My brother and his wife visited here

A couple of days ago, my brother and his wife have come here to visit my parent's grave as they have done in this season for the past years. It took them 5 hours to drive from Iwate north of Sendai to here.

My brother looked fine even though he had lost most of his hair. Pretty skinny with bike riding. He is working at a big general prefectural hospital as a psychiatrist. He has been spared with the night duty due to his age, in mid sixties, and to his speciality. His work is a kind of laison psychiatry where he does with the consultation of probable psychiatric cases from the other speciality doctors. He also works at the outpatient for dementia cases. Without prospecting ample public pension, he is going on working for another few years or untul he is told to quit.

We have talked on our childhood days. We have shared the memory when our parents had raised us back in our elementary school days. It was in a suburb of Tokyo. He was a kind of nervous boy and, since both parents worked as hospital nurse/personnel, I or our sister, 4 years older than me, took him to the school. He seemed to hate going to school. I have forgot it completely. His story has still lead me to those days. In his mind, even though we shared the same event memories, the things have looked in a quite different way.

He has been a real book lover since his young days. He, together with us, has built a storage house in this property. His room there about 15 sq m in size has literally thousands of books. His aim to visit our home is to care for them and bring in or back some of book collection. Recently, he told me, he had read about the Nazis invading Chechoslovakia and the cruelty they had done to the people there. We have talked, in relation with that topic, about Bonnehoeffer and Arendt. It was surprising to me he had not read much about politics/economics in our country. However, he still shared my view of the present situation in our country. Looming economical and financial collapse.

He seemed to be happy with his faithful and kind wife. Like our father, he has been inherited with his belief in Christianity and a character of being easily moved by things. His wife has become a Christian and is learning piano at home. When I have given a bit of money for the travel to him, after having had a nice sushi dinner, he has been moved to tears. He wonders where his home town is and where he should be settled down in retirement. Having visited the place, a suburb of Tokyo as told above, we had spent our childhood, he seemed to be much disappointed. Nothing same as those days. It will have been half a century in several years since he started learning medicine and working as a doctor in Sendai. I told him he should spend his retirement there with company or friends through his profession. Or he would be welcomed here as well, I told.

It was a really nice visit. Forgot taking photos of the nice sushi and the others, my wife and his wife, at the great restaurant here. Heaven must be like this.

The Heisei era is going over

The era of Heisei is ending today. The era name is renewed when an emperor abdicates. The present prince will take over the position of emperor tomorrow.

They say this system comes from the old Chinese history of the reign of emperors. Renewal of era name means that an emperor dominates the people with the time itself.

That is why I am not much concerned about the new era. I respect the present emperor as a human being, a pacifist as well as the symbol of the nation. But he or the other Imperial Household won't be and shouldn't be the dominant power at all any longer.

Unfortunately, there is a faction in our country which would pursue revival of the prewar imepiral nation system. They won't lose the chance of new era to utilize to accomplish their idea. The top of such a faction is the prime minister Abe.

The ending era of Heisei has been a time when our country underwent decline of the national as well as economic power/ability. The World Fact Book by CIA tells that our substantial growth rate is ranked only the 164th in the world and the 17th in Asia. It is going on falling. In accordance with it, even though economy is not the sole factor determining happiness of the people, the world happiness ranking by UN in 2019 is continuously dropping to the 59th in 2019.

The inequality of economy has developed at high speed. Non regular employment went up to 40% of all employees. Under the slogan of equal pay for equal work, at present, the regular employment class is being assimilated into the non regular employment class. 

With the increasing debt of the government up to more than 1000trillion JPY, it seems a hard landing is inevitable in the near future. It is not the question if collapse could be avoided or not but when as well as how it comes on us. The reflation school leading our present government for the past 6 years seems to be a total failure resulting in more debt accumulation. The main issue is how to abate the most probable hard landing.

As for myself in the Heisei era, I have worked hard at own private practice and have already retired. I have had parents passed away, father 20 years ago, mother 8 years ago, respectively. Candidly, so far as the evaluation measure in the society concerned, we have not been very successful raising children. It seems, however, our family will go on in the same way whatever the era might be. It is what we have had in the Heisei era. I would accept it as it is. No choice. I am still grateful to the family and the people surrounding us giving much support to us. Despite of the worry for the economic crisis in our country in the near future, we could get along in peace so far. Such lives of ordinary people will continue irrespective of the era we live in.


A shocking scene at White House

It was a shocking video.

It has happened recently when our prime minister Abe and his wife arrived at the entrance to White House.

There were the president Trump and Melania waiting for them on a red carpet. Getting out of a car, the prime minister couple has greeted with the president couple.

They stood there to be taken for photos by the press. Abe and his wife stood out of the carpet left to the president couple on the carpet. A press person told Abe to get closer to the president standing at the center of the carpet. Abe and his wife tried to come closer to him.

