June 2011

June 29, 2011 10:24 AM

Moss Phlox Festival 2011 — Ganbaro Nippon (Don’t Give Up, Japan!)

Premises covered with moss phlox in full bloom

▲ Premises covered with moss phlox in full bloom

This is a report from the north island of Hokkaido. Nice to meet you all!! I’m Saito, of the General Affairs Department at Hokkaido Sumiden Precision Co., Ltd. (^o^)

We are well into spring, and summer is just around the corner, but it still gets chilly here every once in a while.

But today I bring you some “hot” news.

On May 22 (Sun), we held an annual Moss Phlox Festival, jointly with our neighboring company, Hokkaido Electric Co., Ltd. This event was started in 1990 to celebrate our 10th anniversary and express our gratitude to the local communities. This year marked the festival’s 21st anniversary. !(^^)!

About 50,000 moss phlox plants are planted on the premises. This year blossoming was delayed due to the long cold spell, and on the day of the festival, the moss phlox was 70% in bloom. It was a little chilly at the beginning, but (thanks to my magical power to bring good weather!?) around 11 o’clock the sun peeked out from behind the clouds and the temperature warmed up, bringing perfect weather for the festival.

The festival attracted over 1,500 visitors, and the parking lot was overflowing—a so-called full house. A number of food stalls were set up, offering yakitori (skewed grilled chicken), jingiskan (Mongolian mutton barbecue, one of Hokkaido’s local specialties), takoyaki (octopus dumplings) and fried potatoes, satisfying visitors’ palates. I myself enjoyed beer. (^^)

The festival opened with a taiko drum performance by kids from Hokkai Warabe Taiko. The dynamic and exciting sounds of taiko drums resounded throughout the venue.

Yosakoi Dance Team fascinated the audience with their energetic yet graceful dance performances. Clouds of dust kicked up by the stomping feet of the dancers were impressive.

Members of Hokkai Warabe Taiko

▲ Members of Hokkai Warabe Taiko

Sunagawa Emishi members dancing the Yosakoi dance

▲ Sunagawa Emishi members dancing the Yosakoi dance

Brass band performance by junior high school students from Naie Town

▲ Brass band performance by junior high school students from Naie Town

The dance was followed by a brass band performance by junior high school students from Naie Town. The brass band played seven pieces of music, mainly traditional Japanese music. Some of the music was accompanied by dancing by new students. When I heard enthusiastic chants for an encore, I felt the warmth of the local residents, and I was very happy to see junior high students playing happily in response to the audience’s request.

In addition to dance and musical performances, various fun events were held where visitors could participate. One such event was a customary rice cake throwing. Raffle tickets were put in each rice cake sack for some special prizes, including luxury items and moss phlox seedlings.
So men and women were all desperate to catch rice cakes thrown down from the stage.

Rice cake throwers on stage

▲ Rice cake throwers on stage

From left: President Chudo, Senior Managing Director Mori, and Mr. Kita, Mayor of Naie Town

▲ From left: President Chudo, Senior Managing Director Mori, and Mr. Kita, Mayor of Naie Town

Special events for children were held as well, including a Janken tournament and a treasure-hunting game. The prize for the winner of the treasure-hunting was, believe it or not, a mobile game console.

Hearing that the prize would be a popular game console, children got excited. Their exuberant shouts of “Wow!!!” and “That’s cool!” echoed around the venue.

Trying to get a prize, children were frantically running around the venue in search of hidden treasures. A desperate look on their faces scared me. (^ ^ ;

After the treasure-hunting game, the winning child was awarded a mobile game console. He was jubilant!!! All other children were presented with a bag of snacks for their participation.

When they received the present and said thank you, they had big, innocent smiles on their faces. (#^.^#)

The festival culminated with an exciting lottery. This year, the first prize was a 32-inch liquid crystal television and a Blu-ray player. In all, over 100 wonderful prizes were given away, including a mobile game console, a cyclone vacuum cleaner and a folding bicycle.

