#724: The Box

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Key Words & Phrases:

  1. Skin and bones   痩せこけた

  2. go through         調べる

  3. stroke                脳卒中

  4. stage                段階/ life stage 

  5. Hawaiian fire dance 

My father is currently receiving hospice care. That means he is near the end of his life.  He has had 3 strokes already, so it is difficult for him to speak.  He is just skin and bones now.  I wonder what it is like to be at this stage of his life.  I am spending a lot of time going through a huge box of old photographs I had never seen before. Pictures of him as a small child standing next to his grandfather on a farm. Pictures of him as an energetic high school boy wearing a red suit and standing next to his sports car.  Pictures of him with my mother on a beach in Hawaii.  A time of innocence and purity.  I could see how he had changed into a man; a sailor in the Navy like I was.  He was a musician who sang and played the guitar and even made a CD.  He performed the Hawaiian fire dance at parties and taught me how to throw a net to catch fish. To look at him now, he has just become like a baby again, unable to do anything for himself.  But in the box were the memories of his lifetime; his smiles, his happiness, his energy, and his spirit.  Thanks to the box, I could see the beauty inside of him. 


  農場で、父の祖父の隣に立つ小さな子供の時の父の写真、真っ赤なスーツ姿でスポーツカーの横に立つ活気あふれる高校生の写真、ハワイのビーチで母と一緒に写る父の写真、無垢で純粋な時代。彼がどのように一人の大人に変化していったのか、(かつて私がそうであったように海軍軍人として) 見てとることができます。父はまた、ギターを弾き、歌も歌うミュージシャンで、CDまで作りました。パーティーではハワイアンファイヤーダンスを披露したり、また私には魚を捕るネットの投げ方を教えてくれたりもしました。しかし今の父は一人では何もできない赤ん坊にもどってしまったかのようにみえるのです。


******Thank-you, Yaeko san for your translation!*****

;) IMHO… in my humble opinion

#724 turned out to be the toughest one for me to translate ever.  Actually It took a whole day to start to work on it, in spite of the fact that I had been keen to read it like other fans of his blog.  Finally 724 arrived and I started to read excitedly….but  in the middle of the reading I found  myself  fighting back my tears. And by the time I managed to finish reading,  all the letters in the blog were blurred. Since then I have been in a kind of  state of numbness. I was so moved that I never found any words to it and it seemed to be impossible for me to put them into Japanese . If tears had any color , mine would have been 7 colored. Lots of emotions were there. I was completely struck by the beauty in ‘the box’ .  Thank you .       

ブログ724 は私にとって今までで一番困難なブログでした。実際原稿を読み終えてから、取り掛かるのに丸一日かかりました。ジョンのブログファン同様私もとても心待ちにしていたのに、です。途中涙を堪えながら読み進めましたが、読み終えるころには文字が霞んでいました。感動というのか、突き動かされた衝撃でぼーっとしています。私の日本語を付けたのでは、台無しにしてしまうなぁーと。そんなthe box の美しさ打たれました。


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#723 : Howdy

Click here for a funny video.

Let’s get started!

“Howdy” is a word used by southern people, and is a friendly way of saying “Hello”. One thing I realize that I missed about America is how friendly everyone is.  Whenever I take my dad out for a stroll in his wheelchair, almost every person that passes by in a car waves and smiles. Of course, in Japan people politely nod sometimes, but it is rather like a ritual, and there is never any eye contact. Don’t get me wrong, I love Japanese people, but it is just a bit different, a bit colder.  American people don’t like to do things just because it is a rule, so when someone is nice and friendly, it feels warmer. (Of course, my students are always warm and friendly!) We stopped and talked to some strangers we met on the street and some lady in a car drove by and said we should watch out for crazy drivers.

Americans….friendly, and sometimes crazy. Ha ha. That’s me!

