Monday, September 28, 2009

aging of population

Tomorrow, I'm going to attend a meeting, and I'm going to say my comment. I don't know whether this comment suits to tomorrow's meeting or not, and this English is good or not, anyway I put my mind together.

Aging of population
To live our elder life calmly, there are two things, one is the things the government should do and the other one is the things we should do. Both of them have to go together smoothly.
Today, the theme is what our government should do, so I will think about the aging of population from one way.
Everybody must think that our government managed by our tax makes a firm commitment to give the place where we can live out our lives as a human. Hospitals, nursing houses, home care system, such facilities and system are necessary
Since “. Long-Term Care Insurance Act” kaigo hoken ho was established, about ten years passed. At that time many people looked forward to the possibility of the job, many people wanted to become a care worker, and some new schools were built. Some businessman quite the job and became care workers. Many housewives got the licence of the second grade care worker. But now, some schools are already under-enrolled. The number of care workers decreased sharply.
Why? Because the job is too hard, no, it’s not right. Everybody knows the job is really hard, but they want to work as a care worker. But unfortunately they can’t live their life from the job. They have lots of volunteer split, but they have to live. If they got high salary like doctors’, many people would be willing to do this job.
In this spring, the rate of nurse caring benefits is going to rise to 3 percent, but it will not lead to rise up their salary. Just they will be able to get from more 300 yen to 1000 yen.
On the other hand new government is going to pay 26000 yen a month child allowance. And they are going to offer high school class for free. Why it does’t work well for the salary of care workers to rise?
Today’s low birth rate is a big problem, I know, but not only to focus the kids but also living elder people and people who get elder in the future. When the kids grow up, they support the elder people, so the workplace to care elder people must be attractive place, the place people want to work.

Well, let me introduce one interesting facility. From this spring my mother-in-law has lived there. She lives in TOKYO alone. She has three sons, but they including us don’t live near. She is 80, fortunately she does’t become senile, she keeps good condition. But she was worried her single life. We were also worried about her daily life, for example she ate one OBENTOU she bought at a near by convenient store with two days. Suddenly a letter came to her, “You are accepted”. According to her she applied the facility to live there when she became 60. And 20 years passed, she got a letter.
The facility is supported by Tokyo city. The people who live there are that they own some property, they manage themselves, but they are worried about their single life, cooking, etc.
There, she has two or three meals at a big dining room with the residents, and nothing, she lives in her room with small kitchen, bathtub, like a small hotel. And now she used to the life in the facility, and makes many friends.
Families are also becoming more nuclear. It means elder people have to live alone or with a partner, surrounded by friend. Nobody can’t live without friends. So I’m glad she made new friends with out going out far away.
While families become more nuclear, elder people become alone. Until now, residents' association or elder people meeting works well. But recently young people don’t like such association they prefer personal activities, and the people who are in their 40’s and 50’s are too busy to keep such communication.
We don’t want to work while we are thinking about our death; we are drawing our attractive elder lives. So pension, facilities, saving money are necessary, on the other hand to keep communication and to have something to do with our resident’s association is necessary.
Now I live with my husband, and I really understand we must not depend on my kids.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Yesterday we (Lea, Yuki, and I) went to a friend's house, she is a farmer. (I often write about her in this blog.) Thanks for her, my daughters loves vegetables, and we enjoy seasonable foods.
Now in her farm there are wonderful grapes, YUZU, and chestnuts.We (mainly Yuki and Lea) pick them up with special scissors having long shaft???.
We had lunch there, barbecued NIJIMASU ( rainbow trout) and fresh rice ball ( "fresh rice " means newly harvested rice ).
And , yes , we took the leftover.
So our dinner was the following picture. I bother to make a fire with charcoal, and warm the grilled trout, and grilled rice balls.
We call baked rice balls YAKIONIGIRI.
And today's dinner, we grilled YAKITORI on the same grill.
We enjoyed our small autumn in this week end.
Now, usual day will come.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I didn't know that.

