Japanese and American
October 12, 1998 Monday
Kaguya Hime is the name of a girl born from within a bamboo plant. A logger
found her one day while cutting bamboo. When Kaguya Hime turned twenty, she flew to the moon. This story must be very much
like what parents experience when their children 'fly the coop', or 'leave the nest'.
The Japanese title for the movie
Forrest Gump is Ichigo- Ichi- E. (One time, one meeting.) Ichigo- Ichi- E comes from the Japanese Tea Ceremony (Sado). 'The
Tea Way' is a special Japanese ceremony and has great meaning for the Japanese people. This ceremony is performed when it
is expected that this might be their last meeting together. There is always a freshly bloomed flower displayed on the scene.
But, what does this have to do with the movie Forrest Gump?
Also, the Japanese government recently gave the South
Korean government thirty million dollars in the hopes of supporting the South Korean economy. And?
I took a couple
of young boys to Mr. Max (a department store) this evening to do a little shopping and study a little English. One boy complained
of a stomach ache, so we paid a little visit to Mc Donald's. When I asked the manager to cut the hamburger in two pieces,
she stated that there were no knives available. I couldn't believe it, so I asked her again and again. Several other staff
members indicated to me that her statement was correct. (I just can't believe that a hamburger stand would operate without
even one knife handy. [Please note: My apologies. As a matter of fact, the store in question doesn't have a knife on hand.]
Takao presented a story on how the hot dog got it's name. According to him, a sausage company in Germany named it
the 'frankfurter' during the mid 1800's. One day in 1901 at a New York Giants baseball game, a frankfurter salesman decided
to heat the sausage and put it between two pieces of bread. A reporter took notice of it and decided to write about it in
his news column. The reporter couldn't remember the correct spelling of frankfurter, so he just named it 'hot dog'.
Madonna recently toured Japan, at the end of a concert, she asked the crowd; "Do you want to go home?" Many fans in the crowd
yelled; "Yeah!" Miss Madonna was very much surprised. Can you guess why Miss Madonna was surprised at the crowd's reaction?
October 13, 1998 Tuesday
One member let us know that she visited a place called Aburatsu. An exhibition about
various exploration teams that went to the South Pole was held there.
Another member of the class mentioned that she
visited Totoro Town in Umechou. At a local bus stop she saw a large sized doll of Tonari No Totoro. (a famous Japanese cartoon
animation character) She also saw a structure that resembled the 'Cat Bus' in the film. The interesting part of her story
was when she said that Totoro Town in Nobeoka City is spelled with Japanese Kanji, while the Totoro Town in Umechou is spelled
with Hiragana Japanese characters, and the Totoro in the movie is spelled with Katakana Japanese characters.
member mentioned that she will be having two of her oil paintings exhibited in Gomokuro Hiroba Store located in Yamashita
Dourou, Nobeoka. This will be held on this coming weekend.
Another member mentioned that she experienced a bit of
joy when she noticed a flower bud sprouting in her garden early this morning.
When I asked my students about their
'joy in life,' here are some of their answers: "I experience joy when..." 1. I get paid. 2. I enter the Furo. (Japanese bath),
3. I win five Igo games in a row. (Japanese chess game), 4. I'm counting my profit from my store at the end of the day. 5.
I go to bed.
Howard said that he recently experiences joy when he finds a freshly laid egg from one of his Chabo.
(a small sized Japanese chicken) Actually, they were killed by his neighbor's dog. He recently acquired some new 'Chibi'.
They are doing fine in a cage. 8-14-2005
October 14, 1998 Wednesday
One Junior High School girl actually won
a magazine contest where she was awarded a record album staring the band; 'Usher.'
She commented that the spelling
of 'Totoro' in Umechou is actually in Kanji, not Hiragana Japanese characters.
She gave me a detailed report about
the plant, Marimo, which grows in Hokkaido, Japan. This plant is shaped like a ball and grows in fresh water. The plant has
small hair like particles growing all around it's body. The plant's roots do not grow in soil, they are free flowing. All
that is needed is fresh water to be added every two days or so. This plant grows very slowly. Some are even more than 1,000
years old. They are sold in small aquariums for under seven hundred yen. The plant doesn't need to be given plant food. She
regretted to say that her plant died, because she failed to change the water. She found the plant with all of it's hairs fallen
She also informed me that; seen within the naval of an orange there are several shapes. Seven shapes mean that
there are seven smaller pieces of orange within.
Finally, for today, she let me know that a rather powerful typhoon
is headed towards Japan. The typhoon should be nearing Nobeoka around this coming Sunday.
This was very good of her
because I watch so little of television and the news. I appreciate her concern.
October 15, 1998 Thursday
mathematical formula for changing Fahrenheit to Celsius: 5/9 times (Fahrenheight temperature minus 32).
I just remembered...
A while back (about a year ago), I was invited to a drinking party in Nobeoka. I had drunk quite a lot. After the drinking
party, the person who invited me to the party asked me to take a taxi home. I said that I would. However, I waited for her
taxi to pull away and then proceeded to drive my motorcycle home. To my surprise, she was waiting around the corner sitting
in her taxi. She stopped me and my motorcycle and asked me to take a taxi, once more. I blushed, and went on my way.
16, 1998 Friday
In a Japanese wedding reception (party) many types of dresses are worn by the bride. One dress is
a white Kimono (Shiro Muku), the second dress is a multi-colored Kimono (Iro Uchi Kake), the next dress is a western style
white wedding dress, and still another dress is a multi-colored western dress.
In America, the marriage certificate
is most important, the wedding ceremony is of second importance, and the reception (party) is of less importance. In Japan,
it's just the reverse. Most things in Japan are just the reverse. Can you think of any examples?
I have a small private
class with three young boys. (five years old) Today, we played a Bingo Game consisting of 87 words and pictures. Intermingled
with the Bingo Game I added a few sentence patterns. I also sang about fifteen songs for them. This lasted about fifteen minutes.
Then, we "drew and talked." As each picture was completed, we made sure that we communicated as I wrote a title under each
drawing. I like to add a little touching to my classes; a little chuck on the shoulder, a hand shake, a pat on the head. I
believe that touching helps with communication.
I found another egg this evening. When I brought it to my wife, she
said; "Oh, another egg was born." (in Japanese, of course) "Tamago Wo Unda." I said that in English we wouldn't use the word
'born' for an egg having been 'laid.'
Two of my Jr. High School students said that they have been having problems
with their English teacher from America. They said that he doesn't seem to understand HOW the Japanese communicate with each
other. Many times, Japanese communicate with a nod of the head, a squint of the eyes, or in a particular utterance. It is
Also, my two friends said that they are annoyed with his constant repetition of certain words.
believe that my friends are mistaking certain American gestures for anger.
