What should we see in this pandemic to endemic moment

Everything has dark side and bright side. One side is often thought to be as justice, and another thought to be the opposite. You have to point out what’s wrong when students are talking face to face during lunch time. Right. The situation is best to get Covid-19. However, by such restrictions, the suicidal rate among young generations are spring these days. Cause seems apparent that there are hardly no fun things in school without forced studying which will never be restricted. I have huge doubt on today’s education policy in Japan. I am honestly so frustrated on this topic. Why the government can’t say take it easy to students, and try to restrict more than ever unlike to Britain or France which has gradually lessen their restrictions. I think it’s so wrong. Don’t kill youngsters and don’t deprive their happiness or rights to talk without barriers.

A Perfect Timing for Reading Books in My Busy Daily Life

There are so many books to read in my house

Reading books. When you hear this phrase, what would be your reaction? Actually, my reaction was differ from when I was a teenager. I thought reading books or new paper and watching NHK (Japanese kind of BBC) are worst boring thing in my life at that time, and I simply couldn’t believe why adults are enough to be bare with such super boring look things. For instance, each letters in both books and newspapers are shockingly small for me at that time, and any TV program of NHK looked so serious that I unconsciously thought the personalities were AI robots (AI could do better, actually. Then I thought).

Time passes, and people can really change. One of the great meaning of education is sometimes described as this “changing”. Now I really owe my professors who have taught me because thanks to them, I changed so much, and now I can’t imagine the life without reading books (but watching NHK still…) . In my opinion, the first ten books you try to read will the hardest experience in your book life. The way to finish your book seems climbing Mt. Fuji or Everest. But somehow, you bare with reading, reading and reading. At last, when you finish reading 10th or 9th books, you would realize, “I had totally misunderstood about what reading books is!”.

A philosopher once said, “Ultimately, reading books means reading yourself”. And I totally agree with it. By improving your reading skill, your skill to live with clear thoughts or meaning would improve too. You can get words that can describe or explain your confused imagery of your mind. Everyone must be translator in terms of translating your own heart into your mother language. So, yeah, reading books is great. And this is thought to be one of the best my life changing event so far.

Since I was a university student (my major was English Literature), I read a lot from the time (actually not that much though…). However, after becoming a high school teacher, I couldn’t easily find the time to read, and had been frustrated about that. But now I became 29 and I could get the pace of work, the frequency of rearranging my room has much decreased for now. And I could finally find the best timing for reading books in my daily life.

First is after a supper. You feel full stomach and feel dull to wash the dishes, than I put them in the kitchen sink, and put some water in the dish. Then, you can start reading books with satisfaction. Sometimes it lasts for 30 minutes to read, or 2 hours to read.

Second is while talking bath. Soaking half of the body in warm water, and reading with drowsy feelings. My ideal time is for 20 to 30 minutes because you would feel really dizzy at that time.

Third is just before sleeping. With a warm light of your bedside lamp, you can read any books and that would definitely makes you fall asleep within 15 min.

However, sometimes you find yourself so tired in a weekdays and maybe you would have many schedules to do for weekdays. So, for such people like me, the true best timing for reading is Saturday and Sunday. Cancel any schedules and let’s read for all day. You could read 3 books if you really love to read in a day. For somebody, only Saturday and Sunday seems a bit sad and not enough. But, man, the desire for reading would rather decreased if you are free everyday, I think for myself.

Anyway, thank you for reading as usual, and have a great reading life.

Good Japanese Movie: “Dance With Me” One of the Best Yaguchi Movie Ever

When you try to talk about the genre of Japanese movies, the key phrase you would hit upon is maybe “depressing” or “not funny”. This is my personal reaction to most of the Japanese movies though, I assume not a few Japanese would agree with me. As a Japanese, I have seldom met people whose favorite film is a Japanese movie but a Japanese animation or some Hollywood or English movies. Speaking of the film ranking for the best selling so far in Japan, more than half would be Japanese animations, and needless to say, the No. 1 is always the battle of animation movies.

Life seems to be much much funnier if you could dance every day.

However, fortunately, there are some rare directors who can make not depressed but funny for not only Japanese but European and American people. Moreover, the world described in the movie has deep metaphorical meanings or symbolic attitudes, but still, the movie can be thought of as a funny one.

