Friday, August 31, 2012

2012.8.31

The last day of August.  What did you do in August?  Watched many Olympic Games?   I did so.

I took a compensated day off today.
In the morning I went to Ginza (銀座) to see a Japanese movie "Watashi no michi (「わたし」の人生)" which means my way, but the kanji character michi (人生) means life, so it means my life.  It is a story of a family whose mother passed away suddenly and whose father developed dementia.  There are two daughters, one is a professor of the university after anchor woman who has a husband and a daughter, and the other is a tango singer who has lived in Argentina for a long time.  It is a matter of nursing care which is a social problem in Japan.  Who takes care of aged father, how and where.  I went to see this movie because this tango singer's fan who is a care manager recommended me to see in May.  It was a nice movie.

In the afternoon I attended a study meeting for licensed tour guides in Ikebukuro (池袋).  There were 3 speakers and about 25 audience.  They were so erudite that we learned a lot from their broad knowledge and various experiences.  After that we went to izakaya (居酒屋) to have a party.  

Tonight I saw the beautiful blue moon.  Did you see it?

2012.8.30

It was another hot day.
I saw the beautiful moon tonight.  They say it will be full moon and blue moon tomorrow, so it will be even more beautiful.
I am looking forward to watching it.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

2012.8.29

It was another hot day but the wind became a little bit cooler and the sunset became earlier so that I feel the autumn is coming.
I saw the beautiful Mt. Fuji in the morning and the beautiful moon in the night.

 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

2012.8.28

It was another hot day.
I took a compensated holiday to take my father to hospital for once a month check up.
While we were there, my brother came home to bring his souvenir from Greece, which was unexpected.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2012.8.27

It was another hot day.  I saw the Mt. Fuji in the morning.   At night I saw the beautiful moon.  Speaking of the moon, the first astronaut on the moon, Mr. Neil Armstrong passed away.  May his soul be rested in peace.
Do you know Japanese popular group AKB48?  They say tonight one of the members Ms. Atsuko Maeda' s (前田敦子) last concert was held.  So many people (229,096) applied for the ticket but there were only 250 seats available, so it was the ratio of 1 seat for 916 people.

Monday, August 27, 2012

2012.8.26

The last Sunday of August.  The typhoon No. 15 which is the biggest ever is nearing to the southern part of Japan.
It was another hot day here.
At night I could see the fireworks festival from the second floor.  I really like to see the fireworks festival.  While I was recording the video, something stung my wrist.  It was dark and I did not see what it was.  I just felt like mosquito bit me at that time, but it seems different. There became red and I feel slight pain.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

2012.8.25

It was another hot day.
I went to once a week grocery shopping.  I usually go to 2 places, one for commodities, and the other for foods.  Both stores have special services on certain days.  The supermarket I buy foods has many services to the regular customers.  For example, on 5th, 15th, and 25th  they give points for 5 times.  And frozen foods become a half price.  I seldom buy frozen foods besides ice cream these days, but today I bought 2 of them.  One is blueberry, the other is broad beans. 
At night there were two fireworks festivals nearby.  I could see one of them from the porch of the second floor of my house and hear the sounds of the other.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

2012.8.24

It was another hot day.

I had a party tonight with colleagues.  The venue was izakaya (居酒屋) near the Shinjuku station, but the other side of our office.  I usually walk from the station to the office for 15 minutes or so, but we left the office a bit late and we used the subway for 1 station.  Izakaya is a place where we can eat and drink.  It was on the 7th floor but there was a lift only up to the 6th floor and we had to climb up to the 7th floor.  The organizer chose there by searching "private room" and "more than 20 people."
The fee was yen 4,000.  We could drink as much as we want to.  And there were 8 different dishes or so.  More than 20 people attended.  Time was limited for 2 hours.  And since it was Friday, we had to leave soon after 2 hours.  I was at a table of 6.  There was the one whom I have never talked at the office, so it was a good chance to get to know each other.  We enjoyed girls' talk.
The volume of the foods was rather small, therefore 4 of us who joined the company about the same time went to the second party later at a restaurant where was very cute for everything such as glass, cup, the decoration of the dish.  We enjoyed eating and talking.

