Thursday, April 30, 2015

The 2015 World Table Tennis

The 2015 World Table Tennis Championships has been held in Suzhou, China. Japanese team has two female junior high school players. It must be a good experience for them. 
In the mixed doubles tournament, Japan's Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa have advanced to semifinals. That means they will win at least bronze medals in the tournament. They will fight against North Korean defending champion pair in the semis. I believe they will win the game and get a gold medals this year. Ishikawa is my friend's daughter, so I really want to see her victory. 
In the men's doubles, Japan's Koki Niwa and Kenta Matsudaira have also achieved to the semis. I think they have a chance to win the title. 
I'm really excited to watch tonight's games. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A New Policeman

A young man has become a police officer in Gunma prefecture. He lost his mother in a traffic accident caused by a high way bus accident three years ago. The cause of the accident was the driver's dozing due to overwork. 
After the accident, a policeman helped the young man a lot, like taking the young man to and from the crash site. And the police officer promised to reduce car accidents. 
The young man was deeply moved, so he decided to be a policeman in Gunma and he has become that this year. I believe he will be a good police officer. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Barcelona Open

Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori won the Barcelona Open tennis tournament on Sunday. He was the defending champion of the tournament. 
At the final match, he won over Spanish Pablo Anduar with a 6-4, 6-4. I didn't watch the game, but news articles said it was a tough game. 
The tournament was held on clay court, so it was a good result for the next major tournament, the French Open. The French Open is famous for its red clay court of Roland Garros, Paris. 
I believe he will play well in the French Open as he did in Barcelona. Will he get his, and Japanese, first major title in Paris?

Monday, April 27, 2015

What Happened?

Today's Raymond Carver was "The Train". It was a strange story. A woman was about to shoot a man. That was the starter. 
After that, she was waiting a train in a station. It was late and the waiting room was empty but her. An old gentleman and a young woman came into the station and they began to quarrel with each other. 
And then the train came to the station when the woman was about to involve with the fighting. Then they got on the train. 
Hmmm. They were all weird. It was cold and the gentleman even didn't wear shoes. I don't know why. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Kitano Film

I went to watch a Kitano Movie. It was a comedy movie, but there were no comedians in the film. The story was about old yakuza group and young gangsters. 
It was a nice movie. Old yakuzas were very funny. I laughed a lot and car actions in the film were really great. I recommend it. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Trip for a Tournament

My son has traveled to a distant city for three days. He is talking part in a high school table tennis tournament. This is his first match in high school. He would be excited for the trip with his teammates. 
It is not easy to win the tournament because he is only a freshman and there are many competent players there. I hope he performs well as much as he can. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

The 200th TOEIC

TOEIC takes place in my city three times in a year. Usually, it comes here in January, May and September. I have been taking it every time in recent two years. Don't ask my scores. 
I don't need good score of the test. I just want my English ability to be measured, so I need to take the test in the same conditions every time. I listen to the radio, read books, magazines and articles, write blog or something all in English. And of course, I'm trying to expand my vocabulary and learning more English grammar. That's the way I'm doing in my daily life. 
I'm thinking that if I could get over 900, I would use TOEIC text books, because many learners say that they had a hard time to getting best scores after that. 
Anyway, I'll try to do my best. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Where I'm Calling From

Today's Raymond Carver was "Where I'm Calling From". The story goes on in a alcoholic rehabilitation center. Two men were in the story and both of them could not stop drinking too much. 
They had something which makes them unstoppable drinking. It seems no rescue in the story. But the author insisted that they might overcome the habit at last. The fire in the last few paragraphs showed a slight hope to them. 
Carver also suffered from alcoholic addiction and he managed to return normally. That made the story realistic. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Phone Call

A friend of mine become a police chief. I sent a congratulatory letter to him and he gave a call today. He is four years older than me and we were in the same table tennis team many years ago. 
At that time, he was only a police officer. Then, he became so busy that he could not play table tennis often. He worked many places including two foreign countries. 
Over the phone, he was still a nice guy. We promised to play table tennis near future. I really felt time flies so fast. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Today's Raymond Carver was "Careful ". It was a strange and funny story. An alcoholic husband lived apart from his wife. He thought he had to stop drinking. Nevertheless, he drunk campaign because it was, for him, better than drinking strong one. 
One day, something might plug up his ear and he couldn't hear well. His wife happened to visit him and managed to rescue him. And then, she left the apartment. 
He was afraid of her while digging up his ear. His wife was seriously wanted to rescue him. If only he quit drinking, they would go along with each other. I don't know. He might continue to drink on the sofa. 
Anyway, that was funny and sad. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Translation Class

