Friday, 28 August 2020

A soldier Yokoi Shoichi - After reading

You may remember a Japanese soldier Shoichi Yokoi? He was called up for army activities again in 1941 and combatted at Guam against the U.S. forces.

When Japan accepted the Potsdam Declaration in Aug and the war ended, it was announced by radio, newspaper, flyer etc. to all Japanese who stayed/combatted in Japan and territories of America and/or American’s ally. A soldier Shoichi Yokoi and his two brothers-in-arms saw the flyer, but they did not believe that Japan defeated the War and guessed that the flyer saying Japan’s defect was plot created by U.S. forces.

The Japanese were controlled/taught to believe that their country was very strong. Most  Japanese bore starvation, deprivation and a lot of Japanese gave their lives, believing in beating U.S. forces.  Japanese soldiers were taught that it was considered a disgrace to come back alive from the front. It was no wonder that some Japanese could not recognize Japan’s defeat and did not go back to home.

After Japan’s defeat, the brothers lived in the jungles of Guam for two decades. His two brothers-in-arms died by huge typhoon, but a soldier Yokoi stayed more 8 years in jungle of Guam until local people found him.

When he returned to Japan, he said that he stooped to coming back alive from the front, but he believed his return might be of any help. His life in/after war is unbelievable for people nowadays, but we must know how terrible the war is and must do all efforts not to cause any war forever.

"It's examining, but not as we know it, Jim"

Speaking Examiners at arm's length
Cooperating SEs
A couple of months ago, we were able to run a Cambridge Speaking Examiner certification session in Chikusa, Aichi, with participants very aware of the need to be safe - wearing masks throughout, being socially distanced and not sharing materials, as well as sanitising hands etc.

With recent spikes in Nagoya and Tokyo, we've unfortunately had to cancel a couple of these workshops - sensible, if inconvenient, and reassuring to all that safety is at the top of our considerations.

We are hoping that we'll be able to provide all our examiners with the professional support they'll need to safely deliver speaking tests in the next couple of months, as we try our best to run the exam sessions we are commited to. 

For JP004/Luna's YLE open sessions in Tokyo, Nagoya & Matsumoto >> 

For JP004/Luna's A2:Key & B1:Preliminary sessions in Nagano >> 

For JP004/Luna's B2:First sessions in Tokyo & Nagoya >>

Thursday, 27 August 2020

A fictional newspaper report - after reading "Hijack"

OUP graded reader "Skyjack"
- A large plane was hijacked. The hijacker asked the government to bring their brothers and being free instead of the passengers’ safety. They called themselves the People’s Liberation Army.

- The Prime Minister tried to make time for catching them, although she knew that her husband was in the plane.

- I believe there are many types of affection in this story. One is the hijacker’s. They just wanted to help their comrade. Their way of helping them was just wrong, hijacking and bringing guns. The Prime Minister’s husband was looking forward to meeting her. It is essential truth of affection. The Prime Minister could not figure out at first, whether she protected her husband’s life as a wife or if she put priority on the government issue. This is also an expression of love.

- One of hijackers, a 12 year old girl, shot the passenger who tried to run away for her comrade’s freedom. I guess she just felt hatred toward that passenger because her affection would be brokered by him.

- We have affection towards family, friends and everybody. At same time, we have hatred for keeping our own affection. This hijack story exhibits that hatred gives birth to violence and a sad ending. In addition, I would say that affection lies side-by-side with hatred.

- If they, the PLA , had been given a good education, they could have decided to correct their way of life. I hope that by changing society, that all kids have the opportunity of going to school to make correct choices for a happy future and long life.

Posted for Yumi, a Zoom learner with Luna for B2:First prep

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Sayuri's memorable train journey

Join the queue!
When we arrived at the Paris Nord station, we were physically tired after sleeplessly exploring Paris but full in spirits for our first Eurostar. There was a long queuing for the check in but we arrived 2 hours before just in case, so we didn't care for it.

Suddenly there was an announcement that all the operations would stop as the station got a suspicious message from anonymou. They asked to cancel the journeys if it's possible. Some people made a quick decision and left the queues immediately but most of the tourists stayed there still as if they hadn't heard any news, so we kept in line anyway.

We didn't have so much information from the station but no one complained. If it were in Japan, everyone would ask many questions and most of all, the railway would explain in detail from time to time.

