Bach by Gould and Menuhin

Bach has left charming sonatas for violin which won't require us so much concentration and strain as the famous unaccompanied sonatas/partitas. I have loved this one since student days. They say the theme of the 1st movement in the style of Scicillienne is much like the alto aria "Er barme dich" in Matthews Passion of the same composer. A feeling of yearning for something as well as a sorrow sounds to be in the melodies at the same time. This ambivalence in the spirit of music seems characteristic fot Bach. I could figure the other examples in his vast works.
This combination of players sound also very attractive. Menuhin plays orthodoxical Bach while Gould's touch is so light as droplets of dew shining in morning sun ray. Gould even sung playing this piece. No pedal use at all.
I used to listen to this music quite often at the dorm of med school. It was when I started cello. This performance has brought me back to those days. I remeber a dull room with a bed and a desk. The music flew like a song relieving me. The audio set and cup full of tea. Moreover, it reminds me of what I was thinking of those days. Music surely works in the deepest portion in our mind. 



A Season's Greetings

Again, it was a year of drastic change for me this year. The most prominent thing was that I had finished my private practice this spring, which I had managed as the president for 17 years. It brought me to the state of semiretirement. The reasons to go for this change were multiple. I got eye problem and the other health problems, even though they were not serious. I wanted to go for travelling etc before I got too old to do so. I was fed up with the laborious and often meaningless negotiations with the administrative offices, which had been governed by bureaucracy. Without it, I might have gone on working at my practice a bit longer. Lastly, there was a doctor who would like to take over my work. Even though I still feel lost due to this change, it might be one of the best chances for me to have it taken over by that pediatrician.

I have been asked by ham friends how I had felt in retirement. It has still been a difficult question for me to answer. In a word, I am still ambivalent about it. I feel being lost in a place where I don't belong to anything like own practice. It was anothe big loss for me not to be able to see my old patients. Some of their parents used to be my patients years ago as well. It is comparable to loss of family members that I felt at the loss of patients. At the present part time job in a hospital, most patiens are just new to me. I won't be able to get in close touch with them at all. Being a doctor, especially a pediatrician, must end up in this way.

On the other hand, I could enjoy gardening, doing house chores and preparing dinner almost every day. I realized how little I had done for the family in the past. I would catch it up for now. It has been a pleasure for me. When I feel time passing quietly while working at home, I am sure it would be another chapter of my life for now.  It makes me satisfied. In some time, this satisfaction would replace feeling of loss described above.

It is unforgettable memory that I and Chiaki have visited the West Coast in this summer. It has given me a great pleasure to see friends, either old or new, in person. One highlihgt was meeting old Kemp K7UQH, whom I had known since 1960s on radio and had met for the very first time in eye ball. Another old friend, Bob W6CYX and his family as well as Steve N6TT and his family have treated us nicely. The schedule was so tight that we could visit only few places. However, this experience of travelling abroad may hopefully have us plan another one in the near future. As Jim W6YA told me, Visalia in 2014 might be another target. Since I met some new friends in Seattle this summer, each QSO with them like John AK4Z makes me feel more pleasant than ever.

Our country has had the election the other day. It seemed the people were disgusted at the former government. Some of them haven't even gone for the vote. It resulted in the winning of LDP, the conservative party, which had been beaten by DPJ 3 years ago. LDP seems to aim at changes toward the "traditional" conservatism in Japan. In my view, they won't examine themselves for what they had done before they fell down from the dominating party position. As I already told here, they would establish a nation which goes for war abroad in alliance with the US. They would override the fundamental human right of the people, which is the fundamental idea of the modern constitution in the world. In the economy, they are increasing the budget for the civil engineering constructions and aiming at the targetted inflation issuing more national bonds. They won't care for the large amount of the debts of the country. I am afraid it won't go well for us if these policies come true. Just watching what happens.

I have been practising the first piano trio by Mendelssohn with the same violinist and pianist. Our trip and the other chores have prevented us from doing that in regular interval. Since they kindly offer me to go on practising it together, I would go on with it even though my pace is so slow and unstable.

Our family is doing well even though each one has own problems. I am happy to tell you everyone will welcome a New Year being blessed with good health.

I wish you all very best for the holiday season and a New Year as well. My gratitude to every friend for your friendship this year. See you on the air or on the line.

Shin Onisawa


Comparing CW sending with playing music

It seems interesting for me to compare sending CW using a key with performing music with an instrument.

For the first process, we consider what to send with CW using a key and what to perform with the instrument. For CW, the topic and the way it should be sent might be of concern. The topic might be variable from the QSO formula to self introduction etc. We choose the way how to send it, slow or fast, strictly controlled or freely composed and so forth. In music performance, we should determine what piece we would play. How about the tempo, the rhythm, the tonal quality and so forth. These factors could be changed within a music. Without that changes, the music sounds colorless and expressionless. We might image of any particular sender or the player when considering of the way how to send or how to perform.  He or she might be the one whom we yearn for their ability in expressing themselves in CW or in music.

