Dec 30, 2012


I stopped to use "Puro-Pan Gasu"(プロパンガス) (liquid gas) for cooking and heating water in my house last Saturday. Instead, now my family have used "IH, induction heating" cooking ware and "Eco-Kyuto"(エコキュート) that is name of a product that heats water by using electricity at lower price during midnight. People in Japan call it "All -Denka"(オール電化).

And next year, we will have solar power generation system on our house's roof.

Off course, it costs a lot of money, but I have decided the replacement from some reason.

There are concerns that payment for using electricity will rise in near future because electric power companies in Japan have suspended  their operations of nuclear power stations since the Fukushima accidents. But, I am looking forward to seeing how much money we will get from the solar system.

Dec 27, 2012

China on alert after Japan scramble jets over E.China Sea

China says it is being watchful after Japan sent fighter jets over the East China Sea. Japanese media report Japan ordered the flights near China after discovering a Chinese observer plane in air space near the disputed islands in the East China Sea. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told reporters Tuesday China will pay close attention to Japan's decision. Hua Chunying say the observer plane was on normal operation.

original news日本語のニュース

中国は日本が東シナ海に戦闘機を送ったため、警戒していると発表した。日本の報道機関は日本が東シナ海の領有問題となっている島近くの空域で中国の監視飛行機を発見した後、戦闘機を送ったとレポートしている。中国外務省の女性報道官はレポーターに中国は日本の決定を注視していると言った。華 春瑩(ファ・チュンイン)は監視飛行機は定例のパトロール中だったと言った。

My thought/opinion on this issue
I have come across an interesting web-page that is written in Japanese. It is the web-site of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Japan. The Japanese sentence looks a little bit unnatural because I think it is translated from Chinese. 

Dec 23, 2012

Longest serving member of US senate dies

The American Senator Daniel Inoue of Hawaii has died at the age of 88. Senator Inoue suffered lung problems. He had been in a hospital in Washington DC since December 6 when he fainted in his office at the Capitol. Senator Inoue was a member of the Democratic Party. He was serving his ninth six-year term in the Senate when he died. He entered Congress in 1959 as the first representative to the new state of Hawaii. He served in the House of Representatives for one full two-year term before winning a seat in the Senate. Daniel Inoue was one of the most influential members of the United States Congress.


My thought/opinion on this issue
I have first learned the name of Mr.Inoue after reading this article in Asahi. I am a little bit sorry that the VOA's news does not tell about his work to improve the relationship between two countries.

Dec 12, 2012

China predicted to overtake as economic power by 2030

An American government report says China is expected to become the world's leading economic power by 2030. However, the report says the United States will remain a top world leader. The Office of the Director of Intelligence released the report. It predicts that Asia will lead North America and Europe combined in terms of economic power, population, military spending and technological investment. The report says the middle class will expand throughout the world. It also says that majority of the world will not be in poverty for the first time. Intelligence experts also say that half the world's population will live in areas with severe water problems by 2030. The report also expects that Middle East will remain the most politically unpredictable part of the world.

original news日本語のニュース


Dec 6, 2012

Nobel laureates urge China to release peace prize winner

More than 100 Nobel prize winners are urging China's next President Xi Jimpin to free Chinese dissident and Novel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo. 134 Novel winners from around the world sent a letter to Mr. Xi Tuesday. They asked him to immediately and unconditionally release Liu Xioabo. He is serving an 11-year prison sentence for inciting anti-government activities. The Nobel prize winners also want Liu Xiaobo's wife, Liu Xia, freed from house arrest. She was placed under house arrest after her husband won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

original news日本語のニュース


Dec 1, 2012

Phillippines joins Vietnam in refusing stamp new Chinese passport

The Philippines has become the second Asian nation to refuse to recognize China's new electronic passports. The passports include a map showing the South China Sea's disputed waters as Chinese territory. The Philippine foreign ministry said Wednesday that marking the Chinese passport could be seen as accepting what it calls China's excessive territorial claim. The South China Sea is claimed in part by the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam. India has also objected to the Chinese map which shows two Indian-controlled Himalayan areas  as part of China.

original news日本語のニュース


Nov 27, 2012

100 killed in Bangladesh factory fire

Officials in Bangladesh say a fire at a clothing factory has caused the deaths of at least 110 people. Officials say the number of dead could increase because many people are missing. Rescue workers found the bodies early Sunday after firefighters spent hours putting out the fire. The fire started on the bottom floor of a nine-level building Saturday night in Tazreen Fashions factory near the capital, Dhaka. Many workers were trapped on the upper levels of the building. Some of them jumped to their deaths before rescue workers arrived. One representative of clothing factory workers said it was the deadliest fire in the history of the country's clothing industry.
Separately, officials say at least 11 people have been killed in a bridge collapse in southeastern Bangladesh.

original news日本語のニュー


Nov 21, 2012

An American food company announced its financial failure

The American food company Hostess and representatives of its workers have agreed to enter negotiations. Hostess announced its financial failure this week. It suspended production and entered a court process to end operations permanently and deal with its debts. Hostess acted after workers began to strike two weeks ago to protest plans for cuts in retirement pay, health care and other benefits. Monday, a bankruptcy court judge in the state of New York urged Hostess to try to find a different solution through talks with labor union officials. 18,000 workers would lose their jobs if Hostess closes. The company opened in 1930. It makes bread and sweet baked goods including its famed Twinkies.

related news日本語のニュース


Nov 18, 2012

"Mikan-gari 2012"

Today, I took part in an event including "Mikan-gari that was organized by our health insurance corporation.

It was a fine day, so we could enjoy "Mikan-gari"and autumn leaves under blue sky.

I have taken part in these kind of events several times. During every event, I really think that we have to appreciate our peaceful situation. It is very important that a same event is held every year with no problem.

The UN has declared Nov. 10 "Malala day"

The United Nations has declared November 10 "Malala Day". The declaration honors the 15-year-old Pakistani school girl Malala Yousafzai who was shot in the head and the neck by the Taliban last month. Pakistani students and rights activists honored Malala on Thursday in the events in Karachi and other cities. In her home town Mingola in the northwestern Swat Valley, hundreds of students prayed for her early recovery and promised to continue her work. Malala is now recovering from her wounds at a hospital in Britain. And doctors expect her to make a good recovery. 

original news


Nov 17, 2012


Amazon has started a service to sell books written in Japanese a month ago. I tried it by downloading a novel written by "Genyu Soukyu"(玄侑宗久) into my ipod touch.

I bought the e-book at 336yen. But, I can read it by using a library near my house with free. But, certainly, it is a convenient application because I do not need to bring a little big book with me. (This is the book(「中陰の花」) that I lent from the library.)

If I find an e-book that I think is worth of payment, I would use this service.

By the way, I have already a "kindle" but have not used it for a long time. This time, I tried to use it for the Amazon's new Japanese service, but unfortunately, I could not understand a way to change my kindle to the new service. I have to seek the way to use my kindle.

Nov 6, 2012

Egypt's Coptics choose new Pope

Egypt's Coptic Christian Church has chosen a new pope. Bishop, Tawadros became the new leader of the church early Sunday when a boy whose eyes were covered picked his name from a glass container. The selection was made at a ceremony in Cairo's Coptic Cathedral. Bishop Tawadros is 60 years old. He follows Pope Shenouda the Third who died last March at the age of 88. Church activists hope the new pope will guide Coptics through the insecurity in Egypt since the last year's political revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak. Christians are about 10 percent of Egypt's population. Most of rest are Muslim.

original news


Nov 4, 2012

American serviceman hit a boy in Okinawa although nighttime curfew has been issued

Japanese police are investigating claims that an American serviceman attacked a boy on the Island of Okinawa. Officials say the serviceman illegally entered an apartment Friday and and hit the 13-year-old boy in the face. The 24-year-old American then jumped out of a third floor window, injuring himself. He received care in an American military hospital. Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda strongly criticized the incident. He noted that it took place while American troops in Japan are under a nighttime curfew. American military officials ordered the curfew two weeks ago after two American sailors were arrested for the suspected rape of an Okinawan woman.

original news


Nov 1, 2012

Chinese Think-Tank says China should end one-child policy

An influential Chinese research group says China should end its unpopular one-child policy by 2015 and let families have two children. The China Development Research Foundation made the recommendation. The group has ties to the government. China's official Shinhwa news agency reported the news. It said the report proposes all birth restrictions be lifted by 2020.



Oct 27, 2012

South Korean activists send balloons with propaganda to North Korea

South Korean activists are sending thousands of pamphlets across the border to North Korea by balloon. The governments of both South and North Korea had warned them not to do so. Members of a group called Freedom Fighters for North Korea launched the balloons Monday from an island west of Seoul. Earlier in the day, South Korean police had blocked the group from releasing balloons. Then event organizer Park Sang-hak said the aim is to send letters containing what he called truth and fact to North Koreans. The activists are a group of defectors from North Korea. North Korea warned on Friday its military would carry out a "merciless strike" without warning if the leaflets were sent.

original news日本語のニュース


Oct 22, 2012

Hundreds of people in Ireland gathered to protect the opening of first abortion center

Hundreds of people have gathered to protest the opening of Ireland's first abortion center in the British-controlled northern city of Belfast. The clinic is operated by a London-based family planning group. Its first patient arrived Thursday. Laws in the province of Northern Ireland allow women to have an abortion only if they are less than nine weeks pregnant. Doctors also must determine that they are at risk of death or serious physical or mental damage if they continue with the pregnancy. 

original news


Oct 18, 2012

A Chinese manufacturer admitted that it employed under-aged workers

A major Chinese manufacturer said Tuesday that it employed under-age student workers for about 3 weeks at its Yantai center in Shandong province. Foxconn Technology Group said it took action to return the interns to their schools. China's legal working age is 16. Foxconn is a major manufacturer for technology companies including Apple. Foxconn said Apple products are not produced at Yantai center. Labor group say Foxconn has permitted 60 hour work weeks and violates health and safety rules.

related news・日本語のニュース


Oct 13, 2012


Fine days have continued in my area. Today, I enjoyed riding bike on my routine route. It is good season for seeing "Kosumosu"(コスモス) at the riverbed of Onga-river.

