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December 27, 2006


I have been away from my daily routine for almost one week. I spend whole a day in my hometown. Except for the shopping for new-year's preparation, I don't ride on a bicycle but walk. The heavy rain has gone and the temperature rose up to nearly 20 centigrade today. Perhaps because it's much warmer than usual winter, white buds at the end of twigs were already remarkable when I watched Magnolia praecocissima. Wow! Refreshing are trees. I've started a new page without a very clear plan. I'd like to form it into a good shape in time. Today's update: Trees, for a moment to look up at the sky.

December 26, 2006


Every year at this time of the year, I give a party at home inviting my nieces, nephew, my sister and sister-in-law. This year, they are too busy to come: my daughter and my nephew are going to cram schools, nieces are busy with part-time jobs and club activities. Instead, we held a karaoke-party at a neighborhood karaoke-room. (It was my first experience to go to a karaoke room indeed!) This party was completely different from the ones where you enjoy eating and talking. Rather it was like an athletic game. There is a sort of unwritten rules which players (singers) keep well. Although they have known each other since they were born,these young relatives seldom meet with each other in their daily life. Somehow we had a feeling of sharing time together. We enjoyed ourselves with bashful smiles. We were all a little shy but it was fun to sing. For a long time I had a prejudice to karaoke, which I thought was something unproductive. (We never sing songs toghether. Participants just sing one by one in turn.) I've found it's one way of self-expression of our people. I kept watching children who are growing up singing love songs. Today's update: ao's latest pencil drawing and an egg. It's raining heavily in Kanto District.

December 25, 2006


I went out for shopping. The town was as busy as ever but it was somehow calm. Probably it was how I took it. I mean my sensibility took it that way. I've been conscious of the novel which I just finished reading. It's only a matter of a fiction, but still ... What do I see and interpret from a town? I'm a little ashamed of myself, moving around busily always not sitting down quietly to write for such a long time. Unless I try to watch, I won't be able to see anything. What I thought I could see disappears easily. I watch the blank space in the bustle. Today's update; ao's latest works in Still Life, (an oil painting and two pencil drawings), and eggs. Now that my daughter is about to take entrance exams of colleges, I made an "EXAM CALENDAR." as a sponsor. To my great surprise, how costly education is! it's a big industry. This time I'm going to pay while I'm getting my salary from it. I feel I'm a lizard eating its own tail.

December 22, 2006


Accumulated shortage of sleep made me fall asleep on the chair in the living room at the time in the afternoon when I usually am teaching in a classroom. It can hardly be true, I was saying to myself, while my consciousness was fading away. I had been extremely busy right before, writing documents, making phone calls, and tying loose ends up. That's enough. I need a rest. Then I lost the tension immediately. When I woke up again, it was already dark. For a moment I was frightened: "Am I late for work?" "What time am I supposed to arrive?" "Should I go to Hongo or Nagareyama today?" "Bike or Train?" "Rain or fine?" "Lunch to fix?" What a fool! I've now on holiday,. But my body was stiff, for I slept on the sofa. What a confusion! BTW, I've read about a man who was lost in a mountain for more than 20 days and was rescued. His body was kept at about 22 centigrade. He survived by staying in a sort of hibernating state. When he was hospitalized, doctors drew his blood out of his body, warmed it and gave it back to his body. Incredible! Today's update: just this short note. Evidently my brain is also in the hibernating state. Thus, we've passed winter solstice.

December 21, 2006

師走は容赦なく日を重ねていく。まだやり残していることばかり。噂通りTIMEの最新号は毎年恒例の「今年の人物」に誰の顔写真もなく、YouTubeみたいな図柄の上に銀紙が張ってあって雑誌を手に取った人の顔が写る。ぎょっとして手元を見ると、コピーは一言、You。笑うと言うより溜息が出る。ま、誰にとっても厄介なヒトではある。煤払いしなくては。本日の更新は「静物」にaoの新作油彩二点と「」、そして表紙の写真(LaQuaに開店するEnglish Pub)です。街は祝祭シーズンの輝きを増す。

Days pass by mercilessly in December. Only 10 days are left in 2006. I have a lot to do yet. As advertised before, the latest issue of TIME has no photo of "The Person of the Year" on the cover page but a silver paper pasted in the illustration of what looks like YouTube and it shows the image of a person who takes hold of the magazine. Yuck! The cover says, "You." Yes, it's the most troublesome person for everybody. You need a year-end clearing of her/him! Today's update: ao's latest oil paintings in Still Life; eggs; and the photo on the index page (an English pub which will be opened tomorrow at LaQua, Bunkyo, Tokyo.) The city is bright in this festive season.

December 17, 2006


Eventually most of the leaves have fallen from gingko trees. Daytime is becoming shorter and shorter by winter solstice. Only a half month is left this year. I'm so busy. Very little energy is left in my body and soul. I'm sustaining myself by connecting little bits of pleasure; late last night I listened to a radio program with joy. A few hours before it, I realized we have no radio cassette recorder at home any longer. I hurried to an electrical appliance shop. I found an extremely miniature which is smaller than my palm. Once we called this kind "a transistor radio." I wonder how many people want to buy this type of radio now. Recently very few students have cassette-type tape recorder at home; therefore, we can hardly tell them to practice English which we teach at Language Laboratory where cassette tape is the only sound recording medium. We need digital appliances. Anyway, I enjoyed the radio program full of noise. The cassette tape was still useful. Great! Today's update: photos on the index page and the one here. ao's latest pencil drawings are in "Still Life." Old photos of gingko trees in Hongo are now in "Cover Photos." Let us find time to enjoy ourselves on busiest days! Take care!

December 16, 2006

一日外で働いてようやく家に帰り着き、骨休みをする間もなく台所に立つ。夕食の支度は不思議と苦にならない。好きな音楽を聴きながら、煮炊きする。その間中一日の出来事を反芻している。非常にくやしい思いをしたこと、失望させられたこと、不安なことばかりが去来する。時には感情的になってそのまま抗議のメールでも書こうかという気になるのだけれど、包丁を持って仁王立ちしている自分は我ながら恐ろしい。やめたやめた、言葉なんて空しい。毒気のある気持ちで作る料理は不味くなる。そのうち鍋がことこと言い始め、油がジュウジュウ言い立て、湯気に巻かれていると娑婆の不平もどこかへ。遅い夕飯を食べ終わる頃には疲労感の方が勝り、眠気が押し寄せてきて闘争本能は鈍る。あぁ、これだから女は戦争に向かないのか。ま、よしとしよう。本日の更新は『翻訳読書ノート 31』です。ミニエッセイのタイトルは「アフリカの魂」。ルワンダ女性の声を聴いた。

When I come back after a long work outside, I launch cooking. Basically I like cooking. I prepare soup, salad, vegetables, main dish, and something more while listening to my favorite music. Cooking and music time is also when I remember again and again what happened at work. All kinds of sensation such as indignation, disappointment, uneasiness, happiness, and so on come back to my mind. Sometimes I feel like writing an email to refute someone for his/her incredible statements. Actually I dare not. Written words may well bring another disaster. I'm horrified with myself standing with a cooking knife! Poisonous mind cannot cook delicious food. Stop it! In the boiling, frying, grilling sound which overwhelm me I forget such negative feelings gradually. After dinner, I'm overcome by satisfaction, fatigue, and sleepiness. My fight spirit is all gone. Ah, that's why women are not for wars. Al right. Never mind. Today's update: a mini essay on a book entitled Left to Talk. I wrote a short review on Rwandan woman's life history. Sorry, it's only in Japanese.

December 11, 2006


I've been having interviews with students for a seminar starting next year. I am supposed to teach juniors and seniors consecutively in the seminar. Certainly I'll be responsible for instructing their graduation thesis and watching their job-hunting. It will be my first experience to be in charge of a special subject since I started working for the present department of our university. Some say a teacher of English language and literature is not qualified to teach students majoring business administration. Well, I am not confident myself; however, cross-cultural approach might give new points of view possibly. I am not a novice any more myself. I believe 20 years' experience has empowered me in many ways. The rest of my career is not very long. I'm looking forward to putting my energy for students in a new way. I feel the new challenge quite inspiring. Let me do it! Today's update: ao's eggs. Let me go on slowly. Let me do my best slowly and steadily.

December 8, 2006


Students are suffering. Those who have remarkable characters and who cannot fit into the majority hit the wall they have never expected. I want them to relax and be more tolerant, but how could they listen to such a worldly advice? I try to remember how I was doing at their age. Oh, I have given in so often and that's why I have never produced anything significant. To be young is to be painful and dazzling. Survive by all means, be tough, I pray for them. Today's update: ao's eggs. My students' age and that of my daughter are now overlapping.

December 3, 2006


Bicycles suit Hongo, where students go by cycling in campus and in town. "Time stops in Hongo," I heard someone say. There are old town streets and back lanes. The campus of University of Tokyo belongs not only to its students. On the day when gingko turns perfect gold, many citizens go into the campus. So do I. At a gust of wind, gingko leaves fall dancing. Like falling snow. People are fascinated. I stand still watching the leaves. They are letters from ten thousand years ago. I wonder how many of people have bathed the falling gingko leaves ever? I wonder how many people have passed by. Every year at the beginning of December we have this golden day of gingko flaming up in gold. It's the day of golden gingko. Today's update: the photo in the index page ( an old giant gingko tree at the crossing of Yayoi-cho, Hongo) and the one in this page (a tree behind the main gate of the University of Tokyo.) There are new eggs of ao, too. They are at the last part of p.2 and the beginning of p.3. Old photos are saved in the page of "Cover Photos." When all leaves fall, winter comes.

November 29, 2006


People have different opinions over an issue. I wonder how we can make a decision when various kinds of views and ideas conflict. Should a moderator / facilitator become an opinion leader at some point, or should s/he keep quietly looking for the most feasible way for the majority to agree? Anyway, we almost always have a deadline for anything. We cannot take time forever. I guess there is nothing that makes everybody satisfied. Well, what shall I do? (I've been wondering but my brain doesn't seem working very effectively, alas!) I know I cannot be too much dependent upon my experience or practical knowledge only; however, I'm conscious of my inability to theorize them. Time is passing. It's already the end of November. I've waited long enough for nothing. Today's update: ao's eggs.

November 25, 2006


I received a mail from a person who asked for the information about the book my brother-in-law published in February. He heard about it at Mori Ougai Memorial House in Germany. He wasn't able to search the book at Amazon.com because it is not for sail. Amazing enough, he found this site instead for its brief note, helped by Google. I feel the power a book has. Today's update: ao's pencil drawing and eggs.

November 24, 2006


Compared to the huge trees in Hongo Area, Tokyo, gingko trees here at Nagareyama Campus () are just short and thin like children. However, they have been wonderfully turning into yellow. I wonder how they would look like in ten, or twenty years. I won't be here any longer then. If people are all gone, trees will keep growing. Therefore, when I look at the trees, I think of the passage of time they might have seen, when weariness over the human related trivial matters disappear. Today's update: this short note only.

November 23, 2006


It's Labor Thanksgiving Day. It's also the anniversary day of Higuchi Ichiyo's death. Almost every year, November 23 is a chilly cloudy day. As I've been extremely busy, I took a rest from everything today. I had letters to write, works to be finished, but I was just hanging around all day long. I haven't been out for a walk these days. Am I going into the hibernation? When I wake up next time, it might be spring. Today's update; ao's Eggs and her latest oil painting. BTW, Hongo Oyokochou Map-project is going on very slowly. Gingko leaves of Hongo are turning yellow. I hope to see the golden trees very soon!

November 19, 2006


I was away from this page for nearly 10 days. It doesn't mean I had forgotten about it but I was too busy for that, going back and forth between two campuses and attending numerous meeting (probably there are many more meetings than classes!) "Don't work too hard," says my friends and colleagues; I know I shouldn't be too much involved. However, how can I escape from them? "It can't be helped" I say to myself. (Is it really true??) ★Yesterday, I went to a reunion of our junior high school classmates. We graduated from Takata Junior High (Toshima, Tokyo) in 1968."Let us watch the future as well as we retrospect the past with sentiments," said the reunion's chief organizer. Her speech was just wonderful. I was fascinated to listen to my old friends talk of their lives. I had a chance to talk with some of my classmates who had influenced me greatly, in a very relaxing manner. I was so happy to have that kind of occasion jumping over the past few decades. To my amazement, one person introduced this website to all the participants from the stage! Wow, how could he know of it? I missed the chance to ask him the question. I have to remember that I'm not writing here just for myself but writing to casual passers-by anytime. Thanks to your visit! ★BTW, there was an announcement last week that a free e-mail publication in which my mini column on the tips for good English conversation to be terminated. This was also where one of my young friends living in London was writing about her experiences over there in nice essays. Well, things have been changing all the time. Don't be sorry but seek another chance! ★ Today's update: ao's oil painting in Still Life, eggs in An Egg a Day; a photo in the index page (Ochanomizu Bridge) and one in this page above (colorful fallen leaves I saw in Tskuba). Old photos are saved in the page of Cover Photos. ★ I can hear the sound of the rain. It's getting cooler day by day. I hope you'll take a good care of your self.

November 10, 2006


This morning I fell fast asleep on the commuter's train. When I woke up suddenly I thought I had passed the station I should have got off, and I jumped out of the train. No, it was three stations before that. I got wide awake then. Looking at the train departing, I was impressed with the misty scene of the railway. I kept standing bitterly smiling to myself. Today's update: the photo in this page (it's the railway I watched this morning at Yoshikawa) and the one in the index page (Tsukuba Central Park). In fact, I went all the way to Tsukuba by TX the other day. New eggs are uploaded as well. Old photos are moved to Cover Photos.

November 8, 2006


We're now in winter. It was so warm yesterday that I didn't think of our traditional calendar. However, in Hokkaido a tornado destroyed houses and killed people. Sometimes I've heard of tornados happening in Chiba Prefecture. Natural disasters attack anywhere anytime. We are helpless when the nature shows its fangs. Meanwhile, on electric billboards at train platforms flash the warning of terrorism as usual. Where in the world is a quiet place? Today's update: eggs. ao's face is changing into one of a young woman unfamiliar to me.

November 6, 2006


Yesterday evening I went out for a walk. It got dark immediately. Then I found a large orange moon hanging. Was it a full moon? I remember there were many articles on the web and in newspapers talking about the growing moon. One of them was quoting a short story by Higuchi Ichiyou even. It reminded me of the traditional sentiment aroused by the moon in our culture. What in the world are we to imply through the moon? I just want to say I saw the moon too, which you might have seen somewhere. Autumn is coming to the end very soon. Today's update: the photo above and also the photo on the index page, the early illumination at LaQua, Tokyo Dome City. Eggs and Cover Photos are also updated.

