In a small town on the Ariake Sea in Fukuoka, Japan, there was once a little girl

who was enchanted by the magic of her grandmother’s cooking.

Her grandmother farmed rice and vegetables. Each morning, the fishermen went to sea,

and each day they brought her freshly caught fish in exchange for rice and vegetables.

Sometimes she would find a box of fish or other food sitting in her entranceway when she came home.

The little girl loved to help her grandmother work her magic in the kitchen.

She decided that one day, she would learn that magic, too,

and use it to bring a smile to the faces of as many people as she could.

Eyes shining, she dreamed of making French cuisine, even though she had never
tasted it herself but only seen it on TV.

Umi means “sea,” the source of all life,

the healing, calming sea that spreads so wide and blue beneath the sky,

the sea that connects the world.

With gratitude for this story that is still unfolding ,

I wish that this day may bring you peace and ease,

and make you say, “What a happy day!”

Chinatsu Fujiki