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August 07, 2022


It has been extremely hot in Tokyo, but for a few days the hotness was rather moderate. It was not so dangerously hot today, so that I went out to a coffee shop in my neighborhood to eat shaved ice. If I could go to the central part of Tokyo, I might find some fashionable styles of shaved ice; however due to COVID-19, we were supposed to stay home as much as possible. The left one is "caramel-au-lait" and the right one is "muscat with aloe." The whole of my body and soul was cooled down. Greetings to you in the middle of summer! Today's update: the photo in the index page (Flowering crape martle on my way to the coffee shop) and the one here (two kinds of shaved ice at Komeda Coffee Shop).

August 04, 2022


My parents-in-law came from Aomori Prefecture. There is none of her relatives around me now. One of her sisters remains in Aomori. I send her seasonal presents a few times a year. Only once in a while I call her on the phone. She is 90 years old now. She keeps teaching classes of Japanese calligraphy at home. "Elementary school pupils are absent quite often, perhaps they are very busy with their school activities; but elder students are never absent. They say they enjoy themselves in their calligraphy class," says she loudly. Because she has many of her relatives and friends in her neighborhood, she boasts she never gets lonely. My mother-in-law repeatedly said that she wanted to go back to her "Mother's home." That's the place one longs for because it's far away. She also regretted that her youngest sister was left behind in their home town with the family graveyard to take care of. I wonder if someone should write down about her life, who lived far away home. She left boxes of scribbles (in notebooks, back of ad-papers, tiny memos etc.) when she died. I should have checked them carefully but I haven't touched them at all yet. The trace of life of a nameless woman would be burned away when I die. I imagine if they are summed up and formed into a booklet, it might be of some use to somebody.

August 03, 2022


I had been thinking that soon the day would come, but I prayed it won't be very soon. Today my mother didn't recognize me for the first time. My mother has been staying in "a group-home for the elders" to be taken care of. She had lumber fractures several times. Since she started taking pain relief medication almost ten days ago, she would fall asleep even during the daytime. Last time I met her, she fell asleep in front of me, so that I couldn’t talk to her. I expected we would be able to talk again when she gets wide awake. Today when I visited her, I asked her, "Do you know who I am, Mother?" She answered, "No." I was at a loss because she responded to my question so quickly. "How come, you forgot me?" said I jokingly but I felt nothing could recover her memory. It was extremely hot outside, and it was so cool indoors. It happened to be my grandmother's anniversary: my father's mother whom my mother used to take care of at home. My grandmother passed away exactly 50 years ago when I was 19.

August 02, 2022


At this time of last year, we were in the middle of moving fuss. We rented an old house for a few months to stay until our new place was ready. It was a hard job to move a whole household, especially to move into an old house without an air conditioner. We asked an electrical engineering technician to settle a machine we deprived of from our previous house. Looking at the man working sweating all over, I offered him a towel. Perhaps only one towel was not enough for him. One thing good about the old house was that it was covered with trees and was facing a vast field. The wind blew in the early morning and the evening. Our cats liked to sit on the windowsill to look out. I remember the illusory days in the old house. Today's heat was no less than that day. Rather, I should say the hotness today was something we have never experienced before. Cats are looking out through curtains at the broad daylight in the lane of a town. I guess they remember nothing of the field in front of the old house.

July 29, 2022


Once I'm lost in a maze, I can hardly get out of it. If there is someone who can look at the situation from a bird's eye-view, the issue might be solved immediately. Unfortunately, however, there is none to help me. A friend of mine who travels to UK for summer is trying to send me emails. I can't receive her mails and so can't she mine. I wonder there's something wrong with my mailer. But I am corresponding with others with no problem. Although we can send and receive our short messages via my smart phone and her mobile phone, only our internet mails between our PCs can't reach us. What in the world is the problem?? Maybe e-mail correspondence is out of date. No way! I should be more patient. I hope the problem will be gone tomorrow! It's too hot to think of such a tedious problem. It seems I never grow up in terms of computer! Today's update: the photo on the index page (The River Sumida) and the one here (toward the upstream of the river from Kachidoki Bridge). I have taken similar shots time after time, but I do like this place. The heat of TOKYO was crazy. I left the place immediately after I had taken the photos. Thank you very much for your visit.

July 23, 2022


The end of July means the end of Spring Semester. Since April, I've come back to face-to-face classes and, at the same time, I remain online-classes. With both merits and demerits of respective styles, I feel I've managed to have arrived the final stage of the term. COVID-19 has been active again. Surely there are no simple solutions nor ending to the epidemic. In campus, students wearing masks rarely show their natural facial expressions. The situation is same among themselves. Probably it's quite hard for them to interact with each other straight, Once in a while, I get a chance to talk to them outside of classroom, when I am strongly impressed with their brilliantly youthful liveliness. I wish they would get rid of various restrictions and pressures to live in their own ways. I sincerely hope I would be of any help and support them from behind. Today's update: the photo in the index page (a scene in Takao, Tokyo, which I took when I visited our family gravesite in the middle of July), and the one here in this page (colorful hydrangea in the greenery at Tamagawa Jousui stream.). Thank you for your visit.

July 11, 2022


I ate for lunch some slices of German bread which we had bought at a German bakery. It's a kind of hard bread with a slight sour flavor you munch slowly, not the soft and creamy one. When I said, "This bread reminds me of our trip to Denmark," my daughter refuted me saying, "Stop joking, please. You were looking for warm and juicy dishes after 3 days here!" (Indeed, there were variety of loafs which you slice and eat with cheese butter, jam and marmalade etc. in Denmark, in addition to its famous sweet pastries.) In literature, we read variety of passages which describe how a bite of food reminds people of their memories. Mine is not so highbrow, but I can't help remembering the land called "bread basket" where people are suffering from bombardments now. I feel fear for the expansion of the war. Never deprive people of their bread!

July 9, 2022


Regardless of the heat or the coolness, various things are happening day by day. I go on living at the visible things and invisible things, with joy and astonishment. I guess I should take happenings more seriously, but my forgetfulness and carelessness have let me survive somehow so far. However, I have been feeling uneasy thinking of what will become of us from now on. The uneasiness might come from my aging. Sometimes I say to myself, "Let it be" and other times I say painfully to myself, "No, life can never be so easy." If I stop to think, I can hardly get no answer. I just sneer. Yet, I believe I am not so naive. Have I no wisdom at all from my experiences? I know it's a baseless optimism. It's not like me, but I can't help thinking like this sometimes now that I'll turn to be 70 in half a year. (Unbelievable!)

June 29, 2022


Just extremely hot. As long as you are indoors, you can forget you live in a tropical island, but once you walk outdoors, you recognize you're in a sort of desert. I wonder how long it will take us to get used to this kind of weather. I'm afraid it is almost a torture to live in Tokyo (or any other urban cities in Japan) this summer. Let us survive by all means! Today's update: the photo in the index page, (Tokyo Dome Hotel in Bunkyo Ward against the brilliant summer sky) and the one here (Ferris wheel at LaQua beside Tokyo Dome in Bunkyo Ward). I wish I could upload something cooler! Thanks for your visit. Take care and stay safe! (The same line we exchanged at COVID-19)

June 28, 2022


It's still June but the rainy season has come to an end so abruptly and the blazing summer has come. It's over 35℃ day after day in the metropolis Tokyo. We can't shut out the heat wave with a parasol nor a straw hat indeed hanging around outdoors. On the other hand, it's so cool inside of trains and buildings. We come and go between them. Consequently, we get physically confused and bewildered. Of course, it's exciting to look up at "cloud nine" but "the heat island" in the huge city is intolerant to the feeble creatures. We get literally dried up and exhausted on our way back home. I'm simply surprised to feel the reality of summer. On days not necessary to go out, I stay home doing a little bit of exercise to lessen my inactivity although I know it doesn't help much. I can go out for a walk only when the sun is gone. They say we are short of electricity but we should not stop the air conditioner. How can we manage? I just hope this scorching heat won't bring us another disaster.

June 22, 2022


Once in a while, I go to the central part of Tokyo. About a week ago, I attended a meeting which was held at a certain university in a walking distance from Kudan-shita subway station. On the way to the campus, I observed the old moat of Kitano-maru Park (in the north of the Imperial Palace) and Lantern Tower (on the top of Kudan Slope), a remnant of a light house which was built in 1871 (in Meiji Era). In both of the scenes, stone walls and stone base are impresive. Stones built up with people's hands give us great impact; the age-old presence. As the light of the lantern was seen from Tokyo Bay, it tells us how the sea was close to the central Tokyo in old days. The bay was reclaimed and the sea moved backward. Yet, Tokyo Bay has been an important hub of maritime transportation and the physical distribution base. I would really like to go to the seaside as soon as the rainy season is over. Today's update: the photo in the index page (Kitanomaru Park) and the one in this page (Lantern Tower). Thank you very much for your visit.

