A drive to Kitaibaraki City

I have left home purposelessly bringing the new camera early this afternoon. I wanted to take some photos to try it.

I found myself driving to the coast of the Pacific Ocean. It took me a couple of hours to drive there. Much longer than usual. I should have paid attention at the fact it was the day before New Year's Eve when people was moving from the big cities toward their home town. The traffic was pretty crowded. 

There is running a highway south to north from Tokyo to Sendai along the coast. I drove up to Kitaibaraki City in the northern part of Ibaraki Prefecture. As I might have written about that before, I used to drive this area with my family when the 1st kid was small. It was easier for my wife to go for driving than staying at the tiny resident dormitory. We used to drive along the coast as long as we could return home before it got dark. We drove the ordinary road running parallel to the highway. I took off the highway at Hitachi City south of Kitraibaraki. Running the route parallel to the highway, I found there were many buildings or stores unchanged since '80s.

I went to Isohara area of Kitaibaraki City. There is an old shrine on a very small mountain on the coast facing to the ocean, or exactly, in the beach. The height is only 70 ft! It must be originally a big rock on the beach. In late 17th century, the shrine is told to be founded by a famous Shogun Kunimitsu Tokugawa, a relative to the Tokugawas governing the country in Edo, that is, Tokyo, in the Edo era. He has introduced faith in a goddess of Taoism named Tenpin shin from China and ordered them to worship her at the shrine. It used to be for one of Thagata in Bhudism. Later, both were worshiped at the same shrine.

This is the small buikding of the shrine,Ototachibanahime, on the top of "the mountain" named Tenpi San. The mountain name was evidently after the goddess they worshipped at the shrine.

A view toward east from the small garden of the shrine.

The beach in KItaibaraki City. Beautifully tinged very light beige or white. No people there. It was a fascinating place. 

Once, I dreamed moving this area or, at least, having a cottage at a high place overlooking the ocean. But it seems to stay being only a dream for me. Nevertheless, I would visit there from time to time. It reminds me of good old days.  


The old tomb

Yesterday, I have uploaded a photo of Bentenzuka-kofun in Facebook, one of the mounds in this area, which is located on the way to my old office. A friend of mine has asked me about the tomb and the burial accessories in this mound. I have investigated about it a bit.

The result is tha there is only small amount of informations available on this tomb. It belongs to Azakata mounds in the area. A big river named Kinugawa is running west of this cluster of mounds. There is believed to used to be a big community at this place in Jomon Yayoi era, that is, approcimately from 14th century BC to 4th century BC, a prehistoric era in Japan. It is an era without any written history but an era as an object of archeology. Later in 6th to 7th century AD, the moulds are thought to have been built as tombs for the powerful persons in this area. About 60 years ago, a university group has studied these moulds. They have found burial mound figurines or ironwares etc for burial accessories and horizontal hole type stone chambers in some tombs. At least some burial accessories were preserved within the tombs. The structure of the tombs found by the investigation group suggests that these tombs have been built in  that age mentioned above. The investigation report by the group is not accissible through the internet, unfortunately. We may be able to read it at certain library. If I have a chance, I would investigate about it.

It is amazing that there are so many, possibly, hundreds of the same kind of old tombs all around in this country. As I told in a previous post, I believe they have been preserved as objects of worship by the people nearby. Or they would have been destroyed during the past centuries. I believe the people in this area have worshipped ancestors or some god in Bhuddism tradition at this old tomb. That worship must has been inherited from a generation to the next. I believe they have seen some transcendental beings or supreme beings in the old tombs. It is a primitive religion. It is still moving me our ancestors have had religious mind. They have been born in this area, grown up seeing the tomb from time to time, have enjoyed some kind of feast for the religion held around the tombs and have died to return to the eternal phase that the tomb has indicated. 

We are not the exception of those people. I feel a bit relieved to imagine our ancestors have lived in that way.



Late afternoon yesterday, I went to a supermarket in the town next to ours, where I used to work at my own clinic. I used to do shopping on the way back home after a day work. I was purchasing the materials for supper. On the way back home in the same way, I have taken a few photos using the brand new Canon.

Sunset. With a bit of magnification, the quality of the photo is not very excellent. Sun is setting toward the horizon in the west over a river named Kinugawa.

Far in the north western direction, we could see the range of the Nikko Mtns. The left one with some snow on the top is named Nantai San. It has a round shape characteristic for this mountain. In my memory in preschool age, this mountain stood as it is now. 

Taking these photos, I have realized that it had been over half of my life since I moved this area from Tokyo. Almost 2/3 of my life. At first, I was intending to stay here for sometime while I was serving residency at a med school hospital. In the end of a year those days, I always took my family to my parents' home in Tokyo on an old car. We spent a day or two there. It was the place where I had grown up and my parents were living at that time.

In several years, my parents, completely retired from their works, have come here and have started living with us. Until then, that town in Tokyo was my home town.
Without being conscious of it, this area has become my hometown in my mind. No home to return to in Tokyo any longer. Moreover, my parents are not there, of course, including in this area. These scenes have made me realize it clearly yesterday.

Consciousness of hometown has been surely changed in my mind. My parents are not on the earth anywhere. I would head to somewhere my parents are waiting for me.


Season's Greetings

It is past the winter solstice and Christmas now. It is the time for me to recall what has happened to me throughout this passing year and to give the season's greetings to all of you kindly visiting this blog. 

Honestly, I was reluctant to do this routine this year. The main reason was because I have had more sad and painful experiences than pleasant ones this year. I was inclined to postpone or to discontinue this habit this year. However, friends of mine and my family members have supported me to live in this way and have been blessed living in this countryside surrounded with so rich and plentiful nature. I still would like to express my gratitude toward you by this greeting post. 

It is inevitable for me at the age of 69 years to receive sad news on quite a few friends or acquaintances passing away. One of them was Prof. Isoyama, a renowned music researcher spcializing Bach and his works. I have not known him in person at all but have been an eager reader of his books on Bach. I have written that event in an article of this blog in February.  It was an unexpected event due to an accident. It was immediately after he had finished a life work on Johannes Passion. It might be a mandate from Heaven for him. And even for those ordinary people like myself, there must be the same destiny previously unknown to us. I have learned from his passing that we should be ready for that anytime. Now, whenever I receive such a sad news, I would utter in my mind you have lived your life wholeheartedly and are now in the peaceful rest. I should live my life so as to convince myself that way at the moment.