I think that Japanese should learn to say
what they are really feeling when they are communicating with foreigners. There are many forms of miscommunication between
people of different backgrounds. We all need to try to be more specific, and add a little kindness, as we try to get along
with people of other nationalities.
October 17, 1998 Saturday
The typhoon we are experiencing today is one
of the strongest in history for 'Typhoon Ginza'. Typhoon Ginza is what Miyazaki Prefecture is referred to as, in a joking
manner, because a 'crowd' of typhoons visit the area each year. However, this year, we have witnessed very few (a total of
11 so far).
During the last typhoon, a famous Pagoda was damaged by a falling tree. Fortunately, it was repaired.
Many large trucks were blown over.
Ichigo Ichi E was a popular topic for this morning. It seems to mean something
different to everyone in Japan: A. "Every day is different." B. We must think that each meeting is important." C. "One Life,
One Meeting." D. "We must make the best of each encounter. " E. "Ultimately, the meaning of Ichigo- Ichi- E comes from Buddhism.
Kaguya Hime, the girl born from a bamboo plant who later flew to the moon... A. "A bamboo logger could make his riches
and find a beautiful daughter to raise to adulthood. Kaguya Hime was a blessing given to an older couple for their happiness.
Many Japanese look to this story for the meaning of happiness. In some parts of the story, there was sadness, however the
story presents hope for many.
Momotaro, the 'Peach Boy,' born from a peach floating in a pond within a rice bowl found
by an old woman, the Peach Boy was only 3 cm in size, but he was able to slay an ogre by entering the ogre's mouth and stabbing
him in the stomach with a needle. This story has significant meaning for the Japanese. The rice bowl is a very important part
of Japanese culture. Each family member has their own rice bowl, and eating rice with it is a daily experience.
Jiisan, traveled around with a small dog named 'Pochi.' Pochi was able to show Hanasaka where he could dig for gold. After
an evil man stole Pochi, Pochi refused to lead the evil man to gold. So, the evil man killed Pochi. Hanasaka buried Pochi
and planted a Sakura tree (Cherry Blossom Tree) above it's grave, but later another evil man cut the tree down and burned
it. However, Hanasaka was able to throw the ashes of the Sakura tree over dead Sakura trees, the trees would then spring to
life and become very beautiful for all to see. A wealthy man saw the beautiful Sakura trees and rewarded Hanasaka with riches.
October 19, 1998 Monday
Typhoon #11 passed through Nobeoka on Saturday. There was over 300 million worth of
damage done. Two young men died in Okinawa. They were out watching the waves along with three other friends.
River rose to 4.5 meters in height. This was the highest it has ever risen to. Over 2,000 people took refuge (Hinan) to schools
and local community centers.
One student visited Ikoma Kougen, a high plateau near Kirishima. There are many multi-colored
Cosmos flowers growing all along the mountains. They don't smell very nice.
One student drove 2 1/2 hours to Miyazaki
City in order to take a System Administration Examination. Where some Americans might take such a test in order to be able
to write it into their resumes, this student took the test for training or educational purposes.
A story from a student:
A hasty man living in a small village in Japan during the Edo Period, borrowed a pot from his neighbor. When it was accidentally
broken, he decided to buy a new one at a local pottery store. As he entered the store, he noticed that all of the pots were
turned over. He said to the clerk: "Hey, nobody buys pots that have no mouths!" After he turned one of the pots over, he said:
"This pot has no bottom, either!" And, the man stormed out of the store. What do you think of this joke?
As I was
entering my classroom this morning, I noticed several distinguishing looking ladies carrying small cases. I wanted to say
to one: "What's in the case, a machine gun?" But, I didn't know the Japanese word for machine gun. Later, a student told me;
Kikanjuu. Actually, they were carrying Taisho Koto, a small musical instrument.
October 20, 1998 Tuesday
Seitom) "When entering a building in Japan, one should take their shoes off, place them on the floor, and turn them around
facing the door." When I asked why? I was told:
1. "It's not beautiful." (not doing so.)
2. "It's not good
3. "It's the custom in Japan."
4. "I think the man that doesn't follow this custom has no manners."
When I said that; "As a foreigner, I'm not expected to understand. I can act as an American," one comment was:
"There's no hope for it." (Shikata Ga Nai.)
On Ichigo- Ichi- E...(Daiji Na Koto) A. If there is personal growth after
two or more people meet, then it could be considered Ichigo- Ichi- E. B. When one's life changes in some special way after
meeting another, it could be considered Ichigo- Ichi- E.
Issun Boushi: 1. Issun-Boushi is a 3.3 cm boy found in a
wooden rice bowl (Donburi) floating on a pond. When Issun-Boushi grew up he challenged an Ogre. The Ogre ran away but forgot
his Uchi De No Kozuchi (a magical wooden hammer). Issun-Boushi was granted three wishes, each time he wished to grow in size.
He later married a princess.
October 21, 1998 Wednesday
"I think that the culture in Miyazaki is very different
from the culture in Kyoto."
"There is a nice custom here where people give a "Yu-no-mi," a set of tea cups to the
newlyweds. Their names are printed on the tea cup pottery. Many 'golden memories' are created in the presence of these cups."
"The groom has a wedding band made with the date of their wedding carved into the inside of the ring."
23, 1999 Friday
Today, we talked about diet. If one has diabetes, one should lose weight, cut down on oils, salad
oil and fatty meet. Exercise is also important. Walking is best.
We also talked about fishing. I met a distinguishing
looking man fishing along with three others near Sumie Beach. I guess, since he was older than the other two, he was glad
to share his fishing secrets with me. He seemed glad to talk to a foreigner.
In my after lunch class, we talked about
Genji Monogatari. This is a novel written during the Heian period, about 1,200 years ago, by Murasaki Shikibu. It's about
Genji and his twenty or so lovers. Genji was very popular with the ladies. He would write Tanka, Japanese poems and capture
their love. From the ages of 15 to 47, when he died, he was very active. This novel is very popular with women in Japan, not
so much with the men. The members of this class seemed to feel that Genji's lovers all had different characters. It was a
happy time for Genji , but often proved a sad one for the women. The reason Genji was good with women was because when he
was three years old, his mother died. He gave them "True Love." Heartfelt love?
There is a farmer's festival in Hyuga
today. There will be an exhibition, dancing and food. Come one, come all.
Michiko's Manuscript: This is the manuscript
of the current Japanese Empress, Michiko. She wrote about her childhood during the Second World War, her evacuation into the
country side, and how there were so few books available. This manuscript is in Japanese and English. This manuscript seems
to be very popular with the women in Japan.
We discussed an article that appeared in the newspapers recently. A woman
who's son died in the Wakayama Curry Incident explained how she looked out the window and found a Higanbana (flower) that
she could talk to. Her son's voice came from the flower and said a few words. The woman prayed to the flower as it ascended
to the heavens. This is a very popular story with women of Japan.
