Friday, July 31, 2015

Olympics in Heat

It's been really hot all over Japan. The temperatures are over 35 degrees in many places. I can't stand this heat, but athletes will have to bare this deadly heat. In 2020, Tokyo Olympics will be start in July. 
Indoor competitions will be no problem, because air conditioners will be equipped in the gyms, but how about outside? I don't think athletes will perform well in this high temperature. Why don't we held Olympics in autumn? 

Thursday, July 30, 2015


On March 8, 2014, a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 disappeared with 239 people on board. The debris of the jet was never found, but now it may be found in an island in the Indian Ocean. 
The debris was found off the coast of Reunion Island in the western Indian Ocean. The island is not India but a French territory. 
This would be an evidence of the crash and it will make a progress of the investigation. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Columbus Era

A VOA radio program The Making of a Nation has restarted today. Christopher Columbus was the starter of the program. 
Spain's Queen and King provided ships, crews and equipment for an Italian seaman, Christopher Columbus. He found the shortest way to American continent. He believed there was a part of India. He never knew that it was really a new world. 
He returned to Spain with gold, plants, animals and even natives. Later voyage, he carried back natives to be sold as slaves. They didn't think the natives, they called Indians, as the same human beings then. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Female President

I watched a YouTube video where former American President Bill Clinton invited children to the White House and answed their questions. 
In the video, they talked about female president. Clinton then said, "America has lots of remarkable female Senators, House of Representatives and entrepreneurs, so you can see a female American President in the near future."
I'm not sure, whether he thought his wife, Hellary, would become one of them in the future or not at that time. Twenty years later, his wife has a great opportunity to be the first one. Many countries have already got a female prime minister or president. Is that early or is it too late for American people?

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Light Plane Crashes into Tokyo Suburb

A light plane crashed into residential area in Chofu-city, Tokyo on Sunday morning. Three people were killed and five were injured. The incident occurred right after the plane had taken off at Chofu airport. The reason of the crush was not revealed. 
There are many small airports for light planes located near urban areas and Chofu airport is one of them. Some accounts have occurred in these areas. Small planes are convenient for some people, but we have to think about the location of small airports. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

It's Been Hot

It was really hot today. The temperature was 35 degrees. Inside of my house was 32 in the morning. I was almost dead. 
I was able to withstand the high temperature without air conditioner at first, but I surrendered the heat in the afternoon. 
On the TV screen, high school baseball players played for Koshien. That was crazy for me, but their play is one of the topical Japanese summer customs. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Great Gatsby

I clicked to get "The Great Gatsby" on kindle store. The novel was placed the second rank of the 20th century best English novel. 
My first encounter with the story was not in the book, but a movie "The Great Gatsby". The starring actor was Robert Readford. I liked his movies especially "The Sting" and "Buch Cassidy and the Sundanece Kid", my favorite was Paul Newman, though. 
After watching the movie, I read the book. And when I was in my twenties, I happened to know Haruki Murakami liked the novel very much. 
The original sentences may be beautiful and gorgeous. But that's quite difficult to read for me. It's still beyond my understanding, though. 
I've been reading the novel with referencing Japanese translation, otherwise I would be lost the story. 
I want to get higher reading skill in English. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Unagi Day

Today is the Day of Unagi, Eel Day. Many Japanese people customarily eat eel on this day. 
This custom was started in Edo-period. A well-known inventor Hiraga Gennai wanted to help poor sales eel restaurant, so he made an advertising poster for the shop. The ad said "Doyou no hi, Unagi no hi" or "the midsummer is Eel Day ". After the campaign, the sales of the restaurant had been increasing. Many other eel restaurants took the idea for their shops and succeeded. Since then, that campaign became a Japanese custom. 
Unfortunately, the number of eel has been decreasing, so the price of eel has been soaring. Since Japanese people eat 70% of eel in the world, we have to think about eel consuming. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Take Care of the Heat

According to the weather forecast, this summer will be hot compare to average years. You should be careful for the heart. Many people have died for heart stroke already. 
To prevent the disease, you have to take lots of water and take a regular rest while your activities. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

East Turkestan

East Turkestan is the homeland of the Turkic speaking Uyghurs and located in the Central Asia, next to Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The area is famous for the Silk Road where Eastern and Western culture were interacted, and now called "Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region" in China. 
East Turkestan has its long history and was an independent country. But in 1949, the Chinese People's Liberation Army troops marched into the area and the country was forced to join China. 
After the annexation, the area became the test site of nuclear weapons. More than 45 nuclear tests were held and the radioactivities had killed a large number of people there. Moreover, the Chinese government set "Family Planning" rule and under the law, millions of women are forced to get abortion. East Turkistan people have been suffering severe oppression of Chinese government for a long time. Many countries know the facts, but they, including Japan, can't claim the violation of human rights because they are afraid of Chinese government. 
If you have time, please check World Uyghur Congress

