Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Funeral

I went to a funeral. He was 66 years old and a father of two school teachers. When the two sons were students, they were playing table tennis and the father was a great fan of them. He has cheered them up a lot. 
After his son graduated from school, he started learning Chinese, Japanese calligraphy and many other things with enthusiastic. He went to China several times. 
When he was 60, he caused a stroke. After the illness, his right side couldn't move any more. But he fought against his disability. He trained to write calligraphy with left hand and finally he held his exhibition of Japanese calligraphy.
He, however, couldn't beat pancreas cancer. Only four months after the exhibition, he passed away. 
May his soul rest in peace. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Why English?

Why do you study English? You need a good TOEFL or TOEIC score? You have to speak English at work? You want to be a translator? You simply like English itself? For traveling, for making foreign friends? The reasons vary from person to person. Or some people might not have one. 
My reason for learning English has been changing many times. At first, I wanted to read English books. Then, I got interested in speaking English. And I happened to take some English exams. It was also fun for me. 
I think there are no difference in these purposes of learning English. As long as you are with English, every way could lead you to higher English levels. That's for sure. 
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Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Boy Killed in Kawasaki

A middle school student was killed by his brutal friends. I don't want to call them friends, though. These young gangsters apparently have responsibility for the murder. I want to give them the same brutal assaults. I don't think that will cover the innocent boy's life. 
I think his teachers also have responsibility for the tragedy. The classroom teacher had tried to call him and his mother. He failed to contact him many times. That was just an excuse. And the home room teacher didn't do more on that. How about his colleagues and the principal? Nothing! 
It was enough time to take other actions. They could ask the police. They could ask the Child Consultation Center. They didn't do anything they could. 
If the teachers more carefully observed their students, this tragedy wouldn't have been happened. 
I hope these brutal killers will be arrested soon and the similar victims won't be found in the world. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Road to the Master

Do you think what is the easiest way to learn English? I myself don't think there is an easy road to learn English for abouts.  
At first, I thought studying English hard with dictionaries and reference books was ridiculous. Only reading and listening in English as much as you can and extensively brought you a master of English with fun way, but it would need too much time. 
Basic grammatical knowledge and vocabulary are necessary. That would make a short cut to be a master, but still it's a long long way to go. 
I will enjoy walking the long way little by little. It might be fun. 
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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Impromptu Speech

I took an online lesson and learned about impromptu speech today. Impromptu speech means making a speech with little or no preparation. It's similar to some English exams like TOEFL or Eiken. 
The first thing you have to do to make a good speech is to define the meaning of the topic. I didn't have that idea, so it was really good information to me. 
I will continue to practice making speech and it might work for my English skills. 
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Monday, February 23, 2015

Girl's Bomb Attack

Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram apparently killed and injured many people at a Nigerian market using girl's suicide bomb attack. A report said that the girl was no older than ten years old. 
The news made me really angry. The terrorists are totally insane. They have been kidnapping lots of girls for sex slaves and this kind of attacking. They say that's for religious reasons. No one believes that. 
I really feel for ordinary citizens in Nigeria. I hope the situations will be improved  soon. 
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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Busy Day

I took the Eiken second stage test in the morning. It was nice. I think I performed better than I had thought. There were only five people took Pre-1st grade and I was the oldest and only male interviewee. 
Preparing for Eiken interview was efficient to improve my speech skills, not exactly for talking though. 
After lunch, I took part in a volunteer English guiding seminar. We learned about how to guide Matsue Castle to foreign people in English. It was hard to explain old Japanese things in English, but we were trying to solve the difficulties as much as we can. 
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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Eiken Interview

I will take Eiken interview test for the first time in my life tomorrow. I can't imagine what will happen exactly on the second stage, but I'm really excited about it. 
I have been taking online lessons for preparing that. It was really fun talking about social issues with teachers in English. Anyway, I hope everyone who takes Eiken interview will perform well tomorrow, and wish me luck! 
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Friday, February 20, 2015

Electric Ring Cutter

According to the Osaka Fire Department, about 300 people ask the department to cut off rings which can not remove from their fingers every year. They use electronic ring cutter to cut off the rings. Hospitals and jewelry shops also have electronic ring cutter. 
I didn't think so many people have got such a trouble every year. But I often see some people wearing too tight ring around their fingers. These people might ask fire department to cut off their rings someday when they are aware of it's impossible to remove. Be careful everyone.  
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Second Story

I've finished the second story of Natasha. The boy's father opened his massage shop, but he struggled to run his business. I should learn more unfamiliar words in the book, so that I can imagine clearly about the story. But even so, I could feel plaintiveness in the stories. 
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Reading Short Stories

I'm reading a collection of short stories, Natsha. I've read the first story and it was nice. I think this was a good start to read a book because I can imagine the story well. Great. 
This book is about an immigrant families from the Soviet Union. The location of the stories are in Canada. The adults are suffering from getting jobs and language. I really look forward to reading other stories. 
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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Takeshima Day

Every year on February 22nd, Shimane prefecture holds Takeshima Day. Japan and Korea have a huge conflict over the island, technically it made from some small islands. 
The Shimane prefecture's islands  belong to Japan and that is based on historical facts and international law. In fact, our prefectural residents used to fish around the islands. 
The islands, however, have been occupied by Korean police force. In 1953, Korean armed forces made an attack on the islands, and killed and captured many innocent fishermen there. Since then, the illegal situations continue over the islands. 
Many Japanese people almost forgot about the issue until Shimane prefecture established Takeshima Day in 2005. I want people not only in Japan but also all over the world to know this illegal occupation. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Memphis Open Tennis

