Dec 31, 2008

Thanks goodbye 2008

2008 is almost gone.

I'm watching Kohaku uta gassen(紅白歌合戦), annual famous music show on TV.

We'll go to new year in 15 mins after this music program.


I started this year in MN, USA.

(I never forget the temperature on that day. minus28℃!)

I visited many places---San Francisco, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Minneapolis, Chicago (twice!), Beijing China---

I met many people---I don't say their names here. When I had hard time, you guys helped me a lot.

2008 is almost gone.

I really thank you guys.

I will give you one of favorite songs this year, GIFT by Mr.Children. I listened this song and played it with piano often. (Right now, Mr.Children appeared on music show to sing this song!)

GIFT by Mr.Children

May the new year bring happiness to you guys, my 'sisters and brothers' all over the world!!

Dec 24, 2008

JP-standard Christmas song

How do you spend Christmas Eve? I'm preparing for tomorrow's class..gosh. haha

I already had Christmas dinner with my family yesterday because 23th, yesterday, is one of national holidays. I guess some people did enjoy Christmas dinner or party like me yesterday.

On TV, many Christmas songs are aired like All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey, Last Christmas by Wham and Happy Christmas by John Lennon...

Let me introduce a Japanese standard Christmas song here.

Christmas Eve by Tatsuro Yamashita (1983)

Can you feel a little bit solitary atmosphere? The motif of this song is lonely Christmas. It seems he also sings this song in English. You might feel it from lyrics

Dec 22, 2008

My new 'enemy'

Christmas is coming.....I think you feel the Christmas mood wherever you are.

BUT! This posting is TOTALLY unrelated to Christmas.

I may have found 'new enemy'.

That is, Chinese yam!

(山芋(Yamaimo) in Japanese)

Actually, I love Chinese yam pretty much. We ground yam, put it in hot pot and had it for dinner tonight.

The incident happened last time I was grinding it.

I started to feel itchy on my hands.

My hands were getting red!

I guess it's kinda allergy.

Today, I was trying to 'revenge'.

My mom recommended me to put a glove on my hands but I declined it!

Well, I didn't feel itchy this time.

Um...itchy a little bit?

Anyway, it's only clear there's no problem about EATING Chinese yam. haha

Dec 13, 2008

Sparkling night

The moon between the Chiristmas illuninations
Last Friday, my mom and I joined one-day bas tour to go to Sendai city, Miyagi prefecture.

Before seeing the illminations, we visited a brand-new outlet mall. It's like typical malls in America. There're many stores to see...but, we had only 3 hours to enjoy there. I bought a sweater. The tag price was almost 100 USD but I could buy it for around $30! Good deal.
After leaving that mall, we headed for downtown in Sendai. My mom visited a department store and I wandered around the downtown and saw some shops. Pictures below were taken around Sendai station.

Flower shop
After shopping, we went to the main street which was decorated with illuminations.

It's really fantastic....but, I'm not sure if you guys can feel it from these pictures...It's really hard to take these illumination beautifully...Last Friday, this illumination event started so many people were gathering this place. You can see this until the end of December.

Official homepage for this event called 'Sendai Pageant of Starlight'. It's Japanese only but you can see more beautiful pictures there.

Dec 10, 2008

Mission completed!?

Almost 7 months have already passed since I came back to my home after finishing 1-year exchange program in the States.

I established some goals before going to the States.

Just YESTERDAY, one of my goals was finally accomplished! Yea!!

That is, I wanted someone to admit my English was Americanized! I thought it would be a positive proof of studying in the States haha. So simple.

In my seminar for grad thesis yesterday, my prof pointed out an expression in my handout and said 'it's totally American usage.'

It's about the verb 'get'. I always pay attention to make academic English sentences in my thesis. But, unconsciously, I used 'get' in a casual way. I reviewed my handouts several times before that class though.....Seems I wasn't able to notice it.

My prof told me not to use that 'get' in academic situation. Still, somehow, I felt satisfied as if I finished mission. (Is it a little bit exaggeration? haha)

Dec 8, 2008

This reminds...that reminds...

I have a cousin, who is in her 12 grade student. Now, she's studying so hard to take an entrance exam for university. If you wanna enter the national university, you have to take two exams. One is held in the middle of Jan. The other is given at the end of Feb.

