Tuesday, December 31, 2013


New Year's Eve.  We call it omisoka (大みそか).

It was very fine.  I have been busy for general cleaning so called osoji (大掃除).
Now I am watching NHK's Kohaku utagassen (紅白歌合戦), the year end music festival on TV.

How was your year 2013?

Mine was interesting.

First three months I had been very busy for Kizuna Bond Project for Indonesian and Filipino Youths.

In April I went to Hawaii to attend Morinda's International Leadership Conference for a week, then went to Thailand & Cambodia, Hong Kong & Macao for three weeks.
In Japan I went to Kyoto in March, Ise in June, Gokayama and Hidatakayama in July, and Izumo in October.  For both Ise and Izumo it was a special year of removal of shrines called sengu (遷宮) which occurs every 20 and 60 years respectively.

I started studying journalism in Yokosuka in May but couldn't finish the course because I started studying International Business Administration from August in Yokohama.  There were 30 members in the class in August, but now there are 22 left.  We have studied Business English, Trading, Logical thinking, Marketing, Finance, and so on.  I enjoyed learning new things.

The most impressive experience was to have become a kimono model for several times and participated in  the fashion show in December. 

I started practicing tea ceremony lessons and yoga lessons again after a long interval.  I also participated in some walking tours around here.


It was fine and Mt. Fuji was so beautiful.

In the afternoon I walked to the Miurakaigan station where I seldom use.  There is a beautiful cherry blossom road on the way and many people come to see them in February.  To my surprise there were some flowers blooming. 
There was the last year-end party in Yokohama.  It was the one of high school classmates.  There were 45 members in our class and 11 of us got together.   They became doctor, dentist, teacher, city servants, banker, office workers, and so on.  Some have only one profession in their lives, others changed their jobs.  Their outside looking were changed somehow but we thought we haven't changed so much inside.  We enjoyed eating, drinking, and talking of our high school memories. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013


It was fine and very cold.  Mt. Fuji looked so beautiful.

In the morning I checked the New Year's cards which were not so good because of the problem of the printer.  I went to post them.  If you post them by Christmas, they will be delivered on the New Year's Day for sure, but it's already 29th, it may be difficult for them to be delivered on New Year's Day.

In the afternoon I went to grocery shopping. There were many New Year's goods such as gate decorations, rice cake decoration, rice cakes, flowers, and new year's foods. So I spent lots of money to welcome a new year.


It was fine in the morning but cloudy in the evening.

There were two visitors in the afternoon.

I wanted to finish writing New Year's Cards as soon as possible, but there was something wrong with my printer and it took a long time to do so.

Saturday, December 28, 2013


It was slightly raining and very cold.

There was no training today and I started preparing new year's cards though I should have posted them by Christmas.

I went to the Shinagawa Aquarium where is about a few minutes walk from the station.  It was rather smaller than I thought, but there were so many people especially families with small children.  The dolphin show was interesting.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


It was rainy and cold.

Today was the last day of the training for this year, and we had a year end party.

There are only five days left this year.  But there are still many things I want to do within this year.

How about you?


Merry Christmas!!

It was very fine today.

Do you have a nice Christmas?  I hope so.

It is a season of fukubiki (福引), literally means fortune drawing, year end lottery.  Depends on the place cost is different, but every yen 5,000 or yen 3,000 shopping you get a ticket to try lottery.  Since I have some tickets to draw, I went to the place to try.  The best prize was yen 100,000 travel coupon.  But I only got the last prize, pocket tissues.....

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Merry Christmas‼

It was fine in the daytime, but slightly rained in the evening.

I took three hours off to take my Father to the hospital for once a month checkup.  There we had to wait for a while here and there.

On my way to the Bashamichi station, I saw some people pounding rice cakes.  This is called mochitsuki (餅つき), and it is an annual event of preparing the New Year.

At night I had Christmas full course dinner with my high school best friends at a French restaurant.  Every year we get together to eat  the delicious dinner and exchange presents there.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Today is a national holiday called tenno tanjobi (天皇誕生日), Emperor's Birthday.  He became 80 years old.  80 years old is sanju (傘寿).

