Monthly Archives: December 2008

The Year-End Karaoke Party in 2008



     “Are you busy after Christmas? I think that karaoke party last year was great…” The other day D came to me and said that. I understood what he meant. He asked me to have a karaoke party at the end of this month. We had a year-end karaoke party at Shidax, the karaoke place, in Nagakute last year.

     I remembered that there had been about 15 participants at the karaoke party and that I had to rent two rooms for that while hearing his words. And I thought, “Time flies! It’s been one year since the former party!” HI352138-a

     D continued, “It’s convenient for me to have the party on 27th this year.” “OK,” I said and decided to have the party this year on 27th. I thought, however, it would be difficult to gather people this year because most Japanese people are busy preparing for New Year around that day. HI352139-aSo only 9 adult and 1 child came to the karaoke party this year.

     Last year we had the party on 26th. At that time I was surprised that so many people took part in the party at the end of year, but the one day difference between 26th and 27th is very big.

     This year’s party was much smaller than last year’s, but it was very cozy. I think we had a good time in a comfortable atmosphere. We sang from very old English songs to very new Japanese Pops for two hours. Probably I’ll have a year-end karaoke party next year too! It may become annual event!

The Tai Chi Classes’ Parties




     I’ve joined in two parties after tai chi courses at Aichi Shukutoku Univeristy. They’ve been nice experiences for me lately. My tai chi teacher has many classes in Nagoya, and has also three classes at the university, which has many open courses for adult.

     One of the three classes is held at the gymnastic on Hoshigaoka campus of the university on Tuesdays and the rest are at a room of its dormitory named I House for foreign students on Thursdays. I’d taken one on Hoshigaoka campus since I began two years ago, but I had to move to I House’s class in the second semester. Because Hoshigaoka’s class had too many students, people who could come to I House were asked to move there this time.  HI352132

     Although I agreed to change the class, I had another class of Spanish every other Thursday. So I showed up in both places, Hoshigaoka and I House, this fall. That’s why I was able to take part in the two parties of the both.HI352135-a

     One of the parties for the students of Hoshigaka campus was held at a room of the university on 16th. It’s difficult to find a restaurant which has a big room near the campus because the number of the participants is more than 25. That’s why we always ask the university to use a room for the party and have lunch catered there.  HI352136-a

     It was nice for me to have lunch together with my friends. And because more than ten new faces joined this semester, it was also a great opportunity to talk to them. Amazingly most of the participants have many interests except for tai chi and are active people. I was cheered up by their positive energy at the party.  HI352134

     Another party was held at a restaurant named Uga-tei in Nisshin on 25th. As I said, I’d belonged to Hoshigaka’s class. So it was almost the first time for me to talk to students of I House’s class and to have lunch together with them. All of them are very nice and kind and they’re also positive thinkers. I had a really good time at the party with the delicious lunch and interesting conversations.  HI352137

     I don’t know whether people who happen to practice tai chi at our classes are nice and active or tai chi changes people’s thoughts to positive ones, but most of my classmates are really lively and they always make me feel cheerful. And I may also make others’ spirits up! Active energy goes in circle!

A Happy Night


     There was a party after an English course finished on 15 two weeks ago. It was held after the last class at 8:30 in the evening at a restaurant named Miyuki near Chukyo University. The English class is one of the university’s extension courses for adult. I’d joined in the class since last April.

     It was the first time for me to see my classmates closely and to hear even their names properly because that we had no self-introductions and that I had been sitting in the front of the class. Students didn’t have many opportunities to talk to other students and look back and see them in the classroom because it was neither a conversation nor a discussion class. It’s a class with Chigasaki Method. I’m going to tell about it later.

     That’s why I was curious about my classmates, but so were they! We talked about ourselves and how each one usually studies English at the party. And some of the participants asked our teacher to give advice for studying. Of course, we not only talked seriously but also enjoyed foods and drinksHI352127-a

     Interestingly most of the participants have studied English for some years and take other English classes except for our class. That is, we’ve been struggling to improve our English skills in some way. I had a really good time with such positive-thinking people, over delicious food.

     Now, Chigasaki Method is a kind of English learning way, created by four Japanese ex-news persons in international broadcasting about thirty years ago. English learners listen to current news and memorize them in the method. That I knew the existence was at a lecture last March.

