker cases reported to Shiga Police reached a record high of 351. Many stemmed from couples who broke up. 21 stalker arrests were made, and 58 police warnings were issued. Be careful of who you date.
2018-01-27 06:39:00 Sadly, Dr. Ikai Tsuyoshi (68, 猪飼剛) & son Satoshi from Shiga apparently accidentally skiied off course at Lotte Arai Resort in Myoko, Niigata on Jan. 24 and could not be rescued in time. Their bodies will be recovered later. A reminder to skiers to never ski in the backcountry.
2018-01-27 06:39:20 On Jan. 22, 2018, Maibara reached a record 400 consecutive days (since Dec. 18, 2016) without any traffic accident fatalities. This is the longest such period among Shiga’s cities and towns. Local police have reinforced the monitoring of fatality-prone sections since last June.
2018-01-30 01:03:59 Take the Shiga Quiz! 100 basic (?) quiz questions about your favorite prefecture. Heavily illustrated. There’s no other quiz like it. https://t.co/HukbMwc2Rn
2018-01-30 01:06:08 Also take the Shiga Image Quiz. 50 questions showing 50 images of Shiga’s most iconic sights and attractions you should know about. An excellent visual introduction to Shiga. https://t.co/VyuAAuqIHc
2018-02-01 20:58:09 I didn’t know this until now, but Dr. Pryse Duerfeldt in Marquette, MI passed away in July 2017. I’ve never met him in person, but he emailed me a few times over the years & avidly supported https://t.co/MzT4BdgWjB & sister-city relations w/Higashi-Omi. My belated condolences.
2018-02-02 23:22:26 For 5 years in a row in 2017, more people moved out of Shiga than those who moved in. Cities in southern Shiga, especially Kusatsu (+690), Moriyama (+369), and Otsu (+238) saw gains, while Higashi-Omi (-497), Nagahama (-427), Konan (-408), & Takashima (-361) saw losses.
2018-02-02 23:22:35 Reservations for Lake Biwa Canal boat rides starting on March 29 between Otsu & Kyoto now being accepted online (in Japanese only). Fares start at ¥4,000 for a 55-min. ride from Miidera to Keage. Boats will run until May 28 & in Oct.–Nov. Should be fun. https://t.co/hGd2BTfvwg
2018-02-06 21:29:41 From fall 2018, Shiga will start issuing newly-designed car license plates showing Lake Biwa and Chikubushima island. The design was the overwhelming favorite among the four choices presented last fall for voting by Shiga residents. 
2018-02-06 21:31:00 Opened in July 2017, Ekimachi Terrace Nagahama in front of JR Nagahama Station is bleeding red ink. Nagahama’s deputy mayor has been promoted as its president. They will build a kids’ play area on the 2nd floor to attract more families to this customer-sparse commercial complex. https://t.co/4JhrrxGQ8v
2018-02-06 21:31:15 Koka City Hall’s General Affairs Dept. head & other managers committed ballot count fraud & coverup for the House of Representatives election on Oct. 22, 2017. Total ballots counted didn’t add up, so they stuffed invalid ballots to compensate. A missing ballot box was later found
2018-02-06 21:31:28 Too bad Shiga won’t have any athletes at PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. Our last hope was freestyle moguls skier Ito Miki (30) from Hino aiming for her 4th Winter Olympics but didn’t do well enough (22nd place) at the Freestyle Ski World Cup in Mont-Tremblant, Canada in Jan.
2018-02-08 01:25:49 At Koka City Hall, a missing ballot box with uncounted ballots was found after ballot count managers had already stuffed invalid ballots to match the correct total. One manager then took home the uncounted ballots and burned them to coverup their illegal ballot stuffing.
2018-02-08 01:29:03 Due to heavy snow, trains are currently not running on JR Kosei Line between Omi-Imazu and Omi-Shiotsu, and on JR Hokuriku Line between Nagahama and Tsuruga. Check current status here: https://t.co/Q9oRi30kOt
2018-02-09 06:28:14 Wow, “Hello Otsu” Facebook page in English (by Otsu Tourist Association) has over 42,000 followers. Is that for real?? Their previous “Otsu Style” FB English page had only 344 followers. https://t.co/4F7dTU0Urt
2018-02-12 22:57:19 New York Times紙の記事が話題になりました。多数の有名人や政治家などがフェイクフォロワー(fake followers)を買っていると判明。ばれやすいし、詐欺と同等。信用は失われる。 https://t.co/rIRgYIfD67
2018-02-12 22:57:48 Koka City Hall’s General Affairs Dept. chief Yasui Tatsuya (57, 保井達也) & 2 other managers on the election committee who committed ballot count fraud & coverup last Oct. have been fired on Feb. 9. Koka will have an outside committee to investigate & propose preventive measures.
2018-02-12 22:57:59 Hikone policeman Nishimura Hitoshi (32, 西村仁志) arrested & fired for DUI in Taga on Dec. 28. He was sleeping in his car at an intersection when another policeman approached & he sped home. Asked his family to lie & say they drove him home. Court fined him ¥500,000.
2018-02-12 23:01:27 NHK TV national news this morning spotlighted Shigaraki’s plight in trying to survive as its pottery production has dwindled to 1/4 or 1/5 of its peak. 信楽陶器工業協同組合、信楽町観光協会はまだ外国語版のホームページがありません。五輪はあと二年。
2018-02-15 03:38:34 The family of the Otsu City Public Enterprise Bureau worker in his 40s who overdosed on tranquilizers & died in March 2015 after suffering from power harassment by a male superior for a year will receive ¥8 mil. compensation from the city. Unnamed culprit received a mere pay cut.
2018-02-17 01:16:10 “Hello Otsu” Facebook page in English (by Otsu Tourist Association) now has over 47,000 followers. That’s 5,000 more than a week ago. What a miracle! Meanwhile, their Japanese FB page has only 1,500 followers. https://t.co/4F7dTU0Urt
2018-02-19 00:06:50 Hikone is now selling Hiko-nyan stickers for the LINE messaging app. For ¥120, you get a set of 16 stickers showing Hiko-nyan in new, cutesy poses such as “Thank you!” “Sayonara!” “Come here!” “No good!” and “Good night!” (in Japanese only). Includes Iinosuke stickers. 
2018-02-24 13:12:16 Nice to see a Shiga company being a major sponsor of Tokyo’s biggest annual sporting event, the Tokyo Marathon. Got my volunteer uniform today for the mega-marathon tomorrow (36,000 runners + 11,000 volunteers). 
2018-02-28 14:45:07 Too bad the tanuki and fox were not chosen as the official mascots for the Tokyo Olympics. They got only 35,291 votes. The futuristic superhero mascots (yet unnamed) won with 109,041 votes by Japanese elementary school kids. A tanuki mascot would’ve made Shigaraki very busy.
2018-02-28 15:00:46 Higashi-Omi has agreed to pay ¥32 million in compensation to the family of the age 73 man from Sakai, Osaka who died when the giant kite fell on him at the Odako Matsuri giant kite festival in May 2015. Still unknown when the kite festival will restart. Won’t be in 2018.
2018-03-01 11:59:07 After educating 530,000 5th graders about Lake Biwa for 35 years (since 1983), Shiga’s Uminoko “Floating School” completed its final voyage for 5th graders today. The aging ship’s replacement (also named “Uminoko”) will sail this May. Otsukaresama Uminoko (“Child of the Lake”)!! https://t.co/PTHQi73jpK
2018-03-02 13:46:19 The public can board and tour the old Uminoko “Floating School” at Otsu Port on March 11, from 9:15 am to 10:30 am before its official retirement ceremony. Your last chance to say “Good-bye and thank you” to this wonderful ship. #うみのこお別れ見学会 https://t.co/R1BBxGVuR4
2018-03-04 11:31:26 Kenyan Macharia NDIRANGU won the 73rd Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon today in 2:07’53”. NAKAMURA Shogo #中村匠吾 was 7th at 2:10’51”. Photo: Macharia (left) glancing at 2nd place Albert KORIR (also Kenyan) at Lake Biwa Canal a few km before the finish. #2018びわ湖毎日マラソン 
2018-03-10 08:16:10 In Omi-Hachiman today, visited one of the neighborhoods #宮内町building a festival float for the Sagicho Matsuri on March 17–18. Made of edible materials featuring the Year of the Dog. Takes about 2 months to build. This dog’s fur is made of jute fibers. Beautiful. #左義長まつり 
2018-03-20 17:41:45 さすが近江八幡。八幡堀の見つかりにくい駅行きのバス停の案内は英語にも表示。大いに助かる(白雲館前)。 Omi-Hachiman is tourist-friendly even for foreigners. Pointer to the bus stop at Hachiman-bori Canal. 
