Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Concert by AGU Orchestra

Hello, everyone~!

Today, I went to the concert by AGU Orchestra with Eriko. As some of you already know, Yuki belongs to it. I was really happy to see her play the instrument, which is horn.

It was the second time for me to be there, but it's always nice to go to the concert like this. I usually go to concerts by singers like Utada Hikaru. So, it's refreshing to go the concert held by the orchestra.

The play list was...

*Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op.98

*Mendelssohn: Overture to Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.21

*Chaikovski: Nutcracker Op.71

Unfortunately, we couldn't meet Hana-chan(Yuki's nickname) after the concert. However, the concert was amazing! I also realize that being the hall to hear the music would put a different context to the experience. Today, you can easily download music of live shows through the Internet, but when it comes to feeling it, I strongly think that I have to bring myself to the concert! Don't you think?

Alright, that's for all today!
See you soon. ^^

Friday, May 30, 2008


Hello~, everyone!

Chabo!(チャボ)- 本で、もっと、世界にいいこと。

As I've said previously, I'm now trying to read more by saving time to do other things. Through this effort, I came across the project called "Chabo!" which means bantam in Japanese, and also the abbreviation of Charity Book. The name of the program has a message that, as the program develops day by day, a bantam (basically can't fly) could fly throughout the world someday.

Well, when you hear the word charity, what comes to your mind? To me, I imagined I opened the wallet and give some money to organizations. So, it means that I knowingly have to give some money which can be used to buy whatever I want. By doing so, it certainly makes me feel better. At the same time, however, it somehow requires me to make up my mind. I guess that's one of the things that keep me away from participating charity program, honestly. When it comes to charity, what I think of at first is that my wallet would be hurt!

That's how I've thought about charity. But these days, there are a lot of charity programs that raise money from their revenues from sales of their products. So, practically, consumers literally don't have to do anything at all. and that's how I like about Chabo! program.

You might wonder how Chabo! works actually. Okay. You can contribute to Chabo! program by purchasing the books certified as "Chabooks". It's as simple as that! 20% of the royalty on these books will go directly to the organization called JEN. According to the website, it works on reconstruction of the places in the world which are destroyed by war or disaster.

For your information, I'd like to introduce the mission statement of Chabo! program:

*Through contributing a part of the money that we get from writing books and holding seminars, Chabo! does education and self-reliance support for the refugees and the ruined areas in the world.

*We are aiming to grow as readers, the supporting areas, the people who do support activities, and the authors. In addition to that, each of us are expected to learn each other through the program.

*By contributing to the donation, we realize how big this world in, possibilities we have, and the preciousness of human lives. Also, the importance of education and self-reliance support would be realized as well. By thinking of these things and acting, the authors' view would expand and we hope to create a civil society rooted in Japan.

It's inspiring, isn't it? I would like to participate as much as I can, which means buying Chabooks. For more information, why don't you visit Chabo! website? (Unfortunately, there's no pages in English for now.)

I also would like to talk about one of the contributors of the program whose name is Kazuyo Katsuma later. So please look forward to it! ^^

Thursday, May 29, 2008

L'Espace Rose @ Shibuya

Hello, everyone~!

On Wednesday, I went to the museum called Bunkamura the Museum with Eriko! I only had one class on the day. And Eriko was also there in the class room. After the class, we went outside the campus to buy lunch and Eriko attended the afternoon class. At the time, I didn't have anything to do in particular, so I took a rest on the bench and read the book.

Suddenly, Eriko sent me an e-mail after her class to see if I was still at the campus. And she told me that she was interested in the exhibition held at the museum near the campus.

The title is "L'Espace Rose." The exhibition is about botanical art. It mainly focuses on the artist whose name is Pierre-Joseph Redouté. The exhibits by Alfred Persons, Yoshio Hutakuchi, and Fujio Saimon were also there. Air fresheners used there smelled just like roses. So, it made us feel like we were lost in a rose garden!

Botanical art basically exists for scientific reasons, and collecting materials of flowers, plants, and so on. So, as for this exhibition, the way roses are written is painstakingly accurate. I have no idea how he acquired the skills to do it. According to what I've read in the museum, Pierre took a trip for practicing at the age of 13! I was surprised at the fact that he thought about his future so early. But that decision ended up bringing him to meet the people such as Josephine, whose husband was Napoleon Bonaparte, and Marie Antoinette.

