Friday, August 31, 2012

Japanese river otter was extinct

The Japanese river otter, which is called "Nihon Kawauso" in Japan and had been categorized as a critically endangered species, was oficially declared extinct by the Ministry of the Environment on August 28th.

The last sighting in Japan of a Japanese river otter was in Kochi Prefecture in 1979.

The otter was the first Japanese mammal to have survived until Showa Era (1926-1989).

Belonging to the Mustelidae family, the Japanese river otter was know to be roughly 110 centimeters in length, and had lived in rivers across Japan.

Sadly, the species' numbers rapidly dropped due to over-hunting for its fur, and the destruction of its environment by city development and agricultural chemicals.

According to the announcement of the 4th rivised Red Data List, some kinds of diving beetle and clam have been designsted as vulnerable.

Why are we human beings so greedy while a lot of animals and plants have been vanishing...?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Shinjo Dialect

I got this very unique table from my grandfather.

"Shinjo dialect best 200"
I've been to Yamagata many times and been used to Shinjo dialect, but I can understand only a few of them on this table.
For example, "け (ke)" means "食え (kue)."
Probably, the imperative form of verb "食う (kuu = eat)" is "食え (kue)," and it seemed to be inflected into broken form.
As a lot of local dialects has vanished, some communities try hard to save them.
Shinjo dialect is a kind of them.
Never forget the warmth of traditional dialect.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Atsuko Maeda graduated

The most popular AKB48 member Atsuko Maeda graduated last night from the group, and the farewell took place at a concert at AKB48 Theater in Tokyo's Akihabara district.

About 230,000 fans applied for the 250 seats available at the theater.

To my surprise, NHK reported the graduation before the news about Prime Minister Noda.

Atsuko Maeda, 21, auditioned for AKB48 when she was 14.

Since then, she had been in an impregnable center position on the stage, meaning the face of AKB family.

With a lot of pressure and criticism, she tried hard to lead the group in various fields.

For better or for worse, this is the end of one generation for AKB, and a big challenge will be waiting for Maeda.

I'm not a fan of AKB, but just I'd like to pay her a compliment.

Anyway, one of my students really love Atsuko Maeda.

I'm interested in what she'll do next.

Shinjo Festival 2012 ②

I couldn't see floats on Friday night.

My brother took some photos instead of me on that day.

Actually I like to see floats in night version.

Shinjo Festival 2012

Shinjo Festival has a long history, and it was designated in 2009 as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property.

What people get amazed is its magnificent floats called "Yatai."

Each region in Shinjo city makes a float based on one scene of Kabuki or Old Japan's Folk Tale.

Children hold the rope and pull the float with traditional music and big calls.

When I was a child, I took part in Shimokanezawa's float and paraded all over the city.

I like to join the festival both as a puller and as a spectator.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Trip to Shinjo

Shinjo is a city of Yamagata, and my grandparents have lived there.

I went to Shinjo this weekend to see my grandparents and Shinjo's traditional festival held from Friday to Sunday.

On the way to Shinjo, it is customary for me to eat Ekiben in the Yamagata Shinkansen.

This time, as a breakfast, I ate Gyuniku Domannaka, which is quite popular in Yonezawa station.

As soon as I arrived at my grandparents' house, putting my baggage, and went to very popular Ramen shop Icchawan.

This is Tori-Motsu Ramen (= gut ramen).

It's simple but terrific!!

Never miss it if you visit Shinjo.

Shinjo festival is famous for magnificent floats, and I took photos of them.

I'll upload them on the next article.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Kagawa's 1st Old Trafford Goal

He made it!!

Shinji Kagawa pounced to score his first Old Trafford goal for Manchester United after Tom Cleverley's shot was saved, leading 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Fulham.


I'm really looking forward to seeing not only his fantastic performance but better combinations of Kagawa and Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Shinjo Festival starts

Shinjo city, which is located in Yamagata and my grandparents live in, has been coming into the spotlight with its remarkable festival.

The festival will last for three days from Friday to Sunday, that means this weekend is the best season to enjoy the festival!!

If you're interested in this intangible cultural property, go to the following sites.!/shinjomatsuri

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

After Summer Holidays

My summer vacation has been over, and the regular classes have started since yesterday.

Trip to London seems to be just a short dream.

Anyway, while I was in London, my boss Mr. Ogura and Ms. Araki had spent their time overseas.

Here are the souvenirs.

Mr. Ogura went to Taiwan and bought this soap set.

So fragrant!!

As you see, Ms. Araki went to France.

This is not a post card or a letter set but a piece of chocolate!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Trip to London ③

I'd like to show you some more photos about Olympics.

I took the following photos at Stratford, where there is the Olympic Park.

It was impossible for me to get in because I had no ticket.

A lot of staffs and security guards were all around there.

And I arrived at the Tower Bridge, luckily, its two bascules opened after a loud alarming so that any tall ships could pass through.

Looking up at the center from the bridge, I could find the huge Olympic rings ornament.

Walking along the Thames, I could also find the Olympic rings ornament again.

And along the Regent Street, which is lined with many exclusive shops, there are a lot of national flags across the street.

I stayed in London only for three days, but I'm glad that I could enjoy the Olympic mood much more than expected.

Trip to London ②

I watched Olympics football games at Wembley Stadium last Monday and Tuesday.

These photos are Tube station Wembley Park.

Passing the train ticket gate, I could find the Wembley Stadium easily.

All the people had to undergo a very stringent security check at the entrance.

Before taking my seat, see the inside the stadium.

Then, let's move on to the seat.

It's hard to tell you how excited I was there!!

Japan v.s. France at Women's Football semifinal on Monday

Japan v.s. Mexico at Men's Football semifinal on Tuesday

Nadeshiko won 2-1 and Samurai lost 1-3, but I was so excited to be there and that was my fantastic memory of my short trip.

Anyway, the way to the station was filled with people after the match on each day, especially after the Men's game was terrible.