Oct 10, 2012

Taliban shot and wounded a child activist in Pakistan

Taliban gunmen in Pakistan have shot and wounded a 14 year-old child activist who became famous for speaking out against the militant group. Malala Yousufzai was shot twice as she climbed into a school bus Tuesday in Swat valley. Witnesses said the gunmen came to the school and asked for Mis, Yousufzai by name before shooting her. She was shot in the head and neck. The girl was taken to Peshawar for medical treatment. Two other girls were also wounded. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting. Mis. Yousufzai who became famous for writing about Taliban crimes against people of her area of Swat Valley. She wrote under the pen-name Gru Makai in a blog published by the BBC.

original news日本語のニュース


Oct 9, 2012

Cycle Tour Kitakyushu 2012

Curry Pan

Korean participants
Last Sunday, I took part in a cycling event named "Cycle Tour Kitakyushu". It was third time for me to do it. My entry course was "Challenge course" in which participants ride bike about 35 km. At this time, I chose the relatively short course because my daughter run bike with me.

In this event, I found several Koreans among participants. When I saw they enjoyed this event I could not imagine that there is a severe territory dispute between two countries.

Oct 8, 2012

Tibetan PM in-Exile "ready to engage" in China talks

The Tibetan Prime Minister in Exile says that rising tensions and pressure from China on dissent will not stop him from seeking talks with China's leaders. Lobsang Sangay spoke to reporters in New Deli, India on Friday.  Mr. Sangay said he fears recent protests and Tibetans setting themselves on fire are causing China to resist Tibetan demands for greater self-rule. He said Chinese police are making stronger efforts to control Tibetan villages and towns. His comments come just one day after a Tibetan man set himself on fire  to protest Chinese rule. 43-year-old poet and blogger, Gudrup died Thursday. One of his last blog post called on fellow Tibetans to win the battle through truth. 

original news


Oct 4, 2012

Obama administration is refusing to confirm or deny use of drone

The Obama administration is refusing to confirm or deny a report that says it is considering using pilotless planes against al-Qaeda agents in north Africa. The Washington Post newspaper reported Tuesday that secret meetings have been held at White House to consider action against al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The group has become increasingly active in northern Mali. The government there fell earlier this year to Islamist militants connected to al-Qaeda. The National Security Council spokesman did not comment on the news story. But in a statement  he said that President has been clear about his goal to destroy al-Qaeda and we work toward that goal every day. 


Oct 1, 2012

US warns of threat to female missionaries in Egypt

American Embassy in Cairo has warned American women religious workers in Egypt a possible terror attacks. The embassy statement on its website says it has information suggesting the terrorists want to attack the women. Christians make up 10 percent of Egypt's population of 83 million. Right groups say Christians have been the target of religious violence.

original news


Sep 29, 2012

"Beppu Suginoi Hotel"

Last Saturday to Sunday, I stayed a well-known hotel in Beppu,Oita with my family. The hotel is "Beppu Suginoi Hotel"(別府杉乃井ホテル) that has a lot of amusement facility such as a big open-air bath. Almost all people in Kyushu have known the name of it.

It was the first time for us to stay there while the hotel has been running more than 40 years. It has a lot of rooms, we saw a lot of people there.

This photo is a scenery of Beppu city seen from the room where we stayed. The hotel locates at relatively higher place.

Second photo shows a souvenir that has an interesting name. We often see these kinds of souvenirs in sight seeing places.

Sep 25, 2012

American State Department denounced CNN's action on ambassador's diary

The American State Department has denounced the publication and broadcast of the personal record or diary of an ambassador Christopher Stevens even after objections from his family. CNN said the public has right to know what it has learned about the fears and warnings of a terror threat before the attack on the American consulate in Libya. Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attack. CNN says it found the journal on the floor of what it called the "largely unsecured" consulate area. State Department official says CNN did not keep its promise to the Stevens family not to use information in the diary in its news reports. He said CNN copied the diary before telling anyone that it had taken it from the place of the attack. CNN says its findings raise questions about why the State Department did not do more to protect Ambassador Stevens. And it asked "why is the State Department now attacking the messenger ?"

original news日本語のニュース


My thought/opinion on this issue
I am not confident about my translation at this time.

Sep 22, 2012

Us expects China and Japan to end their disputes over the islands peacefully

The United States says it expects China and Japan to end their dispute over islands in the East China Sea peacefully. Oabama administration's spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday the United States believes good relations between Japan and China help all countries in the region. He also said the United States dose not have an opinion about the ownership of the islands. Relations between China and Japan have been tense since Japan announced last week it plans to buy some of the disputed islands. The islands are controlled by Japan but claimed by China. They are known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.   

Sep 17, 2012

US Defense chief expressed concern that territorial dispute result in conflict

United States Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says he is concerned that territorial dispute in the  Asia-Pacific area may result in a conflict that could spread. Mr. Panetta spoke to reporters before arriving Sunday in Tokyo. He is beginning a week-long visit to the area. There were Anti-Japan protests across China Sunday. It is the latest show of public anger against Japan over disputed islands in the East China Sea. Both countries claim the islands that are rich in natural resources. Mr. Panetta urged both countries not to make each other anger.

original news


Sep 16, 2012

Thousand of Chinese demonstrated outside Japanese Embassy in Beijing

Thousands of Chinese activists have demonstrated outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing. They were protesting steps Japan has taken to act on its claim of complete control over a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea. Protesters threw rocks and burned Japanese flags at the Japanese Embassy. But riot police kept them from breaking through a barrier. The protests are the latest in the series of demonstrations that began Tuesday. At that time Japan said it had bought the islands from a private owner. China claims the territory. The dispute intensified Friday after China sent six ships to the waters around the unpopulated islands.  

original news


Sep 15, 2012


Several days ago, I got a set of post cards that is made as memorial of an old station building that will be demolished on Oct.7. The station is "JR Orio-eki"(JR 折尾駅) that I used to use when I was a high school student.

