silver lining

every cloud has a silver lining.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

You Light Up My Life

Song of the Month, one part of Ken Toyama's English radio program, was "You Light Up My Life" by Debby Boone this February.

Boone is the daughter of a famous singer, Pat Boone, and this song was sold 4 million copies and spent 10 weeks at No.1 on the charts in 1977.

I like it because it has beautiful melody, and it is not just a love song.

You light up my life.
You give me hope to carry on.
You light up my days
And fill my nights with song.

She sings this song imagining God. When she was asked like "When asked who it was that 'lit up her life'?", she answered "It was God."

In Bible, there are lots of representations of "light".

John chapter1
4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John chapter 8
12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

I want to try this song at the next Karaoke party!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Costume check

On Sunday, our drama class did the costume check in order to make sure what was need or not.
Everyone, great!

One of my teachers at the English school has a licence to teach kimono fitting, so we learned how to wear kimono from her. It's difficult but interesting!

Athough I don't need to wear kimono because my role is modern person, I want to learn how to wear kimono to help our classmates!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Libretto "Nessun Dorma"

Here's the libretto of "Nessun dorma" from Act Ⅲ of Turandot by Puccini. (Italian, English and Japanese)
You can listen Luciano Pavarotti singing its last part with the John Alldis Choir and the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta here.
As you know, he concluded the opening ceremony of Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games with this song.

Nessun dorma! Nessun dorma!
None must sleep! None must sleep!

Tu pure, o, Principessa,
And you, too, Princess,

nella tua fredda stanza,
in your cold room,

guardi le stele che fremono d'amore e di speranza.
gaze at the stars which tremble with love and hope.

Ma il mio mistero e chiuso in me,
But my mystery is locked within me,

il nome mio nessun sapra!
no-one shall know my name!

No, no, sulla tua bocca lo diro
No, no, I shall say it as my mouth

quando la luce splendera!
when the dawn is breaking!

Ed il mio bacio sciogliera il silenzio che ti fa mia!
And my kiss will break the silence which makes you mine!

(Il nome suo nessun sapra!... e noi dovrem, ahime, morir!)
(No one shall know his name, and we, alas, shall die!)
(誰も彼の名前を知らない。そして私たちは死ぬだろう。 )

Dilegua, o notte!
Vanish, o night!

Tramontate, stelle!
Fade, stars!

Tramontate, stelle!
Fade, stars!

All'alba vincero! vincero, vincero!
At dawn I shall win!

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Turandot is an opera by Giacomo Puccini based on the play by Carlo Gozzi. It was left unfinished by Puccini at his death (like Mozart's final composition, the Requiem), and completed by Franco Alfano.
The story is set in Beijing. It's a story of a cold-hearted beauty, Princess Turandot, and Prince Calaf who seeks to marry her.

A Mandarin reads an edict: any prince seeking to marry Princess Turandot must answer her three riddles. If he fails, he will die. This day, the Prince of Persia has failed and is to be executed in the palace. He is led before the crowd on his way to execution, and Turandot appears at the balcony under the moon. Then Calaf falls in love with her at first sight. He refuses to listen others' stop, and strikes the gong that declares himself as a suitor.

Turandot presents her first riddle: "What is born each night and dies each dawn?" Calaf answers, "Hope." Unnerved, the Princess presents her second riddle: "What flickers red and warm like a flame, but is not fire?" "Blood."He replied. Shaken, Turandot presents her third riddle: "What is like ice, but burns?" "Turandot!" Caraf read all riddles correctly, but Turandot still rufuses to merry him. So Caraf generously offers Turandot a riddle of his own: if she can learn his name by dawn, he will die.

There announces Turandot's command which says no one in Beijing shall sleep until she learns the Prince's name. Caraf, in the area "Nessun Dorma", anticipates his victory. Turandot tortures Liù to reveal his name. Liù is a servant of Caraf's father and adores the Prince. Liù will not reveal it. Instead, she kills herself. Shocked by Liù’s real love and Caraf's kiss, the cold heart of Turandot starts melting, and she decides to merry him in the end.
It would be wonderful if someone could perform Turandot at the English college! It must be exciting to make its script.

Links(Japanese) :
Outline1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Roots of princess stories who asks riddles
Origin of Turandot story
Change of Turandot story
Foolish Drama Princess Turandot
Original script by Alfano
DVD1 (Beijing)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Nessun Dorma

Shizuka Arakawa got the gold medal at the Olympic Ladies' Figure Skating in Turin. Congulaturations!

