スポーツにおける反則/Violations in Sports


The Winter Olympic Games have begun and the competition is heating up, and I hope that all the athletes will be able to show off their abilities to the fullest in this once-every-four-years event. That’s all I can say. I believe that all the athletes who are participating in the Olympics have put in unimaginable efforts. I believe the same is true for the coaches and other people involved.


In this Beijing Olympics, there seems to be a noticeable confusion over judging. Considering the four years of preparation and effort of the athletes, I hope that the confusion over judging will be minimized as much as possible. On the other hand, I am sure that the judges who make the decisions are also aware of this and are under tremendous pressure to make their decisions.


Needless to say, all sports have rules, and there are winners, losers, and rankings based on the rules. The rules themselves are changing quite frequently.


I’ve heard that basketball referees are difficult. I think it is also quite difficult to referee field hockey, which I used to play. I think it is really difficult to referee a sport like soccer, where the opponents are fighting for the ball. Compared to this, I think there is less pressure on referees in sports such as badminton, tennis, and table tennis, where players hit each other over a net.


Now, let’s take soccer, the most popular sport in the world, as an example. In soccer, most offenses result in a free kick being awarded to the opponent. Penalty kicks are awarded for penalties inside the penalty area, and there can be decisions that can decide the winner. When you watch the World Cup, there seems to be a big argument over a decision at least once a game. A yellow or red card is given for a bad foul, and the player who committed the foul may be removed from the game. Naturally, the number of players will be reduced, so they will be at a disadvantage, but since points are not automatically given, I don’t think that the team can actually be fatally damaged even in the case of a very vicious foul.


In the mixed ski jumping team, as many as five athletes were disqualified because their suits were too big. Considering their long and bloody efforts, disqualification should have been avoided at all costs. I think it is also true that they made a last-minute choice to increase their flight distance. However, the rules are so strict that if you are disqualified, you get no points at all. I think this is a problem for the team and ultimately the coach who hands the suit to the player. As a result, five players were disqualified, and we cannot deny the possibility that something different from the usual standards was applied. I’m sure the truth will be investigated and the rules will be changed more clearly. However, if this is the case, I think that something was sloppy or that such things were not prepared before the Olympics. It’s really a shame.


Convenience Store

photo of supermarket
Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on Pexels.com


I eat bread for breakfast, and I buy my bread at a nearby convenience store. The price has risen recently and one loaf costs 74 pesos (about 160 yen), so I think I am eating very expensive bread in the Philippines. The president is my friend, so I have to support him.


I have decided to pay for my purchases from my saved coins, so I have been counting and preparing my coins from the beginning. This morning, I went to a nearby convenience store to buy my favorite bread, but they didn’t have any, probably because they were sold out. I was a little disappointed, because I even counted the coins and prepared them.


I thought about buying some other bread, but decided to walk to another convenience store. When I think about it, it’s so convenient to have three or four convenience stores within walking distance of each other. I guess there are people in the world who have to walk long distances every day to carry water. Compared to that, it’s nothing.


I think that once people get used to the convenience of life, they tend to take it for granted. I guess that’s just the way it is, but this morning’s incident made me think that we shouldn’t forget to be grateful for the convenience of our world.

フィリピン株式市場2022年1月/Philippine Stock Market as of Jan. 31 2022


The following table shows the market capitalization and stock price movements of each stock at the end of January.


Looking at the major stocks in the Philippines, it looks like they are generally up from the end of last year. There are a good number of stocks that have risen or fallen by more than 10% since the end of December last year, so you could say it was a month of intense movement. We believe that the situation of Omicron variance deteriorated rapidly from the end of last year to mid-January, and then calmed down from the end of the month, which was reflected in the stock prices.

2月にはマニラ首都圏はじめとしての地域でコロナの防疫規制が緩和されました。2月10日からは一定の制限付きとはなりますが、観光客も受け入れます。Bloomberry Resortsなどは観光客受け入れによる収益増が見込めると良いですね。

In February, quarantine restrictions on Covid19 were eased in Metro Manila and other areas, and from February 10, tourists will be allowed in, albeit with certain restrictions. I hope that Bloomberry Resorts and other resort related stocks will be able to increase their profits by accepting tourists.

何度眺めても、フィリピンの株式市場の主要銘柄の業種の偏りが気になりますね。Holding Companyという財閥系持株会社、不動産、銀行、小売り、通信、発電といった業種が多く、自動車や電機といった製造業が見当たらないところにフィリピンの産業が特異な成長の仕方をしているように思います。

Whenever I look at the Philippine stock market, I am always bothered by the uneven distribution of major stocks in industries such as holding companies, real estate, banking, retail, telecommunications, and power generation, and the lack of manufacturing industries such as automobiles and electronics. I think the Philippine industry has a unique way of growing.


Also, the fact that all the conglomerates are at the top of the list gives me a sense of strange.


I think the government could take a more serious look at the fact that the manufacturing industry is supported by companies from other countries.


この表はPSEiというフィリピンを代表する30銘柄に加え、除外になった銘柄も含まれています。時価総額、株価はPSE EdgeというWebsiteから情報を入手していますが、手作業での作表であり、間違いなどあるかも知れません。あくまでご参考程度にご覧ください。

This table includes the 30 leading Philippine stocks called PSEi as well as some stocks that were excluded. The market capitalization and stock prices are obtained from the PSE Edge website, but the table was created manually and may contain errors. Please refer to it only for your reference.

No Coffee No Life


I think I drink at least two cups of coffee a day. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. I don’t drink it to avoid sleepy, I drink it just to enjoy the taste and aroma of coffee. Some people say that coffee helps them prevent from sleep, but it doesn’t have that effect on me at all. Sometimes I wonder if my body is not functioning very properly.