During all the year in 2018, the politics has been convered by fake data or by fake annouoncements. The ministry of Finance, the most important administrative office, has committed making forgery of the public documents, which resulted in suicide of an officier being ordered to do it at the field. It was to hide the facts our PM and his wife had been involved in a school foundation by a ultra right business man. Our PM has given 8 million USD of the national property to him. It was privatizetion of the national property as well as a corrupted cronysim. There has been another case of such curruption our PM has been involved in. After all, no one has taken the responsibility of the forgery and destruction of administrative system in our country. The government has published a false data of economic indicators in order to show raising growth of the economy. So called Abenomics, essentially a monetization of the debt with massive easing, has resulted in failure as a policy. It has left economic disparity among the people and accumulated further national debt. Even the balance sheet of BOJ and the pension fund of GPIF will have been damaged in the very near future.

In addition to this astronomically large amouont of national debt, we have the other problems like the used nuclear fuel or global warming. They could not be handled by the present framework of democracy. Those problems force the next generation to be burdened unless they are not solved by us. Presently, populism, the worst style of democracy, is prevailing throughout the world. It may lead us to fascism, I am afraid. It is definitely not possible for such a system to handle and solve those problems being carried over to the next generation. It is an issue which human kind has never experienced in the past. Unfortunately, there seems to be no solution to this issue at present. In the coming year, I think we should go forward to the solution step by step.

I am still struggling with cello. It is obvious that I could not make any progress with it at my age any longer. It is still a fun and an adventure worth trying. I have joined a few groups of ensemble mainly in Tokyo. I feel like a schoolboy going for an fun excursion whenever travelling to Tokyo for that. I find myself smiling spontaneously in the morning of departure. I thought it was comparable to my old father who used to attend a Bible class in Tokyo at my age or even older once a month. He seemed vivid and well tempered expecting learning Bible together with his company, which he called as Ecclesia. It is an ecclesia for me to have company of ensemble in Tokyo. So far as my health permits it, I would go on there.

My wife is still working in full time and is often tlking about possible retirement for now. She is not, however, born to be a house wife. So far, I would be being a house husband while she works for those with psychiatric porblems. Yet, it won't be too long before she closes her office. Hopefully, some doctor may take it over.

Both of us have enjoyed gardening and farming in our lot. Sometimes complaining that the land is a bit too big for us, I find it is a blessing to work for them. Some fruits or veggies have enrich our table from time to time. In winter, I would prepare the soil in the garden for plants/veggetables in the coming season.

My mind is full of gratitude to friends and family members and also the environment which allows me to spend the last chapter of my life. I would like to live after ths spirit of the poem "Grow old" of Browning.

Again, thanks for your visiting this blog. Wishing you all the best for the New year.

Shin Onisawa


A new camera

My old camera, the model S100 of Canon, has acted up recently. The lens was kept out even when the switch was off. The display said it was a lens error. It has worked well for us for even 12 years for now. I have given it up and was going to purchase a new one.

A photo taken with the new camera. No difference from the last one? It may depend on my skill as a photographer.  

The next mode is G7XII by Canon. It is another compact model with a bit wider image sensor and brighter lenses. Some high end single reflex or mirror less cameras were candidates for purchase this time. I still have an old single reflex camera from Nikon. And I was reluctant to purchase anything extravagant for my life in the last chapter. This model is told to be renewed in the beginning of the next year. But the new feature of the model is believed to be such as 4K movie  function, which is not attractive to me at all.

The old S100, a very small compact camera, has worked so well for us indeed. Thousands of photos have been taken with it, which have been stored in the PC. It is the history of ourselves for the past 12 years, pleasant or grieving. I would keep this one in a box for some time.

Racalling of old cameras in our home, the very first one was a single reflex camera I boutht in my resident days, expecting our 1st son. We were not weathy enough and had to work at another hospital for a few days to get the fund for that camera. It has served us to take photos of our children from baby to grown up days. I have still kept the negative films taken with it and have digitalized them into the computer.

Needless to say, the photos are telling the history of our family. With this new compact camera, I will go on taking some more until the end of my life.


Pork and eggplant cooked with vinegar

Again inclined to be a food blog. Eggplant and pork tasted with vinegar for the dinner tonight.

A simple dish. Not bad.


A couple of questions on the diplomatic policy of the US

I have a couple of questions about the diplomatic politics of the US now.

The first question is why the US authority won't reveal the spyware which they claim to have been installed in the cell phone/smaret phone made by Huawei or ZTE. If the US authority forbids the people or the other countries to use those Chinese products, the authority should explain what spyware has been found in them. In association with this issue, how about the Eschron which is well know to be the internet interception system world wide? The Eschron is much more widely as well as thoroughly extended all over the world than such as certain type of mobile phone. If any spyware should be actually installed in their products made by those manufacturers, won't this world wide spy network be questioned in the same sense? Maybe, American people would contend it is for the national security of the US. How could it be restricted to that purpose?

Secondly, the US government seems to intend to regard Iran as an evil country. It prohibits the other countries to stop import of the gas from Iran. There may be a problem of human right in Iran. And the nuclear power plant construction in Iran has been an issue between the western countries and Iran. The latter has been negotiated to reach a solution. The US government seems to overturn the negotiated result with Iran. As for the former point, how about that in Saudi Arabia? Saudi has executed murder of the journalist living in the US recently. Saudi government is deeply involved in the civil war in Yemen, which is a real threat to humanitareanism. So far as I know the human right is much more abused or offended in Saudi Arabia than in Iran. It's a double standard if the US government won't question on the situation in Saudi Arabia. It seems to me that the US government diplomatically attacks Iran only since it is an enemy of Israel.

I believe the US is still the only super nation in the world and is responsible to augment the peace. How are you considering of these issues? 


Another apple cake

I have purchased a cake pan made of alminum yesterday. It was to bake this cake. My wife me to measure the materials accurately or the cake won't be swollen. I was a bit nervous about it. I was relieved to see the cake starting to be swollen in 5 or 10 minutes in the oven. I am quite sure my wife used an old baking powder when she failed with it.