Three months ago, the Wakayama Curry Incident happened.
The police recently arrested a couple, Mayumi and Kenji Hayashi. Mayumi is in her 30's and Kenji is in his 50's. It is said
that the couple invited their six colleagues and Mayumi's mother to dinner and later Karaoke. Mayumi is alleged to have served
them curry rice tainted with cyanide (Shian- Kabutsu). Coincidentally, there was a local festival nearby being held. There
is where four other people were taken ill from cyanide poisoning. Prior to the party at the Hayashi's house, the Hayashi's
are alleged to have purchased life insurance policies for several people costing them over $5,000 a month. After several people
died in Wakayama from cyanide poisoning, the Hayashi's are believed to have collected on the life insurance policies and;
bought a new house, a second mansion, a new foreign car, and several pieces of expensive jewelry. The police found cyanide
in the Hayashi's home and arrested them. Recently, the husband also took ill. What a very, very dark idea.
26, 1998 Monday
In my morning class, we discussed Mr. Suketaka Matsukata, the Governor of Miyazaki Prefecture. He's
running for Governor once more. He's in his early 80's and still so very energetic.
We also discussed the movie The
King And I. The King and I seems to be a very good movie to study English by. In the movie is an English teacher. She speaks
very fluent and understandable English.
In addition, we discussed some of the needs of the city of Nobeoka. We tentatively
concluded that Nobeoka needs roads. With roads, more businesses will probably move to Nobeoka. More businesses means more
jobs. More jobs means that more young people will stay in Nobeoka and more young people will move to Nobeoka.
my afternoon class, we discussed some difficulties with communicating in English. What do you say when you don't understand?
"Please speak more slowly?"
"Please explain it to me?"
"Could you please write it down for me?"
does this word mean?"
During the Edo Period, a man was burying his riches. He said to his riches, "If another man
comes here, change into a snake." Another man was listening and watching in secrecy, he later dug up the riches and replaced
them with a real snake. When the man returned to view his riches, he noticed the snake and said to it: "Don't you remember
me? Don't you remember me? Please change back into my riches!"
October 27, 1998 Tuesday
During our noon class,
we talked about the Noh Play held in Nobeoka on Shiro Mountain a couple of weeks ago.
We also talked about programmable
radios. They are called "Pre-set" radios in Japan.
October 28, 1998 Wednesday
During lunch, one of our topics
was concerning Natto (fermented beans). One either loves it or hates it. That's unusual for Japanese, I think, because seldom
do I hear Japanese say that they hate something. I usually hear them say "ma ma desu." (so so) It is said that Eastern Japanese
generally like Natto and Western Japanese dislike it. I'm not clear as to why.
We also discussed the "Daima-Jin."
Daima-Jin is a statue of a relief pitcher for the Yokohama Bay Stars. His salary is now over 3 million dollars a year. He
was able to pull some rabbits out of a hat for the Bay Stars during a few of their important games.
In addition, we
covered "Yakudoshi." When a man is between 39 and 45 years of age, this period of a man's life is called Yakudoshi or unfortunate
age. It might be a good idea to perform "Takeshima." (Cutting some bamboo for good luck.)
Or, how about cutting one's
fingernails in the dark? It's not only dangerous, it's bad luck to do so. Do you think so?
November 4, 1998 Wednesday
Sumo (Japanese Wrestling) was the topic for today. A most memorable (Kiokusubeki) Sumo match was between Chiyonofuji
and the young Takanohana. When the great Chiyonofuji was beaten by Takanohana, he soon retired. He was in his late thirties.
Does anyone know the reason for his retirement?
A visit to a `non-attended booth` (Ginnan) in the country brings interesting
rewards. Does anyone have an interesting experience while visiting a Ginnan?
November 5, 1998 Thursday
Japanese companies are merging (Gappei- suru) with Western companies. Tohmi plant has more than 10 visitors from foreign countries
per year. Does this call a need for better English studies?
Howard commented that maybe he had better merge with Geos
Sony's infrared (Sekigaisen no) camera came under fire during class. It seems that the camera has extra sensory
powers. Does anyone know what we are referring to here?
John Glenn recently took another flight into space. Is this
an advertisement for the American space program?
Tea made from lettuce may be a good remedy for sleepless nights.
Or, how about B complex vitamins?
November 9, 1998 Monday
Last Sunday, there was a "Shougai Gaku Shuu" held
in Nobeoka. Over 1,000 guests attended, including about 20 foreigners.
I expressed my desire to stop a club that I
had recently created. I was advised that it was "Keizoku wa chikara nari." (...to continue is to be strong.)
the "Jiyuuto" of Japanese politics, proposed a 20,000 yen coupon. It is to be given to people under fifteen, people over sixty-five
and people in the lower economic group.
November 3, 1998 Tuesday
One student recently listened to a speaker
from Germany. His speech was in English, but very little could be understood by this student.
Is this another reason
to study English?
The "Kairan-Ban" is an interesting custom in Japan. A bag full of messages, flyers, and other information
is passed from house to house. This activity is organized by the local community centers.
November 11, 1998 Wednesday
One student mentioned that his kindergarten teacher often scolded him by doing "Genkotsu." (...the knocking on the
head with the use of knuckles.) This student wants to meet his teacher once more. (If a teacher had given me a knuckle sandwich,
I would also like to meet-up with him, but not for the same reasons.)
November 13, 1998 Friday
What does "Sakari"
mean in Japanese? It refers to the time of the year that dogs and cats feel an urge to mate.
In my lunch-hour class,
we discussed various needs when traveling; tickets, reservations, cash, travelers checks, health insurance, driver's license,
I suggested that renting a room would be a nice alternative to staying in a hotel.
November 16, 1998
One student told a joke. "A patient told his doctor that he was forgetful. The doctor told him to pay in advance."
Another joke: "Adam asked Eve if she would always love him. Eve said: Who else?"
And, a riddle: "Why do pastors
carry a Bible? A Bible can't walk."
November 18 Wednesday
What is Kaimyo? It's a piece of wood made by a priest.
The priest writes a new name for a recently deceased person on it, and sells it to the family for a given amount of money.
The piece of wood is placed near the grave. Prices start at 30 thousand yen.
November 19, 1998 Thursday
you know that the "zu" in Mochizuki and the "zu" in Suzuki sound different? I recently learned why.
A few years ago,
I called my friend in California and mentioned to him that the sky sure looks different from Southern California. He said
I must be crazy. Today, I learned from on my students that the sky IS actually different. People in Southern California can
never see the same sky that the people in Southern Miyazaki see.
There is a new barrier being built near Tohmi Plant.
I had thought it a shame. But, I was informed that the road will be raised one meter so that people will still be able to
enjoy the view of the ocean.
