silver lining

every cloud has a silver lining.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Arabian Nights

Last Sunday, after school, I went to Akasaka to see the exibition of The Arabian Nights at The Japan Foundation Forum.

I remember to read The Book of One Thousand and One Nights by the anthology titled "The Library of Babel" edited by Jorge Luis Borges. Once I absorbed in reading this anthology. Not only its contents, but also its bood design is so beautiful. I'd like to reat it through again sometime.

I also remember to listen "Scheherazade" by Rimsky-Korsakov at Santory Hall. This was once and only time I went a concert hall to listen classical music.

Back to the exhibition. There introduces Antoine Galland who translated the book of One Thousand and One Nights first, lots of valuable source books, the present Arabian world through scenery pictures, colorful clothes, belly dance video, musical instruments, and Arabian world through media; movie posters, picture books etc.

What impressed me most was the exhibition of Arabian caligraphy. It's an art itself as Japanese calligraphy. It seems to give the importance on composition. If there's only this kind of calligraphy exhibit, I think it's worthwhile to see it.

I'm wondering if I could study Arabic again. Maybe not. I have lots of language ditionaries, and an Arabic dictionary seems the most needless one.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Famous line! 2

Here's a sequel to the journal yesterday.

4. Line of sex
Aristophanes "Lysistrata"
Tennessee Williams "A Streetcar Named Desire"
Yukio Mishima "Madame de Sade"

5. Line of intelligence
Bertolt Brecht "The Threepenny Opera"
Samuel Beckett "Waiting for Godot"
Eugène Ionesco "The Lesson"
Kobo Abe "Friends"

6. Line of decision
Ibsen "A Doll's House"
Molière "Tartuffe"
Kunio Shimizu "Shinjo Ahururu Keihakusa"
Shuji Terayama "Marie in Furs"
Hisashi Inoue "Living with Father"

7. Line of joy
Thornton Wilder "Our Town"
Koki Mitani "The Orchestra Pit!"
Kensuke Yokouchi "Hotel California"

8. Line of love (2)
Junji Kinoshita "Twilight of a Crane"
Ren Saito "Welcome SHANGHAI"
Kouhei Tsuka "Murder in Atami"
Shoji Kokami "Drama of Romance"

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Famous line!

Just now I finished reading this book "Famous line!" by Shoji Koukami which I borrowed at the city library last week.

Shoji Koukami is one of popular playwrites in Japan. He has his own theatrical company, thirdstage, but it seems to be closed for now. I remember to see his work "TRANS" before, but now I don't remember it well, like it's a part of a dream.

This book set me a fire, a fever to see drama... oops, it's dangerous. But I live in a countryside now, not in Tokyo. If I lived in Tokyo, I would spend much money to see dramas.

I learned a lot of things about drama and play from this book, but for now, I just write down its content.

1. Line of love (1)
Shakespeare "Romeo and Juliet"
Suzuki Matsuo "Machine Diary"
Chekhov "Seagull"
Kara Juro "Virgin's Mask"

2. Line of laugh
Neil Simon "Barefoot in the Park"
Alan Ayckbourn "Relatively Speaking"
Minoru Betsuyaku "Little Red Riding Hood and Wolf at Christmas"
Ai Nagai "Ranuki no Satsui"

3. Line of sorrow
Sophocles "Oedipus the King"
Arthur Miller "Death of a Salesman"
Peter Shaffer "Amadeus"
Hideki Noda "Red Ogre"

... I've got to go now. To be continued later.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Getting fat

Your sitting posture... funny. You're getting fat! But I can't blame you. I'm also getting fat!

I have to lose my spare tire. Next week, a chubby friend of mine and I will go to a pool after work. We made a promise. We'll see.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Hand Roll Piano

These days, my mother takes pleasure in reading out laud story books for children. Her favorite one is "Mochimochi no ki". She also enjoys singing Japanese children's songs, like Amehuri kumanoko or Kamome no suiheisan. (I like Hamabe no uta.)

