Monday, December 25, 2017

Japanese Book Scene.

1.  Saw this movie on Christmas Eve 2017. Left a lasting impact on my mind after watching it. A novella by Matsumoto Seicho called Kichiku. (The Demon).

Having no more financial support from her lover, the man's mistress dumped their 3 kids at his home. Out of her hatred for the mistress, the man's wife ordered him to kill off the kids one by one. The anguish of a man planning to kill his own children is mentally sickening. The book and movie are only in Japanese.

This book was written 80 years ago. To attract young readers, they made it into a manga. Recently it has become a best seller.

君たちのどう生きるか Kamu hidup bagaimana?


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Perasmian kigo

Dua kali setahun, kami terima senarai kata musim baharu daripada Ketua Persatuan Haiku Jepun. Kami telitikan istilah-istilah baharu yang telah diluluskan dan menjadi rasmi untuk pembentukan haiku. Lelaki yang duduk di kanan itu guru pesara yang baru terima anugerah penulis Haiku di Okinawa dan telah terbitkan 8 buku himpunan haiku. Lelaki duduk tengah juga telah menerima beberapa anugerah haiku selama 35 thn berkecimpung menulis haiku. Perempuan itu mengajar haiku di balai raya. Dan saya mengajar haiku online kepada peminat berbahasa Melayu. Kami sama-sama telah terbitkan beberapa antologi haiku bahasa Jepun. Gambar Kumpulan Haiku Sagaribana di Balai Raya Nishihara (22 Ogos 2017).

Thursday, November 23, 2017


(Picture) Pandan leaves in our garden

This morning, hubby and I went to the Garden Center to get some baby spring onions. We bought some spring onions and celery sprouts to grow at home.
Then we saw two pots of pandan leaves. This is the first time I saw pandan leaves sold in Okinawa.
The local name for it is "niou adan" (say : ni-oh-oo + a-dang) or fragrant pandanus.

Picture from Google

There are lots of pandanus fascicularis grown on the beach on the northern side of Okinawa main island.
Pandan is the name of the plant in the Malay language, taken from its original Pandanus source.
The local name for this plant is Adan (say : a-dang). This is why they call the kitchen pandan as niou adan because of the plant physical similarities and niou or fragrant is stronger in the kitchen variety.

That's all folks.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Morning Momiji

The call of translating one's work into another language kept on hitting my mind after receiving an award for the novel PAGI SEMERAH DAUN MOMIJI. I told myself that I need to make the book known to non-Malay readers. I started translating the book into English from 6 May 2014. It took me more than two years and it was completed on 23 June 2016.

The manuscript went to DBP on 10 March 2017. At last, I signed the letter of acceptance from the publisher on 30 Sept. 2017.

I needed to write a blurb for the book. It would make the task a lot easier for me just by translating the blurb from the first book which is in Malay, but I thought since the readers in English come from all races, all backgrounds and all countries, it would be better to write in a different angle.
The idea came suddenly while I was resting on the bed from a sudden cold. I grabbed a paper wrapper from the trash bin beside my bed and started the scribbling.

It went under the editor's scanning on 18 Dec. 2017.
Hopefully, the blurb will attract reader's interest in the book.


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Peter And Jane

My second daughter lay-over at our house in Okinawa from 5 Oct. to 11 Nov. 2017. The family was transferred back to Japan. The three children (twins at 5 yr 5 mth and the younger boy at 3 yr 7 mth) gave me quite a shock with their good command of spoken English.  Before moving here, they were at a stage of learning phonics in kindergarten and have grasped the idea of relating sounds to letters.

They could make a string of conversation and made their intentions understood in proper, good command of English. I thought this should continue and I ordered this series of Peter and Jane book from Amazon.

I remember it was Peter and Jane that made me realized letters have meanings and sound in books when I was in Primary 2. Imagine my grandchildren able to read easily Book 1a, 1b, 1c and getting into 2a while I was writing this.
I was a slow child in reading but I caught up by Primary 5, by which time I read one Enid Blyton per day.

My granddaughter was so excited to read Peter and Jane without my supervision. She would sneak and read by herself but I told her I need to teach her the new words on each page. This is her writing practices (see image) while reading the book.

I would recommend Peter and Jane books to all children who are just about to start reading. It was effective for me, that's all I can say about it.