It is interesting to see the materials becoming a cake. No, I won't be a cake baker. No, possibly.


Apple steamed in wine flavored with cinnamon

There are some more apples in the box. It urged me to cook an apple steamed in wine flavored with cinnamon.

I know this blog is not a cooking blog. I know...


Cod meuniere

Another dish for dinner. Cod meuniere.

The reason why this menue came up in my mind was that there was a lemon left after using the other for apple cake. I always consider how to use all the materials used for the other dishes. It might be a view point of a house wife.

I have become a house husband, I should admit. Whatever skill or knowledges on housekeeping/cooking I have achieved, it might be the truth.

Spelling cod, I wonder if they get much codfish in Cape Cod Mass., where a good friend of mine, Jan K5MA, who have gone silent key recently, used to live. Everything reminds me of personal memory. It may mean I have lived a long time.

Next post must be regarding other than cooking. Begging your expectations!


Apple cake

I have never made any cake in the past. Having several apples as a present to my wife from a patient, I decided to bake an apple cake. Three of them were used. Baking powder or vanilla essence was quite new to me. The recipe said any cake pan was not necessary but the pan of the electric range with a piece of cooking sheet on it was necessary. But it was not correct. Or the apples were too big. Some of the material was overflowed from the pan. Anyhow, it was done. A bit too sweet. Still fresh and pleasant.

Maybe this sweetness is for American people. The whole cake looks dynamic! I wonder how my wife will comment on this very first cake for me.

No, this blog is not a food blog. Next post may not be regarding any food. Possibly.


"Pot au feu Nabe"

I am apt to cook too much at one time. We could not help saving the rest of the dish in the refrigerator. It is not uncommon in a small family, I blieve. However, it sometimes cause an unexpected thing like today.

Yesterday, we had a hot pot dish called Nabe. It's a family cooking typical for this season. It was intended to take it for the coming 2 or 3 days being saved in the refrigerator. Tonight, I thought, as my wife always does, she had moved the content of Nabe into a metal pot kept in refrigerator.

This evening, I have added some freeze dried Nabe soup, oyster, codfish and chinese cabbage etc into that "Nabe". It still should be a perfect dish. However, it turned out to be Pot au feu which was made 2 days ago. So it is "Pot au feu Nabe." Not bad. A bit strange taste. Unexpected blending of Japanese and the Wetern style. Nabe dish was kept in the utility room. 

I won't dare to recommend to try it to anyone. But again, it was not bad.

Don has unintentionally called this blog as food blog. He has not made a mistake. This blog is becoming a food blog as he says. I would try to discuss a bit more on politics, economy or the present situation of CW/ham radio etc. Maybe, soon.


To try to stay free from dementia

When my mother was living in the house in the same property years ago and I was serving breakfast, I often found her writing down something on a paper. She was practising writing chinese characters. It was the time when she had developed and progressed dementia. She had been a sharp lady and must be in worry and anxiety for that problem. She did not tell me why she had done that. But I thought she had realized losing her memory and tried to maintain it with that particular behaviour. What could I tell her seeing that? It was an endeavour to struggle with the illness looming on her quietly.

Apart from what it means to us living ordinary life, writing something by hand is a good training to activate our brain. It consists of recalling spells, meanings of what we are going to write and moving our hands to write them down. Then we read it over and assure if the writing is correct in the context. Not writing with a keyboard but by hand is the point. Hand writing requires us active recalling process. Keyboards could tell us wrong spelling etc. In Japanese, they even remind us of what we are going to write in advance. Active commitment to the process is crucial to activate our brain. So does playing music instruments mean to us. It is even more complicated and diverse process of brain than hand writing. Thus hand writing or playing music instrument is regarded to resist or slower the process of brain dysfunction with aging.

As a CW lover, how about keying CW? It might seem comparable to handwriting. In CW reception, our auditory center decodes the code. Our memory works in that process. CW sending is to consider of what message we should send and to convert it to the code, almost automatically, and move our hand hitting the key in front of us. However, exchanging meaningless symbols/numbers is different from handwriting. It won't involve in the higher center of our intelligence. It is just a reflective process, which could be replaced to computer. The digital mode is a product of this replacement. 

Now it is your choice which way of enjoying CW you would do. Playing with CW in order to prevent from suffering dementia may be a bit off the point. If your way of enjoyment attracts you, nothing is to be complained about that. Just go ahead in that way. If not, try to communicate meaningful things on CW, which would give you more pleasure and eventually help you to be free from dementia. Even if it may not be the ultimate solution of this inevitable problem for some of us.


The 40th anniversary

It will be our "ruby wedding anniversary" tomorrow. How fast time has gone away!

Forty years ago, we were settled down at the med school hospital dormitory for residents. A small two storied apartment. We had only a bicycle for transportation. After finishing hectic daytime duty, we went for supper at a local restaurant on that bicycle together. For the first few months, I have prepared scrambled egg for breakfast everyday while listening to Faure's Songs by Gerald Souzay. Sometimes, we spent evenings at the student dormitory where we could play table tennis and my wife sometimes played piano. I can't remember if I played cello then. It took me some time to purchase a new cello. Everything was new to us. At the inpatient ward, I had to learn everything unfamiliar to me. My wife was attending a French study class instructed by the professor of psychiatry early in the morning once a week. I was also ambitious for the future as a researcher in immunology/hematology. Either of us could not accomplish any academic career. It was, however, fun for us to learn everything new to us. And still proud of having been serving for those who needed our help in the later years.

We have never dreamed of the difficult lives waiting for us ahead. It is impossible for me to describe what we have had to go through. With the support of my parents and the other family members, we could do that. I should be deeply thankful for every effort given by them. I also won't forget what you have endured and shared every thing with me.

We are getting into the last chapter of our lives. I don't know how long we could be with together. So far as we are allowed to, let's go hand in hand, whatever may happen to us. Until we are separated with death.

My wife in the honey moon trip. Sorry for uploading repeatedly this same photo, which I love most.


A memory of roasted sweet potato

There are a lot of fallen leaves on the ground from the magnolia and chestnut tree. Raking and collecting them at place in the yard, I have burnt them this afternoon. My mother used to ask me where sweet potato was whenever making fire with the fallen leaves. I always prepared them wrapped in aluminum foil and put them in the fire.

