Sunday, April 30, 2006

Golden Week

April 29th, 2006

I had no idea to write my diary this morning. Writing English diary isn't my responsibility but a kind of my routine work. :) Now I've just come up with an idea to write down.

When I took some free conversation classes yesterday, some English teachers - such as a Canadian, a British - asked us what "Golden Week" is and what day the each day is. I tried to describe the meaning of the golden week but I wasn't able to do correctly...(ToT)
So let me describe it on this article today !


Golden Week in Japan stands for the period from April 29th to May 5th. There are 4 national holidays in the period. Many Japanese people take more than a week of holidays at this time including Saturdays and Sundays. Let mention the 4 national holidays.

*Greenery Day(April 29th) - "緑の日(みどりのひ)"
April 29th was the birthday of the former(the late) Emperor, Hirohito(Showa), and the day used to be celebrated as a national holiday until he passed away. After he passed away, the Japanese government decided to rename and continue as a national holiday which is called "Greenery Day". The reason they decided to name the day "Greenery Day" is Hirohito was known for his interest in plants.

*Constitution Memorial Day(May 3rd) - "憲法記念日(けんぽうきねんび)"
The current constitution of Japan was enacted(instituted ?) on May 3rd, 1947.

*Children's Day - "子供の日(こどものひ)"
samurai dollIn the Edo period, the families of samurai started celebrating May 5th as the day for their boys. These days the families with boys decorate a samurai doll or carp-shaped streamers(鯉のぼり-こいのぼり) to wish the boys grow up greatly. The people of the past had believed carp was one of the strongest fishes because they had believed it could swim up(leap) waterfalls. This day has become a national holiday to celebrate the growth of all children(not only boys).

*May 4th
This day is a special national holiday. The Japanese government enacted the law that the day between 2 national holidays is a special national holiday, in order to make holidays in a row. May 4th is between Constitution Memorial Day and Children's Day. That's the reason May 4th is a special national holiday.

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Thursday, April 27, 2006


April 27, 2006

Let me introduce a nice bar to you. :)

I occasionally visit "BAR60" to have a relaxed time. This bar isn't so big but you can have a good time with a family atmosphere.
Here the website of BAR60 is.

One of my American friends who used to live in Osaka-Japan recommended me to go for a drink there. And then I visit there once a month. I sometimes meet some nice foreigners there. It's so fun !

The nearest station is Sakai-Higashi station of Nankai Kouya line in Osaka, Japan. If you live in Osaka, please go for a drink to the bar ! When you are there on Saturday, you might get a lucky break. Yes ! You might be able to meet me there ! ... It's not so lucky thing. haha.

Actually, I'm the eldest customer whenever I visit there.... (ToT) Anyway I always can renew my youth and get tons of energy. Thank you, the master "MASA" !

Some day I hope to meet you there who are reading this article !

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006


April 26, 2006

Screen shot of SkypeOur busy season has just ended... I'm SO happy ! I'm able to try some interesting software from now on.

Today I installed "Skype" in my desktop PC. Actually, I've really wanted to try it for a long time but I didn't have enough time to do it. One of the reason that I want to try it is that it has supported "webcam" recently. I can have chat with my friends for free wherever they live.

Oops ! I forget buying a webcam.... (ToT) I'll purchase a good one this weekend at the electrical appliance store that I sometimes buy some goods.

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Shinkansen, Mt.Fuji, My friends

April 23, 2006

I'm typing this article in a hotel, which is in Tokyo. A friend of mine who is having wedding ceremony today made a reservation in my name with the hotel. It offers Internet access and I brought my laptop. That's why I can upload this article on my blog though I'm not at home.

I usually make a flight when I visit Tokyo, because I live near Kansai international airport. But I take a Shinkansen bullet train(新幹線 しんかんせん) this time for a change. I could see a glorious view of Mt. Fuji(富士山 ふじさん) from the train.

Shinkansen Mount Fuji
After today's wedding ceremony and reception, I'm going to meet in person a woman who I has gotten to know on "mixi", a very famous SNS(Social Networking Site) in Japan. I has been looking forward to meeting her for a long time. She is definitely one of the greatest artists in the world in my opinion. Please have a look at her web site if you like. You'll be able to see tons of great art objects made by her. :-)

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Visiting Tokyo

April 22, 2006

I'm about to leave home for Tokyo.

The purpose I visit Tokyo was to attend my friend's wedding reception that is being held tomorrow morning. Of course I'm attending it.
I decided to add one more thing to the purpose a few days ago.

A terrible accident has made one of my acquaintances who lives in Tokyo so sad for a long time, I suppose. Actually his eldest son passed away a couple of weeks ago after being hit by a train. Apparently he was walking on the railroad. So I decided to visit the acquaintance's house.

Nine years ago the acquaintance sent me some emails to solace my mind when my second son passed away due to the heart problem. Both his eldest son and my second son were kind of handicapped children. That's why we've know each other. In fact we got to know each other on the Internet to exchange our opinions how to take care of them.

He's really one of the strongest guys in the world ! He's decided to make a movie for his eldest son ! Because he is a playwright ! Sounds great ! I'll aid him to succeed in it !

