Now, Japan is in an entrance examination season. Many students and their parents are nervous. Some of them feelings are ‘clutching a straw.’ They visit many shrines and make a wish to a god. Fortunately, there are thousands of gods in Japan. So, some of them satisfy their wishes.
The students and their parents think it isn’t enough. So, they try variety of things. One of them is eating Katsu-Don. It means you will win(=katsu).
Recently, Kit Kat is really popular. It means the same as Katsu-Don. It was saying ‘you definitely win’. But when I heard the first time, I thought it meaning was opposite. I thought ‘you are definitely(=Kit) cut(=Kut)’. So I thought ‘you definitely lose’. So I couldn’t understand why the students wanted to have Kit Kat. Of course, I know it was misunderstanding.
Now, Kit Kat is produced by Nestle. But when I was a kid, Kit Kat was imported by Fujiya. I thought Kit Kat was valuable because it came from overseas. I think Fujiya have sold its privilege. I think if Fujiya keeps selling, many students will lose the exam.
The death rates are big difference between a lady who has a husband and a lady who doesn’t have a husband.
The doctor in Ehime has done a survey from 1996 to 1998 and from 2001 to 2002. The object persons were 60 to 84 years old at the first survey. According to the result, the death rate of a lady who has husband is double compared with a lady who doesn’t have a husband. To the contrary, the death rate of a man who doesn’t have a wife is higher than a man who has a wife.
The doctor said the reason was a typical husband. Many Japanese husbands are bossy, so their wives burst with presser. While men can’t do anything themselves. So, after their wives passed away, they will lose the way to live. The other doctor said, “Husbands must help and do house work together from now onward”.
“Sliding Door Panels of Kyoto Imperial Palace” has been held at Kyoto National Museum. Those sliding door panels have never been loaned out. I was interested in this exhibit because not only I have just visited Kyoto Imperial Palace but also I love Japanese pictures.
The museum wasn’t crowded than I thought. All panels were gorgeous. The backgrounds of those pictures are always gold. I think Imperial Palace itself is a treasure box. As if they are gorgeous, I don’t think I want them. Of course, some of them are good paintings. But almost all of them weren’t ….. I can’t explain….
What kind of pictures do you like? Beautiful girls? A good looking man? Wild animals? Breathtaking scenes? I guess everybody love those pictures. But I think nobody loves want to see a middle-aged man. I am sorry. It’s a bit much. I just wanted to say that ‘people want to see beautiful things. Not ugly’.
The panels were great. But those panels are painted about emperor’s life and some kinds of politics. So those pictures didn’t attract me. The sliding door panels were flooded with the middle-aged men. GROSS!!! They weren’t the ones that I wanted to see.
What are your hobbies? One of my friends collects gold. That is his hobby. I knew he buys a bar of gold every month. He thinks collecting gold is a kind of investment. He said gold was great. Its color will never change forever. When he felt under a spell of gold, he was only 12 years old. Since then, he has loved gold. He showed me a newspaper written about gold this morning. It introduced old coins, foreign coins, and commemorative coins etc. The most expensive one is an Australian coin. It is 2,400,000yen and its weight is 10kg. The more he said enthusiastically, the more I felt ill at ease. Finally, he said that I might want to buy gold. Of course, I said no. He couldn’t understand what I meant. He said no one understands its value. He thinks if he dies, all of them will be thrown away. I told him to tell me where he keeps his gold. He didn’t say anything, only smiled. I think if he dies, I have to write a mystery about him. Because I think it is a murder.
The company that I work is a kind of big companies. So, I can hear many scandals between employees. Of course, it is about ‘an adultery’. I don’t know the other companies, but it is common in my company.
This morning, one of my ex-co-workers told me a marriage of our ex-co-workers. They already quit their job, so I don’t know what they do now. But a lady when she quit her job, she said she would go to Miyazaki because her husband lived there. And of course, a man had his wife. But when they were in my office, they had already associated. It was about five years ago.
And they got married last year!!! I heard the lady came back from Miyazaki, and I doubted why she came back. I got a reason today. Ummm. I cannot believe people. I think I can believe only money.