The demolition of the old building brings me nostalgic feeling. On the other hand I am looking forward to seeing how this area will change after redevelopment in near future.

Sep 11, 2012

Number of visitors to Burma has increased quickly

The number of visitors to Burma has increased quickly in the past year after many international restrictions were ended or reduced. The VOA Steve Embar reports on some of problems the country is facing because of new visitors. About 300,000 foreigners visited Burma in the first seven month of this year. People from Thai land represented the largest group from Asia followed by Japan, China and South Korea. Around 25 percent of visitors were from Europe. The increase in business travelers and visitors has been good for the nation's tourism industry. But, it has also caused problems. Luzi Matzig is head of the Thai-based Asian Trails which supports travel within Asia.  "We ever had any country with such a rapid growth an explosion of growth. Never happen. Our problem now in number of passengers-we can hardly grow because there simply isn't the capacity there in hotel rooms or transport."Currently there are only 25,000 hotels rooms across Burma. This has created a high demand for rooms and led to increased prices. Burma has recognized the need to develop its tourism industry. It is now planing a new international airport close to Rangoon. It is also planing to turn sevral housing areas into hotels. The Asian Develop Bank is preparing a tourism plan for the country. The Burmese goverment says its tourism policy aims to ease poverty and help empower women. I'm Steve Emvor.  

related news      


My thought/opinion on this issue
Burma is one of countries where I want to visit someday.

Sep 3, 2012

Movie of cycling road

Last Sunday, I run my bike on my routine route early morning. This time, I took a movie while riding my bike.

It is a little bit monotonous, but can bring the feeling of riding a bike on the road to you, I think.

Team from Tokyo visited the disputed islands in East China Sea

Team from city of Tokyo visited a group of very small islands in the Pacific that are claimed by Japan, China and Taiwan. The team of 25 specialists from Tokyo and officials and reporters sailed around the five uninhabited islands in the East China Sea on Sunday. They measured the depth of water near the islands in preparation for building a landing place. Japan's central government did not give the group permission to land on the islands. China criticized the visit. It said that any action by Japan on the islands is illegal and invalid. 



Aug 29, 2012

"o-o-kami kodomo no ame to yuki"

Today, I took a paid holiday and watched an animation movie named "o-o-kami kodono no ame to yuki"(おおかみこどもの雨と雪) with my daughter.

It was good, but a beautiful song by Ann Sally in the last scene more impressed me than the movie itself. I looked for the song in youtube, but I could not find Ann Sally's original one. This is sung by a non-professional singer.

Though this process, I came across a singer who is of mixed Japanese and New Zealander's extraction and  sings a lot of Japanese song. "Okaa-san no uta" by her is here.

Aug 27, 2012

Territorial dispute between Japan and South Korea continue

A territorial dispute between Japan and South Korea continued Thursday. In the latest development, the South Korean government said it plans to return a protest letter by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. The Japanese leader sent the letter to protest South Korean President Lee Myon-bak's recent visit to a group of rocky islands controlled by South Korea. However the islands are claimed by both countries. South Korea said it is returning the letter because it contains misinformation about the islands. The letter also expressed  regret at the President Lee's recent comments that Japanese Emperor Akihito should apologize for his country's colonial rule of Korea.

original news


Aug 25, 2012

Japanese journalist was killed in Syria

In Syria, a Japanese reporter traveling with the rebels was killed when she was caught in a gunfight between rebel and government forces in Aleppo. Two Alhurra TV reporters who were with her are missing. Mika Yamamoto worked for the Tokyo-based Japan Press. The driver who brought reporters into Syria Monday said the Japanese reporter was hit by a bullet but a second Japanese reporter climbed over a wall to safety. Driver says an Alhurra reporter was shot in the shoulder and was taken away by Syrian militia men along with his cameraman.     

original news


朝日新聞 2012年8月22日(水)朝刊

Aug 20, 2012

Japanese activists land on disputed islands sparking protests

Japanese nationalists have landed on a disputed island in the East China Sea and placed a Japanese flag there. 10 activists swam ashore on Sunday. In answer to the landing, thousand of anti-Japan protesters in several Chinese cities turned over Japanese cars and denounced Japan's claims to the islands. China has condemned the landing. Two days earlier, Japan deported a group of Chinese who had  traveled  to one of the islands, raised a Chinese flag and sang China's national song.
original news


朝日新聞 2012年8月20日(月)朝刊

Aug 18, 2012

Japan is considering what to do with 14 Chinese acitvists

Japan is consdrering what to do with 14 Chinese activists who were arrested after landing on a disputed island Wednesday in the East China Sea. They placed a Chinese flag in the ground and sung the Chinese national song before being arresetd and accused violating immigration laws. The action made tense realation between the two countries even more difficult. Japan is sending the acitivists to Okinawa for questioning and is reportedly considering whether to deport the  acitivists. China has officially protested the arrest and demanded the release of the acitivists.The islands are gas-rich and are surrounded by valuable fishing grounds.

original newsmore recent news


Aug 16, 2012

Japan holds talks with North Korea this month

Japan says it will holds talks with North Korea this month. The talks will be the first in four years for the two Asian nations. The announcement Tuesday came nearly eight month after the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un took power following the death of his father Kim Jong Il. Japanese government says the talks are to be held in Beijing, China on August 29. The relationship between the two Asian neighbor has been tense. North Korea has admitted to kidnapping 13 Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s. Japan suspects that North Korea is still hiding survivors. North Korea says the  issues was resolved with the release of five of the kidnapped Japanese.