Yesterday, she asked me whether I had any musical instruments now. Mmm, I couldn't discard musical instruments which I used in schools, melodeon, recorder, harmonica etc. But I don't remember where they are now.

Oh, I found a good one, Hand Roll Piano. I bought it a few years ago. Chie Ayado, a powerful female jazz singer, promotes this piano these days. And we enjoyed playing and singing for a while.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Between the lines

There's an essay titled "Epitaph in the old days" by a columnist Tamio Koike in Asahi Shimbun. The other day, I found quatations from Jean Cocuteau.

"Would you know the importance, mysterious, beautiful importance of what could be there, what is cut? In the margin, between the lines, there flows sacrificed nectar." (Le Potomak)

He wrote down the impressive words by Charlie Chaplin. "When he finishes filming, he [shakes the tree and lets the fruits drop]. He cuts down unneccessary scenes relentlessly. He knows there should remain only what is clung to the branches tightly." (La Difficult´ed'^etre)

Revising is the most difficult task.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Please Save My Earth

It seems that I get a role of a girl who makes her dream come true after reincarnations... this can be a spoiler? Maybe not.

The playwrite didn't say anything about the reason why the girl has already known what happened if someone set a fire to the kindergarten at the night of Halley's comet. I guess she has kept her memory somehow over long periods of reincarnations.

I remember this kind of tragic, painful, heartbreaking story related to reincarnation... That's it. "Please Save My Earth". This manga is only one which I have now. I sold other mangas to BOOK OFF the other day.

I'm so surprised that there are lots of sites which indroduces "Please Save My Earth" in English (and French). You can read this comic in English! Japanimation power is great indeed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Think Global, Blog Local.

From this week, I got to be a member of METROBLOGGING TOKYO. I like this phrase, "Think global, blog local". Of course it's a parody of "Think global, act local". Well, can I keep posting there 3 times a week really? Just wait until you see it!

Monday, January 23, 2006

1 minute presentation

After the English Festival presentations, there was a time of "1 minute presentation" as usual to advertise the drama which will be performed at the next festival in 3 months. The best team can get the prize money, of course for drinking party?!

Our team couldn't get any prize, but I really felt that our 1 minute presentation was the best! At least we could attract the audience, and tell the rough outline of the story. On that point, I was satisfied. Above all, I know that the time with our classmates to make a good drama is priceless. I treasure the present time spending with my friends. This precious time will never come back.

And I enjoyed the drinking party!!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sonezaki Shinju

Yesterday I wanted to go Shinjuku, but I couldn't. I was wondering what would I do if the heavy snow stopped Gotemba line on my way back home. So I gave up.

And here is another hanging around.

In the Japanese drama script, an imcompetent load and a mysterious dancing woman appear with playing on loving words, like "In such a night as this, Ohatsu and Tokubei both commited suicide swearing their love". Well, who are Ohatsu and Tokubei?

They are characters in a famous Bunraku puppet play, "Sonezaki Shinju", the Love Suicides at Sonezaki by Chikamatsu Monzaemon. He wrote this story by getting an idea from a double suicide really occured in the precincts of the Tenjin Shrine at Sonezaki in 1703.

In Sonezaki Shinju, he introduces Tokubei, who works as a clerk for his uncle and has been carrying on an affair with Ohatsu, a courtesan in the Sonezaki pleasure quarter. His uncle, however, wants him to marry with his wife's niece. Realizing the impossibility of their situation, Ohatsu urges Tokubei to kill themselves in the hope of being united in death.

I read Michiyuki for the first time. I was stunned. Why haven't I known this Japanese masterpiece until now? I felt ashamed of myself.

It must be in that book, Koenidashite Yomitai Nihongo. Then I found it, Tokubei Ohatsu Michiyuki. Keiko Hirano reads it in this CD book.

*The whole script of Sonezaki Shinju
*Rock Sonezaki Shinju
*Bunraku (Japan Fact Sheet)
*Bunraku (Japan Access)
*SceneⅡtranslated by Donald Keene

I procrastinated again.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Lovely trunk 2

In the days of drama presentation last year, I used a big red & black lovely trunk. This time, I'll take this smaller one. How cute, isn't it?

