Intern Report: Miso Event

On Saturday 12th Groundwork Fukuoka held the Miso event in Yame-city. It takes about 1 hour by car from Fukuoka to the village, so we had to leave quite early in the morning.

The event took place in an old elementary school building, which was closed due to the small amount of children in the village. Therefore we were able to use the facility for our event. Around 9 o´clock about 20 people from all ages (children, elderly) gathered to participate in the event. Together we started cooking our own lunch.

味噌開き20160312-28_R - コピー

First we started with cleaning all the kitchen utensils, which we brought ourselves, followed by cutting all the different ingredients for our meal into small pieces. In the beginning the grownups showed the young children and me how to cut the vegetables into the right size and afterwards it was our turn to do so. In the meantime some other children learned how to wash rice and put it into the rice cooker.

During waiting for the rice to be cooked, one elderly woman explained and showed us how the Miso (soybean paste) for the soup is made. This paste was put into the boiling pot as the last ingredient which gave the soup the good taste for what it is known in Japan.

味噌開き20160312-37_RShortly before lunch we took the cooked rice and formed the famous rice balls called Onigiri. This is done by dipping both hands into water with salt and then forming the rice with a special hand grip into their triangular form. I also gave it a try but have to admit it is much more difficult as it looks like. My first attempts ended in round circles which made everybody laugh. Nevertheless I didn´t give up and at the end I kind of figured out how to make an Onigiri that could be recognized as one.

After finishing making Onigiris, we laid the table and ate together our own cooked meal. It was very delicious and everybody ate a lot. After lunch we grownups started to clean up while the kids were having fun by playing football. About 2 o´clock the event was over and everybody went back home.

All in all everybody had a great time. Especially I really enjoyed myself and it was really interesting to see and experience how a traditional Japanese food is cooked.


Written by Marcel


Self-Introduction: Marcel

Marcel Drexel - Bewerbungsfoto - small

Hello, my name is Marcel. I am from Austria and 25 years old. I am currently studying Sports-, Culture- and Eventmanagement at the FH Kufstein in Tyrol (Austria) and will graduate this summer. In my last semester I have to do an internship which I wanted to do in Japan and luckily be able to do at Groundwork Fukuoka from March to June 2016.

The reason why I have become so keen on Japan was due to two occasions. First, unknowingly growing up with Anime from Japan in my childhood, it was my passion to these kinds of series and pure curiosity which dragged me deeper and deeper into the japanese culture. After a lot of researching and reading about this totally different culture, I set my mind to visit and explore Japan when I grew older. It took only a few years until my dream could come true. During my studies it is mandatory to do a semester abroad, which didn´t take me long to set my destination. After the registration, planning and booking, I was finally being able to visit Japan und studied for one semester in Osaka in 2015. With a lot of enthusiasm and excitement I travelled around and explored as much as I could. Throughout this great time I really fell in love with this country, which encouraged me on deciding to do my Internship here as well and further enhance my japanese skills and knowledge of the japanese culture.

I am really looking forward to this internship and the next 4 months, which will definitely be a great time in my life.

Written by Marcel

9th Umi-fureai farm event

On March 6th (Sunday), as the last year is already over, the first activity of the New Year will be held at the “Umi-fureai farm”. Fureai means good interaction among people in Japanese.

Because of the cold temperatures the farm had to rest during the winter activities.
However, as spring is coming closer and the temperatures becoming warmer and warmer, the soil of this farm gets ready to be planted with several vegetables.

Since two years ago, Groundwork Fukuoka has taken advantage of the idle farmland of Umi-town and acts as a multi-generation meeting place for children up to the elderlies.
The vegetables, which will be planted first this year, are potatoes and leeks!

By all means, please feel free to join the event, even also if you have no experience yet.

We are looking forward to see you.

(Contact information)
NPO Groundwork Fukuoka
TEL 092-414-1234 / E-mail

Umi Freai Farm

(Translation and design of the flyer by Lion)



Intern Report: Herb garden

Once again Groundwork Fukuoka went to the “Fukuoka Shikaku Tokubetsu Shien School”, a school for blind and visually impaired children, to care for the schools herb garden. We went there on Saturday 05.12. The school is located quiet far outside of Fukuoka city, so we had to go there by car. After our arrival we prepared things for the event. Slowly more and more people from Panasonic and from the school itself came to the place and signed in with their name. At 9:30 am the event started officially. We began with a short game, where everybody has to present himself in a small group of 3 to 10 people. After that, the different working groups were presented by a member of Groundwork Fukuoka. All in all there were five groups.

The first one pruned the herbs and removed the weeds from the flower beds. The second group planted pansies and field mustards on the largest flower beds available. The third group was asked to put wooden frames for herbs together. The fourth group started cleaning the small creek and biotop in the center of the garden. It was full of seaweed, so they had to clean it. I attended this group. After cleaning was finished we started painting the small bridges, which lead over the pond and the creek. The last group prepared lunch for everybody, because we would have had lunch together after the work was finished.

At 10 am the work began. The weather was pretty good with a lot of sunshine overall in the beginning. Although it was very cold, everybody was motivated. Further, as soon as all the people began to work, they would be warm.

We finished the work very fast, because we had a lot of motivated people, who helped also each other out.

At 12 pm we had relaxed lunch together. The fifth group made wonderful pizza, curry and baked potato, which were all very delicious.

At 13 pm most of the people went back home. Only the staff from groundwork Fukuoka remained to clean up the whole place and get all the materials needed back in the cars. After that we also went back home.

Summarizing, it was a pretty nice day with a lot of fun. The result from our work was very good. Therefore we could help to clean the school garden for visually impaired children once again. This is an important project also for the future.



Written by Lion

Introduction of the new intern


Hello, my name is Cécile. I’m from Switzerland and 20 years old. At the moment I’m studying Japanese Studies and Popular Cultures at University of Zurich. I’d like to graduate next summer. Until the end of August I’ll do an internship at Groundwork Fukuoka.

My hobbies are travelling, languages, cooking, music, sports, meeting people and many more.

I’m interested in Asia since I was a child; in the food, the languages, the letters, the people and basically anything different. In primary school a friend showed me some Manga and I started to be especially interested in Japan. Because the different culture and language captivated me, I finally decided to study Japanese studies.

This is my third time visiting Japan. In 2013 I went to a language school in Fukuoka for one month and last summer I spent a month in Tokyo and joined an intercultural project. This time I decided to do an internship so I have more contact with the japanese people and culture and can improve my Japanese. Besides, I’d like see what working here is like, because I intend to work in Japan after my graduation.

I’m looking forward to a great internship!