June 14, 2022


Every year in this season, Kitayama Park in my neighborhood becomes the flower garden of irises in full bloom. They suit the cloudy sky or the raining better than the sunny sky; however, who can expect such selfish conditions of flowers! I happened to go nearby and so I dropped in the park. I found a lot of people strolling among the flowers. Most of them including myself were elder citizens right before noon on a weekday. Th garden is free of charge, and there were several stalls of food to make the place festive atmosphere. What a pleasure it is to be able to enjoy the seasonal flowers! I have to remember those who are taking care of the plants carefully throughout the year. Sentiments of viewers of the flowers are different each year. As for me, I felt quite refreshed to see the flowers in the watery field. Their purity in the shallow water was very impressive. Am I approaching to an empty mind? Today's update: a picture in the index page (the field of irises against Mt. Hachikoku) and the one here in this page--It's a shame I always forget to take notes of the elegant names of flowers! Thank you for your visit.

June 8, 2022


The real rainy season has come. In Higashimurayama City Central Park, Tokyo, there is a pond, a tiny artificial valley. It's dried up usually but now is full of water thanks to the rainy season. I saw a gray heron (Ardea cinerea) standing in the middle of the pond. It was not snowy white egret but was with gray wings and clearly colored head. Was it a male? It might be the season for propagation. This one looked "dressed up." I can observe egrets here and there in the nearby rivers, where they are often pecking in pairs. (This one was alone.) I'm quite ignorant about their ecological state. Actually, Higashimurayama City has no particular productive industries nor rich businesses, except for abundant medical institutions, nor has remarkably attractive sceneries, but we do have rich natural resources including plants and animals in our neighborhood. Rivers, hills, parks, promenades, and small forests are all our treasures. I tend to say I would go traveling somewhere far from here; however, I should learn more about "here and now" as I grow older. Today's update: a photo in the index page (The pond in Higashimurayama City Central Park) and the one in this page (a gray heron in the pond.) Thank you very much for your visit.

June 4, 2022


It rains and shines unexpectedly. A loquat tree in my neighborhood has a lot of fruits now. Last year in this season, a tree in our garden had its fruits for the first time. Soon after, our old house was torn down and the loquat tree was got rid of. with the house. Now that I live in a newly built house, I'm wondering how I should make the two flowerbeds. I'm collecting a few flower pots and seeds without a grand design. (It's my bad habit.) I planted a young tiny olive tree today in a corner of one of the flowerbeds. I wish it will take root all right. Olive is considered to be a symbol of peace, isn't it? Well, it's just my afterthought anyway.

May 31, 2022

麗しの五月も今日限り。気温も湿度もぐんと上がってきた。先日大雨の日に長靴を買った。晴雨兼用の傘も手に入れたので、梅雨、どんと来い!奈良方面へ旅行の計画を立ている。当初、9月初頭を考えていたものの、夏の奈良の酷暑を軽く見てはいけないという意見を聞いて、10月半ばに予定変更。それとて実際はどうなるやら。そもそも旅行らしい旅行から遠ざかって久しい。先だっての内房富津岬への日帰り旅行は爽快だった。現地でクルマを運転してくれる人がいたからこそ。どこまで行っても私自身は鉄道旅行専門だ。New Zealandでわざわざクライストチャーチ/グレイマウス間を行って帰るためだけにトランスアルパイン鉄道に乗ったことを思い出す。当日は山岳地方で大雨に降られ、車窓から増水した沿線の濁流を眺めたことも鮮烈な記憶に残っている。相変わらず私は季節の変わり目に漂泊の思いに駆られる。本日の更新は表紙の写真(珍しく流れが戻った地元東村山市の「空堀川」)とこのページのテレビを熱心に見る猫のはっかです。(NHKの『ダーウィンが来た』を見ている。もう一匹のにっきはTVになど全く興味を示さない。)

We've come to the end of the beautiful May. The humidity as well as the temperature has been increasing. I bought a pair of rain boots on a rainy day, and I've got a good en-tout-cas (an umbrella and parasol). Come, rainy season, come! BYW, I'm making a plan for traveling to Nara area in the middle of October. At first I was thinking of going there at the beginning of September: however I've heard that the severe heat in Nara in late summer should not be underestimated. So, I've changed my mind. I'm not sure yet how it would go actually. I've been away from traveling for a long time. Only in April, I went to Cape of Futtsu in Bousou Peninsula, which was just wonderful, thanks to friends who drove for us over there. I myself is a train railroad traveler. I remember I took TranzAlpine Railway  in New Zealand just to enjoy going to Greymouth and straight back to Christchurch. We had a heavy rain in the mountainous area. the river along the railway was gushing. At the change of seasons, I feel like traveling somewhere. Today's update: a photo in the cover page: River Karabori streaming (usually it's dried up.) in HIgashimurayama, TOKYO. Also, the photo in this page: Hakka is watching TV. (Another cat of ours Nikki never pays attention to TV at all!)

May 20, 2022


I walked in Tsukiji in the afternoon. Most of the fishmongers were closed, dried food stores, too. Only chain sushi restaurants were in business. I walked in the back alleys expecting some stores selling fish boiled in soy sauce were open but none of them was. Since the fish market itself has gone to Toyosu, the old outside shops are left. Tourists might continue visiting hem continuously now, but we ae not sure how long they would remain. I stopped by Tsukiji Cafe for a cup of coffee as usual. While I was relaxing in the terrace, the bell of Tsukiji Hongan-j Temple was heard. Already more than 20 years have passed since the day I visited Tsukiji for the first time. I have no idea when I can leave this town. Because it was cloudy today, I gave up going to Kachidoki Bridge to see River Sumida nor visiting Namiyoke Shrine. In July I will come to Tsukiji again. I hope it would be brilliantly sunny then and will be able to see the bright rive running in sunshine. I never get tired of viewing the dynamic river running toward Tokyo Bay. How I love the old town and the vivid calling of people echoing in the back alleys! Today's update: the photo in the index page shows an old house in the back street and the one here shows a corner of the old market place with a giraffe facing a tuna on the roof.

May 17, 2022

二年余り遠ざかっていたことに「立ち話」というものがあった。職場に行けば休息室やエレベーター、その他様々な場所で、同僚たちと何気ない言葉を交わす。たったそれだけのことがCOVD-19のために絶えて久しかった。それはとりもなおさず私自身がリモートワークに引き籠り、人のいる場所へ出て行かなかったからからに他ならない。4月からそろりそろりと対面授業に出る様になったら、時折(非常勤とはいえ)見知った顔に出会う。「おや、久しぶり!」の一言でささやかな交流が再開する。まさにsmall talk以外の何物でもない。たかが「立ち話」でなにやら心に華やぎが戻るとは!ウィルスを忌避している間、人をも忌避していたわけだ。退職し、引き籠ると、結局はsmall talkからも遠ざかる。いずれそれが常態になるとしても、今から敢えて孤立を決め込むこともないと、「ではまた」と言い交わして人とすれ違う時に実感する。喋り好きな人間はどのように「一人」を生きていけばよいのだろう。これまた一つの課題らしい。

Stand talking is one of the activities that I have been away from for 2 years due to COVID-19. We exchange words wit our colleagues and acquaintances when we go to the workplace in a lounge or in an elevator. COVID-19 has deprived us of such a humble social interaction. Actually, it was caused by my self-made isolation. Since April once I started going out for face-to-face classes, I occasionally meet people I had known. "Oh, long time no see!" is a pleasantry with which we resume our long-lost conversation. It's no more than a small talk. But this kind of tiny small talk, unexpectedly, cheers me up. By avoiding COVID-19, I was avoiding communication with people. I guess we easily lose our contact with others so easily due to retirement aging, and any other disasters. It might come sooner or later; however, I do not have to rush into the isolation by myself. I should not be alone willingly--that's what I feel now when I say, "See you!" to people leaving me. How can I survive, a person who loves small talks, the rest of my life? It seems to be an assignment I should face, and solve.