Key Words & Phrases:

  1. Stroll (v)…ぶらつく/ 散歩する( walkに も散歩するという意味がありますが、stroll は時々立ち止まったり、あちこち見たりしながら散歩する感があります。stroll の接頭辞、st- はstand 由来)

  2. Wave (v)….手を振る

  3. Ritual … 儀式/ 儀式の

“Howdy ハウディ”は、南部の人に使われている、”Hello”にもっと親しみを込めた挨拶表現です。私が(日本で)アメリカを懐かしくおもっていたことの一つは、誰もが皆気さくで、フレンドリーだという事だったんだと、今、改めてわかります。車椅子の父を外に連れ出し散歩していると、殆どの人が車の中から手を振ってくれたり、にっこりしてくれます。日本でも丁寧な、うなずくような挨拶を受けますが、お互いの目をあわせたりはしません。幾分儀礼的な感があります。わたしは日本の方が大好きなので誤解しないでいただきたいのですが、挨拶の仕方が少し違っていて、幾分よそよそしい感じを否めません。アメリカ人はそういった挨拶を好しとしません、それは暗黙のルールのようなものです。だれかが優しくフレンドリーだと、そこにより温かさを感じるのです。(もちろん、わたしの生徒さんたちはいつだって温かく、フレンドリーです!) ここでは、私たちは道で会った知らない人とでも、立ち止まって話をすることがありますし、あるご婦人などは通りがかりの車の中から、「イカれたドライバーもいるからね、気をつけなさいね」なんてわざわざ声をかけてくれたりします。

アメリカ人…. フレンドリー、時々クレージー はは、それは私ですかね!

******Thank-you, Yaeko san for your translation! (She is warm, too!) *******

;) Yaeko’s 2 Cents------>

I have a lot of 2 cents opinions  about the different ways of greetings or of showing affection (feelings)in public  between the two countries.  But when I start , as you know, this corner goes  crazy . 

Just one thing, maybe it’s to do with American people not wearing face masks as much as Japanese do even  in this corona situation .. no hugs, no kisses, no shake-hands, no loud talk .. above all not seeing a smile  behind a  mask is really intolerable for them. 

…When on earth people can be free from the masks !  






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#722: JUNKFOOD!!!


Let’s get started!


I told myself that I wouldn’t let myself eat too much junk food while in  Pensacola, but I couldn’t help myself.  I went into the store today to pay for gas, and the junk food was calling my name, saying EAT ME, EAT ME, EAT ME!!! So just this once I will give in.


In case you are wondering, I still wake up every morning to do exercise.  I brought some small exercise equipment with me in my suitcase. I call it my portable home gym.  Good job, John!


Key Words & Phrases:

I told myself…自分に….と言う

I can’t help myself  自分を抑えることができない

Junk food  栄養価の低い食べ物;ファストフード、ハンバーガー、スナック類

Calling my name 私を呼んでいる

Give in   屈服する/ 降参する




私には自分に言い聞かせていた事がありました。ペンサコーラ滞在中はジャンクフードは極力控えるという。しかし抑えることができませんでした。今日、ガソリン代の支払いにでかけたのですが、店内のジャンクフードが私を呼んでるんです、食べて、食べてー、食べてよーってね。仕方なく、’よし、今回だけ、降参しよう’ ということになってしまいました。

みなさんが気にかけて下さっているかもしれませんが、私はこちらでも毎朝欠かさず、起きてからのトレーニングをしていますよ。スーツケースに入るコンパクトな運動用具を持参してきました。私はこれをポータブルホームジム(携帯用ホームジム)と呼んでいます。えらいぞ、John !


******Thank-you, Yaeko san for your translation!*******


;) Yaeko’s 2 Cents------>

I wondered why John picked up “calling my name” as a new phrase.Nothing new to me, neither to everybody, I suppose. In Japanese we say something like that. Like ‘ the mountain is calling me’ ….D’oh !

    I misunderstood . 💡In Japanese , we say something is calling ME not MY NAME , right ? But in English they say something is calling My Name  not Me . Wow !

