Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Guest Rooms

November 30, 2005

There are some tatami rooms for guests in Japanese traditional style house.
In my house, there are 3 tatami rooms as the following picture.

guest rooms
When we have many guests, we took away all fusuma doors. After that, one big room emerge.
These days we hold funerals, Buddhist memorial services and big private parties there. Japanese people also used to hold their wedding ceremonies there in the old days.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

We got a new customer !

November 29, 2005

We got orders from a company, which is in Aichi prefecture Japan, yesterday. The company was sort of a potential customer until now. We have done several sales activities to get a new customer. We did it !!!

On the other hand, there are too many problems caused by asbestos in Japan. Asbestos is included in most slates. Another potential customer has had a plan to make slates without using asbestos. Yes ! The potential customer has had a plan to make slates with using our product(recycled chemical fiber) instead of asbestos ! I hope the plan is determined to implement, of course. :-)

Monday, November 28, 2005


November 28, 2005

a harquebus and spearsI forgot to explain the harquebus at home to my American friend who visited my house the other day. The harquebus is really very old and looks like a rifle gun. I guess it made in the Edo period. I've heard that it was been hiding by my grandfather during World War 2. There weren't enough metal resources in Japan at that time, so Japanese government gathered everything made of metal. That's the reason my grandfather decided to hide it. :-)
There are also some spears with it in my house.

By the way, the verb "explain" isn't used at SVOO sentence patterns. Also, the verb "suggest", too. I didn't know that. I have to study a lot more about verbs....(ToT)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The urge to be a host family

November 27, 2005

I got the urge to become a host family after my American friend visited our family the other day.
The situation was a good opportunity for me to introduce Japanese culture to foreigners. So I can practice my English for free and they can learn Japanese for free, of course.
It sounds give-and-take, right ? :-)
And my children can have lots of opportunities to come into contact with a different culture.

By the way, my nephew and niece came to my house to play with their cousins - my children. Toooooooo noisy ! But if there's no sound children playing, we will have to feel lonely. I don't have any ideas other than being patient. :-p

Friday, November 25, 2005

International exchange event and Takoyaki

November 23, 2005
My American friend and I went to an international exchange event. There was a nice activity. It was "Try to make takoyaki". "Takoyaki" is a Japanese snack.
See also this article about takoyaki.

My Australian friend invited me to join the event. He joined the event with his friends, who have been studying Japanese in Japan. There is a international exchanges place at rinku town, where is close to Kansai international airport.
The event was held there. I met a lot of nice guys and had a chat. That was really fan !

After that, my American friend came to my house to see my Japanese traditional style house. He is very interested in Japanese culture. I tried to explain the detail of my house to him. But my English skill is still bad... I couldn't explain well. I have to apologize to him.
Anyway, we served him oden and raw fish for dinner at home and went out for a drink. He tried to sing some English and Japanese songs at a karaoke bar. :-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


November 22, 2005

Let me introduce "Ramma" today. :-)

Ramma is the carvings of Japanese style room. It's made of natural woods and made by traditional workmen in many cases.
The purposes of ramma are ventilation and daylighting. The room which has rammas become elegant.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Butsudan - Buddhist altar

November 21, 2005

Do you know Butsudan ? It means "Buddhist altar" in Japanese.

A butsudan is in Buddhists's homes to honor both their ancestors and the deceased recently. Generally, they get and put it in the homes when someone of their family died first.
The Buddhist priest gives a name to the deceased each time someone dies. The name is written on an tablet(ihai in Japanese) - a kind of name plates and the tablet is placed on the butsudan. We often offer rice, tea and flowers on it and pray for the repose of souls.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Show-and-tell and Buddhist memorial service

November 20, 2005

I went to the elementary school which my sons attend in order to see show-and-tell this morning.
My 3rd son pronounced a lot in the Japanese way and sang some good songs. The songs are "It's a small world" and "Humans are great". I was so impressed when listened to the songs. The lyrics hit me in my mind.
I wanted to see my eldest son's one, but I wasn't able to do it. Because I had to visit my relative's house to attend a Buddhist memorial service. I think I'll have to attend them a lot from this because my parents have so many brothers and sisters. :-p

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Concert at Kindergarten

November 19, 2005

My wife and I went to a kindergarten where our 4-year-old daughter attend in order to see a concert today.
I was worried about her condition. She had a little bit fever last night. If the temperature went up, I didn't get her in on the concert. Fortunately, it went down this morning. I was relieved.