Recently, I can’t wake up in the morning. I usually wake up around 6:00A.M., and after I wake up, I get up soon. I don’t spend time in a bed. But recently, when I realize, it is already around 7:00A.M.
Last night, I had a dream.
I have an important meeting on the day. When I wake up, it is the time of meeting. I want to take a day off, but I think I have to go. I clothe and leave my apartment. I wanted to ride my bike, but someone stole my bike. So, I call a taxi. Taxi comes soon, but it is a traffic jam. I ask a taxi driver if he knows a good way. He says, “Of course, I’m a professional. The taxi runs too fast. Then, when the taxi stops, I am in front of Tsuruhashi Station. No!!! I wanted to go to Moriguchi Station. Why did he bring me to Tsuruhashi Station? (I’m sorry, if you don’t know Osaka direction.) Anyway, I try to take a train. But there are many tracks at Tsuruhashi Station in my dream. I irritate.
Then, I woke up. It was 6:40A.M. Noo!!! It was time to leave. Luckily, I can prepare for 10 minutes, so I could take the same train as usual.
I think you have already known the news about ‘Aruaru-Daijiten’. It is a T.V. program and introduces healthy food and exercise every week. Japanese really like these kinds of programs. Many Japanese are worried about their health.
Aruaru-Daijiten showed wrong information. They said, “If you eat ‘natto’ every morning and evening, you can reduce your weight.” Many Japanese went to buy ‘natto’. And ‘natto’ was sold out at every shop. But a lot of data was a fake. People were manipulated by the wrong data.
Who is guilty? Of course, the T.V. station is guilty. But the people are guilty, too. Some Japanese don’t have good judgment and they always follow that silly information. I think those eyes make those T.V. programs.
When I arrived at the station close to my apartment, I realized that I left my wallet at my apartment. Noooo! The distance from my apartment to the station is about 10 minutes. I went back to the apartment. I really wanted to take a day off, but this season is the busiest season of the year. Somehow, I managed to go to the station.
Fortunately, I always go to work early, so I arrived at my office before 8 o’clock. Anyway, when you exchange a bag, you must be cautious.
Recently, there are a lot of painful incidents. A man kills his daughter, a boy stabs at his mother, a teacher molests his student etc. Yesterday, a man threw a boy from a pedestrian bridge. The boy is seriously injured. There isn’t any relationship between them. The man said he was stressed out because of work. But he already has had some other crimes. I think he will repeat crimes forever. People don’t know how to protect their children. The crime level was low in Japan, but recently, Japan was one of the most dangerous countries. People have to learn to avoid a crime on their own.
My ex-co-workers and I had the New Year party last Saturday. We always have the year-end party, but all we were a little busy last year. We went to Hida as usual. Hida is famous for fresh seafood. They are introduced in magazines sometimes. After a few minutes later we arrived at Hida, I remembered that the lady who worked there was impolite. Her talk was gruffness and her attitude was negligence. She seemed really busy, so we helped her a little, but she never said thank you.
Then, I remembered that when I visited the U.S. last year. Almost all of the waitresses were polite, and they seemed giving a good service was their job. I guess it’s because of ‘a tip’. ‘A tip’ isn’t popular in Japan. But many people get money by a tip in U.S.. If their services are bad, they won’t be able to get enough tips.
I think many Japanese people were polite even if they didn’t get a tip. But recently, Japanese changed. I’m more polite than a shop clerk sometimes. A tip system is good for Japanese restaurant. But the best thing is that Japanese restaurant give good service even if they don’t get a tip in Japan.
Fukuoka is famous for food stalls, especially ramen. From evening to midnight, there are many stalls and you are unable to make a decision which one you will go to, because all of them attract you.
New York is famous for food stalls, too. But they are different from Fukuoka’s ones. Fukuoka’s are focused in one place and almost all of them are ramen stalls. But New York’s ones are dotted all over the city and they sell many kinds of food. A T.V. program introduced those stalls a couple of days ago. They have to pay some money to open their stalls. The most expensive place is in front of Metropolitan Museum, and the rent is 38,000,000yen, it’s about $322,000, per year!!!!
Ummm… Selling food in New York makes big profit… Now I’m thinking that I will open Takoyaki stand in New York.