November 3, 2006

我が町東村山には何のめぼしいものもないように思って暮らしているが、実は東京都内唯一の国宝建造物がある。正福寺地蔵堂という。正福寺は鎌倉時代に開かれた古刹で、地蔵堂は「中国から伝えられた禅宗様(唐様)建築の代表的な建造物」とのこと。この度30年に一度の屋根葺き替え工事が終わり、「地蔵まつり」が開かれた。本堂ご開帳と聞き及び、思い立って出かけてみた。雅楽と舞いの奉納には間に合わなかったけれど、堂内のご本尊様とそれを取り巻く千体地蔵を拝んできた。そういえば、八国山の尾根道に鎌倉時代の遺跡があるのを思い出す。東京は江戸とばかり考えるのは不見識なようだ。関東には関東なりの歴史がある。少し視界を広げなくては。ピンと反り返った独特ななお堂の屋根を見上げていると、目先のことにばかり汲々としてどうすると思えてくる。本日の更新は「国宝 正福寺地蔵堂 地蔵まつり」です。地元を見直したひとときだった。それから「卵」も一つ。ご訪問に感謝です。

Usually I feel there is nothing special in my home town Higashimurayama.; however, in fact, we have the only National Treasure Building of Tokyo in our city. It's "Jizou-do" at Shofuku-ji Temple, which was originally built in Kamakura Era (in 1407). Jizou-do has the traditional Zen style coming from China. The roof of the wooden building has been re-covered once every 30 years. The latest recovering was completed in September and today Jizou Matsuri Festival was held. Jizou-do was specially opened to the public. We decided visit the temple. Although we were not in time for the dedication of ancient Japanese traditional music and dance, we got the chance to observe the inside of Jizou-do with its main Jizou Statue and thousand of small jizou statues surrounding it. I remember I saw an ancient site of Kamakura Era in Mt. Hachikoku. When we talk of Tokyo, we tend to think it is the embodiment of Edo Era but actually Kanto Plain in wider scale has longer history. I need to have a larger view of this district. Looking up at the characteristic roof of Jizou-do, I felt I should not be near-sighted. Today's update: a photo page of "Jizou-do Festival." One more egg, too. Thanks for your visit!

November 2, 2006


November has started. Usually time starts rolling so fast at this time to the end of the year. But I can hardly go on to the next year so easily. Although there is almost nothing parents can do, the time our daughter is to take college entrance exams is approaching realistically. Recently all the drawings she brings home are strange--at least to my eyes. Today's update: ao's oil painting, "The Left Leg." She has been producing an egg every day. (An Egg a Day) The second page for eggs has began. I still remember the days when I was preparing for the entrance exam 36 years ago. I was very serious thinking my life won't begin unless I could pass over the mountain successfully. How naive I was! It really was a mountain in my youth.

October 31, 2006

このところ更新できずにいた。前項は数日前に途中まで書き、眠くて断念。それ以来あれこれに追われてここにたどり着けなかった。「ここ」は自分の隠れ部屋なのだが、外に向かって窓をいっぱいに開けているという矛盾。ホームページやブログで「何故人は日記を晒すのか」という問いかけがある。実はこんなものは日記ではないのにそう呼ばれているだけのこと。相変わらず書かないこと、書けないことの方が誰の心にも余計にある。書くのはほんの一端に過ぎない。それでも端をひらひらさせながら人は「私はここにいる」と呟く。それが誰に届かなくても、だ。Sarah Brightmanを大音量で聴きながら、心の中をかき混ぜる。本日の更新は表紙(地下鉄駅の券売機の前に何故か片方だけのハイヒール)とこのページの写真(建築現場の青い空)です。私が更新を怠っている間にも「卵」は増え続けています。昨日までここにあった写真は「掲載写真帖」に移動しました。

I have not been able to update this page for many days. When I wrote this note last time, I couldn't help giving it up in the middle because I was too sleepy. Since then I have been away from this page, which is my private room so to say. I know it's a contradiction; how can it be a private space if I open it to the world? One of the frequently asked questions is why people expose their "diary" on the Internet. In fact I don't think what people write in their websites or blogs are not real diaries although they are called by that name. How can they write what they have in the depth of their heart so casually? It's only a very small part of their heart/mind. But people show the part to cry "I'm here, Watch me!" most of the case in vain. I disturb myself while listening to Sarah Brightman in a large volume. Today's update: a photo in the index page (a high-heeled shoe left alone in front of the ticket vending machine in a subway station) and the one in this page (the blue sky above the construction site). ao's eggs are increasing while I was lazy. Old photos are moved to "Cover Photos."

October 27, 2006


In spite of my original intention to go home earlier than usual, I was detained by a train accident on my way. Only a few station before I wanted to get off, all the passengers had to step out of the train. The announcement told us to take different routes for respective destination. Well, there were several choices: just to take the lines the announce told us; to wait quietly on the platform until the train service began again; to go ahead without any definite plan looking for some luck. I chose the last one. I went out of the train station and looked around. There was a long line for taxi. I stood at the end of the line waiting for a bus. Then came a mini-bus which will drop me at a railway station I know. It started immediately fortunately; however, it was stuck in the traffic congestion. How irritating! I jumped off the bus when an announcement told us a name of another familiar railway station. I had no idea which way to go. One of the passengers who left the bus asked a passer by the way and we walked together in silence in darkness to the station. Eventually we arrived at the station. I was not sure if my choice was right or not. Had I waited quietly on the platform, perhaps I could have come home almost the same time I actually did. Nobody could tell what to do on emergency anyway! Today's update: ao's eggs.

Ocotber 24, 2006


Heavy rain falls again and again. It's getting very chilly. Unusually I took Musashino Line early in the afternoon today. When I came to the point where the horizon is visible, I could see in the northern east a faint shadow of a mountain. I recognized it to be Mt. Tsukuba for the first time. In a fine cold winter day, we can see Mt. Fuji in the west. Because Musashino Line is running through Kanto Plane, we can see t all around. Today's update: ao's latest work, a pencil drawing of "a cloth and body" in Still Life; and eggs. Everyday one (or sometimes two) egg(s) is(are) added. First the egg was a red one, but it's white now, following the advisor who says, "The purpose of this project--an egg a day--is a practice to draw the gradation sequence clearly from pure white to black. Don't think of drawing a label on the egg, standing it, or laying a cloth under it, but just draw naively a white egg on a white paper. Draw so that the egg looks in the shape of an egg and as white as it is. It's a challenge quite hard to achieve." Feeling a little revolt, ao keeps drawing naively, following the advice. Maybe there is something I can also learn in this practice.

October 20, 2006

私に届いたと思った紀州梅の小包が、実は近所の同姓の方宛の誤配とわかり、慌てて電話した。ところがご当人は、そのようなものが届く覚えはないと言う。「確かにあなたのお名前と、代金振り込み用紙が」と説明しても訝しがるばかり。とにかくお届けしましょうと申し出たところ「では中間地点で」となって夜半に信号の下で出逢って立ち話した。驚くべきことに、彼女はここ一ヶ月ほどの間に身に覚えのない食品や洋服の「取り寄せ品」がこれで合計三度も届いたとのこと。送り主のメーカーにいちいち問い合わせて返送するのも手間で困惑している。どうやら何処かから漏れ出た彼女の個人情報を誰かが悪用して、通信販売の物品を請求書付きで送らせているらしい。「愉快犯」と呼ぶのも不愉快な犯罪だ。こんなことが続いたらどうしたものか。「消費者センター」のようなところが相談にのってくれるのだろうか。便利の裏にある危険を垣間見る思いがする。本日の更新は、30回目を数える『翻訳読書ノート 』に、「悪童を産んだひと」と題してアゴタ・クリストフをめぐる短いエッセイ。ハンガリー動乱から50年目の今年。そしてaoの「毎日卵」です。おまけに、表紙とこのページの写真を明るい里山からセイタカアワダチソウやルコウソウの枯れ色に換えました。昨日までの写真は「掲載写真帖」へ。しばらく続いていた青空が、どこかへ行ってしまった。

I thought I received a parcel of pickled plums as a present, but in fact it was an ordered goods addressed to a cognominal person in my neighborhood. I called her immediately; however she was bewildered to hear what I explained. She said she had never ordered such a thing herself. According to her, she has received foods and clothes that she never thought of buying three times already with bills. It's very likely someone who illegally obtained her personal information might be making goods sent to her. People may call it "a crime for pleasure" but it is a humorless crime definitely. What could be done to stop it? Would "Consumer Affairs Bureaus" be of any help? I feel I've seen the darkness behind all the convenience we're enjoying. Today's update: a short essay entitled "An author who gave birth to terrible infants" on Agota Kristof in Translated Works. (sorry, only in Japanese.) It's just the 50th anniversary since the Hungarian Rising. There are new eggs by ao. Photos on the index page and here in this page are new. Old ones are moved to "Cover Photos." Where has the blue sky gone?

October 17, 2006


Solidago altissima is growing on river banks, fields, and everywhere. This immigrant is very often considered to be evil but it makes me feel I'm in the middle of autumn really. Japanese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis) is growing too. As it's getting colder, my heart is filled with nostalgia. It's the season to be pensive quietly. Let me be away from the busy world, today's update: ao's "an egg a day."

Ocotber 15, 2006


While cycling I thought, "As a young woman, I always had something I wanted to achieve by all means. Do I have such a zeal recently?" Yes, I do have something I want to achieve, but I'm not sure if I want it "by all means." "It's good if I achieve it, but it doesn't matter much if I cannot." This is I'm feeling nowadays. Am I tolerant or have I given up the utmost efforts from the beginning? I'm afraid I've made it a custom to settle easy goals and satisfy myself with small successes. "Never!" I say to myself and push pedals with full force. All I can do is just to ride through the pavement covered with fallen leaves full speed by bike. How helpless! Don't forget to be ambitious, I want to say. While I'm busy doing this and that, I apt to forget ideals. I haven't thought of such a thing these days even. It's a shame. Today's update: ao's latest works in Still Life, an oil painting entitled "a hanger rack and a hanger" and a pencil drawing entitled "I Can't Leave You Alone." They made me puzzled frankly. There are two more "eggs." It's getting very cool in the evening. Please take care of yourself, my dear visitors.

October 13, 2006


Orham Pumk is the Nobel Laureate in Literature in 2006. I've read only one work of his: My Name is Red. I wrote a very brief review on it two years ago. I happened to find the book in a store and somehow strongly attracted. I have a Danish friend whose son is married to a Turkish woman; that might be one of the reasons I took interest in the author. My friend suggested me to travel to Turkey someday together. She goes there to see his son's family quite often. A young Japanese friend of mine living in London said she sometimes go to Turkey when she gets fed up with British people and culture. She says she is consoled by the non-European factors of their culture somehow. A novel opens a door to the world unknown to us. As intolerance to foreign cultures prevails in our society nowadays, it's precious we have a route to different worlds in literature. It's amazing how gravely people could be impressed with literature. It surpasses much more than nuclear weapons. Miserable is the leaders who have no idea what kind of impact literature can give to the world. Today's update: two eggs in "an egg a day."

October 11, 2006


We have various happenings every day. One day it's sunny and another day it's rainy. I cannot write the details but I'm quite serious like a boy "walking in the marketplace holding a chalice full of sacred wine." I'm relaxing somehow too. It's my nature and couldn't be helped. BTW, there is a corner entitled "an egg a day" in Gallery in Magins. ao declaed to draw an egg everyday until she take the entrance exam to art colleges. I provide the corner for her. Well, should I write "a note a day"?

October 9, 2006


Washed by the heavy rain, the sky was perfect blue suitable for the National Sports Day. I went to Mt. Hachikoku by bicycle and enjoyed taking a walk in the growling wind. The sunshine was exactly the bliss. Sometime human beings have to be dried under the sun. Today's update: the photo on the cover page (harvested rice) and the one above (the field of red Japanese potatoes). Not a day for books and computers. Photos for previous days are moved to the page for "Cover Photos." BTW, an old firend of mine called and told me to attend the reunion of junior high school classmates. She is brilliant with no trace of age!

October 7, 2006


Yesterday, it was raining heavily all day long. I was late in time for my early morning class in spite of myself. Usually I arrive in Nagareyama more than 30 minutes before the beginning of the first period; however, I was blocked by crowd of people, or I should say hundreds of umbrellas right before the entrance gate of a railway station. I missed the train I should have caught. I missed the school shuttle bus too; there was a long waiting line and I couldn't get in the one I should have taken. No taxi either. Thus I stumbled in the classroom in my dripping raincoat. There were just a few students waiting. On my way back, the trains were late just like Musashino Line which is notorious for the delay by strong wind and heavy rain. I'm expecting a beautiful sunny autumn day to come as soon as possible. I would like to take a walk looking for autumn plants. Also, I want to sleep as long as possible. Something is likely collapsing; my body or soul? Maybe it's my mind. Today's update: this note only for the moment.

October 1, 2006


I had my web pages on Hongo Area seen by many people last week, fortunately. Juniors of a seminar which I visited at Hongo Campus for a lecture gave out opinions like "I've never known such interesting spots are around"; "I would really like to take a walk in this area myself."; "I'm looking forward to launching the map-making project." and so on. Whereas, freshmen in CALL at Nagareyama uttered like this: "No place to enjoy ourselves, say a large game-center, in this area?"; "Your photos are not so interesting because I can see few people in them."; "Oh, it's Dentsuin Temple is where I used to play with my friends in my childhood!"; "I know the stone steps leading to Kitano Shrine (in Kasuga) very well. They make me feel at home."; "Oh, come on, I'm not interested in old Japanese gardens." Their opinions varied but I was glad I heard the frank voice of young people. Afterwards, I attended "The Hongo Meeting." Compared to the first time, it was more active and participants exchanged ideas and opinions quite freely. Unless the inhabitants of the area want to start something new by themselves, nothing will change; however, to them the requirement is a sort of a bolt from the blue sky. We need to take time. With a few new members included, something might perhaps start moving gradually, hopefully. To think about Hongo Oyokocho seem to be very local and closed, but I'm coming to realize that it involve a lot of up-to-date issues such as "succession of history and culture," "to draw a grand view of life in large cities," "preservation of natural environment," "development of commercial activities," "welfare of the society with more elders and less children," etc. I started thinking of these things together in a few hours during the meeting. So global and contemporary indeed! I started recording the image of Hongo Area based on my personal interest first, but now I feel I am looking up at clouds high above slopes. (Is it a too much exaggeration?!) Today's update: ao's latest works in 'Still Life', Gallery in Margins. She has finished her activities for her high school cultural festival eventually. I hope it's high time for her to start studying hard for entrance exams. The photo on the cover page: A pocket-park at Kasuga-Hakusan Crossing in Bunkyo, Tokyo; one on this page: Bombus diversus Smith (???) visiting Physostegia virginiana (maybe) . Old photos are removed to Cover Photos.

September 23, 2006

週日はずっと出ずっぱりであれこれの要請に引っ張り回されているため、週末くらいひっそりと自分の関心事にかまけていたい・・・などと思うのは我が儘だろうか。まだ新学期が始まったばかりだというのに。千葉と東京のキャンパスを往来するのは、やはり疲れる。同日に午前と午後で両方に行かなくてはならないことが頻繁に起こると余計に。だが、拒否することはできないし、瞬間移動もできないし、体の力を抜いてふわ〜っとあちこちするしかなさそうだ。何か心楽しいことを見つけながら。本日の更新は、実験ページ「本郷大横町界隈 見たまま・歩いたまま」です。これまで趣味的に集めてきた写真を仕分けして、「マッププロジェクト」に役立てられないかと整備中。(余りパッとしないが、今回は細部の手直しと同リンクページを集中的にまとめてみた。自分のサイトの容量を再び一気に増やしてしまったが、いずれ大学のサーバに移植する予定にしている。)来週はまた本郷会の会合がある。ご町内の皆様方と、さてどんなことになりますか。

I've been so busy doing this and that beyond my capability that I want to stay quietly doing whatever for myself. Is it to selfish to say such a thing? The new semester has just started yet! I get easily tired as I have to go back and forth between two campuses in Chiba and Tokyo. Especially when I have to be in both campuses in one day, in the morning in Tokyo and in afternoon in Chiba, I get just exhausted at the end of a day. But I can never decline the requirement or transport instantaneously like a magic, so I have to learn how to relax anytime and move smoothly. Let me find something pleasant and hopeful. Today's update: "Hongo Oyokocho" which is an experimental page. This time I arranged the Link page. I wish I could make use of what I've been collecting on my own for a more public use; "The Map Creating Project" in Oyokocho Shopping Street. Next week, we'll have a meeting of Hongo-kai. What will happen next with Hongo people?

September 20, 2006


One of the turtles which ran away a few weeks ago has returned! It did not come back, of course, by itself but it was brought back by the person who captured it. After it ran away from our garden, it walked across the lane in front of our house and got into the garden of our neighbor's. It was picked up and put in a water tank where it ate a lot of grass in it. Then it was put in a bucket, from which it ran away again. Finally it was discovered while it was eating rotten vegetables on the ground pit. Our neighbor asked a person next door to whom this turtle belonged. He mentioned my name and thus, the lady brought it to me eventually. I visited her today with a small present of fruit. She asked me never to let it escape again. I promised her that I won't. The turtle named "Runaway" is now living with "shyness" in her water-tank. She is not shy anymore. Runaway is rather quiet so far. I wonder how long it will last that way. I have to take care of myself to survie turtles which are considered to live long. Anyway, welcome back! Today's update: this note only. Thanks for reading.

September 17, 2006


I visited our family tomb before the autumn equinox. At the foot of Mt. Takao, the atmosphere is completely that of autumn. I saw kuzu (Pueraria lobata) growing thickly over stone walls in the cemetery.. Behind leaves, flowers were in full bloom. I can see an insect sucking honey, which I did not notice while I was taking the photo. (BTW, what is this insect? I can see only a part of its body.) Plants were growing everywhere with almost outrageous vitality, which human hands can hardly stop. The sky was covered with drowsy clouds but the valley was powerfully green. Today's update: photos of this page and the cover page (the waterway monument along The River Kanda, by JR Suidobashi Station. Stones symbolize the stone water-pipe of Edo Era.) Old photos are now in the page of Cover Photos. A typhoon is traveling from the west to the north of Japan now.

September 13, 2006


It's suddenly so cool. Is it a temporary weather? Usually it gets as hot as summer again around October 10, which was originally National Sports Day, commemorating the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964. It's unbelievable that another Tokyo Olympics is being promoted. This city of overconcentration is almost suffocating. There is also an attempt to get rid of the highway running over Nihon-bashi (historically a very important and graceful bridge in the central part of Tokyo). The concrete highway which was constructed right before the Olympic Games completely destroyed the beauty of the bridge. Just imagine the energy we need to recover the lost heritage. How can we not repeat the same folly? The second Tokyo Tower is going to be constructed in 5 years. Isn't Tokyo too greedy? I'm terrified to think this man-made gigantic city would expose its fragility someday. Am I too pessimistic? Today's update: the photo of this page; cockscombs after a morning glory. The read color is not of summer.

September 10, 2006


Let me continue writing about photos. When there were no digital cameras, people used to make thick and heavy photo albums. My parents made it their custom to keep photos of each child as s/he grew, and gave these albums to their children when they got married and left home. I was not so constant as my parents. Although I took photos of my daughter very often while she was growing up dramatically but I lost the custom. Once I got a digital camera, I started taking photos frantically. Unless you print the data, nothing is left at hand. Maybe that's why I was so much impressed with the old photos I found at my mother's place. I wonder if those people who are watching the camera eyes so seriously ever dreamed of someone in the future would see them with great interest somewhere. I appreciate the deed of handing the record of chain of life in photos greatly.Today's update: ao's new work entitled "Consciousness" in 'Still Life', Gallery in Margins. Is it also a style of recording?

September 8, 2006


I visited my mother by bicycle in rain. I found many old photos at her house. Among them was a photo of my great grandparents (of my mother's side) in the formal costume. According to the memo, my great grandfather was at the age of 77, and my great grandmother 74 in 1929. At that point, they had already celebrated their golden wedding. They had 12 children. I calculated and found she got married when she was 15 and started having children right after that. My grandfather, who was their 12th child, was adopted by one of his elder sisters. It was evident that there were couples with too many children and ones with no children at all. They were giving and taking children by necessity. It was not only biological children that inherited but adopted ones did too depending on the situation. Ironically, my grandfather escaped from succeeding the adopted family because his stepmother gave birth to a boy after she adopted her smallest brother. Thus, ordinary people were quite flexible. I also found photos of my father's side: my grandparents and my father in youth. They show how they were living in the days under the World War II very well. My father as a student was spending a long time in the field for combat drills with professors putting on their puttees. Women are in clumsy wartime trousers. While my father was sent to battle fields abroad, Tokyo was attacked by continuous air raids. My grandfather died a few days after Great Tokyo Air Raids on March 10, 1945. Watching those who were born in Edo Era, and those whose life was greatly disturbed by the war, I felt myself as a relay point of the life sequence. I wonder if I should record the memory of the people related to me somehow. Today's update: this note only. Japanese bush clover has started blooming along the small forest in my neighborhood.

September 5, 2006


Two of my turtles which I had been keeping for nearly 10 years ran away one after another. They were named "Runaway" and "Snorty" respectively. (There remains one more named "Bashful.") I'm quite disturbed because I've been taking care of them for such a long time. Why they disappeared NOW? I'm disappointed to think there will be no more of them. Surely their life was just monotonous: they ate and evacuated. That's all. But they had characteristics in their ways. Like all animals, they moved. They were growing bigger very slowly. One day they found they could go over a rim of the water tank with their hands. Snorty was as big as 30cm long (from head to tail). Where have they gone? When Runaway disappeared before, it was discovered in our neighbor's garden. Perhaps not this time. Because they are neither a dog nor a cat, they won't change their mind and come home by themselves. I remember, however, Snorty once was hiding under a bush of our garden for half a year and discovered. If that could happen again, it would be a real miracle. I wish them for their luck. Today's update: the photo in the index page (the cosmos garden in Kurohime Highland) and the one in this page (a morning glory in autumn). Old photos are stored now in the page of "Cover Photos." Photo albums "The Edo River After Rain" and "Lake Nojiri and Kurohime Highland" are accessible from Gallery in Margins.Please access "Keiko's Scribbling Block" through etcetera.

September 4, 2006

助走というのはじれったいようでもあり、必要不可欠なものでもある。「筆馴らし」という言葉は書道と無縁な私にとっては比喩でしかないのだが、徐々に調子を上げていくための準備期間が貰えるとありがたい。新学期が本格化する前の、今は助走期間。同時に泥縄常習犯の私にとっては滑り込みするための全力疾走期間でもあるのが辛いところ。空白の目立つ"To Do List"を前に焦っている。本日の更新は「休憩雑記帳」に一編「読書日記の恐怖」を追加しました。これも一つの「助走期間」にある。いずれもっと本格的なページにするつもりで。まだるっこしい文章でごめんなさい。

We feel impatient while we are in "the run-up period" although we know it's necessary. Japanese calligraphers take time before they use a new brush fully enough. Metaphorically, I'm still in that period in terms of my work in the new semester. I'm grateful to have this preparatory stage before the frantic daily schedule starts again. Also this is an important period of time for me to tie up all the loose ends in a hurry as usual. I can hardly get out of being a procrastinator. I'm watching my "To Do List" with sighs. Today's update: another title in A Short Break. Sorry, this is a short column only in Japanese. I'm planning to make this into a full (perhaps bilingual) page in time. At this point I'm still writing fearfully like in "the run-up period."

September 1, 2001

迷わず九月。後へは引けない。昨日より通勤を再開した。久々の本郷である。仕事の後は本郷通りと言問通りの交差点近くにある美容院でカットして貰い、そのまま言問通りを下って、途中老舗「石井いり豆店」で豆菓子を友人のお見舞いに送り、白山通りの「あゆみBooks小石川店」に寄る。ここはほどほどの大きさの本屋で、品揃えがよい。店頭に、ズバリ『散歩の達人』9月号-特集は「元祖山の手を楽しむ方法 神楽坂、本郷、小石川」。(あゆみBooksは地元紹介の書籍雑誌を常備している。立ち読みも含めて、随分お世話になってきた。)ふ〜ん、直接行ったらどうということのないあの場所この場所が、趣のあるレトロなスポットとして掲載されている。<本郷大横町通りマッププロジェクト>の参考になりそうだ。(先ほど豆菓子を買った店も押さえてある!)入り口で取った買い物籠に雑誌、文庫、新書、ペーパーバックスをスーパーで買い物するみたいに放り込んでレジへ。(何だかオンラインブックストアのバーチャル版のよう。)暮色に包まれた礫川公園を通り抜けていく時、確かな秋風に全身を包まれた。本日の更新は、お初にお目にかかります『休憩雑記帳』に第一編、「何に書くか、何を書くか」です。エッセイというほどでもなく、日記でもなく、休憩時間のお供にどうぞ。

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, it's September. There is no retreating. I started commuting to work again yesterday. Exactly after one month, I went to Hongo. Having finished my work, I walked on the back alley to my favorite beauty shop near the intersection of Hongo Avenue and Kototoi Avenue to have my hair cut. Then I walked down Kototoi Avenue, making a brief stop at an old beans snack shop where I picked up several kinds to make a present for my friend recovering from illness, and visited a bookshop in Hakusan Avenue. As soon as I went into the shop, I found the latest issue of a magazine, Sannpo no Tatsujin (A Master of Walking) which is featuring Kagurazaka, Hongo and Koishikawa as the towns for veteran walkers. I checked it to find photos showing familiar places in Hongo Area. They look retrospectively romantic in them in spite of the fact they look quite common when we see them in daily life. Quite impressed, I decided buy it for Hongo Ooyokocho Map-making Project for reference. Like in a supermarket, I threw in the magazine and several handy paperbacks, in a basket I picked up at the entrance of the shop. (It was as if I was shopping online virtually.) While I was going through Rekisen Park in the evening color, the wind blew to my body making me realize it was really the autumn air. Today's update: a brand-new page entitled "A Short Break"--it's going to be my scribbling block. Sorry, it's only in Japanese at present.

August 27, 2006


Two young women came out of a public bath talking to each other, "The summer holiday is gone already." "Yes." While I agreed with them in silence, I said to myself. "Well, it's surprising young women in my neighborhood go to the public bath! Do they live in an apartment without a bathroom? Do they come just because their bathroom at home has any troubles? Maybe they love the bubble bath and the jet-streams of the public bath." I went to the public bath house with my mother-in-law when our bathroom was being repaired a few months ago. Hearing our experience, my sister-in-law came to visit the bath house with her daughters during summer. Yes, you can feel as if you are enjoying spa. It cost us \400 per person, which is not inexpensive, but we're happy to have spa-like bath at hand. While taking a walk, I happened to went into a back alley to find another public bathhouse The air smelled the hot water of the public bath. No matter how had our days may be, once you take a bath all the weariness seems to be solved. The large bath pools are much more effective for that than tiny private bathtubs. I feel like that in the evening. Today's update; only this note. See you!

August 26, 2006

いよいよ休暇は残り少なくなってきた。ちょうど4週間、すっかり仕事から解放されて自由に過ごしたことになる。こんなに気ままに暮らしたのは何年ぶりだろう。先々に気になることはいくらもあるが、ひとまず休養を取れたことに感謝している。久しぶりに旧友と交信したり、溜めて置いた本をいろいろ読んだり、近所をテクテク散歩したり、充電に努めた。先日の信濃路の旅でどれほどリフレッシュされたか知れない。これで当分関東平野にへばりついていても窒息することはないだろう(と思う)。昨日掲載した写真にことばを添えてみた。曖昧な箇所が多く信憑性のあるデータとは言いがたいが、備忘録代わりの写真帳とお許し願いたい。本日の更新は「野尻湖と黒姫高原 昆虫・花・展望」です。そして、「翻訳読書ノート」に一編追加しました。触り程度のものながらグーグルについての一文。ここから勉強を始めたい。

Holiday is almost finished. I've spent exactly 4 weeks, completely independent from work. It's been a long time since I enjoyed holiday so freely years ago. Although I have so many things to worry about, but now I'm grateful I could relax completely. I exchanged mails with old friends, read books I had piled up, and took a walk every evening in my neighborhood. Also I'm refreshed by the trip to Nagano Prefecture last week. Perhaps I won't be so easily fed up with Kanto Plain for a while. I added words to the photos I uploaded yesterday. Unfortunately there are many ambiguous points; so that the page is not correctly informative. I hope I'm allowed to upload the page for my memorandum. Today's update: Lake Nojiri and Kurohime Highland; Insects, Flowers and the Landscape." There is also a new essay about Google in "Translated Works." It's just a brief introduction in Japanese. I'd like to start my research here.

August 25, 2006


I uploaded photos of Lake Nojiri and Kurohime Height. I would like to watch them just to detain summer for a little longer. I've started receiving business mails. It's time for me to come to my senses! Please click here and enjoy photos if you please.

August 24, 2006


We went on a two-day-trip. Our destination was Lake Nojiri and Kurohime Height. Lake Nojiri is very clean because the source of water for the lake is coming from underground. Although the lake has pleasure boats for tourists and various facilities for visitors to enjoy, it keeps quiet, not so popularized. I had been here before. I participated in a summer camp conducted by the religion department of our college. At that time I attended a seminar where we read Pensse by Pascal, and we presented a skit based on our activities at the seminar. While I was thinking of where to go this summer, suddenly I remembered the quiet time I spent by Lake Nojiri as a student. From the lake we looked up at Mt. Kurohime; in the middle of which there is a huge garden where one million of cosmos flowers are grown. We climbed by bus and found the cable lift (for skiers in winter) was working. Good! It took us to the height of 1030M. We had a wonderful view of Lake Nojiri underneath and mountain ranges far beyond. Above them, summer clouds were growing. I spend the time of bliss. I was inspired well enough to get the energy for the coming season. Today's update: photos on the index page (a view from Kurohime Height) and the one here (Lake Nojiri). Shinano was so beautiful.

August 19, 2006


I'm reading the translation of The Google Story; meanwhile, I frequently go to Google's website to try its various functions. This is a sort of a "fieldwork" by an amateur surveying the present situation of how Google has been changing the cultural habits of present world with its technology. I was astonished to find 12 pages of photos from this website of mine when I put in my name in Google Image. The list included the ones which I've already deleted from this website long ago. I felt very strange to see those photos which had vanished long before. It proves their search engine keeps colleting and sorting them. Regardless of the will of website owners, Google carries on its intention to achieve the goal that they would collect and sort out all the data on the web. We are not allowed to delete what we don't need any more. Ignoring the will of the original owner of the data, Google stores whatever it finds. Data remain for ever theoretically. I cannot help asking what it means. Today's update: ao's latest work in Still Life of Gallery in Margins. It has a different taste from other works. A woman in nude is posing in front of a wall on which the film of Leni Amalie Riefenstahl's Olympia was kept projected on and on. I wonder what the Art School intended.

August 18, 2006


First thing in the morning I received a mail from a friend of mine. We were classmates at college more than 30 years ago. We seldom met or even talked on the phone during these years but I've been much obliged to her, for she let me stay at her home in London when I went abroad for the first time in my life in 1979. Her twin daughters were "terrible two" at that time. Now they are grown up and working for global companies respectively. As they were brought up in foreign countries, particularly they were in a boarding school in Switzerland in their high school days, they speak three languages. My friend had informed me I would be able to see one of her daughters on the web and sent me a URL. Being a "product PR manager" of MAYBELLINE, she is introducing the latest products of her company. It's a fascinating commercial website. I wonder what kind of consumers will purchase such cosmetics. I'm quite impressed to see the generation of our daughters is now in the frontline. The mail I received this morning was a response to my report that I visited the website. She sent it from Hawaii where she's staying at her father's villa. (Wow!) Today's update: the photo in this page. Let me show you a scene in Shinagawa Intercity at midday of a midtown in TOKYO.

August 16, 2006

八月も後半。「まだ半分」か「もう半分」か。上り坂は長く下り坂は短い。前半は心身の疲労回復で精一杯だったので"TO DO LIST"にはこれから着手、と呑気に構えている。終戦記念日の昨日、某政党のボランティア活動員という若者二人が戸別訪問に来た。チラシ一式の入った封筒を手渡して、ポスターを塀に貼らせてくれないかと頼む。断ったが、そう落胆した様子もない。某議員の人柄に惚れ込んでNPOに参加しているのだとか。とても闊達な青年たちだった。「どちらの大学?」と聞くと、一瞬躊躇った後「東京大学です」と。60年代とは全く異なるスタンスで、政治に関わる学生たちが生まれているのか。最近のキャンパスでは余り見かけないタイプなので、ついあれこれ尋ねてしまった。我が家の受験生は黙々とアトリエに通っている。若者の夏は熱い。本日の更新はaoの新作を『ギャラリー余白』中、「静物」に入れました。「え、これが油絵?」などと口走って溜息をつかれている。

The latter half of August has begun. Is it "already half" or "still" half? It takes a hard and long time to climb up and it's so quick to come down the slope. As I spent the former half just for relaxing and resting, from now on I'm going to launch attacking my "TO DO LIST." Yesterday two young men visited and asked me if they could get our permission to put on a poster of a political party on the wall of our house. I declined their wish but they did not seem to be disappointed very much. They said they were working for an MP as a volunteer of an NPO. They were very lively. "Which university do you go to?" I asked. After a momentary hesitation, one of them said, "the University of Tokyo." I was a little surprised to meet students politically active, whom I seldom meet these days. A generation, politically commitinging, is uprising. Thier politcal stance is quite different from the one in 60s. In spite of myself, I asked questions to them. Well, well, a student of my family who is going to take exams for college is drawing at an atelier day after day. Summer for young people is extremely hot. Today's update: ao's latest works in Still Life of Gallery in Margins. I asked her "Is it an oil painting, really?" just to make her sigh.

August 11, 2006


Time is flying. I spent a day just struggling with a short essay which I was asked to write. I feel impatient with my inactivity. It's as if I can do nothing but watching summer passing by in front of me while I cannot do anything with it. Today's update: ao's work in "Still Life" at Gallery in Margins. The animal in the painting reminds of ME!

August 10, 2006

台風一過、炎暑の一日。JR中央線国分寺駅で母、妹と待ち合わせ、二つ隣の駅に当たる国立へ行ってみた。姪の一人(弟の娘)が一橋大へ通うようになり、これまであまり縁のなかった街に何となく親しみを感じる。彼女がアルバイトしているというパン屋を外から眺めた。三人で炎天下をしばらく歩き回って、ようやく古い邸宅を改造して作ったフランス料理店"Le Vent de Vert"に落ち着く。(戦艦「赤城」の元艦長のお屋敷だった洋館とか。)給仕するのは若い女性たちばかり。全員黒のジャケットに品の良い白ブラウスを着て、丁寧な応対ぶりだった。ランチタイムのこと故そんなに気取ったメニューでもなく、久しぶりの四方山話に花が咲く。朗読(指導)を仕事にしている妹に、今度私の関わっている会へ来て講演・実践指導をしてもらえまいかと頼む。考えてみたら、姉妹でイベントに手を染めるのは初めてだ。果たして実現するだろうか。食後は駅前の「たましん歴史・美術館」で『日本の東洋古陶磁展』を見る。流石に母は伊万里焼・九谷焼などに詳しい。私はさっぱりだったが、二人の後ろをついて回り「白磁」や「絵付け」の妙味を味わう。絵はがきをワンセット買って三人で分けた。一緒にいたのはせいぜい三時間足らずだったが、「日頃できないこと」をまたひとつ。本日の更新は表紙の写真(夏雲)とこのページ上の写真(空堀川のコサギ)です。そしてaoの新作二点を「ギャラリー余白」中『静物』に加えました。昨日までここにあった写真は「掲載写真帖」へ入れてあります。夏模様よ、もうしばし。

After the typhoon was gone, it was extremely hot today. I met with my mother and sister at JR Kokubunji Station. We decided to go to Kunitachi, two next stations from there. Now that one of my nieces (my brother's daughter) is going to Hitotsubashi University, somewhat I feel familiar with the town. We looked at the bakery where she's usually working (not today) as a part-timer. We walked about for a while and found ourselves seated finally in a French restaurant called Le Vent de Vert. The old western style house was once a property of the captain of a battleship named "Akagi." Young women in black jacket and fresh white shirt were waiting. Their movement was elegant and efficient As it was lunchtime, dishes were not so stylish but quite reasonable. We enjoyed eating and talking. There I asked my sister if she could come to visit a meeting to which I belong to give an instruction on "declamation" (the art of reading aloud to the audience). She is actually a semi-professional instructor of the art. This is actually the first occasion we, sisters, make a plan of an event. After lunch we visited a small museum near the railway station to see an exhibition of Japanese old pottery. My mother knows well about the pottery of which I have no knowledge. There were works of old Kutani, and old Imari. Plain ones and colored ones were both really beautiful. We bought a set of picture post cards and shared them. We spent less than three hours together. It was for me another "special" occasion in summer only. Today's update: photos on the index page (summer clouds) and this page (an egret). Latest works of ao at "Still Life" in Gallery in Margins. Previous ones are now in "Cover Photos." Let summer linger.

August 9, 2006


In the Japanese traditional calendar, it's already autumn. Typhoons are coming. We have sporadic heavy rain occasionally. Yesterday I took a walk to the next town in the late afternoon. On my way back, to my great amazement, I found the sky in the west was colored flaming orange. I had never seen such a gorgeous evening glow before. Just overwhelmed, I walked on watching the clouds in the sky. The colors of sunset changed as time passed and finally all sank into darkness. It was a spectacular show of the great nature, which I could observe even at such an ordinary place in Kanto Plain. I was deeply impressed. BTW, I've been writing a material, making full use of online data for a few days. I strongly feel how drastically the Internet circumstances have changed since I started working on this personal website in 1997. As I wrote before, due to the rapid development of search-engines and new business with novel strategies to utilize them, various systems have been under reconstruction. A personal website like this one, as it is, remains an isolated island; only when some keywords are picked up by search engines, it is connected with other islands with thin web. If I use blog, which is now the most popular style for all kinds of personal writers, I will be able to be connected to many more islands through track-back. It will be more like having liners than depending on a few threads. Now here is no BBS. I wonder how I've come to confine myself in an isolated island. Like some of my acquaintances, I could use a blog for one page of this website. For a long time I had a fixed idea that I should not release loose writings on the net; however, I have come to notice that some writings could make sense and value when they are located in the larger interrelated context than in isolation. Well, I still cannot give up the joy of creating what I want in my own way. (To be continued.) Today's update: this note only.

August 7, 2006


To do something special is to do, one after another, what I cannot usually do on account of my duties at workafter all. There is so much to do at home. Also I need time of my own for reading and writing. What I can do a day is so small; whereas, I have so much to worry about. My friends old and new who went far away look all sparking. Contrastively I am contented with myself just buying a new set of hose in a reel. (Isn't it amazing that the hose has an attachment at the tip which can give 5 different types of water spray?) I also bought a few sorts of nursery plant. I've been taking photos of flowers in gardens of other people but now I'm starting to take care of plants myself. Today's update: ao's latest works at "Still Life" of Gallery in Margins. She's always sighing, "I can't draw as I want."

August 4, 2006

夕刻雑木林の中を歩くとカナカナカナ...とヒグラシの音が頭上に響く。一つなきやむと別のが、そしてまた別のがと 輪唱のように。通奏低音はアブラゼミか。下草にはミズヒキの茎が伸びて、毎年のことながら夏に秋の気配が混じる。DVDで『わが谷は緑なりき』(1941年、ジョン・フォード監督作品)を見た。ウェールズの炭坑の村に暮らした、時代に翻弄される家族の物語。語り手の少年はフォード監督自身の化身とか。モノクロの雄弁さはどうだろう。ウェールズの人々の歌声、家族の絆、地域社会の軋轢等々がつづり合わされ、流石に名作の誉れ高い胸にしみる映画だった。過酷な採掘現場、ストライキ、事故、故郷を出ていく者と残る者、すれ違う思い、信頼と愛情、といった数々の場面が深い印象を残す。若い頃「いつか見てみたい」と思うばかりで機会がなかったものを、長い年月を経て今頃手にした。しかも、一枚たったの500円。文庫本一冊と同じ感覚で。夏休みに入り時間にゆとりが出た分、少しずつ「いつもはできないこと」に手を染めている。先送りしていたものをそっと手元に引き寄せる。ささやかだけれど、私にとっては意味のあるあれこれ。本日の更新はaoの新作一点を「ギャラリー余白」中『静物』に加えました。日中はまさに炎天となった。

When I walk in the small forest, droning of cicadas sounds in chorus. Particularly in the early evening, higurashi "sings" one after another just like trolling with the thorough bass of aburazemi. In the bottom weeds, mizuhiki is growing. I feel, as usual, autumn is hiding in summer. I saw an old film How Green Was My Valley (produced by John Ford in 1941) by DVD. It is a story of a family of coal miners in a Welsh village. Life of the family is drastically changed by unstable circumstances of the time. The narrator, a boy of ten, the youngest member of the family is said to be John Ford himself. How eloquent the monochrome is! Singing voice of the Welsh, the strong family bond, and the conflicts in the local society, etc are all well mixed in the story. It is really an impressive movie, as I have been expecting it to be. All the episodes such as the coal miners' strike, accidents, poor and pround workers, people leaving home and those who are left behind, unhappy love, faith, and so on are so impressive. I had been willing to see this movie since I was very young. Now I'm grown up and got the chance after a long interval. Amazingly the DVD cost me just 500 yen. It's worth of one paperback. Because I'm enjoying a summer break, I can do what I want, in a sense. I try to grasp what I have been running after in vain. They are humble wishes, but meaningful at least for me. Today's update: ao's latest work at "Still Life" of Gallery in Margins. During the daytime, it's scorchingly hot.

August 2, 2006


Just hearing it's August, I feel something unusual. It's the time away from routines. Although I know it will disappear very quickly, I cannot help waiting for "something special" impatiently. As I have been in a rush all the time doing this and that for months, I feel I'm entitled to take a break for a while and do something I cannot do in my daily life. Whenever my mother-in-law says, "Why are so busy always, Keiko?!" I reply, "Oh, everybody else is, I guess," with a large smile. But in heart, I feel sorry for my busyness. (Can't I sit and talk with her more often?) I seem to be immature in mind to get excited as soon as the rainy season is over but my innate nature can't be changed. What is it, this feeling of "expectation" that I hold regardless of my age? Call it "a summer magic. "Today's update: the photos in the index page (Lilium speciosum in our garden) and in this page. The drawing of a sunflower is a part of ao's latest work, which got very severe comments from instructors but I feel it fits in this page. Thanks to her! The whole drawing is added in "Still Life" of Gallery in Margins. BTW, the photos of the Edo River which were on these pages are now stored in the page of "Cover Photos." Also they are included now in the temporary page, "The Edo River after the Rain." (When I watched out of the train window yesterday, I found water had returned to the normal level, with a playground on the bank. I saw posters advertising "Fireworks" on the river banks.)

July 30, 2006

ようやく雨が上がり、熱暑らしきものが訪れた。気象庁はまだ関東地方の梅雨明けを宣言してくれないが、勝手に梅雨は終わったことにしよう。待ってましたと義母に頼まれて東西南のカーテンを一気に洗濯。暑いしカーテンだし洗ったまま吊す。風に石けんの匂いが絡まって揺れる。スーパーマーケットでは普段4900円するTシャツが二枚で1500円。こんな価格破壊して大丈夫かとこちらの方が心配になる。木陰に座って氷イチゴを食べた。雨では願うべくもない日曜日だったが、あと十日もすれば立秋とはにわかに信じがたい。前髪にツーッと白髪が数本。ほーっ。この前雑誌でイザベラ・ロッセリーニの近影を見た。何と麗しい中年女性。いずれ誰もが老いるとは言え。季節はめぐる。本日の更新はB2 。高三の夏、受験生の夏・・・思い出すのは〜。

At last rain stopped and it has become extremely hot. Japan Meteorological Agency has not declaired the end of the rainy season officially but let it be finished anyway. My mother-in-law who has been waiting patiently asked me to wash curtains in the west, south and east: I washed them all at once! Thanks to the heat, I hung them right after washing. They swang in the wind smelling soap. BTW, at a supermarket 2 T shirts--once \4,900 for each--cost just \1,500 today. I worried how they could sell them so cheaply? Is it better to clear the stock than to keep it? I sat under trees and ate a cup of shaved ice with strawberry syrup, the most typical summer sweet here. It was a sunny Sunday. I can hardly believe it will turn autumn in calendar in 10 days. I found a few long silver hair over my forehead. Well, well. I rememberd I saw a recent photo of Isabella Rossellini in a magazine; an amazinagly attractive middle aged woman. Nobody can escape from agiang but.... Time passes. Today's update: ao's latest works in "Still Life" of Gallery in Margins. She's spening the summer of 18 preparing for entrance exams in next January and February. I remember myself being at her age once upon a time.

July 24, 2006


When I think of the devastating floods or mud and lock slides in plural areas indcluding Kyushu, how can I get surprised at the sight of the River Edo after the heavy rain? However, I colleted the photos of the waterside I took. I heartily hope the dreary rainy clouds will go away from the sky above Japan islands as soon as possible. Will summer really come at all? Today's update: a temporary page of The River Edo after the Rain.

July 22, 2006


I received a mail pointing out my misspelling on this website from a person I never knew. The message told me I wrote 3006 instead of 2006 in the previous note. Sorry and thanks! It's really amazing to know that such a humble website as it is could be possibly visited by anybody anytime. I'm responsible for whatever I write here. I've been thinking of what "search-engines" can do; recently a number of books on enterprises like "google" have been published one after another. Once the Internet was like a library on whose floors rubbish and precious literature are thrown all equally. Now that search-engines are so powerful, they say, that everything on the Net is going to be sort out, and it sounds quite realistic. Rubbish is to be sort out. as it should be. As I was responding to mails coming in while I was working at desk, time flies away so quickly. Skype has been added recently. I won't put a camera! Listening to the voice coming from the speaker, I feel there is really someone behind the monitor. We're busy, speaking and writing short message at the same time. (An idea is to bring the system into a classroom of English.) One of my friends declared to get out of computer saying, "Well, I'll start reading a mystery. At heart, I don't seem to be a hi-tech person!" Good for her! But we're also thinking of chatting over Skype while we're away from each other in summer holiday. Today I also challenged to use a website where we can collaborate on a file. It's great we can work together on one file wherever we are; however it means we can't run away from the work wherever we go. The Internet is a boundless area of possibilities and at the same time it's a spell on us. Whatever you build up, the castle will disappear just with one click! Don't forget that. (I'm saying it to myself.) Today's update: ao's latest work. in "Still Life" of Gallery in Margins. It's still raining.

July 20, 2006


I got off Musashino Line at Misato, Saitama on my way back. Rise of stream has changed the scene of Edo River (Edo-gawa) tremendously. Usually there is a huge space of riverbed, where green grass grows and people enjoy playing and fishing, but I could see none of it. The riverside was completely different from what I look down from the train passing over the iron bridge. Muddy stream was washing the concrete dike directly; bridge beams were deep in waters. Although I went to the river wishing just to get out into the huge space, I was thrown in the wild nature immediately. I passed by some people who came to see the river; an old man with little grandchildren, three boys walking a dog, two young women on bikes, men sitting under a bridge etc. They all looked not only bewildered but also fascinated with the drastic change of the familiar place. Under the thick clouds, the waterside was not bright; however, it was completely different from just being imprisoned in city. A feeling of liberation filled me. Remembering the break in a levee of the River Tenryu and those who got caught in dirt and water, I was looking at the river running. Incredible power was there. Today's update: the photo of the index page and the one above in this page: both at River Edo. In the memory card of my digital camera were not scenic photos but ones with a touch of documentary. I'd like to collect them soon. Old photos are now in the page of "Cover Photos."

July 17, 2006


Obon festival ("homecoming" of the spirits of family) in Tokyo which lasted for a few days in the middle of July in Tokyo District has already gone. My mother-in-law as usual decorated the family altar with tiny dishes and ornaments. She never fails to make welcome fire and the farewell fire at the gate. When the festival was over, she put all the offerings wrapped up in a straw mat in her small pushcart and went to the cemetery to throw it into the bonfire. My mother pays a visit to my mother-in-law during this period. They exchange presents and chat in front of the family altar. 26 years have passed since they started this custom. My two mothers are getting along somewhat well. Thanks. They are apparently getting older and older. So am I. My daughter with her hair curled up recently looks very feminine. The only man in the chattering women makes a sigh! Summer never until Obon festival is completed. We're in the middle of the final exams of this semester. Weather forecast says we'll have a heavy rain tomorrow. Today's update: just this note. See you again.

July 15, 2006

鬼灯(ホオズキ)と白百合供え雷雨待つ  長梅雨を託つうち、連日夕立が来るようになった。用足しに出かけたところで驟雨に捕まった。自転車置き場のご老人に「急ぐこたない、ちょっと待ってから行ったら」と声をかけられたのに来客があるので気がせき、降り始めた雨の中に飛び出した。とりわけ今日は凄まじい降りに雷鳴がとどろく。地を打つのは雹と見まがうほどの大粒。けれど雨雲が一旦去ればもう何ごともなかったようなとろんとした曇天に戻る。まだかーっと晴れ上がるところまでは行かない。このところ学期末でいろいろな用件が重なり、堪忍袋の緒も切れかけている。つい人前でも言い過ぎることが続き、反省もするのだが大抵は後の祭り。人間の中にばかりいるからこうなる。広々したところに出て行かなくては。大河川を渡るたびに思う。今度こそ途中下車して土手を歩いてみようと。荒川、中川、江戸川、深い緑に縁取られた流れが鈍く光る。「川を越えて、遊びに来てくださいね」ととびきりの笑顔でお誘い下さった、柏の素敵な女性の声が心地よく耳の奥に消え残っている。よぉし、関東平野を突っ切って東へ、きっと行ってこよう。本日は短信のみにて。

Chinese lantern plant and white lily/Are offered before the family alta/ I wait for the shower to pass--it's an image of this season. While we're complaining of the long lasting rainy season, we've begun to have showers during midday. I was caught in a shower today, a very heavy one. Thunders growled. Despite an old man in the bike parking lot said to me, "How about waiting for a while until the rain goes away?" I couldn't follow his advice because I was expecting a visitor at home. I went out into the rain. I got drenched by the rain of course. Once the rain goes away, the heavy cloudy sky come back again. The sunny clear summer sky is yet to come. BTW, the tight schedule at the end of this semester makes me impatient. I sometimes (often?) cannot restrain myself from saying too much in public. It's too late when I realize I should not have behaved that way. (I ask myself what in the world I'm doing here for what.) I think I'm spending time too long only among human beings recently. I need to get out of them. Whenever I go over the waters, such as the Arakawa, the Nakagawa, and the Edogawa (which are all huge rivers in Kanto Plain), I decide to get off the train and walk along the banks. I adore the glistening waters running through the dark green field. The cheerful voice of a lady echoes in my head: "Come and visit us to Kashiwa City! I'll show you around in back alleys." Sure! I'll go over the rivers to the east of Kanto Plain.Today(s update: this note only.

July 7, 2006


I was watching Japan Sea a few weeks ago. The sea was very calm that day. Now it seems missiles were shot beyond the horizon. I heard children grown near the coastline were told never to go to the beach alone. Adult said they might be kidnapped by demons. Could we deny their words as mere fancy today? It's nonsense to build enmity and fight for terror. However, we should notice that the world is made not only by goodwill. The wish to see the ocean is a naive sentiment of city people who never now the threat of the water's edge. Tonight I happened to see a DVD I had rented entitled "GOODBYE, LENIN!" (2003) It is a story of a son who produces a fiction for his dying mother, an enthusiastic believer of the old justice of East German's socialism, that the unity of Germany was realized by the opposite situation: Western people sought freedom from the rotten capitalism. The movie presented the ordinary people perturbed by the history with an exquisite good sense of humor. There is a shot of Germany winning the World Cup in 1990, which makes me feel the audience is also a part of the history. I hope there won't be a description like this in the future to explain 2006, "It was the year of World Cup held in Germany when the missiles were shot." Today's update: ao's latest work. in "Still Life" of Gallery in Margins. I always fall down to sleep for the irresistible fatigue.

July 2, 2006


At midnight I watch football game on TV. Fighting players look tremendously fierce and some hundred thousands of supporters watching the game in the stadium are equally fierce. Exultant shouts and booing from the audience cross each other instantly, yelling and screaming crush. I've heard football games are a substitute for a war although I never felt anything like that from Japan national team who disappeared so quickly and silently. It's very interesting to see players get together around a banner with the slogan, "SAY NO TO RACISM" and captains read the statement against the racism. (Surprisingly Beckham has a high-pitched voice!) Well, it's July. I'm spending a day just like swimming in the rough waves. I can't see the land yet. Today's update: photos in the index page (the growing green of the small forest in my neighborhood) and the one here (raspberry). I also uploaded ao's latest work. Old photos are now in the page of "Cover Photos." Be patient with the humid weather!

June 29, 2006


The sun was glaring over me as if it has dispelled the rainy clouds for ever. Cape jasmin was scattering the strong scent around. I walked along the lanes which I have trodden so many times. I dropped in a cafe serving glasses of hand-made vegetable juice only. It is run by an old couple. Their juice is very special: they scrape off outer skin of vegetables which might be polluted with remaining chemicals, and they mix several kinds of vegetables with a juicer the master invented. He holds the patent of the juicer. His wife said, "We have customers who come to have juice everyday despite we are back in such narrow lane." I listened to her as the only customer then. I was going to the campus in Chiba from Hongo. It's my great pleasure to walk along the back lanes sometimes like this. After having the refreshing juice, I stood in front of a monument of Hotel Kikufuji, dreaming of those who passed by this town. I walked again with a parasol alone the quiet lane covered with cool green leaves. I forgot the stressful job of mine while I was walking in a moment right before I was absorbed into the entrance of the subway line. Today's update: this note only.

June 27, 2006

一つの試練を何とかくぐり抜けたと思いたい。先週半ばにあった会合のことで参会者からクレームが出ていた。主催者の一人としては思いもかけない問いかけだったので始めは戸惑い、ついで憤懣やる方なかったが、冷静に考えてみると正面切って出されるクレームには応えようがある。水面下でブツブツと不満が渦巻くよりよほど健全だということに気付いた。クレームの対応には、会合の企画や実施より数倍もエネルギーを要する。どうすれば誤解を解き、非を詫び、状況の改善に結びつけることが出来るかと思案しながら週末を過ごした。週明けにクレーム提起者と再度話し合って握手し一段落したとは思うが、根本的な問題の解決にはほど遠い。こうした騒動は本業とは関係ないように思うこともある。だが、渦中でこんなことも考えた。昔若かった頃、自分の職業を持って生きたいと思った。華々しいことが何もなくても、これが自分の仕事だと納得出来る職業に就くと思い定めていた。(しかも「英語に関係する仕事がしたい」という気持ちがかなり大きな部分を占めていたのだったと思う。)だから、現在の状況が良くても悪くてもこれは自分で選んだことじゃないかと思うと、本望だといわざるを得ない。(負け惜しみでも!)というわけで、「♪生きて 泳げ 涙は後ろへ流せ」精神で今日も機嫌良く!本日の更新は「ギャラリー余白」中『静物』にaoの新作を追加しました。また、久々の「翻訳読書ノート 28」に『メソポタミアからの手紙』です。昨晩遅まきながら「華氏911」をDVDで鑑賞した。ブッシュ大統領は石油以外イラクについて何を知っているのだろう。

I hope I've overcome a challenge somehow. On a meeting last week, one of the participants made a claim that he was insulted through the proceedings, which was totally unexpected to me as one of the chairpersons. First I was just embarrassed, and then very indignant, but later I came to feel it is much healthier to get an open claim than to hear of complaints going on underground. In order to answer the claim, I was demanded more time and energy than preparing and running the meeting. I spent the whole weekend, thinking of how to clear up misunderstandings, to give apologies, and to find solutions for problems. At the beginning of this week, I talked again a d shook hands with the person who made the claim. We made a small progress indeed but still very far from conquering the essential difficulties. Sometimes I feel I'm wasting time away from my real occupation but at the same time I also have an idea like this: When I was very young, I was willing to have a professional job in the future; I wanted it to be related to English language. Therefore, what I'm doing at present is what I chose no matter how demanding the job is with various aspects. (It may sound sour grapes on my part.) So, let me live cheerfully by all means, singing "Live and swim upstream, shedding tears backwards." Today's update: ao's new work, "Teatime" in Still Life, Gallery in Margins; a book review on Desert Queen in Translated Works (sorry, only in Japanese).BTW, I watched "FAHRENHEIT911" last night by DVD. I wondered what George Bush knew about Iraq other than its oil.

June 26, 2006


For more than two weeks since I wrote the previous note, I've been unable to work with this website. The lecture by Ms Mayumi Mori (on which I wrote on June 10) was a success with the audience of more than 150. Local people, lovers of modern Japanese literature, those who are interested in Hongo town, and of course students came to listen to her.(My mother was included in the audience.) Ms Mori talked with good sense of humor and shrewd observation on various things related to Hongo, namely novelists, poets, and critiques of Meiji Era who lived in Hongo area. All the audience was charmed by the virtuoso lecturer. Ms Mori came with her daughter, bringing her books and magazines in boxes on their bicycles. They softly declined our offer of calling a taxi for their way back, they swiftly left by bicycle saying, "No, thanks. We're used to this style. BTW, I visited Sanpoku-machi in Niigata Prefecture last week to attend the funeral of one of our relatives. I went out of Kanto District suddenly by such accidental occasion. I got off Joetsu Shinkansen at Niigata and changed to Uetsu Line. The express train went along the scenic coast line of Japan Sea.The deceased was living a life of a farmer in sunny days and of a craftsman in rainy days: he loved to catch salmons going upstream on, smoke them and send them to relatives everywhere. I went into his working room and saw many bodies of salmon hung there, and wooden bowls waiting lacquering. Outside of the house, rice fields were just green expanding to the foot of mountains, and the sea looked very quiet under the cloudy sky of the rainy season. If I had not been there for his funeral, I wished I could stay longer to appreciate the marvelous mountains and the sea. Today's update: photos in the index page (JR Uetsu Line) and in this page (cherry in Jorakuji Temple in Sanpoku-machi). Also 4 of ao's recent works in Still Life, Gallery in Margins. What will this week be like...?

June10, 2006


During the short time between a class and a meeting, I went out to have my hair cut at a beauty salon near Yayoicho Crossing in Hongo. I talked with the master of the shop over various things about the town: to change it or not to change it. According to him, the University of Tokyo in front of his salon, a huge community in that area, has been busy constructing shops and restaurants inside of the campus so that people working and studying there don't have to go out into the town. There is little hope the town will recover the prosperity of old days. Next I dropped in Tanazawa Bookstore (dealing with used books only) in front of the main gate of the University of Tokyo. I enjoyed chatting with the master for a while. He gave me a pamphlet in which he is writing a column periodically. For this issue he writes about one of the oldest inns in Hongo. He kindly offered me to pin up a poster of the lecture which will be given next weekend by Ms Mori Mayumi in Toyo Gakuen University. She is famous for her community magazine entitled "YaNeSen" which stands for "Yanaka, Nezu, and Sendagi. She has been working hard for the preservation of old towns and their buildings. She is an activist and an excellent writer. I'm very much looking forward to attending the lecture. On my way back, I stopped by "Yuming," a cafe specializing in natural vegetable juice. I walked through the narrow lanes of Kikuzaka and Tadon-zaka back to my office in Iki-zaka. I feel really at home in Hongo. However, I'm feeling I need to pay my attention more to Nagareyama and its environs. Today's update: a poster of the lecture by Ms Mori Mayumin in Oyokocho Site. Just for your information. One more: ao's charcoal and pencil drawing "hanging cloth" in Still Life/ Gallery in Margins. She brought the paper pack home all discouraged by the severest criticism.

June7, 2006


A week passes by so quickly. Since I started working in two campuses, I have yet settled down neither of them. I'm just shuttling between them. When I finish my morning classes in Nagareyama, I swiftly catch NX (Narita Express train) to go to Hongo, via Sin-Okachimachi of Oedo subway line. Then I have meetings after meetings in Hongo Campus. I'm always uncontrollably sleepy. Very often I nearly fall asleep while meetings are going on. Wake up! For a change, I went to an old CD shop in town. I selected several new albums of music. I really want to relax listening to music. When will it be? Some of my colleagues who have come back from a conference in Sapporo, Hoklkaido look very vitalized. Yes, it's necessary to go away sometimes. When will it be for me? Today's update: a test site of Hongo Oyokocho for its "Map Project." This is just for experiment. I am making it in the hope that some of the materials here would be of any use in the future. If you are interested, please have a look and stroll along the lane.

May 31, 2006

梅雨入り直前に思い出したような五月晴れが訪れる。千葉県流山市のキャンパスで、空き時間が出来た。弁当を買いに出たついでに、通称「紫陽花寺」へ行ってみることにした。人の話ではものの15分も歩けばということだったのに、行けども行けども。しかし、日傘を差してきょろきょろしながらたどり着いた「本土寺」は、予想を遙かに超える広大な古刹だった。紫陽花の季節には観光バスで乗り付ける参拝客で賑わうとのことだが、まだ花には早いためほとんど誰もいない。菖蒲田でもほんの数株が花を付けているだけ。みどりのうみに飲まれてひととき我を忘れるようだった。本日の更新は表紙の写真(本土寺の花菖蒲)と、このページ上の写真(途中立ち寄った広徳寺境内に咲く「オオヤマレンゲ」←前から出会いたかった! )です。それからギャラリー「余白」の「静物」にaoの新作二点もあります。昨日までここにあった海の写真は「掲載写真帖」に移動しました。

Right before the rainy season, there come sunny days of May. Unexpectedly as I had a free time in Nagareyama campus in Chiba Prefecture, I decided to go to a temple which is famous for its hydrangea when I went out to buy lunch. I had hard people say it would take about 15 minutes to go there but it was not true. I walked and walked with a parasol, looking this way and that. Eventually I arrived and found the temple Hondo-ji far beyond my expectation: it had vast gardens inside. In the high season, tourists visit the temple by sightseeing coaches. It was too early for flowers, and I met few visitors. In the iris pond were few flowers either .I was absorbed in the sea of green grasses and mosses. Today's update: the photo of the index page (iris in a garden of Hondo-ji Temple) and the one above (Magnolia sieboldii, how much I wanted to see it!). Also ao's recent works are in "Still Life," at Gallery in Margins. Old photos are in "Cover Photos."

May 27, 2006


When I asked one of my colleagues who is commuting by Tsukuba Express if I could have a close view of Mt. Tsukuba at the terminal station, he laughed to say, "You've got to take a bus and go at least one hour from the station. Certainly you can see the mountain in a distance from Tsukuba Station It's only because the land is so flat." At Shin-Kodaira Station of JR Musashino Line, I can see posters inviting to visit Okutama and Chicibu and at Minami-Nagareyama Station, I can see ones to Kujukuri Beach and Boso Peninsula. They are all very attractive. I had like to go somewhere in time. BTW, I was awarded of my long-term service with seven other colleagues and was given a present of a watch. These days "long-term service" does not seem very striking but I am very impressed with the time I spent. Looking at my daughter who was born in the thrid year of my employment, I am overwhelmed by the power of time. How she has grown! Compared to her, how stubborn! But let me think of what I cand do from now on. Today's upload: ao's oil painting "the ceiling in a mirror" in Still Life, Gallery in Margins. Are we already in the rainy season?

May 23, 2006


Eventually the repaired camera came back to me. But I cannot leave my older one too. I'm greedy! Although I've been paying attention to white flowers over a fence of a vegetable field, I'm in a rush on bike in the morning so that I can hardly have time to take photos. On my way back, it's always too dark for watching flowers. Today I happened to return home much earlier than usual, which enabled me to watch the white flowers closely. They were raspberry! The flowers are starting to be withered and the berries are still green. I was fascinated by them. I've been willing to take photos of flowers so much. I'm interested in the forest of a national sanatorium, too. It smells leaves and trees. Let me intrude into it before long. Today's update: "Bugs in May" in p.3 of "Lives Around." Please enjoy the micro world of bugs and flowers.

May 21, 2006


Soon after I wrote "It's like summer suddenly" yesterday, the stormy rain and wind attacked Kanto District. According to the weather report, the cold air and the warm air clashed up above. It continued raining and blowing heavily for more than an hour. After the rain was gone, gorgeous clouds colored the sky with the sunset. Washed green leaves and trees were so beautiful today. A new conspiracy bill escaped from being railroaded at the last moment in the Lower House; however the bill is not yet abolished. As I've been reading historical novels, I tend to feel the age without wars might be exceptional. No, wars are everywhere but they cannot be seen. I will upload the statement against the conspiracy bill (in Japanese only) which was sent from an author, Mr Hata Kouhei of Japan P.E.N. club by e-mail. One of my colleagues said with excitement that she is leaving for Germany to attend the international conference of P.E.N. She's looking forward to having a chance to see Chancellor of Germany, Ms Merkel. Good luck! I'll stay in the rear-guard as usual. Today's upload: photos of the index page and here in this page. Let me pinup the scenes of the sea. I want to look out of the small space.

May 20, 2006


The climates like in a rainy season covered Kanto District for weeks. At last it cleared up today. Because of extra works continued one after another, I was stuck one day and had to cancel a class. I was overcome by repentance and helplessness on the rainy day. But I cannot just stop doing anything. There is an interesting thing happening tool. In Hongo Area in which I have been working for 20 years and have been indefinitely interested, inhabitants and shopkeepers of Ooyokocho-dori have decided to publish an illustrated map of the street. They requested us, a college in their town, to cooperate with them. I made a debut with a few of my colleagues to a meeting of the town people. In fact, not only Ooyokocho-dori but also everywhere in Hongo Area, local shopping streets are slowly declining. Younger generation has departed, aging of population is gong on, houses have been transformed into high-rise condominiums, and individual shops are not very active. Although Kikuzaka area is popular as a famous destination for walkers, they just pass through Ooyokocho-dori. We discussed how to revitalize the old fashioned street. 2007 happens to be the 400th year since Mikawa Shrine was located in this area at the beginning of Edo Era. Town people look forward to celebrating the special anniversary and connect the event with the revitalization of the street. Not only because I've been commuting to this town for 20 years, but also my father was once working for a bank at the entrance corner of Ooyokocho Street, I feel special attachment to this area. I cannot be indifferent to the movement. Let's see what we can do. I will report on activities with Hongo people. Today's update: ao's works in "Still LIfe," Gallery in Margins. Well, it's getting very warm today. It's like summer suddenly.

May 14, 2006

E-Learningについての調べを始めた。オンラインで利用出来るフリーサイトを渉猟して随分時間を使った。また、関連の文献も収集中。これからこのサイトでもいろいろな実験をしてみようと思う。大学の個人サイトも利用するが、やはり試行錯誤はこっそりと。趣味のサイトから少し逸脱するかも知れない。考えてみると、これまで私がやってきたことには趣味と仕事の間に余りはっきりした線が引けない。好きで始めたことがいつの間にか仕事にという面が強い。好きでなくてもやっているうちに何だか面白くなったこともいくつか。大学に新しくできたCALL(computer-assited language laboratory)教室で何が出来るか試している。学生も好奇心を露わにする。これを逃す手はない。実は前回の分からこの「短信」も英語部分はダウンロードした文章チェッカーにかけている。語彙数、文法、作文レベルなどが判定されて、赤くなったり青くなったり。元はといえば文章修行の場として始めたのだから、せいぜいお世話になろう。だが、生きている人との交信にまさるものはどこにもない。

II have started making investigation into "E-learning." I've spent a long time exploring free website for language learning. I am also collecting academic references of the genre. I think I will try various experiments in this website. I am sure I will do experiments in my website at the network of our university, but I would rather challenge various things privately at home here first. My website will be no longer a personal hobby site. It is hard for me to divide my hobbies and my work. What I liked doing has become my work and my works have become what I like. I am now involved in the experiments at the brand new CALL(computer-assisted language laboratory) at Nagareyama Campus. Students show curiosity too. It's a good chance to involve them into academic activities. BTW, I am trying to use the spelling and grammar check by a downloaded free software which I found at a CALL website for my notes of this page. It shows me how to use "proper English." Well, it was one purpose for me to start this website for polishing language communication. Let me learn. But nothing teaches me more than the correspondence with lving people.

May 12, 2006


Since the end of the Golden Week holidays, I've been caught in a maelstrom. One unexpected thing is that a woman in my neighborhood passed away suddenly. She was died only at 47, leaving her family behind. Her only daughter who graduated from college and started working for a company in April behaved bravely never showing tears in public. Her independent manners made me sad all the more. I fell I was told the fact that death comes not in the order of age. My neighbor was detected to have the arrhythmia at a group examination of her workplace. In three years, her heart disease deprived her of life. Naturally cancer is not the only disease to kill people. There are so many cases that any contemporary medical care can never save. Her elderly father said, "How strange! Only two hours before, she was alive talking on the bed. But now that she is dead, there is no life at all." In May so bright how was she destined to die? My father-in-law also passed away in this season 20 years ago. I am making myself busy every day, but someday so suddenly I might be caught in death for no reason. I've done nothing significant so far. I was in a pensive mood looking up at the pale sky in clouds. I felt lonely in the evening. Today's update; nothing but this note.

May 5, 2006


Due to Tokyo International Three-Day March, so many walkers with number clothes on their back have come to the paths where I usually take a walk, such as the lane along Tamagawa Jousui Waterway, Sakai-Tama Cycling-Walking Road, Mt. Hachikoku and so on. Although I'm a little embarrassed to see so may people walking in my neighborhood, I cannot help feeling now how suitable these places (flat and blessed with rich green areas) are for walking. On the other hand, I want to get out of them once in a while. To the sea! First I went to Kamakura and watched tree peonies in a garden of Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine. The gorgeous flowers were protected by parasols! Then I took a jam-packed tram to Enoshhima Island. The way to the island was filled with people, much more crowded than rush hour trains. Finally I reached the rocky head of the island facing the Pacific Ocean. No matter how long I keep watching the sea, I never get tired of it nor satisfied with it. Anyway, it was good I could go out. Today's update: the photo in the index page, and the one here in this page; both are of unknown girls playing with waves. Photos which were in these pages are now in "Cover Photos" of Gallery in Margins.

May 1, 2006


Now it's May. The beginning of the Golden Week! It's time to relax for a while. Yesterday I went cycling along Seibu Tamako Line to Kokubunji. I enjoyed walking in town. Finally I brought my broken digital camera to a shop for repairing. Today I walked along the ridge lane of Mt. Hachikoku in my neighborhood. It's in the east end of Sayama Hills. Although it is surrounded with residential areas, it's so well preserved that walking in the woods is really refreshing. In the mountain I visited "the Mound of Shougun," which is considered to be the spot where Nitta Yoshisada stayed his troops when they made attacks to Kamakura Shoungnate in 1333. Sometimes I could hear little cuckoos twitter. In the fresh green leaves, wild rhododendrons were the only flowers I could see. It was hot like summer. I breathed deeply in the woods. Happily I bathed in the spirit of trees. What a good season for walking! Today's update: photos in the cover page (Rhododendron obtusum var. kaempferi) and in this page (boys playing in a pond in Kitayama Park, Higashimurayama, Tokyo). I took the photos with my old camera.

April 30, 2006


I received a thick envelope from headquarter of our school the other day. I opened it and found some catalogues of watches. A letter enclosed read, "We are going to award you a watch/clock to commemorate your long-time service to our university. Please choose one from the catalogues." Long term means 20 years. In May we are going to have an annual party in which all the teachers and office people will participate. Employees at their 20th year service are awarded with the present on the occasion. "20 years" seems to have passed in a moment. Is it my turn already? I hope I won't be appointed to make a short speech. I cannot remember anything significant I've done for the university so far. I should have been more diligent and creative. I wonder how many more years could I keep working from now on. 12 years? It will be in a moment again. Don't waste time, I say to myself. Today's update: this note only. Green leaves are shining.

April 29, 2006

東京の西端から埼玉を経由して千葉県へと、関東平野をぐるり三分の一くらい横断する通勤にもようやく慣れてきた。15分全速力で自転車をこぐのも、一時間近く電車に揺られているのもそれほど悪くない。なにせ身動きもままならないラッシュ時の電車で都心に向かうのとは違う。新緑の雑木林を横目にサイクリングロードを抜け、ひっそりとした療養所の杜を迂回し、畑の脇に聳える欅の若葉を見上げながら走る。武蔵野線では行きも帰りも必ず座れる。朝はどうしても授業の予習タイムになるが、帰りは読書と黙想と居眠りを代わる代わる楽しむ。悩ましい懸案はいくつもあるが、渋面で過ごすのは性に合わない。四月の過密スケジュールを何とかこなし、ようやく黄金週間に手が届く。ささやかに贅沢をしよう。つまり、歩いたりサイクリングしたり読書したり。変哲もない日常だが、息せき切って駆け抜ける毎日を少し休む。壊れたカメラは依然、カバンの中。本日の更新はaoのちいさな作品です。「ギャラリー」の「静物 03」中、『雲』と『サザエ』です。

From the west end of Tokyo through Saitama to Chiba, I make a short trip to my work place by JR Musashino Line. I'm getting used to it. 15 minute-ride in a full speed by bike and one-hour-ride on the train are not so bad as I was anxious about because it's different from the ordeal of riding on the jam-packed train at the rush hour bound for Tokyo. I go by the woods of freshly sprouting leaves, along a neat cycling road, and around the quiet land of a sanatorium by bike to a small station by which are tall zelkova trees. I can always find an empty seat in Musashino Line. In the morning I spend an hour checking text books for the day's classes, but on my way back, I can read, indulge myself in thinking this and that freely and take a nap. In spite of the fact that I have a lot of troubles and problems to think about, It's far from my nature to live in a difficult face. Having survivied busy weeks in April, I'm glad I can take a short break during "the Golden Week." I will live in luxury; that is to say, to take a walk, go cycling, and read as much as I like. It's nothing special, but I can get out of the extremely tight schedule. The broken camera is still in my bag, Today's update: small works of ao, "clouds" and "a top shell" in Still Life 3, Gallery in Margins.

April 24, 2006


(continued from previous notes) I made several phone calls with a card of guarantee on my digital camera. I wanted to know where I should bring it in for the fastest and the cheapest repair; to a shop or to a service center of the manufacturer. They advised me to go directly to the latter. However, service centers are not everywhere; one is in Shinjuku and another is in Ueno. When could I go? I feel I'm making myself busy by my own mistakes. I wrapped up the damaged camera in a handkerchief and put it in a bag so that I can go to the center anytime. The camera was small and heavy on my palm just like an injured bird. How many landscapes, plants, and animals have I watched through the eye of the camera? I hd an illusion that a part of me is injured. The accident happened right after I decided to decrease the amount of image files from this website, I cannot help thinking there might possibly be a connection between the decision and the accident. Really? Forgive me for writing only notes these days.

April 23, 2006


It was too late when I was startled. The camera slipped out of my hand and hit on the concrete-covered lane; thus, the glass of its finder was cracked. Nothing shows when I push the switch. Too bad! This is the first time I dropped my camera through out years when I never went out without one. I wonder if the camera is repairable or not. Actually this is the third digital camera that I've possessed. I thought I loved all of them really much more than cell phones. Literally they were all held in my pockets. The camera was almost a part of me, but maybe I was getting very careless with it recently. Spilt milk! I have to go to a camera shop on the earliest occasion. It's heavily damaged. I need to be careful not meet any accident myself. I shouldn't be too greedy for anything. Today's update: only this note again.

April 22, 2006


When I feel the slightest movement for a change, I try to catch it so as not to lose the chance. If the change is something irresistible, I would rather jump in the new stream to see what will happen than to resist in vain. While I'm feeling I have no more room for anything new, the most unexpected things happen and sneak into my schedule. Then I have no way to resist; I am forced to enlarge my capacity somehow. Thus, I've been learning various things. Certainly I've been giving up a lot more things. April is the time when we meet a lot of new things and say farewell to some of our routines. After cherry blossoms, the world is filled with fresh green leaves and grasses at the end of April. I run through under the foliage full speed, not to late for classes, to meetings and for nameless goals, feeling an unreasonable urge in me. Now, let me walk slowly in a holiday. Today's update: only this mumble.

April 18, 2006


Now that the plain is covered with abundant green glasses and flowers, lots and lots of flowers must have been appearing in mountains after snow was gone. Wherever we are, we appreciate the happiness of finding same flowers in the same season. As I can hardly go out far, I explore on the net looking for floral images. My imagination takes the liberty of wandering away from the daily routine while watching the rivers running in a melting color. I spend so much energy just for keeping the order of my work and life. It's important to do so; however, the world is not definitely limited within our reach. We need to be inspired by freshness of some new aspects of life all the time if is our job to stand to face young people. Unless we are feeling fresh, how could we manage to inspire them? Impatiently I feel it necessary for me to be fresh in spirit. Today's update; a couple of photos of the same birds again in "Lives Around. "Cover Photos" is also renewed.