Monday, October 02, 2017

Si Ayu

Ayu is my second daughter. Immediately after graduating from Ryukyu Univ. (Mar. 2008), she opted to work overseas and not in Okinawa. Upon her elder sister's advice, she went to Singapore to start a career. 22 April 2008 (picture), she left Okinawa and started her life's journey.

She found her love in Singapore (Japanese) and got married at Kobe Mosque on 16 Feb. 2011. Both returned to Singapore to start a new life as a married couple.

Yesterday, 1 Oct. 2017, they returned to Japan to start a new life in Japan. They are parents to a set of twins, a boy and a girl aged 5 yr 4 mth with the third boy aged 3 yr 6 mth.
She started her first career in Singapore and with the children starting every new in Japan, they will have a different rhythm of daily activities in Japan compared to Singapore.
Just as they've enjoyed their lives in Singapore, praying (doa) they do not need to adjust much living in Japan from now on.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Penamatnya Mabrur

Semalam 13 Ogos 2017, cerpen ini disiarkan oleh Berita Harian Singapura.
Setahun saya tidak menulis cerpen. Akhir sekali (kalau tak salah) Ogos 2016.
Dalam rangka setahun ini kenapa saya tidak keluarkan cerpen?
Saya puji sangat penulis yang mampu menulis beberapa catatan dalam satu masa sekaligus. Maksud saya sedang menulis novel tapi dapat pula pusing sudut lain dan menulis cerpen. Saya tidak dapat buat begini. Satu projek untuk satu masa.
Dalam setahun saya tidak keluarkan cerpen sebab saya tumpukan pada penulisan terjemahan novel PAGI SEMERAH DAUN MOMIJI dari bahasa Melayu ke bahasa Inggeris. Usai dihantar ke penerbitnya, saya mula pula novel baharu. Kali ini saya cuba novel Inggeris pula. Saya belum boleh maklum penerbitnya.

Saya sengaja kaburkan imej di atas sebab saya sedang kumpulkan semua cerpen.

Oh, saya ingin kongsi satu perkembangan negatif sebagai penulis. Apabila cerpen pertama tersiar di akhbar Berita Harian Singapura, ramai yang menulis tahniah atau LIKE. Boleh dikatakan berderet-deret dan sampai keesokan hari pun masih ada yang memberi tahniah.
Kalau tak salah semalam cerpen saya yg ke 7 atau 8 (agak-agak saja) disiarkan, yang pelik tiada seorang pun penulis yang saya kenal, yang rapat dengan saya di Singapura maupun di Malaysia sudi memberi komen. Saya ambil ini sebagai kenaikkan saya ke taraf yang sudah glemer sebagai penulis.
Kalau artis atau penghibur, glemer mereka meriah serba serbi tapi lain rupanya sebagai penulis. Semakin prolifik seorang penulis, semakin dia disenyapkan. Tiada LIKE atau tahniah berderet-deret lagi.
Saya rasa masa mula2 karya tersiar, ramai yang mengucap tahniah sebab ingin memberi dorongan. Tapi kenapa dorongan itu terhenti apabila penulis itu sudah menjadi terkenal dengan tambahan karyanya?
Pelik bukan?

Saya perlu perhatikan perkembangan ini dan mengambil contoh dari penulis lain.
Semakin mereka terkenal, semakin bertambah karya mereka, tiada perlu memberi dorongan lagi atau mengucapkan tahniah lagi atau memberi LIKE berderet2.
Ada bagusnya kita belajar dari pengalaman.

Apa-apa pun penghargaan saya kepada para editor, penyunting sastera di meja Berita Harian Singapura kerana memberi saya peluang dan ruang untuk berkembang sendiri.

Terima kasih.


Monday, August 07, 2017

Such a deer.

I never expect the first night of our trip to Hokkaido (29 June to 2 July 2017), when we stayed at Sahoro Hotel that it was one of the Club Med chain-hotel. Club Med being an international chain-hotel, unlike local-run hotels in Japan, caters to the special needs of their Muslims customers. 

We were delighted to be served with grilled deer meat which, we were told to be halal. I can't remember having deer meat before, maybe I had, but I cannot recollect it's taste anymore. It was soft without the smell of mutton. 
That night, I made my way to the common bath-house on the ground floor of the hotel. It has a 露天風呂 Roten-buro (literally it means bath under the sky) or an open air bath. It was dark, I could see the stars so far off into the galaxy with its weak twinkling as I dipped in the steaming water. There was an earthy smell to the water, it might come from the depth of the earth.