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

[ Study ] - Sharing and responding to news about friends and acquaintances

The following is a kind of the simulation for my review of the English lessons I've taken before.

- Sharing and responding to news about friends and acquaintances
(When you catch up with a friend, what kinds of things do you talk about ?)

A:Guess what! Masuo got engaged to a nurse !
B:No kidding ! How'd you find out ?
A:By the email he sent me last month.
B:Do you know if they're going to have a big wedding ?
A:Well, apparently they are planning to invite a huge amount of guests !
B:I guess so, too. I also know they've both got big families.
A:That's right.
B:By the way, do you know how they got to know each other ?
A:I heard from him they got to know each other by his friend's introduction.
B:Do you know why he decided to get engaged to her ?
A:Actually, his partner is a nurse as I've just told you. He expect her to take care of him in his old age.
B:hahaha ! Like him !

* New Words

knock over

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Reason of English study

April 18, 2006

Some English teachers and my classmates occasionally ask me why I study English. Because I'm a factory worker and they think my job doesn't require me to study English.
That's true. In fact, I don't need to study it in my business.

I always responded to the question till lately like this:
Studying English makes me feel fresh and positive and that's a good exercise for my old and tough brains.

But I respond to the question these days like the following:
The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. The more I realize I don't know, the more I want to learn. That's why I study English.

Sounds soooooooo cool !

This phrase was left by a very famous physical scientist(physicist). I think almost all people in the world know his name.... Right ! Albert Einstein !

Monday, April 17, 2006

Samurai Doll

April 17, 2006

I took some English classes the day before yesterday and yesterday even though I had a terrible hangover yesterday. Some teachers looked surprised when I talked a lot about some idioms. When they asked me about my recent days at that time, I responded, "As a matter of fact, I'm still so busy at my work. Because our products are selling like hotcakes. So.... I have to work my fingers to the bone. And.... I always say to my wife that I'm so hungry I could eat an elephant, when I come back home from work."

Actually, I'd rather exaggerate my impression than talk normally. :-)

One of the English classes that I took yesterday was ... exaggerations !!! There were a huge amount of exaggerations ! One of them was "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse!" haha. What a coincidence!

samurai dollAnd now, I decorated a samurai doll at home yesterday for the Boys' Festival, May 5th(端午の節句 たんごのせっく). We usually decorate it a couple of weeks before. Many of families have boys decorate carp-shaped streamers outside. I don't have any carp-shaped streamers(鯉幟 こいのぼり) but I decorate a samurai doll in my house instead.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Almost fight

April 11, 2006

There was an amusing(?) happening on the BBQ party that we had at the seaside close to Kansai international airport the day before yesterday.

gunSome young people were doing an illegal act at that time. They were riding on a tricycle buggy on the seashore in spite of motorbike riding is prohibited at the area. My Australian friend got angry and asked me if it's OK to throw some stones to them. Of course I responded "No way !" and gave a warning to them right away. My friend looked concerned. I said to him, "Don't worry. I'm much stronger than them. Because I have guns !"
I was so glad to have such an exciting experience. haha.

"Guns" is an American slang word, which means the muscles in the upper arms if my memory serves me correctly.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Multinational cherry blossoms viewing party

April 10, 2006

cherry blossomYesterday I had a great time !

An Australian friend invited my family to the cherry blossoms viewing event(花見 はなみ) that was held with his friends who have been studying Japanese language together in Osaka, Japan. That was exactly "Multinational cherry blossoms viewing party" !!!! Interesting ! Amusing !
I got in on the event with my family and my nephew and niece. Actually, my brother's baby was sick and had been in a hospital for a couple of days but she left it yesterday. So my brother and his wife were busy yesterday because of leaving the hospital. They asked a favor of us, that was taking care of their children yesterday.

It made me soooo tired to take part in such an event with many kids. haha. But we had a super great time !

After that, the friend asked us to have a barbecue dinner with him and his wife. I was so tired, but we decided to have it together. Our children were so excited ! They were so wired that they couldn't fall asleep soon last night, I guess.
He seemed to be better at speaking Japanese. We had a chat in both English and Japanese. Great ! Soooooo fun !

The following picture is the one that I took on the opposite shore of Kansai international airport. It has a hazy appearance due to yellow dust(黄砂 おうさ) from China.

yellow dust

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Sunday, April 09, 2006


April 9, 2006

cherry blossomentrace

I visited a new public kindergarten yesterday that my daughter has just entered. The number of children in my city has been decreasing lately, plus my city has been facing a budget deficit(been in the red) recently. So the mayor of my city decided to merge 3 public kindergartens into 1 public one last year.

The opening ceremony of new public kindergarten was held yesterday morning. So many children, most of their parents, and some education officials got in on it.
Actually the new kindergarten isn't new. It was one of 3 old kindergartens that was closed last month. It was renewed, renamed, and redecorated as a new one. Looks very clean ! The lively voice of many children always makes me feel warm inside. I bet my daughter have a good time and make friends with many boys and girls.... No way ! Only girls ! I wish she doesn't make any boyfriends... too early for her age to have a boyfriend. haha. just kidding.

Anyway I wish all children happiness ! So many cherry blossoms congratulate on your new lives !

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Saturday, April 08, 2006


April 8, 2006

My new nice, the second daughter of my younger brother, had a fever at the night of the day before yesterday. Her mother(my sister-in-law) took her to a hospital yesterday. The doctor said that she didn't seem to have any serious problems but needed to enter the hospital for a couple of days just in case. So my younger brother had to prepare for the hospitalization yesterday. We decided not to work overtime and not to work today(Saturday, on our day off) even though we are extremely busy. "There is no choice."
I've just heard of her condition. The result of checkup she took last night wasn't so bad. She'll be fine soon, the doctor said. I'm so relieved to hear that. On the other hand, I can take a day off on Saturday after a long time. It sounds like "災い転じて福となす(わざわい・てんじて・ふく・となす)" that means "to turn the potential disaster to one's advantage".

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Friday, April 07, 2006

Punctured ?

April 7, 2006

forkliftYesterday there were terrible accidents in my factory. One of them occurred on the forklift we often use to put recycling material in the production line.
When I was driving the forklift, the right side front tire suddenly made a loud noise ! Phut ! The tire has gone flat ! The forklift leaned to the right ! I thought the tire must have been punctured at that time but my thought was wrong. After the checkup, it turned out to be a break of the tire pumping stub pipe of front tire. We replaced the tire with another tire of another forklift immediately. We lost almost one hour.... Plus we also had some accidents in the factory. We had to work overtime... My younger brother and I shouted out, "It's been one of those days !"

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

[ Study ] - Discussing fears and phobias

The following is a kind of the simulation for my review of the English lessons I've taken before.

- Discussing fears and phobias

I don't really like going to the barber's. I have an terrifying experience. The barber made a terrible mistake when he was shaving my beard. He cut my face ! I was bleeding a lot !
My wife can't stand being in a car for a long time.
I'm absolutely terrified of my wife. Can I say I have terrible wifephobia ? :-p
I'm so scared of snakes.
It makes me nervous just thinking about working for a computer system company. That's why I quit my former job.
I get dizzy if I stand on the top of building.
The sound of police cars scares me. It really send chills down my spine !

* New Words

confined space
presbyopia = old sight
make sure = confirm, check
have a shot
send chills down one's spine

* Others(Tips etc.)

I get a bit nervous when I am with so many beautiful women.
I guess I'm a bit nervous about speaking English.
My eldest son often bothers me.
My daughter doesn't bother me.
I don't mind making presentations in front of so many people. Because I would often make them at many exhibitions - such as Chiba Makuhari Messe and Tokyo Big Sight, when I was a computer system engineer.
There's no way I could ride a motorbike.

[ Technical names ]
fear of confined spaces = claustrophobia
fear of open spaces/crowds = agoraphobia
fear of spiders = arachnophobia
fear of heights = acrophobia

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Selling like hot cakes

April 04, 2006

I didn't expect to be busy this month because we didn't have so many orders from our customers at the last week of March. As it turned out, I'm a little busy this month, too. However, it's OK for me to work about 10 hours a day. Plus we don't have enough materials to recycle in the warehouse of our factory. (Our business is a kind of recycling textile.) These days Chinese people take out tons of material from Japan to their nation. In my opinion, the materials to recycle should be recycled in each nation. I'd really like to offer Japanese government something effective in order to protect our industry and not to waste the energy that is come up by the transferring the material from our country to another one.

Anyway, I'd like to explain the current business condition of our factory like this - "Our products are selling like hot cakes !" The English idiom "selling like hot cakes" sounds cool ! It's the greatest thing for our business to sell like hot cakes. On the other hand, we have to work so hard to manufacture lots of our products, though.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Expression collection

April 03, 2006

I decided to make my collection of English expressions on many situations in order to discuss smoothly on my English lessons. Of course I know it's a important thing to improve my vocabulary. On the other hand, there is no way I could discuss about interesting topics in English if I don't have any stereotypical phrase, even if my vocabulary were good.
The following picture is my collection of English expressions.

expression collection
It will have a lot more content as long as I study English. Actually, I often use the free software(a kind of outline processor) to write my diary or my ideas. I'm very lucky to find out such an excellent software. In fact, I often carry my laptop with this software as a notepad when going out - such as going to an English school, going out to a distant place by train or car. I think that's a good way to spend my time effectively(not to waste my time). Now I remember... I would often go on business with the laptop in order to exchange emails and write reports when I was a computer system engineer.

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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Passing point

April 2, 2006

I took the test as I posted on this blog last Monday, which is to be level 4 student at the school I often take some English lessons.
Of course, I passed it ! Yes ! I can say the phrase, "I aced it !"

But I felt I'm a low level learner of English when the teacher required me to role-play... To be honest, I'm better at talking about my ordinary days than role-play because of writing my diary in English. So sometimes it's hard for me to imagine the situation of role-play.

For me, this level up is sort of a milestone(a passing point). Of course I'm so glad to pass it today, though. Anyway, I can't be too diligent in my study so that I speak English fluently.

And now, I'm so wired I could sit up all through this month !
(I've just made myself this sentence that is similar to "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse !")