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I am going back to the UK on Thursday, so this will be my last entry for a while. I’m going to stay with my parents in North Wales for two weeks, and then I’m going to Nottingham to visit a friend’s school.

My friend is the principal, and I’m planning to take some of my students from Gifu Dai there next year to do a kind of overseas teaching practice. This will be a “research” mission!

I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but I went to Nagoya today, and it was ridiculously hot. Most of the temperature gauges were around 37 or 38, but I saw one that was showing 41 degrees! That is way too hot for me, so I’m looking forward to going back to Britain. According to my iPhone, the temperature is going to be around 21 degrees in Wales on Thursday! That suits me fine.

Even though I won’t be doing any new entries, I will be reading comments, and I’ll post some updates if I do anything interesting. Have a great summer, and try not to melt in the heat!

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92 Comments

  1. Kattie on 2013年08月13日 at 08:13

    Hi David,

    I hope you have time to catch up with us when you’re here. I have just finished having a Belgian boy for a week, I think he’s the last student this summer and Tom’s also just returned from a festival in Norway, so it should be a little less busy over the next few weeks. Actually, on the weather front, until the last week or so, we’ve had a very nice summer (mid 20s) so hopefully it will be good while you’re here.

    Hi everyone,

    When we were in Turkey a few years ago, the weather was around 40 degrees and we could barely bring ourselves to leave the hotel! We often grumble about the British weather but I don’t think Tom and I are built for really hot weather.

    By the way, thanks for your messages congratulating Emily on her graduation. She’s back home now and busy job searching – I think it must be a bit of a come down after 4 years of student life!

    I hope you are all enjoying the summer.



  2. Biwa on 2013年08月13日 at 09:02

    Hi everyone,

    I’m at Itami airport waiting for my flight back to Tokyo. My son’s pair won the second place in the beach volleyball tournament! I’m really proud of them.
    The games were so exciting that I almost forgot how hot it was!

    Have a nice summer everyone! 🙂



  3. YU on 2013年08月13日 at 19:02

    Hi Biwa,

    Congratulations to your son’s pair for getting second place with the tournament!

    Hi David,

    > It turned out to be a false alarm after all, but it reminded me of the importance of being ready for earthquakes.

    Thank you for your feedback.
    Yours is much simpler and sounds much much more natural than mine!

    Have a great time with your students, friends and parents in Britain !

    See you!



  4. Anne on 2013年08月13日 at 20:54

    Hi Biwa,
    Oh, That’s great! Congratulations!

    Hi David,
    I’m jealous of you just the thought of you are escaping of the heat in Japan! When I was out yesterday and today, I felt like even my eyes and arms were getting sunburned(not getting tanned!).

    Have a safe flight and hope you’ll have a great time with your family and friends.

    Bye for now,



  5. Fumie on 2013年08月13日 at 22:55

    Hi Biwa,

    Congratulations on your son’s achievement on the beach volleyball tournament!

    Hi David and Kattie,

    I wish I could escape from this heat and spend time in cooler places like the UK until this weather will get better. Like Anne said, when I went outside, I felt my body was being scorching. Japan recorded the highest temparature on record yesterday. And one city are having over 40 degree temparature 3days in a row. I wonder what will be the highest temperature in a few yearas later, 10 years later? And I’m not sure if we(human) can bear such a high temparature.

    David, enjoy the cool weather and have a splendid time with your family and friends!



  6. amo on 2013年08月13日 at 23:16

    Hi David,

    Going back to the UK? I envy you going somewhere cool 🙁 As you know, this summer is really getting me, so I want to escape from here too.
    Anyway, hope you will have a fabulous time there;)

    Hi Biwa,

    I am happy for you that the result of your son’s pair.

    Good night,
    amo



  7. Biwa on 2013年08月14日 at 10:56

    Hi YU, Anne, Fumie and amo,

    Thank you so much for your kind messages. Today, I’ve been doing the laundry for three rounds, but it never seems to end! I’ll do a few more rounds in the afternoon because there’s no more space to hang them in my small veranda. Anyway, thanks to the sun, everything gets crisp dry in just a few hours, and that’s good. LOL!



  8. saki on 2013年08月14日 at 11:06

    Hello, nice to meet you. I am Saki. I have stayed in London until July 20th. When I was in London it was quite hot. I heard the whether was unusual. But now it seems not to be hot there and I am suffering from hot whether in Japan. I jerous you



  9. David on 2013年08月14日 at 11:27

    Hi Saki,

    Nice to have you with us.



  10. David on 2013年08月17日 at 04:00

    Hi everyone,

    I got back to Wales last night. It’s been about 20 degrees today, but it’s starting to get colder now. It’s great!



  11. Anne on 2013年08月17日 at 08:48

    Hi David,

    Glad to hear you went back to Wales safely.
    20 degrees! I’m so jealous of you! I feel like I can’t find any words other than “hot” to describe the weather in Japan…
    This morning, when I was watching TV, someone said that the number of the extremely hot days in Nagoya where I live is triple compared to that of Tokyo the last several years. There are two reasons for that. One is that Tokyo has a lot more green areas like Imperial Palace and big parks, and the other is that Tokyo Bay lowers the air temperature. This story made me feel hotter. I’m not surprised at all by a temperature of 35 degrees at all. Anyway, I can’t survive without air-conditioner, especially from afternoon to morning. This means I use the air-conditioner more than 15 hours a day…. This year’s heat is unbelievable and un bearable.!

    Hope you enjoy the lovey weather and the stay in the UK with your family and friends!



  12. amo on 2013年08月17日 at 16:26

    Hi David,

    I am glad to know that you got back to Wales safely:) As Anne said, it’s really hot in Japan. This heat is killing me:( I don’t feel like doing anything due to this weather. Anyway, I bet you will have a wonderful time in the UK.

    Bye for now,
    amo



  13. Fumie on 2013年08月17日 at 22:51

    Hi David,

    I wish I could go to the UK to escape this heat. I hope the weather will be milder(cooler) soon. School start in a week and elementary schoolers will start practicing for sport day in my area. It must be tough to exercise in this heat especially after long vacation.
    Anyway, enjoy the cool weather and have a fabulous time!



  14. YU on 2013年08月19日 at 15:12

    Hi Saki,

    Nice to have you with us !

    Hi David,

    It’s still very hot in Japan.
    My neighbor’s roof has been renovating since this morning. I really admire the carpenters who are working in this heat!
    At the same time, that reminded me of the fact that you were building a house. Are your carpenters working while you’re away, too?
    In Japan, clients sometimes present snacks or drinks to carpenters to show their appreciation for their hard work and to motivate them even more. Do you have custom like that in the UK, too?

    Anyway, please enjoy the cool weather there and be careful not to get shock when you return !



  15. KOO on 2013年08月20日 at 01:13

    Hi everyone, nice to meet you, this is my first time to post my comment. I am living in Japan but have had a lot of overseas trip for the business. Last time I went to Southeast Asia. Those places are always hot but I feel we have the hottest weather here in Japan in Aug due to high humidity. Next time I’m gonna have a trip to London that is expected to be quite exciting for me.
    I was looking for the good oppotunity to train myself in English and glad to find the best place.

    Looking forward to communicate with everyone here.



  16. KOO on 2013年08月20日 at 01:18

    Hi everyone, nice to meet you.
    This is my forst time to post my comment.
    I was looking for the good place to train myself in English and am glad to find this site.
    I am living in Japan and have had a lot of overseas trip for my business.
    Last time I went to Southeast Asia. Those places are always summer but I feel we have a hottest weather in aug here-in Japan due to high humidity.
    Next time I am gonna have a trip to London that is expected to be quite exciting for me!!
    Looking forward to communicate with you.
    Thanks.



  17. Kattie on 2013年08月20日 at 06:46

    Hi Koo,

    Welcome to the blog. Reading everyone’s comments about the heat makes me think that we really must avoid visiting Japan in the summer – Tom and I find it too hot when it’s 30 degrees, so 40 degrees plus would be impossible! It will be 21 degrees here tomorrow and the forecasters are saying how nice and warm it is, I think it’s like your spring.

    Hi Yu,

    Yes we always offer tea and a biscuit or two if we have any builders who are working on the house…or anyone who does a job for us like electricians etc. Actually we also get offered tea or coffee when we go to various businesses for example, this morning I had a coffee when I went to see someone at the bank and I’m always offered a drink at the hairdressers – you’re generally offered a drink when they think/hope you will be at their office/shop for quite a while – does this happen in Japan too? At Christmas a lot of shops also offer a glass of mulled wine – they probably hope we’ll spend more if we’re feeling merry and festive!



  18. Biwa on 2013年08月20日 at 10:11

    Hi Saki and Koo,

    Nice to have you with us. 🙂

    Hi Kattie and everyone,

    >Tom and I find it too hot when it’s 30 degrees, so 40 degrees plus would be impossible!

    Me, too! But it’s funny because you gradually get used to this ridiculous heat and feel somewhat relieved when it’s around 30 degrees. We’re also having quite a lot of wind in the night, and that makes me feel fall is coming a little bit closer than before. Of course, it’s still too hot and sticky in the daytime!

    Anyway, in this heat, I washed all the net-windows and curtains in my living room yesterday.(I know I’m crazy!) Although the breeze is not that cool yet, it’s nice and refreshing to see clean curtains fluttering. Kattie and David, I wish you could send us tons of cool air!



  19. YU on 2013年08月20日 at 18:13

    Hi KOO,

    Nice to have you with us!
    My husband is from Indonesia and he gets used to the hot weather, but even he says that this summer’s heat is unbearable.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to your next comment!

