Saturday, September 20, 2003

Narita Airport

Waiting for my flight departure which delays an hour, I must say that Narita Airport Duty free space is pretty boring compared with those of world major airport. Why it was designed this way even though Narita was designed to be an Asian hub airport...How can Narita win Singapore Changi with this design? I wonder.

Ready to go

To my summer Napa wine drinking holiday in few minutes.
It is cold raining outside. It’s been earthquake few minutes ago. (A friend of mine was talking last night that the famous fortuneteller had told that there would be earthquake soon at Tokyo. Was it this one?)What's a nice day!

Everything I need is packed (I hope.)
My travel carry………….....……….was taken by my brother but found better one by only 500 yen at open market hold few blocks down from my flat.
Travel guide book………………....found 100 yen at the same open market.
Present to host familiy………..…Japanese antique dish, Sake bottle and kimono I bought at Togo’s antique fair nereby.
Books to company with me……ANNIE JOHN by Jamaica Kincaid (English)
Lonely American (sabishii America-jin) (Japanese)by Yoko Kirishima
Might buy another paper back at airport.

Remain.................................I miss Tokyo Flash Mob on 26th...........
Ah, Though I was sooooooo looking forward.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Not buying the flat this time

I give up an idea of buying the flat I was talking in previous posts..

Main reason is loan matter.
I have already got housing loans from two banks out of four Japanese major banks( Mitsui-sumitomo, UFJ, Mizuho and Tokyo Mitsubishi). One of the rest says minimum 2 years continued service with one company and I am 1 year and 11 month at the moment....The other said suspiciously "how can I tell my boss that surely you are asking home loan for not investment again but for your own home" ......seems the property agent is not good client of him. The second house loan interest is higher(more than 3%) and new banks like Sony bank and Shinsei bank dose not loan for existing home.

Other reason is that this condominium was built in 1978, before major Building Standard code change in 1981, which introduced new earthquake-proof structure standard. And this condominium is not covered by earthquake insurance. Tokyo has been expected periodic strong earthquake for long but not yet come and it is said that this delay will cause stronger. Though I don't mind of rather prefer to reside in old flat which has aged character, I have to think practical responsibility to hold the flat.

Monday, September 15, 2003


It's Gosyuin from my local Shrine at their autumn harvest festival.
Back to Edo or Muromachi period when there was no photograph yet, temple pilgrims asked signature on small notebook to temples they visited as their visiting proof. The signature is called Gosyuin(Red stamp) and small notebook is called Gosyuin-cyo (Red Stamp book).
Nowadays, most temples and shrines still offer Gosyuin so I? use Gosyuin-cyo as my travel book. Showing my Gosyuin-cyo and asking for Gosyuin at their office they write their name and date of excellent handwriting work with their original stamp in front of my eyes. If you don?t have Gosyuin-cyo yet, you can buy it there.
Each Gosyuin costs 300-500 yen....not cheep but good memorial for my life.

Sunday, September 14, 2003


Being put off due to backbone injury of Jon Anderson a week before original tour date in March, YES LIVES in JAPAN at Tokyo Kokusai Forum!!!
Ahh..., They are so aged, since the last live I saw. I can't remember when it was, They were called "Anderson Bradford Wakeman Howe" and lived at Nakano Sunplaza. A famous rock reviewer, Yukawa Reiko san was seated behind us and my friend changed her clothes after live because her mother didn't like her wearing rock T-shirt and jeans.

Well, I don't belong to major YES listener generation. I am much YONGER.
Though I have strong feeling to their music and so called progressive rock. At the time I began to listening rock music in my junior high school days, elder brothers of friends of mine, university students maybe, were listening and discussing these music and following their music style made me feel myself reaching up adult. These days, there were 3 music styles in my class room I think, majority were listening Matsuda Seiko and Johnny’s and concerning how to pass the Johnny’s Jr. school or some actor school audition. Some were always playing YMO and some were listening British and American rocks.
It was days of not CD but record. We had too little pocket money to buy records and not many radio programs were on foreign rock music. Few who had elder brothers having rock record collection were in high favour among rock fans.

So today's live, though I must say there was so long break between songs that I felt they played less song than I wanted, I know my demand is too much. Jon Anderson wearing cheep yellow shirt and light yellow-green soft jacket and bottom (they were luminous!)....still maintained clear voice and Rick Wakeman wearing glittering purple and silver gown still showed his legendary keyboard techniques. Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White played as hot as young.
YES’s unique music doesn’t fade away by age. Beautiful melody with complicated irregularity of tempo and tune in simple rhythm YES plays and played in front of me. I loved them sound clear and positive and still love.
I am satisfied.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Seminar in English

