Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Tour de France - prediction

A very quick prediction from the sofa cyclist, after everyone's well-considered and in depth Football World Cup predictions (and congrats to Karen S who did really well in her Cambridge YLE yesterday ON TOP of getting France in the sweepstakes!)

The peleton is coming home, my friends, in a UK tricolour. Before the real action starts in the hills today (yes, the rough stuff was very grim on Sunday), I'm calling it for Wales and a G spot on the top of the podium in Paris. Yes, Team Sky will have to back the new lad in order to keep Adam Yates at bay.

1. G Thomas
2. A Yates
3. C Froome

Unfortunately, my man Cav seems to be off max gas this year, but I'll still back him for the last sprint down the Champs Elysee. And the Union Jacks will be flying in France...remember mystic Jim said it first!

By the way, two excellent podcasts for anyone interested...

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Gandhi, non-violent activist

I have heard of the name, Gandhi, but I really don’t know about him, so I researched him.

He was born in India with wealthy parents. He was trained to be a lawyer at Inner Temple in London. He became a lawyer in South Africa for the first time, but he was struggled for racism in South Africa. He first started non-violent activity in South Afriica. He returned to India in the beginning of 18th, and He worked to decrease unfair tax of land against the government.

He seized the heart of India’s people and guided them to win their right. However, some people thought that Gandhi was too soft against their enemy. They assassinated Gandhi by gun, and Gandhi had to die at 78 years old. I’m sure that Gandhi have a good influence to the modern society, and we should never forget about his work.

Prediction of Second Semi-final game of World Cup 2018

Second semi-final game starts tonight at Japan time.

Croatia and England will meet for the first time at FIFA World Cup. I'm sure that the game tonight will be exciting.

The first half of the game will be probably 0-0, and they both have to be patient to get a goal. The game will change in the second half.

England has been staying away from Semi-final for awhile, and they are eager to be winners of World Cup 2018, so goddess of victory will smile at England.

In the second half, Harry Kane will win one goal and England will win the game at the end.

You will see tonight!!

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

World Cup Prediction for Semi-Finals

In the first semi-final, Belgium vs France, I suppose Belgium will have a perfect performance. They won't need to take a risk for getting more goals. I think the result probably will be 2-0. Lukaku will score 2 goals and be replaced in 2nd half.

Also, England will get to the final. Modric might play well, but will continue 0-0 at the end of 90 minutes. In extra time, VAR could be used for a disallowed goal but in the end there won't be any goals. In the penalties shoot out I think Harry Kane should definitely score his penalty, England will beat Croatia as 3-2.

Posted for Yuki

Monday, 9 July 2018

Rudyard Kipling - after reading The Jungle Book

He had been to Japan twice in 1889 and 1892. He wrote the traveling in『From Sea to Sea and Other Sketches, Letters of Travel』(1899).  He had arranged trip using World traveling by Thomas Cook. He left from India and Singapore, Hong Kong and finally arrived at Nagasaki, in Japan. He visited famous places in Japan (Nagasaki, Kobe, Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo, Nikko, Yokohama etc) for one month. He saw beautiful Mt. Fuji as well as growing modernism in Japan. 

According to the English magazine Masonic Illustrated, Kipling became a Freemason in about 1885, before the usual minimum age of 21. He was initiated into Hope and Perseverance Lodge No. 782 in Lahore. He very loved experience at Freemason. He wrote the experience in his novel “The Man Who Would Be King”.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

World Cup 2018 prediction

2018 World Cup progress report for Group E.

So far in group E, there have been 4 games.

The most exciting game was Brazil vs Switzerland. The final score was 1-1.

Pre-tournament favorites Brazil failed to win their opening games.

In the other games, results here

-       The score of Costa Rica vs Serbia was 0-1. Kolarov scored spectacular free-kick.

-       The score of Brazil vs Costa Rica was 2-0. Coutinho and Neymar bailed Brazil out with stoppage-time strikes.

-       The score of Serbia vs Switzerland, 1-2. Xherdan Shaqiri scored brilliant solo 90th-minute winner.

I think Brazil will probably beat Serbia and Switzerland might beat Costa Rica.

This will mean that Brazil win the group and play the runners-up of group F in the round of 16, and the runners up will play the winner of group H.