2018-03-20 17:42:12 Beautiful weather in Omi-Hachiman last weekend for 13 beautiful Year of the Dog floats (plus three children’s floats) at the annual Sagicho Matsuri. About 70,000 spectators enjoyed the float procession on Sat. and float battles and float burning on Sun. #左義長まつり #近江八幡 
2018-03-24 11:35:37 Zeze High School got wiped out by Japan Aiviation High School Ishikawa 0-10 in their 1st game today at the 90th Senbatsu Spring Koshien national high school baseball tournament. Two other teams from Shiga will play soon.
2018-03-25 11:33:11 Saio Princess Procession today in Tsuchiyama, Koka. They arrived here at the National Historic Site of Tarumi Tongu, one of the palaces where the princess stayed on her way from Kyoto to Ise during the 9th–13th centuries. She wears a Juni-hitoe kimono. #あいの土山斎王群行 #甲賀市 
2018-03-28 05:15:52 Hikone Higashi High School beat Keio Senior High School (Kanagawa) 4-3 in their 1st game today at the 90th Senbatsu Spring Koshien national high school baseball tournament. Next, they will play on March 31 at 11 am against Hanamaki Higashi High School (Iwate). #彦根東高等学校
2018-03-31 12:04:06 Both Shiga high school teams lost their second match at the 90th Senbatsu Spring Koshien national high school baseball tournament today. Hikone Higashi High School lost to Hanamaki Higashi High School (Iwate) 0-1, and Ohmi lost to Seiryo (Ishikawa) 3-4. Both were close games.
2018-04-06 19:46:33 The evening illumination of cherry blossoms at Omi-Fuji Karyoku Koen Park in Yasu this weekend has been canceled because the flowers bloomed a week early this year and they are now mostly gone.
2018-04-06 20:00:30 The old Otsu PARCO shopping complex will reopen this month on April 27 as “Oh! Me Otsu Terrace” with over 30 stores including Friend Mart (Heiwado), Yamada Denki, a sports shop, TSUTAYA bookstore, Can Do, United Cinemas, Saizeriya, Shiga Bank, & Curves. https://t.co/FJdqcttTWJ
2018-04-09 15:19:33 The strong magnitude 6.1 earthquake that hit Oda, Shimane Prefecture on April 9 at 1:32 am was also felt slightly in Shiga, M2 in places like Otsu, Nagahama, Maibara, Omi-Hachiman, and Takashima, and M1 in Hikone, Koka, and Higashi-Omi.
2018-04-09 15:19:56 Hikone-native swimmer Yui Ohashi #大橋悠依 set a new Japanese record in winning the Women’s 400-meter individual medley in 4:30.82 at Japan Swim 2018 nat’l championships (第94回日本選手権水泳競技大会競泳競技) at Tatsumi, Tokyo on April 8. Also won the 200-meter individual medley.
2018-04-11 15:17:01 今夜4月12日18:30にNHK総合に放送される「おうみ発630」長浜市出身のバンド~Lefa~ボーカル北川陽大さん ~滋賀を音楽で盛り上げたい。Watch NHK Otsu TV news tonight at 6:30 pm to hear Kitagawa Akihiro sing a special song. 
2018-04-12 13:19:10 Founded in 1933 in Hikone, Takata Corporation (タカタ株式会社) that filed for bankruptcy in June 2017 due to the massive recall of defective and deadly automotive airbags has been taken over by Joyson Safety Systems in the US. After 85 years, its name “Takata” is now gone.
2018-04-12 13:40:32 Last night (April 11) inside the police koban in front of JR Kawase Station in Hikone, a rookie policeman (19) shot & killed police sergeant Imoto Akira 井本光 (41), a co-worker. He was angered by Imoto’s disparagement. He fled the scene in a police car, but was soon caught.
2018-04-12 13:51:47 Some cherry blossoms still remain at Lake Yogo today in Nagahama. Yaezakura is starting to bloom. 
2018-04-14 08:29:58 April 15 is Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri’s main day starting at 10 am at Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine. Child kabuki will be performed on 4 floats in this order: Shojo-maru (猩々丸), Ho’o-zan (鳳凰山), Takasago-zan (高砂山), Kotobuki-zan (壽山). Photo:Shojo-maru https://t.co/ZLHtkV1SRC https://t.co/QxkBWyivw1
2018-04-15 10:42:31 Cold, windy, and rainy morning at the Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri today. Rain stopped in the afternoon. Boat-shaped Shojo-maru float’s kabuki play titled “Kumagaya Jinya” ended with this “Titanic Moment” on the bow. #長浜曳山祭 #猩々丸 #熊谷陣屋の場 
2018-04-18 13:06:50 A 3-day survey conducted in Jan. by birdwatchers at 181 locations around Lake Biwa found about 110,073 waterfowl in the lake, about 18% fewer birds than last season. Of the 41 species observed, the Eurasian coot saw the steepest decline of 33% fewer birds than last year.
2018-04-18 13:07:11 Omi-Hachiman’s mayor-elect KONISHI Osamu (59) 小西理 plans to go ahead with his campaign promise of canceling the construction of the new city hall that already started in Feb. A major sticking point against incumbent FUJITANI Eisho (71) whom he easily defeated on April 15.
2018-04-18 13:10:31 Sad that this large willow tree at Lake Yogo was knocked over by the typhoon last Oct. Famous as the tree where the swan maiden hung her clothes when she went skinny dipping in the lake. Glad it looks like the tree is still alive. Future swan maidens have to choose another tree. 
2018-04-18 13:11:03 Running since Aug. 1995, Steam Locomotive C56 “Pony” will make its final run as the “SL Kita-Biwako Train” on May 27, 2018 leaving Maibara Station at 1:16 pm and arriving Kinomoto Station 45 min. later. Due to old age, it will be retired and replaced by the D51 steam locomotive. 
2018-04-18 13:15:48 RT @LeavenworthKS: It’s been a cold few days, but our hearts are warmed by the beautiful blossoms on the cherry trees planted at North Esplanade Park in honor of our Sister City, Omihachiman, Japan.
2018-04-19 11:39:18 At Odani Castle in Nagahama, for the first time, 16th-century Shigaraki pottery pieces and remains of a drainage system were found where the Azai castle lord’s residence was believed to be located at the foot of Mt. Odani. #小谷城跡 #御屋敷跡
2018-04-19 11:39:50 The year-long NHK Taiga Drama historical TV series in 2020 titled “Kirin ga Kuru” (麒麟がくる) will be about Akechi Mitsuhide, lord of Sakamoto Castle in Otsu and most famous for assassinating warlord Oda Nobunaga in 1582. Mitsuhide will be played by actor Hasegawa Hiroki.
2018-04-19 11:40:10 To the relief of local residents, the koban police box in front of JR Kawase Station in Hikone where a junior policeman shot and killed coworker and police sergeant Imoto Akira (41) on April 11 has reopened today with two policemen on duty each shift.
2018-04-19 11:40:52 Otsu Basho sumo exhibition tourney will be held on July 30, 2018. Otsu Mayor Naomi Koshi today requested the Japan Sumo Association to allow her to stand on the sumo ring for her speech that day. She & other female mayors will also submit a formal request to the Sports Minister. https://t.co/txa57hisur
2018-04-20 12:48:36 Otsu has been selected as one of the team camps for Wales and Fiji during the Rugby World Cup 2019. https://t.co/Hal1grL8WC
2018-04-20 14:03:24 Today, NHK World spotlighted Shiga Prefecture in a 30-min. news program. They covered a wide range of topics, but I thought the castle wall builder (AWATA Suminori) from Sakamoto building castle walls in the US was most interesting. Watch it online here: https://t.co/fM4TPzyuej
2018-04-22 08:33:36 第2回びわ湖音楽祭のプレイベントの一つとして関島秀樹コンサートが近江舞子のほとり・ポトリというカフェで4月21日に開催されました。自ら作詞・作曲された滋賀の歌を披露しました。橋板の歌も興味深いでした。とても良かったです。Sekijima Hideki performed in Omi-Maiko. 
2018-04-22 08:55:58 加藤登紀子プロデュースの「第2回びわ湖音楽祭」が2018年5月20日(日)に和邇に開催されます。入場料/6,000円。前日にも平和堂 和邇店に無料プレイベントが盛りたくさん。Singer Kato Tokiko and local artists will perform in Wani, Otsu on May 20. https://t.co/B7181FDE8b https://t.co/iUTmLqYM7W 
2018-04-27 11:17:39 Repair work has started on Hikone Castle’s white plaster walls damaged by Typhoon Lan (No. 21) last Oct. Repairs should be completed by Nov. this year. 
2018-04-27 11:25:15 About 2,500 shoppers were on hand today for the reopening of the old Otsu PARCO shopping complex renamed “Oh! Me Otsu Terrace” with over 30 stores including Friend Mart (Heiwado), Yamada Denki, TSUTAYA bookstore, Can Do, United Cinemas, and Shiga Bank. https://t.co/5gMYxdB8Q2
2018-04-28 22:59:50 My article about YUtour, tour guide for foreign visitors in Shiga. Operated by MORI Seita (森 聖太), a great tour guide. #悠ツアーhttps://t.co/YYaGK7ZwAl

