This is a poem by Ōtomo no Yakamochi (大伴家持), which I shan’t pretend to be able to translate precisely. I did manage to get the general gist of it, because there are many websites that offer a more modern version of this poem, for example:
A very fitting poem for the first month (and day) of the new year. I love the comparison between the piling up of falling snow and the (hoped for) piling up of good things in the new year. When I saw this aptly picked quote, I knew it would be rewarding to try to read all of them!
I believe the spirit of poems has continuously been handed over from the time of the Manyoshu [to the] Meiji poets and finally to us today. In short, both 1300 years ago and now, the feeling of “I love you” that is composed in love poetry hasn’t changed.
I want to make a note of things that it would be inconsequential for me to forget if I don’t write them down on the spot. When I realise “this thing is inconsequential!”, my face lights up and I quickly try to make a note of it. Things like “children of this age hold their legs like this when they sit”, or “my uncle usually puts the cup here when he stops drinking”.
Things that are unpleasant, but also feel good at the same time.
Times when you should be sad, but the sadness just doesn’t come.
A feeling of increasing loneliness even though you were laughing the whole time.
Feelings that you can’t name, feelings so insignificant, but you still can’t ignore them.
On the first Monday of January, [I think] “Thank God It’s Monday”. I find it’s a “what a welcome Monday, let’s get to it!” kind of day. From this day on I reckon there are many people who start their jobs. Together with a sense of “let’s get to it!”
I have been using a Hobonichi Techo for 12 years. Without change, the thing I do first every year is to copy the holidays of my husband, who works as an auctioneer at the market. Even during Golden Week it appears that the market is often open. I note down the wish “do your best at your job with good humour this year as well”
In rugby, you get excited before a match and raise your spirits, stirring up your team mates as you stand on the pitch. However, it’s an interesting thing, it’s actually problematic to feel the same emotions during the kickoff moment. Although you have to be in an excited state, the game proceeds in an exceptionally strategic way. Because you have to input the strategy into your head and issue instructions to your team mates. There are many cases where you fail if you go in with an excited mentality similar to [the one you feel] at the kickoff site at the start of the game.
Since I have grown older, I’ve reached the point where, if someone – be they younger or older – is an amazing person, I can truly recognise that “this person is amazing”. Since some time or another I’ve become truly able to think like that.
Rather than going somewhere, I like to digest places I can’t go by making a drawing of them. There are also places where it is better not to go, rather than seeing how it differs from the real place, because there are many times when I let my thoughts expand too much into a direction that differs completely from the real place. In short, it’s ok if the places you want to go to only exist in your heart.
Upon entering a restaurant with his family and being asked by the waitress “would you like a seat in a tatami room or on a couch”, my father said with a loud voice “at a table!”. I think both options come with a table, dad.
Calligraphy is a tactile art. It is not a visual art. If you can sense what sensation you are trying to write, what kind of sensation of the brush you are feeling as you write, you already know how to do calligraphy. Calligraphy is a representation of feeling [something].
The things I made at a time when I was young and trying to bloom, were things that had more vibrant signs of life than necessary. I am glad that I got the job done at that time without grumbling. I am truly glad I didn’t say prodigy-like things, like “[I’ll do it] once I’ve improved, once I have carefully amassed proficiency”.
A researcher prioritises reading the passages that are closely related to the hypothesis of their thesis, right? A translator cannot afford to do that, though. He translates both the famous line from Hamlet “to be or not to be” and a single word from a part however small the same way: diligently word for word. Towards the original work, towards all of the characters, the translator is in the most fair/impartial position, I think.
When I think “I can’t draw very well”, the thought becomes stuck in my head. That is why when I draw, it might look like I am not thinking about anything at all, but I am thinking. And it might look like I am thinking, but I am not thinking.
Even if I simply asserted that “in order to be happy, you shouldn’t compare yourself to other people”, I have a suspicion that there are truly barely any people who can do so perfectly. But even if it’s little by little, I feel it is important to create a place where you don’t compare yourself to others. It’s very difficult though.
[I want to tell you about] an important stretch I want you all to do every day without fail. That is the ‘while stretch’. For example, try writing in your Hobonichi while doing a leg opening stretch. That’s doable, right? In this way, do stretches while you’re doing things during your daily life. Doing it like this is quite effective.
“The process of creating your role” is often talked about, but as for me, I don’t think that “roles” are things that you “create”. To what extent you can start up the character from the screenplay, that is not an act of “creating”. You felt it from the screenplay and you made a mental picture from the text. If you can get the thing that must be described as the ‘presence’ of that person, the thing that is like the manifestation of that person’s energy, in your belly, it means that you can go out onto the stage.
Sometimes I want to see people because I feel lonely, other times I don’t want to see people because I feel lonely.
I think you can truly only understand the world’s origins and how it’s made deeply by actually moving and standing there and experiencing it with your entire body. That’s how I learned it. By actually meeting people, by actually climbing mountains. So far, by making these journeys, that conviction has gradually grown stronger.
When dogs and children make something their own, they protect it carefully, love it and treat it with care. The sort of feeling with which a dog hides its snack, the sort of throbbing of the chest of a child who is looking at a toy at their bedside. That kind of vigour is something I wish I had.
We can all wish for a positivity to direct ourselves towards our dreams and goals and carry a hope for the future. But, humans can’t always be go-getters, they suffer the occasional setback. Even at such times, it is not a bottomless pit, there is a bottom limit. At such a point, science can be very powerful. This lower limit is still solid. It is scientifically guaranteed. When we reach this point, there is no other option than to bounce back up.
You and nature are opposed to each other one-on-one. Moreover, that is sufficient. It’s being alone, but it’s not loneliness, it’s solitude. That is the original perspective on nature.
Daughter: “Dad, which do you like more, Perfume or mum?”
Father: “Ehhh, I think your mother. I feel embarrassed…”
Daughter: “Mum, which do you like more, GLAY or dad?”
One of the interesting things about the laws of nature is ‘the beauty of formulas’. Mathematics-based physics was born when the pioneers Newton and Einstein tried to explain all things in nature in as few steps as possible. It is very beautiful and fascinating.
In New York everyone is in a good mood. I mean, even the shopkeepers aren’t like ‘good day’ or ‘welcome’, but like ‘hey, how are you?’. When I asked my friend, who is a writer and editor living in New York, he said ‘they think being in a good mood is a sign of maturity’. That being in a good mood yourself is a sign of maturity.
In my case, I have been drawing manga ever since I was 5. Because the time when I draw manga is the most fun, in my student days, whether I joined the track and field club or the light music club, I was always drawing manga on the side. To me, manga is the biggest type of play.
“Hey, do you know this?”
“It’s a Carnegie quote!”
“We can read it!”
I didn’t understand Nepalese, but it was already written all over their faces. I became happy and shouted out to the children “let’s read it together!”
‘Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday!’
O my god, that’s exactly what I was like before I came out here to travel, isn’t it?
I couldn’t make any sense at all of this quote and I thought it was due to my Japanese. Turns out it needs a fair bit of context. Here is the original article it appeared in. I think he means that he is inferring what they are saying based on their smiles and behaviour.
Among failures, successes are mixed in together with the failures. There is no such things as a complete, total, utter failure; among the failures are good things that are hard to find even when you look for them, such as creating roads and relationships that lead to the next step, making discoveries along the way and gaining ability (skills).
In my case especially, there is no point in looking back and thinking ‘why did I fall ill?’. I also don’t know about the future. Yes, I can only look at ‘the now’. I only look at that. Everyone is so enslaved by the past and future. I mean, that is all they look at. That’s probably because they will live a long life. Because they assume they will live a long life.
I had spent a day at a department store and it was exhausting. Finally, I did some shopping in the food department in the basement and after that I went to buy some meat and go home. But since I couldn’t find the meat department, I asked the clerk: ‘where is the meat plaza?’.
I first met the pianist Spike Wilner the day before the live performance. So it was like “Nice to meet you, by the way, can you play this song?”, rushing through the introductions and handing him the score to ‘Ringo Oiwake’. Then, while looking at the score, Spike started playing ‘Ringo Oiwake’ veeery slowly, in the empty store before it opened. It was impossibly slow and felt like an entirely different chord.
To this day, I am a devoted handwriter. Even when I was writing a series for the same magazine, my deadline would be one day earlier than other people’s deadline. “What’s up with that?” I used to wonder, but it was because the editor would type it into the computer for me.
It’s not snowing. Rather, the world carrying us is going higher and higher through a cosmos filled with snowflakes.
I’m not worried. What is there to be worried about? I think I can think about worries when I get there. There are also people who worry about things right from the start, when they haven’t even occurred yet and get stressed. It’s fine to toot your own horn a little, isn’t it?
