Log in

so watch as I start to smile...
05 April 2020 @ 10:34 pm


Tell me why you are interested in my journal
and we'll see what I think (◕‿◕✿)
so watch as I start to smile...
30 August 2011 @ 10:37 am
The common sense of the general society and the knowledge of experts, such completely contradictory things are never few in this world. It’s the same about a disaster & an accident. Including information of the mass media as well, the common sense of societey has taken root in the old view of a disaster. However, occasionally there is a big contradiction between the common sense of societe and the knowledge of experts, because the knowledge of experts changes daily depending on study and research. For instance,as an example for this let’s pick up the subject of panic.
First a question to the readers. From the following (1) and (2), which do you think is correct?

(1) When getting involved in an earthquake or fire, many people fall into panic.
(2) Even when getting involved in an earthquake or fire, many people don’t fall into panic.

The answer is (2).
Encountering a disaster or an accident, it is difficult to keep your composure. Feeling fear and anxiety is something very natural I suppose. However, this alone is not connected to an ocurring panic, which is given rise to by a large number of people immediately fighting, like enemies who get into each other’s way, trample on each other, squashing killed and injured people. In other words, panic as an unusual behaviour is something that doesn’t really happen during many disasters or accidents. Panic is uncommon, for it is the “common sense” of experts.

(translated excerpt from:hirotada HIROSE: ‘Why people fail to run away in time’ -  Shûeisha Paperback)

I think this really shows the Japanese Way of thinking about such things as panic very well. It's sort of like a glimpse into Japanese society and how they might view certain things differently from our understanding.
feeling: coldcold
so watch as I start to smile...
26 August 2011 @ 01:29 pm
A little while ago, when I was learning a foreign language I said that I can’t translate. This was the conversation I had with someone. At that time, the thought of not being able to translate was inside my head, and when reading books it would certainly be very necessary to look up the words that I couldn’t understand. When reading, I surely had to look them up in the dictionary. Often most of the people feel comfortable when understanding the whole meaning to some extend, and won’t look up the meaning of the words they don’t understand. If  these words come up four or five times, then they feel like they can’t help but look them up anyway. But this is something really bad. When speaking about why, if they would have looked it up right the first time, then the 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th time would have become a revision, and they would have memorized this word in the end. When looking it up first on the 25th time, you have lost the chance for revision 24 times already. Therefore by looking up all the words I didn’t know, I managed to read the book in a little less than 3 weeks. During this time I wrote the words I didn’t know in my vocabulary book more than 1000 times, and in the end I memorized almost all of them.      [omission] Regarding the success of your studies, the hours you spent studying is by no means proportional to learning itself. At the time you start studying, learning the vocabulary turns out well, but  after that comes a kinda flat/steady period. Many people think “Aah, I’m no good. I’m not suited for learning foreign languages” or “I’m not a genius.” when this period comes, because they don’t feel like making any progress at all. When they give up on it in their hearts it feels like no matter how much they studied, there wasn’t much improvement. But it’s not like that. Because if you can get one step passed this flat/steady period that comes after a short time, you will become really good. If you remember how a jigsaw-puzzle is done, you can understand it by this image I think. Several pieces turn into little clusters, but don’t connect yet. But if you can bridge the gap even in one place only, a bigger cluster can be formed at once. Then it turns into a cluster, which also connects with other pieces and this way the whole thing can be put together. Like this, several words and expressions, which are scattered inside our memory suddenly come together, and depending whether they can connect or not, we are able to become better with one step. From there on out, we become better not with a progress over a short time, but with another step. Because this is repetition. (translated excerpt from: Péter Frankl ‘The Peter Way of Easy Learning’ – Iwanami Junior )
feeling: cynicalcynical
so watch as I start to smile...
25 August 2011 @ 04:04 pm
When it comes to news, we can learn them not only through newspapers, but also through TV. Well, even if you don’t read newspapers and such, isn’t it okay if watching TV? Isn’t it much more comfortable and faster? There are probably also people who think like that. Nevertheless, I want to read newspapers, because I think news papers have  some merits that TV doesn’t. Speaking of TV, picture and sound are put together. While watching, senses like those of our eyes and ears will be put to work. When sitting in front of the TV, elements that hit these senses appear one after another, and are erased one after another. It means they constantly change. These are the characteristic features of TV, but at the same time there are flaws as well. Sometimes things are mentioned that make me think, and pictures in which I have a deeper interest in are shown. But just as I’m thinking “ah”, it changes to the next thing already, and I remember nothing but a fairly deep impression. On the contrary, newspapers or in other words the printed material is not moving, and I can think about it. Not only that, but moreover I can continue to think about something from before. My imagination is expanding, and it’s possible to think of new ideas and such. The sensous stimulation that I get from the pictures often ends just there, but in case of the printed material something new can be added, and it is easy to make up something completely different. (translated excerpt from: Takaaki YOSHIMOTO: ‘The age 13 comes two times – thinking about “Myself, who lived in the present age”’ -  Daiwa Shobô)
location: At work
feeling: productiveproductive
so watch as I start to smile...
01 October 2010 @ 06:45 pm
Eyes are not attached to the back. So even though we can see in the front, we can't see in the back. Saying something like this is a lie, if you want to see, you can see even in the back. There is no need to turn around. The power to see in the back is imagination.
It's not only the back. If you have an ordinary imagination, you can see yourself even through other people's eyes. How can you see yourself from the viewpoint of others? That would be the starting point of imagination.
After the curtain opens, people are taking seats. There is no such annoying someone. It's okay even if you become small like a mouse, entering secretly. Inside there are such people who enter majestically like a statue, and people who pass through like a firestorm in front of other seats without even saying "excuse me", and people who sit down quietly. Those kind of people, might not be able to see at all, how to see themselves through others. It's a complete lack of imagination.
Well, I think those who are late each have their own reasons, like a traffic jam or a delayed train, or falling outside the front door when wanting to leave. However, if I'm late, I'll wait in the lobby until the next intermission, even if for instance the ushers say it's okay to go inside. Or I'll watch standing in the very back of the audience. That's the general rule. At least I have made it a principle of mine.
Extending their long backs at random/immoderately, and also sitting in an exceptionally high seat is the pattern of people who don't have eyes in the back. I have no intention of complaining about the length of other people's torsos, because when it comes to the length of torsos, I'm also confident about my body type. But, how much will my head be in the way for the people in the seats behind me. Someone who understands that quickly, and who considers keeping the head down as much as possible, has an ordinary imagination.