original news


Aug 13, 2012

Japan withdraws it ambassador in South Korea to protest Lee's visit to islands

Japan is withdrawing its ambassador to South Korea to protest a visit by South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak to islands claimed by both nations. Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said Friday that Mr. Lee's visit was unacceptable and would  have a lasting effect on the relation between two nations. Mr. Lee became the first South Korean President to ever visit the islands on Friday. South Korean officials said the visit was not meant to create problems.

original news


My thought/opinion on this news
This conflict between two nations is far away from ordinary people's feeling, I think. Because in Japan, a lot of South Korean entertainers have become popular now, two country's people are not likely to be conscious of border between them.  
Recent days, several conflicts on national border around Japan have happened. I am a little bit worried that the situation might be worse.
朝日新聞 2012年8月11日(土)朝刊
朝日新聞 2012年8月11日(土)朝刊

Aug 5, 2012

"Te to Te" by Ann Sally

I had come across this song when I was listening to radio several days ago. I have known the name of the singer, "Ann Sally", but I have never heard this song. I think, this music is a good example that tells beautiful sound of Japanese language to you. And her voice is very good..

Aug 2, 2012

Prosecutor in Colorado are considering death penalty

A court in Colorado has charged James Holmes with multiple counts of murder and other crimes linked to a shooting attack July 20. 20 people were killed in the movie theater attack including a six-year-old girl. 58 others were wounded. Prosecutor say they are considering whether to seek death penalty in the case. Police say Mr. Holmes threw a tear gas bomb in the theater before beginning to shoot at the victims. He has refused to talk to the  police.

original news日本語のニュース


Jul 29, 2012

China cancels waste project following protest

Chinese officials have canceled plans for an industrial waste project in the coastal city of Qidong. The action comes after more than 1,000 demonstrators gathered in the streets to protest plans. They pushed cars over and invaded government offices. Local officials released a statement on Saturday, saying the project have been canceled after protesters clashed with police. The project involved a pipeline that would have emptied industrial waste from a nearby paper factory into the sea. Protests against project that harm the environment have increased in China. 30 years of unrestricted industrial expansion in the country have resulted in several cases of mass poisonings and health scares.    

original news日本語のニュース


My opinion/thought on this news
The paper factory is managed by a Japanese company, so I am a little bit afraid that this movement might lead an anti-Japan movement.

Jul 18, 2012

Gunmen attack WHO team in Pakistan's Karachi

Gunmen have attacked the World Health Organization team working against polio in southern Pakistan, wounding two people. WHO says a team member and an international adviser were taken to a hospital after the attack Tuesday in the city of Karachi. Pakistani police had earlier identified the two as a foreign doctor and his driver. Both men were supporting a three-day national ant-polio campaign that was launched on Monday. WHO said there is no evidence to suggest that the attack was meant for the anti-polio efforts or WHO. 

original news


Jul 16, 2012

a lot of waste after the heavy rain

Today is a national holiday called "umi no hi"(海の日) I rode my bike around the mouth of Onga-river today's morning.

After heavy rain, a lot of waste gather at the river mouth weir. Several workers were removing them there.

On my way to home, I saw that several people took photos of lotus flower at a small pond. And I took some photos too.

Lotus flower is often linked to Buddhism. Recently my age has reached 50, now I am likely to think the meaning of life along the living way of Buddhism.

Jul 15, 2012

"Tsuyu no Harema 2"

It is a fine day today while we had heavy rain yesterday. I waked up early morning and went fishing to "Hatsu" sea shore. But, the result was only a small fish. I gave up fishing 30 minutes after starting it because I found out I had unsuitable rod for this fishing.

The wind was strong but the wave was good for surfers. I took this movie at "Hatsu"(波津) sea shore.  

Jul 14, 2012

Heavy rain has continued in Kyushu

In recent days, we, people in Kyushu, have had heavy rain. Yesterday's newspaper said that it was "keiken shita koto no nai oo-ame"(経験したことのない大雨)["record-breaking heavy rainfall pounded"].

The disaster had destroyed a lot of places, especially in the mountain area of Kyusyu like Aso that has a lot of sight-seeing places. I am sorry that good places have been destroyed. The Mainichi News

Today, I was worried that Onga-gawa(遠賀川), a big river near my house, might have flooded. But it did not happen, now I have felt safe.

Jul 8, 2012

"Tsuyu no Harema"

Rainy season has not ended yet, but today's weather was fine. So, I run my bike on a routine route.

VOA Special English News 111

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world may not be able to log on to the Internet Monday. Officials say people should check their computers now to see if it has a virus that spread a year ago. The virus was caused by Eastern European computer criminals. The websites Facebook and Google are giving information to people on how they can fix their computers. The criminals took control of almost 600,000 computers last year. The Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States stopped the criminals. It has set up two Internet servers so that users can remain online. But the servers will be closed at about 4 hours universal time on Monday. You can find out more about whether your computer is infected and, if so, how to fix it by going to

original news日本語のニュース


Jun 30, 2012

Japanese is difficult even for people in Japan

There is a confused expression in Japanese that has long minded me.

