Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Memorial Day in the USA

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May. It used to be known as Decoration Day. On this day, people remember all men and women who have died in military service for the United States. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day and it is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season. ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

It is traditional to fly the flag of the United States at half staff from dawn until noon. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries. Memorial Day is combined with Jefferson Davis' Birthday in Mississippi.
Memorial Day has become less of an occasion of remembrance. Many people choose to hold picnics, sports events and family gatherings on this weekend. This day is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season for cultural events.


Monday, May 30, 2016

Puzzler Answers

June is right around the corner. It's the only month with no holidays! Sheesh! Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

And now, here is a Super Scrabble Puzzle for your perusal. Cool Words:

BRIDGE          EXUDE          HOVER          GENTLE         TACKY         MENDS         YOLK    

How about them BLANKS? Can you figure them out? The answers are down below. Enjoy every one of them.





























WORTHY             PRIZE/AMAZE                DUMBER          DEVICE

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Puzzler Hints

Sunday! We decided to go to he On-sen after all. Everyone enjoys the on-sen. How about you? Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for May 2016:    “every”, “ever”, “never”
“every”  どの・・・もみな、ことごとくの、すべての (all, each よりも意味が強い) 後ろには単数名詞が続きます。
”ever”   比較級、最上級の強調 ; =at any time, at all times
“never”  決してない、= at no time

1.  I don’t know everything about it.   それについて、すべて知っているというわけではありません。
2.  Everyone has a cell phone these days. 今時、みんな携帯電話を持っているよ。
3.  It’s the most remarkable election ever. 一番注目を集めている選挙だね。
4.  I don’t think I’ll ever be homesick here.  ここでホームシックになることはないと思うね。
5.  I never eat meat.  私は肉を食べることはありません。

It's time to pant. E-I-E-I-O.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Puzzler

What shall we do this Sunday? Wax the floors or go to the On-sen? Hmmmm: Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for May 2016:    “every”, “ever”, “never”
“every”  どの・・・もみな、ことごとくの、すべての (all, each よりも意味が強い) 後ろには単数名詞が続きます。
”ever”   比較級、最上級の強調 ; =at any time, at all times
“never”  決してない、= at no time

1.  I don’t know everything about it.   それについて、すべて知っているというわけではありません。
2.  Everyone has a cell phone these days. 今時、みんな携帯電話を持っているよ。
3.  It’s the most remarkable election ever. 一番注目を集めている選挙だね。
4.  I don’t think I’ll ever be homesick here.  ここでホームシックになることはないと思うね。
5.  I never eat meat.  私は肉を食べることはありません。

Every kid is wearing headgear. Why? I am not sure.



Friday, May 27, 2016

BLOG by Misao

What a bright world again!
I did not go out far during Golden Week because my husband had an operation on his eyes in April. The operation was to remove cataracts. So, we had to take care of his eyes.
The operation was that the doctor took out the crystalline lenses in his eyes and replaced them with artificial lenses. He was hospitalized for three days twice.
First his left eye was operated on. Two weeks later his right eye was operated on. After each operation that eye was covered with a very large bandage. The next morning when the big cover was taken off (removed) by the nurse, my husband said "How bright! I can see so much better."
When he returned home and watched TV he said "The screen is so bright. I had been thinking that the screen of our television has not been bright because it is old. But the old one is me!"
Also, he saw his eyes in the mirror. "Do I have such big eyes?" he asked seriously. Later he asked the doctor "Did you make my eyes bigger than before when you put in the artificial lenses?" The doctor smiled and said "No, I didn't."
Happily his eyes recovered brightness and his face looks bright. I thought, I have poor eyesight. I'd like to have an operation some day soon.
 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

BLOG by Mari

On May 8th one friend from our Yamaha group passed away. She was forty-six (46) years old. She had been battling (fighting) breast cancer for three and a half years. I played piano with her three times at our piano and electone recitals. She had (leaves behind) one daughter and a husband. Their daughter is only ten years old. I am very saddened by her death. As far as cancer screening is concerned there are two types of thought among my friends.
1. Do nothing.
Yesterday I asked two of my friends, "Why don't you get any medical check ups. Are you scared?" They said it was not necessary to take any checkups.
2. Have annual cancer screenings and check-ups. Because I think anyone can get cancer. And if they find cancer and it is in the early stages it can be cured.
What do you think?

