To Forget Summer Heat

It has been a little bit cool since we had a heavy thunderstorm three days ago, but it feels like it is getting hotter today. It’s better to read a thrilling story like a mystery or a ghost story to forget this summer heat.

I enjoyed reading “Master of The Game” by Sidney Sheldon. This thrilling and provocative story had a power that even made me stay away from a PC. It is really a page- turner. It’s a long story about four generations of a successful woman, but each sentence is short and words are easy.

The heroin, Kate was a beautiful and wealthy woman who inherited her father’s company and made the company an international conglomerate. She was well- known worldwide as a symbol of success. She loved her family, but controlled her family members in order to make her company more prosperous. Accidents occurred one after another. Celebrating her ninetieth birthday, she surveyed her family’s history. Her son got insane and her granddaughter was a murderer. Was she the master of the game?
I couldn’t stop reading, asking breathlessly “What’s next?”

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a hawk in the sky

circles the Point


Dear Anima
I can't find your blog this morning. I feel sad to know you have disappeared. I like your photos, especially the last one. Your partner and you are in the dense mist. Good luck!

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Ashizuri Point 足摺岬

I stayed overnight at a small hotel in Ashizuri Point, Tosa Shimizu City. It is a lonely port town having several inns and hotels. There is an elementary school at the Point having a small playground and a pool. Children seem to swim in the pool. I couldn't see any beaches to swim out there. Steep cliffs make a person difficult to approach the sea. .This is a subtropical plant before the hotel.

We were served ayu fish, raw fish of yokowa and squid, shellfish, katsuo no tataki, etc. Raw fish and bonito were very fresh and delicious.

On the next day, I visited a lighthouse standing at Asizuri Point. The scenery was marvelous. The Point was once a famous place for committing suicide. I remembered the short story 足摺岬 written by 田宮虎彦. It is a dark story after WWⅡ. Blue sky and blue sea made me forget the sad story.

There is a big statue of ジョン万次郎 near the Point. He was shipwrecked and saved by an American ship. He seemed to stay in America for some time. After coming back to Japan, he took an active part at the end of Edo era as an interpreter.

I sweat and sweat during the trip. I have to train myself for the next pilgrimage scheduled at the end of August.

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The 7th Temple Pilgrimage in Shikoku

I took part in the 7th bus trip as a part of the 88 Temple Pilgrimage of Shikoku on July 21 and 22. After six and a half hours by bus, we reached Shimanto 四万十 area. It was a long, long bus trip.

First of all, we visited Shakkizan赤亀山, Enkouji Temple延光寺 in Sukumo City宿毛市. A statue of a red tortoise welcomed us. It is carrying a bell on its back. It's said that the tortoise brought back the bell from the Sea God's Palace竜宮城.

After that, we went to Shimanto River and took a roofed pleasure boat called Yakatabune屋形船. This river is in the part of 汽水域 where sea water and fresh water are mixed. Various kinds of fish like crucian carp 鮒 and sea bream鯛 can live.

A boatman told us about some ways of fishing in the river and two fishermen displayed us the way of casting a net and the way of using bamboo leaves to catch fish. The fisherman sinks the bamboo leaves in the sea and fish gather among leaves. A Japanese eel -raising industry is also popular in the river. The boatman was very talkative and we enjoyed his funny talking very much.

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Ex-Family Members


I went out for shopping with my daughter yesterday. When I reached Sannomiya shopping mall before 11 in the morning, most of the stores were still closed. They are usually open at 11 a.m. I found some ice poles on the road in the shopping mall. Some children were touching the ice pole and playing around there. Some photographers were taking pictures of the ice poles, perhaps for a newspaper or a magazine.

At lunch time, my husband and son joined us. Unfortunately, my daughter- in –law and my son –in- law couldn’t come because of their jobs. We went to an Italian restaurant in Kobe Daimaru. Coincidentally, ex-family members, my husband, my son, my daughter and myself got together. It was the first time for us alone to get together in many years. We had a good time, remembering our old days. Unfortunately, my son’s family has no child, but I always appreciate that all of us are now in good shape.