I think the round of 16 games will be Brazil vs France and Russia vs England.
Barzil has won many times in World Cup, so they might beat France.
Russia has been succesful in World Cup 2018. I would like them to play more, but their luck will probably end at the game with England.

My prediction for the quarter finalists is that Brazil and England will progress.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Postcard from...Chicago, USA

Hi Jim sensei,

I'm in Chicago O'Hare airport and waiting for my flight back to Japan.

I was hot in Chicago last weekend, which is over 95*F!

I enjoyed Mexican foods with local beer brewed in Chicago.


Thursday, 28 June 2018

2018 World Cup progress report for Group H; week 2

So far in group H, there have been four games.
The most exciting game was Colombia v Japan. The final score was 1 – 2.

In other games, results are:
Colombia v Japan
Result: 1-2
Scorers: Fernando Quintero / Kagawa Shinji and Yuuya Osako

Poland v Senegal
Result: 1-2
Scorers: Grzegorz Krychowiak / Thiago Rangel Cionel and M’ Baye Niang

Japan v Senegal
Result: 2-2
Scorers: Takashi Inui and Keisuke Honda / Sadio Mane and Moussa Wague

Poland v Columbia
Result: 0-3
Scorers: Yerry Mina, Radamel Falcao, and Juan Quadrado

These teams have not played each other yet: Japan v Poland / Colombia v Senegal

I think Japan will definitely beat Poland tonight and Colombia should beat Senegal.

This will mean that Japan win the group and play the runners-up of group G in the round 16, and the runners up will play the winner of group G.

I think the round of 16 games will be Japan v Belgium & Colombia v England.
My prediction for the quarter finalist is that Belgium & England will progress.
We are having a big match in few hours!
Let’s leave the office asap! Go grab a coke and snacks for tonight!!

Nanaha’s Monster Mash!

My name is Roky.
I am 50. 
I like being angry.
My hobby is playing. 

2018 World Cup progress report for Group H; week2

So far in group H, there have been 4 games.  The most exciting game was Japan vs Colombia.  The final score was 2-1.  Japan brought a historic victory!  Japan is the first country in Asia who had beaten the country in South America in World Cup.

In the other games, results here
Poland vs Senegal – The score was 1-2.
Japan vs Senegal – The score was 2-2.
Poland vs Colombia – The score was 0-3.

These teams have not played each other yet:
Japan vs Poland – Tonight!!
Colombia vs Senegal

I think Japan might beat Poland and Colombia should beat Senegal.
This will mean that Japan win the group and play the runners-up of group G in the round of 16, and the runners up will play the winner of group G.

I think the round of 16 games will be Japan vs Belgium and Colombia vs England.  My prediction for the quarter finalists is that Belgium and England will progress.

Meeting my pen pal for the first time - Misuzu

An informal e-mail to a family member, describing your internet pen friend after meeting them for the first time. Can you guess which pen pal each student has written about?

From Misuzu
To Honoka

Internet pen pal

I met her last Sunday. She was a nice woman. She has an oval face, black curly shoulder length hair big nose full lips and round brown eyes. She and I talked about books for a long time. She knows many books especialy mysteries. We didn't have enough time to talk.
I think we're going to get on.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

A postcard from...Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Castle with St. Vitus' Catherdral
Dear Jim,

I ate big macaron.
It was yummy.
And it was very big.
But I didn't climb up the church. So I didn't walk much.

Bye bye Jim see you next week.

>_<     Nanaha

2018 World Cup progress report for Group F; week2

So far in group F, there have been 4 games. The most exciting game was Germany vs Sweden. The final score was 2-1. When Toivonen score 1 goal at 32 min, it seemed many people imagine Germany might loose again like the game with Mexico. However, Reus scored 1 goal at 48 min and the score was 1-1 at half-time. After half-time, Toni Kroos scored golden goal extra time. In the other games, Sweden beat South Korea, and Mexico beat Germany and South Korea. These teams have not played each other yet: South Korea vs Germany Mexico vs Sweden I think Germany definitely beat South Korea and Sweden will might beat Mexico, or even. This will mean that Mexico win the group and play the runners-up of group E in the round of 16, and the runners-up will play the winner of group E. I think the round of 16 games will be Mexico vs Switzerland & Germany vs Brazil. My prediction for the quarter finalists is that Mexico & Germany will progress.

Meeting my pen pal for the first time - Misako

An informal e-mail to a family member, describing your internet pen friend after meeting them for the first time. Can you guess which pen pal each student has written about?

