<February 5th, 2020>
When I was little, I played like the boys in this picture.
This picture reminds me of my childhood. It's kind of like one of my favorite playgrounds in those days. Let me introduce my childhood to you a little bit.
I left my school bag home and went out immediately without doing my homework. Doing my homework was not my thing. However terrible the weather was, I was making a habit of playing outside after school.
I played various things with my friends.
We chased one another or played hide-and-seek as well. In summer, we caught fish in the river or insects like cicadas and beetles on the trees.
We made a snowman in winter. I was contacting nature firsthand. I often played outside without realizing that it already got dark.
I sometimes brought something worthless as in stones, leaves, and stuff like that to my house. It was just garbage for my parents, but for me, it looked like a treasure.
Playing outside really revolved around my life.
It's definitely one of my good memories.
<February 4th, 2020>
I have two places. Sorry, but they are not the most interesting places but rather the most impacted
ones for me. They're both the Arizona memorial in Hawaii and the Genbaku Dome in Hiroshima. These two exhibition facilities could remind us of the misery of war.
I visited the Arizona memorial about twenty-five years ago during our Honeymoon stay there. I've been interested in history since I was a kid. I got to know about the Pacific War through learning history. I learned the Pacific War began on December 8th, 1941. Japanese Army in those days attacked Pearl Harbor on that day. Many battleships of the U.S. Navy got sunk by bombs or torpedoes, Arizona was one of them. The attack on Arizona especially caused a lot of casualties then. The memorial house was constructed just on the wreckage of it. We could watch all the names of the soldiers who passed away there. We could watch the old hull of Arizona from there as well. I was shocked to find out the oil has still been flowing out from that hull. Both my wife and I lost our words then.
With my family, I visited Hiroshima for the first time when I was three years old. I have little memory about it, but I remember just one thing clearly. It's black, carbonized grains of rice. Of course, I couldn't understand what that meant, but the display of it has been still in my mind. I'm not sure why I remember it, but maybe something impacted me then. After that, I went there again about twenty years ago. I got to know a lot. We had a lot of casualties by the atomic bomb. The shadow of a man in those days has remained on the concrete as well...
War never brings us happiness but brings us only sadness or hates.I'd say we owe it to them that we can live a happy life now. Through visiting two places directly, I realized again about that.
I hope there would be no conflicts all over the world. We're just the same human beings.
<February 3rd, 2020>
one of the traditional annual events in Japan. We hold it on the 3rd or 4th of each February. We scatter parched beans out with shouting ' Oni ha Soto, Fuku ha uchi' in
The meaning of this phrase is that we aim both to drive out unfortunate things and to pull good luck into ourselves.
We believe we could get good fortune if we would eat either the same number of beans as our age or one bean. On that day, some people wear the costume of a Japanese demon called 'oni' in some regions.
People there are throwing parched beans toward them to drive out bad fortune and to get good luck. The custom of eating rolled sushi on that day called 'Ehoumaki' has been in fashion all over Japan lately. This is said to derive from the Kansai district.
<February 1st, 2020>
Three words to describe my week are
hectic, strange, uneasy.
It has been hectic this week. The time my students are going to take the entrance exam is just around the corner, so I've helped them study every day.
In my hometown, we haven't snowed even now. Today is the last day of January, but there's no snow on the ground. We have a chance to have half-meter snow in one night every year, though. I've never experienced this strange weather since I moved here fifteen years ago.
The new type of pneumonia caused by coronavirus is going to be spreading out everywhere in Japan. We feel uneasy when we watch news about it every day. Hearing about the inflammation of the lung, we could imagine the symptoms of it are high body temperature, respiratory symptoms like coughing, runny nose, hard to breathe, and the stuff like that.
However, they found those who have no symptoms like that can be the carriers of this disease. I was shocked to know about it.
It might be effective to wear a face mask when we go outside. We should gargle and wash our hands as well after coming home. Also, it might be a good idea to avoid crowded places if we don't have any specific reasons to visit them.
☆What did you enjoy this week?
I enjoyed making tons of English sentences to improve my English skills this week.
☆What did you learn this weekend?
I learned the importance of the linkage with those who have the same passion for English through this 'Hapa Buddies.'
☆What challenged you this week?
Taking dictations about a lot of topics in English challenged me, but it was difficult for me. I'd say my listening skill is still low, but I'll never give up, and move on to my goals.
