Friday, January 31, 2014


It was fine, but seemed rained while I was inside.  I was lucky enough not to get caught.

Today my address book of iPhone disappeared again!!  I can't believe what is going on.  I tried to recover it but the back up data has also gone.....

Today I went to Shinagawa to attend 2014 Morinda Winter Forum which started at 10 AM and finished 18:20 PM or so.  This was a big event and there were about 1,800 participants.  There were three sessions.  In the morning session we listened to the vision of the company from the president whom I like very much.  His story about AGE (Advanced Glycation End product) was very interesting.  We also listened to the speech by CMO (Chief Marketing Officer).  We got memorial pins for the 15 years anniversary, new product sample, and a postcard to write the message to ourselves of 6 months later.   I checked my AGE, which was the second worst record.   I tried the special drink prepared for this event.   I was glad to take pictures with CEO and CMO from the United States.  They are very nice people.
Please check the following site to learn AGE and apply for the dream vacation.  You may have a chance to go to Tahiti.

After that I went to Yokohama to attend the party of the training class which was over yesterday.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


It was fine.

Today was the last day of the 6 months International Business Training Course which started on August 2 last year.  There were 30 students from 20s to 60s at first, but nine of them have left during the course for either having got a job or a private reason.  We have studied Business English, Trading, Logical Thinking, Business Administration, and  so on.  It started at 10:00 AM and finished at 16:10 PM, and there were 6 lessons every day from Monday to Friday.  We had not only lectures but also group works and presentations.  We learned many things from the lessons and classmates. 

We had the last luncheon which I organized.  We went to a Japanese style buffet restaurant in a hotel and enjoyed eating & talking.  Buffet is interesting because we know each other's taste.   I may have eaten too much.

I am glad to have such a wonderful opportunity of learning and making friends. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


It was fine, and warm like the end of March.

I took three hours off to take my father to hospital for once a month checkup.  I was so surprised to see the new system.  They say it was introduced two weeks ago.  There were many screens to show the waiting time  at the waiting rooms.  At the cashier they asked the higher fee than usual, so I was wondering and said about it.  It was the mistake of their calculation of 30% instead of 10%.  I thought we should check everything before paying.

Monday, January 27, 2014


It was fine and very cold today.

I have had a cold since last Saturday or so.  This morning I had a fever, but there were only three days left, and I went to the training.  But it was a kind of disappointing. 
After coming home, I cooked supper and went to Yoga lesson.  

Sunday, January 26, 2014


It was fine in the morning, but rained in the evening though the sunset was very beautiful.

I went to grocery shopping in the morning, and yoga lesson in the afternoon.

It was the senshuraku (千秋楽), the last day of hatsubasho (初場所), the first grand sumo tournament.  Yokozuna Hakuho (横綱白鵬) won.  It was his 28th victory.  He said he was happy because he was 28 years old.  Congratulations!!      


It was cloudy.

I went to Shinjuku to attend a lecture.  There were so many people there and I sat at the very last line of the seat.  His lecture is always popular and full of people.  
After that I checked my true age.  It was rather better than last time.
I went to print some pictures at a big shop. I printed from the Smart Phone.   Last time when I used the machine, I connected the machine with iPhone by a cable, but this time I needed to install an application and had to send pictures.  I was so surprised to see the change within a short time.
I went to see a movie.  I did not intend to see a certain movie, but saw the one of the most convenient time.  It was a Japanese movie titled "Kuroshitsuji."

Saturday, January 25, 2014


It was fine.

After the training my classmates and I went out for supper.  Then we went to attend Mr. Ken Honda's lecture in Tokyo.
He is a million seller writer and used to live in Boca Raton, Florida where is next to Delray Beach where I lived.  When I went to his last lecture, we found we had a mutual friend whose contact he had lost and wanted to be reconnected.  Therefore I became a bridge between him and our friend and arranged to have them get together.  Unfortunately they could not see each other at that time but I believe they can get together someday again.  Last time when I visited Delray Beach, my friend asked me to give a present to him, but we have not had a chance to get together until now.  Finally I got a complementary ticket and went to see him to hand a present.  I am glad to have kept our  promise.

Friday, January 24, 2014


It was fine.

There are many four-character idioms in Japanese. Today there is an announcement of the four-character idiom of the year.  Usually something of the year is published at the end of the year, but this one is published at the beginning of the year to wish the dream come true.
This year's four character idiom is "四海兄弟(Shikai keitei)" from Analects of the Confucius.  It literally means four ocean brothers but actually means that if you communicate people with heart and politeness, everyone around the world becomes like brothers. There are many disputes here and there, therefore this idiom was chosen as a lesson to learn.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


It was fine.

