Author Archive

#791 I felt that I am more involved with the world more than before.

On May 14th my investment fund was closed.

I can’t sell and buy anymore in the fund. The day was that Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped $516. The market is fluctuating heavily recently but it is getting better since March. Although my fund was closed, I feel good. Because I did my best. I sold most of my stocks in 2 months.

It took me 6 times to finish selling all of stocks in 2 months.

I wanted to minimize the risk so I decided to sell my fund at different timings. In total, it took me 6 times to finish selling all of stocks. I couldn’t sell at a good price sometimes, but I think I did okay. Although I lost some money in my investment due to the covid-19 pandemic, I learned about the world trend by reading up on when to sell my stocks. I kept an eye on the world’s economic and political situations from the number of the death of covid-19, Trump’s twitters sometimes and etc. My friends also gave me a lot of advices.
Actually, I enjoyed a lot to check the market and to find out why the market went up and down.
I felt that I am more involved with the world more than before.

Now, since my investment has closed, I don’t have anything to do with the fund.
I am satisfied that it is all over now, but I also feel a little sad.

Things are connected to each other, you are always going to be involved in this network.

One thing I realize is that life is not at all under your control.
I didn’t want to sell at this time but Covid-19 changed the market completely. My investment company forced me to do.
I didn’t care much about the world trend but then I was paying so much attention to it because of the fund account closure. Things are connected to each other and as long as you are part of the world, you are always going to be involved in this network.

My account closure pushed me to pay attention to the world. Instead of waiting to be pushed, I think I should act proactively myself before the next big change.

Small joy!!(2020.5)

↓related article

2020-05-24 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


800,000 tulips has cut off to stop visitors from coming

↑The Sakura Tulip Festa is held every April. This picture was taken in 2018

800,000 tulips has cut off to stop visitors from coming

My home town is in Chiba prefecture. My parents live in Sakura city in Chiba. The city was grabbing headlines recently since it has cut off 800,000 tulips to stop visitors from coming, in an effort to stop the spreading of the coronavirus.

The Sakura Tulip Festa in Chiba

The Sakura Tulip Festa is held every April near the paddy fields and the riverside. Visitors can walk in the field of thousands of tulips and see a huge Dutch-style windmill in the area.
Although the festival was canceled this year, many people came to see the flowers. Then Sakura city decided to cut the full boom tulips.
I was sad when I knew the story from the internet news and TV news. Because I have been there many times and the place is very close to my parents’ house.

It turns out that my family was also part of reasons

After I learned the news, I phoned my mom.
My mom said “Yes! It’s sad. We were lucky. We visited there last week with your brother’s family before the tulips were cut down.”
Well, it turns out that my family was also part of reasons that the tulips were cut down.
I can understand that everybody wants to see beautiful flowers under the spring sunshine.

We can learn how valuable life is by looking at the lifeless tulips.

At the same time we can learn how valuable life is by looking at the now lifeless tulips.
I’m wondering if other countries would do the same like that.
The flowers sacrificed themselves for us.

Let me add just one more piece of information. The first economic bubble burst in the world was caused by tulips.

↑The Sakura Tulip Festa is held every April. This picture was taken in 2018

Small joy!(2020.5)

2020-05-13 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#793 Let’s sell your books on mercari.

Let’s sell your books on mercari.

Recently I spent a lot of time at home, due to the state of emergency and stay-at-home order. So, I read many books to kill time. I finished a really good book named「ぼくはイエローでホワイトで、ちょっとブルー」(I am yellow, white and a little bit blue). It was quite a popular book and was sold out on Amazon. I figured that many people would love to read it. So I decided to put it on mercari, which is an online shopping app, and see if I can share the fun with the next lucky reader.

The books were sold immediately.

When I posted 「ぼくはイエローでホワイトで、ちょっとブルー」on the app, the book was sold immediately (right away). The book is an essay with the subtitle “The Real British Secondary School Day”. It was easy to read. I was interested in learning the lifestyle of students in England.

Actually, I have sold some books on mercari in a month. Because everybody is staying at home and has a lot of time to read books after the state of emergency was declared.

The other day I sold 「AI vs. 教科書が読めない子供たち」(AI vs. Children who can’t read textbooks) in an hour.

I also sold 4 old cook books, one of them was 「アリス・ウォータースの世界」(World of Alice Waters). Although it was 1900 yen, it was sold quickly too.

Other books I sold was an art book.

We have too much time on our hands

Whenever I received an order, I mailed them in 24 hours.
I have enough time to do it.
I imagined my customers wanted to get the books as soon as possible.
Because everybody stays at home and wants to kill the time.

