Seven years have passed.

It has been 7 years since the big earthquake in eastern Japan occurred today. I was seeing an ophthalmologist who gave me a diagnosis of cataracts when the earthquake occurred and was rushing back to my office after that. At this time on the day, I was struck dumb at the mess in my room of the office. Everything has fallen on the floor. My precious cello has survived despite of television set was fallen on the floor very close to it.

I have been apathic for a few days. In a couple of days, when I came back on the internet, I was surprised with gratitude to find dozens of e mails from all over the world asking how I was doing were in the mail box. Jim N3JT used to give me a phone call directly. Dave W0FBI, who used to do his military service for 4 years as a doctor in Japan, told me he would return to Japan and work for those suffering from the irradiation due to the nuclear power plant accident. How much I have thanked to all of them! Whenever I remember of those people showing their good will to us, I could not help crying. It was a real disaster but was still a chance to convince me there were good people in the world.  I thought I should change a bit of my way of living after that. I am not sure if I could come on that way. However, I still recall of what I thought that time whenever this anniversary comes on.

There was a charity concert of NY PHilharmonic conducted by Alan Gilbert held in the NYC for Japanese suffers in only 7 days after the disaster. He has expressed supports to us on behalf of the orchestra members. It was Takemitsu's Requiem they performed. I have introduced on the episode and their performance as here.

There are still about 34k people evacuated from Fukushima. Many people are still with the sad memories losing their families. I should not forget them.

What recent forgery of public documents means in our country.

As this news reports, Ministry of Finance in Japan will admit they have altered, or more exactly, forged documents on the sale of the land to an ultra right private educational organization, Moritomo gakuen, with very low price. The founder of Moritomo gakuen had been ideologically close to our Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. 


This scandal of the sales was first reported by Asahi Shimbun on Feb 9 last year. On Feb 17, against the pursuit for commitment of the scandal by the opposite parties, Abe has denied his commitment of this scandal and has announced he would resign the position of PM and even the membership of Parliament if it was proved that he or his wife had been involved in it. Forgery of the documents seem to have been started at the same time along with what Abe alleged then.

They say the government would charge this forgery on a bureaucrat who used to make false answers to inquiries by the opposite parties to defend Abe and has resigned his position of the Commisioner of the National Tax Agency yesterday. He has been at a position of Ministry of Finance responsible for the purchase and sale of national properties and later has been promoted to the present position by the government.

This plot proposed by the government seems too unreasonable due to the timing relationship between scooping the event and forging false documents by Ministry of Finance. Forging public documents is a definite felony which bureaucrats will never commit. It is most likely that Abe has ordered them to do this forgery. A person having actually done rewriting the documents at the office has killed himself a few days ago. This sad news told us what a stress it had been for those involving in this forgery.

This is only an aspect of the forgeries this government has made for the past years. A few more scandals of cronysm, statistics in labor policy fallaciously favoring the discretionary labor system and even fraud data of statistics in economy are such examples. The present government has deformed the governing system in our country. It has injured our country so deeply that they should resign as soon as possible. 


It is not only a # Me too issue but also an issue of abuse of the power by the government

This news has been reported in various countries around the world.


Their emphasis is invariably on the point that our society is behind or even against the # Me too movement in the world. It is true. But this case has the other more serious aspect than that.

The suspect was being arrested at an airport when he was coming back from abroad to Japan. The regional police had already got a permit to arrest him for suspicion of rape to Shiori Ito by the court. However, the chief of criminal investigation at the main office abruptly ordered them, waiting for him at the airport to execute the arrest, to stop the enforcement. This chief used to be a secretary of chief cabinet secretary Suga. The suspect has consulted to one of the cabinet member on this issue.

The suspect has written a book to flatter PM Abe and is known to have had close relationship with him. So there is a strong suspicion that the authority has aribitrarily stopped the police to arrest him. It could be an abuse of the political power. This is a critical issue for soundness of our democracy.