Today we had the last lesson for Logical Thinking and  had 3 debates.  The first theme was yes or no of having Casino in Japan.  The second theme was yes or no of using the unused deposit money of banks.  The third theme was yes or no of starting English Education at the primary school.  My positions were No, Yes, No.  It was much more interesting than last time.  Regarding the second theme I was surprised to know there are about yen 80 to 90 billion in a year and 60% of them are not drawn after the notice of closing the account.

After the training I went to iPhone shop to have my address book fixed again because it was suddenly disappeared again the day before yesterday.  It happened in December, and I thought I saved the data in the  PC, but it was not.  I was glad to see the person in charge who fixed the last time because I did not have to explain what happened again.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


It was fine.

Today we practiced job interview at the training.  We were divided into two groups.  Three of us became interviewers, and one of us became an interviewee respectively.  First 15 minutes interviewers read the resume of the working experiences and thought of questions, then 25 minutes questions and answers session followed.  We had 5 interviews, and I became an interviewee and interviewers twice.  We will continue some more people the day after tomorrow.

Yesterday my address book of iPhone has disappeared again.  It's been only one month since I had the same problem.  How inconvenient!

Monday, January 20, 2014


Today is daikan (大寒), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms.  The last one was shokan (小寒) on January 5, and the next one is risshun (立春) on February 4.  Daikan literally means big cold and it is the coldest season in Japan.  Actually it was a cold day.

Today we had a guest speaker in the afternoon.  He is a president of small enterprizes and talked about his experiences and vision of managers.  Since he has some unique experiences, we were attracted to his talk.  After that we had "World Cafe" and shared our impressions of his talk.  Though we listened to the same story,  things left in our mind were different. 


Today was the second day of the National Center Test for University Admissions.  Usually the weather of these examinations have been very bad, but today it was fine and cold here.  In Mie Prefecture it seemed snow.
Yesterday there were three subjects and 525,955 students took English examination which was 93.8% of the applicants.  503,587 students took Japanese examination which was 89.8%.  451,722 students took examination of social studies  (Geography, History, and Civics) which was 80.6%.  Today 388,622 took science examination which is 69.3% and 318,328 for mathematics 1 which was 71.0% and 363, 561 took the exam of mathematics 2 which was 64.8 %.  

Sunday, January 19, 2014


It was fine.

I went to Yokohama in the morning.  First I visited the shrines, then went to the monthly meeting, then had lunch with a friend from the 44th Peace Boat Cruise which we attended 10 years ago.  We have not met each other since then.  In the afternoon I attended another meeting, then went to Shinjuku to measure AGE(Advanced Glycation Endoproduct) and attended another meeting.  Do you know AGE?  Please check the following site.
Then I had a new year's party of my tennis friends.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


It was fine but cold.

It's been 19 years since the Great Hanshin Earthquake happened.  There were memorial services in Kansai Area.  6434 people 's precious lives were lost and 3 are missing by this big earthquake.

There were some earthquakes today.

At training we debated regarding two issues.  First one I had to think the opposite side of my thought, so it was difficult.  Second one we could choose the position, so it was not so difficult.  We are not used to debate.  So we'd better have lessons at school when we are young.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


It was fine but very cold.  In Yokohama and Tokyo they say it went down below zero degrees centigrade, which is called fuyubi (冬日), winter day for the first time this winter.
Today is the full moon.  It looked orange.  They say it is the smallest moon of this year, i.e., it is furtherest from the earth.

Today there was the announcement of the winners of the 150th Akutagawa Prize and the Naoki Prize.  Ms. Hiroko Oyamada (小山田浩子), 30 years old won the Akutagawa Prize, and Ms. Makate Asai (朝井まかて), 54 years old and Ms. Kaoruko Himeno (姫野カオルコ), 55 years old won the Naoki Prize.  They were all women. 
 Akutagawa prize is given to the new or rising writer who wrote the best serious literary story in a newspaper or magazine.
Naoki prize is given to the new or rising author or established author who wrote the best work of the popular literature.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


It was cold and it even snowed in the morning.  It was the first snow, hatsuyuki (初雪) around here.

January 15 is used to be a national holiday called seijin no hi (成人の日), Coming-of-Age Day, but it has become on the second Monday of January since 2000.  So it was not a holiday but a regular day.

There was an annual event called utakai hajime (歌会始) , the first poem gathering,  at the Imperial Palace.  This year's theme was sei (静), quietness or serenity.  21680 poems were submitted and some of the poems were chosen and presented.  Next year's theme is hon (本), book.  How about making the one?