You want to taste high quality coffee with elegance, don’t you? When I was living in Tokyo, I remember buying beans from stores that roasted by themselves. I think I was most fond of Yanaka Coffee in Higashi-Ginza.


Now, in the Philippines, where I am currently living, “Coffee Tonya” from Yokohama has opened a shop in Makati, selling green coffee beans from all over the world, and they roast them after you order. While waiting for the coffee to be roasted, you can enjoy the coffee for free, which makes you feel like you are getting a great deal. I don’t know if this is the best coffee shop in Manila or the Philippines, but I think it’s one that I would recommend to anyone who cares about coffee. The photo shows the inside of the store.


You can choose from 8 roast depths and 17 grind levels. Of course, if you have a coffee mill, you can also choose not to grind. I don’t think there are many stores in the Philippines that sell coffee beans in such a genuine manner.


To be honest, I don’t have a good enough sense of taste to recognize the differences in coffee beans depending on their price. At the store, they indicate the differences in acidity, sweetness, and other characteristics of each bean, but I don’t have the palate to distinguish the differences. However, I do know that roasting and grinding can make a big difference in the quality of the coffee. Also, if the brewing process is messy, you will not be satisfied with the coffee no matter how you try. I think the most important thing is to brew it with care and attention.


It is strange that blogging about coffee in this way makes me want to drink coffee irresistibly. Coffee goes well with sweets and nuts, but let’s try drinking coffee with cheese. I also love tea, but am I the only one who thinks that sencha and black tea don’t have as many options for “accompaniments” as coffee does?

カネなし、コネなし、フィリピン暮らし/No money, no connections, living in the Philippines


I think this book is one of the must-reads for those who are thinking of moving to the Philippines or staying there for a long time. It is also a very useful book for expatriates and people like me who are working for local companies. I bought this book when I was first stationed in the Philippines, but as time went by and the situation in the Philippines changed, it was revised in 2017. The photo shows this book.


There is information about food, tourist attractions, nightlife, etc. that can be used as a travel guide book, and there is also information about living in the Philippines, such as how much it costs to live like this. The book also covers useful topics for cultural exchange with Filipinos, and mistakes and pitfalls that Japanese people tend to make. I also like the fact that the author, Mr. Shiga, is full of love for the Philippines. If you are at all interested in the Philippines, I recommend reading this book. There are a lot of books and information about the Philippines, but I think it’s safe to say that this is the book to start with. Recently, there are many young people who visit the Philippines to study abroad, and I recommend this book to them as well.


I’ve been living in the Philippines for a long time, almost 10 years in total, but I don’t fully understand the Philippines, so I think I need to read books like this every once in a while and study again.


Starting February 10, tourists will be accepted without a quarantine period, although conditions such as vaccination and proof of PCR negativity will be imposed. Of course, Japan and other countries will probably have a quarantine period when people return from the Philippines, so it may still take some time for people to come and go in earnest, but I think things are starting to move little by little. I hope that somehow the day will come when tourists will be able to visit without worry.


After all this time, when I was in school and even after I joined a company, I never thought that I would be living abroad. I’m not sure what will happen in the future, but first of all, I would like to focus on making the most of the present.

自殺対策白書/White Paper on Suicide Prevention


In Japan, various ministries and agencies produce white papers. To name a few, white papers such as White Paper on Civil Service, White Paper on Economy and Finance, White Paper on Disaster Prevention, White Paper on Police, White Paper on Energy, White Paper on Defense, and so on.


As a matter of course, each ministry and agency describes the events that they specialize in, so I believe that they use a lot of objective data and the analysis is convincing. It is useful to know things that I did not know at all. I don’t know about other countries, but I think there are not so many countries that publish such a good white paper. I am embarrassed to say that it is only in the last few years that I have learned about the existence of white papers and started to read the ones I am interested in.


In today’s blog, as the title suggests, I would like to share what I have noticed and what I think after reading the White Paper on Suicide Prevention. Needless to say, I’m going to be very careful about what I write because it concerns human life. Even so, there may be some misunderstandings or unconsidered parts by the author. Here is a link to the white paper itself.

令和3年版自殺対策白書|自殺対策|厚生労働省 (mhlw.go.jp)


Unfortunately, Japan is classified as a country with a high suicide rate, and as stated in the 2021 White Paper, suicide is the leading cause of death for those between the ages of 15 and 39. It is the second leading cause of death for those between the ages of 10 and 14, and between the ages of 40 and 49. Looking at these figures alone, suicide is the leading cause of death in the younger age groups, where few people die from illness.

白書では、欧米各国との比較も記載しています。The white paper also provides comparisons with European and U.S. countries.



Top row: mortality rate (deaths per 100,000 population); bottom row: ranking of suicide among causes of death. Data year: Japan: 2018, USA: 2017, Canada: 2016, UK: 2016, France: 2016, Germany: 2018, Italy: 2017, Korea: 2019. based on data from WHO, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

こういうデータを見ると、日本の若年層の自殺率は、アメリカ、カナダ、韓国とはそれほど大きく違わない。ただ、UK,France, Germany, Italyといったヨーロッパの国よりは高い、という傾向だと思います。自殺は1位でない国の1位は「不慮の事故」となっています。日本や韓国は「不慮の事故」欧米各国に比べて低いため、自殺が死因の1位になっていると言えるかも知れません。

Looking at these data, the suicide rate among young people in Japan is not so different from that of the United States, Canada, and South Korea. However, I think the trend is that it is higher than European countries such as UK, France, Germany, and Italy. In countries where suicide is not the number one cause of death, the number one cause of death is “unintentional accidents”. In Japan and South Korea, the number of unintentional accidents is lower than that of Western countries, which may explain why suicide is the leading cause of death.