I remember the music she used while skating... Yes, a famous aria "Nessun dorma" from one of Puccini's opera, Turandot. I suppose she used it because it can make good atmosphere among Italian audience.

Just now I took this CD "VENEZIA LA FESTA - Caffè Concerto sulla Piazza San Marco" to listen the famous aria. I don't have the original opera's one. It is one of my precious CDs because it bring me back easily to the day when I first stood at the San Marco Plaza in Venice. It was like a dream.

Well, what kind of story Turandot is? I'm going to write it tomorrow.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

February 22

Do you know what kind of the day February 22?
In Japan, it's the day of cat!

"Cat Day enactment committee" which included Naoki Yanase, a professor of English literature and a translator, decided February 22 was Cat Day in 1987. It's a kind of pun because 2 can be called nyan, and cats say nyaa in Japanese!

And it is the day of my brother's birthday... I forgot it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Torino 2006

Yesterday when I went to the gym with my friend, she asked me which sports in Winter Olympics game I liked. Then I want to know what kind of sports are held in this Winter Olympics in Turin.

Alpine skiing
Cross-country skiing
Figure Skating
Freestyle Skiing
Ice Hockey
Nordic Combined
Short Track
Ski Jumping
Speed Skating

I'm interested in Team Pursuit of speed skating which was included in the program of the Olympic Winter Games for the first time. And also a new event Snowboard Cross is very interesting!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


These days, I go to the pool every Tuesday and Saturday evening, and do exercise. Running, cycling, swimming... oh, it's triathlon, isn't it? Everytime I go to the gym, I do exercise too much, and end up in eating too much later.. oops.

Anyway, last Saturday when I went into a sauna in the pool, there broadcasted a game of curling at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. On that time, Japan women's team was competing with Canadian team.

a sport played on ice, in which players slide flat heavy stones towards a marked place (LONGMAN)

It was my first time to watch curling games. I thought it was like billiards or snooker. In fact, curling is refered to as "Chess on Ice" because it required the strategic thinking to win the game.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Halley's comet

One of the keypoints of our drama Nocturne is Halley's comet. At a night of the shooting star in 1222 (Kamakura era in Japan), people at Hayakawa castle fell asleep by the magic of a demon, and they awoke from their deep sleep by setting a fire at a night of Halley's comet over 700 years later in 1986. You may think it's a science fiction just to read this outline.

Helley's comet can be seen every 75-76 years. Edmond Halley, an English astronomer in 18C, predicted that the comet sightings of 1456, 1531, 1807 and 1682 was related to the same comet, and that it would return in 1758. Unfortunately, he couldn't watch it by himself. But it did return as his prediction, and the comet became generally known as Halley's comet.

It last appeared in 1986, and will next appear in the summer of 2061. I can't remember I watched it last time. I was 7 years old and I forgot the memories on that time. Next time I can watch the shooting star, it means 55 years later from this year... I'm 81 years old! I hope I live long to watch Halley's comet.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Book of the Dead

A Kihachiro Kawamoto film, The Book of the Dead, has recently released at Iwanami Hall in Jimbo-cho (11 Feb- 7 Apr).

Kihachiro Kawamoto is a pioneer and master of stop motion puppet animation in Japan. He was impressed by a film by Czech pappet maestro Jiri Trnka, and studied puppet animation under him.

The original is the same title novel "The book of the Dead" by Shinobu Orikuchi. You can read it at Aozora Bunko.

You can also watch his works at eurospace in Shibuya (25 Feb- 17 Mar). There's also an exhibit of his dolls at Daikokuya Gallery in Ginza (21- 26 Feb).

I'm looking forward to seeing The Book of the Dead next weekend.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


He sold his soul to a demon... that reminds me a certain story. That's it. Faust. Although I majored in German literature at the university, I didn't read through any Goethe's works... how embarrassing. Let me remember what the story is like here.

Faust is a famous German magician and alchemist in the date of the Renaissance, around 15C-16C. He seeks advanced knowledge and summons the Devil, Mephistopheles. The Devil gives him a period of pleasure time, at the cost of his soul. It has been used as the archetype for many different fictional works, most notably by Marlowe, Goethe, and Thomas Mann.

All I knew about Faust was a famous line from Goethe's Faust: 時よ止まれ、汝はいかにも美しい (Sorry in Japanese). Faust promised Mephistopheles that he would sell his soul when he satisfied with his life and said this line. I want to know the original German lines and English lines of this part. Let me check...

By the way, Mori Ogai translated this part like this;


Here's the original;

Werd' ich zum Augenblicke sagen:
Verweile doch! du bist so schön!
Dann magst du mich in Fesseln schlagen,
Dann will ich gern zugrunde gehn!