Friday, August 24, 2012

2012.8.23

Today is shosho (処暑), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms.  The last one was risshu (立秋) on August 7, and the next one is hakuro (白露) on September 7.
Shosho is the time when the heat becomes weak.  However it was another hot day today.  In the morning I saw the beautiful Mt. Fuji.
Today there was the final match of the high school baseball tournament.  Osaka Toin (大阪桐蔭) became a champion again after spring senbatsu (センバツ) game.  Congratulations!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

2012.8.22

It was another hot day.  I could see the beautiful Mt. Fuji this morning too.

I have finished reading a book titled "30 books" recommended by the authors, Mr. & Mrs.Yamakawa (山川) whom I met on Aug.5.  It was a very nice book.  There are some books among them I have already read before, but there are other books I have never heard.  They are very famous translators.  For example, they translated "The Secret" and "The Power" by Rhonda Byrne.   Most of the books written there were their translated books but there were some translated by others.  I felt like reading all of them.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2012.8.21

It was another hot day.  It was fine and I could see the beautiful Mt. Fuji this morning.

Tonight I watched two TV programs broadcast by NHK.  One of them was the interview program asking people when they feel hot.  Japanese summer is very hot and humid, but there are many good summer things, and many people enjoy different things.  For example, only summer Mt. Fuji (3776 m) is open to climbers.  There was a man who climbed Mt. Fuji 1000 times until this summer, so he decided to talk to 1000 people.  For now he has talked to 166 people or so on his way up or down the Mt. Fuji.  There was a couple who had just got married at the top of the Mt. Fuji where there is a shrine.  They decided to marry there.  They said it was hard to climb up there and and they got married therefore it will be difficult to get divorce.  Other people enjoy summer festivals, or bon dances, or firefly, or fireworks festivals.  Some people were lucky to be able to see the fireworks festival from the Tokyo Sky Tree.  90,000 people or so applied but only 500 were invited there.  Therefore they could enjoy watching fireworks from the above of fireworks themselves.  Other people enjoyed watching them from the boat on the river.  I like fireworks festival very much.  They are so beautiful.

The other program was about the Chinese tourists to Japan.  They come to Japan by the cheap package tour, but they were forced to choose optional tours and after all they have to pay more and  it became not cheap.  And  most of such tours provided the non-licensed tour guides or illegal tourist from Taiwan.  Chinese deceive Chinese. That's sad.

2012.8.20

It was another hot day.
There were many good sports news today such as the victory of Ms. Mika Miyazato (宮里美香) at the Safeway Classic in Oregon and two home-runs of Mr. Ichiro (イチロー) of New York Yankees.
But the most impressive news was the Victory Parade of the Medalists of London 2012 in Ginza (銀座).  71 medalists participated in and about 500,000 people came to see them.  It started at 11 AM, and they marched by 2 open cars and 5 open buses for 20 minutes for about 1 km.
There were 7 gold medalists on the contrary to the expectation but 38 medals in total were the most in Japanese Olympic history.  People got inspired and impressed by each performance.  In spite of the time difference, many people enjoyed watching many games.  Thank you very much. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

2012.8.19

It was hot.
The sky was blue with white clouds and it really looked like summer weather.
I went to once a week grocery shopping in the morning and took a nap in the afternoon.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

2012.8.18

We had a heavy thunderstorm in the morning.  I have never had such a heavy one.  One after another a big thunder pealed here and there.
When I was in Florida, we often had a thunderstorm and I wished to take a picture of lightning.  It's very difficult to take the one because it disappears soon.  Therefore I took the video in the last time.
Today it rained heavily here and it was reported in the news too.
Thunderstorm is raiu (雷雨) in Japanese.  Rai (雷) means thunder, u (雨) means rain.  Lightning is inazuma (稲妻) in Japanese.

2012.8.17

It was hot.
Today an ex-colleague came to the office and gave us a piece of vegetable called Goya (ゴーヤ), a bitter gourd which is famous in Okinawa (沖縄), the southernmost island of Japan.  These days it is very popular to plant goya which produces shade and vegetable. 
When we visited her house in June, she has just planted them to make a green curtain for energy saving and she harvested many these days and brought some of them to us to share.  That is very nice of her.
Goya is bitter but known to beat summer heat.

Friday, August 17, 2012

2012.8.16

I have had a cold for a week or so.  First I had a sore throat and now I am suffering from cough. Cough is seki (咳) in Japanese.

