Thursday, February 23, 2023



    Clown Rone & Gigi, and Maggie who are Taga Asahiya's best friends reported that they did Big Ear's Show at the kindergarden in Kyoto and were a blast among kids. Those people who went to their liveshow at Aoyama in Tokyo early February must be surprised at their transformation. Well, we can not wait to see their new transformation at the performance at Taga Asahiya this November.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023






    I visited Harvard Museum which is not far from my house, because I thought that staying home all the time is not good for me. The museum is located in Harvard campus and I walked around to find the museum. I saw many people were at the entrance area and it was crowded which made me a bit surprised. Soon I realized that Sunday morning is free of charge to the residents of Massachusetts and that's why it was crowded with many family members. The museum is also open to the residents from Wednesday 3pm to 5pm.

    This museum is famous for the exhibition of the Glass Flowers. As I remember, they used to exhibit mostly fern and other leaves but this time they exhibit many plants with flowers. Each one was made extremely detailed and fine and it is hard to believe they are not real. I heard that the technique was born in Germany in order to preserve it before a new technique was invented using some chemicals to preserve the fresh plants.

    I skipped the Meteorites and Gemstones exhibition and went to the Dinosaur and animal section. In fact, I was not very interested in dinosaurs before, but since my town, Taga, got attention from the Akebono elephant (Stegodon aurorae), I became interested in those ancient animals. There are so many exhibitions that a kid who likes dinosaurs must be overjoyed. Mounted animals and birds sections were next to the dinosaurs. They were in a tight glass case and it was an overwhelming feeling because big wild animals such a tiger or elephant were just near you even though they were not alive any more.

    I was thinking of Mr.O who often comes to my cafe because he has so much knowledge about animals and insects and if he were there, he would explain very well about those animals.

Sunday, February 19, 2023


    ボストンにはThe Boston Globe(1872発刊)という新聞があり日曜版は分厚く情報量も多いので日曜版だけ購読している家も多いようです。

    その中にGlobe Magazineという冊子が入っていて面白いコラムがありました。所謂、ブラインドデートというもので予め情報を提供しておくと新聞社が相手を選んでくれて、当人同士がどこかで会ってデートし、自分の気持ちや相手の様子などを報告し、後でABCで相手を評価するものです。



    The Boston Globe (founded in 1872) is the newspaper in Boston and many people subscribe only to the Sunday Globe because it has more information than the daily newspaper. 

    Globe Magazine is a small booklet that comes with the Sunday Globe and I found an interesting column there. It is a column which matches two people together. People who want to find someone as a partner send information with a photo to the Boston Globe beforehand and the newspaper company chooses two people and gives them a chance to meet. Both write the first impression of the other one, describe the appearance and thoughts about it, etc., and evaluate each other.

    This time there were two men who were introduced to one another. One of them is a 24 year old TV associate director, and the other one is a 25 years old Health care project manager. Both introduce themselves such as their hobbies, interests, etc. with their photos. They said their first impression, appearance of the other, and described the other's likable part. In the end, they evaluated each other as A-. According to their report, the place they met was a live music bar and it was not an appropriate place to meet because the music was too loud to hear the other one's voice. It seems that they are not sure what to make of their next date, but both feel not bad about each other.

    Recently various types of couples appear in Japan, too, but I think this column was really American and I enjoyed it very much.

Thursday, February 16, 2023






    I have not been on a long flight to Boston since half a year ago. Narita Airport which was almost empty like a ghost town because most counters were closing due to Covid-19 has changed to a normal lively airport.

    Passengers lined up at the gate having boarding passes and passports. I noticed that Japanese passengers with red passports were very few and 90% of them seemed American and from other Asian countries because they had dark blue or brownish passports.

    My seat was a window seat and someone took the next seat originally, but one of the cabin attendants who looked experienced kindly arranged to take the rear empty seat for me before I took the seat. I had a nostalgic feeling to see a male cabin attendant because it is rare in the case of JAL nowadays although there used to be a few when I was working. There was another cabin attendant who talked to me friendly. She was also experienced and had a career of more than thirty years. When I was working as a cabin attendant several decades ago, most of my colleagues quit their work due to lower back pain or marriage but now many female cabin attendants keep working powerfully like two women whom I met in the cabin. Although their work environment and conditions have changed a lot since the time I was there, I can easily guess how hard it is for them to keep working, have a family, and raise kids with healthy physical condition.

    I had a pleasant flight because of their thoughtful care. Well, I am in Boston now and happy with the mild weather which I was expecting to be much colder.