From; Misako
To: Reiko

Sub: My Internet pen pal

I finally met him. He has blond shoulder-length straight hair. His eyes are round. His nose is tall and he has full lips. He is nicer than I expected. In his emails he said many joes and he was humourous. But he said only few words. When I asked some questions he only answered, didn't continue other topics.

Hero Frederick Douglass - After reading

Douglass published some newspaper like the “North Star” with the motto "Right is of no sex, Truth is of no color, God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren." At that time, some leaders urged changes in black people’s life with forces, but that way did not advance black people’s life well. Therefore, he urged changes in black people’s life with words. He described his experiences as a slave in his book “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave”. At that time, African American was thought that they had no education and it was rarely to publish a book by African American. It had impact and became a bestseller, and was influential in promoting the cause of abolition. After the Civil War, Douglass remained an active campaigner against slavery and wrote his last autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass.
However, he worked toughly, but the situation for black people did not become well. He said to black people not to give up with famous phrases “Without struggle, there is no progress” and “Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the roar of its many waters”.
In his last stage of life, Douglass became the first African American nominated for Vice President of the United States as the running mate and Vice Presidential nominee of Victoria Woodhull, on the Equal Rights Party ticket.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Meeting my pen pal for the first time - Yoko

An informal e-mail to a family member, describing your internet pen friend after meeting them for the first time. Can you guess which pen pal each student has written about?

From: Yoko
To: Kaori

Subject: My Internet pen pal

Today I met her! I imagine her so beautiful I was right. She has black wavy hair and nice round eyes and very pretty smile.

She was waiting at Starbucks cafe. I ordered cafe late, she did too. Her talk was really nice and we laughed and laughed and talked each other.

I think we're going to get on.
The day was nice!


Monday, 25 June 2018

Meeting my pen pal for the first time - Reiko

An informal e-mail to a family member, describing your internet pen friend after meeting them for the first time. Can you guess which pen pal each student has written about?

From: Reiko
To: Natsuki

Subject: Internet pen pal

I met her yesterday. She was really nice. In her e-mails she said "I am not cute and I don't have ,amy friends".
But I think she is cute and kind and I think she is loved by many people. I like her. We are going to become good friend.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Postcard from...Cologne, Germany

Dear Jim,

It was hard to climb up Cologne Cathedral. It was 500 steps.

I saw big bells ringing. I was close to them and scared.

And I bought this postcard.

Bye bye Jim. See you next week :)


Friday, 22 June 2018

Predictions for the second round of group games - Group G

Belgium vs Tunisia
I think Belgium will win 1-0 and Hazard will score 1 goal, then De Bruyne will play very well.

England vs Panama
I think England will win, score will be 2-1 and Harry Kane will score 2 goals, and Dele Alli will play well, but according to web news he had an injury. I think it's fake news.

England will win and Belgium comes second.

Posted for Masaaki

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Predictions for the second round of group games - Group C

Denmark vs Australia
I think that Australia will win the game and the score will be 2-1. Tim Cahill will score a goal. Mille Jedinak will play well.

France vs Pery
I think that France will win the game. The score will be 1-0. I think Antoine Griezmann will score a goal. Kylian Mbappé will play well.

I think that France will win the group and Peru will come second in the group.

Posted for Rumi

Postcard from...Cologne, Germany

Hi Jim,

Now we are in Germany.

We visited Cologne and of course climb up the beautiful cathedral. Honestly, I did this last year and thought once was enough...anyway, it was amazing.

I was happy to get real 'eau de Cologne' - did you know eau de Cologne is originated from this city!

We stayed with our German friend in Bonn. Their 100 year old house was cosy and nice. We are all happy with lovely cheese and ham here. I may be bigger when I see you next time :)



Tuesday, 19 June 2018

A postcard from Hawaii

Dear everyone in Luna,

I arrived in Hawaii yesterday. Blue sky, blue sea and refreshing wind. I feel Hawaii!

I went to Manua Falls today. It was a wonderful view. I will enjoy it for a while.


Postcard from...Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Hi Jim,

After 14 hours flight via Heathrow, we finally arrived Amsterdam! It is such an amazing city! I love colourful buildings and small streets. Unfortunately, I have not drunk beer yet.

We are heading to Eindhoven now. Intercity train is nice.

