Thursday, November 25, 2004

Thanksgiving

Attended englishtown session.
Right after I got into the classroom, Sagawa Kyubin, an overnight courier appeared at the front door, and I was late for my introduction. Teacher laughed a lot! She is from South Africa, currently living in China. There were 5 students from Japan, South Korea, and Spain. We talked about Thanksgiving.
The 4th Thursday is Thanksgiving Day which is a holiday, and the next day, often an additional day off, has become Black Friday - the day when people start frenzy Christmas shopping. Just like football, this has become a cultural symbol of the holiday and the season.  
When I was in the States about 30years ago, I visited my roommate's parents on Thanksgiving and stayed with them for 4 days. It was such a long time ago that I don't remember exactly, but Thanksgiving dinner they provided probably included roast turkey cranberry sauce, potatoes, and pumpkin pie. Father cooked the turkey if I remember correctly. It was very delicious! According to TV evening news today, many fires break out when people are cooking turkeys. What a pity!
In Japan we also have a similar culture that is called "Autumn Festival." This is an occasion to express gratitude for good harvest and also a good chance for family reunion just like in the States.
At the end of the session a dialog, conversation between mother and son over the phone, was given to us and I enjoyed playing mother's roll.  

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

as quickly as possible


Monday is the beginning of the week and very busy day for me. In the morning I go swimming, come back in the afternoon and do some translation work and domestic chores, then prepare dinner, sometimes attend an English conversation session online, then have dinner with my husband as quickly as possible so that I can be sitting in front of TV to be just in time for my favorite Korean drama. Last night I missed the beginning of the drama but enjoyed 2 episodes straight. As usual cried a lot. And my husband passed me Kleenex as usual.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Akiyuki

Akiyuki, meaning autumn and snow, was a name given to a boy born with Down Syndrome and serious heart failure. A heart warming picture of his father and himself, taken by his mother at the seaside, happened to be used for a commercial film of an insurance company. That is why a TV drama about his life of 6 years was made.
Unfortunately I missed the drama at the end of last month but saw a making film last night. Any kinds of movies and dramas based on true stories are always so persuasive and touching. Coincidentally Akiyuki's birthday is same as mine. He passed away, as if sleeping, a little after his 6th birthday and several months before his elementary entrance. What he left behind for his parents are a pair of small glasses he had always wore and lots of good memories.
3 boys, from age 1 to 6 played as Akiyuki and all of them also have Down Syndrome. They did really good job and reminded me of the movie "I am Sam." The theme of it is a strong love between mentally retarded father (Sam) and his daughter (Lucy). In the movie some members of LA GOAL, a non-profit agency that provides and variety of programs for adults with developmental disabilities, appeared as Sam's friends.

I felt very sorry for Akiyuki, who ceased such a, such a short life. However the words that the director of Tukushi Gakuen, an educational institution, said in the drama were really impressive.
"Happiness can't be measured by time span or life span. Maybe quantities of joy and sorrow are even in everybody's life no matter how long or how short it may be."
I do really hope so...

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Sunday Stroll


My husband and I did about 10km walking through the hamlet near by, famous with its skewered persimmons.
Walking side by side, sometimes ahead, sometimes behind, we talked a lot over various things between us and our daughter. Enjoyed clean air, beautiful scenery, and lunch I made

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Natural disasters

In 1975 I saw a movie "Earthquake" in Hawaii. It was unusual in those days that chairs in the theater shook in concert with shaking scenes on the screen in order to give viewers the same feeling. I saw the movie alone at that time and got really scared, although I knew it was a simulated experience.
2 weeks have passed since we had a big earthquake in Niigata area in Japan. Last night I saw a special TV program about various natural disasters occurred this year. I don't know why, but we have had a big earthquake, many typhoons, floods one after another, as if the earth itself wanted to tell us something. The program showed us how people suffered and tried to overcome the devastating situation. This isn't simulation! I shed tears in sympathy with an old lady who said good-by to the collapsed house, in which she lived for 37 years, and all of sudden burst into cry. Her sorrow and despair must be far from my imagination. There are still many other people like her in evacuation centers, having fear of aftershocks and coming cold season.
Through the program I learned about rescue operations and volunteer activities a bit and got deeply impressed with them. Above all the rescue operation of a 2-year-old boy was miracle. He was locked in a car buried by landslide for 4 days with his mother and sister. However his mother and 3-year-old sister couldn't make it. I feel very sorry for them and very worried how the incident will affect the boy's life in the future.
We have 1 and a half months till we greet the year of 2005. No more natural disasters, no more tragedies, please!