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(483) Joke / Cow [joke]


A city feller1) who didn’t know the front end of a goat from a magnolia2) bush was watching his week-end host’s daughter milking her cow when a farm hand3) hollered4), “Cheese it5), here comes the bull!”

   The city feller vaulted6) a fence for safety, but noted to his surprise that the girl never budged7) from her stool. Furthermore, the bull brought up8) abruptly, snorted almost apologetically and meekly retreated9) to his enclosure.

   “Weren't you petrified10) ? demanded11) the guest.
   “Not me,” said the daughter, “but I reckon12) the bull was. This here cow’s his mother-in-low.”


1) feller = fellow
2) magnolia [ægnóuliə] : モクレン
3) farm hand farmhand: 農場[農業]労働者
4) holler [hɑ́lər]: cry out
5) cheese it: やめる、よす、逃げる、ずらかる get away, run away
6) vault [vɔ́ːlt]: spring over especially with the help of the hands or a pole
7) budge [bʌ́dʒ]: move from a place
8) bring up: ぴたりと止まる
9) retreat [itríːt]: go back
10) petrify [pétrəfài]: make rigid or inactive (as from fear)
11) demand :ask for with authority
12) reckon: consider

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(482) Thought: Check and circle marks in test papers [調べる]

Thought: Check and circle marks in test papers.
How the world people mark the test papers of students.

There are several ways to mark correct and wrong answers in test papers in the world.

This picture shows how to mark answers in test papers in the world.


In Japan  for correct answers, × for wrong ones.
In Philippines √ for correct answers, × for wrong ones.
In the USA √ for correct answers, × for wrong ones.
In China √ for correct answers, for wrong ones.
In Vietnam D for correct answers, S for wrong ones.

   I found this information in a Kanji teaching materials for Filipino students in Japan, about three years ago. I was very surprised to know that in China, marks for correct and wrong answers are totally opposite to Japan.

I’ve seen my elementary school student’s Kenyan father used √ mark for correct answers in his quiz sheet.?

   Next picture is from a question and answer site for anime and manga fans. The question is,

“While watching anime, especially ones that focus on slice-of-life or high school, I often come across a test paper containing a character’s score. However, it is interesting to note that correct answers are circled while the wrong ones are ticked. As far as I know, ticks are for correct answers and circles are incorrect answers. Does this mirror how Japan marks the test papers of students? If so why?”

He is surprised to know that the Japanese way is the opposite from how teachers in most western culture to do it.

In Japan √ and is also used to mark for incorrect answers.

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(481) Tall Tale: Zenbei the wild vegetable seller [英作文]

  Some troubles occurred to my mother. She saw a cup in front of her as two cups. If she tried to reach the cup, she often failed to grab it. I took her to an optician. The optician found out that her eyes always directed outside for unknown reasons. But Mother instantly came to know the true reason for her trouble. Two weeks later, she got better and now her eyes have returned to their normal position. My mother and I went to the optician for the last time to give a feedback on her recovery as we thanked him. I explained that her trouble might have something to do with her eye training. She was training herself to see both sides’ view at the same time. She believed that the older we get the narrower the eyesight becomes. She was practicing it for anti-aging. But this time’s trouble made her stop the eye practice. Then the optician laughed and gave us a story about eyes.

 “Long time ago”, he started, “there lived a mountain vegetable seller named Zenbei at Uwajima in Ehime prefecture. He collected wild vegetables in the mountain and sold them in the village. He worked diligently from morning to night, even on rainy and stormy days. One day, ‘always-running Zenbei’ felt his left eyeball floating and bouncing in the socket of his skull. And finally the eyeball fell down on the ground. But he calmly picked it up and put it back to its eye socket. Then he continued working hard again as if nothing had happened.

  “On that day he had sold out all his stock of wild vegetables earlier than usual. He was very happy, so he decided to visit tutelary shrine of the village to express his thanks. Incidentally, on that day, there was a bullfight, (that is a bull fighting against a bull), that was being held at the ground of the shrine. A lot of people got together around the bull fight ring. He couldn’t see anything, so he removed his eyeball and held it up in his hand to see the bulls, still he couldn’t see them. Next, he took a Bangasa umbrella from his backpack and tied to a long wooden bar. Lastly, he placed his eyeball on the opened umbrella. When he held the bar high to see the bullfight, he could enjoy watching the bullwrestling at the back of the crowd of spectators. 

  “At that moment, one crow was on the way back to its nest in the mountain. It noticed the eyeball from the sky and dived at it and flew away with his eyeball. He instantly felt the emergency and tried to chase the crow but failed in vain.

He felt down and went home with his one eyeball. To his surprise he found the eyeball in front of his house. The crow had dropped it because of its slipperiness and bad taste.

  “Anyway he was overjoyed to have it and hurriedly put it back to his eye socket, but he put it inward out. He suddenly saw his internal organs clearly for the first time. From then on, he got interested in watching his inside. He learned the inside of human body and soon became a famous doctor and a rich man.”

  “Well, as a matter of fact, this vegetable seller is my great grandfather,” finished the optician.


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(480) joke, big-game hunter and a lion [joke]

A big-game hunter VS a huge lion

  An intrepid1) big-game hunter was on his way back to camp with a record day’s bag2) when a huge lion suddenly stalked3) out of the jungle not thirty paces4) away.


The hunter had only one bullet left in his gun.
   He waited until the lion was ready to spring, took careful aim,  and missed. The jig was up5), he figured, but then a miracle occurred. The lion sprang too far, and landed in a heap6), fifteen feet beyond the hunter, who made the stockade7) in safety.

 The next afternoon the hunter went into his back yard to practice a little shooting at close range. He heard the strange noise outside the fence, and peered over it to see what was afoot8).  It was the lion practicing short leaps!
--- 笑う英語 Bennett Cerf’s JOKES For All Occasions, 1981

1) intrepid [ɪntrépɪd]: Fearless; bold; brave.
2) a record[rékɚd] day’s bag:
    Record: 記録的な
    Bag: The quantity of game taken in a particular period (usually by one person).
3) stalk [stˈɔːk]: To walk slowly and cautiously; to walk in a stealthy, noiseless manner
4) pace: The distance covered by a step.
5) The jig[ʤɪ́g] was up. : the game was up.
6) in a heap: どたりと
7) afoot [əfˈʊt]: Currently in progress.

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(479) word: dromedary [英単語]


I saw this word in a children book , titled “words starting with letter D.”


Dromedary [drάmədèri]: speedy one-humped camel



Bactrian camel [bˈæktriən]

Two-humped camel of the cold deserts of central Asia.



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(478) a lump of sugar [英単語]


a lump of: 一個の

a lump of sugar.jpg

There was a girl in a café who was very fond of a dog who used to come there regularly with a man and she regularly gave him a lump of sugar, one day the man came in without the dog and said the dog was dead. The girl had the lump of sugar in her hand and when she heard the dog was dead tears came to her eyes and she ate the lump of sugar (Paris France, Liveright, 1970, p. 34).


lump sugar.jpg

Chinese Lump Sugar is lumps of crystallized, refined sugar made from sugar cane.

It is opaque1) lumps of sugar, made in different sizes. The colour can be white or yellow; the yellow is referred to in English as Yellow Lump Sugar.

1) opaque: inpervious to light


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(477) word: sulk, pout [英単語]

Word: sulk, pout

Sulk [sˈʌlk]: (Vi) to refuse to speak or smile because you want people to know that you are angry about something

The child sulked in a corner after being slapped.


He's sulking in his room because I wouldn't let him have any more chocolate.

Pout [pάʊt]: (Vi) to push your lips, or your bottom lip, forward to how that you are annoyed about sth or to look sexually attractive


Vanessa always pouts if she doesn't get what she wants.

Caroline pouts her lips when she's putting on lipstick.