'Amano Yûkichi's field of words' by Amano Yûkichi
publiches by Madoka Shuppan


I can't even begin to say how Japanese this text is, the way he's wording his sentences and  explaining so very metaphorically and indirectly about being considerate towards others. After all condisering other's feelings (often more than your own) is such a big part of Japanese culture and their minds.
feeling: accomplishedaccomplished
so watch as I start to smile...
Let's say for example, there are drugs considered to be effective for people who are suffering from a serious illness. To be taken only once. Although, the possibility of getting better due to that is high, there is also a 5 % probability that serious side effects may occur. Those 5% are a proportion of the total, but for what kind of predispositioned people it is high, and for what kind of predispositions it is low, is quite uncertain.
At these times, doctor A responded turned to the patients as follows.
“If taking this medicine only once, the illness will often get better, but with a probability of 5% serious side effects occur.”
Doctor B on the other hand, approached the patients in the following way.
“If taking this medicine only once, the illness will often get better, but for 5 out of 100 people serious side effects occur.”
The only difference is “with a probability of 5%” and “for 5 out of 100 people”. And Mathematically speaking and the very clear difference aside, what doctor A is saying and what doctor B is saying, is essentially the same. Of course, even if saying “for 1 out of 20 people” instead of “for 5 out of 100 people” it is the same.
And nonetheless, the number of patients who hesitate to use the medicine seems to increase generally more with the expression of doctor A.

from 'The reality of numbers? No way!' by Katô Ryôhei
published by Besuto Shinsho


I'd also have to go with doctor B in this case. Just using the expression with the word "people" in it rather than % would make me feel more comfortable and like this doctor realizes he treats real humans and not just numbers.
feeling: disappointeddisappointed
so watch as I start to smile...
29 September 2010 @ 01:26 pm
Children of different ages get together, all day long, taking life easy, playing around. Where is it the good in that? The three-year-olds to look after the one-year-olds, the five-year-olds to look after the three-year-olds, the seven-year-olds to look after the five-year-olds, it's passed along like this. In that way, the older bunch among the growing children witness the state again, that they themselves where in until quite recently, by taking care of the younger children. In other words, if you would call it studying, this is reviewing. Moreover, the younger children who get looked after will come in contact with children who are a bit further ahead in development. This is, in a word, preparation. The advantage of children from different generations playing together as one, is indeed repeating the preparation and review of development, or if saying it in a modern way, it is growing up with repeated feedback.
Children playing just by themselves is a rough upbringing, if comparing it to constantly getting looked after by parents. I guess there are lots of mothers who feel like that now. I think it is the opposite. Growing up among a group of children, as mentioned above actually, might rather mean being raised with care.