Speaking of ‘Call Name’, there is another interesting expression , to call someone names . That means to speak ill of someone , to speak badly about someone. I learned it from the Christmas song , “Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer”♪  In between ‘call someone’s name’ and ‘call someone names’ , there are just  a few letter differences, but they make totally different meanings !  oh, dear !

Anyway , please listen to a Beatles song , ‘I Call Your Name’ by John Lennon,too.  In  spite of the broken-hearted lyrics, the melody is peppier .


ジョンが何故 ‘ call my name ‘をnew words and phrases 欄でわざわざ紹介したのかわからなかったのですが、今わかりました。英語では私を呼んでいるを私の名前を呼んでいると表すのですね。さすが!

Call …. name と言えばこれを使った面白い表現を ‘赤鼻のトナカイ’の歌詞で知りました。 ‘call someone names’ で「悪口を言う」です。アルファベットの数文字を置き換えるだけで、全く違う意味になるのですね。面白いですが、なかなか厄介…

最後にビートルズナンバーの一曲、ジョンレノン作曲の「I Call Your Name 」。失恋歌ですが、リズムは軽快です。

To tell the truth, somehow I’ve been a little uncomfortable with the name of this corner, Yaeko’s 2 cents. But finally I have concluded that this blog landlord is really generous!

Because he rents this corner for just 2cents ! Thank you again.





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#721 : No Masks

Let’s get started!

Well, I have already noticed that not many people wear masks here in Florida.  I would say maybe only 1 in 10.  Yesterday I took my father to the clinic. Of course, I wore a mask, and I put one on my father.  I was stunned to see that no one else did; not the other patients in the waiting room, not the staff, and not even the doctor!  Why???  I don’t know.

I will say that it is super hot outside and almost impossible to breathe with a mask outside.  My dad is in a wheelchair now, and sometimes I take him for a walk around the block. It is only 10 or 15 minutes, but when I come back I am almost melted. So I don’t wear a mask when outside, but I put one on when going to the store.

Key Words & Phrases:

  1. around the block 一区画をぐるっと

  2. I was stunned       呆然/ 唖然とした

  3. Waiting room  待合室

  4. My 2 cents  「私の意見、考え」 ….謙遜して自分の意見を述べる時、あるいは皮肉を込めて。…私の意見は2セントほどの価値ですが…













す。何故??? わかりません…











;) Yaeko’s 2 Cents------>

I almost got upset when I saw the name of my corner had been changed to 2 cents.  What !? This blog owner once drove me to the corner , still not enough , he declared that my comments is worth 2 cents ! Calm down Yaeko, hold your horses … there must be some tricks , and I Googled to find out .. now I understand the meaning of 2 cents  : it’s one of the humble ways  to say some one’s opinion which is not even asked for . There must be some resemble expressions in Japanese . Ummm… how about “Senetsun desu ga” せんえつですが、or 一文の価値もないとか?I remembered another English phrase , “ a penny for your thoughts” it’s interesting for me to express people’s opinions  or thoughts with the value of money . 



*a penny for your thoughts : 1ペニーあげるから何を考えこんでるのか教えて、



‘A penny for your thoughts ..’

This time what I was struggling with was the differences between “ I would say”

and “I will say”  , I could tell vaguely but I  didn’t know how to put the differences into Japanese .… I’d be happy if someone tells me what’s what … よろしくお願いします。

******Thank-you, Yaeko san for your translation!*******


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#720: Rain in the Sunshine State

Let’s get started!

Key Words & Phrases:

  1. Super-size me! - This is a phrase people use when ordering at McDonald’s.

  2. Not a … in sight - 見えているのは/目にしているのは…ではない

  3. Taxi the runway-滑走路を飛行機などが(地上)走行する

I was excited and exhausted as the plane taxied the runway after touching down in Pensacola.  The runway seemed like one big puddle as the rain came down with an occasional flash of lighting.  Pine trees surrounded the airport with not a mountain in sight. 