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(476) 3 day trip to Hokkaido [英作文]

I visited Sapporo and Otaru with my wife from April 15th to 17th.

1st Day:
When we changed airplanes at Haneda airport, I made a mistake. I missed the transfer sign and I lost sight of my wife too. I got lost. I walked outside from the exit. Then I got a phone call from her. She was inside the airport and I was outside. I hurried to enter the airport again through security check. I got a phone call again from my wife. She didn’t have her ticket with her. Yes, I had her ticket with me. So she had to go out from the exit too. So this time, she was outside without her ticket and I was inside.

Finally we could meet again with the help of the airport person.  We wasted a lot of time for my mistake but we could make it to fly to Chitose.

This was our first trouble.

We arrived Chitise airport safely. Next, we got on the JR train to Sapporo. Then we arrived Sapporo around 1 pm.
1 welcome to hokkaido.jpg

We were hungry. We asked for a nearby Ramen shop at the tourist information center.


We entered Shirakaba Sanso shop. This shop was in Ramen-Kyowakoku republic on the 10th floor of Esta building besides JR tower.

According to the leaflet, The shop chef said “You can’t go home without eating here!” True Sapporo miso ramen.” So we ate miso ramen. The soup was thick and hot. The ramen’s bowl was bigger than normal one. My stomach became full.

“Where shall we go next?” While talking about next plan, we noticed we had forgotten to get ANA skyholiday wakuwaku tickets at Chitose airport. We could use the tickets at food shops and tourist facilities. “We are in Sapporo now?” “Must we go back to Chitose?” “It’s a waste of time and money.” This was the second trouble in our trip. Anyway I though I’d better call Chitose ANA tourist counter.  I got a good news from them. They said that we could get the tickets at Sapporo ANA hotel too.

So ANA hotel Sapporo was our next destination.

The City of Sapporo was built to a grid pattern, and is the largest city on the island.

We got to ANA hotel very easily because of its grid system.

Yotsuba-white-koji café. At paseo in JR tower.

We had to wait to enter this café more than 20 minutes. We used Wakuwaku tickets here.
The ideal environment to raise happy health, snow-covered Hidaka stress-free cows.

From the mountains to the north cod, crystal-clear waters wind their way down through to plain, enriching the fertile soils of their vast green landscape.

We used another wakuwaku tickets to enter JR tower.


Next, we went to Sapporo Clock Tower.

This house was built 1878. It was originally called “Embujo”  - meaning a ‘military drill hall.

In 1881 a large clock was installed to renovate the tower of this building. It was later called the clock tower.

It was served as a drill hall for the Sapporo Agricultural College, which was the first institution for Agricultural Studies in Japan.

The second floor was used for physical education training as well as a ceremony hall.

The former   Hokkaido Government  Office Building

This old building was made of bricks. There were several chimneys on the roof.

2nd Day:
Lake Shikotsu and Lake Toya Round Trip
 Sapporo Station bus terminal
 Lake Shikotsu
 Hokkaido Kinoko oukoku Kingdom
 Lake toya Manseikaku Hotel (lunch)
 Mt. Usu and Showa Shinzan mountain
 Lake Toya Viewing Platform
 Nakayama Pass
 Teizankei Valley
2 map hokkaido (2).jpg

Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center

A crystal miniature of lake Shikotsu.

Animal: Brown bear


View of Lake Toya from Mount Usu Ropeway.
Lake Toya and Showa-shinzan mountain.

Japanese butterbur sprouts (Fukinotou)
Male flower and female flower.Wikipedia says the bulb-like shoots are picked fresh and fried as tempura.

We went to Mount Usu Summit station by the ropeway.
From the station we walked up to Crater Basin Viewing platform.

Mt. Usu Crater Basin Viewing Platform.
We can see the summit of mount Usu. It is 733 m high.

We can see white vaper from the crater basin.
The crater is called Ginnuma Crater, the largest crater created by the 1977 eruption. 

