Saturday, August 31, 2013

Puzzler

It is the last weekend of summer vacation. I had a great summer. How about you? Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for August:  付加疑問文tag questions

軽い確認、念を押す時、同意を求める時に使います。
(否定文も付加疑問文にできます)

肯定文には否定の疑問文をつけて、「 ~ですよね?」
否定文には普通の疑問文をつけて、「~ではないですよね?」
主語は代名詞に変えます。

1. You like sushi, don’t you?  寿司はお好きですよね?
2. She will be twenty next month, won’t she?  彼女は来月20歳になるんですよね?
3. George can’t drive, can he? ジョージは運転できないんだよね?
4. These grapes aren’t sweet, are they?  このぶどう甘くないよね?

会話の時にちょっと使ってみませんか?
Good luck 
My rice field ths 6:15AM
 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Two old guys

The gentleman in the picture with me is Mr. Masanobu Miyazawa. He is the owner of Marukyu company. You probably know that his company makes fishing bait and fishing goods, don't you? He is also the president of the Okegawa RINRI HouJinKai. He was president two years ago. He recommended that I try to do the president job after him. I completely failed at the job. Actually I wasn't really intertested in it, but I tried it. After my failure he came to the group rescue by being the president again. I became his VP (vice-president) with little or no responsibility. His company has a "Appreciation Festival" every year at his factory. It is pretty cool. I am happy to attend. I went last Saturday. It was fun.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Another old guy

One day during the holidays I was on my way to school by bike and the bike shop was open. It is Bridgestone. I bought my bike here. That was June of 2012. The owner (Mr. Miyamoto) told me that there was a free one year check up on the bike. So I stopped in as he was opened early. He said that he was on his way to a memorial service but he had some time right then. He got to work. He checked the brakes and tires and spokes and saddle and bell and light and gears and basket and all. He then polished the fenders and frame with a cream. His son then arrived to pick him up by car. He helped his dad for a while. When he was done he gave me the bad news: I need a new back tire. 5,000en but a special price for me: 4,000en. Lucky?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Jigsaw Puzzle

I stayed home all day August 17th. I even skipped RINRI! Bad boy, eh? Anyway, I got up at 8:30 and started doing the puzzle at 10:35. The puzzle is TonariNoTotoro. It is 500 pieces. We did this puzzle during the New Year holidays in January. Four of us worked on it then. It took about four hours. This time I worked on it for the first 90 minutes alone. Miwako came along and immediately started to help. We could work on separate areas. Finally Rina came along and helped for the last hour. During the final 10 minutes or so, I just watched as they competed to see who will put in the last piece. It was Rina. We finished at 1:55. I broke the puzzle into pieces and put them back in the box. There is glue to paste it and display it. We didn't do that. If you like I will give the puzzle to you. You want it, don't you?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My rice field owner

This is a picture of Mr Tomono. I don't know how old he is, but I suppose 75 to 80. He grows strawberries in some plastic houses. His place is right around the corner from my house. His daughter and her family live right across the road from us. Of course he is the owner of "my rice field" which is in front of our place. He has several rice fields. He rides his bike checking on them from time to time. I had this chance to take his picture and he agreed. Then he told me that he uses special fertilizer that he gets from JA and he can sell his rice there. He also said because it is so hot recently that he plants his field later than others. He said the  taste is the same but the rice becomes too white in the hot sun. He's a cool old guy, isn't he?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Puzzler Answers

One more week of summer vacation. I have a couple of free days left. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.
My weekend went something like this.
1. RINRI Morning Seminar. I played hooky the previous week. I just wanted to take a day off.
2. To school to teach three kids lessons.
3. To Kenkatsu to teach two adult lessons.
4. Go to Marukyu "Appreciation" festival.
5. At night a town meeting at the Ji chi kai kan.
6. Jog.
7. No Drinking...a minor miracle.
Sunday
1. Jog
2. To school
3. Spanish week review.
4. Violin practice 2 hours.
5. Read Les M...page 1002
6. Home to nap.
7. Go to the movies with Miwako and Yumiko at Mollage. We see "Kazetachinu".
8. Home to eat and drink...too much.
My rice field 7:50AM today

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Puzzler Hints

And now a whole Sunday off. I should do something, shouldn't I? Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for August:  付加疑問文tag questions

軽い確認、念を押す時、同意を求める時に使います。
(否定文も付加疑問文にできます)

肯定文には否定の疑問文をつけて、「 ~ですよね?」
否定文には普通の疑問文をつけて、「~ではないですよね?」
主語は代名詞に変えます。

1. You like sushi, don’t you?  寿司はお好きですよね?
2. She will be twenty next month, won’t she?  彼女は来月20歳になるんですよね?
3. George can’t drive, can he? ジョージは運転できないんだよね?
4. These grapes aren’t sweet, are they?  このぶどう甘くないよね?

会話の時にちょっと使ってみませんか?
Good luck

You can see the rice, can't you? 6:30AM today.
 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Puzzler

The Puzzler is back. You missed it, didn't you. Puzzler:CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for August:  付加疑問文tag questions

軽い確認、念を押す時、同意を求める時に使います。
(否定文も付加疑問文にできます)

肯定文には否定の疑問文をつけて、「 ~ですよね?」
否定文には普通の疑問文をつけて、「~ではないですよね?」
主語は代名詞に変えます。

1. You like sushi, don’t you?  寿司はお好きですよね?
2. She will be twenty next month, won’t she?  彼女は来月20歳になるんですよね?
3. George can’t drive, can he? ジョージは運転できないんだよね?
4. These grapes aren’t sweet, are they?  このぶどう甘くないよね?

会話の時にちょっと使ってみませんか?
Good luck 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Les Miserables 2/3

 Today is August 16th. I just finished page 801. Here is an update. You are dying to hear this, aren't you?
1. Jean Valjean continues to hide form the police. He and Cosette move to different places. They live  in a convent for 5 years. Cosette is educated here.
2. Cosette is growing up and finds herself to be beautiful.
3. Marius enters the story. His father was killed in the war so Marius was brought up by his grandfather.
4. The grandfather hated Marius' father and so did Marius but he comes to love his father.
6. One fine day, Marius sees Cosette. He is crazy in love with her. But he doesn't speak to her. He only loves her from a distance.
7. Jean V has a close call with the police. He fights 7 attackers and is safe. He eludes (runs away from) Javert again.
8. Finally Marius and Cosette meet. Luv, luv!
9. A new character: Gavroche, a boy of 10.
I think I can finish by September.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mida Kindergarten

At Mida Kindergarten I started the after school lessons from June this year. I have finally developed a program that I can use regularly. The first group is the 4 to 5 year-olds (Nen-chu) for 50 minutes and then the 5 to 6 year-olds (Nen-cho) kids. There are 11 in the first class and 15 in the second. The second class is about 70 minutes because we overbooked. The Nen-chu kids just don't get it. Two of them do nothing all lesson. (You won't tell the moms, will you?) About half actually listen and do what I tell them to do. Of course those are the girls. However some boys try, too. The second class has much better students. They seem to enjoy writing letters and they do almost anything I tell them to do, both boys and girls. I have started e-mailing the lesson reports to the mothers. I also send a couple of pics. I hope this becomes a popular way to keep the moms informed about the lesson.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Izu Penninsula Part 2

At 5:30AM I drove to a small harbor to find a flat jogging place. Success! I marked off  a one kilometer course and ran it three times. Back to the on-sen at the resort. I read some more waiting for M to wake up. B-fast was bread that we brought from Ageo. About 10AM we took a drive to find another beach. It is the one I have posted in the BLOGS. The name is KujuHama. It is rather secluded but I went down for another swim and then back to 'Alice's restaurant' for lunch. I borrowed her garden hose (500en) to wash off and change. From there a scenic drive along the coast to the Aloe Center to get Aloe soft cream. Yummy! Back to the hotel through a traffic jam on route 135. The Prince and family were arriving so some roads were inaccessible (we can't use them). Small problem as again M drove and I napped. We shopped on the way back to the resort and then dinner and drinks for our last night.  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Izu Peninsula Part 1


View of the beach from the water
So, the first day we left at 4:31 from KenKatsu. Miwkao drove 3 and 1/2 hours to our first resort hotel in Atami. I slept for one hour in the car during the traffic jam in Tokyo. We were just in time for the last order at the restaurant. I had some very good Japanese Sake. The next day I drove us to Inatori. We stayed the next two nights at another resort hotel. The drive on route 135 along the coast is quite beautiful. You have seen it, haven't you? We settled in and relaxed at the hotel. I did my violin practice at the Karaoke room and read 'Les Miserables' later as I wasn't drinking this night. I also jogged on the runnning machine (free) in the training room. I went  to sleep early and got up early the next AM to find a jogging place. To be continued... 

