Tragedy of 3/11/11 Statistics according to Yomiuri Kodomo Shinbun…

The eighth anniversary of the earthquake of 3/11/11 in Japan is next Monday. This morning (3/7/19)  I received my copy of the Yomiuri Children’s Newspaper. The cover article says Ano Hi Wasurenaide

That means “Don’t forget that day.”

It gives statistics for the tragedy. According to the newspaper, these current statistics are:

shishya/People who Died: 15,897 people

kanrenshi/Other Deaths Related to the Tragedy: 3,701 people

yukuefumeisha/Missing People: 2,533 people

fushyousha/Injured People: 6,157 people

jyuutaku no zenhankai/Destroyed Homes: more than 400,000 homes

shinsui menseki/Area of Flood Damage: 561 square kilometers

Higai Gyosen/Damaged Fishing Vessels: 28,612 ships/boats

news article: Uranium Ore was found at tourist museum in the United States

Snippets from article:

“three buckets full of uranium ore sat in a museum building”

“children on tours sitting next to the buckets for a half-hour.”

Some good news: “Simply being near uranium ore is unlikely to result in an unsafe dose of radiation”

“technicians reportedly dumped the buckets at an old uranium mine 2 miles away, then for some reason brought the buckets back to the building.”

“specially concerned about kids who were potentially exposed to radiation, at levels he calculated to be 1,400 times the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s safe level for children.”

This is the article:

Information about radiation:

Library Volunteer–February 2019

I was instructed to read aloud a picture book to the elementary school sixth, fifth, fourth, and first graders.

This is the book I read for the first graders. I had originally purchased it for the entire school, but upon receiving it, I felt that it was too babyish for the older kids. (I like picture books that feel more grown-up for them.)

I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this easy little book! Or should I say, deceptively easy? We non-equator people are introduced to tropical fruits from the country of Kenya. Few words per page, funny, this is a great ESL book.

I chose the following book for fourth, fifth, and sixth grade.

This book in the above photo has very easy English (for native-speaking kids) but has a much more mature feel than the previous book. Also a great ESL book.

It’s set in Nigeria. A chick is born every day of the week. (Thus, it’s a chance to learn all the days of the week, one by one.) There’s a puzzle at the end of the book. (This puzzle substantially raises the “maturity” factor!)

If each of those little chicks has one baby each, how many chicks will Tobi have in a year?

Gosh, this mathematical equation was HARD for me!!!!!!!!!!!!! My dad has chickens, and they are constantly getting killed by coyotes (yeah, I know it’s sad, but they were extremely happy while they lived. Very free range.) So I kept thinking, well, how can I do this mathematical equation without knowing how many chickens get killed by coyotes, or whatever animal is the equivalent in Nigeria?

However, once I went on the assumption that all the hens (to do the mathematical problem, one has to understand that all the chicks are female) lived to adulthood, I could figure out the answer.

So anyway, these two books are great. I recommend them both.

Happy reading!

It’s March, 2019! Let’s look at Hina Festival Dolls at the Aeon Shopping Center in Fukushima City….

Yesterday I rode my bike to our local Aeon Shopping Center. I asked permission to take photos of the dolls for sale in the store. I was told that normally it is forbidden, but they made an exception for me. (So I DO have permission.)

Hina Festival is March third. In the days leading up to March third, Hina Doll sets are for sale. They can be very expensive. The one above is over a thousand U.S. dollars.

There are different styles, and different artisans who create them. The doll set that a family chooses depends on both what they like and what they can afford.

The above doll set is about 125 dollars, so it’s much more affordable than the set in the first photo. Plus, if a house doesn’t have a lot of space (small homes are common in Japan) this small style can be convenient.

And then ultra-small sets. The one on the far right is only about twenty U.S. dollars. Very affordable. And cute!

You’ll notice that these sets are all Hina sets, and thus follow the same style. There is an emperor (always on your left if you are the viewer) and an empress (always on the right.) These sets are not to be played with, but um, that’s what my mom said about our nativity set and yet Baby Jesus still went on quite a few adventures around the house. So I can’t help but wonder how many high-spirited girls and boys play with these sets when Mama and Papa are not looking?


Plum Blossoms in Hanamiyama Park in Fukushima City

Today it was a sunny late winter day, so I headed to Hanamiyama Park, a sightseeing area for flower lovers.

I rode my bicycle.

I wanted to see the plum blossom trees in the area.

It seems that the plum blossoms in the area of Hanamiyama Park are mostly white. Not as striking as the pinkish ones, in my opinion, but still beautiful.

Pink on the left and white on the right.

White plum blossoms. I really like plum blossoms, because they are the first flowers to bloom after our winter. They seem sturdier than cherry blossoms, and thus last longer.

Plum blossoms much less showy than cherry blossoms. That’s good, in my opinion.  Low-key, understated, not likely to embarrass you in public by talking too loudly.

In case you are wondering, these plum blossom trees (and the cherry blossom) trees are ornamental. One does not eat their fruit.

(Fruit is cultivated from different varieties.)

This is the part of my morning where I loudly announce “Jiminy! I’M PLUM TUCKERED OUT!”

At which point, the plum blossom trees pretend to not know me.




There are people who live in this area.

This yellow flowering tree was in full bloom. I learned that its Japanese name is ロウバイ    roubai   蝋梅.

I checked my dictionary. “Roubai” translates to as either Wintersweet or Japanese Allspice.

A brilliant pink plum blossom tree!

Wintersweet in foreground. Plum blossom in backgound.

This is a home’s absolutely beautiful pruned garden. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

This crow is feisty. And scrappy. And spunky. She should be the protagonist in a middle grade novel.

Notice how the horizon is straight. I did good–huh? huh? huh?

Wintersweet……’re so sweet.

Plum blossoms…’re gorgeous.

A whole lot of lovely.

Video of Melted Down Fuel

Popping in to show a video of the melted down fuel, the same fuel that was just recently reached (finally!) by a brave and stalwart robot probe. From a scientific viewpoint, it’s very interesting for you kids to see this video. However, as a Fukushimer, it (meaning the fuel itself) makes me sad. The video comes from TEPCO, the company which owns the power plant.