☆What are your goals for next week?
My goal for next week is to enjoy having a better conversation than I did it last week.
<January 27, 2020>
At the top of the stairs, apparently, the next ones will be waiting for me.
Every Saturday, I find an answer to my question, ' What's my learning English like?' I try to go up just one-step of the stairs every single day.
I climb seven steps and reflect on the condition of my English.
After that, another new step appears in front of me.
In the beginning, I couldn't watch the light of my goal. There was no light around me, either. I was struggling to go up. Gradually, the light became visible, and it's been a little bit easier for me to climb it.
I know the goal is still far away.
I believe, one day, I will find the stunning scenery just behind me when I look back at the steps I've been climbing.
<January 24, 2020>
This is my opinion about the topic of the job that two American people were talking about.
In my eyes, I agree with both Kai's and
Deanna's opinion to some extent. As Kai's saying, staying at the same company might lead us to be able to make ourselves grow further. From my personal experiences, I'd like to add another point
of view to Kai's opinion. I think if a job causes a person excessive stress to the point of affecting their physical health as well as their mental one,
we should change it. Also, I'd say keeping the passion for the job is the key to stick it out as they believe. If we would lose our passion for the job, we should quit it. We might change the
attitude to the job unconsciously. It also might cause a lot of mistakes in the job, and finally might result in the situation that we would be isolated from other coworkers. It might depend on
each of us whether we could continue working in such a sever place every day, though. If I were there, I couldn't bear it at all.
I have an experience that I quit work. Let me introduce some of the reasons for you.
First, I felt something was wrong with my body due to overwork. I had to work at the previous company until midnight every day. This situation lasted for about two years before I resigned from the job.
Second, I felt my passion for the job was decreasing gradually. I'd been tired both mentally and physically.
Third, I was thinking about the relationship between my wife and me. We had very few chances to have a satisfying conversation.
We might have divorced.
Of course, I had a conflict in myself and had an internal debate about the decision about what to do every day. I was thinking about which was better for us, to stick it out or to quit it. I was writing down the good points and bad points about each of them. I weighed down the advantage and the disadvantage of it.
In the end, I decided to quit my previous job, but I have the confidence to say that the work I'm engaging in now is the best choice of my life.
The most important thing for me is not regretting my life right before I pass away.
<January 25, 2020>
Three words to describe this week are hectic, sleepy, glad.
My work has been hectic lately because the entrance examination which my students in my private school will take is just around the corner. I'm helping them learn five main subjects every day.
Also, I'm taking two Online English conversation courses. I have to both prepare for each lesson and write many sentences about some topics provided by tutors. It takes time to finish them.
Within a limited amount of time, I'm trying to keep on both lessons. I'm always thinking, ' I wish I owned 25 or 26 hours a day.' However, I can't have such a time, so I have to spare my sleeping hours. I wanna go to bed as soon as possible. My pillow is just like my lover now.
I had a chance to talk to my important person this week. It's the first time in about five months since we met in person through skype. The time of 25 minutes was too short for us to have a satisfying conversation. Anyway, I was glad to see her again.
I enjoyed having an English conversation. I'm always looking forward to seeing my tutors every day.
Through each lesson, I learned a lot of English words, phrases, and sentences. Unluckily, most of them are going to disappear quickly from my head, so I have to review them.
I was too busy!!
Keeping on improving my English skills everyday challenged me this week, though.
My goal for next week is I keep satisfying hours of my sleeping every day. To do so, I have to try to learn English effectively and efficiently. I decided to add to my motto two sentences, "Don't waste time. Time is money."
<January 22, 2020>
Please let me introduce my daily life to you.
I like to go out with my son by car on Sundays. He always asks me to take him to his favorite places. I love to see him smiling there. I feel like definitely, I'm his father every Sunday. Except for Sundays, we have few chances to have a good conversation enough to give us satisfaction. I can't be with him fully like any other father, either. I might give him only loneliness. He's not complaining about it at all, but he might be concealing his true feelings. I run a cram school at my house, so my daily life is quite different from his. From Monday to Saturday, I go to bed at 4 a.m. and get up at around noon, so I can't talk to him in the morning. He is a nine-year-old boy who goes to school every day. My work has already begun by the time he goes back home from school.
Also, it ends at almost 11 p.m. I find him totally sleeping when I finish my work.