It was cloudy and cold today.

I went to see a Japanese movie "Eien no zero (永遠の0):  Eternal Zero" in Tokyo.  It was a big theater with about 946 seats.  Since it was released the day before yesterday, and it is a national holiday today, the theater was full, and even to buy a ticket I had to wait for a while though I went there more than one hour before.  It was a war movie which I do not usually like to see.  Many people were crying.  Less and less people know about the war, therefore we may need to have such a movie to avoid wars. 

After that I went to the Tokyo Sky Tree.  I wanted to climb up there, but just to buy a ticket I needed to wait for 50 minutes and it was already becoming dark, so I decided not to climb there today.  There were so many shops at the Tokyo Sky Tree Town and so are many people.

I walked to Asakusa to see the new big lantern of Kaminarimon (雷門: Thunder Gate), Sensoji (浅草寺) temple.  For the past four years I have been there many times to take Asian youths.  It is one of the most popular touristic places in Tokyo.  The big lantern was renewed last month. 

Monday, December 23, 2013


Today is toji (冬至), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms.  The last one was taisetsu (大雪) on December 7 and the next one is shokan (小寒) on January 5.  Toji literally means winter reach, winter solstice.  On this day the daytime is the shortest in the year.  There are customs to eat pumpkin and to take a yuzu bath not to catch a cold.

In the morning I went to grocery shopping, gas station, banks and so on.
In the afternoon I went to yoga lesson which is the last one of this year. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013


It was fine today.

I went to Shinjuku to attend the lecture in the afternoon.

At night I had a meeting and dinner with friends.  Ten of us got together. One of them is very good at analyzing people's characteristics based upon one's own birthdate and we enjoyed listening to each other's characteristics.  They say it is called Caesarean study, and she said there are three groups mainly.  One is Economy-centered person, the other is Authority-centered, and another is Humanity-centered.  In each group there were four sub-groups.  Each of us has three numbers made of three digits.
We enjoyed eating and talking a lot.  

Saturday, December 21, 2013


It was a strange weather today, fine in the morning and rain in the afternoon, and it was rather cold.

It's been a month since I visited the Yusen museum.  Today was another entry fee free day.  In the morning there were some people waiting outside the door.
After training I visited there, then went to a bookstore.  I did not intend to buy anything, but I happened to find the schedule notebook which I have used for more then 20 years, so I bought it.  Then I attended the second year-end party which started at 6:00 PM.  There were 8 classmates including the one left recently.  We enjoyed talking, eating and drinking.

Today's big news is Japan welcomed 10,000,000 visitors from abroad this year.  Since Mt. Fuji and Japanese food culture were registered as UNESCO's World Heritage, and the Tokyo Olympic 2020 will come, there will be more and more foreigners come to visit Japan.  I hope to do something for them.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


It was rainy and very cold.

Usually I have a tea lesson on Thursdays, but last week was the last lesson for this year, therefore no lesson today and next week.
So I decided to go to see a movie "Rikyu ni tazuneyo (利休にたずねよ): Ask this of Rikyu" which my tea companion recommended last week.  Do you know Rikyu?  He is a founder of the way of tea in Japan.  This movie was based on the book which got the 140th Naoki Prize.  It was a love story which I did not expect at all. 


It was cloudy and very cold, started raining in the evening, and depends on the place it snowed.

I took two hours off to go to hospital to see a doctor to hear about the result of MRI my father took last week.  At hospitals we usually have to wait for a long time, but today everything went within 45 minutes.

After that I went to iPhone shop and asked about the problem I had recently.  They did not know the reason, but they could install the address book data of last year.  I tried to backup from PC tonight but couldn't.  Therefore I lost contacts whom I met during one year and a half....  They recommended to buy iPhone 5s but I just changed the plan which will reduce the payment about yen 2000.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


It was fine but very cold.   They say it would be very cold, could be snow tomorrow.

