By Arisa Yanagishita
① What is your favorite movie?
Five Great Coffee Shops near FORWARD
(Not including Starbucks)
By Kaori Fujita Kato
If you have some free time around Forward, you might want to stop somewhere for a cup of coffee. Starbucks recently became the most popular coffee shop in Japan (there are three stores near Omotesando Station), but there are certainly some better coffee shops In Aoyama. Here are my recommendations for coffee shops near Forward:
If you like canadian coffee, you'd better to try the coffee at Blenz. Blenz is from Vancouver, Canada, and they even sell maple biscuits. You have many seating options, including sofas, large tables for big parties, and single seats for Working at. On weekends, you can join the "Latte art workshop".
Komeda coffee has just opened in Miyamasu-zaka.
One item on the menu, ogura toast, is an especially well-known morning treat. Recently, it became so popular that many stores began selling ogura- Another plus, Komeda has plenty of power outlets, making it convienent for customers who need to use laptops.
They have a coffee bean menu with plenty of choices and they are always happy to recommend you something. The quiet atmosphere, the hand-made scones, and the great taste Of coffee add up to a great cafe experience.
A long Kotto street is Cobi, a coffee shop within a clothing boutique.They serve handmade coffee with a focus on the preparation. Cobi's seating arrangement is modeled after a Japanese tea room, or chashitsu. And they offer a seasonal wagashi with a cup of Coffee if you like.
Coutume is a modern Paris cafe at the corner of the 5 over chome crosspoint. If it's sunny, you can spend your time outside on the terrace with a croissant, or you can take your beverage and sandwiches to go.
If you know any other good choices for coffee shops near Forward, please share them.
My Favorite English Quotes
By Shoko Sato
English is fun to learn. I need it to express myself even as a native in Japan and YOU will know what I mean if you keep studying English at Forward.
Have you ever read something in English that can't be translated into Japanese well because it just doesn't have the exact matching words? How about the opposite situation? What if you tried to say “Natsukashii” in English? There is no exact English word for this. “Nostalgic” might be the closest word but it is the literal translation and we don't usually use it. Especially when I read English quotes, this happens all the time. You can’t translate them to Japanese and that's why it’s so much fun when you start to understand English without translating.
I’ve read many phrases that I didn’t understand, but if you translate them into Japanese, they don’t sound as strong as they sound in English. I feel translation will lose or change the message of the original contents. Some of my favorite English phrases help me deal with tough situations and find the optimistic point of view in a negative situation. They all somehow made me change my way of thinking and how I see things. If I hadn't been able to understand English, I wouldn't have learned those English quotes.
When I came back to Japan after finishing my grad program in the US, I was asked what I learned most overseas. I wanted to say, "I learned how to dance in the rain." This is a part of the quote by Vivian Greene, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…Its about learning to dance in the rain.” But, I couldn't explain it in Japanese well. Can you imagine if I simply translated this to Japanese, people would think I lost my mind or left my brain in the States. Also it would be too boring if I explained the meaning in Japanese.
This quote is not telling you to go outside when it's raining and dance… of course not. It is telling you that life is not about waiting for good things to happen, avoiding problems, or letting the time pass. Life is about living with and even enjoying the difficulty (“storm”) of life.
Another one of my favorite English phrases is, “When life gives you lemons, grab salt and tequila!” This is a variation on the original phrase, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Again, you can’t really translate this to Japanese. This phrase is telling you that all we need is to accept the fact and change our attitude toward the problem. I think it will change your mindset and keep you energized.
Those quotes and phrases are related to the culture and society of native English speakers. I enjoyed learning and finding the differences between Japan and America while I was living in the States. My life once threw lemons at me. A big storm hit me before, but here I am still smiling and ready for more.
I can’t imagine my life without English. It is not just a language for me. It's an important part of my life. It made it possible for me to meet new people who have totally different backgrounds. They will make you think about things that you had never thought about before. It often helps to put your thoughts in perspective. All of these things will make you learn to respect different ways of thinking instead of molding yourself or other people into something not fitting. English is making my life richer by exposing me to the world that I never thought existed.
I hope to introduce more of my other favorite English phrases and quotes in the future.
The Secret under the
Tokyu Department Store
By Aya Tatsumi
Have you ever been to the DEPACHIKA of the Tokyu department store at Shibuya station? There are nice food related shops for you to enjoy. DEPACHIKA means the basement of a department store, but it used to be on the first floor until a few years ago. Why?
I have been wondering about it so I started researching and found two interesting matters:
Firstly, there is a river under the department store and it flows from around the Shibuya police office to around Kiddy Land. The river is called Shibuya river and it flows under Cat street now and is currently used as a sewage line.
The second one is about a song. You might have learned the song, “Spring brook” (Haru no ogawa) in elementary school. Shibuya river is the model for “Spring brook”. Can you imagine? The image of the brook is beautiful, with lilies and bright but the current Shibuya river contains sewage. This song was written in 1912, when Shibuya River was not underground and flowed with beautiful flowers.