Then, our higher center in brain orders the motor center various things. The latter may choose the way of motion as well as the background tension of each muscle involved in that motion. Prior to have this process realize, we need to obtain the intrinsic memory to do some complicated motion for a purpose. That is why we need to practise hard to enjoy CW or playing music. Practice makes it possible to perform the motion without being conscious of the motor function every time.

Depending on the order from the motor center, the parts of our body try to move purposefully. The interaction between the key/instrument and our body produces beautiful CW or music in a successful case. Our body should be in a relaxed position and could move freely as the motor center orders. It is needless to say the key/instrument condition should be optimal for the operation/performance.

During operation/performance, we should go on listening to the codes/music we are sending/playing and check if it is right in the tempo and quality. If it sounds out of order, we should feed it back to the higher center. It will instantaneously modify and improve the CW and the music in the same process descibed above. This feed back is quite important for us to improve our skill in sending CW and in performing music. This will enable the operator or the performer improve his/her skill. It is often difficult for some beginners to do this by themselves. Thus, there should be a reason why a teacher or an elmer is necessary for them. In complicated culture of music, the presence of a good teacher is essential in learning  instrumental performance.

Thinking of the relationship between CW and music, I again realized how complicated instrument performance is compared with sending CW with a paddle. CW sending is a simple and easy motion, even though reception of CW requires much exercise. Anyway, for now, I am going to grasp my cello much more often than a paddle, even though I am not so optimisstic for my future with it.


The result of the election

The election turned out apparently to be a big victory for LDPJ, the conservative party, which had lead the country for the most part of the post WWII period except for the last 3 years. As the media report it was not their victory but the selfinflicted collapse of DPJ. Because the latter has done what they didn't promise in the manifesto but has not done what they promised. The absolute number of voters to LDPJ has not increased at all. Those being dissatified at DPJ have voted to the other small parties than both LDPJ  and DPJ or have not gone for vote.

This phenomenon means that quite some people have lost interests or rather faith in politics. Even though there are so many issues urging us to solve, they don't seem to be involved in politics. It was particularly impressive that they seem to have lost interests in nuclear power ngeneration issue. Those parties who claimed of independence from that energy source did not get much approval. I wonder if they won't learn that even 54 nuclear power plants are placed in our country where earthquakes frequently occur. The quake activity is increasing at present. Most nuclear power plants are getting old and vulnerable to quakes now. In the begininng of this election campaign, the power companies have applied for the raise of power cost with an excuse that they need it due to the high cost for the fossil fuel to compensate the stopped nuclear power plants. It might negatively influenced on the votes to those anti nuclear power plants parties.

This election should have been the choice for what nation we would make. The market dependent globalism or the social overhead capital oriented society? The nation which will resort to war or not? Is it due to immaturity of our society? Or are those problems hidden by the mass media? It is too bad if they won't realize them without any painful experiences. The matured capitalistic countries won't, anti neoliberalism economists say, make drastic growth of the economy. I am inclined to believe it to be true. There could never be an endless rise in demand as the market fundamentalism insists even if it is persistently stimulated.  We should be ready for slowed growth of the economy and take the social overhead capitals as important thing in our lives. It leads to the policy not to be involved in the hegemony by any nations in the world. We should keep the rule of the present constitution.


Restoring faith in people and future

Jim W6YA has sent me a mail as follows. It is for BCC mail and could be published here.


If you could use a little boost during this holiday season, here is your
chance. This should put a smile on your face and restore your faith in

Jim McCook



2012 is going over soon leaving many things behind. I sometimes felt to have been beaten down by the events this year. I don't want to be so pessimistic for the future. However, my personal as well as public situation are not so promising to me.

This performance in the video clip was of course produced there somewhere in Italy. But it still gives power to restore faith in people as well as the future itself as Jim says in his mail, even though the 4th chapter was arranged and curtailed. I was really toughed by this clip.

My season's greetings to you will follow soon.


CW sending and health condition

Last night, as ususal, I had a nice chat with Steve N6TT. When he called me on 40m, he surely sounded fine and in great shape. His CW sounded like a superman flying from over the buildings. Fast and steady with the spaces between words being just right and having to be in that way. No errors at all. I knew he had had good sleep before he mentioned about that. He often has had a problem of insomnia, as he said. As I expected, he told me he had taken good rest the day before.

Steve and Jim W6YA in Steve's shack. Before his collection of keys.

CW sending is deteremined by many factors like the set up, the keyer and the key etc. These are always constant and not varying from day to day. But health condition or amount of sleep clearly makes up the quality of sending CW as well. If the operator has had good sleep and in good health, sending could be so smooth and reflects directly the sender's ability. It is changeable from day to day.