For a list of cancer awareness dates please visit:
http://www.cancer.net/research-and-advocacy/cancer-awareness-dates








Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Bridge

I decided that I do not want to play bridge anymore. 5 years ago we took part in a Bridge introductory course at the Kenkatsu Center. Ten of us formed a circle (group) and practiced with a teacher twice a month. It was fun. Miwako and I finally decided to go to the competitions in Tokyo. At first we did nothing but lose (= We always lost). But little by little we improved and started to play better. Finally we won some championships. Just this year we got over 50 MPs (Master Points) so we became National Masters. We are very proud of that. So, why quit? 
1. Sunday is my only day off.
2. I have now become the gardener of our house. That is, my household chores have increased.
3. I want to enjoy driving our car or go to the zoo or Skytree or an On-sen, etc. on Sundays.
4. I want to sleep in late on Sunday.
5. I want to quit playing the bridge software on my computer because it is too time consuming.
6. I continue to make the same mistakes at the bridge table.
It was time to stop. We met many nice people playing bridge. Most were kind and interesting. I will miss that. I will especially miss competing as a team with my wife. Thank you, everybody.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sano Outlet Mall

I needed some new clothes. I have been going to different department stores here and there but no success in finding what I want. Miwako and I had a day off on Sunday. We decided to go to SANO outlet Shopping Mall. The last time we were there was about 5 years ago. We have a friend who lives in Utsunomiya. I called him and asked him and his family to meet us at the Mall for lunch. They agreed. One reason to choose this mall is because the KenOuDo highway opened recently and we used it to go there. It was so fast. We got on at Okegawa/Kanou intersection and cruised straight to Sano on the highways. It took only about 45 minutes. Miwako drove. I bought 2 pair of pants, 4 shirts and 2 hats. Almost everything was on sale. Miwako bought a top. We met our friends and had lunch. They also did some shopping. There were a lot of people there. And most of these people were very well dressed. It looks like they buy all their clothes here. So, now I don't have to go shopping anymore. Bridge? No bridge this day. See tomorrow's BLOG for more on that.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Puzzler Answers

The Eiken tests for kids is June 11th. So, I have to teach hard until then. That means NO GAME DAYS! this month. Wish us luck. Puzzle Answers: CLICK HERE.

In the meantime here is  a Super Scrabble Puzzle for your perusal. COOL WORDS:

DEMOTIC      BONCE      SWANG      NOOSE      OUST      MUSTY      DAZE      WEEPER

1. And how about them BLANKS? Can you figure them out. The answers are way down below.
2. AND there is an error. Can you spot it? The answer is way down below below.































BLEACH/BREACH    AUGUST/TROUBLE   VIEW    IF/IOF/ON




Mistake?      RUOT    should be ROUT




Sunday, May 22, 2016

Puzzler Hints

No bridge today. We are going to the SANO Outlet shopping mall. I need to buy some clothes and we will meet some friends from Utsunomiya. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for May 2016:    “every”, “ever”, “never”
“every”  どの・・・もみな、ことごとくの、すべての (all, each よりも意味が強い) 後ろには単数名詞が続きます。
”ever”   比較級、最上級の強調 ; =at any time, at all times
“never”  決してない、= at no time

1.  I don’t know everything about it.   それについて、すべて知っているというわけではありません。
2.  Everyone has a cell phone these days. 今時、みんな携帯電話を持っているよ。
3.  It’s the most remarkable election ever. 一番注目を集めている選挙だね。
4.  I don’t think I’ll ever be homesick here.  ここでホームシックになることはないと思うね。
5.  I never eat meat.  私は肉を食べることはありません。

Me and the kids at Yoshino Day Care in Kawagoe

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Puzzler

The weather certainly is getting nicer. It's time to get outside more. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for May 2016:    “every”, “ever”, “never”
“every”  どの・・・もみな、ことごとくの、すべての (all, each よりも意味が強い) 後ろには単数名詞が続きます。
”ever”   比較級、最上級の強調 ; =at any time, at all times
“never”  決してない、= at no time

1.  I don’t know everything about it.   それについて、すべて知っているというわけではありません。
2.  Everyone has a cell phone these days. 今時、みんな携帯電話を持っているよ。
3.  It’s the most remarkable election ever. 一番注目を集めている選挙だね。
4.  I don’t think I’ll ever be homesick here.  ここでホームシックになることはないと思うね。
5.  I never eat meat.  私は肉を食べることはありません。