The name of the director is Yaguchi Yasushi. He is famous for his movies of “Water Boys”, “Swing Girls” and “Happy Flight”. He captures the very ordinary funny things we could often see in our daily scenes, so we laugh a lot and can feel sympathy with the characters in the movie. When the Japanese directors try to describe the Japanese society with reality, they would often tend to be very serious and heavy. However, only his movie can overcome such serious and heavy pressure and provide just funny and real Japanese scenes.

His latest film “Dance With Me” is a movie about a typical office worker in her 30s. But, Yaguchi always put something different spice in his movie. Like he described high school boys who try to do synchronized swimming or high school girls who try to play Jazz. In this film, the woman is accidentally hypnotized by a strange hypnotist, and whenever she hears any music, she immediately can’t stop dancing or singing along with the music. It is a bit unreal setting, but you can somehow understand the situation thanks to his comic stunts or lines.

And at last, when you see the ending, you would realize this movie is all about a dream what we should pursue, and how to do so. We sometimes forget how to pursue our dream and even what was our dream. Through this movie, I could totally remember the way we dance with our lives. What a wonderful, and thoughtful movie. In my opinion, the message was pretty close to the masterpiece movie “The Groundhog Day”. If you had a chance to see this movie, I would highly recommend it to you.

Thank you very much for reading. And have a wonderful weekend.

Snowboarding For The (Nearly) First Time and The Importance of Challenging New Things with a bit of Courage

That my snowboard is totally covered with snow means I’m a true beginner

Have you ever tried snowboarding before? I have once tried when I was nearly 13 years old (days of junior high school student). However, the experience was memorized as one of the most tragedic and embarrassing memories in my life. That was because I was terrible at snowboarding at that time. I tried down the slope which I had skied down for just 30 seconds with my snowboard, it literally took “30 minutes” to go down the slope. I could barely stand and move with the board. I fell nearly 100 times, so I thought my sense of gravity was somehow strengthened. Then, I spit the word “I WILL NEVER DO THIS!!!” against the slope which I snowboarded just one time.

A long time has passed since the tragic adolescent day, I became 29 years old. I live in Hokkaido (the northern part of Japan whose outside temperature during this season is -10 to 20 degrees celsius), the world of snow, so naturally, the motivation for winter activities arouse. About 3 years ago, I bought a set of skiing, and somehow enjoyed skiing. I like skiing because you can stand with 2 boards. However, at some point, I somehow realized that it is a bit boring. Every young people in ski resorts seems to be enjoying snowboarding compared to skiing. Definitely, for most young Japanese, people who can enjoy snowboarding are much cooler than skiing. Wears are casual, and the design of the snowboard seems also casual like T-shirts.

Then I asked one of my co-workers about the shake in my heart. “I’m starting feeling like I wanna start snowboarding now. But it seems to cost much and I am maybe not good at it.” Then, she said, “You should definitely try that. You are 29 years old now. And if you work really hard this year, your 30s would be a great one. I was told so”. That sounds a bit mystical persuasion though, I somehow could make sense of it. So, I bought the board on the Internet action kind of site and bought bindings and the shoes at a sports mass retailer shop.

The outcome was a bit surprising. I could do snowboarding much much better than when I was 13. There would be no logical explanation for this, but perhaps I became much more mature. I used to have a huge pride during my youth time so as not to go shopping with my mother. However, now I have traveled to many countries and experienced many interesting things. I think sometimes your performance in sports can be greatly improved by changing your mindset. I am really happy that I’m enjoying snowboarding these days. Actually, it’s more exciting and free compared to skiing. Learning a new thing is such a fun thing in life.

Snowflakes

Snowflakes on my car in a morning.

Snowflake is a message from sky. You cannot find exact the same snowflake in this world, which is like you cannot find the same happiness in this world. Every snowflakes are different because of the situation they grew. Humidity and Temperature matters to be a certain shape. It is so symbolic as to think of my life, and your life.

Real Good Japanese Pop Music

Or I should say, the real good J-pop Music video. It’s “Zankyo-Sanka” by Aimer.

What a beautiful world of VFX

“Damon Slayer” has become one of the best known or popular animation in Japan which is currently on the air. The movie of this became a No.1 blockbuster in Japanese movie history even under the pandemic year of 2020. To the most of Japanese, year 2020 will not be remembered as an Olympic Year, but the begging of the legend of Damon Slayer series.

