The 2016 World Table Tennis Championship is held in Malaysia. I play table tennis, so I really enjoy watching games on TV. In addition, my friend's daughter is ranked in the world top 5 and plays in Japan's women's team. That makes me more excited for the tournament. The last time Japan took the second place in the tournament. I hope they will get the gold medal this time.
I submitted my tax form today. It was easier than I thought. I could calculate the amount of my tax on the net and print out the form after that.
The tax office is closed on Saturday and Sunday, but they opened a special tax office today. When I got there, the place was empty, but after I submitted the form, I found a lot of people lined up in front of the reception desk. I was lucky.
I'm listening to a Murakami in English again. The title is Kafka on the Shore. Interesting story. I've read it right after it was published and the novel is quite complicated in my memory. The story will last 19 hours, but I don't think that's long. I can enjoy it.
I have two other audiobooks to read now. All of them are written by Japanese authors. The day after tomorrow, I'll have another Audible credit. I think I'll get American or British author's novel next.
The Samurai. It isn't "The Last Samurai." "The Samurai" is a Japanese novel "侍" written by Endo Shusaku. I bought the audiobook with Audible.
The story was based on a real life of a samurai in the 17th century. He went to Europe to see the Spanish King with his Lord's letter. On the way to Europe, he became a Christian. On the way back home, the Lord didn't need the samurai any more.
I think "The Samurai" is the best of Endo. I recommend it. Anyway, it became one of my "Tsungiku" or to listen stories.
I have a cold again. I had a cold only one month ago and it lasted ten days. That was terrible. I rarely catch cold, but I'm weak recently. I think lack of sleep would be the problem. I should sleep as much as I can.
I'm listening to "South of the Border, West of the Sun" in English with Audible. It's the third time now. The original version is written by Haruki Murakami.
The English translation is rather simple. Even I could understand with my English ability. The last time I read the original book was a long time ago, so I forgot about the details. I glanced it today and I found that the original was different from English version. Of course that's natural, but that's why we should read original text as much as we can.
February 22nd is Takeshima Memorial Day. Shimane Prefecture holds the memorial event every year. It causes some conflicts every time. Japanese nationalists and Korean activists will gather on the day and they will shout out each other.
Takeshima islands have been illegally occupied by Korea since 1952. Korean army attacked Japanese fishing boats. They killed and injured 44 Japanese. Finally, 328 ships and 3929 Japanese citizens were caught by Korean soldiers. Article 9 of constitution didn't work since the Korean military's actions to the islands.
There are no evidence that Korean government has the rights to Takeshima islands.
I hope the ceremony will end peacefully and someday the islands return to Japan.
Harper Lee wrote a remarkable debut novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird," in 1960. The story was about justice and race. The novel become an American Classic and many high schools took the story as their text book. She died of age at 89 on Friday.
To tell the truth, I didn't care much about the novel. I happened to see some tweets this week and I got interested in the story. I downloaded the title from kindle and started to read it. And the news came.
I think many people might read the novel for the first time like me or again after knowing the news all over the world. Stories have such a power.
My car for work was broken. The engine stopped suddenly on the road. But soon after that, the engine restarted. I was relieved and went to fix the car to a gas station.
The staff managed to found the cause. The engine oil leaked and the oil ruined one of the ignition equipments. The mechanic repaired the equipment. It cost 14,000 yen, but I'm glad that my car was fixed soon.
I found some tweets about an American novel, To Kill a Mockingbird on my Twitter timeline. A Twitter friend said that the book is one of her lifetime best five. She said that she first met the book in her high school English class.
I knew the title, but I haven't read it yet. I quickly checked the summary and got interested in the novel. I'm busy for listening to audiobooks now, but I'll try to read it.
I continued to listen to an English version of Murakami with Audible. I listened it two hours today. I really enjoyed listening to the novel in English.
The story is quite normal compare to other his works. Love and affairs. It seems normal, but a little bit different from others' novels. Only a little, but that makes Murakami's stories special. I can't describe it well, though.
I'll have finished the audiobook tomorrow since I have only one hour left.
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I'm listening to an audiobook, South of the Border, West of the Sun written by Haruki Murakami. I'm at a half of the story now. I read the book several times before, but even though I can enjoy listening to the novel in English.
The story will be more interesting than the first half of it. I'm really thrilled to listen to the left of that.
Kei Nishikori got the fourth victory in a row at Memphis Open Tennis Championships in Tennessee. He beat American player Taylor Fritz at the final.
His record of four consecutive titles at a single tournament is really remarkable. Only three active players have the record. The members are Federer, Nadal and Djicivic. Nishikori joined the legend players.
He looked happy in the photos at the winning ceremony, but what he really want to get is a major title. I hope he gets one of the major title in this season.
North Korea announced that they will withdraw from investigation into abductions of Japanese citizens against Japan's sanctions on the launching of the missile.
That's funny. They didn't make any actions of investigation at all. They had no intention of doing that. If they wanted to do so, that would be easy to do. They should simply check the documents of the abductions. They will never admit their evil behaviors.
I think only after Kim's monarchy collapse, the day would come.
