Her

Hi there! How have you been?

Have you watched the movie, Her? It’s a Hollywood movie to describe a futuristic relationship. In the movie we date computers.

Well, I think we will have it soon…….. Today I want to introduce our high technology.

A friend of mine from America shared this video clip with me, and this associated me with the movie, Her.

In Japan we have a serious problem for young people who are not interested in having relationships. They love internet game, anime, manga, computer game and so on. They might have internet virtual relationships through game, but they are not interested in real relationships. Don’t you think it’s weird?

I have no idea why people like virtual relationships. Are they afraid of being dumped or getting hurt? Yes, I think so. I think these people are chicken out.

I think we can’t get perfect relationships when we start relationships. Friendships or relationships need time to grow. However, these people love anime, manga, internet game tend to seek perfect relationships from the beginning. That’s because they are used to seeing fantasy through anime, manga or whatever. In their fantasy all characters have perfect boyfriends or girlfriends.  I am afraid that this virtual home robot increases the number of young people who are not interested in real relationships more.

This is a one way relationship and they never receive anything from their virtual girlfriends/boyfriends. I guess when people get used to this, they will lose emotions, social skills, patience for  having a long turn relationship with real people, making babies and so on. I can’t imagine any positive things about this.

What do you think about this? Do you think this is good?

Where There Is a Will, There Is a Way

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope 2017 brings lots of laughter and happiness to you all!

Today I want to write about English to motivate you. This entry is for all language learners, and this blog entry is the very first one this year.

The very last part of last year I made one of my dreams come true. It was studying abroad in Italy to improve my painting skills. It took five years, but I am glad that I made it. Before sharing the story, I want to share the English part first.

I started studying conversational English to study abroad  8 years ago. One day I found a very beautiful horse painting on a porcelain tile online. I couldn’t speak English at all then even though I could read and write. Our English education is based on grammar, and we don’t learn how to communicate with people in English at school. I wanted to learn how to paint the horse, but the class was in Arizona, the States. I couldn’t understand conversational English and how I could take the class……… There was no choice to study conversational English for me. Since then, taking the horse painting class had become one of my dreams.

There was a really good free online language studying site 8 years ago. I met an American boy who was 15 years old, just started studying conversational Japanese. He and I made good friends in the site. One day I asked him if he could teach me conversational English, in turn I would love to teach him Japanese for free. Since then he had become my conversational partner. We started exchanging languages on Skype every day. Sometimes we Skyped more than for 12 hours a day to improve my English and his Japanese. We exchanged our languages until he graduated from high school.  I really do appreciate what he did for me. After several years, he came to Japan to visit me twice. He became a fluent Japanese speaker and now he is getting a master degree at graduate university. Two years after studying conversational English, I made my dream come true. I studied abroad to take the horse painting in Arizona. It was my first trip alone  in the States. I met two really nice American ladies and since then, two of them have become my American moms.

English opened my world. One of the ladies whom I met in Arizona has run a porcelain school in Michigan. She asked me if I was interested in coming her school. I sad, “Yes!”. Since then she has been my closes female American friend. We have traveled a lot to take porcelain painting classes in the States. I have met lots of American painters here and there and made friend with them. Now, I have a lot of American moms in Alabama,Tennessee, Idaho and everywhere. Every year I have been to the Michigan school to improve my painting skills. I stay at her house and she has introduced her family, friends, culture, everything. She also has become my English teacher as well.

I also met several Americans ( one is American Jewish) and a Brit who were studying Japanese online 8 years ago. They all have become my language partners and we still have been exchanging languages on Skype. One of them become a professional online English teacher. He is teaching me English every single day on Skype. I do appreciate him a lot as well. My British friend visited me twice, and my daughter visited his two years ago. Now his family and my family are good friends. We sometimes Skype with our families.