I take a public bath every week. Having a common bath with other women every week has a therapeutic effect on me. You should try hit the sauna at 78c, then dip in the water at 19c, repeat in three or four rounds. Feel your body changing.
Most time I tried to keep quiet and relax, feel my body tightening in the heat but that would normally be quite impossible. While dripping in sweat, the women talk about the weather, about some sick friends, about politics or anything that we are willing to share. 
I've come to know many friends I made from the common bath. Sometimes, we arranged another date at the karaoke or have lunch together.
Coming back to the halal grilled deer at Sahoro Club Med, do make a special request during the booking. Oh, I'm not paid for this promotion, just a travel information.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Bunga Putat, Sagaribana, Barringtonia

It's the peak of summer (July 2017) and that means the peak of Sagaribana blossoms in Okinawa. Before this, I always missed viewing the blossoms closely but last night, hubby drove to the housing areas around Shuri Castle. On one stretch of there were many Sagaribana plants.
It has a soft, sweet smell like a ripened guava. I should say if the smell is bottled into cologne, it is a female smell as a contrast to musk.
I know in Malaysia the Sagaribana new leaves and fruits are taken as a salad. I've tried tasting the leaves, quite bitterish for my liking but I supposed taking it with spicy belacan should go well with rice.
The Japanese called it Sagaribana. Sagaru to lower or to bow, hana is the flower. Don't you think this name is most appropriate when you see how the flower lowered itself lower while blooming into glorious beauty and fragrance?

Malay: Sekarang tengah rancak musim panas di Okinawa. Inilah juga musim pohon Putat berbunga. Sebelum ini saya tidak berpeluang mendekati pohon Putat pada musim ia berbunga tapi malam tadi saya pergi ke kawasan istana Shuri. Terkejut juga apabila terlihat salah satu laluan penuh dengan deretan pohon Putat ini. Bunganya berbau halus dan manis seperti buat jambu batu yang sudah masan ranum. Saya rasa kalau dijadikan air wangi, bau bunga ini ada kejelitaan seperti tabiat kewanitaan, bukan seperti musk yang baunya kuat seperti jantan.
Saya dimaklumkan di Malaysia, pucuk daun dan buah pohon ini dimakan bagai ulam dengan sambal belacan.
Ini gambar2 yang saya ambil waktu malam sebab bunga Putat kembang selepas maghrib. Gambar menggunakan 3 lampu touchlight.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Walking routine

After I came back from the Hokkaido trip, I started to do morning walk for 30 mins. everyday.
Every morning I see this man sweeping the sidewalk. I think he owns a shop-house. He washes the parking lot in front of his shop, then he cleans the whole length of the road.
I was thinking this man get up early and cleaned the whole length of the road without pay every day, I wonder what makes him so dedicated. Doesn't he have other work to do? Does he live only to sweep the side walk?

There's another man I see during my morning walk. This man is not homeless. But I think he has some mental problem. He's dirty and wears torn outfit. Sometimes, I see him eating thrown food from the trash.
One time, I gave him a bun. Then came home and told my hubby about it. Well, I shouldn't be doing it as it encouraged him to beg for food. So, we are not supposed to give him any food.
But, this man has pride. There was another occasion when I gave him a can of drink. He refused my offer. Again, I was told not to give anything to him.

The meaning of hospitality in the dictionary is not the same hospitality as the Japanese read. Empathy is not for homeless or dirty people on the street in Japan.
It reminds me of the deer on Ikutsujima. Visitors to the island are discouraged from feeding them. They don't want the deer to be fed as the leftover food might dirty the park.
May be hungry and dirty people are like deer. Leave them alone and the place will be spiky clean.


Monday, July 10, 2017

Shirakaba (White Birch)

On my trip to Hokkaido recently, I noticed shirakaba trees lined up the highways of Hokkaido.

I thought the white tone is only on the outer bark of the tree but upon closer inspection during one of the walks in the garden trails, I found out the white colour of the tree went deeper into the trunk.

Previously this tree was normally used as fire woods. I find out this tree is not cheap to have from the shop that sells it as mementoes of Hokkaido.


Monday, July 03, 2017

Siaran haiku

Kumpulan haiku dari salah seorang anak didik saya. Nama pena Jepun saya beri Hasa-Ari-Hassan (Hassan Hasaa'Ree Ali)
Kumpulan haiku ini ditulis dalam bentuk satira. Setiap rangkap memenuhi syarat kigo yang sempurna. 
Terima Kasih Berita Harian Singapura kerana memberi ruang utk genre ini.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Birthday Video letter

When you're far from children and grand kids, video letter or WiFi call are the best way to communicate.