There has been something wrong with my smart phone since yesterday.  I could not read emails, so I turned off first, then deleted the old emails in the inbox.  Then all the information I had in the address book has gone too.  I do not know why.  These days I do not remember any phone numbers or email addresses because I have them in the smart phone, but once lost there is nothing left.   I thought to have backup is important.


It was fine but very cold.

In the morning on my way to class I went to post office to send Christmas cards.  The postage for Christmas card is usually yen 90 for Asia, yen 110 for Europe, America, and Australia, and yen 130 for South America and Africa.  But there was a small packet, therefore I went there to make sure the postage.  I like to buy commemorative stamps, so I used to go to post office whenever they issue the new one.  But these days I buy them when I happen to find a good one.  I use these special stamps whenever I have a chance and send something, especially abroad.   Since there are emails, I send less Christmas cards than before.   But since I like to receive cards, I still send some.  And I bought some more cards today and will send them tomorrow.  I hope they will be in time.

Yesterday they started accepting new year's cards.  To be delivered on New Year's Day, we need to post them by Christmas.

Monday, December 16, 2013


It was fine.
In the morning I went to grocery shopping.
In the afternoon I thought of the Christmas letter and thought that I have been  to many places.
In the night I watched a movie on TV.   It was made last year, and I missed watching it at the theater.  So I am glad to see it.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


It was fine but very cold today.

I went to Yokohama to attend meetings and a year-end party. There were two meetings between lunch.  I went out for lunch at a Japanese restaurant where I wanted to go for a long time.  It is a parents' restaurant of the member of the popular music group, Southern All Stars.  In the bathroom their music was heard as BGM.  I ate a lunch set menu of tendon (天丼), deep-fried shrimp, fish, and vegetables over a bowl of rice with special sauce.   It served with salad, pickles, miso soup, and green tea ice cream and cost yen 945.  It is very close from Kannai Station, and there were many customers in spite of Saturday.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


It was fine, but very cold and windy.

The end of the year is nearing.  It is the season for year-end party.  In Japanese it is bonenkai (忘年会), literally forget year party.  In January we have new year party which is shinnenkai (新年会).  So for a month from now there are many opportunities to meet many people, eat, drink, and spend money.
Since I live in a country, I drive a car from my house to the station.  It is prohibited to drive after drinking.  So when there is a party, I need to choose either drinking and taking a taxi or without drinking and driving a car.  In any case if I drink, I need to walk to the station one way for about 1 mile with up and down.  Therefore I prefer having parties on Fridays or the day before holidays because I do not have to walk to the station early in the morning next day.
There will be the first year-end party tomorrow night.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


It was fine but very cold today.

New lesson with a new instructor began.  We learn BATIC (Bookkeeping and Accounting Test for International Communication) for a while.

Every year on December 12 which is a day of Kanji (漢字), the Kanji of the year is selected and written with a big brush by a priest of Kiyomizudera (清水寺) Temple in Kyoto.  This event started in 1995.  This year 170,290 people applied and "wa  or rin (輪)" was selected as the Kanji of the year.  Wa or rin means circle.  9,518 people voted which occupied 5.59%.  The reasons of the selection were the happy circles of the news of selected Tokyo as the  host city of the Olympic 2020, Mt. Fuji (富士山) for UNESCO'S World Heritage, and Samurai Japan for Soccer World Cup,  Rakuten Eagles for Japanese No.1 Baseball team, and circles of friendship for supporting devastated areas by natural disasters such as the Typhoon No. 26 hit on Oshima Island or No. 30 on the Philippines.


It was fine but very cold.  Now it is very windy.

Second lesson of financing and accounting.  In replace of calling a roll, we presented what we will be or do in three years from now.  Some are very realistic, others seemed dreamers.  Me?  I want to publish my second essay both in Japanese and English, and succeed my business and become rich to make people around me happy.
They say to plan 333, that is 3 days, 3 months, and 3 years are important.
And it is said to announce your dream is important.  If you make your dream known, it will be accomplished more easily by the power of attraction.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


It was rainy, fine, and cloudy, that is very strange today.

