Sunday, September 17, 2006

Some Sort of Telepathy?

My husband should have been enjoying river fishing in Kiso during this weekend.

Having got tired of concentration on my work, I prepared a cup of hot tea and took a rest for a while. What's he doing at this time? The idea suddenly crossed my mind. There were no particular reasons; maybe I was lonely...
I picked up the phone and pushed his number. Hello?

Unbelievable! He was driving back and what even more surprised me was that he was just about 30 minutes away from home then.

"You are lonely tonight, aren't you?" Yes, indeed..., but how do you know?
Anyway I'm glad he got home. His catch in half a day was 6 or 7 chars ("iwana" in Japanese).

The char on the net is called "Nikko Iwana" and the one on his hands is "Yamato Iwana" with beautiful orange dots. Well, how do we cook them? We should select a nice (and reasonable) wine to go with them.

Monday, September 11, 2006

What were you doing that day, that time?

It is exactly 5 years since 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Do you remember what you were doing that day, that time?
As some of you already know, I was flying over the Pacific Ocean, heading for New York to visit my daughter. My husband was enjoying a quiet single night in Japan. My daughter was just about to start her routine at JFK Airport.
None of us never imagined such unprecedented tragedies were going to happen, which shocked the whole world.

When did you know the attacks?
My daughter saw the twin towers burning in a dense cloud of black smoke from the window of the terminal building where she was working. My husband saw the plane crashing into the twin towers over and over again on TV in Japan. For me it was not until I arrived in Vancouver unexpectedly that an agent at NW counter told me the twin towers collapsed due to the hijacked planes.

Tonight we saw a special program on TV. Even though 5 years have passed since then, those crushing and collapsing scenes and interviews of the survivors and siblings of the victims made us feel vividly again that long day. When one of the siblings appeared on the screen, "I took care of him, I remember..." my daughter muttered. After the tragedies, she took care of many siblings who came to New York and sympathized with them in their uneasiness and grief. In Japan my husband was fighting against a great anxiety and uneasiness that night, thinking of me and our daughter, while I was at a loss with the unmanageable situation, watching the scenes on TV alone in a room of Holiday Inn Seattle.

I think we have learned something very important for our lives through our experiences and I'm sure we will never forget the long and shocking day.
Pray for those innocent victims.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

So What's the Next Step?

Princess Kiko gave birth to a baby boy by Caesarean section on the morning of Sept. 6. Needless to say, the news was immediately spread throughout the archipelago, having made the people overjoyed. The probability was fifty-fifty. It had been the center of attention whether the baby would be boy or girl since the announcement of her pregnancy, and after all, she lived up to the enormous expectations. She must have taken a great load off her mind.

Of course I'm very happy with the news. I want to say "Congratulations!" from the bottom of my heart to both the princess and the newborn prince who becomes third in line to succeed to the Chrysanthemum Throne under the current Imperial Household Law.

On the other hand, however, I have a little complicated feeling when thinking of Princess Masako. Some people say that she must be free from the strong pressure now because the baby is boy. Is that really so? I'm skeptical about it. I don't think her feeling is so simple. As far as I know, maladjustment shows various symptoms both physically and mentally, and it is a refractory illness that requires a long time of treatment. I'm afraid that this happy event is likely to force her into more complicated and difficult situation.

Personally, I don't stick to the male line succession in consideration of the equal rights of men and women, but at the same time, as a Japanese, I understand those who support for the imperial traditions with such a long history. It is good to keep something very peculiar in the Imperial Court from generation to generation, but if the tradition gives too much burden of responsibilities to somebody in the imperial family, we should consider to do something about it. Owing to the birth of the successor to the throne, we don't have to worry about the succession issue for the time being. However it is only a temporary relief and If we want the long prosperity of the Imperial Family indeed, we should take advantage of this opportunity to deliberate the revision of the Imperial Household Law very carefully and earnestly, which, I think, greatly helps Princess Masako to get over the illness and fully demonstrate her exceptional brightness to play an important role as the Crown Princess.

Friday, September 01, 2006

September 1

Time flies! A new month has just started.
The hellish summer heat seems to be sluggishly going away and I can sense autumn air in early morning and late evening. With every rainfall, autumn, my favorite and the most beautiful season I think, is surely coming closer.

Today, September 1, is the day that most students go back to school, and it is also National Disaster Prevention Day. The day was established in 1960 to mark Great Kanto Earthquake which took place on the same day in 1923. Today various disaster prevention drills are being carried out in many municipalities nation wide to make people be aware of natural disasters.
Timely (I know it isn't an appropriate word!) an earthquake jolted Kanto region last night. Although a seismic intensity of 4 on the 7-point Japanese scale is rather strong, thank god, no major damages or casualties have been reported.
Japan is a volcanic country. And naturally enough, we have a fear of earthquake, while enjoying hot springs. Big earthquakes are predicted soon or later in Kanto (east), Chubu (central), and Kansai (west) districts. Be prepared and have no regrets. The Great Hanshin Earthquake we experienced 10 years ago is a good lesson.

Besides earthquakes, the serious disasters I'm concerned with in these days are those led by blessings of civilization, such as the recent blackout in Tokyo metropolitan area, the serial elevator accidents, and the shredder tragedy. I'm afraid the more convenient life we pursue, The more lazy and careless we become. Today is a good opportunity to think of such things a little bit.

Oh, dear! I almost forgot a very important thing about today. It's my brothers' 48th birthday! I may send an email through cell phone and say "Happy Happy Birthday!"