A translator teaches translation in my town. He translates novels and he runs his own publishing company. He translated "Looking for Alaska" by John Green. 
I can't take his lesson because of my work. But I want to take his class someday. 
He said on Twitter that "Looking for Alaska" might become a movie near future. If it's true I would be happy. The novel was so nice that I was really into the story while reading it. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

An Armless Table Tennis Player

Ibrahim Hamato is an armless table tennis player. He lost his two arms when he was 10 years old by traffic accident. He loved table tennis. Three years after the accident, he decided to play table tennis again. 
Of course he could not play ping pong like he used to do. He finally found playing table tennis with his mouth. 
I watched his play on YouTube. That was incredible. In the video, he played with world famous players. He played as good as these top players. 
He made impossible possible. Nothing is impossible. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015


Today's Raymond Carver was "Vitamins ". It seemed they were always drinking in the story. All drinkers in the story showed us the dark side of alcohol. They had to keep drinking. Drinking for what?
They all knew they were out of the right way, but they didn't do nothing for that. They just escaped from real life. Sad story, isn't it?

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Small, Good Thing

Today's Raymond Carver was "A Small, Good Thing". There are a wife and a husband. They lost their boy by hit-by-run. The accident occurred at exactly the boy's birthday. The wife ordered a birthday cake and it was ruined due to the incident. 
The baker was waiting for the wife to pick up the cake, but she didn't come on the day. The baker called and hang up to the parents' house again and again. The parents was angry about the calls and went to the bakery even it was midnight. 
The baker never had a child and being lonely. He said sorry for the parents. He told them to eat. He said that was a small, good thing and they did. They feel for each other and talked until in the morning. 
Life is sometimes hard to accept, but we still have to live along with that. We have to find something small, good thing for over come the fact. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Preservation, The Compartment

Today, I read two Raymond Carver's short stories, Preservation and The Compartment. 
A husband lost his job in Preservation. Since then, he was sitting on the couch and watching the TV all day. The refrigerator broke down and his wife wanted to buy another one by auction. Before they went to the auction, the wife made some food using ingredients in the fridge. The husband came in the kitchen and was about to eat , but returned to the couch. I feel something completely broken, a little bit scary for me. 
A divorced father was going to meet his son in The Compartment. He finally couldn't meet his son, but I feel he felt relieved. It seems that he didn't want to meet his son. I'm not sure, but he was so lonely, that's for sure. He couldn't go anywhere he wants. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Feathers, Chef's House

I'm reading Raymond Carver's short stories book. I've read two of them, Feathers and Chef's House. 
There are not big events. Simple stories. Things can be changed by small things. 
Carver wrote stories with simple words and short sentences, but I'm really into his stories while reading them. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Raymond Carver

I like reading English books. I've read four novels since February. The fifth book is Cathedral by Raymond Carver. He is an American author and famous for short stories. 
I really like his works. I've already read his two books in English and many other books in Japanese which translated by Haruki Murakami. Murakami introduced him to Japan and translated most of his stories. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Hillary Clinton Starts Campaign

Former American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will officially start her campaign for the President of the United States. I think many Americans wanted her official announcement of running for president. 
The Democrats have lost lots of members of the House, the Senates and even governors in recent elections. Her road to the President would not be easy, but I want to see the first female president of the United States. That would be one of the historical events.  

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Nakamura Hajime Memorial Hall

I went to Nakamura Hajime Memorial Hall today. Nakamura Hajime was a giant of studying Vedic, Hindu and Buddhist scriptures. His work was so huge. He was born in Matsue. 
I've read some of his books about primitive Buddhism. I didn't know what was the original Buddhism before reading them. I believed all Buddhism sects was the same. 
The hall I went today was very silent. No one was there but a stuff. There were lots of books there. They looked very expensive. I checked one of them on the web and the prices were from ¥20,000 to ¥180,000. 
I want to know more about original Buddhism. I can read some books from the library, so I'll go there to read books sometimes. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Election Campaign

Tomorrow is the election day of prefectural governors and assembly members. I'm happy because noisy days will be over. The candidates have been shouting loudly their own names from campaign cars. And the cars were running so slowly that caused traffic problems everywhere. 
I think the way of campaign should be changed. Holding discussion with candidates on local TV would be one of the good idea. Otherwise we can not get candidates' ideas for local politics. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