While studying abroad alone in the Sates, I started being confident in conversational English even though I say funny things in English. One day I saw an advertizement of an international porcelain convention in Thailand. It was five years ago. A lady who is teaching Queen’s place, posted the advertizement on Facebook. She asked me if I was interested in coming to the show. I said, “Yes!” again. I have believed that if we want to do something, we shouldn’t hesitate anything. I went there with my Australian friend who had never met in person even though we had been friends on Facebook for years. I made good friends with her. We both won prizes.

Well, long story short, my dream that I made come true last year relates to the show. I saw some amazing works in the show. I figured out they were from an Italian guest artist. I was so inspired by her artwork. I asked her that I wanted to learn from her, but she said that she didn’t speak English. I was very disappointed at it but couldn’t give up to learn from her. I made friends with her on Facebook. After I returned to Japan, I messaged her. Her daughter replied me soon in English.

Her daughter told me that her mother would go to an international convention in Canada as a guest artist. I went to the convention to learn from her. I also took her classes in Texas, America as well. Then, finally I took her classes in Italy last December!

When I told my plan to study abroad in Italy alone to my husband and daughter, two of them dropped their jaws because they knew that I can’t handle Italian conversations at all. Two of them said they couldn’t believe that. I didn’t hesitate at all. I always grab all chances to make my dreams come true. I know where there is a will, there is a way.

I really think English opened my world much much wider and has made my dreams come true. Now, Italian will make my dreams come true. I know I have to study conversational Italian.

I want to say to all language learners, Don’t worry about your accents and mistakes. Languages are communication tools. I have a Japanese accent, but people understand my English very well. I have no problem to communicate with people in English. If you want to speak English, just start speaking English. Without speaking practice, you never ever come to speak English at all.  If you can handle two languages or three languages,  your world will become much much more international! I know it very well, and that’s why I am studying English and will study Italian!

Thank you so much for reading such a long blog entry. I know I have been making a lot of mistakes in my written English and I apologize it.

I hope this blog entry is helpful to keep studying another languages. I am thinking I want to publish a book with my experiences some day in the future. This is one of my dreams!!

-Yumi

Ramen

Hello there! How have you been?

Today I want to write about Ramen because I have heard Ramen is getting popular in the world. Have you had Ramen before? Ramen is noodle with soup, and it’s very popular in Japan. We have lots of Ramen shops everywhere.

My hubby and I went to a Ramen shop close to our house last week.

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The shop is new and he wanted to go there to try the ramen there. We ordered different flavored ramen to taste. I preferred mine, and he preferred his. His ramen was too rich for me. I prefer plan flavor to rich one in ramen.

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I ordered this one. The flavor is based on salt with fish soup.

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Usually, Japanese ramen restaurants’ menu has pictures. I don’t like menus in America or Mexico because they don’t have pictures like ours! I can read English, but if I have no idea about the food names, how can I order?! In Mexico, since I can’t read Spanish, I always had some troubles to choose foods. I always had to ask my friends.

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My hubby’s order

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My order

 

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we shared the fried chicken and gyoza.

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I am very curious. What does your country’s ramen look like? Does it look like ours?

I will be off for a couple of weeks in this blog and my other blog. I will study abroad in Italy for two weeks and can’t update my blogs. After I return to Japan, I will update my art blog about my adventures in Italy!

 

See you at the end of this year, every one!

 

-Yumi

Leaves Changing

Hello there! I am sorry for the delay. Last week after I updated my other blog, I got stomach flue. It was horrible. I threw up, had a stomach ache, headache, fever and couldn’t eat anything for three days at all. I had to lay down on my bed for two days. Since then, I lost weight and my appetite still hasn’t come back.

Before it gets colder, I want to share fall in Japan today. I took these pictures two weeks ago with my hubby. He and I drove around our neighborhood.

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Now, Japan is getting colder and leaves started falling down. We are heading to winter. I will miss this weather soon. I hope you all don’t get a cold.

See you next weekend here again!