     The lecturer, a professor at Nihon Fukushi University, said, “Translate those 20 Japanese sentences in English within two minutes from now, please. OK? Go!” Sadly I couldn’t do even half. “Ha ha! It seemed to be difficult for most of you!” he said and smiled, “OK, then, looks at the Japanese translations at the next page, please. See? They are not difficult, aren’t they? But you couldn’t make those easy English sentences. It’s because you are not used to it. You need to practice getting out English sentences!” And then he used Chigasaki Method at the lecture.  HI352129-a

     After the lecture I started finding a place where I could study English with the method. And I found one at Chukyo University! It was hard for me to catch news materials of the class when I started joining the class last April, but it was getting easier and easier as the classes continued. Although I didn’t become able to catch all news completely by the course finished, it seems that I’ve been improving at least my listening skills.

     On my way home from the party, I took the taxi with one of my classmates and we talked about learning English. When the classmate got out of the car and I became only the passenger, the driver started talking to me. He had kept on listening to our conversation with great interest.

     The driver also learns English! I couldn’t get out of the taxi after it stopped in front of my apartment building because he was too excited to stop his talking! He showed many learning materials to me happily: text books, magazine written in English and CDs. He said cheerfully, “I can’t help being amused when studying English!” I was given a lift by many nice friends and our wonderful teacher, delicious foods and drinks, and the hilarious driver that night!

The Exhibition of Oguiss



     I visited Inazawa City Oguiss Memorial Art Museum on 14th, which was the last day of the special exhibition of Takanori Oguiss.

     Takanori Oguiss (or Ogisu) is a painter. Born in Inazawa in 1901, he spent most of his life time and died in Paris at age of 84 in 1986. oguiss1

     During World War II he’d been in Japan, but he became the first Japanese painter permitted to go back to France postwar. That’s why most of his works are paintings of Paris’ streets. oguiss5

     Early his works look quite rough touch, but seemed to become brighter and lighter every year. I like his colors, especially orange. Most of the street corners, the shops, the restaurants, and the apartments in his paintings are old and pell-mell or ruined. Strangely enough, those old buildings have become fine arts from his point of view.  oguiss2

     But I think it was because those buildings existed in Paris. I mean they were attractive by their colors and letters of French words and the streets’ atmosphere for Japanese. I think he mightn’t have painted old Japanese houses if he had been only in Japan.  oguiss4

     The museum was built to honor Oguiss at the place of his birth in 1983. It has many his works, but this time the special exhibition was held as the Inazawa City’s 50th and the museum’s 25th anniversary celebration, gathering other his works. It was the first time to be shown 43 of his lithographs donated in 1983 by his wife.

     Anyway I enjoyed looking at his wonderful works that day. The museum has an authentic reproduction of Oguiss’s studio as well. You can see the video of his life there. The museum is located in the park. Why don’t you relaxing at the museum and the park?

The 44th Foreign Students Evening


     I went to see the 44th Foreign Students Evening hosted by Aichi Foreign Students’ Association at Nagoya International Center Annex Hall on 13th with some of my friends. There we enjoyed seeing many performances conducted by foreign students and trying many ethnic foods cooked by them.HI352105

     The reason why I was able to know about it was that Monu, who is from Bangladesh and lives nearby, came to me with a flyer of the event at the end of last month. According to her, the people involved in the event were given the flyers and tickets to advertise it. So I told my friends and bought some tickets from her. HI352104

     At the International Food Fest, there were many ethnic foods: fried pumpkin and mutton bun of Uyghur, fried spring roll and noodle of Vietnam, food named palaw and kofta of Afghanistan, boiled dumpling of China, beans croquettes of Bangladesh, curry of India, rice named nasigoreng of Indonesia, and Peruvian and Korean foods. My friends and I enjoyed some foods, chattering to some Brazilian people at the same table. HI352103-a

     After having food, we enjoyed seeing many performances by foreign students at the hall: Chinese arranged classical piano playing, Peruvian traditional dance Marinera, the introduction of Malaysia, tai chi performance by a Chinese man, Indonesian dance, the introduction of Bahrain, Uzbekistani dance, the introduction of Vietnamese traditional clothes, Sri Lankan dance, Silk Road and Uyghur, Mexican and Guatemalan dances, Bangladeshi dance, the introduction of Indian culture, and Nepali music and so on. HI352107

     Amazingly many of the foreign students spoke Japanese fluently. What I was the most impressed is that a Chinese student sitting in the seat asked Chinese performers onstage in Japanese and the performers answered to the questions in Japanese for other audience! I am incapable of speaking English well in spite of learning for even many years! HI352110

     By the way, two of my friends who I was in the event with are GFP’s founders. So they hunt some foreign students to invite to their parties in a positive way. I’m looking forward to seeing those students at the parties next year. Anyway I had a nice time at the event.