See you next week,


Monday, 18 June 2018

My favorite character of The Jungle Book and favorite animal

Author: Runyard Kipling
Illustration: Kanako Damerum and Yuzuru Takasaki
My favorite character is Akela and Glay brother who believe Mowgli. Although they are wolf that is different species of animals as human and they understand it, they accept Mowgli as a family. They had a family of wolf already and against family means death in wolf’s world as they are pack animal and make a large family. I think that their relationship, Glay brother, Akela and Mowgli’ relationship, is stronger than connection of real blood.

My favorite animal in real life is the dogs. I think that why I like Glay brother and Akela in this story. The relationship with human and dog is from few thousand years ago, but beginning for the history of relationship is not sure as the history is too old and there is no literature or document.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

FIFA World Cup Predictions Group B

Sorry for my late predictions… The games have already started!!  Please allow me to predict from next games.

There are Portugal, Spain, Iran and Morocco in Group B.  I think Portugal will be top in the group and must go to next stage.  The other team should be Spain, but I am not really sure about that.  It is because that the coach was replaced with new one just 2 days out from the 1st game.  It may affect the team, but it would not be serious.  I think Spain will probably go to next stage with Portugal.

On June 20th, Portugal and Spain will have the games with Morocco and Iran respectively.  Portugal will beat Morocco 5 to 0.  Christiano Ronald may turn the hat trick again.  Spain will beat Iran 3 to 1.  I hope Andres Iniesta who is traded to Vissel Kobe recently might score at least 1.

On June 25th, both countries will have the last game in the group.  Portugal will probably beat Iran 3 to 1 and Spain will beat Morocco 2 to 1.

Portugal might have the game with Russia which is host country at round of 16, beat and then go to Quarter-final.

The places in Seattle where I recommend you

After reading. Author: Gina D.B Clemen
I have visited in Seattle and I recommend you to visit following places.

1. Pike Place Market
Do you know where the first store of Starbucks is? It is at Place Market in Seattle. Many sightseers visit the store to see how looks the first store is. If you have a chance to go there, please look around the floor. There is the metallic circle which is marking as first store.
In addition, there are many shops at Place Market and you can buy fresh fruits and seafood.

2. Space Needle
It is a observation tower and a symbol of Seattle. It is 605 ft (184 m) high and built in 1962 for World’s fair. If you go up there, you can see Seattle with 360-degree view. I’m sure you will be excited!

World Cup Predictions for Group D - Yumi the pundit

The teams of group D of World Cup soccer, 2018 is Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, and Nigeria.
I’m estimating the result of games of group D as follows.

In the game of Argentina VS Iceland, Gylfi will score two goals, but Messi will score 3 goals, so Argentina might beet Iceland.

In the Croatia VS Nigeria, Mikel will show his excellent performance and he would lead the win of the game by one to zero to Nigeria.

Nigeria will show their fundamental power in the game with Argentina.
They would control the game in the most of time, but they may lose one score at 20 mins in the second half. It is unfortunate but Nigeria may lose the game by one to three.

Finally, I estimate that Argentina will be the first and Croatia will be the second in group D.
They will go to next stage of game.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

A postcard from... Amsterdam, Netherlands

Dear Jim,

I watched Boss Baby in the airplane, and I ate macaron. It was yummy.

I don't have your macaron.

See you next week.


Friday, 15 June 2018

FIFA World Cup Predictions - Group F

I think Germany will win group F.

I think Mexico will be second in group F.

I think Sweden will be third in group F.

I think South Korea will be fourth in group F.

I think Germany will win the World Cup.

I think Germany will beat Brazil in the final.

Posted for Daiya

FIFA World Cup Predictions - Group E

I think Brazil will win group E.

I think Switzerland will be second in group E.

I think Costa Rica will be third in group E.

I think Serbia will be fourth in group E.

I think Brazil will win the World Cup.

I think Brazil will beat Japan or Germany in the final.

Posted for Takahiro

FIFA World Cup Predictions - Group D

I think Argentina will win group D.

I think Croatia will be second in group D.

I think Nigeria will be third in group D.

I think Iceland will be fourth in group D.

I think Germany will win the World Cup.

I think Germany will beat Japan in the final.

Posted for Kaito

FIFA World Cup Predictions - Group D

I think Nigeria will win group D.

I think Argentina will be second in group D.