I'd say every Sunday is invaluable for us. Both of us are always looking forward to the upcoming Sunday.
<January 17, 2020>
In my eyes, it's crucial to do something
with passion because it might always boost our motivation to do something and enable us to continue it. However, it sometimes happens that we start to lose passion for some reason.
On the way of our life, we might get interested in other new things that we've never experienced before, and that then the passion has gradually might be getting lost. Is this case often with us, isn't it? Have you ever had any experiences like that? I'd say that it's a usual thing that might occur to everyone.
If we're young, we might have a chance to change something and restart it with a new passion.
On the other hand, the older we grow, the more hindrance we have to do so. For example, we come to face to some as in health, relationship with new relatives, marriage, education of children, and care for older parents. That's one of the reasons why we Japanese people hesitate to change jobs even if we lose the passion.
The most important thing I want to say is as follows,
・Whether we should stay at the same place or not, we might need to keep the passion, once we have made an important decision.
・Later when we look back on whether it was the best way or not to do so, we should never regret it because we decided by ourselves.
I experienced such a decision about 15 years ago. It was my unforgettable decision ever.
The story that they are talking about is very similar to my experience.
<January 10, 2020>
I'd say that to master foreign languages might be like the long journey whose destination is so far away. We might go
through a lot of up and down.
I decided to improve my English skills last April. Since then, I managed to keep on learning English almost every day. Sometimes I felt happy, sometimes discouraged. On the first day, April 29th, I was super nervous because I haven't spoken English for many years. In class, I felt like the lesson time was too long. The silence between a tutor and I continued. And like so many Japanese, I was afraid of making mistakes in conversation. I wasn't able to think of any sentences, phrases, and words off the top of my head.
It has been about 8 months since then. I don't know whether my English skills have been getting better or not. Lately, however, I've come to feel like it's a lot of fun for me to have a conversation with foreigners every day. Now I'm not afraid of making a bunch of mistakes because I'm always making mistakes even when I use my mother tongue, Japanese.
I still can't express what I'm thinking about correctly. So, it might cause misunderstandings between us. I hope I'm able to speak English fluently and freely one day. The goal of achieving it is still far away for me, but I'll never give it up, and stick with it to the end.
I'll think about everything positively from now on.
<January 9, 2020>
Let me introduce a Japanese word to you.
The Japanese word ’先生’(sensei) means the people who teach someone about something. Also, we use it when we talk to doctors, politicians. We say their family name and add the word 先生.
For example, in case we consult a doctor and say his name, we say ABC 先生（ABC sensei).
Moreover, the literal meaning of the first Kanji (先) is (earlier). That of the second one (生) is (born). We can interpret this word in another way. It is (先に生まれる saki ni u ma re ru).
If we would add Hiragana, we could understand the meaning clearly.
Then, we add another Kanji letter (人 hito).
It becomes 先に生まれる人 saki ni u ma re ru hito).
(先に生まれる人) equals the people who were born earlier.
In this meaning, all the people who are older than us are 先生(sensei).
I'd say they are experts in life because
・They know more about the world.
・They have experienced more than us.
・They have more knowledge to live on through their lives
I might have to respect them more.
Thanks for reading.
<January 2nd, 2020>
My resolution about learning English this year is to keep on it every
day and make my skills of it much better than last year.
I'll pursue my dream of speaking English fluently, never give up on the way and stick with it to the end.
I'd say that the most important thing to improve my English skills is to enjoy having a conversation even if I make tons of mistakes. (lol) I'm planning to discuss various topics with tutors freely and have fun together.
<December ８, 2019>
When you would have a newborn infant, I'd like you to remember as follows.When the color of the stool is white (or light yellow), and it continues, he or she might suffer from biliary atresia.I'd say you should take him or her to the hospital as soon as you can in that case.It's the main symptom of biliary atresia and is one of the fatal diseases of infants.The prognosis is generally bad when they don't undergo any treatment.
With no treatments, any infants with this disease can't live for not more than two years.They need to have an appropriate treatment like surgery immediately.(You can consult an article on Sankei newspaper in Japan but sorry, it's written in Japanese only.)
