adventure of my life (Hajime Hirayama:平山新)

2014 4Q

Sankei-en Garden  2014.12.21

The Sankei-en Garden was opened by rich business tycoon Hara Sankei in 1906. The garden was named after the man. The area is  147,000 square meters . Valuable Japanese traditional houses were collected from Kyoto and Kamakura, and restored (10 assets: Japan's very important cultural assets, 3 assets: the tangible culture asset designated by Yokohama City). The vast garden is facing Tokyo bay sprawling the east-south part of Yokohama. The garden construction was started in 1902, and in 1914, the work of the outside area was completed and in 1922, the inside area was completed. It took 20 years for construction in total. While Mr. Sankei was alive, this area was also an education school for Japanese young artists. Japanese famous painters such as Taikan Yokoyama, Shimomura Kannzan studied here and painted the sceneries of the garden. The garden was severely damaged during the World War II. In 1953, this garden was donated to Yokohama City , and the restoration work was done by Yokohama City.
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Odaiba District in Tokyo   2014.12.14

Odaiba is one of the most famous sightseeing spots in Tokyo. This area is in the reclaim island from the sea and  has many attractive facilities , such as hotels, shopping malls,  a Ferris wheel, game centers, parks and convention centers. This area also has many viewing spots and artificial sea shore. You can see beautiful Tokyo Bay Harbor and skyscraper buildings from Odaiba. History This  place was once  a fort with several big gun batteries built in the end of Samurai Era (mid 19 th century) in order to protect Japan from foreign occupation. This area has been continuosly reclamed and a lot of   facilities have been built, such as hotels, condominium and shopping malls. As the number of residents are increasing,  railway and  monorail systems, roads, bridges and under sea tunnels have been constructed . This area will be the venue  of the  2020 Tokyo Olympics. *** I often go to this area to see some exhibits of IT related products and to participate in  various seminars. These pictures were taken during the break of a seminar which was held in Nov. 7,2014.
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Why is there another the Statue of Liberty in Odaiba? This Statue of Liberty is a replica of the original Statue of Liberty borrowed by Japan form Paris, France in 1998 , in celebration of the Year of France that year. The opening ceremony was attended by the  French President Chirac and the Japanese Prime Minister Hasimoto in April 28, 1998. This Statue became very popular and important  to the town, so the community requested  Paris  to install a replica after the Statue of Liberty was returned to Paris. The French Government gladly sent a replica to Odaiba District, Tokyo. The replica was made with the same reproduction image, size of approximately eleven (11) meters height and  approximately nine (9) tons weight of bronze manufactured by casting method. The replica was placed in the same place and was unveiled in December 22, 2000. map

Christmas in Japan  2014.12.13

Most Japanese are not Christians but celebrate Christmas. Many shops and streets are decorated with Xmas ornaments such as trees, bells, and lighting goods, Xmas music are playing everywhere. In the Xmas eve, many Japanese eat chicken -- Kentucky Fried Chicken is popular, and cake. Many people, especially young couples also exchange presents. Many department stores and shops are bargaining their goods which is called Xmas sale. Why do Xmas events fit well with Japanese people? One of the reasons might be that it is a tactic of the Japanese commerce. Another plausible reason is exchanging presents are similar to the traditional Japanese culture such as Chugen and Seibo in that gifts are exchanged. *Chugen is a summer gift, and Seibo is a winter gift. They are given to superiors, customers and other people who have provided favors. This custom is a good way to show thanks and maintain good relations.
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These Xmas tree pics were taken in the lobby of our office building.   What is Christmas? Christmas is the birthday of Jesus Christ. Jesus was born in a stable in Jerusalem as a Son of God. Soon after, three kings visited the place and gave presents to Jesus -- gold, frankincense, and myrrh. This day is the most important day for Christians. Jesus propagated Christianity  with his 12 disciples and now Christianity is  one of the three major religions in the world. Three major religions and their differences
item Buddhism Christianity Islam
founder Buddha Jesus Christ Mohammed
population about 500 million about 1.7 billion about 1 billion
bible the Buddhist scriptures the old Testament, The new Testament Koran
doctrine(dogma)  the eight-fold path  believe in God,Ten Commandments   5 pillars-Testimony,prayer,Alms-giving,fasting,Pilgrimage
sacred place  Lunbini  in India  Jerusalem  Mecca
 facility  temple  church  mosque
 main events  higan  Christmas,Easter  Ramadan
 pray style  join one's hands  cross both hand after making the sign of cross  to lie in a prostrate position and stand raising both hands
 the number of god/s Buddha and his followers  one(The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit)-The Trinity one- Allah

