Haiku reflections on Japan

Renshuu refurbishment

Change is mostly a

good and positive thing but

in this case it ain’t.


Well I visited Renshuu the other day after a week or so away (see last post) and I found they had changed the format of the site.  I’m kind of annoyed because I can’t find where I left off!!    It’s neater alright, ironically, but it was much easier to go back to where you left off with the old format.  I hope they’re not going to mess around with it any further.   I don’t want it going down the Memrise sinkhole route!

I watched a documentary this weekend morning about sinkholes – yeah fascinating you say but in fact it was very interesting – after what happened in Hakata that time (see previous post). This was mostly US-focused, particularly Louisiana and Florida.   Sinkholes are far more dangerous than you would think.  I wondered while watching it if it was such a good idea that the Hakata cities authorities rebuilt the street so quickly that time.

On a human level, it is amazing how greedy some housing developers are – not just in America but everywhere-  that they know full well that they are building housing developments on sink-hole vulnerable plots of land and yet it is the eventual home owners who are left to deal with the, often tragic, consequences of it.  And how they even get to development stage is amazing.  So it’s not just property developers at fault (but city authorities who allow them to go ahead without proper assessments of the land).   Real estate agents are also guilty of hiding the truth about properties they are in charge of selling.  Anyway, not only might the homeowners lose their lives but also the value of their house which they find they can’t sell on because of this geological feature that no one can do much about, and that they were knowingly left unaware of.  so they are doomed to stay there.   Some public authorities have special sinkhole zone maps people can refer to if they want to research an area in which they wish to buy a house which is something but not all public authorities have these.  Unless you’re eyeing up an area already known for sinkholes (in which case why?), it’s probably not on your list of things to research when thinking of buying a house!  The documentary also featured people who are aware of sinkholes in their area but due to technology that will warn them of anything that will ‘activate’, so to speak, a threatening sinkhole and/or a genuine love of their community, when they could otherwise afford to move, decide to stay put despite the risk.

Well, I’ll try to think of something less grim for my next post : (









Haiku reflections on Japan, Snapshots of Japan

After the Storm

After the Storm – 

another hit from the

class Kore-eda?

There’s a film out at the moment called ‘After the Storm’ starring Hiroshi Abe and Kiki Kirin which is meant to be really good.   I’d go see it only it’s not available anywhere near me.  I might have to head to another city to see it so we’ll see.   It looks like one I’d add to my ‘Films worth a look’ list.   It’s another one by Kore-eda whose films are nearly always about family ties.

Haven’t studied any Japanese in a few weeks.  I think I just got to a level on Renshuu that I had to think ‘Oh well where do I go now?’   I went to another part of the site that specialised in kanji but found myself going over old ground, really basic old ground so was not very motivated to continue it.  I like to copy a lot of sentences from it which have new terms in them, or certain grammar structures I want to perfect, into word files according to theme and then I try to go back to the Word files once in a while to look over what I’ve learned – I’ve pages and pages by now per theme (politics, business, sport, food/drink, household, etc.) – to review them.   Well, good intentions and all ….  I don’t usually have the time.   Still, it’s good to give something a break now and then so you can return to it with a clear mind.

One or two files that are really handy at the moment are the politics and war files considering the antagonism coming from NK towards Japan and the new leader in South Korea.  Another is my weather and climate file since firstly Japan has such a wide range of weather conditions and catastrophes and secondly since the climate is more important than ever and not just because or since that clown in the White House pulled out of the all-important Paris agreement.  Boooo!! 馬鹿だよ!

Any thoughts on this?  I look forward to hearing them.

Slightly edited – 3/6 – to add haiku and other additions to main text.

International or other matters

French pens say no to Le Pen

Well done to the French,

or those who voted at least,

on their choice today


Congratulations to Monsieur Macron for becoming the new President of France, beating his opponent well with 65% of votes to the loser’s 35 (roughly).   To all the hate-filled fear mongers who support the clown in the White House or other such clowns, around Europe and the world, bog off.  Ok, like I’ve suggested before Macron may not be everyone’s cup of tea.  Roughly 23% abstained from voting at all and a lot of people only voted for him to stop her getting the Presidency but that does not matter.  The French vote made most of the world breathe a sigh of relief today.  It’s like the opposite of the American situation in that the economic-minded, not quite a people person won over someone who’s (clearly) trouble.  Meanwhile, the defeated candidate has said what in her concession speech? Well, she has pledged to form a new party even more right-wing than the one she heads already (well she stepped down temporarily as President of her party to go for the Presidency but even so)?   Unbelievable.   Macron has quite the task ahead of him and the general elections in June mean le Pen’s party, in whatever form it takes, will probably become the main opposition party.    He’d better do his job well as she will probably be back in another few years.  I also wish Mélanchon’s party well in these elections as he seemed ok (a bit too much to the left though like a French Bernie Sanders? Well I hope they get their spot anyway).