I’m a multilingual globetrotter from France. When I’m not in Japan, I’m in Germany where I have lived together with my Japanese partner for more than 20 years. During my many stays in Japan, I have travelled to almost all regions and even spent 5 months in Sendai (city 400 km north of Tokyo) where I attended a Japanese course.
FUKUCHAN (diminutive form of the lucky charm FUKUSUKE) is the nickname that my partner has given me.
RYOKO means “journey”, FUKUCHAN RYOKO = the journeys of little Fukusuke 😉
As my partner comes from Sakai (suburb of Ôsaka), I know this area like the back of my hand. Every spring and autumn I used to set up my base camp in this chaotic but fascinating capital city of the Kansai region – the ideal starting point for exploring central and southern Japan.
I would be glad to be your Japan tour guide!
Fukusuke is a traditional character, a kind of demi-god (fuku = luck, suke = to save, help). You will find Fukusuke dolls everywhere in Japan, in the windows of hairdressers and restaurants as well as in the carriages of trams and even on socks! Fukusuke always has the same appearance – he looks like a child in traditional clothing, with a large head and large earlobes (called fukumimi), a symbol of luck in Japan.
There are various legends regarding his origins. One says that he first appeared during the Edo period (1600-1868). He then became known all over Japan after a doll maker from Fushimi (suburb of Kyoto) chose him as a motif for his new collection. Another theory claims that Fukusuke is based on a person who actually existed, the manager of a small business. This man who had a child’s face and large fukumimi was extremely industrious and his hard work was the main factor behind the success of his business.
Whenever I stay in Japan, I am Fukusuke (or Fukuchan). When I introduce myself in this way, I always make the Japanese laugh – and it also ensures that they pronounce my name correctly!