Fun should be come first

What does it mean for your life? What is the pros and cons of your plan? What is your benefit attending the project? These days, thanks to the spreading of capitalism, we never doubt such behavior or attitude, and take it for granted. Should we think of anything in terms of merit and demerits? Right or wrong? That’s some important criteria. But, why can’t we think of in terms of fun or not fun?

I don’t know from when I started thinking this way though, I now feel I became too boring person as 28. On the other hand, children’s criteria for deciding anything depends on their feeling for fun. If they found funnier thing, that’s the reason they take the option.

I’m so sorry about myself now. I was thinking about trivial benefits or loss all the time for anything. I’ve forgotten something very important. Let’s focus on fun side. Don’t think as capitalism. Try get back my soul for fun-ism.

When I first ate BigMac was 10 years old. It tastes just as it was.

My Great Conflict: Should I read books in Japanese or English?

Today, I’d like to talk about my great great conflict as an English leaner as a second language. If there are some readers who can understand my feeling below and could leave some comment, that would be really helpful. Anyway, my issue here is “Which books should I read more, Japanese books or English books?”

As my profile picture looks, I Am a Japanese (often misunderstood as Korean 60% and Chinese40% in an international airport). My dream when I was 9 was to be a pilot of airplane because pilots seemed so cool because they spoke really fluent English and was a kind of a symbol of the coolest people who use English. However, as my eyesights getting weaker (not by studying hard, but watching illegal uploaded anime videos on YouTube of dawn in a dark room), I became a person who don’t have any specific dream jobs.

High school teacher took a poll of what kind of university and job do I dream when I was 16. Holy crap. How many 16 years old can write your dream job or future plan seriously? That was one of the most ridiculous poll I had ever taken at the time. So, I just wrote “Tokyo University (Harvard in the US)”. I meant it. I was serious in a way. But, my score and grader was not that good, actually far from it. And exactly it was the high school day that I started and have been struggling and continuing asking myself “Who am I?” and “Who do I want to be?”

Anyhow, I was somehow good at subjects of Politics and Economy and English at that time, I chose universities and departments of such territories. Then, it turned out that the best option that I got was English Department of Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo. Then, I became a university student of English department. My major became an American literature, and movies. The lectures and seminars on American literature was really fun, and I somehow became a grad student of Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo. The novels of Kurt Vonnegut became one of my top priority to research.

During that time, I became so depressed because the life routine was like a prisoner’s one; reading through a day in a windowless laboratory. Then, I finished a master degree and now I’m teaching English at a high school. The problem when I was a student was I got too much input, but now, my problem became that I have too much output. So, crying for the moon, eh?

However, I’m still falling love with literature, I mean the whole cultural thing especially book and movies. I love reading books of not only fiction but also essays (critical philosophical ones to anything seemed fun). Then, I found myself writing something is also really fun to me. I can write 24 hours about anything especially, especially, especially in Japanese because I am anyway Japanese… I may have 100 times or 1,000 times more deeper and wider expression in Japanese. Everyone should know that.

So, writing is my lifetime hobby now, but you know, as you expect, I want to write in English too. I want express myself in English too because I can reach to more people by expressing in Japanese, and I want to use my English skills as a tool like anybody else do, like company men working at a global company, international company men, pilots, international surgeon, or like that.

I am teaching English but I realize that this job doesn’t require teachers to use their English as a tool. You know, maybe we are good at teaching how to use the screwdriver but don’t make anything using the driver! Just teaching is not enough to me. So, I want to create and be somebody using English as a tool.

Therefore, for example, I want to write some novel in English. And for that, I really think I should read many English books. But, unfortunately, or maybe this is a great excuse though, there are so many attractive Japanese books in this world. Oh myyyy…. I am so weak and lazy that I opened some English books and then I realized I read some other Japanese book after closing it.

So, my question is this. Should I read more Japanese books to fulfill my desire and lose English ability, or read more English books to improve and deepen my English usage but lose Japanese ability. Ultimately, should I write in Japanese or English? That would be my problem. Maybe I would think too much, but you know, I want to make it clear. I’m a person if I could set a really clear goal, then I can do my best.