One of the facts which makes us suspect of this abuse of the power is that NHK, the public broadcasting, won't report on this issue at all, even though they have done with # Me too movement in the world. NHK is believed to stand on the position close to the authority nowadays.

This is not a personal crime but also a pretty political issue.


A gift from David Gordon

Today, I found a parcel mail from the US on the table in the living room. The sender's name, David Gordon, hasn't lit in my memory at once. Opening the parcel, I remembered he had been the author of "Carmel Impresarios", of which I have sent some proofreading to him. Yes, it was the book he had promised me to send for the token of his gratitude for my proofreading.

On the title page, he has given me an acknowledgement, which is a great honor to me. 

It says " To Shin Onisawa  In a shared love of the music of J.S.Bach, and with deepest gratitude for reading "Carmel Impresarios   David Oregon USA Feb 2018".

I am deeply honored to receive such a gift from the author of the book I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through. In the dedication of this book "The Little Bach Book", I found the name of Helmut Rilling. Gordon says he was one of the four conductors who had invited him as a soloist at concerts and, without their encouragements, he could not be acquainted with J.S.Bach. It was from 1983 to 1984. As written elsewhere in this blog, in mid '70s, I have listened to Matthews Passion of Rilling conducting Stuttgart Bach Ensemble performed in Tokyo. Ever since then, I have been being enchanted with this great music. I was only a listener then. However, I still feel I have had a mysterious connection with both of them by a chance through the love for J.S.Bach. 

I have sent an e mail saying my heartly thanks to him. I also mentioned of Prof Isoyama who had recently passsed away. He has been one of the most renowned researcher of J.S.Bach and is missed by many music fans here. His book will find a place of bibliography on J.S.Bach in my bookshelf beside to Isoyama's books.  


Professor Isoyama has passed away

Professor T. Isoyama has died from an accident today. He might not be well known to foreign people but has been a great researcher of Bach, a teacher of musicology, a critic and an enthusiastic advocator of music for years. I have known him from his books as well as his speech at a concert of Matthews Passion in Toyama. I have written a post about the trip to that concert before. Here. 

Years ago, he had accomplished a research work on Matthews Passion, which fruited to be a book titled as Matthews Passion. It was a lot informative on this great music, containing a almost complete discography in the appendix. After finishing that work, he has been doing with Johns Passion. Last summer, in his blog, he said he would have the doctoral paper on Johns Passion finished. At first, I thought it had been a paper by one of his students whom he tutored. Later, it turned out to be his own doctoral paper. Of course, he could have applied for and obtained that degree in the past with his erudition in his profession. It must be a memorable milestone for him to get it when he finished the work on Johns Passion. Who has expected it would be his last work? I sure miss him and wanted him to go on further study and advocate on music for us.

Hearing this sad news, I could not help thinking of the famous words of Job, "The Lord gave and the lord has taken away". We should get ready for the last day in our life any time. I sure would like Professor Isoyama to have lived longer and to have made further work. But at present, I would say thanks to him and wish him rest in eternal peace for now. He has lived his life.

For the memory of him and his work, I would listen to these last two pieces from Matthews Passion.

Accidentally, as reiterated in this blog, it was the 22nd anniversary of Takemitsu's death.


Pepper stuffed with meat

We have been in cold waves without any intermission for the past 3 months. The temperature sometimes falls below minus 10 degrees C early in the morning, which is quite unusual even in this area. They say it is due to La Nina phenomenon, which is caused by cooler sea surface temperature in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. I believe it is an expression of extreme climate change but not global cooling. Whatever it might be, it has been terribly cold everyday. They say this will persist until the end of this month at least. In the day time, however, it is getting a bit warmer when sun shines. I have already started working in the garden. Something like pulling the weeds or plowing small farms in the garden. It is of fun for me to do with soil.