Hayabusa-2 successfully launched 2014.12.6

On December 3, the H2A rocket carrying the asteroid explorer Haybusa-2 was successfully blasted off from Tanegasima Space Center at 1:22 p.m. The mission of the Hayabusa-2 is collect and return with the sample of rocks containing water and organic substances from a asteroid named 1999JU3, that has been orbiting between Earth and Mars for six years. The samples are expected to give the clue of the origin of the solar system and life itself. After liftoff, the rocket accelerated and entered a single orbit of earth and detached Hayabusa-2 . Then the probe  Hayabusa-2 stared to travel on its own by its own solar panels. The probe journey is scheduled to land on the target asteroid about 3.5 years from now, and return to Earth at the end of 2020. The journey would be 5.2 billion km. According to Mitubish Heavy Industries Ltd. which is in charge of the launch, the window for  liftoff is decided on a specific time scale since Earth and the asteroid  revolve  around the sun on different orbits.  When a rocket heads for a celestial object at a distance ,small deviations in a angle and positioning can result in significant mistake, so there's only one narrow launch window a day. Many Japanese saw the rocket off,  hoping to see the probe again at the end of the year when the Tokyo Olympic games would be over.
hayabusa-2 hayabusa-rocket
orbitThese  3 images are from the internet.

Traveling in Kyoto -- Part2   2014.11.27

Nov.24 -The first day:  bright and clear ,partly cloudy My wife and I joined a tour trip which was organized by Japan Railway Co. We left home at 5:30 a.m and arrived Kyoto at 8:00 a.m. During the first day, we  traveled using a chartered bus.  The number of participants of the   tour is 40 and  most of them are older or almost  same my age. The scheduled itinerary took time allowance, so we could visit two additional sightseeing spots. The following is  the actual itinerary .
  1. 西本願寺 Nishi-hongan-ji (world culture heritage) additional visit
  2. 源光寺 Gennkouinn temple
  3. 光悦寺 Enkou-ji temple
  4. しょうざん庭園 Shozan-garden
  5. 今宮神社 Imamiya Shrine  additional visit
  6. 詩仙堂 shisen-dou temple
  7. 圓光寺 ennkouji temple
  8. 醍醐寺 daigo-ji temple
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Nov. 25 -The second day  :rainy in the morning/ cloudy in the afternoon It was free day all day until 18:04 when the train for Yokohama left. I already planned the visiting places but changed the order to visit due to the morning rain. My plan was to walk and see  many sightseeing spots. In order to escape the rain, we sometimes used  trains and and taxis . So we could visit more places than my schedule. The following is the actual itinerary.
  1. 二条城 Nijo Castle
  2. 錦市場、先斗町 Nishiki-market and Pont-cho town: Entertainment district
  3. 八坂神社、祇園閣 Yasaka-shrine and Gion-tour
  4. 高台寺 Koudai-ji temple
  5. 清水寺 Kiyomizu temple
  6. 平安神宮 Heian shrine
  7. 南禅寺 Nanzen-ji temple
  8. 伏見稲荷 Fushimi-inari shrine
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About my job - Data Manager  2014.11.13

I work for a IT company. I'm in charge of data management as well as related technology including modeling. Data management is a key element in making business application such as accounting, personnel information system. Before making applications, we have to make documents and data models as blueprints. But these blueprints are usually insufficient to  express user requirement and  not easy to understand by other people because IT engineers draw on their own practice and methods. In addition, many IT engineers tend to think of the blueprints lightly and pour their strength to programming such as using Java language. So after finishing it, there are many flows coming up and become busy fixing the programs. After all, those program sources become tangled(intertwined)  and difficult to maintain. So I always teach them the importance of blueprints while following the company's rules and methodology,  especially data design. I also give some practiced examples as well as consultation. Additionally, I play a role of quality assurance for the company.   IMG_2321

Internet camera came to be usable at last from outside   2014.11.2

I bought an internet camera named  Tenvis 3815w 2013 version which was manufactured by Tenvis co. in China. The price is only 4,480 yen - surprise price, which include wifi, infrared night-vision scope and remote manipulation. It was  on Aug. 29th. But the setting manual is only English and this English explanation made a lot of mistakes such as a password name. The camera in itself also have defects which was published on the internet by the  user's critics. On the other hand, some people in the internet said that the camera is appropriate for the price if the user have enough knowledge of internet and router. In my case, I have little knowledge about those, so I frequently asked about the problems to the customer center in Beijing by e-mail . The number of my inquiries reached 5 times and I managed to use the camera in the private network, but not used in the outside global network . The obstacle was router setting and it took long time to solve it. This problem was finally solved  by bringing it to my company and asking a younger coworker who know the router in detail. He demonstrated me connecting the camera and the company's test router. I thought that the setting of the internet camera could be realized completely. But another problem occurred. The router type was different between my house and the company's one that I've learned. So I had another hardship. While setting the router by trial and error, my house's router was disrupted and I could not access the internet completely.  I got panic. I managed to get out of the trouble by resetting the router. The setting related to the port opening and fixed IP address for the camera, were done after having repeated failure . Today, November 1, I finally could use the camera from public network- not in my house's private network.