When you have a weird friends

I don’t know why, and I have never asked myself why though, I have some weird friends. I have to admit it. Some of my precious friends are really weird. And maybe I’m proud of having such friends. How weird? There is no scale that can measure how weird your friend is, or something that can measure man’s effort. I assume that is the problem. I sometimes wonder if people share a common measure or criteria of making efforts, or painfulness, or sadness, how the world would be? In terms of that, we are living in a secret world. Basically, we cannot measure anything. Of course, I’m bad at science or math. But, love cannot be measured by a scale, anyway. And maybe it’s so nonsense that God never gave us the special feature.

Anyway, I have some weird friends. Friends who tried to commit suicide, and who tried to commit suicide anyhow. But they are really fine guys. I don’t know why but I prefer talking with such misfitted guys. I, personally, am seems pretty neat guy. That is wrong. I’m always worried about how am I looked and thought of by people around me. And I always worried because I have a cruel words towards the world. That’s why I got nervous because I doubt that people would think of me with such a cruel words that I use , and I sometimes feel really depressing. Hmmm. Maybe, I’m the most weird friend of somebody.

Busy, eh?

The Japanese school year begins from April, and that makes teachers extremely busy because there are thing you need to start from zero base. We try to make previous things better in every year, so I am also trying to do many new things. However, at the same time, you realize that you are spending too much time, and felt having lesser room in my mind. Or, I think I have a low capacity. I am always wishing that I could do anything that I wanted to do, but in reality, sometimes you find yourself too tired to do some new things.

My greatest mentor Tatsuru Uchida (a philosopher) once mentioned about mental health in his book, and he wrote there seems two signs that can prove you’re in good health. 1st is you find eatings yummy. 2nd is you feel you want to start new things. 3rd is that you feel like to write to somebody. And I absolutely agree with his idea.

Not only in Japan, but also in many other countries, this season is the turning point of a season, like winter to spring. Our bodies and mental must have been somehow affected by this seasonal changing unconsciously. Especially here in Hokkaido (the northern part of Japan), the temperature is like 17C yesterday, and 3C today, and tomorrow 15C,… You know, like a bitcoin chart or rollercoaster ride.

Spring is the loveliest season of all time for the most of Japanese, but at the same time, people are easily got tired or disappointed experiencing new fields or seasons’ difference. The changing of the environment is somehow tiring.

Then, what should I think like? I believe that I should think like do anything with just step by step. You cannot achieve anything immediately, but just gradually. Like a snail or a turtle. You are you.

Greatest News in 3 years! “POPEYE Web” is born!

Reading a paper in the 7 pm eating boring supper, the column of daily fortune telling says for the Capricornus that you would find great news on web or VR world. Slightly I laughed in my heart because that would be a little bit meaningless advice since it’s almost the end of the day. There would be no such opportunity, then I put my chopstick on a table. Then I started reading one of my favorite magazine: POPEYE. The motto of this magazine is “Magazine for City Boys”. I’ve ben reading this magazine for almost 10 years. Only one thing that I’m somehow collecting is maybe this magazine. I have almost all issues for several years. The atmosphere is the best. No other magazines can make this unique but gentle, funny but serious atmosphere. Starting reading the latest issue that I bought yesternight at a connivence store, then my eyes caught a strange article in the last page. It says “1 month has passed since POPEYE web was born!”. POPEYE Web? I immediately accessed the site and then I realized the fortune telling was right! The site makes my life three times more exciting one!

https://popeyemagazine.jp/

The landing page of POPEYE web. I swear I open this page every day! And my life would be more city boy look!

The page was really well made. I was almost crying. You never knew how much I appreciate this news. Please imagine that you are a huge fan of somebody who never appeared on internet. You love his/her saying or attitude on TV or books, so you try to pretend to get close to the person. And a month ago, but she or he suddenly started daily blog post and tell us about everything with their view. OMG… I’ve been never a fan of anybody but this magazine. This huge news means that everyday I can start my life with POPEYE’s morning call and finish with Good night by POPEYE.

Now I’m a bit exaggerated though, POPEYE magazine is one of the best Japanese magazine for me, and the magazine that influences me a lot. Then there was “about POPEY Web” page. I’m so thrilled to explain about this page for you guys that I’d like to make translation of the page.

“About” page. This writing style IS the POPEYE magazine…(TT)

POPEYE Webは世界でここだけにしかない架空の街です。

POPEYE Web is an imaginary downtown that exists only in here.