Moreover, the fact that Napoleon allowed his wife to keep having the rose garden interested me. I'm not sure if the garden that Marie Antoinette had was the same one as Josephine enjoyed, but I wondered why Napoleon decided to have the garden because I think he would think of it as the symbol of a waste of money or something negative. Or did he think it would be beneficial? Or was he actually mesmerized by the charm of the roses? Hmmm...

Anyway, we enjoyed being there very much! Though keep standing in the museum was tiring, it turned out to be worthy. If some of you who live in Tokyo haven't decided yet, I urge you to visit there. ^^

Also, outside the museum was a little garden with beautiful roses! I took pictures of them, so I hope you enjoy. :)
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Alright, that's all for today!
See you soon.^^

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Chat at the Tapped In

Hello, everyone~!

Yesterday(Not so long ago, though.), I enjoyed talking to the people of the AGU group at the Tapped in!

I wasn't sure how many people would come at first. But as we virtually hung out for a while, hahaha, many people came to talk to each other! ^^ You might hear me say this before, but I'm going to say it just in case you've missed it. It's always nice to talk to you, and you literally make my days happier! I mean it! ^^

Moreover, the fact that each of us is connected with each other physically or virtually makes me stronger and happier! I love this chat because not only it helps me improve my English but also I'm able to know what each of you is doing right now.

I've talked about the next chat in June, and I might be able to talk to this year's participants of AGU 2008! It's exciting, isn't it? As Ji Won said, I just can't believe it's been almost two years now since I visited MD. But fortunately or unfortunately, time flies whatever we do. The time we had at the time and the memory we've shared will never change, anyway. Right?

Alright, that's all for today.
I hope I can see you at the next chat. (Is it too early to be excited? Hahaha.)

See you soon!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Just for Fun

Hello, everyone~!

Before taking part in today's chat, I decided to update my blog. As I told you previously, I have several books that I finished reading and I would like to talk about it.

Today's book is called "Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary" written by Linus Torvalds and David Diamond. If you're familiar with computer things, the spelling of one of the author's name, Linus, reminds you of the open-source software, Linux. (Relax! I didn't realize it either when I came across the book for the first time. Hahaha...!!) The fact that my favorite author called Banana Yoshimoto recommended this book on her web diary encouraged me to give it a try. (By the way, the picture you can look at on the left side is the English edition and the link brings you to I read the Japanese edition.)

The book is basically about how his habit to play with his computer has turned out to be one of the great inventions in the history of the IT industry. Moreover, he rebuilt the business style and working style and he made us realize the basic and simple fact of human-being, we love to do what each of us loves. Moreover, we are likely to be good at doing what you love and it often ends up being able to do your best.

So, even though he often is asked why he's successful or how he intended to make it happen, his answer would always be that I do it just for fun. When you hear the story like his, what comes to your mind would be the fact that not everyone would be like him. And that was exactly what I thought after reading the book. However, I can imagine it would be awesome that everyone makes his/her own living by doing what you love. I really hope that it would be realized some day, and I do think that the birth of the Internet encourages everyone to do what you love to do as your job.

Alright, it's finally the time to chat!
For those of you who are coming to the chat, see you there!

For the rest of you, see you soon! ^^

Monday, May 26, 2008

I was a bit sleepy today... and What I do at Work

Hello, everyone~!

I was a bit sleepy today.... why? I watched the match of Formula 1 held in Monaco on TV yesterday. I was just curious who would win this race because the race in Monaco has been famous for its difficulty. At the beginning, what I intended to do was just to take a glimpse of it. But finally it turned out that I watched the whole race... Oops. When I was a bit younger than now, I wasn't interested in Formula 1 at all. I even thought that watching it was a away to make some noise in the room. But now I'm now looking forward to watching every race... I don't know what triggered this habit. The same can be said for watching football.

Well, today was the second day of my new part-time job in Shibuya. One of the things I do there is to write down the contents of the news shows that run everyday. I work at a kind of the English institute(As I mentioned before, the people who wish to be interpreters and translators visit there.), so the materials like news clips will be used in the class room. In order for everyone to look for them easier, I and other assistants write down what the news shows deal with. The news shows are, for example, CNN World News, BBC World News, and so on. You might think that I can listen to them only in English, but actually they also are translated into Japanese. So, I sometimes choose the Japanese, and vice versa.