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Summer Vacation

It's not a very good picture but it will suffice (it will be sufficient). M and I went to Izu peninsula for three nights, August 10, 11, 12, 13. My goal is to go swimming in the ocean. It is one of my life's policies. I swam twice this trip so I am a happy guy(jin?)! Of course no teaching, no blogging, no RINRI, no business, no responsibility are more reasons to smile. And with all that freedom I had to be careful with my drinking. I abstained 2 nights (that means NO drinking). I jogged every day and even practiced the violin once. That was cool as we reserved the Karaoke room for one hour. M sang her own songs and I practiced the violin. The rooms are cheap. 3,000 and 4,000 per person per night. We had to eat out. We had good weather, went shopping, driving, sight-seeing and basically had a splendid vacation. More about this tomorrow and the next day. You don't mind waiting, do you?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Education, regions

Bon Dancing is used in schools when they teach Japanese tradition. Also, Bon Dancing is planned under the auspices of women's association and resident's association as a place of regional exchange. The number of successors of traditional Bon Dancing tends to decrease. However, conservartion activities are being carried out in various places under the jurisdiction of the board of education.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Local Customs

The origin of Bon is a Buddist event called Urabonkai, but actually it has much influence from local customs of ancient Japan, such as memorial service of the ancestors, Bon ornaments, etc. Lyrics of old Bon Dancing tends to be rather vulgar. It might have been an occasion when grown ups drove away their gloom by singing dirty things that you can't say at ordinary times, youngsters used lover's tactics by songs and dances, children enjoyed the dance innocently. The end

Friday, August 16, 2013

The history of folk dancing

I think there are many people who recall folk song when they talk about Bon Dancing. This is a new folk song which made a big hit by the composition of Shimpei Nakayama in the beginning of Showa era. The representation is Tokyo Dancing. After WW2, Bon Dancing was reestablished as an opportunity of local relationship event and records of new folk songs were used. Folk songs like Kushimoto Bushi recorded by popular singer Michiya Mihashi in Showa 30s contributed to this. Later, new songs like Doraemon Ondo were made one after another and Bon Dancing using CDs are held all over Japan.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The history of traditional dance

It can be considered that Nembutu dancing of Buddist line and Furyu dancing of ancient Japan got together absorbed by Bon events and came into existence in the 15thcentury. It seems that it had ritual factor in the beginning, but as it came down in time, entertaining factor became larger. We can imagine that it might have been an extrimely gaudy event since it was banned many times during Muromachi era to Meiji era. Although there are many dances that are lasting until now without becoming extinct.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Types of Bon Dancing

There are two large trends in Bon Dancing: Traditional type of Bon Dancing, and Folk Dance type, which developped after the WW2. There are variety of patterns in traditional type, and there is a close relation with the local folk customs. Regarding music, there are patterns such as; songs only, drums only, flute, shamisen, but people dance to live performance in every pattern. Folk dance type developped after WW2, and people usually dance to the music of folk records played in town parks and cummunity centers.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

O-Bon

Obon is an annual Buddhist event for commemorating one's ancestors. It is believed that each year during obon, the ancestors' spirits return to this world in order to visit their relatives. Traditionally, lanterns are hung in front of houses to guide the ancestors' spirits, obon dances (bon odori) are performed, graves are visited and food offerings are made at house altars and temples. At the end of Obon, floating lanterns are put into rivers, lakes and seas in order to guide the spirits back into their world. The customs followed vary strongly from region to region. Obon is observed from the 13th to the 15th day of the 7th month of the year, which is July according to the solar calendar. However, since the 7th month of the year roughly coincides with August rather than July according to the formerly used lunar calendar, Obon is still observed in mid August in many regions of Japan, while it is observed in mid July in other regions.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Puzzler Answers

We come back from Izu tomorrow. I hope to post some simple BLOGs and pics this week. Are you ready for O-Bon? Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for August:  付加疑問文tag questions

軽い確認、念を押す時、同意を求める時に使います。
(否定文も付加疑問文にできます)

肯定文には否定の疑問文をつけて、「 ~ですよね?」
否定文には普通の疑問文をつけて、「~ではないですよね?」
主語は代名詞に変えます。

1. You like sushi, don’t you?  寿司はお好きですよね?
2. She will be twenty next month, won’t she?  彼女は来月20歳になるんですよね?
3. George can’t drive, can he? ジョージは運転できないんだよね?
4. These grapes aren’t sweet, are they?  このぶどう甘くないよね?

会話の時にちょっと使ってみませんか?
Good luck


 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Puzzler Hints

Yesterday at 9AM
I am afraid that I am having trouble with my Crossword Maker, Java and Blog. I'm having lots of trouble, aren't I? Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for August:  付加疑問文tag questions

軽い確認、念を押す時、同意を求める時に使います。
(否定文も付加疑問文にできます)

肯定文には否定の疑問文をつけて、「 ~ですよね?」
否定文には普通の疑問文をつけて、「~ではないですよね?」
主語は代名詞に変えます。

1. You like sushi, don’t you?  寿司はお好きですよね?
2. She will be twenty next month, won’t she?  彼女は来月20歳になるんですよね?
3. George can’t drive, can he? ジョージは運転できないんだよね?
4. These grapes aren’t sweet, are they?  このぶどう甘くないよね?

会話の時にちょっと使ってみませんか?
Good luck


 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Puzzler


This morning at 9AM

Miwkao and I are on a trip to Atami. I'll try to BLOG from there. Wish me luck. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for August:  付加疑問文tag questions

軽い確認、念を押す時、同意を求める時に使います。
(否定文も付加疑問文にできます)

肯定文には否定の疑問文をつけて、「 ~ですよね?」
否定文には普通の疑問文をつけて、「~ではないですよね?」
主語は代名詞に変えます。

1. You like sushi, don’t you?  寿司はお好きですよね?
2. She will be twenty next month, won’t she?  彼女は来月20歳になるんですよね?
3. George can’t drive, can he? ジョージは運転できないんだよね?
4. These grapes aren’t sweet, are they?  このぶどう甘くないよね?

会話の時にちょっと使ってみませんか?
Good luck


 

Friday, August 9, 2013

1945: Atom bomb hits Nagasaki


American forces have dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki - the second such attack on Japan in three days. The bomb was dropped by parachute from an American B29 Bomber at 1102 local time. It exploded about 1,625 ft (500m) above the ground and is believed to have completely destroyed the city, which is situated on the western side of the Japanese island of Kyushu. Ignorant of the contamination risks they were taking, they were bussed to Nagasaki for transfer to Okinawa People's War memories » In a statement issued from Guam, General Carl A Spaatz, Commander of the US Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific, said: "The second use of the atomic bomb occurred at noon, August 9, at Nagasaki. "Crew members report good results. No further details will be available until the mission returns."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The car part 2

So, I am thinking about this new car. (It comes October 3rd. Our Camry car inspection is October 4th.) I thinking about it all day Monday. The Comfortline model is a "safe" buy. Not too expensive. The interior is plain. The wheels are 16 inch. But, I kept thinking it is an old guy's car. Of course, I am not young. I am 61 years old. But, I think young, perhaps. It could be due to teaching all those kindergarten kids and then the elementary school kids at my school. Or, it could just be because I have never grown up. Anyway, I called Miwako and told her that we should get the Highline model. She wasn't sure, but we decided to go back on Tuesday. We went at 5PM and talked to the salesman. Of course he was happy to oblige (satisfy) our request. Of course it is more expensive, but, it's cool. Last year one of my students had to decide whether to buy a good violin bow or a great violin bow. The great violin bow was very expensive. I told her that you only live once so go for the gusto and get the expensive one. She did and she was happy with that decision. I am sure I won't regret my decision either. After all, I have to practice what I preach.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The car part1

 Sunday, July 28th I went to a karaoke party with some stundents in Omiya. I returned home at 5PM. It was time to relax. Miwako had gone to a Bridge Competition in Tokyo. She telephoned and we decided to go to the VW (Volkswagen) dealer to look at cars. Our accountant told us that we should buy a car for tax purposes. We were considering several cars. VW opened a new dealer in Ageo in June. We went there. I didn't intend to buy a car: only looking. But, once you get the itch (urge) you gotta buy one, don't you? Well, we saw the GOLF line and decided on a COMFORT LINE model. It was cheaper than the sporty HIGH LINE model. So, we chose it. We got a very nice trade-in allowance for our Camry. Even though it was in a rather big accident they gave us 250,000en for it. That clinched (made certain/solidified) our decision. It took 3 hours. We went home to finish drinking.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hiroshima