Many years ago when I arrived in Japan, my first impression was that everything in Japan was so small.  Now, as it has been 10 years since I have returned I am surprised by how BIG everything is in my country. I stopped by a drugstore to buy a few things. Actually, I just needed a toothbrush, but it was hard to find because the store was so big!  And then, I couldn’t buy just one, as they came in a pack of 5! The toothpaste was also in a HUGE container.  I worry my stomach might become super-sized before I return!



;) Yaeko’s Corner------>

It’s funny ‘cause here in Japan , we’ve been in hot sunny day for about 10days in a row. Like in Florida. Olympic Games has just started . Due to the Corona all we can do is just vegging out in front of TV .. maybe it’s not only you to have super sized stomach… こわいな

By the way , Sunshine State is the another name ( nickname ) of Florida, right ? 

******Thank-you, Yaeko san for your translation!*******



#719 : My Father’s Influence

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My mother had woken me up so early that it wasn’t even daylight yet.  I remember helping her pack things into the back of our station wagon.  Perhaps it was the first time I had seen the early morning twilight.  I must have been around 7 or 8 years old.  I went back to sleep as soon as my mother started driving.  We were going to pick up my father on his return from deployment.  He was often away for 9-11 months at a time. Norfolk was the largest Navy base in the world, so there was a ton of traffic to get through.  I remember walking down the pier alongside the aircraft carrier and marveling at the size of it. I couldn’t believe how huge it was. My father took us inside, and I remember thinking how cool it was that my dad was in the Navy!  From that moment, I knew that someday I would be in the Navy too.


 その日母はあまりにも早く私を起こしたのでまだ夜も明けていませんでした。ワゴン車の後部に荷物を積み込む母を手伝っていたのを覚えています。おそらく、あの時が、私が見た初めての早朝の暁だったのだろうと思います。7、8歳の頃だったに違いありません。母が車を発進させるとすぐにまた、眠りに戻りました。私たちは軍の配備先から戻る父を迎えに行こうとしていたのです。父が一度の任務で9ヶ月から11ヶ月間も家を離れていることはそう珍しくありませんでした。ノーフォークは世界で一番大きな海軍基地ですからそこを通る交通量は半端なく多いのです。私が覚えているのは、航空母艦の横の桟橋をずっと歩きながら、その大きさに圧倒された事です。その大きさと言ったらとても信じられません。父は私たちを艦の中に連れて行ってくれました。その時私はNavy の父をカッコイイなぁと思ったものです。そしてその時から、いつか自分もNavy で勤めることが分かっていたように思います。

Key words& phrases:

  1. daylight   昼の光 / 夜明け

  2. twilight( 日の出前、日没後の) 薄明、たそがれ

  3. Norfolk   バージニア州、南東部にある世界最大の海軍基地のある都市

  4. aircraft carrier 航空母艦

  5. marvel    驚嘆する

Yaeko’s Corner:

I checked where Norfolk is on the map first .Was that the time when your family lived in Virginia? Still it seems that it was a long drive to Norfolk. Also  it must have been tough for your mother to take care of her two naughty boys while your father was away. I can get the clear picture of you marveled by the megaton sized carrier and being so  proud of your dad as well .  

Today ( 7/23) on YouTube I watched Japanese fighter aircraft , Blue Impulse aerobatic demonstrating in the Tokyo sky for the  Olympic Games . It was so cool ! 

******Thank-you, Yaeko san for your translation!*******


#718: The Second Most Amazing Thing

Let’s get started!

A while back, I mentioned that the most amazing thing I had seen in my life was a full double rainbow. Now, I have just witnessed the second most amazing thing.

I tried to stay awake after take-off because I wanted to adjust to the time difference in the U.S. However, it was useless as the cabin was dark and quiet. I gave up and went to sleep. Usually, on overnight flights, they close the shutters on the windows, but this time they didn’t.

