Saturday, January 31, 2015

Move to an Apartment

My son has moved to an apartment. His apartment has three rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. I think that is too much space for him alone. 
He's been busy for preparing his new life. Since this is the first rent for him, he has to buy almost everything he needs and he is trying to do so all by himself even he was just graduated from high school last year. 
Looking back on my old days at his age, I would live aimlessly and depended on my parents completely. Only I could do then was cooking for myself. It was a shame and I really proud of my son. 
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Friday, January 30, 2015


I will not take any English test until May. I don't need to prepare for tests, so I'll read at least seven English books until then instead. 
I used to read English books without using dictionaries, because I was hooked on Tadoku, extensive reading. That means Tadoku instructors say do not use dictionaries. 
I've changed my mind. I'll use dictionaries for the sake of understanding English correctly and deeply. 
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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Independence Day

My son will graduate from a training school for prefectural officer tomorrow. Right after the ceremony ended, he will go to his new job place and live alone for the first time. 
I really proud of my son's independence mind. He is only 18 years old and has to work hard. When I was his age, I also lived alone, but I was a college student then, so I could spent carefree days. 
I really hope he will be in good health and work safely in the future. 
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Kei Lost Qatar-finals

Kei Nishikori had to withdraw from the Australian Open Championships. He couldn't beat the defending champion Wawrinka with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6. 
The tennis season this year has just started. Three Grand Slam titles left in front of Nishikori. I really look forward to seeing his play. 
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A New Guide To English Grammar

I've got a thick English grammer book. The book is the third edition of A New Guide To English Grammar by Taiichiro Egawa. It was first published in 1953. Since then, many English learners in Japan have used the reference book for the sake of understanding English. 
I didn't study English grammar seriously, so the book is completely stranger to me for now. There are lots of jargon in the book, but the explanations are really interesting to me. 
The author recommend inanimate subject section to read first. He said if you read the part, you'll get interested in English grammar. I think that's true. Studying English grammar is more fun than I thought. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Kei Goes to the Semi-finals

Kei Nishikori has won over No.9 seed David Ferrer 3-0 to reach the quarter-finals of Australian Open today. He will meet the defending champion Stan Wawrinka of Swiss in the semi-finals. 
I didn't watch the game, but he might perform well today. Kei once beat Wawrinka in the U.S. Open last year, so I believe he has a chance to win the next match. 
Many Japanese fans have rushed to see Kei's play in Melbourne. He might get lots of energy from the Japanese audiences there. 
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

I'm Exhausted

I took Eiken Pre-1st grade today. I prepared for the test as much as I can. The test was harder than I thought especially in the listing section. 
I took two English tests in this month, TOEIC and Eiken. I really exhausted to prepare for and take these tests, so I don't want to take any English tests for a while. Instead, I'll read English books for some time. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grammar Reference Book

I've ordered an English grammar reference book. I have lack of grammatical knowledge, so it would be useful for me. 
I used to hate studying English grammar seriously, but I've changed my mind recently. That is because I can't understand some sentences well when I read magazines or novels. I love reading!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Asian Cup Soccer

I watched a quarter finals of Asian Cup soccer match, Japan and UAE. As many Japanese people witnessed, the Samurai Japan lost the shootout 3-4. 
I was busy, so I could watch the extra time and penalty shootout only. My wife and son said Japanese players shoot a lot, but missed a lot too. They felt really frustrated at the game. 
I'm not familiar with recent Japan's soccer, but Japan has a long history of lack-of-goal syndrome. The illness is so serious. I think a good doctor is needed for Japan's soccer players. Where's the doctor, anyway?
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Thursday, January 22, 2015

After Eiken

I'll take an English test, Eiken, on Sunday. After taking the test, I'm planning to get more vocabulary and read more books in English. 
I want to get familiar with more and more English words because I want to read English books comfortably. I know vocabulary is not a major reason to prevent carefree reading for me, but still it's a big problem. 
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Gun Society

I've read an article about a death by shooting in the U.S. A five-year-old boy shot and killed his nine-month-old brother who took a nap in the bedroom. 
The pistol which the boy used was his grandfather's one. Their mother said that she didn't know why someone would have a loaded gun in the house while kids were around. But, it was thre. 
What a sad story. The older kid wouldn't understand his younger brother's death. America has its gun culture, so this kind of tragedies are often heard in the country. Strict gun control laws are needed, but some Americans seem to be against that. I really hope this will never happen again. 
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

