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The flowers can point out the way to the stairway to heaven

November 29, 2009 5 comments

It’s been a long time for me to introduce something about Japanese to you. This time, I’ll try to do it.

I went to a park in our city to see higan bana last month. Is it ok to express it as ‘spider lily’ in English? ‘bana’, the word used in higan bana originally means ‘flower'(hana), but it turned into bana when it is sometimes used after other nouns.

Did you know the meaning of higan? In Japan, elderly people treat westwards as gokuraku(the word used among Buddhism as heaven). And there are two days every year in Japan in which the sun rises up from the right East and falls down into the right West. The Japanese call them shunbun no hi and shuubun no hi and name them higan.

When I was a kid, my parents urged me not to touch higan bana because it is said that higan bana has poison in their flower bulbs. In fact, you have no problem even though you touch them unless you eat the bulb, so anyone can touch higan bana. You can see higan bana around fields or graveyards. People plant them in order to prevent mice or moles from getting vegetables, rice and dead bodies. (Now that dead bodies are buried after they are burned, however, we had the custom of burials in old days)

In our city, volunteers plant over 2 million bulbs of higan bana along the river across the city. There is a park nearby the higan bana road associated with one famous auther of children’s book, Nankichi Niimi. You can see the red carpet of higan bana at the peak hour, but unfortunately the time had already gone when I was there. In the website of our city, you can see their red and the scene of marriage ceremony in Japanese style. Here, it is.

I took some photos of higan bana. I’m happy you would enjoy them.

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What a nice coincidence!

November 26, 2009 9 comments

Although I bought two new games in order to relax, I have a lot of things to do in my work, so I can hardly get a time to play them.

By the way, I had an English class at the university tonight. You can participate to the class no matter what you are, even though you aren’t a university student. How could I say it? ‘Open college’? Anyway, I attended the class tonight. Our funny Australian teacher always brings interesting topics, and thanks to him, we can freely talk about the topics in English.

When the class was over, one woman told me that her daughter met me. ‘What? Your daughter? Umm…I guess the daughter must be young. I’ve not seen any young girl recently…’ thinking like that, I asked her when and where I met her daughter. ‘At the place of the interview test in English’ she said it to me.

Ooooooohhhh! Yeah, I met her! As I wrote it before, I had an English exam and I passed the first task at the test. As the second task, I had to have an interview test. There were two girls waiting in the room when I arrived at the place of the test. I thought more people had passed the first task and would have the interview test, so I said two girls like this; ‘Only us? No other examinee?’ With my words, we started talking about this test and how we learned English. We talked with each other so loudly that staff warned us. One of them, the younger girl of them, was the one. The female classmate kept talking and told me that her daughter already knew me when she got the first task. It seemed that she and I took the test at the same classroom and I sat right behind her. Luckily, both of us passed the interview test.

What a nice coincidence! Our Australian teacher and other classmates were surprised with this topic as well as I was. ‘Ummmm….I should have been cooler if I had known this!’ laughed I. And then, I gave the female classmate my name card in order to let her daughter know this blog. I hope she would check and be surprised with this article….hehehe

One way or another, I think I should check my appearance and my attitude wherever I go…lol

P.S. I’m so sorry I couldn’t reply for your comments. I gotta go right now. I’ll comment tomorrow. Sorry about that.

Categories: My diaries

New zombies can make me relax?

November 22, 2009 Leave a comment

I got tough days in this two weeks. An interview test in English last week and an examination today. I nearly had my brain exploded. However, it’s over. How were these tests? Ummm…I guess I can make both of them. 😀 I’ll report the result as soon as I got.

In order to make my brain relax, I bought two things after finishing the test today. Come to think of brains…yeah, Zombies! Did you remember that I introduced one computer game about zombies called ‘LEFT 4 DEAD’? The second version of it was released this week.

