Monthly Archives: April 2010

A Movement


     What if a boss of a gang group moved to your area? Now there is a rumor that a henchman has planned to build a new house for the boss in my neighborhood. There was a big meeting and a parade for protesting it last Sunday. TS3N0695

     I’ve wrote it is a rumor, but Japan’s National Public Safety Commission and the police structure has already taken action against the gang group and watched the planned construction site. Besides, some mass media have written up about the issue. TS3N0696

     The man has bought about a half-acre of parcel and has already planned to build a huge house. He bought the land last year, but he couldn’t launch because most of construction firms have rejected contract for fear of erosion of trust. TS3N0699

     But a small building company has undertaken the job at last, and it has decided that the construction will start this summer. They have to complete until May of next year because the boss is now in jail and will be back on the street then. It would seem that the new house is a gift for his release.

     Anyone can build a house and live there if it is legal. No one has the rights to stop the man who has bought the land from proceeding. But more than 600 neighbors and the police got together had the meeting and the parade last Sunday. It was for a big appeal for the public and the gang group.   TS3N0706

     If the boss and his henchmen came to live in this area, we won’t let them have their own way. We made our intension clear that day. The police even let the traffic light green until all of us got across the street. (It caused a big traffic jam…) I hope this movement makes the situation better.

D’s Farewell Parties



     It was last October when the English school where I had been to for a month year ago last March went bankrupt. That was a short notice. All teachers and staffers got dumbstruck when they were announced three days before the sudden closure. I’ve heard most teachers have already left Japan because it’s difficult to get a new job here during this recession. It was sad that I had to say goodbye to a teacher D who used to teach me in the school last week.

 TS3N0675   Actually, one of his farewell parties was held on the same day as the cheese fondue party. So, I left the cheese fondue party in Imaike in the middle with some of the other participants and headed for the farewell at the Red Rock, the Aussie Bar, in Sakae. 

      It was my first time to go to the bar, but it was easy to find because of the flag hoisted at the building. I climbed up the stairs to the second floor and opened the door, when I was very surprised that it was really cramped conditions. It looked like the jam-packed train of the subway Higashiyama line during the morning rush hour. It was very difficult to even buy drinks.


        I managed to find people who used to be students or staff at the English school in a corner of the cigarette smoke- filled bar and enjoyed conversation with them. But…where was D? Although I was able to find him, I had just a short conversation with him. He was surrounded by many friends, and had to talk to each of them and to take photos. 


       I gave up talking to him because I was supposed to see him at another farewell party later. I was able to talk with an actor instead. I thought I was familiar with the actor when I saw him at the bar, but I couldn’t immediately place where and when I had met him before. I remembered about him then. He appeared on the play of Romeo and Juliet when I went to see it two years ago.

       Anyway, I took part in another farewell party for the teacher the other day, and was able to talk to him at leisure. It was held at an Italian restaurant named Prego in Lachic, Sakae, where I was able to see not only the teacher but also two of ex-staffers.

      The reason of the party was really sad, but the meeting was nice and the food was excellent, especially the Gorgonzola pizza ordered by D. I didn’t know that Gorgonzola pizza goes well with honey! I wish D well with his new life!


Cheese Fondue Party


DSCF3549.jpg-a      “Do you know Heinz?”
     Suddenly R who had been talking to N about something turned to me and asked. 
     “Well, you mean Heinz of Plastic Factory? If so, yes. I’ve never been to the bar, though….”  

     R was talking to N how delicious Heinz’s cheese fondue was and how she wanted to eat it again. N was, of course, interested in the cheese fondue. According to R, however, it was necessary to make a reservation for more than 15 people to try Heinz’s cheese fondue. Heinz is from Switzerland. He must know a special recipe.


     “How do you know him if you’ve never been to Plastic Factory, then?” R asked to me in surprise.
     “Actually, I don’t know him so much. He is the husband of a chiropractor who used to treat me. So, I’ve met him three times: at a Vietnamese restaurant, the chiropractor’s apartment, and the waiting room of a dentist.”
     “At a dentist?”
     “Yeah, that was by accident, though.” 

