Monday, 18 September 2017


Ohagi is one the Japanese traditional sweets. It is a sticky rice ball covered by red bean paste. Red bean paste is made from Azuki, which is believed to be to shut unhappiness away. In Higan, an important opportunity to appreciate our ancestors, people visit their family graves and hold a memorial service by offering flowers, incense and Ohagi. Nowadays, people enjoy Ohagi all year round.

How to make
Rice 1cup
Glutinous rice 1cup
Water 1and a half cup
Sugar 3tbs
Boiled Azuki 400g
Roasted soybean flour 30g
Sugar 3tbs

1, Wash the rice and Glutinous rice. Mix them in a bowl and soak in the water over 30min. Steam them.
2, Put Boiled Azuki in a pot, and mash them. Put it over a fire, knead them.
3,Put steam rice and sugar in a bowl, and smash them. After cool down, make 12 rice bolls.
4, Cover 6 rice bolls with Azuki bean paste and 6 rice bolls with mixed Roasted soybean flour.

My grand mother used to makes Ohagi for me. To be honest Ohagi is not my cup of tea, however my grand mother hand made Ohagi was really lovely sweets for me.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Cambridge First lads succeed at Luna - Can Do!

Congratulations from Damian
A proud Wednesday evening recently as Damian and Jim were both able to hand over Cambridge First (FCE) certificates to successful students, who have worked very hard to achieve this very credible benchmark. 

FCE is not the kind of exam you can just stroll along to and get lucky with; you need to prepare carefully and understand the nature of the tasks required of you. Listening is not a matter of connecting the dots or remembering a telephone number...the writing paper is seriously hard & comes with considerable time pressure - an essay? a report? an article? Reading requires mental dexterity, a sound grasp of unfamiliar vocabulary, and ability to process quickly without panicking/getting bogged down. There's a lot of heavy duty grammar to control as well.

Damian & Jim both know these two lads can cope with the speaking part of the test...both of them could talk the hind leg off a donkey!

And a well done from Jim

Postcard from... Helsinki (Viking country!)

Dear Jim-sensei,

I'm in Helsinki waiting for my flight to Berlin.

When I read "Viking Tales" I didn't imagine I could have a chance to come to Northern Europe.

Everything is very cute and I hope I can spend more time when on my next trip.


Thursday, 31 August 2017

Another postcard from Vietnam!

Dear Jim-sensei

Three days has passed in Hanoi.

It was very fast! Although it is second time to visit Hanoi, I could enjoy "new" Hanoi & felt Vietnamese kindness a lot. It seems it's so cold in Japan, I don't want to go back!!

See you next class :)

Best regards,


Monday, 28 August 2017

Postcard from Vietnam

Dear all at Luna,

Vietnam is an incredible country!

The food is amazing, the people are friendly, the sights are beautiful, the architecture is fascinating.

See you all again soon!


Saturday, 26 August 2017

Postcard from Kotohira Shrine, Kagawa-ken

Counting practice!
Can you think of anything better than to set of in the blazing mid-summer heat to climb 785 stone steps half-way up a mountain? If not, then I thoroughly recommend setting your sights on Kotohira Shrine on Mt. Zouzo, in Kagawa prefecture (Japan's smallest prefecture, by the way) on Shikoku Island.

Kotohira Shrine
It is a tough climb for the fit and able. My son raced up it; I paused 'to take photos'...but there were plenty of oldies making the climb, and I was humbled to a one-legged bloke about to tackle the steps as I was nearing the sanctuary of a noodle restaurant at the bottom.

There are a number of interesting shrines along the climb, but no information anywhere in English (or any other language) to inform tourists. This would have made my journey more satisfying - I like to know what I'm looking at!

Who he?
I did discover (Google!) that the main shrine is dedicated to mariners & seafarers - explains the massive propeller and anchor, and a subsidiary building with an ocean-going row boat in it, and pictures of boats great and small, new and some very old indeed. I found one stone plinth with the name "Hood" on it - a CEO or something of a shipping company. I wondered if he was any relation to the Hoods (an Admiral, a Baronet & a Captain), of Royal Navy service? I doubt few visitors up here have ever heard of HMS Hood?

Anyway, cracking view of the unusual Kagawa landscape from Kotohira-gu and plenty of good photos to be taken if you are not dripping with sweat! An easier walk uphill in the shade, through the woods, is much more relaxing and peaceful. I got as far as Shiramine Shrine before turning back to catch up with my family.
Shiramine Shrine - worth the extra climb

I loved this collection of shrines, and would like to know more/spend more time poking about!

