Friday, September 30, 2011

9月30日(kugatsu sanjyu nichi): September 30

The end of September. Three quarters of the year was over. Only one quarter is left. How fast time flies!

I had a meeting with a professor in the morning at a famous university in Tokyo. I could hear many interesting stories. Different from my time, though I am not an alumna there, generally speaking, facilities of the university campus looked advanced. And I think students nowadays are fortunate having many information and opportunities.
There seemed many intellectual events in the weekend too.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

9月29日(kugatsu nijyuku nichi): September 29

I went out for lunch at the Okinawa (沖縄) food restaurant. Okinawa is the southern most prefecture in Japan.
At night I had a reunion of ex-coworkers of a company I worked for the part time job about 18 years ago. While working there, I often went to Hong Kong. This Monday I visited the counterpart company there and knew the president would come to Japan this week. Therefore I arranged to get together. Six of us got together and had a good time eating and talking. We went to Hokkaido(北海道) food bar. Hokkaido is the northern most prefecture in Japan.
So today I enjoyed south and north foods of Japan. There are so many variety of foods in Japan. So I feel we are fortunate. Please come to try them.

9月28日(kugatsu nijyuhachi nichi): September 28

It was cool in the morning. Autumn is coming.

First day after the vacation. There were many emails and meetings.

When I passed out the souvenirs, I was surprised to know that some colleagues have been to Nepal before. I knew about five colleagues have been there before but today I knew at least two more people went there on a business trip.
Among high school friends or college friends I think I am the only one who went there.
But since I am working at the international related office, many colleagues have many international experiences which is very interesting for me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

9月27日(kugatsu nijyushichi nichi): September 27

The last day of my summer vacation. Since I came home late last night, I am glad to have another day off.
I took my father to the hospital, went shopping, and received visitors. Therefore I was busy somehow.
It was cool this morning, but fine and warm today.

9月26日(kugatsu nijyuroku nichi): September 26

Today is higan ake(彼岸明け), the end of equinoctial week.

The last day of my trip to Nepal and Hong Kong. I had good times in both countries, visiting many places, meeting old friends, and eating delicious foods.

Monday, September 26, 2011

9月25日(kugatsu nijyugo nichi): September 25

There was a funeral of my cousin today, but I could not attend this either. Funeral in Japanese is kokubetushiki (告別式), literally farewell ceremony.
Yesterday I went to Pashupatinath where is the biggest Hindu temple in Nepal. There I saw the crematory and thought of my cousin.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

9月24日(kugatsu nijyuyokka): September 24

There was my cousin's wake tonight. Wake is o tsuya (お通夜) in Japanese. Since I am traveling abroad, I could not attend. Instead I sent the telegram of condolence to his mother who is my aunt and his family. Telegram of condolence is choden (弔電) in Japanese.
I pray for his soul.

Friday, September 23, 2011

9月23日(kugatsu nijyusan nichi): September 23

Today is shubun no hi (秋分の日), Autumn Equinox Day, which is one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), 24 solar terms. The last one was hakuro (白露) on September 8, and the next one is kanro (寒露) on October 9.
Today is a national holiday in Japan. Therefore it is another 3 day weekend. This is the latter part of the Silver week.
A week between Autumn Equinox Day is called o higan (お彼岸), and we go to ancestor's graveyard and offer sweets called o hagi (おはぎ).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

9月22日(kugatsu nijyuni nichi): September 22

I am still traveling.

I got a sad news from Japan. My cousin passed away today. The news came from his younger sister by mobile text message just telling me about the fact and the dates of funeral wake (o tsuya:お通夜 ) and funeral service (kokubetsushiki:告別式).
I have not seen him nearly 1 year and 10 months.
I pray for the repose of his soul.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

9月21日(kugatsu nijyuichi nichi): September 21

I am in Pokhara, Nepal. I went to many places today. One of them was the World Peace Pagoda, Nihonzan Myohoji (日本山妙法寺), a Japanese Temple. I saw a Japanese monk there. In Lumbini there was the same kind of Pagoda. They say there are 100 of them around the world.
In the town there are many Japanese signs. So I think there are many Japanese tourists here. I saw some of them today.