I sadly remember the last days of Steve Eichman WA6IVN, who has had a malignant lymphoma since his young days. We often talked in 1980s when I came back on the radio. He sounded to fill his life with as many things valuable as possible. Boating, hiking and ham radio. It seemed as if he had hurried up living his life. Both contesting and DXing have occupied his mind at first. But later, when he had got another cancer and has gradually lost his physical strength, he seemed to enjoy chatting on CW.  We routinely chatted on 40m CW those days. In sometime, as his condition deteriorated, he became inactive. In 1991, just before my 3rd trip to the Bay area, he has given me a call after some interval. His fist was not like before. Sluggish, staggering with improper and inconsistent spaces between words. I realized how he felt as soon as I heard him calling my call sign. I was so sad to hear him in that way. I could not remeber what we talked at that time. But his fist at that time still remains in my memory.

So, so far as we could enjoy the vivid and pleasant CW, we should do that. I would enjoy each QSO with friends like Steve N6TT all the time. We could tell our health and mental conditions from keying. We should be more aware of that. And  we should be considerate and gentle for the other people, I believe.  It is what I tell to myself.


In the warm sunshine

We have a small house behind ours in the same property, where my parents used to live. It is a humble house in japanese style with low ceilings. Yesterday, it was so sunny that I ventilated the rooms opening the windows. Everything remained at the same place as it used to be when our parents lived there. When I was in a room there, I was caught by an illusion that parents had been standing at the corridor. They were wearing the same casual jacket and smiling at me from behind. The same appearance of the room may make that illusion on me.

I recalled how long it has gone since they passed away. 8 years since my father gone, while only a year and a half since mother left. The length of the time is only a blink when looked back, while it is eternal in the prospective view. I am not sure if I could see them at "that time". It is for a second as well as an eternity for me. All I could do is to go on live my life recalling of them as good old being for me.

Standing still there for a while, I was thinking as described here.

This photo was taken one month ago, when I had their matresses sunbathed on the velanda of their house. My father used to do this when he was well. I sometimes find myself doing the same thing now and could not help smiling at me.


An anachronism

Our LDP has published a plan for revised constitution. I was surprised to read it over last night. That plan deletes the article of the fundamental human right from the present constitution. It adds a new artilce that the people should obey the constitution, which is not in the present constitution. This is actually against the philosophy of modern constitution that the constitution is to prevent the power of the nation from violating human rights of the people.

This is a terrible anachronism. We have been betrayed by the politicians for recent years. Some of us are apt to have extreme ideas of politics now. One of the extremitism is for the changeover back to the era before WWII. I am sure this revision reflects that movement.

I know a nation needs a kind of religion or a religious idea where the people is united. We could never as well as should never return to the era of Emperor and the military dictation before WWII. LDP seems to aim at the nation which centers Emperor. Emperor centered nation, which worked as a kind of religion, has treated the people as slaves. It has also victimized the peoples in the neighbor countries. Haven't we founded our nation with regret for that history at the end of WWII?

The present problems we are facing to won't be solved by such an easy anachronism. I feel almost angry at those politicians who neglect the value of fundamental human rights which the people one or two generation(s) prior to us have achieved with sweat and blood.


A trip to Shikoku

I and my wife have visited my wife's parents, that is, the parents in law for me, on Sunday through Monday. Since both of them are older than mid 80s and mother in law is suffering from Alzheimers now, they have decided to enter a nursing home in Shikoku recently. I haven't visited them for several years now. I sure owe them a lot.

It was a fancy building that the facility is located in. A new care facility for elderly people. The facility is equipped with fancy furnitures and gorgeous lights on the ceil. The private rooms were not too small with a bed and least numbers of furnitures necessary for daily life. It didn't smell anything of the active normal life, though. Fortunately, the all staff looked cheerful and kind. For father in law, like the other care recipients in the facility, it is not allowed to go out without any accomapnying person. He did not mention of that but must felt it a bit of strain to himself.

Mother in law has had a fracture of femur head and could hardly converse with anybody. My wife told she had nodded to her when my wife greeted to her. She uttered a few syllables of thanks, as wife said, and finally teared a bit. In a few minutes, she seemed to be so tired that she fell asleep again. She, together with father in law, had worked hard as an officer at a local governmental office as well as a house wife for over 40 years. They have raised two daughters. As soon as she retired, her mother, that is, my wife's grandmother has needed care for daily routine. Mother in law has served and cared for her for about 10 years until grandmother passed away. It won't take only a few years when she could enjoy things for herself like travelling, making dolls and careing for flowers in the garden etc before she  developed dementia. She used to be a sharp person who planned and executed anything by herself for every family member. She was quietly lying on the bed at present without anything reminding us of her several years ago. It seemed to me she was living the present time, not for herself, but for the family members who should say farewell to her. I could hardly think of anybody like her who had lived for the other people throughout her/his life.

Yesterday, we, father in law, my wife's sister and her son, my wife and me, have taken a nice lunch at a restaurant. We headed back home thereafter. I would return there oftener. Aging is not the others' problem but is own for sure.

It was stormy last night. Most of the gingko tree has had leaves fallen on the ground.