Shiga History Sept.–Dec. 2017Chronological History of Shiga | Shiga History May–Aug. 2018

Shiga History September–December 2017

Chronology of Shiga Prefecture’s major news headlines for September–December 2017 (according to the year, month, day, and time posted at GMT).

Originally posted on Twitter under Shiga Headlines by Philbert Ono. Twitter posts were limited to 140 characters including spaces and links (shortened by Twitter) until early Nov. 2017. After that, the limit was increased to 280 characters in English. Dates and times below are based on GMT instead of Japan time.

2017-09-01 15:34:24 Due to North Korea’s missile threat, Hikone Higashi School has canceled a 4-day class trip to Guam scheduled for this Nov. for 317 students.
2017-09-03 10:58:28 Ropeway to Biwako Valley/Terrace had mechanical problems this morning, stranding most of the 600+ visitors who had to hike down the mountain
2017-09-03 11:12:37 RT @onyanlif:びわ湖バレイの公式サイトの今日の営業案内の書き方おかしいと思う(笑)

「ロープウェイの安全確認の為…」

いやいや私らには「動かなくなったからお待ちください」って言って4時間待って結果「まだ修復してないので泊まって頂くか、下山して頂くか」って言って宿泊…

2017-09-04 02:42:48 After waiting 4 hours, they were told to hike down Biwako Valley, taking them 2.5 hours while the ropeway had mechanical problems. https://t.co/b8mwnArvw2
2017-09-07 19:45:37 Due to North Korea’s missile threat, Torahime High School also changed its class trip destination from Guam to Okinawa this year. #交通事故の方が危険
2017-09-09 11:49:45 Biwako Valley and Biwako Terrace will be closed until Oct. due to cable replacement work on the ropeway that had mechanical problems since Sept. 3.
2017-09-09 13:24:45 Hikone-native Kiryu Yoshihide, the 1st Japanese to run 100 meters in less than 10 sec. (9.98 sec.) at intercollegiate meet in Fukui today. https://t.co/O6M4mH0Vo1
2017-09-10 02:59:28 Hikone-native sprinter Yoshihide Kiryu is front-page news in almost all Japanese newspapers this morning. #桐生祥秀9秒台 https://t.co/FZ45VKwGIl
2017-09-12 12:28:33 Shiga’s ineptness during disasters became evident when Ane River overflowed last month. Disaster info systems had errors or didn’t work.
2017-09-13 03:30:02 Pre-1903 old photo of Nagahama Station from my friend’s family collection. Going semi-viral. Lots of railway fans in Japan. https://t.co/OOnETWge6s
2017-09-14 01:04:26 Tanaka Kazuma (23,田中一真), employee at National Printing Bureau’s Hikone Plant arrested for groping and hitting age-20 college coed in Hikone.
2017-09-14 01:07:42 New edition of Japan Post Office’s die-cut postcards (gotochi form card) are out. Shiga’s latest one shows Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri. https://t.co/4ziI5UeDB6
2017-09-15 12:22:38 Age 31 Hino High School male teacher fired for DUI hit-and-run accident in Osaka in June. Also fined ¥300,000 for improper disposal of docs.
2017-09-15 12:32:48 Age 48 Kokusai Joho High School male teacher (soccer club advisor) reprimanded for losing docs containing soccer club members’ personal info
2017-09-15 12:42:29 Shiga police sergeant (40s) received a warning for unauthorized use of police database to check criminal record of his wife’s male friend.
2017-09-16 02:56:41 Typhoon No. 18 rains expected to hit Shiga tomorrow the 17th from around noon.
2017-09-17 02:45:57 Due to the typhoon, the Inazuma Rock Festival has been canceled today. Tickets will be refunded. See website: https://t.co/k0tKpKaMI9
2017-09-17 03:52:19 Created the “Shiga Travel Alerts” section on https://t.co/MzT4BdgWjB home page. Because nobody does it, not even in Japanese. Poor tourists.
2017-09-23 12:15:54 今日のツーリズムEXPOジャパン(東京ビッグサイト)の滋賀のステージはさすがにつまらない。ご当地キャラとくだらないおしゃべりだけ。(その出張費が勿体無い。)ステージってやっぱり踊りなどのパフォーマンスがないとダメです。来年には土山のケンケト踊りでも披露したらいかがですか? 
2017-09-23 12:22:10 At Tourism Expo Japan today at Tokyo Big Sight, friendly staff (including this American lady) at the Omi-jofu (#近江上布) hemp fabric booth. 
2017-09-28 17:05:57 On Sep. 23 at Hikone Castle Resort and Spa, 29 people at a banquet suffered from food poisoning. Hotel’s kitchen was shutdown until the 29th.
2017-09-28 17:23:05 A recent survey found 141 Airbnb-type “minpaku” lodges operating in Shiga and 110 of them operating without a hotel business license.
2017-09-29 12:55:34 Former Shiga Governor Kada Yukiko will run for Shiga’s House of Representatives District 1 Diet seat in the Oct. 22 election. A shoo-in.
2017-10-01 15:01:28 Ceremony held today for Ohmi Railways Hino Station now completely renovated, looks like new. Will miss the old station from 1916.
2017-10-02 10:15:21 CUTE video of “Lake Biwa Rowing Song” sung in English by kids at ECC Junior in Konan city. Taught by our friend. GOOD JOB!!! #琵琶湖周航の歌英語版 https://t.co/IQhv8Uidp3
2017-10-06 12:16:17 今夜のNHK総合「歴史秘話ヒストリア」がよかったね。浅井長政の話で感動しました。この番組はいつも日本の歴史をわかりやすく説明するので大好きです。視聴者の皆さん、是非小谷城を訪れてください。10月15日午前0時05分に再放送されます。 https://t.co/ZNV7UqQDUe
2017-10-10 12:47:26 Enjoyed child kabuki at Maibara Hikiyama Matsuri on Oct. 9, Sports Day. #米原曳山まつり #旭山 #菅原伝授手習鑑三段目 
2017-10-11 13:45:52 Univ. of Shiga Prefecture Human Cultures male professor (age 63)-cum-former vice president punished for sexual harassment of female student.
2017-10-11 13:49:40 Former age 63 Vice President of University of Shiga Prefecture suspended for only 2 months for 1.5-year sexual harassment of female student.
2017-10-14 10:53:30 Matchlock gun shooting at Nagahama Castle this morning by gunners from Tanegashima (Kagoshima), Sakai (Osaka), and Hikone. #第34回長浜火縄銃大会 
2017-10-14 11:00:21 Colorful kimono today at the Nagahama Kimono Garden Party. Drawing also held, grand prize (trip to Hawaii) won by a Maibara lady. #長浜きもの大園遊会 
2017-10-16 13:45:08 「鶴瓶の家族に乾杯」がよく彦根へ来てくれた。しかし出会った市民はナーバスまたはシャイな方が多かったね(笑)。もっと明るく笑顔で迎えて欲しかったな。閉鎖的な県には苦手かもしれないが、よそ者にも心を開いてもっとフレンドリーにしよう。https://t.co/V1YkskvIPu
2017-10-20 03:46:34 Made in Echigawa: Toured UCC Shiga Factory that uses clean water from the Suzuka mountains to make coffee filled in capped cans and PETs. https://t.co/TzJMN2VAnp
2017-10-20 03:47:07 Made in Echigawa: Weaving hemp fabric for the 1st time at Omi Jofu Traditional Crafts Center in Aisho. #近江上布機織り体験 https://t.co/ADXvr96iB9 
2017-10-20 04:03:22 Made in Echigawa: Interviewed Nishikawa Yamato Gakki who makes koto. Beautiful instrument, beautiful sound! #西川和楽器 https://t.co/ObNR5h3XHy 