    > you’re generally offered a drink when they think/hope you will be at their office/shop for quite a while – does this happen in Japan too?

    Yes, it does in Japan too, at the offices, at the hairdressers, at car dealers, etc…
    By the way, in Japan, you’re usually served a drink by young female employees at the office. I kind of understand young employees do the job, but I don’t understand why only women have to do that in Japan. I think it shows gender discrimination in the workplace in Japan. I don’t think it does happen in the UK, or ?

    Hi Biwa,

    > I washed all the net-windows

    お疲れ様~!
    Come to think of it, I didn’t see window screens in Germany. I wonder if it exists there… Moreover, I didn’t see cockroaches there, either!



  20. YU on 2013年08月20日 at 18:15

    Sorry, the comment below is to Kattie,

    Hi Kattie,

    > you’re generally offered a drink when they think/hope you will be at their office/shop for quite a while – does this happen in Japan too?

    Yes, it does in Japan too, at the offices, at the hairdressers, at car dealers, etc…
    By the way, in Japan, you’re usually served a drink by young female employees at the office. I kind of understand young employees do the job, but I don’t understand why only women have to do that in Japan. I think it shows gender discrimination in the workplace in Japan. I don’t think it does happen in the UK, or ?



  21. Kattie on 2013年08月20日 at 22:56

    Hi Yu,

    >I don’t think it does happen in the UK, or ?

    I suppose it’s often the more junior members of staff who will make tea/coffee but I think that’s usually because they’re not so busy but there’s no gender divide. Actually in the bank it was an older man who brought me a coffee and my meeting was with a middle aged woman

    Hi Biwa

    >Anyway, in this heat, I washed all the net-windows and curtains in my living room yesterday.(I know I’m crazy!

    That’s one of the real luxuries of living in a hot climate. I find drying washing one of the most awkward household chores. We don’t have a tumble dryer because I think they’re environmentally unfriendly, big and expensive to run so we dry clothes on a heated electric airer which clutters up the place. Even in the summer we often use it because it rains so much. One thing I have noticed about our Japanese visitors is how much washing they have, especially towels and jumpers and outer clothes which we wouldn’t generally wash on a daily basis. I wonder whether this is because drying clothes is so much easier in Japan. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this – do you think Europeans are dirty?!



  22. Fumie on 2013年08月21日 at 09:51

    Hi Kattie,

    >I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this – do you think Europeans are dirty?!

    No, I don’t think so. I don’t wash jumpers or suits on a daily basis, especially some which we can’t wash at home. I only take those clothes to laundry once at the end of winter. Though I wash towels on a daily basis. It may depends on each person.
    Lots of Japanese people put Futon in the sun to dry on sunny days. I don’t think European people don’t do that because they use bed. Instead, I assume they make the bed.

    So how about vacuumming the floor, how often do you vacumm the floor? I guess again it all depends on a person but I try to vacumm the living room and other rooms which we use often evry day or at least every other day.



  23. YU on 2013年08月21日 at 12:25

    Hi Kattie and everyone,

    I don’t think Europeans are dirty, either.
    How often you wash your clothes is depends on the climate where you live, I think.

    When I lived in Germany, I soon realized that Germans didn’t wash clothes as often as the Japanese did, and I assumed that it was because the humidity in Germany was lower than that in Japan. People don’t sweat much when the humidity is low, and that means, your clothes don’t stink that much in those places. If you lived in Japan, you would feel like washing your clothes every day, I guess!

    When I visited my husband’s family in Indonesia, I realized that they washed clothes even more often than we did! In addition to that, they take a bath at least twice a day, regardless of age and sex. My husband still always tries to wash his jeans or trousers after he wore them only one day. It seems that it’s hard for him to get rid of the habit of his birthplace, so was it for your Japanese guests, I guess.

    By the way, your question reminded me of the fact that Germans don’t rinse the dishes well(or even at all!) after washig them with washing-up liquid. Once I have complained about it to one of my German friends, but she objected my argument saying “You need to use a lot of water to rinse the dishes because Japanese detergent is low quality and environment unfriendly, isn’t it?” Then I was taken by surprise and couldn’t talk back to her, but I still think it’s unhygienic. I wonder if you agree with her because you’re a European. Do people rinse the dishes well in the UK?



  24. Kattie on 2013年08月21日 at 20:59

    Hi Fumie and Yu,

    It’s good to hear that you don’t think we’re dirty! Like you (Fumie) I hoover the main areas virtually every day especially because we have a dog and cat and they moult – and like you (Yu) we always rinse the dishes after washing them. I don’t really understand your German friend’s argument when she said that Japanese detergent was poor quality so you need to rinse the dishes well! If the detergent is poor quality I would have thought it needed less water to rinse off! Also, how did she know that Japanese detergent wasn’t as good, if anything I would guess that Japanese detergent is the best in the world because, from my experience, Japanese people lead the way on cleanliness issues e.g the loos (toilets), the bathing rituals, washing etc.

    Actually talking of Germany, there was a tv programme a couple of weeks ago called ‘Make me a German’. A journalist couple decided to stay in Germany for a few weeks and live as the average German family live – they consulted researchers, advertising agencies etc and followed a strict regime. They wanted to see whether this experiment would throw any light on the secret of German (economic) success since the war. Of course, this wasn’t an in depth study but it was quite interesting. It seems that the average German working in a factory is much more discplined that the average Brit (no surprises there), they don’t chat, text etc while they are working and so work less hours but produce more. There were some really positive things, in particular many young children (until about the age of 7) attend schools in the woods, they don’t learn to read or write but they learn to play together and use their imagination (no toys are allowed) Once they start formal education, they soon catch up and often overtake their peers and so this approach obviously works. However, there were also a couple of negatives – firstly they interviewed a second generation immigrant who said that, even though she was born in Germany, she didn’t gain full German citizenship until she was 28 (!) and that German society was all about excluding people. The second thing was that women with children often felt forced into very set gender roles and that there were very few female representatives in the board room or in other high level positions. The British journalist said that the pressures were partly societal (working women with children were not viewed positively and also the average German family live in a small modern apartment (with all the mod cons) but the woman of the house spends four and a half hours a day doing housework) and also there were practical problems like the weird school hours (which involve a couple of hours here and a couple of hours there) making it very difficult for people to organise childcare. Anyway, as I said, this was obviously a simplistic overview, designed to appeal to a mainstream tv audience so I wondered how accurate it was. I know Yu lived in Germany for quite a long time so maybe she experienced some of these things first hand.



  25. KOO on 2013年08月21日 at 21:16

    Thanks for everyone’s warm welcome.
    I agree to Fumie and YU as for the clothes washing. Usually I also wash my jacket once at the end of the season except for Summer. Only tops ware in Summer and around summer like the end of Spring, I wash everyday. For jeans, I wash once per approx 5 months.
    And regarding the dish washing, I don’t know the actual habit of UK people but my friend in UK said that they usually wash dishes with a detergent only when they ate the oily foods, but when they eat just kind of non-oily food like a bread, they wash with only water.



  26. Biwa on 2013年08月21日 at 21:43

    Hi Kattie and everyone,

    >That’s one of the real luxuries of living in a hot climate.

    That’s an interesting point of view. We have to be thankful for this hot climate! Come to think of it, I do have a tumble dryer but I hardly ever use it except during the rainy season. I guess it must be quite hard work to dry all the sheets and pillow cases when you have lots of guests.

    Anyway, I don’t think that Europeans are dirty, either, for the same reason as YU. For example, I like to wash bath towels every day because they get smelly before they dry if you just hang them in the bathroom after using. It’s that hot and wet especially in this season. For the same reason, I think Japanese people like to take a bath/shower very often. When I visited France, I heard that people don’t wash their hair every day. I kind of understand that because it was really dry and cool, so you don’t really sweat or smell. Would that be the same in the UK, too?

    However, I feel that Japanese people are becoming a bit like stink-phobias. They’re selling more and more detergents, fabric softeners or dryer paper with quite strong scents, sterilizing sprays and goods for the kitchen. There are lots of deodorant sprays and sheets designed for men, too. I don’t think it’s a bad trend, but I sometimes feel like we’re becoming abnormal clean-freaks!

    Hi YU,

    Talking about washing dishes, my son told me that people in Australia don’t rinse the dishes, either. They fill the sink with hot water and detergent, and soak the dirty dishes, wipe them with a cloth, and finished. I wonder if it’s really eco-friendly because I think you need to use a lot of detergent and water to wash the kitchen cloths anyway.



  27. Anne on 2013年08月21日 at 23:05

    Hi saki and Koo,
    Nice to have you with us!

    Hi Kattie and everyone,
    Of course, I don’t think Europeans are dirty,either. As YU and other members mentioned, one of the reasons for washing is the weather. I think this hot and humid weather makes people want to wash!

    I like doing laundry, so I wash towels and bath towels evry day. Actually, the other day, I had a chance to talk about how often you washed bath towels. One of my friends said, “Well… I wash my bath towels at… certain times because I am clean when I get out of the shower,right?” Yeah, she makes a point.

    Also it reminded me of talking about washing machines with a frined of mine who is married to a Swiss. According to her, in some of the apartment houses, each resident has to share a washing machine together in a basement or someplace, and they need to do laundry according to the schedule usually two or three times a week. At her apartment house, it was OK to settle the washing machine in each house, so I’m not sure this is the usual case in Switzerland,though… I don’t think I could bear this situation.