Friday, 25 August 2017

My extreme sports experience in the summer holiday

I went to Otari with my family, to go white-water rafting, on the Hime River. It is a 5km course, and it took an hour. The river wasn't deep, but very fast and cold. There were huge rocks everywhere, and if we crashed into a rock it was very exciting, and there were a lot of rapids. It's really bouncy going through a rapid, scary because you don't know where you are going. I don't know how the instructor can control the raft or know where to go.

My brother fell in and everybody laughed. He was picked up by another raft. He enjoyed the experience. He went again the next day with his friends, and lost his glasses (see Rule 10). My mum had a lot of fun & we all want to do it again in another season or on another river. The instructor said the river is twice as high in Golden Week (mid-May), so the rapids are more violent then.

Here are the rules and some suggestions to enjoy your rafting trip:

  1.  You have to hold the T part of the paddle. If you don't hold the T part, it might hit you or another crew in the face.
  2. You have to put your feet in a secure place. If you don't, you won't be able to stay on the raft when it hits rough water.
  3. You have to do what the instructor says. If you don't, the raft might flip over.
  4. If you fall into the river, you mustn't try to swim or stand up.You should float on your back with your feet first.
  5. You must wear a life jacket and a helmet.You should also wear crocs or sneakers, and a wet suit if the water is freezing cold.
  6. You have to paddle hard together when you go through the rapids. If you don't, the instructor can't steer the raft.
  7. You don't have to be able to swim.
  8. You have to be fit and healthy.
  9. You have to have insurance.
  10. You have to leave your phones, cameras & valuable in a locker. If you take them with you, they'll get broken or you'll lose them.
  11. You have to enjoy the danger and high five your crew mates. 
Posted by Tomoro

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Postcard from Awaodori Festival, Tokushima

Thank goodness we don't have to provide our own band to produce the music for Bon Bon!

Every dancing group here at Tokushima Awaodori Festival brings its own drummers; some with shamizen & other instruments, and choreograph their own dance routines (but with the same foot & arm gestures). Some of them had really cool moves & wonderful traditional costumes; nearly everybody wears the signature conical straw hat. And they do this for three nights running?!

Also unlike Bon Bon, the groups move between set places to perform, where there are grandstands for the crowds to sit & appreciate the teams properly. This stops people walking through the groups, which is something that really annoys me when we dance in Matsumoto - it is very disrespectful and potentially dangerous.

And finally, there were no deisel generators chugging out noxious fumes to light the streets. This has to stop in Matsumoto.

There was a good crowd, and all the shops were open - plenty of ramen shops - and the party went on until 10pm. It's nice to see someone else's summer festival, and enjoy as a spectator.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Postcard from Universal Studios Japan - Osaka

Despicable Me!
Hi everybody at Luna.

I drove across Gifu prefecture on the backroads to avoid big traffic jams, but still got stuck around Kyoto & Osaka. The next day, I think we met everybody as they were all queueing for rides at USJ as well. Oh my word, so many glum looking people waiting for over three hours with NO entertainment to sit on a 90 second ride. Admittedly, the rides are pretty amazing (Harry Potter was first choice, and Despicable Me/Minions in the old Back to the Future zone was second) but good grief the waiting was grim.

Souvenirs? What a racket - Y5,000 for a plastic chopstick with a crap light bulb in the tip = Harry Potter's wand. Every other kid had a Minions water cannon backpack - starting at Y3,000 each. You can seriously drain your bank account here without trying very hard/doing very much.

My kids even had to wait to get a picture with Kitty-chan, and again with Elmo! Best use? Charlie Brown's bullpen.

Meet the throng
In all, I think we stood in line for 7 hours. My suggestion? Don't go to USJ or Disneyland in the summer, and certainly not on a national holiday. If you must, try a pre-typhoon day or a nice snowy one. Take your own food & drinks, and take turns waiting in the queue - go do something else while one of you waits :)

Monday, 21 August 2017

Greetings from Singapore

Hi, How are you?

I'm in Singapore with my students. We've studied in the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) two days. Today is holiday of Singapore, so I went to look for insects of Singapore.

See you in Japan.


Thursday, 17 August 2017

Rabbit-Proof Fence - A survival journey

His name was Junichi Toda. He was an ordinary office worker. But he didn't succeed his job. And even though he had been seeing a girl friend for five years, he didn't get along well with her. He wanted to change his life.