Japanese paper towels ( We call kitchen paper) are also double.
I didn't know that.
Today we go to a freind' house who is farmer to pick up grapes and eat new rice. It is fall.
Have a good holiday.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Well, well, well,

A friend sent me how cook the inside of the huge pumpkins.
Actually, I was thinking "what should I do?" after cut them.
Anyway this week, I show these pumpkins to my students, and next week we try to cut them, and--- probably I suggest my students to take the inside to their mother.

But she(my friend) said the follow thing in the end of the e-mail.
"Truthfully, I usually just use them as a decoration, like you are doing, and throw them away because I feel they are too old to eat by the time I'm finished as a decoration."

It's true. I don't know how log the pumpkins are left on the field of the farmer, and at least I put them for two weeks outside.

Well, well, well, this photo is , yes, tissue.
As you know Lea stays with us, and another foreigner comes to this city from the same group of Lea. She comes from German. The other day she said to Lea
"Did you notice? Japanese tissue is double, in German we usually have double.How about your country?"

Lea seemed to be surprised, because she's never pay attention on tissue.
Me neither. I checked. Yes, the tissue in my house was double.

Well, Well, Well, Well,
though I said I didn't pay attention on tissue, actually I pay attention on toilet paper.
We have two toilet. The toilet on the second floor, its water pressure is low. So we use single toilet paper. but single toilet paper is a little bit hard, so the toilet on the second floor is washlet toilet with warm seat.
On the other hand, the toilet on the first floor is usual toilet with warm seat, and we can use single or double toilet paper.It is trouble some to buy different toilet paper, so usually single toilet paper is settled.
(Do you know washlet toilets with warm seat, some people who come to my house are surprised.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Now it is really autumn. It is cold (Yuki says cool) early morning and at night.
The other day I found these pumpkins. Usually Japanese pumpkins are green. So When I knew "orange pumpkins" in a English book, it was really strange.
But Halloween is getting popular in Japan, and some farmers start to plant these pumpkins.
These pumpkins were planted by a farmer as his hobby, so they are not products, though I paid some money to him.
When I found them, they looked not so big, but when I put them in the entrance hall, yes they are very big. Though I'm thinking to make jack-o-lantern with students, I don't know we will be succeed or not.

Yesterday, it was holiday called "OHIGAN". Many families visit their graves, and eat "OHAGI".I don't have grave in this place, and for us it was a usual day. The different thing was eating OHAGI. They are made from spacial rice and as you know, they are covered with bean jam.
This bean jam is rough. Can you see the whole bean???
Actually I don't like whole bean paste, I prefer smooth bean paste.
But by mistake I bought these one. Fortunately or unfortunately Lea and Yuki "can't" understand the difference of taste and texture.

Well, since Lea came to our house, almost one month passed. Her Japanese -- is not improved, on the other hand, her English is improved.
As I tell you, it is difficult for foreigners to improve Japanese in Japan.
So I recommend (or ordered) to write 3 sentence diary. Speaking Japanese and writing Japanese are different, but I think it is a effective practice for her and us to learn "good" Japanese.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


It is the last day of these consecutive holidays, though Yuki went to work as usual.
Yesterday, it was his birthday, now he is 50. 30 years have passed since we knew each other.
For breakfast I served home made cake, and his favorite fish salad, and he went to work.
He got e-mails from our daughters. "Happy birthday,GANBATTENE ( do your best , hang in there, or good luck, or take it easy)"

He is doing GANBATTERU. We want to tell our daughters to GANBATTENE.
I know their lives are theirs, But I want them to have usual life.
What is usual life? It's a difficult question, it seems that when we think about women's life, it's different depends on the generation.
Probably in my mother's generation, women's life means marriage and children.
In my generation, we have tried to work like men while we are bringing up kids.
In their thirties, they have tried to work like men without kids.

and now some? many? young women hope to do a house wife with kids and gentle husband.
They think, it's hard to work and bring up kids on the same time.

