31 August, 2011

Fixing Tokyo Tower

On March 11, when the earthquake hit Japan, the tip of Tokyo Tower was bent.

Not much to say. There were people who need to take a big risk for their work like this...

Even now, it's still a little bit bent. 

Cat Talk

I can sometimes talk with animals as well as trees.

Nothings strange, it's only that I can communicate with them hear to heart. I can't hear their voices. But there are many ways in this world to communicate!

When I feel tired, cats often come up to me and talk to me.

About 8 years ago, when I was sitting on a bench in a local park near home in Tokyo, I saw a cat. I was so tired and lost that afternoon.

I was tired from busy work, but I never took any rest. I just kept working and working. Sitting on the bench for 5 minutes was the most I could do, escaping from my work...

This cat looked at me asked me, "Yuji, who do you never take a rest when you are tired?"

I was so shocked.

Not that I was able to communicate with the cat.

I was shocked by the truth that I didn't even think of taking a rest when I was so tired!

Soon after that, I quite working for one of my agencies (I was working over the phone for telephone counselling, as well as working as a magazine writer)

Then I reduced the amount of work I would take on regular bases. And I am learning to enjoy my life more.

If you are really busy, and you need to break, please tell your boss that you need a break.

"Because I was advised by a cat to take a rest..."

Your boss will probably give you a very long break!

30 August, 2011

Our Own Culture

When I visited Claude Monet's house and garden, I was so impressed by a huge collection of Ukiyo-e prints.

The collection is incredible, I have never seen that many Ukiyo-en prints in my life at once. There were so many works that I had never seen before.

So great to know there were many great artists in France who appreciated Japanese culture.

On the other hand, people in Japan often don't realize the value of their own culture.

In modern days, Japanese Manga and Anime are certainly something Japan can be proud of.

But even now, there are some old people who consider Manga and Anime are only for some maniac people.

I have worked with French comic artists on several occasions. One of them told me it was wonderful that nobody laughs at you if you are an adult and read a comic book on the train.

The reality is, people here don't express their feelings so directly especially towards strangers, or in a public place.

I grew up with Manga and Anime, so I have nothing against them. But I remember one of my elementary school teachers would constantly make fun of the students who liked Manga...

Anyway, majority of people between the age of 20 to 50 roughly belong to "Manga and Anime generations." The situation will be better.

On the other hand, young people often have no interest in traditional Japanese culture. I don't have so many friends who have seen Kabuki plays!

19 August, 2011

Free Hug Champagne

About 19 years ago, there was a trend on young Japanese couples to kiss on the street.

It is largely because of this TV commercial; the girl asks her boyfriend to kiss her. So lovely.

It has been so many years since it became "okay" for lovers to kiss in public space, I don't see them kissing each other so much in front of other people.

My friends from other countries sometimes ask me if it's true that people in Japan don't hug.

Unfortunately it's true. But I know that they actually like to do it.

There was a time I was doing a "free hug champaign" with my clients (I used to take in clients for counseling sessions).

There were just so many clients, about 80 percent of them, asked me to give them a hug. Some of them sent me e-mail saying they wanted to ask for a hug but they were too shy...

There was one message which made me very happy. After she had a hug with me, she started giving her daughter every morning seeing her off to school.

And one morning, her husband asked her, "I also want a hug, like you do with our daughter..."

I never thought my hug would be so powerful, powerful enough to change the relationship of a married couple a little bit.

Not sure if I would do this champagne again, as I don't take in clients any more.

But I hope my clients are still hugging their loved ones...

08 August, 2011

Mon Amour Je Viens du Bout du Monde

This song by a Japanese singer, Kenji Sawada, was very popular in France in early 70s. It was when I was a little boy, such a long time ago. But many people in France remember this song.

"Mon amour je viens de bout du monde"... isn't it romantic or what?

What is amazing is that people in Japan don't know so much about the fact, this well known Japanese singer had a big hit single in France.

A lot of Japanese musicians are focused on US market, and they never achieve anything much.

Sure, the market in the US is very big. But it is very conservative at the same time.

I really would like Japanese people to know that people in Europe are more willing to accept foreign cultures.

Oh, by the way, this singer is a male singer. And he is not gay. lol 

06 August, 2011

Doing Silly Things

Doing something totally silly and unproductive is a lot of fun.

One of the silly things I truly enjoy is finding something on the street that seem to have no practical use.

This is something I found on the street on my summer visit to Paris.

I wonder what this metal thing is on the wall?

Maybe it once had some important work?

It looks like a hook, but I don't think anybody want to hang a shirt or a jacket outside.

Or, maybe it is for some kind of big animals?

It could be an emergency alarm? No, there was no electricity in the old days!

Taking It Easy

My blog was not a place where I would write about anything too serious.

In fact, I wanted to make it a silly blog. A lot of people write serious issues, so I had no desire to do the same. Some people are good at serious stuff, and I am not:-(

Since the earth quake hit Japan, it was a little bit hard for me to write anything.

But I am going to keep updating my blog in my own way. I am sorry, if you visited this blog looking for something different.

From now on, I will be freely write about my random thoughts and feelings, like I did before.