My son's been having a hard time because he had got a few infectious diseases this year. Last May 12th, which was his 9th birthday, he got hospitalized. He had acute gastroenteritis caused by bacteria or viruses. He was in the hospital for a few days and had an infusion to prevent dehydration caused by his bad diarrhea. Dehydration is said to be one of the high-risks that might lead to the loss of the graft. He got the flu last October. And next, he's been suffering from chickenpox right now. You know, he underwent a big surgery, a liver transplant when 10-month-old due to biliary atresia. Since then, he needs to take immunosuppressants twice a day to protect his new graft, which was given by the donor, his Mom. It makes him easy to get some infectious diseases because this medicine weakens his immune system, though.
Many healthy children in Japan vaccinate against infectious diseases.
However, my son didn't have enough time to vaccinate because he was struggling with everyday life. His blood data was not stable.
The chief doctor suggested that he undergo a liver transplant for his survival. We prepared for a liver transplant. He received as many vaccinations as possible before it, but he wasn't able to take all of them.
While he has some antibodies which are enough to protect his body thanks to vaccinations, he isn't with other antibodies against some virus as in measles, and this chickenpox. That's one of the reasons why he could get infectious diseases.
This time, his symptoms we recognize are fever, red spots, and itchiness. We took him to the hospital to have some remedy as soon as we could. We received Antiviral drugs there. They have been so effective that he's been getting better day by day. His temperature and appetite recovered, but he can't go outside because there is a possibility that a virus of chickenpox in his body hasn't disappeared.
We can't go anywhere tomorrow, so we're going to stay home all day and take some rest. We hope my son gets over from this disease.
<September 21, 2019>
The higher the wall is we need to overcome, the more delighted we feel when we achieve it.
The goal I have now is difficult tho'. To give it up immediately is quite easy. To be sure, it's hard to achieve, but if I could do it well, I might have the most delighting experience that I've never had yet.
<September 9, 2019>
The older we become, the more we feel time so invaluable.
We might begin to be conscious of the sunset time of our life.
That idea is the proof I got old. To be sure, I'm not young.
It's an inevitable truth.
Even if you ask me whether I feel sad or not, I would reply it's my destiny.
All the living things have a destiny.
Eternal life is just a dream.
Listening to swallows' singing or cicadas' ringing, I always felt they were doing their best.
But I can't hear their twitters or sounds anymore now.
Swallows have gone to other lands.
Cicadas have gone to another world.
They left their good memories with me.
So, I'd like to be like them.
I wish the memory of me might leave in other's mind.
<August 16, 2019>
On the second day of our trip to Nagoya, one of my friends was with us for several hours. We'd got to know each other soon after entering university. We've been good
friends for about 40 years since then. Each of our residences was near, in only three minutes' walk. And we used to visit each other. After graduating from university, our lifestyle changed so
much we have less chance to meet. But we have managed to keep in contact with each other. His sudden calling has often encouraged and moved me so much. This time, he was kind enough to come to
pick us up at the hotel and take us to the places by car as in Nagoya University and Atsuta Shrine where we'd like to go.
Though he seemed to be a bit tired, he spared us a part of his precious holiday and showed us around Nagoya. He kept watching us cross the crosswalk after we said goodbye. I felt delightful. I need to thank him with a heart for his hospitality. We met for the first time in about 20 years and had the same time only for a while. It was a precious time for us. I was so glad to meet him again. After I crossed the crosswalk with my family, we raised our hand as a sign of saying goodbye. "May you keep fine till next meeting me."
<August 12, 2019>
We decided to have a short trip and made a reservation for a hotel. The destination is just Nagoya. We haven't reserved the train tickets yet. JR-West says on its website we have vacant seats
of the trains on that day. In Japan, the period of "Obon" is from August 13 to 16. Most Japanese people return to their hometown to pray for their deceased ancestors there. So, all the
transportations would be so crowded. We'd have heavy traffic congestion on high ways as well. We are sure to suffer from the terrible rush.
For our family, it is the first time to travel somewhere for a few days.
Of course, we've ever visited Kyoto for days many times. But the purpose of them wasn't for our fun. You might know my son has had a hard time since he was born. We have always been hoping that he'd be better and that we'd take him freely to anywhere he'd like to go someday. We're so happy that the day comes at last.
He's a nine-year-old boy now. Most of the same agers might have experiences of much more travels. So, we'd like him to experience as many things as possible through this trip.
Our family would like to say with a thankful heart to medical staffs, our parents, relatives, friends, and acquaintances.
"Thank you for having been supporting us. We hope that you'll have more happiness."
※Obon: Buddhist memorial services in Japan