Saturday, April 30, 2011

4月30日(shigatsu sanjyu nichi): April 30

The last day of April. One third of the year 2011 has finished. This year has already been the unforgettable year for many countries around the world and for their people.
Second day of the Golden Week. I went to see movies. I watched "Bodyguards and assassins," "Gulliver's Travels," and " The Tourist." All of them were very good.
When I came home and turned the TV on and knew that Ms. Miki Ando (安藤美姫) became the champion for the Figure Skating Championships 2011 in Moscow. It's been 4 years since she became the champion before. Congratulations!

Friday, April 29, 2011

4月29日(shigatsu nijyuku nichi): April 29

Golden Week has begun. First day is a national holiday called Showa no hi (昭和の日) which was used to be Tenno tanjobi (天皇誕生日), Emperor Showa's birthday until 1989 and Midori no hi (みどりの日), Greenery Day later on. Second day is Saturday and third day is Sunday. That is we have 3 day weekend now. Next week we have 3 national holidays. Therefore many people take two extra days off and have 10 days off. As this year's trend many people apply for working in Tohoku (東北) area as volunteer staff.

There was Royal Wedding in London. They say it's been 350 years since a common citizen entered the Royal Family, and that 1900 people were invited, about 1 million people got together to see the parade, and about 2,000,000,000 people around the world would watch the relay broadcast of the wedding of the handsome Prince William and beautiful bride. I was one of them. It reminded me of the one of Princess Diana and Prince Charles 30 years ago. So beautiful. Best wishes!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

4月28日(shigatsu nijyuhachi nichi): April 28

I went to see a movie "The King's Speech" with colleagues at last. It is the Best Picture of Academy Award 2011. There will be the Royal Wedding tomorrow, we felt we were lucky to see it today. It was a very good movie.

I could not see the Men's Figure Skating Championships today, but knew by TV news that Mr. Takahiko Kozuka (小塚崇彦) got the silver medal. Congratulations!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

4月27日(shigatsu nijyushichi nichi) : April 27

I have watched ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2011 on TV. It was supposed to be held in Tokyo (東京) from March 21 to 27. But because of the influence of the damages of the Great East Japan Earthquake the venue was changed to Moscow. I did not know about it. When I saw the first performance, I saw it was held in Japan, because there were many Japanese signboards at the skating rink.
The SP of Mr. Patrick Chan from Canada was 93.02 and marked the highest score in history. Japanese 3 skaters were ranked in the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th. They are Mr. Nobunari Oda (織田信成), Mr. Daisuke Takahashi (高橋大輔) who is the champion of last year, and Mr. Takahiko Kozuka (小塚崇彦).
I like to see figure skatings the best among the Winter Olympic games.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

4月26日(shigatsu nijyuroku nichi): April 26

There was an earthquake at night.
I was at the Imperial Hotel to attend a meeting. There I had a chance to hear the speech of a successful business person who is 58 years old and has a dream to study at the graduate school 2 years later when he becomes 60 years old.
When I was in the WSU (Washington State University) I met some seniors who were studying for Master's or Ph.D degrees. In those days I did not know so many seniors in Japan who were studying at the graduate schools, maybe just a few of them. But how nice to have a desire to learn in such age!
After that I had a chance to listen to the Biwa (琵琶) performance for the first time. He played the Biwa and the contents were about the story of Japanese famous myth. It was so impressive.

Monday, April 25, 2011

4月25日(shigatsu nijyugo nichi): April 25

These days we still have earthquakes. Last night we had and this morning we had. Both time I was in bed. And it happened again when I was at the office this evening. They were weaker than before. However there is a concern because the seismic centers vary these days. They used to be in the east and northern part of Japan, but for these two days they happened in Kyushu (九州) too.
The other day I watched the TV program which said Japan was moved to east for 7 meters and a half.
And we are also worried about the nuclear plants in Fukushima (福島) too.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

4月24日(shigatsu nijyuyokka): April 24

There was an election for city assembly members today.

