Father's diary

It was so warm a few days ago that I went out to pull the weeds in the garden. The breeze was tender to me. I was apt to have back pain leaning forward while gardening. It was still a fun. Touching soil reminds me of something essential to living.

In some time, I would have a cup of tea in the house. I went to the entrance and tried to open the door there. It was locked. It would never open it. I looked around for any door or windows where I could come in the house. All in vain. My wife in a day off seemed to go out locking the door. I was  left alone outside. I had been afraid this might happen someday. It has finally happened to me.

I didn't have cell phone to get in touch with her. In a minute or two, I have given it up. I entered to the other house in the same property, where our parents had spent their last years. Despite of no power there, everything was kept in the same way as my parents lived there. I filled a cup with tapped water. There was a comfortable chair in a small hall, where my mother used to spend afternoon. Sun was shining in there. Everything was ready for me to spend the afternoon there. One more thing I needed. I would spend time reading some book in the book shelf. A variety of books were in the shelves. An essay written by an actor. Or one of the writings by S. Takahashi whom my father used to be devoted to. A diary of my fathers' has caught my eye.

It has been nearly 10 years since my father died. But I would not read his dairies by myself. My father used to be a keen dairy keeper for decades. Reading them might mean to me that I would invade his inner world. I hesitated to do so reading any of them even though he had passed away.

I took that diary written in 1962.

Simple description of daily life there. Just like notes to memorize what has happened. Surprisingly, he has written down of us, his three children, quite often. Most of his diary was occupied with such topics. It attracted my attention that he had written more of me than the other borther and sister. For example, he wrote that even though I would have exams at school from tomorrow, I had gone to Akihabara for radio parts. I don't remember to be told to study more for school by him. But he must be concerned about me in various ways. It was when I was in the term of rebellion in my life. Was it the reason why he had cared for me so much?

Since I have raised children by myself, I thoroughly understand what he has felt about us at that time. I asked myself if I had understood him in his late years. His hope and sorrow. I still realized that I had got away from him when he needed my concern and help. It is too late. Does father-son relationship always go in this way? It won't excuse me at all. Reading his description of me in his diary, however, I felt I had grown up under his concern and affection. If he were still alive and knew I had realized this, he might tell me "It is OK. It is your turn."

The red ume flowers are in full bloom.
Just in front of the house I spent that afternoon.


Visiting a town next to the destroyed nuclear power plant

My parents used to move from Tochigi to a suburb in Tokyo in late  '50s, where they have raised us as I wrote somewhere in this blog. My mother had worked as a nurse at a Salvation Army hospital there for almost 30 years until she retired and came back here in '80s. My parents have become close friends to a lady who was a noncommissioned officer in the Salvation Army. At almost the same time as my mother returned here in Tochigi, that lady, a little bit older than our parents, retired from the Salvation Army and came back to her birth place in a seaside area of southern Fukushima along the Pacific Ocean. Having been single throughout her life, she seemed to have spent her retirement with her family there. When my parents were settled down here, they wanted to visit her. It was to give her a kind of comfort but to share the memories of the old days together with her. It was about 25 years ago, I had no reason to deny their request to bring them to her place on my car.

It took us 3 or even 4 hours to drive to her place. At that time, the high way ran only to a city more than ten miles south of her town. We had to run along a rustic countryside for some time. It was a rather small and humble farmer's house located among rice paddies that she lived. Our parents have had a pleasant time with her there for an hour or two. I was impressed so much at the peaceful and quiet country there at that time that I still remember that visit as if it was yesterday.

Three years ago, the earthquake occurred just east of there. It has caused, together with the Tsunami, the nuclear power plant accident some ten miles north of her place, I have not forgotten of her and her home ever since. That lady must have already passed away for now. I wondered, however, how the place has suffered from the disaster.

Last week end, I decided to drive to her place and the adjacent areas and to see what happened there by myself. It was a sunny day. Everything seemed to sing for the pleasure of spring in the countryside. The highway ran to the town of the crippled nuclear power plant now. But it was forbidden to enter the town. The town of her place was located next to it in the souther direction. I took off the high way at that town. As soon as I got out of the high way, I found a sign showing the level of the radioactivity in the air. It told about 3 microSv/hour. It was several times higher than that in the normal place.