I think Iceland will be third in group D.

I think Croatia will be fourth in group D.

I think Germany will win the World Cup.

I think Germany will beat Brazil in the final.

Posted for Ritsu

FIFA World Cup - Group C predictions

I think France will win group C.

I think Denmark will be second in group C.

I think Peru will be third in group C.

I think Australia will be fourth in group C.

I think Brazil will win the World Cup.

I think Brazil will beat Spain in the final.

Posted for Masato

Thursday, 14 June 2018

FIFA World Cup Group G expectation!

Group G has England, Belgium, Panama, and Tunisia and two of these countries go to the next round. 
Let me remind you of the FIFA ranking of these four countries: England #12, Belgium #3, Panama #55, and Tunisia #21 (June 7, 2018).

I abandon Panama and Tunisia because they will probably lose or possibly draw the match with England and Belgium. It is the first world cup for Panama and it has been more than a decade since Tunisia was qualifier in 2006. England and Belgium are way too good for them.

I learn about England players and compare them with Belgium players with my fair point of view.
What I know is that they both belong to UEFA group and have star players. However, I found that Belgium has a major anxiety and England has a significant strength.
On one hand, Belgium may possibly lose the match with Panama and Tunisia since Belgium rely on their star players individually. On the other hand, as England tried different formations and tactics against interior countries during qualifying matches they should not lose against Panama and Tunisia.

With all my respect to the president of Luna International, England will certainly finish Group G tournament in the 1st position.
I expect to see who would be the next Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane or Raheem Sterling. It will certainly the best if Kane would become the best scorer and Sterling would make the most assists.

If I were wrong, I will definitely finish my reading assignments by the end of the last match between Panama and Tunisia in Group G, which is on June 28. 

Off topic but Vauxhall has been the sponsor for four nations in the UK. German car maker, BMW , is one of the sponsors for Belgium national team. How could England possibly lose against Belgium? 

Reiko's World Cup 2018 prediction - Group A

World Cup 2018 will be started today! Here is my prediction for group A.

There are 4 countries in group A as below

  1.  Russia - Host country - FIFA ranking 70th in the world. There is no star player but the strongest point is the host country. The power of audiences could help the team to win. They might score 2 goals against Saudi Arabia and win a game as FIFA ranking is almost the same. I think Russia team will probably lose the other games considering FIFA ranking.
  2. Saudi Arabia FIFA ranking 67th in the world. There is also no special player in this team. They may score 1 goal at least to any of team but I think Saudi team might not be able to the next state.
  3. Egypt FIFA ranking 45th in the world. The forwarder, Mohamed Salah Ghaly is the most famous player who belongs to Liverpool. But he got his shoulder injured and could get in the game of Russia. So I think Egypt will probably win Russia team and score 3 goals. But they might lose Uruguay team at the first game because Salah might not be able to get in the game. 
  4. Uruguay FIFA ranking 14th in the world. There are two star players; Edinson Roberto Cavani Gómez who belongs to Paris Saint-Germain and Luis Alberto Suárez Diaz who belongs to Barcelona. As Cavani and Suarez are forwarder, the offensive strength is very good, they will probably score more than 4 goals in the group stage. On the other hand, defensive strength is also good because of goal keeper, Néstor Fernando Muslera Micol. 
Uruguay team will probably finish the first round at the top of Group A.

Boss - Reiko's favourite Japanese detective TV show

The Japanese TV series, Boss is my favorite detective stories.

They are 2 seasons as below:
1st season is started from 2009 April to June, 11 stories in total
2nd season is started from 2011 April to June, 11 stories in total

There are 5 team members and 1 boss, and 1 upper management reported from the boss. (in 2nd season, it would be increased to 7 members)

The leading character is called “Boss” who is a woman bureaucrat in Japanese police but relegated to USA in the name of studying profiling for 5 years. When she came back to Japan, upper managements of police made new team for her, which is for special criminals because there is no department they wanted her to go back.

Although the team is made under no expectation, they resolve many important cases every time through special characters of every member, strong leadership and help by the upper management without being seen.

The upper management entered police at the same time of the boss and he got promoted smoothly but she could not be promoted because she tend not to follow the instruction of upper managements.

The inserted song is also good. It is sung by “Superfly” who is one of Japanese pop artist. The strong voice of the song matches with the strong character of the boss very much. Superfly provide their song for the both of series.

