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Jayne Ikeshima 先生のエッセイ・コーナー【Part1 】(2012年度)

Essays and Poems

Jayne Ikeshima 先生の素敵な英語エッセイや英語詩をご紹介します。

Something to love: Tokyo Train Jingles(January/February, 2013)

You can also listen to train jingles on youtube . Here is a link. How many of these jingles have you heard? Have fun listening!

Happy New Year! (December 20,2012)

This is very short and easy to say. I was very surprised when I first came to Japan many years ago, and learned that the way to say ’Happy New Year’ in Japanese is:

あけましておめでとうございます。 今年もよろしくお願いします。(Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu. Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.)

I thought.
Why is it so LONG?
What does it mean?

I have always felt a bit uncomfortable reciting this very long greeting. After all, I am a casual American who is used to saying a nice, short ’Happy New Year!’

But I do like the meaning of it. It translates as follows:

「あけましておめでとうございます(Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu.)」
→ The New year has begun. Congratulations to us!

The ’Congratulations to us!’ is like saying ’We made it through another year!’

Then the second part: 「今年もよろしくお願いします(Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.)」
This part is hard to translate into English. Here are some ways:

Please look after me this year too.(今年も私の面倒を見てくださいね。)
Please take care of me (this year too).(今年も私のことを大事にしてくださいね。)
Please bear with me (this year too).(今年も我慢して私と付き合ってくださいね。)
Please put up with me (this year too).(今年も我慢して私と付き合ってくださいね。)
Please stay friends with me (this year too).(今年も私の友達でいてくださいね。)

「今年もよろしくお願いします」 means any (and all) of the above phrases. Only just one of them cannot really express the full meaning.

I do not know quite how this greeting is translated in textbooks. The above translations were told to me by my two daughters, who are bilingual in English and Japanese.

I like the meaning of the Japanese New Year greeting. I think that when you are wishing someone a Happy New Year, it is nice to also ask them to keep putting up with you, or to stay friends with you--no matter how much of a idiot you may be, or how badly or unthinkingly you may behave, or no matter what stupid mistakes you may make in the year to come. None of us is perfect, and we must all get along with each other and forgive each other. The Japanese greeting makes sense to me!

And so, I would like to wish all readers a Happy New Year!--both in English AND in Japanese!


Something about America (October 30, 2012)

Taxis drive down a New York street where the
power was out late Monday, October 29.


Please listen and enjoy! --Jayne Ikeshima

イケシマ先生は、日本に住んで35年になるそうですが、今もなおアメリカの市民です。このところ、アメリカで気がかりなことがあるそうです。一つは、東海岸を襲ったハリケーン・サンディ(Hurricane Sandy)と2012年大統領選挙の行方です。大統領選挙は11月6日です。オバマ大統領は果たして再選されるでしょうか?

Autumn Greeting (September 26, 2012)


日本では、宴会やパーティーの席でグラスを高く揚げて、あるいはグラスを互いに軽く触れて「(・・・に」乾杯!」って呼びかけますね。アメリカでは、こういう時、Here is to...(something or someone).と呼びかけるそうです。


Manhole covers in Japan (June, 2012)



A Tornado in Japan (May, 2012)

A tornado in Japan

I grew up in the U.S., and that means that I know all about tornadoes. But I never expected one to happen in Japan. Japan has earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and typhoons, but not tornadoes! Or at least, that is what I thought until May 6th.

On Saturday May 5th, Mr. Ikeshima and I drove to Mt. Tsukuba and stayed overnight at an onsen there. On Sunday morning we checked out of the hotel and talked about what to do that day. I suggested that we drive to Tsukuba City, which was only 3 kilometers away, and sightsee there. We almost did. But then Mr. Ikeshima said that there might be a lot of traffic there.

So instead, we took a drive through the Ibaraki countryside. The rice paddies had only just been planted, and we loved seeing the tiny green shoots sticking up from the water in orderly rows. Then we went to a nearby Aeon shopping mall where we had an early lunch.

We were inside the mall when the thunderstorm and strong winds began. The mall lost power for a few minutes. We did not know it then, but that was the time when the tornado hit Tsukuba city--the very place we had almost gone.

And that was how Mr. Ikeshima and I spent the last day of Golden Week. We were fortunate that we decided not go to Tsukuba city. I feel bad for the 14-year-old boy who died, and for the people of whose homes were damaged. I pray they will recover from the tragedy soon.

Cherry blossoms (April, 2012)

Cherry blossoms

Tiny pink petals
fly along the pavement
as I walk to school.

Blown by the wind
they dance and soar by the hundreds--
delighted to be alive.

I feel their joy.
In this brief, beautiful season
there is nowhere I would rather be
than here.