May 15, 2022

親しい人たち4人で都心の美術館巡りをした。朝10時に六本木の国立新美術館に集合して―の予定が、連日の多忙のせいか私が寝坊したせいで、30分も遅刻という出だしになってしまったが―先ずはダミアン・ハースト(イギリス)の「桜」展。ドットペインティングという手法で大胆に構成・彩色された大きなキャンバスの、満開の桜を見て回る。至近距離に近寄れば、投げつけられ張り付いたペンキ絵の具の盛り上がりさえハッキリ見える荒々しさ。ぐっと身を引いて絵画全体を眺めれば、自分の良く知っている満開の桜木そのもの。太い幹や入り組んだ枝の交差するさまも、花の下で見上げた景色。葉桜の様、山桜の淡い色合い、豪奢としか言いようのないピンクの多彩さ。ついひと月余り前に街路や公園や里山を埋め尽くしていた桜が蘇った。儚さより力強い桜の饗宴だった。美術館3階のブラッスリー ポール・ボキューズ ミュゼにて少し早い昼食。濃厚なコーヒーを飲んで次の目的地根津美術館へ出発。

青山墓地を抜けて近道を通ればよかったが、墓地の外周をたどって南青山まで30分くらい歩いたおかげで、洒落た街路と街並みを見物出来た。超現代的な「国立新」に比べると、元は根津家の私邸だった敷地全体を活かした美術館は、収蔵品のみならず建物と庭園全体が「見もの」だ。今回の特別展は「燕子花図屏風の茶会」。昭和12年5月の取り合わせをそのままに展示する風雅そのものの。茶器・掛け軸・調度品・屏風の総体を再現しようという展覧会だった。根津氏が収集した中国やガンダーラの仏像、日本の小金銅仏・仏具等も併せて展示されており、東アジアの仏教世界を紀元前から奈良時代〜鎌倉時代に遡って目の当たりにすることができた。西洋美術の対極にある静謐を味わった。庭園では茶室で、(予約してあった) 茶席にてお抹茶をふるまわれた。深く苔むした庭園の泉水には燕子花の群生する一角もあり、尾形光琳や丸山応挙の描く燕子花や藤の花の屏風、作者不詳の吉野図(満開の桜木)そのままの雰囲気が漂う。この季節、雨上がりの日本庭園は真に趣深い。


I made a short tour of visiting museums with my relatives in a group of 4. We planned to meet at 10 a.m. at the National Art Center, Tokyo. Actually, it started 30 minutes later because I overslept! We saw Damien Hirst's Cherry Blossoms. He produced his Cherry Blossoms with his special technique of "dot-painting." Panels of cherry blossoms are, when they are closely observed the rough collection of thick "stain-like" patches of flowers with the clear composition of trunks and boughs of cherry trees, which I felt I know very well with the real Japanese cherry blossoms in full bloom. The view of cherry blossoms in the picture were like what I saw only a month ago. Various kinds of pink colors remind me of the cherry blossoms I have seen again and again and something more. They were really powerful pinks rather than the ephemeral and subtle blossoms. Then we had lunch at Brasserie Paul Bucuse Muse on the 3rd floor of the museum.

After drinking a cup of rich coffee, we walked to our next destination, Nezu Museum. If we had taken a short-cut, we could arrive at the museum earlier, but thanks to the walk we had a chance to enjoy the chic avenues and residential areas of Aoyama. Compared to the ultra- modern National Art Center, Nezu is a museum in a quiet, estate of once a private property of Mr. Nezu. Not only their treasures, but also the architecture of the museum and its Japanese garden are attracting visitors. The current special exhibition is entitled A Tea Gathering with the Irises Screens: An Assembling from May 1937. The collection of tea utensils, hanging scrolls, furnishing goods for tea ceremony, particularly folding screens with the seasonal plants-irises. Besides, they exhibit their stored items of sculptures and Buddhist ritual articles. (The Allure of Buddhist Art and Ancient Chinese Bronzes) Visitors had a chance to view the long historical art and religious items from B.C. eras in China to 16th century Japan. The exhibitions were so overwhelming. Contrastive to the western art, Asian art feels quiet and subtle. In the garden, we attended a brief tea ceremony in one of the traditional tea rooms. What a bliss it was to have Japanese tea in a corner of the greenery with living irises!

Thus, we appreciated two completely different types of museums in a day. Once we stepped out of the tea room, we were involved in the crowd of town along the road to Omote-sando to Meiji Shrine. I like to take a walk in both suburbs, seaside, fields, mountains, AND the middle of Tokyo. Both of them are full of stimulation and attractions. It's a pity not to see both. I would really love to go out to these places as often as possible while I can. (Due to the power of reality, I could not take even one photo this time.)

May 13, 2022


I said farewell to the total remote-work which had lasted for teo years. Five weeks have already passed since April. I have 4 face-to-face classes and two online-classes a week. I resumed commuting t 2 campuses and meet students directly. The awkwardness I was feeling at the beginning of the semester has already gone; I'm getting back the reality of talking to students. However, the sense of value which I obtained through the custom of interacting with them via the Internet is hardly ever deprived of completely. That is to say I strictly demand students to submit their assignments in time online in addition to the actual class work. Some of the students complain of the heavy load. Wait! How can you say such a thing living in a land of peace in which you can live and study with no violence nor bombardments in everyday life? Before we notice it, everything has changed drastically. There is no "ordinary life." Emergency and crisis mode may happen anytime.

May 11, 2022

お天気さえよければ、どこへ行っても緑がまぶしい。近所にある広大な霊園を散歩の折に通ると溢れる緑に鳥が囀る。「こんな所で永遠の眠りにつくのもいいかなぁ」とふと考えるのだけれど、ここに埋まるには激烈な競争があって、そう簡単なことではない。高尾山の麓に建てた家族の墓地を移設するなどという芸当を子の世代が引き受けるだろうか。自分の生前にと思っても、手持ちは先ず生きるために必要なのだから、お墓のために大枚投じるなどという余裕はない。千の風になって自由に飛び回るには墓所の確保などという世知辛いことを考えていてはダメだ。生きているうちに万緑の恵みを満喫するがよし。本日の更新は表紙の写真(東京都小平霊園の一隅)とこのページの写真(マーガレットの群生-多摩湖・境 自転車遊歩道にて)。更新の途絶えがちなサイトへようこそおいでくださいました。ご訪問に感謝します。

In sunny days the world is brightening green. When I go through the huge cemetery near my house during the walk birds are heard chirruping in the thick greenery. I say to myself, "It would be nice to be buried in such a place." In fact, however, I will meet a serious competition to get a small patch of land for my grave there. What will become of our family grave at the foot of Mt. Takao? I'm dubious the next generation of our family would take care of the complicated procedure of relocation of the tomb. How about doing it by myself? No way! My humble saving should be spent for my life, not for afterlife. If I wish to blow as a thousand winds, I should not think of securing the place after I pass away. Appreciate the rich greenery while I can breathe. Today's update: A photoin the top page: in a corner of Kodaira Semetery, Kodaira City, TOKYO), and the one in this page: Marguerite blooming along Tama Lake-Sakai Promnade. Thank you for your visit!

May 3, 2022


Now in Japan, people are enjoying holiday-studded-week, which we often call "Golden Week." But it's a matter of the society in general, not for the schedule of colleges. In order to secure 15 weeks for each class, most of colleges (and universities) can hardly allow students to take holiday during the week (from April 29 to May 5 plus weekends). In spite of the joyful people going out, students and teachers commute seriously by trains and buses. Once this period of time used to be a good break after the intensive days lasting since the beginning of the new semester. Unfortunately, however, some of the students could suffer from mental problems, known as "Depression in May." After the continuous tense state of mind is lost, it's difficult for people to recover. Nowadays the chance of getting depression is anywhere. Just a small thing can break the balance of mind. These days particularly, COVID-19 can be a real threat. In the beautiful greenery, our mind can feel loneliness and sadness easily. Our sensitivity is so delicate. In fact, I would rather have a break in this season to prepare myself for the straight running course to summer, mentally and physically. (People in hardship would have a good reason to sneer at such a simple minded escape!)

May 1, 2022


It is not brilliantly sunny every day, but the cool air, the clear blue sky, shinning sun light reflected on the fresh green leaves, they all remind me of living in May. Since the beginning of the new semester, three weeks have passed. I have not yet got used to the new schedule. To my regret, I have skipped one week, ten days without updating this page. I could be away from my Homepage unless I keep writing even a short note here regularly, which is against my wish. I really want to continue writing even shortly and briefly on what I am doing and thinking in my way. Writing gives me a chance to reflect on myself and thus makes me think and feel deeply and strongly. Today's update: the photo in the index page (Sakai-Lake Tama Cycling / Walking Road, at Kodaira City.) The photo in this page shows the conserved Post Office in Kodaira City, Tokyo. Tiny carp streamers are swinging in the yard. The fresh greenery comes home to my heart and body. By the way, one of the biggest news these days is, beside the war in Ukraine, concerning the sightseeing boat which sunk near Shiretoko Peninsula, Hokkaido. I always wish to ride on a boat like that when I visit ports. I remember the boats I got on in Milford Sound and Auckland Bay in New Zealand, Shimoda Bay, Matsushima, and many more. Whenever I visit a port in the future, I'm sure I would remember the tourists who were lost in the cold sea of Shiretoko.

April 19, 2022


One week has passed so quickly. New classes, new campus, new method for teaching etc. all made me extremely busy and I exhausted just to go through the hectic week with all my efforts. Often, I stayed up until late, which was not a good habit I know. However, it's really refreshing to meet students face-to-face. When I was struggling with the unfamiliar devices in classroom, one of the students helped me kindly, and another student suggested me to give up the old-fashioned method of checking the attendance of students. He showed me how to use the online system of uploading their attendance. For them it is a matter of one tap with their smartphone. To be young is to be wise. Thus, this is my excuse for my week's silence here. I'll get back to this page as soon as possible. Thanks for visiting!