As you probably know, I like to watch the news shows and I often download the podcasts of the shows. So, this task has been really enjoyable to me and I can watch the other news clips that the Japanese media don't cover often, such as the number of violence happened in South Africa has been on the rise lately, and the special report on the Egyptian economy and so on. I'm planning to introduce some of them to you on this blog when I find something interesting.

So, please look forward to it!
Well, that's all for today. ^^

By the way, the day of our chat is finally coming!
I hope I can virtually see many of you there.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Small Talk about English and Blog

Hello, everyone~!

As you might realize by browsing through the blog, I've been able to keep posting almost everyday! I always think about how I can make my English level stay the same as it is now, and hopefully keep improving. Of course, learning and using English is what I like to do. So, I'll definitely keep studying and never be satisfied with what I can do in terms of express myself in English.

At the same time, however, I often wonder if I lost the ability to use English. I'm not saying that I forget how to use it completely, what I'm trying to say is that I might lose the sense to handle it such as the way I think, the way I choose words to mention what I experience, and the fact that how I express things would differ when I am trying to write in English.

So, I guess I'm trying to believe that I've made efforts to keep improving by updating my blog. Moreover, I started to try spending more time on reading books. After starting this blog, I came to realize that the more I experience directly(hear, eat, and especially read) the more I enjoy writing, and it slowly became obvious to me that making more inputs directly leads to a better output. It's just a fact, but looking at the people around me, they just don't seem to realize it because there's a lot of things to do everyday. Of course, I'm not saying that I can do it perfectly. But the fact that they don't realize it sometimes makes me sad because I'm sure each of them is capable making more inputs for themselves and cultivating ideas. Hmmmm..... should I tell them or not? I don't know.

Anyway, I'm going to keep trying to read more books by turning the TV off as much as I can. (There's several TV shows that are my favorite. Oops!) And hopefully, I'll talk about them on this blog. I already have finished some books that are written both in English and Japanese, so I'm now thinking about how I'm going to introduce them to all of you. (Relax, I'm not going to make my blog a book review! I still would like to talk about what I experience while I go shopping, etc.)

Hmmm.... finally I'm not sure how I would wrap up this post! : (
Please keep visiting my blog! Hahaha.....

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The End of Poverty

Hello, everyone~!

I just finished watching the volleyball match Japan vs Thailand. The result was 3-2, and Japan won. the Japanese national team has just won the ticket to the Olympics in Beijing yesterday. It's nice to hear that we can watch our national team play against other countries, but I'm a bit worried because the team is not strong as the media wants them to be. Hmmm.....

Anyway, I'm going to talk about the book I just finished reading called "The End of Poverty" by Jeffrey D. Sachs. The author is the director of the Earth institute at Colombia University.

I still remember one of the AGU 2006, Rikko, bought this book when we stayed in Maryland. I had been interested in the book since then, but I missed the chances to do so because there's 500 pages! Moreover, I couldn't decide which editions I should try, English or Japanese.

But this time, I finally decided to read this book. I found that there's the Japanese edition at my university's library. Actually, I don't like reading the books which are translated in Japanese very much, because what the authors want to say may change and even though I understand that it's much much easier for me to read books translated in Japanese, I want to understand what authors say by reading what's literally written on books in the original language, in my case, English. Hmmm.... it seems that I should have read the English edition???

Well, whatever language is, it's an interesting and meaningful reading. In this time of the world, the power that each of us has seems so powerless to change the situation that we give up trying to do so from the beginning even if we know the fact that so many people in the world are suffering poverty, and we need to do something. The trigger for change isn't there yet, however.

When we hear the word "poverty", it seems impossible to improve the situation that we face now because we always think that there's too many obstacles, and that the money we give to countries that struggle against poverty isn't helpful.

At the same time, however, can it be said that it's our mistake not to be able to eliminate poverty? This is one of the questions that the author gives us, and he gives the views on the current situation and the specific solutions for it. He understands that people always want the perfect solution that eliminates all of negative factors such as poverty, aids, malaria, child labor, reproductive health problem, and so on. But as we might imagine, there isn't that kind of solution at all. So, he explains what to do for each of the problems. If, the countries that we call "developed countries" pay just a little bit from their budget, we definitely can eliminate poverty. But we just can't even now. Is it because we don't have an ability to do so, or we don't have moral sense to help others??? Hmmm..... it's gotten me wondering.

