Sunday, June 29, 2008


I saw some sunflowers blooming in my neighbor's yard. I realized that when I rode my bike for work this morning. I do not know why I did not notice until today, though I pass the side of the yard every day.The flowers are small, the height is about 30 centimeter, but the color of yellow is bright and beautiful in the yard. Probably, the small sunflowers might be displayed in a vase in my neighbor's living room or hallway in a few days time. I also think it is quite early for sunflowers to bloom. It is still in the rainy season now and the sky has not been clear in recent days.
In my childhood, sunflowers meant tall flowers and they symbolized very hot summer sunshine. When I was in elementary school, we were raising sunflowers in the school yard. We had to go to school several times to water them during the summer vacation. We would hate doing that because no one liked to go to school in the summer vacation. To tell the truth, I skipped doing that in secret. Forgive me. That is all history now!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

To Point Out Mistakes

I am practicing writing essays in English to improve my English skills now. I have corrected my essays corrected by my teacher even though the essays do not make sense. Thanks to my teacher! I will acquire more English skills by doing that.
A Japanese professor, Goro Tajiri, who has been featured as a charismatic teacher in the world of Newsweek and is a former public junior high school teacher, explained his idea of leaning English in a Japanese monthly magazine ,AERA English; The most important tip for learning English is to have mistakes in your English pointed out by native speakers if you can manage it. I completely agree with this and the development of information technology makes it easier than before.
I also use IT to correct my English essays. I am really thankful to the Internet.When my essays have been corrected, the mistakes which I made will improve my English. The mistakes make a big impression on me and I will not forget about them. However, I make the same mistakes so often but I believe I am getting better by doing it!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My Pension Plan

The other day, I went to the social insurance office for correcting my pension plan data because my data was incorrect. The mail I got from the Social Insurance Agency said I paid the payments of the pension for only twelve years but I paid for twenty-two years. My ten years date had disappeared from the date! When I arrived at the office it was jammed with people who needed to correct their pension date there. Millions of Japanese have gotten this type of pension problem. I needed one and a half hours to wait and correct it. I hope the government and the agent will never cause the same pension problem again.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Fireflies have come to a small river which is in my neighborhood again this year. The number of fireflies is not large so few people know they can be seen there. Only my two sons and I were watching them tonight. We were fascinated by the pale glows for a long time and we had a rich time alone together tonight. Many Japanese are looking forward to watching the glow of fireflies as their annual event even if they have to go far away to watch them. In contrast, we are quite a lucky family because we have the spot for doing that in our neighborhood. I hope we can watch the beautiful glows here forever.

Monday, June 16, 2008

My Top Five of Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is a famous mystery writer. I used to be hooked on her books when I was in my teenage years. Of course these books which I read were translated into Japanese. I have read all of her mystery books including some play scripts and I even read many of these books twice or more over. I would make my own ranking of Christie's mystery books several times only for fun. Now I will rank her books again. This is today's top five of Christie.

Rank 1. Towards Zero
Rank 2. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Rank 3. A Murder is Announced
Rank 4. The Thirteen Problems
Rank 5. And Then There Were None

While reading her stories, I would dream of traveling in the UK, especially in the countryside. My favorite detectives of Christie are Mr.Battle and Miss Marple. I believe Miss Marple is a real English lady and I think she represents Agatha Christie. As a matter of fact, I don't really like Mr. Poirot because he has too much confidence. A few years ago, I tried to read her original book several times but it was too hard to read for me then. I wish I could read the whole of her books in English if I get more English reading skills.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I have belonged to a karate organization since 2000 but I was not able to practice in the dojo,which means the place of practice, for three years because I have been busy at work.I sometimes do karate practice all alone in my house at night so I cannot shout out loud and I feel stressed out.Usually,we practice karate in the dojo with loud shouts but I miss doing that now.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I watched an American musical movie called Hairspray last year.It was the first time I had ever watched a musical movie.Before I watched the movie,I did not expect any musical would be fun but I really enjoyed it.The story was about a chubby teenager,Tracy and her friends in 1962 in Baltimore.The city was beautiful on the screen.I was involved with the musical from the opening scene in which Tracy was singing and hopping around in Baltimore with joy.She had the great power of making people feel positive and I also felt the same power from her.In the film we could see many people using hairspray in their hair as the signature of the movie.That reminds me of my mother.I was familiar with the smell of her hairsprays when I was little.It was probably in the late 60s when my mother would spray it in her hair before going out for something special.I did not like the smell then but now I sometimes remember it with nostalgia.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