The first one is called national center test for university admissions. After this test, each applicant takes second one in the university they wanna enter. Each university has different subjects and questions for test takers.

My cousin aims at entering a university which offers so-called most challenging exam. The other day, she asked me to correct her English answers.

I really paid attentions to all of aspects...whether grammar is correct (especially, it's difficult for us to decide whether a word she's using is countable or not), whether her argument is clear...Different from this blog, I really-frickin focus my mind on follow the prescriptive grammar. kkk

This time and whenever I wanna check something, I always rely on the book used especially in high school. I have lots memories with this book.

I had English grammar class after entering high school. The teacher in that class, elderly retired teacher hired as a temporary teacher, gave us lesson. Her class is really strict and I don't think almost all of my classmates had good feeling about her.

I asked so many questions to her after class. Actually, I don't think some of that questions were necessary for preparing for university entrance exam. But, I'm not the type I can ignore only slight, tiny questions. I'm so stubborn when it comes to studying. haha.

For instance, Japanese language doesn't have present perfect tense. The textbook can't explain about it clearly.Sometimes, the explanation was incoherent

The more I read some sentences using perfect tense, the more I understood. Still, if I go back to read the explanation in the textbook, somehow I felt awkward. Then, I asked her until I could understood what the textbook is telling us. . Whenever I asked her, she welcomed my questions.

It's only one year I learned English in her class. I have never seen such a strict and cooperative teacher. I appreciate her kindness.

I heard from a little bird that she passed away after I graduated from high school, that is, after I entered my university.

I guess she's around 68 year old.

If she saw my blog, she might scream because of my broken English. (sorry...)

Whenever I see my textbook, that reminds me of that memory with her.

Do you have that kind of stuff, scenery, sounds or smell/scent?

I do pretty much other than this textbook.

Dec 5, 2008


Today's lunch~Pescatore. It's 1100 yen ( 12 USD)
I feel 1100yen is kinda expensive for lunch but it's really good.

Compared to restaurants in the States, it'll be reasonable I guess.

One of favorite points about Japan is that we can visit restaurants if we don't have so much money. In case of America, I feel I will need $20 dollar at least to eat such pasta stuff (Regarding to chained stores, it will be another story though) Oh! and also, we have to keep in mind that we have to give some tip in the States. In Japan, we don't have to think about a tip. If it's 1100 yen, it's the sum!

Dec 4, 2008

Super concentration

I wanted to concentrate on reading some academic paper today, so I decided to go to the library near my home. It's 2km from here. That prefectural (=state in the U.S?) library is biggest one around here. When I'm getting bored of studying, I can read some books. It's good place.

I didn't notice it's closed today until I went to the library...why...? Usually, it's not open on Mondays.

Still, I could keep motivated, so I went to another library near the station. It's city library. I arrived there around 12:40pm and concentrated on reading for almost 4 hours. Too much concentration made me exhausted. The room for studying is prepared like in the picture.

Around 3, high school students came to study... A glance at textbooks they have reminds me of my high school times...

I thought "I don't wanna go back to that time anymore"...Studying or club activity (brass band). That's it. I really didn't hang out with my friends after school as typical students do...Actually, I didn't hate such a student life filled with studying but I just don't wanna experience it again haha.

Still, this concentration might have been acquired by studying hard at high school? If so, it's a nice fruit~!

Dec 2, 2008

Time flies!

This year's thanksgiving day has past...Now, it's already December!!

December 1st, yesterday, let me down every year. On this day, I notice I have only 31 days left until next year starts. Then, I start to recollect some resolution I've got on Jan this year. I ask myself how much I could attain my goal. What did I learn this year? How much did I grow up? Rather, what did I do?---I always somehow regret for something undone every year haha.

Then, I notice I have STILL 31 days to try my resolution. Oh yeah, I can do it!! I say it to myself. That's my typical Dec 1st lol.

Well, there're many Christmas decoration outside now. Actually, we can see such decoration easily everywhere after Halloween. Our country enjoys events such as Chiristmas the U.S celebrates EXCEPT Thanksgiving. It's one of really important events for people in the States but Japanese don't know it. I was really surprised to know how much significant this event was. In Japan, malls and department stores decorate with Chiritmas stuff right after Halloween. I hope I can show some scenery to you through pictures later.
About this photo, It's not relevant to this article though...
this matcha latte was yummy. Available at convenience store. It's like 1.5 USD.