-Yumi

Sushi

Hello there! It’s getting colder here. How have you been?

Today I want to write about sushi. Do you know that we have so many different kinds of sushi?

Nigiri is the most popular and famous in the world.

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Besides Nigiri, we have so many different kinds of sushi. I don’t think I can mention everything, but I want to mention some which I am familiar with.

A couple of days ago, I made Chirashi. This is home-made sushi.

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I mixed dried veggies, mushrooms, tiny fish called jyako, eggs, raw sermon, cucumbers, fish paste called kamaboko, renkon (Japanese vegetable) and so on. Since it’s easy for fixing, I make this often.

I was born and grew up close to Kyoto. In Kyoto we have hako-zushi.

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My favorite one is the brown ones. They are grilled eels.

I lived in Wakayama prefecture with my hubby 20 years ago. Kakinoha-shushi is really popular there. It looks like hako-zushi, but the difference is after we make the sushi, we wrap it with a fruit (persimmon) leaf.  I love kakinoha-shushi too!

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Next is my mom’s favorite! I didn’t like the sushi for a long time, but recently I came to like it. Saba-sushi is made from a vinegar flavored  mackerel.

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The last one is called Masu-zushi. This is a bigger version of kakinoha-sushi, but after we make the sushi, we wrap it with bamboo leaves. The sushi is local food of Toyama. Since my father in-law’s hometown is Toyama prefecture, we often get the sushi from him. The red fish is a trout.

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Which one looks yummy for you? Which one do you want to try out?

All have different flavors and all are good!

I hope this blog entry helps to learn about sushi more.

Have a lovely day! See you around next weekend here again!

-Yumi

Halloween in Japan

Hi there! How have you been?

I can’t believe that we have only two months left this year!! I am so surprised that time flies so fast!

Last week, I know we celebrated Halloween in the Western world. Well, me personally, I have never gone trick or treating or celebrated it in my entire life. When I was a kid, Halloween was not popular at all. However, it is getting more popular recently, and I want to share how we celebrate it.

I have a 10 year-old niece, and she shared a very interesting story with me. She told me that she does trick or treat in her neighborhood. Her neighborhoods has a Halloween event every year in October. She can stop by to trick or treat at elderly people’s houses which have a maple leaf mark on their house doors. The house owners (they are elderly people) give some candies when kids come around. It’s an event both for elderly people and kids to communicate with each other. When I heard the story, I thought it’s a great idea because usually elderly people don’t get so many chances to talk to kids besides their grandchildren. Of course, my niece told me that they wear a Halloween costume.

After hearing the story, I paid a little bit more attention. On the Halloween day, I found a cute pumpkin pie which was wrapped by a cute Halloween package at a grocery store .

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Halloween is apparently getting much more popular in one decade.

My daughter loves going to Universal Studios in Osaka during the Halloween season. She loves wearing creepy make-up and goes there with her friends.  Older people are still not interested in Halloween, but young people are enjoying it.

I think in a couple of years, Halloween will become a much bigger event in Japan and we might be able to see many people from young to old wearing a costume everywhere, lol.

I hope you had a fun time on this Halloween!

See you next weekend here again!

-Yumi

My Favorite Flowers in Fall

Hello there! How have you been? I am so sorry for the delay. I went to back to my painting school and I am so busy for this. I am also planning on studying abroad again at the end of this year and busy for preparing things.

Today I want to introduce my favorite flowers in fall. Do you have these flowers in your country? I have heard these flowers bloom in Asia. They smell excellent, and I so love the smell. We have the tree in our small garden, and I took some pictures of them. I am so sorry that you can see the photos, but you can’t smell it.

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They are called kinmokusei in Japanese and Sweet Osmanthus in English. When I took their pictures, they were in full bloom. Now, they all are gone. We are having  nice weather and enjoying autumn here. We will see leaves changing soon. I will post some of pictures when it comes.

Have a lovely weekend!

-Yumi

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