Mount Youtei looks like Mt. Fuji.
Nakajima island in Lake Toya.

Showa-shinzan mountain.
The field rose into the steaming mountain in a little more than two years after the 1943 eruption of Mount Usu. But now I cannot see any steaming from Showa-shinzan mountain.


蔓性の隠元豆>虎豆 tora-mame bean (tiger bean)

隠元豆>斑紋種>貝豆 (Shell bean)

Mount Youtei

Nakayama Pass
White birch trees

We returned to Sapporo.
At Daimaru Department store.
One of my favorite characters.

3rd Day: Otaru
3 otaru.jpg
We bought seafood as suevenirs.

ホッケ      Okhotsk atka mackerel
イクラ       salmon roe
本シシャモ  Shishamo smelt

Otaru Historical Scenic Dstrict
Otaru’s ordinance designates scenic areas arears of historical ad cultural importance that evoke Otaru’s unique character as the “Otaru Historical Scenic Distorict”.

Keep Out sign has Russian too.
Signal lights’ design is different from what we see in Matsuyama.

Otaru Canal from Asakusa bridge.
Completed in 1923, the Otaru Canal served its original purpose until the decline of the shipping industry. In the 1980s,promenades and gas lamps were instlled.

Amato is a shop best known for sweets such as “Cream Zenzai”, renowned Otaru favorite, and “Maron Coron”, a crisp, three-layer homemade sable.


Museum of Finance (Former Otaru Branch of the Bank of Japan)

The guardian of the building
The Shima owl is one of the guardian deities of the Ainu people.
Ainu is the indigenous people of Hokkaido. Carvings of owls are on the pillars of the building. These owls used to keep watching over the Otaru Branch at night.

Sea of Japan from the window of JR train in Otaru.

Soup Curry for breakfast at Hotel

Jingisukan at Chitose airport.
Jingisukan is a Japanese grilled mutton dish.

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(475) Kidney Dialysis [調べる]

Kidney Dialysis
  I was asked to help an American tourist communicate to a doctor when he has dialysis treatment at M clinic, here in Matsuyama. Ive been a volunteer helper for non-Japanese people speaking English, who live in or visit Matsuyama city. Today Id like to talk about this experience and a little information about the dialysis.

  Do you know what kidney dialysis is? I didnt know anything about dialysis so I did a little research on it on the internet and I met him on April 3rd.


1 hdf2.png
PIC. 2: HD HDF  Hemodialysis   Hemodiafiltration

 Dialysis is a form of treatment for patients with kidney failure as a result of kidney disease. Those patients experience a constant build up of toxins as a part of everyday life (eating, drinking, exercising, etc,).  Those would normally be extracted and excreted by their kidneys, but they have left the building, they use dialysis machines to do much of this job for them. M clinic uses on-line HDF machines.

2 online matsushita.gif
Pic. 3: automatic dialysis machine GC-110N

The dialysis treatment can be administered in a specialized clinic. Dialysis in a clinic is usually performed three times a week, and last around four hours. Patients travel from home to the clinic, where they are taken care of by specialized doctors and trained personnel throughout the entire treatment. When not at the clinic, patients can lead as normal lives as possible.

On Monday, April 3 at 8:30, I was waiting for him at M clinic with a woman of M Center who was very worried about his arrival. She tried to contact him the day before but failed.

We got a phone from the nearby hospital. It said that he got to the wrong hospital with his mother. He finally arrived at 9:30, one hour late. He brought a medical letter about his dialysis treatment in the U.S.

We went upstairs. There were a spacious dialysis treatment room, which had about 35 beds, and a lounge, where patients family or friends can wait for them. But his mother and I were the only people in the lounge.

At the beginning of the treatment, I entered the dialysis room with him. His bed was the very end of the row of beds. About twenty patients had already started the dialysis treatment there. At the entrance of the room he was weighed on the scale. The doctor decided how much water must be removed.