2017-10-21 07:54:57 Due to Typhoon Lan (No. 21) hitting Shiga on Sunday, Oct. 22, most festivals and events on this day have been cancelled in Shiga and elsewhere.
2017-10-21 13:38:38 Japan Meteorological Agency has issued heavy rain warnings for southern and eastern Shiga and Koka. https://t.co/DQ9P6R9AeE
2017-10-22 01:58:52 Typhoon Lan is expected to hit Shiga this evening, trains will be suspended or delayed from late afternoon. https://t.co/Q9oRi30kOt
2017-10-23 02:02:44 A sinkhole in Konan and 3 broken utility poles blocking Route 8 in Ryuo are part of the typhoon damage in Shiga reported so far. No injuries.
2017-10-23 02:04:28 Over 18,000 households are still without power mainly in Otsu and Takashima. https://t.co/Ouyw6yS3EA
2017-10-23 02:12:18 Trains on JR Biwako, Kosei, Kusatsu, and Hokuriku Lines in Shiga have been suspended or reduced as of 11 am today. https://t.co/XWFzKVkzON
2017-10-23 11:38:18 Former Shiga Governor Kada Yukiko lost her bid for Shiga’s House of Representatives District 1 Diet seat against incumbent Ooka Toshitaka.
2017-10-23 11:39:00 Typhoon Lan tore off the white wall of Hikone Castle’s Tamon Yagura turret and broke 9 utility poles on the Kosei Line near Hira Station.
2017-10-23 12:01:35 Kosei Line running only between Yamashina and Katata. Ohmi Railways suspended between Hino and Minakuchi Stations due to landslide. Bus provided
2017-10-24 00:27:31 Imoko-no-Sato Michinoeki roadside station in Wani, Otsu is closed due to major typhoon damage (roof blew off). #道の駅妹子の郷
2017-10-24 00:28:51 Due to broken utility poles near Hira Station, JR Kosei Line is not running between Katata and Omi-Imazu Stations. Reduced runs beyond Imazu.
2017-10-24 10:17:24 In Otsu, part of Shiga Jr. High School’s gym roof got blown off by Typhoon Lan. With no power and water, it remains closed. #志賀中学校
2017-10-25 02:31:23 DEC is holding its annual Cancer Walk at 10 am on Oct. 29 at Higashiomi Green Stadium. Donate for cancer research. https://t.co/0mk2j1wZ5S
2017-10-25 02:31:46 The entire JR Kosei Line is running again. Power returning to affected areas. Cable car from Sakamoto to Enryakuji will run from Oct. 26.
2017-10-27 01:33:45 Blog post reviewing UCC Shiga Factory tour in Aisho: https://t.co/oSLNdsivNL
2017-10-29 08:14:14 Due to winds, JR Kosei Line has been suspended between Katata and Omi-Imazu Stations for the rest of today. Reduced train runs to/from Katata.
2017-10-29 18:24:09 4th graders in St. Johns, Michigan sing the Biwako Rowing Song in Japanese. They hold an art exchange with Konan. https://t.co/Yyi2aqSjNK
2017-10-29 18:29:14 Shar Mohr in Michigan studied Japanese and visited Shiga for the 1st time in Sept. A local paper wrote about it. Nice! https://t.co/1MupokWdwM
2017-10-31 17:03:02 “CocoShiga,” Shiga’s new gift shop, eatery, and tourist info center opened in Nihonbashi, Tokyo on Oct. 29. General manager is from Okinawa.
2017-10-31 17:03:11 Yamaguchi Yuki (28,山口佑樹) math teacher at Moriyama Kita High School fired for trying to take an upskirt photo of a female student in class.
2017-10-31 17:04:18 Korean envoy documents from Nagahama-born Confucian scholar Amenomori Hoshu (1668-1755) will be inscribed as UNESCO Memory of the World.雨森芳洲
2017-11-02 17:57:40 Typhoon-caused landslide cleared and Ohmi Railways running again between Hino and Minakuchi Stations after a week of stoppage.
2017-11-03 20:38:55 Drunken Maibara City Hall worker Yomori Tatsuya (41,世森達也) arrested for punching a taxi driver who drove him home on Nov. 3, 12:45 am. #米原の恥
2017-11-03 20:39:12 3 hikers from Kyoto who got lost on Mt. Bunagatake on Nov. 2, found safe by police next day. Avoid alpine hiking after typhoon! #観光客用危険情報不足
2017-11-05 07:15:17 I wonder if they also showed her Lake Biwa pearls. I hope they did… https://t.co/TxBfmshKEs
2017-11-09 04:34:18 I welcome Twitter increasing the max. characters to 280 per tweet. Now I don’t have to use abbreviations which my Japanese readers of English might not understand. But I will still try to keep my tweets as short as possible. I can now use English + Japanese in one tweet. Great!
2017-11-09 05:16:27 Lots of Shiga sake at CocoShiga next to Nihonbashi Station in Tokyo.品揃えは結構あるけど、素人には目玉商品がよくわからない。滋賀の「これだ!」というもの。一見でわかるPOP広告やキャッチコピーが必要。英語版HPもおかしい。”The Shiga’s story”はおかしい… https://t.co/gp9d3AexFB https://t.co/W8bjZxAQ28
2017-11-09 05:42:20 Funazushi-flavored potato chips will go on sale from Nov. 13 in the Kinki Region. They look like regular chips, but with a fishy taste.魚の味はするけど、鮒ずしではないな。守山市にあるモンレーブの「ふなずしパイ」の方がいい。CocoShigaで売って欲しい。話題性のある「甲賀コーラ」も。 
2017-11-15 03:27:06 Nakamura Haruto (34,中村治人), a child activity center instructor at Ikadachi Jido Club (伊香立児童クラブ) in Otsu, was arrested for using his smartphone to shoot upskirt video of a high school girl in a convenience store in Otsu on Oct. 14. He has admitted to the charges.
2017-11-15 03:27:18 During the nationwide test of the J-Alert nationwide disaster warning system on Oct. 14 at 11 am, Koka’s loudspeaker announcement did not work and Moriyama’s email warning system did not work. #Jアラート訓練2市で不具合
2017-11-15 23:31:21 Otsu-based painter Brian Williams will have an exhibition at Takashimaya Department Store (6th floor) in Kyoto during Nov. 22–28. https://t.co/n2FNrd226F https://t.co/XJZI5VTxMh
2017-11-17 10:47:29 The next NHK Nodo Jiman TV program (amateur singing contest) on Nov. 19 at 12:15 pm to 1 pm will be held at Takashima Shimin Kaikan hall in Imazu, Takashima. Hope to hear Shiga’s famous songs. I applied to join the audience, but didn’t get in. Too bad! https://t.co/NYctY1LFiU
2017-11-17 10:52:24 Mt. Ibuki today. Dusted with the season’s first snow yesterday. 
2017-11-19 14:04:34 NHKのど自慢がよく今津に来てくれた。司会者が「琵琶県」と間違えて爆笑しました。一組(女子ペアの大学生)が「琵琶湖周航の歌」を歌ってよかった。思わず拍手。「今年は歌の百周年ですよ!」も言って欲しかったな。合格と思ったけどダメでした。皆さんお疲れ様でした。https://t.co/qToxwpsgJj
2017-11-21 04:39:26 In Maibara today, fall colors are peaking earlier than usual during a cold November. https://t.co/IcrlrCNYe5
2017-11-26 08:13:14 中日新聞、ありがとうございました! 