    Kattie’s story concerning the TV program called “Make me a German” is interesting. People tend to have some image toward each country. I especially found it interesting about the gender roles.

    Anyway, one good thing for this humid weather is that it’s good for our skin!



  28. YU on 2013年08月22日 at 01:16

    Hi Kattie,

    > If the detergent is poor quality I would have thought it needed less water to rinse off! Also, how did she know that Japanese detergent wasn’t as good

    Sorry for my poor English! I guess what she wanted to say was that you didn’t need to worry about whether you rinsed dishes well so much, if your detergent was made from good natural raw materials.

    > firstly they interviewed a second generation immigrant who said that, even though she was born in Germany, she didn’t gain full German citizenship until she was 28 (!) and that German society was all about excluding people.

    First of all, I’m not sure where her parents are from, so I can’t talk much about her case, but as she says, it is true that immigrants from some particular countries are treated differently from others in Germany, but I heard that it was because second generation immigrants of those countries often drop out, never try to find a job, and think of only living with social security money, so it is one of the main social problems in Germany. Most Germans seemed to see them as a social burden. If I were a German, I would think the same way as them. I don’t like to discriminate immigrants, but if they stay in my country just for social security money, I would be angry with them, too.

    > German society was all about excluding people.

    I don’t know what harsh experience she had, but there are some good Germans, too. 🙂

    Finally, I don’t know which is first, Germans treat them badly because they are too bad, or because they are too bad, Germans treat them badly.
    However, I think such things always happen in most developed countries, so do they in Japan. In Japan, for example, Chinese people are often treated differently from others when they apply for a spouse VISA at the immigration office. My husband is from a developing country, so for him getting permission for permanent residence is not as easy as for people from developed countries like David, unless he marries Japanese woman. I guess it is the case also when he applies for Japanese citizenship.

    I’m not sure why she couldn’t gain full citizenship until she was 28. Was it because of her parents’ nationality or because she didn’t have a job or were there any other reasons?
    Anyway, I don’t really think Germany didn’t accept her just because of her parents’ origin, there must have been some other good reasons for it.

    > The second thing was that women with children
    often felt forced into very set gender roles

    I felt exactly the opposite, but it might be just because I’m Japanese. I mean, because I always compared German women to Japanese women. Anyway, at least all German(not immigrants) husbands I knew looked very cooperative to me, they were mostly younger generations, though…

    > and that there were very few female representatives in the board room or in other high level positions.

    I heard exacty the opposite from German friends, but I might have been just brainwashed by them!! 🙂
    One of my German friends told me that women’s positions in the companies were secured and given priority over men’s by law. For example, if some company had to choose a new general manager among two canditates, a male employee and a female employee with exactly the same qualification, they would have to choose the female one. I heard this law was also applied to the entrance admission to schools and many other cases. One of my male German friends was complaining about this law!

    Talking about high level positions, I don’t think the ratio of women in parliament is very low in Germany, either.

    I found an interesting lsit about it.

    http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm

    Additionally, as you know, current German PM is a woman.

    Germans are very precise (both in a good sense and in a bad sense!), they like to make rules by themselves and follow them. In other words, they are a bit inflexible. If someone doesn’t follow a rule, they don’t overlook it. In my personal point of view, Germany is a very strict country, and it’s not easy for easy-going people to live there, but you can also say that they are earnest and fair.



  29. YU on 2013年08月22日 at 01:20

    Hi Biwa,

    > They fill the sink with hot water and detergent, and soak the dirty dishes, wipe them with a cloth, and finished

    Wow! They are just like Germans!
    German people do exactly the same!!



  30. YU on 2013年08月22日 at 12:32

    Hi Kattie,

    Sorry, I realized that I gave you an irrelevant answer.

    > women with children often felt forced into very set gender roles
    > The British journalist said that the pressures were partly societal

    I wonder if it’s ture… Actually, I never felt like that way or heard of that when I lived there, but again I might have not realized it just because I’m from Japan where women with children are more oppressed! From British people’s point of view, German women with children might look poor.

    > also the average German family live in a small modern apartment (with all the mod cons)

    I personally feel nothing is wrong with it except the part of “small”, though… “With all the mod cons” sounds Japanese people’s favorite!

    I think it has a lot to do with your sense of values after all. A modern house or an apartment with all the mod cons might not appeal to most of British people at all, but some might find it very attractive.

    > but the woman of the house spends four and a half hours a day doing housework

    Really?! What are they actually doing spending four and a half hours a day? Hahaha!!
    It sounds like they work very inefficiently or they are very lazy, but that is imcompatible with what the same journalist mentioned before ; “they don’t chat, text etc while they are working and so work less hours but produce more”.
    By the way, there’s a Japanese TV commercial of some company selling health supplements saying that Japanese housewives spend the longest hours doing housework in the world, I never spent more than four and a half hours a day doing around the house like German women, though!! :-)

    Hi Anne,

    > Also it reminded me of talking about washing machines with a frined of mine who is married to a Swiss. According to her, in some of the apartment houses, each resident has to share a washing machine together in a basement or someplace,

    Coincidentally, I saw a TV program featuring “the fact” the other day.

    > they need to do laundry according to the schedule usually two or three times a week.

    The program said that it was even “only once a couple of weeks”!! I couldn’t believe my ears! I wondered how many underwears and clothes they had to have for the weired system!
    I don’t think Biwa can survive there!! Of course, me, either!
    I called it “weird system”, but actually I know that it’s not our business. They just have different culture from ours and we shouldn’t say this and that about it as long as they’re satisfied with it.



  31. Biwa on 2013年08月23日 at 08:28

    Hi YU,

    >I heard this law was also applied to the entrance admission to schools and many other cases. One of my male German friends was complaining about this law!

    That’s amazing. I wonder how they passed such a bill! It’s another kind of sex discrimination, isn’t it?

    By the way, we’re having a mayoral election for Yokohama city this Sunday. The current mayor is a woman (Fumiko Hayashi), and I’m definitely going to vote for her second term. She has secured day-nursuries for all children in Yokohama, and regarded as a pioneer from Mr. Abe. I think she was able to realize it because she knew how important and urgent it was from her own experience. Anyway, it’s nice to have such an energetic woman as a leader of the second heavily populated cities (next to Tokyo) in Japan.

    Hi everyone,

    I feel like I’m in a sauna today! 🙁
    The weather forecaster said that the humidity was already 87% at 6 o’clock in the morning. I felt even worse hearing that…



  32. Biwa on 2013年08月23日 at 09:10

    Hi Kattie,

    I got particulary interested in the story about German children attending school in the woods! Sounds really exciting.
    I wonder if they are ordinary schools, I mean, it’s good if really many children are being educated like that. It is commonly said in Japan and many other Asian countries like China or Korea, that even really little children are forced to study for long hours. I don’t say that studying is evil, but I think children have lots of other things to learn through playing. I can easily imagine those healthily educated children easily catch up or even overtake their peers when they start formal education.

    Your story reminded me of the Waldorf(Steiner) education. We have a kindergarten that follows the method in our neighborhood. I hear that they play with simple toys which are made from natural materials only, no plastic. However, I didn’ send my sons there because almost everything has to be handmade! Bags, sheets, napkins, indoor-shoes, smocks etc. Too high hurdles for me!



  33. YU on 2013年08月23日 at 09:28

    Hi Biwa,

    > It’s another kind of sex discrimination, isn’t it?

    I don’t know how to explain, but as for entrance admission to schools, they don’t have a system like our jyuken.
    You take a graduation examination at your high school and if you pass it, you’re eligible to choose any universities in Germany.
    I thought you also had to submit some papers to the univerisity of your preference, but unless you apply to very popular universities or departments, your entrance admission isn’t affected by them, I mean almost all high school graduates are automatically accepted by your desired universities.

    確か各大学の各学部に最低学業成績基準みたいなものが設けられていて高校でそれ以下の成績だと願書を出せなかったと思います。だから高校卒業試験に合格さえすれば誰でも日本の東京大学レベルの大学へ行けるというわけではないです。
    あと、ドイツでは高校卒業後現役で大学へ行くことがそんなにスゴイとも思われないし(入試がないから)、そういうことに執着していないし、多くの学部が春、秋2回入学のチャンスがあるので逆にちょっと旅行でもしてから、という人も多いです。女性優遇の法律には私も驚きましたが、ドイツの入試制度からすると実際に適用される機会はそんなにないんじゃないでしょうか?
    私は外国人なので別の選考基準で入学許可をもらったのであまり詳しくなくてすみません。



  34. Biwa on 2013年08月23日 at 15:46

    Hi YU,

    I see, thanks for the explanation. 🙂
    There seems to be some arguments that we should change the university entrance system like that in Japan, too. I’m not sure if it will work though, because Japanese companies tend to assess the students by the name/brand of the university instead of what the students have really studied.
    Anyway, I guess nothing will change in just a few years, but there may be some changes by the time your son becomes 18!



  35. YU on 2013年08月23日 at 16:43

    Hi Biwa,

    > because Japanese companies tend to assess the students by the name/brand of the university instead of what the students have really studied.

    Exactly. In Germany and in many other countries, graduating from brand universities might mean a lot, but just entering them doesn’t really mean much.

    > but there may be some changes by the time your son becomes 18!

    I hope so.
    By the way, my son became five years old today.



  36. Kattie on 2013年08月24日 at 02:42

    Hi Saki,

    Nice to hear from you and I hope you had a good time in London.

