Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Year is just around the corner.

I put away Christmas ornaments, and put New Year's ornaments.
We finished Christmas with disjointing our Christmas cookie tree.

How "was" your the year of 2013?

The biggest event  for us was our younger daughter's marrige.
I often write about my empty-nest symptom. But this time I found her indevendence.
And this New Year's vacation, she will come back with her husband --- for me -- it's a little bit troublesome. It means we wellcome the couple as a kind of guest.

The next thing was that I could join some interesting workshops, like mind-map, vission-map, like that.
There I met people who are in their verious generation. It made me inspired and made me confusued. It's comfertable to be in an inner circle, but I want to have connection with outside world.

And the thrid thing was anyway my bad health condition. Though it's my favorite phrase "it can't be helped", anyway I often have feeling that I don't want to do anything. Thanks of my English classes, or because of my English classes, anyway I have done something. I don't know whether it's good for me to continue my English classes.

And the forth thing was that I have been keeping this blog. It 's amazing though my English skill seems not to be imrpoved. Writing something in Englihs makes my brain clearly. And my readers inspire me. Thanks to my readrs.

I wish your New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013


WASHOKU is registered as one of intangible cultural heritage. What do you think of  from the word of  "WASHOKU"?

I read an interesting report on the newspaper.
Japanese people think typical WASHOKU is -- that
They are traditional Japanese food, and the common thing is soy-sauce or soy-beans, (When we cook MISO-soup, we don't use soy-sauce, but we put MISO (soy beans paste) to taste it.)
How many things do you know?

And WASHOKU which is recommend to foreigners by Japanese people are ---
All of them are kind of feast, not usual meals.

Do Japanese people always eat WASHOKU? No.
Is WASHOKU expensive? Some of them are expensive, but some of them are inexpensive.

There is such a question; Do you think these familiar Japanese foods are WASHOKU?
YAKISOBA;  45% people say yes.
RAMEN; 35%people say yes.
EBI-FURAI; 28%people say yes.
TARAKO-spaghetti ;28% people say yes.
Japanese curry and rice ;23% people say yes.

My foreign friends who live in Japan, say "they are Japanese food".
What difference is there between WASHOKU and Japanese food?

If you know the difference, why don't you come to Japan?
Additionally I'll treat "Japanese food".

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas

I know it's a little bit early to say "Merry Christmas", But in Japan it's not a holiday on 24th, and 25 th. But we have three-day weekends now. So many people enjoy Chirstmas this weekend.

All days of last week my students and I enjoyed Chirstmas lessons,--- it means cooking.
These are baked by elementary school students.
And this week we are going to break that cookie tree.
How do you enjoy your Christmas?
Anyway just a week is left until our new year's vacation.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Christmas is just around the corner. In Japan on Christmas it's not a holiday, so probably many families are going to celebrate Christmas this week end. On 12/23 it's a holiday, "the Emperor's Birthday". So we have three-ends, though Yuki goes to work and I'm completely free.
And probably many families enjoy chickens and cake. It comes from American culture.

What is Japanese traditional feast? Probably it's OSECHI. It's a Japanese New Year's food. The colorful dishes are served in lacquer boxes called OJYU. Do you know that each dish is a kind of wish. Black beans are food for health, because the Japanese word beans, Mame, means healthy. Shrimp are for a long life because they are bent over like old people. Herring roe is for a strong family, with lots of children, because roe has has lots of eggs. And comport chestnuts are for wealth because shinning chestnuts give us an idea of Japanese old gold coins. Every osechi ryori has a special meaning.

My grandmother would tell the oprigins of osechi ryori while we were eating. Unfortunately I don't remeber all of them. We have to pass down the story from generation to generation, while we prepare it. Some families is going to buy osechi ryori like Kentacky fried chiken, some families cook, and some families go travel abroad without having osechi.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

volunteering ethos

The other day I attended a workshop. The speaker was a man who is in his 30's, and live in SENDAI.
SENDAI is one of cities which got a sever damage in 2011 because of the TSUNAMI.
He is a leader of SCHOP-DAN, which is SCOOP group in English.

Since the disaster had occurred, he went to YAMASHITA town (mainly) and dug body parts from the ground. ( the body damaged by TSUNAMI isn't kept the whole figure.) So the group name ordinated to the word scoop. They are a perfect volunteer group, but they don't call them a volunteer group, they just say they went to a friend's house,
I didn't know the following thing. In Japan we have a rule about volunteers. Volunteers don't go to dangerous areas and unregulated places. So if they told themselves to be volunteers, they couldn't enter YAMASHITA town. Because the town was completely ruined, so nobody knew people who would enter the city were good people or robbers. So only relatives and friends could enter the town. Actually the leader's friends lived in the town, and at first the leader went to find his friend (and he found the body.)
He did this work about for a year, and at the same time he started to clean the houses for surviving people in the town.

His work attracted many people, and the group was bigger.
And he knew, there were four types of volunteers.
People who can do what they can do. They are active volunteers.
People who don't do what they are able to do. (It means they don't think what they are able to do. And they are usual people.)
People who want to do what they can't do. (They are an unwelcome favor.)
People who don't do what they can't do. (They are honest people.)

Saturday, December 07, 2013

December has come

Have you finished decorating your house for Christmas?
Can you see a cookie tree? ( I don't know a correct word.) I bought it at a sweet shop, and put it on the shelf in the entrance hall. It really caught the eyes of my students. We'll eat it the last week in December .

This month I seem to be busy. This month two special workshops are going to be held (to celebrate Christmas? or to reconsider this year?)
And I also do Christmas events at nursery schools. I already did it twice. I'm going to go more two nursery schools to read Christmas English picture books.
And I also hold a small Christmas concert at KARAKU tea room.
And a men, who are Turkey, stayed with us about 15 years ago, and this spring came to Tokyo as Turkey government official will visit us to celebrate Christmas together. We had lots of young foreigner guests , and he moved up the ladder the most highly among our guests.

Anyway I hope I'll make it. To tell the truth I cancelled today's meeting because of headache. Today Yuki stays home, and he "is going to" cook (easy and quick) dinner for us. Until dinner time I'll read a book.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

About stress

The other day I talked about stress, but it was difficult to say something quickly. So let me re-think about stress.

• What causes your stress? And How do you recognize stress in your life?
To tell the truth these three month I was being in a bad condition. Poor health causes my stress.
Poor health makes me disappointed, and I feel discouraged. And for me when I don't want cooking, it's the sign to be under stress.

• Have you been under stress recently?
Now, it's OK, but the atmosphere of December makes me feeling busy.

• How does stress affect you?
Anyway I don't want to do anything, especially house chores.
And I don't want to go out either.

• When you are stressful, how do you feel physically?
I feel discouraged, and sometimes I take a medicine of anti-depression medicine.
This September I tried to take a little bit strong medicine, but I suffered a side effect.

• Do you feel tired during the day?
It depends on the day. Sometimes I feel tired, and sometimes I feel contentment.  I think feeling contentment and being busy are the opposite sides to me.

• Can you sleep well at night?
Fortunately I can sleep well.

• Does your stomach hurt?
Now it's OK, but when I eat too much, my stomach tents to hurt. So for these two months I have to be careful of not eating too much.

 ・How do you feel emotionally?
Probably I became old, so these days I don't feel emotionally so often,

• Do you feel nervous or worried about stressful situations?
Yes, a stressful situation causes another stressful situation.
And usually too business makes a stressful situation. So I'll organize my schedule frexiciblly as much as I can.
• Do you get angry easily?
Probably my family say "yes". but my students say "no".
And my own answer is "yes". I'm not patient.