There was the 65th All Japan Gymnastic Championship. Mr. Kohei Uchimura (内村航平) became a champion for 4 times straight and Ms. Koko Tsurumi (鶴見虹子) became a champion for 6 times straight which was the first in the history.
He said first day he did well but he could not satisfy his performance today at all even though he became a champion.
She said she was going to enjoy without worrying about the result and that she felt relieved.

I have a friend in London and she often says "Come to see the Olympic." If I have a chance to see the London Olympic, I hope to see the exhibition of gymnastics.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

4月23日(shigatsu nijyusan nich): April 23

It rained today.

I read two articles about marathon in the newspapers today. One is the story of 70 years old man who had participated in the marathon races which were held in all around Japan, I mean 47 prefectures. Unbelievable.
The other was the story of 62 years old man who organized the first Eco-Marathon in the early this month. About yen 1,700,000 of the participating fees were donated to the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquakes. The biggest difference between this marathon meeting and others was not to measure the time. His purposes were not only for promoting slow running and supporting the people in Tohoku (東北) area but also for intercultural exchanges to attain the world peace.
In both cases seniors are very active. We, the youngers, should follow.

Friday, April 22, 2011

4月22日(shigatsu nijyuni nichi): April 22

We had a farewell & welcome party tonight. We were requested to wear the folk costume from any countries. Some wore China dresses, others wore Indian Saree, one wore Lao's skirt and sash, the other wore Vietnamese Ao dai, another wore Mongolian clothing and so on.
What did I wear? I chose the Tahitian Pareo. It is a piece of cloth about the size of 90 cm x 180 cm. You can wear it in many ways. I tied in front and twisted the both end and tied in the back of the neck. It is easy.
We have enjoyed the party and I missed the last train and came home by taxi.....

Thursday, April 21, 2011

4月21日(shigatsu nijyuichi nichi): April 21

It was 10:37 PM. We just had another big earthquake. Shingenchi(震源地), the seismic center was east off Chiba (千葉) prefecture, and shingen no fukasa(震源の深さ), its depth was 50 km. Magnitude was 6. In the Japanese scale it was shindo go jyaku (震度5弱), five lower.
Regarding the seismic intensity, please refer to the following page.

It was rather cold today.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

4月20日(shigatsu hatsuka): April 20

It was rather cold at this time today.
Today is kokuu (穀雨), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms. Last one was seimei (清明) on April 5 and the next one is rikka (立夏) on May 6.
Kokuu (穀雨), literally grain rain, which means the spring rain moisten 100 grain.

Do you have any special memory on April 20? I have. It was in 1992 on that day there was an opening ceremony of Expo '92 in Seville, Spain.
One year from March 1992 to March 1997 became a really special year for me. I have learned and seen so many things there. It is still one of the best years of my life.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

4月19日(shigatsu jyuku nichi): April 19

It was rather cold at this time, and what is worse it rained too.
We had another earthquake at night.

In the morning I went to see a doctor. I have felt pain in my chest since February and took X-ray. Last time when I took X-ray was in January. There was a big difference. In January, I brought the big film to a doctor after taking X-ray. But today the data have been sent to doctor's PC directly. We used to see the film on the big screen, but this time I saw the result on the smaller monitor. I felt the technology has been progressed day by day.

Monday, April 18, 2011

4月18日(shigatsu jyuhachi nichi): April 18

Last week I saw very small buds or new leaves on a ginkgo tree. Today I saw many new leaves on other trees too. They are still very small leaves as one each, but if you look at a tree, it looks green. There are many trees, so they look light green.
In winter there were only trunks and looked brown. In summer leaves become bigger and the color becomes darker. In autumn they become yellow.

When I saw the young leaves today, I thought of donation movement now we are trying. Even if each person's donation is small, in total they become big amount.
Here is a saying, chirimo tsumoreba yamato naru (ちりも積もれば山となる), which means "Many a little makes a mickle" or "Little and often fills the purse" or "Every little helps."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

4月17日(shigatsu jyushichi nichi): April 17

It was not so cold as it was supposed to be today.

I have just watched "Spider man 3" on TV. I feel it's been long time since I watched the movie. Last Friday I wanted to go to see "Tourist" but couldn't. This Friday I wanted to see "English King's Speech" but I may not be able to go because of the office welcome party.

The Golden Week starts soon. Since I do not have a plan to go traveling long distance, I hope to see as many movies as possible.

4月16日(shigatsu jyuroku nichi): April 16

It was very hot today. Depends on the place, the temperature went up to 25 degrees centigrade. But they say it is going to be cold tomorrow.

We had a big earthquake again in the morning.

Today I went to once a week grocery shopping. It seems products come back to the shelves again. I saw some yogurt and dried noodles which I did not see last week.

Friday, April 15, 2011

4月15日(shigatsu jyugo nichi): April 15

It was warm daytime and slightly rained in the evening.
It's been more than 1 month since the East Japan Great Earthquake happened. Since the day after the earthquake, the Tokyo Disneyland has been closed. Today it re-opened and about 10,000 people were waiting in line before opening. To save the electricity they close at 6 PM which is 4 hours earlier than usual. They say they will donate yen 300 per person to Japan Red Cross until May 14.
The Tokyo Disney SEA is still closed.
I hear people in Urayasu (浦安) where the Tokyo Disneyland is are still suffering from the damage or liquefaction caused by the earthquake. It seems they still don't have water supply nor sewer disposal system.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

4月14日(shigatsu jyuyokka): April 14

It was warm today.
Cherry blossoms are still beautiful.
On my way to the office I noticed the ginkgo trees have buds and small new leaves. They become yellow in the late autumn and fall in winter.
I felt that things are changing even if natural disasters happened.
We have to look up and try to revive.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

4月13日(shigatsu jyusan nichi): April 13

It was very warm like the end of May. It went up to more than 20 degrees centigrade. Tomorrow it will be warmer. It was warm even inside the office. We are worried how we can survive the summer, because last summer it was extremely hot....

There were some earthquakes again.

The level of crisis of the nuclear plant went up to seven, the worst number. We are afraid of what will happen next.

However we have to do what we can do now.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

4月12日(shigatsu jyuni nichi): April 12

There were many earthquakes today. First big one happened in the morning while I was on the train. It stopped for a while and delayed for 15 to 30 minutes. Second big one happened in the afternoon when I was at the office. There was an alarm announcement at first but there was a small earthquake at that time. Then another happened and we had to hide under the desk wearing helmet. This happened twice. The seismic center is coming down to the south.....

Monday, April 11, 2011

4月11日(shigatsu jyuichi nichi): April 11

It was fine in the morning. My colleagues and I went out for lunch viewing cherry blossoms. In the afternoon it started raining, so we were very lucky.
In the evening and night we had earthquakes again.
It has been a month since the Great East Japan Earthquake happened. There are still nearly 15,000 people missing, and more than 150,000 people evacuating. The casualty reached more than 13,000 people.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

4月10日(shigatsu toka): April 10

It was warm today.
There were 13 gubernatorial electins including Tokyo(東京), Kanagawa (神奈川), Hokkaido(北海道), and 5 mayoral elections including Sapporo (札幌), and 44 prefectural assembly elections.
The results have been already published. In Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara (石原慎太郎), 78 years old, won the fourth four-year term.
After voting I went to see the beautiful cherry blossoms.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

4月9日(shigatsu kokonoka): April 9

It rained.
I went to once a week grocery shopping. I could buy toilet paper, tissue paper, and the big batteries which we could not buy until last week.
We still have few yogurt and ramen. The price of vegetables was rather cheap. It may be because of supporting the farmers from Ibaraki (茨城) prefecture. Because there is damage caused by a rumor in the Fukushima (福島) Nuclear Plants. Many spinach were thrown away. So people avoided buying vegetables from Ibaraki prefecture in the fear of radiation. Therefore farmers are trying to sell other vegetables by all means.
The supermarket I go used to issue the 10 % off coupon, but they stopped to issue this month. They say it is because of the earthquake, but I do not understand. They should issue the coupon to attract more consumers and we should buy more and activate our economy to save the people in Tohoku (東北) area.