As time went by, people here still seemed to care nothing and some people even started singing and dancing. Two girls came up to the head of the lines and showed the cardboard 'Smile!' with their huge smile. Those would never happen in Japan. Thinking about Covid19, those responses were significant of the attitude towers the situation, I reckon.

Several hours had passed, queues started moving at last. First British passports, then EU, Westerners, finally Asian and others. There was no explanation for delaying and immigrants were not friendly of course, but we were just happy and relieved.
Meals on Wheels

They gave us a train swap boarding pass for any seats. Fortunately we could sit on the same seat as we had booked, a table for two. The Eurostar moved quietly and soon an unexpected make-up dinner was served! 

 After over 6 hours queuing, we were thirsty and starving, so those were more than welcomed. Rather good meal and wine for my husband, we had a nice cup of tea and enjoyed French countryside scenery without any mountains. 

The train hour was rather short, but it was a long and unforgettable train journey.

Posted for Sayuri

Thursday, 20 August 2020

New York, New York; so good, I went there four times!

The Statue of Liberty
New York City is my favorite metropolis in the world. I have been there 4 times. The first time was more than 30 years ago. I still remember my feelings I was so excited and happy when I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge for reaching the Manhattan. I explored in Manhattan by myself. I was overwhelmed by skyscrapers, many different kinds of people, lively atmosphere of exciting city. Especially I liked So-Ho district.

At third time, I had a great opportunity to go to the United Nations when my husband Takeshi joined the United Nations
exhibition “The Spirit of The East “ in December 2006 as a curator. At the opening ceremony,

Kofi Atta Annan who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, and his beautiful wife appeared. (I had been admiring him since 2003, when the Iraq war happened, so I was so excited. He looked gentle and intelligent. His wife was really elegant, like an actress.)
Takeshi at the United Nations

Later Takeshi and I were invited to the dinner at the official residence of the Japanese ambassador to the United Nations. The pick up car was a special stretch limousine! I who immersed myself in the seat liked a heroine in a movie! The cityscape, I watched from the back seat of the gorgeous car was shining and fabulous! It was a perfect dream!!

The last time I visited the wonderful city was last autumn, 10 months ago. When I reached the city, I felt just same feelings as my first visit. Always this fantastic city makes my heart flutters. I visited artists, some of the greatest art museums, and historical jazz clubs. Also I enjoyed great romantic views of New York City from the top of the skyscraper and the crushing river. I don’t know such a beautiful city view like this. I wanted to stay there forever.

Your author in NYC
Posted for Teruki

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Masato's road ahead

A road less travelled - Nikko, Japan
I have many things that I want to do in the future, so I'm going to talk a little about it.

First, I want to create some songs and hold a concert in a year. I'm practicing singing and writing lyrics hard now.

Second, I will travel around the world by myself. In particular, I'll go abroad with a backpack by age 25. I'd like to discover new horizons.

Third, I am going to start a business with my friend after graduate university. I'll sell & buy many things between countries.

Last, I want to make a happy family in the future. I think I need to be more cooler and smarter to make it.

Posted for Masato

Friday, 7 August 2020

“The father of electricity” Nikola Tesla

 Nikola Tesla (1856.07.10-1943.01.07) is an electrical engineer and an inventor from now parts of Croatia.
I think that Tesla’s best achievement was inventing the transmission system utilizing AC. Electricity is something that we cannot live without. It is no exaggeration to say that we can live a comfortable life thanks to his idea and invention.
Tesla emigrated to America in 1884, and he was employed by the institute of Thomas Alva Edison. But, they had opposite opinions about transmission systems and lost his job. In 1887, Tesla organized his company. There was keen competition between Tesla and Edison. Finally, Tesla won, and the transmission system utilizing AC has been become the mainstream of the whole world. Today, the competition between Tesla and Edison is called “War of Currents”.
It is said that Tesla lived in obscurity in his later years. When he was dead in 1943, he was almost flat broke. I think that his inventions and ideas form the basis of many technological innovations of 20th century. Therefore, I feel that his end is really lonely.

Saturday, 1 August 2020

I can virtually dance - Bon Bon with Luna 2020-style!

Massively disappointed our dance cards are BLANK tonight...except they aren't, because we did our homework a couple of weeks ago :)

Please give our highlights video on Youtube  lots of love & likes as well!
Loads more pics on our: