Heisei is about to be over.

明けましておめでとうございます!

お正月と言っても元日に営業しているお店もあるのでお正月の雰囲気は昔ほどありませんが、それでも大掃除などをするにはとてもいいきっかけの我が家でした。

狭小住宅でありがたい、掃除する面積も狭い。やっぱり住まいは最低限のものでいいと呟いた大掃除でした。

以前にも書いたことがありますが、北米では大掃除は春に行うspring cleaningが主流です。

年が明けて気になったニュースの一つに、今年は平成の最後の年ということです。

次の年号は何になるんでしょうか。

さて、英語で「年号」はどう表現するでしょうか?

こんな英語記事がありましたので読める方は読んでみてください。

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/05/17/national/japan-likely-announce-name-next-imperial-era-around-april-1-2019-suga/#.XDAHHVwzYuU

an era nameでもいいですし the name for the imperial eraでも同じです。

個人的には自分が昭和人間ですので、ショウワという響きが好きです。

ですが、初めて渡米した年が平成元年だったので平成は大きな意味のある年でした!

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AyumiComment
Radio MOMO 「Let's Enjoy English!」第36 - Happy New Year!・よいお年を!
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Dave-sensei will be on Radio MOMO (79.0FM) with D.J. Chiaki Kamibeppu on Thursday December 27th at about 5:40 pm. They will talk in English and Japanese about New Year’s and New Year’s Eve.

12月27日(木)5時40分ごろにDave先生がRadio MOMOに出演します(DJは上別府千晶さん)。英語と日本語の両方で大晦日について話します。

http://www.fm790.co.jp/

David FulvioComment
Magic Eye

Have you ever seen a book like this before?

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If you look at the page the right way, you can see a 3D picture hidden inside the 2D image. It’s not easy at first, but the trick is to relax your eyes and look “through” the picture instead of focusing on it directly. The easiest way to do this is to put the picture close to your nose, then slowly pull the book away. It takes practice to get it right.

I used to love these books when I was a kid. I got one as a gift when I was fairly young, and for a long time, I simply couldn’t see the pictures. I kept trying every day and eventually figured out the technique, and now I can see them easily.

Give it a try here!

Nick VastaComment
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Brewing Sake

A new way to experience Japan

On Monday I had the chance-of-a-lifetime to spend a day working at a sake brewery (酒蔵) called 18 Zakari Shuzo (十八盛酒造) in Kojima, Okayama. It was hard work but very interesting and exciting.

The brewery was started more than 200 years ago and has been growing ever since. It’s still a small operation, with only about 10 employees, but everyone there clearly cares deeply about the art of making sake. I felt so lucky to be able to see them at work and help them make something they are so obviously passionate about.

In the morning I was able to stir some of the tanks of sake that is being brewed right now, steam some rice, and then make some koji (麹), which is the fermented rice that is used to start a batch of sake (along with yeast, water, and more rice).

In the afternoon we washed some rice, which was much more complicated and difficult than I expected! It required perfect timing and coordination between the brewers, and I made a couple of mistakes, which the brewers luckily fixed for me. Hopefully I didn’t hurt the taste of the sake!

Thanks to everyone for having me! I can’t wait to try the sake I helped make! It should be ready in a few months.

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Hal KenetyComment
Thanksgiving Party

Last Sunday was NEO’s 13th annual Thanksgiving party. We cooked up the traditional American Thanksgiving dinner.

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We ate turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, candied yams, mixed vegetables and dinner rolls. And we also had dessert.

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We had apple pie, pumpkin pie and vanilla ice cream for desert.

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This year was our biggest party ever, 54 people! This year’s party was also very international, we had guests from 10 different countries: Japan, the USA, Canada, The UK, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, China, Germany and Austria.

Here are some pictures of NEO staff and students enjoying the party.

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David FulvioComment