It is my father's birthday.   So I gave him a present and celebrated in the evening.


It was fine but very cold today.  They say it is going to be very cold and it may snow tomorrow.

Last year today it snowed heavily and I had to walk to the station with a suit case.  It was too cold and I bought a pair of gloves. 

Do you wonder why I remember?  The answer is I keep writing 10 years diary (junen nikki: 十年日記」).  It's been already 14th year since I started.  It is very interesting.  I recommend you to use it.

Monday, January 13, 2014


Today is a national holiday called seijin no hi (成人の日), Coming of Age Day.  Last year it snowed but today it was very fine.  It used to be on January 15, but since 2000 it has been on the second Monday of January to have a three-day weekend.  Being 20 is thought to be adult in Japan, and we have a ceremony to celebrate to be adult.  This is called seijin shiki (成人式).  On attending this ceremony we wear the very formal costume.  Many women wear long-sleeve kimono called furisode (振袖), and some men wear traditional Japanese kimonostyle, montsuki hakama (紋付袴), or western style suit.  Furisode is extremely expensive, but very beautiful.

This morning I went to Hayama to see my friends from high school.  One of them came back from Yamaguchi for a few days and we decide to see though just a short time.    

Sunday, January 12, 2014


It was very fine, rather warm in January.

Today I participated in the walking event of visiting the Seven Gods of Good Fortune in Miura ( Miura shichifukujin : 三浦七福神).   It started at 8:45 AM and finished around 16:00 PM.  There were about 200 participants and the paricipation fee was yen 600 for general people, and yen 300 for members.  They distributed the portable hand heater before starting and gave us omiki (お神酒: sacred sake), snack, and daikon (大根 : Japanese radish) which is Miura's famous agricultural product after the event as the prize.

This was the second time for me to visit Miura shichifukujin, but last time I visited there by small bus, so it was the first time for me to visit there by walking.  It was about 24 km long in total and my pedometer counted more than 36,000 steps.

Visiting the Seven Gods of Good Fortune is very popular in the New Year's Event, and there are many courses in Japan.  In Miura some of the temples and shrines only open for the exposition of these deities from January 1 to 15.  Therefore I decided to collect the stamps at every temple and shrine.  Here attached the picture.  To receive the stamp it cost yen 300 each and the cardboard cost yen 900, therefore it is yen 3,000 in total.  You can get the completed one at yen 3,000 but I prefer collecting one by one.  At the last temple a Buddhist monk wrote the date.

Names and attributes of Seven Gods are:
Ebisu (恵比寿) :  God of fishers or merchants, often depicted carrying a sea bream
Daikokuten (大黒天) :  God of wealth, commerce and trade
Bishamonten (毘沙門天) :  God of warriors
Benzaiten (弁財天) :  Goddess of knowledge, art and beauty, especially music
Fukurokuju (福禄寿) :  God of happiness, wealth and longevity
Jurojin (寿老人) :  God of long life
Hotei (布袋) :  the fat and happy God of abundance and good health

Ebisu is a Japanese god, Daikokuten, Bishamonten, and Benzaiten are Indian origin, and Fukurokuju, Jurojin and Hotei are Chinese origin.  Benzaiten is only goddess.

I hope my dreams come true.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


January 11 is known as kagami biraki (鏡開き), literally mirror opening.  But mirror means the decorated rice cake, kagamimochi (鏡餅) in this case.  We decorate rice cakes during new year's day, and we eat these rice cakes on January 11.   I ate these rice cakes as oshiruko (お汁粉), sweet red bean soup.

Today I went to Shinjuku to attend Morinda's monthly meeting.  I really think Morinda is a great company.  If you have a chance, please check the following site.
You may have a chance to get a dream vacation.  The destination of January vacation is Tahiti.  December was Hawaii, and a Japanese won.  She looked very surprised to hear she won the prize because it seems she just applied last month after knowing another Japanese got the prize in November.

After the meeting I went shopping for my father's birthday present.  And I went to see a movie "Gravity."  I watched the 3D version.  In Japanese title, it was "Zero Gravity." I wonder how they shot the film.


It was fine but very cold.  It became the coldest day today.

It's been already 10 days passed since the New Year started.   One third of a month or one thirty-sixths of a year.   Or the first week of working.   Have you already accomplished anything this year?

After all the life is the accumulations of the time; second, minute, hour, day, month, and year.  I hope use them effectively, meaningfully and pleasantly.....

Friday, January 10, 2014


It was very cold today.  They say it snowed in Tokyo.

