Contents in 1998

no. dating title



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New Year's Resolution in 1998



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Girl's Dream more realistic than Love Stories



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Olympic Games in Winter



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My boss is my Wife



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My Old Pair of Scissors



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Picasso and his Photos



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The impression of Vienna and Paris



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Summer Evening Party



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Straight Kids



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Japanese Drum



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Class Reunion in Osaka



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English Program on TV

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January 8, 1998

New Year's Resolution in 1998

This year I have determined to live slowly, quiet, and happily following my heart.

When I look back on these several years, I have been pressured by daily chores, lots of work to do for my family members and some jobs as if I were run after by the waves behind. I really would like to live a quiet life by all means.

Luckily for me, the auction department of the company for which I have been working for several years will close this March, so I will have lots of time of my own from this month on. I have many plans to do in my free time, like reading books, meeting my old friends, going to the theater and museum, and so on.

But one thing I have to do in a few months. It is to look for the house for my parents. At the last of the last year, they sold their apartment. We are very glad and also surprised at that news, because it was sold on the third day after the real estate agency put an advertisement to sell it, and besides at the asking price. Even the agent was so surprised that he said he never had dealt with that case in his long career.

Anyway we have to look for a new house for them very soon. We have been looking for around Sin-Yokohama because my sister lives there, but in vain. Perhaps we will have hard time until we can find someplace.

And then the preparation for moving, moving itself and putting things in order. I am afraid I could not lead a quiet life for a while.

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January 22, 1998

Girl's Dream more realistic than Love Stories

According to the article From Teheran, among the Iranian young people love stories are now very popular.

One of the best sellers is titled 'Hangover the morning', which skeleton is following.
A rich girl fell in love with a young carpenter and ran away with him in spite of her family's disapproval. Although she had a baby, she couldn't get over the difference between their social classes and by the chance of kid's death due to disease the marriage was broken. Then her father worried about his daughter so much that he introduced a cousin to her as the second husband.

There often appeared the expressions like "she took off her chador", which is an Islamic mantle. After the Iranian Revolution in 1979 the young was forced to read the novels like Islamic textbook, and so they say that the love story is 'excitingly fresh'.

It was reprinted many times. The number of copies is however small, so the photocopied ones are handed over to be read successively one after another.

Iranian young single men and women are forbidden to be friends in public and so they hardly have the opportunity for meeting. It seems that's why they find a small dream in love stories.

On the weekend the streets and parks are full of many young people looking for such a dream. Of course they are in groups of only girls or only boys, keeping the distance.

"Do you have any brothers? If you do, please introduce them to us," they said.
"Yes, I have. But he is 35 years old, much older than you," his wife said. But girls wouldn't retreat.
"He must be rich in that age. I want to get married to a foreigner and to get out of Iran by all means."

They were so surprised at their more realistic, practical dreams than a love story that they were at a loss what to say.

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February 19, 1998

Olympic Games in Winter

I have read an article about some complaint of a ski jumper. His name is Dieter Thoma from Germany.

He couldn't win. On the 11th, after jumping he made faces because he was not satisfied with his result. He was the 13th. He insisted that it should be important to a jumper how far he jumps, and not how beautiful he jumps. His fault is in jumping style.

The scoring of ski jumping is decided by style point and distance point. Five judges have a maximum of 20 points each for style. The highest and lowest scores are dropped and all the rest are counted. Jumpers get 60 points if they land at the Critical Point (K-Point). On Normal Hill two points for every meter beyond that point are added, while on High Hill one point eight points for that. The same points are taken off for every meter before that point. On High Hill the jumper who wants 5 points in style has to jump about 3 meters farther. Besides he loses four more points if he can't make the telemark position at the landing point.

Dieter Thoma says that jumping style is regarded too much important even though he admits that his style is no good.
In his opinion Harada Masahiko is the winner on High Hill this time.

I think many sport events have this problem. Every sport event is not judged in the objective way. For example Figure Skating. Every judge can't be completely objective and fair to every skater. Looks, style, nationality, skating order, costume, music, and so on must have more or less influence on judging. The same thing can be said about gymnastics. Off course there are many efforts for judging to be as fair to everyone as possible. But it can be said very ambiguous, unclear.

