#819 “RBG”~She is the second female supreme court judge of the U.S.~

What is “RBG”?

The last movie that I watched in theater was a documentary. The title is “RBG”, and it’s about the life and career of the second female supreme court judge of the United States. ”RBG” comes from her name, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She is 86 years old now and is very popular like some national idol. Her mug cups and T-shirts are sold in the U.S.
In Halloween and other events, children would dress up as her wearing a pair of big glasses and black judge coat with white lace collar.

she made great achievements of minority rights

In her long career, she made great achievements in the areas of sexual discrimination and minority rights. Some of the famous cases were covered in the movie.
One of cases that caught my interest was the case of USA vs. Virginia state in 1996.
The Supreme Court concluded that it was unconstitutional for Virginia Military Institute to qualify only men. Virginia Military Institute had a long history of accepting only men, but since the judgement, they started to accept women to enter the school.

She is a very charming super woman.

She is a modest person and always keep a low profile.
She didn’t have small talk with her classmates when she was a student.
She had a wonderful husband who dedicated his life to support her. He passed away in 2010.
They were famous for their good relationship.

She wears a sweatshirt that reads “Super Diva!” when she works out. She wants to work as long as possible. She is a very charming super woman.

I really admire and respect her.

We are living in a world where discrimination and inequality are everywhere. We need more people like her who can fight for the minorities. I am so fortunate that I got the opportunity to enjoy this great documentary.

You can watch a movie, “Believe”(English title is ”ON THE BASIS OF SEX” ) is also about the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her husband during their younger years.

Small joy!!(2019.6.7)

2019-06-13 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#820 Spice curry in Osaka ~”Kyuyamu tetsudo”~

A spice curry restaurant in Osaka

Spice curry is quite popular in Osaka, in recent years. One of the spice curry shops in Osaka, called “Kyuyamutei” was introduced on TV many times.
One day, I went to “Kyuyamu-tetsudo” in Umeda for lunch. It is a branch restaurant of “Kyuyamutei”.

Concept is in the train in some foreign country

Since the restaurant was small and crowded, I had to wait for a while. Most customers were singles like me.
The concept of the restaurant is like eating curry in the train, not the every day JR train. I’m talking about the old train in some foreign country.

The menu changes every month

There were 4 kinds of curry on the menu and they change every month. Customers can choose how many kinds of curry they want. I chose chicken keema and coconut curry. You can choose between brown rice and turmeric rice.

Addicted to the curry!?

The curry was not so hot. There was burdock in it and the taste was quite unique. The curry came with a pot of curry soup. The customer can add it to the curry rice to enhance the flavor. I poured the curry soup into the curry and I felt it tasted even better. I ordered a cup of hot chai, too.
I enjoyed the plate and chai very much.

Some customers say, “I became addicted to the curry”.
Yes! Me too! I want to try the new menu next month.

Small joy!!(2019.5.31)

2019-06-04 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#821 “Anne of Green Gables” & “AnnE with an E”

TV anime “Anne of Green Gables”

I like the story “Anne of Green Gables”. The author is L. M. Montgomery. This novel is very popular in Japan and in the world.
I learned about it through the TV anime when I was an elementary school student. I loved the show.

Netflix “AnnE with an E”

Now I’m into “Netflix”, because I can watch the “Anne of Green Gables” anime that I used to watched and the new drama series “AnnE with an E” that Netflix made.
The drama series “AnnE with an E” is splendid for the script based on the novel and the actors’ performance.
I cried at every stories when I watched the show, even though I knew the story. I’ve already finished season 2. Season 3 will be coming soon in 2019. I can’t wait for it!

I’d like to read the 12-book series novel

Although the novel “Anne of Green Gables” was written 111 years ago, the story does’t feel old. I can sympathize with the characters in the story.
I’d like to read the 12-book series novel some day.

Small joy!!(2019.5.24)

2019-05-30 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#822 Finally UNESCO approved to recognize the burial mounds in Osaka as world heritage sites!

Finally UNESCO approved to recognize the burial mounds in Osaka as world heritage sites!

There are in total 49 buried mounds in Osaka. The most famous and the biggest one is called “Nintoku Tenno-ryo” in Sakai city.
The local authorities first submitted the application in 2007, so it took them 12 years to be put on the World Cultural Heritage list!

In TV news, I saw some people got together and celebrated. The reporter asked a woman in Osaka.
“So your long time dream has finally come true. How long did you support it?”
She said, “Yes! 1600 years!”
Isn’t she funny? I like her joke. It feels like everyone in Osaka has a great sense of humor!