                                        There was some traffic on the high way in Fukushima.
                                        Only a single lane as soon as it entered Fukushima.
When I went in the town, it looked very quiet. No pedestrians on the street even though there was some traffic running there. I knew it was not an area that the people should evacuate. The windows or the entrances were all closed or shuttered. The gardens were closed with a piece of wire etc. I could not feel vividness of residential area. The drive in style restaurant was closed. No cars have parked. There were a few restqaurants on business along the truncal road, which seemed to be for those working at the decontamination sites etc. No habitants or visitors.
Since I had no record of her place or even her name, I could not identify her place. But, being close to the rail road, there was a place which likelily used to be her home. It has been renewed to a modern house. But, again, nothing suggestive of anyone living there. Even if I would try to ask about her there, I should not be able to find anyone around there. 
I turned toward the coast two or three miles east of there. There was spreading out a desolate field which must be paddies or farms in the past.
This house should be destroyed by Tsunami.
Along the road, there were numerous vinyl bags lined in rows in the field. I was sure they were packed with the decontaminated soil. Those bags must be kept somewhere for years until the radioactivity is lowered enough. Who knows how long it will take? The main contaminant, Cessium, has the half life of about 30 years. I bet it would take even longer. How will it be possible to keep them unbroken and not hazardous the people around them? Who will be responsible for that? The debris from the collapsed nuclear power plant is much more hazardous to us. It should be kept away from us for thousands of years or even longer. How and where is it kept? Noone knows that.

At the bank of the shore, I found a structure which was bent, probably, by the Tsunami. Without it, there was nothing which reminded me of that disaster there. The Tsunami must not be so high as in Miyagi Pref, north of here. But this bent structure told me how destructive it had been.
On the same bank, I looked at the way where the destructed nuclear polwer plant was located.  Inbetween, there should be another nuclear plant. I could not see either. The waves were quietly breaking against the tetrapods along the coast as if there had been no such disater only 3 years ago.
Put simply, it was a town of death that I have seen there. Everyone was evacuated. There were no ordinary lives, works or laughters of the people who used to live there. In evacuation, they have lost the community. As I have described in a previous post around 3.11, it is a socialized murder. I could not find any other words expressing this situation. We should never forget we are alive and enjoying the ordinary lives at the cost of their socialized death.
On the way back home, I wondered what my parents would say seeing those landscapes at the town their old friend used to spend her retirement.   


Running across with a young composer

I have run across with Doug NC3I in Seattle on 40m this evening.

He has just finished the graduate school there and has got the doctorate degree in Music. He is a composer. He sounded a bit excited. It seemed he had had a concert for his work performed there that evening. He might be honored as the composer laurelled with the degree.

When I told him I could not understand the atonality in the modern music, he answered me the atonality was already "old". He composes based on our traditional music featuring improvisation. His work is planned to be performed in Japan. I would see him and may talk about music as well as his old TR4 then.

Ham radio is not dead at all but is still fascinating, isn't it?


The nuclear power complex still avidly seeking their profit

There was a small item of news in a local column of a paper yesterday, that told a few researchers of Tokyo University had received tens millions JPY as funds for research from nuclear power generation companies.

They, specializing nuclear power, have been on charge of the Nuclear Power Safety Council in Ibaraki prefecture. A couple of them, T. Okamoto and N. Sekimura, used to make real time comments in a TV program as professionals on the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident in 2011. Their comments were out of focus, even though they were intending to do so or not. Anyway, they could be regarded as on the side of the nuclear power companies. I clearly remember that Professor Sekimura was telling that only portion of nuclear fuels had been denuded when they already melted down. They should have not been qualified as researchers in nuclear power any longer.

I suspect this is an issue of conflict of interest. The nuclear power complex, that is, the governmental office, the politicians, the researchers and the nuclear power generation companies, that are deeply involved in this industry, is still actively but unnoticeably acting together. This complex is aiming at re-start of the nuclear power plants in order to preserve their profit from this industry.

The news didn't seem to question about the relationship between them and the nuclear power generation companies.


A scandal in scientific research

In the previous post, I have written about the disgraceful event regarding STAP stem cell.

This team of Riken has made a slipshod work which could not be called a research. The first author of the papers published in Nature must be responsible for it.

It seems very likely that Riken, at least some of the leading members of this lab., has tried to take advantage of this "research" publication. Riken was going to be one of the two labs in Japan, which the government would invest for the scientific development in our country. This publicity of the research, which a young female researcher has made "an epoch making ahievement in biology", could have been more than a desirable advertisement for Riken than anything. In the press conference, the personality of the researcher or the "feminine" outlook of the laboratory room has been too much stressed. The pink colored wall paper has turned out to be remodelling of the room just before the publicity.

It should be thoroughly investigated what has brought this scandal. It seems the leaders of Riken are trying to ascribe it to this researcher herself. Of course, she is responsible for that. However, the leaders should be blamed even more than her. I suspect there should be, as a backgound of this event, severe conflicts for the research fund among the research labs. It is often in short time that the researchers are required to give certain results from their research. These won't excuse this scandal at all. But it should be elucidated why it has occurred. Was there any structural defect in the research field? I am afraid japanese researchers will lose its prestige due to this scandal.

An homage for the memory of the good old days

In this season, an hour or two before sunset, 40m sounds quiet without the static noise or the messy SSB from SE Asia. I know it is still open to NA or Pacific area. In fall, it could open to all over the world at the same time. Pointing beam to NE, I start calling CQ. No caller. I repeat it two or three times. The band is still quiet. Listening for any weak callers for a while, I quit there.

This 40m is special to me in a couple of senses. One is that, as I have repeatedly told in this blog, this band at this time in a day has been my first love in radio since I started it in '60s. There have been a lot of fascinating people and QSOs with them. The other is that the condition is always coming upward to the peak around the sunset. The band is heading to miraculous opening to various parts of the world at the same time. It is the band of youth, isn't it? Even with a small 6AQ5 single TX with a dipole fed with a ladder line, I could work DX  far away in '60s. I could join CW ragchewers around the Pacific Ocean from time to time. Yes, I have written of this same memory so many times. That is why I come back to 40m at this time in a day.

Unfortunately, there are very few getting on the air around this time. It may mean how CW communication has come along and where it is heading to. I won't care for that. Calling CQ as told above, I go off the radio. It is an homage for the fond memory of this band in my young days.  



This is one of the camellias in our garden. All were planted by my father 30 years ago. They give us those flowers in this season and let us know the winter is almost over. Planting trees and flowers might be a real good gift to descendents. Even if they won't know who have planted them, they might imagine an ancestor has done that.

Cabbages survived the brutal winter

Steamed vegetables by Tajine is a kind of routine dish on the table in our family. The contents are cabbage, sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot and broccoli. Dried fruits are sometomes included. Simple but good to take big amount of vegetables. When we take it as breakfast, we won't feel humgry until lunch.

This afternoon, when pulling weeds in the yard, I found "exhausted" cabbages among weeds. I have planted them last fall. But they hadn't grown much before it got cold. I have given it up. After washing it, I tried the inner part of one of these cabbages. Pretty sweet. It must contain more carbohydrate than ordinary ones to survive in the frozen weather. I decided to put it for steamed dish for dinner tonight.

A regrettable event in science

In the past post in this blog, I have congratulated a researcher and her team of Riken in Japan for their achivement in an embrybiological study. It was a finding of multipotent stem cell derived from matured lymphocyte with simple acidification process but no genetic manipulation like in the case of iPS. It seemed to have been an epoch making achievement. There have been, however, a number of questions published regarding their method and data. The criticisms were for the main theme that their "stem cell" had been reprogrammed from matured cell as well as had differentiated into three embryonal layers. To my regret, so far, these criticism seems to hit the mark. The researchers are withdrawing the paper from, a renowned science journal, Nature.

It is a real regrettable news to me in dual senses. Firstly, an idea of stimulus dependent reprogramming of a cell could not be proved. There seem to be a few preliminary data showing its possibility from the other labs. I hope such an exciting aspect of research in embryology and regenerative medicine will be cintinuously carried out by the other groups.

The second point is a serious question how this1st author of rhe relevant papers, a young scientist, has been educated. It was beyond our imagination that a researcher could make such mistakes or rather falsification of the data. It was what a scientist should never do. The news says she had done the same thing in her doctoral paper submitted to the graduate school of Waseda University. What has the teacher taught as for the attitude to do research? Isn't it rare in research of these subjects? I know there have been severe competitions in this field of science. It might be related with possible industrialization of regenerative medicine. Nevertheless, the researchers should have kept the ethics in scientific research.

I am sorry but I should withdraw the post cited above. But, as a token of this regrettable event, the post itself will be preserved in this blog.   


Three years have passed

It has been 3 years today since the mega earthquake occuredin Tohoku. It has killed, including those missing, up to more than 20, 000 people. It may be inappropriate for us to remember this disaster only with the size of the damage and the number of casualties. What fright has each of the casualties had? There have also been sorrow, pain and regret in the heart of the family members left. It should be beyond our imagination. There must be deaths related with this earthquake not counted in this number as well as that due to the deaths related with nuclear power plant accident, as described below.

Actually, as I have already written somewhere in this blog, my mother has died a monthe after this earthquake. She has experienced the massive quake and the following power off for a few days in a nursing facility in Sendai. Even though the personnel of the facility has done as much as possible at that time, she might spend a few days in a frightening situation with the cold and humger. Four years prior to the earthquake, my brother had taken her from here up there. She has passed away at a hospital in a month. I am sure the stress due to the earth quake and the sequel has killed her. I still regretfully think if I did not let her go up there by any means, she could have gone through this disaster. There must have been so many such cases as my mother related with this disaster. We should sympathetically imagine, even if not possible, how they and the families have got through in the disaster

Needless to say, one of the most serious events following to the earthquake was the nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima. There are still 135000 people evacuated from their homes. The main cause of evacuation is the nuclear power plant accident. The government used to announce immediately after the accident that they would enable all of the evacuees go back home in some time. In this past 3 years, quite some of the evacuees have been forced to decide not to returen home. No infrastructure and community are left there. The government announced some areas next to the disabled nuclear power plant would be inaccssible for decades. That means the people in those areas won't be able to go back there if they wish. They might be paid money for the compensation of the damage due to the accident. However, they would lose their homeland, work and community. It means they will have been socially killed. Actually, they are being killed.

By January this year, the number of the deaths related with the accident has reached over 1600 in Fukushima, which is more than the number of the casualties in the same place due to the earthquake and the tsunami. It is wrong that the accident has killed anyone as some nuclear power supporters insist. The aged people in the evacuation houses are getting weak and are apt to be sick now. There will be more of the deaths related with the accident from now.

We should consider how to protect them from being socially killed and from being dead related with the accident. The number of evacuees and of the deaths related with the accidents tells us the support and aid for them is much less than needed.

After this disatrous accident, the political leaders should have renewed the paradigm regarding energy in the society. We, the people, have approved the policy of no nuclear power plant, either at once or in some years. It was taken into the policy of the government. But, with the regime changed, the present government has ignored it and has regarded the nuclear power plant as the basic source of power. Their explanation is full of intentional lies and of misunderstandings. The business circles intimately related with the power companies are at the back of the present government.

They insist that nuclear power is cheaper than the other method of generation of electricity. When we take account of the expenditure for the construction, the deconstruction and the disposal of used nuclear fuel, the cost for nuclear power generation turns out to be much more. The insurance for serious accidents should be much more expensive than before; actually, they have not bought such insurance. The nuclear power plant has various inevitable risks such as fragilization of the casing due to neutron exposure. If it causes explosion during operation of the plant, the damage would be much more serious than this Fukushima case. As told elsewhere, Japan is one of the areas where earthquakes hit frequently. They bay we are getting into the era of the crust instability. There have been 20 times more of the outer rise type earthquake just east of Japan Trench after the mega earthquake than before. It could cause a big tsunami, which may destroy the Fukushima nuclear power plant under cooling at present and may spread the contamination.

