Kohei Miura Visiting Professorship
in cooperation with
Russ College of Engineering and Technology
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Avionics Engineering Center
Robert and Ellen Lilley
Notes on Japan Visit -- April-June, 1997
Bob and Ellen Lilley
This writing is done, mostly by Bob, but with
entries from Ellen also,
both to give us a record of this remarkable experience,
and as a guide for future visiting professors.
We have tried to put in here
those interesting and challenging things we encountered.
We hope it does not spoil the fun of "coming in
cold" on a
wholly unfamiliar environment. We suspect it will
not; thereís too much
to learn and experience! Have fun!
---------- First, a Primer, for future visiting
Some of this is repetitive, but itís good
to have it "up front." Even if you ignore the
lengthy tome to follow, these first few pages
could be a help.
|- Read a couple of books and surf the world-wide
web for information on Japan -- We used "Culture Shock Japan" and "Japan
Made Easy." Both were helpful, but in many cases they were a little too
concerned with the formal etiquette here. As in the US, the University
crowd seems to be a little more relaxed and human than some in the business
community. Still, itís good to learn a few greetings in Japanese, observe
and remember when to remove shoes, bow rather than shaking hands unless
the Japanese person offers a hand. Learn how to sit on the floor cross-legged
or to kneel, without pinching nerves. Many of the people you will meet
are used to hosting Americans, and you will undoubtedly not be the worst
of the bunch. Relax and be observant. Generally follow the leader!
|- Once you know youíre going to Japan, get
on the e-mail circuit with both the Ohio and the Japan end. I bet we saved
weeks by Internet work with OUís Associate Provost Felix Gagliano
and Chubuís Tomo Tanaka and others. We even got e-mail services at Chubu
arranged early, and a lot of other loose ends tied up before we traveled.
|- If you got this far, you survived the 15
or more hours in airliners and the arrival procedures at the airport (I
changed some money into yen right at the airport -- about $300 worth; a
good idea). Presumably you have been introduced to host people, likely
from the Chubu University International Office and perhaps from the host
academic department. Also, youíre probably jet-lagged badly. They will
ask if you want to go to a restaurant for dinner, and itís up to you, but
they were not offended when we said weíd just like to get a good bath and
some sleep. We had our first hosted meal a day or so later, and were glad
|- The apartment rent and utilities (except
for International phone calls; <dial 0041-1-areacode-number> for calls
to the US) are already paid, as stated on your contract. Enjoy!
|- Youíll need to have several thousand yen
to tide you over until your airline ticket reimbursement and your stipend
are available. My $300 got over 30,000 yen.
|- Danger! The door frames are just about 6í
tall. I hit my head once in a while. Duck!
|- When we arrived, there were basic groceries,
and even a bottle of good Japanese whiskey, here for us. There are linens,
towels, cooking utensils, appliances, an iron and basically everything
you need to get going. Of course, the appliances are all labeled in Japanese,
so read on -- we decoded SOME of it!
|Rice cooker -- Put one scoop #1 line (plenty
for two people) brown or white rice, and fill with water to the #1 line,
then close and push button. It cooks and then maintains warm.
|Microwave -- Door is bottom button -- "On"
is top left button, then set time by turning knob. Then push the pink (bottom
right-hand button). Other buttons are for defrost, etc., and weíre not
experts. Left-hand bottom button turns it off.
|Sink drain looks like a garbage disposal,
but is not. Empty the net bag once in a while! Bags are in the drawer to
|Stove top: Press the wide flat buttons to
turn on and off. The lever gives control over amount of flame. No pilot
lights -- a spark plug ignites the gas.
|Oven -- buttons mysterious, and you should
remember that the temperature is in Centigrade. (200 degrees is really
392 degrees F!).
|- The laundry thing is somewhat different.
You can send clothes out (ask your host about laundry service, because
you wonít be able to communicate very well with the delivery person); it
tends to be pretty expensive, but... Doing laundry "in" happens probably
more frequent than in the U. S. because the appliances are so much smaller.
Get used to stiff fabric once dry in the closet-type hot-air dryer. No
tumble-dry, although we heard rumors of laundromats [Yes! In a side street
just a block East of the Motoyama intersection!]. We were discouraged from
using them. Hang things on the back porch lines; everyone else does...
On the dryer, the knob is marked in hours (up to 5!). On the washer, the
left-hand knob is the water level. The right knob is the familiar timer/function
knob. There are two buttons in the center, which are a total mystery to
us, and to our host. Note that cold water only is hooked to the washer.
You add hot water from the hose, as you wish. Itís probably better to bring
cotton/polyester blend fabrics, because they work better in this non-tumble-dry
laundry setup than does 100% cotton.
|- Clean out the tub drain screen (beside the
tub, in the floor) every few days, or the drain will overflow all over
the floor. No harm done; the whole room is waterproof, and is a sort of
large shower stall.
|- As we write this, donít bother trying to
use the telephone connections in the den or bedroom -- disconnected. One
phone, in the living room with a cordless extension in the den. We just
set up the computer and e-mail on the dining-room table so we could get
to the phone connection, after searching around for the wires to the "den."
|- The phone has an answering machine built
in; just push the big button. It will say something to you in Japanese,
but know ye that the thing will now take messages, if the red light is
on. When you return, push the red button again, and youíll get your messages,
and the red light will go off. Trust it; it works...
|- Speaking of the phone connection, the utility
closet (our daughter calls it the "scary closet") is just off the living
room. In there youíll find the water heater (one of the giant ones that
heats at night and stores it during the day) and a whole lot of weird wiring
and piping. I gave up trying to figure it out, one night when I was trying
to get the den telephone jack to work. It looks as if the phone line can
be used to control the hot-water tank? Thereís a large control panel on
the dining room wall, for the water heater. We looked at it along with
one of our hosts, and she decided it was OK, and just said to leave it
|- The doorbell also has a phone attached.
If you hear the bell and the #1 light comes on, thereís someone at the
door. If the #3 light comes on, thereís someone ringing from downstairs.
Either way, you can talk to them if you choose. Push the button and talk
on the handset. The #2 button? Well, lifeís full of mysteries..
|- There is a group of file folders in the
den with maps, travel folders, consular information and other goodies.
We hope itís helpful.
|- There is a Japan Times English-language
newspaper available for about $30 per month. Ask your Chubu University
host to enter a subscription for you. We found it useful.
|- There is a "map" of the remote controls
for the heaters behind the remote in the bedroom. Donít lose this! It may
be your only hope of getting those machines under control. It seems they
are smarter than we are!
|- We marked some of the remote control functions
for the TV and the VCR in the booklets for these machines, on the shelf
under the TV. NOTE: There are locally-broadcast programs on most of the
"normal" channels 1-13, and on several of the BS (broadcast satellite)
channels 1,3,5, ... 15. Especially on weekends, there are English-language
movies on some BS channels, but you may have to hit the sound mode button
on the remote (under the cover; see the booklet for location) to get the
correct sound channel. Thereís usually one in Japanese and one in the movieís
own language. There are references to J-SAT, etc, which are other broadcast
satellites, but these are apparently not available at the apartment (takes
another dish, or more money, or something). CNN has a World News report
each evening in English, also.
|- Ask for a second apartment key -- you can
get it. Ask for a home number of one of your hosts who speaks English,
|- Ask your host to write your name and address
in Japanese; carry a copy of this and a Xerox copy of your passport description
page with you. Register with the U. S. Consulate. They donít seem to be
very wide-awake down at the Consulate, but if something bad happens, itís
the natural starting point for authorities or relatives to check up on
|- Thereís a mailbox behind the lobby wall
-- 1003. If thereís no lock, maybe pick one up at Jusco? (See below.) Actually,
thereís very little useful mail -- take utility bills to your host at Chubu
for payment; take mail there also for translation if you think it might
be important, or if youíre just curious. Be ready for some of the junk
mail to be pretty raunchy...advertising adult videos and the like... If
you have packages delivered, they will likely be kept at the managerís
office. Youíll have to learn a phrase or some sign language to ask him
if there are any parcels for you...maybe a note from your host would help.
|- Trash goes out anytime, always in plastic
-- Save the bags from the grocery store. Trash in the big blue dumpers
(OK, little blue dumpers) to the northwest of the building (turn
right as you go out the front door). Thereís a little room near those dumpers
where recyclables go -- aluminum, cardboard, newspaper, etc.
|- Your Chubu host will point out the leased
automobile (We had a nice one; a Toyota Crown Royal Saloon), in parking
space #1. Nice space, under roof. Your host will drive for a few days,
then ride with you as you drive for a while, and then turn it over to you.
There is a book in the den about road signs; read it! The biggies for us
were that youíre on the left side of the road, that Stop signs are triangular
red signs (like our Yield) which say "Stop" all right, but in Japanese,
and that traffic is almost always "heavy." At first it will look like total
chaos, but just move with the flow and grit your teeth a little. Note that
once another car has moved even a little bit in front of you in the other
lane, he has the right of way. You must give way if he decides to change
lanes. The other thing is, you might as well develop extreme patience with
traffic. Thereís no correcting it; people park wherever they want to --
literally -- and gum things up thoroughly. Everyone else adapts. Street
lights have very long cycles compared to ours -- find a good radio station
(82.5 works in the morning), or try to read the signs to pass the time
-- I carried a Hiragana/Katakana table with me to help. Filling the car
with gas ("maantaan-nish-te-kudasai" -- "fill Ďer up") will shock you the
first time. Itís going to be 5000 to 6000 yen, probably (close to $50).
Remember the price shown at the pump is for a LITER, not a gallon!
|-- To drive to Kasugai takes about 45 minutes.
There are several usable routes, but the best ones will probably change
by the time future visitors come here. There will be maps in the apartment,
and your host will have ideas also. You can also take the subway and train
-- a full-public-transport trip would be Bus 85 north from the apartment
(right out front, across the street -- left side, remember?), 200 yen to
Motoyama, then to the subway and 230 yen to Chikusa station; then the Japan
Rail Chuo line, and another 230 yen to Kasugai station; then the Chubu
University bus to campus (free; your host should provide a bus pass). Count
station stops and know the names before you start. Takes about the same
length of time, is easier than driving, but is over $5.00 one way. Your
|- Shopping -- We went to Jusco -- about a
mile south on Yamate-dori -- with our host on the first full day here.
It is a department store you should get to know, with housewares, clothes,
groceries, stationery, bakery, liquor store, etc. Thereís also a nice grocery
in the Motoyama subway station north of the apartment, and an international
grocery several blocks to the right once you reach Motoyama. Jusco is one
place where you CAN park -- a large garage attached.
|- Language -- If you have a chance, study
a little Hiragana and Katakana before you leave the US. Seriously, it can
be a big help. Try the "Power Japanese" software package, and get a pocket-sized
set of hiragana/katakana tables. I wish I had spent more time on it. Both
those alphabets are in wide use; but hiragana is for Japanese words (you
can decode the signs, but then you have to translate the words using a
Japanese-English dictionary) and katakana is for "borrowed words." Sometimes
you can identify the word once you have decoded each character into its
phonetic sound. ("Clinic" comes out ku-ri-ni-tsu-ku for example.
The "tsu" character just makes the "ku" sound harder... Itís really not
as hard as it may sound, and kind of fun.)The third alphabet is the one
youíre probably familiar with from movies or pictures, the Chinese "kanji"
ideographs. You will become familiar with a few of these, but don't count
on them for a lot of help unless youíre really "into" the language.
|- We are avid walkers -- itís our fitness
routine. Itís also the very best way to discover and see things. Donít
plan on driving a lot for sightseeing -- thereís just no place to put the
car and youíll waste a lot of time trying to park. Walk, or take the bus,
subway or train. Buses are 200 yen (call it $2.00) for a ride anywhere
in the city, and the subway is 200-300 yen depending on where you are going.
Train is similar for short trips. Get a good map from your host or form
the Nagoya International Center (of course, youíll have to take the subway
to get there!!).
|- Hint: "Our" television tower right out the
bedroom and den windows, is a GREAT landmark! Itís visible from nearly
everywhere we walk. Keeps one from getting fully disoriented.
|- The "visiting professor" will be busy almost
from the first day, but the spouse, especially if female, may feel left
out or cut off for a while. This is not to say that your hosts have forgotten
you; itís just that everything is unfamiliar, and wives are often not an
integral part of the work or the socializing in Japan. Call the "welcome-wagon"
(Itís referred to as a furoshki here, we think). Someone will come,
speaking English, and will leave a pile of useful brochures and other info.
Gives you a contact in English for later, also. Try calling Jerry Richmond
at 052-836-9261. If Jerry is no longer there, ask one of your hosts about
it. (Mrs. Murase, wife of a Chubu administrator, told Ellen about this
early in our visit.) The International Center (kokusai center) in
downtown Nagoya has a wealth of contacts and information. Ellen was particularly
pleased with the Cross-Cultural Association, part of the International
Ladiesí Association, which held regular activities and were specifically
geared to visiting women. The main thing is, that all the women speak English,
even though they come from a wide variety of countries.
|- Your host academic department will likely
assign a faculty member to be your day-to-day guide; I generally had lunch
with Dr. Yasubayashi of the EE department; these lunches were good times
to go over mail, go up to the bookstore and other routine things where
an interpreter made things go more smoothly. He also took us on weekend
trips in and out of the city and was a generous host and a real friend.
|- By the way -- the guide books are correct
on this point -- ALWAYS carry a packet of Kleenex or a bit of toilet paper
with you when you travel, even in the city. Public toilets are available
(sometimes a bit of an adventure), but they are often out of paper (sometimes
it is not provided at all).
|- Founderís Day, June 7 -- This is an important
Buddhist ceremony commemorating Kohei Miura, in whose name you are here.
It is a serious religious ceremony followed by a more informal (well, a
bit informal) meeting of the faculty for tea and cake. At that gathering,
you will probably be asked to say some words. Be sure to get these ready
early, and let the International Office look them over. I also sent mine
to the Ohio University president, to be sure he could insert any specific
message he wanted to convey. If your experience is the same as mine, you
will be asked to deliver this speech in Japanese! Relax; thereís plenty
of help. Iíd make the speech as compact and brief as possible, though!
I admit I was really nervous about this, but it was received well (or,
with good humor...?) Iíll probably never know, because I really donít know
what I said.
|Prepare lectures before you leave the States,
if possible. Even with the Internet, many of the goodies you need will
be hard to transfer to Japan. Also; remember that you have to write out
each lecture word-for word and turn it in two weeks ahead, along with viewgraph
copies, for translation by the International Office. The Deanís Office
in Engineering, right downstairs from the visiting professor office, will
help with copying, transparencies, faxes, etc. The translation slightly
more than doubles the time required for your lecture; I was always writing
too much material. Plan for a 40-minute lecture and you should be OK. Donít
plan to use chalk and do real-time stuff; you will surprise your translator.
|Now, to our story
|September, 1996 -- Dean Kent Wray said
Bob was nominated to go to Chubu University in Japan for the Spring Quarter
as the Kohei Miura visiting professor of electrical engineering. A complete
|October , 1996 -- President Robert
Glidden confirmed that the nomination had been sent to Japan.
|We talked with Dr. Joe and Billie Essman for
an entire evening, and received much interesting (and encouraging) information
on Japan and their trip. Joe said they would go back "in a heartbeat."
|Received early confirmation of appointment
by Chubu from Dr. Tomo Tanaka December 13, and announced it to the Avionics
staff at our Christmas party at the Sportsman Restaurant in Athens (it
closed soon after...). Then, we received a letter from President Kazuo
Yamada of Chubu University, with the three-month contract; returned it
with signature on December 30. This contract has on it the stipend amount
for the period in Japan, with apartment rental with all utilities deducted
already. Everything is paid except for international telephone and things
like newspapers, laundry, food, supplies, etc. Thatís all "on the visitor,"
but some is deductible back home.
|Contacted Tomo Tanaka (an old friend from
the Computer Center days; he was on the Physics faculty) at Chubu by e-mail;
subsequently Mr. Murase and Yuko Yamada (who turns out to be the daughter
of the President, working in the international office), for information
and guidance. Much e-mail followed.
|We purchased from Susan Maiden at Globe Travel
in Athens. Delta Airlines. We "bid" these to several Athens and out-of-town
agencies, on advice from Felix Gagliano in the Provostís office. He travels
to the Far East a lot, and said this was the best way to get good prices.