One of my sons,a freshman at a junior high school,belongs to a volleyball team in his school.He practices volleyball for six days in a week and he enjoys it a lot.I am very happy to see his joy.I don't know much about volleyball but one thing is obvious; tall players are more advantageous for the sport.Unfortunately, he is not very tall now.Recently,someone told him that the more people drink milk,the taller they will be and he drinks milk as much as he can;at breakfast,lunch and before sleep at night.I think he will be taller soon and I hope he won't get any stomach troubles due to drinking too much milk.

Monday, June 9, 2008


My eight-year-old son is very interested in insects.He likes many kinds of insects;ants,butterflies,crickets,dragonflies and so on.I think he likes praying mantises the best because they are strong. Now finding ladybirds turns him on because he is taking part in a survey which is conducted by Shimane Prefectural Museum. When he find any ladybird, he notes the date,the place,the size and the pattern.He will send all of the data to the museum in September and he will get some special goods for help doing the survey.A few days ago he found twenty-five ladybirds.How many ladybirds will he be able to find at the end?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Racer Bike

My nine-year-old mountain bike has broken.It is blue and I ride the bike for work.I love the twelve-time-get-flat-tire bike.Its rear gear or latch,I did not know exactly which,was not working when I was on my way home.Since then even if I pedaled my bike hard,it did not move any more.The next day I took my bike to a bike shop to fix it.The shop worker said I needed about 10,000yen to get it repaired.Then he showed me a new racer bike.It had narrow wheels and it looked like a Tour de France bike.He said I could try to ride it and I rode it.It was an exciting ride.Smooth,fast and fun.He said only 10,000yen would pay for the racer for a month and I could get it.How many months?Four?Five?He said,fifteen,no interest.Good-bye my racer.From tomorrow,I will ride the nine-year-old mountain bike again.We will live long together!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Message on T-shirt

I can see many Japanese people wearing T-shirts which have English words or phrases on them.I did not care much about what words or phrases were on them, but since I have begun to be hooked on studying English I often focuse on them. A few days ago,on a hot afternoon,I saw a couple walking ahead of me.Both of them wore T-shirt.The man's back said ANTIAGING and the woman's back said VICTIM.Were they antiaging victims?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Curry Plant

My co-worker is raising a curry plant in a small pot at our work place.The curry plant is a herb which is used for cooking and it has a strong smell of curry.I heard only a leaf of the herb will make any curry tasting food.Normaly,curry powder is made up of twenty or more kinds of spices and herbs.Isn't it amazing?I am looking forward to smelling and tasting the curry plant when it grows up.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Where are The DVDs?

A series of Japanese comedy movies, Otoko wa turaiyo,It's tough being a man,is one of the most popular movies in Japan.I love the movies very much too.In fact I have watched all of the stories,amazingly the forty-eight films is a Guinness book record, on DVDs.It took a year to watch the whole of the DVDs and it cost about 15,000yen for rent.I would dream of having the DVD set.A few months ago I found the complete DVD set at a used DVD shop.I needed to pay120,000yen for a new one.At that time I could see 68,000yen on the price card and I realized it used to say 80,000yen initially.I was eager to buy them but they were too expensive for me.I thought no one would buy them because of such a high price so they would cut down the price soon.I decided to wait to buy them.I waited for two weeks.They were still there.Another two weeks,oh,they were gone!I shoud have bought them immediately!