In spite of these findings, the government would go on restarting nuclear power plants. They won't invest for the natural power generation. They even lowered the rate of the feed in tariff for the solar power generation. They are not willing to invest more for the wind power generation, which has been estimated quite hopeful.

Together with this old fashioned attitude toward energy policies, I am afraid, the people being socilaly killed are left helpless here by the government. I am sure they should be remembered with those dead in this disaster.  

                                         Since the dasatered area in Fukushima is not accessible
                                         now, here are a couple of photos showing the beautiful
                                         mountains and fields about 60km in Fukushima west of
                                         the area.

                                         Our son is studying medicine over there.


Accepting aging

Jim, W5JAW, a very proficient guitarist, told me he won't play a long piece any longer.  He won't play a suite of Bach as a whole. It is too much burden for him now, as he said. But he would play any favorite piece in the suites. Actually, he played the prelude of Nr1 suite before starting the QSO with me this morning. He also told me he won't care for the tempo or the way of expression for certain music. He would play a piece as he wants to.

Aging gradually deprive us of the strength or the functions of our body, that is, of our performance ability. I know he is a man of sports and has been enjoying rawing boat etc. His efforts to stay young might have slowed down the process of aging. He might be younger mentally and physically than me. But even with such efforts, he could not avoid this aging process. Even in that process of aging, how free and vivid his attitude toward music is! He might be able to say something like this as he has achived success as an amateur guitarist. But it was still encouraging to me a lot to see how he accepts the fact of aging.

Of late, I often think of the meaning of aging in my own life. It seems quite difficult for me to accept it as it is. It has been an absurdity. I need the future to live. But aging will greet me with death in possible future. Hopefully, I could be strong, or I should say, could be free from the sadness of aging and death, even if it is not able to be averted. His attitude toward performing instrument was really suggestive to me as for this point. May our aging bring us strength and wisdom like Jim had.

Thanks for the nice chat, Jim.


Please don't omit my call sign.

I am often called with only caller's call sign for my CQ. They send it only once. If the caller is right on my frequency and in time, I could guess I am called by him/her. The problem is that they are often a bit off my spot and are delayed starting calling me. It confuses me a lot. Nowadays, there are numerous pile ups (games if I could say) going on even away from the DX window. Pile up participants could be like those callers. Should I reply to them?

Another frustration about them is that they won't enjoy "tell me your story type" QSO. As soon as they give the routine items like report/name/QTH, they are always ready to quit. Actually, even if I should ask them about them, they ignore that or they won't seem to understand me. I haven't counted such callers yet. In my impression, they are up to 70 or 80% of the whole callers.

So far, operators enjoying conversation are sometimes in those callers. I am dubiously replying to them. But who knows I won't answer to such a caller any longer soon? I am actually inclined to feel going that way.

Please don't omit my call sign before giving yours when you call me.

The hiatus is getting widened

The budget for the next year was set to boost the public enterprise sector while the welfare section is stringently suppressed. The most part of the increased tax income will be used for the former sector and for the export business. The people seem to be intoxicated by this apparently generous expenditure. This pattern has been repeated under the LDPJ government
since 1990s. The public enterprise boosting has been like a drug. It has been proved to end in failure. It heightens the economy for a while followed by a much more recession. Together with the side effects of massive quantitative easing by BOJ and the risen sales tax, the economy will surely drop very soon. It may even crash the economy considering of the astronomical amount of national debt.

The school children receiving the public financial support for education is steadily increasing. Fiftenn percent of the whole school children, that is the record high, are paid for that support a couple of years ago. On the other hand, the recipients of the financial aid for the poverty is also steadily increasing and has reached record high last year. More than 2 million people are receiving this aid. The major companies, mostly of export sector, are told to be willing to increase pay. Only originally rich people could enjoy it. The hiatus between rich and poor is increasingly widened now.

The cause of apparent deflation in Japan is believed to be due to the derease of working population and the increase of aged. That is the decline in demand. The policy of the government is clearly against any trial to improve this decline. In addition, this widened hiatus in the society will make it unstable.

When will the people wake up from this intoxication?