Unlike those of the “Ghibli” movie, one of the biggest difference of Damon Slayer movie is that it is not a solo title but a chapter of its whole story. In short, basically you need to watch the previous series to fully understand the movie content unlike to Ghibli movies. However, the movie became the historical huge hit, and reversed the notion of animation film.

Anyway, the Damon Slayer series are known for its great theme songs sung by new type artists. The next chapter following to the movie is now on the air, and the theme song is the clip, which is “Zankyo-Sanka”. I don’t quite understand the meaning of this title, but by reading lines, I assume the song has a meaning of shake it off ish things.

What I should highlight in this article is that the beauty of this music video. I was amazed the quality of this VFX or Computer Graphic technologies. The atmosphere of the world is kind of Neo Edo looking, and a girl is running from Damons in the too bright world of Neo Shibuya or like that. The music video is so metaphorical and symbolic that I can’t stop watching after many times watching.

The content is very dramatic, and I’m sure you would enjoy it. Song and Video have a splendid quality at the same time and in terms of that I should say that it’s a kind of rare case. Damon Slayer is Japanese’s new myth after the cursed Olympic one. The anime and the songs has been proving that.

Writing Challenge for February

So, the time flies. The 2022, which seems just started, has actually 11 months for now. One of the reasons why you feel something passes so fast these days is because you are less fascinated or excited about a tiny thing or event compared to children who react anything with energetic reactions. Then, one of the great reaction you make would be “Wow. Is it already February?”. So it goes.

Without saying, life is so short. Especially when you live in a pandemic situation, you are forced to realize how the previous normal days are precious and filled with a lot of possibilities compared to today’s unclear stressful staying home or lock down season. However, we should not spoil this precious moment even in this time. There must be many things that we can do to improve our lives.

Therefore, I would like to declare things I want to change from this February to update my life into 2.0 or something like that. Some of them would not be achieved though, I’d like to share here with you and make a bit of pressure on me.

1. Read many books. I’m a huge book lover, so I purchase several books once a week pass. However, the problem is the ratio of digestion. The priority of reading books sometimes came next to watching YouTube or Twitter things. Now, I almost quit watching these SNS thing, unless I think I would do that kind of activities with real intention or need to use them. So, naturally, I would read books instead of using smartphone from now. I’m really looking forward to seeing the result.

2. Keep journaling this blog everyday. I had tried many times but I couldn’t achieve this kind of goal because I was too lazy to do that. But, I somehow created an ideal environment for that. What I did was to get rid of any stressful step to write. Now I bought a small mobile keyboard, so I don’t have to open my laptop to connect WiFi, but just connect this device with my iPhone.

3. Turn off my iPhone before I sleep. I don’t know why but I feel I should do this to make balance.

Let’s see. These are my goals for this month. I would like to reflect myself in the end of this month. Thank you for reading and see you.

Let’s Re-evaluate Useless things

From which era or which time, there seems to be a kind of a stronger trend which evaluate “simpler” way of designs. The trend must be symbolized by iPhone culture, or even Apple product cultures. Simpler is better. Many buttons are excluded from your phone and we are now getting used to this buttonless screen on your smartphone. We could say that we have deleted so many useless things.

However, just making something simpler is that good thing? That’s what I’m thinking about right now. By deleting useless feature, haven’t we deleted or excluded something which must be prioritized or taken cared? A kind of answer was hit upon when I saw a Japanese documentary TV show in this afternoon. The TV show is called “72 hours”, which is not like action drama of “24”. The television crew shoot a documentary in a specific place or location for 72 hours, interviewing with people they met, and we can see many insightful comments or interesting attitudes from such real people in a real world.

I am a fan of this program. Every locations (like a convenience store in a big hospital, a bar in a very country side or air port in the end of March) looks like places where everyone’s life would be accepted. And you can realize every single one has their own deep story in their lives. Therefore, there are many fans of this TV show in Japan.