Posted for Reiko

Five Children and it - what I would wish for

You can have one wish from the Psammead yourself - what would you wish for, and why?

If I meet the Psammead, I would like to wish to have a lot of current Japanese money. (1 billion yen!!) The wish is gone the sun goes down, so I want to buy, eat, drink as much as possible!

First, I am going to Tokyo and then I am going to go famous department. I’ll check clothes for my family. If there are nice clothes, I’ll buy everything, because I don’t care money. In addition, I’ll go to high brand shop and buy nice bags, jewels, watches.

At lunchtime, I’ll have Italian food with wine. After eating, I’ll go to Spa and get a massage. It will be relax for me and forget busy lifetime.

Before sunset, I’ll go to eat sushi at Ginza with beer or Sake. If I have a wish from the Psammead, I would like to spend luxury time.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

A postcard from Hong Kong

To Damian, Yukari, Chikako

How are you!

I am coming to Hong Kong and Shenzhen on a business trip now! It is heavy rain now in a typhoon. I am fighting high humidity.

I am looking forward to seeing next week!!

From Hirokatsu

Did you know? -Biomimicry

「senna fiona beddall vocabulary」の画像検索結果Among Formula 1 fans, it has been controversial whether the modern F1 car or the classic F1 car is more stylish. New technology makes design changes in both good and bad ways. Which aspect is more important to you in choosing cars, appearance or performance?

Let me introduce you a very fascinating car with futuristic performance but looks different from cool F1 cars.

The concept car with box-like yellow body is from Mercedes Benz called “Bionic car” publicly unrevealed more than ten years ago. This car is designed based on the inspiration from the body shape of box-fish, hako-fugu in Japanese. Unlike F1 car, it has fat and round shape but it was believed to have high maneuverability and efficiency like a box-fish making quick turns with less energy consumption.

The appearance of new revolutionary cars should be unfamiliar to the public. Toyota Prius is a good example; many people reviewed it ugly but Prius has been one of the bestselling car in the world.
Many technologies, such as the shark fin and the T-wing have been adopted by F1 engineers and removed by F1 regulations.

Will you be a big fan when Formula 1 cars have round body with no wings?
It is too scared to imagine for me.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Marriage for family

British royal family’s wedding is one of focus of public attention.  The weddings of Prince William and Prince Henry became a popular topic of conversation.  They married for love, but Prince Henry’s parents did not.
His parents are Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.  They married in 1981 and the wedding was broadcast on television over 70 countries and 750 million people watched it.  
In the meantime, Diana said “There were 3 of us in this marriage” in her interview in 1995.  3 mean Charles, herself and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall who is the current Charles’s wife.  Camilla and Charles met in 1971 and became a couple.  However, the Queen Mother did not approve of their marriage as she wanted Charles to marry one of the Spencer family granddaughters of her close friend.  Camilla got married with other man.  However, the relationship between Camilla and Charles resumed and continued after Charles married with Diana.  They divorced each other and then got married in 2005.
Diana and Charles married for each family neither for love nor money.  The marriage did not work.  It is good that their children married for love.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

A student draws The House of Horror

It sat on the top of a hill, far from any building, dark clouds behind it. A few dead trees stood to the right with big black birds circling over them. The large house looked grey and old. You could only see four windows on the second floor. The glass in the windows was broken and there was no light within them. A fence surrounded the building but the gate stood open. A path led to the huge wooden door, which was closed.

Posted for Misako

Friday, 1 June 2018

A student draws Paradise Beach

The beach was long and wide. The sea was calm and the waves crashed gently on the shore, where you could see sea shells and crabs. There were many palm trees on the beach and the coconuts they had dropped were lying about. An expensive-looking yacht was sailing towards the beach and a few small fishing boats lay by the water's edge, their nets drying in the sun. The sun shone brightly and there were only a few small clouds in the sky.

Posted for Yoko

Thursday, 31 May 2018

A student draws Captain Johnny Ocean

He had a red scarf tied across his head, but his long hair fell on his shoulders in an untidy mess. Around his eyes were dark circles, and his moustache and beard were dark and untidy too. Under his right eye was a long scar from a fight he had had as a young man. His leather boots reached his knees, his trousers were dark and dirty and his shirt loose and baggy with dark stains on it. In his left hand he held his sword, and looked ready to fight.