3 onlineHDF.jpg
Pic. 4: HDF diagram

He seemed to get used to the treatment. He replied to the doctor he didnt have anemia. Two needles were stuck on blood vessels of his left arm. These needles were connected to the dialysis machine by tubes. One was for taking out his blood to the machine, and the other was for returning the blood to his blood vessel. When the nurse taped the needles on his arm, he took out his own adhesive tape to use. He said, Im allergic to other tapes. He had been having dialysis for seven years, now 48 years old. He had two tiny lumps on his left forearm.

4 mp_cl_ketsueki_zenonline.png
Pic.5: HDF picture & diagram

During the dialysis treatment he can listen to music with earphones or enjoy DVD on the small display above his bed. After explaining to him I left him and got out of the room. I spent time with his mother talking about various things from family members to President Trump. I didnt get bored while waiting his treatment was completed. Time pasted so soon.

Just before noon, I was called by the personnel. When I got to the patient, he looked a little bit weak. He complained something to the personnel. I could hear him say dry and cramp. I asked him, Are you thirsty?  He moved his legs and his right hand to his chest. I translate his complain to the personnel.

5 hdf 除水.png
Pic. 6: HDF drain water

 He quickly understood the complain. He stopped taking out water from his blood and checked his blood pressure. He also increased replacement fluid. His treatment completed 1:40 pm safely.

I was very surprised at three things. First, the American tourist looked for the clinic to have dialysis treatment after arriving Japan. How brave, positive and active he was! Second, the number of people having kidney dialysis because of kidney failure is bigger than I had thought. While waiting for the American at the clinic, I saw many Japanese patients arrive one after another by taxi. Third, todays kidney dialysis machines can do several complicated work automatically. HDF(Haemodiafiltration) machine simulates the work of the kidney very well. I really hope further development in kidney dialysis treatment for patients with kidney failure.

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(474) The Giving Tree [読書感想]

 The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree

  • 作者: Shel Silverstein
  • 出版社/メーカー: HarperCollins
  • 発売日: 2003/04/15
  • メディア: ハードカバー

The Giving Tree is a children's picture book written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein. First published in 1964, and still now many children read it in many countries. The Japanese translated name of this book is “Okina ki” meaning “a big tree”.

I’d like to talk about the moral of the story. My main concern is whether the relationship between the main characters (a boy and a tree) should be interpreted as positive (i.e., the tree gives the boy selfless love) or as negative (i.e., the boy and the tree have an abusive relationship). First I thought the tree seems ideal mothers, and this story is a happy and positive one. But after reading it several times I got to think the boy was just a selfish without thinking of the tree. I think, the
moral of this story is that we must try to listen to the silent voices of trees and other things which don’t speak. And then, make sure that we are not selfish to them.

Let me tell the story briefly.

Once there was a tree. She loves a little boy. The boy would visit, climb, and eat it’s apples. As the boy got older and busier, the tree often felt alone.

One day the boy came to the tree and he said, 
“I am too big to climb and play.”
“I want to buy things and have fun. I want to some money.”

He took all her apples and sold them in the city and had money.

   Next when he visited the tree, he said he wanted to have a wife and children, so he needed a house. Then he cut off all her branches carried them away to build his house.

  And when he came back to the tree the boy became too old and sad to play with the tree. He wanted a boat to take him far away from there. So he cut down her trunk to make a boat and sailed away.

  And after a long time he came back to the tree. He got too old and weak. The tree then became just an old stump. Boy sat down on the stump and rested. He was happy.

  The author of this book imagined how the tree thought, felt, and communicated with the boy. In this book the tree always felt happy every time boy took things away from her. Her love is so selfless that many readers burst into tears at the end of the book. It is one of ideal love similar to mother’s love. But the reality is that the tree doesn’t speak anything and cannot reject the boy’s requests. If we thought the tree was very sad and angry against boy’s deeds. This story suddenly became a very sad story of the tree bullied by the selfish boy.

This book gives us a chance to think whether or not we are treating living things around us properly. It also teaches we must behave nicely.

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