One of the things I found interesting was that canceling all the debt is actually a good thing to do. When the G8 meeting was held, the world wide campaign called "Make Poverty History" often said that the debt should be cancelled. At the time, I just couldn't understand why because I thought about the possibility that the countries that had the debt would lost their credibility and I thought the situation would get worse. According to the author, however, the situation would get better because the economic situation would be stabilized. Is it really so? I think I need to read more books about this.

If possible, everyone who is interested in the world's situation should read this book because it helps us imagine what each of the countries that are struggling against poverty are really like, and how they try to make a difference. Most importantly, it definitely would make you realize that we are literally lucky, we have to have hope for better even if we feel powerless. This book will give you the power to keep believing! ^^

Well, that's all for today!
Oh, by the way, I'm looking forward to talking to you on the next chat!

Friday, May 23, 2008

The First Day of My New Part-time Job!

Hello, everyone~!

I'm a bit tired today because it was the first day of my new part-time job. I talked about this on the post of AGU group, so some of you may already know about it.

Well, basically my new job is to help with the teachers who teach how to be translators or interpreters at the school. Making some copies of articles, cleaning up classrooms after the classes are my job. But actually I am expected to do anything when needed, such as putting the papers through shredder, making summaries of the news shows by watching them, and so on.

Today was the first day, so I was busy remembering what I should do and where I should go to get things done. In terms of tasks, I came to realize that what looks easy may actually be hard or tiresome to do. Some say "it's just making some copies", but there definitely is a lot of things to think about when you do it. How you can make it faster, cheaper, and reader-friendly, for example.

I don't know if I can do what I should do well next time, but I'll just keep doing my best!

Alright, that's all for today!
See you soon.^^

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Rise of the Rest

Hello, everyone~!

These days, I've done a lot of things that I would like to talk about on this blog. But I don't have enough time to cover everything right now, and it obviously becomes hard for visitors to read long entrees. So, I would like to talk about them one by one.

Well, what I want to talk about today is the article that I've read recently called "The Rise of the Rest." It's written by Fareed Zakaria, the editor of the NEWSWEEK international. I've seen his name on the magazine because he also appears on the Japanese edition of NEWSWEEK and I read the articles in English from the magazine's website,

This time, however, I didn't know the detail of the article very much until I heard about it from the teacher of the class that I'm taking. The journalists from the major news companies in Japan come to AGU, and do lectures. As a part of the lecture, he introduces articles or papers that he thinks are interested or helpful to understand what journalism is about. One of them was "The Rise of the Rest."

Inside the article, what Zakaria wants to say is that the American doesn't need to be sad just because of the fact that the power of America has been shrinking due to the rise of the countries that we think of as developing world.

It's interesting for me to know not only the fact that the article like this comes up on the magazine, but also the fact that the booming of information causes us to fear terrorism, and feel insecure about what's going on throughout the world. Moreover, I think it's crucial for each of us to think deeply about his/her own country. And also, acquiring the ability to think about ourselves as a member of this world is important.

There are so many things to think about and talk about in terms of the future. Lately, I've been thinking about whether or not people in Japan who are much much younger than me would have what we take for granted now, such as "omoiyari"(People care about each other.) A lot of elderly people in Japan have said that we are losing something important, and everyone feels it as everyday life has been covered with the value "time is money" and "caring only about yourself." So, we are also losing what we take for granted because of ourselves...??

Well, no one is sure how it'll turn out and that's where we can find hope, I guess.

Hmmm..... Am I getting a little bit serious this time?!
Anyway, if you're interested in the article.... "The Rise of the Rest"

See you soon!^^

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Boku no Kanojo wa Cyborg

Hello, everyone~!

In Japan, especially in Kanto region, the Typhoon arrived in this morning. Fortunately, I did not have a class. But I found a lot of broken umbrellas on the way to the school today.

Well, what I'm going to talk about this time is the movie called "Boku no Kanojo wa Cyborg.僕の彼女はサイボーグ"("My Girlfriend is a Cyborg" in English.) It's coming to the theaters on May 30th. You may wonder why I will talk about this before it arrives at theaters. Actually, I got a chance to see this movie a bit earlier than everyone because I won a ticket for the preview! Yaaaaay!