I attended a seminar given by an Australian guy in English to 17 Japanese business persons and me. It was a kind of expensive seminar that attendances are paid by their companies. The speaker guy sounded professional, worth of money; clear voice, clear talk in moderate pace, good attention waking and lots eye contacts.
Unfortunately, each time he asked us "OK?" " All right?" "Did you understand?" "Can I go on?" there was deadly silence from attendances. Attendances hardly made eye contact with the speaker. I could see he was getting exhausted each time he could not get response from his audiences. I am afraid I dared not to voice alone there. I have my own life to fight for living and working in this society.
About lunch time, He asked " OK, We have lunch break from now. What time is lunch time in Japan?" Attendances were keeping deadly silence..........deadly neglected words from his personality to attendance's personalities..………. the least I could do I gave an answer just “12 to 1” .
At the end of seminar, he said " Thank you" and "Good-By" Still silence...............but me " thank you" in her small voice....
Japanese coordinator then came in and " Thank you" in Japanese. Suddenly the room came alive and people started saying "Thank you, it was a good seminar... " in Japanese and so on.
I understand now no wonder foreign teachers in Japan are under stress.

Thursday, September 11, 2003


a new cafe at FOREAT HARAJUKU (Next to LaForet Harajuku)
(opens 11a.m - 0a.m from 12th of Sept)

A friend of mine opened this new Cafe. (as an co-managing director, she grew the company from an open-market shop.) As we know well, Harajuku's free and creative culture has been in great danger. There has been occupied by kids and posh's money. AUX BACCHANALES has been closed. (why there should be replaced by YODOBASHI CAMERA??) Now, kids head to Shibuya. It's time to come "CREATIVE" back to Harajyuku! This cafe has art fine gallery, music, excite books, furniture and food and drink. Welcome everybody to enjoy casual artistic Harajuku!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2003


RIAA found Scapegoast, 12-year-old NY girl living in a New York City Housing Authority apartment, out of millions of P2P users.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003


Dear dear, RIAA really sues 261 P2P users....

Partly continuance of " A story about why I am no good at English"

A couple of emails from my friends in SF and Napa asking my schedule reminded me that within fortnight, I will be away to my late summer holiday, a wine drinking holiday at Napa under California Sun! yahooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!
When I was much younger, I was dreaming of living in a mountain lodge with dogs and horses at somewhere high mountain after my retirement. Nowadays, I am inclining to fine beach and wine for my after-retirement companion. Napa must be one of the major candidates.

At Napa, I plan to stay at not my friend's house but a local family home allocated by a local English language school so that I can see real America as mush as possible during my first time short visit. Good idea isn't it!!…….........though am pretty nervous.

On opening my blog (the next exactly), I wrote that " A story about why I am no good at English (Part 1) “ which was to be continued yet not have written. I have never forgotten about it. The later part was to write the notorious Japan's English education I had at junior and high school but so hard is this topic is related to my dazed, confused and nauseous messed school days. Who said "Youth is beautiful"?

Well, Briefly, the point was that teachers and parents kept saying study English hard and your future stage will be opened to the world but they never had understood what dose mean to speak to communicate with foreign people. (They cannot be blamed. they hardly had saw foreigners by that time...) What they meant was no more than "memorize more vocabularies, pass exams with good mark...."
In order to just pass the foreign language paper test, minimum work required is knowledge of little translation tricks on paper and little vocabularies. (maybe no different from Latin study.) Naughty girl like me never paid attention to “sound” part of language just because I did not meet oral or hearing exams. The result was imbalance. Knowing many difficult words but could not pick up or speak simple spoken words. Very imbalance.

Strong imbalance is monstrous, I think.
Just imagine some mad scientist who has great knowledge and understanding but dose not have good communicate skill to people. Staying holed up in his lab alone and working hard, nobody understand what he's doing and pays attention to him. He might be awed one day when he made Franckenstein, but neither really befriended nor respected. If only he could ask someone how to tell people what's he is doing by simple words in understandable manner, yet such a simple thing is so difficult….the most difficult….
I hope that California Sun and Wine will help me!!

Thursday, September 04, 2003

To buy or not to buy

that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them?

I am still thinking about buying the ex-auctioned flat mentioned below.

What pushing me toward BUY is a change of way the wind blows of Japanese economic trends after a decade long of recession.

Just watching the existing property price of my area, central Tokyo, I can see the property price is slowly rising since spring of this year. The price hit the one of bottom last summer and remained around during autumn and winter. Comparing sell prices of flats in the same condominium between last summer and this summer, the rise is clear.

Watching TV news, rapid long-term interest rate raise will be reflected to the rise of interest rate of housing loan soon. Housing loan interest rate has long been descending to incredibly low of 1-2% on market for last one year and some has started to head in rise this August eventually.

What stops me from buying is this flat dose not meet my desires in many was. It's not only I want newer, I want bigger, I want nice view and etc, but also by some conditional reasons, it seems to be not easy to pass the bank's investigation for home loan, unless I make up a perfect story why I buy this flat within half a year I bought another one. Headache!

My instinct tells it might be the last chance of buying flat.
Low price and low interest rate were the sweet I was attracted. And I am losing the sweet...............