I'm not familiar with politics, and I don't have keen eyes to watch the current situation.
But I understand the feeling of the ladies in their 20's.
On the other hand I hope our daughters work as a career woman, or pursue their aim.

Well, well, it's not a good talking on his birthday.
Now fortunately he works at a company as a busy businessman. But next generation come. we are thinking about our 60's life.

Though it has nothing to do with his birthday, the sound "r" of "bonjour" is completely different of pronunciation "R" in English, isn't it?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Septeumber is almost finished

Now in Japan we have "Silver week", it means we have five consecutive holidays. (In May we have five or seven consecutive holidays , it is called "Golden week" --but it depends on the company, kids have usually three or four consecutive holidays.)
For my husband Yuki it is just usual weekend, but this time he takes one day off on Monday.
So we have three consecutive holidays.
and,tomorrow ,we , including Lea, are going to go out somewhere.
And in my mind, Halloween is just around the corner.
Halloween, itself, it's not so popular in Japan, except sweets shop and kid's English world.

Now here and there we can see pumpkin sweets, and here and there I hear "What event are you going to do this year?".
I'm thinking about the event, but anyway, yesterday I decorated something in the entrance hall.
Lea, said "Wow, big ghost".Yes, it's ghost.
At that time a postman brought some mails, and said "I hope we'll have nice days in Silver week".
Lea and I said "???"
He said, "What a big TEL-TEL- BOUZU".
I said, "Yes, I hope we'll have nice days in these holidays".
Do you know what is TEL-TEL- BOUZU?

In the garden, some flowers or herb are almost finished. But a plant is still growing. The photo on the left is the balcony on the second floor. What 's this vine? It comes from, of course, the ground on the first floor. It's GOYA. It has a small flower. I don't know whether it changes into GOYA.
Anyway I should organize the garden.
Well, Well, these days I sometimes get GOTOSUCHI MONO, it means something with local flavor. For example, the city I live is famous for GYOZA, so we have potato chips with GYOZA flavor, or rice crackers with GYOZA flavor. Additionally, my younger daughter recommends saying "GYOZA cashew nuts are yummy." (Usually people who live here don't buy them.)
This week I got Pritz with NOZAWANA flavor, thin rice crackers with UJI-green tea flavor, and yesterday I got rice crackers with SURUGA shrimp flavor. Do you have such things with local flavor?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

This is her France

She will introduce France in the class tomorrow.

And she prepare this sheet.

It's interesting.

If you introduced your country, what photos would you choose?

Depends on the generation, they are different.

I told you to put the photo of ALAIN DELON, she said he is too old---.

Monday, September 14, 2009

a new gadget

Can you see our new gadget?
Do you know it?
It is called "TAKOYAKI-ki".
Do you know TAKOYAKI?
It is a kind of round unsweetened small pancake and there is usually cut-octopus in it.
We put sauce (in my house OTAFUKU sauce) on it.
When my daughters were little, I often made it. Since the gadget was broken, we have not had it.
When guests come to my house, I always put electrical pan on the table ( we call it hot-plate) and make OKONOMIYAKI (unsweetened vegetable pancake).
The other day when we went out shopping, we found it was on sale --just it was 880yen.
We bought it, and last night we made TAOKOYAKI.
The first time, they are usual TAKOYAKI.
I said to Lea, "When my daughters were little, they didn't eat octopus, so I put sausage or cream instead of octopus".
And she grinned.
yes, the second time, she put chocolate and the NUTELLA.
Yuki said "It is abnormal TAKOYAKI", but she ate all of them.
A few days ago, my one word made her angry. The word was "You are a child here in Japan."
She claimed "Don't use the word child".
But-- she is still a kind of child. ( I hope she doesn't see this blog, though she know this blog.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

That's right

mss-nippon-DAZE gave a "right" comment.