February 2nd. In France, it is called ‘crêpe day’. This day is also called ‘La Chandeleur’ and ‘candle procession day’. Light is the symbol of Christ. Because of the fact that light is something that is brought about by the sun, it has apparently come to be that they eat crepes, which represent the round golden sun.
If you feel ‘that was good’ about the time you were doing it, I think that’s called ‘a good time’. Even experiencing unrequited love, though it is in my opinion surely the worst feeling, might some day be counted among ‘good times’. Isn’t happiness ‘having a good time’?
When we try to understand things, even now, ‘separating’ and ‘joining’ are the things that provide us with a ‘way of thinking’. If you write it in kanji, the one becomes 分類 ‘sorting’ and the other becomes 系統 ‘grouping’. We’re not just talking about science here, but all living things and non-living things taken together, whenever we try to understand all sorts of things, without exception we are looking at it from either of these viewpoints.
There are times when those who listen to my music are reminded of something and cry in the audience, and I cry in sympathy with them. ‘Cut it out’, I think, but still I cry.
From now on, I want meet the elderly people who came and survive in Alaska and listen to their stories. If I don’t listen to their stories now, the tales that are stored within them will be forever lost when those people are no longer there. Hoshino Michio said this at some point. In my opinion, one person dying is the same as one library burning down.
Something that happened at my part-time job at an izakaya. I shouted, repeating the order, but while I should have shouted ‘one opened mackerel!’, I shouted ‘open one mackerel!’. I was laughed at by the boss: ‘the mackerel is already opened!’
When I was a police reporter for NHK, I was suddenly entrusted with being newscaster for the capital region. When I was promoted to the position of reading the news, I was shocked that the copy was so difficult to understand. Moreover, I couldn’t hold my breath because the sentences were too long. So I rewrote the copy so that I would be able to read it. Because I couldn’t hold my breath, I cut down the long copy. When I cut it down to the level where I could hold my breath, it became easier to read.
The things that enrich our lives, in my opinion, are curiosity and the power of imagination. The world is overflowing with things we don’t know yet.
There isn’t really any way to recover from a cold quickly. However, there are ways to make sure it doesn’t get worse: diligently doing things such as resting, sleeping, drinking water. Also, make sure your body doesn’t get too cold. It is also important to change out of your clothes properly if they’ve become wet. So the necessities of life are important: living environment, food, clothes. By taking proper care of these aspects, I believe you can make sure that you don’t make the cold worse.
‘Living by oneself’ and ‘being able to look after people’ are actually almost the same thing. When one is young, one is only thinking of becoming successful, but as one becomes an adult, one’s flower won’t wilt before one knows it when one has a sturdy vigour for the sake of others.
I think people who wear the things they’ve knit themselves are charming. The sweater or scarf shows off the personality of the person who made it and, in addition, the happiness of wearing it emanates from that person. Furthermore, hand-knitted clothes give a sense of maturity when a young person wears them and a sense of youth when an older person wears them. Why that is, I am still figuring out.
There isn’t a single thing that doesn’t have anything to do with design. Things that can be turned into motifs are scattered all over the place. Anything whatsoever can be applied to any sort of shape and one could propose “this is also design, isn’t it?”
If you feel like you really want to tell something to a person you care about, I think you can only stand up honestly like a person who doesn’t have anything and return to the starting point of the embarrassment: what do I want to tell, to convey, at this opportunity?
Because consciousness is an orderly activity, garbage naturally accumulates in the brain. That’s why we sleep.
When I was waiting on the platform, thinking that once I got on board the shinkansen I would read the mystery novel that I had started on, a passing shinkansen stopped 100m ahead of me. The people behind me had started saying “what’s wrong?”, but I ー the rest of that detective novel on my mind ー answered, without thinking and on no grounds whatsoever “maybe there has been a murder?”. My mind was full of that detective novel.
I think it’s a little strange, the notion that one is only a good person or a bad person. There are people who have both elements, who are neither good nor bad, neither black nor white. That’s why my pro wrestling became the way it is.
The Tale of Genji is a long story, but there are hardly any descriptive narrative parts in which the feelings of the characters are described. People’s feelings are only described in poetry. Basically, poetry is the best way to express your own feelings. That has continued to be the case to this day, I believe. What can’t be said face to face between a husband and wife or a parent and child, can be communicated through poetry.
When your interests increase because something unexpected leaves a deep impression on you, that’s as if your friends in this world increase, I think. That’s why I am currently editing the series かがくのとも while keeping that feeling in mind, that you too could become a friend.
Tomizawa: “It’s because when you are holding the ball and you’re standing in front, it becomes a 15 against 1 situation.”
Nakatake: “Because they aim for the opponent that is holding the ball and go towards him like ‘waa’. It gets like ‘waa, here’s one, here another one, here’s another one!’”
Date: “I don’t want to carry it, the ball. It turns into a feeling of ‘I don’t have it anymore! I don’t have it anymore now!’. The foremost position is especially scary.”
Some googling told me that this one is about being scared while playing rugby. The original article is here.
What I recently learned and made me think ‘that’s lovely’, is the concept of ‘competence’. If I were to translate it liberally, it’d be something like ‘the capacity of being familiar with many things’. Or if I put in in another way, like a song: ‘I smile at the world, the world smiles at me’.
When I’m ill I get dizzy. When I am living life bumping my body into various things, delusions take over reality. But I don’t like it when my daily life becomes full of delusions. Eventually I started feeling like the expressions my pet cat Rocco made were like a movie scene. No, if I didn’t think that, it might have been boring. That’s why I suspect that I brought myself to think in that way.
At first I thought this was a very strange little quote, but after some seeing the original article (here) I’ve figured it out. Key information:
So realising that his cat had a bit of an actor vibe he started taking ‘dramatic’ pictures of his cat as a way to cope with his Parkinson’s.
When I was watching figure skating with my wife’s family, the music from ‘Phantom of the Opera’ オペラ座のかいじん came on. Without delay, my mother-in-law said: ‘Member of the Opera!’ オペラ座のかい い ん. So the opera is membership-based, huh?
What I want to say to those who are entering university, is that they should study, but not just study. I want them to eat delicious things, listen to good music, look at good images and, by doing that, develop your appeal as a human being. What is worth the name of ‘youth’, after all, are reading, travelling and loving.
The best way to support restaurants. It’s by going to restaurants. Going to the restaurant, eating some food, saying ‘thanks for the meal’ and paying them with money. That is the basis of support, right?
Ambergris 龍涎香 can sometimes be extracted from beached sperm whales. It is written like ‘dragon drool scent’. A different name for it is ambergris アンバーグリス. It is a calculus that is formed inside the intestines of sperm whales and it is thought that it consists of hardened, undigested parts, such as octopus and squid bills. It is highly prized as a perfume.
I had the hardest time with this one, because it uses the word 採材 and I couldn’t readily find a decent definition. Weblio EN gave me ‘wood conversion’, which didn’t seem quite right. I imagine it means something like ‘resource extraction’, but I am still very curious why I can’t find this word in any dictionaries.
I am sometimes asked ‘what is the knack to taking cute pictures of mushrooms?’. Get your face close to it, if possible do a 360 and search for an angle at which the mushroom looks cute. Then, just by carefully removing the ‘debris’ that is stuck to the mushroom, it looks 50% better. That’s also a very important point.
The original article is delightful!
The hammer throw is difficult if you not only lack physical strength, but also technique. The hammer is heavy, because it’s about 7kg, or 16 pounds. It’s no good throwing a heavy object far with only your physical strength, you also need technique. That’s why it’s an event where one’s development curve as an athlete is slow, or rather, comparatively gentle. This means that there is also the joy of spending time on it. It’s an event with a long life span for athletes.
While I was sleeping like a log I missed the first storm of spring. What a shame! I like those spring storms. That moment when sweet dust touches your nose is to die for. For some reason it warms my body from the inside.
In the rocket business, the things we’re moving are absurdly important and expensive. That’s why the thought ‘we absolutely can’t fail’ is foremost [in our minds]. But because there has been a failure in the past, the success rate will never become 100%. Our current success rate is about 97.8%. Even if we pile up successes, we will approach 100% without end, but we will never manage to reach 100%. That’s why we are at least aiming for a perfect score at every launch.
Even if I had a single flash of personal and poetic inspiration, it’s not like I could give expression to it on my own, because the source material is the many things I have lived though up to this point. The self that I arbitrarily think is my self is a container with the name ‘self’ and inside of it it is full of other people, nature and irrelevant things.
At first I didn’t get this at all, but now I think it’s kind of deep and it does ring true; we are an amalgamation of our surroundings, cause our surroundings impact and shape who we are.
