Tuesday, May 31, 2011

5月31日(gogatsu sanjyuichi nichi): May 31

I went to the tea room at a hotel and the restaurant and ordered tea today. To my surprise the tea pots were served with candle to warm the pot. I have never seen the way to serve tea like this. I was wondering this is the way of Kansai (関西) area or not.
At night I watched a movie titled "Princess Toyotomi" which was shot in Osaka. Since I am in Osaka, it is interesting to see the places I have just seen or walked by today.

Monday, May 30, 2011

5月30日(gogatsu sanjyu nichi): May 30

I came to Osaka (大阪) after a long time. I do not remember when I came here last. When I worked for Panasonic, since its headquarter is in Osaka, I had many chances to come here for the training.
Osaka is very famous for foods and it is said "Tenka no daidokoro (天下の台所)," the kitchen of the world. Tonight I ate Korean (韓国) foods.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

5月29日(gogatsu nijyuku nichi): May 29

It has been raining.
I gave up going out to see the movies but watched the one recorded before at home. It was a Japanese movie titled "Inugoe (イヌゴエ) " (dog voice).
It was interesting.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

5月28日(gogatsu nijyuhachi nichi): May 28

It has been raining.
I went to the Kyushu (九州) National Museum in Dazaifu (大宰府). I asked the volunteer guide. It is the fourth National Museum after Tokyo (東京), Kyoto (京都), and Nara (奈良). However those museums were built more than 100 years ago. The Kyushu National Museum opened on October 16, 2005. Therefore it is a rather new museum. The building itself is very big and attractive. It has applied many new technologies such as solar panels and water filtering system. It is an eco-friendly building.
Dazaifu is very famous for Dazaifu tenmangu (大宰府天満宮), the shrine enshrined Sugawara no Michizane (菅原道真). From there it is connected by the walking pavement. So it is very convenient.
I recommend you to visit there.

Friday, May 27, 2011

5月27日(gogatsu nijyushichi nichi): May 27

In the morning I went to the JR Saga (佐賀) station to get some maps around there.
There is a Japanese sweets shop at the other side of the station. I just wanted to see what kind of sweets there are in Saga. When I entered, they served me a cup of tea. I was so surprised. I bought one which the taxi driver recommended me to eat yesterday.
At the souvenir shop at the station I found sea weed taste dried pasta. Saga is famous for sea weed called nori (海苔). So I bought one.
I have visited 5 different places for preview and come to Hakata (博多) at night.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

5月26日(gogatsu nijyuroku nichi): May 26

I flew from the Haneda (羽田) Airport. It's been so long that I used the domestic flight. The check in rule was totally different from what I used to do.
There were some interesting findings today. For example I saw a kind of monitor inside the toilet. I have never seen this.
I came to Saga (佐賀) by train. There were only two or four cars. In the local line only one door was open. And there was numbering ticket machine in the car which looked like a bus.
It rained here but the landscape was so beautiful.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

5月25日(gogatsu nijyugo nichi): May 25

It was very fine and warm today.
At lunch time I went out for shopping. Since the weather was nice, I enjoyed fresh air and walking.

I will go on a business trip to Kyushu (九州) from tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

5月24日(gogatsu nijyuyokka): May 24

It was a rainy cold day.

I watched the NHK's drama titled "Madonna Verde" at night. It was consisted of 6 episodes and today was the last one.
This is a story of a mother and a daughter's host surrogacy.
I watched the movie titled "Gene Waltz" in February.
Both of them were from the same original story written by Kaido Takeru (海堂 尊) who is a real doctor and a famous writer.
Between the movie and the TV drama there were some differences. But I felt like reading the original books some day.

Monday, May 23, 2011

5月23日(gogatsu nijyusan nichi): May 22

It rained and was very cold today.