Today is the last day of obon (お盆), and the sending fire of Kyoto (京都) and Hakone (箱根) are known as daimonji yaki (大文字焼き) of the mountain. The fire is lit as the shape of a kanji character of dai (大), meaning big.  There are other shapes too. The spirits of the ancestors are supposed to go back to the other world today.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

2012.8.15

It was the 67th anniversary of the end of the World War II.  There was a memorial event in Tokyo and there gathered about 5,850 people including the Emperor, the Empress, and the Prime Minister.  The oldest participant of the bereaved family was 98 years old and the youngest was 4 years old according to the newspaper.
I hope the world peace forever.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

2012.8.14

It was slightly raining in the morning but stopped raining in the evening. The sun set was beautiful. 
There was the Venus' passing across the surface of the Moon but I forgot watching and saw it by Internet news.

I took a half day off to attend a lecture in the afternoon.  After that I got the autograph from the lecturer to the book which he translated.

I read an amazing article in the today's newspaper.  It is about a man who used to be a schoolmaster and started climbing Mt. Fuji after retiring at the age of 63 and he has climbed it 1000 times by now (72) and still climbing.
I have climbed Mt. Fuji once when I was a senior of the university student but it was very hard and for me once was enough.


2012.8.13

It was hot but windy.

I went out for lunch with a colleague.  I felt like eating cold Korean noodle called reimen (冷麺) but did not know the proper restaurant.
However when we were trying to find the one, we happened to find the one.  It was rather crowded and seemed popular.  And there was the cold Korean noodle! They were dark and rather thin and chewy than I expected. Side dishes were free. And it cost yen750.  There were other dishes I wanted to taste so I may go again someday.
I went out for dinner with my college friend.  We ate shabushabu (しゃぶしゃぶ) which is a very popular Japanese winter dish. But I ate shabushabu twice in this summer.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

2012.8.12

It was hot.

Usually August 13 to 16 is called obon (お盆), Bon Festival.  The spirits of ancestors are supposed to come back home to stay.  So people often go back to their home town during this period and visit their ancestors' graveyards.  The sweets of this season offered to them is called ohagi (おはぎ).
I went to the grave yard of my mother with my father.  The road was so crowded that I realized I live in the sightseeing place. After coming back I ate 3 different tastes of ohagi.

Today is the last day of the London 2012 Olympic Games.  Japan got 38 medals in total which is the best record in history.  Congratulations!!




Saturday, August 11, 2012

2012.8.11

It was cloudy.

Yesterday I came home by taxi, so I walked to the station to get my car and went grocery shopping in the morning.

In the afternoon there was a special tea lesson, so I wore yukata (浴衣), summer casual kimono to attend it.  There were 5 pupils and there were 5 different lessons.   Therefore each person became the host of each lesson.  I was in charge of the 4th one.
I used to learn tea ceremony once a week, but these days I cannot go and only attend the special occasions  such as the first tea ceremony in the year called hatsugama (初釜).  So it's been a long time since I practiced the charcoal procedure last time.  I wish I could practice more regularly!

2012.8.10

It seems today is the day of Yosakoi Festival (よさこい祭り:yosakoi matsuri) in Kochi (高知) where is very famous for the home town of Sakamoto Ryoma (坂本龍馬) who is a hero of the late Edo period.
I have happened to be in the izakaya (居酒屋) of Tosa (土佐) food tonight.  Tosa is the old name of Kochi area.  Izakaya is the place you can drink and eat.  Their special dish was warayaki (わらやき).  Wara is straw, yaki is grill.  They barbecue bonito or chicken by straw and eat them with salt and fresh condiment.  They were tasty with sake (酒).