In this video, the announcement says  "一番乗り場に、列車が到着します。危険ですから、黄色い線の内側でお待ちください。"(ichi-ban-noriba ni, ressya ga toutyaku shimasu. kiken desukara,kiiroi sen no uchi-gawa de o-machi kudasai.)

In English,"A train will soon arrive in the number one platform. Please wait inside the yellow line for safety."

In this situation, "kiiroi sen no uchi-gawa" means a close area to a train in the platform, I think. (but, the announcement uses it as the right side of yellow line in this video.) I suggest that it should be "黄色い線より、下がってお待ちください。"(kiiroi sen yori sagatte o-machi kudasai)

Japanese expression is sometimes very difficult even for people in Japan.

Jun 26, 2012

Japan sells first Fukushima seafood since nuclear crisis

In Japan, the first seafood from waters near the Fukushima nuclear disaster was sold to people Monday in the city of Soma. A local fisheries group said no radioactivity was found in the seafood. Only two kinds of fish were sold and they were sold for a lower price than before the disaster. Other fish are still dangerous for humans because of the spill from the Fukushima nuclear energy center. The local fishing industry was severly damaged by the March 2011 nuclear disaster. 

related news


Jun 21, 2012

VOA Special English News 109

Two more young Tibetans have set themselves on fire while calling for Tibetan independence. Exiled Tibetan leaders said the protest took place Sunday in an ethnic Tibetan area of China's western Qinghai province. Early reports say one of protesters died. The condition of other is not known. The protesters wrote statements saying they chose to set themselves on fire to show love to the Tibetan people. They also expressed support for the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama.

original news ・日本語のニュース


Jun 18, 2012

"Sake" in Texas

Yesterday, I have come across the article in Asahi that there is a "sake" brewery in Texas. It is a part of special articles about sake. This is a very interesting issue. I have placed the article on my blog because I would like to let my friend in Texas know  about it.

As you know, "sake" is Japanese alcohol drink and everything around "sake" is related to Japanese culture, I think.

The company's site is here.

Jun 16, 2012

Vodka-based "Ume-shu"

Today I soaked "ume" that were harvested in my yard with vodka to make "Ume-shu". Usually, "White-liquor"(ホワイトリカー) that is a kind of "syouchu"(焼酎) is used for making "ume-shu". But this time I used vodka because I have heard that vodka-based "ume-shu" is very good.

About six month later, I can enjoy vodka-based "ume-shu".

Jun 14, 2012

VOA Special English News 108

The government in Turkey has announced plans to let public school students take Kurdish language classes. Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan decribed the movement in parliament Tuesday. He called it an "historic step". Turkey has been under pressure from Eurpean Union to ease restrictions on the Kurdish language. Turkey is seeking to join the EU.

original news


Jun 9, 2012

A monster in an apartment

There is a strange scene on my way to work place. I don't know whether a person lives in this room and why it is placed there. Someday I will confirm whether someone lives there.

VOA Special English News 107

Norwegian climate scientists say the Arctic has been loosing 45,000 square kilometers of ice cover yearly over the past 20 years. They say the thinning polar ice has opened new passages for ships across the north. And they say that could make trade between Europe and Asia 40 percent faster than using the Suez Canal. Norwegian foreign minister Jonas Gahr Stoere recently brought American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the city of Tromso. She visited in the area which could hold 20 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and gas supplies. The United State Geological Survey say they could be worth 9,000,000,000,000 dollars. She said many countries are looking at the possibilities for exploration of the Arctic for its resources.

original news日本語のニュース


My thought/opinion this issue
This is a very interesting news. Some countries might not depend on the Middle East's oil because of the effect of climate change.

Jun 5, 2012

VOA Special English News 106

The New York Times says President Obama secretly ordered attacks on the computer systems that operate Iran's main nuclear enrichment center. Unidentified informants close to the program called it a major expansion of America's first use of cyber weapons. The newspaper reported Friday that the cyberattacks began during the administration of former President George W. Bush.



朝日新聞 2012.6.4(月)

May 29, 2012

VOA Special English News 105

Lady Gaga has canceled her show planned for June 3 in Indonesia. The cancellation comes after Islamists threatened violence. The Islamic Defender's Front had threaten to deploy 30,000 members to prevent Lady Gaga from getting off the airplane in Indonesia. Her lawyer for the show said it was canceled for Lady Gaga's safety and for the safety of those who come to see her sing and dance. Indonesian police refuse to approve permits for the concert unless Lady Gaga agreed to change her performance. More than 52,000 tickets have been sold. The Indonesian show was to be Lady Gaga's biggest in Asia.

original news日本語のニュース


May 21, 2012

VOA Special English News 104

A memorial service for a restaurant worker in Southern Egypt turned into a celebration when the supposedly dead man awoke. Hospital officials had said Hamdi Hafez al-Nubi had died after suffering a heart attack at work. The family of the 28-year-old man said they took him home and prepared his body for burial. But, a doctor who was to sign the death document discovered that he was still alive. He awakened and celebrated with the guests who had thought they were attending a funeral.

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May 13, 2012

VOA Special English News 103

The United Nations has published guidelines on what it calls "land grabbing" which is the buying of large farm and rich lands in the developing world by rich countries. Members of the UN committee on World Food Security supported guidelines Friday at a meeting in Rome.  The guidelines are not laws. They call on governments to protect the legal land rights of community members. They urge governments to avoid secrecy and corruption in land deals and to make sure that land is used responsibly. Human rights groups say large land buys in Africa and Asia have violated the rights of local people and have threatened their food security.