    Hi Biwa,

    > I guess it must be quite hard work to dry all the sheets and pillow cases when you have lots of guests.
    Yes, the washing isn’t a problem but the drying is – when we eventually move house, we would really like a small laundry room. By the way, how often do you wash sheets? Also, we wash my dishes in the way that you described (like the Australian family) and then I rinse them – do people generally wash them in a different way in Japan?

    Hi Anne,
    > a frined of mine who is married to a Swiss. According to her, in some of the apartment houses, each resident has to share a washing machine together in a basement or someplace.

    Some apartment blocks here also have a communal washing machine and dryer. I don’t know whether they have a strict rota system though but, in any case, we probably use the washing machine twice a week (but we might do 2/3 washes at one time) so a communal washing area wouldn’t really bother me – in fact, I would quite like it because they have industrial sized washing machines and dryers which are much better. Sometimes when we have a large amount of washing we go to the launderette to get everything dried at once.

    Hi Yu,

    >I heard exacty the opposite from German friends

    Thanks for the information about the representation of women in parliament it was very interesting and Germany is quite high on that list but the programme talked about women working in companies, so I googled this and found this article
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-business/10004330/Germany-rejects-female-board-member-quota-bill.html
    which seems to back this up. I wonder why German women are comparatively well represented in parliament.

    >it is true that immigrants from some particular countries are treated differently from others in Germany, but I heard that it was because second generation immigrants of those countries often drop out, never try to find a job, and think of only living with social security money

    As I said before, the programme was not an in depth study so I don’t know all the facts but I think that anyone who’s born in a country to parents who are legal immigrants should be a citizen of that country from birth. There are a lot of British people who can trace their British roots back several generations but they are lazy etc however they are still British citizens, in the same way that these people should also be, irrespective of their behaviour. I also think that when people are continually discriminated against they are even more likely not to conform to society’s rules because they don’t feel part of it.

    > I personally feel nothing is wrong with it except the part of “small”, though… “With all the mod cons” sounds Japanese people’s favorite!

    Actually, when I said ‘small apartments with all the mod cons’ I didn’t mean it in a negative way but mentioned it simply because it’s difficult to see how someone could spend that long cleaning!

    Hi again Biwa!
    >That’s amazing. I wonder how they passed such a bill! It’s another kind of sex discrimination, isn’t it?
    We call this type of thing positive discrimination and it’s often used in the work place (particularly in large companies and local government) for example there are quotas for ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, women and people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. I know at first glance it can seem like you are replacing one form of discrimation with another but the logic behind it is that historically people from these groups have had many disadvantages (educationally etc) and have been (and often still are) discriminated against, so quotas go some way to ironing out these injustices. It’s also very important for younger people in these groups to see that it is possible for them to succeed because they have their own role models to aspire to. Another point is that society is made up of lots of different types of people and so this should be reflected in government and the work place – different types of people bring different perspectives which in turn lead to better, more rounded decisions being made.

    > got particulary interested in the story about German children attending school in the woods! Sounds really exciting
    It does, doesn’t it! I thought you would find this interesting. I think these schools are quite common in Germany (also in certain parts of Scandinavia). My youngest daughter Rosie (who lives in London) looks after a little girl sometimes and she goes to a school which is a bit like this – actually, it might be a Steiner school, I don’t think the family have to make everything though – that sounds a real pain!

    Hi everyone,

    I hope you all have a lovely weekend – we have a bank holiday this weekend – yippee!



  37. Kattie on 2013年08月24日 at 02:47

    Mistake!
    we wash my dishes – should be ‘we wash our dishes’!!



  38. YU on 2013年08月24日 at 07:16

    Hi Kattie,

    Thank you for the interesting article.
    It is indeed very surprising that female corporate representation is that low in Germany(only 4%!).
    German parliament is still male-dominant and I suspect that many other important governmental policies are controled by consulations between only male MPs on backstage, too.

    > I wonder why German women are comparatively well represented in parliament.

    I read in Wiki that the quota system in parliament was introduced in Germany and there were always a certain number of female MPs. Wiki also says that it is introduced in 26 OECD member nations including the UK, but not in Japan.

    > but I think that anyone who’s born in a country to parents who are legal immigrants should be a citizen of that country from birth

    I know exactly what you mean and basically I agree with you.

    By the way, as you may know, in Japan, you can’t be a citizen of Japan from birth just because your parents are legal immigrants. However, if at least one of your parents is Japanese, you can automatically have double citizenships until a certain point of time, but then you’ll have to choose one of them.(“right of blood principle” 国籍血統主義) In my son’s case, he has to choose it by 18 because of the Indonesian law.
    I read in Wiki that only the USA and Canada in G7 adopt “the right of soil principle”(国籍出生地主義) without conditions, but both in the UK and Germany, the right of blood principle like Japan is basically adopted and “the right of soil principle” is applied only with certain conditions even if your parents are legal immigrants in the country. Is it correct information?

    > these people should also be, irrespective of their behaviour.

    I think so, too, but as I said, I don’t understand why she couldn’t gain full German citizenship until she was 28, but I still believe there must have been some other good reasons for it. From your story I got the impression that the TV program interviewed only the woman, but isn’t it a kind of an incomplete, one-sided report?
    I don’t mean to side with Germany, but it is not very convincing that Germany didn’t accept her just because German society was all about excluding people! That’s a bit extreme. I personally think Japanese society is a bit like that, though.

    > I also think that when people are continually discriminated against they are even more likely not to conform to society’s rules because they don’t feel part of it.

    I think so, too.
    That’s why I wrote ; “Finally, I don’t know which is first, Germans treat them badly because they are too bad, or because they are too bad, Germans treat them badly.”

    Have a nice weekend !



  39. YU on 2013年08月24日 at 09:09

    corrections :

    > It is indeed very surprising that female corporate representation is that low in Germany(only 4%!).

    …..is that few in Germany

    > you can’t be a citizen of Japan from birth just because your parents are legal immigrants.

    ……even if your parents are legal immigrants



  40. Biwa on 2013年08月25日 at 10:20

    Hi YU,

    A belated happy birthday to your son♪♪♪
    Did you bake a cake?

    Hi Kattie,

    Thanks for the information about “positive discrimination.”

    I googled some articles and learned that it is also called “affirmative action”, and that some local governments and national universities (only six, though!) in Japan do have quotas for women. I knew we have quotas for people with disabilities and for people with disadvantaged backgrounds, but I have never really heard of those for women.

    However, last year, one of those six universities had to withdraw their idea just two months after announcing because there was so much objection. These six universities/faculties are of science, technology or engineering where female students are originally few. I think universities should be able to have their own admission policies. Universities have rights to choose students just as much as students have rights to choose them. I guess Japan is still in the transition period and that it needs a little more time until we catch up with the UK and many other countries.

    Of course, there seems to be lots of opponents of this policy and I kind of understand. It also makes me feel that politics is all about deciding where to draw the line! (Especially when paying taxes, insurance, education-fee etc) If any of you are interested, here’s some extract from Wiki:

    Opponents, who sometimes say that affirmative action is “reverse discrimination”, further claim that affirmative action has undesirable side-effects in addition to failing to achieve its goals. They argue that it hinders reconciliation, replaces old wrongs with new wrongs, undermines the achievements of minorities, and encourages individuals to identify themselves as disadvantaged, even if they are not. It may increase racial tension and benefit the more privileged people within minority groups at the expense of the least fortunate within majority groups (such as lower-class whites).

    By the way, regarding the dish-washing, I usually put some detergent on a sponge, rub/clean the dishes and pile them, and then rinse and put them in a drainer basket. I don’t wipe them immediately because it’s much easier to do so after they dry naturally. For the sheets, I usually wash two sets every Saturday or Sunday, so that means a set is washed once in every two weeks (because there are four people in my family). I wash the pillow cases more often and hang dry the futons on my veranda walls, but probably, I’m a dirty person!



  41. YU on 2013年08月25日 at 12:27

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you for your kind message to my son!

    > undermines the achievements of minorities, and encourages individuals to identify themselves as disadvantaged, even if they are not. It may increase racial tension and benefit the more privileged people within minority groups at the expense of the least fortunate within majority groups (such as lower-class whites).

    I guess that is exactly what most Germans feel about second(third) generation immigrants who are just hanging around without finding a steady job and living with social security money.
    To such lower-class people who work hard and pay taxes properly, their efforts must look all for nothing.

    On the other hand, there’re a lot of immigrants who work hard and try to melt the society, too. So, I don’t think it is a right thing that people treat all immigrants badly because of those lazy immigrants, but I think it’s quite natural people to angry with them just like you feel disgusted with your countrymen who do nothing to the society “by design”, even though they actually can.



  42. Anne on 2013年08月25日 at 15:11

    Hi Biwa and everyone,

    >Opponents, who sometimes say that affirmative action is “reverse discrimination”, —Actually,this spring I had a chance to discuss this issue, racial discrimination and some other things with a student from the US. He was studying at a university in Nagoya at that time, He is a black. It was a part of his graduation thesis. One of the members(my friend) asked him about affirmative action. In the US, some of the universities have some quota for minorities mainly(I guess) for blacks. By the way, I think it’s not the discriminatory expression,right?

    It is necessary to protect a minor group, but it is also difficult to strike the balance between protection and fairness(reverse discrimination).

    This morning when I woke up, it felt like autumn was coming at last. The high today is supposed to be around 28 degrees where I live according to the weather forecast. I almost forgot the last time I had this cozy feeling. No AC! It is raining outside, and is still a bit humid, but compared with the crazy hot heat this summer, it is really nice. I hope it won’t go back to scorching hot days any more. Anyway, autumn is upon us day by day. I can feel it through the air, the sky and every place. How about the places where you live? I hope you are having a lovely Sunday.