Nov 24, 2008

Ideas appreciated!!

I'm working on my dissertation usually at home as I said before. I had a big presentation two weeks ago. I had to give a presentation how I will work on my paper. The preparation for this presentation was so tough. My seminarmates and I have worked pretty hard to have audiences understand as much as possible for almost 2 months. I revised my handouts again and again...more than 10 times. I think (and our prof said) we did quite good job.

I was working on the desk literally all the time until this presentation so that I feel like I used up all of my energy haha.
When I wasn't motivated for preparation, my options were listening to music with iPod (especially rock when I'm frustrated), browsing books and the Internet like in the picture. (If several friends on MSN were online, it made me feel I had to work hard! ) If they didn't work, I left from the desk and went to other room to play the piano, watched "Ugly Betty" and other TV programs. It's sort of my daily life.

Now that I've done with my presentation, I have to start working on my research again. I want to find other ways to take a short break. Any advise for me??

Nov 17, 2008

So many

These days, many people have degital cameras and take pictures easily. Also, it is the fact not so many people develop pictures. I mean, they don't print them out. I like to see printed pics. I can share pics with my friends at the same time.

My mother asked me to order prints so I'm working on it now. Usually, I order them on the Internet and pictures are sent to my address. Payment is done by credit card.

Whew~~~I took soooooooooooo many pictures this year.....It's a dahlia at my grandma's yard taken some months ago.

Nov 12, 2008

THE autumn scenery

Last week, I went to the spa on the mountain near my home. On my way to the spa, I found really good scenery!! I'm really confident I took superb pictures of Japanese autumn!!
As I said before, I guess these red leaves are characteristics of Japanese autumn. Enjoy!!

The best shot!!

This gradation reminds me of Hawaiian gradation??

Cute, isn't it??

I hope you could enjoy Japanese fall scenery through these pictures=)

Nov 7, 2008

Autumn Scenery 2

I wish I had had my camera...I went to university. I was touched by this scenery and thought I wanted you to see it. I just took this pic with the cellphone-camera. um~~the real view was really fine though...

Nov 4, 2008


On May, @Chicago

Many Japanese TV reporters flew to the U.S and report the election in every news.

The atmosphere during the election really looks like kind of's totally different from the one of Japanese some election.

I wish I could stay in the States now...I wanna also enjoy this atmosphere (I don't have the right to vote though...)

Nov 3, 2008

Autumn Scenery

Autumn tints the mountains with beautiful colors. The trees turned red and yellow...(I didn't see red colored trees when I was in the States.) My family went to the mountains to enjoy the autumn leaves. Actually, the best time to see beautiful autumn scenery already passed in my place. I guess we should have been there last weekend (but it's raining at that time). Anyway, I enjoyed the Japanese autumn scenery. Can you see the trees reflected on the river??
Today, Nov 3rd falls on Cultural Day (文化の日 Bunka-no-hi) in Japan. One of holidays in November. Many cultural events like concerts were held everywhere (I was working on my thesis though...) Usually, it's sunny on Nov 3rd every year but it's not this year. I guess many leaves fell because of intense wind and rain.

Weather forecast says it's 10c tomorrow...woo~~Winter is coming!!??

Oct 28, 2008

Parttime job 2

Well, I had temporal part time job last week and today again (cf. parttime job 1 Right after I finished part time job about traffic jam investigation, I found totally same job provided by another company. I didn't have any reason to miss it! I called the office and was assigned to work on it last Tuesday, Wednesday and today from 4pm through 7pm.

We had to put on that helmet...(picture)

Day 1 (last Tuesday)

After my class was done at 2:30pm, I rushed to the office. There're 4 more part time job workers (all guys!) Our boss took us to the place we would work.

This intersections is really famous for heavy traffic...but actually, the routes I was searching was not so crowded.

Day 2 (last Wednesday)

This is another intersection which is famous for the traffic jam....Yeah, I realized it pretty much. In this research, I have to find the last car which is on the line...Around 5:30pm, it started to be crowded...and the last car was far from this 500m~600m away...