Friday, April 8, 2011

4月8日(shigatsu yoka): April 8

After work I had a reunion of high school friends. 6 of us got together. I met 3 of them at the formal class reunion of last year, the other after 11 years or so, and another after 6 years or so. But we recognized soon and felt all of us looked unchanged since the high school days, especially the one who really looked young.
But they have got married and have one to three children.
We had Vietnamese course dishes.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

4月7日(shigatsu nanoka): April 7

It's been a week since April began.
These days I have reunions every Friday. Three weeks ago I had dinner with colleagues at the Korean restaurant. It cost about yen 19,000 for 5 people. We decided to collect yen 4,000 each and donate the rest for the recovery of Tohoku area. I think this is a good way to donate.
Last week I had dinner with tennis friends in memory of a companion passed away suddenly in the early March. We went to the Chinese restaurant.
Tomorrow I will have dinner with 5 high school friends. We will go to the Vietnamese restaurant.
All these restaurants are in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

We have just had another big earthquake.....

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

4月6日(shigatsu muika): April 6

It was warm today.
The cherry blossoms in Tokyo are full in bloom. There have been so many sad things in Japan these days, people tend to walk looking down. Many people did not realize that spring has come.
We really like to see cherry blossoms. Tonight I watched the NHK TV program called Historia. Today's program was all related to cherry blossoms. The history of viewing cherry blossoms since Heian (平安) era, 8th century, the biggest cherry blossoms viewing party at the civil war era in 16th century, the story of cherry blossoms of Washington DC, and so on.
The following program was titled "Songs." In this program the songs related to cherry blossoms were also featured.
I hope you have a chance to come to Japan in this season to see the beautiful cherry blossoms.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

4月5日(shigatsu itsuka): April 5

When I was at school such as primary school or junior high or high school, April 5 was the starting day of new semester. We had so called shigyoushiki (始業式), opening ceremony. First graders have entrance ceremony which is called nyugakushiki (入学式). Shiki (式) means ceremony. Nyu(入) means to enter. Gaku(学) is abbreviation of gakko(学校) which means school.
If you start working at the company, the entrance ceremony is called nyushashiki (入社式). Sha (社) means company. Nyushashiki is usually held on April 1, but because of the Higashinihon (東日本) Great Earthquake, many companies are forborne too.
Schools usually have cherry trees, therefore we can enjoy beautiful cherry blossoms at this special occasion.

Monday, April 4, 2011

4月4日(shigatsu yokka): April 4

April is a starting month. Calendar starts from Sunday, but business usually starts from Monday. Therefore many new TV programs also start from this week.
In the morning there is a NHK morning TV drama for 15 minutes every day from 8:00 to 8:15 (rebroadcast from 12:45 to 13:00). The new drama's title is ohisama (おひさま), the Sun. This year is 50th anniversary for NHK morning drama series, and this one is 84th drama. It is a story of a woman who was born and raised up in Nagano (長野). She became a teacher while helping her husband's house business, a soba (そば) noodle restaurant.
The average audience rating of the last drama "Teppan(てっぱん)" was about 17.2% in Kanto (関東) area.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

4月3日(shigatsu mikka): April 3

It was cloudy and cold. It will be cold again tomorrow, but warm from the day after tomorrow.
There was the final match of the 83rd Senbatsu (選抜), National High School Baseball Invitation Tournament. Tokaidaisagami (東海大相模) high school became the champion. It's been 11 years since they became the champion last time.
I did not watch any games but know their victory from TV news. Since they are from Kanagawa (神奈川) prefecture where I live, I am glad to hear that.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

4月2日(shigatsu futsuka): April 2

It was warm. I saw a few cherry blossoms blooming. Next week we will be able to see them full in bloom.
It is a season of hanami(花見), literally flower view, but actually means cherry blossom viewing. But this year everything tends to forbear. Therefore many places refrain from lighting up at night.

Friday, April 1, 2011

4月1日(shigatsu tsuitachi): April 1

A new month has started. April is shigatsu (四月), literally four month. The old name is uzuki (卯月).
April is a start month for us. Schools start in April, and fiscal year starts in April.
Usually schools have graduation ceremony in March and entrance ceremony in April. But this year because of the great earthquake happened on March 11, everything is now forborne.