Like a series of ‘Resident evil’, the movies, we have to fight with ‘infections’ in this game, which happened a few weeks later or so since ‘LEFT 4 DEAD’ ended. Unfortunately, the characters we’re supposed to play have been changed. Zoey, the girl I often played in ‘LEFT 4 DEAD’, was gone. Instead of the pretty girl, there are many new weapons and enemies. Katana(someone clearly shouted it with his/her English accent), Chainsaws, AKs, Jockey, Charger, Spitter… many weapons and enemies sometimes help us and sometimes annoy us…lol

It’s been a long time for me to play FPS games, so I found it difficult to play(or survive) this game. But it can certainly make my brain relax. I’m trying to record the film I’m playing as well as I did in ‘LEFT 4 DEAD’. It’s going to be a long time until I finish encoding the film, so I’ll upload this article before the film.

One more thing I bought at the computer shop was ‘ALONE IN THE DARK’. It seemed a kind of mystery game in English, not FPS game. I’ve wanted to play mystery games proceeding in English in order to let myself in as many times in English as possible, so I got it. I’ve not played this game yet and ofcourse I’ll record the film as well if I can.

Categories: My hobbies Tags:

Funny Dreams Chapter 1…”The escape from werewolves”

November 18, 2009 10 comments

I’ll make a new category in this blog. I named it ‘Funny dreams.’ Anybody has dreams, right? I don’t know why people see their dreams and how our mental status influence on our dreams, however, we anyway see dreams. I’ll describe my funny dreams when I got them. In articles of this category, I will not use ‘I’ so that I want to write these articles like novels or something. I would like you to know ‘H.P.’ indicates me.

This is the first article in this catergory…

H.P. eluded something with one beautiful princess. ‘Something’, as this word expressed, was not human being. They had their own solid nails and changed their appearances into werewolves. Dark and fresh bloods were poured from their mouthes. They looked like not only werewolves but also vampires.

These werewolves things seemed to get the princess’ blood. The beautiful and young lady’s one has a great power and make them immortal. They were getting nearer and nearer. However, H.P. got two skills. His martial arts like karate and…chakra…which was branded on his forhead. Everytime he punched or kicked the worewolves, the chakras on his head was sparked like a flash light, and werewolves suddenly got vanished.

H.P. and the princess were running down on the street. The attack by werewolves were like a wave, so they were exhausted. He pointed one restaurant at the corner of the street and told her to hide.

The clerk recognized her at once who she was when they entered the restaurant. He brought them two glasses of cold water and said, ‘Why don’t you two hide in the ceiling from werewolves for a while?’ He strode toward the corner of the restaurant, grabbed one string hung from the ceiling and pulled it. The board was flipped down and the entrance of the ceiling appeared. ‘Come on, goin’ in.’ he beckoned H.P. and the princess. ‘It’s too dangerous! We can’t escape from the enemies because we got the only entrance!’ H.P. showed his worry on his face and said. ‘Don’t worry, you can climb the ladder in the ceiling and get the roof of this buliding. If you think you are in danger, you can do it and move another roof.’ smiled the clerk.

The muddy, dirk and dirty ceiling, it seemed no one used it for a long time. Turning the light on, H.P. told the princess to take as much rest as possible. Saying like that, he thought the advice was useless. ‘Under this circumstances, no one can relax. Even me.’

One scream thundered below the ceiling. That was clerk’s one. They seemed to enter the restaurant. The sounds of foot steps were louder and louder. ‘They can trace us by smelling us. We have to get out of here.’ I said to her and opened the window. ‘Oh, my God… We can’t reach that roof over there…it’s far from here.’ The another roof was so far that H.P. and the princess could not reach there. Instead of another roof, he found another way to escape from werewolves. There was a small balcony under the window, he thought they could climb down along the balcony.

Bang! The lid of the entrance to the ceiling was opened and H.P. heard the growls of the enemies. ‘Go ahead!’ H.P. and the princess stepped forward to the balcony. ‘Hurry!’ They’re coming!’ yelled H.P. ‘Jump!’

At this moment, the dream had finished…

Ummm…I have no talent to write my dream as a novel. No one would buy my story…hehehe

Categories: Funny Dreams

After elementary school, you see many differences

November 15, 2009 13 comments

Age during junior high school
After graduating from elementary school, you throw your randoseru and put an uniform of junior high school when you get 13 years old.