Also, I have to check how long that last car will take to go through this intersection. That is...when I found the last car which was far from 600m, I had to follow that car to check when the car would go through the intersection.

I ran back and tired...besides, it's so cold.

Day 3 (Today)
Oh my gosh~~~~~It started to rain!!!

It's not crowded basically I didn't have to run as I did last Wednesday...I don't know if it's good or not. I mean, I started to get cold because basically I was standing almost at the same point for 3 hours in the rain. (The tempurature is around 13℃, I guess...)
Now, I finished to take a bath but I still feel cold....I hope I didn't catch a cold...ohhh, I'm tired than I think...

Oct 26, 2008

How do you say "what did you buy?" in your languages?

It's rainy Sunday...What about your place?

I'm working on my dissertation and I just came up with a question. Is there any oral language which requires two interrogative words to make an interrogative sentence if we follow prescriptive grammar?

For instance...

What did you buy? (English)

Nani-wo anata-wa katta-no? (Japanese)
(What-acc you..........bought -Q ?)
"What did you buy?"

After all, my question will be like this: How do you say "what did you buy?" in your languages? Do sentences in your languages include more than two interrogatives?

I'm currently searching this now...
I would appreciate it if you could give me the way you express 'what did you buy?' in your languages=)

Oct 22, 2008

Parttime job 1

I have looked for a part time job since I finished my job-hunting. I took some part time job interviews so far but I couldn't pass all of them!!!!!!!!

The reason they didn't hire me is easy and clear. Becuase of my personality.....NO WAY!!(I hope...) It's because I can't work for a lont time. They know I have to quit that job around my graduation in six monthes (and I will start to work as a member of society).

....and finally!! I could get a part time job last week. That's only one-day part time job (haha). They don't care what I'm like because I will work for just one day.

At that day, I went to the working place at 6:00am.

This is my working place.
(It's not sunset! It's rising sun!!)

Yep! one of INTERSECTIONS at down town!!

My task was about how much crowded the street with traffic was.

My working hour was 7am-10am and 5pm-7pm. During that hours, I was standing outside for this investigation.

You's really cold!!!

Actually, the road was not so crowded...Besides, I worked on it with one guy. So, it's not so tough work (it's just chilling) and I was bored...

Well...the guy who I was working with looked like university student.

"Is he student from my university...??"

When I was wondering like that, he introduced himself just quickly and I realized he's 35-year old!!

He said his occupation was spiderman(steeplejack). He has applied for some temporal part time jobs because he can't earn enough money in his regular work. He complained his company didn't get many requests he could work as a spiderman.

Usually, I don't have chance to meet this kinda people...also, it's rare to work as a blue-collar. Everything I experienced at that day was special.

To be continued...

Oct 18, 2008

Changed header pic!!

I changed header pictures. It's halloween version~~~
As I wrote down on the right side, it's part of the greeting card I sent to my family last year at this time.

I always use pictures I took for the header. The pictures I used so far are listed on the right side. I hope my precious visitors can enjoy them=)

Oct 13, 2008

Nice 3-day weekend

We had a three-day weekend. Today was a national holiday called "Health and Sports Day"(体育の日、taiiku-no-hi).

Actually, I didn't know why today became the day related to sports. I thought it's just because it's good season to play some sports. I knew that Tokyo Olympic Games was held on Oct 1oth, 1964. Today, Health and Sports Day falles on the 2nd Monday in Oct to make 3 holidays in a row but 10th was the holiday until some years ago.

Well, I enjoyed good autumn weather and events. I will show some pictures later....after I worked on the preparation for tomorrow's seminar.

Oct 5, 2008

Missing my friends

(It's me @ the top of not so high mountain)

I was dreaming last night. It was really long story. The place was junior high school, maybe. I was one of students. I don't remember what we did exactly but I'm sure I enjoyed there pretty much. There're many students who I didn't know.
Usually I don't see such many people like this in my dream.

Right after I waked up, I felt empty.

These days, I'm always blue.

Seeing the clear autumn sky gives me nostalgia.

I realized one of reasons was I couldn't meet my friends these days after I saw the dream.

Now, my university friends already graduated from university while I was in the States. Even though I go to my university now, there's no my friends. Actually, it doesn't matter so much. Of course, I miss my friends but I'm still OK.