It was when the president uttered "Stop!" in a low voice toward the prime minister. Our prime minister has understood that and has stopped getting on the red carpet. Without the president's clear as well as definite instruction to the prime minister, I would have thought it was just a coincidence that the prime minister couple was off the red carpet. But the president's instruction has told me that he would show the relationship between the US and Japan is not that of equality but a subordinate position of our country to the US.

There has been another event that supports my observation of the behaviour and its meaning of the US president. Whenever he visited our country, he never flew to Narita or Haneda but to Yokota US Base. Unlike the former presidents, he won't go through our immigration office at those airports formerly shown. I and the other people suspected the president and the US officials would tell to us and the world that Japan is subordinate to the US. In equal diplomatic relationship, the president of any foreign country should have entered to our country through the immigration office.

Our mass media won't question of this event. Most of the Japanese people won't realize this. But I am afraid the attitude of the US president would gradually destroy the relationship. Or is it in an subordinate or even slavery relationship of our country to the US? I am afraid this could bring the relationship to an unhappy and unwanted direcation.


The 8th anniversary of mother tomorrow

It will be my mother's 8th anniversary of passing tomorrow. In this season, when leaves of trees are getting fresh green, I recall of those days often. Some memories might be, possibly subconsciously, lost. Only some thing good may be left in my mind.

Around this time 8 years ago, I was heading to Sendai city where my mother was taken care of at a hospital. Possibly being stressed from loss of lifeline at a nursing facility, such as water supply, electricity or heat etc, by the big earhquake on Mar. 11 the same year, she might have become seriously ill. On the way there, the high way was bumpy all the way in Tohoku area, of course, due to the intense shake by the earthquake. My sister was on the side seat going there with me. Looking at the gentle mountains of Adatara on the left side, we have been talking of old memories of our childhood days.

Mother lying on the bed was smiling at us and could not stop asking me about our father who had passed away 6 years earlier. She also wanted to go back to our place where we all had spent peaceful days for years. Listening to my sister singing one of the hymns mother loved at the bed side, I was quietly leaving there. I could never forget that scene.

She passed away possibly due to fatal arrhythmia a few days later. The staff at the hospital told my brother it was like a small candle light going off quietly. Hopefully, it was not painful or agonizing to her. For almost 20 years, she has had the problem of dementia. Such a sharp lady enjoying witty conversation with people around her was gradually losing her capabilities. What a torment it was for her! I believe, however, it was to let us know how to accept own fortune as it is. She has given us such a precious lesson to us in the end of her life.

Today, I have served a frozen dried persimmon to the gardener whom we have asked to care for our garden for the past years. A really special treat. Elegantly sweet as if it was just made. It has also reminded me of mother again. She used to enjoy dried persimmon when she was active. In later hears, persimmons she  dried under the overhang of the roof by herself have always been taken away by the other members of the family before they were matured, though. We were worrying about her diabetes which could be worsened by such a sweet thing.

Tomorrow, my brother and his wife will be here and will take dinner together with us. A lot of old stories might bring us back to the days when we were with our mother.


A new compact car and a drive on it to a harbour

I have owned a couple of cars. One is a big one with 3500cc engine and hybrid system, which I have used for long drive such as that to Tokyo. The other was a small one of 1200cc engine, which I had used as a tansportation mean for short span such as shopping to a supermarket in the town. The small one was originally bought for our daughter when she was licensed for automobile over 10 years ago. It has been with us for that long time. we should have those cars checked up by the dealer every couple of years. It has become costly to maintain it for such check up etc. I have decided to exchange it to a new compace car now.

Having cleaned up the old small one, which had brought us many memories, pleasat or kind of sad, for the years, I went to the dealer to get a new one or rather to exchange it to that new one. The new one is one of the most compact cars available in the market. It has only 660cc with the power of 59HP.

I wondered if it had been of too much luxury to own two cars in my retirement. But I thought a compact one with good mileage may be good to live in this countryside. This is the one I thought most suitable for that purpose. The mileage is the best among all the cars available in the market except for the hybrid engine or electrical vehicles. 

I was concerned about how noisy it was. I was surprised in good sense that it sounded quite quiet, or more exactly, not too troublesome to drive. When running at high speed on high way etc, it sure sounded terrible with the road noise. But I scarcely would drive long way on high way. I was quite happy with this new car.

Today, it was too fine and warm to stay home. I decided to drive to the ocean coast. It takes roughly a couple of hours. Not bad driving except for the noise when driving on high ways. The best mileage read about 33km/l, which is equivalent to 70 to 75MPG!! Of course, financilally, it won't matter too much compared with the other compact cars. I still firmly believe our economy may suffer bad inflation in the coming years and it may be quite advantageous to my wallet then.

On the way to the coast, I have seen several gorgeous cherry trees of full blossoms. One of those is here;

It has been rather cool since the middle of March. The cherry blossoms seem to live longer than usual. Sipping green tea I got a convinience store there, I was looking at this cherry tree for some time.