I had a strange feeling when I enrolled the junior high school. One of my friends, who was one year older than me, changed his attitude when I started my junior high school student life. It was totally, so to speak, senpai(means ‘senior’). While we shouldered our randoseru together, we thought ourselves as the same aged friends, however, once he entered the junior high school, he had an atmosphere like ‘Don’t talk to me in that tone of voice.’

gaku ran(for men)
The most defferent part between elementary school and junior high school is to put an uniform or not. We call uniforms in school gakuseihuku or gaku ran(one of slangs). There are many kind of gakuseihuku in Japan. Especially ‘yankee’, who is like a pretty gangster or a bad boy, always like arranging their own gakuseihuku. ‘yankee’, I think the word was originated from America, however, we treat ‘yankee’ as young gangsters or bad boys when we use it in Japan.

gakuseihuku indicates both pants and a jacket. Teachers in junior high school strictly treat us by rules. Under strict rules, ‘yankee’ often put tyou ran or tan ran as a jacket and bon tan as pants.

tyou of tyou ran literally means long. How could I say…the parts around pockets of jackets…If these part are too long, we call jackets tyou ran. If these part are short, we call them tan ran. Incidentally, there is tyuu ran, as a jacket whose the part around pockets is neither short nor too long.

bon tan are pants. I don’t know why they call bon tan, however, we call pants whose the parts from thighs to knees are wide bon tan.

You can see what tyou ran, tan ran and bon tan. Strictly speaking, the character called Toru Nakama put tyuu ran, not tyou ran.

Unfortunately(?), the number of ‘yankee’ in Japan is decreasing. Now that I think you might no longer see them in Tokyo. The film I introduced to you was broadcasted in 1984. The time has changed. After that, chi-ma- or color gang had appeared. Now I don’t know how students these days have their fashion.

You can see what chi-ma- or color gang are like in this film.

In this film, young people putting hip-pop like clothes and each team members put the same colors. This drama was also broadcasted in around 2000, so it might already be old-fashioned.

Life in junior high school
Except of ‘yankee’, mainly students spend their life in junior high school studying and working in clubs. We have also haruyasumi, natsuyasumi and huyuyasumi as well as elementary school days, but during these holidays, we often go to the school and enjoy our own club’s activities. Maybe the word ‘enjoy’ is not really proper. When I was a junior high school student, I played soccer in the club. While training, I felt I was in hell or somewhere. Incidentally, I was a goal keeper.

The extinct tradition(at least in my region)
Now that there is no such a tradition in my region. I had it in my age. That was bouzu(means croppy), to have male student’s hair cropped short. Before I enrolled the junior high school, I had to have my hair cut like an rookie soldier in armies. We call it bouze.
When I was the 3rd grades in the junior high school, the activities appeared among us in order to change the rules of the school. The largest target of changes of the rule was ‘no more bouzes’. Before I graduated, the dream came true.

A romantic action
I don’t know if this tradition still exists, but it sounds romantic for me, so I’ll introduce you it. We have the graduation ceremony every year. At that time, girls try to ask the men they love to give men’s second button of their uniform. It is okay for girls to get nahuda(means a nameplate) from the men. Incidentally, when I was the second grades, I had a girl in the 3rd grades who I was in love. So I asked her to give her nameplate when she graduated. When I graduated, I had my three buttons taken. My glory days had already gone since the moment and never come back…lol

Except of people who took examinations to enroll private junior high schools, we have to face the first examination to enter high schools. Checking our own performance, we have to decide where we should(or can be allowed to) go.

At the end of the 2nd grades’ term, I had an interview about which high schools I should choose with my teacher. He thought I wanted to enroll the best high school in our Peninsula. But I said NO. He asked me why I said No. I explained the reason to him like that; ‘I’m in love with one girl who already graduated. She is in other high school. Actually, although the high school has lower levels than the school you suggested, I’d like to be there. You can study anything wherever you are, can’t you? That’s the high school I want to go.’ Ofcourse it was one-way love, but I really thought like that. But the teacher smiled on his face and said, ‘Hey, HoneyPotter, there are plenty fish in the sea. So you should not choose your high school with such a reason.’ I didn’t think so at that time, however, later I knew I would be able to play the guitar in the high school which the teacher recommended. So I changed my plan.

O.K. I’ll introduce high school lives in the next article. And one more thing, I’ll reply for your comments in another day. Sorry about that.