9月20日(kugatsu hatsuka): September 20

I came to Pokhara, Nepal. Here I have TV and Internet access. So I knew that the typhoon No. 15 hit Japan by the CNN news. Is everything OK for you?
This is very famous touristic place in Nepal. That is kankochi (観光地) in Japanese. Many shops and restaurants are open until late in the night. There are many places you can use Wi-Fi, but I do not know why in this hotel they charge for Wi-Fi.
It rained today. I hope it will be fine tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

9月19日(kugatsu jyuku nichi): September 19

The third Monday of September is keiro no hi (敬老の日), Respect for the Aged Day. It has been on September 15 until 2002, but it was changed to the third Monday to have a "Happy Monday."
There are two national holidays in September. Respect for the Aged Day on September 19 and Autumn Equinox Day on September 23. Therefore this week is called Silver Week.
I believe many people travel at this time of the year. I am one of them. I am now in Lumbini, Nepal, where is the Buddha's birthplace.

Monday, September 19, 2011

9月18日(kugatu jyuhachi nichi) : September 18

Second day of the three day weekend.
I am in Chitwan National Park in Nepal.
There is no TV nor Internet access at the hotel I am staying, so I do not know what is happening.
But here there happened the earthquake in the evening.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

9月17日(kugatsu jyushichi nichi): September 17

The first day of the three day weekend. How are you spending?
I believe there are many Japanese people traveling domestically or abroad.
I am now in Nepal. I have visited some World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu today.
In Japan two new sites were registered recently as the UNESCO's World Heritage. One is Ogasawara (小笠原) Islands for natural heritage, and the other is Historic Monuments and Sites of Hiraizumi (平泉) in Iwate (岩手).

Friday, September 16, 2011

9月16日(kugatsu jyuroku nichi): September 16

We have 2 national holidays next week. So I take 3 days off next week and 2 days off week after next and a day off today to have a late summer vacation. I go to Nepal and Hong Kong by Cathay Pacific.
This is my first trip abroad from the new Haneda (羽田) International Airport which started international flight services last year or so.
It is very convenient for those who live in Kanagawa (神奈川) and Tokyo (東京) area.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

9月15日(kugatsu jyugo nichi): September 15

It was another hot day. It's been more than a week that we have the temperature of more than 30 degrees centigrade which is called manatsu bi (真夏日), mid summer day.
In the evening there were weak but a long earthquake.

Today I went out for Japanese lunch with my colleague. I ate grilled saury lunch. This is the best season for saury. Saury is sanma (サンマ) in Japanese. In kanji character it is written as 秋刀魚, fall sword fish. It is typical autumn dish.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

9月14日(kugatsu jyuyokka): September 14

It was another hot day.

Next Monday is keiro no hi (敬老の日), Respect-for-the-Aged Day. So there was an article about the statistics of the Aged people in Japan on today's newspaper.
They say there are 47,756 people who are over 100 years old this year, which is the most in the history. For 41 years it has been increasing.
There are 6,162 men and 41,594 women, that is women occupy 87.1%. Wow!
The oldest Japanese is 114 years old woman living in Saga (佐賀) prefecture.
When they started the research in 1963, there were only 153 people who are over 100 years old, and in 1998 it reached 10,000 people and in 2009 it exceeded 40,000 people.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

9月13日(kugatsu jyusan nichi): September 13

It was very hot.
I took a day off to take my father to the hospital (病院:byoin) for the once a month check up and for other reasons. After all he visited the departments of surgery (外科:geka), internal medicine (内科:naika), and ophthalmology (眼科:ganka). We also met a nutritionist to consult about the meals and a nurse to have footcare.
We have stayed at the hospital for a long time.
Then we went to the pharmacy (薬局:yakkyoku).

Monday, September 12, 2011

9月12日(kugatsu jyuni nichi): September 12

Today is jyugoya (十五夜), literally the 15th night, meaning full moon night. It is also called chushu no meigetsu (中秋の名月), the harvest moon of August 15 of the lunar calendar.
We view the beautiful moon decorating some dumplings and Japanese pampas grass.
This year I found very cute manju (饅頭), Japanese-style bun stuffed with adzuki-bean paste. Why cute? Because on the surface there was the design of rabbit.
In Japan we believe there are rabbits pounding the rice cake on the moon.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9月11日(kugatsu jyuichi nichi): September 11

9.11. It's been 10 years since that day. Was it short or long for you? Even after 10 years we still remember that scene clearly.

It's been half a year since the Great Earthquake happened on March 11. The casualty amounts to 15,781 and 4,086 are still missing. There were many memorial services here and there. Many people lost their houses and beloved family in a moment. How sad it was!
I hope the early recovery of the devastated areas.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9月10日(kugatsu toka): September 10

It was very hot like summer today.
There is an annual festival of the local shrine today and tomorrow.
This morning I went to the Assembly Hall of the town to prepare for the party. When there came the portable shrine (神輿:mikoshi, see the picture) there, there was a surprise.
A member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Shinjiro Koizumi(小泉進次郎), appeared there suddenly too. His father is Ex-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (小泉純一郎) who served as Prime Minister from April 26, 2001 to September 26, 2006 which is the third longest since the World War II. His older brother is Kotaro Koizumi(小泉孝太郎) who is an actor.
He listened to people's voice and took pictures with them. I asked him to take a picture too. I have seen him several times during the election campaign but this was the first time for me to talk with him. He is a coming young politician. In a quarter of a century he may become a Prime Minister.