This Day 150 Years Ago

I happened to see an issue of old news paper of today's date on the Internet. Tha paper was the New York Times and it said "Victory!", "Peace!". Today, April 10, was the day of the end of the American Civil War. 
On this day 150 years ago, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surraunded to Union General Ulysses S. Grant and that meant the official ending of the American Civil War. The war had lasted four years and lost about 500,000 people. 
General Grant said, " The war is over. The rebels are our countrymen again." The Confederate troops were pardoned and they even allowed to back home with their horses and arms. I really admire the winner's forgiveness to the former enemies. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hannya Shingyo

Hannya Shingyo, Panja-para-mita sutra, is probably the most famous and popular Buddhist sutra in Japan. Many Japanese people read and  copy that. You can see lots of books about the sutra. Most Japanese people would believe that the sutra is based on Buddha's remarks, but that's not true. 
The sutra was made by someone who belongs to the Mahayana Buddhism sect about 2,000 years ago. The sect was relatively new to Buddhism at that time, so they had to make something new theory. 
Nevertheless, the Mahayana Buddhism and Hannya Shingyo have been helped countless number of people all over the world from its beginning to nowadays. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Nishikori Appears in a Textbook

Tennis player Kei Nishikori will appear in a junior high school English textbook in 2016. 
Sanseido, the publisher of the textbook, said Nishikori has encouraged younger people because of his effort in the world. He moved to the U.S when he was 13 and struggled to success. He became the first Japanese to get the U.S. Open final. The four pages of article concludes with Nishikori's message, "make your dreams come true."
About 900,000 junior high school students will use the textbook. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Lazy Day

I finished my work earlier than usual, but I didn't do anything special. I should've read novel that I'm reading or learned new words. Or I could have watched movies in English. 
I just relaxed myself and sometimes flapping a book about Buddhism, like how to become awakened. 
That's okay. A lazy day is needed sometimes for everyone. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Britain Bans Showing Tobacco

Showing tobacco products in shops has banned in Britain. Shops have to keep cigarettes out of sight. I think it might prevent younger people to smoke. 
In Japan, you can see handreds of tobacco packages behind the conviniens store's counter. And the design of the boxes look fashionable. Children can see the packages over the cashier, so they can get familiar with tobacco easily. 
Smoking causes lots of diseases especially to younger generations. The first one smoke should be prevented from children, so I think Japanese government should ban showing tobacco products in a shop like Britain. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Speaking English

I went to my son's apartment to bring his shirts. While driving, I listened to an audiobook, "Tuesday's with Morrie". The narrator is the author Mitch Albom. I've read the book three times, so the story is familiar to me. 
I tried to speak like the narrator, but I couldn't. I think that was because my pronunciation wasn't good. If I pronounce correctly, I could speak like the author. I should be more carefully to pronounce while speaking English. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015


Almost every Japanese schools take place entrance ceremony in April. Kindai University held the one produced by Tsunku, a graduate of the university, a singer and the producer of Morning Musume. 
Tsunku delivered an address to the freshmen, but it was a text message. He couldn't speak because he removed the vocal cords. He confessed that he had throat cancer last year. 
I feel really sorry that he lost his voice. He is a singer, so he would want to sing more, but he can't do that anymore. I believe he will get well in spite of the loss of his voice. 
He said in the message that he was a freshman like these new students in the ceremony because he was also new who lost own voice. He said he would do anything he can do. 
I believe he will make good songs to the last. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Buddha the Last Words

I bought an NHK TV text book about old Buddhism sutra. The sutra described Buddha's last trip and death. 
I like reading books about Buddhism. I'm interested in primitive Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism because these are the real Buddhism. Mahayana Buddhism is far from original Buddhism, but of course it's a real religion. 
Buddhism is difficult to understand, but I'll try to discover the secret.  

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Smoker's Face

Everyone knows cigarettes destroy your health. Smoking is bad for your heart, lungs, brain and so on. It's also ruins your face so badly. The condition is called "smoker's face."
A British doctor studied the relationship between smoking and wrinkling. He found that they were deeply involved. He compared many smokers' and non smokers' skins and found that smokers were nearly five times as likely to be wrinkled as no smokers of the same age and sex. 
Smoking prevents sending nutrients via vessels to skin. That helps aging to your skin, so you look older than your age.  You can see the damaged face if you google smoker's face on the web. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

China Makes New Land in South China Sea

China has been creating land on reefs in South China Sea. They are pumping sand on coral reefs and adding concrete. They seems to create new artificial islands ,and later they might deploy militarily on the islands. 
These areas created new land are in disputed sea among China, The Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan. The tension over the territories would rise and Japanese government should not ignore the China's act. 
China wants to seize Senkaku islands not only for natural resources but also for military purpose. Japanese goverment is facing hard time to deal with the issue, so Japanese people have to support their effort against China's behavior. We don't have time fighting over American military base issue in Okinawa.