The cabbages in the garden farm have gone through this abnormal weather since last fall. Having the sheets against cold weather on them, they have survived even the snowfall last month. I have harvested one of them, which looked pretty ripe despite of small size. Outer leaves were bitten by bugs last fall. It still seemed edible, though.

I have used a portion of this precious cabbage for pepper stuffed with meat this evening. It was the first try for me to cook it. The seasoning was oyster sauce. Pretty successful.

Now a cabbage costs about 3 or 4 USD. This cabbage, a survivor of this cold season, is economically quite helpful to us! It is free from chemicals as well. I am planning to plant more cabbages this fall.

 I have never waited for spring so eagerly as this year in the past. One reason might be that I became older and was vulnerable to the cold weather. Anyway, the warm breeze would be most appreciated soon.


A pin badge has crossed the Pacific Ocean twice in almost 30 year interval

There used to be an active ham in San Francisco, Ray Eichmann, WA6IVM. He used to work with japanese beginners on 40m CW in our evening hours from '60s through '90s. For many CW beginners in Japan, he has been the very 1st ever DX or 1st ever USA. He was so kind that he always sent very slow CW to them. I was one of those beginners in '60s, even though he was not my 1st USA. In late '60s, I have donated 2 or 3 bucks to some DX pedition through him. He has paid the ARRL fee for a year for me on behalf of me, which must cost him much more than the donation I made. He also recommended me for a member of RCC. He was such a kind person.

When I came back on the air in 1980, I knew his son Steve, WA6IVN, in a suburb of San Francisco. We often talked on 40m in QRQ. What a thrill and enjoyment! He has had malignant lymphoma since his teen age days. I have been told about it and subsequent complications by him. It was not in rush but steadily progressive. Unfortunately, he has gone SK due to metastatic melanoma in early '90s. We have met in eye ball twice, once at his home in Manteca and the other time at Bob W6CYX's home. It was not easy for him to live with that illness. He has still lived his life so hard as if not to miss anything he could experience in it. 

Since steve's death, I and Ray have become closer friends each other. One factor might be that we had operated 40m CW at the same time in a day. It must be another reason that I had known his son so well in his last decade. I believe Steve was his only son. Ray, a famous ham of the USA in our country, used to visit Japan a few times, I believe, in '60s to '70s. He and his wife, Cathy, have planned a trip to Japan in mid '90s. I have welcomed them at Narita and have driven them here. We have held a reception party in Tokyo, which a few dozens of his old friends gathered. They seemed to be very happy to see old friends there. I believe they have visited a few places mainly in Kanto and Kansai area after that.

He has brought some souvenirs from the USA. One of them was a pin badge shown in the photo.

I thought Ray had told me that it was from the Coast Guard, that turned out to be false later as told later. I have kept it in the book shelf since it seemed an important thing for him. Unfortunately, he has died around 2000, I guess, before I asked about this pin to him. 

A few weeks ago, I have posted this photo of the pin asking what it was and how I should do with it. Another Ray, K7FU, has given me a comment to say his friend, Rick, KD7CAY, has been collecting those items and he would ask him about it. Rick told Ray he would get it for his collection. A few days later, it has been sent to Rick in a plastic box. It has travelled across the Pacific Ocean in almost 30 year long interval.

Today, Rick has given me a home made soap in the same box. And he told me the pin badge belonged to the US Army Transport Service. He also told me he would display it with his chalange coins. I am not sure how the pin is related with those coins. Anyway, I am very pleased the pin badge has found the home for eternity for now. Ray in the heaven might be smiling at this consequence.

I really appreciated Rick and Ray, K7FU. The pin badge has travelled over the Pacific Ocean to and fro. It was all thanks to the friendship of my friends. This kind of communion, pretty common back in '60s through '90s, has been found very scarcely in ham radio nowadays. Recalling of the people who showed me their friendships and fraternity, I again appreciated this hand made soap.

Thanks, Ray and Rick.