Sunday, May 31, 2015
I trimmed the trees and weeded the garden today. It was so hot, but I had to do that at least once a year or more. I sweated a lot. After doing that, I took a shower and opened a can of beer. I thought I deserve it. Heaven, but my arms and legs were super tired. How come no one helped me?
Saturday, May 30, 2015
I didn't read a lot in this week. It was not good. I tried to solve and review some English work books. It was not bad. That helps me to read English sentences, but I should read more than studying. Read more and study more. That's the way.
Friday, May 29, 2015
Tuna fishing in the Japanese sea has just started. The first tuna auction was held at Sakaiminato fishing market in Tottori prefecture today.
The fishing season of tuna in the Japanese sea in the summer lasts two months. The length of time is one month shorter than previous year for protecting tuna resources. Many natural conservation groups criticize the tuna fishing in the area because these tuna gather here for spawning. They say the fishing may harm tuna resources.
I'm also against the fishing even though I work for fishing industry here. The fishing boats based on Sakaiminato port can fish 1,800 tons this season. That's too much.
Thursday, May 28, 2015
You can see lots of Donjons, Tenshu, in Japan. A donjon is a main tower of a castle. Himeji Castle Donjon would be the most famous one. Like the castle, only 12 donjons have still remained in original conditions in this country. Others are once destroyed in some reasons and rebuild in modern era.
The 12 castles are Hirosaki, Matsumoto, Maruoka, Inuyama, Hikone, Himeji, Matsue, Bicchu Matsuyama, Marugame, Matsuyama, Kochi and Uwahima. These 12 cities with the original donjons are planning to make an alliance called "Existing 12-Castle Donjon Alliance ".
They want to attract more foreign tourists with an eye to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games.
I think the concept is good, but that kind of project lead by politicians often wouldn't go well in the end. Using the web efficiently would be the key to success. I believe that inviting many YouTubers and bloggers is a good for boosting popularity of tourists.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
I'm watching French Open Tennis on TV now. Kei Nishikori is playing with Brazilian player, Bellucchi. He won the first set with a 7-5.
Kei is performing well now. I believe he'll win this match. He's already broken two Bellucci's service games.
I really want to see the first Grand Slam title for Japanese player.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Visitors to Matsue Castle have been increasing since the castle was recommended to be a national treasure in May 15. I was born and raised here, Matsue, so I'm really glad to hear the news.
The authorities and citizens here have to use this opportunity to make the castle and our city popular tourist spot. This should boost city's economy otherwise our city can't survive this sever economic conditions.
Monday, May 25, 2015
A strong quake shook Kanto area today. The authority said it was a magnitude 5.3 quake and there was no tsunami risk. No major damage has been reported.
The area is on the junction of a number of the Earth’s tectonic plates. That makes strong quakes so often.
I live in Shimane prefecture and there are few quakes here. As far as I remember, I've got a strong quake only once. I think I couldn't live in Kanto region because of the fear of quakes.
Sunday, May 24, 2015
I was knocked out by TOEIC today. The listening part was not so bad. I think I could get 90% or more of them. But the reading part was terrible. I had left a half of Part 7 problems.
The reason why I didn't perform well in part 7 was partly I spent too much time on part 5 and 6. I just think so.
I haven't practiced a lot for TOEIC, but I think I should study for the test if I want to get a good score.
I'll concentrate on Part 5 and 6, so I'll buy some text books for the section. Otherwise, I can't get over 400 for TOEIC reading part.
Saturday, May 23, 2015
The 200th TOEIC is held tomorrow. The place where I take the test is really close to my house. I live in the neighbor of the place, Shimane University.
I don't really like talking TOEIC. First, I'm overwhelmed by the huge amount of problems. 200 is too much for me. I need a week to solve these questions, honestly. Second, I can't get a good score as I expected. Probably ETS might hate me.
Anyway, I'll just try to do my best. Get enough sleep, clean my ear holes and drink a Mega-shaki before the test.
Good luck to everyone!
Friday, May 22, 2015
Indonesian government has sunk 41 foreign boats due to illegal fishing in its territory. One of the vessels was from China and others were from Vietnam, Thailand and Philippines.
A nation's territorial waters should be protected from others. The foreign fishing boats obviously broke laws and should be punished. I believe Jakarta did the punishment after giving warning repeatedly.
I don't think Japanese government could do the same if it happens in Japanese territorial waters. But I think every countries have to obey the laws, therefore Tokyo should apply Japanese law on that issue even if Chinese vessels break into Japanese territory and do the illegal things.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Traffic accidents have been increasing recently. Many accidents come from using mobile phones. Some people cause car accidents due to texting while driving. That is more dangerous than drunken driving.