One day he climbed a mountain in Saitama prefecture in August. That was not a dangerous mountain. His climbing experience hadn't been even for one year. When he went down the mountain, he lost the way and fell down the cliff. He broke his left leg badly. He tried to stop the wound with T-shirt and an umbrella without panic. Then he covered with a plastic bag. But he couldn't go home. No one knew where he was climbing.

The food he had was the only seven candies. The second day he poured out his belongings in the mountain stream. He hoped that someone would find them.

Next day, he ate all of candies. He was't thirsty, because he was by the mountain stream. But he didn't have any food. So he ate ants and earthworms. On the other hand, his family had given out leaflets to the people in Chichibu area.

The ninth day they found the eyewitness. They asked the search party to find Mr. Toda in Mt. Ryokami in Chichibu. Two weeks later, he was rescued.

After he was operated on his left leg nine times, he could walk and got married his girlfriend and became a father of two children. Now he thanks everyone supporting him. I think it is wonderful that no one give up all hope.

Posted for Hiroko

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

A Christmas Carol - Christmas Eve diary

It was a hard day, as usual. I worked at the cold dark office all day long. Today, Mr. Scrooge's nephew came to the office to say Merry Christmas to him. But, Mr. Scrooge said Christmas was humbug and he just said "good afternoon". He is very strange and mean. He doesn't care about other people, especially poor people.

Tomorrow is a Christmas Day. Everybody wants to be happy, cares each other, loves each other. Mr.Scrooge is a rich man and he is very good at business, but he doesn't look like happy. If he cares about others more, he could be happier. Maybe something very sad had happened to him before and he became such a mean man. But I like his nephew. He is a nice man.

Anyway, it is Christmas Eve tonight. We had Christmas Dinner with all my family. How wonderful! I am a lucky man to have such a lovely wife and good children. Poor tiny Tim, he can not walk by himself, but he is lovely. I love him very much.

Mr. Scrooge gave me a half day off tomorrow. I wish I could have a day off, but I don't want to lose my job. I hope Mr.Scrooge will change his mind next year and he will be more gentle and generous.

Posted for Yasumi

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

The Last Sherlock Holmes Story - Holmes's final diary


I won’t have forgotten forever that I did have an irreplaceable friend Dr. Watson. I have enjoyed the life myself. Especially I have lived with my best friend Dr. Watson. I knew that something was wrong since I found my bedroom door was locked in Watson's house. I knew what happened. Dr. Watson was not Dr. Watson. He was not my best friend Dr. Watson. We had solved many cases together. There were some cases which we couldn’t forget. One of them is Berlin case “one in three”. But he couldn’t remember it. He forgot it. It surprised me and I doubted him.

When I tried to hit the man who came in the room I rested, he jumped away. And he wrote the letter to Lestrade, which said that I was the White Chapel murderer. What rubbish! He wasn’t Dr. Watson, of course.

Moriarty had killed my poor friend and taken his place. I saw him injecting himself with cocaine, but Dr. Watson would never, never do that. So I understood.

I’ll go to the Reichenbach Falles today. That is a wild and lonely place. He has asked me to walk with him. Certainly, he will try to kill me. But he will not succeed because I have put blanks in his gun. 

But I am sad, so sad. Because I lost my friend, Dr. Watson. When had he killed by Moriarty? Why I couldn’t help and save him? I’ll try to get the answer, but I don’t want to know it actually.

Posted for Naoko

Monday, 14 August 2017

The Wind in the Willows - a letter to a rescuer

Dear Mrs. Keeper's daughter.

Sorry l haven't written for a while but I've been spent very tough days. I hope you're well. I have no words to express my gratitude. I am writing this letter in my Hall now. I think I was saved by the grace of you.

In prison you heard my rubbish story. At that time, I thought I hadn't been silly at all. Although I was in prison, I had such a foolish thinking. How foolish I was! Now I know I was silly, dangerous and boastful. I want you to know the reason of changing my thinking. Please read my story about escape.

I wore an old washer woman's dress which you bought and I passed the guards of the castle entrance easily. Then I got on the train. In the morning I met a barge -woman who said I was a fat lazy little toad. I stole her horse which I sold to a man later. At that time, I said to myself. "What a clever Toad l am!" l am ashamed of me in that time. I was just a criminal and an escaped prisoner. How silly I was!

I came to a road and began to walk. Then a terrible thing happened. The person whose car I had stolen recognized me. They chased me through a wood. I dropped into the deep water. When I was too tired to pull myself out of water, the Rat helped me.

