English Diary

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Nine-year-old eldest daughter appeared on the stage of the musical for the first time, in the Main Theatre of Biwako Hall, on July 25.
She performed as one of the Londoners after passing the audition for "A Little Princess (Sara Crewe)", and having intensive lesson for few days. She is taking dancing lessons, but we worried whether she was evaluated as a performer of the musical, because she was shy and a low voice.
On the stage, she showed an energetic performance while singing in a loud voice with other actors. She seemed to relax and very lively feeling the happiness of the expression among wonderful coach and companions. We wish to express our gratitude for her marvelous meeting. We are very glad and proud of her growth.

"A Little Princess" is a story in 19th-century London, and is known well also in Japan.
Britain of the 1890's this story was written in, was an age that overflowed in mature politics, the culture, and wonderful thought and books. "Self-Help", "As a Man Thinketh", etc. These books are fine books that do not fade still.
The story of "A Little Princess" teaches us the importance of living nobly and the sympathy of others. Universal teaching written in the personal growth books like "Self-Help", "As a Man Thinketh" and "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" are described in this work.

'Heaven helps those who help themselves'
'Create Your Own Future'

She is very happy she can performs to such a wonderful work. We wish her to grow up as an attractive and independent woman who can sympathize with others' standpoints and feelings, like Princess Sara, through this valuable experience.
[Daughter's musical debut part 2]の続きを読む
In February I took part in a seminar in Osaka organised by Alibaba.com, which is one of the biggest BtoB business matching companies. Alibaba.com is an international company based in China. So besides we Japanese, it was mostly people from other Asian countries that participated.

I exchanged business cards with a Chinese woman sitting next to me. She worked for a trading company and spoke Japanese and English fluently.

We have received a lot of inquiries from various countries since we registered with the Alibaba.com site in 2006: The United Kingdom, China, Iran, Cameroon, Nigeria, Brazil, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Ghana, Mexico, Jordan, Singapore, South Korea, etc.
But, in the beginning, the content of the inquiries and quality of the business information were a jumble of good and bad. Nowadays, however, the bad information is gradually decreasing with Alibaba.com's help. Alibaba.com is a pure business matching company now, but in the near future it might begin to manage payments and provide a shipping service as well.

Anyway, we are entering a period in time in which individuals and small businesses can act freely, without undue government interference, in a similar manner to big companies. Information technology has made it possible. However, catching business chances worldwide requires creative power and information-gathering capacity, together with superb language abilities like those of the woman who sat next to me at the seminar.
[Alibaba.com and B2B Trade]の続きを読む
We visited "The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum" in Osaka the other day. Mr. Ando, who was the founder of Nissin Food Products Co., Ltd., was a great manager, and an inventor of the instant noodles(Chicken Ramen and Cup Noodle) that are loved all over the world. I think that the instant noodle is one of the best inventions in the 20th century.

Instant noodles that are currently on the market were exhibited in the museum. There was also a workshop where participants could experience cooking Chicken Ramen.

We tried the "My Cup Noodle Factory". You can obtain only one original ramen in the world there. First of all, you freely design the cup, then choose your favorites from four kinds of soup and a lot of ingredients. We adults really enjoyed it and had a great time, to say nothing of our daughter.

Mr. Ando said the following things during his life:

"It is never too late to do anything in life."
"Create change instead of adapting to the changing times."
"Do not try to sell instant noodles. Sell food culture."
"Organizations don't get the work done; people do,"

And the last one:

"Human beings are noodle beings."

Those words are not armchair theories, but come from the person who succeeded in making the instant noodle known to the world by constant endeavor. I felt that there are a lot of things that we can learn from his life.

Special thanks to Henry.
[The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum]の続きを読む
I went to Kyoto International Manga Museum with my family in the Bon holiday period. The museum is located between Nijo castle and Kyoto-gosho. The building used to be an elementary school, but now, it has become a place where Japanese culture, Manga comics, and various cartoons from around the world are on display. I enjoyed reading "Astro boy" written in English on the lawn of a garden that was once a schoolyard, and felt some nostalgia.

Next, we headed to Toei Movie Land (Kyoto Uzumasa Eigamura) by train and on foot. It is a movie theme park, and there you can see the studio sets of films set in the Edo period. We enjoyed various attractions and took pictures of ourselves standing with samurai and ninja.

Kyoto is certainly a wonderful city with a lot of landmarks and excellent examples of traditional culture, but I think that Kyoto is a place to visit rather than to live, because I occasionally experience some inconveniences in Kyoto. The roads off and around the main streets are very narrow, and there aren't many stores with parking lots. The network of streets sections off the city as neatly as the grid on a go board, but it is inconvenient to move diagonally. The main method of transportation in Kyoto is by bus, but the busses are often delayed and the routes are complex.

I think Kyoto might be a town of LOHAS, so maybe it is an attractive town for people who like such life. Actually, there are a lot of foreign people who like the atmosphere of Kyoto and settle down there too. However it would be difficult for me to give up the convenient life style I have at present.

Henry, thank you for your help.
[Thinking about Kyoto]の続きを読む
Cherry blossoms in Kyoto 1

Cherry blossom viewing
(The cherry blossom is the national flower of Japan, and many people enjoy eating and drinking around the cherry trees when they are in full blossom.)

Cherry blossoms in Kyoto 2

These are pictures of cherry blossom scenery at a temple in Kyoto.

Cherry blossoms in Kyoto 3

Most Japanese really like seeing cherry blossom. When cherry blossoms begin to bloom, people get increasingly excited. They lay out a sitting area below the cherry trees, and get into swing with their friends or colleagues, enjoying themselves over sake and food. As the best time for seeing the cherry blossoms is only about two weeks long, people pray while waiting for a chance to go and see them that the flowers don't fall due to rain.

In April, there are a lot of entrance and initiation ceremonies, and the season gives them a feeling of a new coming.
[Cherry blossoms in Kyoto]の続きを読む