December 12, 1998 Saturday
We discussed the need for 'children's cartoons' in
Japanese television. The missing link is the fun kind of English. Children usually watch TV cartoons in order to build their
English skills. Let's ask NHK to add American cartoons to their TV guide.
Email to Howard Ahner
December 14, 1998
December 23rd is Emperor's Day. Besides putting out the flag, some Japanese visit Meiji Shrine in order to
attend a ceremony held there.
December 15, 1998 Tuesday
We discussed the problem in Japan concerning old-age
benefits. (Pensions) When the year 2015 comes around, over 25% of the population will be over 65 years old. The solution to
the problem in the article was: "When the year 2015 comes around, find another job.
December 16, 1998 Wednesday
shi: The Rat God summoned twelve animals; ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, boar. Since
the Rat God failed to summon the cat, the cat always chases the rat.
In Kitakata Cho, Miyazaki Ken, there are twelve
towns named after these animals, in Japanese, of course.
December 17, 1998 Thursday
Unusually, colored cherry
blossom leaves can be found near Tohmi Plant, Nobeoka. But, this year, the leaves have a different coloration.
this mean that next year the cherry blossom trees will not bloom properly,
We discussed Koko Ga Hen Dayou, an interesting
TV program that allows foreigners to comment about on the odds and ends of Japan. The Japanese say that the foreigners on
this program speak Japanese rather well.
December 18, 1998 Friday
When a Japanese family member dies during
a year, for the following year, New Year's Cards are not sent out. Chuu Cards are sent out instead. Chuu cards are cards of
During a Japanese wedding, the bride gives flowers to her parents, thanking them for taking care of her
for so many years. It's called Hanataba Zoutei.
December 21,1998 Monday
Since my wife and child are traveling
in America, I was asked if I was lonely. I said that I wasn't. I was told that I was "Yase- gaman." Yase Gaman is used when
someone is truly lonely, but pretends not to be.
A Joke from a student:
"A man said that his dog was lost.
Another man said; Why don't you put an advertisement in the newspaper?" The man said; "It won't do any good. My dog can't
The story of St. Nicholas... St. Nicholas inherited a huge estate. He gave it to the poor. One day, he saw
three sisters. They were poor, so he threw some of his gold into the window of their house. The gold pieces happened to fall
into their stockings. That's how the custom of putting out stockings for the coming of Santa Claus came about.
joke from a student: A customer said to a waiter at a restaurant; "Hey! Waiter! Wait a minute." There are two meanings to
the words 'wait a minute.' One is, give me some service.
Another joke: A man goes to an ear doctor. "Doc! I'm cured!"
The doctor says; "Good. That will be five hundred dollars." The man says: "What did you say?"
December 22, 1998 Tuesday
Takanabe High School has a fantastic rugby team this year. All of fifty of the players are going to Oosaka to play
in THE important tournament of the year. The alumni of each school year must, as a group, fork-up from 200,000 to 400,000
yen. That means that each alumni are being asked to donate approximately 3,000 yen. Good luck to the team and to the people
of Takanabe Cho, Miyazaki, Japan.
January 18, 1999 Monday
The traffic signals on Route 10 are computer controlled.
According to a study seventy percent of Japanese drivers do not stop on the yellow.
January 24, 1999 Sunday
was asked by my local community center leader to help clean the local elementary school because my daughter goes there. I
spent the good part of the morning cleaning windows in the gym.
January 29, 1999 Friday
I was informed that
Asahi Foods was purchased by Japan Tobacco. Three-hundred employees changed hands.
February 2, 1999 Tuesday
would like to start a bilingual club for children in Nobeoka. I am looking for children that have studied in an English speaking
country for at least a year.
Warabi (bracken and osmund) grow wild around these parts.
February 10, 1999 Wednesday
In Yakushima, there is a famous cedar tree that is over 4,000 years old. It's from the Joumon period.
12, 1999 Friday
Gotaifu Manzoku is a best selling book in Japan. It was written by a student from Waseda University.
He was born without arms and legs. He's into many things. (Nandemo dekiru) Does anyone know his name?
The cities of
Tokyo and Osaka have former comedians as their mayor. It is said that the voters elected them as a kind of joke to the ruling
class. (Who are the ruling class?)
Dioxin is believed to cause colon (Daicho) cancer.
March 27, 1999 Saturday
Some employees guarantee loans for their employers in order to continue to be employed. (Hoshou Nin)
person is your good friend, he doesn't ask for a loan."
Japanese think "we." Americans think "I."
wife must obey her husband's employer's wife. (Old custom?) This idea comes from the Tokugawa Jidai (era), a Samurai system
from the Tokyo area.
Osaka has a unique social system. The people have a direct way of speaking. The people of Osaka
are mostly made up of businesspersons.
March 23, 1999 Tuesday
Keiko Ibi won an Oscar for Best Short Documentary.
Mrs. Ibi has lived in America for over eight years. She was named Miss Japan a few years back. Her husband is American he
was the cameraman for her film.
Warabi (Bracken): Boil it, cook it in a pan with a little oil, raw eggs, soy sauce
and sugar. Enjoy. But, will eating bracken cause Kesseki (kidney stones)?
There is a gay bar in Miyazaki city called
Wabisuke Gay Bar. It's must be profitable because there are six people on duty. The place has 30 chairs and Biziamu) background
music is listened to.
A Tachinbo on the street of Miyazaki is associated with street sex. Tachinbo are older women
who offer street-sex while the patron is standing.
One of my high school students is on Holiday. But, she must attend
extracurricular activities (Kagai). Their idea of extracurricular activity is studying math, science and Japanese. How about
an excursion to a factory of some kind? Or, how about just a visit to a river or mountain slope in order to study nature?
March 25, 1999 Thursday
Hayaru means to be in fashion. Karakau means to tease. Some students from Shougakkan
were teased when they went on a trip to Tokyo recently. The locals were teasing them because of their dressing style.
student from another school believes that the students from Shougakkan are not fashion conscious. ("They are un-cool. They
don't keep up with the latest fashions that can be viewed in the latest fashion magazines."
One of my students visited
Yakishima Island. She met a drifter selling various pieces of his own art. Actually, she was given a piece by the man. The
man hadn't taken a bath in a while.
Another student was paid a visit by her grandmother. Her grandmother prepared
Ohagi Dango, a kind of bean-rice cake. Her grandmother used salt instead of sugar as an ingredient.
visited Niigata. Niigata is famous for it's crab and lobster.
TonTon means "plus, minus equals zero." It's a business
term used when a business isn't making very much profit.
Keiko Ibi's next documentary will be about cheerleaders.
is a movie directed by Mr. Kurosawa. It was written by Yuunousuke Akutagawa.