April 16, 2006


The first week of classes in the new semester was extremely busy. Students, teachers, office people, all were just frantic. As our new system has started, nothing is "well organized and prepared." Just like wild ducks jumped in a pond all at once, we were making a big fuss everywhere. Probably this is the biggest change that I have experienced since I started working for this institute twenty years before. Anyway, I'm getting used to commuting by Musashino Line. The Kanto Plain is huge. There are some places where "the wild land" (too exaggerated!) is expanding. The River Arakawa and the River Edogawa are running calmly through the plain. It may be healthier to go outside dynamically than to be pushed in the crowded subway. When I go to Hongo once a week, I feel suffocated somewhat. I have no time to stop and think for the moment. I received and wrote countless e-mails during this weekend. Completely tired, I went out for a walk in my neighborhood. Boys were playing in the stream of the River Karabori. The landscape is getting to be colored fresh green everywhere. I would like to go for a long walk or cycling, or go somewhere by train as soon as I get holiday. Green leaves will make me feel much better. For now, I have to go on this way by all means. Well, today's update: photos of the top page and this page above. Also photos of a bird I found in the stream in Lives Around. (Sorry, they are not well focused.) I wish I could update this website more often. Recent cover phtos are in "cover photos"

April 9, 2006


Now that orientation events of the new semester have almost finished, it's time to start classes. I believe all the organizations which get restarted in April have now freshmen and women with sparkling aura. Having nothing particular new, I try to straighten up in a new suit. Well, it's not cold in a shirt with the neck wide open. After two months, I had a chance to go to a beauty salon to have my hair cut. Quite refreshing! All right, I'll open the doors of classes full of expectations although it's also the time to face new battles of all kinds. Anyway, today's update: a review on the Japanese translation of I Don't Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson. (Sorry only in Japanese.) Soon after I sent my essay to the publisher, I received a mail saying, "I'd like to read the novel. Household chores, work outside, children, ... Last night I looked up at the balcony of my house and found it was the only one still with the whole bunch of washed clothes hanging in the apartment building. I couldn't help thinking of my wife who is making strenuous efforts, with three growing kids. How they eat and mess up our household! Just by thinking, I cannot help her at all." Well said! In return I added a message: "Please do read this book, or ask your wife to read it. Please be prepared to get her answer; I don't have time to read a novel, you know?" (Smile!) [PS: I mentioned a private museum of insects was opening in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, commemorating Jean Henri Fabre. When I visited the newly opened museum, it was filled with children and adults as well. It's such a nice heartwarming place for loves of Fabre.)

April 5, 2006


The topic of commuting strategy again. In a sunny day, I made a record of taking just 1 hour and 30 minutes from door to door by bicycle and train. It includes the walking time also; so there is a possiblity to make it 10 minutes shorter if I can take the shuttle bus from Minaminagareyama station to the campus. On the oter hand, however, in a rainy day things never go so smoothly. I challenged to take Tsukuba Exparess on my way back today. The new train is very comfortable to ride but you have to take the escalator from the bottom of the earth all the way up to the land for a gateway of JR trains at Akihabara Station. I departed Nagareyama Campus at 4 p.m. and arrived home at 6 p.m. It was quite difficult to break the barrier of 2 hours. Certainly it's a kind of my hobby to think of how to shorten the commuting time and to think of what to do during that time. Sometimes my plan of taking a nap is blown away by meeting some of my colleagues and the time is spent for discussing our present situation. When I definitely need to prepare for classes, I do have to find a corner never to be discovered by anybody. Surprisingly, I've found out some of my colleagues practice listening foreign languages while they are on the train. Well, I'll buy an iPod for that purpose at last. But it's such a good season for relaxing and sleeping leisurely in breeze. Today's update: a link to a new page "etcetera" (not completed yet);a photo in the index page (tulips in my garden) and the one above (cherry blossoms in Nagareyama Campus). Some of the cover pages of my favorite are stored in a new page "cover photos" in Gallery for a while. I have to be careful not to increase the amount of bytes.

April 2, 2006


I bought a new bicycle with three-speed derailleur! While I was thinking of the shortest way to go to Nagareyama campus in Chiba Prefecture, it occurred to me that I should try Shin-Kodaira Station of JR Musashino Line. It takes me at least 15 minutes by bike from my house. The huge estates of Bridgestone Factory and a national sanatorium prevent me from going there straight. The biggest problem is where to park my bike. I have to be in the long waiting list for registering a place in the city bike lot near the station. I don't know what to do if the lot has no vacancy when I arrive there in the morning. Free parking on the street is strictly prohibited. Should I spend for 2 hours for commuting by changing trains several times just as I was doing before, or venture to believe in good luck? Anyway I went to Noyama Kita Park in Musashimurayama City by cycling. A slope of a hill was covered with flowering Japanese dog's tooth violet again. OK, let me not worry about the unknown future but go as far as possible. Heavy rain was beating cherry blossoms today. (Well, will I have to run in the rain tomorrow?) Today's update: ao's recent works with several materials in "Still Life, " in Gallery.

March 29, 2006


We went to Koganei Park via the banks of Tamagawa Jousui. While we were cycling along the banks, we could hardly see cherry blossom, we thought we came too early for cherry trees in bloom. Once we stepped in the park, we were in the gorgeous cherry gardens almost in full bloom! In spite of the cold wind, people were having parties under the cherry trees. I'm sure this weekend will be the high time for cherry-blossom-viewing in Tokyo. In Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum inside of the park, an exhibition entitled "Under Tokyo Tower in Construction--Life in the 30s of Showa Era (1955-65)." It was really surprising to find the day when I was growing up was the focus of an exhibition. There was a corner to exhibit goods dug up from a landfill; fragments were restored to the original figures for show, tiny pots, cups, tools, and so on, just like those of clay pots of ancient times are often restored. I understood I'm one of Jomon Era people.;-) New Tokyo Tower, which is planned to be constructed very soon, will someday be the object for retrospect for sure. Now e-mails are sent to me one after another to remind me that the new semester is beginning. I feel very reluctant as usual after countless repetition of new semesters. Today's update: the photo of this page above (Cherry gardens in Koganei Park, Musashino City, Tokyo).

March 25, 2006


For almost 20 days I've closed this website to reconstruct it. It was much harder for me to delete files and pages than to increase. Flowers of Japanese plum have already gone, magnolia has been in full bloom, and now it's time for cherry blossoms at last! Colors are coming back to the Kanto Plain. The breeze smells fragrant and makes my body and soul vivid again. From Higashimurayama City to Kiyose City, we cycled about 10 Km along the River Karabori.(the photo above). Right before it meets the River Yanase, there is a green zone preservation area called "the Hill of Ghosts," where tiny flowers of "Japanese dog's tooth violet" (Erythronium japonicum)--see the photo in the index page--are growing. The sunny riverside is so relaxing. I enjoyed the flowers and sunbathing. I truly appreciate the message "longing for the renewal of your website." Please let me continue remodeling it little by little. Thanks again for your visit. Today's update: besides photos of the index page and here above, and many more everywhere!

March 7, 2006


I know well I am a planless person but I'm astonished to find the outrageous amount of volume that I use for this website. Even the first primitive files that I made at the beginning in 1997 are still included. I've already gone out of the limit. I definitely need to clean up. (I need to learn how to throw away and delete the past.) Sorry this website will be in confusion for a while because I'm not a good designer/organizer. Thanks for your patience. I'll be slim with this website! Now today's update: "Little Egret in Town," in Lives Around. (I'm sure I'll start cleaning later. I promise!)

March 5, 2006


I can feel the temperature rising. Overcoats are heavy. I dropped an envelope of tax return form into a post-box! (In Japan March is the end of a fiscal year.) I hope I didn't make any mistakes in calculation of taxes. While I'm finishing the works of the passing year, I find myself accepting new ones. Alas, how stupid am I! I am too awkward to say "No." Let it be. Tails of old things are connected to the heads of new ones. And things are repeating again and again. Today's update: "In the Kanto Plain." I changed a bit of the title. I'm looking forward to finding flowers and landscapes this year.

March 4, 2006


Yesterday was The Doll's Festival. Day by day, I feel the coming of spring. Although I have nothing special to expect in a few weeks, I enjoy the change of the seasons. The brightness of light is different. I really want to go out to somewhere out of my routine. (I'm saying so every year at this time.) A very short trip is all right with me. Where shall I go? Today's update: one of the member of primates in "Lives Around.". You have an extra page related to it. The extra page is more voluminous than the main article, alas! Please relax and enjoy a traditional Japanese monkey show. I guess there may be some criticism to it.

March 1, 2006


A photo of in a snow mountain disturbs me and so does one by the sea. A photo of foreign cities makes me feel uneasy. Now that it's March I can hardly be calm. Why, it's only the matter of one sheet of a calendar! Am I a March hare? In spite of my age and bitter experiences of mine, I'm expecting something. I've got a lot to do before April comes. But I don't want to be bound by restrictions any more. (It's spring at last!) Today's update: a photo in the index page (a blooming Japanese plum tree at the back of the main building of Yushima Shrine in Tokyo) and the one above (Hijiri Bridge viewed from the River Kanda in a downtown Tokyo). I feel more at home with this kind of place than fashionable places like Omotesando Hills.

February 28, 2006


February passed so quickly. I can hardly stand if I have to go on like this to the beginning of the new semester. I really wish to go out of the routine although I know I have so much on my back. Today we had lunch with one of our colleagues who has just come back from her stay in Australia. (We went to an Italian restaurant just across the street in front of the building of our office.) It's really refreshing to be in the shower of lively English. Today's update: "Breathing Scallops?" in 'Lives Around.' I took the photos in the kitchen. I was confronted with the unexpected appeal of life. It's the delicate feeling of spring.

February 27, 2006


We had a lot a lot of rain during the weekend. I spent a long time in front of TV, watching the exhibition of figure skating in Torino. Skaters' performances were just awesome but I couldn't help feeling that it is the sport for people belonging to definite areas of the world. Imagine the various situations going on that TV never covers. Well, here in Japan, we're in the high time of entrance-exam-season. Both test-takers and givers are busy. I saw lots and lots of ema (a small wooden plate on which students write their wish for the success in entrance examinations.) Come on, Spring! Today's update: ao's oil painting "under an umbrella" in "Still Life," Gallery in Margins.

February 24, 2006


In the central part of Tokyo, Japanese plum has started blooming. On my way to work, I made a side trip to Yushima Shrine. It was only 10 to 20% of full bloom; yet, white and pink plum flowers were making the shrine garden slightly colorful. Then I recieved a message to my cell phone from an old friend of mine, saying "You know, the Japanese in old days thought gods landed on earth when flowers bloomed. People pushed flowers high up into the sky." Yes, flowers make us feel happy and pious. From now on various flowers will start blooming one by one. After a long pause, I also start taking photos of flowers again. Today's update: some photos and short poems in "The Kanto Plain." Today I saw beauties on ice in Torino as well.

February 21, 2006


It's still very cold everyday. On TV the snowy scenes of Torino look extremely bright. Some of my colleagues go to USA, UK, Australia, and China on business very actively. On the contrary I'm sticking to Tokyo day after day, year after year. Be careful not to gather moss. "Go rolling" I tell myself in vain. It's as if I'm fast anchored. Just imagine I'm still in hibernation. As long as I'm alive, maybe I'll get moving again someday (hopefully). Well, well, today's update: "Buds of Japanese Plum and White-eyes" in "Lives Around." Welcome, herald of spring!

February 20, 2006


The backbone of my 83 year-old mother-in-law has been bending forward. Being independent as before, she goes to a supermarket in front of a nearby railway station every other day on foot. A shopping cart, whose another name is "a senior cart is her company. It's quite difficult to find a one which satisfies her. Already tow carts which she bought in a specialty shop for senior citizens' shop are in a junk room. Recently her favorite was a cart with a big metal basket, which people usually use for leisure time. When she walks over the cart, she bends over it; accordingly, her height looked two third of what she was. She didn't like her appearance. She said she wants to walk in the upright posture. She is quite reasonable. I wanted to find a cart with a few more centimeters higher than what she had. Yesterday I found a very good model which has a seat on the shopping bag. But I was not sure what my mother-in-law would think of it. Unless she likes it, it will be the third junk. I took several photos of it by my digital camera to show her before decision. She said she would take it. All right! I went back to the store immediately and purchased it. I put the cart in the rear basket of my bicycle; I go anywhere on foot or by my bike because we have no car. Exceptionally my mother-in-law found it good for her. This morning, she was eager to go out. Now she went out fully dressed up in kimono. She is a fashionable woman for ever. Now it's time for me to go out as well. No update today, but this note. See you!

February 16, 2006


It started raining softly. Flowers of Japanese plum tree are now in bloom in our neighbor's garden. Last night on my way to Aoyama Theater, I stopped by at Omote-sando Hills which opened quite recently. I was amazed to see the gorgeous interior of the building. Look at the huge space surrounded by corridors! It reminded me of the drawings by Escher, which never bring us back to the same spot once we start walking along the slight slopes. We find ourselves one story higher or lower than where we were. Although the height of the building is not higher than the old Dojunkay Apartment Houses which were in the same place for a long time, the inside of the new building looks vast. I really want to visit the building to watch it more closely. Today's update: ao's new drawing "Me in a Landscape" in Still Life, Gallery in Margines. According to her, the oil painting was severely criticized for not having a real focus. And the photo above, the inside space of Omotesando-Hills.

February 14, 2006

身近なところから二冊の本が出版された。ひとつは義弟(私の妹の伴侶)が彼の亡き母の子ども時代の日記を。これは彼の姉が長い間温めていた企画だったのを果たせずに逝去した後を継いで、自らが出版元となり解説を加えて丁寧に作った私家版の書物である。1920年代末のベルリンへ、作曲家の父に同行した12, 3歳の少女が見たドイツや旅先での見聞の希少な記録となっている。弘田瑠璃子著『私の12 13歳の時の外国旅行日記 父弘田龍太郎とすごしたドイツ・ベルリン1928・1929年 。もうひとつは理学を志す人のための 数学入門』。大学の教科書の体裁を取るが、一般読者にも向けた本格的な入門書である。こちらはわが伴侶とその若い友人の共著。本日の更新は、二冊の書籍の画像とまえがきを掲載し、謹んでこの二作を紹介させていただきます。

Two books were published very recently by the nearest people of mine. One was by my brother-in-law (my sister's husband). His elder sister had been eager to publish their late mother's diary in her childhood for a long time; however, she passed away without accomplishing it. He took over the plan. He wrote some columns to explain the background of the days when the diary was written, established a small private firm for the publication, and dedicated the book to his dearest mother and sister eventually. It is a diary of a girl of 12 to 13 years old who was observing the world with wonder and curiosity when she accompanied her father, an eminent composer, to Berlin in late 1920s. Another book is an introduction of mathematics written by my husband and a young colleague of his. Both are written in Japanese. Today's update: Please let me introduce these books with photos and introduction. A Girl's Diary in Berlin, 1928-29 and An Introduction to Mathematics for Scientists

February 10, 2006

同世代の友人の訃報に接した。「同病相憐れむ」で似たような時期に似たような経験をした者同士、ささやかにメール交換をしてきた。ほんの少し前、このサイトに悪質なポストが相次いで掲示板を閉鎖せざるを得なくなる直前まで、彼女はよくメッセージを書き込んでくれていた。彼女と会ったことはない。いつか会えるとも思っていなかった。永遠に相まみえることはなくても互いが生きていることを時たま確認しあえればそれで十分だった。数は少ないけれど、そのようにして言葉を交わし合う人々がいる。予想を遙かに超える衝撃を受けた。彼女は無事に生き延びたと信じていたから。五年を経過することの困難をあらためて思い、命のはかなさを深く悲しむ。人がふっといなくなるこの頼りなさはどうだろう。それでも地球は回っている。本日の更新は「翻訳読書ノート26」 『啓蟄を待ちながら』です。

A friend of mine, who belonged to my own generation, passed away. We experienced a similar illness at a similar time. We have exchanged e-mails occasionally. Before I closed BBS of this website because of villainous intrudors, she had posted message very constantly. I had never seen her. We had never promised to meet someday; however, we were happy to know each other beeing in good health. I have some acquaintances and friends online. They are not many in number but are really precious to me. I'm shocked by her death, much more than I have ever imagined. I believed she had successfully survived the first 5 years after the illness. I deeply deplore the loss of her life. How painful it is to find there she is no more! Yet, the world goes on. Today's update: a review on Souvenirs Entomologiques by Jean-Henri Casimir Fabre (its Japanese translation).