2017-11-26 08:15:38 A new song monument to mark the 100th anniversary of Biwako Shuko no Uta (Lake Biwa Rowing Song) was unveiled at Kyoto University’s Yoshida-South Campus in Kyoto on Nov. 25, 2017. It’s in both Japanese and English. Watch this short video clip.「琵琶湖周航の歌」100周年記念碑除幕式 https://t.co/wAUT0vsBap
2017-11-28 02:31:56 Kyoto University Glee Club sang the 1st verse of Lake Biwa Rowing Song in English as part of the university’s celebration of Biwako Shuko no Uta’s 100th anniversary held at the university on Nov. 25, 2017. #京都大学グリークラブ #琵琶湖周航の歌百周年記念 https://t.co/ZrRn4jIaeh
2017-11-30 03:20:02 “Club Harie”を初めて聞いたとき,disco,スナック,高島市針江地区のジムとか思ったけど洋菓子屋でした。先日に彦根店の従業員にその名前の由来を聞いてみた。ClubとHarie(玻璃絵)の意味がわかったけど、なぜその社名にしたのか誰も知りませんでした。そのCaféのキッシュプレート(¥1080)は美味しかった。
2017-12-01 14:39:30 One wall (left in the photo) on Hikone Castle’s main tower was damaged by Typhoon No. 21 in Oct. The white plaster (shikkui漆喰) got soaked by horizontal rain and fell off. They can’t repair it until May since the new plaster cannot dry in the winter cold. It remains exposed. 
2017-12-03 14:08:55 Beautiful day today for Tarobogu Shrine’s annual Fire Festival in Higashi-Omi. It’s literally, “Holy smoke!” The smoke supposed to purify you for the new year. I really got smoked so I’m very pure. Firewalking (hi-watari) was fun too. I’m ready for 2018. #太郎坊宮お火焚大祭 
2017-12-04 14:36:31 Visited the old Biwako Hotel in Otsu. It’s now the Biwako Otsu-kan with a banquet hall, restaurant, and galleries. Larger-than-life building with great lake views. Built in 1934, it takes you back in time. Old photos of US Occupation forces using the hotel 1945–1957 are exhibited. 
2017-12-09 14:46:28 「琵琶湖周航の歌」はどう誕生したのか、オリジナルの朗読劇で披露された。2017年12月2日、滋賀県高島市今津町の今津東コミュニティセンターで「朗読劇団ムサシ」(森本純一代表)の6名のメンバーが披露しました。「針江よし笛の会」の生演奏も。その動画です: https://t.co/QaBlC9EbS4
2017-12-11 03:05:51 さすが彦根。この間は鶴瓶さん。そして先日の9日はNHK総合「ブラタモリ」。偶然か計画的か。または城の410周年のためか。近江さんも近江を訪れた。その名字の由来も聞きたかった。足軽屋敷の中も拝見できてよかった。色々面白くわかりました。再放送あり。https://t.co/M3AbpDRJI2
2017-12-11 14:45:53 Let’s pray that the tanuki (raccoon) mascot candidate for the Tokyo Paralympics will be selected. It would be great PR for Shiga, especially Shigaraki. Watch this official video that shows this mascot being born from Shigaraki tanuki. https://t.co/3sbewVP2uP
2017-12-12 18:33:56 In Yasu, the copper roofing on two smaller shrines at Osasahara Jinja Shrine (大笹原神社) was found to be torn off and stolen on Dec. 8. Shrine members plan to replace the roofing before New Year’s. Copper prices have been rising and have become a target for thieves in the past.
2017-12-12 19:50:58 My foodie friend Yukari introduced funazushi on NHK World’s J-Trip program about sushi (starts at 18:40): https://t.co/kUjHJy0TkG
2017-12-13 20:36:21 CocoShiga is Shiga’s new antenna shop in Tokyo. My blog post here: https://t.co/qMaT8Y1E3m
2017-12-15 15:06:53 Since 1977, for 41 years in a row in Dec., an anonymous person has again left bags of Omi rice at Hino Town Hall. Three 30-kg bags of rice were found at the entrance on the morning of Dec. 15. The town plans to give the rice to local nursing homes. No message was attached.
2017-12-15 15:18:13 National survey by Japan’s health ministry found that Shiga had Japan’s longest average life expectancy for men at 81.78 years as of 2015. For Shiga women, it was 87.57 years, the 8th longest in Japan and the longest in Kansai. Cancer was the leading cause of death in Japan.
2017-12-18 11:15:10 At Otsu District Court’s Hikone Branch today, former Kora Town Hall tax worker Kojima Takayasu (31) #小島崇靖 was convicted of embezzling ¥6 million from tax-paying residents. His 3-year jail sentence has been suspended for 5 years after his father paid the town ¥33 million.
2017-12-19 14:45:48 For the 4th time in Dec. 2017, copper roofing was stolen from a Shinto shrine in Shiga. On Dec. 19, copper roofing worth ¥20,000 on the Haiden hall of Taiho Jinja Shrine (大寶神社) in Hino was found to be torn off. Since June 2017, there have been 33 copper thefts in Shiga.
2017-12-20 15:38:00 私のTwitter followersは今まだ少ないですが、ほとんどのtweetは最低,数百件のアクセスがある.Shiga Blogのsidebarに自動的に表示されるので増えますが,たまに何千件のアクセスもある.例えば,12月1日の彦根城の漆喰の被害状況の写真は既に4千件以上のアクセス.なにが人気になるのか本当に予想できない.
2017-12-25 15:03:19 Faced with red ink (since mid-1990s) and aging rails and trains, Ohmi Railways is seeking serious talks with the five cities and towns it operates in to discuss its future. Either receive subsidies, replace train lines with buses, or create a joint venture with local governments.
2017-12-25 15:18:16 Age 25 math teacher at Hino High School fired (fined ¥700,000) for slandering a woman on social media and obscene acts with an underage girl. Also, a substitute teacher at Kamiteru Elementary School in Nagahama was fired (fined ¥500,000) for paid obscene acts w/age 16 girl in June.
2017-12-25 15:27:06 From Jan. to Nov. 2017, 88 arrests were made for crimes by foreigners in Shiga, including tourists, 19 more than the same period in 2016. 61 arrests were for shoplifting. Vietnamese were the largest group at 16 persons, followed by 10 Brazilians. No mention of Japanese arrests.
2017-12-25 15:57:56 After an invalid Nov. 26 referendum, the Yasu City Council has voted in favor of building a new municipal hospital (野洲市民病院) on the empty lot in front of JR Yasu Station’s South exit. Slated to open in 4 years to replace the current and aging Yasu Hospital in Koshinohara.
2017-12-25 16:07:22 To bring more tourists to western Shiga along the JR Kosei Line, a special express Haruka train will run from Kansai Airport to Omi-Imazu on Feb. 17, 2018 morning. It will be a special tour for 200 people to visit Ogoto Onsen and Imazu. Reservations being accepted until Jan. 31.
2017-12-25 16:22:54 In 2016, a record 50,767,300 tourists visited Shiga, a 5.9% increase over 2015 (+2.82 mil.) and the 1st time it exceeded 50 mil. 549,800 of them were foreigners, 74,000 (+15.6%) more than in 2015. However, lodging guests numbered only 3,777,300, a 1.5% decrease.
2017-12-25 16:28:27 In 2016, Shiga’s most popular tourist destinations were: 1. La Collina Omi-Hachiman (2.13 mil. visitors), 2. Kurokabe Glass Shop in Nagahama (1.97 mil. visitors), and 3. Taga Taisha Shrine (1.66 mil. visitors) in Taga.