Halloween   2014.11.1

Halloween is an autumnal festival held on Oct. 31st. Originally,  this festival was to celebrate the harvest of Agricultural products such as pumpkin, corn, rice etc. It was also believed that this is a   religious event  to expel the evil spirits.  We have seen many pumpkin display everywhere called Jack-o'-lantern. This custom came from the USA.  The pumpkin is maybe a symbol of  autumnal harvest and is carved as an evil face. During daytime , children and their mothers join parties to socialize. In the evening, many young adults mostly female, dress up as princess , dwarf, vampire, geisha(Japanese traditional female entertainer), celebrities and so on. Japanese Halloween festival is a kind of cosplay show and getting popular every year. I saw many young people wearing such costume on trains and streets on 30th and 31st. This gives  us festive mood and fun.
Sibuya station square in Tokyo 2014  Oct 31st:image from the internet  

Ebora Disease    2014.10.17

wesr africa
1. Origin The Ebola Riv. approximately 250 km  located  in the northern Democratic Republic of the Congo is the head-stream of the Mongala River, a tributary of the Congo River. In 1976,   Ebola virus (EBOV) was probably named  after it was  first identified near the Ebola Riv. 2.Outline In 1976, the first Ebola case was discovered in Congo  with periodic outbreaks in other Central African Countries. The worst Ebola cases were  detected recently in Western Africa early this year. So far, more than 8,900 people have been infected and more than 4,400 have died, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Officials say the epidemic is not even close to being brought under control. Health experts think the initial cases in each outbreak got it from eating or handling Ebola-infected animals, then spread it person-to-person. The exact source in nature has not been proved but the leading suspect is a certain type of fruit bat. Other animals can be infected and may spread the disease. The WHO says chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines might play a role. Even pig farms may amplify infection because of fruit bats on farms. For the new study, researchers analyzed viruses from the current Congo outbreak and found them extremely similar to a Zaire Ebola strain that caused previous outbreaks in the Congo region. The virus is different from the Zaire strain causing the larger epidemic in West Africa, suggesting that a separate source in nature seeded each outbreak. 3.R&D of the medicine  The R&D is proceeding , but actually medical companies aren't aggressive for the R&D because it doesn't pay. The number of patients are small and the region of the disease is a part of Africa. In the case of AIDS, many company have competed the R&D because there are a lot of patients in developed countries  and it is easy to gain profit by R&D. Now, Ebola patients appear in Europe and USA and it is said it will spread rapidly all over the world. Canada, USA and even Japan have a possible medicine but these are the phase of animal experience and it will take  over a period of years to use it for men.  However it's the emergency, so we need to use these medicine for men  soon after confirmation by animal experiments.

History of Karuizawa         2014.10.12

Karuizawa is one of the most popular resort town in Japan. it's located 150km north of Tokyo . I sometimes go there for walking in the woods and shopping . This year , my wife and I went there from Sep. 22nd to 24th. history In 1895, Alexander Craft Shaw built a church and villa in this place. He came to Japan as a missionary of the Anglican church. He mainly  lived in Tokyo where he performed missionary work. But it was difficult to go back and forth between Japan and his native Canada only one month of summer holiday. So he found Karuizawa as his summer resort place because of its cool and forestry location.   During his summer holiday, he propagated Christianity to the villagers.  At that time, Karuizawa was a desolated village because it was difficult grow crops due to harsh weather. Main income of the village was lodging fee as  post station village, but gradually  dried up because  new bypass road was completed which is not through this town. Based on  Shaw's introduction , many foreigners build their own villas . Japanese business leaders ,nobles and even the emperor and his families have been visiting there in summer. As many people gather, hotels and villas are setting up as well as  shops, restaurants and even leisure facilities such as golf courses are also making.  Karuizawa has become the most famous resort place  in Japan now.
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Results of intensive  English practice   2014.10.5

During recent three months, I had intensive English  lesson every Wednesday night. This English lesson  was a repetition of the following learning-style. 1.Before the lesson, I had to do preparation for three reading topics . 2. On school day, the interpretation and structure of the sentences were illustrated . Then a review test including reading and listening was held. After that, the answer was shown.This routine practice is repeated 13 times. -The result I increased the knowledge of  vocabulary , idiom , and structure, but unfortunately my listening ability is not enough. -My impression of the school 1.The lesson speed was fast and difficult to follow it. 2.I realized that to increase the knowledge of words and sentences may be  one of the the solution to better the listening and reading ability. -from now on I'd like to review the lesson using received documents and CDs until I can understand it.
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