Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Holiday plans to penfriends

 Hi Bill and Bill's family,

Hello, long time no contact. Thank you for your e-mail about coming to Japan. We planned your travel course below and we'll enjoy staying with your family, if you like.

We're going to Kyoto and Osaka after staying in Tokyo for two days. Do your family like amusement parks? We're going to the Tokyo Disneyland in Tokyo and the Universal Studio Japan in Osaka. Then we're going to take a Japanese traditional experience in Kyoto.

It'll be very hot in Japanese summer, especially in Kyoto. In addition, we're going to wear a kimono which is unique Japanese clothes and take a walk in the town. So we'll get very hot and might be tired.

You should have a lot of suncreem and wear shoes to walk easily since we're going to walk a lot outside.

We're looking forward to meeting.

Best regard


Monday, 29 March 2021

Holiday plans to friends in Australia

 Dear Nancy and family, 

Hi! How are you? I'm looking forward to you coming to Japan. I maked a plan your trip.

On Tuesday, we're going to go the Tokyo Disney land, and the hot spa in Tokyo. On Thursday and Friday, we're going to Kyoto. After that, we're going to Osaka. In Osaka, we're going to the Universal Studios Japan.

Summer in Japan is hot and humid. Please be careful of heat stroke. I think that you should have some water diligently. To Kyoto from Tokyo take about three hours. Because you'll have better childrens toy to play in bullet train.

I'm going to do recommend nice some Japanese foods. I bet you'll love it.

If you have some questions, feel free to ask me anytime.

See you!

From Kanako

"The Green Mile" - Preference books vs films

My favorite movie is "The Green Mile". This movie is based on a book written by Stephen King. 

To be honest, I seldom watch movies or TV shows, but I was drawn into the realistic performance of Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan. This movie makes me cry every single time I watch it.

I prefer movies rather than books. I understand that books have their strong points. But, whenever I read books, I feel sleepy. I don't think I'm cut out for reading books.

Sunday, 28 March 2021

A positive experience - having a go at a Cambridge exam!

Not too hard :)
For the last year, Monwa-sensei has been busy working hard at Ueda-Nishi High School. Tough, with family & friends very out of reach in South Africa...but not such a hard assignment with the very keen English Conversation Club members eager to practice and improve their language skills.

And on March 27th, have a Cambridge opportunity for learners to prove they really "Can Do" for the first time. Thank you teachers at the school for letting us all have this chance, especially as our Speaking Examiners have long needed the experience of practicing with real teenagers, and not each other!

We ran a full 'mock' exam session. Listening was 'hard' because it was "British" - but half the voices were North American. Actual issue = unfamiliarity with the format (such as being able to read the questions first, and hear everything twice...and have to distill meaning rather than detail) ie read the question better!
We Can Do!

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Small world - umpteenth event in Matsumoto!

Generations :)
On Friday we welcomed a young learner back to Luna, after taking a year out because mummy & daddy were unable to bring her to play/study with her friends. Although missing a year of English, I'm so glad I have my favourite hand-holder back - but we skipped that option for now of course. Great to have you back H!

Enter granny - and blow me down we know each other! Michiko used to be in a class I taught in a cafe after Sally left Matsumoto, and I vividly remember we watched the opening ceremony of the Nagano Winter Olympics together around a kotatsu (easy lesson that morning!) as a class, with Sachiko, Hama, and Midori. 

Days like today, I really love my job as I realise that life really is a circle - and living in a wonderful place like Matsumoto is not for dilettantes.

Thursday, 25 March 2021

My favorite artist, Manabu Ikeda

My favorite artist is Manabu Ikeda. He was born in Saga in 1973 and he received his master’s degree from Tokyo University of the Arts.
He paints on boards using ink, pen and so on. It is extremely detailed work that he can proceed with the work only 10cm square in one day and he often takes more than one year to finish his works.

Characteristic of his works is that detailed objects are painted on somethings such as sea creature, tree and building. At first glance, it is just sea creature, but many things are integrated on it such as birds, ships and artificial something. Everything looks alive and seems to start moving at any moment.

