Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Preparing for Eiken

I'm preparing for an English test, Eiken pre-1st grade. I've never taken the test, so I bought a workbook for the test that I will able to get used to the form of the test. 
Lack of vocabulary is a big problem for me. There are many words in the book I've never seen. 
Another problem is that I don't read articles carefully. I don't need to be hurry. There would be plenty of time for solving problems. 
Reading these articles for workbook's problem, I've found there are many interesting topics in the book. I didn't really like preparing for English tests, but not so bad. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ontake Volcano

The eruption of Mt. Ontake killed and injured many hikers. I'm really sorry for the victims. Unfortunately, no one predicted the eruption this time. I think it's hard to predict when and where there will be a eruption. 
According to the newspaper, there are about 100 active volcanos in Japan. Some volcanic mountains are popular sightseeing spots. To prevent another victims, authorities should announce the risk of visiting active volcano areas. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014


I took TOEIC test today. I listened to radio in English and read English reading comprehension text book for preparing the test. 
For reading section, it worked well for me. I think I could get the best score for me this time. On the other hand, I don't think I could not get my own highest point for listening part. I was confused to choice suitable answers many times. I should listen wide range of listening materials more. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014


I went to see a doctor because I felt uncomfortable on my left ear. The doctor said I have to go to the major hospital to have specific examine. I had an operation several years ago. I think I've got the same illness again. I hope not, but possibly. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Texting While Driving

Today's topic on the Diane Rhem Show was texting and driving. It's very dangerous to text while driving. About 1.2 million driving accidents in the States come from phone use and 280,000 come from texting. A study showed that 3,000 teens die a year for texting. 
During the show, they took a pole and that showed 35% say they read and respond to text messages while driving. And 42% of who experienced accident or close has not changed their behavior. 
Those who texting drivers are close to killers. If you have a habit to texting while driving, you have to change the behavior  immediately. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Bluest Eye

Today's topic on The DR Show was a book titled The Bluest Eye written by Toni Morrison. The book was published in 1970's and the author later won the Nobel literature prize. 
I'm not familiar with the book and the author. According to the show, the story is about a black girl who faces domestic violence, sex abuse, self hate and other tragedies. Some schools and libraries though about the book as a pornography so that they were not allowed to read it. Even now some schools ban it form their libraries. 
I've got interested in the story, so I think I'll read it someday. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Virgin Way

Today, The Dyane Rhem Show involved Sir. Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, as a guest. 
He talked with Diane a lot of topics during the one hour show. I was really excited to listen to the conversation. 
He talked about how he dropped out high school at age 16, and launched his own business. How he started the wonderful aviation company, or what he thinks about recent world problems such as huge conflict in Syria and the Ebora pandemic.
One of the most impressive things for me  in his idea was that listening to others is more important than speaking to others. He has 70,000 workers in his empire, and even though he's been busy, he is trying to listen to their thoughts as much as he can. Of course he listens to his customers' voice, too. I think that made him a successful business person. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Google Hangout

I listened to The Diane Rehm Show in this morning. The studio is in Washington, D.C. Today's guest, a former Google executive, was in New York. 
In the show, before they took a short break, Diane said, "we are talking on Skype. We will take a short break and right back soon."
After the break, she apologized for making a mistake. They were talking on Google Hangout because the guest was a former Google executive. 
Of course he forgive her with laughing. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

300 Days Anniversary

I'm writing this blog everyday since last November. Today's blog is the 300th day in a row. 
I don't think my writing skill has been significantly improved. I should use more and more new expressions or new sentences I have learned. 
Now I'm used to write in English compare to before. That's a prize I've got from everyday writing. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Learning English

I'm reading an English text book. I think I'll finish it in two or three days. The book is quite difficult to understand, but it helps me to read English.  
After reading the book, I'll read lots of books again. I have so many books to read in my bookshelf and kindle. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Raymond Carver

Raymond Carver is an American writer who is famous for short stories. I've read his novels in both Japanese and English. 
Of course, I read his novels in Japanese first. A Japanese famous writer Haruki Murakami translated Carver's novels. His stories are simple but deep. He wrote them with simple English. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Dazai Osamu

Dazai Osamu is a well known Japanese auther. He wore the dark side of humanity. He seemed to be destroyed himself. He drawn alcohol and women. He sometimes committed suicide, and finally killed himself with his partner. 
He was so popular when I was a middle school student that I was also hooked on his novels. I read all of his books and I even wrote some short stories imitating his way. After graduated high school, I've never read his books again. I feel a little bit scared of reading his books now for some reasons. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

John le Carre

When I was in my twenties, one of my favorite auther was John le Carre. He's famous for spy novels. 
The background of his books are mainly the Cold War era. My first one was The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. He described spy activities between Eastern Block and Western Block and the story went in Berlin. The plot was twisting and twisting. Yon need to read carefully otherwise you'll be getting lost. 
My favorite series of his books are George Smiley's one. He is retired MI6 member but he often works for Britain. You can't find lots of violence or action in his novels, but I bet you would be excited and thrilled by the stories. I think I'll try to read his spy stories in English someday. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Roald Dhal

Roald Dahl is a famous English auther and I'm a big fan of him. He wrote lots of popular children's books and many excellent short stiries. 
His best short storie for me is Man From the South. The story is strange and weird. I bet you would shiver when you read the last sentence. 
I think his most famous children's novel is  Chrlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was the first children's story for him. The story was filmed twice. Johnny Depp was took part in one of them. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Allen Say

I picked up and read some picture books from my book shelf the other day. One of the auther was Allen Say. He is a Japanese American and lives in the U.S. 
I have two of his books, Grandfather's Journey and Tea with Milk. The two books are alike that both of them dealt with Japanese American who came back to Japan from the U.S. 
I like both his illustrations and stories. He wrote his first picture book when he was 50 years old. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

8 Hours Studying

I took part in a online monthly English learning event called Eight Hours Studying Club, 8勉部. Only you have to do for it is simply to study English for eight hours in a day or two days and to tweet it with the hashtag #8勉部. But you don't need study hard on that day; Watching videos, listening radio, reading novels and whatever in English can be good for the event. 
Many English learners on Twitter join the invent. You can get lots of energy from othe learners and their tweets. Why don't you join us!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Scotland Independence

Scottish independence referendum is approaching. It will take place on Wednesday, 18th, September 2014. 
An opinion poll showed 51% of people would vote for independence, so PM and other U.K.'s political readers went to Scottoland to say stop to indispensce. 
If the independence came true, would the union flag make a change?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Reference Books

It's been cool early in the morning. The temperature is below 20 degrees these days. In the day time, even the weather is good, but I feel cool wind. The summer is finally over here. 
I'm going to take TOEIC in this month and Eiken in next month. I don't study English with TOEIC materials, but I use English reference books for high school students. I can read and listen English just like in Japanese, I can easily solve TOEIC questions. That's I'm thinking now.  

Friday, September 12, 2014

Asahi President Apologizes

The Asahishinbun, one of the leading newspapers in Japan, apologized for their wrong articles about the 2011 accident of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. The paper said the workers who worked at the Daiichi plant refused to the plant manager's order that the workers had to stay there and escaped to the Daini plant. But the reality was different. The plant manager didn't say like that. 
The president of the newspaper apologized only to their readers about the wrong reports. He also apologized for the wrong confort women's reports and refused Mr. Ikegami's column. 
They don't have to apologize non-readers,I don't want to, but explane it to the world. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Asahishinbun Withdraws Articles Again

The Asahishinbun will reportedly withdraw other articles that related with interviews of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclea Plant by Mr. Yoshida, the same name but different person on so called confort women which they already withdrew their wrong articles.
How come they made such ridiculous mistakes. They even denied to apologize their wrong articles before. Reporters in the company have to check each other's articles when these reports are suspected wrong. It's easy to do, but difficult to do for the major long-history-company. It's really sad. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Undocumented Children in Japan

According to the VOA radio, about 135 million young children in East Asia and the Pacific have not been registered with any government agency. 
How about in Japan? The similar cases happen in Japan. A TV documentary show said, about 500 children are born without documents every year. When pregnant women who escaped from their  husbands due to domestic violent secretly give birth. That would be the main reason for it. These undocumented children can't go to school nor go hospital. 
The law should be changed so that escaped wives never be caught their addresses by their violent husbands. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Cilic Wins US Open

Crostia's Marin Cilic won the U.S. Open Tennis title. It was his first grand slam title. Kei Nishikori was not able to make historical victory for Asian male tennis player this time, but someday he can get the major title. Today, Cilic just played tennis better than Kei did. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Waiting for the Historical Event

Kei Nishikori will fight against Marin Cilic in the U.S. Open Men's Final. Many Japanese people are looking forward to hear the good news, to get the first grand slam title for Japanese. 
Our prefecture's tennis association will hold a public viewing event in Matsue where Kei was born early in the morning. I want to go to the event, but I have to work at that time. I'll be busy to checking the final match on the web tomorrow morning. 
His coach Michael Chan, former French Open Champion, said, "He's hungry, he's eager." He'll do everything he can. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Kei Goes to the Final

Kei Nishikori upset No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a U.S. Open semifinal. I got the news on the web a little past four am today. I was really excited and proud of him. I could only watched the game on some news and YouTube videos. He looked very concentrated and with full of confidence. 
Only one win ahead of him, I believe he will play with his full effort and grab the grand slam title. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Kei Faces World No. 1

Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori is about to fight against Novak Djikovic at the U.S. Open Tennis semifinals in NY. 
He was born and rised in my city Matsue, Shimane Prefecture. He moved to the U.S. when he was only 13 years old to be a professional tennis player. At age of 18, he won the ATP taurnament for the first time, and after that he got other four titles, but he never win a grand slam title. 
The next match must be a tough game, but I hope he performs as much as he can and reaches final in the U.S. Open. 

Friday, September 5, 2014


I checked my English vocabulary on the web. The site Weblio indicated my vocabulary around 4000 to 4500 words. So, I don't have much English vocabulary, but I have to expand it at least 10,000 words because if I have that, I would read TIME easily. Should I use vocabulary building books? 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Kei Goes to the Semis

Kei Nishikori became the first Japanese man to reach the US Open semifinal since 1918. He won over Stan Wawrinka in five sets on Wednesday.
I didn't watch the whole game, but watched the moment he reached the semis. I was impressed because he only smiled and waved his hands to the audience. He was so modest at that moment. I really like his attitude. 
I hope he will perform well at next match and gets the ticket to the final. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Is Asahishinbun a Newspaper Company?

The Asahishinbun has possibly denied to print a series of Mr. Ikegami's essay and Mr. Ikegami addmited the denying. He also has withdrawn to write essays for tha news paper. 
Mr. Ikegami wrote an article about Asahishinbun's withdrawing so called confort women articles which many people had doubted long before the paper company withdrew, but never apologize, them. 
I'm against the attitude of Asahishinbun. They are no longer a media company because they denied freedom of expression. They need to bear criticism when they made mistakes. That's the way medias are. Tokyo Sports, or Osaka Sports, has far more journalistic spirit. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Kei Nishikori at U.S. Open

Kei Nishikori won the 4th round of U.S. Tennis Open against fifth-seeded Milos Raonic. He's reached not only his first U.S. Open quarterfinal but also for the first time in 92 years for Japanese player. 
I really want his next victory because if he win the next match, he will be the first Japanese semi-final player of Grand Slam tennis tournament. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Tokyo Marathon 2015

According to the Tokyo Marathon Foundation, 304,825 people have applied for Tokyo Marathon 2015, but only 28,400 runners can take part in the race. If you really want to participate the race, you need to donate 100,000 yen for charity's sake. 
I'm not really interested in running Tokyo Marathon, but if I could run the race, I might feel nice. That is because the streets for the marathon are usuall very busy, but runners can occupy the metropolitan roads only on that day.