A new lesson with a new instructor started.  As our self-introduction, each of us talked about the wonderful and fearful experiences.  I was surprised to hear there were quite a few people who had unusual experiences.

A classmate got a job.  Since this is a training course, it is a favorable news.  However we had mixed feeling because our classmates have become good friends and we would like to complete the course together.

After the training I went shopping for Christmas cards for foreign friends.  When I got home, I received the first Christmas present and a card from England.  I need to rush.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


It was fine.

There was no training today.  I took my father to hospital in Yokosuka to have MRI taken in the morning. Then we went to grocery shopping.

After coming home, I cooked lunch and we ate together.

After having dinner at night I went to small ball exercise.  I thought today was for Aerobics but we practiced Yoga.  This was the last lesson for this year.  I applied the course for the next year. 

Monday, December 9, 2013


It was cloudy.

Today there was 2013 KIMONO FASHION FESTIVAL in Yokohama.  This was my biggest event of this month.  There were about 200 Kimono models.  And I was one of them.  It started at 14:00 and ended at 17:00.  I was asked to come at 13:30 and had my hair set at 14:00 and got dressed kimono at 15:00 and had to standby at 15:40 and 16:10.  Therefore I was not sure what was going on and could not see anything.  I participated in Scene 9 and there were about 20 models there.  We wore Homongi (訪問着), formal wear.  Since this was the festival, the way of tying Obi (帯), sash was different from the regular Otaiko (お太鼓). 
I participated with three friends and met some companion who went to Gokayama and Hidatakayama together in July.  We took a memorial photo after the show.
Three of us went out for dinner.
It was a long day and I got tired.  But I am very glad everything went well.

Recently Japanese cuisine and food culture were enrolled as UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage.   I hope someday Kimono culture will be listed and known to the world.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Today is taisetsu (大雪), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms.  The last one was shosetsu (小雪) on November 23 and the next one will be toji (冬至) on December 22.  Taisetsu literally means big snow.  However it is not so cold as it used to be around this time.

Today I went to Shinjuku to attend a monthly meeting in the morning.  Unfortunately I had to leave before it was over.
Then I went to Yokohama to attend a rehearsal of the Kimono Fashion Show for tomorrow.  My appointment time was 14:00 but after all it started around 15:00 so I hoped to stay at the previous meeting longer and do some shoppings.  There I met some people whom I had traveled to Gokayama and Hidatakayama in the summer together.  Since the travel was really nice, it was interesting to see them again.  There will be about 200 Kimono models tomorrow.
Then I went to Yokosuka to attend a meeting for the high school reunion committee in the evening.  We will have the first big reunion of our high school next March.  There were no class changes at our high school,  if you were in a good class, you had a happy high school life, but if you were not in a good class, it must be hard to be there.  There were 10 classes which had 45 students each.  I was rather in a good class and we have had some class reunions for several times after graduation.  But there were other classes which have seldom had the class reunion by now, and it is very difficult for them to contact each other.  It was interesting to see old friends after such a long time. 


It was fine.

Today was the last day of the Human Resources lesson.  The lecturer is the same as Marketing.  So today was the last day of his lecture.  Yesterday he gave 6 persons titles such as Marketing Master, Best Analyst, and Best Entrepreneur.  Today he decided to give one more title Business Administration Theory Expert by test.  He just wanted to choose one best person.  But there were two who got the highest score.  Fortunately I was one of them.  There were only 6 days taught by him.  But many classmates enjoyed his lessons because of the variety of his episodes according to his actual experience.  Lastly he insisted that parting starts when first met.

After training I went shopping a clock.  It's been more than one month since the clock of the living room became out of order.  It's been very inconvenient.  In spite of no clock on the wall, I looked there so many times.  But finally I bought the best one at the store.  There was a special invitation postcard from the shop, I got a present too.   As a checkout coupon there was a present which I did not understand and asked the staff there how to try.

