2008/6/30 月曜日

Table Flipping Contest–A sport whose time has come!

Filed under: English entries,life in Japan — admin @ 15:56:51

I borrowed this irresistible photo from the Daily Yomiuri. And here is the text from the newspaper:

TABLE TOSSING A man competes in a tableware-tossing contest, violently tipping over a dining table in Yahabacho, Iwate Prefecture, on Saturday. Participants in the Second-annual Table Overturning World Championships vied to see who could send a piece of tableware the furthest solely from the force of the low table holding the dishes being overturned. The returning champion, a 22-year-old university student from Morioka, won again with a toss of 5.87 meters.

FM Gunma reported that the contest took place in a shopping center, and that there were 17 contestants, each of whom shouted out a pet peeve as they tossed the table (note man with mike behind contestant). The tableware itself was made of plastic, meaning no permanent damage or dangerous flying bits and pieces.

The look on the face of the man in the picture says it all. Isn’t upturning a table what everyone would like to do? I have heard chucking crockery in the bathtub recommended as a way to get rid of stress, but this looks like more fun–there’s even an audience to appreciate the effort. That is what we need in Japan. Less knifing of pedestrians on the street and more table tossing competitions!

2008/6/28 土曜日

Thespa! Now at No. 6!

Filed under: English entries,life in Japan,スポーツ,日本語 — admin @ 10:59:00

Thespa!

Have I mentioned Thespa–my local soccer team lately? I’m sure I haven’t since they began making their way up in the standings! After three years in the basement–the very root cellar of soccer standings– they’ve been actually WINNING MATCHES! And are currently no. 6 in a field of 15 teams. Last week they beat Cerezo Osaka, the no. 3 team. Tomorrow they will be playing no. 4 Sagantosu from Saga. It’s almost disorienting to look at the ranking chart of J2 teams, because the eye of a loyal Thespa fan will automatically go to the bottom of the list. Not finding it, one has a momentary and very frightening sense that the team has completely disappeared from the face of the earth. It takes a few seconds to realize you just need to go up a little higher–and (remarkably) there they are! Ooooooh Thespa!

ただ今、ザスパ勝ち続けています! (うちの者いわく、引き分けをはさんで5連勝)J2で6位に輝いています。3年間のどん底状態が突然報われました。試合後の選手の笑顔が眩しい。水曜日、3位のセレッソ大阪に勝ち、明日は4位のサガン鳥栖との試合です。降っても照っても行きます。敷島の県立陸上競技場ーではなくてー正田醤油スタジアムで集まりましょう!

2008/6/27 金曜日

県立女子大4年生、応援していま〜す!

Filed under: life in Japan,学校,日本語 — admin @ 22:00:31

群馬県立女子大学国際コミュニケーション科の第1期生が今年4年生になりました。全員が就職活動をやっています。その中で着々と決まっている人もいますし、これから会社の面接や教員試験を受けたりする人もいます。運が良いね、うちの生徒達を採用する会社は。そう思います。世の中の教育委員会もかしこければ、教職をとっている女子大生を教員として取ってくれるはずです。

こんなに働き者で協力的で勉強ができる生徒はほかにいません。元気もいいし、ユーモアもある!

本当は行かせたくないけれど、仕方ないね。いつまでも学校においておくわけにはいきません。残念!

Our girls!  Gotta love ‘em!

2008/6/25 水曜日

Interview with Nobuko Takagi on Translucent Tree

Filed under: English entries,,翻訳業 — admin @ 8:30:39

Anne Ishii, expert on literature, manga, things Japanese, and prolific blogger (and there’s more…) has posted a fascinating interview with author Nobuko Takagi about her book, Translucent Tree, on the Bookslut site.

It is in my best interests to ask you to buy the book and THEN read the interview, but why wait? Not only do Anne and Ms. Takagi discuss the book, but also stranger-than-fiction aspects of the author’s life.

2008/6/22 日曜日

6月ブルース(夏休みはまだ?)

Filed under: life in Japan,国際家族,学校,日本語,翻訳業 — admin @ 19:35:56

今学期は群馬県立女子大で6こまを教えています。相変わらず、女子大の生徒は日本一素敵な生徒ですが、学校、本の英訳、和訳の編集、その他食べていけるための英訳で疲れてしまいました。

昔、共愛 学園で教えたことを思い出します。5月の連休が終わると息を取る間もないまま夏休みまでだ〜と行きます。人生の中に学校というものが入るとこんな感じですね。

今日は教会に行ったり、スポーツジムに行ったり、ほかの人が作ってくれた夕飯をおいしくいただいたりして、ちょっと心を休まることができたのかな。あっそうだ!田村さんがうちの梅の木から梅を落として、きれいに洗ってもらって、梅干しと梅酒の作り方をメモに残してくれたので、梅も付けることができました。

明日の朝また大きな息をすって、新しい一週間に向かって行きます!

What me worry?

2008/6/9 月曜日

Four Stories–A Trip to Osaka

Filed under: English entries,life in Japan,,翻訳業 — admin @ 21:18:13

At some point after making the online acquaintance of Suzanne Kamata (editor of Love You to Pieces), I was invited to participate in an event called Four Stories, a “reading” event held regularly in Boston and Osaka.