I haven't studied English for a long time. I've been reading and listening stuff in English instead. I'm mainly listening to audiobooks in recent three months. I just enjoy it.
I didn't feel taking any English tests like Eiken or TOEIC for a long time. But I'm thinking about taking tests in this spring now. I don't think I can get very good scores on the tests, but I'm really interested in my results.
Today is a national holiday, Kenkoku Kinen no Hi or National Foundation Day. This day was originally called Kigensetsu or Emperor Day came from Nihonshoki. The ancient report said that the first Emperor Jinmu established Japan on this day.
Japan is one of the oldest countries in the world. Japanese ancient calendar says it's 2676th year now. Of course that is unreliable theory, but still Japan has its long long history. I'm really proud of that.
Recently, I'm talking bath with a collection of short stories. The book is "Stardust Highway" written by Kataoka Yoshio and it was published in 1978.
The themes of the book are photo and travel. The places in the stories are in America and Japan, mainly in rural areas. The stories are, of course, fictions, but these are so vivid that I can easily picture these stories.
I've been watching a series of movies "Otoko wa Tsuraiyo" on the net. I really enjoy it. Tors-san has a family in his hometown, Shibamata. Uncle, aunt, sister and her family live there.
The series has 48 stories. Three actors played the uncle, Ryuzo or oichan. I like the first actor, Morikawa Shin the most. He appeared in eight films. He was really funny and warm in the movies. His play was remarkable and I bet he was a real comedian.
The all 15 UN Security Council members, including China, approved a resolution condemning North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket. Most members of the UN countries seem to want strong sanctions on North Korea, but China would not want that strong measures. They might be afraid of confusion in North Korea after that. That would be one of a Kim's plans, though.
Sooner or later, it will happen. The Kim monarchy will collapse someday. Chinese communist government is afraid of the influence, like Arab Springs.
North Korea launched a long-range rocket which they called a peaceful space program. It was obviously a long distance missile test. The UN banned ballistic missile technology tests like North Korea did.
The United States and other countries even China strongly criticized the series actions. What are the benefits for these Kim Jong Un's behavior. He spent a lot of money for developing military technologies. He should spend the money for North Korean people. They have been starving for a long time. His aim would be the survival of the Kims monarchy.
I'm learning English by myself. I used to listen to English radio programs, news, interviews and so on, for improving my listening skill. Since last December, I started to listen to audiobooks with Audible.
I miss listening to news of many conflicts all over the world, but I enjoy listening to interesting stories I choose. I've reached 109 hours of listening time in 75 days.
It might be an effective way for improving my listening skill. And today, I listened to radio news for the first time in two and a half months. I felt like I can understand the news easier than before. I heard the news slower than the last time I listened to.
I'll listen to both novels and news. I want to enjoy something and want to know what happens in the world in English.
I finished listening to an audiobook, Norwegian Wood. It took eight days to listen to. I once read the novel, but I almost forgot about that. It was like a new story for me.
The novel has full of deaths. The novel is regarded as a love story, but I think it's like a story of losing something or everything. Even so, there was a slight, only a little, feeling of regenerate. But it might be a misunderstanding or else. I'll listen to the story again for confirming that.
My older son came home with a Kawasaki from Izumo. He got the motorbike from his senior colleague.
When I was his age, I also wanted to ride motorcycle, because of my favorite novels written by Kataoka Yoshio. I was a college student, so I couldn't afford to buy a bigger one. I rode a Honda Monkey instead. I dreamed of riding a Yamaha SR then.
Anyway, riding a motorbike is dangerous. I really hope his safety ride.
A former top professional baseball star Kiyohara Kazuhiro has arrested for possessing illegal drugs at his apartment. The news was spread out late at night yesterday. I wasn't surprised at the news because there was a rumor that Kiyohara had been hospitalized due to drug use. A weekly magazine reported that several years ago.
Even though he had had that suspicion of drug use since the magazine was published, many Japanese people might be shocked by the arrest. Kiyohara was definitely a baseball super star in Japan. He grabbed many Championship Flags of NPB, got some MVP titles and made hundreds of home runs. This was a real betrayal for baseball fans.
I subscribed an online appreciation, Docomo TV. You can watch many videos at a fixed price, 500 yen par month. It's like Hulu or Netflix. I can watch "Otoko wa Tsuraiyo" on the site. That was why I subscribed the app.
I really like the series of movies. These are like a fantasy for me. There are no cruel people in the films. No one can be like Tora-san. I watched the series twice before. I once wanted to buy the DVD set, but that was so expensive. But I can watch the whole stories at a reasonable price. I'm really happy about that.
It's February. January passed so fast. February might be as well. A big event in this month is my older son's twentieth birthday. He'll be officially adult.
My plan is go to eat sushi, not turning around one. But my wife wants to go stake restaurant, not her birthday though. We should ask my son where he wants to go.
What my big pleasure of the day is that I can drink alcohol with my son for the first time. When I was his age, I already drunk with my father, maybe since I was a high school student. It wouldn't be good, but that was usually at that time. Am I wrong?