Ivanhoe-Sir Walter Scott

As a English learner, I’ve been wondering why English has many words from French and Latin.  I know a little about the history of the English language from an introductory book.  This entertaining chivalric tale helps me to understand it better.

I think chivalry has something in common with Bushido; the samurai code but it is different in the way they treat women.  Their courtly love can be judged as weakness by samurai.  In Bushido, women are also supposed to be brave.  They were given a dagger and taught how to use it and sometimes it was used to commit suicide to protect honor.




Picture Books For My English Class


I’ve been teaching English at an elementary school for 6 years and these are the books I used in my class.  My class doesn’t have exams or any assessments, so I have it easy.  My class goes like this….  First, I read a picture book to kids.  Then, we enjoy games using words, phrases or sentences from the book.  One of my favorite game is “What’s the Time, Mr.Wolf?”  Kids soon learn how to ask and answer and enjoy the game.  I don’t know this can help kids to get good marks in the future, but I want them to know learning English can be fun!

Thank you, Naomi Novik!

I happened to meet this Naomi Novic’s famous series at “just has been returned books” shelf in local library.  I don’t know you have this kind of shelf in your place, though.  I often check this shelf to find something interesting.  In the middle of January, I developed sciatica and desperately wanted “painkiller” books.  Thank you, Naomi Novic!  I don’t have the terrible pain any more and still desperately want to read the next one!

The Tale of Genji


There are many versions of this classic work translated into modern Japanese.  This series was translated by Noriko Ogiwara who is a very popular fantasy writer.  The latest one was published in June and I found it recently at local library.

This was a wonderful surprise for me to find I can empathize with  characters in this 1000 years old world’s first novel.  People’s emotion has not changed since old days….

I remember I learned some part of the original text in high school, though I was not so interested at that time.  It turns out that the most interesting part were not on the text book because it have some inappropriate scenes!

I also read my daughter’s recommendation, “Ochikubo Monogarari”  which is older than “The Tale of Genji”.

This was like soap opera!  I could not stop reading to the last!  I imagine people in old days were absorbed in reading these novels, too.

A Surprise Visitor

This is something I wanted to do for a long time!  I bought these puppet on “mercari”, my favorite flea market app.  I made domed cake with banana and fresh cream.

I love “Guri and Gura” since I was a child.  This is Christmas story of “Guri and Gura”.  They found big footprints in the woods and followed it.  At the end of the footprints they found their own house.  In the house, they found a big pear of boots, a big red overcoat, a big white muffler, a big red cap, a big pear of socks, a big pear of gloves and a big white bag.  Who could it be?  Yes!  It’s Santa Claus!  And he baked a delicious cake for them!

Today, I enjoyed this story with Labo kids.  We had a wonderful time and the cake was delicious!  It’s like my dream come true!

About Shakespeare

Yesterday, I went to Nagoya to join the training session for English tutors.  In this course of sessions we studied Hamlet and we performed the play in the last session.  And, yesterday was the last day.  I did Hamlet.  These days, I was into Hamlet so deeply and now, I feel like I finally came back home from a long trip.

At first I thought Shakespeare is too difficult for us.  However, as we studied the script and tried to perform, we gradually get to realize emotions of each character, and soon, we got fascinated by beautiful lines.  The more I studied, the more I wanted to know about Shakespeare, so I read many books and articles online in the end.

I don’t know why I devoted myself to Hamlet this deeply.  What gives me such emotional pain?  Why I feel like laughing and crying?  Words, words, words….  It’s just words printed on the paper!  But I surely was Hamlet in the play and lived a life in the story.  It was amazing when I recite those beautiful lines in the play I can feel the emotion which is not written in the script.  The printed words turn to the sounds and it stimulus the certain part of my brain, the same part of the brain that Shakespeare and people lived in England 400 years ago ever had.

I am sure I will feel the loss of Hamlet for a while.


“Kaga Yubinuki” Silk Thimbles


I made a silk thimble after a long time.  About two years ago, I had been hooked on making these kind of thimbles for a while.  I gave away almost all of them, though.

I’m going to give this to my school’s ALT from England as a parting gift.  She worked at my elementary school as an English teacher for one year and will leave at the end of this term.  She was cute and enthusiastic.  I’ll miss her.  I chose a piece of tie-dyed silk cloth, two pink thread with different tones and one white thread.  I embroidered scalelike pattern which is known as a talisman to protect one against evil.  Thread and needle always makes me feel calm.