As you might guess from the title of the movie, the story is about a boy falling in love with a girl who is actually a cyborg. I'm sure you're wondering, how come a girlfriend is a cyborg? The boy, Jiro, is having an ordinary and a bit unfortunate life. He is a kind of boy who has no one to celebrate his birthday, and he even asks a store staff to wrap his birthday's present just for himself. But one day, the girl comes to him and she goes everywhere he goes. She does it because she is sent by somewhere outside the globe to make his life a happy one and she knows he passed away and how he lived before. And according to her, her emotional feelings develop as she interacts with him and others.

As the story went on, I realized how crazy it was to fall in love with a cyborg, which we believe has no emotion. At the same time, however, that's kind of things that we hope to happen or imagine at least. Moreover, we cannot help but wonder how the things would have or could have been if we looked at the different options. We all know that it's meaningless to do so, but we often think or say so. I guess that's why we live, struggle, and laugh everyday. It also makes the life so special and precious. And if we can press "rewind" so easily or go back to the past, the life would be so boring than you would imagine.

That's what I thought after I watched the movie. In the movie, a man goes inside the school with a knife, and the teacher and the student there are really scared. At the time, the girl(cyborg) comes running and she cleans up the man. After that, she says that Jiro broke his heart when he heard the news and that's why she goes there to make a difference.(It means that she knows what will happen before the incident happens because she is sent from the future.)

Lastly, why don't you watch the trailer of the movie?

If you want to know more, visit the official website!

I wasn't sure what to expect very much by watching this movie. However, it turns out that it was a really interesting film to watch! I urge you to check it out if you have time! ^^

That's all for today!
See you soon.^^

Monday, May 19, 2008

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Hello, everyone~!

As I've mentioned on the post I wrote at Yahoo's AGU group, I've been really busy since I told everyone that I now have plenty of time! Well, doing my best is what I can give them. So, it keeps me going.

Today's topic would be, as you might guess from the title, the visit to a Krispy Kreme Doughtnuts' store! Though I've heard that there's several stores in Tokyo(Shinjuku, for example.), I've never visited the stores before because it's always extremely crowded. On Saturday and Sunday, it's not unusual to wait for an hour to get the doughnuts! Unbelievable, isn't it?

But this time, the store opened in Tachikawa. It takes 20 minutes to get there, so I decided to give it a try!

The building where the store is located is called LUMINE, and you can go shopping and get on train in the same place. As I walked through the station and went down the stairs, I saw the sign of the store and it said "0:25". It meant that you had to wait for 25 minutes to get the doughnuts. Whether or not this waiting time feels longer depends on people, and I decided to get in the line. I really wanted to try the taste which has made some Japanese people blindly wait for an hour or more, and was wondering it was worth waiting.

After going inside the store, the store's staff warmly said "Irasshaimase~(Welcome!)" and gave the doughnut to every customer for free. It's the original glazed, and according to the information I got on the menu, the story of the company has begun from this product.

It was moderately warm, and it was yummy. But I still don't know it's worth waiting for an hour! Hmmmm........ Actually, the same thing happend when the ice cream company called Cold Stone Creamery arrived in Japan. I think it's a part of who we are and there's even a saying that explains this behavior. "Nesshi yasuku, Sameyasui"(be easily warmed up but just as easily cooled down.) And one thing I've learned from this visit was... the doughnut that tastes the best is definitely the one I got inside the store. Obviously.

It seems to some people that I didn't enjoy visiting the store because I'm looking back at this critically. Well, I have to admit that I had a lot of fun going through the process to get something that attracts many people especially in Tokyo.
It's always exciting to discover something new, and experience it. ^^

Moreover, being able to watch how the doughnuts are made was really fascinating! In this size of the store, for example, it can make 3000 original glazed doughnuts per hour.

After all, all of my family members enjoyed eating!

That's all for today!
See you soon~. ^^

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Hisashiburi! (It's been a while.)

Hello, everyone~!
Writing a new entry makes me feel a bit strange... Hmmm.... this feeling makes me realize how long I hadn't been here.

Well, I have nothing special to write here today actually. However, the fact that I've got the time to be here finally encourages me to find something special or interesting again, and share with all of you! ^^ They are what I've been missing lately because the job-hunting kept me away from doing them...

Right now, I'm actually at the computer room in my university and I'll be on my way to a small AGU 2006 reunion with Miki, Yuiko, and Eriko! Even though I've met each of them almost everyday at Aoyama campus(They finally came here! Yaaay!), I just can't wait to see them and talk a lot! ^^

Alright, that's all for today!
See you soon. ^^