Can't you just hearing the frogs singing Kero Kero


Friday, May 20, 2016

Bridge

There were none of the regular tournaments for us last Sunday. I thought we had a day off from bridge. However, Miwako found a competition called EVEN CHANCE. In this competition very high level players are paired with very low level players. In Japanese you say OYA-KO. We had never played in this kind of tournament before. It seemed very easy. The biggest difference was that first, we shuffle the cards. Usually the cards are set and never change. That is, every team plays exactly the same cards. Of course, the level of the players is very similar. In EVEN CHANCE the OYAs play against the KOs. So, it was very difficult for us. I am pretty sure we were the weakest of the KOs so we were paired with a very high level team. We made mistakes almost every round. The fact OYAs are very old ladies. They are also very good bridge players. One of our OYAs told us every time that we have to try harder because we are a team! She was unhappy to lose. The other OYA didn't seem to care. Life goes on.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Touring Tokyo with John by Kiyomi

I went sightseeing in Tokyo with John who is Rick ‘s friend on May 3, Constitution Day. I rode on the train at 9 : 27 from Omiya . I was lucky to get a seat next to John. First we went to Hikarie to see the diagonal crossing from high building  and to buy lunch.The diagonal crossing was not crowded at that time I thought . But when we were crossing there became crowded and hot. Next we went to see the statue of Hachiko .
Then we went to Meiji shrine . The day was festival of spring . so we saw festival music performance for 30 minutes. Then we saw wedding march and Shinto priest march.When we saw to Koto performance John got tired , so he went back and we sat on the ground . But we were given cautions three times from the guard . then we went a park with grass 1.5Km away.
I went there for the first time. It was a nice place. Ryoko, John and I stayed there. The rest of them went to see a museum. We were very relaxed there for over 30 minutes. On the grass we felt very comfortable.  Then we walked to Omotesando into many people. Then we went to Akihabara. There we ate ice cream. John said he wanted to shower so he was going to return to his Hotel. Finaly we met at the Izakaya at 6 pm.
I want to meet him again I thought because he was gentleman and like a father of bear .

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Touring Tokyo with John by KUMA

SUMMARY of TOKYO-UENO TOUR for Mr. John Holod

Mutsumi and Kuma guided around Ueno Park for Mr. John Holod on May 1st.
 
1. Itinerary
8:30         pick him up at Takemura Ryokan
9:00~10:00  Okegawa~Ueno,  JR Takasaki line,  Green car
10:00~12:00  Ueno Park tour
12:00~13:00  lunch at Ameya Yokocho
13:00        hand him to next team at Saigo Takamori Statue

2. Summary
(1) Nice weather and we could go well according to the plan.
(2) He is wonderful. Very smart and charming. If he grows his beard, he looks like
   Santa Claus.
(3) He is interested in Japanese history. Around Ueno Park there are a lot of historic places.
So this tour met his satisfaction. He took many photos.

3. Memorable Conversation
(1) Who is that Saigo Takamori wearing kimono and walking the dog ?
(2) Why only face of Buddha Statue was left ?
(3) Shinobazu Pond was a lot of fun.
(4) When praying at the shrine, what should we do ?
(5) Gojo shrine is most important for whom ?
(6) There are several Toshogu in Japan.
(7) Ancient technology like Shinbashira are great.
(8) No time to visit Museums and Peony Garden.
(9) What’s Ameya Yokocho ?  Very crowded and colourful.
(10) I prefer Sashimi rather than Sushi.

4. Close
Rick Sensei
First of all, I say thank you so much for your plan to guide your friend John by your students. We can take great chance to explain about our country in English. I’m happy to have John with us.
Widely speaking, this plan boost civilian diplomacy between U.S. and Japan. If you try to make such plan next, I’d like to participate in it willingly.
Thanks, KUMA

 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

John's Massage

I arranged for my massage guy to give John a massage. 6 or 7 years ago I went to this gentleman and asked him to help me. I had terrible pains in my shoulders and neck and back. I told this to some students. One student told me that her husband gives massages. Lucky! I arranged to meet him. First he came to my school with his table. The massages hurt! He tried very hard to make my muscles relax and become soft again. I wanted to go every day. But, he said NO just once a  week. That was some 3 years. Then I went twice a month and now finally once a month. It is excellent. He is a very good massage person. So, when I made John's itinerary for his visit. I included a massage for him. At first he was skeptical. (unbelieving). John said that he preferred (wanted) a woman to give him a massage, NOT a man. I told him not to worry. At long last, we went May 5th at 8AM. It took 40 minutes. I took many pictures. I was finally able to see how he gives a massage. It was very interesting for me and John seemed pleased.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Puzzler Answers