The Shibuya redevelopment project is ongoing now and this project will make Shibuya river into an oasis. You can enjoy the “Spring brook” in Shibuya in the near future.
Future plans for a visible Shibuya River.
The Most Popular Names in the World
By Aki Yoshi
Do you know how many Last names there are in Japan?
There are three hundred thousand unique last names.
The United States has a million and a half. This is because it is a country of emigrants.
Most common Last names in Japan & U.S.
Japan: 1. Sato 2. Suzuki 3. Takahashi 4. Tanaka 5. Watanabe
U.S: 1. Smith 2. Johnson 3. Williams 4. Jones 5. Brown
How about First names?
According to research, these are you most popular names for babies in 2015.
Japan : (Boys) 1. Haruto 2. Riku 3. Haru 4. Hinata 5. Kaito
(Girls) 1. Hana 2. Himari 3. Akari 4. Ichika 5. Sara
U.S : (Boys) 1. Noah 2. Lima 3. William 4. Mason 5. James
(Girls) 1. Emma 2. Olivia 3. Ava 4. Sophia 5. Isabella
The trend of first names has been changing in Japan. In 2015, this year marks the growing trend of kira-kira names or "sparkly twinkle names." This involves naming your child using the phonetic sounds of kanji and disregarding its meaning. This allows for bending Kanji into Western or unique character names. For example, 光宙 literally means "light" and "space." However, for one parent, it reads... Pikachu. Someone did name their child Pikachu.
On the other hand, American parents are more conservative. They often quote from the Bible or history to name their son or daughter.
For example, the most popular boy’s name in U.S, Noah, is derived from the Hebrew name meaning “rest, comfort”. Noah was the builder of the Ark that allowed him, his family, and animals of each species to survive the great Flood. After the Flood he received the sign of the rainbow as a covenant from God. He was the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth. The fifth most popular girl’s name, Isabella, was used by many medieval royals, including queen consorts of England, France, Portugal, the Holy Roman Empire and Hungary, as well as the powerful ruling queen of Castile.
Have you thought about the origin of your name? Your name is the first gift you receive from your parents. They chose it while praying for your happiness. When we think about our names, let’s notice the love of our parents.
Are There Geniuses Or Not? By Aki Yoshi
Do you believe in the existence of geniuses? I did until I heard this quote, “A genius is limited, the effort is infinite”.
When I was a college student, one of my seniors, a marathon runner, said to me, “Some people call me a genius runner, but I think genius is something you can’t measure. Instead I am never a genius, I am only a genius at making an effort.” I was so surprised because I truly believed that he was a real genius runner.
His name is Toshihiko Seko.
It reminded me of Einstein’s quote, as well. “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” Whenever we meet a person who accomplished great things, we are apt to say that he or she must be a genius. However, I think that it is not correct. It is just an excuse to convince ourselves of their greatness. All the people who are called geniuses have an ability to make an effort. They might not actually have talent.
Recently, I read a book named GRIT, which was written by Angela Duckworth, an American psychologist and popular science author.
G.R.I.T. is defined as perseverance and passion for long-term goals. It stands for: Guts, Resilience, Initiative, and Tenacity.
Here are excerpts from professional reviews of the book (Amazon):
Why do some people succeed and others fail? Angela Duckworth explains why talent is hardly a guarantor of success. Rather, other factors can be even more crucial, such as identifying our passions and following through on our commitments. Duckworth describes her winding path through teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not genius but a special blend of passion and long-term perseverance. She created her own "character lab" and set out to test her theory. Finally, she shares what she's learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers. Winningly personal, insightful, and even life changing, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down and how that —not talent or luck—makes all the difference.
This book inspired me. She described that talent and success are usually either unrelated or even inversely related. The key to success is setting a goal and pacing ourselves. It isn’t based on social intelligence, good looks, physical health, or IQ. She said GRIT is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Now I am studying English. Some people may say to themselves, “I am too old to study English”, but I don’t think so. It is not necessary to be a genius to accomplish great things. In other words, everybody has a chance to achieve our dreams regardless of age, gender and so on. “Don’t give up. Just keep practicing.”
The History of the Hermitage
By Chiemi Kato
As you may know, the Hermitage Museum of Russia came to Tokyo at the Mori Arts Center Gallery in Roppongi, and will be open until June 18th.
Do you know much about the Hermitage itself? I have always thought that Russia has been and still is an important and worldly influential country, but we aren’t taught much about its history. The Hermitage Museum not only has paintings by da Vinci, but is also a historically significant place. Here are some important historical events that relate to the Hermitage Museum:
1) Catherine the Great
The history of Hermitage started with Catherine II (so-called Catherine the Great) collecting paintings from Germany in 1764. Catherine was among Russia’s most powerful and popular rulers, although she came from Germany for her marriage to be part of the Russian imperial family. She was much more popular than her husband, Emperor Peter III (grandson of Peter the Great). Peter III was arrested and then assassinated when Catherine carried out her successful coup d'état. She was the longest-ruling female in Russia.
The main building of the Hermitage is the Winter Palace that Catherine II made, which was an official residence of the Russian monarchs until 1917.
2) Alexander II and the terrorists
The Hermitage Museum has been open to civilians since 1863, when Alexander II was reigning over the country. In 1881, Alexander II was assassinated by terrorists, who rushed into an early revolution. Alexander II is famous for his releasing of farmers from indentured servitude, called the Emancipation Manifesto. This release felt, in fact, unfair for farmers, and caused him to be attacked by the terrorists. He was injured and sent to the Winter Palace, where he later passed away. Around this time, the people were not yet ready for the revolution, that great excitement came a little later.
3) The Russian revolution
The notorious memory of the Russian revolution starts with the Bloody Sunday in 1905. Unarmed civilians led by Father Georgy Gapon marched towards the Winter Palace, with respect and admiration for Nicolas II. They were to present a petition for the improvement of their poor lives. This marching frightened Nicolas II and he ordered soldiers to fire at the harmless civilians. The snow-covered, white land in front of the Winter Palace was turned red by their blood.
After the incident, the trust of the Emperor was lost. The flames of the revolution became bigger and bigger. The revolution of 1917 caused Nicolas II and his family to leave the Winter Palace, and eventually led to the rise of the Soviet Union.The 300-year history of the House of Romanov ended with their death in the following year. And now, the Winter Palace is open to us visitors.
2017 is the 100th anniversary of the Russian revolution. It was fascinating to research how passionate the revolutionists were for their country. Although I am quite opposed to the socialism, the Russian revolution reminds me that we are living in a world that is the result of the historical people who risked their lives for freedom.
Mother’s Day by Aki Yoshi
Did you celebrate Mother’s Day? I gave my mother a little gift to show my thankfulness. Mother's Day is celebrated in more than 46 countries throughout the world. On this day, many people pray in churches in honor of mothers, while some give them presents to express their love. Some may have dinner at home with their family.One of the most popular ways people celebrate Mother's Day is by giving their mother a card and a bouquet of flowers. It is common to give carnations in Japan.
The History of Mother’s Day
Anna Jarvis is recognised as the Founder of Mother’s Day in the US. Though Jarvis never married and never had kids, she is still known as the Mother of Mother’s Day, an apt title for the lady who worked hard to bestow honor on all mothers. Anna Jarvis got the inspiration of celebrating Mother’s Day from her own mother, Mrs. Anna Marie Reeves-Jarvis, in her childhood. An activist and social worker, Mrs Jarvis used to express her desire that someday someone must honor all mothers, living and dead, and pay tribute to the contributions made by them. A loving daughter, Anna never forgot her mother’s words and when her mother died in 1905, she resolved to fulfill her desire of having a day for mothers.
In the beginning, Anna sent Carnations to the church service in Grafton, West Virginia to honor her mother. Carnations were her mother’s favorite flower and Anna felt that they symbolised a mothers pure love. By 1911, Mother's Day was celebrated in almost every state in the Union and on May 8, 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.
At times, Mother’s Day has also been a date for launching political or feminist causes. In 1968 Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King, used Mother’s Day to host a march in support of underprivileged women and children. In the 1970s women’s groups also used the holiday as a time to highlight the need for equal rights and access to childcare.
In fact, Mother’s Day in many countries has little or nothing to do with Anna Jarvis’ creation, nor does it always occur in May. Here are just a few examples of other Mother’s Day celebrations from around the world:
Thailand: August 12
Her Majesty Sirikit, the Queen of Thailand, is also considered the mother of all her Thai subjects. In light of her royal maternal status, the Thai government made her birthday, August 12, Thailand’s official Mother’s Day in the 1970s. It remains a national holiday, celebrated countrywide with fireworks and candle-lighting. In related holidays, Father’s Day in Thailand falls on the current King’s birthday, December 5.
Indonesia: December 22
Made official in 1953 by its president, Indonesia's Mother’s Day falls on the anniversary of the First Indonesian Women’s Congress (1928). The holiday was created to celebrate the contributions of women to Indonesian society
Middle East: March 21
Egyptian journalist Mustafa Amin introduced the idea of a Mother’s Day to his home country. Inspired by a story of a thankless widow ignored by an ungrateful son, Amin and his brother Ali successfully proposed a day in Egypt to honor all mothers. They decided the first day of spring, March 21, was most appropriate to celebrate the ultimate givers of life. It was first celebrated in Egypt in 1956.
A Mother is the special woman who performed the miracle of birth. She gave us true love without requiring anything in return. If you are a person who is not good at showing thankfulness to your mother like me, Mother’s Day is a good opportunity to express your gratitude to your mother in a meaningful way.