"Unless she studied Japanese before she came to Japan, she might have a difficult time improving her Japanese. It's true. People just want to practice their English with you. But I think another reason is that most Japanese people aren't used to teaching Japanese as a second language. They're not use to trying to explain Japanese to foreigners"

She feels a little bit stress because everybody tries to talk to me in English.
Her English is, to be honestly, so-so, like mine.
To be surprised, if she can't understand the other Japanese English because she is not good at English, the other people thinks that their English is wrong though their English is correct.

So Yuki and I try to talk to her mostly in Japanese.
It is funny, because she "studies" Japanese, but it seems to be "MENDOKUSAI" (troublesome) to talk with us in Japanese, because we often let her to speak correct Japanese.

We put a big sheet on the wall in the kitchen.

This morning, it was cold.
So we said to her "KAZE NI KIOTSUKE MASHOU".
Take care so that you don't catch a cold???
Her question is MASHOU - what??
Good question--- I don't know. Let's ??? probably .
If KUDASAI , it means please take care.
We are not used to trying to explain in Japanese to foreigners.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

It's wrong!!!!!

During this summer a friend went to the U.S.A for about a month with her family.
And she bought me these two cup-YAKIASOBA.

One is "Maruchan" and the other is , yes, "NISSHIN".
Maruchan and Nisshin are two kings in the cup noodle and YAKISOBA world (in Japan).
Well, Well, "Oh, YAKISOBA" I said when she gave them.
And turn them back, "What???, Microwave????"
"It's a wrong way to make "real" Japanese cup-Yakisoba".

I'm not sure, you can open and try this site, but it is "Maruchan official site". And it shows the way how to make YAKISOBA playing the typing game.
To drain the water is the most important step
While draining the water, we can ommit the extra oil.

Well, though one week passed since she came to my house, one month passed since she came to Japan.

So I baked her favorite Browny. Until now she doesn't feel home sick, She said "I will be home sick in the Christmas season".
P.S Hisae san, when do you come to this site???

Monday, September 07, 2009

One week passed

Since Lea came here, one week passed.
She will live with us for three months, so she is not a guest, a member.
So Yuki and I tried to do our usual life.

She has breakfast at 6:45 with us, and she goes to school by bus (it takes 10minutes on walk to the bus stop, and she get on the bus at 6:39). If she comes until 7 o'clock in the evening, Lea and I have dinner together and I have a lesson from 8 to 10 at night. (If she doesn't come until 7, she has dinner alone, it can't be helped)

While I'm teaching, she can take shower (or bath, but she seems not to like Japanese bath, I don't care)

Last week, after I finish my lesson, I knock on the door of her room --- she already felt asleep.
The school life (mostly done by Japanese, of course) makes her very tired. But she came to do that.

At the meeting I heard host mother didn't need to make OBENTOU, but in her high school, I know, most students take their Obentou. (My elder daughter also went to the school). So I decided to make OBENTOU three times a week.

Last Saturday both of us busy, but she was free, so she woke up late, cleaned the room, and took walk in the neighborhood.

Yesterday, we took her to eat AYU (the fish in the river) to YANA, because YUKI was at home.

This week she will chose what club she belongs to, swimming club, KYUDOU (Japanese archery) club, dancing club. I don't know, but I hope she enjoys her school life and make many friends in the high school.

Well, her Japanese --- I "wish" to improve -- but it might not work. Many people want to talk with her in English.

For her "h" sound seems to be difficult.
She practices every morning looking at chopsticks.
Chopsticks --HASHI
bridge --HASHI
legs --ASHI

for her these words hear the same.
On the other hand, though I knew it SHOO-CREAM is not English, it is French.
And I heard its real French sound yesterday.
Yes in French cream puff was SHOO-CREAM.
And in Japan cream puff is SHOO-CREAM.