It will bring huge economic effect to Osaka

According the newspaper, the World Heritage Site designation will bring huge economic effect to Osaka and Sakai city. They estimated about 915 million dollars (1005 okuyen) for Osaka, and 310 million dollars (340 okuyen) for Sakai city.

Since I live in Sakai city, I’m very happy and excited. On one hand, I hope that the designation can bring more people to this beautiful city, but on the other hand, I am also a little bit worried that the tourists may bring too much noise to the quiet neighborhood.

To attract more people

↑A place of worship, we can’t go any further.

To be honest, all you can see at ground level is just lots and lots of trees right now. Because the burial mounds are restricted areas, tourists can only walk up to the entrance, which is quite disappointing. If the local government really wants to attract more people to look at the burial mounds, I think they should build a tall tower nearby, so that people can go up and see the stunning view.
I think someone actually did a calculation and said that it would need a 300m tower, which is as tall as the Tokyo Tower. I am not really sure if that is going to be possible in Sakai city.

In the meantime, it may be more interesting to go to Nara and grab a “Kofun cake” to enjoy.↓

↑”Kofun cake” picture from the link “Petit Marche

Small joy!!(2019.5.23)

↓Here is my previous post about the Sakai’s famous historical attractions.

2019-05-23 | Posted in English4 Comments » 


#823 “Heisei-kun Sayonara”

From Heisei to Reiwa

The new era “Reiwa” will begin on May 1. The current “Heisei” era which began in 1989 will end on April 30.

I read the book “Heisei-kun Sayonara” (Good bye Heisei-kun) which was nominated for Akutagawa Prize. The book tells the life story of Heisei-kun. Heisei-kun was born in 1989 when Heisei era began. Although he is only 29 years old he decided to end his life by euthanasia when the Heisei era ends.
Will he really die? Why does he want to die? What is euthanasia?

I was fascinated by the story.

One of the interesting parts of the book is that it uses a lot of real names, such as famous people, places and brands. Sometimes it makes me wonder whether I am reading a fiction or non-fiction.

It is a good time to read this book, isn’t it?

After reading the book, I checked about euthanasia. Euthanasia is not legal in Japan. Will it be legalized in the future?
This story was not only about Heisei era but even into the future.

It is a good time to read this book while we are transitioning from Heisei to Reiwa, isn’t it?

Small joy!!(2019.4.5)

2019-04-11 | Posted in English6 Comments » 


#824 Longevity miso soup ~the book named「医者が考案した長生きみそ汁」

Miso is a superfood.

Miso is made from fermented soybeans.
This time I’d like to share “nagaiki (longevity) miso soup” from the book named 「医者が考案した長生きみそ汁」(longevity miso soup produced by a doctor). It says that nagauki miso soup can improve autonomic nervous system and the digestive system.
This book is very popular recently.

How to make the “nagaiki miso”

Here is how to make the “nagaiki miso”.

  • red miso (80g)
  • white miso (80g)
  • 1 onion (graded onion 150g) *to avoid burning eyes, put the onion in the fridge an hour before grating.
  • apple vinegar (1 table spoon)
  • Mix all the ingredients together and put them in the freezer for 2-3 hours.

In my case, I put them in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer.
30g per serving for 1 person

I want to keep making “nagaiki miso”

The book has many recipes. You can use the miso like regular miso when you make miso soup. I like the taste and want to keep making it.

I used the nagaiki miso to make whole tomato miso soup. It tasted wonderful. I was kind of shocked to see the combination of miso soup and tomato with olive oil. It turned out perfect.

There are many recipes that I haven’t tried yet. I’m looking forward to trying out all of them in the next few months.

Small joy!!(2019.4.4)

↓Here is a link to “nagaiki miso 17 recipes”↓

2019-04-05 | Posted in English8 Comments » 


#825 Ichiro, thank you for all the joy you brought us!

Ichiro announced his retirement after his last game in Tokyo.

March 21, 2019 was a big day for a lot of baseball fans, especially the ones in Japan.
The legendary baseball superstar, Ichiro Suzuki announced his retirement after his last game with the Seattle Mariners in Tokyo.
After playing 28 seasons in Japan and the US, the beloved Ichiro finally decided to put an end to his amazing career.

He is legendary.