She was smiling at it and would wait for the cooked sweet potato in the fire. 

It surely tasted good. Like boiled chestnut. The roasted sweet potato reminds me of my old mother. I thought the days being with her would continue forever. Of course, it was not true. It has lasted only for a few years. 

Anyway, it is good for me to have such a memory. It is a real great memory since it has lasted only for limited length of time. 

To those who have beloving family members, please treasure every moment being with them. It won't last too long. It is a time of heaven to share time with them. The ultimate goal of our lives might be to learn this fact while we are alive.


An ancient tomb

I still often visit the city where I have worked at own practise for 17 years. I put an end to it already 6 years ago.

The barber whose granddaughter had been my patient since her infancy told me she would graduate a university next spring and would start working in Tokyo. That baby has grown up and would live on by herself in this way. The other patients might also grow to be students or workers.

At a supermarket, which I used to do shopping for foods on the way from the office back home, I sometimes meet those patients and their family members. A couple of days ago I went there last time, I could not see any of them. Of course, on plain week day, they might not hand around such a place like I did. It would be a hidden pleasure for me to have even a glance of them even if I won't talk to them.

After shopping some foods, I went back to home on the way I used to commute. Very little change has occurred along the route. There is an ancient tomb, Bentenduka, on the way in the midst of rice farm. Rice plants have already been harvested. The tomb stood quietly among the farm with stubbles in regular lines. I have repeated about what I felt when passing by this old tomb in this blog. I don't know why but feel pacified watching this simple tomb. It has been there since 7th or 8the century. The tomb must be for the powerful family in this area those days. Later, the ancestors around here have worshipped the people passed away and buried in it. Later, the object of worship must be mixed with or replaced to Benten Benten which was originally a goddess in Hindu and introduced into Buddhism. What a mixture of religions! Anyway, the tomb looks like showing the eternal phase. Whenever I pass by there, the quiet and everlasting existence of this tomb tells me that those ancestors have gone into the phase of eternity and so will I soon. It is a fascinating idea that I could be free from all the problems and worries around myself.

Of course, it will take me some time to have it happen. But I am sure it won't be too long. Until then, I would do whatever I could for family and the others around me.

When commuting to office, having fully opened the window and sunroof of my Honda, I used to drive at high speed on that road, straight ahead among rice farms, listening to such a music like this one. The Orchestral Suite 2 by JS Bach. The tune expresses two different aspects of life, pleasure and sorrow, at the same time. It was a real enjoyment of commute.


A hot pot dish

Japanese style hot pot cooking is a routine menue in our country in this season. This evening, I was intending to purchase materials for that dish at a super market. As I often do lately, I forgot getting chinese cabbage for that. I should have made a memorandum of the items I should buy. When I came home and got ready for that pot cooking, I remembered forgetting getting it. 

I rushed into the garden farm already dark and harvested potherb mustard and green onions. Together with home grown and harvested cabbage, I put them into the pot. It seems they might substitute chinese cabbage. I could not be more thankful for those veggies growing for this situation.

This pot is a gift for our wedding from Dr. Kamoshita, who was the professor of the Pediatric Dept at the med school I served residency. He kindly attended our wedding ceremony. I owe much to him. A real great doctor. I have learned a lot from him as for the profession as well as the way of living. He has passed away long time ago. This pot always reminds me of him and his kindness to both of us. In 15 days, we will have the 40th anniversary. 


Bob N6EA

I have accidentally read about a novel by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It must be a sister work of the famous novel, Little house in the Prairie. A TV program of that story has hit the air around 1980. We used to watch it with children at the dorm house of the med school hospital.

It has brought me back to a memory of Bob Schmidt, N6EA, who had gone silent key almost 20 years ago. I have known him on the air in late '80s. He was an avid contester as well as a ragchewer. He had worked as an engineer at Varian or something in the Bay area. An operator typical for the good old days. We used to talk a lot around when I joined FOC in 1988. His elegant keying is still vividly alive in my memory. Beautiful and smooth. While living in the Bay area, he had known Eric W6DU well possibly through his job and ham radio. Bob went up to Sonora when he retired. Both of them have kept schedule on 20m every morning. Of course, on CW.

In 1987, possibly, I had a chance to visit Bob in Sonora. It was the 2nd trip to the US for me. even though I was expecting to visit there with my wife, her pregnancy has prevented her from going for this trip with me. In stead, Hide, JH0FBH, went for this trip around the Bay area and Santa Barbara.

Inland near to the mountain area, there spreaded hills in Sonora. We have managed to reach Bob's home on a rental car. Bob and his wife Phyllis have welcomed us there. A quiet place for retired people. Phyllis has served nice lunch for us, which we took in the terrace. Sunray filtering through trees was shining on us. A peaceful and wonderful time.

Bob was a very kind gentleman. When talking to us, he has not stopped smiling. Phyllis looked charming and gentle. Both of them have treated us as close friends for them even though it was really the very first meeting for each other. I could not forget seeing them at their home that time. Bob used to come to see me at W6DU later on when I visited the Bay area a few years later.

Sadly enough, he has gone silent key around 2000. I have never kept in touch with Phyllis. I suspect she has also passed away by now. Such good people are going away from the earth so soon. I sure miss them. It is the way, however, things go on. There will be less and less people who rememer of Bob and Phyllis. The same thing will happen to me in some time. I don't feel sad for that. I have already lived a meaningful life. The only thing I should do is to try to do in my way whatever I could in order to leave a better world. That may be the same way Bob and Phyllis have done for us.


Dried Persimmons

We have harvested sweet persimmons from a couple of trees. They are good for a material of fresh salad.

There is a sour persimmon tree at a corner of the garden. My mother used to make dried persimmon from them. Even after she had suffered from Alzheimer, she did not stopped doing that in this season. It might be what her mother did in her young days. Mother might have learned from her or have learned it watching her mother. Anyway, it is my turn to make dried persimmons. I have reaped some 70 or 80 of them and peeled the skin. Two or three of them were hooked on a string in series and were dipped in boiled water to be sterilized for a few seconds. They have been hung under the overhang in this way. 