At the Grand Prix Figure Skating Men's Free Program in Fukuoka, Mr. Yuzuru Hanyu (羽生結弦) became a champion by getting the score of 293.25.  They say today is the last day of his 18 year old life.  Congratulations!  

Thursday, December 5, 2013


It was fine.

There was the last lesson of Marketing and we had a vote for the report of analyzing the problem of existing business or new business.   The winner of the former got the title of the Best Analyst, and the latter the Best Entrepreneur.   There were 25 entries and we read all and chose three best reports per person.  Two of them got a prize with above mentioned titles and one of them got the title of the Marketing Master in the class.  Four other reports were selected as winning reports too.  I wrote about creating a new business of low calorie Japanese Sweets for diabetes at a reasonable price though I did not win.  I hope someday this business will be operated to make diabetes people happy.

There was a tea lesson tonight.  These days I was the only one left and I made tea for myself.  Today's sweet was called hatsushimo (初霜), the first frost.  I was glad to see the name on the box because I love this sweet, however I was disappointed to see the sweet itself because it was quite different from the one I knew.  Since I was the last person tonight my master gave me leftover sweets by saying "nokori fuku" (残り福), which is actually "Nokori mono niwa fuku ga aru (残り物には福がある)" meaning "The last one is the best one." (There is a fortune in the last one.)

Tonight I watched Grand Prix Figure Skating at Fukuoka on TV.  Ms. Mao Asada (浅田真央), 23 years old became a champion for Women's short program.  And Mr. Yuzuru Hanyu (羽生結弦), 18 years old, made the first world best record of 99.84.  Congratulations!!



It was fine.

I happened to see my ex-colleague on my way to change the train at Yokohama.  She said she took a half day off to go to hospital.  So if she did not, we would not have met each other this morning.  We went to Nagano together on a business trip at this time last year, and we talked about it for a while.

Today we had Marketing lessons.  We submitted our Marketing plans without names and read every one's project.  We will vote the best three tomorrow.  Some are well written according to the Marketing strategy.  There was a very interesting one which only our class members can enjoy.  There were some similar topics.

After training I went to Shibuya to attend a seminar which started registration at 6 PM and ended at 9:30 PM.  The lecture was worth listening. 

I came home late and I have just known the good news of Japanese foods are listed as intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO.

They say it is 1000th day today that the 3.11 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami happened.   

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


It was fine today.

We have studied for more than four months together and had self-introduction for some times at classes and I thought we knew somehow each other.  However in today's lesson we wrote our experience in 200 words and exchanged them in groups.  And I found something new which I did not know.  We wrote our short personal history by 300 to 400 words too.

Monday, December 2, 2013


It was fine today.

There was an announcement of the new word or the popular word of the year today.  Usually only one word or phrase is chosen for the Grand Prix, but today four of them were selected as Grand Prix of this year which is really rare. 
They are: 
"JJJ (じぇじぇじぇ)" which was used in the NHK's morning drama "Ama chan (あまちゃん)" to express surprise
"Bai gaeshi (倍返し)" which was used in the popular TV drama "Hanzawa Naoki (半沢直樹)" to mean revenge double
"O mo te na shi (お・も・て・な・し)" which was mentioned in the speech of Ms. Christel Takigawa (滝川クリステル) for inviting Tokyo Olympic 2020 to mean hospitality
"Ima desho! (今でしょ!)" which was said by a famous lecturer of a cram school for the answer of "When will you do?" and meaning "It is NOW"

Do you have such a contest in your country?


A new month has started.  December is jyunigatsu (十二月), and its old name is Shiwasu (師走), which literally means teacher run. 
How fast time flies!  There is only one month left.  And this one month will pass very fast.
The first day is tsuitachi (1日).  And I feel refreshed on the first day of each month.

December 1 is known as eiga no hi (映画の日), movie day.  On this day you can see a movie at yen 1,000 at any movie theater.  Usually it is yen 1,800.  I used to go to see a movie on this day but this year I did not go.

It was very fine today and I went grocery shopping and practice Yoga.