After the silver rain…

Autumn Festivals in Harima-Nada October 20, 2012

Filed under: Japan,shrine — lalakoora @ am

My home town is located in the Harima-nada open sea, which is the sea area in the east part of the Seto-naikai inland sea. It lies south of the southwestern part of Hyogo Prefecture (old Harima country).

The people become excited and lively for the autumn festival in October. Nada no Kenka Matsuri is especially the popular name for a festival held in the town of Shirahama, Himeji City. It came to be called by this name, Kenka Matsuri or ‘Fighting Festival’ because the mikoshi (portable shrines) are jolted against one another when carried onthe shoulders of the men in the parade.

My home town, Mitsu-cho, is located in the west end of the open sea. Our festival is not so aggressive as the Nada no Kenka Matsuri. The highlight of this festival is Yatai-neri, the parade of “yatai”, festival floats, gorgeously decorated with wood carving, gold and silver handiwork and embroidered curtains.

The yatai are carried on the shoulders of men and are surrounded by the men holding “shide” (bamboo poles decorated with colorful paper) in their hand.

The festival always cheers me up.  The men carried a Yatai on their shoulder.  I used to join and carry the Yatai on my shoulder when I was a young boy.  I still clearly remember the shout of encouragement of our district.  Shouts slightly vary from district to district.  The festival is as same as rock music concert for me.  The drum’s (taiko) beating sounds always make me excited.

I was born here and I grew up until my 18th age.  And, I am living here now.


Every cloud has a silver lining September 3, 2012

Filed under: books,culture,English — lalakoora @ am


Every bad situation has some good aspect to it. This proverb is usually said as an encouragement to a person who is overcome by some difficulty and is unable to see any positive way forward.


John Milton coined the phrase ‘silver lining’ in Comus: A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634

I see ye visibly, and now believe
That he, the Supreme Good, to whom all things ill
Are but as slavish officers of vengeance,
Would send a glistering guardian, if need were
To keep my life and honour unassailed.
Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
I did not err; there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.

‘Clouds’ and ‘silver linings’ were referred to often in literature from then onward, usually citing Milton and frequently referring to them as Milton’s clouds. It isn’t until the days of the uplifting language of Victori’s England that we begin to hear the proverbial form that we are now familiar with – ‘every cloud has a silver lining’. The first occurrence that is unequivocally expressing that notion comes in The Dublin Magazine, Volume 1, 1840, in a review of the novel Marian; or, a Young Maid’s Fortunes, by Mrs S. Hall, which was published in 1840:

As Katty Macane has it, “there’s a silver lining to every cloud that sails about the heavens if we could only see it.”

‘There’s a silver lining to every cloud’ was the form that the proverb was usually expressed in the Victorian era. The currently used ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ did appear, in another literary review, in 1849. The New monthly belle assemblée, Volume 31 include what purported to be a quotation from Mrs Hall’s book – “Every cloud has a silver lining”, but which didn’t in fact appear in Marian, which merely reproduced Milton’s original text.


Exceptions of tense sequences in news

Filed under: English — lalakoora @ am

I try to watch CNN or BBC and read newspapers in English.

I have been confused by a series of tense sequences.

For example, The Japanese Foreign Minister told the press that he “is” ready to have face-to-face talks with his Russian counterpart on the territorial issue.

Why do they use “is(present tense)”?

Or, He said he “will” go to London next year.

Why do they use “will(future tense)”?

Could you explain the exception of sequence of tenses?


Accuse… Blame… Criticise… Denounce… September 2, 2012

Filed under: culture,English — lalakoora @ am

I have a question.

accuse… blame… criticise… denounce… slam… comment… attack…. and so on….

English language has plenty of words which to say or think that someone or something is responsible for something bad (It is called synonym). I know that these words are slightly different in meaning.

But, I don’t understand the reason the people have various words with the same meaning or almost the same meaning in the same language.

Do you have any idea about my question?


Half A Man September 1, 2012

Filed under: Japan — lalakoora @ am

I went to the seaside.

The half moon was floating on the calm surface of the sea.

I was half a man…..too…


I’m a Sherlock Holmes!?

Filed under: books — lalakoora @ am

My job seems like Sherlock Holmes.

I work in a chemical laboratory and detect trace elements in the steel, the water and the soil. I use a lot of knowledge and operate some equipment. I reason inductively. It is called “a posteriori induction”. It means inducinggeneral principles from the experience.

I carry out extra work until 8 pm and act in a highly professional manner.

My colleagues have a high opinion of my ability.

But I don’t have any partner who is like Dr. Watson.

Anybody, could you assist me!? I need a female assistant is like Irene Adler.


Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki (2002) May 27, 2012

Filed under: culture,Japan,movies,religion,shrine — lalakoora @ pm

Hayao Miyazaki’s animation films stimulate our sense of wonder. The films remind us of the inspiration of nature.

I watched “Spirited Away”, one of the most famous his works. Although the bathhouse (Inn provides hot spring) and the town that are described in “Spirited Away” look like Chinese traditional ones, hot spring (called “Onsen” in Japanese) is common in Japan as well and we often go to a bathhouse or Onsen with our family or our friends.

Ancient Japanese believed that everything had a equal spirit (or a soul). Even animals, pig, bird, rock, water, wind and mountain were believed to have a spirit equally. The belief is called “Animism”. Even now, we occasionally admire several gods or are inspired by the spirits (or ghosts) which exist around us.

Some people say that the sense of the spirit is as same as the feeling of the nature surrounding us. Sometimes it is called “the sense of wonder”. Shinto religion is based on “Animism”. The religion derives from ancient Japanese emperors.

Unfortunately, most of us in present age are missing the sense. We are separated far from the Animism world.

Hayao Miyazaki’s animation films seem to be based on “Animism”. I suppose that it is the biggest reason why Miyazaki’s films make a deep impression on a lot of Japanese.





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