Monday, June 18, 2007

3 babies so far...

It is called "Baby Post" in Japan. With an incubator, the controversial baby hatch , just like a shelter for unwanted newborn babies, was installed for the first time in Japan at Jikei Hospital in the city of Kumamoto on May 10. Since it started its operation, 3 babies have been left. To put it more precisely, 2 babies and an infant who is assumed 3 years old and able to say that he was brought there by his father.

The public opinion over the equipment has been split. Some say it saves unwanted newborns at the edge of the life from being killed or left in coin lockers, and others say it may encourage thoughtless young people abandon their babies without hesitation or regret.

I'm confused… Both opinions are convincing. However whatever the advantages and disadvantages may be, I just can’t accept this system emotionally. Something is wrong or missing in this system. I can’t explain it plainly but it’s the matter of human feeling, sentiment and heart.

My friend, passed away in April, 2000, had been brought up in an orphanage. He was 2 or 3 years old when his mother abandoned him in front of a pachinko parlor. It was right after World War II and Japan was under American occupation. His father was American and mother was Japanese. He never met his mother since abandonment and his father in his whole life. I was very impressed to hear that he had a very dramatic and fatal encounter with his twin brother long afterwards. I wrote about his story in Japanese several years ago and would like to do it in English, too some day.

Owing to or due to “Baby Post,” at least 3 babies (again precisely 2 babies and an infant) are obliged to live away from their true parents.
Thinking of my late friend, I'm still confused...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

It's not just a pot.

Last weekend hubby and I went to Kiso despite of heavy rain.
Our friend, with whom we have enjoyed river fishing together over the past 7 years, had his second house completed, approaching retirement only 2 years away.
The house was very cozy and quiet, surrounded by trees and he said that cuckoos and squirrels often visited them. Unfortunately we didn't encounter either one of them during our stay.
We selected the pot in the pictures below as a housewarming present. It was made by hubby's pottery teacher. It's not just a pot, but also a pottery lampshade. Isn't it beautiful? How the light coming through the shade is certainly beautiful.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I love Seoul!

The more I visit Korea, The more I get absorbed in there! Although western people can’t tell a difference between Korean people and Japanese in appearance and we both use chopsticks and Kanji (Chinese) Characters, but whenever I visit Seoul, I find something different from us Japanese and they are very curious. For the language-learning beginner, Communication with a bit of (sometimes a lot of) difficulty is really exciting and fascinating. Through brief conversations with various people, I learned something new about the language, people and the country itself. 3 days and 2 nights trip was too short for us. We are thinking of visiting there again by the end of this year.

Korean characters are cute! There is no time difference between Korea and Japan, but Korean peninsula geographically locates a bit to the west of Japan, and therefore sun sets later than Japan, which is about 8 o'clock in this season.

We ate a lot of Korean Food during our stay. "Rimon," the restaurant in the picture has been providing Sol-Long-Tang (Rice and Beef Noodle Soup) for more than 100 years. The healthy light soup is good for breakfast.

Soon-Doo-Boo Chi-Gae (Spicy Soft Tofu Stew) is very hot and Heml -Jeon (Spelling might be wrong, sorry.) is a Korean Style Seafood Pancake. We are really fascinated by variety of Korean Food. Many of them are very hot but so tasty that we always end up overeating.

Bi-Bim-Bop (Beef and Mixed Vegetable Rice) and Sam-Gyup-Sal (Grilled Pork strips)

I bought a cooking book and a picture book as souvenirs for myself. Focused on various Gim-Bop (Korean Sushi Roll), "Gim-Bop Encyclopedia" gives me an opportunity to learn cooking and the language at the same time and the picture book is so cute and the Korean characters themselves are even like illustration. I can enjoy it just by looking at it.

Asiana Airlines offers a comfortable flight and good service. 2-hour flight always takes us to the fascinating neighboring country.
Through this trip I confirmed how much I have achieved with my Korean Language and a strong tied mother and daughter relationship.