Jan 30, 2014

Snowboarding Part Deux

Just some pictures and stuff from my snowboarding adventure last Saturday.  I was worried I'd be just as terrible as my first time, as I hadn't been in the two years since then.  But surprisingly I did fairly well, for only my second time (third, if you count the second day of my first time)!  Ash had gone a few times before, since we planned to go together and she wanted to get some practice in so we could actually enjoy some boarding, instead of just falling.  It was SW's first time though, but luckily Ash's friend is a patient teacher and helped her along.  She got the hang of it fairly quickly and was able to enjoy the last couple times down the bunny slope with us. :)




Jan 24, 2014

Translation Practice: News Article

As part of my study routine, I try every week to read an article in Japanese and write down all the kanji and words I don't know.  This week ended up being a fairly short article so I decided to translate it as well.

For those who don't know, Yasukuni is the controversial shrine dedicated to those who have served the Emperor of Japan in wars up through World War II, including some war criminals.
I have my own thoughts and opinions, but am interested to hear what others think too.

"There Are No Heroes at Yasukuni"  PM Abe Explains to Foreign Press

Asahi Shimbun Digital  January 23rd (Thurs)  Posted 5:13

At the World Economic Forum  annual meeting on the 22nd (session in Davos), Japanese Prime Minister Shinzou Abe spoke at an assembly to the media leaders of participating countries about his visit to the Yasukuni Shrine at the end of last year.  "It's not to praise the so-called class-A war criminals.  There are no war heroes there, just the spirits of those fallen in the war.  There's no feeling of hatred or hostility, I wasn't trying to disgrace anyone," he stated.     

When asked by the Chinese media, "Do you think the war criminals are heroes?", the Prime Minister explained further: "I just want to comfort the spirits of the dead.  I want to show my appreciation to those people.  Wanting to pay respects to those who fought for their country is an attitude shared by all world leaders."
"I want to create a world where people don't have to suffer the ravages of war again," he also added.     

When asked about the dangers of military conflict with China over the Senkaku Islands, Abe remarked: "The current military tension is damage caused by both countries.  It is very important to avoid any accidental conflict, and am thus suggesting making a sort of 'communication channel.'"

Asahi Shimbun Co.

(Original article here
(Original text below) 

「靖国にヒーローはいない」 安倍首相、海外記者に説明

 朝日新聞デジタル 1月23日(木)5時13分配信

 安倍晋三首相は22日、世界経済フォーラム年次総会(ダボス会議)に参加している各国メディア幹部らとの会合で、昨年末に靖国神社に参拝した理由につい て「いわゆるA級戦犯を称揚するためではない。そこには(戦争の)ヒーローがいるのではなく、戦争に倒れた人々の魂があるだけ。憎しみもないし敵意もない し、人を辱めようというつもりはない」と述べた。

 中国メディアが「戦争犯罪者を英雄だと思っているのか」と質問したのに答えた。首相はさらに「ただ魂を慰霊したい。その人たちに感謝したいという思いが あるだけ。国のために戦った人に手をあわせるのは、世界のリーダーの共通の姿勢だ」と説明。「二度と再び戦争の戦禍で人々が苦しむことがない世界をつくり たいという思いだ」とも述べた。



Jan 6, 2014

Resolutions 2014

It's that time of year again.  I'm rather late with this, and couldn't remember most of my resolutions from last year until I looked them up, which is probably very telling on how I did.  On to the breakdown: 
1.  Keep up with the studying, drinking tea, regular sleep schedule, and regular haircuts.
Hmmmm, I did okay with the studying, but that kinda went down the crapper the past few  months after I moved back to Seattle.  Same with the tea-drinking, regular sleep schedule, and haircuts.  The haircut thing is forgiven because I was trying to grow it out.  Still got it cut at least twice though.
2.  Go running at least once a week.  (Once the Other Job ends I should hopefully be able to do it more than once a week)
Haha!  Nope.
3.  Budget and spend money more wisely, and build up my savings.
 I did decently enough.  Didn't save as much as I had hoped but save I did.
4.  Read at least one book in Japanese.

Haha!  Nope again.

5.  Travel to at least one new place.

YES!!  Went to Mt. Fuji (and climbed it!) and to Kagoshima/Yakushima with Roomie and Yuu.

6.  ?????????????????????????  (I will reveal what this is later on.. For now I'm keeping this to myself, because I feel like I'm more likely to succeed with my plans when no one else knows about them.  Strange, I know, but still..)
 I believe initially this was to enter into a Japanese language school, but financially and logistically (due to visa laws/ school policies/ etc..) it just wasn't feasible, so it changed to be "save enough money for and apply to a Japanese language school", which I definitely did! 

So, three out of six.  Fifty-percent.  Eh, coulda been worse...
Now, on to resolutions for 2014!  A lot of which will be the same resolutions I had for 2012.

1.  Drastically cut back on my sugar intake.
2.  Eat better in general and plan out my meals for each week.
3.  Limit my playtime on the internet and do more productive things.
4.  Stick to a regular study schedule.
5.  Pay off my credit card.
6.  Go running at least once a week.
7.  Read at least one book in Japanese.
8.  ???????????????????

I'm giving myself some leeway and allowing myself to start at the end of January.  The sugar thing (and junk food in general) has been spoiled by the copious amounts I received over the holidays.  I have even tried to give a lot of it away, but still have a ton which I have been consuming at a disgusting rate.  :P  
And the internet playtime?  Really need to work on that.  I do believe it is an addiction, and I hate hate HATE feeling addicted to things..
Ohhhh, and another mystery resolution?  You'll have to wait until 2015 to find out what that one is.  Dun-dun duunnnnnn!

What are your resolutions if you made any??

Jan 2, 2014

2013 In Review

*Celebrated the New Year in Phoenix with my friends and family.
*Drove for the first time in Japan!  Helping S move from Ibaraki to the Tokyo area.
*Lost my Grandma R... no more grandmas left in my family.  :(
*Went to Coworker C's beautiful wedding.
*Finished my dreaded "Other Job".
*Roomie and I celebrated our birthdays with some friends at Fuji-Q (until we were rained and snowed out..)
*A visit from my mum, finally!
*Scaled Mt. Fuji with Ash, Roomie, and Yuu!
*hide MUSEUM and Sumidagawa fireworks apocalypse.
*Yuu and I started dating.  <3
*Finished my two years at the daycare.  :(
*Trip to Kyoto with Yuu, then met up with Roomie in Kagoshima to see the sights and meet Yuu's family.
*Came back to Seattle, got a job at Uwajimaya, and made some pretty wonderful friends here.
*Got a much-needed visit from Yuu.
*Took the JLPT level N2 (again)
*Spent a nice Christmas with Roomie and her family.
*Rang in 2014 at the Space Needle with some of my wonderful friends.

♪One of these things is not like the others♪

The boys

Happy 2014!
Wishing you all another great year!

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