Here's English translation from Project Gutenberg;

When to the moment I shall say,
Linger awhile! so fair thou art!
Then mayst thou fetter me straightway,
Then to the abyss will I depart!

Faust must have died when he said this line, but he didn't. His soul was not taken by Mephistopheles. Instead, God saved his soul. Here's another Deus ex machina.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Yaoya Oshichi

The drama we're going to perform is led by an arsonist, so I get to like to know famous arsonists in the past. And I found Yaoya Oshichi.

Oshichi was a 16 year-old girl, daughter of a vegetable store (Yaoya in Japanese) owner, living in the district of Hongo in Edo. In 1682, while seeking shelter from a large fire, Oshichi fell in love with a young priest whom she met at his temple. Hoping to see him again, she set fire in 1683 to her own new home, causing a massive blaze that destroyed a huge section of Edo. She was arrested, trialed and condemned to be executed for arson. She was burnt alive to pay for her crime. Then Yaoya Oshichi became a legend and a leading character in several Joruri or Kabuki plays.

There were lots of big fires in Edo period. Most buildings on that time were wodden, and those wodden houses easily catched fire. Once there was a fire, it wasn't easy to extinguish, taking a heavy toll of lives. So arson was the most serious crime. Even an attempt arson was liable to the death penalty.

Of course Oshichi must have known that. Her emotion to her lover might exceed that. I think that emotion is same as one which characters in the drama Nocturne have. A girl couldn't forget her lover, so she could keep her memory and her tattoo for long periods of reincanations, and she asked an arsonist to set a fire to meet him. A samurai also couldn't forget his lover, and in order to meet her again, he sold his soul to a demon when he was about to die.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Witty remarks 6

*God hasn't made a human being above or below another human being. (Yukichi Fukuzawa)

*A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well. (anonym)

*The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook. (William James)

*A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience. (Cervantes)

*Not all who wander are lost. (J. R. R. Tolkien)

*He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. (Benjamin Franklin)

*Success is counted sweetest by those who ne'er succeed. (Emily Dickinson)

*Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - and most fools do. (Dale Carnegie)

*If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can make, and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. (Aldous Huxley)

*A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he knows something.(Wilson Mizner)

*There is hardly anything you can have without money, except happiness, love, and everything nature gives. (Eric W. Johnson)

*Fat expands to fill any apparel worn. (Murphy's law)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Our drama title is Nocturne, so I want to know what nocturne is at least.

a piece of music, especially a soft beautiful piece of piano music (LONGMAN)
a short piece of music in a romantic style, especially for the piano (OXFORD)

Descriptions in dictionaries are not so good enough.

A nocturne is usually a musical composition that is inspired by, or reminiscent of, the night. I like Japanese translation 夜想曲 because it indicates its meaning in Kanji. The most famous player of nocturnes was Chopin, who wrote 21 of them. Later composers to write nocturnes for the piano include Fauré and Satie. Nocturnes are generally thought of as being tranquil, often expressive and lyrical, and sometimes rather gloomy.

You can hear lots of nocturnes here on the net. Our drama class used No.1 Op. 9-1 (Chopin) at 1 minute presentation. In the video, they seem to arrange No. 15 Op. 55-1.

And why the drama title is nocturne? I think it is because this drama is for an arsonist who experiences mysterious things at one night.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Souvenir from Korea

There's a Korean classmate in our drama class. She went her home for 2 weeks and bought us some souvenirs from Korea. Thanks! This seasoned seaweed tasted so nice!

I think it's marvelous for her to learn English in Japan. It means she speaks 3 languages! She says she wants to learn Chinese next. I want to get to be earnest like her and study more.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Masao Yamaguchi

Mask, Commedia dell'arte, clown, trickster... those words remind me Masao Yamaguchi. How long I have stayed away from him! I used to read his books intently so that I got his autograph on his book when I met him at a bar in Shinjuku. I could do it because I was too young and inexperienced... If I could go back to a university, I'd like to read his books again and dive into the sea of wisdom.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


This weedend, I stayed in Shinjuku and there was plenty of time to read books. And I finished to read "Mime- basic lesson of drama" by Hiroko Koyano. I found this book when I was blowsing the site of coaching.

The auther learned mime and movement at L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris and introduces what she learned there through this book.

The word "mime" reminded me pantomime firstly. But this book doesn't explain the technique of mime. Through improvisation (sometimes it contains no lines, just a situation), students have to face themselves, get how to really feel and act. It must be shocking to face the real self.