Kei Nishikori won the Memphis Tennis Open and he got the title three years in a row. He became the first player to do so. 
He was suffering to win until the final, but he was able to win a 2-0 against South African Kevin Anderson in the final. 
I saw a picture of the victory ceremony and Kei was holding a victory guitar instead of a trophy in it. It looked interesting and represented well for Memphis, Tennessee. 
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Sunday, February 15, 2015


I'm trying to read at least two books every month. I started that the end of January, so I need to finish two books by the end of February. 
I finish the first one today and I will read Natasha by David Bezmozgis from my book shelf. I bought it many years ago, but I was not able to read it because I did not have enough English skills to read the book. I really look forward to reading it. 
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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Icy Morning

It was cold and snowing this morning. A truck and a car crashed into each other on a bridge because of the icy road conditions. Police officers were busy for traffic control. 
It's the middle of February, but cold waves are occasionally coming this region. Even though I will be able to feel scent of spring soon. 
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Friday, February 13, 2015

VOA's False Report

I listened to a VOA radio program this morning. In the program, VOA said more than 200,000 Korean women were focused to have sex with Japanese soldiers during World War 2. 
That was impossible. Many Japanese soldiers died from starving. There was lack of food in the battle field. 
US gavernment has spent $30 million for searching so called confort women issue, but they couldn't find any evidence on the issue. 
Asahishinbun has withdrawn their reports  of confort women because they couldn't find any evidence of that. 
VOA should study well on the issue. They will find their mistake about the report. 
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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Shibuya to Recognize Same-Sex Relationships

Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, will officially issue certificates to same-sex couples. The documents will recognize these couples equivalent as married couples. This is the first local government to establish a law to provide such a document in Japan. 
I strongly approve the movement to make same-sex marriage law. I think a marriage should be based on simply two individuals, not only men and women. If a couple want to share everything related to them, it should not be a problem whether they are same sex or not. They should be tightened on the basis of documents and share not only good thing but also bad things. 
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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

National Foundation Day

Today is Japan's National Foundation Day. It is based on Japan's old history book Nihonshoki. It says the first Emperor Jinmu Tenno acceded to the throne on the date. 
National Foundation Day holiday was once suspended after WW2, but came back to a national holiday in 1967. 
Normally, Japanese people don't do anything special for the day, but some people display the national flag in front of their porch. I think it is a good day for thinking of our nation today. 
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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

70 Pages Left

I'm reading a novel, Looking For Alaska. The book is for young adults and John Green's first novel. 
I don't finish the book yet, but I'm sure the novel is really good. It reminds me of my youth. I have 70 pages left now and I would be sad when I finish the story. 
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Monday, February 9, 2015

Why They Kill a Person?

A Japanese female college student killed an elderly woman because she just wanted to kill a person. Last year, a similar homicide happened and the murderer was a high school female student. 
Why they can kill an innocent person so easily? Do they ever love a person? I'm sure they don't. That is probably because no one really loved these murderers when they were little. 
The parents were too busy to care of them? Or never loved others? Of course, these homicides themselves have some problems, but the busy their parents' environments might lead their brutal personalities. 
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Sunday, February 8, 2015


The temperature is getting lower and lower today. It will snow tonight.  
To get warm ourself, I made ramen for my family at lunchtime. The ramen I made was lots of vegetables and pork on it. Sliced pork and onion, cabbage, carrot and bean sprouts played a great role for the better taste of the ramen. 
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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Speaking in English

I've just started to take online English classes in order to prepare for the second stage of Eiken Pre-1st. 
The teachers I took lessons have said that I need more fluency in speaking. When I speak something, I'm thinking too much about what I want to say. I need self training for that. 
The teachers suggest that I should listen and read English as much as I can. 
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Friday, February 6, 2015

Advance to the 2nd Stage

I have passed the first stage of Eiken Pre-1st grade. I was relieved to get the news today. 
On February 22, I will take the 2nd stage of the test. The next stage will be an interview test. I need to prepare for the interview. 
In order to practice for the interview, I think I will take online English lessons for the first time in 19 months. I'm so excited. 
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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Players To Cancel Middle East Tours

Japan Table Tennis Association said that Japanese players will not take part in two world tour tournaments in Qatar and Kuwait because apparently there will be a major security problems. 33 players would participate these events there. 
I definitely support their decision. The Middle East is not a place to visit now. If this condition lasts long, would 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar be cancelled? 
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Taiwanese Plane Crashed

A TranseAsia airplane crashed into a Taiwanese river in Taipei this morning. The accident happened only ten minutes after takeoff from the airport. Taiwan's authority said that 58 people on board the flight. Some of them are rescued and others are found dead in the aircraft. 
Another TransAsia plain crushed and left 48 dead six months ago due to pilot error. 
Within a year, how many airplanes have crushed? The reasons would vary from case to case, but a through investigation is needed and hope the tragedy will never happen again. 
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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

JFA Fired Aguirre

Japan Football Association has fired national team coach Aguirre because the coach has been accused over his involvement in match-fixing case in Spain. I think it's too late to cancel the contract with him. The rumor of the allegation was known for many people while JFA was selecting Japan's new coach. 
In my opinion, Japanese national coach should be a Japanes. Otherwise Samurai Japan will not be able to progress to higher positions of the world. I don't know why, though. Just I'm thinking. 
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Monday, February 2, 2015

Cruel Acts of IS

Islamic extremist group IS has killed two Japanese and released their cruel videos on YouTube. It seems no safety area in the world now. 
IS has been said that they are Muslim group, but their bloody and cruel act indicate they are not religious people. We should carefully examine their behavior and prevent terror. 
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Sunday, February 1, 2015

New Life

My wife and I went to my son's apartment to help him preparing new life. He bought some kitchen things, electronic appliances and groceries. 
His apartment is on the fourth floor. We were going up and down stairs many times, so we were exhausted. 
My son seemed to really enjoy the biggining of new life. 
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