The only plastic models that my father, who was a truck driver, bought for me were plastic models of deco-trucks. So then… once I became like this, there are times occasionally where, when I unintentionally look at myself on stage, I think ‘ah, I look like a deco-truck!’. That’s life like a rolling stone. My dad was a weird guy and there were times where I kind of avoided him, but as I am drifting along and taking on this form, I sometimes think that in the end, I became a deco-truck.
Yet another one I didn’t really get until I looked for the context. The speaker is a guy who looks like this when he performs:
So that’s why he thinks he looks like a deco-truck!
The important thing when you’re thinking about ‘just right’ is understanding what ‘just right’ looks like and, at the same time, knowing that there are cases where ‘just right’ is good and cases where it’s bad.
I have been influenced by the roles I’ve played so far, and I have changed, and then a different role comes along and I am changed again, and so I move foward a bit… I feel like I’ve made it to this point because I was guided by those roles. The roles I’ve played up to now, all of them, exist within me. King, Peko, Kinchijiro.
The characters he mentions are from Ikebukuro West Gate Park, Ping Pong and Silence respectively.
I am a childcare working. During the lunch service, I accidentally said to a kid who was sneaking food: ‘Not yet! After we’ve had a toast!’. It’s not a reception.
The Manyoushuu is a cultural asset of words. And the reason it has value, is because there are people who think about history because of this cultural asset. If there weren’t any people thinking about history, stone tools would just be rocks and Buddha statues would be no more than wood or stone. When we read the Manyoushuu, lend an ear to it, we come to be able to hear the voices. Through writing, we can have a dialogue with the people who lived in ancient times.
When I leave on a trip, I always encounter a moment where I stop being me. The life habits that I am clad in don’t apply at all anymore and I encounter myself naked. The time that I have passed and the time that has passed in that place are swapped, and a new time begins to pass inside of me.
With everything, there are things to put away, things to leave in place and things to forget about, I believe. But everything doesn’t go that smoothly. I think it is also important at times to nonchalantly put the things you don’t understand right now away for a while and to move on to the next thing.
The phrases “I won’t forget”, “I can’t forget” and finally “don’t forget!” have been repeated for a long time, but now one can be confident that “I won’t forget what I won’t forget”. That’s why my friends in Tohoku seemed to be advising themselves “let’s forget what is best forgotten”.
In the years up to now, I think I’ve learned to have a ‘look on the bright side’, ‘let’s do something fun’ attitude. The force that pulls your backwards is really strong. Moreover, it’s easy. If you look backwards, there are people who help you. But you cannot rely on that and keep looking backward.
The secret to a long life is to live confidently, it would seem. Man, it is really difficult! Especially for magicians, because they are always fearful that their tricks will be found out. “But the Napoleans boldly reveal their tricks, right?” It seems that I will have a long life.
I’m always thinking things like ‘why does this have this shape?’ or ‘if only you were more like this’. About the shape of the table legs, or for instance the opening of a cup, the texture of the ceiling that I catch sight of when I’m in bed, the feel of the things I’m wearing. Due to those various things I miss my stop on the train.
Before I thought she was lovely or cute, there were a lot of things I had to do. I did a lot of things in order to try and make the milk come out well, but a nurse came to me and praised me: ‘with breasts like yours, it’ll come out’. ‘I’m so grateful’ I thought.
恐縮 can mean a lot of different things, but fundamentally it seems to imply a sense of social obligation. I imagine she was very happy to be reassured, so I went with ‘grateful’.
The people who live on the Japanese islands, how did they get here, I wonder? The history of the changes to the topography and sea level have been largely studied and understood. It is also understood when the people of Japan got here originally. It is clear that they came across the sea more than 30,000 years ago. They were people who faced a tremendous challenge. So the stage that opened up a new world was there.
Because a phone call from Kominami-sara had come in for Nomiyama-san in the same department, I tried to convey this and shouted ‘Nominomi-san, there is a phone call from Komikomi-san!’. Before I said it I though I would fumble my words, but to think that it actually happened…
I have thought about ‘me dying’ a lot, but it’s impossible to think about it seriously from morning til evening. My wife probably can’t either. When I go through the ticket gate at the station, I suddenly remember ‘ah, I’m going to die, aren’t I?’ It’s like that repeatedly.
Not thinking is the best. It’s no good, thinking too much. Then again, thinking too little is also no good. If you don’t think, that’s not good for you, it’s not motivating and it’s not interesting.
The fourth winter after deciding to live as a falconer, was the first time I could catch a wild rabbit with a falcon I had trained myself. For the rest of my life, I will never forget that feeling. I was so happy. I cried while shouting “This is the day I have been living for!” and “This is the moment I’ve been chasing!” in the snow.
It’s really difficult to keep telling lies. Not from the viewpoint of ethics, but if I were to summarise it in my own way, it is because lying makes you lose your own freedom. The bother of not telling lies is the price of freedom. It’s very high, but you’re better off paying it.
Usually, I can tell from the first brush stroke that something bad is bad, because I’ve come to be able to observe instantly by touch how it will progress next. At the first beginning of a brush stroke, I start to write a bit and realise that it’s off. Or it is one stroke and then one character. With bigger works, once I’ve written two or three characters it’ll go fine. After that I can modify it while I’m already writing.
Hobonichi sure likes their calligraphy quotes
When his father and mother were talking about the dream he dreamt last night, their 6 year old child woke abruptly. Then he said ‘I dreamt I was smiling’ and fell asleep again. Monday morning. The melancholy atmosphere was instantly covered in tenderness.
The joys of writing are threefold: liberation, understanding and creativity. First, when they really write down their thoughts, a person is ‘liberated’ from the bottom of their heart. Moreover, you gain the ‘understanding’ from people who read it. When [your thoughts] are conveyed, it is a delight as if there are blossoms of understanding falling down. Finally, ‘creativity’. People can also write and create things that are not yet real. The written things will go on to become reality. If you train your writing skills, you can write and create a life that lives up to your thoughts.
In the end, there’s no other choice than to find out the fun, cute or interesting things for yourself. Discovering fun, cute or interesting things is the joy of being human. I think that is the point of life.
In rugby there is a strong sense of respect, also for the opposing team. Even though we do such violent things, after the match is over we all go drinking together. Drinking after a match is not very good for an athlete, so it runs counter to the times, but there is something in rugby that goes beyond that.
When you’re trying to create innovative things, you have to turn the thing you think is most impossible upside down. I want to compete on a technical level, where any further differentiation from other companies is said to be extremely difficult.
You’re in a river and you’re being chased from behind by a bigger fish. You have to get away to the right or to the left. At such a time, a fish doesn’t think, but instantly makes a clean getaway. Such an instinct is not random. Only individuals whose instincts were correct survive the process of evolution without being eaten, without being weeded out. We all came this far by continuously making the right decision while in a haze.
Even if there are always things you don’t understand, if the other side is bright, go.
I figured ばかり means ‘always’ or ‘constantly’ rather than ‘only’ in this situation
Even when someone comes to me, [saying] they want to be my apprentice, I say: ‘stop as much as possible!’ and ‘give up as soon as possible!’, because it still feels a little strange, the fact that I am able to make a living off manga series. But I think that you can’t suppress that feeling of wanting to do it. So you should give it a try yourself anyway and reach a point where you realise something.
I am often asked “didn’t you feel nervous about overseas work?” and I did feel nervous. But because it was something I wanted to do, doing it was the only option. There wasn’t the option of “I’m not doing it because I am nervous.”
What is necessary for young people, for one thing, is to read. I want them to read even if they grit their teeth. What I say to students is to do an overwhelming amount of reading. Through ‘dialogue’ with an author, they come into contact with things they didn’t know and they learn that there are thoughts different from their own. The world of a twenty-or-so-year-old is by all means small. I think it will expand their world, little by little. No matter what sort of job they will do in the future, that intellectual training will certainly come in handy somewhere.
I have gradually growing feelings. A piece of notepaper one chooses in sakura season.
Simply put, ‘The Pillow Book’ is a ‘search for good things’. From the first paragraph, which is the most famous opening paragraph in all of Japanese zuihitsu, she selects ‘the best time’ from season to season and jots it down. The capacity to look at the same things, and notice in them many ‘wonderful things’ and ‘strange things’. ‘A search for good things’ increases the resolution of the vision we look at the world with.
If I consider it to be school that enumerates the proper views of the world, I think it is art that enumerates the expansion of the world.
Yoshioka, our (Ikimonogakari) vocalist, also says “what is singing?” According to her, she sings because she feels like she wants to convey the world view that we have written like a story. She said: “I feel strongly that it has to pass through my own body, or I can’t create. But in the end, I don’t know what the meaning is myself.”
In the world of martial arts, there is the following saying: 'Don’t mimic the ways of your predecessors, but pursue the direction they pursued." If you don’t imitate them, but pursue a direction from that standpoint, ‘what were those who came before me pursuing?’, then a road will open up for you as an expressive person.