Sometime later, I woke up to a strange light coming in through the window. The strange thing was that the light was not white like sunlight usually is, but blue! When I looked outside, I saw the most amazing sky I had ever seen in my life. The sun was up, but it didn’t look like the sun. It looked like a white light in a black sky. Below it, everything was a mysterious blue-green color. The clouds below looked like a turquoise ocean. It was like the plane was underwater. Everything was quite and I just sat and watched in awe.



離陸後、私はできるだけ飛行中眠らずにいようと思いました、アメリカとの時差に適応するためです。しかし機内が暗く静かになるとそんな努力は無駄でした。私は諦めて眠ることにしました。普通、夜間飛行の場合、窓のブラインドはおろされるのですが、今回は 開いたままです。


Key Words and Phrases:

To witness something 何かを目撃する目の当たりにする
It was useless それは無駄でした
To watch in awe 畏敬の念を抱いて見つめる/ 畏怖の念をもってみる

Yaeko’ Corner:)

Thank you, John for making room for me , even it’s ‘corner ‘ is not at the top, IoI joking !

I’m glad to take use this corner as the place for my excuses for my poor translations of your fabulous writings.

I’m always impressed with your words picked up to make the beautiful sentences. They are proper , concise and sometimes even poetic…

Oops! I almost forgot it’s a corner …

I shouldn’t take up so much space.




******Thank-you, Yaeko san for your translation!*******



#717: Departure

Let’s get started!

The day had finally come. Since my flight was at midnight, I decided to wake up late, around 11am.  I went jogging about 6 km. After that, I started packing. Packing for 10 days is not easy, and it seemed like my suitcase was shrinking as I put clothes inside.

At 8:30 pm, I departed for Haneda. The airport was empty. It was like a ghost town. All the shops were closed.  The good thing was that check-in was a breeze. The attendant at the counter checked my passport and my negative PCR certificate.  By the way, it was so expensive! It was 10000 yen for the test, and 5000 yen for the certificate.

Luckily, I was able to change my seat to the exit row.  I prefer sitting in the exit row during long flights so that I can stretch out my legs. I was surprised when I got on the plane, as there was no one else sitting in the entire row from one side of the plane to the other!

I’m off!




運良く、座席をexit row ( 非常口席)に替えてもらうことができました。長い飛行の際には、足が伸ばせるexit  row の方が私は好きです。飛行機に乗り込んで驚きました、というのもその列の端から端まで他に座っている人が一人もいないのです…


Key phrases:

  1. Shrinking           縮んだ

  2. It was a breeze   いとも簡単だった/ 楽勝/ 朝飯前

  3. A ghost town   ゴーストタウン

******Thank-you, Yaeko san for your translation!*******

#716 : A Beautiful Summer

Let’s get started!

If there is one thing that I know Japanese people are proud of, it is the four seasons. At first, it seems a little odd to me that Japanese people think this way because almost every place in the world has four seasons (except for the equator and Antarctica, and a few other places). Florida also has four seasons, however there are two main differences. One is that the trees and plants are different. My hometown has mostly pine trees, and flowers cannot be so easily seen along the road as they are in Japan. Second, American people in general have a different view of nature. 

So, what I think is special about Japan is Japanese people’s view of nature and their relationship with it. I love the pink, white, blue, and purple Hydrangea that seem to soak up the rain. They seem to call to me to go outside even when the rain is coming down in buckets.  With summer comes the Morning Glories that brings a sense of coolness...the puffy white clouds of cotton that float past, and the bright Sunflowers that remind us to be cheerful in the sweltering heat. 

I am looking forward to seeing all my friends when I return to Japan.























です。 バケツをひっくり返したような大











Key phrases:

  1. Coming down in buckets雨が土砂降り

  2. Soak up 吸収する

  3. sweltering うだる暑さの/ 蒸し暑い

******Thank-you, Yaeko san for your translation!*******