Students get the possibility of movements through acting as natural elements, materials, animals, words, sounds and colours. Lecoq says "miming is a way of rediscovering a thing with renewed freshness…" And they also discover themselves anew with the Neutral Mask. I found it interesting to act with a mask. (The photo is a mask which I bought in Venice. My favorite one!) After that, they proceed major dramatic territories, such as melodrama, buffoon, tragedy, Commedia dell'arte clowning and so on.

While reading this book, I remembered the acting class at the English school. It was fun to act thinking situations on the spot. I'd like to take the acting class again.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Moldman The Bellringer in Dublin

Today I had a chance to watch a drama "Moldman The Bellringer in Dublin" by high schools students. When I was a high school student, I couldn't join any club activities. I really envied them!

I was surprised at the last scene. When I expected a happy ending, the mayor killed leading couple and revealed the real story. He could escape from his destiny ( he supposed to die when he would hear the bell the moldman rang at St. James Day), but he became immortal! He tried to do miracles again by telling the story and killing people! Little bit black and weird ending. (Here's the outline in Japanese)

A friend of mine said there were more comical scenes which I couldn't help laughing in the original DVD (of course at the original stage, I guess). She also said that the diseases spread among the people in Dublin must be their own true self which they don't want to face themselves. Hmm, I want to read the script by Hirohito Goto.

First I read the title, it reminded me "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" by Victor Hugo. I want to read it again sometime. I think it must be the prototype of this drama.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Lucky Star

Eikaiwa Tyukyu, an English radio program introduces one song at the end of every month, and The Song of the Month was "Lucky Star" by Madonna last January. I want to sing this song next Karaoke time!

In the lyrics, she borrowed some lines from famous charm words. That is what children say when they could find the first star of evening. Although I haven't checked it, these words might be in Nursery Rhyme.

Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight.
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight.

I used to like waching a starry sky. In those days, I liked reading books about legends of stars, and it was so fun imagining those legends watching the night sky. But these days I'm too busy to watch stars, and I almost forget the stories related to stars...

My mother knows about stars more than me now. She asked me to buy a guide for watching star the other day. Every year, I buy this booklet, copy all pages, and put it on the door of the restroom. I want to watch Canopus someday.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Asian old poems in English

Here's a sequel to the article yesterday...
In the original video, there are different lines for a prince and a princess. He tries to check her education recitating a Japanese old poem and a Chinese old poem. And now I found those poems translated in English! Wow!

One is Ooe no Chisato's poem in Hyakunin Isshu, a traditional anthology of Japanese waka poetry.

23. 月見れば千千に物こそ悲しけれ わが身一つの秋にはあらねど 大江千里

Here's from University of Virginia Library Japanese Text Initiative.

As I view the moon,
Many things come into my mind,
And my thoughts are sad;
Yet it's not for me alone,
That the autumn time has come.

The other is one of Bai Juyi 's poem in The Song of Long Sorrow.

在天願作比翼鳥 (zai tian yuan zuo bi yi niao)
在地願為連理枝 (zai di yuan wei lian li zhi)



Here's from Wikiquote.

We wished that we would be the birds which share a pair of wings to fly
and wished that we would be the tree two branches of one tree.

This Chinese poem seems to be often quoted when Chinese people celebrate the marriage.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Lionel Richie

There are lines for a prince and a princess in the original script. Here they meet each other for the first time and he refuses to get married to her.

Princess: Hello, I am Chiyo.
Prince: ...Hi! Well, who was the first president of the U.S.A?
Princess: Well... Lionel Richie?
Prince: Thank you. That's all.

I thought this scene was funny because he turned down the marrige only because she didn't know George Washington. Someone said her reply was also funny. But I didn't laugh at all because I didn't know Lionel Richie!

Lionel Richie is an American singer who started his career in The Commodores, and it got be a nationally popular Motown band during 70's. Hmm, I haven't heard the name of the band. Oh, he collaborated with Michael Jackson on the charity single "We Are The World" by USA For Africa in 1985? I know this song. Maybe that's it.

... and why does the princess say Lionel Richie as the first president of the United States? I guess his name was popular around when the drama was performed first in 1986.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

BBC featuring Japan!

BBC learning English has a special page "Your World" to introduce one country somewhere in the world every month. There's been Brazil, China, India, and Egypt until now. And this month, it features Japan!

It's a good chance to appeal Japan to the world! You can send not only articles but also pictures, your favorite scenary, unique way to live, for example. Address is

These weeks are so busy but I want to post some articles there.

