Feb 26, 2008

Facial paralysis

Last Saturday, when I visited my parent's home, I found that there was a bad condition in my father's face. He could not move the right side of his face. I doubted that he had a stroke. So, I,immediately, took him to a hospital with my mother to see a doctor.

Finally, he was diagnosed as having "facial paralysis". The doctor said that its cause was by an infection of virus a viral infection. My father had to remain at the hospital for a treatment that injects a medicine containing "steroid"to his body. He would go will check out of the hospital next Saturday.

My father is ,now, 77 year old. I felt that I became older as my father became older.

P.S. My father checked out the hospital on February 29. His condition looks better than first, but the paralysis has remained in his face. I hope that he will recover his health little by little.

Feb 17, 2008


In recent days, a couple of "Mejiro" often visit a Japanese apricot tree in my house. When I find it, it is always a couple. I don't know about their relationship. But, I think that they a married couple.

Feb 11, 2008


Last monday, on a public holiday, I enjoyed "Saka-gura-biraki(酒蔵開き)". In cold season, there is few amazing events. But, each year, I am looking forward to going to "Saka-gura-biraki" that is held in this season.

Saka-gura means a Sake factory (brewery). Generally, in Saka-gura-biraki, people can enter a factory where Sake is produced and can buy a very new Sake.

The Saka-gura where I visited sell "Sake-manjyu(酒まんじゅう)". They sell it only in Saka-gura-biraki.

Of cource, I bought a bottle of a new Sake and a Sake-manjyu.



Yesterday, I worked at a building in Tobata ward in city of Kitakyushu. From the building, I looked at "Wakato-Oohashi(若戸大橋)".

It was once the largest supended bridge in Asia in the nineteen thirties. Of cource, now it is not, but has still been one of our familar landmarks.

The name "Wakato(若戸)" comes from Kanji characters "waka(若)" of "wakamatsu(若松)" and "to(戸畑)" of "tobata(戸畑)". In Japanese, a lot of names are created by this rule. For example, 東名(tou-mei)=東京+名古屋, 青館(sei-kan)=青森+函館, 阪神(han-shin)=大阪+神戸

Feb 3, 2008


Last Wednesday, a stuff of the F-coop that deals with every-day goods, mainly foods called us at 9:00pm. The store also sells a lot of goods with its delivery system. She (or he) said that a chilled "gyouza" was made in China and was sold to us in November contained poisons. She also said that several news had already reported its problem.

Immediately, we turned on the TV set, NHK news were broadcasting this issue.

The stuff asked our health after eating it. My wife answered that we had no problem.

Probably, most of people in Japan will hesitate to buy foods producted in China until this problem is solved.

Feb 2, 2008

New York Ⅲ

The third day (Dec. 23)

It was rainy day since early morning, but not cold. At first, we visited the Apollo Theater that is a well-known music hall in Harlem. I had wanted to see it for a long time. It was closed and smaller than I thought.

Near the Apollo Theater, one African American man and a Japanese woman stood to sell several art goods. His name was "Franco the great", and she said that he was known as "Halem's Picasso" who left his works on the shutters on Harlem's shop. I bought a simple cotton bag that has his art. He signed his name on my back.

Later, I was a little bit disappointed because the bag had a price card that showed $6.95 (I paid $15) and he was not born in Harlem. I felt that their concerns were mainly their businesses.

They suggested that we could listen to the Gospel ceremony at a nearby church. We decided to follow it and went to the Greater Refuge Temple.

When we entered the church, we were guided to upstairs, there were many foreign visitors including Japanese like us. Also here, I felt a kind of "business". After waiting for several minutes, the ceremony began.

The number of gospel singers was smaller than we thought, about ten. When a young man sung as only one, I felt that he was a good singer.But, suddenly, he showed a cramp at the end of his song. I didn't know why he did, but I felt a kind of spiritual messeage like "Japanese Itako".

When we went out of the church, we found an art shop that dealt with works of African Americans. I would find a candle set used in Kuwanzaa ceremony for my souvenir, but I could not find it at a good price. Instead, I bought a book for children about Kwanzaa because it was written in simple English that I could read.

We walked toward east along the 125st. I wanted to go to the center (or heart) of Harlem, but my wife rejected it. She said that a guide book said visitors should not leave the main street like 125st and 135st. I thought that Harlem was safer than the guide book saying, but I felt that my wife was scared, so I compromised and gave it up.

We found a deli on the street for lunch. Its charge sytem was interesting for me because the price of dishes depended on their weights. I ordered a cup of coffee, but the crew could not understand what I said. He said "Cola?". But, finally, I coulud get it.

We walked along the 125st again after lunch and got on a subway at the Lexington Avenue. Our next destination was .the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

The Guggenheim Museum is a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and has a very uniquse shape. I learned it through the VOA Special English program and had wanted to see it directly for a long time.

When arriving at the museum, I was disppointed with its looks. It was covered with renovation equipments, so we could not see its outlook. But, its inside was very good and I enjoyed it very much.

At my first plan, I would visit the Jewsh Museum near the Guggenheim, but we could not because of shortage of time. But, I went to it only to see it, leaving my wife at the Guggenheim. I saw several goods that were related to the Jewish in its souvenir shop. I found the Shrek in those things, but I could not understand why it was included in the Jewsh goods. If you know this reason, please tell me about it.

After a short rest at our hotel, we restarted our exploration. Our next destination was the Grand Central Terminal. Its tall ceiling surprised us strongly because we had never seen such huge building. After that, we went to its oyster-bar to eat cramchouder soup, but, it was closed.

We went to the Empire State Building to enjoy the night view of NYC. But, unfortunately, its crew said that the cloudy sky obscured the view in that time, we gave up.

We enterd a Korean restaurant near the Grand Cetral Terminal for dinner. We ate several dishes that were rare in Japan, but we didn't think they were good.

After dinner, we visited the Macy's department. I found a very intereting thing, a escalator made of wood. After that, we went back to our hotel passing through the Times Square.