Around my office, we can see many lunchbox stalls. Some of them are illegal. They sell lunchboxes without permission. They sell lunchboxes very cheap. It is helpful, but it seems something suspect. A few days ago, Yoshiko told me the answer of it. She said they use the expired food. Some food is safe, even if it expires, as you know, especially frozen food. There is a black market that sells those foods. I thought, “That’s why”. Fujiya used expired milk to make cream puffs. I want to know why such a big company did such a silly thing. I think they know they will lose their business honor and customers. I think Peko-chan is crying. I love Fujiya confectionery, but I have to stop choosing it.
Many co-workers went somewhere in the winter vacation; an abroad, Onsen and am amusement park. Umm.. I’m jealous.
As I’ve already said, I didn’t do something special. But I spent a good time.
My co-workers gave me a lot of souvenirs. As you know, Japanese souvenirs are always kinds of sweets. There are more than 10 pieces of sweets in a box and you can buy them for 1000 to 2000 yen. You give your co-workers one piece each. Then, your co-workers ask you where you went. It is a very common conversation at the first day after vacations. There is a small mountain made of sweets on my desk now. My new year’s resolution is losing weight. I think a really tough year starts.
What did you do during the long winter vacation? I didn’t do special things, but I finished reading an 1100-page book. And I visited shrines twice with my father. I guess it wasn’t special in many families. But it was rare in my family. I have no memory that my father and I visited a shrine. Only last year, my sister, her husband, our father and I visited a shrine near my father’s house.
We had dinner at Hankyu Department store. One of aunts sometimes brings me there. All dishes are delicious and the style is informal. All we ordered the same dish. Yu-chan and Drew couldn’t read the menu, so Kiyo-chan and I chose it. Drew showed me the stuff which he bought at the cigar shop. They were interesting for me. I’d never seen those goods. Dinner was, of course, good. Japanese food seems simple, but cooks need a lot of time to make them. And Japanese food is beautiful. The dish didn’t seem a lot, but we became full. We left there, and Kiyo-chan, Yu-chan and Drew went back to the hotel. I had to go back to my apartment alone. And only I had to work the next day.
The next day was a fine day. I guess they had a good time in Kyoto.
We were really hungry, so we went to a restaurant. We walk though Teramachi Shopping Arcade. We stopped at some shops. Drew was interested in another shop. It was a cigar shop. Cigar shops were usually small and owners are always old women or men. But that cigar shop was bigger. There was an extra room in the shop, and they had special cigars. I’ve never seen those kinds of shops. Drew and Yu-chan went to the extra room and choose cigars. Kiyo-chan and I looked around the shop. I bought a pack of cigarettes to my father.
Drew chose two or three cigars. One was about 1500yen. He also bought a cigar cutter, an ashtray, a lighter and a cigars keeper. I think he spent about 20,000yen. If I were he, I would definitely ask to make a discount. But he said they were cheaper than Isetan Department store. He looked very happy, so I was happy, too.
I wanted to go to another temple, but it was around 15:30 and it might be closed. We decided to go for shopping. We got on a taxi again, and went to Nishi-Kyogoku. There is a big shopping arcade and we didn’t have to use umbrellas. I had nothing to do there. I just follow them. Drew and Yu-chan were interested in many shops. They went into some shops and stared at some goods.
After that, we went to Ryoanji. I usually walk from Kinkakuji to Ryoanji, but it was still raining, so we used a taxi. Ryoanji is famous of Sekitei, but other places are good, too. Kiyo-san was interested in some letters. Please look at the picture. Can you understand what it means? It is read 「吾唯知足」。 I think ancient people were smart and had a good sense of humor. We spent a while at Sekitei. Sekitei is only stones, but it makes me calm. When I see those Japanese gardens, I feel I’m happy that I’m Japanese.
We went to Kinkakuji. I think Kinkakuji is the most famous temple in Japan because of its façade. The construction is beautiful and its garden is also nice. It was a weekday, so I could take many pictures. A middle-aged woman guided in English. Her English was better than lady’s in Gosho. I heard her explanation and nodded. We looked around slowly. And we took a break. We had tea in a house. It was a kind of tea ceremony. We followed the same way that Mike-san had already done. I think that is a typical tourist course.