When I go out with my high school age son, sometimes I’ll think ‘my son is gone’ and he’ll be standing beside me, or I think ‘this unknown young man seems to stand quite close’ and it turns out to be my son, or I think someone is my son and I try to start a conversation, it turns out to be some unknown person. The growth of my son, who has entirely surpassed the height of my husband, makes me happy, but I am also not used to it yet.
If you don’t start it, it won’t begin. It is impossible to feel a pleasant feeling like it’s interesting or you’re riding high before you have started. Whether you like it or not, if you start it, something will begin. So the first step is ‘you have to start it’.
I couldn’t really find a reference for いやでもなんでも, but it turns out it is probably not a ‘correct’ saying? It also took me a wee while to find ノってる.
I have a bit of a resistance to the word ‘communication skills’. Of course, I am sure there are many cases in which it is useful as a model, but ‘I want to listen to that person’ and ‘he has excellent communication skills’ are different things, right?
You should get to the point where you can understand English, because you can compare information from English media directly at the source. If you want to get correct information, you should get to the point where you can do such a triangulation properly.
There was a time when I thought that if I only drew pictures that I liked to draw, I wouldn’t be able to get orders, so I only drew easier to understand, pretty pictures. But at some point, [I realised] I was wrong after all and because it’d be fine if I got less work, I decided to draw pictures I truly wanted to draw. And once I had decided this, the work didn’t decrease… rather, it increased!
The sort of people who are actors may do the most work before they enter the set. Once ‘those people’ are properly up there on the set where they’re filming, all ‘those people’ do is talk and move about. It can be said that not a lot of work is being done.
Because I founded Lifenet Insurance, I am often asked “what is important for starting a business?”, but essentially it’s luck. In almost all business books it says “you have to consider carefully, have a business plan and have ambition”. If you were to say what the greatest act of entrepreneurship in history was, it would be to create a nation, but would I say that the people who created great nations had ambitions and plans? Of course not! It’s all luck.
A dad and his son were travelling on a crowded train. Because it was packed too tightly, the dad said “grab my knee!”. The son frantically tried to squat and grab his knee… “I meant my elbow!”
I can never keep those words apart in my brain, so I love that it happens to natives as well
The one thing I remember of the things my dad taught me, is “what it means to be a manager”. He said that “the number of things to worry about will increase, but being absorbed in thoughts when you’ve gone to sleep is no good. Don’t think when you’re in bed. You won’t think of anything good. If you really do want to think, get out of bed and sit on a chair. Then turn the lights on. Then think. If you do this, you’ll realise that there’s nothing important to think about.”
“All alone. A room with just me in it.” Even there, there are both you and solitude. Just because of that, that room is a place that comes to life.
During middle school or high school, I really didn’t read any books. But I kept thinking that I would read a lot of books some day. So shortly after I entered university, I ended up reading nothing but books. I was interviewed the other day and when we were talking about my middle school and high school days, it was said “at that time, books were already your unseen lover”. I thought “that’s exactly right”.
Lately I’ve really been thinking. Being alive is interesting. That’s why, when Itoi wrote “Tsurubesan doesn’t spare himself”, I thought that was a good statement. When I read that, I thought “I shouldn’t spare myself”.
Birds are dinosaurs, as far as science is concerned. That’s why, there are even people who say that the modern era is a very prosperous time for dinosaurs. Once, weak and small dinosaurs really wanted to live on land, but because there were scary dinosaurs out there, they fled up to the trees as a last resort. And when they were jumping from one tree to another, before they knew it they were flying in the air. These inferior ones somehow survived and as a result, they are thriving this much in modern times. If you take a long-term view, inferiority and superiority are not absolutes.
I am not aiming to build muscle when I do it, you know? Because I am building a body that can throw a hammer far, or rather, [because] a body that can throw the hammer far is good, the way of thinking “if I build muscle here, it will fly far” is backwards, in my opinion. That’s putting it too simplistically.
In germ cells, that is to say in sperm and egg cells, gene mutations occur in the base sequence at a rate of about 1 in 100 million. Even when this happens, the impact is minimal, but very occasionally, there are some ‘very good’ ones born among them. Those come to have a great impact on evolution.
Children have to live their lives being surrounded all the time by things that don’t have meaning. From there, they gradually go on to discover their meanings, and sometimes it’s fine if they are eternally unable to discover the meaning.
Personally, I think that my job is to collect ‘sorrow’. Like picking up other people’s sorrow, my own sorrow, the pain and sadness of things not turning out as hoped and digesting them inside of me. Whether I am looking at a leaf or whether it’s a city view, even if it is a trivial thing, I pick up the faint sorrow and try to feel it.
When you are fighting at a disadvantage, become a trapped rat. If you can no longer flee, put your life on the line and bite them! And if you’re fighting at an advantage, absolutely don’t let your opponent become a trapped rat. A cat can’t win from a mouse that is biting like hell.
Suppose there is a big earthquake while you are out at work. If you are unable to contact your wife, who is supposed to be at home, leave [a message on] the Disaster Emergency Message Dial. Those saying “Disaster Emergency Message Dial, what’s that?” should remember it by all means. “Ah, my loved one isn’t there (い・な・い), let’s call 171 (いち・なな・いち)”. You should remember that the number you should call when your loved one isn’t there is the Message Dial 171.
I had a friend, Suzuki Megami. In primary school, when he was taking a computer scored test, he accidentally filled in his answers off by one. The test was returned to him with the name ‘Sezeku Mogera’.
I am always looking for things that remain interesting when I draw them. By continuing to draw, I have come to understand the things that become interesting when I draw them. Just like a cameraman’s “shutter chance”, there are “illustration chances” scattered about, so I want to record them without leaving anything out, as part of what I am responsible for.
As far as I’m concerned, the colour white is close to words like ‘dignified’, ‘pure’ and ‘refreshing’ and it is a colour that I want to advance in that direction. Maybe beyond that point, there could possibly be a realm that has shimmering white, pearl-like white or a diamond-like sparkle.
In the scolding genre the scolding is the life of the story. To mention an easy example, the pinnacle of this is Kinpachi-sensei. The scoldings in Kinpachi-sensei are wonderful, and the reason I watch it is to listen to them. How beautiful those scoldings are! That’s why, I think, I want to write good scoldings for scolding-centric school drama’s.
There was an internationally published study about ‘what sort of people live long lives?’. In that study, rather than measures against metabolic syndrome or smoking bans, it was published that it is whether or not one has strong human connections that is most important in order to live a long life. In order words, that human connections contribute the most to longevity.
The thing that is most effective when you are studying, is to learn things with an awareness of “let’s explain this to someone”. For example, if you study while keeping in mind “if I explain it to my children or my parents, my grandfather or grandmother, how should I put it to get it across?”, then it will enter your mind in an interesting way.
I am often surprised by the ‘double breakfast’ (eating breakfast twice), but if you’re not eating double breakfast, what the hell are you guys doing during your trip? You have the time, right?
Among the myriad green leaves, my child’s teeth begin to come in.
I think that the reason I don’t hate being on an airplane, even though I dislike cramped spaces and heights, is because there is something fun waiting for me ahead.
I understand why Van Gogh is so popular. He is already the idol of the world. Sure, he is dead, but in the long run he will be longer-lived than any idol and generate more money than any idol. In addition, the name ‘Van Gogh’ is good, huh? It has a ‘popular use power’. It’s very different from a name like Wada.
When I went to the original source for this quote I was super hyped to see it’s a travel log of a guy named Wada visiting my country (the Netherlands) to look at Van Goghs!
In the middle of some shopping with my friend, after I had asked them while they were trying on some shoes how they liked the feeling of them, I was told “ふぃったし!” and I understood that they must really have fit their feet well. フィット + ぴったし (‘exactly right’)
My personality has many layers, like ‘positive, negative, positive, negative’, but fundamentally I am very positive. That’s why one time, when I was a little tipsy and saw myself in the toilet mirror, I thought ‘huh, I am not so different from Tomoko Yamaguchi’ and I was suddenly overflowing with confidence.
Very young people who don’t have the capacity to live all by themselves live their days on the assumption of help from adults. Please, no matter how good of a person you are, no matter how bad of a person you are, don’t treat children horribly. Whether it’s out of love or for whatever reason, just don’t.
Some students from New Zealand came to my team to observe our training. The instant our training had ended, they enthusiastically entered the grounds and began to play with the ball. It looked like they were having a lot of fun. Without even asking “is it ok?”, they were like “let’s goooo!”. “That’s why they are so strong”, I thought. There wasn’t any feeling that they were forced.
When it comes to the aroma of Japan, it is the smell of dashi broth and soy sauce wafting about the airport. In the airport that is full of the scents of international foods, those two smells strike home. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that for me, Japan begins with those smells.