Shiga History May–Aug. 2017Chronological History of Shiga | Shiga History Jan.–April 2018

Kyoto University’s Biwako Shuko no Uta 100th anniversary celebration

Unveiling the new song monument at Kyoto University. (記念碑除幕式)

京都大学「琵琶湖周航の歌」誕生百周年記念事業の報告

After the epic 100th anniversary celebration of Biwako Shuko no Uta in Shiga with a Lake Biwa rowing trip and concert in June 2017, it was Kyoto University’s turn to celebrate. On November 25, 2017, they unveiled a new song monument on campus and held a lecture session, music festival, and party. It was an all-day affair from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. coinciding with the university’s annual school festival called “November Festival.”

Biwako Shuko no Uta (Lake Biwa Rowing Song) was created in June 1917 by rowing club members (especially Oguchi Taro) at an old elite university called Daisan Koto Gakko (No. 3 High School, nicknamed “Daisanko” or “Sanko” 三高) which merged with Kyoto University in 1949. Kyoto University has since adopted the legacy of Sanko by absorbing the Sanko campus (now the Yoshida-South Campus right across from the Main Campus), the rowing club, and adopting Biwako Shuko no Uta as one of the university’s official songs.

The Kyoto University Rowing Club (KURC) has a very active and dedicated alumni association called Noseikai (濃青会), which means “Dark Blue Association,” named after the rowing club’s official color of dark blue. (Their oar blades are dark blue.) This association spearheaded the planning and execution of the university’s celebration of the song’s 100th anniversary and also greatly helped with Shiga’s 100th anniversary song celebration in June 2017 which included a four-day rowing excursion around Lake Biwa by KURC alumni. They also helped to raise funds to build a new song monument on campus. Much of the fund-raising was done by the university’s water sports clubs (rowing, yachting, canoeing, and swimming).


Video

I took photos and videos of Kyoto University’s celebration and compiled the highlights in a 66-min. video that includes English subtitles. The video includes excellent concert performances of Biwako Shuko no Uta and Lake Biwa Rowing Song by the Kyoto University Glee Club and Kyoto University Symphonic Band. There’s also flashback footage from the Lake Biwa rowing trip in June 2017.(京都大学「琵琶湖周航の歌」誕生百周年記念事業のダイジェスト版動画)

Video link: https://youtu.be/_b3WrfV0rMI

Quick Links(動画早送りリンク)
Song monument unveiling(記念碑除幕式): https://youtu.be/_b3WrfV0rMI?t=3m51s