In the United States, texting cars and trucks causes 3,000 deaths and 330,000 injuries par year, according to a survey.
Another study showed that texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash than non-texting drivers.
If you text while driving, you might lose not only your life but also someone's life in the future. Stop it immediately.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Takeshima Islands have been illegally occupied by South Korea since 1953. Some Japanese fishermen were killed by South Korean military forces at that time.
The islands belong to Okinoshima Cho, Shimane prefecture of Japan. An old fisherman who lives in Okinoshima Cho has a fishing right of sea lions there. He is the last fisherman who has the right and he is very old now. Could he go to the islands again?
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
A Japanese major league baseball player Ichiro has made 2,873th hits in major league career and tied Babe Ruth all-time hits.
I'm not so familiar with Babe Ruth, but I know his play made baseball as a national sports in the United States. He made a huge number of home runs and gave a lot of joy for baseball fans.
Ichiro is a different type of player. He has been made lots of hits. Could he reache the top with 4,256 hits as Pete Rose?
Monday, May 18, 2015
I'm practicing put English sentences into diagrams for understanding the meaning of the sentences. Once you make English sentence structure diagrams, you should understand the meaning of the sentences at a glance and easily.
With continuing the practice, I would read English articles faster than I used to because when I read a complex sentence, a sentence diagram in my head helps me to understand that.
Sunday, May 17, 2015
I had a lecture about fundamental English from an old university professor. He has 50 years experience in teaching English.
In the lecture, he taught us English syllable first. He said, when you speak English, you have to deliver each syllables correctly and clearly.
Another thing he taught us was that you should not care much about your mistakes when you speak English. That was from his experience. When he studied abroad, he was afraid of making mistakes while speaking English. So he missed lots of opportunities to speak English compare to other overseas students.
Saturday, May 16, 2015
I found a YouTube video that a high school girl was singing Japan's anthem "Kimigayo" at a high school baseball tournament opening ceremony. It was uploaded five years ago. The high school girl has become a professional soprano singer now.
Her voice was amazing and I was really moved it. I've heard Japan's anthem in big events many times and it was the best performance ever to me. Even those who opposes Kimigayo might be moved her soprano voice of the anthem.
When I was young, I didn't care much about Kimigayo. As I getting older and knowing what Japan's anthem implies, it's a solemn moment whenever I hear the song.
Friday, May 15, 2015
Matsue Castle will become a National Treasure again. It used to be a National Treasure, but the title was once removed from the castle.
As I belong to a volunteer guide group to the castle, I'm really glad to hear the news. I want many people to know the value of the castle. Only 12 castles still remain in the original construction. Matsue Castle is one of them. The others are not original buildings.
In Meiji era, the castle was about to sell by Japanese government at the price of 180 yen, but some wealthy citizens bought it back to our city. I really thank to the people otherwise we don't have such a great treasure in my city for now.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori won the third round at the Italian Open over Jiri Vesely of Czech Republic. That was his 30th wins in this season.
As the French Open approaching, it was a good start for him. He said that he was a little bit tired because he has been talking part in many matches recently. But his physical performance has been improved dramatically in recent years, so he can get a good result in this tournament despite the tiredness.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
My next English book is Raymond Carver again, a short stories collection "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love ". Seventeen stories in it and they are quite short, at most 10 pages.
I once read the book in Japanese. A famous Japanese writer Haruki Murakami translated the collection. I liked it. I really look forward to reading the book again in English.
I've read two of them today. Six people were in these two stories. They were all something strange. I enjoyed Carver's world already.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
I've finished Kazuo Ishiguro's "A Pale View of Hills ". The author is a Japanese born British and the story was about a Japanese woman who lived in the Britain. She lost her Japanese born daughter and she remembered her old days in Japan.
Ishiguro described typical old Japanese society well in the novel even he had left Japan when he was 5.
Many short episodes are included and these are vague and beautiful. I highly recommend this novel.
Monday, May 11, 2015
I've got an email. It said the 200th TOEIC admission card had sent to me. That was from ETS. I feel a little bit nervous for the mail because I don't like talking a test that much, especially when I don't prepare for the test. Well, I shouldn't make an excuse.
My main target of the test this time is to read articles and problems carefully. Don't be hurry. I have plenty of time to do that. That's for sure.
From now on, to prepare for that, I'll try to read every English sentences in great detail. Again, don't be hurry to me, and everyone.
Sunday, May 10, 2015
My wife and I helped my son's moving today. His packages were not many, but we had to carry down them from 4th floor to the ground without using elevator. Moreover, we didn't borrow a truck, so we had to go and back three times.