I never really talked with Matsuda Yuusaku about acting theory, but he did teach me one thing. And that is that “when the time comes that you will play ‘the centre’” ー ‘the centre’ being ‘the leading part’ ー “don’t do anything”. “When the day comes that you will play the leading part, don’t think ‘I will be doing something’. In the centre, don’t do anything. The people around you will do it for you.”
The ones who can become a breakwater for the baby in your belly are your family and the people close to you. If the group that you belong to or your company can form a breakwater, it will become all the stronger. The people around a pregnant woman should become a double or threefold breakwater.
It’s important to enjoy your knowledge, not to be competitive about such superficial knowledge as the various types of birds you know. You should be able to enjoy butterflies and birds by yourself even in places where no one is watching, don’t you think? There is a poem that goes “If I see a rainbow, my heart dances”. That kind of enjoyment. The kind where you’re happy when it’s you and the rainbow, even if no one is watching.
It would be more accurate to say that time and space originally did not exist in this world and that time and space were born because mankind developed eyes and ears.
When it comes to evacuating together with your pet, it is important to make preparations for each step. Make an ‘environment where you can wait in your home safely’. Put the names of your pet and the owner on its collar and take care not to take it off, even indoors. Prepare a crate for the occasion you are fleeing together. Give your dogs its vaccinations and rabies shot. Do trainings habitually. It is also useful to make lost dog leaflets at a normal time, in case your dog gets lost.
I believe that when we are in pain, sad or lost, that is where thought begins. If you were to ask why I think that way, it’s because I am like that. I think questions don’t occur from a place that is too comfortable.
When I am translating Shakespeare, I sometimes encounter a very complicated passage. I can’t understand it just by reading it. That’s why at some point I have started copying the original text. When I copy the original text and organise it, I can see the thread of it. Then it suddenly hit me: “Shakespeare himself also wrote this text by hand, with a quill.” By writing out the same passage, I felt like I got closer to Shakespeare’s thoughts.
At the steak restaurant where I had a part-time job in my student days, when I carried some food on a hot griddle to a table, I made a mistake when I was supposed to say “the oil from the meat splashes, so please be careful” and said “the meat jumps up, so please be careful” instead.
A ‘pun’ based on the multiple meanings of はねる.
When I write while being aware of verticality, the written characters start looking like a staff. Quarter and eighth notes are born and music is played from the calligraphy. Calligraphy is silent music. Because it is like composing on a staff, a scale is born there. This is why you should never play music when you are holding a calligraphy exhibition.
If you are made to accept a lot of responsibilities as a middle manager anyway, you should work while doing the things you want to do. That is all I want to say to people in their 40s.
I sing in American jazz clubs, but I don’t feel daunted, because of a sense of “what have I come here to do?”. I came here to seize an opportunity. If I feel daunted, falter or deprecate myself it is no use. Continuing to sing only the same songs every year and even the end result being clear already, that is pointless to me. I want to seize an opportunity somehow. That is why I am continuing.
Quite a bit of discussion about this quote here.
When I look at earthenware that I have unearthed from the soil, there is no way I can understand ‘the heart of the Joumon people’, if I’m being honest. But, even though I don’t understand it and even though it is difficult to get to the bottom of it academically, I hope that somehow, when I am chewing on the traces, I can get closer to the ‘heart of the Joumon people’.
Both someone who isn’t here and someone who has left are thinking something like “ah, I have become alone again”. The choice of staying behind here is equal in all respects to the choice of going away, in my opinion.
Cherry blossoms are falling
Mambo strawberry bavarois (seasonal)
sales are coming to an end…
The first skipjacks are lined up on the dining table
The azaleas are beginning to open up.
We live our modern lives pleasantly, cheerfully, while experiencing, saying and doing various things, but sometimes we [should] try to reflect on the root of our hearts and return our thoughts to the original source. If we don’t have a deep sense of trying to pursue the source inside of ourselves, wouldn’t our future be lonely?
Finding a source of short-lived elation and being able to jump up and rejoice at unreliable things is natural and important, in my opinion. Aren’t feelings like short-lived elation the driving force behind ideas too, and behind things such as the love we all like?
I’m a farmer’s wife. At tea time, my mother-in-law was holding my ten month old daughter, but I noticed I had forgotten to put a スタイ (bib) on her. Saying “I’ll go and get it!”, I quickly went to the car to get it and when I got back with it, I moved to put it around my mother-in-law’s neck. After a few seconds my in-laws and husband exploded with laughter. I went red. They said: “Are you preparing for 30 years from now?”
The other day I went to a sushi place with a woman who said she loved sushi. It was a funny lady. She suddenly blurted out “Takadasan, I’m going commando (ノーパン) today”. After that, I don’t remember what I ate.
Before I entered primary school, there was a family who kept gamefowl. I was deeply impressed by how many parts there were to their feathers, so I went there to ask them to let me draw them. For me, taking a picture would be less meaningful than that. I think that by drawing them a relationship with those feathers themselves could be created.
When you touch it, you know that soil is a world of microbes. It is gradually decomposing. The fingerprints of hands that touch the soil for a long time gradually become fainter. That is why I make lumps of soil out of clay particles that are alive in such a way, sticking them together and combining them, while I am dissolving my fingerprints.
Since I have been sick, I have been living my life thinking “my life is my own”. But, for example, when it turned out I only had three years left to live, there were many people who arbitrarily tried to decide for me how I should spend those three years. “Do that, do this, stop doing that.” Now, I just do what I want to do and choose only fun things. When I did that, there was friction at first and it was hard, but it turned around and I have come to enjoy my life.
At the register at my part-time job, I was about to ask “do you want separate checks”, but I mixed up ‘separate’ (別々) with ‘disconnected’ (バラバラ) and said “do you want wrong (バツバツ) checks?”. When I got flustered and tried correcting it, I said “do you want flimsy (ベラベラ) checks?”.
The timing of putting the meat in when making ‘beef butteryaki’ is when, on a heated frying pan, the butter is about half melted and half solid. If you add it once the butter is entirely melted it can get burned, so I suggest you put it in when the butter is partially melted.
I don’t chat at all. It’s because I don’t have any friends. When I go to sing karaoke or the like, after singing just one song I immediately get hoarse. Even my vocal cords are probably becoming weaker.
The moon sliding around on the kappa’s dish.
Splash splash, it’s splashing the water.
Sticking out just his face.
Before, I could “work at it until I was finished”. These past ten years or so, I haven’t been able to do that… or rather, I don’t feel any value in working at something until it’s finished. When I’m at it, it’s like “oh well, I’ll do it tomorrow!”. I feel like it might be better to do it after I have had a break.
Maps are things that are drawn with ‘even scaling’ and ‘even projection’. The information in a map is always nothing but impartial, uniform and completely objective. In a map, good and bad don’t even exist. A map is just objective data. That’s why maps can be trusted.
The methods that people who are strong or already capable teach often seem too strong to me. I think that there are methods special to weak people or people who have not been blessed by an innate flair.
I want to encounter young outstanding people, but I will not continue to be a designer as a veteran. While continuing the toing and froing by pencil, like ‘shall I go 0.1mm to the right or to the left?’, I also want to have a bird’s-eye view of things like ‘what should I design for society?’ and ‘couldn’t this have a useful application for the society of the future?’.
I think 選手 must be used figuratively here (as described in Weblio), because ‘athlete’ doesn’t make a whole lot of sense; this guy was never an athlete, as far as I can tell.
When it isn’t going well, I try time and time again without changing my objective. When I try again and again and again, I do it to the limit of what I can manage based on my present ability. I have decided that I will absolutely, through thick and thin, carry it through to the point where I grasp it.
We need both to be able to rely on ourselves and to be able to surprise ourselves.
While having a chat at the company, I had a slip of the tongue (言いまつがえました) with the famous Thai soup, Tom yum goong, and called it Tomkun Yankun. I was laughed at: “Is that a Southeast Asian comic duo?!”
The pleasures of the Manyoushuu are boundless. Even by reading just one poem a day, you can enjoy it for many years. Start from the poems. Start from the people. Start from the historical background. There are various approaches. Someone among the people who left these poems behind may be your ancestor. If there is a poem that clicks with you, perhaps it is a poem by an ancestor. Maybe it is a person deeply connected to an ancestor. Japan is so small, after all. It would be fun to think of it like that.
At every rocket launch, the wind speed limit is different, but when it seems like the maximum instantaneous wind speed will surpass roughly 20 meters per second, the launch is delayed. In other words, when there is a rocket launch, right after it goes up into the air, it is momentarily at ‘zero speed’ and if it is struck by the wind in that instant, the machine is set adrift sidewards.
The ‘instantaneous wind speed’ (瞬間風速) is a 3 second average, as opposed to the general wind speed (風速), which is measured across 10 minutes.