Friday, February 10, 2023


    昨日は中一の教室に行きましたが、今日の読み聞かせは年齢がうんと下がって小学校1年生。これまで好きで何度も読んでいるのですが、やっぱり1年生にはこれを選びました。「ないたあかおに」(浜田広介・作、黒崎義介・絵)です。節分で子供たちは「ふくは~うち、おには~そと!」と言ったばかり。そのおには悪い厄介な鬼ですが、今度はやさしいおにの紹介です。赤おにと青おにの友情の物語。赤おにを思って青おには一人山を出ていきました。残していった手紙の最後に「どこに いようと、かわらない きみの ともだち あおおに」(と書いてありました。) 赤おには、だまって それをよみました。二ども 三ども よみました。とに 手をかけて、かおを おしつけ、しくしくと なみだをながして なきました。


    I went to a Junior High School for storytelling yesterday, and today, I visited the class of first graders in Elementary School. I chose a book titled "NAITA AKA-ONI (Cried Red Demon). A few days ago, on the celebration of Setsubun, kids scattered roasted soybeans to welcome good luck and get rid of bad luck (demons), but this time good demons appear in the book. It is a story of friendship between Red Demon and Blue Demon. Blue Demon left the mountain because he thought it was good for Red Demon. Blue Demon wrote a letter to Red Demon and put it on his entrance door. It said "I am your bosom friend no matter where I go. Blue Demon". Red Demon read the letter again and again quietly and cried with tears putting his hands on the door, pressing his face against the door. 

    Everytime I read the last page, I almost cried by myself with my emotional feelings. Both children and teachers were listening to my reading with attention and after reading, kids gave me an applause which encouraged me very much. When I read the same book next time, I would like to ask them why the Red Demon cried.






    Story-telling at Junior High School this morning was "When a hundred years passed"(Mutsumi Ishii: story, Hiroto Abe: picture). The theme of the book is reincarnation. Since I was wondering if students knew about reincarnation, I wrote the four letter Chinese character on the blackboard in class, then I heard some students were reading the word, and it made me feel relieved a bit. Before I started reading, I said to them that reincarnation is a Buddhist word which means transmigration of souls.

    Souls of Lion and little bird reborn in various lives and things during hundreds years. It is a very calm story and ends with an impressive picture. I felt students concentrated on listening to my reading and I was glad about it. 

    People might think differently about reincarnation, but If we sometimes look at things or people in this way, we feel that everything is very precious and lovely.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023





    I took a day off from the cafe and made a day trip to Tokyo to see Clown Rone & Gigi Live. The title of the Live performance was " Spring is Fashionable" and they showed lots of classical Japanese stage as well as a lot of clowning, juggling, dancing, songs, mimes, etc. Indeed I was amazed by their wide range of skills and the depth of artistic sense. I also send applause to Ms. Ayaji (pianist), three women who were inn employees and Ms. Shina who did sign-language interpretation. It was a really amazing, funny Clown Live. 

    I enjoyed coffee with my friend after the performance, and took a walk to Harajuku Station through a lively street which felt like I was in real Tokyo.

Saturday, February 4, 2023





    The Bean-Scattering called Setsubun is held the day before the beginning of Spring、 and it is for driving away evil and bringing in good luck for the new year. At Taga Taisha, Toshi-Otoko and Onna (men and women who were born in the same zodiac year and become 60 years old) did annual Mame-maki (scattered roast soybeans) in a special costume. However, usually spectators receive the soybeans from Toshi-Otoko and Onna, but according to the guest who came to my cafe, they received lucky beans and rice cake in a bag from the people in Shrine. This was because of protection from covid-19. I felt it was a little strange. 

    Yesterday I went to the shrine to get an amulet for warding off evil and put it over the entrance door. Even though I grew up near the shrine, I didn't know about it until Mr. N who used to be a head of the shrine, let me know. The yellowish red is the special color for warding off evil. 

    When I was a child, my elder brothers were scattering beans saying " Come in good luck! Go away evil!" on Setsubun night. I feel like I hear their voices in the house.




    As for reading books for kids at both elementary school and junior highschool, selecting books is the hard part for me because it should be done in ten minutes, and it should be interesting for target kids, have clear pictures, and should be large enough for me to read.

    I would like to introduce a book which I read in the second grader classroom recently. The title of the book was " Ma no ii Ryohshi (Lucky Hunter)". It is a story of a hunter whose skill is very poor, but he faced a very lucky situation and it continued until the end of the story. Before I started reading, I asked children if they knew the title words of the book, and most of them didn't know them because they are not used very often nowadays. I am glad to let them have a chance to hear these unfamiliar words and talk about them with children because otherwise they might not encounter this Japanese.

Thursday, February 2, 2023





    We entered February 2023. It is called Kisaragi in old Japanese. It is the coldest season of the year. The snow which accumulated a week ago hasn't melted yet because of how cold it is.

    The preparation of Miso was over last week which is the same timing as the one last year. Miso is made from soybeans which are grown by a local farmer, Ms. Nishizawa and malt from Watanabe malt shop and organic salt. We leave it to ferment for about ten months. This home-made miso is very healthy and tastes very good, so many of my friends love to receive it from me.

    February has only 28 days and it will pass quickly. Since people say that Buddha passed away on the 15th of this month, I hang down the scroll of the image of Buddha entering nirvana at the alcove. Nirvana is a peaceful and calm place. In my daily life, vague anxiety often comes to my mind and it is difficult to be in such a peaceful situation all the time but I wish to live calmly.