His apartment was well organized than I ever thought. He was never that tidy when he was at home. People can change in a short period of time.
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Japan's car maker Toyota earned a record 2.17 trillion yen ($18.1 billion) profit for the last fiscal year. Many Japanese industries are facing severe depression, but the giant company gained up 19 percent from the previous year. According to the article, the profit growth came from the United States and the cheap yen.
Car makers have lots of its subcontractors. I hope Toyota would consign good profit work to them and help Japan's economic recovery.
Friday, May 8, 2015
I'm learning English sentence structure by using some text books. I was not interested in that before, but now I can understand the importance of that.
Vocabulary building is of course very important, but if I don't understand English sentence structure, I can't understand the whole meaning of the sentences.
One of the reasons, perhaps most important, for learning English sentence structure is that I want to read English novels just like Japanese novels.
Thursday, May 7, 2015
I'm reading "A Pale Wiew of Hills" by Kazuo Ishiguro. The author is a Japanese born British. I've just read half of the story. I enjoy reading it so far.
The book describes old Japanese lives after World War 2. Reading the book, I can imagine the situation well. And I can hear the sounds, smell the atmosphere clearly. He wrote it really well even he left Japan when he was five and he published it when he was 28. I'm not sure, but he might interviewed his parents. Or he remembered his childhood?
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
I was completely off today. My wife and son was out today so I could do anything I want. But I didn't do nothing special.
I listened to the radio and reading all in English. I went to a curry shop for lunch and went to a cafe. I organized my book shelves because I got a new book shelf.
I just relaxed myself.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
I've just started a Kazuo Ishiguro's novel, "A Pale View of Hills". He published the book when he was 28 and that was his first one.
The story is so nice that I can read faster than ever. I've read 28% of it today. The story is about Japanese women in Nagasaki and the Britain.
I'll finish it in two or three days and after that I'll read "When We Were Orphans" next.
Monday, May 4, 2015
I've finished Raymond Carver's short storie collection "Cathedral ". The last story was exactly "Cathedral ". I like all of the stories and the last one was especially awesome.
The narrator met his wife's blind old friend in his house. The narrator did not want to see the blind man at first. But at the end, they were drawing a cathedral together, hand in hand, to explain the shape to the blind man. I felt something had changed in his mind.
Raymond Carver described ordinary people's daily lives in simple sentences. It seems nothing, but you can find some signs in the stories. I can feel something warm in these daily lives.
I'd like to read his novels more. It's so much fun for me.
Sunday, May 3, 2015
It's really honored to make an address to a foreign congress, especially in a foreign language. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did it in the United States.
I was simply moved by the speech, not only his speech itself but also the effort of the officials in both countries. I don't have the right to judge his English, but you may understand the difficulty of the situation. Can you do that yourself?
You might say I'm naive, but I have to admit I was moved at the moment when former American soldier of Iwo To and a grandson of General Kuribayashi did a historical shake hands. It reminds me of the surrounding of the American Civil War. General Grant said, " The war is over. The rebels are our countrymen again." The Confederate troops were pardoned and they were even allowed to back home with their horses and arms.
Some people say he did not need to deliver a speech in English, but in Japanese. I don't think so. English has become the common language in the world. It's not simply native language in the United States.
If Japanese politicians have enough time for prepare for making speech in English and for practice the speech, they should do that as much as they can.
Saturday, May 2, 2015
I'm not a religious person, but I'm interested in Buddhism. I've read several books about Buddhism and found lots of things I've never known.
There are so many sects which called themselves Buddhism. My understanding is that only few of them still remain original Buddhism. They are called Theravada Buddhism.
We have many Buddhist sects in Japan, but almost every sects are not from Gotama Siddhatta himself. I was shocked by the fact when I found it as a Japanese. Gotama's Buddhism is rather self-disciplined system. There are no miracle power or mysterious force that saves you. You have to save yourself. You have to do what Buddha said. That's it. I can't do that, anyway. I even don't know I can call it a religion.
Japan's sects are made by these founders, like Kukai, Saicho, Nichiren, Shinran and so on. They are more likely western regions, like Christianity.
I'm still learning it, of course I can't learn everything in my life, so I'd like to know more about it.
Friday, May 1, 2015
Japanese table tennis pair Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa have reached the mixed doubles final at the 2015 World Table Tennis Championships in China. They will face Chinese pair tonight.
Japanese players advanced to the final in mixed doubles for the first time in 38 years. It will be the first time in 46 years if they get the gold medals.
I will watch the game on TV tonight. I really hope to see the historical moment.