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May 7, 2012


On May,5, I stayed at a "minshuku"(民宿) in  "Itoshima"(糸島) with my family member.

My son has started a new life in Fukuoka city since April. His living place locates near Itoshima, so we had decided to visit there during "Golden Week".

We enjoyed a dinner at the minshuku and a good scenery there.                                  

May 4, 2012

Tour de Kunisaki, 2012

Yesterday, I took a part in a cycling event called  "Tour de Kunisaki" in Oita prefecture. This was the fifth time to me. I participated it every year since 2007, except for 2011.

After the event, I had a relaxing time with my friend at a local accommodation managed by an elder couple.
Tour de Kunisaki, 2012

Apr 29, 2012

"Golden Week" starts

A series of national holidays from the end of April to the top of May is called "Golden Week"(ゴールデン・ウィーク).

Today, I went cycling with my friend and took these photos in the riverbed of "Onga-gawa"(遠賀川).Unfortunately, it was a little bit cloudy.

During "Golden Week", I will take part in a cycling event called "Tour de Kunisaki"(ツールド・国東) and have a one-night trip to a local accommodation(民宿) near my son's house in Fukuoka city with my family.

VOA Special English News 102

Chinese rights activist Chen Guangchen has escaped from house arrest. The police are searching for him, his family and those who helped him to escape. The blind dissident lawyer fled his closely guarded home in a village in Shandong province last Sunday. However, officials did not learn he was missing until Thursday. It is not clear where he is now. On Friday, Chen Guangchen described the abuses he and his family have reportedly suffered during his year-and-a-half under house arrest. He spoke in a video published on the Internet.

original news日本語のニュース


Apr 22, 2012

A New Term Starts

In Japan, many things start on April.

In recent days, I was a little bit busy because I had spent a lot of time for preparation of my son's and daughter's new life..

My son has now lived alone in Fukuoka city to go to a university. My daughter has started a life in a dormitory to go to a high school. (But, she returns home every weekend.)

And I have started a new job in a different part of a local government since April 1. 


Apr 21, 2012

VOA Special English News 101

American officials say a Black Hawk helicopter has crashed in southwestern Afghanistan. The plane crashed in bad weather Thursday. It was not known if any of the four crew members survive. Earlier, Afghan President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the actions of American soldiers pictured with the dead bodies of militants. He said the pictures were evidence that foreign troops needs to withdraw sooner. The pictures were taken in 2010. The Los Angesl Times published two of the 18 pictures Wednesday. The newspaper reports says the soldiers who released the pictures wanted to draw  attention to poor leadership that could threaten the safety of troops.

original news日本語ニュース日本語のニュース2


Apr 15, 2012

VOA Special English News 100

The United Nation's Secretary of General Ban Ki- moon has joined international leaders in condemning North Korea's launch of a long-distance rocket, even though the test failed. The rocket broke up and crashed into the Yellow Sea shortly after it was launched on Friday. North Korea's official news agency admitted the rocket failed to send what it says a weather satellite into orbit. North Korea ignored international protests and appeals to not launch the rocket. Many countries believe the launch was a test of a long-distance missile that could carry nuclear weapons. The rocket failed for a lack of fuel. It fell into the sea without hitting land or striking any of many boats watching the test from international waters.

original news

国連事務総長の潘 基文(パン・ギムン)氏は、発射実験が失敗したにも関わらず、各国の指導者とともに北朝鮮の長距離ロケットの発射を非難した。ロケットは、金曜日発射直後、分裂し、黄海に衝突した。北朝鮮国営放送は、ロケットは、「気象衛星」を軌道に送ること失敗したことを認めた内容を放送した。北朝鮮は国際的な抗議を無視し、ロケットの発射はしていないと主張した。多くの国々は発射は核兵器を搭載できる長距離ミサイルの実験だったと思っている。ロケットは燃料不足で失敗した。ロケットは、地上にぶつかることなく、また公海上から実験を見ていた多くのボートにぶつかることなく、海に落下した。

Apr 8, 2012

VOA Special English News 99

Leaders from 53 countries have begun a two-day meeting in Seoul, South Korea. The leaders are talking about ways to make sure terrorists are not able to gain control of nuclear weapons. On Sunday, President Obama announced that Ukraine has removed all highly enriched uranium from its soil. He said Ukraine was acting on a promise made two years ago at the first Nuclear Security conference in Washington. Since then, United States and Russia have agreed to do away with enough plutonium for 17 thousand nuclear weapons. And Kazakhstan has secured more than 13 tons of highly enriched uranium and plutonium in the past two years. Many nuclear weapons from the former Soviet Union have been stored in Kazakhstan.


Mar 31, 2012

VOA Special English News 98

A new report says that more than 400 women in Afghanistan are in jail for attempting to escape abusive husbands and forced marriages. Their report says women are often accused of being disloyal to their husbands and put in prison for moral crimes. Human Rights Watch reported the findings. The head of group Kenneth Roth says Afghan Judicial officials have used Sharia for Islamic law to justify the arrests. But he says Afghanistan is the only country that uses Sharia law to make a running away a crime. Human Rights Watch spoke with 58 women and girls for the report. One woman says she was forced to marry a violent man who abused drug and alcohol. They were married when she was only 12 years old. She and her two daughters are now in prison for running away and going into hiding.

original news


Mar 25, 2012


I have learned an interesting thing called "Tofurky"(トーファーキー) from the VOA Special English program.