Didn't Mr. Kurosawa win an Oscar
for this movie? One student visited Kyushu Hoken Fukushi Daigaku. A college in Nobeoka focusing on health and welfare. The
design of the buildings of Kyushu Hoken Fukushi Daigaku are not held high in acclaim.
Tsukushi is osmund. Warabi is
Ponpiki means swindler or pimp.
Tachinbo means "being kept standing."
Email to Howard Ahner
March 26, 1999 Friday
One student, a dietitian, mentioned that she recently performed a 'health-check'. Her patient
was happy to receive stamp on his card indicating that his health was in good shape.
In Japan, various stamps are
offered as a kind of encouragement for work well done. In America, a happy face or a sad face is drawn by the teacher on the
Mr. Wataki died. He is said to have died of lung disease. He is remembered for his harsh way of speaking
and his tender way of teaching. He taught many students at Oosenchoo, a building used in Nobeoka for classes of all kinds.
One student held tickets for Green Haku, a showing of English style gardening ways in the city of Miyazaki...to be
TonTon is the name of a Panda. And is also an expression for 50/50. Or, it could mean that things aren't
going well for the business in question. It could also mean "hima." Hima is an expression for slow business activity.
is the name of the old tree in Yakushima. It is said to be over 1,300 years old, a cedar tree.
Ran is the name of
a movie by Kurosawa, a Samurai film. Fortunately, the cast speaks Hyoujungo (standard Japanese) in the film. Usually, in older
Samurai films, an old type of Japanese is spoken. This movie was made, perhaps, ten years ago.
Some apartment buildings
in Japan are set up for only single people. Even the single males and the single females are separated by floors. Having lived
in Japan for over ten years, I can't remember if it is so in America.
March 27, 1999 Saturday
is an application for overtime pay. Most Japanese do not receive pay for their overtime work. When one works overtime, it
is considered voluntary. They are volunteered by their employers to work overtime, so to speak.
Almost everyone in
an office wait for the emperor to stand and make ready for departure before they themselves start to leave the office. That
is to say, employees do not run for the door when the clock strikes closing time.
March 29, 1999 Monday
Koushin is in progress. (Japanese High School Baseball Tournament.) At the present time, Nichinan Gakuen (High School) is
tied with Kiyama Gakuen, 1 to 1. Nichinan is about 50 kilometers South of Miyazaki City in Kyushu.
Dogs in Japan are
named with people names. (Jiro, Taro, John and Runa)
American dogs are named after things. For example, if the dog
has a spot on his body, he might be named "Spot."
Japanese give blood voluntarily. In America, most people give blood
voluntarily, but some people are paid a certain amount according to the rarity of their blood type, some times as much as
March 30, 1999 Tuesday
One student visited The Flower and Green Festival held near Sea Gaiya, Miyazaki.
They stayed in Hotel 45. (45 floors) The festival cost 1,500 yen per person.
Does anyone know what "Gaiya" in Sea
At a funeral for Mr. Masayuki Wataki, a prayer was held. Also, a short speech was given by his close
friend. No songs were sung. It was a Buddhist funeral. Rinnetensei, the transmigration of the soul was discussed.
31, 1999 Wednesday
One student forgot his wedding anniversary. He was reminded by his wife when he returned home.
Since he had scheduled an office gathering for the evening, he rescheduled his wedding anniversary dinner for this evening.
April 4, 1999 I remember having family picnics with my American co-workers. In Japan, this is a new idea. Some sections
of Japanese companies have "recreational days." For example, employees and their families will go to the riverside, bring
along some fresh fish and have a cook- out. Other members of the group may try their hand at fishing in the river. Also, employees
will do some bowling together. Is it possible to drink beer in a Japanese establishment while bowling?
osoba (soup), making slurping sounds is acceptable. In Japan, it is unacceptable to have one's elbows on the table, but drinking
from the bowl is a common practice.
A Mr. Tani of Fujinaka Kousan Company own quite a bit of land in Nobeoka City.
April 2, 1999 Friday
Once in a while, in Japanese companies, family gatherings are held including wives and
children, but husbands are not permitted to attend.
Sayonara (good-bye) Parties and Welcome Parties are held for arriving
and departing members of a group. Only company staff are welcome at these gatherings.
It is said that daughters look
similar to their fathers and sons look similar to their mothers. Having come from America, I can't remember if Americans have
the same view.
Kanjiro, Japanese rice crackers, are made with 150 mg of calcium. 600 mg of calcium is the recommended
minimum daily requirement. Kanjiro is manufactured by Asahi Foods. As some of us know, Asahi Foods was recently purchased
by JT (Japan Tobacco).
April 3, 1999 Saturday
One student went on a business trip to Egypt. He said that it
was awful. Taxis lined up three in a row on two lane streets. He saw many 30 to 40 year old automobiles, many without bumpers.
While he was in transit, his suitcase was lost in Istanbul.
We also discussed "working for others," and how offering
it to employees could be a great way to motivate them to work harder.
In another class, we discussed how Japanese
tax officials are able to search one's premises as long as they have a Seitounaryuu (warrant). Tax officials are even able
to enter residences.
In addition, we talked about how when teaching children, it is a good idea to teach them to believe
April 5, 1999 Monday Over 2,000 people visited Shiroyama. (Shiro Mountain) Some of them enjoyed the
cherry blossom trees while they were in full bloom.
While fishing in Japan, fishermen can enjoy the lack of size limits
imposed by gaming officials. Some fishermen put over five worms on a single hook. The larger fish may think that something
is moving when they see it.
Sakurayu is a kind of tea made with cherry blossom flower petals. The petals are salted
and pressed with a stone inside a jar for two to three months. No one said that they liked drinking this particular concoction.
One student visited Osuzu Mountain where she viewed three of the five waterfalls nearby. She parked near
Yatogi No Taki.
April 6, 1999 Tuesday
One student's grandfather passed away. He fell while living in a hospital.
He had been living in the hospital for over six years. He was 88 years old. At his funeral, members of the family placed his
bones inside an urn (Kotsutsubo) or (Oogata ko-hi- wakashi) while using chopsticks made out of bamboo.
and Tell, toothpicks made of 20% potato, 20% sweet potato and 60% corn were passed around in class. Pigs are known to choke
to death while eating food from restaurants that have wooden toothpicks in it.
Sengumaki is a ceremony in Japan where
Mochi (rice cakes), candy and money are thrown off of the frame of a building to waiting neighbors down below. Yakuyoke means
"Please welcome me into your neighborhood."
We also talked about how many of these kinds of gifts appear to be a bribe
to many Americans. However, after living in Japan for many years, one begins to understand that this kind of gift-giving is
one Japanese way of offering kindness.
April 7, 1999 Wednesday One student went on a tour of Disney World. One problem
he had was understanding English while using the telephone. He also had trouble understanding English spoken over loud speakers.
