Jul 2, 2015

A Six-Sentence Story: A Fall

   On the morning of February 22, 2012, I was walking to my office reluctantly. When I was about to cross the street, I stumbled upon a pipe on the icy sidewalk, and fell flat on my face. My glasses got broken, and I got a cut between my eyes. I got up and went to the office anyway. I was thankful that I didn't hurt my arms and legs. I was worried that the scar might remain for the rest of my life, but it disappeared within a year.

cue: fall

Jun 26, 2015

Ten Things of Thankful: June 26

Ten Things of Thankful

I had a bad cold last week, but I feel much better this week.

I'm working on a new translation assignment, which helps me learn new things.

I managed to write a post for #1000 Speak for Compassion.

The hydrangeas in our backyard are in bloom.

I harvested some garlic chives from my humble garden.  They are the offspring of the garlic chives that Masako gave me about six years ago.

We got some soy-sauce-flavored steamed bread sold at Kawanishi, a popular confectionery shop in our city.

On Wednesday, I attended the Bible Study meeting, and we read John 20 together.

I went to the city library on Wednesday. I was looking for the Japanese translation of "The Treasury of David" by C.H. Spurgeon, which is now out of print. The city library doesn't have a copy, but there is one in the National Parliament Library in Tokyo, which can send the book to our local library, so that I can read it.

My father and I went to the farmers' market on Thursday. We got some brown rice, eggplants, green peppers, cloud ear mushrooms (kikurage ), a spaghetti squash, and potatoes.


May I ask you a favor? Would you paraphrase the following sentence so that I can understand what it means?

"The musical film captured the hearts and voices of people around the world."
 "The musical film captured the hearts of people around the world" means that 'people around the world were fascinated with the musical film," doesn't it? I'm not sure what 'captured (the) voices of people' means. I guess it may mean that people came to love singing the songs that were sung in the musical film, but I may be wrong... I searched the Internet and found expressions like 'capture the voices of the voiceless', 'capture the voices of teenage girls', and 'capture the voices of over 3000 residents.' In these phrases, 'capturing the voices' seems to mean 'representing what these people have to say.' Does the sentence, "The musical film captured the voices of people," also mean that it expressed what people want to say? Then, 'The film captured the hearts' may mean that the film excellently expressed how people felt. As for the context, the sentence in question is given as a reason why the film won many awards. Then the writer points out that people still enjoy singing along the songs 50 years after the film was released. -- I'm afraid I'm not allowed to quote the paragraph exactly because of the copyright issues.--

I need to translate the sentence into Japanese, so I need to know what it means. Every time I work on a translation assignment, I realize how different English and Japanese are, and how inadequate my knowledge of these languages is. Thank you in advance for your help. 

Jun 25, 2015

Ajisai Park

About ten years ago, I went to Ajisai (Hydrangea) Park in Tokamachi, a small town in a rural district in Japan. The park is located in the mountain, and the hydrangeas are usually at their best in the middle of July.

On the day when I went there, the sky looked threatening, and there were few people there. I spent more than an hour walking along the path, amazed at thousands of colorful hydrangeas. I also remember seeing some small butterflies flying among the flowers. Their wings were of almost the same color as the petals.

cue: park

Jun 20, 2015

Kind and Excellent

   Pondering on the meanings of the word 'compassion,'  I've thought of a kanji character that is associated with it, which stands for 'kind' and 'thoughtful':

This kanji character can be divided into two parts. 

(the radical for 'person')


(another kanji meaning 'worry, concern.')

   Miura Ayako, a Japanese novelist, says in one of her essays that this kanji shows that 'being kind' means 'being concerned about another person.' Then, she points out that this kanji also means 'excellent.'

The Japanese word, 優しい (yasashii ), means 'kind.' When the same kanji is used in the phrase, 優れている (sugureteiru ), it means 'excellent.'

あなたは、優しい。 ( Anata wa yasashii. ) -- You are kind.
あなたは、優れている。 ( Anata wa sugureteiru. ) -- You are excellent. 

   Unfortunately, not everyone that is considered excellent may be kind to others, but this kanji character reminds us that truly excellent people should be kind to everyone else.

   Also, it is interesting that we can see a heart at the center of the character 優.

the kanji for 'heart'


   Similarly, the heart is at the center of love.

the kanji for 'love'

Compare 'love' and 'concern', and we can see how much these two have in common.


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I'm taking part in


Jun 19, 2015

Ten Things of Thankful: June 19

Ten Things of Thankful

Last Saturday, I attended the cross-cultural understanding class held at the City International Affairs Center.

A university student from Mexico talked about her country in English. She talked a little about geography, history, World Heritage sites, and traditional cuisine.

