Tag Archives: speech

Why is this a problem??

8 Sep

I don’t live in America, and U.S. President Obama’s planned speech to American school students today hasn’t even been mentioned on the news here so far.

obama

アメリカ合衆国大統領オバマ

But I read about it online a couple of days ago. The first I saw about it was on a site recommending that parents keep their kids out of school on September 8th so that they wouldn’t be “subjected to Obama’s propaganda”.

I searched around the internet at various websites about the subject and even found a transcript of the U.S. President’s planned speech and, even though it appears that this is a very controversial subject in America right now…I don’t understand what the problem is!

It seems that U.S. President Obama plans to tell students to stay in school and study hard.

No matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it.

You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it…

(excerpt from U.S. President Obama’s planned speech on 2009 Sept 8)

That sounds like perfectly sound advice.

But it seems to be a problem to some Americans.
I saw a news video clip online from an American TV news program that had people debating whether or not children should hear the President’s speech.

As I said, I don’t live in America and therefore I don’t keep up with the current events and the culture there (which has become foreign to me over the years), but it seems that the people who plan to keep their children home from school today didn’t agree with the plan of the U.S. 教育委員会 (Board Of Education) to have the students write how they could “help the President”.
Or something like that.

Also, while I was reading about this online, I saw a news report about a church preacher in the U.S. state of Arizona who told his church to “pray for the death of the president”.

And it seems that a member of his church carried a rifle and a handgun to a speech that U.S. President Obama was giving. And he wasn’t arrested because it’s legal to carry firearms in Arizona!

This is all one of those “only in America” things, I think. 😉

Have you heard about this?
(If you live in America, maybe you could explain a bit about it better).

Japan-related news…

18 Feb

Did you hear these news stories? What do you think?

  • Hillary Clinton, the current U.S. Secretary Of State is currently in Tokyo on her first official overseas trip for her new position.
    It’s the first time a U.S. Secretary Of State begin a overseas tour in Asia.
  • Japanese baseball players Ichiro, Daisuke Matsuzaka and other Japanese baseball players are back in Japan from America to play for Japan in the World Baseball Classic.
    The Japan team will play China in the first game of the tournament on March 5 at the Tokyo Dome. The final game is scheduled for March 23 in Los Angeles, USA.
  • The Japanese Finance Minister, Shoichi Nakagawa, gave a press conference last weekend at a G-7 meeting in Rome, Italy last weekend…while he was drunk!
    He resigned his position today.
    Here’s a video of his embarrassing act:

    (Not that it excuses his behavior. But it seems that Nakagawa-san wasn’t the first politician to give a drunken speech at a G-7 conference…politicians from other countries have done the same. Kinda makes me wonder how productive G-7 meetings are!)

Akihabara

6 Oct

Last year and this year, I have been on the PTA of my daughter’s school.

My wife was on the PTA every year since our kids were in 保育園 (Nursery School)…quite a few years.
So I decided it was my turn.

As most fathers do, I have to work full-time so all that is usually expected of the fathers on PTA is to help set up for the festivals and events the school might have, and clean up afterwards.
Occasionally, we have meetings and sometimes gatherings at an 居酒屋 (Japanese pub/restaurant).

But on Saturday, there was a meeting with dinner (刺身 (Sashimi)) and drinks for the PTA for all the schools in our vicinity. A couple of weeks ago the PTA president asked me to give a speech at this meeting.

I wrote a short speech (in 日本語 (Japanese), of course) and had been practicing it everyday.
I was so nervous on Saturday before I gave the speech…but I think I did a pretty good job. (But I hate speeches, and I hope I never have to do that again! 🙂 )

+++
Yesterday was our town’s 運動会 (Sports Day event). My youngest daughter played the trombone in the event’s opening ceremony (as she did for her school’s 運動会 (Sports Day event) last week).
+++

After my daughter finished with the town 運動会 (Sports Day event), my three kids went to my in-laws’ house for dinner…so my wife and I went to 秋葉原 (Akihabara).

Have you ever heard of 秋葉原 (Akihabara)? Have you ever been there?

It has an interesting name. If you can read Japanese, you know 秋葉原 (Akihabara) translates to “Autumn leaves field“.
Also it technically should be read “Akibahara” (the b and h transposed)….that’s why the town has the nickname “Akiba” (it used to be that only dorks would call the town “Akiba”…but it’s become a common nickname).

Part of 秋葉原 (Akihabara) is called 「電気街 (“Electric Town“) because of all the electric and electronics stores in that area.
And that is what 秋葉原 (Akihabara) is famous for…being one of the biggest electronics shopping areas in the world.

It used to be that only オタク (fanatics; nerds) and those who needed to be there were found in 秋葉原 (Akihabara). All of the shops there, back then, were small and only the オタク (fanatics; nerds) really knew where the good deals were.

But two things changed 秋葉原 (Akihabara) a bit. One was a TV drama that was popular in Japan a few years ago in which the hero was an オタク (nerd) who hung out in 秋葉原 (Akihabara).
The other was the fairly recent opening of the “Yodobashi Camera” superstore near 秋葉原駅 (Akihabara Train Station).

Yodobashi Camera” is big, popular chain of electronics stores that are in many locations around Japan. When this store finally opened their 秋葉原 (Akihabara) branch (which is surprising that they didn’t have one there before), alot more non-オタク (fanatics; nerds) starting going to 秋葉原 (Akihabara).

We went to the “Yodobashi Camera” there to look at TVs. I bought our current Sony® TV years ago and it’s about ready to be replaced.

We didn’t buy a new TV, we just checked out what’s available and the prices.

Here’s something I saw that used to be a much more common sight in Japan:

There’s an old wives’ tale in Japan that says if you put plastic bottles of water around your property it will keep stray cats away. These bottles are called 猫よけ (Scare-cat).
Supposedly, the cats see their reflection in the water and think it’s another cat and run away.

Anyways, I saw those 猫よけ (Scare-cat) bottles and took a photo because it’s one of those only-in-Japan things.

Here’s a picture I took of 秋葉原 (Akihabara):

And a few videos:

Afterwards, we went to a small restaurant for dinner.

Many times in these types of restaurants in Japan, they’ll have a ticket vending machine at the front of the shop. You’re meant to buy the ticket for the food and beer (the drink menu at these places often consists of beer or water), and give the ticket to the cook behind the counter.

He’ll call you to pick up your order from the counter when it’s ready.

Here’s the ticket machine at the place where we ate:

This restaurant had old, retro Japanese “Asahi Beer” posters hanging on the wall (today’s beer ad posters usually have girls in bikinis).

This one is read top to bottom. It says 「アサヒビール」 (Asahi Beer):

This one also says 「アサヒビール」 (Asahi Beer)…but it’s written right to left. Writing this way isn’t as common in Japan as it used to be, so at first glance, I read 「ルービヒサア」 (Ruby Hisaa) (which doesn’t make any sense):