Small joy!(2020.5)

2020-05-08 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#794 How COVID-19 changed my lifestyle

COVID-19 has changed the way we work and live.

We are in a state of emergency, from April 7th 2020, because of the COVID-19 in Japan.
My lessons at the cram school were cancelled.
All students at the cram school, from elementary to junior high school students, are getting online lessons through Zoom instead of in-person lessons. It is a new experience for the students and the cram school.

As for my husband, he has started “teleworking” (work from home) on April 10th.

COVID-19 has changed the way we work and live.

What is the good side?

On the bad side, we might lose our jobs. We cannot go to our workplaces and meet up with our colleagues and students. Even though the internet can somehow connect us together, it is still not as good as face-to-face in person communication. We are always stuck in the house. We cannot enjoy the beautiful weather of the Spring. We get less chances to exercise.

On the good side, new experience is always exciting. We get to learn new things, and practice new techniques. Learning how to use Zoom is a new experience. Even re-learning how to wear a mask properly is a new experience. I believe working from home is convenient for most people.
We can take this opportunity to reflect on ourselves. There are places that we miss going to during this “mini lockdown”. This allows us to re-discover what we truly like about places like schools, workplaces, restaurants and shops.

No matter how tough or how difficult the environment is, it is our mentality that matters the most.
Stay calm and positive. And one day, this will be over.

Small joy!!(2020.4)

2020-04-30 | Posted in English4 Comments » 


#795 Cloth masks work just as well as paper mask.

I may wear a cloth mask in the future.

Last month, the Japanese government announced that they will give 2 masks for each household.
Since paper masks have been sold out at stores for a long time, nowadays handmade cloth masks are very popular.
People simply cannot wait for the government to take action. They are so slow.

At first, I thought I wouldn’t wear cloth mask because it doesn’t look good.
But more and more people are starting to wear cloth masks recently, and I found that some of them look quite nice!
I have changed my mind. I may wear a cloth mask in the future.

Do cloth masks work just as well as paper mask?

Anyway, don’t you worry about whether cloth masks can protect you from the virus?
I found a good movie from Tomoaki Okuda, who is a professor at Keio university. He had an experiment about how much small particles can be captured by a cloth mask with paper towel.

The result is quite surprising. If you use up to 6 layers of paper towel, you can block almost 70-80% of the small particles. That means a cloth mask may work just as well as a surgical/paper mask.

Professor Okuda also uploaded a few videos in his channel. While you are stuck at home, you should check out his other videos to learn more about masks.

His channel is here ↓

2020-04-20 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#796 Handmade cute cloth masks are very popular, now.

How many weeks or months we haven’t seen masks at stores?
Some people don’t wear masks recently. They probably don’t have any mask left.

My parents-in-law sent me some masks.

My parents-in-law sent me some masks which were made of paper or cloth. The paper masks were sold at some shops and cloth masks were handmade by somebody. I am grateful to receive their thoughtful gift, even though I think they also need masks just like everyone else. Since they belong to the high risk group, I think they need masks more than I do.
But there is just one tiny problem. The cloth masks are too cute for me.

Handmade cute cloth masks are very popular.

The other day, I gave a propolis toothpaste and alcohol hand gel to my kimono teacher, because I heard that they are good against the virus.
Then, just in case, I asked her if she wants any cloth mask, because she usually doesn’t wear a mask. She gave me a lovely smile and said “Yes!” She seemed to like the cute design on the mask more than the toothpaste and alcohol gel. Then another young woman came to us and said “I want to it too!” So I gave another cute cloth mask to her.

I found that handmade cute cloth masks are very popular among young and senior women.
I’m happy that these cloth masks eventually found their right owners, because I might not use them otherwise.

Small joy!!(2020.4)

2020-04-15 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#797 I got an unhappy letter.

I got an unhappy letter last weekend.

According to the letter, my investment fund will be closed in May.
I was very disappointed because now it is a terrible time to close a fund.
The market fell so much since the coronavirus has been spreading around the world. Actually, I’m losing a lot of money in my investment.

I am really shocked to get the letter.
I can either sell all my stocks now which are at such low prices, or wait till May when the fund is closed. It is difficult to sell because the market is fluctuating heavily these days.

But yesterday I sold 20% of my stocks. Fortunately the US market soared yesterday. I was lucky yesterday but I don’t want to go through things like this. They are very stressful.
I think I have to deal with this a few more times until I finished selling all of them before May.

No joy!(2020.3.26)

2020-04-02 | Posted in English3 Comments » 


#798 Special handling for flight tickets, regarding the coronavirus

Should I flight or not flight!?