When I searched about him, I knew that his hobbies are climbing, trekking and skiing. I was surprised that all of them are same as me. I may feel something from his works as we have similar hobbies.

His works I looked on an exhibition will remain on my heart.

Ryusendo Caves - Journey to the Centre of Japan!

 Ryusendo is in Iwate. 

You can visit the cave by bus from Morioka station. It takes about two hours. Of course you can visit by car.

The cave is over 4,088 metres long. In this cave are some "Geosi" lakes. The are called Dragon Blue. You can visit without a guide.

Posted for Honoka

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

The Da Vinci tapes

Tom Hanks : "How's the movie, Lenny?"

Leonard da Vinci : "Well, it's a bit of a bizarre story but good fun really. Who in the world invented this motion picture thing by the way. It would be a great entertainment for King François the First. Quite clever."

Audrey Tautou : "Did you really draw the figure of John of the Evangelist as Mary Magdalene? Did you create a V-shape for the representative of the chalice and of a woman's womb?"

Leonardo : "Well, well, well. What do you think? If I say 'No', all those rather interesting stories would be ruined completely, wouldn't they. Oh, you are the descendant, aren't you? Your grandpa was a clever man to use my 'Vitruvian Man' though it's a shocking scene, really."

Audrey : "Were you a member of the Priory of Sion, Leonardo?"

Leonardo : "It's pretty rude to ask one's religious beliefs. Didn't you learn at school, Miss?"

Audrey : "Oh yes, but this is important!"

Tom : "Leave him alone, Audrey. He is right. This is none of your business."

Audrey : "But…"

Leonard : "It's ok, young lady. I'm quite a scientific man, you know. I believe only what I see. So…"

Audrey : "Okay, I understand that. Thanks, anyway."

Leonardo : "That's quite all right. Well actually I'm delighted how you people appreciate my art work. You put my precious Lisa del Gioconda in a huge room with bulletproof glass surrounded. I worked on it using new ideas and I had never let her go even when I went to France."

Tom : "We love your paintings and everything, Lenny. You're the most famous and the most popular artist in the world."

Leonardo : "Besides Michelangelo?"

Audrey : "Oh, he is just different. I love your art work the most!"

Leonardo : "Good girl."

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Preference the book vs film

 I prefer the book to the firm, because the details of the story in the book help us imagine what kind of person each character is and the setting for the story.

When I first saw the animation “Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen Mae Hashutsujo” on TV, the character’s voices were much different from the ones which I’d imagined. I was disappointed about this, and did not enjoy watching the animation. Reading a book before watching the film version is a concern for me. However, I prefer to read a book before watching a film, so that I can easily understand the story.

Harry Potter – Books and Movies

There are seven Harry Potter books in the series, and eight movies. When I was a university student, my sister, who loves reading books, recommended I read these books. As they are fantasy stories, we need to use our full imagination when we read them. Most of the things in the world of wizards and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry do not exist in our real world. I realized that I couldn’t enjoy the stories perfectly, because sometimes I couldn’t imagine such unreal things. When you watch the movies, you can see how these things are, and you can also enjoy the differences between what you thought and what the author thought. Therefore, I recommend watching movies after you have read the books.

Comic is good for "Slam Dunk"

I was wondering if there is a movie based on novel I read. The only one that I could remember is a cartoon called "Slam Dunk", which was on TV when I was a junior high school student. My sister bought the comics, and I read them too. The story is about a rough high school student, Hanamichi, who tries to attract the attention of a girl, Haruko. He joins the high school basketball club because Haruko likes basketball. He couldn’t play basketball at first, but he enjoys it and becomes a good player as he is athletic. All the characters are attractive, and there is some humour in the story. Also, the author, Takehiko Inoue draw neat pictures and captions. 

The comic was very popular and I was excited as it would be on TV. However, the TV show disappointed me. The voice actors were different from what I imagined, and the animation was awkward. I guess it's because there was not much background imagery. I felt each scene was chopped, and there was no flow. The characters were not enthusiastic or active in the cartoon. Although it's a cartoon, the producers didn’t use the advantage of animation. I guess I wrote too much of bad point of cartoon as I love Slam Dunk. In my conclusion, I like comic better than cartoon.