Yesterday, my grand kids sent me their birthday greetings. 
This is from Mi chan.

Then this is from Ken, Yuri and Ryo chan.

Actually, I opt for video letters anytime rather than for them to send birthday presents by slow mails.

Thank you to all my beautiful grand kids.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017


I woke up this morning at 3.30 am to take my Ramadan breakfast. Then opening my homepage, I saw this moving lighted candles. Lately, I did notice Google putting up various themes of the day like Valentine Day, Halloween and stuff like that.

I kept wondering the implication of the image, then it hit me.
It's my birthday today!

How wonderful to have Google giving me a personal wish that only come once in a year, just for me. Only for me.
Anyway, I skipped writing the birthday date on my Facebook. This means I don't expect any birthday greetings. But having said that, this early morning, I saw some private birthday wishes in my Facebook inbox. 
To celebrate my birthday, I'll have a camembert cheese bun to break the Ramadan fasting which falls on its 19th day today.

Happy Birthday to me. 14 June 2017.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Projek penyelidikan Azlansyah Aman

12 Mei 2017

Semalam saya ke Muzium arkioloji bersama seorang pelajar dan berjumpa dengan seorang pegawai muzium berkenaan projek penyelidikan itu.
Azlansyah membawa salam daripada beberapa orang kawannya yang kenal saya lewat blog ini.
Waalaikumusalam kepada kawan-kawan itu (Azlansyah ada sebut nama-nama kawan itu tapi sebutannya terlalu pantas, tak dapat saya tangkap).

Keris purba Okinawa.

Semoga Azlansyah berjaya dalam penyelidikan ini.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Slowly but surely

I have to apologize to anyone to come by. It has been quite a while since the last update.
There are so much to write. At the moment, I can only afford to write a couple of lines on Facebook. If anyone wants to be included in my friend's list on Facebook, please make a request for Leyla Shuri.

The proverb writing project that started five years ago, is still coming. This is a heavy project that seriously takes lots of dedication and allegiance.

November 2016, last year, I've started a novel. This time I'm venturing the novel in English. I've had some confidence in writing an English novel after a long bout with translating my second novel #pagisemerahdaunmomiji or @Pagi Semerah Daun Momiji which was in original Malay into English.
I've shown my faithfulness in the language of my mother tongue, so now it's time to step out of my comfort zone and venture a little further in my writing enterprise.
I've until July 2017 to finish up the present novel-writing. That would leave me another three months to go.

Right now, writing is a struggle for me due to an unfortunate incident that happened to me in February 2017.

Anyway, slowly but surely, that's the way to go.


Friday, April 07, 2017

Iwakuni Trip

My son has worked in Iwakuni for just a year now. He started working there since 5 March 2016. We decided to pay him a visit. I wanted to see the place where he stays. So, we made the trip on from 7th to 9th April 2017.
We did not make any trip together since my father-in-law was bedridden. For that 15 years, we can only make separate, individual trip as one of us had to stay behind to take of him. After his demise on 12 March 2016, we took our first trip together a year later. We decided for our first trip to go and see our son working at Iwakuni.

The first day we arrived, it was already dark in the early evening. We went to see the famous Kintai Bridge. Even though my son's rental apartment has three rooms, we opt to stay at Green Rich Hotel. The hotel has a common bath area. This common bath with its burbling hot water gave some amount of comfort on my injured shoulder.
I had a fall at the end of February. It was a rainy day and the road was wet and slippery. I stepped on a grilled-covered manhole that must be slippery on a slope going down the hill. During the fall, I didn't feel any pain. Unfortunately, the banging pain on my shoulder and neck came about 10 days later when I must have exerted my body during a 1000 meter lap-swim. Anyway, the hot water pool helped to bring down the aching on my shoulder and neck. I used this common bath all through our stay at the hotel.

It was a weekend and my son took us to Itsukushima. There was a shrine that has received the World Heritage status on the island. Many deer were roaming on the shrine's ground. The ferry ride was only 10 minutes. It came at every 10 minutes interval and I noticed the ferry was loaded with foreign travellers. We took sea eel for lunch. That was the first time I took a whole lunch box of sea eel. Sea eel has a smoother and softer texture than the fresh-water eel. Sea eels don't smell swampy as well, unlike the fresh-water eels.
From Itsukushima Island, we took JR train to Hiroshima. My first trip to Hiroshima was years ago. We re-visited the Hiroshima Dome and Hiroshima Castle.
By the way, my novel Pagi Semerah Daun Momiji or The Morning Momiji told of the atomic bomb that was exploded on the morning of the historical day. I mentioned the Hiroshima Dome and it's surrounding when the bomb impacted the city and its aftermath.
I was a refreshing trip for us, at least we got to see how our son lives alone in that house.


