Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Osaka trip

When my first daughter and her family visited us this January 2018 (12-19), I went along with them to visit my second daughter's family in Osaka. After a short stay with us in Oct and Nov.2017, my second daughter moved to Osaka. So, this would be our first visit to her in Osaka.
One thing about Osaka now is that it is crowded with tourist from Korea, China and other Asians countries, that sometimes I wonder if Osaka is still in Japan.
Those famous eating places and frequented places in Osaka do not look like the typical street of Japan anymore. I see trash littering everywhere and the bad odour from public toilets are getting intolerable. 
But, good thing these unwanted conditions are not found in public housing areas where tourists do not tramp around.
Anyway, I managed to grab some delicious dishes like their famous sea crab, beef sukiyaki and beef shabu-shabu. I'm quite surprised at the numerous eating place that caters to the Muslim customers that sprang up the last 5 years in Osaka. Even at Kansai Airport, there are several eating places that offer Halal menu.
It was sheer happiness to have my kids and grandkids gathered together at the same time and place. 
I have a special tune that just flows from my mouth whenever I'm with my grandkids.
I will sing it like "sayang, sayang. Yang sayang. Yang sayang, sayang."
My last grandchild imitate me when he was alone at home after I left his house.

Before I went to Osaka the cherry tree on my front porch was about 20% in bloom.

After coming home, it is about 90% blooming. (image below). 22 Jan 2018.


Thursday, January 04, 2018


Towards the last three months of 2017, I've glued myself to the telly every afternoon between 12.30 pm to 12.45 pm. After Kuroyanagi Tetsuko afternoon talk show, it's the daily drama Totto-chan.
Kuroyanagi Tetsuko is the writer of Madogiwa no Totto-Chan or the English translated version The girl by the window.

The daily drama is about Totto-Chan which is not written in the book. Actually, it is a biography of Kuroyanagi Tetsuko (the writer). It started with the romantic love story of Totto-chan parents. The meeting of her father (a violinist) and her mother (a chorus singer). Totto-chan's mother was disowned by her family for marrying a violinist. How the couple go through a poor living condition as the violinist husband is not paid for playing in concert. Totto-Chan is born as a talkative and inquisitive girl. In fact, she was suspected of having a light autism syndrome but at that age, the medical condition in Japan has still not been able to recognise such malady.
The book started when Totto-Chan had to change to Tomoe School (the classroom in a train coach). The book did not get into how Totto-Chan's life changed during the WW2. Her father was called up by the military. Left hungry and undefended with her mother in war-tormented Tokyo, the mother decided to move to the countryside to get away from the bombings.
When the war was declared over, they moved back to Tokyo. Coming back from the war, the father continued as a violinist.
Totto-Chan took up an interview with NHK (Japan's television company) and successfully passed through. Within a couple of years, she becomes a celebrated tv personality. When she changed to another tv company, she is given a slot every lunchtime to interview other celebrities.
She had a romantic link with a pianist from French. She rejected his marriage proposal as she wants to concentrate on her tv career. They meet secretly at every chance when both are out of work obligations.
You may be wondering if they get married at last, but I'm a cruel person. AM NOT TELLING ~la~la~la~
Anyway, what you read in that small book is only a small part of her life. By the way, Kuroyanagi Tetsuko is still doing the talk show daily with TV Asahi now.
(4 Jan. 2018).
Originally Kuroyanagi was not a writer. She started her career as an actress. Upon insistent from her pianist lover to write about her life at the school in the train coach, she agreed to write. The book Madogiwa no Totto-Chan became instant bestsellers at that time. Even now the bookshops all over Japan still stock it.

Good thing I followed the drama daily for 3 months.

This is the link to the drama and the singer who wrote and sing for the theme song of the drama. Kuroyanagi Tetsuko keeps her onion hairstyle since she started the talk show 60 years ago.