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Security Bills in Japan

The Japanese Lower House has passed some bills about security activities. These bills might be illegal to Japan's Constitution. Aside from that, I don't think Japanese people should die along with the constitution. Many people protested against the laws at many places. They say Abe wants to fight, but I don't think so. There's no reason to go into a war for politicians because it's obvious that a war weaken a whole country including politicians themselves. 
The bills will strengthen Japan, U.S. and other friendly countries alliance. And that will prevent huge conflicts because no one wants to fight. Moreover, the bills limit Japan's activities. 
An evil country just want to force other countries to obey their rules. They think only military power can do that and that's the reality in the world. They don't need fight against others. Only they should do is to show their power to others. But they will be careful when other countries also have a strong power because the evil countries don't want a war to break out, but only small conflicts. They definitely afraid of real war. These security laws can control their desire to expand their territory. 
To have power doesn't mean goes into a war. If a nation alone has enough power to protect itself from evils, there wouldn't need military alliance. No need to rescue others instead of to be protected by other nations. But the reality doesn't let us so. 
Looking around Japan, evil totalitarian countries have a long history of cruel behavior. They can't stop doing so unless the governments have replaced democratic one. 

Monday, July 20, 2015


I've just read an Akutagawa Prize novel "Hibana" written by comedian Naoki Matayoshi. The prize has boosted the sales. The number of the copies has surpassed a million according to the publisher. 
The story was about two comedians. They were struggling to be their ideal performers. The episode starts and ends at a firework festival in a local town. He made the characters in detail.  The two of them had to live in clumsy way. 
I like his writing style. It was a good novel, so I want to read his story more. I bet he'll be a remarkable writer in the future. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

600 Days Straight

I've been writing a short journal everyday for 600 days straight since November 2013. You probably think I'm getting good at writing, and I hope so too. But I'm still not very good. You can see the reality here. Grammatical errors and misspelling are everywhere in my blog. 
Despite my slow progress, writing in English is fun for me. I'm like a real writer while writing. I don't think I can write a blog everyday in Japanese. It feels like I'm exposing myself too much. Too embarrassing. 
I'm really excited when someone is interested in my blog and sends a message. It sometimes happens. That makes me motivated. 
Anyway, I'll enjoy writing for myself. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015


Editors play important roles for publishing. A writer needs editor's help for a book. For example, without his editor's support, Raymond Carver couldn't get over serious alcoholic behavior. Of course without that, he couldn't write remarkable novels. Without a female editor's effort, Naoki Matayoshi didn't think he could write a novel. I think he couldn't get the Akutagawa Prize alone. 
When you read a book, and you think it is really good, you should feel thank the editor. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

National Stadium Plan Starts Over

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the controversial national stadium plan will be cancelled. Many Japanese people are angry about the 252 billion yen plan. The cost was too expensive for a stadium. 
Abe said "The Olympics are a party for our people, and they and the athletes, each one of them, are the main players. We need to make it something that they can celebrate.”
The new plan should be reasonable price and user-friendly facility. They have to listen to players ideas. I really hope so. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Comedian Gets the Akutagawa Prize

A popular Japanese comedian Naoki Matayoshi has won the Akutagawa Prize today. He is the first comedian who gets the award. I don't read the novel, but I'd like to read it. 
The Akutagawa Prize is the most famous Japanese literary award. Probably, every writers want to get the title. I also dreamed to get the prize when I was a middle school student. 
Not every good writer can get the award. For example, Osamu Dazai and Haruki Murakami missed the Akutagawa Prize even they were nominated the award.  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wordbook for Shadowing

I bought an Eiken wordbook for the first grade. The issue has three CDs. I copied the sound files to my IC recorder. I'll use the record for shadowing. 
Shadowing is one of the language learning techniques. While listening, you have to shadow, or repeat immediately, the listening materials. Many advanced learners recommend the method to master the language. 
The most important thing is that whether I could continue the training or not. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Typhoon is Coming

A big typhoon Nangka is approaching Japan main islands. It will first hit Shikoku island and after that it will come here, Shimane prefecture. 
The sea conditions will be deadly from Tuesday. There will be few fish in the market.  Since I work for fishery industry, I won't be busy this weekend. 
Please take care of yourself everyone. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Books About How to Study English