     The chiropractor C healed me when I got injured by skiing long time ago. Those days I hadn’t studied English yet. But I began learning English after I got well, and C and I went to Canada together to study English! In spite of that, we’ve fallen out of touch somehow. I was thinking about that while talking to R. 


     I wanted to not only try the cheese fondue but also meet C again. R and I decided to have a cheese fondue party and asked our friends to come there. We had the party on April 10. There were more than 20 people in the party, and we had a really good time. Heinz’s cheese fondue was excellent! It was my first time to eat authentic cheese fondue. According to C (Yes! I was able to see her there!), the recipe is from Heinz’s family in Swiss. 

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     I enjoyed myself having delicious cheese fondue, flesh salad, drinking lots of wine, chattering with many friends, and being reunited with Heinz and C. That was a fantastic night! 

Jeff Woodger Exhibition – Postmodern Landscape


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     “Jeff! You’ve come back to Japan!” I was very surprised to run into him at M and J’s Birthday party ( last January.

      “He” is Jeff Woodger, who is a painter with a doctor degree. I met him first at a prefectural nature park named Kaisho-no-mori one year ago (, and then had an interesting opportunity to take his lecture at University of Nagoya and to see his exhibition last spring (…ure-exhibition/).TS3N0664.jpg-a     

      Actually, I’d almost forgotten about him until meeting him by chance at the party because we hadn’t been in touch with each other since his exhibition last May. Jeff announced his new exhibition with his usual nice smile at the party. He’d promised me to send the invitation there, but I bumped into him again in the underground street in Sakae before receiving the card several days later. TS3N0665.jpg-a      
     In the card, he was wearing a medieval costume with painting tools. The exhibition title was “Postmodern Landscape – Installation view: Painting and Drawing”, and was held at Daikokuya Gallery, in Sakae from March 31 to April 6.  TS3N0666    

     I’d asked some of my friends to see the exhibition and went together on the first day. Daikokuya Gallery is a great little place above a Japanese sweet shop in Sakae. The wall was covered with red paper and Jeff’s paintings were on display there. There were no big paintings this time because of the space, but were small landscape paintings in oil at the exhibition. Half of them were European landscapes, such as Italian and French, and half Japanese. TS3N0667     

     I loved a cityscape of Kanayma, which is a place in Nagoya, but unfortunately, it was not for sale. I also liked a scenic image of Tsushima, but I didn’t buy it because I was wondering whether it was a little bit too big for my room. Each of his paintings has stories and dramas. People must be imagining a story freely while seeing his piece. I feel like becoming a character in the scene whenever I look at his paintings. I’m looking forward to running into him and to seeing his exhibition somewhere again.

A Gorgeous Day


     “I’m having a kind of concert at home soon. Why don’t you come?”
     “Concert? At home?”
     “Yeah, about 100 people will come. You can enjoy delicious food as well!”

     J invited me and some of my friends to his party the other day. We said, “Yes, I’ll come to your house!” in unison. All of us wanted to see his house where 100 people can get together. TS3N0637.jpg-a

     I went to J’s house with my friends. It looked like an ordinary house outside, but I, no, we were very surprised to see the room where the concert was held because it was really big and looked like a restaurant. TS3N0638.jpg-a

     Participants were gathering little by little when we arrived. All of them looked gorgeous. I felt as if I was attending a wedding reception or something. I was relieved to have got dress before leaving home. Actually, I had been wearing worn-out jeans in the morning.  TS3N0643

     The concert was a Japanese singer’s. She is Ms. Setsuko Fuchimoto, who is a professional singer of canzone, chanson, and popular songs, and has a music school. She looked very pretty, and her voice was amazing! She sang many songs related flowers this time, such as Karatachi-no-hana and Granada. Her clear and pure voice and gentle songs have relaxed me.  TS3N0650

