Contents in 1995

no. dating title



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Big Earthquake in Hyogo



- - -

The Medical Check for Cancer



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River Construction



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Memories about English Teachers



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King's Valley



- - -

Touching Story



- - -

Art in Summer



- - -

The Story of a Celebrity

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January 19, 1995

Big Earthquake in Hyogo

Early Tuesday morning my elder son woke up and it was because of the earthquake. I myself didn't feel it, and when he woke me up, I thought it happened in Tohoku area.

But as soon as I heard the news on TV, I was so surprised and so worried about my parents and my mother in law who live in the very area in Kansai that I began to try to call them right away. I tried over and over again, but in vain. At the end of the line I heard only the voice on the tape saying that the line was busy, try again later.

At about seven thirty I finally got my mother in law on the phone, who lived in Senri New Town in Osaka all alone. At that time I was very surprised at the male voice, and later I found out that the next-door neighbor helped her to get out of the bedroom, for the wooden bookshelf fell down against the door. She was all right and there was almost no damage in the house.

I was relieved partly, but I was so much upset because I couldn't call my parents living in Amagasaki in Hyogo. It was a little after 9 that I got the news about them from my sister. To my delight they were both safe although the cabinets fell down and the glassware crashed into pieces onto the floor. It was not before the night when I talked with them directly on the public telephone. I took the trouble to go to the telephone box after I heard the public phone has priority over home telephones in a disaster.

As my husband's relatives live in Kobe and Takarazka, I also tried to call them, but in vain. Yesterday morning my mother in law told me that the two families in Kobe were safe, but she couldn't know anything about the family in Takarazuka.

My husband's cousin family lives in Nada Ward. They had rebuilt the house a few years ago, and there were all old houses around it. To our surprise only the cousin's house remained safe in the midst of the ruins. And besides the house was almost caught in a fire, but suddenly the wind changed and their house was safe.

Today my husband is to go to Osaka in order to help and encourage his mother and my parents.

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February 16, 1995

The Medical Check for Cancer

Recently I've read a book about cancer. Its content is so shocking that I can't help changing my image of cancer totally and also I am furious at the irresponsible attitude of Japanese doctors and government.

I want to ask some questions of you. Do you feel uneasy if you don't have a medical check for cancer once a year or so? Or are you relieved if you have a negative result after the test? If your answer is yes, according to the book, you are thoroughly brainwashed into victims of a big fraud on a national scale.

The conclusion of the author is that the cancer check is not only no use but also terribly harmful when you feel nothing irregular on your body. He says that the characters of cancer are not suitable for medical check.

First, not every cancer grows bigger or worse if it is let alone. Some cancer grows too slowly to act violently while the host is alive. Another cancer grows rapidly enough to kill the host in a few months, so that the once-a-year medical check couldn't find it.
On the other hand there is also a type of cancer that disappears silently.

Secondly, not everyone with an advanced cancer is to die. You can possibly survive if you go to hospital when you notice some symptom.

Finally, not everyone with an early cancer can be helped even if it is found and treated. That is why even a very early cancer can already spread to some other place.

The next problem lies in the check method itself. There is a big danger of being exposed to radiation, which caused another cancer. Fiberscopes often hurt human bodies, and sometimes the holes made by scopes make the patients die.
The anesthetic medicine taken before the test can cause death or paralysis of one or both sides of the body or coma.
And the technical experts who read the X-rays make so many mistakes that many cancers fail to be found out, and many people die even though they have noticed something wrong with their bodies. That is why they believe in the poor expert and believe themselves safe. Some people die because of cutting off the internal organs that seem not to have to be cut off when a little cancer happens to be found out luckily or unluckily.

The reliable experiments in the foreign countries show that the death rates including all causes are the same in one group of people who are checked regularly and in the other group of people who have no cancer check.

Consequently the medical check for cancer has been proved to be not only no use but also harmful. In fact in foreign countries it is not carried out.

In Japan, however, many doctors, for the sake of their own profit, are telling the people to have the check. They also interpret or ignore the data in their own convenience on purpose. And the government won't change its way for fear that they should lose trust if they admit their failure.

After reading this book I think there are so many terrible diseases like cancer that we don't have to be scared at only cancer. The title of the book is "Still, do you have a cancer check?" by Kondo Makoto. I recommend you to read it by all means.

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March 9, 1995

River Construction

Recently the conservation of nature, especially that of forest is becoming the talk of the whole world. From that point of view, Japan is an undeveloped country, I think. There are at least several think tanks in the field of industry, science and business in our country. But it seems unpleasant to them to devote themselves to something that is hard to be recognized or to attract attention in public.

Therefore, in Japan, some ordinary citizens or some groups of grass roots seem to study and to be active independently. But the conservation of nature is too big problem to be solved non-governmentally.

Whenever I hear of flood, drought, extinction of some animals or plants, construction of a dam and so on, I always get upset over the government. All those come out because of the wrong control of nature, mainly of forests and rivers.