1945: US drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima The first atomic bomb has been dropped by a United States aircraft on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. President Harry S Truman, announcing the news from the cruiser, USS Augusta, in the mid-Atlantic, said the device was more than 2,000 times more powerful than the largest bomb used to date. An accurate assessment of the damage caused has so far been impossible due to a huge cloud of impenetrable dust covering the target. Hiroshima is one of the chief supply depots for the Japanese army. The bomb was dropped from an American B-29 Superfortress, known as Enola Gay, at 0815 local time. The plane's crew say they saw a column of smoke rising and intense fires springing up.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Puzzler Answers

I finally got my chance to imbibe last night. I just hope I didn't overdo it! Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

Saturday
1. Go to RINRI meeting.
2. Teach at my school. Wow! We had 5 kids at the 9AM lesson. Usually only one or two. Then 6 at the 10AM class then 7 at the 11 AM class.
3. Teach at Kenkatsu. I will bring my kids' listening for the first group next time.
4. Sign a contract with the good folks at the Beginners lesson.
5. Go to Urawa and visit the boss at Plaza East to PR RAM English.
6. Home to jog.
7. Drink.
Sunday
1. Spanish review.
2. Caught and flushed one cockroach down the toilet at my school. Ugh!
3. Played bridge at Kenkatsu.
4. On my way home by bicycle I met one friend who speaks Spanish. I tried some. OK!
5. Drink lots of beer with M while reviewing bridge lessons.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Puzzler Hints

It's a challenge this weekend but I MUST NOT DRNK! Can I do it??? Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for August:  付加疑問文tag questions

軽い確認、念を押す時、同意を求める時に使います。
(否定文も付加疑問文にできます)

肯定文には否定の疑問文をつけて、「 ~ですよね?」
否定文には普通の疑問文をつけて、「~ではないですよね?」
主語は代名詞に変えます。

1. You like sushi, don’t you?  寿司はお好きですよね?
2. She will be twenty next month, won’t she?  彼女は来月20歳になるんですよね?
3. George can’t drive, can he? ジョージは運転できないんだよね?
4. These grapes aren’t sweet, are they?  このぶどう甘くないよね?

会話の時にちょっと使ってみませんか?
Good luck

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Puzzler

It's the weekend just before GW. I can't wait! What will you do?Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for August:  付加疑問文tag questions

軽い確認、念を押す時、同意を求める時に使います。
(否定文も付加疑問文にできます)

肯定文には否定の疑問文をつけて、「 ~ですよね?」
否定文には普通の疑問文をつけて、「~ではないですよね?」
主語は代名詞に変えます。

1. You like sushi, don’t you?  寿司はお好きですよね?
2. She will be twenty next month, won’t she?  彼女は来月20歳になるんですよね?
3. George can’t drive, can he? ジョージは運転できないんだよね?
4. These grapes aren’t sweet, are they?  このぶどう甘くないよね?

会話の時にちょっと使ってみませんか?
Good luck

The rice field this AM


Friday, August 2, 2013

Les Miserables 1/3

So, I have this huge book to read. It is 1200 pages. It is Les Miserables. I ordered it from Kinokuniya by telephone. I didn't realize (know) how long it was. So, I plan to finish it before September. I have free time during the summer so I should be able to do it. Right now I am on page 400 and so far:
1. Monseigneur Bienvenu. Very Holy, honest man. He saves Jean Valjean's soul.
2. Jean Valjean. Went to prison for 19 years for stealing bread. Came out. Became rich. Went back to prison and has escaped.
3. Fantine. Cosette's mother. She has died.
4. Cosette. Lived as a slave with the Thenardier family. She was just rescued by Jean Valjean. She is 9.
5. Inspector Javert. Arrested Jean Valjean as mayor. Now he quit the police force but Jean Valjean has seen him again.
Cool conversation:
Bishop: "Who is this gentleman who is staring at me?"
M Bienvenu: "Sir, you are looking at a plain man. And I am looking at a great man. We both may benefit."

Thursday, August 1, 2013

UESS summer party


The Urawa English Speaking Society held their summer party in Urawa last Saturday night. As always it was a fun event. They meet every Saturday night in Urawa and have English lessons. However, they never have a foreign teacher come to teach them English. They teach themselves. They use NHK text books. All their lessons are in English. I am very impressed with these people and their study efforts. I was invited to make the toast at the party. Over 80 people attended and there were 14 foreigners. I saw a chance to practice my violin! I asked them and they said I could play for five minutes. I must say I was nervous. But I managed to play "Over the Rainbow" without fail. I recorded it and listened later. It wasn't bad even though there was a lot of noise and people laughing (friendly laughter) at my mistakes. It was excellent training for me. Thank you all at the UESS!