Categories: Japanese Culture Tags:

Elementary school life in Japan

November 10, 2009 10 comments

Thanks to Mugami, I got a topic to write in my blog. Thank you so much, Mugami.

This time, I’ll introduce you a life in kindergarten, nursery school and elementary school. As you know, I’m single and haven’t ever got any kid, so I sometimes might write wrong things in this article.

Before enrolling an elementary school
There are three choises for parents before enrolling an elementary school. 1. to enroll in youchien(kindergarten) 2. to enroll in hoikuen(nursery school) 3. to enroll nowhere

There are differences between youchien and hoikuen. At first, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology supervises youchien. On the contrary, the Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry supervises hoikuen. Why? Because the respective purposes of their establishment have different. Simply speaking, youchien is established for the purpose to teach chiledren before an elementary school, hoikuen is established for the purpose to nurse children for fathers and mothers who have no time because they have to work.(ofcourse, children also can be taught in hoikuen) So in the respect of hours for children to stay, there is one of difference between youchien and hoikuen.

Incidentally, I don’t know if people these days would use this word in youchien or hoikuen. We called ‘playing around the ground’ or ‘playing with toys’ and etc oyu-gi.

Elementary school life
When you got six years old, you have to go to the elementary school. Some people go to the Public school, some people go to the Private school. We often call examinations to enroll private elementary schools or private junior high school o jyuken. jyuken means ‘examination’ and o is used as a prefix to make words honorable.

In Japan, we have to spend our elementary school life for six years. Before you enter the school, you have to buy randoseru, which is one of bags. You shoulder it and go to the school.

You can see what it is in this site.

When I was an elementary school student, we were allowed to buy only two-colored randoseru. Male students had to buy the black one and Female students had to do the red one. Time has changed. Now that people can choose many colors. It takes from about 10,000 yen to over 50,000 yen. I don’t know if it’s true, but celebrities buy much more expensive one.

We treat April as the beginning of the term and March as the end of the term for one year. In April, the first graded elementary school students walk through the arcway of cherry-blossoms, given a shower of applauses which say ‘Welcome to this school’.

The terms are divided 2 or 3 in one year. The ways to be divided is depending on the region and municipal governments. In my region, we have three terms in a year. My friend who lives in Yokohama told me they have two terms in a year. Between respective terms, there are holidays called haruyasumi, natsuyasumi and huyuyasumi. It’s also depending on the region, haruyasumi is generally held from March 25 to April 7. natsuyasumi is held from late July to the end of August. From December 25 to January 7 is treated as huyuyasumi. Except haruyasumi, teachers give us a ton of homework, especially in natsuyasumi.

Activities in elementary school
In addition to study, we have a lot of events in elementary school life. ensoku(field trip), shuugaku ryokou(school trip), gassyou konku-ru(contest of a chorus), gakugeikai(school play), undoukai(athletic festival), and club activities.

A lot of events might occur in shuugaku ryokou. makura nage is one of traditional games during shuugaku ryokou. It’s just simple. Just throwing your pillows against your opponents. I don’t know how we judge ‘win’ or ‘lose’ during makura nage. Other famous event in shuugaku ryokou is kokuhaku(to confess who you like or love) when we’re about to sleep. During shuugaku ryokou, we have to make groups and each group is lot a room to sleep respectively. After turning the light off, whispers start. ‘Hey, who do you like in our class?”Me? You say who at first!”Hey, I guess she is crush on you!”No way!”Yes way!’ Sometimes teachers come and try to check if students really sleep. Under such surveillance, the secret and kinda stand-by-me talk keeps going.

In shuugaku ryokou, students often strangely behave. You can see them buying strange souvenirs, such as bokutou(wooden sword). In the event of shuugaku ryokou, you must be careful with how much you can bring your snacks(called oyatsu). I don’t know how much recent rates of oyatsu when shuugaku ryokou are, but when I was an elemntary school students, I was allowed to pay 400 or 500 yen for oyatsu. The most important thing you must check is ‘including fruits or not’.

O.K. Next time, I’ll write an article about junior high school life.