One student was volunteered to help in a local election campaign. She announced various messages over a fog horn while
sitting in a moving vehicle. Her voice became hoarse and she caught a cold. But, at least her duty to her group had been fulfilled.
Another student met a local marathon star at a Ogura Ichiba Restaurant. Her girlfriend was able to get his autograph.
He was with his Konpa (group).
Still another student went to Nango to enter an Onsen (Japanese bath). The water in
the Onsen was described as murky (off-colored). She wanted to eat Jidori (wild chicken) but at the time she wasn't hungry.
When she returned to Hyuga City, they had Jidori in a local restaurant.
April 8, 1999 Thursday
After one student
visited a hot spring he felt Tsubutsuru (a slippery feeling over the skin that is enjoyed after entering a medicinal hot spring).
Yakuyoke is throwing small presents off of the frame of a new building. Some presents contain money from 5 to 10,000 yen.
A golden colored piece of wood could mean a new television, a silver painted piece of wood could mean a new bicycle, and a
red painted piece could mean a fresh Tai (Japanese fish). The reason for Yakuyoke is to share evil that may reside within
the building with your neighbors. Some neighbors give money to the owner of the new building. We joked that that neighbor
may desire to return the evil back to the sender.
One student complained about the idea of giving tips in America.
The student disliked the idea of having to calculate for each tip.
One student brought to class a wooden box that
had contained a gift certificate of 40,000 yen. She decided to return the box to the store for recycling.
talked about her office. Once a month or so office personnel gather for a climb to the top of Atago Mountain. The office personnel,
while at the top, have a cup of tea or can of juice and enjoy the scenery. This activity is held after work on a Wednesday,
a working day.
The number of monkeys on or near Atago Mountain has increased in recent years. Recently, a monkey pushed
an older lady. The lady fell and seriously damaged her hip and/or back. It is not known just how many monkeys are around Atago,
but the figure seems to be about 50 to 100 monkeys.
Another office group visited Shiro Mountain for a Hanami (Cherry
Blossom Viewing Party). They enjoyed hors d'oeuvres. (oodoburu)
April 12, 1999 Monday
One student visited
Guri-n Haku Miyazaki which roughly translates to: Green Garden Exhibition in Miyazaki City. She met her parents there and
enjoyed a walk through. They were unable to see the exhibition by an English group because the English garden was set too
far to the back of the exhibition. People grew tired of all of the walking involved.
Yamabiraki is named after the
opening of the mountain climbing season in Japan.
Kappo-zaki is Japanese rice wine (Sake). It is called that because
of the sound that is heard when pouring the Sake from a bamboo container that was heated near an open fire. The "kappo...kappo...kappo"
sound is very familiar to Japanese.
Fude-oroshi is what a male virgin is referred to. Fude is Japanese for painting
Email to Howard Ahner
April 15, 1999 Thursday
One student that went through "chiazuke," (a piece
of pickle in one night), has a good chance of passing her exam. She received 20 points for doing her winter vacation homework.
And, she knows for sure that she has answered three questions correctly of which she receives 10 points each. She only needs
60 points in order to pass the exam consisting of a total of 200 points. So, all she needs is another 10 points.
are the small pieces of pickle that one gets with their meal at a typical restaurant. Since Chiazuke takes a long time to
prepare, over two months, and since the student in question failed to study for the exam, she has to pull an all-niter, (she
has to study all night long.)
I was told that "fude-oroshi" is the name of the Japanese writing brush made from the
virgin baby hairs of little children. Fude-oroshi is later presented to the child when he/she becomes an adult. A young boy
who has never had sex before is referred to as fude-oroshi.
April 19, 1999 Monday
Kamon is, I think, a kind
of Japanese family mark or logo? All families have one. It is used for weddings, funerals and the Obon ceremony. Oshirushi
is a Japanese family crest?
"Sadako is going to kill everyone. She has been dead for over 30 years. Sadako is from
the Japanese movie Ring. (Ringu) I personally fast forwarded through this movie and felt the chills rush through my spine
Rengeso is a kind of flower that is grown in rice paddies during the off-season and used for cow feed.
It is a local favorite of school girls to stop to pick them on their way home from school. Japanese from the cities may not
know of this activity, having grown up in the big city where there are few rice paddies. A type of necklace is often made
with the flowering tips of Rengeso by young school girls.
One student told of a restaurant owner in a small town near
Kagoshima, Japan who is offering free dinners for one of the welfare assistance certificates (approximate value: $200.00)
from persons over 65 years of age. This restaurant owner desires to do something to help the Japanese economy improve. So
far, three patrons have taken him up on the offer. Dinner for life? or, Dinner for the rest of one's life! What a deal! But,
why have only three bought into the deal?
Second story from the same English student: A restaurant owner in an American
city offered free lunches with a beer for life if the customer placed a small tattoo on their body, anywhere on their body,
a tattoo of the logo of the restaurant. People who subscribed to this offering often feel, perhaps, a little guilty and usually
leave a large tip after they've had their free lunch and free beer.
My comment is that if Americans feel guilty, I
believe that Japanese over 65 would feel even more guilty about taking free meals for their remaining lifetimes, but the restaurant
owners are probably having a good chuckle while enjoying dinner with their families. Don't you think so?
moving closer to Japan by 2-3 feet each year! Better brush-up on your English.
All of the top companies in Japan have
decided not to let their employees fly in airplanes on December 31, 1999
April 20, 1999 Tuesday
that I referred in the previous post is called Chiikishin Kouken. A Chiikishin Kouken is for 20,000 yen and is given to the
parents of children under 16 and is given to elders over 65 years of age. Perhaps, this Chiikishinkouken could have a greater
effect if it were given to people over 18 and under 30. Perhaps, the money would be well spent and the economy would be given
a "kick-start" in the right direction?
The restaurant that I referred to in the previous post is called Tonkatsu Yasan.
"Here's looking at you, Kid." Kimi to hitomi ni kanpai. (A line from Casablanca, the movie.)
April 22, 1999
Each year after a wedding anniversary, a candle from the wedding is burned down just so much to indicate
one more year being married.
April 23, 1999 Friday
I asked a group of Jr. High School student's their idea
of a good teacher:
4. Offers Free Time.
6. Good Personality.
7. Shares own experiences.
8. Doesn't get angry.
9. Good teaching ability.
April 28, 1999 Wednesday
Mahoubin means thermos in Japanese. Mahou means magic. Bin means container. So, Magic
Chinese sand particles, Kousa, surround us here in Hyuga City. Kousa looks like fog or smog, but it's probably
The Bonsai plant, I believe is pronounced Bonsai in California. Bon means tray and sai means to plant.
30, 1999 Friday
Some Japanese are going to pick tea. It's the time of the season. Hachi Juu Hachi Ya means 88 nights.