Sometimes ‘your body gives you advice’. For example, just by holding something, [it tells you] whether your senses are working correctly. Because your body is a sensor, it perceives whether it is soft or hard, heavy or light, hot or cold. Your body tells you if you are doing such things properly or not. This is very useful when you are sensing the atmosphere in a game, for instance.
Because they enter into the world of a story, not its superficial parts, children see the make-up of a story. Children that come into contact with stories have various thoughts in their minds. That is why I think it’s actually bad when parents wrongly forestall [something] and say “isn’t this bad for children?”
The pianist Uchida Mitsuko had invited her father to a concert. Apparently she got her father, who was reluctant to go out because he was already quite old at the time, to come half against his will, as if she had to drag him. In the car on his way back from the concert, her father turned towards his wife (in other words, Ms Uchida’s mother) and said: “How could she be our daughter?”
I want to be a traveller who is always in a good mood. I want to have ample ability to find the good aspects and even if I have the sensitivity to find the bad aspects, I think ‘let’s try not to be influenced by it’. I’ve never felt bad because I have such an attitude.
I think that wearing clothes is fun for everyone, but for me that enjoyment is probably deeper than average. I think the fact that I haven’t had any problems knowing what clothes suit me, just because I am not young, must be because I worry a little every day and I keep coming up with solutions. So that act of worrying a little is fun to me.
When I am hungry, mixed in with the usual heavy base sound of ‘guuu’ and ‘gorururu’, there is the ‘poin!’ sound that Mario makes when he jumps, I am sure of it.
I think that a healthy democracy can only exist when everyone has the ability to think and make decisions for themselves. That’s why I don’t express a particular opinion. My job is to make available materials so that everyone can have their own way of thinking. From there on out, my stance is ‘please go ahead and have a think, everyone’.
As your voice can’t be seen, you will be caught out if you borrow it. A radio DJ needs to be like a shucked shellfish. You humanity spills out. There is no choice but to bare yourself, because if you’re wearing armour, you will be found out by the other side of the mic.
There is a member of the shrew family with the scientific name ‘Crocidura desperata’. As it has not yet received a Japanese name, at a certain point I called it the ‘desperate shrew’. I had heard that they were probably extinct. But, about three years ago, a new habitat was found. Thus, hope was born. Such things happen as well, huh?
I think that the feeling of ‘loneliness’ itself is not in the least a bad thing. When you return home after having been boisterous with your friends and become alone, it’s ok for there to be a ‘loneliness’ that feels like ‘ah, I’m a bit alone’, isn’t it?
When I passed the department store’s handkerchief counter with my mother-in-law, she picked up a bright orange handkerchief and said ‘I’ve been looking for something like this for お父さん’. When I said ‘For お父さん? Isn’t it a bit flashy?’, she told me that he picked his handkerchief every morning to match the news programme’s fortunetelling section’s lucky colour. To think that my father-in-law has such a girlish side to him!
If you take one piece of clothing, many people have been involved by the time it is lined up in a shop. That is why I am always keen to convey as much as possible that ‘it has taken the hands and time of this many people’.
I think it was about three months after the earthquake when I found a place at sea where the things that had been washed away by the tsunami had got stuck and piled up. There were some boats left and when I went over, many of our wakame cultivation rafts were stuck. There were some mekabu left. Wakame seeds are produced from mekabu spores. We immediately gathered all the wakame farmers and we all did the work of gathering the seeds.
From sentences that start with “speaking of which, I…”, one derives a ‘discovery’.
Speaking of which, I have been eating yoghurt every day for over two years.
Speaking of which, I have never had anko unabe.
Speaking of which, I haven’t been to Shinjuku in years.
Speaking of which, I have never painted an oil painting.
I think the fact that I have come not to fear the voices of haters that much anymore, is because I have grown up emotionally. Furthermore, I think it’s important to turn your haters into fans. Up to now I have only been pursuing the positives. I was only collecting a tailwind and it was like the negatives were outrageous. But now I think that there are positives and negatives. This is the world of competition.
Everyone gives various reasons [for paving everything], but they absolutely don’t like ‘nature au naturel’. It’s like that with grass, for example. Plant it yourself and it’s ok, but if it grows of its own accord it’s a weed.
Rather than waiting patiently for the happiness that might come some day while working like a workhorse, I came to think that it would be better to become happy in advance. First, I hoped I could create a small space that could be considered happy and expand it together. That is why my wife and I quit our jobs completely. I became single-mindedly focused on manga and my wife became a shrine and temple tour guide.
When I wanted to refer to the kanji 邪 through a word, I should’ve said ‘the ya from Yamataikoku’, but I said ‘the ya of the Maya civilisation’. It’s the same atmosphere though…
At a certain point I started trying to walk around town without a disguise, even in my private life. When I did that, somehow it was a better feeling than when I walked around sneakily. When I was called out, I would say “hey, hey” and it would be mentally easier to walk around normally. Maybe that’s why my body is feeling good.
When I am feeling worried I try to draw thick lines with a thick pen. When I draw thin lines when I am worried, somehow I draw too much and the worries show up in the details.
Living beings adapt to their environment and change their form. That is the standard way of thinking of Darwin’s natural selection. In contrast to this, ‘niche construction’ thinks the opposite way, [that] living beings change their environments themselves. Depending on the circumstances, it is eventually applied to itself. In other words, it means that there are also cases where it changes the forces of natural selection.
A beer chilled by the mountain stream was sad like youth.
I looked up at the mountain top and drank as if I were sobbing.
The world we know isn’t that big. We’re living in [a world] of at most 100 people and we have roughly one friend, right? And so we don’t have an opportunity to know what ‘normal’ is. That’s why ‘acting normally’ is actually very difficult.
There is a phrase, ‘you are what you eat’, but it’s ‘your heart is the people you meet’. Humans include gods, and dogs and cats as well. Let’s try to remember this or that person occasionally.
How to lose? How to conduct ourselves when we’ve lost? Can we make memories resolutely and beautifully? In these cases, I feel Sei Shonagon’s ‘resignation’. I think it gives us strength in our lives, in which we probably lose more often than we win. When we suffer a severe defeat, what to say, how to behave ourselves, what to leave behind? I feel like The Pillow Book, which itself is not a winner of history, teaches us that attitude.
When I look at my own work and compare it to the quality I want to reach, if there is some part that doesn’t suffice, I improve it by analysing it and studying it with concentration. Because the basis of the world of CG is rational thinking, so if I analyse and study it rationally, it will usually turn out well.
Because hiragana are something that was born in Japan, they are made from vertically linked structures. あ, お,す and め are such typical forms. The fact that the ends turn clockwards, is for the sake of linking up at the bottom. The cursive style of the western alphabet is born from the fact that they are written linked up horizontally. You’ll understand if you try to write ‘n’, ‘m’, ‘l’ and ‘e’ in cursive.
I’m in an extracurricular club that values aisatsu. There is a rule that you say aisatsu with a loud voice when you meet a senpai or sensei. The other day, I happened to meet a senpai after morning practice and I got frazzled. The aisatsu that came out of my mouth was: ‘Good morning Gonchi, good night!’
The great thing about Shinshou is that when his listeners were loving it, he would stop on purpose. He could have just kept going like that, but he would suddenly abandon [a story] and move on to the next one. He could have got carried away more, but he didn’t get carried away at all, he just went to the next one. That was truly amazing about him.
It is perhaps the feeling of wanting to know something that is the urge that most makes us human. Things like eating or increasing one’s offspring, even other animals can do that. But continuously thinking about things that have nothing to do with living in the present, I think that is a characteristic ability that is only given to humans.
I have friends who ask me to go here or there, so there is a factor of uncertainty mixed into my trips. My friends are always the horizontal lines in Ghost Leg. They guide me into different directions along a vertical line that would have gone straight down if I had been by my own.
When I meet friends I haven’t met for a while, I would like to be someone who earnestly says: “I want to do this”. Rather than using the time for reviewing and critiquing, I would like to have a chat about “I want to do this”.
Partially because I was a hunter, I thought that I had thought a lot about dying. But when I got terminal cancer, I was able to heard the opinions of people in the same position and I have recently come to think a lot about living. It changed from “What is dying?” to “What is living?”.
The way I do the interviews in “Can I Follow You Home”, is that while I am basing it on ‘normalcy’, I am trying to delve into things that feel out of place. Like “what is this pencil sharpener doing on top of the fridge?”, everything has a reason.
I think on the basis of both words and pictures, but if I had to say which [I am thinking from] recently, I think the proportion of words is bigger. Because the design of my pictures is very simple, it is utterly impossible for me to attempt something like wanting to present a lyrical scene or wanting a draw the world’s most beautiful sunset. Wanting to convey “isn’t this an interesting discovery?” comes first.