Monday, February 06, 2006


The other weekend, when I discussed the script with my classmates, one of them said, "This story is not "Yume-ochi, right?" This was my first time to hear the word "Yume-ochi", so I didn't understand what she said at that time.

"Yume" means dream, and "ochi" means ending of the story, like punch line. Yume-ochi is a kind of "ochi", the way to end the story showing that all events in the story were a dream after all. For example, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll and "Zhuang Zhou dreamed he was a butterfly" by Zhuangzi are famous Yume-ochi stories.

I didn't want to make the story end with surprising reversal, and Yume-ochi is a kind of it. I think that we could say the drama we are going to perform is Yume-ochi, but I can accept the ending way of the drama now. I suppose it's because the story is well organized and attractive indeed. Even if the story is a dream of the leading role, it must give him the way to open his eyes to reality.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Solution Focused Approach

Friday evening, when I studied Access after work, there were a PC trainer, an operator working on the shop floor and me in a room. Then we talked about a little bit about our work.

The working situation in the shop floor seems very tough now. A lot of holiday works, new international code, heavy workloads, etc. I think not only workers at the shop floor but also Production Engineers who manage each machine look so tired these days. Since the end of last year, we have used the system called Daily Management System, and they seems to be swamped with that. They have to report and analyze the situation by each shift. I heard bawling of one of managers many times last week. I thought he would fall down by high blood pressure.

I'm wondering the analysis of the present situation in detail could get good result so much. Of course it's necessary and helpful, but efficiency, cost... all the figures couldn't improve our feelings to cooperate each other, to make high-quality products, to make environmentally good company. At least I can't feel the atmosphere of can-do spirit from anyone now.

Why alomst no one think about how to motivate employees? Is there anyone who takes positive way like Solution Focused Approach? Of course SFA doesn't apply to a manufacturing industry, but I think someone shold think in that way.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

In order not to work overtime

These weeks, I haven't worked overtime so much. Why? I worked too hard last year. How about this year?

One of the reason is that my motivation is getting low. I don't know why exactly. Perhaps I have lots of things to do at home. Another reason is I learned that I don't need to work perfectly. The book I read the other day says that even 80% is too much. Don't I work perfectly only to satisfy myself? I should work to satisfy others, my boss, my company. Not myself. This book is only how-to book and not so good, but I learned this. In addition, working overtime is not good for the company of course. The personnel cost is the most expensive cost in the overall company's expenses.

Oh, I forgot to say more important thing. I got to work efficiently with a minimum effort!

But it's also true that I feel a sense of guilt from my chage of working attitude. So from this week, I started Access training after work again, on Thursday and Friday. I wish it could help my work more.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Dream yesterday to Reality tomorrow

Last weekend, I read this book "America! America!" by Nobuhiko Ochiai which one of my teachers at the English school recommended before. It is a kind of autobiography at the time the auther studied in America in his 20s.

I'm sure he created some stories, but after reading it, I realized that I'm not so serious about my life as him in his youth. Not so sincere to my study, to my work, to my dream, to my life.

I tend to forget my dream these days... to graduate a university. Study Classics abroad. This is not related to my career, though.

From small beginnings come great things. What should I do first? Okay, I will start diet and exercise to lose weight! I have to lose weight for my drama role after all. A sound mind in a sound body!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Watching a video in the midnight

This morning, around 4 o'clock, I watched the original drama video again which our class is going to perform in 3 months. I just wanted to see how long it took, but I checked the begininng part and ending part in the end.

Watching a video in the midnight reminded me something. When I was a school girl, I recorded NHK special program titled "Einstein Roman" and watched it in the midnight after I woke up (I have been quite an early bird since that time). It really stimulated me to know the world not scientifically, but in the view of literature. After a few years later, I read one of Hiroshi Aramata's book titled "Scientific Literary History" It was realy shocking to me.

The reason I liked "Einstein Roman" was that the story was told in literature way, not scientifically in the real meaning. There was Michael Ende as a navigator, and some music of Mozart which Einstein loved so much. This program seems to become a series of books. If this video got to be DVD, I would buy it without doubt.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


As I wrote before, I went swimming in the pool with my frined after work yesterday. I went there over half a year ago. I've been thinking I should go, but I couldn't.

We enjoyed swimming so much! I can do the breaststorke easily, so I tried crawl this time. I could crawled only one lap. It really drained my reserves of strength! I wish I could continue crawing for 30 minutes.

I love going for a sauna. Taking a cold bath after sauna really refreshed me. My friend didn't seem to like in a sauna, so we went a water shute next. It was fun!

I want to go there once in a week at least. It's time to exercise and lose some weight.