It takes 88 nights to grow tea leaves. The starting period is from February 4th to May 1st. The tea leaves are dried, Momu:
squeezed, and boiled for a nice cup of tea, Madam?
Hakata Dontaku is one of the most famous festivals in Japan. Over
three million spectators will investigate the various dishes on display and for sale. My wife is going to such festival. She
will travel on a train for four hours there, and four hours, plus walk around and buy up all the goods for her store in Igata
Town, Nobeoka City, Miyazaki Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan.
May 4 , 1999 Tuesday
This is Golden Week in Japan.
I've been taking it easy, just doing nothing and laying around at home. I suppose I should be drinking at my friends house,
but I have no such friends. After living here in Nobeoka for ten years, I still haven't made what I call a friend. Well, guess
I'll just keep on keeping on.
May 6, 1999 Thursday
One member of our class borrowed his sister's car and drove
his wife, two daughters, mother and father to Reoma World. It was a two and a half hour drive from Nobeoka to Beppu, Oita
Prefecture. They then boarded the ferry to Shikoku. That experience required another four hours of travel. The drive from
the ferry drop-off point to Reoma World was another two hours. Reoma World is on the North end of Kagawa Prefecture, Shikoku
Island, Japan. The amusement park has a special ride that is a cylindrical like object with a bridge inside where people are
able to walk through. On the ceiling of the object are neon lights, and the cylinder itself is revolving. Participants experience
some difficulties while walking through the object. He said it was a quite a ride.
Another member of the class mentioned
that he was born in Takamatsu City. He shared some ideas about the area and drew us a very nice map. He also mentioned that
the people in the area speak a special kind of Osaka dialect.
May 7, 1999 Friday
May 3rd was Kodomo no Hi,
a day for children.
One member of our class visited Eto Rando, Eto Land in Kita Kata City. In this city, there are
twelve towns named after animals. For example, Ryu means dragon. She went "grass skiing." She fell down only a few times,
but today, her legs ache.
Another member went to Kijima Kougen, a hill with a spectacular view in Beppu City.
another member had her sister over for a few days. Her sister was born in Nobeoka but now lives in Tokyo. I asked her what
her sister likes to do when returning to her Furusato, home town. Well, it seems that her sister likes to eat Takana-Zuke
(pickles), Iwashi (sardines) and Hyuga Nattsu (a kind of orange).
May 11, 1999 Tuesday
There will be a flower
arrangement exhibition at Azumaya Department store during May 14th through May 16th. (Ikebana) --- On Saturday, May 15th,
2,500 people will carry Chochin (lanterns) to Shiakusho (City Hall) starting at 6:00 PM. Nobeoka high school is having their
100th Kinenbi (Anniversary).
A thumbs-up sign or gesture could mean "good job!" But, in Japan, a thumbs-up sign could
stand for Dansei (male). The "little finger-up" sign could be a sign for Josei (woman). ---
May 12, 1999 Wednesday
A Go-e-mon is the name for a Japanese old style bath and it is also the name for a thief or robber. It seems, a long
time ago, thieves and robbers were boiled to death (executed) in large cast iron pots filled with water. The cast iron pot
and water was heated by lighting pieces of wood underneath. This pot was and still is used for taking a bath in Japan. So,
this type of bath is called a Go-e-mon. ---
May 13, 1999 Thursday
A tale was told during class today. The
story was about a Doctor, a brother and a sister. The brother was hit by a bullet when young and was treated by the doctor.
The brother turned out to be a killer later in life. Consequently, the sister wanted to kill him. In addition, the sister
was in love with the doctor. We ran out of time, so this tale will continue next week. By the way, the name of the Japanese
comic book that this story comes from is, Mansuta (Monster). Do you know the tale?
May 15, 1999 Saturday
Rakugo means story teller.
Kiken Kitanai refers to cheap labor that was used not too long ago by Japanese business.
Some Japanese businessmen are now wishing that they still had access to such.
"Credit Cards" exist in Japan, but most
are of a different sort. "Cash Card" may be a better reference word. These cash cards are used to buy things, but the payment
is withdrawn from the cash card holder's, bank- cash- account.
"Since Americans have real credit cards, Americans
do not need to save their money." Comment?
More on Go-E-Mon: A person named Go-e-mon tried to steal a roof ornament
made entirely of gold, a figure of a fish, that was placed on the roof of a castle in Nagoya City. The locals captured the
would be thief and placed him inside of a large, cast-iron pot filled with boiling water. The floating piece of wood inside
of the pot was used to stand on while wearing Geta, Japanese wooden slippers. The name of the golden fish was Kin No Shachi
May 17, 1999 Monday
The first Kidney transplant was performed in Osaka, Japan.
Email to Howard
May 18, 1999 Tuesday
One of our member's volleyball team won their game last weekend. After the game, they
all went to a Yaki Niku restaurant. The name of the restaurant is Kibunya. Her group is called a Fujimbu group. Fujimbu stands
for a ladies group.
I told the story of our Chabo. Chabo is the name of miniature chickens in Japan. This morning
our rooster was showing his hen where the good food was by making his special sound. The hen would run to where he was indicating.
But, when the hen had caught a flying insect, the rooster jumped onto the hen's back and held her comb in his beak. The hen
refused to give even a little to her partner. That evening, I mentioned the story to some of my class with my wife present.
After I commented that it seemed very much like our family, my wife let out a grunting sound.
Another member of the
class said that he thought that his grandson was becoming "Gojoupari." Gojoupari is a Japanese term meaning spoiled brat,
or Wagamama (Mama's boy).
We also discussed the recent tornadoes in America. A tornado in Japanese is Tatsumaki. There
are Uzushio in the waters of Japan. Uzushio is a kind of "twister" within the ocean, a swirl?
May 19, 1999 Wednesday
One member shared his coin collection with us. He showed us some coins from Italy, Switzerland and America. Some coins
were flattened by a machine he had used while vacationing at Disney World, Florida.
A Japanese Joke:
was sinking and three men were standing on the deck, a British gentlemen, an American, and a Japanese samurai. The British
gentlemen said that he would jump because of his honor. And, he did. The American said that he would jump because of his family.
And, he did. The Japanese samurai said that he would jump because everyone was jumping. And, he did.
Chabo is translated
as bantam, like a bantam weight boxer.
May 20, 1999 Thursday
Monster, the continuing story...
was written by Naoki Urasawa. He is considered one of Japan's most famous comic book writers.
Kenzo Tenma, the surgeon,
treated Yohan, the twin brother of Rina for a cranial nerve disorder that he had received when he was shot with a gun by his
sister. He was a young boy at the time, living in an orphanage with his sister.
This orphanage was located in East
Germany. It was a special orphanage because it was dedicated to "the remodeling of children's souls."