    Hi YU,
    A Belated Happy Birthday to your son!



  43. Fumie on 2013年08月26日 at 10:05

    Hi Anne and everyone,

    It’s really cool where I live, too. Unbelievable weather after those continual crazy hot days. We don’t need air conditioner and I even felt a little cold when I woke up this morning. It says 27 degrees now. I don’t think this comfortable weather will continue because weather forcast predicted that the temperatures of September and October would be higher than average. For a moment, I want to enjoy this cool weather!



  44. YU on 2013年08月27日 at 17:27

    Hi everyone,

    We discussed if Saturday classes should be resumed here. This afternoon I heard that the government had finally decided to go back to the old system. Apparently, they’ll first spend two billion yen on subsidizing about 20% of the whole public schools next April and they’re aiming for implementation of Saturday classes in all public schools in next three years.

    Part of the budget is planned to be used for employing local part-time instructors consisting of general company employees or public employees to give lessons like active learning programs, English classes or supplementary tuition to students so that their school teachers can secure the number of their current days off.

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/news/20130827-OYT1T00696.htm?from=navr

    Do you think this project will go well?



  45. Biwa on 2013年08月29日 at 09:04

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for the article. 🙂

    Well, I’m not in favor of Saturday classes from the beginning because children are already spending enough time at school. What’s more, if the state is going to spend that much money for this project, why don’t they use it for hiring more teachers to make the classes smaller? Forty students are obviously too many for one teacher to manage, and I think smaller classes would solve many problems we are facing. If we had smaller classes, children would be able to receive appropriate lessons depending on their levels. Also, larger classes tend to create passive students which I think is the biggest problem in Japanese education.

    The project sounds as if they are just trying to sidestep the main issue (the lack of after-school child care facilities).

    By the way, it’s really helpful if anyone can help me. The sentence below is mine which I wrote to Kattie (Aug.21), but I realized that it might have sounded a bit different from what I meant. I hope it didn’t sound sarcastic!

    >We have to be thankful for this hot climate!

    I wanted to say (確かに暑いけど)この気候に感謝しなくっちゃね!
    Should I have written “We probably should be thankful for this hot climate!”?



  46. YU on 2013年08月29日 at 12:08

    Hi Biwa,

    Thanks for your comment!

    > Forty students are obviously too many for one teacher to manage, and I think smaller classes would solve many problems we are facing.

    I totally agree with you, but it always reminds me of the same argument : “How teachers in our school days used to manage large classes of more than 40 students by themselves? The same teachers used to teach Saturday classes, too.”
    It was possible because students and parents in those days were more obedient?!
    Of course, I don’t mean that teachers today should work harder without complaining, though!

    > if the state is going to spend that much money for this project, why don’t they use it for hiring more teachers to make the classes smaller?

    I couldn’t agree with you more.
    I guess the problem is that our government doesn’t realize that the class size is one of the main problems. They might still believe like, everything went well with the large class size
    before, so why not today?
    Or they know all things like that, but they might want to attract voters by their “showy” performance(return of Saturday classes) because that is what most parents today wish and just increasing the number of teachers is too plain(地味過ぎ)?!



  47. Fumie on 2013年08月29日 at 22:41

    Hi Biwa and YU,

    I totally agree with you regarding today’s educational problems. I think the government should listen to teachers’ opinions.現場の声を聞くべき。



  48. Anne on 2013年08月30日 at 08:17

    Hi Yu and everyone,

    YU, thanks for the link.

    > If we had smaller classes, children would be able to receive appropriate lessons depending on their levels(from Biwa’s comment)—I agree with you.
    I’m not familiar with the recent situation in elementary school and junior high school, but before starting this project, I guess there are a lot of things to do. I wonder why there are not classes according to each student’s academic ability. If students can’t keep up with the level, it’s really a hardship for them to stay in the class, isn’t it? I also hope all the people(including parents) don’t hesitate to lower their levels to understand lessons when the system would be adopted.

    Hi Biwa,

    >I wanted to say (確かに暑いけど)この気候に感謝しなくっちゃね!
    Should I have written “We probably should be thankful for this hot climate!”?
    —Both of your sentences don’t feel sarcastic at all and I think yours are fine.
    While I was reading your question, another idea came to mind. In you case, you exchanged a lot of information between Kattie and you, so both of you shared the same understanding about the weather both in the UK and Japan, so it’s OK.

    When I translate Japanese sentences into English, or write some things in English, I sometimes fail at it because of lack of my explanation. I guess when you write some things in English, you need to explain a little bit more to make perfect sense. It’s just my thought, though…



  49. Biwa on 2013年08月30日 at 14:34

    Hi Anne,

    Thanks for your help. I’m glad to know that my original sentence didn’t sound sarcastic! Honestly speaking, I don’ really know if I’m using ‘should’ or ‘have to’ correctly. ‘Should’ sounds like ‘it’s a good idea to do so’ and ‘have to’ sounds like ‘it’s better to do so because it’s a rule/law.’ However, there might not be any big difference when you talk about yourself. ( I should/ I have to) Is my understanding all right so far?

    >I guess when you write some things in English, you need to explain a little bit more to make perfect sense.

    Yes, I know what you mean. I think it’s also difficult because writing is a one-way expression without any immediate questions from the readers. That’s quite different from conversation.

    Hi everyone,

    Regarding the education system, I wonder what would happen when Saturday classes actually begins.

    Lots of kids in my neighborhood join soccer or baseball teams, take piano lessons, go to cram schools, etc. They already have their own schedules set, so there might be some complaints if schools fail to provide real interesting classes. Also, if their planning only English and other supplementary classes which are not compulsory, taught by non-professional teachers (an excellent person in the business world doesn’t always mean s/he is excellent at teaching), I’m afraid lots of students- especially junior high school students- will try to skip Saturday classes. It’s just natural to feel so if the classes are not going to affect your grades!

    By the way, I found another mistake in my sentence. I hope I can say it correctly next time!

    >if the state is going to spend that much money for this project

    ⇒if the state is going to spend that much money ‘on’ this project



  50. YU on 2013年08月31日 at 11:42

    Hi Biwa and everyone,

    > Also, if their planning only English and other supplementary classes which are not compulsory,

    Right, you have a point.
    But even so, I would still ask my son to attend Saturday classes because I don’t think ignoring school classes and taking lessons outside is a right thing.

    > taught by non-professional teachers (an excellent person in the business world doesn’t always mean s/he is excellent at teaching),

    I don’t think inviting those non-professional teachers to schools itself is a bad idea.

    I’m not infavor of Saturday classes at all, but I don’t think those temporary instructors always must be excellent at teaching. I think the main advantage of inviting them to schools is that they can tell what they learned through their work experience. Of course, some school teachers are experienced, too, but most of them are experienced only in school matters because they usually become teachers right after they graduate from university.

    By the way, a couple of months ago, I saw a TV program featuring an elementary school which offered a unique schedule of classes.
    I can’t remember the details, but they start classes 30~40 minutes earlier than usual schools in the morning and finish one more class before lunch, then they offer another 3~4 classes in the afternoon like other schools, so students can go home almost in the same time zone as students of other schools. Apparently, the school invented the unique schedule several years ago to avoid Saturday classes and it seems to be well-recieved in most parents.
    Actually, if the lack of the number of classes was only the matter, I think there are many other ways to avoid Saturday classes besides the one mentioned above, but as far as I read or hear, the reasons why many parents today wish the return of Satuday classes seem to be very selfish and unreasonable. They complain they don’t know how to spend Saturday off with their children, or children never try to do something meaningful on Saturdays, or they just want to have spare time of their own without children!

    Hi Anne,

    > When I translate Japanese sentences into English, or write some things in English, I sometimes fail at it because of lack of my explanation. I guess when you write some things in English, you need to explain a little bit more to make perfect sense. It’s just my thought, though…

    I know what you mean very well, but I don’t really think it is always the case. I think it depens on who the reader is for you, after all. I mean, for example, if the reader was your famiy or someone who is very close to you, you wouldn’t need to write this and that no matter what language you use. My husband and I communicate with each other (including writing) in Japanese, but it often happens that Japanese people need more explanation to understand the same thing, although my husband’s Japanese isn’t perfect at all.
    So, the more distant the reader to you is, the more you need to explain precisely about what you want to say, and it soemtimes doesn’t matter whether you use your own language or foreign language.
    This is just my opinion, though!



  51. Biwa on 2013年09月02日 at 07:53

    Hi YU,

    >but as far as I read or hear, the reasons why many parents today wish the return of Satuday classes seem to be very selfish and unreasonable.

    Yes, I feel exactly the same. And the project sounds as if the government is just trying to make the parents (=voters) happy without really discussing why they need to implement Saturday classes. As you say, I don’t think inviting instructors from the real world is a bad idea either. I just think that it’s a kind of special occasion or lecture, not a class given constantly.

    For example, the elementary school which my sons used to attend had many volunteers from the neighborhood. When they studied about the war, some elderly people came to school to talk what it was like during the war. When they studied about rice-farming, some people taught them how to make ropes or sandals(縄や草履) with the straw. There were people who helped with caligraphy or playing musical instruments. However, I guess those are all just part of regular classes.
    It’s just that the new project makes me angry because it sounds as if they’re trying to add up the number of classes(授業のコマ数だけ増やす) to pretend to solve the main issues, using temporary instructors (=less money) as possible!