The Rat told me about my Hall. The Scots and the Weasels and the Ferrets - they had taken my Hall. They had been living there.They had got guns knives and sticks. They kept guard round the house night and days.They said they were going to stay there for ever. At first I couldn't believe it. But my good friends, the Rat, the Mole, the Badger and I made a plan to get the Hall back.

When they held a big birthday-party we run into dining hall. W could go there because there was an under ground tunnel. They didn't have any guns or stick s with them at the party. So we could chase them and beat them and hit them with our weapons.

What a battle it was! But we won the battle. Our attempt was a great success. I have fortunate to have good friends. I changed my ways and became a sensitive animal.

Still now I love to talk. But it isn't only about myself. It is about my likable friends. I am a very different Toad.

I'm going to talk if your will visit our river under the Willows. Of course you had better come here in spring. It will be very peaceful and beautiful. Maybe you will like here.

See you again next spring!


Posted for Olga

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Bon Bon 2017 - slideshow

Where were we this time last week?

Well, why not watch the slideshow & find out ;)

Don't miss out on all the fun - get your fabulous t-shirt for 2018 now (while stocks last!)

Friday, 11 August 2017

The Long Tunnel - A fond holiday memory

When I was an art university student, I entered a certain club. It was the travel club. When I was 20 years old, I went to the Okino Island with the friends in summer holiday. In first day, we stayed my friend’s house in Hiroshima. And we were entertained with dinner there. The next day, we went to Shimane by a local train from Hiroshima. Then we went to the Okino Island by a ferry from the port of Shimane. We carried a big rucksack on our back and traveled. We stayed overnight at tourist home. From the next day, we camped out in the shore. We cooked curry for dinner. We washed vegetables and pans in seawater. We were not worried about using the seawater and being inconvenient. Everything was fun. We swam and took a walk in the daytime. In the evening, several cows approached there. There was quiet Nature. I had a valuable experience and I had happy time.

Posted for Reiko

Thursday, 10 August 2017

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - A letter of your adventures

Dear Mrs.Douglas,

 Hi, this is Huck. Have you been anxious about me disappearing suddenly? Now I am at Mr.Phelp's farm in Arkansas. Mrs. Phelps is Tom’s aunt and what are the chances, I met Tom here. At that morning on the way to school I was caught by my father and was confined in a cabin in the wood near the river. He drank heavily and hit me every night. I thought I would be killed some day. Then I escaped to the Jackson’s Island in the river, and there I met Jim who escaped from Miss Watson.

Then we went down the river toward a free state together. One day two men got aboard the raft, one was a king of France another was a duke of England, they said. It was not true. They were confidence trickers. They planned some tricks for deceiving big money. But they failed. Now Jim is not a slave now. I know my father died. Finaly all`s well that ends well. I’ll see you some day.


Posted for Misako

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

The Three Musketeers - England vs France

There were many wars England and France in the middle age. I`m interested in many queens battle. Eleanor of Aquitaine divorced from Louis VII, after she was married with Henry II. That was of the war, England against France. She had huge land in France. Her sons and France fought each other. Isabel of France killed her husband, Edward II with her lover. But her lover was killed and she was confined by her son, Edwad III. Then he demanded the claim of French King. It was the beginning of one hundred war. The end of one hundred war, there was rose war in England. Margaret Anjou fought against York family. She was very strong woman. She run away with mad husband and children, but they were killed by York. There were no strong woman in the middle age of Japan.Why so many powerful queens appeared? I want to read many England history books.

Posted for Misuzu

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Jane Eyre - A letter to a kind teacher

Dear Miss Temple,

I have very good news to tell you. One day I was walking on the moor. Suddenly, I heard a voice. The voice was calling my name- 'Jane! Jane! Jane!' That was Mr Rochester's voice. So I left Moor House, went to Thornfield Hall. But this was burnt, nobody was living there. I heard "He is living at Ferndean". Now I am living at Ferndean with Mr Rochester. I was able to marry Mr.Rochester. Now he is blind, and he have only one hand, because of house fire. I loved him very much at Thornfield Hall, but now I love him more. we have one first child. we are very happy. I want to meet you, and want to talk many. Please come to our house to see us, and to see our child.

Thank you Miss Temple

 Jane Eyre

Posted for Yoko

Monday, 7 August 2017

Keep Calm & Carry On Bon Bon!