My parents live in Chiba and they will have a buddhist memorial service this weekend. So I am supposed to attend it and I’m going to stay at my parents house for a few days.
I bought the ticket from a LCC in January to go to Chiba. The ticket was a non-changeable ticket.

But now we are facing the coronavirus pandemic in the world.
I’m more worried if I may spread the virus to my old parents than getting infected myself.

My mom and I were talking on the phone.

My mom said, “You don’t have to come this time. Come to Chiba after the coronavirus settles down.”

I said, “But my air ticket is not changeable. The money is wasted, but there is nothing I can do.”

Then mom said, “I’ll pay for your ticket.”

I said, “Don’t worry mom. It’s not a problem.”

Actually even before talking to my mom, I know that I am going to let that ticket go to waste. I didn’t even bother to check anything.

But after talking to her, I decided to go to Jetstar’s homepage just in case if there is any update.

Surprisingly, I found the following announcement at Jetstar.

【Jetstar Japan】Special handling for tickets, flight suspension and reduction of flight frequency regarding COVID-19 (Last Updated 10 March, 2020)

“Special handling for domestic route tickets”
Customers travelling on Jetstar Japan’s domestic network between 5 to 31 March 2020, are now able to opt for a free-of-charge date change or request a full refund in the form of a flight voucher. Details are as follows:

· Flights: Jetstar Japan operated domestic flights (flights starting with GK)
· Period: Flights departing between 5 March – 31 March 2020 inclusive
· Options: Free change of date on the same route until 28 April or a refund in the form of a flight voucher (valid for six months)
· How: Please read email sent from Jetstar or visit our website for more information
· Deadline: 19 March 2020

I can get a voucher instead.

Jetstar didn’t send any e-mail to me directly. I needed to research it by myself.
Otherwise, I would have given up the air ticket without knowing that I can get a voucher instead.

Thanks to my mom who reminded me about the cost of the ticket. If I didn’t have that conversation with her, I wouldn’t go to Jetstar’s homepage.

I think I will go to Chiba later this year.

Small joy!(2020.3.16)

2020-03-16 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#799 One of the benefits of staying at home is …

My lessons in my cram school are canceled.

Since most elementary, middle and high schools in Japan are closed in order to stop the coronavirus outbreak, my lessons in my cram school are also canceled.
Although I can’t meet my students and I do miss them, I am enjoying my relaxing time at home. For example, watching the Netflix, reading books, listening to golden oldies and cleaning the house.

One of the benefits of staying at home is …

One of the benefits of staying at home is that my hay fever is not so bad this year. It really depends on the year. Some years I got really sick, and some years it was more tolerable. It might be that I spent more time at home this year and I always wear a mask whenever I go out.

I hope we can control the outbreak as soon as possible.

So face mask is an essential item for me this year to protect me from the coronavirus and hay fever. Fortunately I have enough masks at home that can last for a while. But masks are still in shortage across Japan. I worried if I can’t buy any mask by the end of this Spring.
I hope we can control the outbreak as soon as possible.

Small joy!(2020.3.6)

2020-03-11 | Posted in English4 Comments » 


#800 “Kimetsu no Yaiba”(Demon Slayer)

I have watched “Kimetsu no Yaiba”(Demon Slayer) season 1 on Netflix for 3 days.

Recently I am staying at home because I’m worried about the coronavirus.
Then I have watched “Kimetsu no Yaiba”(Demon Slayer) season 1 on Netflix for 3 days. It is an anime based on a popular Japanese manga of the same name. The story is about a young boy named Tanjiro became an “oni”(demon) slayer after his family was slaughtered by an oni. His younger sister Nezuko was turned into an oni after attacked by an oni. It is a journey of revenge for their family and saving people from many onis as a demon slayer.

I’m interested in the kimonos of the characters.

The era is Taisho era. Taisho era is before Showa era, about 100 years ago.
I’m interested in the kimonos of the characters. Their clothes are mixed with kimonos and western style. The kimonos designs are so funky and vibrant. The color combination is also very unique.

Since the main character, Tanjiro is sincere, kind and strong. I think most audience would feel like supporting such a likeable character. Onis also have rather attractive and diverse personalities, with some sad stories of their own.

I like the beautiful scenery of the animation and background music. Although there are many cruel scenes, it doesn’t matter to me.

Everybody wants to read the rest of the story, right?

When I went to a bookstore to look for the comic books of “Kimetsu no Yaiba”, I saw many children and mothers were also looking for them. Too bad that most of them were sold out at my bookstore. Fortunately I was able to buy the first book in the series. In the future I will keep looking for the new books of this comic.

Small joy!!(2020.2.28)

2020-03-05 | Posted in English4 Comments »