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That's Aili's friend, Rona Brown: half Japanese / half Irish.

Yesterday was a great day! The weather was nice - perfect in fact for a holiday called 'Green Day' - so Hiromi and I decided to go on another picnic with Rona and her parents. We ate sandwiches, drank tea, played frisbee and kicked the soccer ball, and relaxed under the shade of a flowering tree. We topped off the day by going out to dinner and stopping by the sento for a warm bath. Not bad, huh? What did you do on Green Day?

# posted on 4/30/2003          


I hate to brag, but when you pull a pizza out of the oven and it looks like this, you just have to take a picture. Making pizzas from scratch is one of my specialties. I just love being in the kitchen and preparing food for dinner. And when it comes to cooking, the slower the better. That's my cooking mantra!

# posted on 4/28/2003          


Yeah, you guessed it. That's downtown New York City, where third-year Ryukoku student, Yohei Kobayashi, is right now. He left behind his 'chopper' motorcycle and went to The Big Apple to study abroad. He says he's making many friends and learning a lot about American culture and the English language. I can't wait to talk with him when he returns to campus.

Have any of you ever been to New York City (NYC)?

# posted on 4/26/2003          


Here's a list of the top ten most commonly spoken languages in the world. The number to the right refers to the number of people who speak that language.

1 Mandarin 1,000,000,000 +
2 English 508,000,000
3 Hindustani 497,000,000
4 Spanish 392,000,000
5 Russian 277,000,000
5 Arabic 246,000,000
7 Bengali 211,000,000
8 Portuguese 191,000,000
9 Malay-Indonesian 159,000,000
10 French 129,000,000

There are hordes of Chinese speakers, aren't there? To see more world rankings in many different categories, go to

# posted on 4/24/2003          


Yesterday I met with the leader of a Korean-Japanese community in a econmically depressed community south of Kyoto Station, called Higashi-Kujo, where many Japanese-Koreans and Burakumin live. He and his friend told us all about discrimination and prejudice in Japan, especially concerning the situation with Koreans. It was a very eye-opening encounter for me.

# posted on 4/22/2003          


For those of you in my reading/writing classes, I've updated your homepage with instructions for the reading/writing project this semester. Please follow the link to your classroom homepage on the right.

# posted on 4/21/2003          


You guys have GOT to watch this commerical by Honda. It was shot in real time without any computer animation. It took the production crew 606 times to finally get it to work. When it finally did, everyone cheered! Read the article too.

Film link courtesy of J-Walk blog.

# posted on 4/20/2003          


I hung out with Mark (another Ryukoku teacher) last night at his home in Kyoto. He lives in an old wooden Japanese house. All of the rooms are tatami rooms. There is even a rock garden in the back with a stone lantern. I really like his house. We cooked cincinatti chili for dinner, listened to music, and talked about many things. Although it was a very relaxing evening, I had to leave early to be home in time to give Aili a bath. She was stinky!

# posted on 4/17/2003          


I bought a CD/DVD burner last week, so I hope to be able to bring in some music, pictures, and video to use in our lessons from time to time. Do you have any requests?

# posted on 4/14/2003          


I just wanted to say that I had a really good time today meeting all you new students and seeing all my former students from last year. It was a very stimulating day! See you all on Tuesday.

# posted on 4/11/2003          


I went to the TranqRoom last night to see my friend Sasha's Art D'Eco exhibition of fashion clothing made out of 100% re-used materials. It was a very colorful and unique display of clothing. The exhibition runs through the 21st of this month. So if you happen to be in Kyoto between now and then, why don't you check it out?

# posted on 4/10/2003          


Cheating doesn't pay. Do you know the TV show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Well, one of the winners was recently arrested along with his wife for cheating. Apparently, his wife would signal the correct answers to him by coughing. Now, they have to pay big fines and it looks like the man is going to lose his job. Read about it...

# posted on 4/08/2003          


I've added a few new links to the site recently. Perhaps the most interesting one is East Asia Center which, like The New Tanuki, is a weblog. There are some differences though, the main one being that it is made by the learners themselves, rather than being created by the teacher FOR the students. The learners are all American University students who are studying abroad in Kyoto. In addition to the Japanaese language, they also study Japanese culture, politics, history, and art. I think their site is interesting. Maybe we at Ryukoku should try something like this? If any students are interested in running a blog this term, let me know and I'll help you get started.

# posted on 4/06/2003          


What is your favorite music genre? Have you ever heard of emo, goth, or dronology? Well, at Epitonic Radio you can listen to music from all genres while surfing the internet. My personal favorite is ambient. How about yours?

# posted on 4/05/2003          


Be careful what you see and read! A major newspaper in the USA, The Los Angleles Times, just published a front page photograph of an American soldier interacting with a group of Iraqi civillians. It turned out that the photo had been altered by the photographer to look better. See the photos...

# posted on 4/04/2003          


A surfer got carried away by the waves and had to spend the night floating in the rough, cold waters of the ocean. Read the article...

# posted on 4/02/2003          

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