Next, we listened to a young man wearing a sombrero sing a few Mexican songs. Then, the university student and her friend in beautiful costumes performed a few folk dances merrily.

Finally, we had the tacos that the Mexican people had made. It tasted far better than the one I had tried making several months before.

* * * * *

I went to the flower arrangement exhibition at the city hall last weekend. Many kinds of flowers were displayed in various vases artistically.

In a corner of the hall, under a large red umbrella, an informal tea ceremony was being held. I took part in the tea ceremony. 

While the host was making matcha tea ceremonially, cake was served to the guests. The cake was made of adzuki bean jam and agar jelly. (The adzuki bean jam represents rocks, and the jelly suggests a stream. Floating on the 'stream' is a 'maple leaf' made of green jelly.)

The refreshing matcha tea served in a lovely bowl was not as bitter as I had expected. 

* * * * *

   The geraniums in front of our house are in bloom.

Jun 16, 2015

Skin Color?

   They taught us how to draw pictures with crayons in preschool. Each pupil was given a set of 12 crayons. Red, yellow, yellowish green, green, light blue, blue, purple, hada-iro, brown, black, gray, and white. The sun was red. The sky was blue. Clouds were white. Leaves were either yellowish green or green. Trunks and branches of trees were brown. Water was light blue. Hair was black. Faces, hands, and legs were hada-iro.

   Hada-iro was the color we automatically used as the color of skin. Hada (肌) means 'skin' and iro (色) means 'color.' The more people and dolls we drew, the shorter the pieces of hada-iro crayon became.

  Toward the end of the 20th century, the authorities began to doubt if it was right to call this color 'the color of skin,' for it could be considered as racism. By 2006, they gave a new name to the color. It is called 'ペールオレンジ' (pale orange) today.

I'm joining Josie @ Two Shoes in Texas
for Two Shoes Tuesday.


Jun 13, 2015

Ten Things of Thankful: June 13

Ten Things of Thankful

I'm making ume (Japanese apricot) liquor for the first time in my life. About two weeks ago, I got a new container, some rock sugar and distilled spirits.

Last week, I got 1 kilogram of green ume at the open-air market.

I put all the ingredients in the container. All I have to do now is let it stand at room temperature in a dark place for about one year. The liquor is going to be amber-colored by then.

I'm looking forward to tasting sweet ume liquor next year. 

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I was the organist for the worship service last Sunday. As I've already said several times before, I'm thankful for being a church organist.

I'm thankful for the book "Chorale Preludes by J.S. Bach." It has beautiful short organ pieces, which I enjoy practicing playing.

*  *  *  *  *

Last Wednesday, I had dinner with T* at a restaurant. The food was good, and we had a wonderful time.

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Some alstroemerias in our yard are in bloom. My father has picked the first flowers and put them in a vase in the alcove.

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I'm thankful for my digital camera, (SONY DSC-U30.) I've been using it for more than ten years. Thanks to this small camera, I can share my photos in my blogs. (Since the camera cannot take a photo of itself, I've borrowed the picture below from SONY.)


Jun 11, 2015

Check if applies to you.

 1. I love taking part in Six Sentence Stories.

 2. I find it difficult to write good six sentence stories.

 3. I prefer writing non-fiction to writing fiction.

 4. I know what the html tag, <input type="checkbox">, means.

 5. I tried checking some of the check boxes on this page.

 6. I'm wondering if this post is worth sharing in Six Sentence Stories.

cue: check

Jun 6, 2015


My life is a gift from God.

Let my life be a gift to Him.

writing prompt: gift

Jun 5, 2015

Ten Things of Thankful: June 5

Ten Things of Thankful

  Last Saturday, I had a picnic in Higashiyama Park with seven friends. We had planned to have a picnic two weeks before, but it rained on that day, and it was put off. It was sunny and comfortable on May 30.

We took a walk among beautiful trees for about half an hour before lunch.

* * * * *

The plant we call 白丁花 (hakuchouge) is in bloom in our garden.

* * * * *

   On Monday, T* and I went to the Hillside Park in the western part of our city, where the rose festival was being held. The garden was full of colorful and fragrant roses.

We also visited Satoyama Museum in the park, where we saw a typical 200-year-old house with a thatched roof. It takes about 20 minutes from the botanical garden to the museum, and there is a free bus service within the park. I wrote more about this house in my post for Six-Sentence Story last Thursday.

We also went to the newly-built museum, where antique Japanese furniture, kitchen utensils, a spinning wheel, a loom, and so on were displayed.

a loom for weaving straw mats

kanjiki (Japanese snowshoes)

*There is still a pair of kanjiki like this in our house, too. :-)

boots made of straw

Before leaving the park, we went to 'ROSE CAFE', where we had some rose-flavored ice cream.

It was a wonderful day.
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