Mother’s Day 2017

I used to see people visiting flower shops for Mother’s Day gifts, but these days I feel Mother’s Day gift trends are changing.
For example, more and more people choose potted carnations rather than bouquets.
Hydrangeas and moth orchids have also become popular as Mother’s Day gifts.

To be honest, I’ve been fed up with giving a carnation bouquet or a potted carnation to my mother for a few years, especially when I knew that her favorite flower is moth orchid.
So I bought her a moth orchid pot for the first time 2 years ago, if I remember correctly.
Of course, I chose a small moth orchid pot for her this year!

As for me, I don’t particularly ask my children for Mother’s Day gift.
Luckily my children instinctively observe my favorite things; they’ve bought me MY favorite flower for a couple of years.

This year, my son and daughters chipped in for the cactus pot above.
For the last four years, they give me one cactus pot a year, saying “How humble you are!”


The Panda Cub at Ueno Zoo

I was so shocked to read the article on the Internet that the panda cub at Ueno Zoo died this morning.
It was only six days old.

Some people in Japan say that we must not grieve for the death of this baby panda but for lots of nuclear victims in Tohoku district.
I feel sorry for both of them.

I have been in chronic shock since we had the East Japan Giant Earthquake and that terrible explosion at Fukushima Dai-ichi NPP following the earthquake.
I have been against nuclear power generation ever since; I can stand however tough regulations for saving electricity in order to stop all the nuclear power plants in Japan.

But it’s also true that we do need a heartwarming news to pump up ourselves.
The birth of panda cub is one of them.
All babies have great power to make us happy; I don’t know why but they sure do.

Rest in peace, our little baby.

A Blue Helon

Herons and egrets are my favorite birds.
When I see them in rice fields, I’m so relieved; assuming that the rice from here may be grown chemical-free.

In my residence, egrets are seen more often.
Brue herons make us happy somehow, because they are so careful and don’t often come down to residential districts.

Last month, I saw some egrets in a quiet rice field in northern Mito.
I went down to the path to take pictures of them.
I looked over the rice paddies and found one blue heron among two egrets.
This brue heron really made me happy and I photographed it many times.

Black Kites

A black kite,

it’s not a tool which we enjoy flying in the sky, but a very common bird in Japan.
I just learned to call it “kite” in English today!

We can often see them in the afternoon with gentle breezes, soaring and gliding around rice fields and river banks.

Last week, I succeeded in photographing a flying kite for the first time.
I want to try again with a bigger telephoto lens!

Poor Learners’ Points of View

This is one of my memorable experiences in teaching at a local juku (cram school for students).
I studied several kinds of English textbooks used at junior high schools in Mito, and used to tell my students how to prepare for their term exams.
Test results at their schools are very important, because they are used as applicants’ information materials in high school entrance exams.

One day, it was at the end of May, one of my 8th-grade students did a fabulous job in his English test.
He followed my tough lessons and practiced the past form of verbs so hard. I was really glad to see the result, which scored three times as high as the one on the 7th grade’s term-end test.

“I’m glad your English has improved a lot,” I said to him.
But he replied in a glum voice, “I was just lucky this time. Next time I will get a worse score than this time, since I’m basically poor at English.”
“Don’t be so pessimistic!  Your efforts will sure pay, so keep up your good work,” I encouraged him, but after that his test results on English dropped again.

I changed my workplace in May so I’m not teaching him now.
But I can’t forget his words, which showed a typical attitude of those who don’t like English and think it not neccesary for their daily lives.
It seems to me that they are not willing to improve themselves.

My daughters don’t like studying in general, and take a similar attitude like him.
“I’m satisfied with my current poor results, because I only have to do my school assignments.”
This is such a miserable thing…

School subjects, especially in junior high and high school, seem not useful when young, but that’s not true.
Studying every subject hard helps create inclusive attitude toward people and tasks, which is very important to succeed in business or in family.
If I had found this point in my schooldays, I would have studied math and science harder and my life would be quite different.

A Farewell to a Codependent Relationship [4]

I joined the seminar for ACoAs and ACoDs in July of 2009.
At first, I was surprised how energetic the facilitator was.
She frequently said to us “Begin your opinion with “I think” or “I feel” anytime”, and “Be sure to use feeling adjectives in your opinions and feedback to other members.”

In each seminar, we watched the clinic doctor’s video lectures.
Sometimes we watched other psychologists’ video lecture, too.
Through these video lectures, I learned that the most important thing for solving family problems was for all of us to mind our own business.
According to this theory, it is not useful for me to try to solve my eldest daughter’s truancy problem, or that I got the doctor’s advice instead of her at her appointment; because it’s HER business.

One day, I was asked by the facilitator  why I was so generous to my mother in spite of being insulted by her constantly.
Never had I dreamed she had been insulting me since my childhood!
I thought, at least in my childhood, that she was very strict to me, but I had believed she gave tough love to me until I heard the facilitator’s words.
She also told me that my mother had a terribly hurt inner child, which she hadn’t done anything to heal.

“Mother, healing your grief is YOUR business.
Please don’t make me take care of your unhealed inner child anymore.”


My rebelliousness towards her started in this way from the summer of 2009, and I will challenge her forever until I find her grief work complete.

