Friday, January 31, 2014

My Last Song

I went to a live show today. The show was based on a book which was written by a TV drama director Mitsuhiko Kuze. Famous actress and singer Kyoko Koizumi, KyonKyon, read the stories and a singer Mariko Hamada sang songs which Kuze wrote in the book. 
The show was really nice and I was about to cry for the songs but I watched KyonKyon all the time because I'm a big fan of her for a over 25 years!

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Japanese scientists have discovered stem cells which can transform into any tissue. I'm not familiar with science but the research is said a major scientific discovery. 
The reader of the research group is a 30 years old Japanese woman, Dr Haruko Obokata. I'm really proud of her and her team. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Succeed Groups in the US

I've read an article about some groups succeed in the US. The groups are Cubans, Jews, Indians, Nigerians, Mormons, Iranians and Lebanese.
The groups are helping each other to success their works. They have strong network of their groups. It seems Japanese don't have such a strong network in the US. I'm sorry about that. Japanese should help each other more in foreign countries.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Using Dictionaries

I use dictionaries while reading English articles recently. I didn't use these for a long time but I realized I didn't get much vocabulary without using dictionaries.
But sometime I feel tired of it, though.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Driving School

My son is learning driving now. He needs both car and motor bike licenses. He is practicing motor bike for now.
At first, he was afraid of riding motor bike because the bike there is bigger and heavier than his previous thought but he seems enjoy it now.
I hope he won't get hurt during lessons.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Table Tennis

I took part in a local table tennis tournament today. I didn't prepare for today's games so I couldn't perform well, as usuall.
After the first match which I lost I got muscle pains with my whole body. Aging is terrible. I managed to play several games. I think I can get to sleep easily tonight.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

On-Line English Lesson

I decided to take on-line English lessons three times in a week. I didn't take on-line lessons for almost one year. 
I will use articles from TIME for build up my English vocabulary and speaking fluency. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Last Song

Next Friday, I'm going to go to see a performance with Kyoko Koizumi, aka Kyon-Kyon, and a singer Mariko Hamada. I like both of them so much. The title is "The Last Song". Kyon-Kyon will read essays written by Mitsuhiko Kuse and Mariko Hamada will sing many songs which reflect the era of the songs. They have been performed the show for a long tome together but this is the first time they perform in my city which Mariko lives in.
Mariko and Kyon-Kyon are old friends. And I have a friend of Mariko. That means Kyon-Kyon is a friend of a friend of a friend of mine. Yey!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tokyo Governor Election

Tokyo governor election campaign has just started. I don't live in Tokyo but I'm interested in what's going on the election. I think those main candidates such as Masuzoe, Tamogami, Hosokawa and Utsunomiya have the capacity to run the capital city government. I hope whoever to be elected the new governor would drive Japan's economy well.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Health Risks from Cigarette Smoking

I listened to The Diane Rehm Show on NPR radio today. One of the topic was health risks from smoking.
In America, nearly 500,000 die from cigarette smoking each year even fewer Americans smoke today. A latest report says so many smoking-related health problems are found so often. 
And the doctor on the show said tabacco campaniles use some ingredients to make people cigarette addict so smokers can't leave smoking easily recently. 
Remember, smoking destroys your health. You should leave the bad habit right now.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dolphin Hunting

These days many people mainly from foreign countries criticize Japanese dolphin hunting. I know the feeling because I don't like watching that bloody scene and they may have other reasons for dislike the hunt but as long as the hunting is allowed in Japan they don't have rights to prevent it.
The fishermen do the hunting because it has demands to support their lives. There's no great difference between dolphins and livestock for each workers' daily bread. If no one wants to buy dolphins the hunt would disappear. That's all. It's not a safari at all.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Eiken, an English Test

I took TOEIC test twice last year. I'm thinking about I should take Eiken test this year because the test has speaking section. I want to know my speaking level so it's a good opportunity to check it.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Friend in Canada

I had a free time around noon today. I was bored so I tweeted if anyone want to talk with me on Skype. An Indian Twitter friend kindly offered to me to talk with.
He was born in India and graduated from university in Singapore. After that he moved to Canada where his parents and brother live in. He works there as a computer programmer.
He speaks Japanese really well. He said the only thing he did for learning Japanese was watching animation with English subtitles. Three years of watching anime made him a fluent Japanese speaker.
He spoke to me in Japanese and I spoke in English on Skype. It was strange feeling but was really fun.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

All Japan Table Tennis Championship

Kasumi Ishikawa, London Olympic Games silver medalist, won the All Japan Table Tennis Championship this year. It was her second victory for the tournament. 
I'm reall glad her title because her father is my friend. When we are high school students 
I sometime stayed overnight his home and played mar gang. Off course we played table tennis too. We even played table tennis this New Year's Day, exactly January first.
Anyway, I really hope she gets a medal in Rio de Janeiro Olympics again.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Greeting Cards from Russia

