Saturday, July 21, 2007

Doing The Dishes

My 6-year-old daughter is doing the dishes for the first time to help her mother. Her figure in the movie is super cute, isn't it? (^^;

The Dog Days

Saturday, July twenty first, two thousand and seven

In Japan, this year's dog days(土用 doyou) has just started. It's very common in the country to eat eel during the period, especially on July thirtieth, which it's considered that is the hottest day. Actually, I'm sometimes asked from non-Japanese why Japanese people like to have eel during the dog days(midsummer). Whenever being asked that question, I reply to them as below.

Because it's been so muggy during the dog days, they need to have nutritious foods to get through the awful climate, I mean, in order not to suffer from the summer heat. In Japan, it's believed that eating eel makes people energetic. In fact, eel has many kinds of vitamins and other nutrients.
And also, it's common to eat 土用餅(doyou mochi) in Kansai region of Japan during the muggy period, which is a kind of rice cake covered with bean jam and which tastes sweet.

What food is common to eat during summer in your country?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Typhoon No.4 Hit Japan

Sunday, July fifteenth, two thousand and seven

A big and powerful typhoon caused rainstorms almost all over Japan yesterday. Now it already passed by Osaka and is going near Tokyo. Fortunately, my family and I didn't have any serious problems. I personally think most typhoons tend not to bring terrible damage to Osaka, so we are very lucky. :) However, Kyusyu area, the southern part of Japan, got damaged seriously, according to the newspaper. As far as I know, the part is tendency to sometimes have heavy rain during typhoon seasons. Apparently, two people, including an elementary school student, were killed due to the flooding in Kagoshima prefecture, which is one of districts in Kyusyu area. I'm really worried that many of the recent typhoons could be bigger and more powerful than they had because of global warming.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

10th Anniversary

Tuesday, July tenth, two thousand and seven

Today is one of the most unforgettable days for me actually. Ten years ago today my second son passed away because of his terrible heart problem, and he also had Down syndrome. As is well known, those who have Down syndrome tend to have heart problems from birth. Let me visit his grave after work today to pray for his soul.

There are some web pages for him that made by me years ago. Access them if you like. The contents are written in Japanese though.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Star Festival

Saturday, July seventh, two thousand and seven

It's The Star Festival, which is called "七夕(Tanabata)" in Japan, today. Tanabata bases on a Chinese legend as far as I checked it out on the Internet. According to the legend, a god in space separated a couple of stars that were lovers. Vega(織女星 Weaver) loved Altair(牽牛星 Cowherd) so much that she goofed off her weaving job. The god got angry at her attitude so much that the god couldn't help but put the Milky Way between them so that she can concentrate on her work. However, the god allowed them to see each other only on the night of July seventh because of their strong wish.

It's a sort of romantic story, isn't it?

Anyway, the festival has been held since the Edo period in Japan. Japanese people, especially children, write their wishes on strips of colorful paper, tie or hang them on the branches of bamboos, decorate them outside at night, and pray for their wishes to come true like Vega and Altair.

"quotes from LONGMAN Dictionary of Contemporary English"
goof off[phrasal verb]: to waste time or avoid doing any work

Friday, July 06, 2007

My Own Pace

Friday, July sixth, two thousand and seven

As a matter of fact, my physical condition has been still a little bad because of the recent muggy weather and my age, 44 years old. :) That's exactly why I don't often write my English diary that I used to.
Anyway, I don't have enough time to study English nowadays, so I have just decided to post articles here only when I came up with interesting ideas and had amusing experiences. In addition, I can't master a lot of knowledge at once because of my tough noodle if I try to write English journals with new words. But I want to try a new approach here. Actually, I sometimes read English newspapers these days after some teachers recommend me to do that so that I can improve my skills. Let me post my opinions here after reading news if time permits. To be honest, it's the most significant to get back my health as soon as possible because my friends and I are planning to have a big BBQ party next weekend. :)