February 7, 2006


Ture to the weather forecast, it snowed. I exchnaged mails with a friend of mine in a distant snowy country, praying for the welfare of each other. Wherever we are, surivial is a challenge. Once in a while we are blessed with the happiness of communication. Today's update: several photos in Tokyo Shot. Not for nostalgia but for capturing edged Tokyo, I take photos. Please have a look at "Tokyo Lighted Up," "Elevated Bridges in Red Bricks," and "A Stone Cathedral."

February 6, 2006

「立春寒波」などと皮肉られる低温攻勢が連日続く。再びの雪かと身構えていたら、どうやら今日のところは肩すかし。とうとう文京区向丘の専門学校での非常勤がお終いになった。あちらも大学の学部に変わって埼玉県のキャンパスに一年生は移動するし、こちらも四月からは千葉県のキャンパスでの勤務が始まる。出会うのも突然なら、別れるのも突然。それのくり返しで時はめぐる。一クラスに80人で英語というのは決して恵まれた環境と言い難かったが、とても良い学生たちだった。最後の授業で選んだ「本日の音楽」は"My Heart Will Go On"。ご存じ『タイタニック』のテーマだ。ラストの台詞入りバージョン。「何があっても諦めないと約束して欲しい。そして約束したことを忘れないと。」極限状態での切実な願いは、しかし現実にはいずれ反故にされるのだろうか。忘れてしまわなければやっていけないと。本日の更新は「いのちのすがた」に『滑空する輪郭-カモメのいる川岸』です。酉年は終わったのにどうも鳥の姿が目につく。

The cold wave is attacking at the beginning of "the sparing in Japanese traditional calendar" ironically. While we were trying to get ready for the heavy snow in Kanto Area again, it seems the weather forecast has betrayed us so far. My part-time job at a school in Mukougaoka, Bunkyo in Tokyo has come to an end. It started and finished suddenly. The school is going to be transformed into a department of a university and will move to a campus in Saitama Prefecture; while freshers and sophomores of our university are moving to a campus in Nagareyama, Chiba. A class with 80 students was not a very comfortable condition for a teacher of English, but I enjoyed working with them. They were really good students. The music I chose for our last class was "My Heart Will Go On," the very well known song from the movie Titanic. It was a special version with the dialogue of the hero and heroin. Jack says, "You promise me that you won't give up no matter what happens. Promise me now, Rose. And never let go of that promise." Oh, will the promise in the extreme circumstance be let go someday, or will it be kept for ever? There are things that have to be let go in order to survive sometimes. Today's update: The outline of gliding--at the riverside where gulls gather in "Lives Around." Birds attract me recently.

February 3, 2006


"Setsubun" in Japanese means "the end of winter," and also in a different context "my poor writing." The word-processor of this computer chose the latter one when I typed s-e-t-s-u-b-n-n although what I meant was the former. It couldn't be helped as long as I am writing poorly for so long! Anyway, today at the very end of winter in Japanese traditional calendar, it was extremely cold. While I was riding a bike, my ears ached in the freezing wind. The night sky looked deep blue. I saw the light of a space satellite, or an airplane going in the air high above. From that object of light I wonder how this land looks like. I scattered beans toward darkness to celebrate the coming of spring. Toward what can never be reached, toward something indefinite. I scatter beans, forgetting I'm powerless. I scatter beans just as I knock in a wedge into the slight gap between two seasons. Today's update: just this short note. So busy everyday.

February 1, 2006


It's raining today, not snow. A shower of subtle, tiny hope in spite of the heavy burden on the back. Today's update: the photo of the index page(a winter tree in Sayama Hills) and the one above (a view from my office in Nagareyama, Chiba Prefecture). "In February/ Branches shine/ With their skin so smooth"

January 31, 2006


I feel it was only yesterday when a new year started, and already it's the end of January! January goes, February runs away, March leaves." is the traditional saying in Japan. Reportedly Japanese plum trees are later in blooming than in ordinary years. That's true; I haven't seen a flower in blossom yet. I've been stumbling in the bottom of winter dressed heavily yet. I'm planning to stay home with bunches of test paper today, but I'm not sure if I can remain quietly all day long. I'm eager for news of flowers. Well, start to work! In coldness, some of my friends and colleagues are not feeling well recently. I hope you will take care of yourself. (Today's update: nothing but this note.)

January 28, 2006


A friend of mine who is moving offered me to have any of her books she won't bring to her new residence. I was invited to her study, where there were only a few of furniture left but the numerous books were on the floor. From the windows of the old room, afternoon sunshine was flooding in; the room had the taste of Showa Era. First, my eyes were attracted by a pile of cinema pamphlets of 30-40 years ago. I could have spent the whole afternoon just devouring them. Eventually I chose to have the series of Japanese classic literature published by Iwanami Books. My friend picked up several more books of poetry, criticism, and art for me to take home. We packed three large boxes with books at once. We brought them to a nearby store, a door-to-door percel dleivery service station, to send them to my office in Nagareyama. The store was an old rice dealer. There were rice bags not very neatly on the floor. An old woman, a shopkeeper, took care of me taking time. Well, people get old as time passes by. Precious words in books won't grow old. Good books are passed from someone to another. I'll leave them to somebody when I go away from the stage of life someday. Today's update: "A bevy and Individuals--starlings" in Lives Around. They are the same birds that I uploaded on the first page of Lives Around; this time the angle of photos is different from the first page. At that time I couldn't say the name of this comon kind. This time I was fascinated by their songs.

January 24, 2006


We had a lot of snow last weekend. It snowed more than 10 cm in Chiba Prefecture, where I had the work of observing the students taking the tests given by the University Entrance Examination Center. During the weekend, there is no bus service between the nearby railway station to the campus of our university; we had to walk in snow, the young and the old as well. The only thing I enjoyed was the marvelous view of Mr. Fuji I could have out of the window of Musashino Railway Line. In the vast Kanto Plain we usually have little to see, but in winter on sunny days Mr. Fuji gives us the most impressive scenes. I saw many groups of people who were going out for climbing. I guess they were going to the mountains in Chicibu. I wish I could go! Anyway, I had to work. (One of my nieces was taking the tests in Tokyo.) Today's update: the photo above. a scene in snow which I had from my office while I was taking a break. I put the photo which was in this page until yesterday in "A cycling Road around Lake Tama"

January 20, 2006


Everything changes, I know; yet, I am disturbed at changing points. Certainly, changing is LIFE. Today's update: ao's pencil-sketch series of "hands"and an oil painting "blocks." Tomorrow and the day after tomorro I'll keep standing for the hard scheduled exam-observation. I've got to be very careful never to fall asleep on the early morning train to miss the station to get off. No delay is allowed.

January 18, 2006


I have several books to read at hand. I'm reading them all at once. When I visit blogs, there are people who are writing their reading diary. I've picked up books led by their words. Once upon a time only professional critics were those who wrote book reviews in print, but today anyone can make comments on books they read online. (Even I'm writing reviews once in a while.) However, to keep a reading diary is a little different from usual book reviews. To write on books we read on daily basis is to expose part of our inner activity. You must be brave enough to show what you are. BTW, there are books you want to read and ones you have to read. I've been thinking of books recently. Today's update: "A cycling Road Around Lake Tama" in Tokyo Walking, although cycling is not walking. A couple of photos of Mr. Fuji are included. It's getting cold again.

January 16, 2006


Classes are coming to an end; the season of examinations is beginning. From now on semester final exams and entrance exams are coming up one after another. It will be a hard time for those who take exams for sure, but same to those who give them. We prepare, observe, mark exams. We have a lot of hard jobs. Spring is far away. Today's update: ao's pencil drawing "a weasel" in Still Life 02 of Gallery in Margins. It was severely criticized because "The subject matter is the weakest." Indeed, the wooden stand and the background are detailed. I remember the nightmare of "time out" at exams when I was a student myself.

January 15, 2006


Mysteriously warm days continued. Last night we had a heavy rain. Late at night sirens of fire engines were heard loudly in our neighborhood. I went out of my house to look around. After I was sure the fire was not nearby, I kept walking for a while in darkness because it was not cold at all. My breath was not white. This morning it turned out sunny and very warm. I felt my overcoat unnecessary. People looked somewhat happier than usual for this season. I could hardly believe the most freezing season is coming. BTW, I cycled round a lake last Sunday; today I went round the central part of Tokyo. We had a coffee break at an underground cafe La Scala in West Shinjuku, which was opened in April, 1954. It was so different from recently opened fashionable cafes. The biggest difference was of the seats; they were coated with velvet and the cushion was so soft. Very luxurious! The city has its own oasis. (I was lucky to find a book I've started looking for!) Today's upload is only this note.

January 12, 2006


Commuter's train has changed to be a reading room. An excellent book stops me sleeping idly. Today's update: "The Kanto Plain." In a city, we live with trees.

January 11, 2006


Arleady time flies like gale. I'm beginning to be extremely busy. Today's update: "The Kanto Plain." My heart becomes peaceful when I remember I have a quiet lake right behind me. I've changed the index page a little bit. I wonder anybody has noticed it.

January 10, 2006


Once the routine has started, I'm immediately in the swirl. The commuter's train is a napping room for me. My feet have not reached the ground yet. Today's update: ao's charcoal drawing "Squatting Venus" in "Still Life" of Gallery in Margins. As I put it on the doors of a refrigerator, the drawing is not straight. . I have to take it again. The drawing was chosen as one of the works to be printed in a brochure of her art school. (BTW, something on the back of Venus is a remnant of a child's hand. I see, she is a mother Venus! Yes, she is plump indeed.)

January 9, 2006


I've been away from the commuters' train for 17 days as a whole. Although I was busy doing this and that before and after new year's days at home, I was relaxing free from the stress at work and duties. It's time for me to return to all the tasks waiting for me. Let me jump into the swirl, a very big one! Help! Today's update: nothing but the scream of horror.

January 8, 2006

年明け以来曇天の寒々とした日が続いたが、本日は文句なしの快晴。じっとしていられず、サイクリングに出かけた。多摩湖自転車道路をどこまで行けるかと走り始めたら、なんと多摩湖畔を一周してしまった。(これで武蔵境の起点から終点まで自転車道路を走破したことになる。)狭山公園の入り口あたりから湖の周囲は約11km。目下東半分の湖は護岸工事中のため、湖底が干上がった状態で堤防に近寄ることは出来ない。西半分は満々と水をたたえている。それは美しい冬景色だった。いずれ写真をまとめてみたい。本日の更新は"The Active Generation"です。若い友人達の活躍を少しずつ紹介して行けたらと思います。それから、湖の写真を一枚だけこのページに。画面右端に富士山も写っているのですが、このサイズでは見えないのが残念。

Since the beginning of the new year, it has been cloudy in coldness. Today the weather turned to be perfectly sunny. I couldn't keep staying home and went out for cycling. My destination was Lake Tama. I went on Tama Lake Cycling Road, which is not far from home. I didn't know how far I could go; however, I cycled round the whole lake, about 11 km, eventually. At present the eastern half of the lake is under reconstruction so that we cannot approach the banks closely. The western half is full of water, fortunately. The lake was terribly beautiful in the winter light. I would like to prepare a page for the photos I took soon. Today's update: "The Active Generation." Please let me introduce young friends of mine and their activities by and by. Just one photo of the lake in this page. Mt. Fuji is in the upper right corner of it, but it's too small in here, Alas!

January 7, 2006


Camellia, and cyclamen in pots are the only flowers I can find in towns recently. The ground in small woods is covered thickly with fallen leaves. When I hear news of snow countries, I have to admit winter in Kanto District can hardly be called "winter." Anyway, before the end of the previous year, we were stepping toward the bottom of winter, but now that a new year began, something tells us that we can expect spring in a distance. Tiny buds are appearing at the tips of twigs. Certainly I know works of winter are going to be demanding from now on. Today's update: a little bit of "The Kanto Plain."

January 6, 2006


I received a very refreshing mail from one of my old students. She is now a graduate student majoring Sports and Health Science at Fukuoka University. She has got a job there, too. She sent me a photo of a women's soccer team for which she is working as a coach. How cool she is! I wish young women will work as much as they want. I am planning to build a page where I can introduce the active young people.

January 5, 2006


I went to a hospital in Tsukiji after half a year. While climbing up the stairs in Tsukiji Subway Station, I saw a man in front of me wearing long rubber bouts, holding a bamboo basket; a typical style of a fishmonger. Yes, in 2006 Tsukiji Fish Market started again this morning. The outer market was crowded with people too. All the small diners and sushi shops along the main street were busy. Small carts were moving about in back alleys. BTW, Tokyo Metropolitan Government has decided to remove the Market from Tsukiji to Toyosu in 7 years against the will of local citizens and merchants. Unbelievable, I will be 60 years old then. It seems to be far away in the future, but I guess it will come very quickly. I've been going to Tsukiji for 4 years. Well, well, I bought freshly cooked satuma-age at Tsukugon on my way home. No update today but this note.

January 4, 2006


They say it's extremely cold everywhere in Japan. The Kanto Plain where I live is not an exception although we haven't had snow yet. I know our district is quite mild compared to northern countries. Not shivering in coldness, I would like to be as active as possible. I hope my spirit at least will be always supple. Perhaps I'll hang around looking for flowers, bugs, and interesting scenes again this year. Let me start recording what I see. Today's update: The Kanto Plain, a new page for poems and photos. I wonder what it will be like.

January 3, 2006


We visited Yasaka Shrine in our neighborhood to pray for a peaceful and prosperous year. In the usually very quiet place, so many people were standing in lines to wait for their turn to pray in front of the main building. I could hardly find people in gorgeous kimono; in fact, visitors were in ordinary dark clothes. Perhaps most of them came on foot from nearby quarters. Under the cloudy sky in cold wind they stood silently, only with occasional merry voice of children. In the past years, there were stalls selling food and souvenirs along the approach, but I could find only a couple this year. The open fire burning in a corner of the precincts was most lively. Although they say the economy of Japan is becoming better, today's newspaper is reporting the increase of poor family who need the official aid for children's schooling expenses. I remember those who drop out of college being unable to pay tuition fee. Where shall we look for hope? Today's update: ao's greeting card in "Still Life" of Gallery in Margins. Also I'm trying to improve the sitemap.

January 2, 2006


New year's days are the time of family reunion. Yesterday and today, we had new-year parties. Young ones get special gift of money (otoshi-dama) and adults enjoy drinking together. We remember those who have passed away. My brother-in-law said he is going to publish a book which his late sister had been preparing: a diary of their mother which she wrote when she was a child staying in Germany. He made a publisher named after his sister only for this book and put her last writing in the foreword.. I remember Kafka said, "People must write solely what must be written." The book is going to be published at the end of this month, on his sister's birthday. One of his nieces (his late sister's daughter) who got married to an American will give birth to her first child in April, therefore, he will be "a granduncle" very soon. My brother-in-law was happily talkative more than usual today. No update today but this note.

January 1, 2006


A Happy New Year! One of my nieces who are going to celebrate coming-of-age came with a set of rental kimono and the commemorative photo album to show her grandmother. Her mother tried hard to dress her. The red silk reflects beautifully on her white cheeks. She reminded me of a short poem written by Yosano Akiko: The girl is twenty./ Her black hair in the comb runs like a stream/ The beauty of the proud spring!" Her hair is dyed light brown, though. I feel we dressed her for the celebration of "Shichi-Go-San" (In Japan, we celebrate children of seven (shichi), five (go), and three (san) for their health and happiness.) Her sister and cousin watching her are both 17. They will soon follow her. Her parents, uncle and aunt, and grandmother are all fading away. Well, what will become of this year? When I start to write in a new page, I get the shakes for expectations and fear. Today's update: the index page the new-year version) and this page. The drawing above is taken from Still Life 02 in "Gallery in Margins." Thank you so much for your visit. My wish is to meet you here as often as possible.

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