And now it's Monday. It happens every time after Sunday. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE
And now for your perusal, a Super Scrabble Puzzle. COOL WORDS:

DOUGH        OZONE        HANDY       RANCOR        TRUANT         RAFTER         DITCH   

1. Can you guess the BLANKS? Answers are way down below.

2. There is one spelling mistake. OMG! Can you find it? The answer is way down below below.   





































1. RICH/DEATH             YES/STOOL             KEELS/KEEPS          GOAD/GOLD/GOOD


2. KIDN





Sunday, May 15, 2016

Puzzler Hints

On this Sunday we are participating in a new kind of tournament. It is called EVEN CHANCE. I'll report on it next week. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for May 2016:    “every”, “ever”, “never”
“every”  どの・・・もみな、ことごとくの、すべての (all, each よりも意味が強い) 後ろには単数名詞が続きます。
”ever”   比較級、最上級の強調 ; =at any time, at all times
“never”  決してない、= at no time

1. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. 「郷に入っては郷に従え」(ことわざ)
2.  Everyone has a cell phone these days. 今時、みんな携帯電話を持っているよ。
3.  It’s the most remarkable election ever. 一番注目を集めている選挙だね。
4.  I don’t think I’ll ever be homesick here.  ここでホームシックになることはないと思うね。
5.  I never eat meat.  私は肉を食べることはありません。
John's massage 2


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Puzzler

It is getting hotter every day. Are you ready for the heat?  Here's the Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for May 2016:    “every”, “ever”, “never”
“every”  どの・・・もみな、ことごとくの、すべての (all, each よりも意味が強い) 後ろには単数名詞が続きます。
”ever”   比較級、最上級の強調 ; =at any time, at all times
“never”  決してない、= at no time

1.  I don’t know everything about it.   それについて、すべて知っているというわけではありません。
2.  Everyone has a cell phone these days. 今時、みんな携帯電話を持っているよ。
3.  It’s the most remarkable election ever. 一番注目を集めている選挙だね。
4.  I don’t think I’ll ever be homesick here.  ここでホームシックになることはないと思うね。
5.  I never eat meat.  私は肉を食べることはありません。

John's massage 1
 

Friday, May 13, 2016

With John in Tokyo by Yummy

On May 2nd, five of us took John to the Edo – Tokyo Open air Architectural Museum.  There are more than 30 outdoor exhibits, which were constructed in Tokyo between Edo period and Showa period. 
In a farmhouse, a volunteer guy was making a fire in the irori fireplace.  John looked fascinated with it.  That must have been new to him.  We got relaxed to feel the old Japanese atmosphere. 
My favorite architecture is the public bathhouse.  It reminded us of the old days in Japan. Though we didn’t take a bath because of no hot water in the bathtub, John looked interested in the Japanese style.  In a few days he must actually have experienced the hot spring with Rick and remembered this bathhouse. Although John was under the weather that day, we were happy to take him on this tour.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Bonsai Village

When my friend visited Japan I told my students that this is an opportunity (chance) to practice their English. They could do this by taking John on tours of Tokyo. Of course, he speaks NO Japanese. The students would have to communicate in English. I also told them to take him to places that they, the students, wanted to go. Because John had no idea where to go or what to see. I think that it worked out very well for all. I also had the chance to do some things I wanted to do. First of all, we went to Bonsai Village in Saitama City. I took my mother there when she visited 24 years ago. It is very different now. John said that his dentist was very  interested in Bonsai, so he wanted to take pictures and some videos to show his friend. The place was very interesting. The Bonsai were beautiful and so unique. We also got lucky twice. The first is that we saw an 'O-Koto and Shamisen' performance outside when we ate our O-Bento lunch. Later we met a young American who is studying Bonsai. He explained a lot to us. Lucky!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The vacant lot next door