My Russian friend sent me some greeting cards and arrived here today. There are Christmas card and New Year's card. They are beautiful picture cards printed in Russian and she translated in English and Japanese for me. She learn both English and Japanese and works for Japanese center in her city. She wrote beautiful Japanese.
I also sent her a New Year's card and she got it today. What a coincidence!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Looked Up English Words

I read seven pages of TIME magazine yesterday and looked up 91 words in a dictionary. And today, I joted down that words in a new notebook. It took a quite long time to do that but I believe it would help me a lot. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Child Support in Nepal

I've read an article about a Nepalese woman who helps children whose mothers are in jail. In Nepal, usually these children are rised inside high wall with their mothers. She witnessed the fact when she was 21.
After nine years, she established a care center for the children. How hard she made the facility. I think Nepal is one of the countries where most people obey old customs. I reall admire her activity. 
She named CBN's 2012 Hero of the Year.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Olympic Games

The Winter Olympic Games are approaching. I'm looking forward to watch alpine skiing because I like skiing. Downhill skiing is the most favorite game. It's so exciting. I want to ski the Olympic downhill course someday. It would be very hard but it would be fun.

Monday, January 13, 2014

High School Soccer

I watched High School soccer on TV today. That was the final game. Seiryo from Ishikawa almost garbed the victory but they couldn't. Toyama-daiichi from Toyama came from behind and won. It was really exciting game. I really admire all of them. Japanese soccer players perform really well recently. I hope Japanese team get the World Cup someday.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Taking TOEIC Test Today

I took TOEIC test today. Listening section went well but reading section didn't go well as usual. I should study more about grammatical things. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Buying a New Car

My son is going to work from April. He is really interested in buying a car for now. I think he should buy a second hand car because it would be reasonable price. But he want to have new one. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Writing Helps Speaking

I've been writing an English blog everyday since last November. It would help me not only for writing skill but also speaking skill. I write about my thoughts or the world around myself so I hardly forget about the articles I wrote. There are MY stories not others'. That means I'm getting lots of topics I could talk in English every day. I don't write important things in my blog  but I believe at least it would help me to make small talk.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A 24 Hours of Sir Richard Brandon

I watched a TV show about Richerd Brandon. He is the founder of Virgin Group. The documentary showed us a 24 hours of his activity. He flew from the U.K to the U.S, Chicago. Every places people including his staff wanted to have pictures taken with him and he welcomed to do that all of them with big smiles. Once he appeared, the atomothphere there turned into bright and cheerful. He definitely is something.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Mystery of the Consumption Tax

The consumption tax will rais from 5% to 8% in April. My FB friend have booked a dress for rent the other day. She will use the costume in May but she payed the fee the day she reserved. Then the shop charged 8% for the consumption tax not 5%. It was still in January. What do you think about that?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Showshank Redemption

I watched The Showshank Redemption on Hulu. It was a remarkable American movie. Many people have recommended it as the best movie ever.
I really liked that film especially Morgan Freeman's performance. I also liked his role in Driving Miss Daisy.
I think it would be good if I could imitate the lines in the movie for my English skills.

Monday, January 6, 2014


The first TIME magazine this year arrived today. I've been reading the magazine since last June. I should read cover to cover but it's hard for me but I'm trying to read it as much as I can. 
One of my New Year's resolution is to read TIME 2,000 pages this year so I have to read at least 6 pages a day. If I read 2,000 pages of TIME, my English reading skill would improve so much.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The New Year Tuna Auction

Today is the first day fish market auctions open all over Japan this year. Tsukuji market in Tokyo also held its first tuna auction today. 
Last year, the highest price for a tuna was five hundred fifty million yen, 1億5千万円! But the bubble of the New Year's tuna collapsed dramatically this year. It cost about seven million yen, 700万円. Of course the price was much higher than usual. I think the fisherman who caught the tuna felt really disappointed.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Old Tin Plate Toys

My wife and I went to a exhibition about old Japanese toys. There were a lot of old toys like cars, trains, robots, ships, animals and planes etc. all made by tin plate. All of them are collections of famous collector Teruhisa Kitahara. Looking at these old toys I could remember my childhood. My family was not rich but even so my parents would bought me some tin toys. I really liked them and I was happy in those days.

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Tip for Cooking Instant Ramen

I cooked semi-instant ramen noodles with a lot of vegetables and minced pork today. The vegetables I used are onion, carrot, green pepper, cabbage and soy sprouts.
Before making the ramen soup, I fried the minced pork with the vegetables. After that, I added them to the ramen soup. It made the soup more tasty. I highly recommend doing that to enchance the taste of the ramen soup.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Go to My Mother's House

I went to my mother's house with my family today. My brother's family come back from Osaka evry new year but not this year because some of them have to work this new year. 
We had osechi and sushi. It was fun but I little bit missed my brother's family. I hope they come home at obon.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The New Year's Day in 2014

I went to five shrines and had lunch at Yoshiniya with my family. After that my younger son and I played table tennis with my old friends. We called it Hatsuuchi, the first play at the year. We played two hours so I was really tired. And then we drunk together at izakaya. I spend a good day with my family and friends. I could not study English, though.