Posted by: senseimeri | April 22, 2011

R.I.P. Brandon Hocking

About a month ago, my cousin Brandon Hocking was killed in Iraq by injuries from a bomb. He was 24 years old, and he had a wife and children. Before I returned to Japan, I was fortunate to be able to attend to his funeral in Seattle.

In Japan, there has been so much crisis ever since the earthquake. Of course the Japanese nation has suffered so much until now. But for those of us who are alive, especially in Tokyo, should really be thankful that we are not fighting in a war and that we still have food and water readily available for us.

Lets continue to be grow, and we can be stronger than ever before. We now have a chance to think about our priorities and think about what kind of country our children and grandchildren will live in. Now is the time, and now is our chance to make a better life for ourselves and for others.

For those of you who’d like to read more about my cousin, here are some articles:

Posted by: senseimeri | April 7, 2011

National Bakesale for Japan!

It has been almost a month since the big earthquake and tsunami that happened on March 11th. Many things have changed and continue to change for us all here in Japan and also people throughout the world. I just returned to Tokyo after my 2nd trip to USA within the past month, and I have got to say, Tokyo feels different now that I have returned. I can feel that people are still very tired compared to one month ago, but Japanese people are trying to stay strong and move through life one day at a time. I think it is a very important for people to stay strong during these times, and I am anxious to see what new progress Japan and people living in Japan will go through from now on.

While I was in last week, I saw many people trying to raise money for Japan and one of the ways I discovered was a bakesale.

What is a bakesale? It is an event where people sell baked goods such as cakes, pies, cookies, brownies, etc. and it is usually baked in homes or restaurants and sold to customers. On April 2nd, there was a nation-wide bakesale held by volunteers around the country to help raise money to donate to Japan’s earthquake and tsunami victims. So far, they have raised $124,120.38!

My friend and I also bought some baked goods. I had a tough time choosing but I finally found some shortbread cookies that looked yummy.

Guava, mango, chocolate, & green tea w lemon macaroons $5.00

Dark chocolate cherry shortbread $10.00

See how much the world loves Japan? 😀 Japan is a wonderful country and I love Japan too 😀 Anyway, I look forward to seeing my wonderful students again soon! Stay strong, and have a nice weekend!

Posted by: senseimeri | March 12, 2011

Earthquake/tsunami news in English

Earthquake/tsunami news in English:



Posted by: senseimeri | March 7, 2011

I miss Japan.

Hello everybody, have you enjoyed the lovely snow we had this morning? 🙂

So, as you probably already know, I took a nice short trip to Seattle and L.A. last week. It was only a week, yet I was fortunate to be able to use my time effectively and wisely. First  I arrived in Seattle at 7:55am and it was snowing. I had severe jetlag that day, but somehow I managed to stay awake until 10:30pm that night. During my stay, I spent time with my family and got to see two of my best friends. I also ate a lot of American food, which is always a pleasure 😉 Here is a picture of Seattle for those of you who have never seen the city view before.


On the fifth day of my travel, I went to L.A. to visit my friend for 2-3 days. I was introduced to awesome Mexican food and tasty Dim Sum plus other yummy treats, and I enjoyed it very much. I am very lucky to have had such wonderful hosts in L.A. It couldn’t have been better 🙂 Here is a pic of some Mexican food, which I’m sure doesn’t exist in Tokyo. Trust me, it was delicious. 🙂

Being with family, friends, great food etc., is always wonderful. But you know, I also had a lot of times when I thought in my head, “I miss Japan.” I was only in the U.S. for a week, and I had a lot of fun, but I guess Japan has become my home for the time being… or maybe even forever! Who knows what the future holds, but I am definitely looking forward to it and I appreciate Japan, as well as my own hometown in USA. Both are great worlds!

As for your homework, be sure to know what the words/phrases in pink mean.  Have a nice week!

Posted by: senseimeri | February 14, 2011

Valentines Day & Chocolate

Hello everyone! How is your valentines day going?

As you may of may not have heard, Valentines day in the USA is a day for couples. Usually, both the man and woman give each other gifts or maybe go out somewhere to eat dinner and celebrate.

Do you know why people give chocolates on Valentines day and how it originated? No one knows for sure. But one idea that I find interesting is that chocolate is known to produce a stimulating effect by helping the body to release endorphins (a.k.a. happy good feelings) . Therefore, if couples eat chocolate on Valentines day, their moods are probably elevated by the chocolate, therefore couples are probably generally more happy and romantic. I wonder if it is true or not. Why do you think people give chocolate on Valentines day??

In any case, Happy Valentines Day!!! Eat lots of chocolate and be happy~


endorphins   エンドルフィン     ドーパミン

How is your valentines day going? あなたに対してのバレンタインデーはどうですか?

elevated moods   機嫌がいい

Posted by: senseimeri | February 7, 2011

Mashiko Town



This town is called Mashiko, and it is known for it’s pottery. I was very surprised to see so many dishes and works of art, I was quite overwhelmed! But I enjoyed looking at the various styles and various shops. In the end, I was able to find the perfect cup to drink Shochu! Looks pretty nice right? I love my new cup 😀 Have a nice week!

Posted by: senseimeri | February 1, 2011

Natural Health

(Photo: My healthy delicious lunch of the day!)

Hello everyone!

I hope you have all been healthy and well, and protecting yourself from the cold weather 🙂

This weeks theme (or should I say the recent theme in my life) is Natural Health & Medicine.