She and her classmates are really so infant that they can't play well any musical instruments. However, they were practicing a lot for a long time. It's the most important to challenge them, right ? They definitely played so hard. We enjoyed seeing it there. Especially, the scene that many infant girls play musical instruments is so cute. :-)


November 19, 2005

I have to practice my English to explain about my Japanese-style house as I've posted on my blog before.
Today... I try to explain "Tokonoma" in Japanese-style houses.

tokonoma - an alcove in a traditional Japanese room where art or flowers are displayedA tokonoma is an alcove in a traditional Japanese room where art or flowers are displayed. It was originally a religious place to put a statue of Buddha. People today put some seasonal picture scrolls and ones for special occasions with a flower arrangement and an incense burner. The average size of tokonoma is about the size of a tatami mat. And there's an alcove post(tokobasira) beside a tokonoma.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Some foreigners will come ?

November 18, 2005

I've just decided to try to explain my house, which is a kind of traditional style of Japanese house, in English by some occasions. Also, I'll have to do it about our factory, too.
I'll have some visitors who are native English speakers next week on both private and business.

I received an e-mail which is sent by a likely buyer. He's Japanese, but he works for a foreign company and wants to visit our factory to look on it. Our company is a kind of recycling industry. He has a plan to make something by using our products which are manufactured by our recycling process. He may come with some foreigners. I have to practice my English a lot more ! I've not thought of such a situation before. The recycling industry is very minor, I think.
I've been studying English not for business(for my hobby) because I don't need to speak English on my job. I'm anything more than a factory worker. But it's a good opportunity to practice my English on business ! Thank you so much for sending the e-mail ! I'm really glad that I built the web site of our factory ! Next time... I'll have to build our site in English, right ? :-)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Kotatsu - fireplace with a coverlet

November 17, 2005
It was really cold for autumn yesterday. We decided to take out a KOTATSU - a fireplace with a coverlet last night.

It's truly warm for us. :-) Winter season is coming soon. What a short autumn.....
Anyway, winter is the busiest season at my work. I'll have to work 12 hours or more a day. But I'll continue to learn English if I have to work more hard. It means getting old for me to quit studying English.
By the way, I had a lot of Japanese hot sake last night. It's the best way to spend such a cold night.:-) How do you spend at cold nights ?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

My brother is going....

November 16, 2005

Today my brother who's working at our factory together is going to Nagoya on business. He left home at 4:30 so that he have a business meeting around 9 am with a likely buyer. He isn't really a early bird(morning person) like me. :-) I'm worried about his driving.
If he succeeded at the meeting, we could get stable benefits every month. I hope he can success for sure. On the other hand, we will have to work more hard every day.(ToT) We didn't have enough purchase on last busy season, therefore we lost a big business chance then. But we have enough it on this season, we manufacture a lot ! GO FOR IT !!! My brother !!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I don't understand why my wife ask me...

November 16, 2005

My wife often ask me to get home until 6 pm on every Saturday. I usually take English lessons on Saturday. I sometimes get home over 6 pm after them. She wants to have dinner with our children on Saturday, she said. I'm not able to have it with them on every weekdays because I'm so busy at work nowadays. I have to work 10 or 12 hours a day these days.
However, I can get home until a quarter after six on Saturday and can have dinner as soon as I get home. How come she adheres to 6 o'clock sharp ? Why doesn't she wait just 15 minutes ? I don't understand why she is stubborn like that. On the other hand, she often say to me I'm selfish because I leave home around ten to take English lessons and never get home until 6:15 pm on every Saturday. :-p

Please correct my English. :-)

Monday, November 14, 2005

SNS - Myspace or Friendster ?

November 14, 2005

I often use "mixi" that is the most popular SNS in Japan. (SNS stands for "Social Networking Service".)
The users can find people who likes the same stuff on SNS.

So, I'd like to make some more chances to meet nice guys on the Net. And now, I decided to try to use SNS in the US such as , Myspace or Friendster.

Actually, I don't know which is better now. However I've heard Myspace is the most famous SNS in the US, I don't know the detail until I've tried it myself.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Oriental Zodiac

November 13, 2005

I took some English lessons with two other students yesterday morning. We learned the vocabulary of traits, such as rude, generous, optimistic, pessimistic and a lot more.
On the textbook the trait of the person sort of depends on the year that the person was born. Do you know "Oriental Zodiac" ? It's called "12 signs of the Chinese zodiac", too.