'There is a peculiarity in your brain' by Yôrô Takeshi
published by Chûkôbunko


During my childhood, I hated it when my mother said "She is your little sister, you gotta look after her and be a role model to her, cause she looks up to you", but nowadays, especially after reading this, I somehow feel the need to call her and say "thank you" for that. And for "giving me" a sister in the first place. I don't have older siblings so there was never really a "preparation" for me (I wished there were sometimes), but I can definitely see how this "feedback" thing worked. It made me grow up in my mind much quicker, because I saw how "childish" I was, just looking at my sister.
feeling: nostalgicnostalgic
so watch as I start to smile...
28 September 2010 @ 12:04 pm
The taste of water is greatly influenced by the temperature. Thus, mineral water that has become lukewarm is not tasty in the slightest. Then why is it delicious, if the water is cold? Everyone believes it's because of the refreshing feeling when it goes down the throat, but actually it's not only that. A certain coldness is also appealing to the palate itself.
It is said, that a water temperature of about 25°C less than one's body temperature feels cool and delicious. Therefore, water of about 11°C will be most delicious. Even if one tries this experiment with a large number of people, the result doesn't change.
This water temperature hits the taste buds on the surface of the tongue, which seem to send signals to the brain in order to stimulate parts that feel a sour taste. Based on the water temperature, the result would appear to be just like lemonade.
When you have something like the spring water of a mountain stream in your mouth, some people may even feel a refreshing sweet taste, and indeed, more than the sweetness of sugar water it is a delicate sweetness. If anything, it's close to lemonade, and this is also because the coldness of the water would stimulates the taste buds. The sour taste has an effect that eases tense feelings. By drinking just one glass of cold water, the fact that strangely the tense feeling will disappear and you will feel calm, is also due to the stimulation of the sour taste.

From 'The likely known and unknown mysteries of water'
by Kitano Masaru
published by Daiwa Shobô


That was quite interesting, and it made me think of the German saying "Sauer macht lustig" (something like "sour makes you merry/jolly") the whole time. True or not, I can totally see Japanese people going all "eeeehhh" in astonishment when reading this, most of them just love to read such things about the ways of nature being good for your body and health. Well, I shall go and have myself a nice glass of delicious temperatured water to ease away any tension and let the calm feelings run through me. *g*
feeling: amusedamused
so watch as I start to smile...
25 September 2010 @ 02:57 pm
It's said that dogs are like their owners.
I wonder if that's true.
If anything, isn't it rather that the dog owning people are like their dogs ?
No, even more than that, when those people get a dog, they may tend to choose a dog with a character alike their own. 
An active guy likes to take a walk with an active dog, people who tend to shut themselves away get a pet dog. Belligerent people are fascinated by fighting dogs, and fashionable women seem to want good-looking dogs, indeed.
Anyway, in the end people who have a dog become more and more like their dog.
For instance, a guy who has a dog that likes rain, will come to like rain before he's even realizing it.
While looking out of the window saying: “Oh, it looks like it'll be raining.” he starts thinking about going out to take a walk under the umbrella. “Woof”, the dog is barking. The guy answers “I see, I see.” I don't understand what he means with “I see”, but perhaps the guy owning the dog came to understand the it's language.
Not only that, but he also observes the outside world from the perspective of a dog, and acquires the habit of thinking as if he's become a dog himself.
The same goes for cats. The cat owning people, while living with it 365 days a year, become cat-like little by little as well. When the cat lets out a “meow”, he answers “I know, I know”. For others “I know” won't be understandable either, but he understands.
In other words, keeping a living creature is having another aspect within oneself, different from one's own.

'Living in the Nirvana' by Odajima Takashi,
in 'Mokutan Biyori 1999 – Collection of the best essays'
(published by Bungeishunjû)
I was amused reading this in a Japanese book for reading comprehension (it's full of little short essay like texts, I may translate more if I like), and it got me thinking. I don't own a dog nor a cat but little gerbils, and I thought about in what way I might be like them or how much we are alike in characteristics exactly. Well and then when you think of people you know, who own dogs or cats or other pets....I find it amusing to think about them after reading this.
feeling: amusedamused
so watch as I start to smile...
yay for having some time during the semester break to do things like this :D

Everyone will either keep their mouth shut, or just skim this essay of mine from the beginning. Because I trust you. Collapse )
Please note that English is not my native language. Although it doesn't feel like a foreign language to me, I'm aware that sometimes the phrasing might not be completely correct. So, I'm open for any corrections, regarding the Japanese-English translation or just the English in general.
And please don't take/re-post my translation without my permission, thanx.

feeling: hungryhungry