When you go to a bookstore, you can see hundreds of thousands of books for English learners. These books are usually divided into many specific categories, such as for TOEIC, Eiken, grammar reference, words and even how to study English itself. 
The writers are mainly professional teachers or native speakers, but many amateurs also write "How to study English" books. Amateur authors give us motivation for learning English. A major baseball player Hasegawa or succor player Kawashima gave us that. That's really good for learners' enthusiasms. It might be worth only for that at most. 
Remember, there's no easy way to learn English, so if you seek a good result for your ability of English, you should follow professionals' methods. This professional doesn't mean earning money from English, but the attitude for English. Don't waste your time. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Heat Stroke

According to some media, two Japanese died from heart stroke today. Heat stroke is a serious disease that caused by high temperature. You should be careful when you are in a hot condition. 
If someone feels tired, dizzy or muscle pain, you have to treat him or her immediately. You should get them to lie down in a cool place and get them to drink some fluid, such as a sports drink. 
But most of all, don't work hard in a hot place and drink lots of water before doing something. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sleepy While Reading

I was trying to read two English novels every month from this February, but I don't think I can do it. I've been busy at work and tired, so when I try to read a book I strongly feel sleepy. I even can't read only the first page. Would the book be boring? Or am I just too tired to read it? 
How should I do? Ok. Instead of that, I'll read English news articles on my phone as much as I can. It would not take a long time. It needs just a few minutes. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

252 Billion Yen Stadium

The new National Stadium budget has estimated ¥252 billion. The cost is four times as expensive as Tokyo Sky Tree's building cost. That's totally insane. The government seems crazy. 
The new stadium should be more simple and user friendly facility. That would be the Japanese way. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

China's Market Meltdown

Chinese share prices have been decreasing since mid June. Shanghai market has lost a third of value in three weeks. 
According to some articles, China's stock prices are too expensive to be the real values. Chinese government is trying to recover from the meltdown, so they ordered to stop share training in the market. 
Some wise investors apparently got a huge amount of money from Chinese market. On the other hand, so many people have lost their money. 
There were many examples of stock market crushes in the history. I have to say "History repeats itself."

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Matsue Castle Just Designated as a National Treasure

Matsue Castle main tower was designated as a national treasure by the culture ministry today. 
The main tower is 30m tall. It's the second largest castle among 12 remaining castle in Japan. 
The 400 years old castle is the symbol of Matsue city and many residents are pleased the designation. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

New World Heritage Sites in Japan

23 Meiji period sites will be the world heritage sites while South Korean government opposed Gunkanjima site because of forced labor issue during World War 2. But the decision was made. 
I'm really interested in the island, so if I have the time I would go there someday. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

U.S. Gets the Cup

The United States won the World Cup title over Japan with a 5-2 in Vancouver. According to the news, the United States got four goals in the first 16 minutes. I didn't watch the game, so I don't know what happened in the early time of the game. Definitely, the Americans might play really well. 
Tomorrow is the first day to the next big event. New players would join Nadeshiko Japan and they would try to beat the Champion in the Olympic Games and the next World Cup. 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Great Wall Destroyed

A third of the Great Wall of China has been completely destroyed. Only 8% of the wall remains of good condition. 
What made it ruined? Natural things are part of the reasons for destruction, and other reason comes from human beings. 
Local residents living around the wall sell the bricks for money, or use them for building materials for their houses. 
Chinese government might not pay attention to preserve the Great Wall of China. It's because they are too busy to pay attention to the Great Cyber Wall of China. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015


A torii is a gate found at the entrance of a Shinto shrine. Some of them are made of wood and others are made of stone. The inside of a torii is a sacred space where Shinto gods are believed to exist. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Busy Days

I've been busy since June. I have to do lots of things, so I don't have enough time to study English. That's a problem. 
I wanted to read two English books every month, but I'm afraid I can't do that so far. I should do anything I can do for that. For example, I should talk to myself in English while I'm alone. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Nadeshiko Goes to Final

Nadeshiko Japan has advanced to the FIFA Women's World Cup following a 2-1 win over England. They will play with the United States again. 
Japan won 2011 World Cup over the U.S, but at that time Japan's victory was on penalty kicks after 2-2 draw. I know America is very strong team. I believe Japan will perform well and grab the big title again. I'm looking forward to watching the final match. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Like many other old Japanese castles, Matsue Castle has a pair of Shachihoko. 
A shachihoko is an imaginary sea animal with the body of a fish and the head of a tiger. Ancient people believed that the animal would save the building from fire. 
The imaginary animals on Matsue Castle are made of wood covered with bronze. They are 2.08m tall and that means they are the largest wooden Shachihoko in Japan. 
The picture below shows old Shachihokos which replaced at Matsue Castle several decades ago.