There is a lot of evidence that media reporting of suicide (especially by celebrities) increases suicide, according to a white paper. This is a problem that has been addressed by the World Health Organization and is not limited to Japan. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) has called on media to report suicide in accordance with its suicide reporting guidelines as a suicide prevention measure. There was a celebrity suicide recently, and I honestly wonder if the media is really following the suicide reporting guidelines. I don’t know what is in the guidelines, but if they know that suicide reporting is increasing suicides, they should quit reporting. I am not convinced that the media is continuing to report suicides despite such encouragement from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.


I will continue to describe what I have learned and what I think about any white papers that interest me.

旅と音楽/Travel and Music



Travel and music, two of my favorite things. This is how I get excited when I start writing my blog. I travel alone a lot, and I can say that music is an indispensable part of my travels.


Normally, I don’t listen to music with earphones/headphones very often, but when I travel, I listen to music while traveling by train or bus, or when walking around town. Solving Sudoku puzzles while listening to music by the pool or in a hotel lounge. Happy itself.

写真はNew Yorkのブルックリン橋から見たマンハッタンの風景です。ガイドブックの教えに従い、ブルックリン側まで地下鉄で行き、橋を渡りながらマンハッタンの景色を堪能する、これ以上の素晴らしさは無いかも、と思えるほど素敵です。New Yorkには5度行ったと思うのですが、行けば必ずブルックリン橋をマンハッタンに向かって歩いています。当然、歩いて渡るときの音楽にも細心の注意を払います。New Yorkほど歌や曲の題材になる都市は世界でも珍しいので選曲に迷うのですが、やはりBilly Joelですね。New York State of Mindといったベタな曲も勿論良いですし、Big Shot, Pressure, My life, The Strangerなども心に沁みます。Say good by to Hollywoodなどという全くNew Yorkに関係ない曲が混入しようがお構いなしです。Billy JoelはNew Yorkに最もフィットするArtistだと思います。私の敬愛するCyndi Lauperも勿論良いのですし、Jay ZのEmpire state of mindのMVも最高ですよね。今度NY行ったらMVに写っているところ出来る限り訪問しよう。

This photo shows the view of Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. I think I’ve been to New York five times, and whenever I go, I always walk along the Brooklyn Bridge toward Manhattan. It’s so nice that it could not be more wonderful. There are few cities in the world that have been the subject of so many songs and tunes as New York, so it’s hard to choose a favorite, but I’d have to say Billy Joel, I think Billy Joel is the artist who best fits New York. “New York State of Mind” is needless to say good for Brooklyn Bridge crossing, and “Big Shot”, “Pressure”, “My life”, “The Stranger” are also very nice for it. I don’t care if there are songs like “Say good by to Hollywood” that have nothing to do with New York at all. Of course my beloved Cyndi Lauper is good, and Jay Z’s music video for Empire state of mind is great. Next time I go to New York, I’ll try to visit as many places as I can that are in the music video.

NYの52番街を歩いたときには、当然、52nd Streetを聴きながら歩きました。Billy Joelに触発されて52番通りを東西に歩いた人間は私だけでは無い筈です。

When I walked down 52nd Street in New York, I listened to 52nd Street as I walked, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who was inspired by Billy Joel to walk down 52nd Street from east to west.

New Yorkを離れます。旅先では、Enyaが旅情を最高レベルに高めます。バンコクとかマニラとか何とも暑い都市をあてもなく歩き回っている時にも、デンマークで田園風景を眺めながら電車に乗っているときにも、イスタンブールでモスクを観ている時でも、Enyaの幻想的なメロディーと歌声が「非日常」という旅の喜びを一層引き立ててくれる、というのが私の分析です。Enyaを聴きながら一人旅、最高。勿論、あれこれ話し合う友達と一緒に旅行に行くのも良いんですけどね。

I’m changing topic from New York. When I travel, Enya brings out the best in me. Whether I’m wandering aimlessly in a hot city like Bangkok or Manila, riding a train in the countryside of Denmark, or visiting a mosque in Istanbul, Enya’s fantastic melody and voice enhance the joy of travel. I love traveling alone while listening to Enya. Of course, it’s also good to go on a trip with a friend to talk about this and that.

なかなか飛行機に乗って遠くに旅行に行くことが出来ない昨今ですが、お酒吞んで、Billy JoelやEnyaを聴きながら、過去の旅行に思いを馳せていると、その時の旅情が蘇ってきます。何とも幸せな気分で本日のブログは終了。

These days, it’s not easy for me to travel far by airplane, but when I drink for a while, listen to Billy Joel and Enya, and think about my past trips, it brings back memories of those times. I end today’s blog in a very happy mood.

治安/public order

photo of person holding a handgun
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com


Watching the news on TV and the Internet, it seems that violent crimes are very common in Japan. The number of crimes seems to be increasing, and it seems that public safety will become even worse in the future. There are so many unforgivable crimes that I wonder if we are safe.

では、実際はどうなのか、ということで「犯罪白書」を読む。001361628.pdf (moj.go.jp) みていただくと分かる通り、2021年の犯罪白書は440ページにもわたる力作で、なかなか全ては読み切れませんが、簡単に傾向だけ紹介します。

So, to find out what is really going on, I read the White Paper on Crime. As you can see, the 2021 White Paper on Crime is a 440-page document, and it’s hard to read all of it, but I’ll just briefly introduce some of the trends.