They say in the southern Kyushu (九州) area the rainy season has set in. It is 8 days earlier than usual and 20 days earlier than last year. In Abashiri Hokkaido (網走北海道) they say it snowed unseasonably. It was the 5th latest record of snowing. Last week the temperature went up to 30 degrees centigrade but today's highest was 18.3 degrees centigrade in Tokyo (東京).
What a country!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

5月22日(gogatsu nijyuni nichi): May 22

It was fine, warm and windy in the morning, but rained in the afternoon. In early morning there were rather big earthquakes again.
I attended the community activity of cleaning the area in the morning.

It was the last day of 2011 May Technical Examination Tournament of Sumo. Because of the scandal, May Grand Tournament became May technical Examination Tournament and they were not broadcast and tickets were free.
Yokozuna Hakuho (横綱 白鵬) became a champion 7 times straight which is the best tie record. He has become a champion for 19 times.

5月21日(gogatsu nijyuichi nichi): May 21

Today is shoman (小満), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms. The last one was rikka (立夏) on May 6, and the next one is boushu (芒種) on June 6. Shoman (小満) literally means little full, it is the time when people feel satisfied little bit because sowed seeds in the fall come into ear.

It was fine and warm and windy.

I went to see the Friendship Concert of my high school classmate which was held for charity and the entrance fee is free but asked donation which will be sent to the Tohoku devastated area.
I enjoyed dinner with my old friends and new one after that.

Friday, May 20, 2011

5月20日(gogatsu hatsuka): May 20

There were earthquakes in the morning and afternoon. Not so big.
We are wondering how long these aftershocks will continue.....

Thursday, May 19, 2011

5月19日(gogatsu jyuku nichi): May 19

It was fine and very warm today.

I went out for lunch with colleagues. The sunlight was so strong that I felt it is like summer.

Do you know senryu (川柳), ironic 17-syllable poem? On today's newspaper there appeared 24th Salaried Workers' Senryu Best 10. In February 100 senryu were selected, and 82,209 people have voted until March 16 and they were totaled. No. 1 senryu was chosen by 2,219 votes.
In Japanese it is Hisashiburi naga denai mama ja matane (久しぶり~ 名が出ないまま じゃあまたね~), meaning "Long time no see!", saying "See you!" before recalling their names.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

5月18日(gogatsu jyuhachi nichi): May 18

It was very fine and warm. It seemed in some places the temperature was nearly 30 degrees centigrade. It is only May. We are really afraid of the hot summer coming.

In our city the classification of garbage is very severe. Since Thursday is day for collecting cardboard, newspaper, magazines, cans and bottles. I prepared the newspaper of April. By seeing the front pages, I thought of many events of last month. One of the biggest events must be the Royal Wedding in UK.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

5月17日(gogatsu jyushichi nichi): May 17

It was cloudy. It seemed to have rained in the afternoon and it was cool when I got back.

Several years ago there were accidents while eating jelly like sweets made of konjak (こんにゃく). Therefore manufacturers were conservative about production. The other day I was given the cold one and ate it after a long time. It was delicious.
Last Sunday when I went grocery shopping, I happened to find many different kinds of them. I bought four different flavors. At lunch time today I ate them with colleagues and they found the notice on the package which said "Never let baby and aged people eat." We felt that is overprotection.

Monday, May 16, 2011

5月16日(gogatsu jyuroku nichi): May 16

On May 13 the average age expectancy of the world this year was announced. Japanese men will live up to 80 years old which became 1 year longer than last year and Japanese women 86, and average is 83 years old which is top as well as San Marino. Longest lives of men are 82 years old of San Marino. The average of the world is 66 for men, 71 for women, and 68 for both. The youngest is 47 of the Republic of Malawi in Africa.
Japanese people have kept its top status for 20 years since 1990s. It is often said the reasons of Japanese people's long expectancy depend on its eating habit and progress of medical technology. We have eaten rice, vegetables, and sometimes fishes. There are many healthy foods such as tofu (豆腐), natto (納豆), umeboshi (梅干し) and so on. Green tea is also good.
I have tried genmai (玄米), brown rice, which is said to contain a lot of vitamin B since yesterday.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

5月15日(gogatsu jyugo nichi): May 15

It was fine and warm today.