スポーツマンも学者も、ルーキーもベテランも、社交家も孤高の人も、海好きも山好きも、年齢、国籍、性別、趣味嗜好を問わず、どんな人が遊びに来ても楽しめる街です。キャラクターのポパイのように強くてやさしい街を目指しています。

Any athletes, scholars, rookies, veterans, the sociable or the isolated, people who love sea or mountain, any ages, nationalities, genders, any favorites can come and enjoy in this downtown. We are aiming to build a strong but kind town like the character of Popeye.

ところで、45年前に誕生したPOPEYE創刊号にはこんな言葉がありました。
「もはや、雑誌を編集者だけでつくる時代は終わりました」
その宣言通り、創刊から今までそれぞれの時代のユニークな能力を持った人がどこからともなく編集部に集まって、ワイワイと雑誌をつくってきました。
そんなPOPEYEが始めるウェブなので、もちろん編集者だけではつくりません。

By the way, there was a line on the very first issue of POPEYE magazine which was born 45 years ago.
“The era in which only editors make magazines just ended”.
As the declaration goes, from the beginning of the magazine to now, people with unique talents somehow gathered in editorial department and making magazine with a lot of laughs and good funs.
So, that POPEYE starts this web, of course we don’t make this with only editors.

現実の世界で出会ってビビッときた人たちをどんどん誘ってこの街の住人になってもらおうと思っています。文章が得意な人には記事を書いてもらい、ミュージシャンにはライブをしてもらい、話がうまい人にはラジオで喋ってもらい、格闘家にはカメラの前で瓦を割ってもらったりしようと思っています。雑誌とは違った手段で、よりフレッシュに現場の熱を伝えられそうでワクワクしています。

We’d like to invite people who we met in real world and fell in love to this town and want them to be a residence. The people who are good at writing, let them write, and people who are musicians, let them gigs, people who are good at talking, let them talk on the radio, fighters, we want them to break Japanese tiles in front of a camera. We are thrilled to be able to deliver the heat of the site.

このウェブサイトの拠点は今のところ東京です。そして、スタッフはすごく少ないです。おもしろいメンバーが集まり始めていますが、地方の街、世界の都市で起きていることには関知できていません。だから、世界中の都市に住む同じ波長を持った皆さんの情報をお待ちしています。ウェブサイトを見て少しでもいいなと思ったら、きっと僕らと気が合うはずです。身のまわりに起きていることを教えてください。

The foothold of this site is Tokyo for now. And there are a few staffs. Only funny interesting members are gathering here, we cannot sense events happening in country side of Japan, or cities in the world. So, we are waiting for your information who has a sympathy with us in the wold. If you look at the website and find it good, you must be our good friend. Please let us know what is happening around you.

POPEYE Webはみんなで創るウェブサイトです。

POPEYE Web is a website made with everyone.

Come join us!
popeyeweb@magazine.co.jp

I’d like to send the mail as soon as I can! LIFE IS SO EXCITING!!!
Thank you very much for reading this article! Let’s send email together and make the world better place ; )

How To Close Your Ring?

You need to close your ring to achieve your health goal on Apple Watch. I don’t own it though.

Japanese fiscal or school year begins from April to the end of March. So, basically, Japanese people are busy on this Spring season. Plus, this season is infamous for a pollen allergy. The creativity would be decreased by 20% due to the national disease. In short, Japanese somehow don’t like this season. The accumulated stress of this month sometimes is expressed as a freshman hypochondria. We call it as May Disease. Keep flooring your gas pedal from the beginning is a bit risky for a year.

Anyhow, I became 28 years of age. 5 years has passed since I started working. A famous music producer once said like you don’t have to quit your job until 3 years passed because you can’t understand anything about your job before that time. I like the advice. And 4 years has already passed. Now I can quit anytime I guess. But ironically, the job is getting more fun than before. Finally, it seems that I could get used to this life style. 1st year: Slept on the sofa from 20:00 (too tired to go to bed). 2nd year: Fell in love with colleague. 3rd year: So-so year. 4th year: Working hard. 5th year: Working really hard (I’m here now).

Now I realize if you try really hard, you can lead a full of life. Doing anything what you think you should do, or you feel good. However, unfortunately we have just 24 hours a day. You have to sleep for 8 hours to get 100% charge. But you need to work for 9 to 10 hours a day. That means, you only have 6 hours. Hmm… Then, I have some things that always comes to my daily to do list.

□ Reading paper (Japanese and English)
□ Taking online English lesson
□ Writing a Japanese diary
□ Reading a book
□ Studying of English
□ Making your own dish
□ Writing a blog entry

These are the things I want to accomplish in daily life. But it seems hard. But, I want to win. But, every book needs a blank page. Anyway, as long as you laugh very much every day, it seems totally ok.

So, I bought a Tin Whistle

A famous Japanese TV drama series “Roosevelt Game” was on air in 2014

There was a sound I have been fell in love with for long long years. Hearing the sound many times but I had no idea what the instrument is. Sometimes, sound is the most difficult thing to explain. In terms of that, I am seriously admiring people who invented and brushed up a musical score. Anyway, The video clip is a track from a TV drama series, and from 0:27, there comes the sound. Sounds like flute or something, but it sounds more like a clear, more transparent sound as if you are breathing air in heaven or top of a great mountain. The sound have caught my heart since I was young.

And now, I became 28 and I suddenly realized that now I can ask my college of musical teacher about the sound. Then, at an office, I talked her to listen the song and begged her to teach me what the instrument is. She listened the part many times, and thinking, and searching on the Google and after 7 min., she told me that “Maybe it is Tin Whistle, I guess”. “Tin Whistle”. Is that the name of the spiritual transparent sound maker? I was so excited that I suddenly checked it on youtube and then I got goosebump. This is the sound I was looking for. I felt as if I could meet my 100% girlfriend (@HarukiMurakami).

This is the sound, man. How beautiful sound it is.

Then, I found myself searching Tin Whistle on Amazon, and I clicked it. It was about $20. Not that expensive, eh?

Today, the whistle arrived a my house, and I played a bit. Such a heart fulfilling moment. I felt I could become a Celtic Woman although I am a man.

Anyhow, There was an explanation about the Tin Whistle. It seems so lovely that let me type it down and share the whole sentences here.

The melodies and lyrics of the music of the Celtic nations reflect their lives and their history. In their music can be found nostalgia for their loves and hates; the battles and victories; the beauty of their countryside and their longing for it when they have to leave it; the fun and joy of their comic outlook of life – birth, marriage and death; as well as the ideal accompaniment for a vast array of dances. One cannot hear a slow air played with depth of feeling on a tinwhistle by a true Celt without being drawn into, and sharing, th emotions expressed by the player.

Each of the Celtic nations has its own instrumental tradition and each claims their right to specific instruments. The Scots will assert that the bagpipes are their national property; the Welsh, the harp. The Irish claim the Uilleann pipes as their own as do, indeed, the Bretons claim the cornemuse. One instrument, played by all, and adopted by all is the tinwhistle.

When Robert Clarke invented Tinwhistle in 1843, little did he know that it would become the perfect wind instrument to be played universally in all the Celtic lands. It can be heard in concert halls, broadcasts, churches and above all, especially Ireland, in the pubs. It is easy to learn to play; inexpensive; and can be conveniently carried so as to be available for performances on all occasions.

Now, I’m starting from here. Thanks for reading!

Is that Really Your Favorite Thing?

Hello everyone. “What is your favorite thing?” is a typical Japanese English textbook question. What is your favorite sports, movies, novels… you can create many series of this type of this questions. Anyway, we often talk about our favorite things or things we love. Some people can talk about their favorite things with enthusiasm. They really talk a lot even though I don’t have any interests on the topic. However, their faces when they are talking about their favorite things are really looked fulfilled and cool. During such time, I often think of myself who doesn’t have any specific favorite thing. If I were asked “What do you like?”, I would say “I like fresh clean air in countryside, and rice”. I cannot tell somebody why I love those things or how much money I have been investing to get such things.

Somebody loves collecting things. But I don’t. When I finish reading manga of “Damon Slayer”, I was so touched, but that doesn’t make me to keep owing volumes. I just keep the memories in my mind, and I sold them on Internet flea market site. It got really high price though, some of my friends who love the series said to me “You are so disgraceful”. I want to live simple life. I would rather collect precious memories in my heart instead of keeping stuffs. Things in your heart never be robbed or rusted.

Holi festival in India (throwing color powder each other to celebrate)

So, I have never belonged to some artist’s fan sites, or bought fan goods on anybody. I have never collected complete edition of something. I know how I’m spending boring daily life. Maybe that’s why I got depressed easily somehow. But, I think it is ok. I want to love such abstract things. I love travel especially for foreign countries. I love reading books. I love listening good music. I love writing stupid stuff. I love to meet new people. I love talking with my friends over the phone. I love to know new things or new world. Now I realize, I have many favorite things. Now I am so happy that I can live with my favorite things.