Then, I arrived at the fishery market at a harbour. It is always so clouded on the week ends that it is quite difficult to park a car. It was not the case today since it was a week day.

The store was not clouded, either. The personnel wearing rubber apron has shouted vigorously to the customers like "This is a discount" etc.

I was wondering what piece I should buy. Tuna for sashimi? I have bought it in my last visit. I, as an amateur chef, could not cook any whole fish by myself. I have bought a bag of clams. 

It has turned out to be too much for us. I have given half of this clams in the bag to a friend of mine when came home. It was always good to see the scenary at the harbour. Have I written my hidden hope which won't come true? I have yearned living somewhere along the coast. Isn't it too nice to take walk on the beach everyday? 

On the way back home, driving on a high way, I had to put up with the terrible road noise on that car. Without it, I am quite happy with it. It may stay a good "foot" for my for the coming several years. 

I have cooked clam soup for the dinner today. My wife has enjoyed it very much.


I met a guy who brought me back to good old '60s

A few days ago, I have met Don NI6A. It was an hour before our sunset. He told me we had had a QSO last fall, which was not hit by my PC log. Anyway, it was always good to see such a proficient CW operator as him.

Judging from his bio in QRZ. com, he seemed to be, at least, in late 70s of his age. He was originally from Chicago, where he had started radio as KN9OZM, later K9OZM, in fifties. In 60s, he has moved to the western side of the Bay Area. It looked like near to Oakland, where one of my elmers, Ed WA6UNF, later K6NB, used to live. To my inquiry if he knew of ED, he answered no. But he also told me he had heard of Ed from his friend, Jim, K6APW, whom Don is keeping a regular sked on 40m. Jim spoke well of Ed to him. Even with respect.

You know that has made me almost excited.  There was a guy who remembered of the good old days when we were enjoying a great round table across the Pacific Ocean on 40m in our sunset. The main gang were Ed and Trevor VK2NS. Unfortunately, both of them have gone SK. So have the other members like K6YN, K6PA etc. I have written about this group in the past. The only exception still alive, I thought, had been Kemp K7UQH, who are not active on the radio any longer.

There is still a person who might share good old memories of those days. That idea really pleased me. Don told me he would tell to Jim about me and my involvement with the group around Ed in sixties. I might have seen Jim those days.

It was when I became a freshman of a college in Tokyo. The school was always over around 2 PM in the beginning of the semester. I always rushed back home on train as soon as the class was over. I started listening the band with my home brew radio. The band had been so quiet as it was on the day of the QSO with Don. So exciting and pleasant to watch and to catch someone I could talk to with this tiny set up. It was one of such moments when I listened to QSOs of Ed and the gang in QRQ. I could not help resisting giving a break to him. He was kind enough to me, a beginner teenager in Japan. I was caught by a bug of CW ragchewing at that time. All thanks to Ed.

I am looking forward to hearing what Jim tell about that time in the next QSO. 


The new era is starting but...

A couple of days ago, the new emperor era name has been published by the government. Our prince would take over the seat of emperor on May 1 this year when the present emperor retires. A law stipulates the era name should be changed at such an occasion.

I am not much concerned about such a thing myself. The concept of era name proper to each emperor comes from the idea that an emperor should rule even our time with it. Strictly speaking, it is against the idea of democracy that tells us we, the people, are the ruler in the society. I won't deny what the era name means in our culture based on the history. Anyway, I am not a fanatic believer in the emperor system wherever it might be.

The new era name is Reiwa, which means "order or command" for Rei and "peace" for Wa. Our PM has announced about its meaning originated from the old 8th century anothology of poetry in our country named "Manyohshyu". He says, under this new era name, we should be united in this beautiful country blessed with four seasons. From his standpoint of ultra right wing, he wanted to choose it from such old Japanese literature away from the tradition that the era names have been chosen from the old Chinese literature in the past. At least, such a politician with much corruption and extremism in ultra right position should never tell us to be united in this beautiful country.

Some scholars in those old literatures, however, advocate that this Reiwa has been originated from an old Chinese literature in Later Han Dynasty. The poem in Manyohshyu is an homage for this old poem as they say. The relevant poem in the Chinese literature has made by a poet who had been tired of the reign by an emepror named An in the dynasty. The emperor An was not an excllent leader who had brought the dynasty into decline. Actually, the dynasty has been ended as soon as the emperor died. "An" is a part of the name of our PM.

Thus, this new era name could be metaphored by the inventor. I don't know if it was intended or not. If it was plotted by its author, it is intellectually of much interest and strongly against our PM who has tried to utilize this chance of naming  the era as a political show. 

Unfortunately, our mass media won't question about the era naming or the intention of the government with regard to this event. Most of the people are getting excited at ths event without any doubt.