Approximately 614,000 criminal offenses occurred in 2020. Theft accounted for 417,000 of these, so excluding theft, there were 196,000 criminal offenses committed. This number alone does not give a clear picture, but it is on a downward trend every year. The number of criminal offenses increased from 1996 to 2002, reaching 2.85 million in 2002, and began to decrease in 2003. I am not sure if I realized that crime is decreasing rapidly.


The most serious of crimes is murder, and the number of homicides recognized in 2020 was 929, a slight decrease of 21 from 2019, and 913 arrests, or 98.3% I think this is quite impressive. There were about 1500 homicides in 2003, since then there has been a basic downward trend (the lowest was 895 in 2016).


There are 182,000 people arrested for criminal offenses. Since 143,000 are men and 39,000 are women, the overwhelming majority of arrests are men. (The number of people committing crimes is most probably also overwhelmingly high.)


In 2017, the number of homicides per 100,000 population was 0.2 in Japan, 1.3 in France, 1.0 in Germany, 1.2 in the UK, and 5.3 in the US. It can be confirmed that Japan has a low number of homicides per population compared to Western countries. I won’t go into details, but I can say that the number of robberies is also very low by an order of magnitude, and that Japan’s security is still good in the world.


It does not mean that there is no problem because it is better than in other countries, and it does not mean that it is good because it is on the decline. I think that the safety is one of the great things about Japan. I hope that it will get even better.



It was around 40 years ago when I was in junior high school. I used to read books about classical music, and there was a time when I used to listen to FM recordings of recommended masterpieces. I often heard the names of famous conductors such as Karajan, Böhm, Abbado, Solty, Rattle, etc., but I never saw them except in pictures in books or on CD jackets. I never had a chance to see them conducting.


Nowadays, we can enjoy wonderful performances with our eyes on Youtube, which is wonderful. Compared to listening to CDs, we can now see the conductor and performers and enjoy the performance both visually and aurally.


I really envy great conductors, I think. The cries of “Bravo” and the incessant applause from the audience after a performance are directed at the orchestra and the conductor as a whole, but it is the conductor who takes center stage.


I don’t know how many conductors there are in the world, but I think there are really only a handful when it comes to conductors whose name alone draws an audience (although, of course, great conductors conduct some of the most famous orchestras in the world). I wonder who the most famous active conductor is. Is it Thielemann?


I don’t really understand the difference in performance between different conductors, but I think even I can understand the passionate performance. I would like to see such performances not only on CD but also on video, and if possible, I would like to experience them live.


I think the ranking of conductors really varies and there is probably no right answer.


I am most fond of the maestro Lorin Maazel, who can be seen in the photo at the beginning of this article. This photo was taken in May 2013, when he led the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance at the Musikverein Hall in Vienna. The finale of Brahms Symphony No. 2 was really wonderful, and I have listened to various performances on Youtube, but I don’t think it is as wonderful as that one. I can’t help it. It was such a powerful and tense performance.

Youtubeですっかり好きになった指揮者はサー・ゲオルグ・ショルティ。Youtubeではシカゴ交響楽団の日本公演、展覧会の絵(後半)です。展覧会の絵の最後は今、世界中で心配されているウクライナの首都キエフ、キエフの大きな門です。本当に素晴らしい演奏と指揮に圧倒されます。キエフの大きな門はこのYoutubeの11:30頃から始まりますが、前半も視聴頂くことお薦めです。伝説のシカゴ響の首席トランペット アドルフ Hハーセス氏(この方が伝説のトランぺッターであることをたった今知りましたが)の名演が聴ける前半も素晴らしいです。冒頭のトランペット独奏は本当に緊張すると思います。

The conductor I’ve come to like so much on Youtube is Sir Georg Solti, and on this Youtube is the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s performance in Japan, Pictures at an Exhibition (second half). The last part of the exhibition picture is the big gate of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, which is now worried all over the world. I was overwhelmed by the truly wonderful performance and conducting. The Big Gate of Kiev starts at around 11:30 on this Youtube, but I recommend you to watch the first half of it as well. The first half is also wonderful, with a great performance by the legendary Adolph Herseth, principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (I just found out that he is a legendary trumpeter). The trumpet solo at the beginning will make the trumpeter really nervous.

歯磨き/dental brushing

blue and white toothpaste on toothbrush
Photo by PhotoMIX Company on Pexels.com


There used to be a saying that “a celebrity’s teeth are his/her life”. That was a long time ago, I think. Even if you are not a celebrity, teeth are extremely important. Needless to say it is important to brush your teeth properly for this purpose.


I recently watched a feature on dental brushing on TV program, and found the content to be quite surprising. I think this is in response to the fluoride toothpaste that is becoming mainstream these days. I’m not going to write about the effects of fluoride on teeth here, as you all know.

私が現在使っている歯磨き粉は、「Sensodyne Repair & Protect」というもの。多分、値段がそれなりにしているから良いものだろう、という程度の選び方です。フッ素が入っていて、歯の再石灰化や虫歯予防に効果があるんでしょ?という選び方です。実際フッ素が入っているようです。

The toothpaste I am currently using is “Sensodyne Repair & Protect”. Probably because it’s a quite pricey, it must be good, that’s how I choose it. It contains fluoride, which helps remineralize teeth and prevent cavities, right? This is the way to choose. In fact, it seems to have fluoride in it.


There were three things that surprised me when I watched TV program.