     Ms. Fuchimoto’s songs were, of course, wonderful, and the piano played by Mr. Shigeru Akao was also great. It was not only the music that I was impressed. Food was also amazing. Sushi, okonomiyaki, oshirukTS3N0655o, salad, cake, etc…I regretted to have had a light meal before the party…

     A man sitting next to me is from Canada, and I enjoyed myself talking to him, too. Somehow there were also some politicians at the party, where I met even a former minister. Wow! Listening to wonderful music, having delicious food, chattering to friends and other participants, and seeing some famous people…I had a gorgeous day!

Spring Classes


     Congratulations on your success on the entrance exam! The new academic year starts in April in most schools and colleges in Japan. Many freshmen must have started their new lives with both concerns and hopes in their minds, and most teachers must be very busy preparing for their new classes. March, before this month, may be a kind of transient time for rest for teachers. But I’ve asked a few of them to have classes during the spring vacation. TS3N0635.jpg-a

     Hisako, a friend of mine, is a very kind and generous woman. She’s offered her house for the classes. I guess it’s very tough to receive many people in your house every day, but she did. Besides, she’s served tea, coffee, snacks and even lunch for the participants! Thanks to her, I was able to take some classes and had a really wonderful time at her place last month!TS3N0625.jpg-a

     Especially after N’s class and D’s birthday, we had big lunch parties. The participants were able to talk much, having delicious food, and had a really wonderful time. On D’s birthday (Actually, it was on a day before his birthday.), D and Toshi, a student of his, played the music together. That was wonderful! The participants may have enjoyed the party more than D, the birthday boy, because of the nice live music!TS3N0629.jpg-a

     The participants tried to pay for the meal to Hisako, but she never accepted it. Finally she has decided to accept the money as donation for somewhere. Actually, we wanted to pay for food to her…but donation is good. Unfortunately, there were two big earthquakes during the spring vacation. One hit Haiti last February and another Chili last March. So we sent the money the participants in the lunch parities had donated to the Red Cross the other day. donation

     Anyway, I enjoyed myself taking some interesting classes and having wonderful lunch together with my friends in the spring vacation. I hope my English skills have improved even a little…

Centrair’s 5th Anniversary


     Aloooooooooooooooooooooha! Centrair, the international airport in Aichi, had Hawaiian feel to it the other day. It has marked the 5th anniversary and has had a big event for it. I don’t know why the event has been Hawaiian…Anyway, I went to the airport during the event too see a friend of mine dancing a hula there. TS3N0610

     I decided to have lunch before the friend appeared on the stage. It was around 1 o’clock in the afternoon. The airport building has many restaurants, especially on the fourth floor. Most of them, however, had lots of people waiting in a queue. I thought I had to wait for at least one hour to enter a restaurant. So, I went to the first floor.TS3N0606

     The floor was very quiet because most people get together on the third or the fourth floor where there are many shops and restaurants. But I knew there was a buffet on the first floor. It was a nice spot. I was going to eat there. The restaurant, however, had banished. TS3N0608

     But luckily it has changed to another buffet! Chinese restaurant! It seemed to have opened recently because there were many handsel flowers both inside and outside of the restaurant. I found a young cook making noodle lively, and ordered a soup noodle to him. That was delicious!TS3N0621

     After lunch, I returned to the fourth floor and had an ice cream for dessert. The ice cream was not ordinal vanilla one, but it was miso flavor one. Do you know miso? It’s fermented soybean paste and tastes salty. The ice cream has a unique and interesting taste. Oops! I was going to see my friend’s performance at this airport!TS3N06190001

Many hula dancers in beautiful costumes pop up one after another on the stage. I was amazed to know so many and a variety of age of people enjoy dancing hula. My friend looked happy and very beautiful in her costume while dancing with her companies. I enjoyed a holiday in the Hawaiian atmosphere that day. TS3N0614 TS3N0615