Sunday, August 21, 2016


  “Over The Top” is a movie starring Sylvester Stallone. I saw it in a movie theater in 1987, when I was about to be a high school student. As a teenage boy, I had my longing for strength.
  Today I watched “Over The Top” on TV. Remembering the days when I had tried to get strength, I checked the HP of World Armwrestling League. I found an interesting passage.

  Arm-wrestling as a sport is one of the most universal forms of competition in the country: virtually everyone in America has put their elbow on a table and gripped up with a friend or rival. It's the world’s most popular method of score-settling and a universal test of strength used around the globe. Arm-wrestling combines grit, tactics and mettle in a highly-accessible format that draws competitors from all walks of life, from school teachers to oil rig workers. But when you’re in The Pit, it’s not about what you do or where you come from, it’s about one thing: what you’re made of.

  I made a question for my high school students.
  Choose the best title of this passage from four choices.

  The title represents the American way of thinking.

Sunday, July 3, 2016


It is unusual for Japanese high schools to have a jazz club. Our high school has the club.

"Jazz and freedom go hand in hand," said Thelonious Monk, a black American pianist.

If you want to live in freedom and something black, you should join us!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Tonoyama Taiji

a Japanese actor and essayist

Why do you go out?
Because there is nothing to do in the house.
Because staying in the house is miserable like a jobless actor.

How do you keep your way of life?
Walking on the street, listening to jazz, reading mysteries and drinking coffee.

Friday, April 29, 2016

I'll Remember May

In May 1989, I was sitting in the high school classroom. It had been just one month since the new school year began, so students’ seats were in order by their family name. In front of me was Okada-kun, behind me was Oyobe-kun. I was in my third year of high school. I had already broken up with members of the track and field club. I had almost no friends. Most students were going to universities, but I myself could not find out the true meaning of going to a university.
I remember it was one Saturday morning at the end of May. It was a class of Japanese. Mr. Tamaki, the Japanese teacher, called one student to read the text aloud and then another student was called to read it aloud.
“Something black, unknown and unfortunate has always depressed my mind.” I don’t remember who read this first sentence, but it struck my mind. I felt it sounded different from my image of the school textbook. I started reading the novel by myself. It was no longer the Japanese textbook. It was the first experience of feeling the power of language. Words were not for the test. They were taking me somewhere different from the world I was actually living in. I felt as if I were escaping away from reality. I came to know the strange power of literature.
On the same day, I went to a place called Jazz-kissa in Jimbo-cho. The name of it was “Hibiki.” I remember a man reading a horse racing paper in the sea of Jazz sound. The next day was the Japan Derby. I couldn’t bet any money, but I wanted to create something. It was the beginning of my life.

Quiz: What’s the title of the novel?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Tsuta Fumiya

a high school baseball head coach

“I hate the bunt. Baseball goes without theory. Don’t think too much. Just swing your bat.”

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ralph Waldo Emerson

an American thinker

“I become a transparent eyeball. I am nothing. I see all.”

How can I get to “the woods” in Tokyo, 2016?