The teacher asked us "What's your Chinese sign ?"
I replied "I'm the year of the Rabbit."
Another student replied "So am I."
The other student replied "Wow ! Me, too !"

All of the students have the same sign ! What a coincidence !
1/12 x 1/12 x 1/12 = 1/1728 !!!!!
The teacher is very surprised at the situation ! :-)

I'm 42 years old, another student is 30, and the other student is 18...
Uhm.... I'm the oldest student. (ToT)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Elementary school students came.

November 10, 2005

Some fifth grade elementary school students who attend the school close to our factory visited us today to research the local industries as one of their social studies.
Some students came to our factory at the same time of last year, too.

Our factory is a kind of recycling factories. I guess it's not interesting for them because it sort of looks like unspectacular work. I explained to them what we manufacture and what the use of our products is. However, I couldn't use any difficult technical words in the explanation of course. It's difficult for me to explain to them about our job without technical words - such as "business secret". I remembered I used to be a computer system engineer. It was important to give presentations with words which our customers understand easily.

On the other hand, I felt fresh in the explanation to them because there's exactly no such situations in my ordinary days. I'm happy they could study something in my explanation.
After that, I taught them our factory's web site address and e-mail address and said to them, "Please send me e-mail if you want to ask me about our factory." They replied, "Yes, thank you." And now... I'm waiting for their e-mail. :-)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Blood donation

November 9, 2005

I'm forgetting to donate my blood....
Blood donations makes me feel relaxed. I occasionally go out for a blood donation, about once in three months. It's sort of my volunteer activity.
After doing it, I always feel comfortable. I'd guess it makes my blood circulation better. I usually feel stiff neck, but I never feel it after I donated my blood.
On the other hand, I can check on my health condition after doing it because I get the result of my blood test. My English teacher said to me... That sounds like "combine(join together)". In Japanese common saying, it's "Isseki Nicyou" - getting two birds with one stone. :-)
Wow ! the teacher knows Japanese common sayings so much !

Sunday, November 06, 2005

A nice bar

November 6, 2005

I went out for a drink last night after I quarreled with my wife. That's no problem. Quarreling with each other is a method to release our stress. :-p

There were some foreigners in the bar. They all are native English speakers. What a nice bar ! I tried to speak to them and have a chat. We arm-wrestled each other. I had a terrific night ! :D
An American girl was a little drunk. I'm worried if she got home without any problems.

By the way, a man said to me after looking at my arm muscles, "Nice guns!". But I've heard the slang word "gun" has a bad meaning.... I was confused a little.

my arm muscle

Friday, November 04, 2005

Kaitenzushi (revolving conveyor-belt sushi restaurant)

November 4, 2005

I went to a revolving conveyor-belt sushi restaurant last night to reward my eldest son for his performance at the 31-legged race which was held last month.

We had a good time and had a lot of sushi !

Kaitenzushi means "revolving conveyor-belt sushi restaurant" in Japanese. It's a kind of sushi bars and was invented in Japan, of course.
Almost all Kaitenzushi bars are cheaper than usual sushi bars. :D
Take a look at the following picture.

plates of sushi

The number of plates we took is 53 including 16 I had. My wife and my children took 37 plates of sushi. That sounds eating too much, doesn't it ?
However, I used to have over 20 plates of sushi on my own when I was young. :-p

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I've changed.

November 3, 2005

I've changed the blog service which I usually post in Japanese.
I've been using the Yahoo! Japan blog service until now. But it's mostly heavy to access. Almost all of the visitors can't access smoothly and sometimes some errors occurred when I posted new articles on it.

I decided to change my usual blog posted in Japanese a few days ago, and researched some blog services in Japan. In the result, I've changed it to the Seesaa blog service.
The Seesaa blog service is a little heavy, however not as heavy as the Yahoo!. In addition, we can customize the design of the style sheet and use almost all of the HTML tags. The capacity of the files we can upload is 2 gigabytes, and there is no limit on posting articles. The specification is the same as Yahoo!.

I tried to use many functions of the Seesaa last night, of course changed the style sheet of my new blog a little bit. Well, I'm lack of sleep today. :D
I'm going to try to post some articles with some pictures tonight or tomorrow. I never tried it yesterday.