October 27, 2005

soraksan

soraksan

I must acknowledge honestly that I know almost nothing about Soraksan. The only things I know about Soraksan are those two. First, it is the name of a famous mountain in South Korea. Second, we can see its beautiful appearance on a TV commercial of Soju.

Soju is a Korean spirit similar to Japanese Syotyu. It's very strong. Its proof is 25%. I remenber I used to drink Soju with my Korean friends during my staying in Canada years ago. Oops! I should get back on the track.

I named my mountain hut after this Korean mountain, having seen that CM, since it was really impressive. The unbelievablly beautiful scenery of the mountain, creeks and lakes as well as its music, composed by Yoko Kanno and sung by Pak Songju. The world appeared in that film looked almost perfect for me. I thought that was what I had been seeking for.

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October 23, 2005

tasmania

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The island of Tasmania is located southeast of Australian continent. Tasmania is famous for its well-preserved wilderness. This is thanks to the legislation of nature protection. Tasmania is one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries in the world.
Being an isolated island in Antarctic Ocean, Tasmania is home for rare animals. You can see Tasmanian devil, wombat, honeyeaters, etc.
Although the extinction of Tasmanian Tiger, the largest marsupial was confirmed in 1936, some sightings are still reported there.

What attracts me the most is the red sea of Bathurst. The color of the water in Bathurst Harbor is red. This is because it contains much tannin. Looking up the red surfice from beneath, we feel as if we were clothed in the evening glow. Even though it's very shallow, many of bottom feeders are seen there because the red water shuts out the sunlight. The world of darkness is similar to that of deep ocean.

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October 15, 2005

VALPARAISO

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Valparaiso is a Chilean city which used to be one of the largest cites on South and North American continents. After the opening of the Panama canal in 1914, it lost its advantage as a hub port and declined. If it were not for the canal, Valparaiso would have been one of the largest cities as well as NY or LA.

For a long time, I had been mistaken its name "Valparaiso" for "Barparaiso". It means "Paradise Bar" in English. Don't you think it's a pretty alluring name? I imagined that there were a lot of Bars where we could enjoy the great Chilean wines. Actually, the real name "Valparaiso" means "Paradise Valley". But this mistake is not unjustified. The bars on the waterfront is one of the main features of this city.

Have you ever watched Hayao Miyazaki's animation, "Kiki's Delivery Service(魔女の宅急便)",? The model of the city which appears in this animation is said to be Valparaiso. It is a elongated city, nestled between the ocean and mountains. Most of the buildings are standing on slopes. It looks beautiful from the ocean.

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October 13, 2005

USHUAIA

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I'm going to introduce some places that I 'm hoping to visit someday. First of all, I will write about Ushuaia.

Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world, located at the southern end of South American continent. This means it is the closest city to Antarctica. Most of the explorers to South pole drop into here on their way, in order to replenish food and water. To a great number of Backpackers in the world, Ushuaia is one of their final destinations. Maybe its location as the land's end attracts them much.

Ushuaia is on the Beagle channel. The sea below parallel 40 is called "devil's sea". The more you plunge into south, the more the winds and storms get fierce. Ushuaia is located at 55 degrees south latitude. The trunks of trees are all bending opposite to the south pole. This is caused by the continuous, strong wind from the pole.


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July 18, 2005

gion matsuri

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One of the three major festicals in Japan is now on a high note. Gion Matsuri is a festival with over 1100 years of history, held for the whole month of July in Kyoto, one of the oldest cities in Japan. Dozens of huge, Japanese tradtional style floats are parading through streets in the center of the city. Streets are so crowded with the people coming to see the floats. In spite of such enormous turnout, the festival itself is very quiet. You only hear soft murmurs and modesty note of bells and flutes. There's nothing savage. I like this atmosphere.