ISIS Threatens Two Japanese

The Muslim extremist group ISIS has uploaded a video that shows two Japanese hostages and a masked ISIS member standing behind them with a knife. They have demanded $200 million for a ransom. 
I had a bad feeling when I saw today's newspaper that Japanese PM Abe was shaking hands with Israel PM Netanyahu on the front page. And the bad feeling came true. 
The situation is really severe, but I wish the two Japanese come back home safely. 
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Monday, January 19, 2015

College Entrance Exams

Japan's National Center Test has finished. Almost everyone who wants to enter a public university has to take the exams. The tests are criticized every year, and English is no exception. 
I happened to find an English test for university in Finland. I was astounded at the volume and the level. It was 20 pages long. If I take the exam, I would need a week for solving and using a dictionary for that. And got an F, I think. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Triple Crown

A week long All Japan Table Tennis Tournament has just finished today. Kasumi Ishikawa has won three titles in the event, women's singles, women's doubles and mixed doubles. She is the first person to get the triple titles for the first time in 54 years. 
She is my old friend's daughter, so I really glad to see her victories on TV. As The World Table Tennis Championships are held in China this year, I hope she gets medals in the tournament. 
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Saturday, January 17, 2015

An Interview for High School

The National Center Test was held today. Many young people are struggling to get a good score for university. My son also tried hard for high school today. He had a high school entrance interview. He was so nervous that he couldn't remember what was happened today's interview, but I believe he did well at the interview. If he pass that, he doesn't need take exams for high school. It would be good for him. 
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Friday, January 16, 2015

Ask Anything to Murakami

A Japanese well known writer Haruki Murakami has opened a temporary website that anyone can ask him a question or make a comment on it and he will provide answers. 
That's a really interesting event. He did the same event nine years ago when he published Kafka on the Shore. After closing the previous site, he published a book about the event. I read readers questions and Murakami's answers on the book. 
I'll ask some question to him and I hope I can get his reply on that. 
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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dictionary of Cliches

I came across a book called Dictionary of Cliches in my book shelf. I forgot about the book completely. I bought it around four or five years ago. It was too difficult to understand for me then, but now I've found that it's a really interesting book. The dictionary is mainly translated into Japanese by a famous translator Motoyuki Shibata. 
I believe it helps me when I read novels and news articles. It's a dictionary, but it also a good book to read in my free time. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Yoshio Kataoka

Before Haruki Murakami appeared, my favorite author was Yoshio Kataoka. I really liked his style of writing and characters in the books. I remember that I wanted to be a person like in his stories at that time. 
They, both men and women, are independent and looking good in white T-shirt. They sometimes ride a motorcycle like Yamaha SR-500 or Kawasaki 650RS. 
There are scent of America in his books. They are so sophisticated. That was partly because his father was from Hawaii as a second generation of Japanese American. 
My best book of Yoshio Kataoka is Shiawase wa Shiroi T Shatsu, Happens is a white T-shirt. 
Recently, I bought his book about the difference between Japanese and English. I enjoyed it and learned a lot from the book. 
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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Eiken Reading Section

I'm going to take an English test, Eiken Pre-1st in two weeks, so I'm preparing for the test with some work books. 
I've failed over and over again in reading section problems. I finally understand that I failed them because I was answering the questions based on my views and ideas. I should concentrate what the articles actually say.  
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Monday, January 12, 2015

TuneIn Radio

If you want to get a good English listening appreciation, I recommend TuneIn Radio for it. 
You can listen to more than 800,000 radio stations all over the world with the application for free. 
I've been listening to BBC, NPR and VOA via TuneIn Radio since 2012. 
Their news topics are world wide including the Middle East and Africa. Japanese media don't report from these areas so often. I can get lots of information related these areas from TuneIn Radio appreciation. 
At first, of course, I couldn't understand these programs, but gradually I was getting used to it. These unfamiliar words in the radio news became much familiar with reading the same topics in Japanese newspapers. You don't use dictionaries so often. 
There are countless number of conflicts around the world. It seems no safety area on the earth nowadays. You shouldn't miss the facts. 
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Sunday, January 11, 2015


I took TOEIC test at Shimane University today.
The listing section was not so bad. I lost one of Part 1, two or three of Part 2 and more on others as usual. 
I did well on Part 5 and 6, but I spent too much time on them. As a result, I had to be hurry to solve problems in Part 7. 
I really exhausted taking today's TOEIC, but I look forward to get the result. How was your TOEIC today?