I went to see two movies. One is a Japanese movie titled Gaku (岳), literally means high mountain. The other is Black Swan which Natalie Portman got the best actress award for the Academy Award. Both of them were very good. I recommend you to see them.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

5月14日(gogatsu jyuyokka): May 14

I happened to see a mother of a student whom I was in charge when he was the first year student of the junior high school so many years ago. I was surprised to remember his full name, character and the chosen course even though I have only seen her a few times and never seen him again after the graduation.
Human memory is beyond the imagination.

Friday, May 13, 2011

5月13日(gogatsu jyusan nichi): May 13

I went to the Happo-en (八芳園) in Tokyo to attend a meeting. There were about 700 people there.
After the meeting my friends and I walked around the beautiful garden. When I went there last time, it was about a month ago and there were beautiful cherry blossoms. This time greens were so beautiful.
We were lucky enough to see the inside of the detached building where there will be wedding tomorrow. It was so nice. The concept of the waiting room was origami (折り紙), folding paper, therefore the tables and chairs looked kind of origami. I hope to have a party there someday.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

5月12日(gogatsu jyuni nichi): May 12

It rained today too. It was rather cool outside. But it was warm in the office because of the density of the people. Since we are trying not to use the air-conditioning, we have started using electric fans or circulators.
At the electric shops, electric fans have been sold well too.
We are really afraid of the heat of this summer.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

5月11日(gogatsu jyuichi nichi): May 11

It rained.

At lunch time my colleagues who joined the company together celebrated my birthday. They gave me a card and presents. It is very nice to have someone who are close and think of me.

After work I went to the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo to attend a meeting.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

5月10日(gogatsu toka): May 10

May 10 is my mother's death anniversary. It's been 9 years.
It was fine in the morning, but when I left the office it was slightly raining. The room temperature of the office went up to 30 degrees centigrade in the afternoon. After the earthquake we have to save energy and cannot use air conditioning freely as we used to, but it was too hot today and it was turned on.
It is still raining. They say it will be rather cold like the end of March.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

5月9日(gogatsu kokonoka): May 9

After a long vacation my life went back to normal.
Since I had my hair cut yesterday about 20 cm long my colleagues were really surprised to see my new hair style.
After the earthquake we have been trying to save the energy and not to use the air conditioning as much as possible, therefore the temperature of the office went up and we felt hot and we are really afraid of the summer coming because it had been extremely hot last summer.
They say in Osaka so called "Cool Biz" which we can wear half sleeves and no ties started from today.

5月8日(gogatsu yoka): May 8

Happy Birthday to Me and My Friends!!

It was very fine and warm today. I went to the beauty salon (biyoin: 美容院)to have my hair cut and perm and to the hospital(byoin: 病院) to see my father.
I like my birthday because many friends around the world think of me and send me messages and presents. I received a package from my good friend from Venezuela today. Before opening it, I thought it was a birthday present. But to my surprise it was a Christmas present. It took nearly 5 months from Venezuela. How far!

Today is Mother's Day. How about in your country?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

5月7日(gogatsu nanoka): May 7

It was cloudy and slightly rained. But the weather forecast says it will be fine and warm tomorrow.
I went shopping. I could not find the thing I wanted to buy at the first store, but I found the better one by chance. So I thought if you can't get something you wanted, you should not feel sad, the better thing is waiting for you, and that everything has meaning.
I did not expect anything to buy something more but I happened to find a good bargain and bought it as my birthday present for tomorrow.