Lecture (Iida Tadayoshi)(講演会): https://youtu.be/_b3WrfV0rMI?t=11m

Hitsuji-gusa (Glee Club): https://youtu.be/_b3WrfV0rMI?t=16m46s

Nara no Miyako (Glee Club): https://youtu.be/_b3WrfV0rMI?t=17m41s

Introduction of Okaya and Niigata guests: https://youtu.be/_b3WrfV0rMI?t=19m16s

Lecture (English version 英語版): https://youtu.be/_b3WrfV0rMI?t=22m21s

Thompsons’ message: https://youtu.be/_b3WrfV0rMI?t=27m41s

Lake Biwa Rowing Song (Glee Club): https://youtu.be/_b3WrfV0rMI?t=28m46s

Lecture (Murai Yoshiko 資料館): https://youtu.be/_b3WrfV0rMI?t=30m9s

Music festival(音楽祭): https://youtu.be/_b3WrfV0rMI?t=32m50s

Biwako Shuko no Uta (Symphonic Band): https://youtu.be/_b3WrfV0rMI?t=33m36s

Speeches (Kawazoe Shinsuke, Koshi Naomi, Hiraoka Shoshichiro): https://youtu.be/_b3WrfV0rMI?t=37m22s

Sanko Alumni and Himawari Choir: https://youtu.be/_b3WrfV0rMI?t=40m54s

Mandolin Guitar Ensemble Kaguya: https://youtu.be/_b3WrfV0rMI?t=48m23s

What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor (Glee Club): https://youtu.be/_b3WrfV0rMI?t=50m58s

Biwako Shuko no Uta (Glee Club): https://youtu.be/_b3WrfV0rMI?t=53m53s

Biwako Shuko no Uta audience finale: https://youtu.be/_b3WrfV0rMI?t=56m35s

Party(懇親会): https://youtu.be/_b3WrfV0rMI?t=1h2m26s

Acknowledgements: https://youtu.be/_b3WrfV0rMI?t=1h4m56s

If you don’t have time to watch the video, you can continue reading to see photos instead. Links to the respective video footage are also provided below.


New Biwako Shuko no Uta song monument at Kyoto University
京都大学の「琵琶湖周航の歌」記念碑
New song monument

Front side of the new Biwako Shuko no Uta song monument at Kyoto University.

Kyoto University’s 100th anniversary celebration of Biwako Shuko no Uta started with the unveiling of a new song monument on the Yoshida-South Campus (the former Sanko campus) at 11:00 a.m. on November 25, 2017. (Video here.) This campus is right across the road from the main campus (and main gate). (See map and directions below.) Built to commemorate the song’s 100th anniversary, the new song monument is a beautiful, double-sided, stainless-steel panel with a brushed-metal finish.

The front side has the Japanese lyrics (all six verses) overlaid on a recent photo of Kyoto University Rowing Club members rowing on Lake Biwa. The uncredited calligraphy of the Japanese lyrics on the song monument was done by Ichihara Atsushi (市原 厚), a KURC alumnus who has been publishing a kiri-e calendar for the song every year (sold at the Biwako Shuko no Uta Shiryokan song museum in Imazu). The lower part has a Japanese explanation about the song and a photo of Oguchi Taro (right) who wrote the lyrics and Yoshida Chiaki (left) whose melody was used for the song. This is my English translation of the explanation(記念碑の表面の解説の英訳):

Daisan Koto Gakko (No. 3 High School) rowing club member Oguchi Taro left in June 1917 (Taisho 6) on a fixed-seat boat to row around Lake Biwa. On the second day on June 28, they stayed at a ryokan in Imazu.

That evening, he composed a draft of a rowing song that started with “Ware wa Umi no ko” (We’re children of the lake). They sang it to the melody of Hitsuji-gusa (Water Lilies), a popular song at the time composed by Yoshida Chiaki. The melody matched the song well and they sang it together.

The song was well received at student gatherings. This is how Biwako Shuko no Uta became a college dormitory song of Sanko (Daisan Koto Gakko).

Today, the song continues to be sung by the university’s rowing club when they row around Lake Biwa and by many people at Kyoto University and class reunions.

Also, as a song expressing affection for Lake Biwa, the song is lovingly sung by people in Shiga Prefecture and across Japan.

To mark the 100th anniversary of Biwako Shuko no Uta, we built this monument here.

Heisei 29 (2017)

From the late 19th century, dormitories at Japan’s elite universities started a tradition of creating their own “dormitory songs” to be performed at their annual dormitory festivals. Dormitory boarders sang the song together at dormitory festivals and student gatherings. While most of these songs fell into obscurity, some dormitory songs like Biwako Shuko no Uta continue to be sung.

Rear side of the song monument.

Rear side with rowing map and English lyrics. 地図と英語歌詞

The rear side of the song monument shows a bilingual Lake Biwa map of the rowing route taken by Oguchi and his rowing mates in June 1917 and my Lake Biwa Rowing Song English lyrics (all six verses).

Members of the KURC alumni association (Noseikai) initially proposed building this song monument for the song’s 100th anniversary. There were already song monuments in Shiga and Okaya, Nagano Prefecture, but none at Kyoto University. So they thought the university should also have a monument.

The university agreed to have the song monument on campus, but it required the monument to also include English lyrics. At first, the alumni association wondered where they could obtain English lyrics, but they soon found my English version of the song. They contacted me in 2016 and asked for my permission to use my English lyrics. I said, “YES, YES!! Please do so!!” “You can use it for free! No charge!!” And so they did.

Kyoto University has been pushing to become more international and more attractive for international students. So they wanted a monument that international students could also understand. I was very impressed to hear this. A song monument in Japan with both Japanese and English lyrics must be extremely rare. I haven’t seen one until now.

The current Kyoto University President is Yamagiwa Juichi who speaks English. He has traveled the world to study primates and gorillas as a way to learn more about early humans and their evolution. So he’s very internationally oriented. Having someone at the top with an international outlook helps a lot.

I’m certainly very honored and delighted to see my English lyrics on a monument. Monuments are usually built to point out something (or someone) that is important. So monuments naturally attract people’s attention. It’s important for a monument to be easy to read and in a good location where people can see it. This new monument meets both of these conditions.

It was the Verse 1 song monument in Mihogasaki, Otsu that first piqued the interest of Iida Tadayoshi, the foremost song researcher (since 1974) who has written a few books about Biwako Shuko no Uta. And I also first learned about the song when I saw a statue of composer Oguchi Taro and a song monument in Okaya, Nagano Prefecture. So song monuments can be very worthy to have. I wonder if there’s any other song in Japan that has this many monuments for it in three prefectures.

I’m very hopeful that this new monument will pique the interest of both Japanese and non-Japanese students in the song and in Shiga. I believe the song’s story, background, melody, and vivid depiction of Shiga can fascinate any young mind. The monument also has a QR code that you can scan with your mobile device to access the rowing club’s official 100th song anniversary website where you can learn more about the song and watch song videos in both Japanese and English.

Map and directions to new song monument

Here’s a map of the exact location of the new song monument (and the other song monuments). Zoom in on Kyoto. From JR Kyoto Station, get out the Karasuma exit (Kyoto Tower side) and go to Bus Stop D2 to board bus No. 206 bound for Kitaoji Bus Terminal. Get off at Kyodai Seimon-mae (京大正門前). The ride takes about 35 min. The main campus will be across the street from the bus stop, and the entrance to the Yoshida-South Campus is across the road facing the main campus.


Lecture Session (記念講演会) (Video here)

After the unveiling of the song monument, we had lunch and moved to the Kyoto University Clock Tower Centennial Hall for an hour-long Lecture Session (including performances by the Kyoto University Glee Club) starting at 12:30 pm.