I sent identical messages to about five agencies giving the range of dates
for departure and return that we (and Chubu) could accommodate. They wanted
us in Japan up-and-running by about April 1, which is the beginning of
their academic year.
|Had a Japanese-style dinner with Jim and Sara
Gilfert, and the Lynn Williamses. The Gilferts have really adopted the
Far East in their life-style. Their daughter Susan lives in Nagoya (we
will contact her), and they have been back to Japan many times. They provided
a very nice slide show, familiarizing us with the sights.
|Arrangements for care of Athens house - We
talked with Shawna Wolfe and friend Mike, agreed that Shawna would stay
at the house; Ellen arranged for periodic grass-cutting by a professional
firm, with Shawna filling in (she likes to cut grass). Dr. Dave Diggle
at the Avionics Engineering Center agreed to be a backup in case of emergencies.
|The Avionics Center shipped four boxes of
technical books, papers and equipment to Japan, which was expensive but
necessary. Much of the material will remain in Japan (brochures, Ohio University
and Avionics souvenirs as gifts, etc).
|Dinner with Charlie and Claire Ping (he is
former President of Ohio University, who spent much time in Japan). More
good advice, now confirming some of what we think we know. We dare to think
weíre getting somewhat under control...
|The International Office at Chubu requested
materials including passport photos, etc, for preparing the Certificate
of Eligibility for a visa. Visas were obtained, again with much faxing
and e-mail, from the Japanese Consulate in Detroit, whose information was
located using the World-Wide Web. The Atlanta branch of the Consulate even
had the visa application on the World-Wide Web, ready to print! This impressed
my contact in Detroit, who promised to "keep up with Atlanta" in the future!
|Other items purchased were gift items, "made
in USA or Ohio," luggage (we had nothing that would handle even close to
70 pounds, the limit per bag), international driver permits (at AAA in
Athens), etc. Gathered up some Shaklee food supplements and vitamin products,
to keep our diet/supplements under control. (Shawna Wolfe will handle the
business while weíre gone, with e-mail communications to Japan.) Did not
really get started packing until the night before departure; there just
|Note to President Robert Glidden -- sorry
we couldnít get together before leaving the country.
|At nearly the last minute, Ron Price, an Avionics
client, called, and Bob was called away to Richmond to do a promotional
presentation on March 23-24. Flew the aircraft down there, all the time
concerned about a weather system approaching from the west. Got back to
Athens ahead of it, fortunately, to start packing.
|Now, all this time there were at least three
other layers of activity for each of us. Bob had announced his Ohio University
retirement date as November, 1997, and there were the activities surrounding
choice of a successor, etc. Additionally, we both had been looking at real
estate in the Santa Barbara, CA, area, relative to a move there in November,
and were talking to realtors both there and in Athens. Also, Bob had been
talking with John Illgen, President of Illgen Simulation Technologies,
Inc., and finally accepted their offer late in March. This on top of Shaklee
and International Loran Association businesses and Avionics Engineering
Center work and Bobís work on Dean Wrayís Strategic Planning (Other Objectives)
committee. Had a last-minute meeting with Assistant Director Doug Vickers
on promotional files and status of director activities. Doug seems comfortable
with the Acting Director job (but I think he does not want it for very
|All of the above sounds logical and well-ordered,
if busy. In reality it certainly was not; there were good and bad days
as far as thinking, "Can we do this? Should we do this? Will Ellenís
businesses survive it?" Itís like having children or buying a house --
you are never really "ready" and you never can "afford" it, by some measure
or another. But inevitably the day for departure came...
|Wednesday, March 26 1997 - Left
Athens 9:00 PM; dinner Lancaster, overnight at daughter Karenís house in
Columbus. As Delta Airlines required, two checked bags (<=70 lb.) and
two carry-ons (<=40lb) each (plus purse for Ellen, which can be as big
as a third carry-on!), plus one excess bag (one of Mike DiBenedettoís white
MLS road cases) which cost $130! Still cheaper than shipping.
|Thursday, March 27,1997 - To
airport 5:00 AM; 7:00 departure to Cincinnati, Portland; then overseas
to Nagoya (10-hour flight). Delta MD-11 at 31,000 feet. Very nice weather
all the way; good views of islands off Canadaís west coast, and of mountainous
areas of Honshu during the southward stage of the flight. Interesting to
note former student Rich Salterís AirShow unit used during flight; nice
air data and ground track displays.
|Noticed that the track took us right down
the coast of Kamchatka Peninsula, but not too close to Sakhalin Island
(where KAL-007 was shot down by the Russians years ago).
|Nearly everyone on flight was Japanese (surprise!);
couple next to us with two delightful young boys, going from Seattle (Dad
works at Boeing) to Nagoya for a weekís visit in the home country.
|No customs process to speak of. Picked up
at Nagoya airport by Mr. Murase (presently associate director) and Mr.
Sasaki (new director), of the Chubu University International office. Changed
some travelersí checks at the airport bank ($300 US gets you 36,708 yen
at this point. Mr. Murase hired a taxi to take the luggage to the apartment,
and we then experienced the traffic congestion immediately, as Mr. Sasaki
tried to get us out of the airport area. Then freeway across town, taking
in sights and sounds (multiple alphabets all at once, including English
and three Japanese variations). Much conversation and questions/answers
on both sides.
|Arrived at the apartment to find the taxi
and luggage waiting, and three of four boxes which had been shipped earlier
were in the apartment already. Room 1003 CI Manshon Yamate, 1-28 Yamate-dori,
Shouwa-ku, Nagoya-City, 466, Japan
|Met Ms. Yuko Yamada (who turned out to be
the daughter of the Chubu President, Kazuo Yamada), and she showed us around
the apartment. Murase indicated we should relax this night and Sunday,
and he would be here 9:00 AM Monday for a trip to Chubu University.
|Relaxation came easily -- after some unpacking,
asleep by mid-evening.
|Saturday, March 29, 1997 (March
28 disappeared somewhere during the flight)
|Up early, still time-challenged. Apartment
is kitchen, bath/laundry, two bedrooms plus Japan room and den, and living-dining.
Very comfortable except individual heater units hard to deal with due to
Japanese labeling. Fortunately someone had left a partial "map" of the
remote-control units which helped a little. Tenth floor, with a nice city
view (although very hazy most of the day).
|Completed unpacking, and walked up Yamate-dori
to the "Motoyama" section and back, visiting a convenience store or two
(Lawsons! Looks the same, but no English to speak of). Purchased a set
of batteries for one of the apartment heater remotes, and some green tea;
first uses of Japanese money! Noted a temple to visit later, but much construction
(new subway line) made the surroundings noisy and not so pretty. Weíll
try side streets when we get more confident about directions. Identified
a few restaurants, etc. Tomorrow, weíll find the zoo for sure -- relatively
close, called Higashiyama park ("East mountain" park). "Nishi" is West,
by the way, "kita" north and "minami" south.
|Yuko came at 10:00 and described many of the
appliances and answered a thousand questions we had, ranging from how to
cook tea and rice, to use of the fire escape, the heaters (again!) and
the rules of the building for trash, storage, etc. Much organization on
recycling. Many questions on foods, labels, etc.
|Yuko told us that Mr. Sasaki worked for Toyota
for some 30 years, and has been at Chubu only for a few weeks. He will
succeed Tomo Tanaka as director, when Tanaka steps down to become an advisor,
apparently on April 1. Also, Mr. Murase will go to another section (recruiting)
at Chubu on April 1.
|Yuko also gave us the names of her colleagues
in the International office at Chubu, who we will meet:
|Mrs. Shoyama Atsuko
|Ms. Asako Imai
|Mr. Hanaki Toru
|She also gave us our names and address in
Japanese, to carry with us in case we get lost. Phone at the apartment
is 81-52-832-5691. (From in country, 052-832-5691). International calls
going out are (0041+1+areacode+7 digits). Mr. Muraseís home number (emergencies)
|We three walked a few blocks south on Yamate-dori
looking at shops (some closed on Saturday) and had lunch at the Chitaka
restaurant, Japanese style at a low table, shoes off, chopsticks; Shrimp,
a fish croquette, rice, cabbage, hot dipping sauce and miso soup
-- wonderful! Even some side-dishes of Japanese plum, seaweed, and what
we are certain is our first taste of jellyfish! Not bad. Also lily-root,
in a sweet sauce. Yuko was complimentary on our use of chopsticks; said
even some Japanese have trouble with them. Yuko paid for all this in the
name of the University, even though I offered to host (about 3600 yen;
something like $30.00). Then more walking, East on the cross street (street
names are not really considered important here; you just have to know where
youíre going. To explain this, Yuko and I went over the divisions of the
country, which helped me understand the mail addresses:
|Honshu (the big island) is divided into areas,
East, West and Center. We are in the Chubu area, which means "Central
place." Within the area are prefectures (ken, of which ours is Aichi-ken).
Then cities (Nagoya-shi, Kasugai-shi), and wards (ku, apartment is in Shouwa-ku),
towns (-cho), neighborhoods (-chome; pronounced cho-may. These are
numbered, as in 1-chome, 2-chome; something like three to a -cho) and streets
(-dori). Then there are ban, and another division which I
|Then back to the apartment (passing a Central
Bank, which may be useful for changing more travelersí checks when necessary)
and to Yukoís car (complete with GPS-driven road map -- handy!) and a drive
further south on Yamate-dori to the cross street at Yagoto station. A right
turn and a short distance northwest on this street and a left turn into
the parking garage for the Jusco department store (if you spend upwards
of 2000 yen here, parking is free; just show the receipt).
|Jusco is a complete supermarket; food, clothing,
housewares, a bakery and a gym. Also some nice small shops in a small plaza
to the northwest side of the building. Ellen bought bread, English muffins,
rice (remarkably expensive for a staple item), rye bread, balsamic vinegar
(seemed VERY expensive at $11.00 for a 1/4 liter bottle, but then it was
imported from Italy...). I spent some time later trying to read the register
receipt and match Hiragana/Katakana characters there with labels on the
products -- very frustrating. Seems to be a mix of Hiragana, Katakana and
Kanji/Kokuji characters everywhere!
|The gym at Jusco looks familiar, with aerobics,
exercise/weight machines and sauna/pool. Price is 80 yen per month, and
we decided to wait a while to see if we can get in what we need by walking.
If the weather gets bad, we may join.
|Home about 3:00 PM, in light rain, and almost
immediately asleep for an "afternoon nap" which lasted until midnight!
Weíre still lagged!
|Sunday, March 30, 1997 - Read
some of the maps, guides, etc. which had been left in the apartment by
others; Ellen did a "load" (very small load...) of clothes in the tiny
washing machine and then dried in the closet-type hot-air flow dryer. Slower
than tumbling, but it works. Many people said they hang clothes on the
line on the porch; but itís night, itís raining, pigeons sometimes hang
out on the porches (despite remarkable devices to scare them away) and
itís Easter Sunday -- seemed a little out of place to hang laundry all
over the place.
|The heated toilet seat continues to be a surprise
(and delight)! Finally got the room heaters to work stably, mostly by trial
and error. Maybe they work on "fuzzy" logic (or maybe we do).
|Nice morning -- clear/hazy and sunny early.
Looks like a good day for a walk...
|Tomo and Mrs. (Sumiko) Tanaka called about
8:00 AM. They will come here at 1:00 PM for a driving tour and visit to
|We found the zoo by an hourís walk on the
side streets, but with the Tanaka visit coming up, did not have time to
go in today. Some very nice upscale houses and lovely gardens along the
way. Walked back along the main street (to Motoyama station) and then back
south on Yotsuya-dori and Yamate-dori to the CI Mansions apartment. Stopped
along Hirokoji-dori (runs east-west through Motoyama) to pick up some wine
and a bag of peanuts. Very nice flower shop there also.
|Got some papers ready to take to Chubu tomorrow
-- Mr. Murase comes at 9:00 to pick us up for the introductions and tour.
|The visit with the Tanakas was delightful!
First, sushi at the Atom-Boy, one in a chain of "fast-food" sushi places.
Moving belt with sushi dishes on color-coded plates: 100, 200, 300 Yen.
Just grab a plate and chopsticks and soy sauce and eat. Then grab more
plates as they go by. Shrimp on rice, crab on rice, squash in rice wrapped
with seaweed, cucumber ditto, a sort of spring roll, but with tofu filling,
green tea of course, and finally a cup of Japanese custard, a bean-paste
item, with nuts and white fish bits in. All very good, and once again compliments
on use of chopsticks!
|Traveled through Kasugai to Tajimi. The road
goes through the foothills north of Nagoya, with tunnels and cuts evident.
At two points, I noted large wire cages over the road, somewhat like the
rock protection for railroad tracks in the mountains of the US West. Tanaka
said they were to protect cars from golf balls from country clubs atop
the nearby hills! Sure enough, there were golf balls in the screens.
|At Tajimi, we went to the Eihoji Buddhist
temple at Kokeizan Mountain, a truly serene place. Water, bonsai-style
and gingko trees, and the temple itself, about 650 years old. Set in a
deep gorge thick with plants and rock formations; rock images of "guardians"
watching over their assigned departed youngsters.
|In the bamboo forest here is said to live
a very wise man. Sumiko Tanaka translated some Kanji writing there: "If
we take from our neighbors, then there will be fighting and they will take
from us; if we give to our neighbors, they will give to us and there will
be peace." Sounds a little like, "Thereís enough work to go around. Why
compete with our colleagues when we could be cooperating?" Maybe thereís
a little Zen in the avionics business also.
|Then to Tanakaís house for tea, which turned
out to be tea plus banana bread and fruit cup. Then, a glass of wine from
one of Tanakaís sons who is a wine collector. A 8000 yen bottle of Rheingau;
1976er Rauenthaler, Baifen, Reisling (Auslese). Verwaltung der Staatsweing...
(All of this for Dave Diggle, in Athens, whoís our resident German wine
expert.) In any case, it was excellent!
|After good conversation and some Athens stories
(Tomo may come back in August to teach a course at Ohio) we returned to
Nagoya and the apartment, with much window-shopping on the way -- A temple
just North of the main street (Hirokoji-dori) that we need to see...A supermarket
on this street beyond the zoo, etc.
|Tomo said we would be meeting University officials
tomorrow, and on Tuesday doing some paperwork, opening a bank account and
getting an ATM card at Chubu University, and some looking around. Dress
|Monday, March 31, 1997 -
Mr. Murase picked us up at the apartment at 9:00
and took us in the leased car to Chubu in Kasugai. Itís a long drive (compared
to driving to work from The Plains!) over roads under construction, etc.
Talked with him about second key to apartment, mailbox, some hints on operating
the TV, etc. The construction is to build a new elevated guideway bus system
from Nagoya to Kasugai. Also, improvements are underway to the road. Probably,
future visiting professors will have an easier trip to Chubu!
|Just after leaving the main road in a hard
left turn, noted a woodworking location where beams were being prepared
for construction (of traditional things like temples). Big mortise/tenon
joints, dovetails in the ends of tree-sized beams. We may want to visit
this later. The turn is at a temple, and leads to a narrow road passing
over the river into Kasugai and Chubu. Iíll need more example drives to
get this straight. Got lost after entering Kasugai. Murase took us to Mr.
Sasakiís office where we talked for a short time, over green tea; Yuko
appeared briefly, as did Tanaka.
|Tanaka and Sasaki accompanied us to the meeting
room for the session with President Yamada and his people: Dr. Koji Iwata
and Dr. Hiroshi Tanaka, vice presidents; and Ryozo Ohnishi, Provost. The
vice-Provost was also there, but I did not get a name.
|Good talk; ranging over past visiting professors
and changes at Ohio to "just what is avionics anyway?" Some had obviously
read my resume and asked questions about the MLS flights; all seemed interested
in hearing about the GPS satellite navigation system. After an hour or
so, escorted to office, where the desktop computer waits.
|I asked to be able to talk to Mr. Takechi,
a computer-wise faculty member from the Electronics Engineering department,
and he appeared shortly. We worked most of the rest of the day on dial-up
networking problems in Windows 95, so my laptop would be useful from the
apartment. We demonstrated its use plus that of the desktop. Some tweaking
will be necessary, but basically OK.
|Office is functional -- plain, but with wet-bar
(for tea!) in the room. Lunch at the faculty cafeteria; purchase tickets
for meal desired in machine outside, then order inside. Spaghetti -- good.
Tomorrow Lo Mein?
|Back to the office -- brought up e-mail at
Athens via Telnet, with some delay due to network speed, presumably. It
works, however, and got e-mail answers to a couple of messages, and worked
with Ellen on the Loran messages.
|Tanaka pointed out the bookstore (I apparently
have an allowance there; also, they will do film processing in one day)
and the self-instruction room where English-language magazines and CNN
in English are always available. The visiting professor budget also contains
a travel component, for trips related to research activities. (We have
to visit Mr. Katayama at SENA in Tokyo, the Japan Association for Aids
to Navigation if appropriate, and Japan Radio Corp, avionics manufacturer;
this budget will come in handy.)
|At the end of the day, President Yamada had
Mr. Sasaki, Dr. Tanaka and us driven by chauffeured limo to a site on the
Horikawa river, planted on both sides with cherry trees, all in nearly
full bloom. Absolutely beautiful. After a short walk among these trees,
drove to Chubuís downtown building (original site of the Chubu Institute)
and saw the wonderful city view from the top floor board room there. (I
think the Presidentís visit was a surprise, judging from the response of
the office staff.) Back to the car, to find our driver cleaning it off
with large feather dusters. I donít think we ever quite got into rhythm
with him on opening and closing the car doors. Weíd almost always jump
the gun, and he would rush to help, trying to be on both sides at once.
|Then through terrible downtown traffic to
the Gokoku shrine near the center of town -- setting up for a street fair.
