Sunday, February 26, 2006

Rainy Sunday

My daughter is now in NY, and hubby has gone to Awaji Island with his brother for fishing.
I know I have things to do, such as taking e-learning for my job and file a final income tax return. However I don't feel like doing anything this morning. Why? I believe I'm a kind of a person who loves occasional solitary, but not today. Maybe I'm feeling lonely?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Banzai! Banzai! Banzai!

Victoria, the goddess of victory gave a big smile to her!
Shizuka Arakawa won the gold medal for Japan.
Not only was it the first medal from Trin Olympic Games, it was the first time a Japanese woman figure skater had ever won gold.
Today I saw her perfect free program skating on TV over and over again. Graceful, elegant, splendid... I don't know how I can express her confident performance with my meager English vocabulary. Anyway I was deeply moved, and wept for joy a bit. It is amazing that the 24-year-old lady controlled herself throughout the performance despite a tremendous pressure in such a big competition. Her technical skill and expression ability are wonderful of course; moreover her emotional strength is something deserved specially to be mentioned. It must contribute a lot to her great achievement.
We Japanese had spent long 2 weeks longing for a good news from Trin, and Shizuka brought it to us. Congratulations and Thank you!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Rich Japanese Food Culture

Some time ago, I saw a very unique cooking contest on TV, "Gohan
in New York, 2005
." It is interesting such a contest was held in the city called as "melting pot," where you can have authentic food from all over the world. Yuki Hyodo, used be a very popular radio personality in Japan, played a roll of assistant. Her cheerful talk in a mixture of Japanese and English was pleasant to the ear.
The winner of the year was a young man who fascinated the judges and audience with his beautiful, creative, and sensitive dishes using Koshihikari, a famous brand of kome (Gohan), or rice in English. I was glad to know that Japanese rice had become popular in the United States and the dishes, the 3 contestants at the finals cooked, were all so good. I would say some of them were just like beautiful pictures.

The picture on the right is another beautiful Japanese dish my hubby and I had at our favorite restaurant today. In Japan various hot-pot dishes are popular on cold winter evenings. The dish is one of them called "Kami-nabe." The pot (nabe) is made out of paper (kami) which is non-flammable. There are many kinds of seafood and vegetables in miso-based soup with a bit of butter. It is rich and tasty and warm you up, not only your body but also heart and soul.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

She is getting married.

Got a phone call from the United States yesterday morning.
Yoko, a good friend of my daughter's from childhood, is now living in Alabama and getting married this coming May. She informed me of the big news by herself although I had already known it through my daughter's blog.
I haven't seen her or even talked to her on the phone for almost ten years. Her vivid voice with joy reminded me of her young days and made me delighted with such a happy news.
She used to be my private student. I believe I was the first English teacher for her and she cultivated her interest in English in the very first place through lessons given by me. She was in her early teen then, and just like a typical girl of that age, soaked up everything I taught her like a sponge. When you teach somebody something, needless to say, but special skills and knowledge in the field are required, and in addition you have to be accepted, trusted, sometimes admired by your students. In that sense I might have succeeded in making her enthusiastic about her English studies. It can be also said that my way of thinking, a little unique compared with ordinary Japanese, created by my experience of living in the States, might have influenced her one bit. That may be why she studied at a college in the States and currently lives in Alabama. I'm not sure if it was good or not for her though (wry smile).
The picture, taken from our balcony on the morning of the day before yesterday, seemed very cold, however my mind is now filled with warm gentle feeling.
Love one another and you will be happy. It's as simple and as difficult as that.
Marriage however is worth investing your whole life. I hope... ;-)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Ice World

I was going to post about "Flight Plan," an action and suspense movie I saw with my daughter last Wednesday. But I changed my mind just out of whim.

Actually the movie was good enough to satisfy both of us. Besides on Wednesdays, called "Lady's Day" at any theaters in Japan, we women (physically, not mentally, which means my daughter is applicable :-P) can see a movie at almost half price. That's quite good, isn't it? Before I saw this movie, I thought that after 9/11 terrorist attacks, every single thing passengers carry had to be X-rayed before going on board. But there is an exception. This exception is a very important key to the whole story. May be that's all for the movie.

Well now let me go on to the main subject. Have you heard about the Ice Hotel Sweden? It was about several years ago when I first saw a TV program about the hotel. I remember I was very impressed with everything made out of ice, then imagined myself being in an ice world, drinking vodka from an ICE glass, relaxing in an ICE chair, and lying on an ICE bed. How wonderful! Of course seal skin is spread on the surface of the bed to make you warm enough while sleeping.
Recently I saw another TV program about this Ice Hotel again. The program focused on a certain Japanese (Sorry, I forgot his name.), who took part in this very unique idea from the beginning. At first the idea turned out to be so much alike a big snow cave, providing only space for tourists to sleep all crowded together on the floor, which certainly was hard to be called "hotel." Even so when it was opened they had 40 some tourists all the way from Japan during the season, owing to his strong tourism campaign. By adding an aurora observation, he made the hotel more attractive to Japanese tourists, as aurora is something very romantic natural phenomenon we admire of. Further more he put brochures in the seat pockets of airplanes. It goes something like that. "If the passenger sitting next to you is Asian, he/she must be a Japanese visiting to stay in the Ice Hotel, so please be nice to him/her." The brochure made Japanese happy and inspired domestic potential visitors as well. I think this is a very good idea.
Then time has passed, construction method has dramatically improved, and now the hotel is tremendously gorgeous compared to those days. Since I saw "Frequency," I've also wanted to see an aurora some day in my real life.
Lying on an ice bed, captivated by a splendid aurora through a ceiling window... That would be marvelous! My imagination is expanding.