Summer Concert at Suntory Hall, Tokyo

Casta diva, che inargenti… Ah, bello a me ritorna… – From “Norma” (V. Bellini)

Ah mes amis, quel jour de fête… Pour mon âme… – From “La fille du régiment” (G. Donizetti)

A una fonte afflitto e solo… Nel mirarti un solo istante… Vieni fra questa braccia… -Duet from “I Puritani” (V. Bellini)

Haru no tera – Music by Osamu Shimizu, Lyrics by Saisei Murou

Libiamo ne lieti calici – From “La Traviata” (G. Verdi)

The pieces mentioned above are performed by Yuka Simeno and Dieter Pasching, accompanied by Yuko Kojima

Audience by invitation only

Viva! Kochi Sunday street market ヴィヴァ!土佐の日曜市

Finally I am here again. This is the city where I grew up. Kochi! How much I love it here! For a long time I could not come back to this place. Today I fully enjoyed the feeling of being back home at the Sunday street market. Ever since I was a child I often came here with my grandmother. She was a regular customer of some stands and was friends with some of those people. She used to chat and sometimes she could also get discounts on some items. This market is so lively and interesting. Since the situation is not very favourable right now, I see that it is somewhat reduced and not quite as colourful. I hope that this time will pass quicklöy and all of us can enjoy freedom in full.


Refreshing with “Hiyashi ame”. That is a local specialty.

Pictures by Yuka Simeno (except the one at the bottom). July 11th 2021 in Kochi.

Shimeno’s Tofu 示野の豆腐

This product sold at supermarkets in Vienna for me is acceptable.
If one wants to be real Tofu, some Asia shops have it.

“Hit your head on a corner of Tofu and die” is a Japanese saying that used to be commonly heard some time ago. All Japanese know that Tofu is quite soft and therefore this expression is extremely sarcastic. In Austria however the Tofu types usually sold at supermarkets are quite hard. Of course not as hard as stone but for Japanese it is very unusual and seems like a different kind of product. Obviously it is not conceivable to hit your head on it and die. Maybe if it were frozen…

Bad jokes aside. My great grandfather Shimeno produced Tofu as a job. I call him “Shimeno great grandfather” because his family had no children and adopted my grandfather (mother’s side) when he was a child. Therefore “Shimeno Great grandfather” is not a direct blood relative of us three. According to my mother, she and her parents lived together with Shimeno family until about the age of attending early primary school. After that my grandfather’s family moved to Tokyo where his real biological father lived.

As a young child, my mother experienced my great grandfather’s Tofu shop. That was a small Tofu shop which not only sold but also produced Tofu themselves. Early in the morning before sunrise my Shimeno’s Great Grandfather got up, lit the furnace and started cooking Tofu. When my mother got up to go the bathroom she always used to observe that and she always greeted him “Grandfather, do you make Tofu?”

When I remember this story of my mother, I can literally picture that scene. In the dark, the furnace brightly lit and a grandfather standing in front of it working. Close to him my grandmother as a child with a bob haircut walking by him half asleep and greeting him… I find that so heartwarming and it puts a smile on my face. My mother heard from my grandfather that cats often used to lie on the residually warm ashes of the previous day and when he lit the fire, those cats quickly came out and ran away.

By the way, Tofu is one of my favourite foods. I heard that “Shimeno Tofu” was pretty popular. I really wanted one time to try Shimeno Tofu. What kind of taste was it?…




 この話を思い出す度に、私は目の前にその光景を想像します。暗闇にあかあかと燃えるかまどの前に立ち、豆腐を作っている老人。その前を、おかっぱ頭の幼い母が、寝ぼけ眼でてくてくと歩いて通りかかる… なんとも微笑ましい光景のように思えて、心が暖かくなります。また、よく、かまどの中の前日の温かい灰の上で飼い猫が寝ていて、火を焚べたとたんに、大慌てで飛び出してきた、という話を、母は曽祖父から聞いた、と言っていました。


Picture by Yuka Simeno

Museumsquartier Vienna is back! ウイーンのMQ広場が賑わっています!

Today is Thursday “Fronleichnam”, which is also a public holiday in Austria. After a long time I went for a walk around Museumsquartier. This is a very popular space between two museums. Until recently it was compulsory to wear a mask here and all the poular seats were not provided. Very few visitors and the square was almost empty. Today it was very lively again, benches were again provided and a new sculptures are here to decorate the space. Many people relaxing and enjoying the day. That is so nice to look at.


Picture by Yuka Simeno, June 3rd 2021 in Vienna

My broken little joy 手折られた私のささやかな喜び

In front of a house there is a small flowerbed which I pass by almost every day. It is the flowerbed in this picture and it was a little joy to look at those plants. Somehow those small fruits got a little bigger each day and I thought they might be Strawberries. Yesterday when I passed by and was looking forward in joy to its growth. When I saw it however I felt some confusion. The flowers and fruits were gone! There may be some reasons but to me it is so sad that I cannot see them anymore. Just like the flowerbed which does not belong to me, such things happen and there is just nothing we can do about them.


Picture by Yuka Simeno, May 2021 in Vienna

Familiar everyday Vienna 懐かしいウイーンの日常

I am so happy, that restaurants and cafés are open again in Vienna. To me it feels as though the city of Vienna has recovered from an injury. After some illness when one finally goes outside, everything looks fresh. And one realizes again that one has recovered with a grateful feeling in the heart. I think everyone has some kind of such an experience. I feel that the city of Vienna had suffered together with its inhabitants. I wish for a continued recovery.


Picture by Yuka Simeno, May 21st 2021 in Vienna

Finally, lockdown is over やっとロックダウンが終わりました

That was a long time. Finally Vienna emerges from lockdown. Cafés, restaurants, hotels, etc. are finally allowed to open their doors to the public. There are still measures taken to allow guests to enter such as Covid test result, proof of vaccination and proof of past infection. There is a limited number of guests per square meter and per table. I feel that everyone is relieved and I yam happy as well. Unfortunately today’s weather was not very good but I felt that rain was refreshing. Finally Austria is categorized as a safe country (Category A).


Because of the rain, flowers received refreshment
and show their gorgeous colours.

Pictures by Yuka Simeno, May 19th 2021 in Vienna

Beautiful Spring at Burggarten Vienna美しいウイーン王宮庭園の春

Peonies in full bloom. Mr. Mozart in the background, can you see the blossoms?
Beautiful Peony.美しい花
Lilac swaying in the wind. 風に揺れるライラック
People relaxing.憩う人々

In Vienna nature is in full bloom and a beautiful season has arrived. Recently after a long lockdown period finally shops opened up again. After May 19th other locations such as restaurants will open again. Finally Vienna will come closer to some normailty.


Pictures by Yuka Simeno, May 2021 in Vienna