  1. 歯ブラシには2CMくらい歯磨き粉を取りましょう。
  2. 磨き始める前に歯磨き粉をまんべんなく歯に浸透させましょう
  3. 口をゆすぐときには少量(大さじ一杯)の水で一回のみゆすぎましょう
  1. Take about 2 CM of toothpaste on your toothbrush.
  2. Make sure the toothpaste is evenly distributed on your teeth before you start brushing.
  3. When rinsing your mouth, rinse only once with a small amount of water (one tablespoon).


It all makes sense when you consider that the purpose of fluoride toothpaste is to penetrate and fix the fluoride in the teeth. I did a little research on proper tooth brushing on the web, but I couldn’t find anything this specific to fluoride toothpaste. One participant on TV program said that he got the same advice from his dentist about rinsing.


After watching TV program, I used more toothpaste than I thought I would, and when I rinsed, I used as little water as possible.


Now, I wondered if the same thing was written in the instructions for using toothpaste, and when I read it, I was shocked to find out. This is just the toothpaste I’m currently using.

  1. 歯磨きの回数は1日2回。多くても3回まで
  2. 飲み込む量を最小限にし、吐き出すこと
  1. Brush twice a day and not more than 3 times
  2. Minimize swallowing and spit out


Wow. If I’m not careful, I’ll have to polish four times. That’s what I thought. When I searched for “fluoride toothpaste” on the Internet, some of them mentioned about the toxicity of fluoride, which made me worry a little. I’ll continue to use fluoride toothpaste because I don’t think the fluoride in the toothpaste I use for brushing my teeth will have any adverse effect on my body.


I don’t think I should dare ignore the instructions for toothpaste that I skipped reading, so from now on, I will use fluoride toothpaste for brushing my teeth three times a day. If I have to brush more than that, I will use toothpaste without fluoride or brush teeth without toothpaste.


I usually don’t read about the warnings and ingredients of toothpaste at all, but if you read them once in a while, you may discover something new.

涙もろい/easily moved to tears

man in black crew neck shirt crying
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com


As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become really tearful. Last year’s Olympics and Paralympics also brought many tears to my eyes.


Why do we become tearful as we get older? was also a question in TV program. The answer is that it’s because the brakes on the brain weaken. It seems that as we get older, our ability to empathize, which is the “gas pedal,” increases, while the “brain’s brake”, which restrains changes in our feelings, weakens, causing tears to spill. At least, the program didn’t seem to have a negative tone about tearfulness.

なぜ年を重ねると涙もろくなる?→脳のブレーキが緩むから | チコちゃんに叱られる! (xn--h9jua5ezakf0c3qner030b.com)


On the other hand, another analysis says that it is due to the decline of the “dorsolateral prefrontal cortex,” which is the function that controls behavior and emotions. This is a distinctly negative tone, saying that the “snappy old man” and “forgetfulness” are also caused by the decline of the “dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. It goes on to say that brain training should be done to stop “forgetfulness” and “loss of ability to control emotions”.

年を取って涙もろくなったのは感情の抑制機能が低下したから | 東北大学スマート・エイジング・カレッジ(SAカレッジ) (tohoku.ac.jp)


I’ve always had a short temper, and I’m aware that I lose my temper easily, but I’m not sure if I’ve become more “snappy” as I’ve aged. If I could see steam coming out of my head, I might be able to tell from the frequency of the steam coming out of my head, but I don’t see any visible changes in my body like in a comic book. The ” Mad Mere Old Man” is a nuisance and I don’t want to be one.


Forgetfulness is definitely on the rise. I really can’t remember people’s names or company names anymore. This is definitely not good for work and relationship building, so I want to train my brain and stop the progression of forgetfulness.


I think that tearfulness is a good thing, and I wonder if it’s really a good thing to lose tearfulness through brain training.


Is a person who is prone to tears always a person who is prone to anger? Is a person who is prone to tears also a person who is prone to forgetfulness? I don’t think this is necessarily the case. What do you think, everyone?


The attached youtube is a great commercial by Tokyo Gas, it makes me cry.


海外での日本テレビ視聴/Watching Japanese TV overseas

flat screen television
Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com


I have been living abroad for almost 12 years now. When I was working as an expatriate, I only watched NHK World Premium because I thought it was not good to watch Japanese TV programs while living abroad. However, since I came to the Philippines again in 2017, I have been watching Japanese TV via the Internet. I can’t watch any FilipinoTV. Japanese terrestrial and BS TV programs are applicable. I think I pay about 3,000 yen a month. If you pay more, you can watch programs such as WOWOW.


When I lived in Japan, I was negative about Japanese TV programs, saying, “Why can’t they just make boring programs like this? But now I realize that I am quite dependent on TV. When I was confined to my house all the time due to the Covid19 pandemic, I was very grateful for TV and Youtube.


One of the greatest advantages of Internet TV is that you can “look back and watch without record” for a week. You can skip the commercials and save time.


There are no major disadvantages, but Internet TV is delivered with a slight delay (about 2 minutes in our house), so you have to be careful with sports broadcasts, as the results are broadcasted a little later. Also, if the Internet is not working properly, the TV broadcast will naturally be interrupted. The Internet situation in the Philippines is not perfect, so it is a bit difficult.


I spend a lot of time watching NHK. From the morning drama “Come Come Everyday” to “Asaichi” and the historical drama “Kamakura-dono no 13”, I look forward to watching them every time. In particular, the morning drama “Come Come Everyday” is a masterpiece. Yale” and “Welcome Back Monet” were also masterpieces, but I think this morning drama is even better than those. “Bratamori” is also an excellent program. I wonder why Tamori-san is so knowledgeable about geopolitics. It’s a big deal.