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May 05, 2005

squid burger

shippingnewsThe movie "the Shipping News" is one of my favorites. That's the story of a middle-aged guy who is at a loss having lost his wife and parents all at once. His aunt brings the man and his small daughter out of NY and takes them to Newfoundland where their old clan were from. He recovers from that desperate life little by little, getting along with the ingenuous people living there. Actually, I don't like that melodramatic story very much. But I love the humble, but a kind of comical characters of the people and the beautiful sceneries of Newfoundland in the movie. I use this movie as a material for learning English and watched through it over and over.

I came across the website yesterday, on which a real Newfie (Newfoundland native) had reviewed this movie. He wrote "Don't go to this film looking for authentic Newfoundland or if you expect the entire book to be portrayed in the movie. Neither happens,", But he also wrote "But what you do see is a decent film with Kevin Spacey in a very different role and some incredible shots of what us native Newfoundlanders lovingly call "The Rock." That's what I really wanted to say.

What's disappointing revealed by the reviewer is the squid burger that the people are having at the sole restaurant in the island on the movie is a sheer fiction fabricated by the director. Squid burger, it sounds yummy doesn't it? But according to the reviewer, there's no such food in Newfoundland. I believed there had been living matters and wanted to eat it at Newfoundland someday.

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March 19, 2005

restaurant on the water

sukanjinabiaNot far from here, there is a restaurant by the sea. You might think it’s common for the restaurant to stand on the seashore, but it has a secret. The restaurant is in a big white ship, built more than 70 years ago in Sweden, and floating in the sea. But to my regret, the restaurant closes in a month due to the financial difficulties and the fate of the ship is still unknown. There is even a possibility of being scrapped. The ship has been moored there ever since I was a child, and has a luxurious interior of Art Deco style. It’d be sad if it is destructed. According to a local news, now the admission fee is free. I’ve got to go and see it.

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February 15, 2005

ume

kitano_06Ume (Japanese plum) flowers started to bloom at Kitano Tenmangu, Kyoto. Kitano Tenmangu is one of the most famous Shinto (a Japanese domestic religion) Shrines in Japan and well-known as a holy place for education. A lot of students preparing for the entrance exam are visiting this shrine to pray for good results. Entrance exams for schools are mainly given in February or March in Japan.

kitano251aAn interesting thing about this shrine is that you can see a great number of statues of cows - mostly life-size - anywhere in the precincts. It is because the shrine was originally dedicated to the god of agriculture.

According to the forecast, it will be sunny all day today. So I'm going to wash the bed sheet and air the blanket. I will have a good sleep tonight.


Today's reading
Henry Miller "Toropic of Cancer" 28 pages
Kojin Karatani "Origins of Modern Japanese Literture" 7 pages

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February 09, 2005

somewhere beyond the sea

500x500_2ddbe2c842fbb7736d33c9bd56ab079cI've been trying to write about various kind of things separately on this diary. It's very hard for me, but I believe it would be a good exercise so that I can improve my English writing. The goal is to study a German philosopher IMMANUEL KANT at some foreign University someday.

I don't want to discuss the issue, with peace-addicted Japanese students. Their view point must be irrelevant, way out of line. I rather lay my hopes on the students from developing countries.

Recently, my willingness of living overseas is growing again. 2 years ago, I visited Vancouver, Canada to study English. I had planned to stay there for a year, but had to abandon the plan soon after arriving, due to my health problem. I could stay only 2 months after all. That left a great damage in my heart, and I hadn't recovered from that until recently.

I started thinking of going abroad again. First of all, I've got to make money for that.

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January 30, 2005

polarbear

PolarBearRecently, I'm listening to the Radio CBC, a Canadian state-run broadcast, on the internet. The best thing about this broadcasting station is its speed of speaking. It seems that, the broadcasting comes out with some standard or criteria that limits the speed of talking. This is why I easily understand what the people are saying on the radio.

Just like in the United States, Same-Sex Marriage and Physician Assisted Suicide are two major compelling issues in Canada. But, here is another one. The people living in north Canada have been threatened by the increased population of polarbears. Many people have been killed or injured by the polarbears.

The provincial governments permit to slaughter more than 500 polarbears every year. But nature conservation groups are opposing that act.

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