I am a big fan of Ichiro and the Seattle Mariners. Ichiro is such an amazing player. He holds so many records and awards. He is like the God of Baseball to me (and to a lot of Japanese fans I am sure). He has a really beautiful style. Every time when I saw him played, I just wanted to cheer for him.
He inspires his fans to work hard and keep challenging ourselves, no matter who the opponents are.

When I was studying in Seattle many years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the “Kingdome”, the old Mariners’ stadium. I wish I could be there to watch Ichiro played in his prime years.

It felt like a transition of the generation.

In Ichiro’s last game, Yusei kikuchi, another Japanese player in the Mariners, made his MLB debut. He played 4.2 innings, and showed quite a solid performance.

I watched the whole game at home. It was an emotional moment when Ichiro announced his retirement at mid-game. Kikuchi cried. A lot of fans cried. I also cried in front of the TV.
It was a coincidence for Kikuchi to make his debut at the last game of Ichiro. It felt like a transition of the generation. The retirement of a Japanese baseball star and the rise of another Japanese young star. I wish both of them the best of luck.

Thank you for all the joy you brought us, Ichiro!

Small joy!(2019.3.22)

2019-03-25 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#826 “bicerin” ~historical cafe in Italy loved by celebrities~


The other day I went to the Hankyu department store at Umeda. There was an event about world-wide cookies. It was quite interesting. As I was going through the wide selections of amazing cookies from around the world, I saw a staff promoting a new coffee drink called “bicerin”.

It was loved by many celebrities.

He told me that this coffee drink was loved by many celebrities such as Giacomo Puccini (Italian opera composer), Friedrich Nietzsche (German philosopher) and Ernest Hemingway (American journalist and a Nobel Laureate).

It is made of espresso, drinking chocolate and whole milk served layered.

The drink is made of espresso, drinking chocolate and whole milk served layered in a small cup.
I tried it at this event-limited coffee bar and it was delicious!
At first, I tasted the cold milk (or cream?). Then the warm mixture of coffee and hot chocolate came into my mouth. I was pleasantly surprised by the texture and taste of this fantastic drink, because I’ve never had such an experience before. It was wonderful!

The “bicerin” came with a biscotti. I was told to dip the drink with it. The biscotti was great too!

I hope I can try “bicerin” in Osaka in the near future.

“Bicerin” is also the name of a cafe in Italy. The cafe is 255 years old. It is said that Hemingway chose this drink as one of the 100 things that has to be preserved in the world.

Unfortunately, this coffee stand does not have branch in Osaka. There are 4 shops in Tokyo, and one in Nagoya.

I hope I can try “bicerin” in Osaka in the near future.
I just want to have another cup!

Small joy!!(2019.3.8)

2019-03-20 | Posted in English4 Comments » 


#827 I love my mom’s “kusamochi”. ~It was the smell of spring~


I got a package from my mother today.
In the box, some food and two shawls which my mom weaved by a handloom.

One of items was my mom’s handmade “kusamochi”. Kusamochi is a rice-flour dumpling mixed with Japanese mugwort(yomogi herbs). I love my mom’s kusamochi.

My parents picked yomogi herbs at the river bank.

I called my mom on the phone to say thank you. She said that she picked the mugwort at the river bank with my father few days ago.
When I opened the box of kusamochi, I could smell the mugwort. It was the smell of spring.

I was imagining my parents picking the mugwort together at the bank, when I was eating the kusamochi.

Yomogi tastes like spring.

My mom used to take my brother and I to the river bank and picked the mugwort together when we were still kids. It was a lat of fun. She only took us there once a year and it was always the beginning of spring.

Every time when I see this mugwort, it reminds me that spring is just around the corner.

↑These are two shawls which my mom weaved by a handloom.

Small joy!!!(2019.3.7)

2019-03-14 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#828 Bed time story

My secret pleasure

Before going to bed every night, I have a secret pleasure.
I like to read a chapter of a book before going to sleep. Recently, I am reading a book called “Unmei no e”(Paintings of fate).

The book explains the story of famous paintings in Europe. Since most of the paintings are quite scary, the stories behind them are just equally frightening. But I’m fan of the author Kyoko Nakano because I like her writing.

Paperback or e-books?

Recently when I buy books, I don’t know whether to choose paperback or e-books. I usually decide depending on the contents of books. For example if the book has many pictures, I would buy paper book.

In this case, since the book has many color pictures I bought the paper book. I think I made the right choice.

Even though the stories are scary, I enjoy immersing myself in them when I fall asleep, at the same time warring about seeing them in my dream. What a strange person myself!

Small joy!!(2019.3.7)

2019-03-07 | Posted in English2 Comments »