I am in the hospital. I thought I had written in my email “Bring me about ten cotton swabs”, but I had accidentally written “Bring me about ten rolling pins”. My husband said: “Are you planning to have an udon class in the hospital ward?”.
There were about four ice cream parlours near my high school and I went every day in order to master all types of ice cream. When I ate them one by one, one day I crossed the boiling point like a pointer going off the scale. Sometimes you can get to know things through quantity. You know “this is what ice cream is like”. Through quantity “one’s relationship with ice cream can become more intimate”.
Resorting to violence is the most easily noticed lack of intelligence. Violence, war, acts that injure people, such things can not be held in check with the same violence and there is, fundamentally, a limitation even when you restrict them by law. I think the intelligence of man and the power of culture are the sole deterrents.
When it’s no one’s fault but the wine turned out bad, that is apparently called “bouchonné” in France. A wonderful expression, isn’t it? The notion that it’s bad, “but it’s no one’s fault” is awesome! In that case, I am ‘Mister’, no, it’s French, ‘Monsieur Bouchonné’. Because it’s no one’s fault, but I am a somewhat bad magician.
“I don’t know if it will go well, but I want to have a look what will happen”. Such a feeling is always the driving force behind my creations. I enjoy frantically trying to give shape to it through trial and error, and the things I make are fun as well. Otherwise I lose interest halfway through.
If you want to be kind to somehow, please, be kind to me. I will always make sure to accept your kindness. I will always make sure to wait eagerly for your kindness.
These few decades, technology and machines have accomplished a marked improvement, but in the world of the embryo there still remains uncharted territory. The inside of the womb is a mysterious world, like the cosmos or the ocean depths. For a long time hereafter, the embyo will probably continue to be something that is unknown.
When you touch a glass with your hand, it arrives with a ‘beep beep beep beep beep’ at the nerves on your skin. Then the feeling that you touched a glass arises. It is just the brain thinking, of its own accord, “this is a tactile sensation”. From your brain’s perspective, it is no more than a mere ‘beep beep beep’ signal. “There must be a glass here” is just a self-reference of proving your own supposition with mere rationalisations, of going around in circles, so to speak. So that means that its correctness has not been proven.
Since a few days the living room AC has been in bad shape. For about an hour my husband had been grappling with it, opening it here and there. When I said “Well? Do you know the cause?”, he turned to me dripping in sweat and said: “まったりサッパク”.
He meant to say まったくさっぱり (‘absolutely not at all’).
Because Kesennuma is originally a fishing town, there is a mentality of ‘I don’t want to lose to my neighbour’. Because of that it is a town that came to be very energising. But recently, when they see a neighbour, they’ll ask “Ah, that’s good! How did you do that?” or say “That guy is coming next time, do you want to listen to him together?”. That sort of thing has started happening.
Everyone has a reason when they buy jewellery, right? Like a reward for a job well done or a present to oneself. That is why, when I look at my jewellery, I am reminded of myself and the events of that time. Like “that’s when my child was born” or “I got that from my husband”. There are as many stories as there are pieces of jewellery.
In the novel a character called Nanase says the line: “In the most important moments in our lives, we don’t get any choices.” That is also my cherished opinion. In that sense, I think that human life is ‘que sera sera’. We should leave it to the flow of things. I feel like we don’t need to make a judment of the future or when our lives will end. Before long, it will come for us from the other side.
It’s fine if you think “I don’t really think about what’s cool”, but you shouldn’t ignore the fact that quite a few people actually care about “coolness”.
I stick with a 0.7mm B pencil without fail. Everyone should try to start from a position where they have first looked for the ‘mm’ that best matches them. Mechanical pencils are like pants. That’s because it’s more comfortable to wear trousers that fit you perfectly, rather than trousers that are baggy and look like they’re going to fall down or trousers that are tight and look like they’re digging into you.
I have come to understand where the elliptical rugby ball will bounce better than in my childhood, but even now I don’t fully understand it. That’s why it’s so interesting.
Since 1500 AD, more than 320 species of vertebrates have gone extinct. When you hear that, you understand that our ecosystem has become quite problematic. Perhaps right now, all around us, an event as grave as the extinction of the dinosaurs is happening. There are actually a lot of things we can learn from the age of the dinosaurs.
On a morning that was still rainy, in the middle of the pavement, a banana peel was standing up so straight, I thought it was a Mario Kart item.
While I am writing poetry, writing essays and living off my translations, I have nevertheless always continued to have an interest in science. By reading science books and reading science magazines, I have continuously maintained at least an interest in science. In the process, I’ve come to look at my surroundings with a somewhat scientific eye and that continues to this day.
The first star has come out.
It is like the eye of the universe.
The universe is looking at me.
Loungewear? I get a bunch of t-shirts from work. They’re called staff shirts. I wear those t-shirts around. For the bottom, I don’t want it to be too tight, so I wear very loose short pants that look a lot like yuba. In summer, that is.
Even when you don’t think it’s good the day after you have taken it, when you look at it five years later, it’s like “huh, why didn’t I include this picture?”. I wonder why that is, the fact that pictures sometimes look better after you have given it some time?
We casually say things like “I read Dostoyevsky” or “I read Hamlet”, but when it comes to translated literature, what we’re actually reading is the writing of translators. Moreover, the preferences and choices of the translators as to what they want to translate and how are reflected in it, and the aims of the editor, who is mindful of the trends of the market, and the strategies of the publishing company are also woven into it. We readers read the sum total of all of this without realising it.
It’s a mistake to think that we can get affirmation for anything we are doing. At the same time, it is probably also a mistake to think and talk while being afraid of constantly being made uncertain. Everyone ought to be somewhere in between those two extremities.
“This kind of exercise is pointless” is something my dad knew well. Actually, when my dad was an athlete, he once tried to keep throwing anyway. When he was in a slump, he said “practise won’t betray you” and he tried to throw 300 hammers over the course of 12 hours, but his record actually went down. Because of that, he stopped all practise that relied on quantity. He filmed himself, looked objectively at himself and when he fixed his form, his record improved.
I wondered what object 本 was counting here. It turns out it’s hammers!
At a yakiniku restaurant, I wanted to ask for sanchu. I couldn’t think of the word ‘sanchu’, so I intended to say “the vegetable you wrap the meat in”, but what actually came out was: “the wragetable you vep the meat in”.
The difference between America and Japan is that when America creates a new product, other companies don’t immediately make an imitation. It is because there is a feeling of respect. For example, when Twitter was made, they didn’t make a Twitter-like thing. When Facebook was made, they didn’t make a Facebook-like thing. In Japan, things are created side-by-side. There is a culture of “if it’s profitable, I’ll make an imitation” and it becomes a war of attrition. That is another reason why creating a global company is hard.
I think humans are the creatures that have changed their looks the most. 500 million years ago, we were probably closer to coelacanths. It’s no wonder they stay like that, they’re coelacanths. There were creatures who were like “I don’t want to change” and because of that, they are alive. Humans have gradually changed and changing has become their strategy.
Rather than wanting to sing a nice song, I want to play. I want to play around here. To play is, in other words, to relax. Showing relaxation or playfulness from the beginning is impossible. You’ll come be able to do something like “working really hard, but looking like you’re slacking”.
When I’m covering a story, it’s fun to think about how to express it in writing. The so-called polishing, like “I wrote it like this, but it’d be better to reverse it” or “if I do it like this it’ll be easier to understand” is fun.
In museums, rather, we leave things behind with such vigour, that nothing is thrown away. We don’t know where and when a person will pop up after a few years who wants to research that thing, and the things that people of the past have left behind for us are sometimes very helpful for research. It’s like nothing is a waste.
It’s fine if the tradition of using hawk eagles comes to an end with my generation. Even if the current techniques die out when I die, if there are people afterwards with a great passion that want to become falconers, it’s possible for the hawk eagle techniques to be revived, I think.
This morning, when my daughter got up, the back for the earring she had been wearing had disappeared. We searched her pillow and around her bed, but didn’t find it. Thus we passed the rest of the day and nearly forgot about it, but in the evening, we heard a cry of joy from the bath. “It popped out of my belly button!” Apparently, when she was soaking in the bath tub and inadvertently touched her belly button, the back came falling out.
Whether it’s a sports team or a company working on a project, I think it’s a senpai’s job to make sure that everyone’s abilities improve. The senpai talk to each other about their thoughts and skills. The kouhai see this and the senpai teach generously. At the heart of this, the teacher stands with his head held high.
The children who will live in the future might forget about us. It might be hidden in a faint, dim mist of recollection. They will gradually forget. That’s what I think. Let them meet many people, let them see, hear, feel many things, let them fall in love many, many times and let them thoroughly wipe out their memories of us.