I’ve attached some old and new commercials of Eri Fukatsu, who plays a great role in Come Come Everyday. I think the old commercials are especially great. It’s been more than 30 years ago. Still excellent.

QR Code

qr code on screengrab
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


QR codes are used for so many purposes, such as cashless payment, safety control under Covid19, and menu display in restaurants. It is common to use smartphones to read QR codes, and the frequency of QR code usage has exploded with the spread of smartphones.


So, do you know who developed this QR Code and for what purpose? It was developed by Denso, one of the major auto parts manufacturers. I thought it might have been developed by Google or Alibaba, or by a Hungarian mathematics doctor.


Until the development of the QR Code, DENSO had been using barcodes for product management. Because the amount of information that can be stored in a barcode is not large, eight to ten barcodes need to be read in a single operation, and workers asked, “Please develop the more efficient barcodes?” In response to this request, Mr. Masahiro Hara of Denso developed QR codes in 1994.


The idea was inspired by the lunchtime game of Go, he said. Indeed, if you look closely at the QR code, it looks like black and white stones on a Go board, doesn’t it? The QR Code is designed for use in factories, so it can be read without errors even under conditions that are not always perfect, such as oil stains. I would like to express my heartfelt respect to those involved in the development of this product.


What I think is wonderful about the development process is that the workers are making suggestions for improvement. This may seem like a pretty obvious thing to do in Japan, but I think it’s actually a great thing. Normally, factory workers who read barcodes are expected to do what they are told and work on an hourly wage or daily wage, so they do not have the need or ability to make suggestions for improvement. If a QR code is used to read a lot of information at once, the work efficiency will increase and the number of workers may even be reduced. So, I think that hints for improvement are rarely raised from the frontlines. In Japan, not only in the automobile industry, the attitude of “Kaizen” abounds in each field, and I think there are so many “Kaizen” that we never know about. I believe that such proposals from the frontline are one of the great strengths of Japanese manufacturing.


In addition, Denso has opened up the patent for this QR code and made it a priority to spread it. I am sure they did not expect that it would be used in such a wide range of applications, but I think it is a wonderful thing for a company. Nowadays, Denso is one of the world’s leading auto parts manufacturers, so I’m sure they are able to recruit excellent students. If I were a Denso PR person, I would want to promote this fact a little more.


In the Covid19 pandemic, the use and frequency of QR Code has expanded rapidly with “contactless” as the keyword. In the future, QR Codes will be used in even more applications. A more advanced QR Code will be developed in the future. I am proud of the fact that developments originating in Japan will be used in a highly convenient world.

3Dプリンター/3D Printer

blue and red round plastic
Photo by Mo on Pexels.com


What will the world be like in the future? It’s really hard to predict accurately.


I would like to reminisce about 30 years ago when I was a university student. Computers and the like were only used by people who were very knowledgeable in such fields. I remember buying a word processor to write my graduation thesis during university days. Now we cannot see word processor, it makes me nostalgic.


I think we have been talking about the fact that robots will be quite active in the manufacturing world for such 30 years. There was even a discussion about whether or not humans would disappear from the manufacturing scene. Today, various robots are active in the manufacturing field, but there are still many people working in the manufacturing field. The fact that we hear the term “labor shortage” means that there are still many jobs that cannot be done by robots, or cannot be done at a reasonable cost  by robots. I believe that robots will continue to play an active role in the future.


I believe that the world will move at a much faster pace in the next 30 years than it has changed in the past 30 years.


3D printing is something that we have heard a lot about recently. Printing gives us the impression of a flat surface (2D), but 3D is of course three-dimensional. It is said that the most common way to create a 3D object is by stacking thin layers one after another, the so-called laminating fabrication method. Currently, injection using molds and cutting are the mainstream methods, but 3D printers do not require molds, which is said to save time and money. It is also said to be convenient for weight reduction and material saving, as cutting has its limitations and cannot create hollow space.


In fact, 3D printing has a long history. I won’t go into details, but it was first developed and patented in the 1980s, and by 2010, various patents had expired, making it possible to produce devices at low cost, and they are being used in various fields such as healthcare, aviation, and construction.


Currently, European and American companies seem to be leading in the field of 3D printing, but in Japan, the public and private sectors are working together to promote research and development. I believe that examining problems in manufacturing and analysis of countermeasures for improvement is an area where Japanese people excel. I believe that Japanese people who have been involved in this kind of manufacturing will have an advantage in the research and development of 3D printers. When robots and 3D printers take over the manufacturing industry, there will naturally be a debate about what will happen to those who are currently working in the manufacturing industry, but I believe that mechanization should be promoted first to save labor and improve efficiency.

オフコース/Off Course


Off course is the legendary Japanese vocal group. Off Course has produced many great songs. They are truly wonderful. But for some reason, when I was in junior high school, there was a tendency to think that Off Course was a group that girls listened to, and that boys were not allowed to listen to it, and that it was kind of embarrassing.


Now, when I listen to Off Course again, I find that there are really great songs, and I even find it strange that I dared to stay away from them when I was in junior high school. Sano Motoharu also has an image of being exclusively for girls. Is this the unique culture of Gifu Prefecture, where I grew up?


About 40 years ago, when I was in junior high school, I used to rent records from a rental record shop, record them on cassette tapes, and listen to them uncountable times. I really miss it. The fact that I used to record my favorite albums on chrome, metal, and other high-end cassette tapes, I’m sure the young people of today can’t understand at all.


Nowadays, Spotify plays music that sounds like it on its own. The mainstream album culture is with the important song at the end of the A-side or the beginning of the B-side. Best of albums and omnibuses are a bad idea.