Two Wonderful Concerts


kayoko      I listened to songs for more than six hours on Saturday of the 6th… Two of my friends practice singing English songs. Each of them belongs to a class, one is in Asahi Culture Center and another one is in Chukyo University. Both of the classes had concerts on the same day. HI352073

     Fortunately I was able to go to both of them because Asahi Culture Center’s class’s concert started at 1:00 p.m. and Chukyo University’s one started at 7:00 p.m..The former was held at Swing, the Jazz bar, in Shin-Sakae and the latter at Jazz Merry Poppins in Yagoto. 

     The number of the singers at Swing was 15. Most of them sang two songs such as Over the Rainbow, You don’t Have to Say You Love Me, You’ve Got a Friend, You’d be So Nice to Come Home to, It’s Only a Paper Moon, Lullaby of Birdland, Save the Best for Last and so on. kayoko 3

     I went Swing with two of my friends, and we enjoyed ourselves listening to their songs over food and drink for lunch. All the performers looked so happy while singing. I thought they had practiced singing so hard for the concert. Although some made mistakes in their lyrics with nervous, I think, the concert was just about successful. keiko 1

     After the concert I said good-bye to the two of my friends and headed for Yagoto for myself to go to the other. I had time, however, until it started. So I decided to have myself massaged at Aeon, the shopping center, before the next concert. After sitting for three hours, my back and shoulders had become very tight. I thought I wouldn’t be able to keep sitting for more three hours…The massage made me refreshed! keiko 3

     It’d been already dark outside when I went out. Jazz Merry Poppins is a ten-minute walk away in northern area from Aeon. A big contrabass welcomed me outside of the bar when arriving.

     While I ordered a vegetable salad and a glass of ginger ale and waited for starting having them, an elderly man asked me to share the table. He said he is a friend of the parents of the bassist for the concert. I was very happy to have a temporary boyfriend!HI352101

     The Chukyo University’s classes’ concert was also wonderful. The number of the singers was probably more than 20. All of them sang enthusiastically, and the concert was really exciting. I was able to enjoy myself at the concert. HI352102

     In both of the afternoon and evening concerts, the performers were various. I mean they are young student, business men and women, middle aged house wives, retired people and etc.

     It was amazing for me that so many Japanese people were interested in singing English songs and loved singing in public! Anyway I had a great day!

GFP’s Crazy Party



     December 4th there was a special party and I enjoyed myself to take part in it. I’ve introduced about an interesting institution named Global Friendship Party, which was established last March in order to give opportunities for communication in English to Japanese and foreigners living here in Nagoya. They threw the party at a suite room of a hotel in Nagoya this time. According to them, the number of participants was about forty! HI352066

     It seems that the party started at 3:00 p.m. and finished at 4:00 a.m. next day…I can’t believe it! What a long party! (The invitation card said that the party is from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.. I even thought it was crazy!) I arrived at the place around 4:30 p.m. and left there at 8:30 p.m., when I saw many new people coming to the room…HI352064

     I met many people at the party: elderly ladies who introduce Japan and its culture to other countries, exchange students, English learners, English teachers, Japanese learners, Japanese teachers, a “part-time” administrator at a chapel, and jobless men who used to work at a theme park named Itariya-mura, or Italian village, in Nagoya (the theme park was folded up this year) and so on.HI352063

     I almost just enjoyed myself mindless chatter, but I should have talked about more various topics with many people. You know, I don’t have so many opportunities to speak English. What a shame! But it was a great time for me to meet many people at a time. I thought it was nice to have kept studying English that night because I was able to communicate with many people who came from many countries with it.

    Thank you to GFP members and the people who helped them for having such a wonderful party. I had a great time.