Yohan grew up
to be an extraordinary monster, a cool killer. Although he was considered rather handsome, he ran around killing people he
Rina meets Dr. Tenma and falls in love with him. Together, they decide that they must find Yohan and kill him,
because there is not enough evidence for the police to prosecute.
To be continued...
Monster is a serialized
comic book publication in Japan.
Ms. Hikaru Utada, the daughter of Keiko Fuji is now the most popular singer in Japan.
Ms. Utada's mother, Keiko, is famous for singing Enka, a Japanese style song. One of her most famous songs is entitled: Yumei
Wa Yoru Hiraku, which is roughly translated as; Dreams Open in the Night.
May 21, 1999 Friday
Today, we talked
about One Child, the Japanese title of this book is Shi-ra. Shi-ra is six year old girl that was seen trying to burn her younger
brother at the stake. At a hospital for the insane, her doctor discovered that she had an IQ of 180 or better. This true story
took place in Montana, USA during the 50's. Shi-ra later became a McDonald's Restaurant manager. This novel was translated
into 22 different languages.
May 22, 1999 Saturday
Today, we talked about Right-Hand-Thinking and Left-Hand-Thinking.
Just a few examples:
1. Japanese drive on the left and Americans drive on the right.
2. Japanese doors open
from the left and American doors open from the right.
3. Japanese jackets zip up with the left hand and American jackets
zip up with the right hand.
But, today there was some confusion on my part. One student asked my daughter, Mia, if
she was the tallest in her class. Mia stated that she wasn't. Mia said that she was "ushiro kara ni ban me," which translates
roughly to; "second from the back." I was unable to understand because, in America, one would say; "second from the top or
So, why was I unable to understand? I think that it is because when Americans are lined up, the tallest is
in front of the line, on down to the shortest. Whereas, in Japan, the shortest is lined-up first in line, on down to the tallest.
May 24, 1999 Monday
Okinawa used to be named Ryukyu. There are three main groups of Japanese; Ainu, Japanese
from Korea and Ryukyu. This information needs editing.
The Kicchomu San Story from Kinomu Town (Cho). Witicism.
ago, a man from Oita Prefecture was pulling a horse with a heavy load. He decided that the horse's load was too heavy. So,
he tied the load to his back. Then, he mounted the horse.
When walking past a grave in Japan,
it is suggested that one clutch one's thumb with one's fingers. If not, it is bad luck for one's deceased parent.
is lucky to see a Hurst.
If a frog goads, it is likely to rain.
If one dreams of a snake, the dream foretells
What is a good friend?
A good friend is kind.
A good friend is a good listener.
good friend is one who is honest.
A good friend is one with common interests.
Do you want to stop smoking?
Here is some good news. Combine "Gyban" with a nicotine patch. Sixteen percent of the people who use nicotine patches alone
stop smoking. Thirty percent of the people who use Gyban alone stop smoking. Thirty five percent of the people who use Gyban
along with the nicotine patches stop smoking. Note: It usually takes a year for the process to work.
A Japanese Joke:
An inventor creates a new article. The inventor says that one will be able to see through walls. Another asks him
what he is going to call it. The inventor replies; "A window".
May 26, 1999 Wednesday
Senbetsu is when a Japanese
person gives some money to another person who is traveling abroad. In return, it is taken for granted that the traveler will
have a better time while traveling and return with a gift.
May 31, 1999
A riddle as told by Takao Nakashima:
What has 18 legs and catches flies?
Answer: A baseball team.
A Japanese riddle:
Sora no ue
ni nani ga arimasu ka?
(This comes from the song, Do Re Mi.)
Do re mi fa so la ti do
Do re mi fa so la SHI do (Japanese)
So, What is above "do"?
Answer: Shi. (Do you get the
Japanese Culture: Maneki-Neko is a cat with it's paw up in the air indicating; "Come on in! (Money, happiness)
A Maneki-Neko is a Japanese lucky charm.
Reply to last Riddle by Keiko Ahner:
Riddle: What has 18 legs and
Answer: Two male spiders. (Do you get the joke?)
Email to Howard Ahner
June 1, 1999 Tuesday
Wasei Eigo is Japanese meaning Japanese-English words.
June 2, 1999
Today, we talked about a new company
outside of our classroom window. The name of the company is Fuji-Chitan. "Chitan" means Titanium in Japanese. It's used in
golf clubs and cellular phones among other things. It's very strong and light in weight.
One student mentioned, while
traveling in America, he noticed that Americans were a little loud with their voices while speaking in public. Also, the music
in some restaurants were a little noisy for his taste.
June 4, 1999 Friday
One student was asked to be a Nakodo.
It was for an engagement ceremony in Sadowara Town.
She offered two sea breams as a gift. (Osu
Mesu, male and female)
During the ceremony, the bride-to-be offered Sakura Cha (salted cherry blossom tea made with
the petals of cherry blossom flowers) to the bridegroom.
Our student also prepared the Mokuroku. (list of engagement
This engagement ceremony was a Gyakutama no Koshi. (Gyaku means backward, Gyakutama no Koshi means that the
bridegroom married into a rich family, where as usually a bride-to-be marries into a rich family.)
All in all, it
was an enjoyable experience for her and her husband.
June 7, 1999 Monday
We learned about Baiu and Tsuyu (the
muggy season, humid season, wet-air season) again today.
My house is being attacked by subterranean termites (ei ari).
We discussed various was to control them.
A Nori No Mia is a box on two long poles that was used for carrying "important"
people a few hundred years ago.
We also discussed various ways to study English in one's spare time:
2. Watch English-speaking movies IN ENGLISH.
3. Read English newspapers and magazines.
Speak English to one's family members.
5. Read children's English books to one's children before bedtime.
Keep a diary.
7. Join Chat Rooms on the Internet.
June 11, 1999 Friday
One student went to a ballet
performance at Heresutopia (Health Topia) over the weekend. She was very impressed with the performance of a hearing-impaired
Another student has started to study "Taikyokken," a kind of Chinese aerobics. The reason for her interest
in Taikyokken is that she has a pinched nerve located in her upper neck area.
In a different class, we learned about
Mr. Kicchomu. Kicchomu was given some dango (mocchi on a stick) by his neighbor. Kicchomu placed the dango inside his vest.
When he returned home, he decided to use the toilet. Some of the dango dropped into the toilet. He said: "OK, I'm finished."
He then left the toilet room.
Also, Kicchomu was sitting underneath a persimmon tree. One of the ripe persimmons fell
upon his head. He said: "Oh! My head is cracked!"
The Baby-Boom is referred to as "dankai no sedai" in Japan. Sedai
Joke: A man drives over the speed limit. A policeman pulls him over and says: "How are you?" The
man says: "I'm fined." Joke by Takao Nakashima.