Mr. Ushijima, Executive Officer (and Hardmetal Division General Manager) of Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., came a long way to participate in our festival, and presented a travel voucher as the Sumitomo Electric Hardmetal Prize. m(_ _)m

Hardmetal Division General Manager Ushijima drawing lots for the Sumitomo Electric Hardmetal Prize

▲ Hardmetal Division General Manager Ushijima drawing lots for the Sumitomo Electric Hardmetal Prize

President Chudo presenting the Grand Prize to the winner of the lucky draw

▲ President Chudo presenting the Grand Prize to the winner of the lucky draw

The festival closed at 2:00 pm. This year’s festival was also a great success, attended by many local residents. People who drew a prize in the lottery, people enjoying with their families, guys who got drunk with beer... everyone looked happy and were having fun. It was such a joy to interact with local residents and see their bright smiles. By seeing many happy smiles, I felt that we could contribute to the local community, even if just a little.
We look forward to seeing the same smiling faces again next spring.

The Great Tohoku Earthquake, which struck on March 11, has caused unprecedented damage to Japan; it will take a long time for Japan to get back on its feet. Immediately after the earthquake, our company conducted a donation campaign, raising a total of 330,655 yen from employees. A matching amount was donated by the company. These donations were sent in early April for relief and recovery efforts in the affected regions.

Donating receipts from sales of food and drink tickets (935,062 yen) to the Social Welfare Council

▲ Donating receipts from sales of food and drink tickets (935,062 yen) to the Social Welfare Council

In the planning meeting for this year’s moss phlox festival, the Executive Committee members discussed “what we can do now” and decided to donate all receipts from food and drink sales during the festival. We at Hokkaido Sumiden Precision extend our heartfelt sympathies to all those affected by the earthquake and tsunami, and pray for quick recovery of all the affected areas and people.

June 27, 2011 1:17 PM

We participated in the Minato Ward Clean-up and Smoking Rule Awareness Campaign!

Hello, I’m Kobayashi, of HR & Administration Department.

On May 18 (Wed), we participated in the Clean-up and Smoking Rule Awareness Campaign, held around the Shinagawa Station Konan Exit area by the Safety & Beautification Council of Shibaura Konan Area, Minato Ward.

The campaign brought together over 60 people from local residents’ associations and businesses. Under a refreshing blue sky in May, participants cleaned the streets and called on pedestrians to stop smoking while walking and to not litter their cigarette butts. Nine people from our company participated in this campaign and worked hard to clean up the streets.

It’s already been two years since the Tokyo Head Office relocated to the Shibaura area. As a company operating in the Shibaura Konan area, we will actively promote community beautification activities, in cooperation with local residents and the Shibaura Konan Area Branch Office.

Let’s clean up the streets!

▲ Let’s clean up the streets!

Oh, look, there’s trash in the shrub!

▲ Oh, look, there’s trash in the shrub!


After cleaning up, we sorted the collected trash into separate bins.

▲ After cleaning up, we sorted the collected trash into separate bins.

At the end, we took a group photo to remember the day. Thank you all for your hard work!

▲ At the end, we took a group photo to remember the day. Thank you all for your hard work!

June 23, 2011 1:45 PM

Mothers’ Volleyball Class

I’m Miyake, General Manager of Osaka Works Volleyball Club. Thank you for your continued interest in and support for our club.

On May 21, Osaka Works Volleyball Club held a Mothers’ Volleyball Class by inviting 30 members from PTA volleyball clubs in nearby communities. This year’s class marked the fourth time our club has organized this event.

Image
Image

Our club members coached the participants and gave hands-on training on passing, spiking and other volleyball techniques based on their skills developed through daily practice. At the end of the class, a practice game was held, where both mothers and club members played with enthusiasm.

All the participants were enthusiastic and seemed to really enjoy the class. The event was extremely meaningful for the volleyball club members, too.

We hope to continue an event like this in the future, and look forward to seeing residents in the neighborhood of Osaka Works again next year. Bring your friends and come play volleyball with us!

Image