And down the side streets to Tonioís, just down the street from the apartment,
for a superb Japanese steakhouse dinner, cooked at the table; mushrooms,
lotus, salad, beef, sprouts, rice and Green Tea Ice Cream! Ellenís shrimp
were as fresh as shrimp can be -- a little disconcerting to see live shrimp
cooked at the table...OK, a lot disconcerting. Wonderful Japanese
"Scotch," and one of our favorite German wines. Interesting -- almost symphonic
renditions of Beatles music as background!
|Back to the apartment about 10:00 PM. Very
long day, with many new sights, sounds, and people!
|Tuesday, April 1, 1997 --
Dr. Mikio Yasubayashi (Asst Professor of Electrical Engineering) comes
at 9:00 to pick me up for the trip to Chubu (Ellen will remain at the apartment
today). Mr. Murase called and said we needed to take public transport to
Kasugai today, since our car is still at the University after yesterdayís
|Pleasant walk in the early morning around
the campus of Nagoya University, north on Yamate-dori. Quite cool, but
no wind and the sun coming up. Lots of flowers already; fish and ducks
in the large pond on the edge of the campus. A garden maze leading to an
amphitheater in the middle of campus.
|Yasubayashi arrived and was surprised at the
need to take public transport. We took the bus to Motoyama station, the
subway to Chikusa station where we picked up the Japan Rail Chuo line to
Kasugai. Then took the Chubu University school bus to the university. Entire
trip was probably faster and easier than by car. Cost was something like
460 yen one way.
|We arrived just in time for an Electrical
Engineering faculty meeting, at which I was introduced and asked to say
a few words. Brought greetings from Ohio University professors and former
visitors Jim Gilfert and Joe Essman, who are apparently fondly remembered.
In addition to the changes at the International office, the Chair of Electrical
Engineering has just passed from Prof. Ido to Prof. Matsui. Prof. Ido becomes
graduate chairman in electrical engineering.
|Office work and e-mail catch up filled the
morning. Lunch with Tanaka and with Miki Ueda and Tamie Watanabe, from
the department of linguistics. Miki is chair of the Japanese language program,
and has been at Ohio University. (I did eat the buckwheat soba "noodle
soup" with chopsticks! The slippery plastic sticks, even!)
|Then to the International office to meet Yuko
and Asako Imai (Also an Ohio University person, in African studies); filled
out the papers for receiving the stipend for expenses, and Yuko obtained
the money, in cash. We went to the bank on campus and opened an account,
with ATM card good throughout Japan. As luck would have it, Mr. Hanaki
Toru arrived for his first day of work as I was there, amid much ceremony
and conversation. Then, much chaos followed, in the middle of my "normal"
business with the office; people (including Hanaki) began rearranging and
moving desks, preparing for his first work day.
|Afternoon, sorting out lecture materials and
e-mail processes. The direct Telnet is not working well at all; will have
to reconfigure for the Eudora e-mail package locally, and have the Ohio
computers bounce messages to Japan.
|To home with Mr. Yasubayashi driving (me tomorrow?).
He returns at 8:30 tomorrow. Fourth box from Ohio arrived safely, with
research materials for the second and third lectures.
|Evening, to Granpiatto Italian restaurant
next door to CI Manshon, for pizza and Italian beer. Good.
|Wednesday, April 2, 1997 -- Early
walk to Motoyama and back through Nagoya University campus. Again, a lot
of construction (this time an automobile tunnel under the east-west road
just north of the apartment). The cherry blossoms must be at peak -- beautiful!
Stopped at the circa-1510 Toganji temple, north of the apartment on Yamate-dori.
Again a very peaceful and attractive setting, the more impressive because
itís right in the busy city. Very large Buddha statue, gardens, water.
We neednít have worried about the nearby construction and traffic. Not
noticeable inside! Weíll return to take pictures and just to relax.
|Drove (yes, drove) to Chubu, with Mr.
Yasubayashi as passenger. Worked out well; traffic was generally light.
Need to remember the "stop" signs are triangular (like our "yield" signs
in the States). It seems I "see" stop signs by shape rather than words,
and these take getting used to.
|Fixed up the computer processes, with Mr.
Takechiís help, and got the Ohio accounts to auto-forward to the Chubu
server. We use Eudora on the local PCs. Seems much better then TELNET,
although if Ohioís OUVAXA worked as it should, TELNET would work OK. Interesting
point: when I TELNET simultaneously to BOBCAT and OUVAXA, BOBCAT responds
very crisply, while OUVAXA is very sluggish (minutes between responses).
Sent a message to Dick Piccard at Ohio suggesting maybe OUVAXA has priority
problems getting to the network. Maybe thatís part of the delay problem
we noted at Ohio also!
|Ellen will be much relieved that this problem
seems solved. Sheís feeling a little cut off from her businesses.
|Cafeteria salad with Mr. Yasubayashi; chopsticks
are becoming routine.
|Prepared remarks for the tomorrowís academic-year
opening ceremony, and went to Dr. Tanakaís office to have him review them.
He was pleased with the text, and thanked me for coming "all that way"
to his office to seek his advice. I let Yuko know that I brought current
Ohio University informational materials with me, and asked her to put together
some Chubu materials to return to Ohio. Dean Wray requested some materials
for the file, for future visiting professors.
|Worked a while on the first lecture, but still
have not discovered who will translate or prepare viewgraphs in Japanese.
Need to finish typescript for translation! [Likely it will be either Mr.
Sasaki or Dr. Tanaka]
|Drove home with Dr. Yasubayashi observing
-- be careful of stop signs, and note that itís the wipers on the
left side of the steering column, not the turn indicator! I think in the
UK that is not the case, and it
|is hard to remember here.
|Ellen made broiled salmon, salad, rice; excellent.
The gas stove and oven are confusing, with all labels in Japanese, but
we figured some of it out operationally by sight, sound and smell... Maybe
weíll eat out a lot...
|Introduced Ellen to Eudora software. The dial
up process works now for the most part (no automatic logon yet), and sheís
relieved to be "in touch" again.
|Thursday, April 3, 1997 --Called
Ohio early AM (5:30 AM in Japan is 3:30 PM in Ohio). All OK with Hope,
and Sharon, at Avionics. Electrical engineering chairman Dennis Irwin will
call me tomorrow morning 6:00 AM Japan time [did not work out]. Fog and
rain; weíll walk this evening if it improves at all.
|Ellen and I traveled to Chubu with Dr. Yasubayashi;
driving in the rain and mist. Arrived at the Center for International Studies
at 9:30 and Dr. Tanaka appeared, to take us to the opening ceremony. Yuko
also. We were on stage with the President, administration, etc. for this
impressive, formal ceremony. Bowing to the stage, the audience; no applause.
Band music; Bach, etc., for openers. Then the Chubu song, which is a moving
piece of music. (Available on http://www.chubu.ac.jp/about) A speech by
Pres. Yamada and a short ceremony in which student representatives enter
a short prayer in books presented by their deans, promising to "be good
boys and girls" according to Mr. Sasaki later. A program for the ceremony
in Japanese was given out; I deciphered a bit of it, with Yukoís help.
|Ellen and I returned to the office where Eudora
came up on computers for both of us right away. A little more work on the
auto-log script for Ellen and I think weíll be all set! Lunch with Ellen
in the faculty cafeteria. On the TV there, apparently a drama (saw it yesterday,
also) about a Japanese girl who is an expert at Chess, competing in a manís
world against old (and young) masters and winning. Seems to be much emotion
surrounding this, for everyone concerned. It must be popular, because weíve
seen parts of this drama repeatedly. Canít understand a word of it, of
|To the faculty meeting portion of the opening
ceremonies in the afternoon; everyone got a packet of papers, all in Japanese
of course. I was able to recognize some of the items; President Yamadaís
and VP Tanakaís names, for example, and Mr. Sasakiís introduction as a
new staffer (figured this out by knowing his phone number and working backward
from the phone-list of new staff...). Pres. Yamada introduced me and I
delivered my prepared remarks, apparently well received.
|Faculty Meeting -- Opening Ceremonies -
April 4, 1997, Chubu University -- Robert Lilley text
|Mr. President, University officials, members
of the faculty:
|Konnechi wa to
you from the people of Ohio University. For the 24th year, a faculty member
from Ohio is in Japan, and I am fortunate indeed to have been asked to
accept the Kohei Miura visiting professorship for this year.
|I do not know personally all of the others
who have come to Chubu from Ohio, but I bring greetings from the very first
visiting professor, Dr. Jim Gilfert, and from other special friends such
as Dr. Bob Williams and Dr. Joe Essman. Each of these men told us we would
benefit from this experience and we would enjoy it. Even after the short
time we have been here, I am certain that they are correct.
|My wife and I both graduated from Ohio
University "a few" years ago, but we feel that suddenly we are students
again! So much to learn; so many new experiences here!
|In the lectures I shall present while visiting
Chubu, I shall try to emphasize engineering as more than just textbooks
and laboratories, but as a method for improving the quality of life. I
believe that we have a responsibility to apply new technologies in ways
which will help us all to be more efficient, to be better caretakers of
the earth and its resources, and to be more happy. In my field, we do this
by trying to keep air transportation efficient and reliable, and also safe.
|I hope I have an interesting and educational
message to present, even as I learn from each of you.
|On behalf of the people of Ohio University
and its Avionics Engineering Center, I wish for Chubu University a most
successful academic year; we thank you most sincerely for sharing it with
|Domo arigato gozimas(u)...
|The President then gave a speech to the faculty,
followed by introductions of new staff and what was apparently a presentation
of University organization chart, college organizations and some class
enrollment (and maybe a little budget) information.
|Reception for faculty after the meeting. Beer
and juice, much hors díouevres including sashimi (raw) and steamed
shrimp (tried both) melon bread (very sweet and delicious, almost like
a donut), cheese and crackers, all eaten standing up, with chopsticks (with
a plate and glass in the other hand, itís tricky). Good conversation with
Yuko, Miki (remember her from the linguistics department?), Shawn Morris,
here with the Ohio Program in English Language Training, Catherine Ralston,
a new teacher to Chubu at Kasugai, but who has been in Japan for some years,
and others. One faculty member recalled meeting me at Ohio in 1970, when
he visited with Physics faculty and I was in the Computer Center. Small
|No beer for me, as I have learned the Japanese
limit for blood alcohol content while driving is zero. Everyone I have
talked to says they mean it, too. These people will sleep in their offices
rather than drive home after drinking.
|Drove home in the rain, and collapsed early.
|Friday, April 4, 1997 -- Up
6:00 for a shorter walk today. Ellen is going on a tour with other ladies
downtown (a Miso factory, and other places). TV on for weather (looks
like afternoon rain in southern Japan) and found the chess drama AGAIN!
|Took a pile of materials to the office, sorted
and stored; worked on lectures. Some e-mail; cleaning out the Ohio machines.
|So-ba (buckwheat noodles in broth)
for lunch, 320 yen. Lunch with Dr. Matsui, EE chairman and Dr. Yasubayashi.
In addition to the three lectures, I will make one overnight trip to the
Chubu campus near Mt. Ena in Gifu prefecture, northeast of Nagoya. Dr.
Matsui will discuss activities there with me. About the end of April, they
say. That chess drama is on AGAIN!
|On the way to lunch, stopped by the in-house
travel bureau with Dr. Yasubayashi. Talked with Ms. Kasue Kinoshita, who
gave me a brochure on one-day tours to Nara and Kyoto and other places.
She can arrange entire tours for us. Asked her (half in jest) about climbing
Mt. Fuji; she said there were good bus tours up to a point past half way,
and then itís a climb to the top. Maybe... [Turned out it was the wrong
time of year; they only allow climbing in later summer, when the snow retreats
|Handled much e-mail relating to the changes
at Avionics and the Deanís and Chairmanís activities surrounding that.
Confusing, and I am feeling cut off and a little helpless. Seems to be
some delay in announcing my replacement at Avionics and I canít get a complete
picture easily by e-mail. Keep trying...
|Got word from Sharon that Fujiko (Oguri) Sawtarie
called and will come to Japan in June. Her family lives in Kasugai (where
Chubu University is); so we hope to see her. When she was my graduate student
in Ohio, she was very interested in learning good English. Now the tables
are turned; she can help us!
|Met Dr. Koji Nakamura, a friend of Yasubayashiís
who is retiring and going to the Tokyo area to do some consulting(?) work
with another friend.
|Home, with Dr. Yasubayashi; he works Saturdays,
but I will remain home and catch up on paper that piled up and stuff I
brought home for the first lecture.
|Working on katakana/hiragana a little, so
we can recognize items at the grocery, which is on tap for tomorrow. Deciphered
the television weather report -- itís not Japanese cities on there, itís
world cities! They are in katakana (the language for "borrowed" words;
for Rome, for example). Ellen arrived, with excited story
of her day at the miso and fireworks factories. She went with a
group of women, 1/2 Japanese, 1/2 foreign (Canada, US, France were mentioned).
Mrs. Murase, a guest herself, took Ellen as her guest. Specifically mentioned
the lack of automation -- these are hand-done tasks, often with really
simple tools (a pile of rocks to press the seaweed, for example). The fireworks
are made in tiny buildings, widely spaced, to avoid chain-reaction fires,
etc. She got samples of both miso and fireworks. Ellen mentioned
at one point she was interested in flower arranging, and there was much
"networking" trying to find someone to work with her. Late in the evening,
Ellen got a call from Ms. Takahashi, a "resource person" contacted by one
of the ladies on the tour. They arranged a get-together to talk about flower
arranging. Talk about attentive!
|Saturday, April 5, 1997 -- TV
for weather -- that chess drama wonít go away! Fog in AM, but warmer. Ellen
cleaned some clothes, and about noon, we walked in the rain to the subway
at Motoyama, and managed successfully a train change, and arrival at Kokusai
Center station under the Nagoya International Center. Went to the third
floor information center, watched a little CNN, and talked with the attendants
there. Nice people; gave us info on the subway and Nagoya in general, and
an English-language phone book for Eastern Japan. Might come in handy.
Picked up a copy of "Avenues" magazine, an English-language magazine for
the area. They recommended an Italian restaurant at the city center (Sakae
station), so we emerged from underground after another subway ride, still
in rain, and found the restaurant. Turned out to be another Granpiattoís
like the one near home; they were "booked solid" although we suspected
it might be our very casual dress... Noted that the Phantom of the Opera
is playing downtown.
|Went back to the underground plaza which turns
out to be extensive. Had dinner at an informal restaurant; chicken, rice,
salad and corn for 950 yen each. Not too bad, although the chicken was
deep fried. Found a bakery and got samples of several kinds of bread and
rolls. Then a small ice cream cone (200 yen -- and it was small!)
and back to the subway and Motoyama. Still drizzling for the walk back
home. Discovered many items outside our door; a note from Yuko said "Herbs
from our garden -- I will be glad if you like them." Actually there were
some herbs, but also some loaves of bread (and a bread knife!) and
a liter of Chivas Regal Scotch! Pretty nice herbs! Ellen will send a thank-you.
|Scanned some photos and put them on John Beukersí
File Transfer computer site in Florida and messaged Sharon and John that
they were there.
|Got a few pieces of junk mail; Iíll try to
decode using my Japanese software -- got to get that program up and running
|Sunday, April 6, 1997 -- Rain
AGAIN! TV map says may clear off Monday; it figures -- same as home. Ellen
set up a Quicken account for expenses here. I figured out the TV, discovering
English alternate -sound channels on many of the programs. Now we should
be able to get some news; CNN has a program on each day in English. The
rolls from yesterdayís bakery visit are excellent!
|The laptop has forgotten it has a CD-ROM --
all the drivers, etc., are there, but the D: designation has been lost
somehow. Iíll e-mail experts at Ohio to see what to do... Kevin! Help!
Set up the new dial-up high-speed (38KB) process Takechi suggested, and
it works much better than the old manual process for dialing in to Chubu.
Full automatic script, etc. Iíll try to go back and get the old one working
also, since itís on a private line.
|Bath before going out to Jusco for general
shopping. Stores open Sunday here, many closed on Monday. Tiny tub (Iíll
get a picture) in a room which looks like the bathroom in a railroad car!
Sort of one-piece installation. It works; comfortable for reading, soaking...
They must love their hot water here -- giant tank and a lot of controls.
Maybe they heat only at night, like the newer tanks in the US?
|Out to Jusco department store in PM. On the
way, noted katakana characters for "Karaoke" q-5_e
were easy to translate. Probably not too useful, with
my singing voice! We noted prices on nice kimonos at Jusco were about 190000
yen, or about $1800. Picked up groceries and a few apartment items. Actually
figured out some of the Katakana and Kanji characters for the food! Seaweed,
horseradish, giant white dai-kon radish, lots of greens, some seafood,
and more bread; a little Sapporo beer. Store was really crowded; guidebook
was right that kids are uncontrolled in such places -- everywhere at once!
Prices on some items seem high, but in general, vegetables are reasonable.
If you want to eat a lot of beef, watch out for high prices. Ellen made
a crab/shrimp salad; GREAT -- everything super-fresh. Accompanied by a
bit of Suntory Japanese blended whisky, which was put in the apartment
for us when we moved in. All in all, feeling pretty good.
|Monday, April 7, 1997 -- Up
to showers and then clearing. Beautiful rainbow -- a double, but the main
bow had at least four visible spectra. Looked like a tunnel! First time
for that, and Iím sure film canít do it justice. Weíll walk tonight --
time just slipped away this morning. Drove to Chubu alone, for the first
time; uneventful trip. Some cherry blossoms, mostly in Moriyama Ku (ward),
north of the main city of Nagoya, are still pretty, but the rain trashed
most of them downtown. Itís said the Samurai adopted the cherry blossoms
as a symbol of their lives, which were often cut short... the car is a
Toyota Crown Royal Saloon; pretty nice. I have seen what seems like thousands
of Toyota models, from tiny city-cars to big land rovers and vans and big
trucks. Many of the fancier, limousine-type models are never seen in the
US, I think.
|Worked on getting first lecture text done
|Lunch with Dr. Yasubayashi and Mr. Murase.
Soba and avi tempura (shrimp). Remembered to thank Murase
for his wifeís kindness to Ellen on the tour last Friday. He said he would
pass the word along to her. Asked Murase about the Tomei Expressway as
a way to work. He said itís fast, but expensive (something like 900 yen
per day). I asked about taking it to Tokyo, and he said itís about 6000
yen. The shinkansen (bullet train) is 20000 yen per person for a
round trip to Tokyo; much faster than driving.
|Mr. Murase said he was now doing some marketing
and recruiting, and was interested in Ohio Universityís literature on the
Russ College of ENT. I said I would e-mail Dean Wray and get some
materials on Fritz Russí accomplishments.
|Went to the bookstore and purchased a variety
of office items on my visiting professor account. Fortunately, Shawn Morris
and others from the English Language Training program were there, and they
helped get me through the check-out counter.
|Yuko called mid afternoon; went to her office
and signed the lease agreement for the apartment. She helped me with the
sign outside my office door, which has Japanese characters for "out to
lunch, lecture, library, out, in, etc..." and a pointer to tell others
where you are. Got a few copies made and a fax sent at the International
office. She gave me a paper with the visiting professor account and my
name on it in Japanese, to help the ladies in the bookstore.
|Also we subscribed to the Japan Times in English
($40 per month) and Yuko checked on a local laundry for us. She will call
Ellen tomorrow with the details.
|Dr. Yasubayashi came to the office late afternoon,
and asked if I could review an abstract for a technical paper written by
faculty members at Chubu. They would like editing for better English. I
agreed. It is "Discrimination of Individual Using Orthogonal Transformed
Face Images," by Yasunori Nagasaka, Atsunori Yoshikawa and Nobuo Suzumura.
|We talked about the faculty party Wednesday
night, and I said I would take the train in Wednesday morning and work
late, going to the party with the group from Chubu, then taking the train
home. He seemed happy that I had eliminated the car from the process. "...now
|Home and walked with Ellen to Motoyama and
then east to International Halle2 area for flowers, and back to Motoyama
proper for groceries. Back to apartment; stir fry. Weather colder, but
dry this evening. Stars for the first time in several days.
|Tuesday, April 8, 1997 -- Beautiful
morning! Walk at 7:00, to work at 8:45. Bad traffic slowed up by construction
today; drive took almost an hour. They must want to do a lot while the
sun shines! I keep noticing the air here, which seems thick and
a little dirty compared to Ohio. Big-city living, I guess, but it seems
cars here spit out a lot of smoke; I see pedestrians with masks. I may
be spoiled by all the small-town living in Athens; maybe weíll miss that
in California also -- hard to tell now, although Santa Barbara seems more
green and clean, partly because of the sea breeze, Iíll bet.
|Japan Times first issue came; first story
I read was about a brawl Sunday night in Athens, Ohio! Later, got e-mail
from Bob McCleary on that (he saw it on CNN). Messaged Bill Estep at OU
for press release info.
|Completed review of the technical paper on
image processing for Dr. Yasubayashi and friends. Interesting method for
transforming and normalizing images of human faces, for recognition --
rates in the 90% range are reported. All changes were just to improve English
-- articles, word choice, etc.
|E-mail to Dean Wray for Mr. Muraseís question
|Lunch with Dr. Yasubayashi and author Nagasaka;
gave him the mark-up of his abstract. Itís for a conference in Singapore;
he hopes itís accepted. Spaghetti for lunch; also found out about kamaboko,
the slices of fish meat that are in the soba. Ellen wants to get
some for cooking. Wrote out the katakana/hiragana for it, so we can try
to find it. qh)t or
q h ) t
|Met Fujiko Oguriís father by chance -- he
is retired as a professor at Chubu. He said she will visit for a week in
|Late departure -- went to International Office
to get some materials containing the OU cupola picture (NOTE: President
Yamada prefers to call this a Rotunda -- really a better name the way it
is installed at Chubu; a smaller version of the Ford Rotunda at Greenfield
Village) as a Chubu symbol. Charlie and Claire Ping expressed interest
in this. Iíll put a photo on the FTP site. Also got a bus pass for the
Chubu bus, to use tomorrow, and talked with Yuko about the laundry, with
which Ellen had communication problems this morning.
|BAD traffic -- I have now driven in a Japan
rush hour, and itís sloooow.
|Ellen had a visit from the Welcome Wagon lady,
Jerry Richmond; apparently a good time. She brought much material on Japan
and the local area, wrapped in a nice fabric Furoshiki (Weíll use
as a table cover?). Ellen made salad; really fresh veggies.
|Wednesday, April 9, 1997 -- Early
walk south on Yamate-dori - thereís an English-language restaurant there,
between CI Mansion and the Yagoto area. Also, found our last name ( ri-ri-ee
.... ==_ ) on the
front of a building! Will have to work out the first word; hope its something
reputable! Ms. Keiko Ozeki from the Engineering College office says in
Japanese the name means "flower."
|Walked to Motoyama and took subway west by
way of Kakuozan, Ikeshita, and Imaike to Chikusa; changed to Japan Rail
train north to Ozone, Shin-Moriyama, Kachigawa, and off at Kasugai. Then
the Chubu University bus to campus. Easy ride, and about the same time
it would take to drive. 460 yen.
|Salad and rice for lunch. Always carry a handkerchief!
There are paper napkins, sometimes, but tiny!
|Sinks, but no towels in the restroom. Guess
you wash up at the sink in the office; at least thereís a towel, but I
think itís probably related to the tea rather than the hands..
|Engineering faculty meeting was specifically
for introduction of new teaching staff. Dean Watanabe introduced me as
Lilley sensei (teacher) and I gave a very brief outline of the lectures
on avionics to come. Coffee served, by the College staff workers, all ladies,
in their blue career uniforms. Seemed to be good camaraderie in the entire
group. Mr. Matsubara, Assistant in the Deanís office (Ozekiís boss) spoke
briefly to close the meeting..
|Afternoon e-mail and lecture work.
|Evening went to the Miyake Tei Japanese restaurant
with the faculty of EE department by Chubu bus. A lovely spot on the south
bank of the river separating Nagoya and Kasugai. Walk down stone steps
to pagoda-like building with a pool out front. Dr. Fujimura (power systems)
pointed out a carp in the pool and said, "Thatís dinner." Hard to know
whether heís joking... Shoes off at the door, into private dining room
on reed mats, rice-paper sliding doors, "...just like in the movies...."
|Room was set with about 15 small tables, one
for each, about 8 inches high, set in a square, with a pillow set at each
table so we sat facing inward, crosslegged. Dr. Fujimura gave a brief toast
to "good food and good fortune," followed by a loud "kam pai!" from
the whole group. Each table was set with a box of Japanese "appetizers;"
|kani - a small river crab just plain
so; cooked in salt water; I thought it was a decoration until I saw Yasubayashi
pick his up with chopsticks and crunch it up. I could sense a variety of
eyes on this American gaijin as I did the same. Delicious!
|escargot - yes, I know thatís not the
Japanese name for it -- I forgot the word, but a snailís a snail; I like
escargot, so this was no problem. Again, delight from some of the non-
believers in the crowd.
|tofu - a cube of this bean curd about
the size of a postage stamp, in its own little dish about the same size,
with a tiny maple leaf (which you also eat)
|squid - two small arms, with a little wasabe
(horseradish). I could not really tell whether they were cooked or
not. Maybe steamed a little. Tasty, however.
|rice - wrapped with an egg pancake "blanket,"
and tied like a package with a sprout of something. Again, you eat the
|Thereís also a tiny dish of a mysterious dipping
sauce on the side... I used it for the squid.
|By this time, the two serving people were
crawling around in the center of the square, distributing large bottles
of Kirin beer and bottles of sake to everyone. Now, thereís a custom
that one does not ever fill oneís own glass; someone else must do it. Also,
when beer or sake is offered by someone else, you must present your glass
or thimble-cup with both hands, and must take a drink before putting the
glass back down on the table. There followed, then, quite inevitably, an
orgy of glass-filling and sipping (on my part) or chugging (by a few others).
Being sort of the guest of honor, it seemed there was always someone sitting
in front of my table offering me one drink or the other. As the evening
wore on, the offering became ever more insistent, and the result after
the sip an even more exuberant hand-shaking and exclamation. I managed
to avoid getting smashed, but itís hard under the circumstances.
|This is where the conversation really got
going. I was sitting with Dr. Matsui (department chairman) and Yasubayashi
(my interpreter and guide) and got into a variety of subjects, mostly instigated
by Dr. Matsui:
|He is writing a paper (or at least hopes to
finish it while I am here, and asked about a review. I agreed, and we joked
about conference papers seemingly being due in the distant future, but
somehow always needing to be written the day before the submittal date..
|He mentioned a Japanese "old town" (Meiji
Village) which is nearby. Something like Greenfield Village in Dearborn,
MI; he has been there since I have! Since the Tanakas and we are going
to that area this weekend, weíll ask them about it. This got us into some
words on the difference between Ido and Edo (I wondered if the town represented
the old Yedo period in Japanese history, but I mispronounced it Eedo instead
of Eddo, which then comes out Ido and represents a water spring with a
pool in front.)
|By this time, we had been joined by Dr. Goto,
an Assistant Professor, who also plays the Japanese drum (we saw one of
these played in Las Vegas a while back -- big drum, and LOUD). He and the
others were all fascinated by my being a pilot, and this got an uncomfortable
exchange going about whether I was a military pilot. No, of course. "...but
what do you know about WW II or Desert Storm? All Japanese were not angry
at the US in WW II, after all..." I was content to plead that I was three
years old when the war ended and not to admit that I had read ANY history
at all. It seemed safer.
|Goto wants me to visit one of his laboratories
(heís the lab guy; experimentalist). The way he was acting, even this early
in the party, I wonder if heíll remember the invitation. Somehow, I bet
he will; I believe these people looked a little drunk partly because they
had relaxed the usual formalities and were just having a lot of fun. (It
was genuinely fun for me also, even though Iíll admit to a bit of
nervousness with all new people and customs.)
|The subject which might come back to haunt
me is that when Yasubayashi asked what I do with my spare time, I said
I sometimes go home and play the piano just to relax. Well, he and Matsui
ran a mile with that! It seems that President Yamada recently bought for
the school a Bosendorfer Grand piano and now I think Yasubayashi thinks
we need to have a concert! I tried and tried to describe a "piano bar"
for him, more suited to my music these days, but I donít think the concept
is in the vocabulary. My fears were somewhat heightened when he showed
up on Friday with a girl from the music program (chorus) who has access
to the accompanist piano they use; I can use this for practice, apparently...
So...dinner music on a big ĎDorfer?!
|Somewhere along the line, the servers had
upped the ante on the dipping sauce with some more goodies -- it was now
cloudy and ready for use dipping the Japanese pickles (theyíll pickle anything
here; these looked like sliced squash, but I wouldnít bet on it).
|Next food course was sumashi soup,
with some tofu in it as I remember, served with a cherry blossom floating
in it. Since cherry blossoms are important in this culture (remember the
Samurai story?), I avoided eating it, until someone said that it was meant
to be eaten. Down it went.
|More beer and sake.
|Then a rice cake, mochi, this time
colored pink, by cherry blossom "stuff" poured over it. Then the big one:
sashimi (thatís right, raw) carp. Now, by this time, the servers
had put even more ingredients in that dipping sauce, and it was thick,
with onions and other green and brown things, and, we think, some shredded
daikon (radish), floating in it. All fixed up for the sashimi,
which, it turns out, was delicious!
|More beer and sake. I could tell by
this time that the group was somewhat interested that this crazy American
had eaten all of everything that was served. Maybe thatís unusual. I knew
I was being watched, and was determined to "go native" at least for one
evening. So they brought sayori, a river fish, salty, wrapped around
a rice roll, and then rice soup, which is (surprise!) rice topped with
zenmari, ("new spring") a vegetable that grows curled up like a
watchspring but which otherwise looks green-onion-like. It is chopped into
lengths of an inch or two and then pickled. You pour tea over this rice,
which then is no longer sticky and is a real bear to eat with chopsticks.
Only possible way is to drink the tea first, and scoop the rice out, Chinese-style,
with the bowl held up to your face. Then, it works something like the old
glasses of Coke with crushed ice in the bottom. If youíre unlucky, youíve
got a face-full and have to recover gracefully...? Voice of experience.
|And, the whole meal is then topped off with
a nice piece of watermelon (with a spoon!). Turns out melon is very expensive
here, and to serve it at home is a sign of high regard for your guests.
What a meal!
|After even more beer and sake, shoes
on, and back out to the pool, where, the old carp is still swimming; probably
too tough to serve... Back to the bus and most of us to the train at Kozoji
JR station (to avoid driving with all that beer and sake).
A lot of noise on the bus; mainly from one faculty member that Yasubayashi
says always has a little too much sake. In general I think many
acted more drunk than they really were, just having fun. Certainly sobered
up quickly at mealís end. Rode most of the way with Drs. Fujimura, Yasubayashi
and Ido (former chairman of the EE department; semiconductor person). At
Chikusa, picked up the subway to Motoyama, and the walk home on Yamate-dori.
|Thursday, April 10 -- Up
6:30 and walk -- new route south and then west; stopped at a temple north
and west of Yagoto (name?) where there was a pagoda in front with a giant
cylindrical gong -- horizontally suspended log to strike it. Beautiful
construction. Interesting new construction going on -- concrete foundation,
but plates were at least 5"x5" timbers, bolted to the concrete, but also
intricately dovetailed together. Slots for vertical posts already cut.
Construction materials included mortise-and-tenon jointed curved wood beams
maybe 10x10" and lots of other unique items. It will be interesting to
watch this go up. On the way out, ran into two older Japanese gentlemen
who had visited the temple to meditate. We thought they were asking where
we were staying, but now I think they thought we were lost. We had a disjointed
conversation about the location of Yamate-dori, also involving a motorist
who happened by, and decided that the street was "up ahead." We were not
actually lost, but it was an interesting encounter.
|Also noticed the azalea flowers and other
gardenia-like hedge flowers ready to bloom. This place is going to be lovely
in another week or so. This weekend we are to go to see "late-blooming
cherry trees" (weeping cherry?) with the Tanakas; also a pottery festival.
Traffic lights are very slow compared to ours. Long walk cycles. "Squawkers"
at pedestrian crosswalks sound like birds, when itís time to walk. Helps
the blind people. Ellen says the ones downtown have a countdown that shows
how long before "walk" or "donít walk."
|Lunch with Tomo Tanaka and Dr. Yasubayashi
-- Tomo told me our friend former Ohio University president Claude Sowle
was the Ohio signer of the agreement with Chubu. I e-mailed current president
Bob Glidden to get a comment on Sowleís death, announced just after we
left Athens, for use in the Founderís Day ceremony here. The program has
outlived both Kohei Miura and Claude Sowle. A sad distinction to be the
first visiting professor without original sponsors, but the current generation
carries the program well.
|Mr. Nagasaka came to the office with a gift,
for my efforts in reviewing his paper. Turned out to be a box of thin food
wafers -- shrimp, corn, broccoli, crab. Delicious. Said he would likely
write a final paper in May, and I offered to read it also.
|Filled up the car with gas, another communication
fear... Turns out the phrase is "mantan ni shite, kudasai" (maantaan
nish-tay, koodasii) which in my phrasebook is written partly in Chinese
Kanji characters not available on this computer. The Esso station attendant
near the apartment smiled at my pronunciation, but understood. He spoke
some English also, so we chatted a bit about why I am here. Expensive --
95 yen per liter for regular.
|Ellen had a busy day at the Sakae district
in central Nagoya, shopping and looking. Cleaning (laundry) person came,
and took sheets for laundry -- we assume he understood... Weíll know if
the sheets come back on Monday. Dinner at Rootstone Hotel on Yamate-dori;
Italian restaurant with excellent spaghetti with shrimp and with tomato
sauce. German (Holsten) beer, from Hamburg. Saved a label for Dave Diggle
-- Japanese characters for beer (bieru -- &_[
) on label.
|Chaplinís "Modern Times" with Japanese subtitles
|Friday, April 11 -- Walked
to Koshogi temple at Yagoto -- extensive setup, a little more "commercialized"
than most we have seen (a flea market there sometimes?) "picnic tables"
more like a park than a church. Large Buddhist cemetery, many pagoda-style
buildings, paths through woods. All this right in the center of the city,
but quiet and enjoyable. This temple is our location for emergency drinking
water in case of an earthquake, we have been told. (A sign outside said
in Kanji that the site had something to do with Nagoya City; may be a park
as well as a temple.
|Revisited the building with our name on it
-- appears to be a beauty salon. Wrote down the words and took a picture.
The sign says &._v2_
==_ or "bi-yuu-teiee ri-ri-ee" , or
"...li-li-ee" (thereís no distinction between L and R, really; the
Japanese pronounce it as something in between). I guess the sign comes
out something like "beauty flower". OK... guess it could have been a lot
|Ellen put some stale bread on the back porch
railing just to get rid of it; I bet itís not a good idea to feed the birds
here -- too many pigeons... however, thereís the bread, and the "clacker"
machine right below it. so the bread invites the birds, then the "clacker"
makes noise and waves around what look like nylon wire-ties at odd intervals,
trying to scare them away. Actually, the clacker does not seem to work,
anyway, as the birds were here when we arrived, and so was the machine.
However, the bread still remains. Maybe Japanese pigeons donít like bread.
|Temperature about 55 degrees; typical cool
morning. It will get to about 68 in the afternoon. Nice this week, with
no rain. Easy drive to work, about 9:00. Maybe the extra 1/2 hour delay
really works. Drive-time radio at 82.5 FM is a Russian program of classics
and standards, even some jazz; lot of music, little talk. 76.5 seems OK
in the evening; sometimes the other station gets a little wordy. Helps
pass the time. What do all these people talk about on cell phones while
driving? And how do they ever stay out of trouble in all the rush-hour
|Visited the Ohio University Cutler Hall cupola
replica (rotunda) installed in the center of campus here. Got a picture;
former Ohio president Charlie Ping said he wanted one. In front of the
Miura Memorial Library.
|Had "ra-me-n" -_lm
for lunch; This is probably "Lo-Mein" to us...
Anyway itís good. Small pork slices, corn and bamboo over thin noodles,
in broth. Great; a bear with chopsticks, but great.
|We visited the lecture hall I will use; I
noted on the walk through the classroom building that the construction
(decor) is a sort of early Bell Helicopter; high ceilings with all the
pipes and conduit showing, everything in shades of factory gray. Typical
professor office seems to be just piled high as can be with books, equipment.
Iíll have to get a picture of Dr. Yasubayashi at his desk (I assume thereís
a desk under there?) before I leave! In contrast to the hallways and most
offices, the lecture hall is nicely paneled and superbly equipped, much
like Ohio Universityís OAI electronic classroom. Full video (live and tape),
with remote control audience and speaker cameras, "back room" full of TV
production equipment. Two overheads, chalkboard, seats 180.
|Yasubayashi came to the office afterward,
and we hammered on the office air conditioner a little. It stopped working
yesterday. After decoding the buttons (I left a map for later visitors),
we decided that the overall building heat had been turned off, so the A/C
can only blow fresh air when it tries to heat. Sounds a little like Stocker
Center at Ohio -- the overall system dictates what can be done locally..
Anyway, he has asked the building people to take a look.
|We marked up a few alternate driving routes
on the map; Iíd like to avoid the construction after the slow trip yesterday.
Also found the Fruit Park (for tomorrowís trip with the Tanakas) and the
restaurant where we had the party last Wednesday. Also, we mentally went
back over the menu for the party, so I could fill in some blanks in Wednesdayís
|Ellen sent a birthday card to friend Hope
Mills in Athens - I translated the Japanese characters on it, and sent
an e-mail. April 11 is the big day. Card said "o-me-de-to-u go-zai-ma-su"
or "congratulations." The second word gozaimasu makes it polite,
like the difference between saying "thanks" and "thank you very much."
|Really tried to work on the lectures today,
but was distracted by events in Athens; much e-mail. Went home on the "bank
road" suggested one time by Dr. Yasubayashi. That is an experience! Narrow
road, totally unprotected by guard rails, on the levee next to the river,
on the Kasugai (North) side. No turns, no traffic lights, however, just
a series of near-misses. Joins the main north-south road I have been using
just south of the worst of the guideway-bus system construction. Unfortunately
itís still north of the railroad crossing, which seems always to
be congested. Next week Iíll try the rest of this "short cut."
|Pieced together dinner -- ate the last of
the crab salad Ellen bought -- this version had uncooked scallops in it,
which werenít bad at all. An English muffin. Polished off one of the Canadian
Club miniatures we had left over from the flight. Actually found some Canada
Dry Ginger Ale here -- easier to find than in Athens, I think!
|The dollar keeps climbing with respect to
the yen. Think weíll cash the rest of the travelersí checks next week if
it stays healthy. Suppose itíll drop by late June? Weíll make a killing
on the return!
|Saturday, April 12 -- Called
Tanakas as we agreed, and they set up to meet in the Chubu University parking
lot. Got there a little early, so visited the Ohio University cupola/rotunda
with Ellen and dropped by the office to check e-mail. Then met Tanakas
for the drive to the Togokusan Fruit Park, a little east of Kasugai. Rice
paddies among the houses in Kasugai city. Nice 20-minute drive among mountains
and deep river gorge. The Fruit Park is located within Shin-rin park (Shin
= forest; note the Shin-Moriyama station on the Chuo Line -- same word,
but it means "new" in this latter context...)
|Park was very crowded already in mid-morning
-- these cherry blossoms are really a draw! Had some fresh grapefruit juice
(later at the market, we saw that the citrus came from Fort Pierce, FL...)
and viewed Japanese gardens there; lots of rocks and water, and the ever-present
cherry trees; these are the weeping variety, with later blossoms. Apple,
peach, Japanese plum, also in various stages of blooming. Very pretty,
but not really restful, due to the crowds. Must have been hundreds of photographers
looking for the perfect blossom, or taking family pictures. Parking a mess
among narrow streets and small lots. Tomo and Sumiko expert at all this,
of course, and good guides. An open market was part of the Park, with all
kind of fruit and vegetables; Ellen picked up some items. Chestnuts roasting
with some honey, with a great aroma. The Park is set in rural area, with
beautiful mountains nearby, undeveloped, with a wild mixture of evergreen,
spring-green and flowering trees. A fruit display (plastic models) was
impressive with the size and variety of fruits (grown at the park?).
|Just a random observation -- Many people here
wear gauze/cotton masks, apparently against the fumes and pollution. Saw
one man with his mask rolled up above his mouth so he could smoke!
|Traveled on to a 300-400-year old pottery
kiln at Chinokura, near Tajimi, in an area (the Mino area) noted for its
pottery. Passed large quarries where the clay and sand have been mined
for centuries. Bordered by wild azalea, just now blooming. Bought a set
of soup/rice bowls and some nice tea cups (the Japanese kind, without handles).
Seems everybody has a museum, and this one was impressive indeed. Mino
pottery from the 15th century, and Persian pottery from 200 AD (much of
this small, rough models of people and animals). Coins, jewelry from as
far back as Alexander the Great in 300 BC. The old blue and white pottery/china
which Delft later made world-famous -- must have come from the Far East
originally. Japanese artists also made use of the Persian designs frequently.
This kiln was supported by the work of Takuo Kato, a rather famous pottery
designer, I am told. Got a picture of one of his pieces, a plate painted
with his own gold glaze discovery, and again, a Persian theme; minarets
in woods. In the picture, thereís a large moth hiding behind the plate...
|Talked a little with Tanaka about the periods
of such art and knowledge, and how we seem to keep forgetting what we know
and then having to rediscover it. I wonder if weíre setting ourselves (or
our descendants) up for another Dark Ages by storing a lot of what we know
on paper, magnetic tape and other media much more fragile than the durable
stone and clay of past ages.
|Noted a sort of gargoyle on the roof in two
places, and got a picture of one. Later found they are a pair or guardians
with a long legend and specific characteristics. I should have photographed
|All day, Sumiko Tanaka and Ellen were talking
recipes, ingredients for Japanese dishes, and classes in nutrition, herbs
and healing (April 27 in Nagoya), flower arranging (April 23) and paper
craft (May 14 and 28(?) in Kasugai); Sumiko showed us later a torn-rice-paper
picture she had made, and we agreed Ellen should give it a try. A unique
|Lunch in the area, at Kisoji restaurant. Nice
Japanese room (with well under the table so we could sit low, without having
to cross legs). Japanese meal reminiscent of the party last Wednesday.
Rice, miso soup with tofu and seaweed, tempura shrimp (one large
tempura shrimp is typical here, not 21 shrimp-in-a- basket!), sweet potato
and eggplant; daikon radish, sashimi tuna and flounder (Ellen
ordered the alternative shredded beef, but tried the tuna and liked it),
bamboo shoots with squid and wasabe. And for dessert, agar
for which read "Jello," Itís sweet, but not sugary, and may well be made
from seaweed. Very tasty.
|We talked a little about a later trip to Tokyo;
when Dr. Tanaka learned that Ellenís Shaklee US is owned by Yamanouchi
in Tokyo, he remarked that this is a respected old, well-founded company.
|Also, Tanaka introduced the "Nafco" 6it
(na-fu-ko) store (sort of all-purpose Target-type
place). They are apparently everywhere; Ellen and Sumiko got ice cream
there later, for our next eating experience at Tanakasí house.
|Then off to Seto, the marketplace for the
regionís pottery. Even the bridges across the local river are decorated
with pottery tile and statues. Each one different. A department store there
had much variety, but the smaller shops were the stars! Ellen found a bowl
perfect for the Japanese flower arrangements, some chopstick rests, and
we made mental notes about future gifts, etc. Trouble is shipping and possible
|Saw several versions of the pair of guardian
lions (or dogs?), one with mouth open, one closed." These will have to
be our souvenirs. Tanaka agreed to tell us the legend. Ellen will return
to Seto later to see other renditions of these critters. Weíll probably
stage this during a trip to Chubu University, but also one can reach Seto
on the Chuo Line to Ozone and changing to the Seto Line.
|To the Tanakasí house in Kasugai where the
vegetable purchases got sorted out, recipes continued, and we had her excellent
apple pie with ice cream, tea, and then Japanese green tea. Sumiko lent
Ellen a (Fanny Farmer!) cookbook, since it turned out we had nothing here
we could read; Ellen was afraid sheíd forgotten basic recipes! Then back
to Chubu University to pick up our car. Very heavy traffic on the ride
home using the normal route from Kasugai, but avoided the "bank road" since
it was growing dark.
|In the evening Dr. Yasubayashi called and
offered a trip northwest to Tarumi, in Gifu prefecture, tomorrow to see
additional cherry blossoms, etc. at Usuzumi Zakura. We agreed immediately.
|Sunday, April 13 -- We
walked to Motoyama this morning, to meet Dr. Yasubayashi. He had maps of
the area we were to visit. Subway to Nagoya Station. A very large and busy
place; the subway, Japan Rail, shopping mall, taxi stand, etc. looked more
like an airport than a train station. The US is missing a bet here, not
upgrading its rail network. Dr. Yasubayashi insisted on buying the rail
tickets; interesting that the JR representative at the window printed the
tickets using a PC, after figuring up the fare on an abacus! No kidding!
|JR electric, fast, roomy train through Gifu
city to the town of Ogaki (means "fence"), where we changed to a two-car
diesel train reminiscent of the "sprinters" serving John Beukersí town
of Longborough in rural England. Are Japanese trains running on a narrower
gauge than US? Seems tracks are smaller-gauge, smaller rail size in general.
Running past pagodas rising above the nondescript suburban scene consisting
of many similar one and two story houses, all with tile-looking roofs,
with upturned "snow-brakes" to keep the heavy snows from cascading down
on passers-by. In places, twenty parallel rails, all shiny!
|On the train to Tarumi, seats were all taken,
and so we stood for the one-hour trip; "straphangers." Was not so bad when
we boarded, but before the train started, two other trains unloaded more
people, and more people, etc., and there was no stopping them -- the car
just got more and more full! Iíve heard stories about "pushers" getting
the last few people on the trains. I couldnít move and could not see, but
I bet they were at work!
|Whatever the guidebooks say, politeness seems
to be a ritual, but not a habit on trains or stations, at least. Weíve
never experienced such pushing, shoving and general chaos relative to personal
space! We really thought some children would be suffocated. At one point,
Bob looked down and behind, to see a small pair of eyes looking up from
about the level of our waists. This small child did not need to hold on;
she was completely wedged; we tried to open up a little space for her to
see, or breathe, but it closed up again as soon as it was detected by other
|Through towns with names like Hinata, Tanigumaguchi,
Nabora, Takao, Midori, to Tarumi. Past rice paddies ready for planting
in the next few weeks, fruit trees trained on wires or grids, making a
thin canopy, often covered with blossoms (particularly pear trees this
time of year), a large orchard jammed in among small farms, apparently
associated with individual houses. We were right under the PA system loud(!)
speaker, and it just rattled us repeatedly, as the motorman called out
stations, and told those on the platforms waiting to get on, "DO not board!!
-- Train is full!! We thanked him for that. Along the way, the terrain
transitioned from the Nobi plain to steep mountains, seen first as "layers"
of hazy images, color and detail decreasing with distance; almost like
layers of stage scenery. Then an upward climb and weíre into curves and
bridges and tunnels and deep gorges and vertical slopes and generally impressive
|Arrived Tarumi station not much the worse
for the trip; a festival atmosphere in a small mountain town (Usuzumi Zakura)
really sandwiched in. Most people seemed to come by rail or bus. Town was
at one end of a railroad tunnel, with about 1/2 mile of exposed track and
then another tunnel. Within sight of snow-capped peaks to the north, (took
a picture with peach -- not cherry! -- tree in the foreground) a crystal-clear
river running through the town and a long climb to the plateau where the
oldest cherry tree in Japan grows (or exists; itís indeed very old (1500
years) and looks a bit worn. Pictures will show many poles holding limbs
up against snow weight each winter, partly-hollow trunk.
|We got "Japanese pizza," more like a fajita
to us, but with egg included inside a folded-over "pancake" with veggies
and a little pork. Excellent; we were hungry after the trip and the climb.
Three cans Kirin beer for 1500 yen ($3.00 plus each; I guess thatís no
worse than eating at the county fair or the airport...).
|Sat on the grass to eat, with about ten thousand
other visitors. No loud noises, but a noticeable murmur as thousands of
conversations took place at once. Looked at both a shrine (Shinto) and
a temple (Buddhist) which are on the side of the mountain overlooking the
plateau; large cedar forest around both. Looked as if a cut had been made
hundreds of feet up to the top of the mountain, to let the sun reach the
shrine for a short time each day(?). A LOT of work!
|Checked out the rest of the stalls set up
for the festival; everything from flowers to live fish (looked as if you
could choose your lunch!) to octopus (Ellen and I tried it, and the critter
was not bad, if a little chewy, but the ball of breading, or whatever it
was cooked in, was not too appetizing) to rice candy and chikin
on a stick (the most recognizable thing there, I think). All in all a riot
of sights, sounds and aromas, and a blue million people, all with the goal
of seeing this 1500-year old tree before all the blossoms fall off. If
that tree ever dies, the whole valley will just dry up and blow away, I
think. Reminds one a little of Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, Tennessee...
|Then back to the train station, where the
longest line I have ever seen waited for the train back toward Nagoya.
Fortunately, when the train arrived, it had six or seven cars, and so the
whole line jammed into it. We went only one stop back (just through the
last tunnel, really) to Midori station (actually shortened from Mizu-dori
(water place). This village, Neo Mura, was the site of a major earthquake
(the Nobi quake) in 1891, where the entire valley floor rose about 6 meters
and shifted horizontally about 3 meters, all in a few seconds. Many people
died in this Neo Valley area. The edge of the fault (Neo Danso)
is still easily visible, and there is a museum where a vertical cut was
taken through the fault. Graphic demonstration of the earthquake effect.
Vertical shear, much sharper than seen on the surface due to covering by
surface dirt and stones. Got some good pictures here.
|On the way to the museum, Dr. Yasubayashi
led us down a false path which ended in a steep drop; had to backtrack
to a bridge into the building. It turned out that the steep drop was the
earthquake fault itself, where the ground had risen some 18 feet on the
|At the earthquake museum -- 1500 yen for the
three of us -- I did manage to pay for thiseven though Dr. Yasubayashi
wanted to. Very interesting display about this Nobi earthquake in photos,
charts, displays of seismographs and tilt-meters, films and videos; even
a simulation with high-power loudspeakers, vibrating floor and a lot of
noise. This part of Japan is pressed on three sides by tectonic movement,
and in 1891 just "hooved" a little by geologic standards. Pretty devastating
for the people there, though, according to the pictures.
|Yasubayashi and I talked a bit about using
differential GPS satellite measurements to detect small earth movements
which may indicate that the fault sides are free to move, rather than stuck
and apt to break loose catastrophically. He pointed out a graphic showing
a big "hole" in the reports of mini-quake epicenters, in the ocean off
the south coast of Japan, extending up into Honshu east of Nagoya. This
is considered the most dangerous area now, because nothing is "slipping"
at all, apparently. I will include some words about such measurements in
my GPS lecture later.
|I thought on the way back, that we must be
seeing some parts of Japan that Americans donít usually experience. Saw
NO European-looking people at all, the entire trip. Maybe itís not the
|I did see a couple of what looked to be oil
drilling rigs in the mountains. Dr. Tanaka had said on Saturday that 1%(?)
of the oil used in Japan is from local sources, all the rest must be imported.
A major discovery would be important.
|Caught the next train for the return trip
down through the mountain valley and back to the plains and Nagoya. This
train was more of an express, but the entire trip back to Motoyama still
took nearly two hours. Dr. Yasubayashi was surprised to see that Gifu Castle,
on a hill over the city, was visible. Visibility seems always to be limited
here in haze. After picking up an ice-cream cone at Motoyama grocery store,
walked home. Very tired!
|Monday, April 14 -- Up
a little later than usual, to walk about 7:00 in the sun. Found the temple
where the pagoda was under construction, and much progress had been made.
Took pictures. Very clean work site -- weíll have to show Dave and Hope,
who are building a place in Athens! Does C. I. Mansion mean Chubu Institute?
Iíll ask Yuko today if Chubu owns the building. Saw a man walking along
with a burning cigarette in each hand! Much more smoking here than in the
States, mainly by younger students and yuppie-businessmen; very little
by women. Fewer rules -- buildings smell like smoke, often. Had not realized
such a difference due to US laws. Flowers are much in evidence now; some
we cannot recognize. School children everywhere at about 7:45; construction
|We got mail which we cannot read. Again Yuko
will have to rescue us! (Turned out to be two advertisement flyers for
discount rice, and a flyer for the Nagoya election, coming up April 20.)
These signs are all over the place, but we just now know what they are
about. The only "important" mail was a confirming letter from the bank,
saying my account was open and the passbook sent. I already had it.
|Took the short cut and the bank road to work
-- probably knocked 15-20 minutes off the trip.
|Yuko came to the office to talk about a tour
to Kyoto and Nara -- weíll go May 8-9-10 on the shinkansen - bullet
train. Also talked to her for instructions on getting film processed through
the bookstore, and to decode some mail for us. Also how to say "no starch"
to the laundry! Sheets came back like plywood!
|She also disabused me of the notion that C.I.
Mansion Yamate had anything to do with Chubu Institute. Apparently, they
just rent this one apartment and then sub-let it using their own contract
form. Therefore her father, President Yamada looks like the "owner" on
my contract. She said she would get us a map to the bakery where we can
get the dark bread, and would pass along a message from former visiting
professor Dr. Joe Essmanís Ms. Imai in the Intíl office.
|Soba for lunch. Dr. Yasubayashi nowhere in
sight this morning; maybe he was more tired than we were after yesterdayís
outing! Ozeki came to the office with a nice rubber stamp with my Japanese
name on it. Said she heard I was interested in the writing. Picked up a
more complete Japanese-English dictionary at the bookstore at Chubu.
|Again today noted a C-130 or two doing repeated
approaches to Nagoya Airport. They must have a pretty good fuel budget
-- I see them day after day. Home by short-cut and bank road. Easier drive
for the 4:30 starting time, than the road with the construction. Maybe
this short-cut is a habit now. Ellen made fried rice.
|Tuesday, April 15 -- Cloudy,
about 55 degrees -- walked through Nagoya University campus; noted this
group seems to build more than maintain; older buildings really show it.
Sort of dirty stucco or concrete exterior. Newer buildings are tile-covered,
but some still the old method; wonder how long theyíll look nice. Chubu
University is much better kept on the average. Almost like a garden, by
comparison. On the hill which forms the eastern part of campus are research
centers; radio-astronomy dishes, etc. Nice woods with few buildings, something
like the outskirts of the FAA Technical Center in Atlantic City.
|Flowers in bloom everywhere now (many are
azaleas and very pretty), and trees coming into leaf. Rain called for on
Thursday, but looks possible anytime now.
|Made the observation today that most of this
city is not really "pretty" but rather cluttered with signs and wires.
Not dirty, per se, but jumbled. Japanese people seem to travel (long
distances and uncomfortably) to go to the country to see trees and really
|The pigeons were back at the apartment this
morning, still not eating the bread, and obviously not afraid of the "clacker"...sitting
on it while itís clacking!
|Ellen came to Chubu with me this morning,
and we worked with Yuko to plan the tour to Kyoto and Nara for May 6-9.
This tour is "part of the visiting professor budget" according to Yuko.
Shinkansen to Kyoto for a one-day guided tour and a day on our own,
and then a day self-planned in Nara. More later! Yuko again read the mail
we had received, and pronounced it all "junk mail." We donít know the difference,
generally, but donít want to throw away anything important.
|We took the "bank road" shortcut, and I think
Ellen feels it shortens oneís life rather than shortening the trip. Steep
drop-offs on both sides frighten her. This road is really informal (of
course, the Japanese just park wherever the mood strikes them -- on city
streets, corners, just anywhere. On the bank road, youíll see cars parked
on both sides, bikes carrying people, dogs, loads of farm harvest; people
walking dogs, people sitting on the edge of the pavement just looking or
smoking or talking on cell-phones, or all three at once. Itís a genuine
education in making-do. You wait for some people, and barge ahead of others,
and everyone else does the same, and somehow it all works out and we all
survive. Itís really kind of fun.
|The C-130 is at it again this morning.
|Dr. Yasubayashi came to the office and I gave
him an Avionics tie for his excellent introduction to driving, road signs,
maps, some of the language, and for spending a lot of time just being friendly
and helpful. He was genuinely surprised. I was worried for a moment that
he might not accept, and wondered if I had done something wrong. Maybe
surprised at a gift for "doing his job?" So hard to tell...
|Then Ellen and I drove to Seto (Route 155
the whole way until reaching the river at Seto, then left turn and forever
along the river to the pottery district) for a follow-up shopping session
in this pottery city. We had lunch in a hole-in-the-wall place serving
yakki soba (buckwheat noodles) with a little pork, cabbage and fresh
ginger. Not in soup this time. Cooked by a real Japanese "chef" (we would
say "short-order cook) in the front window of this tiny shop, with some
flourish (not really like US "Japanese steakhouses;" all functional plus
a little flair. He was having a good time watching a very loud TV all the
while). Supplies were apparently stored on the sidewalk in a wicker cart
-- high-piled boxes of cabbage and noodle stock -- cooked about 1/2 peck
at a time. Wonderful aromas. His wife(?) served and handled the money,
and was all smiles; seemed pleased that we enjoyed the meal, and that we
knew it was soba. Obviously their specialty. Restaurant people here
seem very positive and friendly, if a little non-plussed at times with
our poor-to-none use of the language. Green tea of course.
|Back to the office, but through Owaribashi
and Route 15 to avoid traffic on 155, to clean up e-mail and continue work
on the lecture.
|To Seto to pick up Ellen in late PM. A bunch
of students, all dressed alike in gray blazers and on bikes, overtook me
on the hill down from campus; looked like a flock of pigeons, all veering
this way and that, like a fluid, and all ignoring my car. One of them actually
ran into the rear of a car down the hill; no damage.. C-130 still doing
touch and go landings... Took route 155 and after one wrong turn, found
Ellen where we agreed. Then Route 363 to Nagoya, bypassing Kasugai; to
Route 59 south to Higashiyama-dori and west to Motoyama and home. Easy
trip. we find that even though we cannot read the Kanji characters, we
can match up the signs near the traffic lights with the characters on the
detail map from Dr. Yasubayashi. Those maps show every traffic light. Salad
|Wednesday, April 16 -- Up
for a cold walk -- Spring is a little late! Actually, the flowers donít
think so; every day is prettier. Walked through Nagoya University west
side today. The incinerators are going again -- little burners at the street,
in front of many buildings. Smelly and smoky.
|Lecture work in morning. Asked Sharon, my
secretary in Athens, to send over the Internet a few more files with pictures
for first lecture. Campus tour with Dr. Yasubayashi in afternoon. Miura
Memorial Library -- facility for color copies and transparencies. Very
nice setup there, with much space to expand. Ohio University Commemorative
collection prominent. Director Dr. Matsubayashi gave me a borrowerís card,
and his colleague Ms. Tomako Minoshima also offered to help. Both have
been to Ohio University. Tomoko mentioned that Dr. Gary Hunt and his wife
from OU Library are to come to Japan later this year. Iíll e-mail him [did
this 4/18]. She also knows Susan Gilfert, and gave me her e-mail address.
|We went to the fitness building; swimming
pool, aerobics facilities, gym; treadmills, rowing, weight machines. We
can use these. Then down to the chorus room, where the upright (nice new
Yamaha) piano is. Later met the Chorus pianist, who is interested in comparing
notes. He plays a little George Winston, etc.
|Visited the assembly hall, presently in use
as a music rehearsal hall for the band. This is one of the rooms I may
use depending upon audience size and schedule. No facilities, but they
can be brought in.
|Then to Building 22 where another lecture
hall is located -- 315 seats here, and again full video and audio systems.
This building is part of the Management and Information Sciences school,
and we saw the computer center also. Several student labs; some 2000 computers
on campus (for 6000 students!). Large network; much storage and communications
hardware, a lot of it for dealing with Kanji language documents. Mr. Mizushima
(water+island) is the leader there. Only person I have met not wearing
a suit -- informal baseball-type jacket plus tie. Visited several computer-lab
rooms; one in use for instruction. (One student in the back of the room
was embarrassed that we "caught" her playing the ubiquitous Windows Solitaire
game! (Canít fool me; thatís not a screen saver!)
|We ran into Prof. Matsui and Dr. Yasubayashi
set up a meeting with him and Drs. Ido and Yasubayashi, and me after lunch
tomorrow my office. Weíll talk about lecture schedules.
|Ellen spent much of the day with the International
Ladies (Mrs. Murase).
|Back to the office for more lecture work.
Home and to Jusco with Ellen for food shopping. (Japanese shopping carts
generally seem to work better than ours -- Wheels are actually round. Ellen
got a bum caster on one, though, just as I was jotting this down. Always
an adventure! Weíre getting better, though.. Evening spent on printing
and downloading lecture materials posted by Sharon and by John Beukers
on the FTP site.
|Thursday, April 17 -- Up
later than usual, walking about 7:00. Sunny. To Toganji temple for pictures
of their wonderful Buddha statue, etc. Then to Motoyama and out north past
neat shops, which calls for more looking when they are open. Subway construction
continues; digging side and center trenches, putting down pilings with
long auger and then a gridwork of steel. Road "tiles" then, and traffic
restored while workers dig out underneath. Takes a long time. It will be
interesting to watch as the car tunnel and the subway cross each other.
|To work; the gardens along the bank road are
really working now -- all kinds of vegetables, everything very green.
|Dr. Yasubayashi came to the office in the
morning and we discussed the upcoming freshmen orientation, which takes
place in the mountains northeast of Nagoya, at Chubuís off-campus facility
there. An overnight, with an afternoon of orientation meetings and the
next morning a casual Saturday, with softball, etc. Dormitory rooms, Japanese
bath. Also, the meeting on my lecture schedule was put off until Monday,
and Dr. Matsubara (Deanís office staff) was added. He decoded some coupons
we got at the store; one a prize (Disneyland Tokyo tickets, a trip to Singapore...)
and from a Seto baker, some coupons which work like Green Stamps. Once
you collect enough of them (one for each 200 yen) you can redeem for merchandise,
or a prize of some kind. Also, we are invited to a Japanese Noh play with
the Suzukis, through Dr. Yasubayashi. This is (Dr. Tanaka tells me) the
purest, most classical form of Japanese theater, out of which grew a comic
form and also the Kabuki theater. Noh is very abstract; the stage and musical
instruments are very plain, and the movements and words (very slow) which
are significant. Tanaka says you need some coaching to know what is going
on; even many Japanese are not familiar with this form.
|We went to the bookstore, and ordered the
two cookbooks Ellen wants, and picked up the prints from our first two
rolls of film. Came out well. Expensive..? About $40 for 2 prints each,
1 36-exposure and 1 20-exposure roll (30 yen per print).Yasubayashi said
if we use Fuji film, price drops to about 18 yen per print.
|We looked at the prints over lunch; Prof.
Fujimura joined us; he will go also to the freshman orientation next week;
as many as 80 people may be there.
|Put five more pictures on the FTP site for
review elsewhere -- these were scenes out of the apartment windows. Scanned
some of the pictures from the processed film, and those go to the FTP next.
|Picked up a gibt_m
H7- -eb12d so-fu-to ko-n pa-ni-ra ra-ku-to
a-i-su ("soft-cone, vanilla, rocket-ice");
tall mound of frozen custard - Dairy Queen-type in a sugar cone, packaged
in a matched-shape cup with a clear plastic cover over the ice cream. Label
said 10% of something, and 8% of something else; if thatís like home, it
means 82% of something like "inert ingredients," but it tasted good..
|Dr. Tanaka came with some pictures from our
trip to the Fruit Park, and I exchanged some of ours with him. We had some
excellent photos of him with his wife, and he liked these. Yuko gave me
the itinerary for the Kyoto/Nara trip early in May.
|Pair of C-130s at it again -- this time right
over the building; Ďround and Ďround.
|Home and to "Hello Kid" for dinner -- a Japanese
simulation of an American steakhouse, across the street from the apartment.
More or less American atmosphere; ceiling fans, Bogie posters, knives,
forks, spoons -- like that. I tried to read some of the menu items, and
got as far as the word for "Texas," which did not help much on the appetite.
Pictures on the menu helped, but we still got a bigger meal than we expected.
Steak was good but not great (sort of like Sizzler, but better taste),
plus potato, carrot, onions all sizzling on the platter, plus miso soup,
a salad and a bowl of rice (I said "more or less"...), and iced tea/coke.
Counter to stories about solid gold beef in Japan, the whole dinner came
to about $18.00.
|Japanese toothpicks are single-ended, with
the blunt end nicely turned, as on a lathe... Also, I noted at this restaurant
and generalized to our overall experience here, that everything is about
4/5 size. Itís a little like being at Disneyland, where they downsize everything
to make the kids feel bigger. Here itís for real. Kitchen counters, dining-room
chairs, beds, end tables, door frames -- everything is lower!
|Dr. Tanaka called late, with an invitation
from a Japanese hi-tech corporation (Daifuku) to visit their showroom and
factory near Kyoto. They will send a car. We will make more plans next
|Mr. Murase called, asking some information
about Ohio University for a talk he needs to give. I tried to help, and
will get some information from home. Heís particularly interested in rankings
of US universities. (Russ naming info came April 18; requested rankings
from Deanís office.)
|Got a picture of Ellenís first all-by-herself
Japanese Moribana flower arrangement; using minimal number of flower
stems, and a very simple bowl, itís really nice! Three points (shin, soa,
and tai) are the keys to this work, apparently. I printed the picture so
she can show the instructor.
|Friday, April 18 -- Up
for a walk, shortened due to thunderstorm and rain. Nice day later, though.
Noted on the way to work a neat machine, like a back-hoe but with a "nibbler"
on the end of the arm, designed to separate concrete from reinforcing rods
when tearing down a structure. Just pick up the tangled mess of rods, and
nibble away at the concrete balls on Ďem. Makes nice "gravel" plus steel-only
pile of re-bar, presumably for recycling. Looked like a big T. Rex dinosaur
|Yuko says there is a coin laundry near us,
and they have tumble dryers! This will be much better than the air-closet
type dryer we have; clothes come out pretty crisp by comparison. She will
find the address. That will help; delivery-laundry is expensive. Bakery
with dark bread -- I have this on the map now, at least approximately.
It is a Bruders Bakery (German) -- no wonder they have dark bread! It's
a good hike from Yagoto... You find it by knowing there's a convenience
store on the corner (we don't know the name...) and that it is north and
east of the Nagoya City Museum (which might be interesting on its own..).
|Shabu-Shabu food (like a beef fondue, but
with water, not oil) -- At Yagoto, there is a Kisoji restaurant, like the
one where we ate with Tanakas last weekend near Tajimi). She is checking
the address. We can use our 500-yen coupons there. Itís important to note
that shabu-shabu can involve tearing the head off a live shrimp, pulling
him out of his shell and putting him in the boiling water. Muscle reflexes
can cause this to be disconcerting (we saw this on TV, not in the real...).
Anyone squeamish might want to be sure they order a beef meal, which is
the traditional shabu-shabu dish anyway; thereís no way to put a live cow
into that bowl of boiling water, as far as we know. It should be safe.
|One of the books ordered for Ellen yesterday
("A Guide to Food Buying in Japan") came in. Looks helpful. Dr. Yasubayashi
brought some pictures from our trip to Tarumi (Usuzumi Zakura) and Midori
(Noe Mura) last weekend. Very nice. Hhe also brought a flyer from Japan
Travel Bureau showing that a trip to Hong Kong costs more than our ticket
from the US to Japan!
|A Chubu worker came with a small space heater;
I had mentioned that my room heater/air conditioner was not heating and
thought it was broken. Turns out they control the heat and cold sources
centrally, and itís now spring, so heat goes off! Actually, itís still
really chilly in here in the mornings!
|Received e-mail from Gary Hunt, OU libraries
-- He and wife Pat arrive here May 30 for a week. Weíll have to plan something
over that weekend with them.
|Apparently our Kyoto/Nara trip is during Japanís
"Golden Week" when many people take holiday. Hope itís not too crowded!
(Actually itís at the end of Golden Week)
|Ellen was out hunting for the Nittaiji temple,
near Motoyama, when I got home. We looked on the detailed map and think
we found it; maybe better luck next time. Flea market is there.
|Saturday, April 19 -- Walked
to Motoyama and then west to Tenma-dori and then north a block or two to
the Nittaiji Temple. This is a 1904 complex, built in the ancient style,
but obviously very modern and well-kept. There is a flea market here next
week that Ellen wants to experience. Temple is the resting place for the
ashes of Buddha, brought to Japan as a gift by the King of Thai. Impressive
buildings and central courtyard, but not much in the way of woods or water
|"Our" television tower still is visible in
the distance -- a good landmark almost everywhere we go!
|On the way back toward Motoyama, stopped at
the Suemori Castle site (castle was built in 1548 but was only used for
ten years, due to war losses by its owner). Now a Shinto shrine; many torii
gates, other religious symbols. Much woods but still not much water. Many
plant types and birds. A very tall cupola on one building, which seems
to be the residence. Walkways past the greenhouses and shops; a man in
white cleaning the long set of front steps with a broom of twigs.
|Picked up a few groceries at Matsu Zakaya
store at Motoyama subway station; back to apartment.
|Then by #85 bus to the Bruderís bakery, past
Yagoto on Yamate-dori to Mizuho-dori (the street on which is the Nagoya
City Museum). Just past this intersection on Yamate dori is the bakery;
one of the few places where dark bread is available, and that only on Saturdays!
Walked part way back, past lines of pink and white dogwood trees, all in
bloom. Many small shops and stores; mat-makers, glass shops, convenience
stores. Back to the bus and home.
|We were picked up, separately, to go to President
Yamadaís house at 5:00 PM for dinner. The President came for Ellen a bit
early, so there would be time for dressing her in the kimono for the occasion.
Then Dr. Tanaka arrived, in a taxi (from his home in Kasugai, evidently;
there was close to $75 on the meter when he arrived!). We had driven just
across the street from CI Mansion when Tanaka spotted Mr. Sasaki there,
and a long, animated conversation ensued. Soon Dean of Engineering Watanabe
joined this group on the sidewalk, while the taxi driver and I wondered
what was to happen. Then everyone piled into the taxi and with the driver
indicating he was not familiar with Nagoya, only Kasugai, we set out. After
a short time, it was becoming clear to me that there was much discussion
in the cab about where we were going, but that no one was really sure.
We literally spiraled in on the target, taking nearly an hour to get there
on roads big and small, all just about within sight of "our" television
tower over by the apartment! When we arrived, I guessed that the Presidentís
residence was maybe 2 km from our apartment, a little south of Nitaiji
Temple. What I thought would be a late arrival seemed to have no effect
on the festivities; shoes off at the door, welcomes all around (President
Yamada, Dr. Tanaka, Dr. Watanabe, Mr. Sasaki and others and I talked for
a while, and I gave the President the DC-3 picture we had framed for him.
Much appreciated if the thanks and conversation about such aircraft are
any indication. President Yamada asked about some of the University buildings
in the picture, and obviously remembered his visit to Ohio.
|Then Ellen was escorted in wearing the kimono,
to applause and compliments from everyone. "Radiant" sounds hokey, but
thatís the word that came to mind. I was moved. She said this clothing
included specific socks, undergarments, wraps, bindings, etc., and that
it might even help her back stop hurting! In any case it was beautiful.
Yuko then appeared, wearing a bright kimono and looking every inch the
classical Japanese woman. She assisted throughout the meal, and even took
some pictures of the group with my camera. Pres. Yamada and his camera
seemed to be everywhere at once, and he and the others seemed to be having
a wonderful time. I know we were, and Mr. Sasaki always is cheerful!
|The location was the Presidentís house; front
portion was ceremonial, official, with a beautiful Japanese garden on two
sides; lots of windows. Sitting room and tea room. An altar at one side
with picture of Kohei Miura, the Presidentís father and founder of Chubu
University. Hot charcoal pit in the floor with large iron tea kettle cooking.
The tea ceremony was performed by the Presidentís wife, assisted by Yuko.
Dr. Tanaka interpreted the elements of the ceremony for us. All kneel.
Paper napkins are passed. A plate of sweets is passed. Very deliberate
and slow movements, using specific utensils for washing each bowl with
hot water and then preparing, one bowl at a time, a thick green tea and
presenting to each guest in turn with a deep bow. Guest drinks, admires
the bowl (which is all local pottery, and each one different), wipes the
rim with fingers and returns the bowl to the host with the side forward
that was used for drinking. The truly formal tea ceremony is somewhat longer
and has more steps, but this was interesting and enjoyable.
|Then in to dinner, which was somewhere between
impressive and amazing from start to finish. A small dining room, but with
a vaulted ceiling with chandelier; all the furniture seemed to be lacquered
and polished to a glass finish, and set with lacquer trays and one of the
multi-layer serving "towers" (jubako). Pres. Yamada remembered our
first meal at which Ellen had ordered a Riesling and I a Scotch, and he
had a bottle of each, both excellent. Add to this beer and sake,
and itís quite a mix -- potentially dangerous, maybe even explosive.
|Must have been ten courses; sushi, sashimi,
fish, shrimp, squid, rice, soup, pickles, and seemingly hundreds of other
goodies. Fortunately, portions here are typically small. Then a long pause
and another round starting with asparagus wrapped in thinly-sliced beef,
...... After dinner, a choice of Sylviaís-type cheesecake or pear desserts
plus tea of course.
|President Yamada is a fan of Beethoven, especially
the 7th symphony, also my favorite. A good chat about music. He says weíll
have to return to Japan in two years, when the 7th will be played in honor
of the 60th year of Chubuís founding.
|More conversation after dinner, and a presentation
of beautiful roses (an odd number, said to be a more auspicious number...)
to Ellen, and a beautiful black lacquerware bowl to us; shoes on (Sasaki
and Tanaka mixed up shoes, amid much checking at cabside, and much teasing.)
|Sunday, April 20 -- We
both slept in a while this morning; up to walk at about 8:00. Then a long
walk past Yagoto to see a restaurant recommended to Ellen by Mrs. Murase
(how can we think of food?).
|Dr. Yasubayashi picked us up at 12:00 and
drove to Nagoya Castle for the Kyogen (an outgrowth of Noh; the comic portion)
plays, where we met Azumi and Shinji Suzuki (he is an attorney in Nagoya,
and she is a para-legal in his office, and also a busy English teacher
in various schools in the city). They have just now opened this new office,
after Shinji spent several years working for a large law firm. A little
nervous about it, but the clients seem to be there.
|The Kyogen play was much like seeing opera;
we did not understand the language, but the costumes and movements were
interesting indeed. One segment, a prayer for peace and good harvest, turned
out to be rather repetitive, almost a ritual or chant, and it about put
us into a trance! Azumi agreed that it caused her to doze off. Everyone
here says the Noh or Kyogen plays are difficult even for the Japanese to
understand -- old-time language, etc. Maybe like us reading Chaucer in
Middle English? The other two episodes were more like situation comedy,
one about the misadventures of a drunkard and the other about an employee
who gets even with an unfair boss once he finds out he can control a horse
with "magic" words, causing riding trouble for his boss.
|"We now know what part of Noh we donít understand."
|Afterward, a visit to the Suzukisí office
and conversation about all kinds of things. Azumi is proud of her own Japanese
cooking, and invited us to their apartment. As she invited Ellen to do
some shopping with her, she also told a story about shopping once when
"angry" with Shinji, going off to spend 100,000 yen before "feeling better!"
Weíd better be sure Ellenís in a good mood before they go out.
|Then off to a restaurant recommended by Azumi
(best I can do with the Japanese characters there was "ha-ge-chi".
Yasubayachi said, after we joked during the conversation about my thinning
hair, that the restaurantís name is also the word for "skin-head" which,
here, is a polite term for baldness. Oh, well... Anyway, a Japanese tempura
meal; 13 kinds of it! Fish, shrimp, eggplant, scallops, tofu, onion-like
things, and the usual miso soup and rice and salad. Kirin beer and
tea finished it off along with kiwi and tempura banana -- excellent!
The "Kirin," by the way, is a dragon. Neat glasses are used in restaurants
-- small glasses, probably appropriate for all that pouring and sipping!
All that for about US $19.00 apiece. Yasubayashi had parked in one of the
"double-deck (even triple) garages here, where a machine operates like
the puzzles with one piece missing; shuffles the car racks around until
the one needed appears at the lower level.
|Back to the apartment and early sleep -- A
very busy weekend.
|Monday, April 21 -- To
work a little early -- got to finish Lecture 1but keep getting distracted
by other interesting subjects! Mr. Murase came by the office to pick up
Ohio University materials and ask for some help on English brochures he
is preparing. We went over the list of courses, some of which were named
in "different" ways from typical English descriptions.
|Critical e-mail and then to work on the lecture.
Got it about 2/3 done before the afternoon meeting with Dr. Yasubayashi,
Mr. Sasaki, Professors Matsui and Ido, and Mr. Matsubara from the Deanís
office. We set lecture dates for May 21, June 4 and June 18, all in Room
521 (the well-equipped lecture room), from 1:30 to 3:00. Dr. Matsui said
I might as well fill the time, because typically, Japanese audiences are
shy in the question/answer mode.
|Mr. Sasaki will work on paper translations
with me, and it appears he will also do the actual translation at the lecture.
I am to make notes on the narration for the video tape, and weíll show
the tape in English with translation verbally from the notes.
|I am to provide one-paragraph abstracts to
Mr. Sasaki, for use in announcements on and off campus. Also the typescript
goes to him.
|Sasaki and I discussed possible plant tours
-- He suggests Mitsubishi, and I said I would also seek information from
Ohio on Japan Radio Corp., to see where it is. They made MLS receivers
some time back, and may still be in the avionics business. Dr. Matsui has
a friend at Mitsubishi who works in helicopter navigation. I expressed
interest also in Dr. Fujimuraís work on high-voltage insulators; thereís
a museum near the airport. Maybe we can go there and then pick up Karen
when she lands on June 6...
|Sasaki also mentioned that he and his wife
would like to spend some time with us during May when his schedule clears
up a little. He mentioned a tour of the Toyota automobile plant in the
city of Toyota, and maybe a trip to the seashore, etc.
|Back to work on the lecture. Knowing the probable
difficulties with translation better now, itís hard work choosing words
and phrases that are unambiguous when converted to Japanese. Sasaki will
|Home -- Ellen went to Nittaiji temple flea
market today; a lot of different foods for sale, and more like a sidewalk
sale than a flea market in the US. No second-hand or garage-sale type things.
Good prices, though.
|Dr. Yasubayashi invited us to a recital by
chorus and musical groups at Chubu tomorrow, followed by dinner.
|Tuesday, April 22 -- Ellen
and I rode to Chubu by subway, train and bus without incident in AM, to
do errands, work in office and attend the recital and party tonight.
|Lunch with Mr. Murase, after going over the
Architecture curriculum in English with him. In PM, Yuko came with more
material on the Kyoto and Nara trip, and a map to the Kisoji restaurant
at Yagoto (home of shabu-shabu eating). We gave her a potted flower
to take to her mother and grandmother in thanks for the dinner and for
flowers previously put in the apartment. Took a roll of film to the bookstore
and bought film and tape, amid much approximate Japanese and English. Letters
to Chubu post office, with same kind of communication. Took the abstracts
for the lectures to Mr. Sasaki.
|Later PM, Dr. Yasubayashi and we went to the
Freshmenís Recital, an entertaining mix of vocal and instrumental music
by freshman students. Some excellent voice numbers from opera, and two
clarinetists were very good. One vocalist sang also a more popular tune,
sounding a little like DeGaetano singing some of the lesser-known Stephen
|Yasubayashi is an advisor to this group; introduced
the recital, introduced Ellen and me as guests. We also met a Mr. Aichi,
another advisor, from the architecture school. Karen may want to meet him.
After, a bus trip to the Eitaro restaurant in Kasugai for a traditional
Japanese meal. Squid again, in a different form, and very good. Miso soup
was some of the best weíve had. Must have been 40 people in the large Japanese-room
for the meal. Shoes off, sit on floor, low tables, beer, much noise and
fun. Several students spoke a little English, and came to sit by us and
fill our beer glasses! The procedure is to offer the glass with both hands,
get it filled, then take at least a sip before putting it down. If you
take a big sip, someone else will just come over and ask to fill it up
again... Met one freshman student from England (Windsor), here studying
Japanese, eventually wanting to join the Foreign Service.
|Japan Rail Chuo line and subway back to Motoyama
and walk home. Another tired evening!
|Wednesday April 23 -- Ellen
feeling a cold coming on, but up for walk at 7:00. AM - e-mail and lecture
work; lunch with Dr. Yasubayashi in the student cafeteria -- Pizza today!
More vegetables and less cheese than in the US. He helped me decode some
junk mail, and the electricity bills for the apartment. Three separate
bills: one for lights, one for the night-only water heater, and one for
high-capacity daytime stuff; probably the heat pumps (small heaters/air
conditioners, built in, but separate for each room).
|Actually beginning to get the hang of the
Katakana words -- since many of these are English "borrowed" by the Japanese,
once you get the character sounds sorted out, the words start to come easier,
but phonetic pronunciation can be tricky. "Vanilla" can come out "Panirra"
and so one has to deal in context a little. Then thereís "Bentman" sidewalk
sushi (readable in katakana, but not really understandable; later we learned
that itís not Bentman at all but Bentoman, meaning "lunch-box man."). Itís
fun, though, and something to do while stuck in traffic. I carry a mini-phrasebook,
which has the Katakana table in it, and try to read as many signs as possible
before the light changes. It works.
|The big thing is, you have to stay on your
toes as you learn. Itís easy to get a little proud of yourself, and then
get brought up completely short by the simplest communication requirement
(like, "Do you want miso or soy as the broth in your soba?"
at the Chubu restaurant). I had eaten this dish several times without such
a challenge, but it was clear no soup was forthcoming this time until we
worked it out. Thanks to Dr. Yasubayashi, I remembered the word soyu
as my choice this time, but the real problem was that the choices got
lost in the torrent of Japanese words in the cookís question. I did not
even know how to ask her to speak more slowly.
|Mr. Takechi came with some printouts of the
color pictures sent from the US on the network. Look OK at 720 dpi; weíll
try some transparencies. --- time passes --- They looked good also; I think
|More writing in PM; home with a fill-up and
car wash at Esso down the street; wash, wax, vacuum, clean windows inside
and out, for about 1700 yen. Fuel more like 5000 (sort of like $50.00),
so the wash seems cheap. By the way, these Esso guys speak some English
and are VERY helpful. I am sure they snicker a little at my attempts at
Japanese, but, hey, we got the gas and the wash we needed...
|Ellen is indeed suffering -- cough and head
cold from the sound of it. Very windy in the evening. The noise makes you
feel cold even if not so cold outside. The building makes lots of noise,
as if there are big air leaks in all the windows. Must be hard to keep
warm in the winter; wonder about hot days to come, and air conditioning?
At least the electricity is paid in the basic rent! Just had 1/2 grapefruit
and an English muffin for dinner.
|Thursday, April 24 -- No
walk this morning -- Ellen feeling a little under the weather -- not much
sleep due to cold and cough. The nice sunny day should help. Wind has died
down a little.
|To work -- photographer took pictures for
announcements, etc.; went to see Yuko to get details on shabu-shabu
dinner and submit registration forms for the US Consulate (finally!) so
they know weíre here in case of emergency (people donít talk about it much,
but that means earthquake -- so far, so good). Turned in another roll of
film at the bookstore. Turns out that using Fuji processing, even of Kodak
film, is a LOT less expensive. Can be 30 yen for each Kodak print, 18 yen
|Yuko gave us a nice box of French baked goods
-- this gift-giving stuff can escalate forever! The goodies and the friendship
should make Ellen feel a little better. Also a small French candy piece,
individually wrapped with a tiny desiccant inside!
|Yuko also told me about those personal handy-phone
service (PHS) everyone seems to use here. Seems they cost about
$100 plus a basic charge, which is apparently low. They are only usable
in a limited area, unlike regular cell-phones, which are good all over
Japan. Walkers, bicyclists, even grade-school children have the things!
This morning, people on the bank road were driving with one hand, talking
away...That road is hard enough for me when my full attention is on it!
|Lunch with Dr. Yasubayashi and a trip to the
bookstore -- Ellenís second book should be here May 1; film tomorrow and
Monday. We must meet right after lunch tomorrow for the trip for the Freshman
|The building heat is back on -- hard to tell
whether it was broken or they just tried to turn it off for the season
and had second thoughts when it stayed cool... Whatever, itís on again,
and more comfortable.
|Finished Lecture 1 script; now must work up
|Home -- Ellen is much better, and had spent
most of the day with Mrs. Murase and the international ladies at a discussion,
this time on Turkey. Obviously interesting -- Ellen now wants to visit
|Fried eggs for dinner, with forks! Weíre reverting...?
Ellen read Lecture 1 and pronounced it pretty good, with a few corrections.
English teacher forever! Packed for the overnight freshman orientation
|Friday, April 25 -- Up
for a 7:00 walk in the sun. . This time south and east to near the TV tower;
nice neighborhoods, with pretty entryways and Japanese gardens (surprise!).
Well cared-for. Small shrine on the hill behind the apartment building.
|To work; message came that Acting Chairman
Irwin and Dean Wray have decided on a national search to select a new AEC
Director by "mid-summer." Just could not bring themselves to select an
insider without all that trouble, apparently. )-:
|Processed e-mail most of the morning -- Corrected
and reprinted Lecture 1 and sent a fax copy to Dean Wray; he may need this
to describe to a search committee what the Center is all about. Lunch with
Dr. Yasubayashi and a trip to the Bookstore to get film prints. Went to
the Assembly Hall (nice!) where Yasubayashi had obtained permission for
us to see the new Bosendorfer concert grand; actually played a few bars
of Mozart on it! The first non-invited pianist to play it. Even the Chubu
music people donít have access.
|Then to the bus and off with the freshmen
EE students and a few faculty for the freshmen orientation. Large, comfortable
Meitetsu bus. Wall vase behind driver with real flowers. TV and sound system
|About an hour north, first on the expressway
past Tajimi and Toki cities, and off at Mizunami (fossil finds there).