When we make our dog do “wait”, he steps backwards while quivering, I imagine because he can’t supress his desire to move. He looks exactly like a smartphone receiving a message.
It goes without saying that beautiful things are made under the influence of money and power. There are cultures that were born due to this. But the beauty that is born from everyday life has a different brilliance. The embroidery of certain Asian minority peoples is, for example, something a mother made for her daughter.
The local high schools’ baseball best 8 had been decided. The day before the match that would enter us into the best 4 if we won, my mum said to me excitedly: “If you win tomorrow, it’ll be the ‘eight four’ huh?” That’s a deodorant, mum…
The are players who just joined and players who are leaving. There are people who say that you become stronger through addition and those who calculate through subtraction. It’s a question of what it is in total. It’s ok if it’s not a total of +10 or +20. If it’s a total of +1, I feel like I am going to win.
Words are not all-powerful and [can’t express] everything. I like that inconvenience.
Whales came from a different direction than fish, but became the same shape. This is called ‘convergent evolution’. The tail fin of fish is vertical, the tail fin of whales is horizontal. Because they once lived on land, their body shape became like that. I mean, it is often said that the way a whale moves its tail is the same to the movement of a dog’s tail when it is sprinting.
This is fascinating! Here’s more info about the dog tail thing.
Actually, when your contact with society declines, at the same time, your calves and thighs will become thinner in the blink of an eye.
Even now, I think there is nothing as nice as time [spent] writing letters. There is also something very good about the ‘roundaboutness’ of a letter. For example, when one begins writing something like “How are you doing? Summer will soon be over” in a letter, the writer is thinking things like “It’d be nice to go fishing together in autumn” while they are imagining the image of being together with the addressee.
When it comes to drawing, it’s better if there’s a line that only that person has, or a colour only that person can produce. But there was an instant where I clearly understood that I didn’t have that. That’s when, with an approach close to ‘defiance’, I shifted to a method where I draw with shapes that anyone can use, such as straight lines or arcs.
Actually, in a scrum even a lightweight team can jostle if they’re bunched up together. If they try to push while they’re scattered on their own, their force is not transferred well. A good team cares about how to huddle together, rather than how to push the opponent. In the end, you are better able to push if you are huddled together.
On my PDA I had enabled the mode that turns off the notification sounds and notifies you by vibration. At home, I put it in the window sill to charge it. One night, there was a “bubububu” sound coming from the window sill, so I thought “aah an email”. When I turned it over, it turned out a drone beetle had flown in through the window screen.
Pokey in ‘MOTHER’ is a perfect heel (baddie). Whether people like him or laugh at him, he is a person who does purely horrible things. However, for whatever reason I like him. Maybe that is what being a ‘good baddie’ is all about.
I have come to think of shame as an asset as well. The embarrassment that I experienced due to my youthful indiscretions, I can’t experience that anymore. If I imagine that the embarrassments of that time or another had not been there, then to my surprise I can think that I’m glad they were there, that it’s better they were there.
Because a poem is born when the heart is stirred, the emotional uplift of love is very compatible with tanka. So when love is not going well or at times of a broken heart, overwhelmingly good tanka are being born. However negative the emotion, the instance they become 31 (misohito) characters, they become a positive legacy. I would be happy if you learn this method of making the most of that [tanka] expression.
I have gradually become able to draw what I was thinking of little by little. I think it was around the time of “Ping Pong”, I think, that I began being able to think “Ah, so this is my place”. I have come to feel very at ease because of that.
Even in the evening of the day of the earthquake, there were people who were trying to say something even somewhat interesting. That evening, even though I was gazing upon the city dumbstruck, I calmed down when [someone] told me something kind of funny. There was a “balance”. It wasn’t like “there’s only this”.
When [he] strikes the fish gong it emits midday mosquitos.
The disaster prevention officer Minoru Kihara’s bag to bring with you in case of emergency (Pattern A: items needed for eating):
Rice, water, gomashio, canned food, gas burner, a gas cartridge, outdoor cooking utensils, tableware, food wrap, plastic bag.
The disaster prevention officer Minoru Kihara’s bag to bring with you in case of emergency (Pattern B: items that enable you to spend one night warmly):
Sleeping bag, space blanket, blue plastic sheet, packing tape, nylon band, radio, candle, lighter.
My middle school daughter called ‘otaba’, that excellent sweet from Kyoto, ‘doyasa’.
Okamura: My own interpretation is that as far as human life is concerned, happiness is important and marriage is probably one way of becoming happy. But, because all the people I look up toーnot only John Lennon and Yoko Ono, but all of the Beatles, and you as well, Mr Itoiーare married, I feel like I want to try getting married.
Itoi: But the people whose names you mentioned just now, they all experienced both marriage and divorce.
I think that what makes life fun is, ultimately, finding longing. It’s also finding it by yourself.
When I’m writing, the friction between the material of the paper and the lead of my mechanical pencil, in other words, the course or smooth feeling, goes along my fingers and I can sense it. It’s not just visual, it’s important information reaching me through my fingertips. I feel like the such a delicate sensation doesn’t readily reach me when it is expressed through using a keyboard and mouse for input.
People live towards their hobbies. So what is a hobby? A hobby is “what makes you feel like you want to be alive tomorrow”. Being happy because that hobby is there, is why people feel like they want to live.
In the case of a standard size, 53 meters tall H-2A rocket, its weight when it is not carrying a satellite is about 289 tonnes, but when the fuel is empty, its weight is about 8-10% of that. What I often put forth as an example, is that it’s like an aluminium beer can. When you’ve drunk the beer that’s inside, it becomes completely light, it’s that image. The fuel tank, too, [is made] of a 25mm thick aluminium sheet that is shaved down to 2mm.
This is something I say as a joke, but you can just write lies in your notebook or diary. When as much as 30 years have passed, even you yourself can no longer recognise which things are lies.
Most likely at some point everything will become a memory. No, ‘everything’ is an exaggeration. You will mostly forget both the good things and the bad things. They will most likely become mottled memories. That’s why I want to live my life digesting each day well.
Bit of a liberal translation in the last sentence, but I think that’s what the author meant.
The other day, as I was shopping I got the idea of making jelly, but I couldn’t readily find the gelatin. When I was looking about the shop while thinking “gelatin, gelatin (ゼラチン)”, I saw a shop clerk so I thought “let’s try asking them”, but the word that came out was “suimachin”.
It’s not like humans think of such great ideas one after another, right? But by making a note of the things that you think “that’s great!” in an unexpected moment, it is sometimes useful at a later time. Words, like those you write in a proposal, with the power to persuade people, don’t come out when you are facing a computer. The ‘raw’ keywords that you will forget if you don’t write them down when you think of them are actually more important.
I feel almost no desire to go on a trip or have a holiday. But when it comes to drawing, I think “I want to draw more like this” or “I want to draw this way” a lot. That’s why, fundamentally, time spent drawing is relaxation.
It is science that ‘translates’ nature into words that humans can understand. If humans can’t understand, it can’t be called science. Science is the act of explaining nature. Furthermore, you have to explain it using a human brain, with such eccentricities. That’s why translators have come to be important. Those translators are scientists. So science is a very human-like behaviour.
The fact that not one person, but multiple people are reading [my work] means that, actually, I can put my mind at ease when I am writing. It’s also fair to say that it’s very helpful that I am writing for people who have the freedom not to read [my work]. I want to thank both those who read [my work] and those who don’t.
What sort of things did the Manyou people eat? It goes without saying that it was a time without fridges, so fermented foods emerged. Narezushi. It’s amazing. There are things that don’t go off even after 30, 40 years have passed. Or pickles. Even in the mokkan of Nara’s Heijo-kyo, there are descriptions of pickles. In fact, there were already as many as 27 kinds of pickles.
It’s difficult to make a small difference. In fact, there are a great many leathers that look similar. It’s fun to find the one among them that’s like “this is it!”. In the end, that is also conveyed to our customers who like leather, and it will be loved and become a ‘staple’ that will be used for 10, 20 years.
The reason I like hotels is because they always start from zero. In the room, the necessary things are neatly placed where they should be. Every day they put them in order in the same way. Sheets and towels are freshly laundered. I am wondering if I can’t do this at home as well. When I start something, I don’t want to start once I’ve tidied up, I want to have it in the same state every time.
At home I asked my child to give me a hand, saying “please poipoi (meaning: toss) this!”. The other day at work I accidentally asked a colleague “can I poipoi this?”. My colleague, who has a kid the same age, responded “you can poipoi it!”.
I got a Hobonichi Techo Cousin and I’ve been trying to read the daily quotes. The first two were easy, but I’m struggling with the third one. That made me wonder if there are other people out there reading the daily quotes who may want to read them together?
For what it’s worth, here’s the quote for 3 Jan (I assume they are the same across all models):