Somehow, I got sidetracked from talking about Off Course. Off-course for girls only, Duran Duran for both men and women, it’s youth, the best.


Attached Youtube is “Kotobani Dekinai” meaning is “unspeakable” by Off Course. A masterpiece among masterpieces.



There is a proverb, “A rumor lasts 75 days only”. Rumors and information that make a big deal at the time are completely forgotten in a few months. Is there a similar proverb in other countries around the world? I’m curious.


I wonder if this proverb is true. Ms. Mako’s wedding was on October 26, 2021, which is just over two months away, so that’s exactly about 75 days. The opposition to the marriage, Mr. Komuro failing the exam, the new house in New York? What about your life? It was really a big deal. What about now? Isn’t it no longer a topic of conversation at all? In that sense, I think this proverb is quite true to human society.


In this information society, where we are exposed to various news from all over the world, some people seem to think that we will be forgotten in less than 75 days. This may be true.


Rumors may not sound like a good thing, but I find that I forget things that I want to remember, such as events that moved me. The summer of 2021, I remember the Olympics and Paralympics that I was so excited about.


There were several competitions being televised at the same time, and I couldn’t decide which one to watch. I cried again at the digest of the sports program even though I have watched it many times. The incredible performances of the Paralympic athletes gave me courage, didn’t they? I was really crazy about it, back then.


Well, what about now? I’ve forgotten quite a bit. What shocked me was that I couldn’t remember the NHK theme song for the Olympics and Paralympics right away. This may be a problem of my poor memory.


People react to information that comes in one after another, and think and say this and that. And soon we forget. Even the things we need to remember will probably be forgotten sooner or later. When a natural disaster strikes, people suddenly check their emergency bags. But this is a mistake. We have to check it regularly. People who can do this on a regular basis are great people.


The reason for writing this blog is because I saw the retirement press conference of Kohei Uchimura, a gymnastics legend. His accomplishments are immeasurable, and I don’t think there will ever be a gymnast who can surpass him. Thank you very much for your hard work. I would like to express my heartfelt respect for the great work he has done so far.


I am attaching a Youtube, Kite of Arashi. This is theme song of Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 in Japan.

製薬会社/pharmaceutical company

white pink and yellow blister packs
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com


Today I would like to write about pharmaceutical companies. Needless to say, medicines are closely related to people’s lives. It can be said that the development of drugs has improved people’s lives. The profitability of drugs is high, and pharmaceutical companies used to give the impression of being a stable industry. However, I would like to state that this does not seem to be the case at present.


I think there are many difficulties in pharmaceutical companies, but I think the following two are important.


It takes a lot of time and money for research and development to create a new drug.


New drugs can be sold exclusively for a certain period of time and can generate high profits, but when the patent expires, they are replaced by generic drugs.


Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, one of Japan’s leading pharmaceutical companies, was established in 1781. It was famous for its products such as “Alinamin”, “Benzabloc” and “Hychee”. Today, these over-the-counter drugs have been sold by Takeda to a company called Alinamin Pharmaceuticals. The reason why Takeda decided to sell off such a familiar products to the public is because they made a takeover to survive.


For those of you who know the story, the president of Takeda since 2016 is a Frenchman named Christophe Weber. His biggest venture was the acquisition of an Irish company called Shire, which made news at the time because it was the largest acquisition in Japan at 6.8 trillion yen. Naturally, the company’s debt increased significantly. Therefore, the company sold off its headquarters and other real estate, as well as over-the-counter drugs, to reduce its debt.


I understand that this acquisition was made in order to hasten the development of new drugs to make up for the patent expirations of their current mainstay drugs. Takeda does about 500 billion yen in R&D every year, which is not particularly large compared to its top 10 peers. In addition, as mentioned above, it is not an easy task to develop new drugs because the best drug developers of the past have spent a lot of time and money on development.


The development of pharmaceuticals can only be a positive thing, saving lives and reducing people’s suffering, but the fact that they are doing it while spending trillions of yen in research and development every year around the world is also an amazing story that is hard to understand fully. The table below shows the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world. Of course, R&D is a cost, so if a pharmaceutical company does not succeed in developing new drugs, it cannot even survive. I think you can understand that it is a very difficult industry. I wonder if the number of companies will decrease in the future.

(USD Bil)
R&D Exp
(USD Bil)
5Johnson & JohnsonUS45.59.5
7Bristol Myers SquibbUS44.011.1

数値は2020年の数値。決算期の違うTakedaは2021年3月期の数値。通貨はUSD換算。Johnson & Johnsonは医療用医薬品のみの数値。表は全て下記リンクから作成しています。筆者のミスや理解不足があればすみません。

Figures are for 2020. Figures for Takeda, which has a different fiscal year, are for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021. Figures for Johnson & Johnson are for prescription drugs only. All tables are created from the following links. I apologize if there are any mistakes or lack of understanding by the author.


No Music, No Life

music sheet showing musical notes
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


There seem to be many theories about when and how music began, such as “language origin” and “labor origin”. I believe that the history of human beings and the history of music almost overlap, and that music has been deeply involved in human life in various ways, such as through songs and rhythms.

僕は楽器は何も演奏出来ないし、歌も上手では無いけども、「No Music, No Life」と言い切れるほど、音楽を聴くことが好きです。「なんか調子が出ないな」というときも音楽を聴くことで元気が出たりします。音楽を聴くことでその当時のことを思い出したりもします。

I can’t play any instruments, and I’m not a good singer, but I love listening to music so much that I can say “No Music, No Life”. Even when I feel like I’m not feeling well, listening to music can cheer me up. Listening to music also reminds me of what I was doing at that time.