On the other hand there is very simple sport. For example sprinting, marathon and swimming. All these are measured by time, and so there are no room for individual feeling or will. Runners or swimmers can devote themselves to only running or swimming without thinking of feeling of judges. They are happier than figure skaters in a sense. But even they have some trouble about shoes suitable for ground surface, weather, difference of climate and so on.

Recently the Olympic Games have got involved with commercialism. The environment that has so much influence to participants has been also changed according to their countries. Some will get enormous fortune as a reward for getting a medal. Some have put much money into training and preparing in vain. Some will receive a lot of guarantee money for advertising devices. And some must take great pains in getting their travelling expense.

It is very difficult to be fair to all in every sense in everything. But I think it is necessary to make efforts as hard as possible in order to have most participants and even audience enjoy sport.

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April 23, 1998

My boss is my Wife

68-year-old man in Tokyo contributes the following story to a paper. I enjoyed it very much and it made me think that the same situation was coming soon to our family.

"I order you to learn housework," said my wife.
As soon as I said goodbye to my salaried life of 52 years at the former National Railway and the food-service industry last spring, I was told by my wife in an authoritative tone.
Of course she gave me the gentle words, "Thank you for your long labor." And after that came that announcement. I thought I had to pay dearly for my indifference to anything about home at last.

In the morning I threw away my pajamas and put on the neatly ironed shirt. There was already the morning newspaper on the table. I had breakfast with the newspaper in a hand. When I came home, the supper was prepared, and the bath was got ready for me. All were in this way everyday.

I regarded myself as the supporter of the family, even the master of the house by myself. I was thought a great deal of in spite of low salary. But as soon as I became a pensioner, everything has changed.

After I get up in the morning, I fold up my pajamas and as a matter of course I put away the bedding in the closet. Next I learn how to use the electric washing machine and the amount of powder soap. After spin-drying I dry the washing in the sun. Having breakfast, next job is cleaning the rooms. In the afternoon I go with my wife to shopping of foodstuffs for supper. Before that I check the loss leaders of today in the ads. On our way home I carry the heavy bags in the hands. My wife says to me,
"You would be easy in being the office worker. Don't you think so?" "Absolutely yes!" In the office I was respected as a senior, or a veteran. Even my wife acted as my junior worker in a humble way. But now that I have retired she is my boss.

The life cycle has greatly changed. I have spent one year very hard thinking that if I lead a lazy life, I will be a so-to-speak "wet fallen leaf". Still my position is a student homemaker.

The contributor is a very thoughtful man, and he regarded his wife as his boss.
Besides he tries to face his new work very seriously. I admire him. On the other hand I am afraid that my husband won't be such a gentle person.

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May 7, 1998

My Old Pair of Scissors

Here is an old pair of scissors. They are over forty years old. My mother doesn't remember when she bought them for me, but I remember I already used them when I was in the first grade.

I think it is very surprising that my parents gave me them because they have, as you see, very sharp points. For a little child they are very dangerous. As the matter of fact little kids in these days are given ones with round points for safety.

Which scissors did you use in your childhood, the sharp ones or the round ones?

In the art class I remember we made paper dishes with colored paper and cotton. I made rolled susi. The dish was white paper, rice was white cotton, ingredients were colored papers, and seaweed was black paper.

I have been using them for over forty years. And now they have got rusty and a little broken at the handle, but they still cut well. To my surprise I can cut even a sheet of newspaper with them.

By the way I want to tell you about another pair of scissors. My father gave them to me when I was in the junior high school. I couldn't find them at home. Perhaps I have put them away somewhere or I have lost them somewhere in my several moves.
But anyway they were very strange. At the places where ordinarily the points are you can find square holes. When you close the edges of the scissors, you can put in small sticks through the holes.

When he put his things in order, he found them in the old box. He is crazy about classic music and he has collected many, many records since his younger days. Even in the wartime he listened to the music by any means. In the wartime all metal should be delivered to the government, so he used bamboo needle instead of metal one. But bamboo needle was worn out so soon, and he had to sharpen it all the time he said. These scissors were used for that. They were the relics of war in a sense. While I tell you this story, I have come to miss them very much.

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