 "Tofurky" is a vegetarian turkey substitute, mainly made from tofu that is typical Japanese food.

The word let me think of "tofu-hamburg"(豆腐ハンバーグ) that is a familiar to many Japanese as a healthy food.

A fake food that almost all Japanese have known is "kani-kama"(カニカマ) that tastes crab meat. It is made from fish meat.

Mar 21, 2012

VOA Special English News 97

The United States Defense Department says the American soldier who reportedly shot and killed 16 Afghanistan civilians Sunday has been flown out of the country. Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain John Kirby did not say where the soldier was taken. But he did say the soldier was moved for his safety and to make it easier for investigators to question him. Earlier American Defense Secretary Leon Panneta said the recent violence in Afghanistan will not keep the United States for meeting its responsibility. The Defense Department said Mr. Panneta told local Afghan leaders that such incidents do not represent the Afghan people, Afghan security forces or coalition forces. President Obama says the United States is making real progress in Afghanistan. President spoke at joint news conference with British Prime Minster David Cameron at the White house. Mr. Obama said the tragic events of recent days in Afghanistan show that work there remains difficult. But he said American and NATO forces have made gains against al-Quaida and Taliban. President repeated his desire for the United States to give Afghan forces full responsibility for their country's security in 2014.


Mar 6, 2012

VOA Special English News 96

Top Afghan clergyman have condemned the United States for the burning of Qurans at a NATO base last month.The Ullema Council called the burning of the Muslim holy books a "crime" and "inhumane". The group said it would not accept apologies by American military officials and President Obama. It also called for those responsible to be "publicly tried and punished".

original news


Mar 3, 2012

VOA Special English News 95

A federal judge in the United States says a requirement that cigarette packages have large warning signs is unconstitutional. District Judge Richard Leon said the government rule violates the First Amendment right to free speech. The warnings were to have filled about half of the label on the package. They were to include color pictures of cancerous lungs and a dead body. The judge said pictures were not designed to increase the knowledge of the risks of smoking but to cause people to react with strong emotions. He said the government has many other ways to warn people about smoking without violating the Constitution. The government can appeal the ruling.

related news日本語のニュース


Feb 29, 2012

VOA Special English News 94

Afghan officials say they are hunting for an Afghan official suspected of killing two American military advisers. Their bodies were found in an office in the Afghan Interior Ministry in Kabul. Officials say a 25-year-old intelligence agent, Abdul Saboor, shot the Americans. Demonstrations continue in Afghanistan to protest the destruction of several copies of the Islamic holy book, Quran, by NATO troops. More than 20 people have died in the demonstrations. The troops burned the books at Bagram Air Base on Tuesday. President Obama and other American officials have apologized for the action. Afghan president Hamid Karzai called for calm on Sunday as protests continued.

original news日本語のニュース


My thought/opinion on this issue
I cannot understand what the NATO troops did. It has only made the problem confused.

Feb 25, 2012

VOA Special English News 93

Top American and North Korean negotiators will meet in Beijing Thursday to discuss North Korea's nuclear program. However, an American negotiator says the United States is also concerned about human rights and humanitarian issues in North Korea. American negotiators hoped the meeting will lead to return to six-nation talks about ending North Korea's nuclear program. China, South Korea, Japan and Russia are the other countries involved. The talks began in 2003. They were suspended more than two years ago after North Korea expelled international nuclear inspectors.

related news日本語のニュース


My thought/opinion on the issue
I am interested in how North Korea behaves on this issue because it is the first big event to the  country's young leader.

Feb 23, 2012

VOA Special English New 92

A dispute over who owns the name, iPad in China is getting more serious. The American computer company Apple uses manufactures in China to make the iPad. A Chinese company called Proview Technology is using the name, iPad in China. Apple and Proview both claim they own the right to the name in China and are fighting a legal battle. In recent days, officials in several Chinse cities have ceased iPad computers from Chinese stores because the dispute is not yet resolved. Proview has asked for the Chinese government help in preventing exports and imports of the iPad. 

related news日本語のニュース


My thought/opinion on this issue
Recently we often see news about China as it has become big in economic and military power.

Feb 18, 2012

VOA Special English News 91

A nineteen-year-old Tibetan Buddhist monk set himself on fire Monday in China's Sichuan province. Tibetans in exile say that the young man denounced the Chinese government before burning himself. Chinese security forces reportedly put out the fire and took him away. Saturday eighteen-year-old Buddhist nun set herself on fire. The religious worker later died. There has been an increase in anti-Chinese protests in Tibetan areas of China in recent months. Chinese government accuses Dalai Lama and oversea's groups of inciting the unrest.

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My opinion/thought on this issue
Very different part of human beings from other animals is to kill themselves with their will.

Feb 11, 2012

VOA Special English News 90

The American Military is planning to let female troops work in jobs that are closer to areas where troops are involved in combat.The Defense department officials say the changes would open about 14,000 jobs to women. Female service members would be permitted to serve as medical workers and intelligence officers. These are jobs that have been considered too dangerous for women. The changes mainly affect women in the Army and the Marine Corps. Women would still be barred from serving in infantry, armour and special operations. Congress may decide to delay the move or block it before it takes effect. At least 144 female service members have been killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and more than 850 have been wounded.   

related news日本語のニュース