April 12, 2022

昨日はオンライン、本日は対面と授業形態が目まぐるしく変わる。これまでと違うスタイルでオンデマンドの資料を共有サイトにアップしたものの、「管理者だけが編集できる」場所と「参加者誰でもが編集作業をできる」場所の区別が曖昧だったため(私の頭の中が曖昧だったということ!)授業開始と同時に学生たちから「チャット」で「皆が書き込み始めたので、たいへんな事になっています。どうしたらよいでしょう?」というメッセージが届き驚いた。全く想定外だった。メディアセンターの職員に助けを求めたら、収納場所設定の基礎から教えてくれたため、急遽修復作業を行い何とか切り抜けた。まったく、オンライン授業を受けているのはほかならぬこの私です。学生とのやり取りも続き、結局(オンラインで)半日一つのクラスに費やす羽目になった。その後本日の対面授業の準備の仕上げに取り組み、やはり夜中までかかった。(したがってこのページの更新も出来なかった。)本日は久しぶりの対面授業。黒板使用は禁じられているため、Zoomの「ホワイトボード」をスクリーンに映して黒板代わりにするとのこと。目の前にチョークがあるのに触ってはいけないなんて。資料はGoogle Driveに仕込んでおいて、スクリーンに映す。他の教員の多くがそのようにしてCOVID-19時代を潜り抜けていたのかと、あらためて理解した。卓上のカメラに向かってオンラインでしか参加できない学生のためにも語り掛けるハイブリッド型授業はアクロバットだ。(私は流石にそれは遠慮した。教室に来られた人にだけ話しかけ、発言を求め、資料と課題はLMSから送信するという便法でご勘弁!)帰宅後は週後半のオンラインと対面を同日に行う授業のための準備にかかる。数人の教員でコラボするクラスは、若手が非常に積極的なのでついていくのが大変。しかし、新しいものへの意欲が湧かなかったら若者と関わることはできないだろう。なんとか、出来るだけのことをしてみたい。もたもたしながらも。

I conducted an online class yesterday, and two face-to-face classes today. For the first day, I uploaded a PowerPoint file, but because I made a mistake in choosing the right place, it made virtually a confusion among students: Soon after the beginning of the class, one of them sent me a message via "Chat" of Teams saying, "Help! My classmates started editing the class material by themselves all at once. I don't know what to do." I was surprised to know for the first time that I had misunderstood the system of "cooperation" and "the read-only function." I asked staff of "the media center" for help. Thanks to their efficient support I fixed the trouble somehow finally. After the class, students kept sending various messages and it took more than half a day to settle down. After that, I started preparing for today's face-to-face classes. I finished it at midnight; therefore, no time for updating this page was left to me, alas! Today, I went to a campus for the first time after 2 years since the beginning of COVID-19. In the classroom, I was not permitted to use a chalk on the blackboard. I had to open a Zoom Meeting to use the whiteboard instead. I used Zoom's "sharing of the screen" to show my class materials. What a strange world! I dared not to apply the hybrid class (to talk to students in a distance attending the class online, and talk to students in the real classroom all at once.) When I came home, I started preparing for classes on Friday when I will have to conduct the two styles in one day. One of the classes, for which some teachers (including me) are working together as a group, is very demanding. Young teachers are really aggressive (positive). I need to catch up with them. I'll do what I can although in a very slow pace like an eldery member of the community. Oh, it's life!

April 10, 2022


It was another brilliant day; however, I stayed home all day, preparing for classes to start tomorrow. My life will go around in the weekly cycle of classes till summer holidays. Gradually when I get relaxed, I will feel more at easy hopefully. The ocean I saw yesterday gave me the expanding, moving and shining image really affluent in my mind and body. Thanks! I hope I'll be able to get the chance to enrich my life in that sense.

April 9, 2022


We went to see the ocean. Our destination was Futtsu Cape which is located in Boso Peninsula, Chiba Prefecture. It's facing Yokosuka and its environments in Kanagawa Prefecture. If it were clearer, we could have seen Mt. Fuji. Although we were watching the view of inside of Tokyo Bay, the ocean view was dynamic and wild. The outer side of the Cape was washed by rough waves and we could see the coast line of Bouso Peninsula more. Along the beach nearby, people were enjoying kite-sailing, a sort of surfing in which they make use of the wind power with kites flying high. (See the photo in this page.) Futtus Cape is said to be "the nearest cape from Tokyo." We took a highway bus to go through Tokyo Aqualine to Kisarazu--it took us 1 hour--; then we drove to the cape, taking 30 more minutes. The bus ride and a car took us to a totally different world from busy Tokyo. Not to mention the wonderful view of the ocean, the view of the country side was excellent: the rice field was full of water waiting for the rice seedlings to be planted. The fields were protected by electric wires to prevent wild boars' invasion. The sleepy-looking hills and woods were tinted with the mixed colors of faded cherry blossoms and budding pale green. All the neat landscape is the result of people's hard work. I sincerely thank our guides and our relationship with them.

April 8, 2022


The view in suburbs and the one in the central part of a big city are extremely different from each other. Here runs Kanda-gawa River, which was written in a sentimental popular song as an important motif. One of my workplaces is located by this river. As I have been away from the campus due to COVI-19, conducted all classes online, it is virtually the first occasion for me to step in it. I believe there must be characteristic four seasons in this place. Today's update: the photo in the cover page (of Kanda-gawa River upstream with petals streaming along the banks) and the one in this page (the river downstream with a train going on the elevated trucks). I work in a tiny academia open at the end of a crowded area with drinking and eating shops. Flower petals are falling on my expectations and worries.

April 7, 2022


I need to get up early tomorrow as I have to commute to my workplace in the morning. How long have I kept staying up so late? They say short of sleep will cause you dementia (or major neurocognitive disorder) . I have often decided to go to bed and get up early in vain. Recently, cats demand me to feed them before 6 in the morning. They learned to open the door easily, so that I put "a door lock" equipment to the knob to prevent them from invading my room. Then they started hitting their bodies to the board of the door, crying loudly for food. I give in and feed them first thing in the morning. I know I should not go back to my bed but cannot resist sleepiness and fall asleep again. Farewell to the complete online working habit! I'll get back to classrooms. To my surprise, however, I saw in an interview of a TV news program in which a young woman was responding to the interviewer, "I won't get the third vaccine because it seems an adverse reaction very severe. I would rather get infected with COVID-19 and get well soon!" Serious? Can you jump in the crowd of people mixed with such carefree ones? > Me, a Senior

April 6, 2022


I met one of my old friends whom I have known since our college days. We talked over various matters. Since we met when we were around 20, almost half a century has passed already. Both of us have experienced birth of our children, aging, illness, and deaths, of people nearby. We congratulated we were able to meet by surviving somehow. Our elders will sneer at such a sentimental saying of ours who are still in the middle of our life journeys. Yet, I have to remember those who have already passed away in their middle age. We also know well that we can never meet so often from now on. We are busy in our ways. While we are living busily, time passes so quickly. We know that chances would never come back. Therefore, while we talked, we looked at each other marked with ages, we laughed out loud feeling a bit of tristesse.

April 5, 2022


Today the rain was over. For two days, the rain drenched cherry blossoms to deprive them of their bright colors. However, along the promenade in my neighborhood, there are cherry trees slow in blooming. It will take them a few more days to start blooming, and so we'll be able to expect the festa of cherry blossoms to continue a little longer. Right now, the mixture of faded pink and pale green of emerging leaves make a complex and fuzzy color. It will turn into clear fresh green very soon. I can indulge myself in the topic of flower colors because I live in a peaceful country now. Watching the photos and videos of the places under war conditions, I am depressed with the burned and black scenes. I hope the light will bring back lively colors to those places as soon as possible.

April 4, 2022

これまで「キエフКиев」と表記されていたウクライナの首都を、ロシア語ではなく、ウクライナ語で書くとКиев(Kyiv) となる。こう切り替わってから既に一週間余り。どのメディアもそれに従っている。我々の日常会話でも「キーウ」と呼ぶようになった。名前一つとってみても為政者の存在、主体のありかなどが明確になる。ロシア軍がキーウから撤退していきながら沿道の町村を更に破壊し尽くし、地雷まで埋設したと聞くと戦争の残虐性を思い知らされる。兵士たちは命令されてそのような行為に及んだはずだ。一旦負の連鎖に組み込まれると人間の良心や善悪の感覚が失せるということか。回復までのとてつもない道程を想像する。自分が生きている間に叶うかどうかも分からない。そのようなニュースに接する日々が続く。

We had called the capital of Ukraine "Киев" in Russian spelling and pronunciation, but we changed to call it Киевin in its Ukrainian way. It has been already more than one week since the change. All the media follow this way. In our daily conversation, too, we talk about Kyiv (the nearest pronunciation in English). When we get conscious of the names of places, we realize how they are controlled by political power. While drawing off from Kyiv, Russian forces reportedly go on destroying cities and towns, even burring land mines on the way, which shows the cruelty and the absurd of war. Soldiers must have ordered to act such vandalism. Once people get involved in a negative cycle, they lose their conscience and the judgement of good and evil. I imagine the extremely long procedure of recovering the destroyed country. I'm not sure whether the procedure will be covered while I live. We see and hear such devastating news day after day.

April 3, 2022


Contrastive to the sunny weather of yesterday, it was raining all day today. I stayed home preparing for the coming semester. Supported by one of my colleagues online, I learned how to use an application, which might be nothing so difficult for most of the people but for me it was a barrier. Thanks! I'm glad I could conquer the technique unknown to me. (It was how to let students submit sound files which they record by their smartphone via the chat of Teams. As it is closely connected with how to give them the feedback online, I definitely need to know it in conducting a practical class.) It seems clear that the 2 years' gap matters a lot. How could I manage to keep working staying home completely for 2 years! Last night my sleep was interrupted several times, bothered by things I remember I have not finished yet. I feel I'm appallingly stupid and inefficient. Sunny and rainy, the unstable weather disturbs me in spring. Then I'll get tired and will be engulfed in the sleep that knows no dawn. I nearly lose myself in this season.

April 02, 2022


I cannot help walking on a sunny weekend. While the morning sun was shining, I walked to Tama Lake. The surface of the water looked hazy, but the water towers were very clearly standing. The bricks of the base and the green domed roof keep a good balance. (We, the local residents are proud of the design. For decades, the water tower was engraved on the manhole cover of our city. Recently, however, the city's funny character has taken its place.) On the other side of the enclosing bund of the lake is Sayama Park scattered with blooming cherry trees. The city spread mildly beyond the park. I walked along Sseibuen Amusement Park to Hachikoku-yama Area. The hills are getting to be lively with birds' songs. How often do I walk this course! Every season, every year, the walking course gives me pleasure. I walk dreaming of somewhere far and more dynamic.

A manhole cover of Higashimurayama City, Tokyo


April 01, 2022


It's April now. For many people, today marks a turning point to a new direction, which will change their lives remarkably. I wish the war will turn to peace. The narcissus bending down toward the wall is turning 45°to show its face, and so I took its photo. As I am a beginner in gardening, I am simply excited with a flower blooming. It's a wonder to a beginner of gardening that a small bulb contained the life of such a colorful flower. Cherry blossoms in a park in my neighborhood are in full bloom now. Their petals are starting to fall. We are easily in rapture to watch the gorgeous blooming cherry trees as if we forget shortness of the climax. The wind was cool. Go on, spring, blowing up all the worries and concerns of human beings! Today's update: photos in the cover page and here. Both are quite similar to the previous ones. Thank you for visiting.

March 31, 2022


Eventually March has come to an end. Socially and individually, it was a time of change and development of various kinds of things. I watched the cruelty and the violence of a war. The pandemic still lingers in our society. No matter what April may bring, we do have to survive here and anywhere. Thank you for your visit.

March 30, 2022


I'm reading Aesop's Fables. The book is of allegories not simply for children but for all sorts of adults. Originally it was written in Greek in 7 to 6 B.C. In my faint memory, there were various kinds of animals to play significant roles in each story. They are given striking character: a hare is very arrogant and careless, a tortoise is slow but steady, a fox is cunning and cruel, a sheep is feeble and foolish, and so on. Animal characters have been attracting readers with superb illustrations (by skilful painters of different ages). They remind us of Japanese Choju Jinbutsu Giga (caricatures of frolicking birds, animals and humans). As I live with speechless cats, I admire the skillful art of Aesop's allegorical description of animals. They are presented as the picture of human relationships and battles tactfully. It is not exactly the personification of animals. Through animals, the folly of human beings is revealed. Like in "The Wind and the Sun," a human being (a traveler) shows up as one of the characters., too. In Aesop's Fables, human beings are no better than animals. They are not higher animals, but they are even with all other animals there. Cool!

March 29, 2022


The tortoise I've been keeping for more than 20 years has come out of hibernation and started eating food again. When I change the water, I let it get out of the glass tank. The tortoise slowly moves around. It walks up to the small bed of flowers as if it is attracted by the smell of the earth. Tulips are starting to bloom. I planted 5 bulbs last year. Bulbs looked similar to each other, but the speed of their growth differs. Narcissus has also started to bloom. I found that they are the kind with their heads bending down. To observe my small flower bed is as interesting as to watch cherry blossoms. I'm glad to see my tortoise, which has run away and got lost sometimes, living here safe and sound. Seasons come over such a small flower bed, all kinds of plants and animals equally. Over the human beings as well, time passes evenly. [Note] Assisted by a supporter of a rental server company, I finally changed the address of this website starting with [https:] (not [http;]). Even such a tiny change matters a lot. The security of this website is enhanced. I'm ashamed of my ignorance of the system. How can I manage to maintain this website and IP address, knowing so little? Anyway, thank you very much for your visit.

March 28, 2022


It is quite embarrassing to listen to myself. As I have to produce teaching materials with spoken explanation attached, I definitely need to record my voice. I can never be bothered by shyness or embarrassment. For two years since the beginning of the pandemic, teachers have been trying hard to conquer the uneasiness of listening to themselves and showing themselves on the screen. As for me I conducted all of my online classes by sending written materials and receiving written reports; only when we had real time sessions by Zoom or Teams Meeting, I really talked to my audience. Now that the situation has changed, we are supposed never to rely only on written materials only, I have to record my voice as other teachers have been doing. I am astonished to hear me talk; I mean I am not used to listening to myself. I know I have to practice for my listeners. As I had imagined, at the end of the break, I would get really busy. Procrastination returns!

March 27, 2022


How long have I cooked? For decades! I haven't taken cooking lessons officially. I learned everything by watching some else cook (mainly my mother). I know so little about the science of cooking. I do most of the things just by custom. Ambitious cook would study and pursue rational ways to create delicious and nutritious food efficiently. In my case, I add only a bit of new things to what I've already learned. My specialty is "yaki-gyoza" (a fried dumpling stuffed with minced pork). I learned it from my father. Once he began with kneading the wrapping dough. I liked cutting the circular wrapping with a lid of a can. Nowadays I buy the wrapping dough. I mix finely chopped cabbage, shitake mushroom, bamboo sprout, etc. with minced pork. It takes time to wrap each gyoza but it's the matter of habit. (I made 40 pieces today.) My father showed me how to fry gyoza deliciously. The bottom must be brow and crispy and the filling must be kept juicy. I'm happy to have family to enjoy eating what I cook now. I guess some people call cooking their hobby, but for me cooking is a part of my chore. Well, I feel I am making it my raison d'etre. Isn't it dangerous?

March 26, 2022


When cherry blossoms bloom, it's also time violets to appear. As it was blowing hard, cherry blossoms were detained to bloom fully. In Kanto area, this weekend is not the best occasion for viewing flowers. Violets, on the other hand, blooming secretly at the feet of trees, were swinging together in the wind. Both of them appear and disappear so quickly in common. Every year cherry trees surprise us showing off their existence with their gorgeous blossoms. Their fallen petals cover the water running in pink belts so impressively. Cherry blossoms are splendid in their falling beauty, but I do love the stealthy violets as well. They appear at the same spots every year to remind us of their existence. (Humans, watch your step!) My heart trembles and leaps with the flowers near-by. Today's update: the photo on the cover page (blooming cherry blossoms) and the one here on this page (violets growing in a small wooded area). Thank you for your visit.

March 25, 2022

大きなカレンダーを壁に、小さなものを机上に、そしてほぼ毎日開く手帳、さらにスマホの予定表。これだけ揃えていても、(当然ながら)時間管理などできたためしがない。ただ時のすぎるのをあれよあれよと眺めて過ごす。TO DO Listを作っても直ぐどこかに見えなくする。夜更かしの習慣がたたって午前中はシャッキリしない。そんな私に容赦なく3月は去り4月がやって来る。大事件、小事件、様々あってこの世は忙しい。大海の一滴を捕えてここに書く。後から読んだら何かになるだろうか。(今、10年前の記述を読み返してみたら、介護生活の真っただ中でやっぱり散歩を繰り返している自分を発見。20年前には短詩を毎日書いていた。)人は10年先を予想できない。生死の別も分からない。それでも書くのは、結局「今」が頼りないからなのだろう。

A big calendar is on the wall, a small one is on the desk, and I have a notebook in which I write a diary; in addition, I have an app for daily schedule in my smartphone. Yet, I can hardly manage my ideal time table. I only gaze at calendars worriedly. My TO DO List is gone somewhere so easily. Due to my custom of staying up late at night, I'm not wide awake in the morning. March is gong already and April is waiting around the corner. Big incidents, small happenings, and variety of matters are here and there to make our lives busy. I catch a drop of water from the ocean and write it down. Does it make any sense? I opened a page of "The Latest Notes" in 2012 and one in 2002 to check what I was doing then. I found I was busy taking care of my family in 2012, and I was writing short poems every day in 2002. I was always taking a walk. We cannot predict our future, knowing not whether we would live or die then. Why do we write? All told, we may write because we are not sure of what we're doing now.

March 24, 2022


As priority preventative measures against COVID-19 in Tokyo has ceased, I visited my mother staying in "a group-home" for the elders. Three months have passed since I visited her last. Observing the strict rule to keep wearing a mask, I enjoyed talking with my mother in a small lounge for nearly 30 minutes. She doesn't remember anything clearly that happened yesterday and today, her memory of decades ago is good. Therefore, topics of our conversation is only the things happened in the far away past. If only we have something common, that will help us enjoy sharing time pleasantly. For my mother a day in which nothing special happens is the best day. Hoping to have the chance to visit her again very soon, I came home. I wish my mother will stay safe and sound. I wish COVID-19 won't spread drastically anymore! To my amazement, my mother knew nothing about the ongoing war at all.

March 23, 2022

本日はゼレンスキー・ウクライナ大統領の、日本に向けたオンライン演説が行われた。15分足らずの短いものだったが、力強く明晰な言葉によるウクライナへの支援呼びかけだった。全員マスクで顔を覆った日本の国会議員たちに対して、戦場からの演説の内容は具体的な援軍要請等ではなく、将来の復興を視野に入れた希望を感じさせるものだった。演説相手となる国によって内容は異なる。日本への、ある意味で過激ではなく脅迫的でもなく、むしろ穏やかで淡々とした語り口に迫真性を感じた。権威主義者の弄する無駄の一切ない話しぶりだったと思う。だからこそ、これを遺言に等すまいと思う人が多かったのではなかろうか。50 Beautiful Pics Of Ukraine That Are Heartbreaking To See Right Now「今見ると胸が張り裂けるほど美しいウクライナの50景」という写真サイトを友人が紹介してくれた。このような至宝を破壊し尽くす戦争の無限の罪深さを確信するばかりだ。

Ukraine President Zelenskyy addressed the Japanese Diet today. It lasted for less than 15 minutes, which was a powerful and articulate appeal to support his country. To the Diet members who were all wearing masks, his address from the front line of the battle field was not an entreaty to join the war nor to supply weapons but rather something more humane including the perspective to the recovery assistance in the future. Not eccentric nor threatening, but simple and calm in his tone of the voice. His speech varies depending on to which country it is addressed to. To Japan, he was realistic and restrained. There was no longish nonsense that authoritarians tend to expose. This address must not be made his last word. A friend of mine introduced 50 Beautiful Pics of Ukraine That Are Heartbreaking to See Right Now. How dare can a war destroy such treasures?

March 22, 2022

お彼岸に雪。午前中に外出したら、本降りだった。昨日はほころびかけた桜を見ながら散歩したのに、花も凍る天気の急変。お花見などと浮かれていたら「気が早い!」とたしなめられたような塩梅だ。そろそろ本格的に新学期の準備をしておかないと最後で焦ることになる。「積ん読」の山は高くなり、四方八方から飛んでくるメールも増えた。新学期に始まる新しいLMS(Learning Management System)―「学習管理システム」―に慣れておく必要もある。この二年間、無手勝流でオンライン授業を進めてきたけれど、様々な軌道修正をしなくては。いくつになっても新しく学ぶことは尽きない。それができなくなったら引っ込むしかないだろう。自分を客観視するのは難しい。年配者の思い込みや頑迷さが横行しない様に定年というシステムがあるに違いない。う〜ん、自分がその対象者になると思うと心穏やかでいられないが、己を知るべし、だ。(なんだか最近「べし」が多い、)

Suddenly it snowed today! I was surprised to find it was snowing heavily when I went out in the morning. Only yesterday, I was excited with the cherry blossoms starting to bloom. It was as if I was scolded of my haste. It's high time for me to start preparing rally for the new semester. Procrastination will be too stressful. Books are piled up and e-mails are arriving a lot. I am supposed to get used to the new LMS (Learning Management System.) For two years I've been conduction the online classes in my way, which should be straightened to meet the real needs of students today. No matter how old we become, we have a lot more to learn. Unless I can respond to the demands, I would have to retire finally. Don't be self-centered and stubborn. I'm afraid I could be such a typical old person. Before that I should know myself correctly. (How can I?)

March 21, .2022







11 years have passed so quickly since 2011. That means another 11 years will pass as quickly as ever. In reality we can live each day ordinarily. Each year the season of cherry blossoms come and go right after their being in full bloom. But there is no one same year. I see trees with flowers starting to bloom, I see also branches still black only with buds. I walk along the road wondering how many more days I have to wait. In the morning the sky is bright but it gets cloudy and turns monotonous in the evening. I wish I could go to the seaside; as a matter of fact, I’m still lingering in my neighborhood only to go to the water storage pond just to look at the view of the water.

Backlit ripples come pushing springs in the past

Blossoms in full bloom perform the festa before falling

Couples after couples pass by beside a solo walker

I love the spring getting the shower of falling blossoms all alone

Smile when you see a traveler off in a heartbreaking spring

March 20 2022


The season of flowers have come at last! I often stop by while walking to watch the flowers blooming along the road. I feel as if I happen to meet my old friends. Flowers were planted by somebody in the past. Only yesterday, the world was in dry and withered colors. Then all of a sudden, it turned out to be lively with vivid colors of flowering plants. They are outstanding whether it's sunny or cloudy. In Tokyo, cherry blossoms have started blooming. In a few days, perhaps, the metropolis will be all colored with cherry pink. Of course, cherry blossoms are not the only flower, but we tend to be excited and fascinated with cherry blossoms, almost intoxicated. When COVID-19 started, "cherry blossom viewing" was forbidden, not to mention drinking under the blossoms. Two years have passed since then. The situation has not yet completely changed; however, people would go out for viewing by all means this year. They can't wait any longer. They would say, "I've vaccinated three times, I'm wearing a mask. So, what's wrong with enjoying flowers, if I'm not drinking in a big group of people?" It's a pity to live without loving the spring of life. (In fact, we are still in a crucial point though.) Thanks for the peace with which we can love flowers. Today's update: a photo on the cover page (flowering northern Japanese magnolia) and the one in this page (narcissus). Thank you for your visit!

March 19, 2022


I visited my family grave which is in the top of a hill near Mt. Takao in Tokyo. A song entitled "A Thousand Winds that Blows" says "Don't stand at my grave and cry / I am not there / I did not die / I am a thousand winds that blows..." It may be true but to visit the grave is one way to approach the dead. When I stand by the grave and look up to find thousands and millions of graves spreading over the hills around. In Tokyo metropolis land for graveyards is very limited nowadays: and so, new styles of grave are invented such as concentrated grave buildings and burial at the foot of trees (by "Tree Funeral"). A famous writer who passed away recently had told his family to scatter his ashes in the ocean. Under the war battles, people are dead and left on the roadside although mourning for the dead is the most fundamental responsibility of the living.

March 18, 2022

久しぶりに冷たい雨の一日だった。気付けば散歩にも出かけず机の前で過ごした一日。お彼岸が始まる。暑さ寒さも―と言われる。うまくいかないことはうまくいかない。下手なことはいつまで経っても下手。大抵は気楽に「何とかなるさ」と言いながら過ごすものの、そうとばかりも言っていられない。それでもできるだけの手を打たなくては。結果が出るのは先のこととしても。忍耐力と持久力が必要なのだろう。夜は第4回目の"22 Ulysses"イベントにオンラインで参加。ようやく生気を取り戻す。祭りは大切だ。俯いているより顔を上げよう!

It was raining all day long. I didn't go out for walking or shopping but kept sitting at the desk. The equinoctial week starts. They say the cold weather will come to an end then. Well, I was not feeling well thinking of what I am not good at. Things won't go smoothly due to my poor capability. Usually I say "Let it go as it goes. Take it easy!" However, my optimism won't work all the time. I need to think and make plans seriously. Patience and endurance areindispensable. At night I attended the fourth event of "22 Ulysses" online. Finally, I felt much better. A special event, or a festival, is important for anybody. All right, chin up!

March 17, 2022

昨夜の地震は死傷者を含めて、広範な地域に被害を出した。大きなものでこそなかったが、津波も起こった。東日本大震災の余波が未だ続いているということか。忘れてはいけない。人間が忘れやすくても、自然界が幾度も思い知らせてくれる。地震が起これば、国内ニュースはそれ一色に染まる。我が国土は地震を身の内に抱えて生きている。Twitterからは印象的な音楽と映像が流れてきた。アイルランド共和国が発信する動画だった。セント・パトリックデイにちなんでウクライナと危機に瀕しているすべての人々に向けた励ましと連帯のメッセージだった。短いけれど力強く美しく胸に響く。このように時機を得たメッセージを送れる人々に私は敬意を表する。抑圧された歴史の中から生まれた音楽と言葉。 a video message from Ireland, featuring "The Island," (words and music by Paul Brandy).

The earthquakes happened last night turned out to be a disaster much more serious than I first imagined. People were dead and injured. All day long, TV went on reporting the present situation of areas affected by the earthquakes. We live in a land which includes earthquakes constantly. Let us not forget about it. The nature always tells us about it, / Today I found in twitter an impressive message from the government of Ireland. It says, "On this St. Patrick's Day. Ireland stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and people everywhere in crisis. We are thinking of you today.” It’s a video message from Ireland, featuring "The Island," (words and music by Paul Brandy). I respect the country which can express its decisive status in such a beautiful way.

March 16, 2022


When I was facing the monitor of my PC, the earthquake happened. It was a slow and persistent quake. I stood up to open the door of my room and then the door of the house. Compared to the one in 2011, this was not a great earthquake but the shaking left me a faint nausea. Soon enough, the TV newsflash was reporting that the earthquake (of intensity 6 upper) happened out in the sea near the coasts of Miyagi and Fukushima Prefecture, triggered by a tsunami warning. I wonder people near the sea have already started fleeing. Afterwards, reportedly, blackout has spread in wide areas in Kanto and Tohoku areas. JR railway is stopped. Right after 3.11, another earthquake happened again. I guess the season has nothing to do with earthquakes, but in our country throughout the year, it's high time for earthquakes. They say disasters happen when people forget about them; however, we should say disasters happen anytime.

March 15, 2022


It's already the middle of March. I feel time passes extremely fast in this season. Right after I was excited with the blooming Japanese plum trees, daphne and northern Japanese magnolia are starting to bloom. We are on the verge of the season when various flowers are to bloom all at once. Priority preventative measures against COVID-19 in Tokyo will cease on March 21. Perhaps we'll feel at ease like at the end of 2021, when the number of infected patients decreased drastically and we almost believed COVID-19 would be over very soon. Now that many of us have been vaccinated, we are all right, aren't we? (The fact won't be that simple!) Then, what will become of the war? We're worried about the situation of the battle front, but how about those who have expatriated? Japanese government has announced that it will accept refugees from Ukraine for definite period of time, issuing working visa. Accommodations will be prepared. As Japan has refused to accept refugees so far, the change of policy will make a big difference. Ukrainians who are already Japanese residents speak fluent Japanese on TV, but those who are newly arriving in Japan from now on will have a hard time getting used to the language and customs. They will have to be taken care of in many ways. I'm sure the reality will move very swiftly. The earth is huge and small at the same time. Our encounter with new neighbors will be soon enough.

March 14, 2022


I thought I have finished with submitting the document of tax return a week before, but I found out I had forgotten a very important item to report. By phone they told me to write the document again. But the problem was I had already sent out some necessary data in print; so that I couldn't help stopping in the middle of the work. I decided to go to the tax office for help carrying on the copy of the previous document and the new one. (It's one day before the deadline!) As I had expected, the office was very crowded. I could hear people in the bike park say, "Today is the real peak!" I took a while to explain what the problem with me was and somehow, I got a waiting number for inquiry. First the line was in the courtyard, and then indoors. We were categorized according to the problems. The waiting lines didn't go on smoothly. Finally, I arrived at a desk equipped with laptops and a supporter for me! Thanks to her the input went on successfully. When I finished printing and submitted the finalized document, I found it took me more than 2 hours and a half as a whole. To my surprise, I saw a long line of waiting citizens standing along the wall of the tax office. (In the morning when I arrived the line was much shorter.) Well, whatever the matter is, it costs time and energy to go well along with bureaucracy. It also takes a simple decision to challenge. I was glad I did my job all right today.

March 13, 2022


Recently, due to COVID-19, I've seldom been to the busy centers of Tokyo. Today I went to Iwanami Hall in Kanda to see a movie. Iwanami Hall is famous for its excellent selection of worldwide movies. Unfortunately, however, it will be closed in summer 2022 partly because they could hardly collect enough audience on commercial basis. "Golden Thread", which I saw today, is not a popular work. On Sunday afternoon, the hall was far from full. It is a Georgian movie produced by Lana Gogoberidze, born in 1928. The main characters are an old writer, once persecuted, and her daughter's mother-in-law, once an officer of the Soviet Union, and an old man, who once loved the writer. Their words depict the experiences and memories of the past. Their quiet and subtle talks construct a large picture of history. The movie does not show any scenes of the past except for a dancing young couple on a street. Their memories tell us very quietly what life and death is like. I felt this movie is a message to people today bewildered by the war between Russia and Ukraine from surviving witnesses of the severe history.

March 12, 2022

私は時々、歩くために歩く。大旅行をするわけではない。せいぜい 私鉄の数駅分を踏破するくらいのことだけだけれど。今日もそのように歩きながら、祖国を追われて否応なく歩いている人々のことを考えていた。ウクライナだけではなく、世界中に否応なく歩かざるを得ない人々がどれほどいることか。私は好きで歩くだけなのに、陽が落ちて暗くなる道は果てしなく長く感じる。普段ならなるべく車の通らない裏道を選ぶのだが、最後はつい明かりの点いた街道筋を選んでしまった。クルマが行き交い恐ろしい。それでもこの道に沿って行けば迷うことはないと思うと安心感がある。行く先の見えない道程を行く人々の不安を想像する。疲労や空腹や思うように用足しも出来ない不自由を思う。自分がようやく見知った場所に出た時の安堵は、逆に見知らぬ場所をさまようことの恐怖を想像させる。戦火の故郷にとどまる人々のことを考えると、想像力も働かなくなる。私とはなんと小さな器に過ぎないのだろう!

I sometimes take a walk just to walk. It's not a long journey, but only a walk to cover the distance of a few railroad stations. Today while I was walking, I thought of those who must walk to get away from their homeland. Not only of Ukrainians, but also of people of other areas as well. How many of exiles are there now in the world? Unlike those who are forced to walk, I choose to walk for fun basically; however, when the sun set and it started to get dark, I felt home far away. Usually, I try to find quiet paths to avoid cars and people, but this evening I finally chose highroads lighted and busy with cars. They were scary with heavy traffic but they also gave me a feeling of security. Then I imagined those who are not sure where they are going. They might be hungry, tired, uncomfortable being unable to go to toilet as they want to. The feeling of security I got when I came to the place which I knew well made me imagine the horror those walking people might be feeling. When I tried to think of those who remained in their homeland under war, my imagination stopped. What a coward I am!

March 11, 2022


Eleven years have passed since the East Japan Great Earthquake. The foundation of our daily life was drastically shaken and the ambiguous "myth of safety" vanished. At the same time, our forgetfulness invades our mind. (Forgetfulness is a part of our nature as well.) Therefore, we construct stone monuments. But if we build ones in wrong places, they could be forgotten. Earthquakes will attack us time and again. On TV I watched a simulation of the worst case in VR video in which buildings were falling down one after another. What an imagination! Most of the audience, however, would watch it feeling, "That won't happen to ME." To avoid risks and to try to minimize risks are different. That would apply to wars. Scholars and critics discuss the ongoing wars shrewdly but there is no convincing solution. We have to keep thinking and feeling the devastating phenomena and capture the heart of the matter by ourselves. BTW, the photo in this page is a present from one of my friends. She sent me mimosa from her garden. She told me it's the flower to celebrate "the International Women's Day" (March 8). Flower is better than combat vehicles to send.

March 10, 2022

明日は3.11だ。地震が発生した時、関東地方の内陸部にいた私は、強烈な揺れに見舞われたものの、直接物理的な被害はなかった。(当時の様子はThe Latest Notes 15 (2/25/2011-10/26/2011)に記録されている。)古い木造家屋はギシギシきしみ、梁が折れるのではないかと天井を見上げていた。揺れが少し収まった段階でTVを付けた。カメラは上空から津波が畑の中を進んでくるところを写していた。ゆっくり動いているような気がしたが、その破壊力がいかにすさまじいものかは直ぐ後に明らかになった。関東地方の人間にはTVが状況を伝えているのに、現地の人々は情報から遮断されて、何が起こっているのか把握できなかったと聞いた。数年の後、仲間と南三陸町を訪れて語り部の男性に当時の話を聴き、自分の不明を恥じた。知り合いの植木屋さんはすぐさまクルマで支援に駆けつけたそうだ。ショベルカーが運転できるからきっと役に立てると思ったと。そして原発事故だ。あの時も一瞬で崩れる日常生活の脆さに愕然としたものだが、COVID-19による「非日常」が今や「日常」となり、戦争の推移が毎日報じられる日々を私たちは過ごしている。この11年間が自分の個人生活にとっても、他の誰にとっても特別な時期であったことをあらためて肝に銘じる。砲撃や火の手を逃れ、泣きながら歩く人々の群れ。津波のように押し寄せてくるのは「新しい日常生活」だ。

Tomorrow is March 11. When the great earthquake happened in 2011, I was in the depth of the Kanto Plain, where we had only a little physical influence of the quake. (Notes of the days after the earthquake is recorded in The Latest Notes 15 (2/25/2011-10/26/2011). Our old wooden house was shaken so hard that I suspected the beam might be broken. I kept looking up at the ceiling. Then we switched on TV to find out Tsunami was going on the field seemingly quite slowly. Soon after that we learned that the destructive power of the rushing waves was extremely enormous. Contradictorily people under the disaster didn't know what really was happening; however, TV watchers in a distance could see what was wrong. A few years later, I had a chance to visit Minami-Sanriku Chou with my colleagues and had a chance to listen to a man talk of the reality of the earthquake and Tsunami. I was ashamed of my ignorance. One of my acquaintances, a gardener, rushed to Kamaishi immediately to help. He said he thought he might be of help because he was able to drive a shovel-car. Then there were accidents at the Nuclear Plants in Fukushima. I was devastated with extraordinary things happening one after another. But here we are at the variety of unusual, extraordinary things with us almost on a daily basis. 11 years made a special period for you and me and for everybody. Running away from cannonballs, bombs, fire, crowds of people walk on crying. Like Tsunami, the new daily life is approaching.