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My new teacher in the English conversation club gives us a unique lesson. First of all, we choose a main character and a supporting character from a real society, a history, a novel, a movie and so on. Secondly, we think how two characters interact with each other and make a story. This work needs to develop imagination. Surely enough, my ability of making a new thing is declining year after year. I have to use my sleeping brain.

I chose Melanie and Hillary Clinton. Melanie is a character in the movie Gone With the Wind, and Scarlet O’Hara's cousin. Some young members didn’t know the movie風と共に去りぬ. I couldn’t help but think there is a big gap among some generations. Some other members chose 吉田茂、永井荷風、谷崎潤一郎、本田宗一郎, Sharri Temple, Goddess of Temperance(節制の女神), Goddess of Justice(正義の女神), etc.

Melanie’s personality
1. thoughtful
2. merciful
3. tenderhearted
4. considerate
5. witty

I suppose Hillary Clinton’s personality is
1. logical
2. smart
3. social
4. tactical
5. outgoing

I have to make a story, using two characters by the next lesson. This work must revitalize the unused part of my brain.

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A New Comer

スリムThe Meteorological Agency declared the end of the rainy season yesterday. We had the least rainfall around Kobe the last five years. Today, it clears up and cool wind is blowing.

A new comer came to my house a few days ago. That is a slim fan, whose size is 10cm×12cm×78cm. I saw a slim fan on a catalog shopping and liked its slimness. I thought it would be better for the small corner of a room than an ordinary round fan. Its price was 10,000 yen. Before ordering it, I went to a nearby home center to see one. I found this slim fan and decided to buy it at once, because it cost me only 3,980 yen. It was much more reasonable.

The fan can surely cool me down in place of an air conditioner. However it is a little bit noisy. I don’t know if the fan of 10,000 yen works more quietly. Anyway, I am going to use it to save energy, so long as I can bear the heat of my room with it.

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Summer Mist

a whitish lane
vanishes into summer mist
in a valley

summer mist
one egret vanishes
after another


The sky was covered with a thick layer of cloud early in the morning, but it clears up now.
Happily, cool wind is blowing. I wonder if the rainy season has already finished in my area. Three-day weekend and summer vacation are approaching. Do you have any plans?

I want to be wrapped in moist summer mist at Mt. Rokko. This picture is ROKKOSAN GLASS HOUSE wrapped in mist.

glass house

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200px-Hotel_Rwanda_movie[1]I watched the film HOTEL RWANDA on TV last night. This historical drama film was co-produced in 2004 by US, British, Italian and South African companies, and was released in Japan in 2006.

This film is based on a true story.
Shockingly, almost a million African people were killed in the small country of Rwanda, near Lake Victoria in Africa. This historical massacre is called Rwandan Genocide and it was caused by a conflict between two tribes, i.e. Tutsi and Hutu.

A hero, a hotel manager, bravely saved more than a thousand refugees in the midst of no help from other countries and UN. This film reminds me of Shindler’s List, and actually is called African Shindler’s List.

How scary the hatred of human beings is! How bravely a human could act! The song which was sung in the last tells us the whole story of the film and is absolutely wonderful. It’s worth watching.

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Midyear Gift

tyuugen.jpgI received the first midyear gift 御中元from my sister-in-law this morning. An alcoholic drink is my husband’s favorite. He seemed very glad to have it. My sister knows his favorite very well. I am going to send her fine wheat noodles ,soumen. 播州ソーメン is a specialty in Hyogo Prefecture.

At this time, we send gifts to people who have cared for us, e.g., relatives. siblings, doctors and so on. We send mainly food stuffs. In the Kanto region, they send gifts from the beginning of July to around July 15. In Kansai, they send gifts from the beginning of August till August 15. However, recently, this time difference is not clear. I don’t care about it so much. Anyway, it is better to send midyear gifts by August 15.

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Grilled Meat Wrapped With Beefsteak

I’ve gotten some green beefsteak plants 青紫蘇 from my kitchen garden. I wondered how to use them usefully before they rot. Tempura of them is delicious, but in the case of tempura, I need only several leaves. Sashimi or somen goes well with them, but only a few. Therefore, I am going to have yakiniku tonight. I wrap grilled meat, vegetables, tofu, konnyaku, etc. with the leaves of a green beefsteak. One of my friends told me that he learned the way of eating in Korea. This way of eating is rational and healthy.