On Sunday I just perform at 1 minute presentation. I'm so looking forward to waching dramas and advertising our drama at 1 minute presentation!

Friday, January 20, 2006


In the original Japanese script of our drama, a samurai appears reciting a piece of poetry by George Gordon Byron (Of course it is translated into Japanese).

I wanted to know the original English verse, so firstly I bought a Byron's anthology translated by Itsuo Miura which is used in the script. It went our of print and I found it at a bookstore online.

Next, I searched Project Gutenberg to find the original English verse, but I couldn't find it.

At last, I asked a professor who specializes in English literature, especially Byron (I appreciate your cooperation, thank you!). He also couldn't find any poem corresponded with Japanese one. And he told me that this Japanese poem seemed to be created by Itsuo Miura using several Byron's works! No wonder I couldn't find it!

Anyway, why do I tend to stray from what I really have to do always? What I have to do now is revise the script with my classmates...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Dictionary for door stopper

These days, before I go to bed, I put this dictionary in front of the door of my room. Why?

Because Pyonta scratches and opens the door in the early morning, around 2 or 3 a.m.! I'm a quite early bird, so usually I don't care Pyonta enters my room to wake me up in that hour. But this week! I'm so tired with my work and want to sleep more! So I put this dictioary in front of the door.

This dictionary, Dictionary of the History of Ideas, was my most precious thing before... I wish the time would come to study with this dictionary.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Witty remarks 5

*The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement. (anonym)

*It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech. (Mark Twain)

*Let us not forget that a man can never get away from himself. (Goethe)

*The best leaderships... almost without exception and every level are master users of stories and symbols. (Tom Peters)

*I feel that the greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more. (Jonas Salk)

*Inside every man there is a poet who died young. (anonym)

*What is not started today is never finished tomorrow. (Goethe)

*Great people just do what they can make themselves while others do nothing but what they can never make. (Romain Rolland)

*Strange how a good dinner reconciles everybody. (Samuel Pepys)

*Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night. (William Blake)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Nested story

There is a line for an arsonist in the present script of our drama.

"When I finish reading stories, I sometimes can't say goodbye to the characters. So I slowly start blindly turning pages so as not to end soon. But the story finally ends... And I have to say goodbye."

This drama has a kind of nested structure. The person who reads the story (watches the drama) enters into the story, gets involved in the story and becomes one of the characters in the story, like "The Neverending Story".

Then I remembered something and took out "One Hundred Years of Solitude" from my bookshelf.

This book is my memorable book. When I had to concentrate on studying for the entrance exam, I kept it reading in a prep school, on the train, at home. And finally I finished reading on New Year's Day.

I forget the detail of "One Hundred Years of Solitude", but I remember clearly that I heard the sound of whirlwind and turning over pages at the very end of the story. A character found a set of ancient prophecies in which his life and his destiny was already written down, and he disappered at the same time when he reached the last page! That left me the impression of great beauty and great, tragic sadness; solitude.

Monday, January 16, 2006

HUB: The English Pub

Sunday evening, after the script meeting was over, my friend and I dropped by HUB, the English pub. My friend recommended this place before, and this was my second time.

Pub is the abbreviation of public house, the place where people go to drink and meet their friends. In Britain, due to changes in the law, people can drink alcohol 24 hours now.

This day, I enjoyed fish & chips, shrimp fried rice, green soybeans, gorgonzola gnocchi, etc. I really like this pub because I can drop by easily, feel relax and eat to spend time talking with my friend.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


On Sunday, our drama class had the audition to decide the roles of the drama. Every member recommended themselves and others as certain role, and read the lines in front of members.

It took about 3 hours. Some of the members came late, but the autition finished without any mishaps. Phew!

I enjoyed the audition. It was fun to read and act as various kinds of characters. There are variety of characters in our drama, Nocturne. A lonesome NEET-like arsonist, a girl who likes watching fires, shamans who know the destiny, a demon giving a big laugh, a loyal samurai, an imcompetent load, a mysterious dancing woman, etc.

