Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Pandemic and English


Random thoughts

Coronavirus has drastically changed our society. And, I saw many new English terms such as cluster, overshooting, and social distance in the media. Also, I want to know how to express some Japanese terms related to the coronavirus in English. So I will make sure such terms in English as follows. (H.S)


*virus: its pronunciation in Japanese [wilus] is from Latin
*vaccine: its pronunciation in Japanese [wakchin] is from German
*pandemic: the accent is on [de] but I sometimes hear the accent is on [pan] on Japanese TV
*PPE (personal protective equipment)
*essential workers
*second wave
*herd immunity
*new normal


Why has Japan’s English education been confused for thirty years?


Random thoughts

I read an article on PRESIDENT Online, which I sympathized with. It was a talk between Kumiko Torikai and Takashi Saito. I would like to excerpt some of their dialogue as follows.


Kumiko Torikai (from PRESIDENT Online)


-Adopting English private examinations for the University Standardized Test, which starts in fiscal 2020, have canceled at the last minute. Not only this, Japan has been confused about English education for thirty years. What is the cause? Kumiko Torikai points out that regarding the ability to speak English as English conversation is fundamentally wrong. -


Torikai: “An enormous problem of the series of English education reform is the relation with Japanese language becoming weaker. Mother tongue is important to study foreign languages, but they are trying to dismiss it. “
Saito: “Japanese in general have a complex about speaking English. Speaking English fluently is cool. Halting Japanese English is embarrassed. But is that an ability to test by university entrance examination?
Torikai: Exactly. Those who want to speak English fluently should make an effort to do so. But university entrance examination should test basic skills that studied in high school, especially reading skills.
Saito: Basically, systems should be improved gradually, and it tends to get good results. Current National Center Test for University Admissions includes listening test. So if the test will be improved, I think that they could measure students’ communication ability.
Torikai: I agree with you. There is no need to measure four skills separately. The four skills
should be learned comprehensively. So examination has to measure comprehensive ability. I don’t understand why speaking ability should be measured separately.


I felt relieved when I read the Torikai’s opinion. There were descriptions in a book that she wrote as follows. -According to a questionnaire, many companies need English writing skills. Because nowadays, e-mails are the mainstream rather than phone calls. Apparently, those who are very good at English are not always good at work. (H.S)

What I want a ramen shop to continue even after coronavirus


Random thoughts

The picture above was taken in at a ramen shop Taniya in Fukui City, which shows ramen I ordered, a pair of chopsticks and a soup spoon served on the counter in front of me. The ramen is my favorite "Soy sauce based soup with thick noodles".


Soon after the emergence of the coronavirus problem in the city, the seasonings, chopstick stands, and soup spoon stands that had always been on the counter of this shop have completely disappeared. But now, the shop staff puts them as necessary. Now I wonder why they had been placed on the counter which anyone could touch as if it were a matter of course.


Although it may take a little more work for the shop staff, looking at the really neat countertop now, I hope that this way will continue even after coronavirus has converged.


The ramen shop's previous state of the counter before coronavirus
(This photo is quoted from Tabelog)

Dinosaur parent and child at Michinoeki (roadside station) Kuzuryu


Random thoughts


The video above shows a parent and a child of dinosaur in motion, who are a symbol of the Michinoeki (roadside station) Kuzuryu in Ono City, Fukui Prefecture. It was taken last fall. They 'hibernated' in a storehouse throughout winter and have returned to their usual place after the snow season.


When I heard both sound of cars on the nearby road and the dinosaurs roaring, it seemed that the parent was trying to protect its child who was scared of cars.

Private house that you have a great view of Mt. Arashimadake


Random thoughts


Yesterday, I went to photograph the private house Ryohaku-sanso in Ono City, and I myself wanted to stay there. Above all, the magnificent appearance of the Mt.Arashimadake from the room is great (photo above).


The Mt.Arashimadake is one of the 100 most famous mountains in Japan. When I climbed it, I sometimes met a large group of people who came from a distance.


For the moment, I am sure that there are few climbers because of the new coronavirus, but I think that it's the best accommodation for those who come all the way.


It is a nicely renovated private house with all necessary amenities for life. According to a reservation site, it says it's available up to 10 people but I thought that even 20 people could stay.


Because I live in Fukui City, I can return in a day from the Mt. Arashimadake and I don't have to stay for a night. But even so, the quiet environment and the view is very attractive. I want to stay there just because of these.


Upstairs room in which I took the photo above.


Appearance of the private house