Saturday, August 21, 2004

Good Expression

"When traveling, who you accompany is much more important, rather than where to go or what to see. For me you are the one I always want to go traveling with, no matter how long or short it is, no matter how happy or hard it is. How about you? Do you want to travel with me?

This good expression was found in a Korean drama "Beautiful Days." Recently I've got a book carrying scenario side-by-side in both Korean and Japanese.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004


[House Opposite] R. K. Narayan India

He was a very religious person, leading a stoic life. Everyday he kept early hours, had certain restricted meals, and meditated. He tried everything to be away from pleasure-seeking.
The woman, on the contrary, seemed to lead entirely opposite life. Every night and day various men kept visiting her and stayed with her over night.
Whenever hearing the door of her house creaking, he got uptight even in the deepest meditation and imagined who was visiting her.
One day he happened to see the woman in front of her house. His heart started pounding but couldn't help staring her. She was very attractive.
Now she was always in his mind and never left. Even her image was becoming bigger and bigger no matter how hard he tried to eliminate. What did he have to do with it ?
He remembered an ancient tale told by his guru long time ago.
"A prostitute can go to heaven when she dies, as she was sinned only with her body. But her self-satisfied reformer was sent to hell because he is mentally corrupted, being obsessed with the prostitute and what she does."
Finally he made up his mind to move and packed everything he possessed.
Upon his leaving, the woman came out of the house opposite and offered him some fruits and flowers. She told him it was a day to remember her mother. Seeing her up close, he realized how shabby her appearance was and felt pity for her.
He touched the tray to show his acceptance of her offering and left without a word.

Thursday, August 12, 2004


Late at night I happened to see a special program provided by NHK.
It was about the Japanese song "Ue o Muite Aruko (I Look Up When I Walk)," or well known as "Sukiyaki" in the west.
Kyu Sakamoto, who sang the song, jumped up to stardom in the US since he got a gold disk with the song, topping the billboard charts for 3 weeks in 1963.
In the program his second daughter Maiko visited UK and the US to meet people involved with the song or Kyu himself.
With various old films, the program reminded me of my old good days.
One night in mid 70s, I had an argument with my American roommate whether "Sukiyaki" was originally Japanese song or not. She insisted that it was a song composed in the US no matter how hard I tried to make her to admit the fact. While Convincing her however, I had a kind of happy feeling because her strong resistance showed how popular the song was there!
Kyu Sakamoto was killed in an airplane accident 19 years ago today.
I just wanna pray his soul may rest in peace.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Summer Gift

We love half-dried young sardine!
A close friend in Nagoya sent them to us by courier.
What good timing!
Aki, our daughter will come home tonight.
We will surely have a delightful dinner.

Monday, August 09, 2004

It's been a while...

In these days it's a little hard to find time to join sessions. Today was the first time to be in English Town this month. Topic was "Manners - Please and Thank you."
In Japan things have been changing rapidly what are polite behaviors and what are not. When I was young, it was considered polite to be humble, respect senior people, be silent. Nowadays, on the contrary, Japanese people especially younger generation are very westernized and it is very common for them to speak their wards and not to show respectful manners to elderly people. I don't know if it is good or not. In a sense to express themselves clearly seems a friendly manner and helps to eliminate unnecessary barriers or misunderstanding but sometimes it seems very rude as it sounds without respect to others . We have to be very careful and considerate to get along with various people in our society.
I have a memory of showing a bad manner by accident.
It was a few decades ago. Right after coming back from the States, I started teaching English at private English school. In the class room during teaching, I happened to sit on the desk in front of the students. I didn't think anything wrong at that time as I had seen many teachers in the States doing the same thing in the classroom. However after the class was over, my boss came toward me and gave me a lecture that it was a really bad manner to sit on the desk particularly in front of the students. Yes, that was right. As Japanese, I was supposed to know that, but I was very much influenced by American manners then. I was very ashamed and the scene is still vividly in my mind.

Friday, August 06, 2004

On Site Service

Air conditioner went out of order all of sudden a few days ago.
The next day I made a call for repair. The lady dealt with my problem on the phone was professional, and she told me expected measures for the trouble and approximately how much it would cost as well.
This afternoon two men came over for fixing. I'm very satisfied with the quick and appropriate service the senior tech person provided. According to him. the substrate was down and had to be replaced. The cost he told me was just about the amount the lady on the phone told me previously, which was about 26,000 yen.
Now the air conditioner is working smoothly and we can have a pleasant sleep through the night anyway.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Absorbed in

For the past 2 weeks, I sat in front of TV at 10 o'clock every night except weekends to watch Korean drama "Beautiful Days." Lee Byoung Hun, with seizing my heart, played the leading role. In Japan Korean dramas are exploding in more popularity than ever. Not only he but other Korean Stars are also very popular nowadays, especially Bae Yong Joon played the leading role in "Winter Love Song" attracts many middle-aged women in Japan.
From my point of view one of the reasons for this exploding Korean drama boom is the way how stories develop. It is very similar to that of Japanese dramas in 70s, which the middle-aged women are very familier with and feel some kind of nostalgia. Maybe those dramas call up their good younger days.
Through watching the drama, I have learned a lot about vivid Korean language used in daily life. I wish I could understand more...

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


Took mom to Kansai International Airport, where my daughter Aki is working.
From Observation Hall we enjoyed seeing various planes leaving and arriving.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Korean Restaurant

My hubby Hideki has been quite busy over the last few months, but finally got a day off today and luckily it was also my daughter Aki's day off !
Hideki & I visited Aki at her apartment and stayed over night with her.
For lunch we chose Korean food as I've been absorbed in studying Korean language and its culture. Food was delicious and service was good enough. Moreover the master of the restaurant and his wife (I suppose...) are really nice persons and I had a chance to try my poor Korean language. We ate a lot , talked a lot. I wanna go there again !