Friday, August 10, 2012

2012.8.9

It was not hot today.
Today is the 67th anniversary of Nagasaki (長崎) atomic-bombing.  At 11:02 AM of that day in 1945 the second atomic bomb was dropped and about 80,000 people's lives were taken away.  There was a memorial event there.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

2012.8.8

It was fine. 
I took a compensated holiday.   I had a luncheon at a pre-opened restaurant of my companion.  It started at 11:30 and there were about 16 people and about one third of us stayed till 6:30 or so to have a meeting.
After that I visited my old teacher's house nearby to give my book.  To my surprise his grandson goes to the same department of the same university I attended.  What a coincidence!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

2012.8.7

Today is risshu (立秋), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms.  The last one was taisho (大暑) on July 22, and the next one is shosho (処暑) on August 23.  Risshu is the beginning of autumn.  It is still very hot and humid and the summer continues, but on the calendar it is already autumn. 
Until yesterday our midsummer greeting was "shochu omimai moshiagemasu (暑中お見舞い申し上げます)," but from today we should say "zansho omimai moshiagemasu (残暑お見舞い申し上げます)" for late-summer greeting.

Speaking of Japanese summer which is very hot and humid, there is one thing I really like, that is fireworks festival.  Today there was the one at the beach near my place.  Many young couples were wearing yukata (浴衣),  Japanese summer kimono.  There were about 3,000 fireworks for 45 minutes from 7:30 to 8:15 PM.  The last 5 minutes were the climax.  Here attached the video I took with my iPhone.  I hope you enjoy.
video video

2012.8.6

It was cloudy and fine when I left home in the morning but started raining when I got to Shinjuku (新宿). 
I went to once a year complete medical check called ningen dock (人間ドック).  Ningen means human.  It took all morning.  It is nice to have a regular check up.
At lunch I tried the new restaurant.

Today is the 67th anniversary of Hiroshima (広島) bombing.

Monday, August 6, 2012

2012.8.5

It was fine and hot from the morning, but in the night it seemed to have rained here while I was out.
In the morning I went to Tokyo Big Sight to see "Healing Fair 2012 in Tokyo" because my friend gave me an invitation ticket.  There I could hear the talk of Mr. Koya Yamakawa (山川紘矢) and Mrs. Akiko Yamakawa (山川亜希子) who are very famous translators.  I read two of their books last month, that is "The Secret" and "The Power" by Rhonda Byrne.  In the afternoon I bought six of their books.  They were very kind enough to give me their autographs and take pictures with me. 
In the afternoon I went to massage after 3 months.
Then I went to see my friend's dance show in Chigasaki (茅ヶ崎).  There I met another friend from high school and enjoyed dinner together.
I had a good day.  How about you?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

2012.8.4

It was hot today in total.  Weather itself was not fine, but it was cloudy and sometimes rained, which made me feel cool.
I have watched so many games of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
I received the goods which I mail-ordered the other day.  One of them was yukata (浴衣), Japanese summer kimono.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

2012.8.3

It was another fine and hot day.  At night I saw the beautiful moon.

After work I went to see a movie "The Lady" with my ex-colleague.  It is a story of Ms.  Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar. The Japanese title is "The Lady Aung San Suu Kyi hikisakareta ai (引き裂かれた愛)" meaning separated love.  It was a good movie.  I feel sorry for the situation she and her family had to endure.

There are so many things we do not know from the outside.  So movies are good way to know them.

This year I saw the movie of The Iron Lady.  The Japanese title is "The Iron Lady tetsu no onna no namida (鉄の女の涙)" meaning the tears of the iron lady.

I am glad to see the women's activity.  Who's next?

Friday, August 3, 2012

2012.8.2

It's been about a week since the London Olympic Games started.  There are time differences between here and there.  I often watch the games at midnight, but I missed watching the gold medal winning performance of Mr. Kohei Uchimura (内村航平).  I knew he got the gold medal by the morning Internet paper.
I saw the digest version of Japanese medal winning swimmers' races.  I could watch them at ease because I know they have already got the medals but I just do not know its color.

They say there are 1 million people who have visited the Tokyo Skytree until yesterday.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

2012.8.1

A new month has begun.  August is hachi gatsu (八月) in Japanese.  Its old name is hazuki (葉月), literally leaf month.
August 1 is the start of many things.   For example it is a day of sightseeing, and the sightseeing week begins.  Many fastivals in Tohoku (東北) area start today such as Neputa matsuri (ねぷた祭り) in Hirosaki (弘前) and Sansa odori (さんさ踊り) in Morioka, Iwate (岩手盛岡).

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

2012.7.31

The last day of July. It was fine and very hot today.  I could see the beautiful Mt. Fuji in the morning.
I took a compensated holiday to take Father to the hospital for the monthly checkup, then went grocery shopping.