Despite the apparent threat made to the festival, Matsumoto showed it's mettle Saturday night with a superb turn out to celebrtate the 43rd edition of Bon Bon. Luna was team number one, setting off from in front of the Castle, an honour we all took on board & kept in mind as we paced the rest of the city! Ceilidh and his mate Sola kept on poin the entire evening to earn MVP status, but to be honest all our young troopers were magnificent.

Massive thank yous to dads being vigilant, and to Damian, Naomi, Hannah & Sam for variously keeping us going in the right direction, dancing like disco 1978, and for keeping their elbows out! Yukari as usual on her sensible 'A' game & everyone in the right place at the right time with a t-shirt on etc. Brilliant.

Help yourself to downloads from Flickr (below). As you can see, we had an amazing time :)

Super Safe BonBon 2017

Would be remiss of us not to thank the police & emergency services for their extra vigilance & care tonight. We think the only scare was Kaichi being announced lost - just as his mum & dad gave him a thick ear for wandering off!

Friday, 4 August 2017

My dream house - probably (After reading of Don't Tell Me What To Do)

I have never bought or built any own house, but I would like to describe my process plan how to buy an own house. If I have a child, I will probably buy the own house when the child enroll at an elementary school to avoid him/her from transferring the school.

In order to decide a layout of house, I would like to visit many houses what types of layout there are and what layout/function is convenience for my life style. Also, we should confirm what construction/material have the quality to last long and how maintenance is needed. From seeing many houses, I may get many useful ideas.

I think it is very important to imagine not only current but also future life style and to find a best solution with satisfaction at that timing. My thought mentioned above is caused by my experience. When I bought my current car, I checked many many cars at car park etc to know what internal/external design I really like because I thought it was very important to like the look of the car to ride for many years.

Now, over 10 years passed after I bought my current car and I still like it.
When a rough idea of layout/function is made, I will ask some home builders for quotation. It is likely that the quotations will exceed our budget, and I mayl review again what part we can handmade or eliminate and negotiate the home builder to do markdowns.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Describing a photo

This is my best friend Hirono. She lives in Matsumoto. She loves music and dancing to jazz. She goes to dance classes on Tuesdays after school. In this photo, she's eating an ice cream. She's very happy because she loves sweets.

This is my friend Shibata. He lives in Matsumoto. He loves playing video games and basketball. he belongs to the same basketball team as me. In this photo, he's sleeping on the bus.

Posted for Karen & Yuta

Monday, 31 July 2017

In Adera ravine

Doggy paddle!
One of my favourite photos which my friend took in July when I was having holiday with some friends.

We were at a place called Adera ravine.It's a swimming hole in Adera river. My friend took the photo when a dog was swimming in the river. She is good swimmer!

It'd been hot everyday so, I went there . It's very cool and beautiful. The ravine is  famous for  emerald green water. It makes me relax.

If you feel hot, I recommend you swim the river.  I love this photo because the dog is pretty.

I have the photo on my phone with my favorites

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

My favorite photo "Burubon"

One of my favorite photo is this one of my favorite place.

I took the photo in the summer of 2016 when I was on holiday at quite famous cafe”Burubon” in center of the city of my hometown.

The cafe has already been in there when I was child. There are a lot of mysterious statues in entrance and inside of the cafe. I felt it "strange, Interesting, mad, funny, mysterious..." but I didn't dislike. Those were made by Mr. Kasio Miyazaki who was owner of the cafe. He was also my grandfather's friend. My grandfather had one of his works. But I have never met Mr. Kashio.
I like this photo because I can feel freedom.
I have the photo on my computer.
Everyone knows this cafe which stand out, but courage is necessary to enter inside. Because his works are more mysterious than any work I saw at the museum. Later, My grandfather has passed away, I decided to visit the cafe to see Mr.kashio but I couldn't see him. It's too late. But we can enjoy his lots of awesome works at the caffe. By the way inside of the cafe was nice! Art was exploding! It didn't disappoint me.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Cambridge exams for ALL, with JP004

Over the few weeks or so Luna International has supplied 7 levels of Cambridge English Language Assessment examinations:
CEM Yukari running YLE in Matsumoto

(that looks like eight, right?!) candidates sitting in 5 different prefectures, with speaking examiners from half a dozen different countries. Thank you, each and every one of you, for the work you put into maintaining your examiner status, and for the travel undertaken.

Thank you to the teachers & members of staff who have invigilated or supervised sessions and been ushers/marshalls. All your contributions help make the candidates' days less stressful.