Today we used "KATARUTA." Do you know KATARUTA?  I did not know it.  It is a set of cards to talk.  There are 54 cards and each card has the conjunction or adverb.  After simple self introduction, a card was drawn and according to the word on the card the speaker continues the story.  We used a Japanese
version and English version.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


It was fine and cloudy in the morning but started raining in the evening.

Today we experienced the "World Cafe" for brainstorming.  There are about 20 students and we made 4 groups.  Every group has a host and he/she stays in the group.  After having a group talking for a while, everyone but a host became a traveler and moved to another group, then a new group with new members were made and had a discussion for a while, and again everyone but a host became a traveler and moved to another group and formed another group and discussed.  Finally everyone came back to the original group and shared the experience during the trip.  I became one of the hosts and welcomed about 10 travelers.
We have known each other for more than 5 months, but I have found something new for each member.  It was very interesting. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


It was fine but very cold today.

January 7 is known as nanakusa (七草), and we eat nanakusa gayu (七草粥), rice porridge with seven herbs.  Nanakusa literally means seven herbs.  This is a traditional custom to make the stomach rest after eating too much during new year's days.
When you are sick, what would you like to eat?  I think most Japanese people want to eat rice porridge.  This is our comfort food.  We usually eat it with umeboshi (梅干し), pickled plum.


It was fine but very cold today.
For many people today was the first working day of this year.  My training course also started today.
After training I went to the Kimono shop to receive the magazine in which my pictures are appeared. 
After coming home I prepared supper, and went to practice Yoga.  This was also the first lesson of this year.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Today is shokan (小寒), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms.  The last one was toji (冬至) on December 22 and the next one is daikan (大寒) on January 20.  This is the beginning of the coldest season.   Shokan literally means small cold.  It was cloudy and rather cold today.

Tonight the new NHK's taiga (大河) drama, Gunshi Kanbei (軍士 官兵衛) started.  It is a story of a strategist who served to Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣秀吉) who made the national unification in the 16th century.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


It was cloudy.

Usually January 4 is the first working day in a year for many companies, but this year it falls on Saturday.  Therefore many people have 9 days winter holiday.   I have 10 days.  However I did not travel anywhere.

How about your holiday?


It was fine.

There was the latter half race of Hakone Ekiden (箱根駅伝), and the Toyo University became a champion.  Yesterday they won by 59 seconds difference and today again they did by 4 minutes 34 seconds difference by Komazawa University.  Their total time was 10 hours 52 minutes 51 seconds which is the second best time after their fastest record of two years ago at 10 hours 51 minutes 36 seconds.  It is their 4th general victory after two years.  They looked happy.  Congratulations!
The second was Komazawa University.  But they did not look happy.  They missed getting all three victories for long distance relay races unfortunately.
Some universities could not hand their sash because of time out, which was a pity.

Friday, January 3, 2014


It was fine.
January 2 is known as hatsuyume (初夢: first dream), hatsuni (初荷: first shipment), kakizome (書き初め: first calligraphy), and kokyo ippan sanga (皇居一般参賀: general people's New Year's visiting to the Imperial Palace).  Hatsu means the first thing. Zome also means the first thing.
In Kanto people, it is the day of the first half race of Hakone ekiden (箱根駅伝), the long distance relay road race between Tokyo and Hakone.  It is the 90th anniversary meeting this year.  Members from 23 universities joined the race and the Toyo University won after two years today.  Twin brothers ran in the team.  There will be the latter half race from Hakone to Tokyo tomorrow. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


A Happy New Year 2014!!

It was fine but very windy today.  In the morning we could not see Mt. Fuji but in the evening we could see it somehow.

January 1 is ganjitsu (元日), and its morning is called gantan (元旦).

There is a saying ichinen no kei wa gantan ni ari (一年の計は元旦にあり), "New Year's Day is the key of the year."  We should plan of the year in the morning of January 1.
What kind of plans have you made for this year?
I hope to do something that contributes to the world peace.

On January 1 we usually eat osechi ryori (お節料理) and ozoni (お雑煮), typical Japanese new year's dishes.

The pleasure of January 1 is to receive new year's cards called nengajo (年賀状).  There are some people that have contact only once a year of this occasion, but I am glad to have many friends with whom I exchange nengajo every year.

Another event of January 1 is to visit the shrine called hatsumode (初詣) to thank last year's good health and happiness and wish this year's fortunate.

For European and American people Christmas must be one of the most important times of the year, for Japanese New Year's Day is one of the most important times of the year.  I hope you will have a chance to experience Japanese New Year someday.