#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 English5 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 » 


#829 It’s hay fever season!

The hay fever season is finally here!

I have hay fever and a runny nose. Since I’m taking allergy medicine, my mind is less clear than usual.

The hay fever medicine turned me into a liar, maybe.

I had an English class for 6th grade children at cram school yesterday. I was wearing a mask.
The students were gathering around me, and one of them asked, “Why are you wearing a mask? Did you catch a cold?”
I wanted to say that I had hay fever, but for some reason, I said “I have the flu”.
Then, the kids stopped smiling, stepped away from me and screamed “Yuck!”, “Ugh!”, “Waaaaa!”.
One of them said “You shouldn’t come!”
I panicked and immediately corrected my sentence that it was not the flu but hay fever.

The hay fever medicine turned me into a liar, maybe.
However it was fun to see their panicked faces.

Small joy!!(2019.2.21)

2019-02-28 | Posted in English4 Comments » 


#830 Do you have things that you cannot live without?

↑Excuse me for showing my worn out sandals.(#1)

Do you have things that you cannot live without?

For me one of things is my indoor sandals.
I have used the same pair of sandals for about 20 years!?
l love how they fit on my feet perfectly. I have flat feet and a little hallux valgus.
The sandals help me walk comfortably at home.
I also like the pink color.

I broke my sandals.

Unfortunately, I broke my sandals last Sunday. Since I used it for a long time, it is understandable that they cannot last forever. I’m very satisfied with them. This pair of sandals has supported and helped me in the last 20 years.
Thank you my sandals! It’s time to say good-bye to you.

I’ve already found the same pair on the internet.
I’ll buy a new one just like you.

↑Excuse me for showing my worn out sandals.(#2)

Small joy!!(2019.2.15)

2019-02-20 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#831 A new flavored of Valentine’s chocolate is now released.

Valentine’s chocolate events

I’m checking around a lot of Valentine’s chocolate events at department stores recently.
I bought many chocolates for my relatives and myself but actually most are for me.

“VALU MISS” chocolate

I’d like to show you one of my chocolates which is called “VALU MISS.”
It is made by a famous pastry chef. He has won the champion in the popular TV show called “TV champion.”

The “VALU MISS” chocolates contain lemon paste inside it. The lemon paste was made from lemon trees in my living area. In here, we are having a project to revitalize the local community through the lemon trees, it is gradually becoming a lemon town.
Because of this, the pastry chef used the lemons from there to make us the unique chocolates.
I am proud that I have a lemon tree in my home too!

↑Lemon paste inside the white chocolate

I have already tasted the chocolate. It was a lemon chocolate.
I like it that I had four boxes already!
This chocolate is a limited item and it only sells at Senboku Takashimaya department.

Small joy!!(2019.2.8)

2019-02-11 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#832 The story of lemons and students

The 6th grade students clapped for my message!!

I was sad because my grade 6 students at the cram school graduated from my class last week.

Just as last year, I wrote a proverb “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” on the whiteboard and I explained it to the students in the last lesson.
This class was a smart class. After I explained it, all the students looked like they understood what it meant and clapped for my message.
I was surprised that a grade 6 students would do that. I was very happy about it.
In order to explain it easily, I had brought a lemon from home to show them.

I believe they will be a great person in the future!!

Since one of the students wanted the lemon, I gave it to her. She was the most active girl in the class. I knew that someone would interested in the lemon were those smart and active students.

After the lesson, there was another girl came to me and said thanks for the teaching and the experience of performing at the stage the other day. I was given motivation for teaching by her many times.

I was happy to have them as my students.
I believe they will be a great person in the future.

Small joy!!(2019.2.1)

↓Here is my previous post about the last year’s lemon and students.

2019-02-06 | Posted in English4 Comments »