About three months of being absent, I could finally come back to this site. What happened in these months? Who cares. I was just spending so lazy time that I couldn’t even remember how to log in this site and have many troubled time due to my laziness. However and fortunately, I could come back now. The theme is “REBORN” now. I’d like to write about anything that I think worth to write and what I want to write!
by the way, this is my new instagram account with my sweetheart living in Tokyo. We live in the total opposite sites in Japan. So, you know, upsidedown. This account is our challenge to make our dreams come true. If you could follow us, you would glimpse interesting and humorous way of our living in this era. Thank you for reading!
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.
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.
Or I should say, the real good J-pop Music video. It’s “Zankyo-Sanka” by Aimer.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
There is a day you feel you win the day, and there is another day you feel down and are completely lost. Life is difficult to live with complete happiness as you know. You cannot live a life always filled with a smile but filled with desires, jealousy, tiresome, and such negative feelings. You want to conquer such negativity, but actually, you should embrace such feelings to admit yourself. I know that. But, life is not that easy. You don’t have to be depressed, but you can feel down.
Anyway, yesterday was a day like that. I went to bed without achieving some of my daily routines. Watching YouTube videos that seem at least fun to me at the time but actually not that worthy to watch, and gradually sink into the deep ocean of sleeping, realizing I lost the day, the feeling of regret that I couldn’t do something I should have done. Believing to keep doing something almost every day makes you somebody, I would think like that.
But anyway, that is life. The point is that you should not feel down that much and pretend you feel really down. As long as we are fine enough to smile at anyone, it’s totally OK. Then, I remember the line of a very famous Japanese pop music “Donna Tokimo (At any time)” by Makihara Hiroyuki. This song is full of great quotes.
“消えたいくらい辛い気持ち 抱えていても 鏡の前 笑ってみる まだ平気みたいだよ” Even though you have a painful feeling of wanting to disappear Smiling at a mirror, I think you are still okay. (Translated by myself)
Searching the song, I found that there are some other language versions. I hope you would check out and feel positive again soon. Thank you for reading!
Living and growing up in Japanese society for 28 years, my favorite food gradually has changed due to the changing of my life stages (french toast is a stable favorite food for me throughout life though). I don’t boost or want to be biased though, Japan is also famous for its unique diverse food culture. Japan is often criticized as a nation of peer pressure or lack of diversity. However, in terms of food or culture of cuisine, Japan is a nation of the great diversity of food culture, I think. Of course, you cannot have the real rural traditional Italian pasta in Tokyo, but it may have great quality for it, and it is really easy for the nation to access such high-quality cuisines at a cheaper price.
Every nation has a great food combination in its unique culture. At this time, I’d like to introduce you to one of the greatest food combinations (actually food and drink) in Japan. It’s sometimes described as a metaphor for a great combination. It is, Beer and Yakiniku. Beer is beer (My favorite, and the most well-known beer brand in Japan is Asahi’s SUPER DRY ). Yakiniku is a Japanese for BBQ, but Yakiniku can be enjoyed at a Yakiniku Restaurant with a small table and a kind of portable cooking stove.
Please imagine a day. It’s a very rough day. The work you dealt with the day was very heavy and your boss is just an asshole. You somehow struggle to survive and try to finish the day, and you did it. Then, looking at the clock, it shows 7 o’clock pm. You are very hungry. Your best colleagues suddenly hit upon a magical idea and tell the other ones “It was a rough day. Why don’t we go and celebrate our great work with beer and yakiniku, eh?” Then, the word can be imagined with a clear picture and the hint of the smell, and you wish to drink the cold beer with it as much as you can. Yakiniku and beer are very addictive. Meanwhile, you suddenly found that every familiar colleagues are surrounding at a table, and waiting for the coming of beer and yakiniku. Then, you do cheers and the happiest moment in your day would arrive.
This is what we Japanese reminds when we heard the word yakiniku and beer. Most of us cannot stop drooling a lot with these words. I had never thought that there would be a great combination more than BigMac and Coke when I was a teenager. Being an adult sometimes works.
Thank you very much for reading, and have a great day.
There is a popular Japanese idiomatic expression “◯◯の秋（◯◯’s Fall/Autumn）”. What it means is “Fall is the best season for 〇〇”, and the famous expressions are like, “食欲の秋(Fall is the best season for appetite because it’s the season for harvest)”, “スポーツの秋（for sports because the temperature is suitable and the ratio of sunny days are relatively higher than any other seasons in Japan.）” or “読書の秋(for reading books because the sun set around 5pm compared to the summer season of 7pm)”. After all, Fall in Japan is maybe the best season for everything in Japan.
What would you think of your “◯◯’s Fall”? In my opinion, it is the best season for breathing. Air, basically, doesn’t have “the season” like any other vegetables or fruits. But, I personally think it definitely has the season. Without any doubts, I believe that It’s fall that we can enjoy the most delicious air. Living in a countryside of Hokkaido, I somehow feel a kind of zenith of deliciousness of the pure, aesthetic, sophisticated cold air. We can just describe it as a clean cold air in country side, but I would rather feel something else that can make me feel so happy.
You can feel such air when you get out the entrance, or a night you opened a window and sip a hot milk. You realize the air is somehow connected to the earth, and realize how pure the air can be. Winter air is much strict, and too cold to enjoy to me. But, I would like to share this feeling with you someday. We are not eating something, but eating air too. This is said by Haruki Murakami. That would be one of the reason why you feel something’s wrong when you eat Italian pasta in Japanese restaurant and don’t take it as the same taste you had in Italy. Air is such an important factor in our lives, and why don’t we enjoy our air more from now?