By the way, this plant has an interesting name, BEEFSTEAK. I don’t know the origin of the name though.

I often use this mini-hot plate which was given me by my nephew as a return gift when he got married. This small hot plate is very convenient for a small family.

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Bullying or A Game?

むくげOn my way to a nearby supermarket, roses of Sharon ムクゲare blooming beautifully. Pink and white flowers look like lovely maidens. They comfort us under strong sunshine.

I met a group of five middle schoolboys. I felt somewhat weird when I saw them walking up the road. The road is a gentle slope. Four boys looked so happy, chatting with one another. Surprisingly, one boy looked unhappy and tired, carrying 5 big schoolbags. I had a hunch that he was bullied. I felt sympathy for him very much.

After passing by, I looked back again and again. The group seemed to notice my suspicious eyes and began to play the game of ‘rock, scissors, paper'. “Now it’s your turn!”, a boy said. Another boy began to walk, carrying five big schoolbags. It was a game, I believed. I really felt relieved.

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Innocent Chat

My neighboring family has two boys. One is a first grader and the other is a kindergartener. They were playing outside in their garden after school, chatting merrily. I overheard them chatting and noticed that a big brother was saying one word that was not childlike after “Ultraman”. That word was “Chikyu ondanka”(global warming).

I wondered why that little boy knew such a difficult word and I doubted if I heard wrong. However, no doubt, he was saying repeatedly and rhythmically, “Ultraman, Chikyu- ondanka, Ultraman, Chikyu-ondanka, Ultraman…. . I giggled in spite of myself. It seemed that this word was easy for him to say and he was only enjoying pleasant sound of the word. Perhaps, he learned this word at school or from TV.

The G- 8 Summit Meeting was over yesterday. Rampant hurricanes, tremendous floods, collapsing glaciers, etc. are warning us that there is no time to waste, standing around doing nothing.

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Good Result

shu-.jpgI had a phone call from my daughter again yesterday evening. “Hello”, she said gloomily. The moment I heard her tone of voice I had an uneasy feeling about her. I thought her son had gotten worse again. “What’s the matter? Is Ken all right?” I asked her, being choked. “He is getting better, but I myself have a problem. I’ve just received the result of mammography screening to detect breast cancer. I have to have further tests of breast cancer tomorrow.” Cold shiver ran down my spine. However, I said to her, “Don’t worry. If you had a breast cancer, it would be cured. Many cancer patients could live for more than 10 years recently.

Actually, I couldn’t sleep well last night. She went to a big hospital to have further tests early this morning. I didn’t have any appetites at all until I received her call from the hospital. Around 2 p.m., my cell phone rang. “ Mom, nothing wrong with me!!!” All of a sudden, everything around me looked shining. Thank you! Thank you! I appreciated all of the things. She has been protected and saved until now. There is nothing more important than good health.

I bought two big cream puffs. I offered one to my butsudan, a home alter, with flowers, incenses and a candle. Of course, I munched another one without a pause.

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Today's Blessing

I had a worrying phone call from my daughter about her younger son last night. He had coughed for about two weeks and had taken medicine of a cold from a doctor. Suddenly, he had a fever as high as 38.5 degrees yesterday morning. My daughter took him to another doctor. He was diagnosed as pneumonia. His cold may have developed into pneumonia. Fortunately, it was not so serious and it was not necessary for him to be hospitalized.

This morning, I called my daughter. Thanks to a medicine of pneumonia, he has a normal temperature so far. This is today’s first blessing. I have once suffered from slight pneumonia. If cough continues, we have to be the most careful.

The second blessing is the harvest from my kitchen garden. I have to thank my husband. I mostly owe it to my husband that I’ve gotten such fresh vegetables.

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Star Festival

Today is Tanabata, the Star Festival. We write our wishes and dreams on tanzaku, small colored strips of paper. We tie the tanzaku to branches of bamboo trees. Colorful tanzaku is very beautiful and gives a poetic touch to a hot summer day.