What about my friends in the States? I always miss them pretty much. No matter how much I miss them, I can't meet them.

Now that I finished my job hunting, I'm always working on my grad thesis in my home. Basically, I'm alone now.

Yeah, I'm missing my friends much more than I thought.

I was wondering how I should deal with this situation, reading books in the morning.

Suddenly, my friends called me. They are my Japanese friends we met while we're studying in the U.S. They're students in other university in my city.

They asked me to have lunch because they had something to do and would come near my home.

Actually, I already finished my lunch but I decieded to meet them.

I already met one of guys after returning to Japan. It's first time to see the other guy after I met him the last time in the States.

I had really good time with them. I could feel relaxed.

Afrer I came back to home, I realized I was satisfied to be able to meet my friends.

Besides, one of my friends talked to me on MSN. It was first time to talk after we went back from the States to each country. Our chat last for one hour. I felt good upon hearing her voice.

Today's my dream was kinda predictive dream? I could meet my friends in reality and on the web. It's a nice day. They soothed me to some extent.

Oct 2, 2008

Have to go to the dentist

In 30 mins, I will go to the dentist. This is the first time to go there after I came back to Japan from the States.

Before going to the States, I went there to check if i had bad teeth or not. I guess I had only some. I had my teeth fixed completly because it's expensive to go to the dentists in the States.

After 3 months passed in the U.S, I started to feel pain in some of my teeth. When I ate something sweet, I slightly felt that. Only three months!!?? But, actually, no wonder cuz sweets in the States are really sweet!!

Finally, I will go to have my teeth examined.
How many bad teeth I have now??

To be continued...

Sep 26, 2008

Prime minister

The day before yesterday, former prime minister Yasuo Fukuda resigned and Taro Aso started to work as the new prime minister.

This is the newspaper which was issued the day before Aso was chosen.

Ususally, there's a corner which introduces what the prime minister is doing all the day in the newspaper.

At that day, they mentioned how Fukuda spent his last day as a prime minister as usual. Furthermore, they also said about Aso because we could expect Aso would be next prime minister. They still called Aso "Mr.Aso", not " prime minister Aso"

They mention all of things the prime minister did. For example, it said Aso got a haircut at a hotel in Tokyo at 10:59am.

What about the newspaper in your country? Does it include this kind of section?

The prime minister changed once a year...Is our country all right?? I'm not good at politics but I can't help thinking like that.

Lastly, new prime minister Aso is well known for Otaku, anime/manga nerd.

Sep 24, 2008


This is my lunch I just ate.
I bought it for 250 yen (2.5 USD) in a supermarket.


I'm getting sleepy...It's really nice weather for taking a nap...

But...I have to go to univ to attend the seminar...

Sep 22, 2008

Visit a grave

Tomorrow is autumnal equinox day, one of national holidays in Japan.

It's the day to visit a grave and show respects to our ancestors.

My parents and I did that yesterday. The grave for my paternal ancestors is near my father's home. That's less than two hour drive.

The grave is located at the top of the hill. We can see the sky and the sea well. The picture is a little bit dark but can you see some black stones? Those are common graves in Japan.

We offered some sweets called Ohagi and flowers in front of the grave.

After autumnal equinox day, the weather will be autumn one more and more.

Sep 18, 2008

Update-Feel identity in your mother tongue?

Right after I wrote down the previous article titled 'dissertation nerd', I got a message. Thank you very much. Let me talk about it.

I wrote down like this---is it possible for people all over the world to use only one language for communication? No. Not to mention, there are tons of languages over the world.

Actually,,,I should have said more precisely like---is it possible for us to use only one language? Can we imagine the world which has only one language?

As the person who gave me a message said, there's a language called Esperanto. This language was made for all of the people to communicate.

I have no idea how many people can speak Esperanto but there are not so many people, I guess.
That's the point. How come it's difficult to be familiar with Esperanto?

I can say two reasons.
One is that Esperanto is artificial language. It means it's not easy for human to learn it. I need Chomsky's theory to verify my opinion...I will just recommend those who are interested to read Universal Grammar theory by Noam Chomsky...Sorry, I can't tell well...