I worked hard clearing the field next door of all the weeds last year. I enjoyed drinking  coffee and admiring it all winter. Spring is here so the weeds have appeared again. It was time to take action. I went out and dug out some of the weeds but it looked impossible. These weeds were everywhere. They are Japanese Sugina. Then I got very lucky. One of my students is a Tokyo Fire Department Rescue Squad Captain. Wow! He also plants rice in his aunt's field in the spring. That field is very near my house. He volunteered to come and till this field. That means that he will turn over (churn) the ground with his tractor. He came just before GW. We got permission for the owner via a relative, and then he did it. After that one neighbor and I pulled out all the poles. Now the field looks GOOD! I asked him to leave the bamboo island. He said he will come once a month. The next time I will ask him to cut everything. It will be easier for him as there are no more poles. You can see the field before the tilling by looking at my 4/27 BLOG.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Back to normal

My friend John went back to the US of A last Saturday. We said good-bye at the Ryoukan and then Miwako drove him the Seibu bus terminal. From there he took the ON Liner to Narita and then flew away. He said he liked the food very much. I know why. He also said that the women are beautiful! I agree. He went to Tokyo five days. He met with 30 of my friends and students. Some took him on the tours and some went out for dinner and drinks with him. The last three days I took him to Bonsai Village in Saitama City. I then took him to a baseball game at Yohmama stadium. From there we took the Odoriko line to Atami. We stayed one night at a resort mansion. We went to an outdoor bath on the sea and had lobster, crab and fresh sashimi at a local restaurant. The next day back to Omiya to make his reservations for his return to Narita. Then one final night out. I am pretty sure he enjoyed the trip. And once again, Thank you all!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Puzzler Answers

And now, back to reality. So, here is today's Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE

And here is a Super Scrabble Puzzler for your perusal. Cool Words:

POUCH        FIBS         VIGOR        NICK         EBONY        SWAMP       DODGE        REALM

And how about the BLANKS? Can you figure them out? The answers are way down below.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
COPING                                CUP/PUP/SUP                        BESIDE                    INDENT

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Puzzler Hints

My friend, John, has gone. He went back to his home, USA. I look forward to hearing stories about him from my friends and students. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE

HOME PROJECT for May 2016:    every, ever,  every”  どの・・・もみな、ことごとくの、すべての (all, eachよりも意味が強い) 後ろには単数名詞が続きます。
”ever”   比較級、最上級の強調 ; =at any time, at all times
“never”  決してない、= at no time

1.  Every country has its law.= When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
2.  Everyone has a cell phone these days.
3.  It’s the most remarkable election ever.
4.  I don’t think I’ll ever be homesick here.
5.  I never eat meat.



Saturday, May 7, 2016

Puzzler

The Puzzler is back after the holidays, well rested and ready to go! How about you? Puzzler: CLICK HERE

HOME PROJECT for May 2016:    every, ever,  every”  どの・・・もみな、ことごとくの、すべての (all, eachよりも意味が強い) 後ろには単数名詞が続きます。
”ever”   比較級、最上級の強調 ; =at any time, at all times
“never”  決してない、= at no time

1.  Every country has its law.= When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
2.  Everyone has a cell phone these days.
3.  It’s the most remarkable election ever.
4.  I don’t think I’ll ever be homesick here.
5.  I never eat meat.
Happy campers

Friday, May 6, 2016

Bridge

My buddy John is in Japan. He arrived last Thursday. I have arranged to have my students take him on tours in and around Tokyo. That was from last Friday to Tuesday. So, I was free to teach, go to the gym, practise my violin and play bridge. Of course three nights I met with John and the students for dinner after their Tokyo tours. Miwako and I went to play bridge in Yotsuya last Friday. That was a holiday. Then on Sunday I stayed home all day and cleaned the vacant lot next door and cleaned around my house. I cleaned up and threw away a lot of gardening things from our garden. And finally we went to play bridge on Tuesday, another holiday. The bad news is that we played in an Under 300/Under 100 competition. We have 51 HPs. Very simply, most of the other players were very, very good. And we are not. If you look at the photo you can see the results. However we will try again this Sunday.
 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Childrens' Day