Tracy Slater, a writer who goes back and forth between the two cities, is in charge of organizing the program and the venue. It is not often that translators get invited to “public” events, so I am looking forward to this one. Each of the four storytellers for the evening has fifteen minutes to read. I couldn’t decide between a hyper-edited piece of Devil’s Whisper (Miyabe Miyuki) or Translucent Tree (Nobuko Takagi), but finally opted for the latter for one simple reason–fewer characters for the listeners to have keep sorted out.

By all means, click on the link to find out more about Four Stories. I’ll leave you here with its motto:

“Four Stories: like a 19th-Century salon, only 150 years later–same socializing, same witty banter, corsets optional.”

2008/6/8 日曜日

ぱくり or Flattery

Filed under: life in Japan,日本語,,英語一般 — admin @ 17:21:05

近所の紀伊国屋に行ったら、『英語「なるほど」ライティング』はもう1冊の本と並んでありました。どう思いますか?

Looking strangely alike!

携帯の写真で分かりにくいでしょうが、異様に本のタイトルも色もデザインも似ています。(著者はもってのほか、出版社もちがう。) ここで態度を決めないといけない。「ぱくり!」と怒るか「Imitation is the highest form of flattery」と思って、開き直るか。どうしましょう?皆さんがどちらにしても、左の方を買ってね。よろしくお願いします!

2008/6/5 木曜日

Is it safe to come out? I am a Barack Obama fan!

Filed under: English entries,life in Japan,国際家族,日本語 — admin @ 20:46:02

無責任なアメリカ人として、私はあまり大統領の候補者について何もいえなかったが、今となってはっきりと宣言します。私はオバマが好きです。彼は「黒人の候補者」として広く言われていますが、実はオバマ氏は白人(アメリカ人)のお母さんと本物のアフリカ人のお父さんの一人息子として産まれました。両親は離婚して、その後お母さんはインドネシア人と再婚して、家族でハワイにしばらく住んでいました。オバマ氏の妹は白人とインドネシア人の「ミックス」です。オバマ氏本人は家族と暮らしたり、お母さんがインドネシアに住んでいる間、母方の祖父母と暮らしたりました。つまり、彼は「国際人」あるいは「他文化人」(multi-cultural)とよんだ方が正しいです。間違いなく色々な立場の人間のことが理解できる立派な大統領になると確信しています。

I am a Barack Obama fan. As an irresponsible expatriot, it seemed unseemly to pick and choose between the various aspiring candidates, but now that the votes are in, I have to admit I’ve been cheering along with the citizens of Obama City here in Japan. Besides the fact that he is good-looking and smart and has a beautiful, intelligent wife and cute kids (I admit, I can be shallow), he is a multi-cultural man–which means he is one of us! If the term “black candidate” gets him into office, I will not raise a complaint, but Obama is a man born of a white woman and an African father. His stepfather was Indonesian, and his sister is half white and half Indonesian. He spent part of his life in Hawaii with his family, and also spent years living with his mother’s parents. I trust him to be the leader of the “free world” because he has probably seen and understands more of it than any other presidential candidate we’ve ever had. Goooooo Barack!

フィリピン母の子に日本国籍 Japanese nationality for Japanese children!

Filed under: English entries,life in Japan,日本語 — admin @ 7:36:43

今日の新聞の一面に広がっためずらしい笑顔と喜び!日本の高裁判決によってフィリピンのお母さんから生まれて、日本人のお父さんを持つ子供達が日本国籍を得る権利があるということです。しかし、この判決は法律を変えることができません。今まで通り、産まれる前に父が赤ちゃんを自分の子供として認めると国籍がもらえるけれど、産まれてからはもらえない。今回の判決はあくまでもこの10人の子供たちだけに適応します。まだまだ無国籍の子供がたくさんいます。一日も早く法律がかわりますように。日本の子供達全員に幸せを!

peace and happiness for our little “flowers”

Over a picture of some decidely un-Japanese exuberance was the headline “Bar to kids’ citizenship ruled illegal.” Ten children born to Filipino mothers by Japanese fathers have been ruled eligible to receive Japanese citizenship. The law says that a child born to a non-Japanese mother out of wedlock can receive citizenship if the father recognizes the child BEFORE birth (Has anyone seen the pre-birth registration window at their local city hall? I must have missed it.) There are cases when reluctant fathers come forward after the birth of their offspring, but then it is too late. This new ruling concerns only the ten children mentioned in the legal case. The law will have to be changed to make it universal. As the mother of children born of a Japanese father and non-Japanese mother, let me just add that our children have enough to deal with without being denied a passport. Let’s pray the day when all Japanese children are declared Japanese is not too far off.

2008/6/2 月曜日

Only in Japan?

Filed under: English entries,life in Japan — admin @ 12:06:24

Have you seen this article about a woman who lived in a man’s closet for a year? He only noticed something strange when his food started disappearing. How long had it been since he opened his closet? All I can say is that this solves a whole lot of mysteries in my house. Chances are we are harboring one of those Amazon tribes that have yet to be contacted by civilization. I’m going to put up notices saying they can stay if they promise to tidy the place up. …and I wish they’d pay more attention and eat those vegetables before they go bad.

A closet is seen in this file photo. A Japanese man puzzled by food mysteriously disappearing from his refrigerator got a shock when he found out a woman had been living in the closet of his home for months without permission.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Carlo Allegri)

This is the picture of the closet used in the article. Anybody want to bet it didn’t look like this when the woman moved in?

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