Lately, there has been an increase of things around me having to do with this topic, so that is why I decided to write a blog about it. Do you know the difference between modern medicine and traditional medicine? Modern medicine is the most common form of medicine today which includes internal medicine doctors whom are commonly available at hospitals around the country in Japan and also in USA. Traditional medicine includes specialists such as herbal, Ayurveda (originated from India), acupuncture (originated from China), massage, etc.

Recently I have been very lucky to be surrounded by people who are involved with something to do with natural health and medicine, and it is very interesting for me to learn about different types of medicine and thinking. From these experiences, I have come to learn about interesting products.

Here I share with you an interesting powder made from Yacon/Yakon potatoes. It is known to be a very healing vegetable from South America. I have been drinking this tea for about 2 weeks and I have been told that my face color looks good lately. Maybe its already working from the inside out. This powder is very delicious inside any food or drink such as ginger tea, coffee, yogurt, cookies, anything! Its so easy to use and tastes good, so that is why I am very fond of this product. I am so lucky to be able to try such interesting natural remedies :)


Here is a very special essential oil that I received as a gift. Its main ingredient is very high quality olive oil and other essential oils and has a very pleasant rose fragrance. I started using this a few days ago as an after-shower moisturizer and skin detox solution. The results are amazing, my skin is smooth and when i started using it for my face I felt that it protected my skin, and it just felt so natural. I also felt the fragrance gave an aromatherapy effect so that is also a plus. I also make my own lotion, but I can say that this product is definitely a very welcomed addition to my daily routine. I can’t wait to see further results! 😀

For about a week, I have been also taking these nutritional supplements. These are very good for women’s health and beauty, and I am happy to take them, as I am very motivated to continue taking care of my health! 🙂

This weekend, I was also lucky to go to a very unique organic restaurant, which I will share in my next blog. Until then, stay warm, and eat healthy! Have a nice week!


Posted by: senseimeri | January 24, 2011

Easter Island…?

The very first time I saw this sight was not on Easter Island, but on the coast of Miyazaki. I have no idea why there are replicas in Miyazaki, but I find it fascinating how things from so far away can affect the lives of people all around the world. Easter Island is still a mystery, which is why so many people are interested in it.

Why and how do you think people (or things) created such statues? Is there a reason why such a small island had so much culture? Is there really a connection between the living and the dead? These are some of the things I wonder about.

What kind of places are you curious about? Are there any mysterious places in Japan? If you know of any, please tell me! Anyway here is a link to the place in Miyazaki. I don’t understand the Japanese on the website, so I have no idea why it exists, but maybe some of you can translate it for me into English 😉 Maybe a possible homework assignment? 😛

Posted by: senseimeri | January 17, 2011

15 or 50?

Sometimes when I talk to a Japanese person, I cannot understand whether they are saying 15 or 50. I don’t know if Japanese people notice this, but when speaking to a native English speaker it can cause miscommunication and the native speaker will probably ask you to say the number again. But fortunately, this is a pronunciation/intonation flaw which can be easily fixed just by changing the tone of your voice, especially for American English.

The black line is the tone. Fifteen is pronounced with emphasis on the teen. Fifty is pronounced with a sudden drop in tone when saying ty. Of course, this can also be used with other numbers such as 13, 30, 18, 80, etc.

So the next time you say a number, be careful that you use emphasis on tone. After all, language is not just words, it is also music. 🙂 If you have any questions, let me know… Happy learning!

Posted by: senseimeri | January 12, 2011

Day Trip to Yokosuka

Last weekend I had a nice three day weekend holiday. I had to work a little, but on Sunday I went on a day trip to Yokosuka city. It was a beautiful day, and the change of scenery was very enjoyable. I arrived there a little late in the afternoon so there was only so much to do but fortunately I was able to enter the Japanese Battleship Mikasa in time before it closed.

Mikasa is the last remaining example of a pre-dreadnought (late 1800) battleship anywhere in the world. It was used during the Japanese-Russo war, and currently is now a museum ship located in Yokosuka. Aboard the ship, there are explanations in both Japanese and English.

Afterwards, I stopped by the “Honeybee” American Diner to eat the famous Yokosuka 1/2 lbs Navy Burger and Chili Dog with a side of sweet lemonade. I felt like I was in the US! I guess this restaurant has been around for over 40 years started from a Japanese owner. I thought that was pretty amazing that it has so much history.

As I walked around the city, the people in Yokosuka, and shops, the restaurants and bars, everything seemed very different than what I expected. First of all, the air didn’t smell like the sea even though Yokosuka is located near the water. Second, the people in Yokosuka were mostly Japanese, with scattered foreigners and children of foreigners, but I expected to see more. But the bars and restaurants and shops shows that indeed there are many foreigners, because it was very different that a typical Japanese street. Some time in the future, I hope to have the chance to enter an American bar and see what the environment is like. I wonder how Japanese people view and/or think of Yokosuka…? I felt that Yokosuka area was very different compared to Yokota Air Base, which is where I was born. In any case, it is always interesting to see the mixture of cultures in one small area in various parts of Japan. 🙂

three day weekend: 3日間週末休み

change of scenery: 毎日の生活や雰囲気と違う

only so much: 少ない

side of: と一緒うに

pretty: けっこう (きれいと意味は違います)

compared to:比べると

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