Children's Day is a Japanese national holiday which takes place annually on May 5, the fifth day of the fifth month. It is part of Golden Week. It is a day set aside to respect children's personalities and to celebrate their happiness. It was designated a national holiday by the Japanese government in 1948. It has been a day of celebration in Japan since ancient times
The day was originally called Tango no Sekku, and was celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th moon in the lunar calendar or Chinese calendar. After Japan switched to the Gregorian calendar, the date was moved to May 5. It was originally exclusively male celebrating boys and recognizing fathers. But it has since been changed to include both boys and girls. It also recognizs mothers along with fathers.
Until recently, Tango no Sekku was known as Boys' Day (also known as Feast of Banners) while Girls' Day (Hinamatsuri) was celebrated on March 3. In 1948, the government decreed this day to be a national holiday to celebrate the happiness of all children and to express gratitude toward mothers. It was renamed Kodomo no Hi.
 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Greenery Day

Not to be confused with Green Day.
Greenery Day
Observed by
Japan
Type
National
Date
May 4
Greenery Day (みどりの日 Midori no Hi). The present observation of Greenery Day as a national holiday in Japan stems from the celebration of the Emperor Shōwa's birthday on April 29 every year during the Shōwa era. In 1989, following the ascension of the current Emperor Akihito to the Chrysanthemum Throne, the name of the holiday was changed from "Birthday of the Emperor" to "Greenery Day".Officially, as its name suggests, it is a day to commune with nature and to be thankful for blessings. The day was renamed to "Greenery Day" to acknowledge the controversial wartime emperor's love for plants without directly mentioning his name. However, in practice it is seen as just another day that expands the Japanese Golden Week vacation.
In 2007, Greenery Day moved to May 4, and April 29 was changed to Shōwa Day in accordance with a 2005 revision of the law pertaining to public holidays. The Shōwa Emperor reigned for 62 years and 2 weeks. On May 3, 1947, he became a symbol of Japan by the new constitution of the country.

My friend tilled the field next door.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Constitution Day

I looked in Wikepedia for information and found this story.
Genghis Khan Day is a hoilday in Mongolia. His birthday is November14th. It is a hioliday.
Genghis Khan c. 1162 – August 18 1227, born Temüjin, was the founder and Great Khan (emperor) of the Mongol Empire. It became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death.
He came to power by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia. After founding the Mongol Empire and being proclaimed "Genghis Khan", he started the Mongol invasions that resulted in the conquest of most of Eurasia. By the end of his life, the Mongol Empire occupied a substantial portion of Central Asia and China.
Beyond his military accomplishments, Genghis Khan also advanced the Mongol Empire in other ways. He decreed the adoption of the Uyghur script as the Mongol Empire's writing system. He also  encouraged religious tolerance in the Mongol Empire. He unified the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia. Present-day Mongolians regard him as the founding father of Mongolia.
Genghis Khan is credited with bringing the Silk Road under one cohesive political environment. This brought communication and trade from Northeast Asia into Muslim Southwest Asia and Christian Europe, thus expanding the horizons of all three cultural areas.

Monday, May 2, 2016

A visitor from the US

My best buddy, John, is in town. We have been friends since high school. He is a musician, cook, photographer, birder, animal lover, movie producer, comedian and a great man. Thanks to him I am here in Japan. I invited him to come and enjoy the Land of the Rising Sun during this Golden Week. He  is a very busy man. I am very happy that he took the time to come. He is here from April 27th to May 6th. The first half of his trip here is now about over. He is staying at a small classic Japanese Ryoukan near Okegawa station. So, it is easy for him to get to and from the station. It is also easy for students to pick him up for his tours. I arranged to have some of my students take him to Tokyo. They have taken him to many places. So far, everything is going according to my plan. He is fascinated by so many things here. He also loves the food. He has taken lots and lots of pictures. He and I will spend some quality time together May 4, 5 and 6. I am really looking forward to it.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Bridge

My buddy John is in town. He arrived in Okegawa Thursday night at 8:30. He came to my school, we hugged, and at 9PM we went to Shoya to eat, drink and talk. I then took him to the TAKEMURA Ryoukan on Nakasendou. So, he is settled in. The next day some lovely students took him cruising around Tokyo. Miwako and I went to Gotanda to play bridge. We thought there might be a traffic jam as it is GW so we left our house extra early. But there was no traffic jam so we arrived extra early. That was good as I had breakfast at Denny's. However that didn't help our bridge playing. Again simple errors and a costly (quite bad) bidding mistake by me kept our results low on the board. As usual there were some good moments. We will not play today. I want to clean up the garden and other things around our house. But we will go again the day ater tomorrow


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