Iida Tadayoshi

Song researcher Iida Tadayoshi appeared on video as the keynote speaker. 飯田忠義 「琵琶湖周航の歌」研究家、元NHKチーフアナウンサー

The main speaker was song researcher Iida Tadayoshi. He is the foremost authority on the song. A lot of what we know about the song and the composers is due to his research. He talked about how the song was created by Oguchi Taro and how the Hitsuji-gusa melody by Yoshida Chiaki was adapted to it.

Due to health reasons, Iida sensei was unable to appear in person so he appeared in a video lecture. Video here. After his lecture, the Kyoto University Glee Club sang Hitsuji-gusa (Verse 1) composed by Yoshida Chiaki and Nara no Miyako (Verse 1) which was the song whose melody Oguchi originally considered using for Biwako Shuko no Uta. Video here.

my talk

Video message from Jamie and Megan Thompson.

I was the second speaker, taking about 10 min. to mainly show slides of people who helped and encouraged me before and after I finished writing the English lyrics. Since Jamie and Megan Thompson (who sang Lake Biwa Rowing Song) could not make it to Japan in Nov., I showed a one-minute video message in Japanese from them. Video here.

After my talk, the Kyoto University Glee Club beautifully sang the first verse of Lake Biwa Rowing Song. (Video here.)

Yoshiko

Murai Yoshiko talked about the Biwako Shuko no Uta Shiryokan.

The third and last speaker was Murai Yoshiko, the director of the Biwako Shuko no Uta Shiryokan song museum in Imazu. She used slides to explain about the museum near JR Omi-Imazu Station and encouraged everyone to visit. Video here.


Music Festival (記念音楽祭) (Video here)

After a 30-min. break, the Music Festival (Ongakusai) started at 2:00 p.m. in the same Clock Tower Centennial Hall (capacity 500) as the Lecture Session. Part 1 had the Kyoto University Symphonic Band, Kyoto University Glee Club, Himawari Choir (from Otsu), and Mandolin Guitar Ensemble Kaguya perform or sing Biwako Shuko no Uta and a few other songs.

Part 2 featured a 40-min. talk show by singer Kato Tokiko. The finale had all the performers appear on stage to sing Biwako Shuko no Uta together with the entire audience. The finale was led by Kato Tokiko and the music festival ended at 4:30 pm.

Kyoto University Symphonic Band opened the music festival with Fanfare and played Biwako Shuko no Uta. 京都大学吹奏楽団 Video here.

Short congratulatory speeches were also given by three dignitaries:

Shinsuke Kawazoe, Kyoto University Executive Vice-President (substituting for Kyoto University President Juichi Yamagiwa). 川添信介 京都大学理事・副学長(山極壽一総長の代理)Video here.

Otsu Mayor

Otsu Mayor Koshi Naomi mentioned that Otsu City Hall plays the song to signal the end of the work day, resulting in a decrease of overtime by almost 30%. Video here.

Takashima

Shoshichiro Hiraoka, Deputy Mayor of Takashima (substituting for Mayor Masaaki Fukui), promised to perpetuate the song to the next generation. Video here.

Sanko alumni sing with Himawari Choir from Otsu. 旧制第三高等学校OB + 大津市ひまわり合唱団 Video here.

Sanko alumni wave their school flag. The Sanko logo has a cherry blossom with three stripes.

Mandolin

Mandolin Guitar Ensemble Kaguya. マンドリンギターアンサンブル香久夜 Video here.

Mandolin

Mandolin Guitar Ensemble Kaguya. Great performance.

Kyoto University Glee Club sang What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor (video here) and Biwako Shuko no Uta (video here). 京都大学グリークラブ .

A short break after Part 1.

finale

Led by Kato Tokiko, everyone sang Biwako Shuko no Uta in the end. Video here.

Tokiko

Singer Kato Tokiko and Kada Yukiko on stage during the finale.


Party (懇親会) (Video here)

After the music festival, attendees had the option to attend the party from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the 2nd floor of the Clock Tower Centennial Hall. This was when we could finally mix and socialize. It was nice meeting and talking with people from Oguchi Taro’s hometown and Yoshida Chiaki’s hometown and rowing club alumni. Very few women though.

Kada Yukiko gave a short speech at the start of the party.

Yacht

Yacht Club showed slides of KURC’s original boat house in Otsu.

alumni

Kyoto University Rowing Club alumni. These three tall men almost represented Japan at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne.

everyone

In the end, everyone sang the song with Mandolin Guitar Ensemble Kaguya.

remarks

Noseikai chairman Yoshida Tamotsu gave closing remarks. “Nothing made me happier than rowing…” 吉田 保 京都大学ボート部濃青会 会長

The celebrations of Biwako Shuko no Uta’s 100th anniversary in Shiga and Kyoto were quite spectacular. It has spread awareness of the song as a precious hometown asset. Shiga has so few famous hometown songs, and even its most famous one is in danger of being forgotten since it’s not really taught in schools.

Where I come from, there are many, many beloved Hawaiian songs (and dances) that continue to be sung for generations. I cannot imagine growing up in a place that lacks popular hometown songs. It shapes your identity and affinity with your hometown. It would be a major cultural loss if Shiga allowed Biwako Shuko no Uta to fall into obscurity. It is by far Shiga’s most nationally famous song.

It’s comforting to see more people singing the song in Japanese or English. They are posting on YouTube. Anyone is welcome to sing the song in Japanese or English. I still wish John Denver lived long enough to record it. His voice matches the song extremely well.

Thank you to everyone who made the 100th anniversary celebration a great success.

本当に素晴らしい記念事業でした。皆さんお疲れ様でした。

Related video:

Related links:

感 謝
Acknowledgements

京都大学
山極 壽一 総長
川添 信介 理事・副学長
「琵琶湖周航の歌」誕生百周年記念事業実行委員会
京都大学ボート部
中村 佳正 京都大学ボート部長
京都大学ボート部 濃青会
吉田 保 京都大学ボート部濃青会会長
伊藤 七郎

旧制第三高等学校OB

小島 安紀子
尾城 徹雄
青野 正治

京都大学医学部ボート部・芝蘭会艇友会
京都大学ヨット部
京都大学カヌー部
京都大学水泳部・京泳会
ヨットクラブ神陵・京大神陵会

京都大学グリークラブ
京都大学吹奏楽団

その他の京都大学側の関係者・支援者

琵琶湖周航の歌資料館 全スタッフ(2004年以来)
澤田 浩(琵琶湖周航の歌資料館 元館長)
村井 佳子(琵琶湖周航の歌資料館 館長)
びわ湖高島観光協会

故 前田典夫(みちお)

琵琶湖周航の歌100周年記念事業実行委員会
嘉田 由紀子(代表)
加藤 登紀子
小坂 育子
北川 陽大(〜Lefa〜)

飯田 忠義

小口太郎顕彰碑等保存会(長野県岡谷市)
Naoko Nakamura
吉田ゆき (新潟)
ちあきの会

朗読劇団ムサシ(滋賀県高島市)
森本純一(代表)

中日新聞(滋賀版)
毎日新聞(滋賀版)
その他の報道陣

Jamie & Megan Thompson
日永 真梨子
菊井 了・近藤 ゆみ子(レイクリード)
Chikage Fujii(滋賀県湖南市)

その他の関係者・支援者・協力者・友人・親戚・ファン

小口太郎
吉田千秋

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