Friday, September 9, 2011

9月9日(kugatsu kokonoka): September 9

September 9 is known as "choyo no sekku (重陽の節句), the Double Ninth Festival." Odd number (奇数:kisu) is positive, and 9 is the highest. September 9 is 9.9 and double highest positive, therefore it is regarded as the luckiest day.
It is also called "kiku no sekku (菊の節句), Chrysanthemum Festival."
On September 9, 1999 and 2009, I believe there were so many couples got married in Asian countries.
There are 5 festivals: January 7(人日:jinjitsu), March 3(上巳:joshi or 桃の節句:momo no sekku, Peach Festival), May 5 (端午:tango or 菖蒲の節句:shobu no sekku, Iris Festival), July 7(七夕:tanabata), and September 9.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

9月8日(kugatsu yoka): September 8

Today is hakuro (白露), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms. The last one was shosho (処暑) on August 23, and the next one is shubun(秋分) on September 23.
Hakuro (白露) literally means white dew. The air becomes cool and the dew looks white.

Tonight I went to the Italian restaurant with my colleagues. We ate 4 appetizers, 3 pizzas, 2 pastas, and drank many glasses of beverage.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

9月7日(kugatsu nanoka): September 7

In the morning I felt the air was cooler and the autumn has come, but the sunshine was still strong and it was very hot today. The sky was blue with white clouds like summer.
But at 6 PM it is already getting dark and the season is surely changing to autumn.

There was an earthquake in Hokkaido. It rained there too.
The damages left by the typhoon No. 12 turned out to be very big.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

9月6日(kugatsu muika): September 6

It was fine and beautiful after the rain. Typhoon No. 12 did not come here, but we had some rain. So it was like "taifu ikka (台風一過): typhoon transient."

Monday, September 5, 2011

9月5日(kugatsu itsuka): September 5

It rained today.
In Hokkaido it will rain heavily tonight.

They say it's been 10 years since the Disney Sea opened on September 4, 2001. I have never been there yet. I can't believe there has been already 10 years.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

9月4日(kugatsu yokka): September 4

The typhoon No. 12 left a big damage in Kii peninsula (紀伊半島:kii hanto). In many places the amount of the rainfall was record-making. One half of the year's precipitation was made just in a few days. Depends on the place it rained 1800 ml in a day. 20 people were killed and 55 people are missing. About 33,000 people were advised to evacuate.
There are still possibilities of heavy rain in many places tomorrow too.
In the morning there was an earthquake.
This year we are facing the threat of natural disasters.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

9月3日(kugatsu mikka): September 3

The typhoon No. 12 hit Japan today. But not around here. It was hot and windy, and rained sometimes here.
It hit Kochi(高知) in the morning and Okayama(岡山) in the evening、moving very slowly.

Do you know Doraemon (ドラえもん), Japanese famous cartoon character? Today the museum of its author, Fujiko F Fujio Museum (藤子F不二雄ミュージアム) opened in Kawasaki (川崎). They say September 3 is the birthday of Doraemon. This museum is only available by reservation 4 times in a day.

Friday, September 2, 2011

9月2日(kugatsu futsuka): September 2

I went out for lunch at the Chinese Restaurant with my colleagues. Every day I walk the same route from the station to the office and usually eat lunch at the office. Therefore I did not know that restaurant. The street looked quite different from the one I walk every day even if it is just a few blocks away. I felt I have missed many things by just having a routine life.

Today the new cabinet was formed. I do not know how long it will last.....

Now a big typhoon is coming and it is raining heavily in Shikoku(四国), Sanin (山陰), and Sanyo (山陽) area and many people have already evacuated.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

9月1日(kugatsu tsuitachi): September 1

A new month has started. September is kugatsu (九月) in Japanese. The old name is nagatsuki (長月), literally long month.
September 1 is known as bosai no hi (防災の日), Day of Disaster Prevention. This is established in 1960 after the Great Kanto Earthquake happened on September 1, 1923.
There was the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11 this year. Therefore evacuation training was practiced in so many places this year.
There is a saying, sonae areba urei nashi (備えあれば憂いなし), "Forewarned is forearmed." or "Providing is preventing."