I have been scolded by my daughters several times, saying “you’re so cruel to hate your mother.  I can’t hate you the way you hate her.”
“I’m telling her that I dislike her arrogant attitude she shows sometimes to me and you girls.
She doesn’t care how people around her take her words and behavior at all.”


In this way, “mind your own business first” has become the key rule in my family.
Last year, my son, who had withdrawn from his second junior high in September, healed his inner self during his absence and finally went back to school again.
He knew one important implicit social rule; if you become a truant, as a consequence, trust in you will be lost.

Now, my youngest daughter stays at home all day, but I believe she will face her inner self and tackle her problem by herself.
Things will go well in the end, as long as all of us each cherish ourselves.






A Farewell to a Codependent Relationship [3]

“What is unconditional love?”


I had believed I was loved enough by my parents until in the summer of 2009.
They were good enough to me, although I felt sometimes that I had to please my mother if I wanted to be loved by her.
This is because I have often heard the tragic memories from her childhood.

Generally, her story begins like this:
“Since I was ten, I have done household chores with my sisters.
Now, I ENVY you because you are not scolded for doing only a little housework.”

Actually, she parted with her mother at the age of 15, and soon after that her father got married again.
“I couldn’t accept my stepmother, and felt like I was being left behind,” she used to say.

I remember clearly my mother’s stories about her past sounded not only sad but also instructive to me.
I was gradually convinced that she compared herself to me at my age and found fault with me unconsciously.


In 2009, my eldest daughter was in the 9th grade and rarely attended classes as ever.
I was suffering from short memory-loss then and went to her psychiatrist, but for myself this time.

He gave me a psychological test and diagnosed me as an ACoD (adult children of dysfunctional family), which was very shocking at first.
When he explained to me about my test result, he told me that I FAILED TO rebel against my parents in my adolescence because of my mother’s tragic memories.
He also told me that I could have been able to rebel against them but rather pleased them through behaving myself, for example studying hard at school, and that my elder daughter’s withdrawal from school was not her bad behavior but a typical phenomenon showing that I’d been yearning to rebel against my parents in my subconscious.
“I recommend you join our weekly seminar for ACoAs and ACoDs to acquire a positive mind-set.
Please make sure you take every Friday off if you’re working somewhere.”

I signed up for the seminar; it was the beginning of my endless repentance and soul-searching.

A Farewell to a Codependent Relationship [2]

Let me tell you about my children a little before mentioning my 17-year-old daughter’s reason for poor at getting up early.


I have a son and two daughters.
My son is 15, and my two daughters are 13 and 17.
All of my children have experienced persistent absence.

My son had been withdrawn from school for three consecutive weeks when he was in the eighth grade, and he changed school to stay away with some of his classmates who bullied him.
My 13-year-old daughter hates attending school less than her sister, but she sometimes becomes so down that she spends her time all day in her room in spite she has nothing wrong with her.

It seems that my child-rearing has one misfortune after another, but maybe since the fourth year of my eldest daughter’s withdrawal, I’ve been angered less even when seeing all of my three children sleep in past noon and play video games together all evening.
I thank my eldest daughter for her lazy attitude and disputes about the purpose of studying.

“School subjects and activities don’t attract me at all.
I don’t think them available when I grow up!!”

I felt so hopeless to hear the words above from my elder daughter when she was 13.
I went to the psychiatrist with her, who told me to let her do whatever she wanted for a while.
“Give her unconditional love. In other words, accept her every word, idea and behavior supposing she had only six months to go due to cancer.

Gradually, she refused to see the mental health doctor.
When she rejected seeing him, I had him teach me how to get along with her instead.
I realized it was not effective for her to get back to school later.

A Farewell to a Codependent Relationship [1]

Last Saturday, I took my oldest daughter to a vocational college in Tokyo.
It was not our first time we’ve been there.

The vocational college she is going to apply for holds open classes almost every weekend and on holidays.
She wants to major in CG drawing, but the CG drawing lesson was canceled because the CG teacher was off.
She took a cartoon drawing lesson instead.

During her lesson, I was studying at a restaurant near the college over sweets and iced tea.

She is going to live by herself in Tokyo after graduating from her correspondence high school.
My mother is against it, predicting that she could not live a healthy life alone in Tokyo and might become a NEET.
But I agree with her going.
Or rather, it’s me that recommends she stand on her own two feet and leave home, in spite of her habit of oversleeping.
I even said to her, “This is the last year I will act like your servant. Next Spring, we should part from each other.”

Now she has been accustomed to getting up early in the morning, but it’s still a great endeavor for her to get up early and go to school or her part-time job on time.
She has a good reason for being poor at getting up early.

Swan Chicks

On the day of the annular eclipse, I saw cygets (baby swans) for the first time in my life while on the way back from my son’s school .

I was so moved that I rushed back home to grab up my camera, and revisited the swamp where I saw them.
Thankflly, they were still there with their parents.

“I wonder how many baby swans there are?” I thought.
So I counted them with my SLR camera.

There were four chicks in all =O)

Some chicks jumped into the swamp quickly, but there was one which seemed a bit afraid of going into the water.

I could tell each baby swan had different characteristics.

About a week ago I saw this swan family again at the mouth of the Sawatari River, which flows into Lake Semba.
The babies had grown bigger:-O