Friday, May 6, 2011

5月6日(gogatsu muika): May 6

Today is rikka (立夏), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms. Last one was kokuu (穀雨) on April 20 and the next one is shoman (小満) on May 21. Rikka literally means stand summer, it is the first day of summer by the old calendar.
Yesterday it was fine and warm, but today it was cloudy and slightly rain and partially fine. Depends on the place it looked like summer but other places it was unlike summer rather cool.
I enjoyed the trip to Ise visiting very famous shrines, eating very delicious foods, meeting nice people, staying at a reasonable hotel with hot spring bath, and so on.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

5月5日(gogatsu itsuka): May 5

May 5 is a national holiday called kodomo no hi(こどもの日), Children's Day. This day is also known as Tango no Sekku(端午の節句). It was the festival day for boys and we have decorated the kabuto (兜) helmet and carp-shaped streamer called koinobori (鯉幟) to wish their healthy growth. We take a bath called shobu yu(菖蒲湯) and eat kashiwa mochi(柏餅) and chimaki (粽).
This is the last day of Golden Week every year but since it is Thursday this year if you take another day off, you have a long vacation. Many people do that and I was one of them.
I went to one night two days trip to Ise (伊勢) where is very famous for the shrine called Ise jingu(伊勢神宮). There is a famous Japanese sweets shop near the shrine and I bought kashiwa mochi there and ate it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

5月4日(gogatsu yokka): May 4

May 4 is a national holiday called midori no hi (みどりの日), Greenery Day. May 4 was not a national holiday until 1985. It became kokumin no kyujitsu (国民の休日), holiday for the nation. Between 1989 to 2006 midori no hi was April 29 which used to be Emperor Showa's Birthday. Since 2007 it became on May 4.
We do not have any special event but enjoy another day off.
They say the entrance fee of Ueno Zoo was free of charge today, there were so many people visited there, especially to see new pandas. People made a long line of about 3 hours waiting to see them.
I went out to see a Japanese movie "Hankyu densha,katamichi 15 fun no kiseki (阪急電車 片道15分の奇跡)" literally, the Hankyu Train, miracles of 15 minutes ride for one way. It was a nice movie and the theaters were so crowded.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

5月3日 (gogatsu mikka): May 3

May 3 is a national holiday called kenpo kinenbi (憲法記念日), Constitution Memorial Day. It's been 64 years since it became a national holiday. Thinking of the Japanese Constitution, I would like to thank Ms. Beate Sirota Gordon who made efforts to include the legal equality between men and women in it. I met her in the 1990s. We exchange the Christmas cards. I respect her and I really like her book titled "Christmas 1945."
Speaking of the Japanese Constitution, it is known as the Peace Constitution. Yesterday Osama bin Laden was shot in Pakistan and his body was taken out to sea for burial. It's been about 10 years since 9.11 happened. I feel uneasiness what happens next. I hope the World Peace.

Monday, May 2, 2011

5月2日(gogatsu futsuka): May 2

May 2 is known as hachijyuhachi ya (八十八夜), literally 88th night. It is the 88th day from risshun (立春), the first day of spring. It is the best season for sowing. In the tea plantation, it is the season for chatsumi (茶摘み), tea picking.
The most beverage drunk in the world must be water. Second maybe coffee or tea. They say there are two worlds, people drink much coffee or much tea. Japan is tea country in that sense, I think. There are many kinds of tea in Japan. Sencha (煎茶): green tea of middle grade, genmaicha (玄米茶): green tea with brown rice, bancha (番茶): coarse tea, houjicha (ほうじ茶), roasted tea, maccha (抹茶): powdered tea.
In the tea ceremony we use maccha, and make tea with bamboo whisk called chasen (茶筅). We eat sweets before drinking this kind of green tea because it is so thick and bitter. I like green tea. How about you?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

5月1日(gogatsu tsuitachi): May 1

New month has started. May is gogatsu (五月), literally the fifth month, in Japanese. The old name is satsuki (さつき).
The third day of the Golden Week. It rained today.
At night I watched the Exhibition of the World Figure Skating Championships 2011 on TV. Not all but some of them. I like to see figure skating, especially exhibitions. They skate freely.