In a week, we can decide the each role. I'm looking forward to the result of voting!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Real Evolution

"As Professor Ikujiro Nonaka at Hitotsubashi University once pointed out, evolution has 3 processes, [variation] [selection] and [retention]. Which is the most important process? People tend to think that [variation] is the most important one. As a matter of fact, it is [retention] that is the most important in the process of evolution. Jacque Monod, a French biologist, pointed out the same thing in his work, Chance and Neccesity."

(Takahiro Hujimoto, Japanese Manufacturing Philosophy, Nihonkeizai Shinbunsha, 2004, p. 111)

These days, I often think that what the important thing is to progress, I mean, step forward. And I refer to the sentence above each time. The word "evolution" sounds cool, and it has a fresh image of going forward, toward bright future. But the most important element of the evolution is to stay, to revive, to continue, to keep. To maintain the status quo, to keep the things as they are.

This is not so positive process toward future. This is the persistent process with present twists and turns. It sounds boring, but this is the real evolution. Keep what you got once. Never go back. That's the key to step forward.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Pease porridge hot

I like the Japanese translation of "Some Like It Hot", "Oatsuinoga Osuki". Japanase titles of old foreign movies are nice. Titles these days are not so interesting. Just English to Katakana.

I've been wondering like what's the meaning of "Some Like It Hot"? Now I found that this title was from a nursery rhyme, "Pease porridge hot".

Pease porridge hot,
Pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot
Nine days old.

Some like it hot,
Some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot
Nine days old.

The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Pyonta in clothes!

My best friend has a granny cat and now she is absorbed in making clothes for her. She bought a new sewing machine only to make those clothes!

Yesterday, she lent me some of the clothes. My cat, Pyonta, is a little bigger than her cat, so the clothes were a bit tight and he moved uneasily with those clothes. But he looks so lovely!!

You can take a walk outside with the clothes!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The 40th Phoenix English Festival

Here is the timetable of the 40th Phoenix English Festival.
Come and see our fun-loving entertainment!!

☆Saturday, January 21
12:00-12:30 Cabaret
12:40-13:10 While You Were Sleeping
13:20-13:50 *Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis
14:00-14:30 Pretty Woman
14:40-15:10 Densha-Otoko
15:20-15:50 Grease
16:00-16:30 *Yasukuni Issue
16:40-17:10 *Privatization of NHK
17:20-17:50 The Terminal
18:00-18:30 Gaslight
(* mark means Dramatic debate. The others are Drama presentations.)

☆Sunday, January 22
11:00-11:30 Densha-Otoko
11:40-12:10 *Yasukuni Issue
12:20-12:50 The Terminal
13:00-13:30 While You Were Sleeping
13:50-14:20 Pretty Woman
14:30-15:00 *Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis
15:10-15:40 *Privatization of NHK
16:00-16:30 Cabaret
16:40-17:10 Grease
17:20-17:50 Gaslight
18:30-20:00 Awarding ceremony & 1 min. presentations

Here is the map to Phoenix English School.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Last year, especially in November, I went to TSUTAYA every weekend and rented piles of DVDs to find a nice movie which can be used as the title of the drama. I want to list up movies which I wached on that time before I forgot them. This list also includes titles which I just wanted to enjoy then.

Kiss Me, Kate
Notting Hill
Legally Blonde
Everyone Says I Love You
Bicentennial Man
Back To The Future 2
Some Like It Hot
Mr. Doubtfire
The English Man Who Went Up...(skip the rest)
Secret Garden
It Happened One Night
Four Weddings and A Funeral
The Meaning Of Life
A Night at the Opera
The Wizard of Oz
Sister Act
The Prince And The Showgirl
How to Marry a Millionaire
Little Women

Thinking of the drama title aside, I liked "Some Like It Hot". This was the best. The very best masterpiece!

"It Happened One Night" and "A Night at the Opera" were also nice.

I want to check high-quality comedies more this year.

Monday, January 09, 2006

These days, almost all news are exciting but sad or terrible one. Is there any heart-warming happy news?