Posted for Reiko

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

A student draws Madame La Knife

She was tall and slim, but you could see she was very strong. Her blonde hair was very short. Her thin eyebrows sat over small, snake-like eyes. Her nose was straight and her lips thin, and her smile was always cold and cruel. She wore high heels, a straight skirt and a black jacket that had ten large metal buttons. Her right hand held the famous knife/ It was long, sharp and dripping with blood.

Posted for Misuzu

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Ayumi's mini-guide to Japan

Japanese Black Bear

  • This is a Japanese black bear.
  • They live in the forest.
  • They eat small animals and fish and honey.
  • They are bigger than me
  • They have thick black fur and long claws

Mount Fuji & Hokkaido

This is Mount Fuji.
It is the highest mountain in Japan.
It is beautiful.

This is Hokkaido.
It is the biggest prefecture in Japan.
It is beautiful.

Posted for Ayumi

Friday, 25 May 2018

Life Choice_Marriage

I agree that Marrying for Love is a good thing. I think that it is miracle and very happy to meet a person who wants to marry and to actually marry the person.
Even if you marry a person who falls in love with, it will be necessary to gradually change mutual course of action to life together and happily because he/she has a difference in value and has a different life style.Also, by a marriage, a life may be changed especially for Japanese woman because woman usually becomes a part of a partner’s family. It may not be easy, but will be possible with a person who falls in love with.
Your life is yours and one time. If you can find a person who you want to live with forever, you must marry the person even if you need to make some sacrifices to regret nothing.

The Railway Children - Steam trains in Japan

My mother's hometown is in Akashina, Azumino city. There're lots of things about a steam train. Then I always went Akashina, I would get on a train with my mother and sister. The steam train had run through the Shinonoi line from Shiojiri to Nagano until I was about ten years old.

It takes 20 minutes to get Akashina station from Matsumoto. My mother told me not to open a window widely. Suddenly the smoke entered in the train depend on the wind direction. The seats were made of wood, so it was not comfortable to sit. But it was a cozy space with my family.

My grandparents house and rice fields were by the train line.  The house was on the higher place than the Shinonoi line. So I could see the magnificent figure of the steam train, when I went out of the gate. In front of the rice fields, there was a small crossing, then the train whistle blew. I liked to watch the steam train at that time.

In early summer, I played with my younger aunts while grandparents planted rice. In fall, the season of rice harvest, I always waved the passengers in the train from the rice fields. They waved back from the windows. I wondered where people were going? At that time, the train was not so fast, I could see the features of people. It was really interesting.

Posted for Hiroko

My holiday report - Rukiya

Dear Jim,
Tempura soba

I ate soba at a restaurant in Matsumoto in the Golden Week. It was around 11 a.m. but the restaurant was crowded. We went by car.

It was cold because it was on a high mountain.

There was tempura, not only soba. The food was very good.

Posted for Rukiya

Thursday, 24 May 2018

The Brontë Story - A letter from Maria Brontë

To Elizabeth, Maria, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne I love you all very much. I can't tell how much I love you. I am a lucky woman to have such a wonderful children. My life was full of happiness and love with you all. But I am afraid I have to say good-bye to you soon. Because I feel my body is getting weak and weak. I know I can't live long. I wish I could live till you all will grow-up. But I have to accept the reality. When I am gone, you will be so sad. But remember I will be always with you. Even you can't see me or remember my face, I will be with you in the heart of each of you. So, if you want to see me, just close your eyes, then you will feel me. After I am gone, my sister Elizabeth will take care of you instead of me. I asked her to do so. She has a strong conscience and is a determined Christian. I trust her. So, don't worry. But you have to help her doing what you can. Life is full of joy, but sometimes it isn't easy. I hope you all help each other and all of you have wonderful life. I'm sure your father will lead you to the right way.
Please study hard, work hard and enjoy your life. I'm always with you. I love you. Your mother Maria

Posted for Yasumi

A holiday report - a teen writes

Dear Jim,

I went to a adventure park in Norikura with my family in the Golden Week.

My father drove our family car to Norikura. The road wasn't crowded that day. There were many

people in adventure park.

I played adventure. The activity was scary but it was fun. Zip line was very high but I like the wind during the zip line.

I ate very sweet ice cream at a restaurant in Norikura. It was cold and windy in Norikura. I had a really nice time there.