The other is related to the identity for their mother tongue. If there's only one common language, we don't have to have our mother tongue. If everyone speaks same language, we don't need our first language. Besides, as I mentioned above, it's quite convenient for communication.

However, in fact, we feel identity in our languages. Some people feel their language is one of their culture. I also felt that. I didn't notice that Japanese people tend to use 'sorry' so often until I came back to Japan.
I guess this represent though of Japanese pretty much. I don't think all people can reject their mother tongue to unify one language.

I don't think my explanation is clear enough to understand...ohh...


Thank you for some comments! I really appreciate it! This is the one of advantages blogs have. Even though I live in countryside in Japan, I can talk with people from other places. I thoroughly enjoy it now=)

Let me add some points based on comments I got today.

At first, I should clearly point out that Esperanto is constructed language, that is, artificial language, not natural language. It's also said international auxiliary language which aim at communication between people who have different mother tongue.

The discussion has started like this...some of my friends said 'Sign languages should be unified'. I thought it's nonsense. If we think this in spoken languages, it'll be good example. All spoken languages can be unified? I don't think so.

And here, I got an idea 'Esperanto.' However, originally, Esperanto is NOT for unifying one language. It's just international auxiliary language.

Difficult to make my opinion clear in English...Well, I want to write organized blog...

Thank you for reading. I hope you can come here again soon(^^)

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 英語の日記へ ←More blogs written by Japanese in English.

Sep 16, 2008

Dissertation nerd

I was working at the desk in my room all day. Of course, this is for my dissertation. On Thursday, I'll have my prof's seminar. I have to introduce how I will proceed my dissertation on that day to my prof and other students in our seminar.

In the last seminar, my prof said I should focus on sign languages. At that time, I talked what my job-hunting was going. My prof was pleased to hear that I got a job in the hospital. Therefore, my prof recommended me to work on something related to sign languages. Besides, I took American sign language class last semester in the States.

Some people just think sign languages are just 'sign', not languages. It's absolutely not true, I hope. Sign languages are human languages as well as spoken languages.

I hear some people say that they should make universal sign language which enables the deaf to communicate easily. It's not practical at all.

I should take spoken language as an example. Is it possible for people all over the world to use only one language for communication? No. Not to mention, there are tons of languages over the world.

This applies to sign languages also. There're many sign languages like Japanese sign language, American sign language, etc...

In my dissertation, I want to insist that sign languages are human languages through analysis of each language, comparing the features.

So far, I'm thinking of focusing on the 'wh-doubling constructions' in American sign language. I hope it's gonna be good topic to develop my thesis.

It took all day to think about what I said above. I read some papers and went to the library...I borrowed some book there (picture).

I want to work on my thesis from the perspective of syntax, the analysis of sentences. I studied kind of latest theory called minimalist sintax before going to the States.

One year has passed....totally forgot about it....(=0=)

Though that theory was born in the States, I learned the old theory there. Actually, both theories are complicating pretty much. Even though I read them in Japanese, I can't get it well. Rather, it's more difficult to understand them in Japanese than in English. The techinacal terms are hard to get. It's driving me crazy~~

...Can I finish my preparation for seminar until 2:30pm on Thursday...? Haha...whatever...

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 英語の日記へ ←You can go and meet many blogs written by Japanese in English.

Sep 15, 2008

Respect for the aged day

It was 3 holidays in a row this weekend. It's because today is respect for the aged day(Keirou no hi,敬老の日 in Japanese),one of national holidays.

I saw many elderly people walking like this picture. I guess...more than 200 people?? This event seemed to be related to the respect for the aged day.

Well...this weekend, I was looking for a car for commuting. I will need it when I start to work next spring. I will talk about this later.

Sep 11, 2008

Crows vs My father

Well, I could hear two crows cawing.

These guys suddenly appear from somewhere every day. I don't care about that. The only problem is that these crows attack my father when he is walking.

My father walks to the bus stop to go to his office. While he was heading for it, he was attacked by them....maybe twice? I'm not sure because it happened while I was in the States.

I just went to the porch to pick up some clothes hung on the laundry pole there. One of guys was looking (down) to me...

Where are they in the night? Where do they sleep? What time do they leave from here?...Should I observe them all day? No way~~a little bit curious though.

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 英語の日記へ←more English diary