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Japanese Lessons

Whether you have just arrived and want to pick up some useful phrases for getting by in this new and exciting country, or you’re already a competent speaker and want to reach the next level, we are here to help you!


Tuesdays 9:55-10:55 (Advanced), 11:00-11:45 (Beginners) & 11:45-12:30 (Advanced Beginners)

Other times available, too!


MMM (My Mom’s Memories)



The “Scents” of Being in Japan in 1964


July 16th marks the 53rd anniversary of our arrival in Japan and friends and family, as well as ourselves, have sometimes tried to understand the sense of us still living here. The reason, of course, is that Japan is “home” for our family of 11 – 2 children, a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law and 5 grandchildren, 3 who are studying abroad.




We knew so little about Japan when we sailed into Yokohama Harbor on July 16, 1964, but we were soon to learn. We had been aboard a P & O ship for 15 days with a couple of thousand other passengers, some with whom we became quite friendly.  These new “friends” had lived in Japan for several years and filled us in on a few things to expect, but their experiences hardly prepared us for those first few weeks/months.


First of all, when we disembarked at Osanbashi pier, we found that the passenger terminal was under construction, getting ready for the ’64 Olympics; it was nothing more than a desk on a dirt floor where arriving passengers could check in. Unfortunately, we arrived on a Saturday, at noon, so our baggage took four hours to be unloaded while we waited in the heat and humidity of a July summer day. There were no chairs to sit on, no toilets to use, other than one outdoors which smelled as bad as the harbor itself. We didn’t know the Japanese term “shoganai” or any other Japanese, actually, so Don, my husband, had no choice but to hold our two-year-old daughter, Leslie, over the hole in the ground, losing his favorite corncob pipe into the toilet.


I grew up in rural South Dakota, where outhouses were common and air-conditioning unheard of, so life in Japan wasn’t going to be a big challenge, I thought. However, for the first month our family of four slept in a 4 1/2 mat room with just a thin plywood door between us and the “obenjo” (toilet). Our South Dakota outhouses were outdoors, but this one was indoors. The use of incense or the toilet deodorant “Shatto” couldn’t obliterate this unpleasant scent.


Public restrooms had some of the worst scents, but have greatly improved so we no longer have to seek out a western style hotel with western style public toilets when we are out and about in the city.


I found a few other scents, at first, to be unpleasant – tsukemono, miso, and seaweed, which I now love, and grilled fish, which I have never grown to love. Some of the more acceptable and pleasant scents were katori senko and green tea being roasted in front of a tea shop. I especially remember the fresh, sweet scent of a watermelon being burst at the beach that first summer in a game of “suikawari- similar to breaking a piñata.


These are just a few of the things that we found new and we had to make “scents” of during those early days in Japan.















劇場や映画館は主に米国ではmovie theater、英国ではcinemaを使います。Cinemaは芸術としての映画の意味で使う場合があるそうです。可算名詞だと映画館という意味になるそうですが、不可算名詞だと映画という意味になります。


Did you see the film? あの映画は見たの(以前の会話や文章の中で出てきた映画のこと)


I went to see a film.  映画を見に行ったわ。(不特定多数の中のひとつ)


英語はtheやaなどの冠詞 (article)がつくことでその時々で意味が微妙に変わります。冠詞は日本語にはない概念なので、英語を学習する際、中学生で習いますがきちんとわかるまでそれなりに時間がかかってしまうかもしれません。




Full English Breakfast


今回はイギリスの朝食「Full English Breakfast」について書いてみようと思います。サイトで”フルイングリッシュブレックファースト”を検索すると、地域によって呼び方が異なるみたいです。Scotland→Scottish breakfast、Ireland→Irish Breakfast. ほとんど内容は一緒ですが地域によりその伝統料理などが含まれるそうです。


イギリスの朝ご飯はトーストやシリアル、冬にはオートミール (oatmeal)やポリッジ(porridge)などが定番です。ポリッジはおかゆみたいなもので、オーツ麦を牛乳などで煮込んだ温かい食べ物。一度イギリスを訪れたときあるパブに泊りました。場所はBath (バース)。パブの2階が宿泊スペースで下の階はパブになっています。そのバブで初めてFull English Breakfastを食べました。ソーセージやベーコンなどもあるためベジタリアンの方にオプションとしてそういった肉類のものを避けて、マッシュルーム、焼いたトマト、フライドエッグなどで楽しめると思います。パンはお好みで油で揚げることもできます。


Full English Breakfastはこんな感じです。


目玉焼き (fried egg/s)

ベーコン (fried bacon)

ソーセージ (sausage/s)

ブラックプディングblack pudding: 血を材料として加えたソーセージ。色が黒ずんでいる

ベークドビーンズ (baked beans)

マッシュルーム (fried mushrooms)

焼きトマト (fried tomatoes)














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