March 9, 2022

1922年のUlysses出版の年から今年は100年目だと、Joyce研究者も一般読者も(些か)興奮気味に100周年を祝っている。そんな折、歴史家の友人から「1922年はソヴィエト建国の年だったから、今年は建国100年に当たり、Vova (Vladimir Vladimirovich Putinのあだ名)はそれを祝いたかったのでしょう!」というコメントが来た。ソ連(1922-1991)が終焉を迎えた日、TVはそのニュース一色だった。巨大な国家が消えてなくなるなどということがあるのかと驚愕して私はTV画面を見つめていた記憶がある。しかし、そんなナイーヴな感想にどんな意味があっただろう。その後独立したいくつもの共和国は平和裏に発展したわけではなく、絶えざる紛争にさらされてきた。最大最強のロシア連邦がこの度のように武力で領土拡大を目指すと、平和は吹き飛ぶ。コロナ禍も吹き飛ばすほどの衝撃を世界に与え、それが日々報じられながらロシアの暴走を誰も押しとどめられない。Vovaの妄執が消える日は来るのか?-History is a nightmare from which I'm trying to awake. (「歴史とは僕がそれから目覚めようとしている悪夢です。」)というUlyssesの主人公の一人Stephen Dedalusの呟く言葉が闇に響き渡る。

James Joyce's Ulysses was published in 1922 in Paris, so Joyceans and common readers as well are celebrating the 100th year with excitement. A friend of mine, a historian, texted me, "In 1922 The Soviet Union was established; therefore 2022 is the 100th year since then. Is that why Vova (Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin) excitedly invaded Ukraine?" In 1991 when the Soviet Union ceased to be, TV news was reporting the end of the country all day. I was astonished to see an immense country collapse. But did such a naive sentiment mean anything? Newly independent republics did not maintain peace and development smoothly; on the other hand, they were disturbed by Russian Federation time after time by force. Peace can be blown off immediately. Even the issues of COVId-19 seem to be blown off by the latest news of the war. The war has been reported every day with photos and videos and yet, there is no way yet to stop it. Can Vova's fanatic illusion to conquer the area be stopped by something? In Ulysses, Stephen Dedalus says, "History is a nightmare from which I'm trying to awake. " His statement echoes in darkness.

Mach 7, 2022


As I had to finish the document of tax return, I faced the monitor of my PC for a few hours. This kind of method seems to be quite out of date; instead, we are recommended to send the form by smart phone. I guess it's much easier for "the digital-native" to utilize smartphone, but not for me. I would rather watch the large monitor of PC; thus, I can see where I'm now and what I'm doing. Recently whatever you do, you are invited to use smartphone. Although I have the device and I've been using it for many years, I know very limited ways to use it. Often people around me are surprised to hear me say, "Oh, can you do such a thing with your smartphone? I've never dreamed of it!" Also, I learned very recently that a convenience store we can download documents which you used to ask for at the counter of the municipal office if you hold "My Number Card." (You can use the machine with various languages.) At midnight I went out to a convenience store nearby to get taxation certificate. How easier it is to visit a convenience store than to go all the way to the city hall! Well, well, I'm secretly learning how to survive in the contemporary world.

March 6 2022


Bright colors and dark colors. Either of them reflects my sentiment now. Along the way I always walk, there are two Japanese plum trees: one blooms pink and the other blooms white. They are both weeping. When they are in full blossoms, I feel the real spring has come. Today both of the trees looked so gorgeous. (As you see in the cover page of this website.) They brightened my heart in a moment. Thereafter, I went up a land bridge over the railway. I can see the mountains of Chichibu District in a distance. It I had walked early I could have seen the mountains blue. Unfortunately, the sky was rather dark already. Beside the war, I have things to bother me. The darkness calmed me down. Spring gets me down quite often. Thank you for your visit.

March 5, 2022


On sunny weekend, I take a walk in my neighborhood. Having lived here for more than 30 years, I still don't know lanes and corners well enough. If I am watched from a drone, the range and the distance I cover might be very limited. A lane or two might not make any difference in terms of the large view. But the difference in the point of view can show us a totally different world. Mails from one of my friends, who is a specialist in war and military affairs, analyze the present situation of the Russia-Ukraine war deeply and speculate about the possible developments. I'm overwhelmed by her shrewd opinions. Don't underestimate the ordinary people. Wars disrespect invaluable individuals. Natural disasters destroy everything all together; wars begin with sorting people.

March 3, 2022


In the west suburbs of Tokyo, the early cherry blossoms (Kawazu-zakura) are in full bloom. The trees look like lighted spots in the withered field. They indicate that spring is approaching really. At the same time my "spring melancholy" begins. When I remember the to-do-list I have to complete before the real cherry blossoms grow to be in full bloom, my head aches. However, let me not ignore the luxurious season. I should know the limit of my capacity. So it would be good to enjoy the early spring anyway. Today's update: a photo in the cover page (Kawazu-zakura, the early cherry blossoms) and a photo here in this page (the same closely shot). Early cherry blossoms are beaten/ By the merciful rain

March 02, 2022


In Kanto Area in Japan, it is growing warm day by day. Although I still need an overcoat, I can doff an inner shirt when I go out. I even slightly perspire when I walk up a slope in a hurry. Certainly, I need to remember the cold days will return anytime. I saw students and their parents gathering in front of a high school waiting for something today. I wondered if it was the day for the result of the entrance exam to be announced. There are people full of expectations and anxieties in this season. Before cherry blossoms we are blessed with Japanese plums in early spring. I remember the brilliant season with nostalgic feelings. Then come commencement and entrance ceremonies. And the new academic/ fiscal year starts in April in Japan. How many times have I repeated the routine? Now I know that anything can stop the cycle abruptly. I feel it quite real with the ongoing war and pandemic. I can't ignore them. At the same time, I should not give up the positive attitude at the same time; but we do need courage and wisdom to face the reality.

 March 01, 2022

季節は弥生となり、雛人形を飾った。母からの贈り物。今年に入って未だ母には会えずにいる。COVID-19の「蔓延防止措置」は3月6日から更に2週間延長となり、今月半ばまでは現状が続く。したがってグループホームに入居中の母を訪問できるのはまだ先のこととなりそうだ。第三回目のワクチン接種を受けてきた家族が、副反応に見舞われ休業中。接種の順番が来るのはありがたいものの、次々と副反応にやられるのは辛い。その先に安定的なコロナからの解放があるのならまだしも、社会全体の感染鎮静化はそうやすやすと図れそうもない。そして、目下最大の問題は、ロシアのウクライナ攻撃の行方である。プーチン大統領が核兵器の存在をちらつかせるという暴挙に出ている。国際社会が許容しないなどという理想的言説をものともせず破滅的な方向に突っ走りかねない。厳寒の土地で故郷を後にせざるを得ない人々の苦悩を思う。この戦争が今後の世界に及ぼす影響は計り知れず、我々にとっても対岸の火事では済まないと認識しなくてはならないだろう。友人から転送されてきたロシアの科学者・科学ジャーナリストのロシア軍によるウクライナ侵攻に反対する「公開書簡」をここに貼り付けておく。 雛人形ののどかさとは裏腹の弥生の幕開けである。本日の更新は、「更新・短信」ページの刷新と、表紙、このページの写真入れ替えです。表紙ははち切れんばかりに膨らんだ河津桜の蕾。このページの写真は我が家の猫にっきです。

It's March. We celebrate "Doll's Day" or "Girl's Day" on 3rd of March. I laid out a pair of dolls (the prince and the princess) to celebrate the day. The dolls are the present from my mother. Due to COVID-19, I haven't visited her at the Group-Home since the end of 2021. Priority preventative measures are in force right now and they will be prolonged until the middle of March in Tokyo. I won't be able to meet her for more than two weeks from now. After vaccination, my son-in-law is suffering from the adverse reactions now. Unfortunately, we can never say that we will be released from the disease even we are vaccinated three times. We will have to keep enduring the challenges caused by the pandemic. More than that, we are facing an actual war. Russia has invaded Ukraine for more than a week. Russian President Putin has referred to the possible usage of nuclear weapons. He may possibly carry on the devastating strategies in spite of the worldwide rational oppositions. I think of the people running away from their homes in this coldest season in the northern country. The influence of the war will prevail in the whole world. I should know it will be MY problem. A friend of mine sent forward to me an open letter from Russian scholars and publishers protesting against Russian invasion. (It's a Japanese translation.) Contrastive to the peaceful festival in March, it has started with ominous happenings. Today's update: The photo in the cover page (buds of early cherry blossoms) and the renewal of this page with the photo of our cat Nikki.

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