I noted the bus driver paid 2350 yen for about 1/2 hour on the expressway.
Then smaller roads, tunnels, into the mountains; snow-caps visible to the
north in the "false Alps." Yasubayashi and I talked about power distribution
in Japan (very visible most places, with large steel towers and heavy transmission
wires). He said 6600 volts was typical as a distribution voltage; difference
is that the entire system here is insulated; Iíll try to get a picture.
Much trouble taken at each pole to insulate the splices (look like big
Scotchcast epoxy splices). Big stuff is 275KV, much with 4-element conductors,
six of these to a tower.
|Also noted rice paddies in the mountains are
already flooded, planting beginning. Yasubayashi said the government now
controls rice production, to keep the market stable. The high mountain
paddies are flooded first and then the water runs toward the lower paddies.
All this takes a lot of organization; paddies must be ready when the water
is ready... Farmers in straw hats, looking very pastoral at first glance,
but with tractors and Weed-Wackers when observed closely!
|Upon arrival at the Chubu University facility,
we moved into our room, just the two of us in a room with 8 bunk beds;
reed mats on the floor (shoes off obviously, and those darn too-small slippers
on). Yasubayashi got us Nehoki pajamas (the Japanese wrap with a
sash; wild blue print on white); beds are reed mats on platform, pad-type
mattress with sheet, then comforter with contour sheet on bottom. Pillow
hard as a rock -- useless unless you want your ears compressed!
|Communications and sticking to the schedule
is done via public-address announcements over a complex-wide system. Very
loud -- like a summer camp (or a prison?). One could really get tired of
|An opening ceremony was first; speeches and
"rules" from several faculty members, introduction of the staff. Dr. Matsui
introduced me for some remarks, with Dr. Yasubayashi translating: "Welcome
from the 24th Kohei Miura Visiting Professor from Ohio University (the
"good morning" university). As a freshman many years ago at the University
of Illinois, I needed the help of new friends and faculty to be comfortable
with life away from home for the first time. Now, in Japan, I feel like
a student all over again, learning a new alphabet, new words and new customs.
Good luck to all of us as newcomers to Chubu University!"
|This Ena-campus location (near Mt. Ena, in
the mountains) consists of a dorm and dining-hall complex plus gym, athletic
fields, golf course (really a field on a hillside, with greens hard to
distinguish from fairways, but the sound of birds and frogs, which canít
be heard in the city (still mostly crows). Trails through the woods are
nice for hiking; Yasubayashi and I put on about 3 miles in the afternoon
amid pines and some more unfamiliar foliage. Some steep up-and-down spots
|A remarkable fact -- I asked Yasubayashi about
"rat-guard" sorts of units on the guy wires of electricity poles in the
area. He said they are to keep snakes(!) from climbing up to the wires
and shorting out the system! (But the system is insulated...no matter ...
the snakes still cause trouble, apparently.)
|A bath before dinner -- Japanese style, which
is to say sitting on a low bench with water faucets at knee-level in front
of you. Fill a small washbowl and soap up; refill and pour over you --
over and over. Then, a long soak in the hot tub (itís not a bathtub). One
other difference is that this is a community project. Could be a large
group doing this at once.
|Dinner was typical Japanese -- miso soup,
rice, pickles, tofu, green tea. After, discussions with some faculty members;
Matsui said he had quit smoking about 5 years ago; I have an ally, in all
these smoky lounges, etc. Japanese students seem to smoke a LOT. A little
TV news, with commentary by Dr. Yasubayashi. Police are now distributing
information to drivers about use of cell-phones while driving. Causing
accidents -- surprise! He agreed that Japanese people are obsessed with
food, and that TV has more food shows than anything else...!
|After dinner, students split into discussion
groups with a faculty member or two and an upper-class student in each
group. Yasubayashi and I circulated among the groups, answering questions
about America, flying, etc. Very shy students (no surprise), but what was
surprising was the lack of a clear engineering-like goal in almost all
of them. Only one student spoke up and said he would like to work for a
company building electric cars. I offered to get information on the Ohio
University Electric Bobcat for him. Other students said theyíd like to
be firefighters, or things like that. Seems a strange goal for an electrical
engineer...at least it would be in the US?
|Saturday April 26 -- Up
7:00 to the strains of the Chubu song on the too-loud PA system. Almost
sounds military in this setting. Breakfast is rice, a raw egg (first refusal;
had mine boiled); miso soup, and green tea. Some strips of compacted
seaweed, which you put on top of the rice, then press down with open chopsticks,
and then closing, to wrap the seaweed strip around a roll of rice, sushi-fashion.
Not as hard as it sounds. Again, a real rush; I could not finish the rice
in the short time. Everyone else seemed to just melt right through all
that starch, however. Then more PA announcements; Yasubayashi said it was
time for softball. Much organization here; an actual tournament. I got
an honorary at-bat and after an infield grounder was thrown out at first
by 1/2 step. Later, Yasubayashi suffered almost exactly the same fate.
|Students are the same everywhere, I think.
These softball games featured good fun, no arguments, a lot of running
and noisy talk, and apparent bonding. The tournament over, a group photo
(photographer used removable flashbulbs on a bright sunny day...?) and
then lunch. Rice again, but with some fish mixed in, pickles, soup, green
tea, and about 15 minutes start to finish.
|Then a closing ceremony at which juice-drink
prizes were given to the winning softball team and to the staff (sophomore
student workers and Gifu campus staff), with a can also to me (a gift from
Prof. Fujimura, I was told). Staff collected all the film badge covers
|Yasubayashi and I got a little confused on
the schedule and we missed the bus back to Kasugai, amid much apologizing
by him. He saved the situation very efficiently. Called a cab, and we went
to the Chuo (Japan Rail) line at Hakenami station; rode to Kozoji station
and another cab back to Chubu University (Kanjis stand for Chu-Bu-Dai-Guc)
or Central Area Big Learning). Arrived just as the buses were unloading.
Noted during the cab ride the nice lace seat covers they use in cabs and
|Home via bank road. Terrible obstacle course;
people, bikes, kids, entire families camped out on the road watching a
large grass fire across the river. Seemed fairly harmless, really, but
really drew a crowd.
|Traffic still moved, but was harrowing.
|Ellen told of the promised (threatened?) shopping
trip with Azumi Suzuki -- Japanese lunch, Indian dinner, trying on clothes,
avoiding trying on expensive clothes, "girl talk," and generally sounding
like good fun. They finally broke up at 9-something PM, with Azumi still
having a 30-minute bike ride from Sakae (downtown Nagoya) district to her
home, and Ellen on the subway back to Motoyama. She got home 10:30.
|We have made a point of trying almost everything
food-wise here, but Azumi now has invited us to the Suzuki (Azumi and Shinji)
apartment for some "authentic" Japanese-cooked Indian food. She says we
will not like it. Try us! She is a delightful lady. Studied law, but never
really intended to pass the bar exam (very hard in Japan). Now, more interested
in translation than in practicing law.
|Lots of things different here -- a light bulb
burned out Thursday, and we discovered itís got a miniature base and is
much smaller than US designs. Have not discovered where to get a replacement
|To Jusco about dinner time; the $30 melon
lives, and we did not buy it! Got several bakery goodies, replenished the
excellent Suntory blended whisky, and carried it all home on foot. Ellen
feeling better. On the way, went through the "YYY" building; two Chinese
restaurants, and a lot of specialty shops, and a room specifically for
kids to romp in while parents shop... Noisy; everyone having fun.
|Observations: The $5.00 cup of coffee can
be had, but so can cheaper coffee. Beer is regularly something between
$4 and $5 in a bar or restaurant, but about $1.00 in the market. You just
have to be careful. Beef is really expensive, everywhere weíve seen it.
A plate of sliced beef, similar to a shabu-shabu meal, can cost
$30.00 even in the Jusco store.
|"Papillon" on TV; we have not watched much
TV so far, except for a burst during the assault on the Japanese Embassy
in Peru, freeing the hostages after more than 3 months. Much excitement
in Japan over
|Sunday, April 27 -- Up
and a lazy morning. Cloudy but no rain in sight. Finished organizing and
filing the various travel brochures, maps, etc. that were here, and added
some we have collected. That gets the den in much more presentable shape.
Itís been a bit messy since we got here. We collaborated on writing a "primer"
for future visiting professors -- Itís at the beginning of this book..
|After noon, walked to Motoyama and on to Suemori
Castle/shrine site -- missed the flea market -- just a few people cleaning
up. Walked to Higashiyama Koen (Zoo and Botanical Garden) and spent until
4:00 PM strolling among the throng, looking at animals (and people). Nice
park; ride on the monorail gives a nice overview. Sky tower is there, and
we must do that next visit. Even from here, Ďour" TV tower is visible!
Costs 945 yen each to get in, plus 500 yen each for the monorail, but worth
|Birds of paradise displaying, Polar bears
in and out of water; sun bear, not in the sun but waiting for dinner; otters
displayed for a while out of water, for kids; skunk-on-a-leash; keeper
trying to remove a snake from a (warm?) light fixture to display for kids,
and more koala bears than we have seen before -- all pretty much asleep,
but interesting anyway.
|Walked back to Motoyama, thinking about food
-- no meals yet today and itís going on 5 PM! Weíre both a little grouchy
as a result -- need food! Stopped finally at "Pion" Korean barbecue restaurant
in the building just north of CI Mansion; weíve seen it a hundred times,
and finally tried it. Had the sliced garlic beef dinner for two (cook it
yourself over the gas fire built into the table) which includes onion and
squash plus a salad (lot of greens and quite fresh) plus a couple of draft
Suntory beers and split a bowl of rice.. o-cha tea after dinner..
GREAT!! And a really nice waiter to boot. He kept apologizing for the garlic,
and we kept trying to reassure him that we like it a lot. Korean Hatai
gum as an after-dinner treat.
|Well, the Cafe de la Pain bakery is on the
way home from the Pion restaurant, and we stopped to pick up dessert --
wonderful pastries... enough said!
|Are those yellow tiles on the sidewalks at
street crossings Braille? Their linear and bumpy patterns could be for
use by sightless people -- I will ask Dr. Yasubayashi if he knows.
|Monday, April 28 -- Raining
-- no walking today. Used the time to summarize the narration on the ENT
and the GPS Flight Test videotapes, which will be used in lectures. Suzanne
seems to have gotten the e-mail working at her end; several messages today,
and obvious excitement. Weíll try to get her up on FTP so she can look
at the pictures we networked to the Florida site.
|Dr. Yasubayashi gave me information on the
rental car, in case of problems. Phone numbers, etc. He also confirmed
that those yellow tiles on the sidewalk with either linear or bump patterns
are indeed for blind people. In the subway stations for example, they form
long paths for the blind to follow. At street corners, the linear ones
form paths to "wait" strips of the bump-patterns. Then, at busy corners,
the traffic light systems make various bird-like noises when itís time
to walk. Later, we saw a blind person expertly using the system of floor
tiles in the subway. He got along fine.
|Lunch with Dr. Yasubayashi in the student
cafeteria. Spaghetti with tomato sauce, and a little meat -- Noodles cooked
at the moment of serving. Good taste, but pretty "substantial." Picked
up the latest roll of film at the bookstore. Second book is still not in.
|Finished up Lecture 1 writing, inserted references
to viewgraphs, selected photos and drafted charts. Mr. Murase visited and
gave me some bamboo that Ellen needs for cooking. A large shoot about 7
inches long and easily 4 inches in diameter.
|Salad, thank goodness, for dinner! Needed
something light. Talked to Mom and Dad on the phone for a few minutes,
to attone for not having written. They were happy to hear from us. Ellen
talked with Shawna to get caught up on some details of running the house
and the businesses in Athens. She sounds really busy, but under control..
|Tuesday, April 29 -- A
national holiday -- Green Day - For a long time, I could find nothing about
what this day signifies. Is it like May Day? The Japan Times today rescued
me -- Green day is something like Earth Day in America. The Japanese take
time out to worry about their forests, which seem to have been mistreated
over the centuries; after cutting deciduous trees, forests are replanted
with faster growing conifers. Many animals cannot live there because conifers
do not produce nuts. Once the habitat gets this specialized, animals like
bears cannot live; they begin raiding villages for food, and everything
begins to fall apart ecologically. Anyway, they have plenty to think about
on Green Day. The telephone book had even more on it -- It is the celebration
of the late Emperor Showaís birthday, and commemorates his appreciation
|(Note: The telephone book also points out
that just to get a telephone "right" or "authorization" in Japan costs
about $700! This does not include the actual installation or any usage
|Slow morning -- just catching up on typing
this record, working over photos to get some documentation on them so we
donít forget what weíve got...
|Then off by Subway (blue line from Yagoto)
to OsuKannon temple area (thatís Osu, not O. S. U.!), at which Ellen missed
the flea market yesterday due to the rain. Large temple, but kind of commercialized;
extensive shopping arcades to the east, taking up several square blocks.
Lot of incense burning, and a LOT of people milling about here at the beginning
of Golden Week (a week rife with holidays). After looking through hundreds
of small shops, came upon the Banshoji Temple, where there is a fancy mechanical
doll clock. We were just too late for its performance, every two hours.
Weíll have to catch it later.
|Picked up a shopping cart, which will come
in handy later for walking home from Jusco. Bought nothing else today,
though. Shopkeeper where we got the cart was interested in talking, so
I hauled out a bit of Japanese (I am sensai [teacher] at Chu-Bu-Dai-Guc
[Chubu University].) Well, just like the guidebooks say, this prompted
a flood of Japanese from the keeper and her husband(?) which I simply could
not understand. So, as usual, we smiled a lot, and managed to beat a retreat
without obvious embarrassment for the merchants. Must have been a little
confusing for them; hereís a Chubu professor teaching out there in Kasugai,
but with NO Japanese language skills at all!
|Noticed there are virtually NO clothes here
with Japanese characters on them. I had thought to get some sort of monogrammed
clothing (even a sweatshirt!), but everything is Los Angeles motorcycle-gang
chic or Michael Jordan this or that. Also, I have not seen one Japanese
man who I would consider a role model for dress. The high-school-age kids
seem to dote on "sloppy" or "cheap" and the adult professional-type men
just wear black suits, period. Got to look harder, I guess.
|Visited a true Japanese junk-shop, no bigger
than 20x30 feet, but with a million old "things" ranging from pornographic
statues and bas-reliefs to wonderful Japanese lanterns, dragons
and Buddhas. Everything dusty and piled in front and on top... Did not
find the guardian-dog statues I thought might be there, although there
is a tempting pair of jade dogs. Trouble is, they are not the true pair
(one with mouth open, one closed) we want. Maybe there were two pairs,
and these are the only ones left. Nevertheless, very nice.
|Found the Santa Barbara restaurant we saw
advertised, right outside the OsuKannon subway station, exit 2. Unfortunately
it was closed. Next trip. Thursday is fajita night!
|Weíre seeing a lot of those baggy Ďboarder
outfits that Opus the cartoon penguin could wear...but NO skateboards.
Outlawed? Outdated? Whatever...itís just as well. Girls seem to dress rather
nicely; guys just the opposite. Some really weird outfits and hair -- Guess
itís the same in the US, though.
|We continue to be impressed with the entrances,
even to inner-city homes. A tiny space becomes a beautiful Japanese garden,
Zen or otherwise. Weíre getting some pictures, and may try one of these
|Dinner back at Yagoto at Volks Restaurant,
a few blocks south of the apartment. This is a steak house, with salad
bar, some English on the menu and generally good food. Home to finish up
some baked goods for dessert. Lot of walking, and weíre tired.
|Wednesday, April 30 -- Cloudy,
but a short walk to match the short nightís sleep -- we just plain stayed
up too late! Returned and Ellen getting ready for flower arranging class,
so I cleaned off the front balcony (pigeons, remember?) with the hose and
broom. Then dress and off to work; a drop or two of rain during a slow
trip in. Then steady rain most of the day.
|Lunch with Dr. Yasubayashi; he gave information
on the Toastmastersí Club which meets near Komaki City, and has an English-language
meeting this May 25. Also, a piano recital at Chubu May 24, by Ralph Votapek,
a Milwaukee person; Beethoven, Brahams, Debussy, Ravel -- sounds like a
|In a burst of progress, I managed to order
transparency frames and get magic tape at the bookstore and to get copies
and transparencies made at the Deanís office! That pretty well wraps Lecture
1 -- the multi-media blitz has made this one really hard. Simplicity from
here on out! Mr. Sasaki will call tomorrow to set a time to do the translation.
Meanwhile, on to Lecture 2!
|Sent numbers to Mr. Murase on Ohio University
printing brochures for Chubu. He came to the office today to discuss them;
said he could hardly believe how inexpensive it is for printing in the
US compared to Japan. I suggested he contact Felix Gagliano for more details
on how to get this done.
|Home to great dinner of chicken, potatoes,
turnips, snow peas, with chopsticks. Grapefruit for dessert.