Do you know the word "Kin-sizen-kasen-koho"? Unfortunately I don't know the technical term for that, but it is some method of river-conservation that would make rivers what it is naturally. This method has been developed in Europe and is becoming the mainstream of water-control on a worldwide level.

As the natural rivers run slowly in a zigzag line in the woods and fields, they make no dam, no dike or no concrete riverbed. On the other hand the straight running river has no time to purify itself. The stream is so strong that it wears away the banks and washes away the rich soil. The concrete dike and riverbed keep water from being stored in the ground. And so a little rain can cause a flood.

And the last thing in the world is a damned dam. Since I felt frightened on the arched walkway of Kurobe-Dam, I've hated dams. Not because I have a bad head for heights. Even for the little girl about ten years old, the dam looked like an ugly monster deep in the beautiful mountains. In order to make a dam, sometimes a whole village with houses and trees and rich soil sink down under water. So many trees should be cut down for making roads, and a long line of trucks blow out the polluted gas.

Because of a dam with reconstructed rivers, the ecological system is terribly broken up in the quite big area. Then, why does the Japanese government build dams against the grass roots movement? Indeed, the new method will cost more than a dam in the long run. It takes more time, more various knowledge and technology and more hands. It takes much more time to see the effect. But all these don't matter a bit compared with merits, I think.

What's the problem? As you know one of some reasons is a cozy relationship between politicians and construction companies. Even though I don't trust in Japanese politicians, whenever I think about our beautiful nature deserted on and on, I always get furious with them who care for their own profit under their nose.

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April 20, 1995

Memories about English Teachers

During almost four decades I have met many an English teacher in my life. Today, I'm going to tell you about some of them away from school.

My first English teacher was the Superior Mother of a convent. She was old stout German lady and couldn't speak Japanese well. When I was in the fifth grade, I began to learn English with the sentence, "Look!" The textbook was a handmade picture book of poor-quality paper. When the two big blue eyes looked into mine in the way particular to western people, I felt as if my brain were swept away and couldn't think or speak any more. At that time I hoped to chat with western people some day. But I still have a bad head for glassy eyes.

The greatest teachers, who stimulated my interest in pronunciation and offered beautiful models generously, are so wonderful skeletons that I would like to put them deep in my closet. Of course, they must be depressed there to hear my poor pronunciation. Today I introduce them to you specially. They are ... Mr. Andy Williams, Ms. Barbra Streisand, Ms. Julie Andrews, Ms. Nana Mouskouri, Ms.Whitney Houston, and Mr. Art Garfunkel. They also offer a lot of expressions in a most delightful way, as you know.

There is a villain in my English life. He was a guidance counselor of YMCA preparatory school. To my regret, I was thoughtlessly taken in by saying that I should choose some other language than English in the university. Although I passed the entrance examination to the English course, his words might have influenced me not to take it, I think. But perhaps I have to be grateful for his advice, because I can study English from the different point of view.

And now, after many twists and turns, I have encountered the superwoman, who would lead me to the right way on her wings. I'm looking forward to realizing of my old dream.

While I was writing my story, I came to understand the feeling of the people who win some prize and make a speech. Most of them mention on and on the names of those who have supported them. I don't have enough time to describe in detail, but I myself couldn't exist without many, many people, even if their influence is positive or negative. No circle can be concluded with a missing link. So Julie Andrews, the counselor and Mrs. Ono, everybody seems to me as valuable as many other people just equally.

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May 25, 1995

King's Valley

In the Valley of Royal Family in Luxor of South Egypt, where many tombs of old Egyptian Royal Family like Tutankhamen, can be found, another tomb was excavated, which is regarded to belong to the princes of Ramses II of about 3,200 years ago.

67 rooms have been already discovered and the Egyptian Culture Department announced that it is the greatest tomb in the country. This tomb is located just near the one of Ramses II in the center of the Valley of Royal Family. Although the entrance was recognized over 100 years ago, the soil and stone carried by flood over the years filled up the passage, and so the tomb was not excavated so far.

Ramses II ruled the country over 60 years and he had 12 princes, they say. According to the report of the department, one grave consists of five or six rooms, and dozens of princes were buried here. At the end of the tomb, another passage has been found, and so there is a possibility of discovering still more rooms.

As the whole tomb seems to have been robbed 3000 years ago, there was almost nothing precious left except a little jewelry and sculpture. But luckily quite many valuable wall paintings and something like that are said to be left. In order to be put on view to the general public, they say, the tomb demands more than three years for restoration.

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June 22, 1995

Touching Story

It's very difficult to find a really touchy story these days. Every day and night we are forced to see many terrible, cruel, miserable, wicked things on TV or newspaper. I'm afraid that we, human beings, can easily get accustomed to such things and become insensitive to those.

Although we like the beauty of nature, we throw trash away to the sea. Although we discuss the death penalty of murderers, we are watching the battle scene, where many innocent people are killed, on TV like a game. We know the man, who insisted the relief of people like a god, committed all sorts of sins and crimes.