Thank you for your very hard work in organising everything, Yukari, our Centre Exam Manager. Materials, venues, forms, timings, invigilators, entries, takkyubin, labels, colour name, Yukari has thought of it!

And same again from September, with all levels available again from Luna JP004 (not just in 'Chubu' as misleading indicated on Cambridge's website) from Yamagata in the north, Tokyo to the south, Nagoya to the west...and of course Matsumoto in the middle.

Entries open, all enquiries welcome.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

The Lost World - larger than life

Write about a ‘larger than life’ character from your country – fictional or real.

I think All Japanese admit Ichiro Suzuki is the most popular Japanese professional baseball player.  He began his career with Orix Blue Wave in Japan in 1992 when he was 19 years old.  Then, he went to the United States and became a player of the Seattle Mariners in 2001.  Since then, he has been spending his seasons in the United States.

He is the outfielder and can catch long fly balls.  Moreover, he can strongly and quickly throw the ball back to home like a rocket.  When he belonged to the New York Yankees, I had a chance to see the game.  His performance as the center fielder was just outstanding and I was so excited to see his performance in the field.

He also set a new record as a great hitter.  In 2016, he collected the 3,000th hit.  By the end of 2016 season, he played in his 2500th games in MLB in the United States.  This is the greatest record because there are only two players who have achieved such a great record.

He becomes 44 years old this year.  I hope he keeps breaking a record and playing in MLB as long as possible.

Describe your favourite place in Scandinavia - after reading Viking Tales

I have never been to Scandinavia, but want to visit Sweden someday. There are mainly two reasons which have being inspired me.

One is music. One of my favorite pop group is Cardigans, who are based in Sweden. I bought their CD when I was a high school student. Nina’s voice is very cute and their songs are very catchy. And, they sing their song in English. This is the most important point for me. They sing very clearly and it was easy for me to catch their words. Their songs became popular in Japan and it was called Swedish pop. I also love Meja. I bought two CDs and listened again and again until I remembered all her songs. When I had my wedding party, I picked up her song “Welcome to the Fun Club of Love” as the starter. Since then, this song reminds me the happy feeling.

Another is furniture and housewares. In Japan, there are some stores of IKEA. They have some floors to display their furniture. It is fun for me to look around their stores. Their design is very pop and the color and textile is very different from that in Japan. So, I want to go to flea market in Stockholm someday.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

After reading Viking Tales - Utgard writes to Odin

Dear Odin,

 Hope you are doing well. Thor and Loki with small human boy named Thialfi visited us without any notice last week. Thor said he came to here, our castle in order to fight us all because he was board and had nothing to do. Fortunately, Skrymir told me they were reaching to our kingdom. We wanted to avoid fighting with Thor, Loki and Thialfi. Thus, we had no way but we used tricks.

Firstly, we took the bones from the table and burned them while Loki was eating all meat. Secondly, we put Hugi’s twin brother at the other end of the field and pretend Hugi had already arrived the goal. Then we used the drinking horn which is connected to the sea so that Thor could not drink it up. And we asked Jormungand to change into a cat. The cat could not be picked up by anyone even though by Thor. They believed some of our friends had a special ability and we won all competitions. We did not have to fight each other in the end.

We appreciate it if you keep them away from our Kingdom so that we can avoid any unnecessary fighting each other.

Sincerely yours,


The Lost World - the Mystery of Egypt

Egypt is one of the most interesting country which I’ve never been to. There is a TV program my mother loves to watch, it is called “Discovery of the World’s Mysteries (Sekai Fushigi Hakken)”

I also have been watching the show since I was a child. One of the popular topics of the show is the Mystery of Egypt. When I saw the culture of the ancient Egypt, it was very interesting for me that the world is expressing by some pictures, they could make the historic building from the high-level scientific approach and many historians still make researches to try to find out the truth about the past.

If I could go to adventure, I would like to go to Egypt with one of Japanese historian who make researches there because he could guide me where tourist could not go like the inside of pyramid. Then I would like to unravel a riddle of one of the ancient Egypt together with the historian and his team.

Friday, 30 June 2017

An invigilator share: Keys to writing examination failure

If you are taking an examination that requires you to write an extended piece of writing, then there are a few things you really shouldn't do. If you want to know what you should do to give yourself a fighting chance of success, then any good exam preparation textbook will give you a list of tips. My recommendation for success in FCE (Cambridge: First) would be a copy of First Result from OUP.