たなばた3This festival came from a Chinese legend in which the star Altair crosses the Milky Way once a year and meets the star Vega. It will be fine tonight and they will surely be able to meet. If it rains on this day, the heavens get flooded and two people can’t meet.

I read schoolchildren’s wishes on tanzaku displayed in a nearby supermarket. “ May a good baby be born safely!” “Better may I swim.” “ May Dad get well soon!” and so on.
We used to let the decorated bamboo branches flow in a river on the following day in my childhood, but I don’t know if the custom still exists.

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A Gecko and I

A geckoヤモリ appears around my house every year in this season. I haven’t seen it yet this year, but no doubt, it will show up and frighten me all of a sudden in the near future.

It seems to be living near the sliding shutter雨戸 in my room. It sometimes comes into my room when I am opening and closing the shutter. As soon as it comes into my room, it hides behind the chest as quick as lightning.

Last summer, I had a nightmare experience that it dropped onto my head when I was opening the shutter. I yelled, in spite of myself 思わず, “Help!!!” The gecko itself must have been very surprised to find itself on my head. I don’t remember how it escaped off of my head. I almost fainted, though geckos are not at all harmful to humans.

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Summer Rose Garden


summer rose garden

fragrance melted into

mountain mist

It's very hot and humid from this morning. I'd like to go up Mt. Rokko again. The temperature on the mountain is a few degrees lower. In spite of the rainy season, we have not had much rain so far. Sunny marks lines up in a row in the coming ten days on a TV weather forecast. Scorching hot summer is just around the corner.

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A Fire Alarm

kemupiko.jpgIt has been windy all day long. Rather strong wind is rattling the door and all things around me. The wind was strong enough to turn over a bicycle before the supermarket nearby in the afternoon. Now the siren of a fire engine is being heard and it makes me feel uneasy.

Coincidentally, a fire alarm” けむぴこ” was set on the wall of my upstairs corridor by a gas company this morning. One device was already set in my kitchen some years ago. I sleep in an upstairs room, so another device is needed at upstairs corridor. Plus, I ought to set one more device in my bedroom in the near future. Fire is one of the most fearful accidents as well as Earthquake, Thunder and Fatherおやじ. However, recently the number of fearful fathers is decreasing, isn’t it?

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The other day, I saw a paper of applying for a TASPO card on my husband’s desk. Today I wanted to take a picture of the card for my blog since I thought that he had already gotten the card. However, actually, he hasn’t applied for it yet, because he feels troublesome in filling out the paper and he can buy cigarettes anywhere except a vending machine.

From July1, you can’t buy cigarettes from a vending machine without a TASPO card. This system is set for minors 未成年者 not to buy cigarettes easily and for all of the smokers to reduce or to hopefully quit smoking. However, I doubt if the system will work well. It doesn’t have a strong pressure on smokers, I suppose. I highly support the idea that the price of one box of cigarettes will become 1,000 yen. Many smokers must think of quitting smoke.

Today’s newspaper says that a pregnant woman will be in the high risk of 早期破水、if her husband smokes over 30 cigarettes a day. Some cancers would be caused by passive smoking. I wish I could have a non-smoker as my husband.

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Free and Comfortable Ethos

Orchid cactus 孔雀サボテンis now blooming one after another. This flower is very gorgeous. Its diameter is about 7cm. The life of the flower is very short, say, one day. I was given one root of it by one of my neighbors about ten years ago. It grew very well and I propagated the plant by dividing its root 株分けして増やした.
The neighbor moved to a neighboring city some years ago. Whenever the flower blooms, I remember her. How is she doing?

I was getting along with her, however we didn’t meddle in each other’s affairs too muchお互い、あまり干渉しなかった. When we met, we exchanged common greetings. “How are you doing?” “ Fine, thanks.” That’s all. We didn’t ask any personal matters, e.g., “Where are you going?” “Why are you moving to other place?” We didn’t want to be involved in each other’s family problem deeply. However, it didn’t mean that we gave the cold shoulder to each other. Being unconcerned, but having warm-hearted kindness 温かいおもいやりを秘めた無関心. I like this free and comfortable ethos 自由で気楽な気風 of my town very much.

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