Categories: Japanese Culture

Japan takes the second place

November 8, 2009 Comments off

In this article, I introduced you one FPS game, Special Force, which was originated in Korea. This game is loved from FPS players in the Asian region as well as Sudden Attack or other games which are born in Korea. As for Special Force, the world championship tournament was held this week end in Taiwan.

In this tournament, 8 teams from 7 countries, Japan, Korea, China, Thailand, America, Philippines and Taiwan(got 2 teams as the host) aimed the first place. At the previous championship in 2008, Japan got the 5th place. This time, NHN, the company managing Special Force in Japan, in order to get higher position in the tournament, attempted to have the Japan team experienced a lot. For example, they gave the team a chance to fight with one famous clan in Korea. It was said at that time that the Japan team don’t have so many chances to stand right in front of many spectators and play the game. That’s why NHN tried to have the team experienced as much as possible.

Unfortunately, I had no time to watch their first-round match held on Saturday because of my business, but I got a chance to watch the final round on Sunday. Thanks to the TV station of Taiwan or something, we could watch games broadcasting on the Internet. Before the program began, I checked the results and was totally surprised with them. Japan got through the preliminary league as the second place and beat the team of America in the semi-final! In that preliminary league, the team of Korea, which was known as one of the favorites for this championship, fought in the other league, and that would have been one of reasons Japan went through the league. Anyway, I was so touched with this result and it made me stick to my PC.

The Taiwan team(is called ‘spider’), the opponent in final, I don’t know if my description was correct, seemed like the team professional players gathered. They put the same colored jacket on which the names of companies postted. Besides, in addition to their families, ‘the spider girls'(I named them on my own, I don’t know how they are called in fact) stood around the team like their secretaries or something.

In final round, they seemed they had to fight alternately as CT(Counter Terrorist) and T(Terrorist) in two stages, ‘satellite’ and ‘desert camp’, which was the most commonly used stage for clan matches in Japan.(You can see ‘desert camp’ in my YouTube film) The Japan team started with T(Terrorist; the team trying to plant the bomb) in satellite. “Ummm…T in satellite…they must be difficult games…” whispering like that, I kept watching. It’s difficult for T in satellite to liaize and attack. The two places to plant the bomb, the room and the roof, are tough places not only to seize them from CT but also to protect them from CT after planting the bomb. As a matter of fact, I often play this game with my clan mates and I usually fight as a commander. Last year, in order to join in a competition and win, I planned many missions as T in satellite, however, I just felt only their difficulties. Ofcourse I know our useless skills were the very reason we lost, couldn’t win at the competition at all…lol

Not because they couldn’t liaised well, but because personal skills of the Taiwan team were better than Japan’s, the Japan team just kept earning their lost. As I wrote above, even though they got the roof or room where they should plant the bomb, the players of the Taiwan easily got them back. It’s notable that two players of the Taiwan team, SAMMY and POLO. SAMMY was an assulter(Is this word usually used?) holding M4A1. He knocked Japan’s attacks down alone. Although he was outnumbered by Japan players, he survived and beat them. “How could he do that? Cheating or something?” Ofcourse he played in front of many spectators, so it’s impossible to cheat in the games, but I couldn’t help saying like that. POLO was a sniper using PSG-1. “If we got a sniper like him in our clan, we would be able to win a lot… How could he aim so correctly?” it’s very vital to hit from a distance before CQB during clan matches. In other words, the sniper of your opponent is the most important target and you always have to check where it is and it will be.

The players of Japan team, especially ‘kids(caLifas)’ and ‘Hore(AKiRis), the best AKers I thought, also did their best, but sadly they didn’t make it. The second place was the result of them. I have entered the room they hosted before when they joined in the other clan, the legendary clan Ikkitousen. ‘kids'(I prefer to call him ‘caLifas’ with deep respect) killed me in split seconds. Ever since I experienced it, I got as many films they played as possible and studied how to move in clan matches.

I think the competition will be held next year as long as this game’s service keeps going. I hope they would polish their skills up again, try the next one and get the first place.

I’ll put one film’s URL on this article, in which ‘caLifas’, ‘AKiRis’ and ‘Rikip’ are featured.
‘caLifas’, ‘AKiRis’ and ‘Rikip’

P.S. I’ll reply for your comments for another days. Sorry about that.

Categories: My hobbies
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