In no particular order, are ways to make sure you will not pass:

  • Bolt into the writing as soon as you are told to open the question paper & write furiously....good chance you did not read the question properly, certainly no planning or clear construction of an argument.
  • Rewrite everything - do it in pencil first then write over the top in pen....I have seen this done so often while invigilating I want to shout at the candidates! If you've got that much time, make a better plan.
  • Rubbing out your plan/notes....what's the big secret?! All question papers & rough work go in the shredder immediately after the test. And the table knocking on the wall while you do it?
  • Looking for extra questions....if you haven't prepared for the test then there's a good chance you've already wasted the entry fee. 
  • Reading & underlining the above - you must know what you have to do, and have a solid battle plan before the day of the test
  • Writing two answers simultaneously....if you can do this then you should be in the circus. Concentrate on one task at a time. Recently saw a candidate write a whole paragraph in the middle of the wrong answer, realise the mistake, panic, copy it out word for word in the right answer (but wrong place) 
  • Go to sleep after blitzing the paper...are you really that good - there are no improvements you could make? Remove repetition maybe, improve vocabulary, elaborate or embellish maybe? At the very least, re-read critically. Inevitably, this is the candidate that did not make a plan.
  • Demonstrative body language while 'brainstorming' or thinking of a word...I'm not impressed, candidate - I don't do the marking!
  • Crossing out a full answer and doing another question....good luck with that against the clock.
  • Doing a Dostoevsky...the first question answered was such a masterpiece, the second one was no more than a post-script. Did you notice both questions were equally weighted? The marginal returns to scale are very limited if you go over
    your time allowance (ie 50%) and certainly counterproductive if you go over the word limit.
  • Counting...1,2,3...167... You should know how many words you can write on a line of A4 already! How many lines will you need to write to be within the target range? How fast can you write? Fine tune at the end when you've finished smoothly producing your work.
  • Leg-shaking...stop it. It annoys everybody.
  • Pencil-twirling...does that help you concentrate? Really?
  • Looking around a lot...relax, there's nobody sneaking up on you. Unless you are cheating, in which case I already caught you.
  • Checking your watch...we are on my time, the clock at the front of the room. It might not be 'right' but it is the one we are all using today.
  • Blanket on your you want to be disqualified? It's June and it's hot. The a/c will keep you awake at 24 degrees - you won't get frost-bite.
  • Using your favourite erasable pen...did you not read the instructions we sent you/that are posted on the door?
  • Shoehorning in all the must use phrases you could remember...appropriate? Relevant? 
  • I don't do paragraphs...which is a shame, because you just missed out on a load of marks
  • I usually write in the present tense...which makes telling a story kind of hard, and will likely put the reader to sleep. Pity, because the only person reading your work needs to be impressed with a variety & range of grammar & can only drink so much coffee while marking.
  • I just answered the you didn't do all the other parts, like write a greeting, reason for writing, closing, ending? 
  • Plea for help...the marker really won't be swayed by begging. Nor will apologies get you anywhere.
  • Artist impression...this will work in Young Learners, perhaps, but very unlikely to be getting you any extra marks at this level. Pictures, emojis, lines joining ideas together, different colour pens? Not going to work.
Wow. That's a long list already! Obviously, Cambridge English does not mark candidates down, but rather employs a Can Do approach. However, if you set out to pass a writing paper and do any of the above, I guarantee you will not be scoring as highly as you could. 

So, exam candidates, please have another look at your teacher's or textbook's top tips, and use them. Plan. Prepare. Pineapple. Pen.

An IELTS (writing) examiner adds: " I don't invigilate exams but I sure do mark a lot of scriptsHey Candidate ! Know the exam you are going to take ! Not the name of the test but what is required to pass . I see a huge difference between candidates who have studied for their choice of test and those who wing it , as their university teachers cannot be arsed properly correcting their content , style or approach."

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

What I did yesterday

I got up at 5 o'clock and cooked my children's breakfast. Then I woke my children up and served their breakfast. After that, I took my children to school at 7:00 on foot.

I went back home at 7:45 and did up my youngest daughter;s hair. I took her to kindergarten at 8:45 by car. Then I went shopping and did housework.

I had lunch at 11:00, because I didn't have breakfast this morning so I was very hungry.

At 2:45, I picked up my youngest daughter from kindergarten and picked up my eldest daughter from school. Then I listened to her did practice in piano and read aloud the Japanese textbook. After that I took her to swimming class at 4:00.