My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday

 When I travel, I always watch a film on the flight.  “My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday” (http://www.toho.website/movies/MytomorrowYouryesterday/index.html) is one of the films I watched during a flight to the USA.  The film is based on the book of the same title.  The main characters, Takatoshi and Emi are both 20 years old, but Emi lives in a different world which time runs backwards.  Takatoshi feels he meets Emi for the first time, but she knows everything that has happened between the two of them. I prefer the film to the book.  The film’s  location is exactly what I imagined when I read the book.  The actors perform wonderfully and express their emotions warmly.

Film vs Book

My favourite movie is Forrest Gump. I much prefer the movie to the book. Forrest is a little bit stupid, but he is a kind and pure person. He was also often praised for his hard work.

I enjoy the movie, as Tom Hanks’ performance in the lead role completely matched the main character. If the actor had been different, I would not have chosen this as the best movie I have seen. You should watch the movie!

Friday, 19 March 2021

Sayuri's least favourite rooms

   Our housing environment has been rather unfortunate.  We had lived in 13 different houses in 35 years, which were all company residences and most of them were extremely old and filthy : a small house with a white snake, a tilted flat which made Mum dizzy, an old flat with big centipedes, a terrible kitchen with a blocked drainage pipe, a frozen cold bedroom where bedside water had been really frozen etc… 

  The worst one was the mouldy flat where the unfaced concrete walls were all covered with mold.  We asked the company to mend them but they had just sprayed some ordinary mold remover on the walls and put some styrofoam boards with some double-sided tape on them.  

  The ceiling looked like it was made of asbestos, so we covered up with some huge sheets of 'washi' papers, just in case.

  There was no proper lighting tool so we used a simple light bulb just like an ancient life which made us rather nostalgic when we had got used to it.

  To make matters worse, our room was on a grand floor and the flat was just beside a very busy road.  There was no space for a washing machine, so we put it on the balcony.  Everytime I washed some clothes and hung them on, I felt all the drivers' eyes on me.  

  We lived there from 2004 to 2005 but we found the flat is still there now, and someone seems to live there still. 

Posted for Sayuri

Thursday, 11 March 2021

After I graduate High School next year...

I will be a third grader next year, so I have planned what I can do when I graduate. 

I can study management from a famous professor at college in Canada. I want do it very much, but I will need to get a part-time job because it will be really expensive.

Playing music in a band is not so well-paid, and the income is irregular, so it will be hard to make a living.  However, I think it is important to  challenge myself for my dreams.

Another option is to travel around the world and discover new views and ideas. I think it would be  a lot of fun and extremely exciting.  There are so many places that I have never been to yet. However, it might very dangerous because there are lots of strange people with different ideas, so sometimes conversations might be difficult. In addition  it is not a stable life so I would have find accommodation and earn money.

What do you think I should do?

How is affecting to Alaska & Venice due to Climate change?

-       Alaska:

    The average temperature in Alaska has increased by approximately 3°F over the past 60 years. This increase is more than twice the warming seen in the rest of the United States. In the winter season it has increased by an average of 6°F and it effects to ecosystems, such as earlier breakup of river ice in the spring.

Due to this problems, indigenous people lose their home. They are forced to move new place. Polar bears are facing more serious situation. They lost living place as well as their food. They are designated as an endangered species.


-       Venice:

The ancient city in Italy will be vanished underwater within a century if global warming cannot stop. Venice will be flooded because the Mediterranean Sea is forecasted to rise by up to 140cm before 2100, according to the research.


My suggestion is as below.

1.     People grasp own carbon footprint.

2.     Think how to reduce CO2 which can do easily.

3.     Try it.

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Nanaha's personification of Spring


After reading The Selfish Giant, by Oscar Wilde (OUP Dominoes graded reader version), a young reader imagines the character of Spring...think she came up with a fine piece of imaganiation (and writing, and picture!).

Spring has short brown hair and blue eyes. She is about twenty-five years old and she wears a pink t-shirt and a light green skirt.

I her hands she has lots of flowers and baby rabbits. She plants the seeds and brings showers.

She lives in a cherry blossom tree by the river.

She is very kind, cheerful, and friendly.