  52. David Barker on 2013年09月03日 at 04:39

    Hi everyone,

    I just got back from a weekend in Brighton. The British summer is still going strong, and the temperature was 23 degrees today. (In the UK, that counts as a heatwave!)

    I’m going to Nottingham this week to stay with a friend who is the principal of a high school. I’m going to observe some classes and talk with the teachers. I’m planning to take some of my students there next year, so it’s just a kind of preparation for that.

    How are things in Japan? Has it cooled down yet?

    Bye for now.



  53. Biwa on 2013年09月03日 at 07:35

    Hi David,

    Nice to hear from you. 🙂
    It’s still hot and hot and hot here in Japan. If I were you, I’d stay in the UK for another month!

    Yesterday, some places in Saitama and Chiba were badly affected by a tornado because of the unstable state of air. (I really hope none of the blog members got hurt.)

    The newscasters give us caution for heatstroke every morning, and I’m really fed up with this crazy weather. I’m looking forward to hearing about your friend’s school and other things. Please enjoy the rest of your stay!



  54. amo on 2013年09月03日 at 08:17

    Hi David,

    I am glad to know that you are doing fine in the UK. As Biwa said, it’s still hot here and I bet you don’t envy us 🙁
    This hot and humid days are really murder. Especially, a morning train is a hell. Anyway, hope you enjoy the rest of your stay.

    amo



  55. YU on 2013年09月03日 at 15:09

    Hi David,

    It’s nice to hear from you.
    As other members say, it’s still very hot in Japan!

    Hi everyone,

    This morning, a friend of mine told me that
    there were no air conditioners in her daughter’s elementary school. I wonder why the government doesn’t spend on buying them, although the summer temperature in Japan just goes on rising these years. Do they want to kill our children? They’re studying in this heat every day!
    If Japan is rich enough to afford to have a number of MPs go on “unnecessary” inspection tours to foreign countries every year, I want them to buy air conditioners for our children instead. If possible, before my son starts school!!
    I’m serious!



  56. David Barker on 2013年09月03日 at 17:07

    Hi everyone,

    Sorry to hear about the weather. It’s around 14 degrees here today! It’s lovely! I’m coming back in a week, though, so I hope it will have cooled down a bit by then.

    Hi YU,

    I agree with you 100% about the air conditioners, and while they are at it, how about building showers and changing rooms in junior high and high schools? Actually, how about demolishing every Japanese school building and starting again from scratch? I don’t think I have ever seen places less suitable for educating young people.



  57. Fumie on 2013年09月03日 at 22:19

    Hi David,

    I’m glad to know that you seem enjoying your stay in the UK.
    About weather in Japan, I feel a bit differently. It’s still hot but it is getting much better compared to the peak times. We had consecutive crazy hot days (more than 35 degrees, some parts reached 38 degrees, the highest place recorded over 40 degrees) for more than 2 weeks.

    >I don’t think I have ever seen places less suitable for educating young people.
    I think the government should prioritize educational reform.



  58. Kattie on 2013年09月03日 at 23:34

    Hi everyone,

    I think the weather in the UK has changed a bit here over the last week or so, there was a nip in the air on Sunday and I lit the first fire since March/April. I like this time of year very much, autumn is so pretty and I love the smell of the rotting leaves. I hope the weather changes in Japan soon, it sounds like you’ve had a very long summer.

    Hi David,

    I hope you have a good time in Nottingham – it’ll be really interesting to hear about the differences and similarities between British and Japanese secondary schools – although I’m sure schools vary quite a bit, even in the same country. Have you heard about a new TV programme called Educating Yorkshire? It starts on Thursday on Channel 4.

    We’ve recently put our house on the market and we’ve also had an offer accepted on a house we like, so we’re feeling a bit nervous about whether everything will go through. In the UK it’s quite hard buying and selling houses, sometimes there are several people in a chain and if one person loses their sale, the whole chain collapses – apparently one in three house sales fall through, so you’re never sure until everyone’s in a position to sign contracts.



  59. Anne on 2013年09月04日 at 08:56

    Hi David, Kattie and everyone,

    14 degrees! It feels like the temperature in November in Japan. Actually, it was 23 degrees this morning here, so it’s not that bad and I feel comfortable even though it’s still hot and humid during daytime.
    Anyway, it’s getting cooler day by day, so David, I guess you don’t need to experience crazy hot weather when you come back to Japan.
    By the way, as the member mentioned, the tornadoes ripped through Saitama Pref. and Chiba, and it’s been raining heavily at various places mostly because of the typhoon. I’ve often seen the news concerning tornadoes in the US on TV, but we hear news about the damages by tornadoes even in Japan recently. I think the climate has been changing.

    Hi kattie,
    I hope everything will go well. I’m not sure about the situation in Japan, but it’s not that complicated compared with that of the UK. Anyway, selling ang buying a house is a big event in your life.

    Hi everyone,

    This Sunday, I went to Osaka to watch a Broadway musical called “Dreamgirls.” Sadly, a lot of shows skip Nagoya where I live, so I went to Osaka with my friends. After that, we had tea and strolled around Umeda. The show was amazing and I really enjoyed the whole day.

    David,
    Enjoy the rest of your stay there!



  60. YU on 2013年09月04日 at 10:29

    Hi David,

    In my city’s HP I found conversations between a citizen and our city.

    Citizen :
    The heat wave causes children to have trouble studying and affects their health, so air conditioners should be put in classrooms of every elementary and junior high school.

    City :
    We have full realization of the situation you mentioned, and actually we’ve been working on it by putting fans or “green wall”. By the way, as for some of the school facilities such as teachers’ room, infirmary, PC room in our all elementary and junior high schools,
    air conditioners have been already installed.

    Our submission is that earthquake reinforcement work of our every school building is the top priority. We shall work on other problems sequentially. We ask for your kind understanding and cooperation.

    So, I’m not sure about high schools, but I don’t think it is different in junior high schools, at least.
    Actually, these emails were exchanged in 2011, in summer after the earthquake, but I can’t help thinking that their answer is off the point. What’s more, they’re very stupid to disclose that teachers’ rooms are all air-conditioned, it only adds fuel to the fire!! Don’t you think so?
    I wonder why they can’t work on earthquake-resistant measures and installing air conditioners at the same time.
    I just hope no student will die from the heat before their earthquake reinforcement work is completed!



  61. Biwa on 2013年09月04日 at 12:30

    Hi YU,

    Regarding the air conditioners, it seems that situations differ from city to city. In Yokohama, it took three years to finish the installation which started in 2010 in every municipal elementary, junior high and high schools. Our nearby elementary school was one of the last group, so the students had only two electric fans in a classroom until last year. Even though, school starts from the fourth week in August because of the revision of Yutori education! Crazy! I remember my sons always complaining about the heat and the heat rash(あせも) all over their bodies.

    >What’s more, they’re very stupid to disclose that teachers’ rooms are all air-conditioned, it only adds fuel to the fire!!

    I really think so!! It was exactly the same in my sons’ school, and parents were always complaining why they don’t start the installation from the classrooms (where students spend most of their time)?? We know it costs less because there’s usually only one teacher’s room in a school! But they’re really stupid, and never knows what is first priority.



  62. YU on 2013年09月05日 at 13:04

    Hi Anne,

    I heard that the evacuation order was issued in the whole Nagoya city yesterday. I saw the center of Nagoya(Sakae) was totally flooded on TV. I hope you are okay.

    Hi Biwa,

    I’m really sick to think of the stupid public official, but I know he(she?) is not the only one!
    It’s very unfair that teachers and government employees are working in air-conditioned buildings, whereas our children are studying in the sizziling hot classrooms!
    Japan is a very strange country!



  63. Anne on 2013年09月05日 at 20:02

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for your concern.
    Yes, it rained a lot yesterday. Also, the rumbling thunder and the lighting were scary. Yes, I saw the information about the evacuation order on TV, but luckily, it was OK around my house. A lot of houses were flooded and I’m sorry about that. People around Sakae (the center of Nagoya)looked like walking in the river! Rain front moved to Kanto area. How about the weather whether you live?



  64. YU on 2013年09月06日 at 12:28

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you for your concern.
    A couple of houses seems to have been flooded in my area too, but fortunately, my house was not affected.



  65. Kattie on 2013年09月06日 at 23:25

    Hi Anne

    I’m glad to hear you’re okay and I hope the weather has settled down.

    As you say, house moving is a big event and I hope it goes smoothly. I just googled the average number of times a UK citizen moves in their lifetime and apparently it’s 8 and eventually people end up an average of 63 miles from their birthplace. My Dad has moved 26 times and lived all over the shop (Do you know that expression?), so if I am to follow in his footsteps, I’ve got a lot more moves to go!



  66. Mika on 2013年09月07日 at 09:22

    Hi everyone,

    How are you?

    It’s been a while since I last commented on this blog.
    I was very bust publishing my third book which is one of my goals in 2013, and I have made it.
    If you are interested in my book, please check it.
    The title is “Grandma, what do you want to be in the future?” 『私は66歳、99歳まで人生を楽しもうか』桂仁香(Mika Katsura) P-PRESS出版

    Have a nice weekend.



  67. YU on 2013年09月07日 at 16:00

    Hi Kattie,

    > it’s 8 and eventually people end up an average of 63 miles from their birthplace. My Dad has moved 26 times and lived all over the shop (Do you know that expression?)

    I didn’t know the expression. Thank you!
    It reminded me of a Japanese expression of “minato minato ni onna ari”, it means, “Seamen have girlfriends at every port(= everywhere).”

    I moved more than 8 times(I guess it’s more than average in my age), but I don’t think I will be able to break your father’s record, anyway!

    People don’t sell or buy houses so often in Japan unless you have some particular reasons, like when you can’t afford to pay your housing loan any longer or your parents died and no one in your family wants to live in the house because you’ve already built a house of your own, etc…

    As we have discussed here before, unlike in the UK, in Japan, the value of your house just goes down as time passes, so selling houses doesn’t bring us any benefit. When Japanese people build a house, we’ll usually keep living in the house until you “live out” it, like you wear out your shoes or clothes(!). Occasionally, some of us renovate it or rebuild a new house in the same place sometime like when your husband receives retirement money(!), but we don’t usually move to other place in our lifetime once we buy a piece of land.
    I wonder if people in the UK don’t really feel a strong attachment to your house, land or people you met there… Your house has a lot of memories, doesn’t it? Do you think we are too sentimental?! hahaha…

    Anyway, I hope your house sale will go through!

    Have a great weekend!



  68. Anne on 2013年09月08日 at 06:55

    Hi Kattie and everyone,

    Thanks for your concern.

    As YU mentioned, the value of the houses become lower and, in general, people don’t appreciate houses that have long histories even though there are some exceptions. I moved 5 times after getting married and honestly I don’t move anymore. House moving needs a lot of energy! I really admire your father:)

    Hi Mika,

    Congratulations on publishing the third book. I checked the book on Amazon. You wrote it both in Japanese and in English. That’s amazing.

    Hi everyone,
    Did you get up early this morning?
    Tokyo has been chosen to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.



  69. Biwa on 2013年09月09日 at 11:34

    Hi Anne and everyone,

    >Tokyo has been chosen to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    Yes, someone in my apartment suddenly screamed “Hooray!!” at five o’clock yesterday morning. I know lots of people were looking forward to Japan’s winning the bid, but what a nice morning-call for a peaceful Sunday morning!

    Honestly, I have mixed feelings about this. As I said before, it’s good to win the bid since Japan has already spent so much money on this. However, I hate what Mr. Abe and other people said when they were asked if Tokyo was really safe from radiation and contaminated water. They said everything was under control and that the problem was happening in a very limited place which is 250km away from Tokyo. Wouldn’t this sound very rude to the people in Tohoku? I almost laughed when I heard this statement! Also, how can they be so sure that everything is so safe??

    As you know, Korea has banned importing any seafood produced in Fukushima and other 7 prefectures recently, and I feel exactly the same. I know the fishermen in Tohoku will suffer a severe blow if we keep doing this, but really, I don’t feel everything is so safe as the Japanese government says. I always used to choose salmon from the Tohoku region than the farm-produced salmon in the Atlantic ocean because it is said that they use lots of antibiotics. But now, I really don’t know which is safer! I feel like gambling or just trying to believe that either is safer, and I really hate this situation. Anyway, I hope this ‘winning the bid’ will be a good reason for such a slow government to take serious actions.

    Hi Kattie,

    The selling-and-buying-house chain sounds very interesting. I’ve read before that it sometimes gets as long as 7 or 8 people/houses! It’s fun to imagine so many families moving at once. However, it must be really hard for younger people to get their first house if the prices of houses rise that much. Anyway, I hope everything goes all right!

    Hi Mika,

    Congratulations on publishing your third book. 🙂 I can easily imagine how energetic you are from the title!



  70. YU on 2013年09月09日 at 12:33

    Hi Biwa and everyone,

    > They said everything was under control and that the problem was happening in a very limited place which is 250km away from Tokyo. Wouldn’t this sound very rude to the people in Tohoku?

    I totally agree with you.
    It seems that everyone has already forgotten the fact that most of the electric power in Tokyo used to be supplied by Fukushima nuclear power plants before the earthquake.
    It sounded like “Everything is fine, only if Tokyo is safe”.

    Many people in Tohoku seem to feel repelled what Mr.Abe remarked and some of them say, “It is said that Japan will host the Olympics and it will bring us a huge amount of benefit, but to me, everything sounds something like the stories in other far country, not in my country.”
    They must feel being left behind…

    However, I have to admit that I was very excited hearing the announcement of “Tokyo 2020″….



  71. Kattie on 2013年09月09日 at 22:17

    Hi everyone,

    I saw the announcement that Tokyo was going to host the 2020 Olympics on the News last night and I thought of everyone on this blog. As I mentioned before, I really enjoyed the London Olympics but before it actually happened I wasn’t very excited about it and just thought it would mean a lot of money being ploughed into the region of the country which is already the richest. To some extent this was true but I thought the opening ceremony, in particular, was very unifying and made everyone feel that the event was a UK one and not just for London. I hope the same will be true for Japan.

    I think the biggest disappointment was the ticketing system which was ridiculous; you had to keep trying for each event and go through a laborious process only to be told about 20/30minutes later that the only available tickets were hundreds of pounds. It was also annoying to see so many so-called VIPs at the most prestigious events. I hope this doesn’t happen in Tokyo.



  72. YU on 2013年09月10日 at 09:27

    Hi Kattie and everyone,

    > I think the biggest disappointment was the ticketing system which was ridiculous;

    I heard that many Japanese people are already interested in the ticketing system. It seems that the average ticket price for all events will be about 7,700yen(=£50), opening ceremony 25,000yen-150,000yen(£160~£960!), swimming/field and track events finals 30,000yen(£190), etc…
    I don’t know if this information is all true, but it sounds quite expensive to me!
    I don’t think my family can afford to pay the tickets for opening ceremony except the cheapest one!



  73. David on 2013年09月10日 at 14:43

    Hi everyone,

    I got back to Japan this morning. The flight was really nice (I got an emergency exit seat with lots of legroom), so I’m not too tired. It will still take me about a week to get over my jet lag, though. It always hits me hard coming from the UK to Japan.

    As for the Olympics, I have to say that I find the whole thing disgusting. Groups of rich people travel the world receiving “gifts” and “hospitality” from countries who want to hold the games, and then big companies compete to see who can make the most money out of them. Of course it will be no different in Japan, and I suspect the biggest winners will be the construction companies and organized crime. It seems strange to me that Japan has enough money to throw a huge party like this but not enough to build houses for all the people in Tohoku.

    Having said that, I was actually quite pleased when Tokyo got the games. With the eyes of the world on Japan, it will be more difficult for TEPCO and the government to lie about what is happening in Fukushima. If Tokyo had not won, I would have been more scared that everything would just have been swept under the carpet as usual.

    Anyway, it’s great to be back in the land of proper showers and bathrooms, although it is a bit hotter than I would ideally like. I arrived at 9 a.m., so I think I will be going to bed early tonight.

    Bye for now.



  74. Biwa on 2013年09月10日 at 15:36

    Hi David,

    Welcome back to Japan. 🙂
    I wonder how you get back from the UK to Gifu. Do you use Narita, or perhaps Nagoya?

    >With the eyes of the world on Japan, it will be more difficult for TEPCO and the government to lie about what is happening in Fukushima. If Tokyo had not won, I would have been more scared that everything would just have been swept under the carpet as usual.

    That is exactly what I wanted to say. I hope I can write sentences like these some time in the future. (Probably impossible, though!) I’m going to write them down in my notebook.



  75. Anne on 2013年09月10日 at 17:29

    Hi David,

    Glad to hear you got back safely.  It’s not that hot now in Japan, so good for you!  

    Hi YU and everyone,

    I don’t think I can afford to pay the money for the opening ceremony! I wish I could be there.

    >If Tokyo had not won, I would have been more scared that everything would just have been swept under the carpet as usual. —I couldn’t agree with you more. Now PM Abe claimed it, the government can’t escape from tackling with this problems seriously.



  76. YU on 2013年09月10日 at 17:49

    Hi David, Biwa and everyone,

    I fully understand your point and I totally agree with you both.
    The fact is that solving those problems needs a huge amount of money “over a long period of time”. Olympics is indeed like a party, but I’m very sure that winning the bid brought hope, energy and dream to Japanese people and companies.
    I don’t like commercialized, deeply corrupted Olympics in recent years, either, but it is true that it almost always brings huge economic effect to the host countries. Japan’s economy is still very weak and unstable and I don’t think it is possible for Japanese government to support disaster victims or to work on radioactive water issues over a long period of time without some special plans like hosting the Olympics, so why should we miss this big chance?

    英語に自信がないので日本語で補足します。

    安倍総理の根拠のない世界へ向けての公約は確かに頂けないものです。でも発信したからには何が何でも守ってもらわなくては日本は嘘つき、ということになります。オリンピック招致が決まった今、マスコミがよってたかって安部総理のホラを暴露したところで何の得もないし前に進まない、と私は思います。
    だから世界に公約したことで逆に安倍さんが汚染水対策に本腰を入れることに私も期待したいです。そして日本人の私たちも海外の方同様厳しい目で成り行きを見守ること、だと思います。

    最近モントリオールオリンピックがオイルショックによる急激なインフレで莫大な赤字を抱えて終わり、それがきっかけでロス五輪以降オリンピックが急速に商業化していった、と聞きました。今ではオリンピック=経済効果のイメージが定着し、各国が招致のためにIOCにゴマをすりまくっている、というのが私の印象です。何だかその流れに乗ってしまっている日本を情けなくも思いますが、でも日本の経済は弱りきっていたし、日本人はすっかり元気をなくしていたから、今回の五輪招致成功は日本が立ち直るきっかけになるのなら、多少カッコ悪かろうが私はやっぱり良かったと思っています。

    これから汚染水処理にかかる経費、維持費、廃炉にかかる費用は莫大です。長期にわたってです。津波、地震の被害者を支え、被災地を復興させていく費用だって超超膨大です。それも短期的なものではありません。確かにパーティーのようなオリンピックに使うお金があるのなら被災者や福島原発問題にまず使うべきだという理論は正論中の正論です。でも、ジリ貧だった日本経済にそれらを長期的に支える経済力はあるのか、また今後ずっと支えられていたのか、私には甚だ疑問です。

    だから今回のオリンピック招致で経済が潤えば、回りまわって被災地復興、原発問題対策も進む、と信じたいです。
    東京に決まったからには日本人として出来るだけお金を使い、一生懸命働き、日本の経済復興に協力したい気分です。
    あとは国民がオリンピックに浮かれすぎず、政府の原発問題対応を厳しく監視することだと思います。



  77. Fumie on 2013年09月10日 at 22:32

    Hi David,

    Welcome back to Japan. 🙂 As you said, it has been a bit hot for a few days but it’s not humid and hadn’t rain heavily so I can’t complain.

    As for the Olympics, I have a mixed feeling about Japan was chosen to host the 2020 Olympics. When I watched PM Abe saying that the problem is totally under control and Tokyo is quite safe, I was skeptical if that’s true. But as David and other members said, now he state that clearly, he has to make what he sid come true otherwise Japan would lose its’credit from other countries and PM Abe would be called a big liar!



  78. amo on 2013年09月10日 at 23:38

    Hi David,

    Welcome back:)
    You’re suffering jet lag, and a week to get over your jet lag? I don’t get jet lag so I don’t know how that feels. Anyway, glad you came back safely.

    Good night,
    amo



  79. Biwa on 2013年09月11日 at 13:47

    Hi YU and everyone,

    >でも、ジリ貧だった日本経済にそれらを長期的に支える経済力はあるのか、また今後ずっと支えられていたのか、私には甚だ疑問です。

    Yes, I agree on that point. However, I can’t help thinking that the boost will just end up making profits for the construction companies and other Amakudari related industries. The result of the bid was announced on Sunday, and the Monday newspaper already reported the government’s plans of building new roads and increasing runways at the airports. Of course, I know that the more profit they make, the more tax they will pay. I really hope Mr. Abe will use the money appropriately!

    Hi amo,

    I’ve never heard of a person who doesn’t suffer jet lag! By the way, I think getting lots of morning sun helps you get over it. It is said that we all get sleepy 15~16 hours after you get the morning sun.



  80. YU on 2013年09月11日 at 15:37

    Hi Biwa and everyone,

    > Mr. Abe will use the money appropriately!

    I hope so, too.
    I also read some articles saying exactly like what you mentioned and I might be too optimistic, but I just don’t really like to talk about only negative points. It really makes me down and I don’t think it’s a very productive way of thinking to see only negative points and not to try to see the positive impacts at all.

    As you say, it needs to wipe out Amakudari people as soon as possible, but from last government I also learned that we can’t expect economic growth even if the government only keeps adopting tight-financing policy.

    Anyway, no matter how much you complain now, Japan will be the host country for the Olympics in 7 years, so I have decided to wait and see how Mr.Abe will deal with this chance=Olympics. I know everyone has different ways of thinking for Tokyo 2020, but this is just my personal view.

    Biwaの言うことは正しいと思います。
    でも悪者(天下り役人)を退治し、緊縮財政を続けても少子高齢化は進む一方だわ、経済成長が望めないわで近い将来財政は破綻すると思います。

    だから今回の五輪招致決定で折角国民の士気が高まっているのにマイナス面ばかり見てプラス面を見ないのはもったいない、というか。必要なインフラ整備ならお金を使っておおいに結構、Biwaの言うように要は増えた税収をどう使うかが問題だと思います。でも最初からどうせまたロクなことに使わないんだろう、と疑って指導者を信じないところからは何も生まれない、と思います。ちなみに私は安倍さん支持でも自民党支持者でもありません。ただ、この大きなチャンスにマイナス面ばかり見て後ろ向きな考えをするのは損だ、と個人的に思うだけです。みなさん色々考え方はあると思いますが、私はもう決まったからにはそう考えることにしました。



  81. Uriuna on 2013年09月12日 at 13:21

    Hello David-san and everyone,

    I work in the medical equipments manufacturer.
    I have some oppotunities to use English for communicating to members in US branch with email.
    I have felt my English is very poor before and I want to be able to use English flexibly.
    I will check the comments from David-san and everyone, and get used to English.
    Thank you.



  82. David on 2013年09月12日 at 13:46

    Hi Uriuna,

    Nice to have you with us. I hope the blog will be useful for you.



  83. amo on 2013年09月13日 at 00:03

    Hi Uriuna,
    Welcome to the blog 🙂
    Look forward to your next comment.

    Hi Biwa,

    I can sleep anywhere and I always feel sleepy afternoon. Maybe that’s the reason I don’t jet lag. By the way, I hear that Jet lag seems to be worse when you travel east. Do you think so?

    amo



  84. Biwa on 2013年09月13日 at 10:34

    Hi Uriuna,

    Nice to have you with us. 🙂
    It must be quite difficult to translate medical terms into English.

    Hi amo,

    >I hear that Jet lag seems to be worse when you travel east. Do you think so?

    Yes, I do. I also think it has lots to do with the departing time of your flight. For example, when you go to the US, the flight departs at 3 or 4 in the afternoon (I usually cannot fall asleep that early), and you arrive 8-11 hours later, which is in the morning(local time) so you have to go through a whole day without sleeping so much. I just end up taking long naps, and that makes it more difficult to adjust to the local time. I wish all the eastbound flights departed late in the night so that I can sleep better during the flight.

    Hi YU,

    >みなさん色々考え方はあると思いますが、私はもう決まったからにはそう考えることにしました。

    Of course! Did my comment sound that negative? Well, I think I’m a very easy-going type. 🙂 I guess it’s just people’s nature to complain about the current government, isn’t it!



  85. YU on 2013年09月13日 at 13:53

    Hi Uriuna,

    Nice to have you with us!
    I’m looking forward to your next comment.

    Hi Biwa,

    > Did my comment sound that negative?

    A little, but I think it was just my imagination finally! 🙂
    Tokyo 2020 reminds me of the time when Abenomics was announced. Just like Abenomics, if someone starts talking about the expected economic boom by Tokyo 2020 in the negative way, I think it would be affected and withered away easily because (オリンピック)景気 is insubstantial and has a lot to do with peoples’ feelings.
    So, of course, I know always monitoring and criticizing our government is a very important thing, but it sometimes could throw cold water on ourselves if you go too far. That is what I wanted to say.

    Hi amo,

    I think you have a very nice special talent!

    > I hear that Jet lag seems to be worse when you travel east.

    I’ve never heard that. Is it really so?
    Anyway, I have a feeling that I have stronger Jet lag after I come back to Japan from somewhere, but I always thought it was just because I was very tired after traveling. I mean, when you arrive at your destination, you’re usually still relatively fine and also very excited, so you don’t really feel jet lag.

    I know my theory sounds nonscientific!!



  86. Mika on 2013年09月14日 at 08:14

    Hi David,

    Good morning!

    I just read your Hunters & Gatherers in Teacher Talk.
    It has really thought-provoking content.
    >which type are you?
    I want to be an active gatherer; even though, I quickly forget new words and phrases.



  87. raku on 2013年09月15日 at 11:48

    Dear David and everyone.
    How do you do ? I’m raku.
    I’m start to comment and I want to communication
    with everyone.
    By the way,there’s a typhoon on its way.
    Be careful please.



  88. YU on 2013年09月15日 at 19:27

    Hi raku,

    Nice to have you with us!

    Yes, typhoon is approaching, it’s very scary, isn’t it?
    It rained a lot in my town this morning. Actually, I woke up due to the noise of rain.
    When I went to the drugstore near my house around 10 am, I saw part of the store was flooded…

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to your next comment!



  89. amo on 2013年09月16日 at 00:17

    Hi everyone,

    It’s a three-day weekend this week but unlucky me:( I woke up with a sore throat yesterday morning. I took some cold medicine and took a rest at home all day. I was thinking of going shopping, but I didn’t feel well today, ether. So I ended up staying home all day. Poor me.

    Hi raku,

    Nice to have you with us. As for the typhoon, it chucked it down in the early morning so I woke up due to the noise of the pouring rain like YU. I hope that nobody has damaged by the typhoon.

    amo



  90. Anne on 2013年09月16日 at 07:14

    Hi everyone,

    Good morning!
    How is the weather like where you live?
    Typhoon 18 is approaching and it will make a landfall around 8 ( in an one hour).
    The wind is blowing strongly outside and I woke up due to the sound of the winds.
    Some of the trains seem to have stopped due to the typhoon.

    Hi Uriuna and raku,
    Nice to have you with us. Looking forward to hearing from you again.

    Hi amo,
    Take care!



  91. raku on 2013年09月16日 at 12:39

    Hi everyone and Hi YU, Hi amo, Hi Anne.

    Good afternoon!
    The wind is really blowing.

    I’m very glad to read I written a poor English sentence and commented to me.

    Thank you.



  92. David on 2013年09月16日 at 15:24

    Hi Mika,

    Thanks for reading the “hunters & gatherers” entry. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Hi Raku,

    Nice to have you with us.



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