Anyway, the latest one was set in a wired museum where the owner collects old and wired things from closed museum or facilities. So, visitors can enjoy looking at very strange displays.

https://www.nhk.jp/p/72hours/ts/W3W8WRN8M3/episode/te/GP5YYMZN9X/

A female just staring a strange object and answering the crew’s interview. And the comment was very inspiring to me. She said like this. “Here, you can see many useless thing that once needed or thought to be cool or cute in 30 or 50 years ago, but now it is totally useless and thrown away. Everyone seems to like simple things but I personally don’t. I love such kind of gorgeous useless things.” or like that.

Then I thought about what we have lost with the trend of simple. We are throwing away more meaningless and useless things and we are feeling like we became more sophisticated, but actually, aren’t we also throwing away our creativity or interesting feature of us as a human being? Don’t you get more stressed out due to the meaningless or useless actions or events? I would rather think, we can love such meaninglessness or uselessness more, then, we can live better world where people are less stress out because they know how to deal with meaninglessness of our lives.

Maybe we can do more meaningless and useless things in this world. Everything should not be like apple products, but more chaos.

Visiting Urban Area Makes You A Bit Updated

Living in the northern part of Japan, which is called Hokkaido prefecture, the most frequently asked question for you is “Do you live in Sapporo?”. Holy crap. Hokkaido is the biggest in Japan out of 47 prefectures. Therefore, Hokkaido has the land as large as three ordinary prefectures. Sapporo is recognized as the capital of Hokkaido, but it doesn’t mean everyone from Hokkaido lives near around Hokkaido. Like me, I live in a very country side of Hokkaido and it takes about 5 hours drive to access Sapporo (30 min. flying from the nearest airport).

So, everyone asks me about Sapporo but actually, I don’t know much about Sapporo. I was once very surprised that some of my Tokyoite friends had never been to some very Tokyo symbolic places. I said “Why you don’t go there? So many TV shows featured the spot!” Then he or she just says, “I don’t know but it seems very crowded and am too lazy to go there” or like that. Now I can understand them if I think about Sapporo.

The reason why I’m writing about Sapporo tonight is because I came to Sapporo with my family as a winter holiday trip (and to celebrate my mother’s happy retirement, which should have done in 2021). People are wearing masks as my living place, but there are simply more people, more diverse people there. Every shop staffs seems more polite and kind compared with my neighbor shops, tastes of restaurant or stands are felt sophisticated. So, every time I came to this kind of urban area, I could feel a bit updated. You can see a lot of things different from your ordinary days. Take a look at curry rice for example. Do you see which is urban curry rice?

You see? The latter one is Sapporo’s. Even my way of taking photographs seems so sophisticated. These are the very symbolic photos which shows the difference between urban and country so clearly. You know? The difference is such an apparent.

But I don’t care which you prefer or not. I love both of curry, and I feel we are living in the age of hybrid, meaning you don’t have to choose just one side, but you should enjoy both and respect each other’s good sides. Hybrid is not just about Prius but us.

What will happen if you stop watching YouTube this year? #1

A lot of children these days actually start to feel that they want to throw their smartphone away. There was an article like this, and I could suddenly agree with the issue behind the topic. Who wants to hold this device like a whole day as if your smartphone is fixed on your hand with a duct tape or something. In fact, nobody wants, but everybody does. Why this paradoxical phenomenon happen? Simply, because smartphone is becoming everything today.

Imagine an empty room, and you sitting alone in the room. It’s like a super minimalist house. However, if you have a smartphone with your right hand. What does it mean to you? It means you have dictionary, clock, music player, computer, sketch book, comic books, TV, radio, supermarket, department store, mailman, telephone, etc. You know? Who is the minimalist in the room actually? You are filled with a tons of things if you should have it in your pocket.

However, like Industrial revolution happened, we seem not to be able to reverse or stop this huge movement with Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon or such tech giants. This is the era when students use their tablet as their pencil or notebook. But, I feel something wrong with my using smartphone. I feel so controlled by this device. So, I want to have a better relationship with this device like decreasing times of smoking. Therefore, I’d like to introduce my challenge for it. Quitting watching YouTube.

I loved YouTube. If there was a time, I immediately watched so many recommended videos around the world. However, I’m totally fed up with it now. I quit watching TV when I was 19 and throw away my TV and now, about ten years later, I’m trying to throw YouTube away now. I don’t have any idea what kind of change will come by doing this, but hope that my condition or way of thinking become clearer than before, and keep a good relationship with my iPhone.

So many exaggeration in the YouTube that so many truth seems to be buried