Saturday, January 10, 2015


I'm talking a TOEIC test tomorrow, which is the sixth one for me. 
To take the test, I need to put my ID photo on the examinee card. I might have three or four of my pictures left, but I can't find them. It happens every time. I've wasted lots of money. I have to take new photos before I take the test. 
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Friday, January 9, 2015

Troubles in McDonald's

Recently, McDonald's in Japan has faced lots of troubles. Many foreign objects have been found its products. 
A friend of mine also has gotten into a trouble. He bought a double cheese burger and took it to his office. And then he found a cheese burger, not a double one. Poor my friend. 
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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Electric Dictionary

For getting more English vocabularies, which is efficient, using word books or dictionaries? 
Some English teacher said on his blog that reading English books with dictionaries is the best way for vocabulary building. That is because a dictionary can describe various definitions of a word so that you can select suitable image of the word in the sentences. On the other hand, word books have only a limited defining for a word. 
I think that's a good way for getting new words, but it might take quite a time. So for time efficiency, an electric dictionary is needed. It's time for buy it, isn't it?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Studying English for What?

Some people have said not to study English for tests, others have said to study English for tests first and you'll get better in English later. 
I think there is no correct answer to that. You should focus on what you want to do for now. You really know what is for you. You need to believe in yourself. Of course I will. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


TOEIC lovers who took Novembe's TOEIC test can check their scores of the test via the home page today. Many of them have got 990, the highest score. Only 0.3% or less of examinees can get the highest point, but apparently I can see too many of them on my Twitter timeline. How come? 
I'm going to take TOEIC this Sunday. I want to get over 900, but that's not easy. Everyone, wish me luck! 
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Monday, January 5, 2015

I Lost My Wallet

I lost my wallet this afternoon, but a kind gentleman found and took it to the police station. Thank you so much Mr. T. 
I realized that I had lost my wallet at four and right after that the police called me. I put my name cards and driving license in it, so they could contact me. 
I'm survived. I put not only drivers license but also all of my credit cards in it. Of course a little money in it too. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

To Be Friends with Dictionaries

I have more than 60 English books to read, both kindle and paper ones. There are different types of books, novels, none fictions, reference books and so on. 
Sidney Sheldon is the author of whom I have most numbers of books. I have nine of his books and I have read only one book. It was The Master of the Game and it was really nice. 
I swear I'll read at least two of them this year. Really. 
I didn't care much about unfamiliar words in the books when I read them before, but I think I never get understand the meaning of them unless I check them in the dictionaries or something. 
I need to be friends with the dictionaries. Indeed. 
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Saturday, January 3, 2015

English Teachers in Japan

Many people say, "English education is important for Japanese students, but it hasn't worked effectively. It is partly because English teachers don't have enough skills in English."
Some critics said they have to take English tests such as TOEIC, TOEFL or Eiken to prove their English abilities. 
But I don't think they have to study for taking these tests just to verify their skills. Of course they must study English all the time, but they should focus on how to teach English first. 
The problem of English teachers is that the process of selecting teachers itself. How education boards or schools select English teachers? I don't think they have been serious about choosing teachers among candidates. 
Hire skillful English teachers. That's all. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

My Son's Resolution

YWhile my family members were relaxed in the living room, my younger son suddenly exclaimed that he will be a policeman in the future. 
I think one of the reasons why he said so was that he had watched a TV show called Aibou just before the statement. 
I assume the second reason was that he simply admire his older brother who became a policeman last year. 
I'm glad that he has a thought of his future job. He never said like that before, so I'm not sure his decision lasts longer. But I'll support and push him to become what he wants to be. 
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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

The year of 2016 has just started with snowing. It's been snowing since this morning. 
This year, I'll take on line English lessons to improve my speaking skills and pronunciation. And I'll focus on vocabulary building. 
I'm a member of a volunteer guide group here so I need to explain my city to foreign tourists in English. I have to study about my city more than last year. 
Anyway, Have a happy and prosperous New Year! 
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