Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tochigi's scenery

Since I started to live here, more than 27 years has passed. And yesterday I knew that the scenery is one of typical scenery in Tochigi.

I know the scenery of green rice garden in May is one of typical scenery in Japan.
Can you see the contrast of the yellow part and the green part?

The green part is a rice garden with fresh rice seedlings. We have have just finished planting rice seedlings. And the other part is wheat that is waiting for their harvest.
Here in Tochigi, we crop wheat twice in spring and in fall. So this season wee see the contrast of the yellow of wheat and the green of rice seedlings.

For me it had been a usual season. Now I got smarter.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Community organization

Do you have your community organization? We call it JICHIKAI.
I live in a town, and though I don't know the exact figure of group number, they are divided into some groups. And there are about 240 households in our group. And the group is also divided into some small groups. Our house is belong to 14 group and there are 17 households. This year our house is sub-leader of this group.
becoming a leader and a sub-leader is operated by a rota system. This year our neighbour on our right is is a leader. So next year, we are leader, and our neighbor on our left is a sub-leader.

My friend asked.
Where does the organization come from?  The city government?
It's not a rule. It's a kind of habitual system. So it's free whether to become a member or not. Anyway all our neighbors are belong to JICHIKAI.
 Who runs the meetings? 
Every year the leaders and sub-leaders have a meeting and select board members. Of course they are voluntary.
And this is an important question.
What would happen if your 17 homes decided they didn't want to be a group?

Yes, it is a big problem, but not a big problem.
because nothing will happen.
So though our group is still managed by many residents without any problems, but these days the number of people who are not belong to JICHIKAI is increasing.
Because there are not so big benefit. On the contrary we should pay some money.
(Though the cost is depends on the group, in our case we have to pay 400 yen a month, and now we are planing to build our community house, so we also pay more 400 yen a month.)

What JICHIKAI can do?
Though JICHIKAI we order some things to make our area better.
To put security lights.
To plant some flowers along the street.

And we do some voluntary work by ourselves to live easily.
To clean the garbage station.
To watch children at crossroads when they go to school and come back home.

And  it is getting the most important thing these days.
To visit senior people who live alone, or live with two.
This visiting avoid to let senior people alone.

Every thing is a voluntary work. And who can do these things? Young or middle aged people too busy to do that. So mainly semi-senior people, or housewives do that.

Do you have a community organization?

cooking in this week

Let me show you my preserved dishes I cooked this week.
Grilled turnips, GOBOU and lemons with apple vinegar.

 oil-marinated green leaves.

 Flash-cooked pork , sliced onion and avocado with soy sauce and rice vinegar

Hijigi-seaweed and beans with sesame sauce and rice vinegar.
Thanks of these dishes, my meals became fulfilled without much ado.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What is your treasure?

The other day I attend a meeting. There are 8 participants, and they are in various generation. Probably I'm the second oldest person.
Well, whey we introduced ourselves, we had to talk about our treasure in one sentence.
It was really interesting.

The youngest man (from me he was a  boy), who is a college student and now he is a about to start his NGO group, said "All people, I want to make a world which is kind to all people."

The second youngest man said "My treasure is my parents."
A lady who is a mother said "I want to hear my child saying."

Another man said "my friends".
Another man , who is a writer said "my treasure is this pen".

The oldest lady said "my ground children"
The youngest lady who is a mother said " my son"

I was very interested in their opinion. I was surprised how different they are depends on the generation.

I don't know what my elder daughter would say. Is her treasure the environment she can keep her art? her works? her zeal for art? or her parents (it means us)?
And probably my younger daughter would say "my husband", and in two months it will be "my baby".

Anyway I realized, when kids start to say "my  treasure is my husband or my wife, or my child", it means they have left parents

Monday, May 12, 2014

Cooking in this week

This week I tried to cook one dish each day which can be kept well for a few days.
Roasted Toufu

boiled GOBOU with sesame
Pickled vegetables with lemons
marinated verious kinds of mushrooms

It's very useful to be always  prepared some sidedishes. Instead of makin lunch boxes called Obentou, it's becoming a new chore for me.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

noble obligation

The title sounds exaggerated. Anyway, let me tell you today's story.
This morning Yuki and I went to a city garbage center to dispose of our FUTON. which is a kind of mattress. There were two sets of FUTON. They were too big to dispose of them as a home garbage.
The  cheapest way to dispose of them is to take them to the center by ourselves. It's free.
The next cheapest way is to ask to take them to the city garbage office. In this case each costs 840 yen, so total it costs about 3500yen. And it takes three or for days for them to come after we call.
The next cheapest way is to ask to take them to garbage & recycle company. In this case each costs about 1000 yen, so total it costs about 4000 yen. As soon as we call, they come to take them.

Nowadays, disposing of something costs money.
On the other hand recycling is meaningful, if someone can use it.
Our FUTON is not so bad, so I look for recycling sites. FUTON seems to be used in poor foreign countries. Some NPO groups collect FUTON. --- They don't earn money, but if we send FUTON, we donate the export fee. It costs more than 7900 yen, because FUTON-sets are very big and heavy.

If we were very rich, we might have donated them to a NPO group.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Jobs which might disappear in 2020 in Japan

I read a really astonishing report.
The jobs which might disappear in 2020 in Japan are written.
What do you think of it?

 1 train motormen, and conductors, because most of trains will be run automatically without men.
 2 cashiers at supermarkets, because most of tags will be read automatically
3 interpreters, and shorthand writers, interpreter  because automatic speech translation system will be introduced.
4 computer programmers because programing itself will be done automatically
5 mailmen now mails are delivered by post men, but other things are delivered by other home-delivery companies so probably mailmen are absorbed by such other delivery companies.
6 newspaper carriers, paperless period will come.
7 rental video shops, download system will be introduced.
8 gas station, we won't use much gas, so gas station itself won't be run, they will be absorbed by car dealers.
9 toll men, because ETC system will be completely introduced.
10 middle traders because dealing style will change into direct dealing.
11 farmers with a side job because only big farmers will be able to survive.
12 major electronic power companies because the period of electricity deregulation will come
13 companies associated with natural energy , they won't be able to survive without subsidy.
14 Upper house members, --- I don't know, but it can't be helped.
15full-time housewives --- really? Mothers will "have to" work to earn "more " money because of financial crisis
16 Japanese board members, because Japanese companies have to be globalized.
17 middle-level executives Only skilled executives will be able to survive as an office worker.
18 clerks at company offices -- to cut labor costs
19 secretaries -- to cut labor costs
20 call center operators -- don't need to operate in Japan
21 traveling salespeople -- Internet shopping will be main measure,
22 mold craft men-- automatically
23compaines associated with printers --paperless time will be come, so such companies will be difficult to survive
24 brokers -- don't need to be in Japan
25 hedge fund managers -- don't need to be in Japan
26 financial planers-- only skilled financial planers will be survived
27life insurance sales ladies --Life insurance companies won't be able to afford these people.
28 teachers-- the number of children is decreasing, so the number of teachers is also decreasing.
29 police officers who work at a police box  Convenience stores will be in charge of this job.

I think some jobs will disappear, but --- if it's true, it must be difficult to live for elderly people, it means "my" senior period.