I made dinner and listened to my son did practice in piano and read aloud the Japanese textbook. At 5:30, I took my son to Luna and Picked up my eldest daughter from swimming class.

After that I went back to Luna. While I waited son's class to finish, I watched the film 'Life in a Day' on YouTube. It was my homework bu it was a very boring film.

At 7:30, I had dinner with my children. At 8:30, I took my youngest daughter a bath and slept. I got up at 11:30 and washed the dishes. After that I had a bath and I went to bed again at 2:00.

Posted for a Luna student.

Amelia Earhart - Inspiring woman

After I read the story of Amelia, I thought how she was treated in the society. It is no doubt that the accomplishment she made was surely great. Was she outstanding female icon or a woman who was out of ordinary?

Here I’d like to introduce Paula Gunn Allen, the Native American feminist/activist. While I read Amelia I thought she was like “Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.” She didn’t act like women from a very old-fashioned point of view with bias. She was independent, natural, active, and sometimes reckless. I like the way she lived but I assume some people might not like it at that time. She risked her life with excitement while others became caregivers.

Paula gives us interesting ways of seeing "self." In her novels, she states that the idealization of a group is a consequence of separation from “the group.” Although Amelia became famous because of her courageous successes, she might be treated as the one out of “ordinary” since many women could not even try. Paula also mentions that in finding self, it is essential for humans to belong to a tradition and to understand the world. Did Amelia grew up in the traditional family and did she know how ordinary people live? I think she did.

Paula affected women’s perspective of how the self can be. Women in the past and present fight against the cultural role models, bias, and stereotypes. I believe that Amelia and Paula taught us how you act is what you are, and that is who you choose to be in the society. Would you like to live like Amelia or stick to the typical and ordinary life of business person? Both are normal, good and right.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

What I did yesterday

I got up at 6:30. I cooked breakfast and had breakfast after I finished housework quickly.

Then I went shopping in Inoue Department store with my daughter. I enjoyed shopping household goods and bedding supplies.

After that, I went back home at 12:00 and I had lunch. It was a ramen my husband made.

I went out to a cafe in the afternoon and met and talked with my friend for the first time in a while.

After that, I had potato and chicken salad for dinner with my family. After dinner did the housework. I had a bath after I watched TV.

I went to bed at 10:00. It was a busy day of coming and going so I got tires and took it early.

Posted for Mie

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Why Tokyo Metropolitan Hibiya High School recognises Cambridge English Exams

Press release on Cambridge English website, June 14th 2017

"Cambridge English Exams have been recognised by Tokyo Metropolitan Hibiya High School, the top feeder community school in Japan to the University of Tokyo.

Mr Takamichi Nakamura, Head of the English Department, explained why they have decided to adopt the Cambridge English qualifications Cambridge English: Preliminary and Cambridge English: First.

‘There were a number of reasons for the school’s decision to begin testing students using Cambridge English. Firstly, as part of Tokyo Government’s recent new initiative, Hibiya High School is a “Tokyo Global 10” school, a designation which carries with it a responsibility to focus more on global issues and considerations. A natural extension of this is an increased focus on foreign languages and English in particular, as the tool with which Hibiya students could communicate their ideas on global topics.

With this mind, Hibiya High School was looking for a testing system that utilised a broad framework, allowing students both to easily compare their language skills with other schools and countries, and to supplement their studying with other textbooks at the appropriate level. As Cambridge English uses the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR), it makes it simple for students to achieve this.

Furthermore, Cambridge English certificates have a real world value; they can be used for admission to a huge number of academic and business institutions, which encourages students to engage more actively in their English classes, and rewards their efforts with certification. The use of a variety of accents in the listening section of the test was also helpful, as many textbooks focus only one particular variant of English, often leaving students surprised by the wide variety of English they might encounter in the wider world.

Finally, Cambridge English lends itself more to whole-class teaching than some other testing systems might. The skills tested by a Cambridge English exam are those that our students are mostly likely to need in situations they are most likely to encounter; speaking skills directed at communicating with strangers and gathering information, listening skills aimed at catching details in announcements at stations, or reading both for general themes and specific facts.

With all these points taken into consideration, Cambridge English seemed the most appropriate test to adopt.’

Year 1 students at Hibiya High School took Cambridge English: Preliminary in March 2017 and Year 2 sat Cambridge English: First in December 2016. Over 600 students took Cambridge English exams in the first year of the school recognising the exams."









英語版(原文) "Why Tokyo Metropolitan Hibiya High School recognises Cambridge English Exams" は