They say it takes a couple of weeks for them to be completely dried. I found, however, some of them were already ripened there today. Only 4 or 5 days. It may be thanks to the dry and cool weather for the days. Needless to say I have tried one of them. Sweet. Elegant. Tasty. I knew why my mother used to do the same thing years ago. 

I know it was a kind of wisedome in life she had learned from her mother. That knowledge, if it is only a trivial thing, is now being delivered to me. It sure is a link of life from ancestors to me. 

This blog seems like a food blog now. I still do the other things than cooking or making such as this dried fruit. What is going on in the world is enough to make me feel terrified. But living quietly in this way is also valuable to me. Believe me I am not only a chef/farmer yet. My inner world is so vivid and is concerned about things in the world.


Governmental manipulation in the stock market is being over

I am not an active investor to the stock at all. But I am still interested in it. The stock market reflects, or strictly speaking, used to reflect the economy in our country as well as the world.

Since the administration of Abe started 6 years ago, in addition to asset bubble due to astronomical scale of monetary easing, the government has manupilated the stock market through buying massive amount of ETF by BOJ. It is to make window dressing on the economy in our country. BOJ has become the major stock holder of 40% of the companies in the market. It could never be continued. With the world stock market getting into bear phase, our government/BOJ could never go on this window dressing. 

Since Oct. 2nd, the stock price is dropping rapidly. About 10% drop in total. During this short period, BOJ has bought ETF by 36 million USD, which has been absorbed by foreign vulture funds through short selling. Of course, the stock market could wax and wane. It is the characteristics of the stock market. But it could not be excused anyway to try to keep the governmental manipulation in the market with the fund with the fund from BOJ. We should bear the consequence in the near future.

It is a tragedy that most people are not aware of that in the vague euphoria in the society from the asset bubble. That is what the Abe administration aim at.


Rich fall here

Almost last batch of tomato harvest in the garden farm.

I love those tomatoes grown in the garden farm. Quite different from those sold in  supermarkets. Sweet and crisp. I often express that, when talking to my wife, the cell membrane is intact! I sure miss them now. It will get below 10 degrees C early in the morning here in a few days. They won't get ripe soon. Expecting another good harvest next summer, I will get ready for good farm for tomatoes.

Persimmons are ripened as well. They are sliced and added to fresh salad every day. Unfortunately,almost all of them ripe at the same time. Some of them will be gifts to crows in thie area. It's their share.

Broccoli are grwoing even though some leaves have been biten by bugs. Later this fall, they may provide us fresh fruits also served for salad after being boiled.

What a blessing we could have such a rich and peaceful fall. May it last long for us and for all my friends.  


"Autumn Leaves"

The article posted below has reminded me of "Autumn Leaves" sung by Yves Montand. It was in '60s when I got a record of that song. Having built an audio amplifier featuring a couple of 6BM8s, I listened to variety of musics. Different genres including chanson like this "Autumn Leaves". I was only a teenage boy attending a Jr. High in Tokyo and had never learned French. Without knowing what the song meant, I used to sing the song mimicing his French. I was surprised to see what it meant with this clip. How could a teenage boy sympathize with such a song of bitterness in life? Did it foresee my life?

Starting a story as if talking to his friends. Withoug making audience be aware of the transition, he moves spontaneously to the song of beautiful melody. What melancholy and nostalgia for the passed days are covering the entire song! It is a song tha a man remembers of the past with a girl friend who has been separated long time ago. It is comparable to remebering of own life. We fall in love with our own lives but it is going away soon.

I was so glad to see Montand in this clip again. In my teenage days, when I listened to this song at first, I have never thought of listening it again at this age feeling deeply nostalgic for those days.


Music makes us united

A Korean travellor bassist is making an instant session with the musicians on a street in Florence Italy. Of course, they played in impromptu. Excellent performance. In addition to their performance, this clip says we could be company through music. Music has the power to unite us.

Autumn leaves sure sound great in this season. 


The election result of Okinawa governor

The election result of Okinawa governor will be a real clout to the Abe administration. Even though the government has orgnized a stark campaign for their candidate, some of them almost illegal, the liberal one has defeated the former by a big difference. The main issue was if they would allow the government to build a new military base at Henoko, a beautiful beach with a lot of animals/fish/coral. The new base is estimated to be a permanet facility. The US base lots occupy about 20% of the island, that is, 70% of total US military base in Japan in 0.6% of the land area of our country. It has been a pain for them to have such burden since the end of WWII. Our government will face to a difficulty how to do with construction of the new base at Henoko. Without approval for the plan by Okinawans, it won't be possible for anyone to construct any base any longer.

Okinawan US base is mostly of Marines, which should not be involved in the conflict of invasion to Okinawa itself. Marines should go to Sasebo at first to deploy the vessels in order to execute the operation. No reason to have such troops of Marines stationed in Okinawa. The Japan US Status of Forces Agreement is disadvantageous especially to the Japanese in Okinawa. The US military enjoys a  kind of extraterritoriality in Okinawa. It should have been corrected by our government. However, the politicians/high officials would never do that. It is believed there is a kind of hierarchy in our country of which the US military/government occupies the top.

The following article on the result of this election is excellent except for a couple of points. Firstly, Okinawa has not received any subsidy more than the other prefectures. The Okinawan government estimates the economy of Okinawa is not dependent on the income from the military base but it is an obstacle for them to develop Okinawa properly. Secondly, the new governor is still a mixed race between Japan and the US. But the race is not the matter. He is still what he has been and what he will have been. 


It may not be a problem of foreign people, especially of the US people. But if the problem of the US military bases continues in Okinawa, it could be a big thorn for both countries in the near future, I am afraid.


Contaminated water is still contaminated

Another bad news on the Fukushima NPP. The contaminated water reserved in numerous tanks, amounted to one million sq. meter in quantity, is still contaminated with multiple nuclear species like strontium. They were told to be deconaminated except for tritium by the removal device of multinuclear species. In reality, 80% of the contaminated water still contained high level of multiple radioactive substances. For example, the content of strontium reaches up to 60000 times of the permissible value in the environment. The removal process seemed not to have worked as expected. The amount of the inflow of the underground water into the plant was over 500 tons/day in the beginning. Now it has decreased to about 100 tons/day, which results in the increase of the contaminated water by 36500 tons a year. The contaminated water is still increasing in quantity everyday.

There are two aspects of this problem which aggravate the situation.

Firstly, TEPCO and the related authority of administration have never published this contamination issue by themselves. Thorough research of the data by the civilians has revealed it. Even if the authority did not intended to conceal it, they have not intentionally published such an important fact.

Secondly, they have started discarding the contaminated water into the ocean. This is a criminal conduct. The government should be aware of this continued contamination from the begining. Tritium itself could be dangerous even at low level since it could be condensed by the ecological link. The other multiple nuclear species could directly contaminate fish etc and are harmful to people inducing the internal radiation. Our PM used to announce that Fukushima NPP accident was under control as the attraction speech of the Olympic Games to Tokyo at IOC meeting. It could be a vicious lie to the world. 

Keep your eyes open to the further news on this issue. 


Chestnut tree story

I am struggling with several baskets of chestnuts harvested from a big tree of that fruit in the garden. The fruits peeled the hard shell only are sorted for chestnuts boiled with the astringent inner skin seasoned with sugar. Those which the inner skin is taken away are for the rice cooked with chestnuts. Considering of the heavy work to get them, it is surely worthless. I still go on doing this. The reason is that the chestnuts are products of that big tree. It has been planted by my father when he was settle down here over 30 years ago. The tree has grown to be a real big one.

It is a part of the family history for us.

My father, as I repeatedly told in this blog, was a survivor of WWII as a soldier. I bet he has been threatened with starvation when he was in China as a soldier. That experience might make him like trees with fruites like persimmon or chestnut. 

When he was working in the sanatorium at the very same place as we live now, he used to go for studying farming with those fruit plants far away in Shikoku. I was a toddler or a bit older then. After a few days long absence, he came home. Appearing from the woods in front of the sanatorium, I found all of sudden, he was carrying  a tiny tricycle for infants. What a surprise and joy to see him again for me! I still remember of that moment seeing him smiling at me with that present to me. 

Ever since that event, he has planted fruit trees at various places when he could do that. This big chestnut tree is a heritage of his love to the family. With this note, I have sent some of them to my brother and sister. They were impressed at the gift as well as the story of my father.

I have cooked pretty large amount of chestnuts harvested with sugar, The fruits were boiled with sugar, which had the astringent inner skin. It's a taditional cook named Shibukawani. Elegantly as well as profoundly sweet. The problem is who would enjoy this amount of this chestnut cook. 

Fall is deepened in this way here.



Bill N4AR/8

Yesterday, I have run across with an old friend of mine, Bill, N4AR, operating from his 2nd house in Michigan. He has moved there 20 miles away from his old house there. Despite of the modest condition on 20m, his signal from a Yagi up 35 meters was pretty loud accompanied with slight polar flutter.

I have already introduced him once or twice in this blog. We have met often on 40 meters in our evening/his morning hours. He was booming in here with his big 3 elment Yagi at home. Before that, we have met when he was K4GSU, a med student at Johns Hopkins, when I, in my late teen age days, was not aware of majoring in the same speciality a few years later.

In the end of QSOs in '80s/'90s, I used to tell him I wished the inpatient ward be peaceful since I knew he would make a round there as soon as he arrived at the hospital. There could be a lot of tough happenings there.

In this QSO, he told me he had not been bored with retirement, which he made 2 years ago after a long career, and won't care for the ads of new biological meds on TV he saw even if they were not familiar to him. He was happy not to be called on the phone from the hospital and to rush to the ER at 3 AM any longer. I fully understand what he felt about those changes in life. Even though I am still a bit concerned about the new findings especially in pediatrics. I often look up about them into a textbook or Pubmed.

I knew he had had a bad ice storm which destroyed his antennas years ago. Ever since, together his interests moved into dreessage, he has not been active in ham radio. He told me he regained interests in the latter and would spend only 30% of time for the former from now. Our activities wax and wane from time to time. It seems he has returned to this hobby now.

He also told me he had just turned to 80 years of age. He made me smile saying he had not planned for that at all. I still have the image of him in the photo below, which Aki JA5DQH took in his visit to him in Kentucky back in late '80s. He seems to be physically as well as mentally active and would let me hear that N4AR booming in here on 40 meters early in our evening hours again.


Young talents and military conflicts

There are young talented artists coming up in the world from one to another. Like stars in the sky, they are shining with their talent and much efforts. They will join and form the flow of our culture together with the audience. It is a great joy to see such young artists performing with excellent virtuosity as this video clip shows;

Any war or military conflict woud destroy the flow and heritage of culture by those artists. They may die in the war or may be handicapped with injuries. Even from this standpoint, in addition to that regarding the possible victims of ordinary people, military conflicts should be strictly banned.

Our government has done a military exercise operation by Maritime Self Defence Force in the South China Sea where territorial disputes are going on among the countries around there. Japan won't do with that at all. This military action may aggravate the tension in the area.

Troops of Japan Ground Self Defence Force are planned to be deployed in the Middle East, where Israel is still bombing Palestines. Without diplomatic intervention to lessen the conflict there, any military presence won't solve the problem. 

I firmly believe we should leave the world in better situation. Less military conflict and more action toward peace. Without such efforts, this exhibition of brilliant talents in the world will be meaningless or won't exist.


The most hectic and hot day in Tokyo this summer

Before forgetting what I have done in the end of last month...

It was a hectic and hot day on the day with respect to both the content of activity and the weather. I have spent the whole day in Tokyo. The purposes of this trip there were to meet 3 of old ham friends who were medical doctors and to join an ensemble.

I decided to drive to Tokyo, not to take a train down there. It was to avoid walking in the cruel heat carrying cello. It turned out to be a right decision. I have never driven to the bay area along the gulf of Tokyo. It is a newly constructed downtown with a lot of highrise condominiums or high buildings where highways are running around. A really contemporary town. I was wondering, however, how they would maintain those infractructures in a few decades. It may cost a lot to do that when our country will have faced to the decline of national power.

The photo above shows the Big Egg Site in the back in such a modern town. It was the Ham Fair held there. I have been there for several times there for this event in the past. I have always had purposes to see friends, Japanese or from oversea. Jim N3BB or Dick K4XU was an example whom I met there. Not interested in the modern radio equipments they are advertizing there? Never!

As I told above, this time, I had promised seeing 3 of old friends who were or had been medical doctors as well as I was. I have arrived there an hour before noon, the promised time for that meeting, and have looked around the event. I have met Atsu JE1TRV, the boss of A1Club, who was welcoming the visitors at its booth. He told me there had been more numbers of hams attending that event this year. There were some young people but mostly old guys. There seemed to be few visitors at his booth. I was afraid it had meant declining of CW activity, that is, less hams interested in CW communication for conversation. I have met a few other friends of mine, whom I had not seen for a year or longer. Even if it was only for a very short time seeing them, it was still pleasant and has brought me back to the days when I was a real nut for this hobby.

At noon, I have met the guys I mentioned above at the exit/entrance of the event as promised. At first, Shin-etsu JS2KMK, aka, JQ1OQQ, has recognized me there. He has been a friend of mine since 1980s especially through a mutual friend, Sugita, JA1XKM, who was a graduate from the same med school in Hokkaido as Shin-estu was. Sugita, whom I have written about elsewhere in this blog, unfortunately passed away at his fifties about 10 years ago. Even though we have never met in person before, he was approaching to me with a big smile in a crowd. He might have seen me on some photo somewhere. He was a gentleman with shining eyes like a boy in teenage, still working as a surgeon for head and neck at a big hospital. After a long hiatus, he has come back to this hobby some years ago. The other two have arrived there in a minute or two. Hiro JA7WTH, a pediatrician, has been enthusiastic for CW for the past several years. He has been involved in constructing a new hospital as one of the headquarter staff. I believe he has been involved in the emergency service there as well. His duty might have been so tense and heavy for the past years. He told us he would retire when the new hospital construction is finished this fall. His outlook was a kind of aloof from the world like before. He has made us laugh a lot telling that he had told a guy operating intentionally rusty CW in Japanese to speak in the "ordinary" Japanerse but not in the "dialect" on CW. Sekiya, JJ1RZG, another pediatrician, has closed his business last winter. He told us how laborious it was to do all the procedures/processes for that. He seemed to love CW and DXing as well. He is still operating radio very early in the morning. I was impressed to hear he was learning English in the daytime when he had nothing to do. He was the oldest among us, in his eighties. He used to have trouble in walking 2 years ago in our last meeting. Now he seemed to be free from that and looked so healthy. The other two than Sekiya were in their seventies while I was the youngest among them. We have had much fun taking a great lunch at a restaurant in the event place. In an hour and a half, wishing them good health until next eye ball, I had to say good by to them in order to rush to the next destination.

It was an ensemble held by an amateur players' society named APA in a downtown of Tokyo. It was a kind of thrill and again a sentimental drive bringing me back to the days when I spent the med school period. Driving through along the Imperial Hotel, the Emperor's Palace, the Diet building and so forth, which had been familiar to me in my young days, I successfully arrived at a parking near to the place I headed to. It was right in the "no-tell hotel" alley. Very crowded with buildings. They looked the same with flashy blinking neon signs. Even though I used to come to the APA office to participate that ensemble some 15 years or so ago, I was totally lost. Carrying the heavy cello in the hard case, I was sweating a lot. I felt I could fall down on the street due to heat intoxication. In the burning sunshine, I was walking around for the ensemble place for some time. I have never regretted more not having smartphone with GPS than this time. I finally could get the phone number of the APA office with my cell phone and was told how to get to it. 

It was the same pretty compact room in a condo I used to visit. They were enjoying tea break. One of the organizers had turned out to be one of the alumnae of the university orchestra. When I gave her my intention to attend that ensemble by e mail some days prior to this event, she answered to me that she had already known me from that orchestra. What a coincidence! I could never recall her even though her premarital family name evoked a vague memory of her those days. She was 3 or 4 years younger me in the orchestra. A charming lady and a violinist. We have talked about some friends in the university orchestra whom we shared those days. Again it has brought me back to the good old days. There were about 10 people in the room. Mostly, violinists and violists. Most of them were quiet but once they started playing music, I felt they were passionate and enegitic for that. They told us it had been difficult for them to find a cellist. There was a proficient cellist in the ensemble, who seemed to join it on request by the other members. 

We have played Mozart, 3 or 4 of the pieces in his young days, Schubert, Bach and, in the end, Dvorak! Crazy program! I have never practised the 1st and 2nd movements of the famous quartet "America" by Dvorak and had to play it at first sight. Getting tired, I almost felt dizzy in the end of the session. What a pleasant time, though. It has reminded me of good old time in the university orchestra days. The only difference is that I have lost good vision and inexaustible energy in youth.

Being told to attend there again by the company, I was happily leaving there. It was a real busy and hectic day. But a really precious time for me.  Again recalling good old days, I drove back home. 


Ten years from the day of Lehman Brothers crisis

Today, it has been a decade since Lehman Brothers crisis occured. It seems that economic circulation is heading to another collapse of the world economy and finance system. I am least scholar of economics/finance but am still concerned about what is going on in the world.

The Institute of International Finance announced that at the end of March this year, the total debt in the world is up to 247 trillion USD. It has increased by 75 trillion USD, that is, 43 % from that in 2008.

On the other hand, the increment of the total GDP in the world remained 24 trillion USD, that is, 37 % increase. It means the debt per GDP in the world has increased from 2.9 times to 3.2 times. The funds from the debts have been invested to the assets. The economic growth rate remains low. The investments to the assets have been handled by so called the shadow banks like hedge funds. The funds are travelling instantly throuth the internet for further profit. It would contribute less to the manufacturing industries.

This has caused the inequality of income among people. Without the economic growth proportinate to the debt increase, the process inevitably causes the economic disparity.

It seems the collapse of the world economy may arise from the developing countries or from the rupture of the asset bubble in the developed countries. I don't know or could not predict how it occurs. I am very afraid the credit crunch must be really disastrous due to the size of bubble. I don't think the governments won't utilize the quantity easing for such a situation any longer.

For the past several decades, economic collapses have occured in 10 year interval as you may know. Be careful about such that.


Rice cooked with chestnuts

I have cooked the dish titled above. Chestnuts were harvested from the tree in our property. It has lived with us since we moved here. A very big and thick tree. This year, the chestnuts are entirely small in size. Maybe, it is due to the hot spell during the summer. The rice with home grown chestnuts tastes great. Sweet, not like sugar but delicately tasty. My mother used to love it.

The rice is from Hokkaido. It is also very good.

The only problem with this dish is that it takes much time to peel the shell! Looking forward this tasty rice, I have done that this afternoon.

We will have the harvest of chestnuts enough for this dish for 3 or 4 times. When we have this dish, it is the time fall is deepened.


How I am getting along recently

Away from this blog for such a long time! I am trying to catch up with it. But things have kept me too busy to spend doing that.

Yesterday, I have gone to Tokyo for an ensemble. Yes, ham radio comes next to music to me now. I have enjoyed playing Brandenburg Concerto Nr 5 with a small company. Their skill including mine was not proficient at all. However, repeating playing the piece for 2 or 3 times, I could feel the ensemble sounded much better. So far, I am taking part in 3 groups including this one. I would go on playing with them until my health won't let me do that. I still remember of my father who has attended a bible class held in Tokyo once or twice a month until very last years of his life. It seemed like an origin for the energy of living for him. This music activity is the quite same for me as his bible class, even though the fields are quite different.

On the way back home, I took the route which I used to run coming back home from the med university lab. I have been staying in Tokyo while researching about HLA and immune response at a lab there for a few years. Late at night of Saturday, I used to drive back home on that route. The outlook of the houses/buildings around it was quite different from that time. It still had the same atmosphere as that old time. That drive was a real nostalgy for me. Yes, this kind of sentimental journey is a hidden pleasure of such a trip to Tokyo. Remebering of the good old and hectic days when I have worked and lived frantically. It has passed 30 plus years since then.

I am still working in the garden. Have planted such as broccoli, cabbage and raddish. Some new tomatoes have been added. This photo shows young plant of broccoli.

Chestnuts are falling down on the ground for now. They are not so big as usual. Again it should be due to the hot spell. I will be busy cooking rice with chestnuts or sugared chestnuts etc for a while.

This summer was tough for veggies due to its hot spell. I was quite sure this aberrant weather including the hard hit of typhoon etc was a result of global warming. The green house gases have been increasing drastically for the past 3 decades as you may know if you google the record of the average temerature during that period. It may release the methan in the permafrost into the atmosphere. Warming thaws the ice in the poles and increases the level of ocean water. There will be many big cities lost due to higher lever of ocean water, resulting in tens of millions refugees all over the world. The drought would bring forth poor crop harevest. Fishery may be badly influenced by the hotter temperature of ocean water. These last two may cause deficit of foods. Some scientists insist 21st century will be the era of poor food production. It may cause wars around the world. We should remember the conflict in Syria was caused, at least partially, by the droungt and famine around the metropolis of Syria.

These events have been well described and warned by many scientists in the past. But it seems the measures against that are too little and too slow to be executed. People living in the developed countries are mainly responsible for that. It was a summer when I realized this problem again and decided to do anything to leave a better world to the next generation.

I hope every friend of mine visiting this rarely renews blog would have a pleasant season of harvest at your place.



Mugon kan, how should I translate it into English? It is an art museum which displays the pictures of young art students or of young painters who have gone for compulsory service and died in the WWII. It is in Ueda City in Nagano Prefecture about 4 hours drive from here. I have seen a TV program showing this museum and the pictures displayed there some time ago. It made me feel I would visit there by any means. It was very fine and cool today. The best day for such a drive. The only misjudgement was that it was a week end and the traffic was a bit congested in an area in Nagano. Anyway, I have headed to that museum in the morning today.

It was located on a top of a hill in the suburb of Ueda City, which was surrounded with mountains all around. The building was 50 ft or so away from the parking lot. Only several cars have parked there. Surprisingly, some of them were from Saitama or Kanagawa, almost of the same distance from my home. This may mean it was not very popular among people but still attracted some people not only in the local area but from many places in the country.

This seemed to be a monument of the young painters dead in WWII. Their names were engraved on a palette shaped stone at a corner of the museum.   

The building of the museum was like a church. Not gorgeous but sound and steady appearance. 

It was forbidden to take photo of the works and letters etc displayed inside. The pamphlet is as follows;

It was dark inside and the pictures and letters were shed light. No noise nor talks. A dosen of people were looking at the works there. They were watching them intently without speaking anything. 

Most works were rather small but sure attracted our eyes. One of nudes was captioned as the model had been the painter's wife and the painter had told he would go on painting it for another 5 or 10 minutes. He was urged to go to war when finishing painting his that very last work and never came back home.

Watching each work, I noticed tears had dropped from my eyes, imagining how regrettable the young painters were leaving their artistic activities and dying away from their families. Most of them were killed within the last 2 years of the war. Some of them were dead due to illnesses in the war. I remembered among 3 million people, soldiers or civilians, killed in the war, more than half of them have died due to illnesses or malnutrition. The nation would treat us in this way once war started. 

Staying quiet there, this museum was much more eloquent against war than any demonstration or any abstract discussion protesting war, I thought. And I believe there were even more talented young people in Asia/Pacific area and in the US/allied countries who had been killed by the invasion of the military of our country in WWII. We should never forget of that fact as well.

Mugonkan stands for a museum without speech. The works and the records of the young painters themselves would move you without any political address or agitation. I thought it was how they had named this museum. In my view, this museum should be called a museum of silent palette. The palettes which won't be used any longer would appeal by themselves what those young people wanted to do.   

On the way back home, I have gone through the concourse before the railway station of Ueda. It was the place where I and company of med school took off a train and tool a bus to a hospital in the mountain area. We have had summer holiday training at that hospital for a few days. Over 40 years ago. Most of us are retiring or have retired from profession. I could not help but remembering what has happened to me in that period. Now I have finished my career as a doctor.

It has undergone a big change since that time. There was still a kind of atmosphere we had had in our medical student days. 

It deserved making this trip even though it was a bit tough one for me. Purchasing some souvenirs to my wife, I headed home on the high way. Sun was already sinking.