I am not sure how many songs there are in the world. I think there are tremendously many songs that we cannot even imagine. I think there must be more than 100 million songs that we can listen to right now, even if there are only music scores and sound sources left. That’s all over the world. I think that’s a lot for Japan alone. To begin with, there are probably 10,000 singers and groups in Japan.

音楽には流行りすたりとかあるでしょうが、人間が聴いて「良い音楽だな」という曲には、一定の法則があると思います。そう考えると、よく、新しい曲が次々と産み出されるなあと思います。自分には勿論作曲のセンスはありませんが、もし、自分が作曲する場合には、多分、Bee Geesとか、Simon & Garfunkelとか、ABBAとか、自分の好きなアーティストの曲にどんどん近づいてしまうように思います。作曲に携わる方の頭の中には私の数十倍、数百倍のメロディーが詰まっているでしょうから、そうした過去の名曲と一致しない名曲を創り出すことは簡単じゃないように思います。

Although there are trends and fads in music, I think there are certain rules to what people listen to and think is good music. When I think about it, I wonder how many new songs are produced one after another. Of course, I don’t have any sense of composition, but if I were to compose a song, I think I would probably end up getting closer and closer to the songs of my favorite artists, like the Bee Gees, Simon & Garfunkel, or ABBA. There are probably dozens or hundreds of times more melodies in the heads of those involved in composing than in mine, so it is not easy to create a masterpiece that does not match those past masterpieces.


Why did I suddenly write about this on my blog? It’s because I was watching the Kohaku Uta Gassen on TV at the end of last year, and I saw an artist I didn’t know at all perform a great song that I knew was a masterpiece just by hearing it once. I don’t have that kind of talent, so I envy those who have musical talent.


It’s hard for me to choose my 10 favorite songs. Is it possible for you to choose? Even if I were asked to choose my 10 favorite artists (10 groups), it would be also difficult. I am thankful that I am able to live surrounded by the music I love. I have a lot of respect for talented artists. As a candidate for the top 10 songs, I’ll post the Youtube video of “Aitakute Ima/Want to meet you now” by MISIA. It is wonderful.

千と千尋の神隠し/Spirited away

wooden doll
Photo by Hoang-Loc Dang on Pexels.com


It’s been a really long time since I watched “Spirited Away”. It seems like at least 15 years have passed since I first saw it. When I first saw it, I thought it was an adventure movie, but now I see that it is totally different. I think the theme of the whole movie is the beauty of “loving” and “believing”.


I can’t help but cry when I rewatch it now. I can’t help but feel grateful to Hayao Miyazaki and his team for creating such a work.


The theme song, “Always and Many Times,” is also an essential song for this movie. I can understand why no one leaves their seats after the movie “Spirited Away” is over. I’d like to hear these great songs every year on Kohaku, even if it’s been 10, 20, 30 years. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.


I feel that Japan’s economy is in a very difficult situation, but the fact that the art world is producing more and more works that we can be proud of in the world is thanks to the fact that Japan’s economy, including the bubble economy, was in good health. When I see such works, I can feel that Japan has a long positive future ahead of it.



Karaoke is one of those words whose Japanese is directly accepted around the world. Other words are names for food, such as Sushi and Tempura, and names of sports, such as Judo and Karate, seem to be well known around the world. If you do a little research, you will find that the Japanese word for Sudoku is also used in the world. I’m not familiar with Manga and Anime, but it seems that the Japanese language through manga and anime is used in the world as it is. Maybe anime is Japanese language already. There are many people from all over the world enjoying Haiku on their blogs, which makes me happy.


Today, I will focus on Karaoke. Filipinos really like to sing and dance, and there are many people who are good singers. Whenever a lot of people get together, karaoke almost always starts, and it’s not unusual to have karaoke in the morning. Even while playing golf, we can hear the loud music, so I think it’s an amazing power.

じゃあ、本当にKaraokeは世界中に浸透しているのかな?とYoutubeで検索したら、イギリスのJames Cordenという方が、「Carpool Karaoke」という動画を沢山配信しています。Adelとか色々なスターが車の中で歌っています。どれも観る価値あると思うのですが、冒頭に添付したPaul McCartneyの動画は、本当にお薦めです。

So is Karaoke really spreading around the world? When I searched on Youtube, I found that James Corden from the U.K. has a lot of videos called “Carpool Karaoke” where Adel and other stars are singing in their cars. I think they are all worth watching, but I really recommend the Paul McCartney video attached at the beginning.

お恥ずかしながら、この検索をするまでJames Cordenという方を知りませんでした。多分、イギリスやアメリカでは非常に有名な人なんだと思います。Paul McCartneyと一緒にPenny LaneとかThe Beatlesゆかりの場所を訪問するこの動画は名作です。Maroon5のSugarで結婚式にサプライズ登場するMVも大好きですが、この動画もそれに負けないくらいサプライズ要素にも溢れています。The Beatlesはこれから何があろうが、永遠に語り継がれる伝説のグループだなあ、といつの間にかKaraokeからThe Beatlesに脱線しちゃうのでした。

I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t know who James Corden was until I did this search. This video of him and Paul McCartney visiting Penny Lane and other places associated with The Beatles is a masterpiece. I love the music video of Maroon5’s Sugar making a surprise appearance at a wedding, but this video is just as full of surprises. The Beatles are a legendary group that will be talked about forever, no matter what happens in the future.


I feel wonderful about Youtube, where these works of art can be viewed for free, as many times as you want, all over the world.