To my regret, when I am touched by something, I feel as if it were unreal, dreamy, and extraordinary. But, to tell the truth, we can be moved only by the truth, the simple truth. If I see a person who is very rich and can do anything with money without working, I may envy him or her, but I won't be touched. It is because it is not a true life, not a true living.

The other night, I watched the TV program about twins. They were 3-year-old girls of Southeast Asia, and they are Siamese twins. They were linked at their hips, and therefore they shared one leg, one pelvis and one bladder. The group of American doctors examined them and performed a big operation on them over ten hours in order to divide them into two.

It was very difficult for the doctors to decide how to divide one leg, one pelvis, and one bladder. At last after long discussion, one leg, a half pelvis and three-fourths bladder went to one girl and the rest went to the other. I could watch the documentary picture and the operating scene.

To my surprise, I could watch them to cut the flesh of the babies as if they had cut an ox-tail. The film reported the later conditions. All this was a touchy and dramatic story enough, and moreover, I was touched by a fact. The two babies were orphans or something like that for some reason. In America, they were adopted into a middle-aged American couple's family.

In the Japanese orphanages, foster parents want a healthy and normal and pretty child, and they hate a handicapped one. They say that leftover kids will often be adopted into foreign families. There exist those Siamese twins, and they need help to live 'separately'. It's the truth. And I was deeply touched by the American couple who accepted the truth as it was.

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September 7, 1995

Art in Summer

This summer it was so hot that I could hardly gather myself together to do something. All I could do was only living quiet without any extra activity.

Fortunately, I think, my husband works far away, and my elder son went to Yakushima for his part-time job. So there were only two, my younger son and I, at home, and I could cut off the corner in my chores. But there were a few special things to say, that is, I could visit museums three times and a gallery and I watched two TV programs about art.

First, in July, I visited the exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci at the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum. They exhibited his drawings about the anatomy of man, but I couldn't see them well, because of the small size of sheets, and the aging and fading of ink and paper. Besides they were poorly lighted for protection.

A little disappointed as I was at that point, I was very glad to see the building itself. The museum is the one and only typical architecture of art deco. It used to be the residence of Asaka-no-miya, who was interested in the architecture in Europe very much and made his own house designed after that style. The building including the interior like its furniture, lighting equipment and glassware is amazingly marvelous, so I would love to visit it again. I recommend you visiting this museum once.

Second, in August, I visited the exhibition titled "Japonism in Vienna" at the Museum of Modern Art in Kamakura. I feel proud of our Japanese sense of viewpoint, which has stimulated the Western artists into today's modern art. On the other hand, it is regrettable that our valuable works have been looked down on in Japan, and numbers of precious works have gone to foreign countries.

Third, yesterday, I visited the exhibition of the Fallen Art in Kamakura. The title "the Fallen Art" means the art that was against the policy of the dictator Hitler. He supported, of course, the military art that whipped up fighting spirit of German people. He accepted only the Aryan and excluded the Jewish people. He recommended only the old-fashioned style of art, which suited his policy. Ironically, the art he called the fallen art is now regarded as the great art. The artists excluded by Hitler at that time are now considered to be the leaders of modern art.

To the last, I could see many wonderful works of Japanese artists in TV programs and in a gallery. Outside it was hot like inferno, but only with great art I could feel a kind icy-cold calm. At summer night, I wish I could sleep in the spacious room of Toshodaiji Temple with the sliding doors on which Higashiyama Kai painted the calm nature.

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October 26, 1995

The Story of a Celebrity

I'll tell you about Jesus Christ, who is the man known to the most people in the world. I dare to call him a man. It's not because I'm not a Christian. I would rather believe in him as a human being that really existed on the earth.

As you know, according to the New Testament, Jesus Christ was born mysteriously. In his comparatively short race of life, he worked some miracles. He changed water into wine. He revived Lazarus. And he resurrected after the death on the cross.

Recently the Australian professor, Barbara Sieling, has offered a new interpretation of the Bible. Her logic is as follows. Among the Christians there were many social standings, and the lower people had more taboos than the higher. For example they could not drink wine. The story that Jesus changed water into wine means that he treated the higher and lower people equally.

In olden times, the church was almighty. If a person was excommunicated, her or she was virtually dead religiously, and was thrown into a grave alive. Jesus helped Lazarus out of the grave much earlier than the necessary period. It means Jesus revived the religiously dead man.

Have you ever seen the picture of Jesus on the cross? Do you remember that the blood runs from the cut in his side? In the Bible the officer cut his side in order to make sure that he had already died. If he was dead, there could be no bleeding. He was buried alive, his disciples nursed him, and then he got well. According to the Barbara's book, he lived longer and had two kids in the marriage with Mary Magdalene.

I'm afraid all these stories about Jesus Christ might make Christians upset. But I think he was a very liberal, generous, and brave man. He struggled for the sake of what he believed in the terribly conservative world. His miracles are the symbols of his revolution. His death on the cross is the symbol of his death as a man. After that did he become a God? I don't know what to think.

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That's all in 1995.

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