Posted for Ayumi

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Martin Luther King - A person who changed history in your country

Hideki Tojo

Hideki Tojo was born in Kojimachi District, Tokyo on December 30, 1884. He was an Imperial Japanese Army general and the 27th Prime Minister of Japan during much of World War II, from October 17, 1941, to July 22,1944.

As the Prime Minister he was responsible for ordering the attack on Pearl Harbor. After Japanese unconditional surrender in 1945, he shot himself in the chest with a pistol when American soldiers surrounded his house.  He attempted suicide but was unsuccessful. He was arrested and recovered in a U.S. Army hospital. He was tried by the International Tribunal for the Far East for war crimes. He accepted full responsibility in the end for his actions during the war.  He was sentenced to death on November 12, 1948 and executed by hanging 41days after on December 23,1948.

He was thought to be the villain of the war. However, the evaluation for him changes now.
According to the document, he endeared to evade war with the United States.  But he couldn’t.

In his final statement he apologized for the atrocities committed by the Japanese military and urged the American military to show compassion toward Japanese people, who had suffered devastating air attack and the two atomic bombs. 

Long time have passed after the end of the war, there is a question whether a person can judge war.
He might be the scapegoat that was convenient for both countries, the United States and Japan

Posted for Olga

My favourite day...is Sunday

My favourite day of the week is Sunday, because it's an enjoyable day.

I get up very early during the week, so on Sunday it's nice to get up late. I always saty in bed until about 8:00. Then, I usually go shopping.

I often have lunch at a restaurant with my family. After lunch, I go to the park. We play baseball, football, and jump rope.

In the evening, I cook dinner for my family. After dinner I study English, check my son's homework, and drink some wine. I never go to bed before 1:00am.

Posted for Kanako

Rukiya's quick guide to Japan

  • This is the Tokyo Sky Tree. It is the tallest tower in Japan. It is new.
  • This is the Japan Hayabusa E5. It is the fastest bullet train in Japan. It is new.
  • This is a Japanese Black Bear. They live in the forest. They eat fish and small animals and honey. They are bigger than me. They have thick black fur and long claws.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Goldfish - The Mystery of the Stolen Pearls

Today, the insurance company announced the famous big pearls that calls the Leander pearls are found. They were stolen by Wally Sype. It was a maid-car robbery. Police announced he had hidden on the train, got into the mail car and shot the clerk. Then he took all the valuable mail and got away. But when they caught him later in Canada, they couldn’t get any of the stuff.  They sent him to Leavenworth prison for life, but they never proved he got the peals. According to one source, Mr. Sype said he never had the pearls. The pearls were on the train, and they were never seen again.

First of all, the pearls were bought by Sol Leander for his wife.  Just two of them cost two hundred grand at that time. The worth is not only how big they are.  The insurance company had been still offering a reward of twenty-five grand for them.

According to the insurance company’ announce, the rewards have given two people. There were some victims. It because the rewards were big, of course, and for a long time, nobody had found the pearls.

The insurance company has never said that who has got the rewards. But hopefully it will work for them that the pearls brought only for them who are lucky people, their own bright future. 

Posted for Naoko

My Favourite Day is...Friday

My favourite day of the week is Friday, because I take my children to swimming, piano, gymnastics and English classes during the week, but on Friday I only take my daughter to Luna and the next day is the weekend.

I usually get up at 5:30, then cook my husband's lunchbox & serve my children's breakfast. I take my older two children to school on foot at 7:10, then I have breakfast & take my youngest to kindergarten by car at 9:00. I do housework until I have lunch.

I usually have lunch at home. I have noodles. After lunch, I have a short time to relax. I pick up my youngest at 3:00, and hear her piano practice. I pick up my other two at 4:00 from school and then we go to Luna. My youngest goes to English class, and I check that  my son & older daughter do their homework there. I go home at 6pm and then I cook dinner.

I take a bath with my youngest at 9:00, and then wait for her to fall asleep. I usually go to bed at 12:00

Posted for Reiko

Monday, 21 May 2018

My favourite bug is...

My favourite bug is a butterfly. Butterflies are small. I like black & white butterflies. You can see beautiful butterflies at my garden.

My favourite animal is a dolphin. Dolphins are light blue and big. You can see a dolphin in the ocean. Dolphins eat fish. Dolphins are beautiful and smart.

Nanaha (8)