Monday, January 30, 2017

Terbelah Bintang Subaru: Komen seorang pembaca di Facebook

Tiga hari tanpa cell phone saya habiskan masa senggang membaca novel ini. Mula baca saya tertarik dengan watak Tsuru yang laungkan azan di telinga bayi Sachiro. ehh azan?
Saya terus membaca....tak sukar saya bayangkan penceritaan kerana digarap dengan jelas oleh penulis...seolah saya sedang menonton drama. Petikan kata bahasa Jepun menambah penghayatan saya...kisah ini berlaku di Jepun....bukan zaman Jepun di Tanah Melayu, ya 😁
Tertarik dengan kisah Sachiko dan Hairuki...ada rasa sebak. Paling menarik kisah perkahwinan familiar je kak Leyla Shuri hahaha....seperti yang pernah saya komen ketika mendengar kisah sebenar dulu...memang romantik. Ada unsur kelakar dan sedih buat emosi saya turut dibuai rasa.
Kisah ini banyak membuka mata tentang perkataan cinta. Keberanian mempertahankan cinta. Keikhlasan menerima cinta. Kisah sejarah yg diselitkan membuatkan kita rasa kisah ini benar belaku. Juga buat kita terkenang pelajaran tawarikh semasa di sekolah dulu...Shogun Tokugawa . Penamat kisah ini buat saya rasa sebak dan tersentuh. Puas!
Saya beri 4 bintang. Pasti tak keciwa siapa yang beli.

*Catatan pembaca bernama Kak Yong di Facebook 30 Jan. 2017*


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sakura belt

Since Okinawa is on the southernmost tip of Japan, the passage through the islands is the gate where the warm air of spring passes by. Spring reached Okinawa first before continuing its way to the main island of Japan. Today is 17 January 2017. It's a nice date 17.1.17 and the buds of sakura tree on my front porch are starting to bust its covering.
The image is known as Japan's Sakura Belt that begins in Okinawa and ends up in the north islands of Hokkaido after 26 April 2017. This means spring do not come to Japan all at one time. The stages starting from mid-January (in Okinawa) to end of April (in Hokkaido) to a stretch of 3 and half months.

I wrote a haiku about this sakura belt in Percikan Pelangi, haiku # 43, page 15.

Jalur sakura
menyambung tali kasih
antara musim.

Translation @ Leyla Shuri (me)
Belt of sakura
connecting the string of love
in between season.


Monday, January 09, 2017

Outlets for my books

These are the links/book shops that sell my books.
1] MPH Book Stores: Malaysia & Spore (reported out of stock in Malaysia shops but do a personal order at the counter to get it.)
2] Google Books Online.
3] E-Book Library (E-Book Univ.).
4] Mary Martin Online Books
5] PriceZa Online Books
7] Lazada Online Books
8] Times Online Books
9] Miti Library
10] SOAS (Sch of Oriental & African Study), Univ. of London.

Thank you.


Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Keris Purba di Okinawa

Ini kuil enkakuji di kawasan Istana Shuri. Di belakang kuil ini terletak tanah kuburan. Kuil ini siap dibina pada tahun 1495 (lihat imej pertama) ketika Hang Tuah berumur 64 (lahir thn 1431). Masih belum ada bukti yang keris ini kepunyaan Hang Tuah sebab pembinaan kuil ini siap apabila Hang Tuah sudah amat tua. 

Seperkara lagi, kuil ini tempat kuburan penganut Budis. Sebilah keris berlok 9 bersama artifak-artifak lain dari China, Taiwan dan Korea, dijumpai dalam himpunan tanah terbuka setelah terjadi satu gempa bumi. 

Keris ini dikuburkan bersama si mati dan rekod peribadi si mati seperti nama dan tarikh mati tidak dijumpai. Keris ini belum dapat dibuktikan lagi yang ia kepunyaan Hang Tuah atau berasal dari Tanah Melayu.

Nota: Rumah penulis hanya 10 min dari Istana Shuri.