The reason I read books (part 2)

Now I can tell you a lot of things about the importance of reading books. It’s simply because I’ve read a certain amount of books for now. Before reading, I had no idea how to get smart. The easiest way to get smart (in a serious meaning) is just reading books written by really smart authors. It must be difficult to try to bite such an hard stuff because you had enjoyed chewing marshmallow thing so far. But then, you’ve got a word that can describe your world more vivid and concrete. You can get a new language or colors to describe your view. If you didn’t read books, no matter how you try to think of something deeply, the depth of your thoughts can be a puddle’s one. However, reading books can bring you to the real depth.

There is a quote which I already forgot who said though, I really like. It goes like “When you are reading books, you are ultimately reading yourself”. Reading ability of a passage or article can be measured by certain tests, but how about reading ability of life? Reading books can definitely brush up your skill of reading a real life situation with cool head. Of course, there would be a side effect of reading books. One would be like you would feel lonely when you are reading. Or you would think too much about the world. However, still the benefit of reading books would absolutely outweigh the minor impacts of it.

I’ve loved books for almost ten years now (from 18 to 28). I sometimes thought, if I could find myself as a bookworm when I was a child, I can be a fresh writer around my age. But, people have their own time zones, right? Comparing yourself with others can be insulting your self (maybe said by Bill Gates?). So, I never compare. I just compare myself with past myself. Anyway, I have been very interested writing something for almost ten years (weird coincidence, huh?). So, I try to write as much as I can these days. At my workplace, I write a kind of newsletter, or any documents. At home, I write Japanese diary or this English blog. I wish someday I can live with writing for somebody not only in Japanese and English.

Thank you very much for reading this article.

The reason I read books (part 1)

Do you like reading books? When I was a high school student, I would have said, NO, I DON’T AT ALL. But now, I will say, YES, I LOVE TO READ! So, what happened to this man. Today, I’d like to write about why I became a huge book lover even though I nearly hated reading when I was a high schooler.

I can easily remember my high school days. I hate readings. When I bought a magazine, I don’t read anything but looking at some pictures, or checking a horoscope page (even though the magazine was a fashion magazine…and that’s why I still am not good at choosing fashionable outfits…). Anyway, the letters are so small, and the words I read looked seriously boring like reading an explanatory note on old electric dictionary. In short, I hated it. Newspaper seemed the same. Why are letters in newspapers are so small, and boring news that much? I had no idea why they are producing such a boring things to the world. So, I loved watching TV. Everything I learned from was TV. The topic or trivia I talk to a hairdresser was all from information by TV. But somehow I was said like “Oh, you really know much about almost anything. You are excellent! boy”. So, I never felt any guilts of not reading books.

During my high school days, there was a boy who is always reading during short break. Everyone was chatting with friends, or going out to buy some drinks, but he was always reading books. And he was an honor student. There was a different types of honor student. He belongs to soccer club, and he was a kind of “naughty” boy. Listening music during class, chewing gum secretly. So, he was popular with girls. He was in relationship with really cute girl. He seemed not studying hard, but he made really good score in every term examinations. And, he also was reading book during recess with chewing gum.

And, I somehow became a university student. Ironically, my major was English literature. Like the most of student who try to major it, I misunderstood that I could be trained to be a real fluent English speaker. We study literature, in other word, we read English books. I was almost becoming panic since I didn’t finish reading any literature before (I’m feeling so bad for today’s system of entering university though).

The first books I needed to read was “The Scarlet Letter” in Japanese. Since I didn’t have any knowledges on these literature, my reaction was “what the heck of this super ultra boring dictionary like thick book??”. Sorry. But, yes. I couldn’t understand the beauty of literature at all. Then, a professor said very interesting thing is a class. The 60 years old looking man said to us, freshmen, “All you have to do in this university time is reading books as much as you can. You need to read as much as possible. I’m serious. There are books that you can read only in this time. You need to try to read more difficult books that you felt you would’t read. First 20 to 30 books would be boring, but there will come time when you feel it’s so interesting. So, once again, read books.” or like that.

Then, I finally thought, all right, I would do it. I clicked every second hand books that seems fun to me on Amazon, and almost next day, just before my entrance door was full of Amazon packages (I should have taken picture though, I thought that was a surprise or something like that). And then, I realized what the professor said to me was so right. After finishing 15 books, I could somehow understand how great thing to read, and I totally regretted having not read many books until I became university student.