Then I found the exact news site, which calls "".
Here, you can read only happy news happened indeed all over the world.

The more people read these kind of happy news, the more people must get positive, get to feel like doing what makes others happy, like a chain reaction.

It's interesting that MSNBC, CNN, ABC News, FOX News and BBC News are introduced as "UNHAPPY NEWS".

In Japan, Nihon Shinbun Kyokai collected happy news and published a book last year. I wonder someone could make a Japanese version of "".

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Witty remarks 4

*Let us go singing as far as we go; the road will be less tedious. (Vergil)

*Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. (Warren Bennis)

*Plain women know more about men than beautiful ones do. (Katharine Hepburn)

*Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. (Samuel Johnson)

*Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubts. (Abraham Lincoln)

*I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. (Voltaire)

*Mishaps are like knives that either serve us or cut us as we grasp them by the blade or the handle. (Herman Melville)

*Work is life, you know, and without it, there's nothing but fear and insecurity. (John Lennon)

*Work expands so as to fill the time available for it's completion. (Northcote Parkinson)

*The broad masses of a nation... will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one. (Adolf Hitler)

*Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, "Certainly I can!" Then get busy and find out how to do it. (Theodore Roosevelt)

*Leaning, after all, must serve the world and the people. (Kunio Yanagita)

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Snow, snow, snow

It snowed a lot these days. When I went home from the office Thursday evening, the windshield of my car had frozen, and it took much time to shave and thaw the crisp snow.

Friday, January 06, 2006

New Year's Resolutions

Finally I made a table form of new database with Access today! But this was only a first step. I haven't made the input form yet.

Well, I forgot to make a New Year's Resolutions. 5 days have passed already though.
I made this referring "Bridget Jones's Diary".

*I WILL...
Read more books.
Keep a diary.
Eat less & do more exercise.

Spend money on books which pile up and go to the bookshelf in the end.
Spend hours in front of the PC.
Shrink from this responsibility... oops

Any contradictions? It's just your imagination.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

My mother's birthday

Yesterday I noticed that today was my mother's birthday.
I wanted to make a birthday cake for her, but I had no time.
So I decided to give her a bunch of flowers this time.

I remembered that she liked freesia, so I called a flower shop and asked to make a bouquet of freesia. There was no freesia in the shop on that time, but the florist managed to get some freesia and make a nice bouquet.

My mother really liked it.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Steve Jobs' speech

I've heard that the Commencement address by Steve Jobs was great, but I've been busy and had no time to read it through until today.

As you know, Steve Jobs is CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, and this inspiring speech was delivered at the graduation ceremony of Stanford University on June 12, 2005.

You can read the translation in Japanase here ( for study). Although I haven't tried it yet, you can download the audio format from here.

I like his first story. The story of connecting the dots.

"Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. "

I want to believe that my apparently fruitless, roundabout events of life will connect in the future.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Desktop calendars

The end of last year, I found a nice desktop calendar for work at Tokyu HANDS. Every year some trading partners of the company give calendars, but I couldn't get nice calendar for the desktop, and I've been looking for some useful one.

I bought it because I can put on the desk, write schedules easily, and check schedules for 2 months at one glance! I like it.

And on New Year's Eve, an unexpected packet arrived me. That was TetraPak-kun calendar! I applied 3 times to get this. Yippee!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Fortune this year

Every year our family visit Jimba-Yamajinja, the nearest Shinto shrine, on January 1st.

After making withes (this year I offered 25 yen, you know), we bought good luck charms, a sacred arrow and fortune slips as usual.

Here is my fortune this year.

Fortune : Good
Wish : Satisfied, late though
Person you are wating : There's contact
Lost article : Not found immediately
Travel : No benefit
Trade : Unstable
Study : Good as your effort
Market : Change. Take mesures
Quarrel : Stay calm
Love : Watch out for your rival
Move : Not enough
Birth : Easy birth, right along afterwards
Disease : Not serious, feel easy
Match : Made unless changing your mind

Sunday, January 01, 2006