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26 August 2012

Translated Novel: "Let's Fundoshi" Chapter 3

A Candadin man experiences FUNDOSHI, Japanese traditional male underwear, swimming suit and custume for festival.

Read Chapter 1 first.

"Hi, May I help you?" a very poweful voice from a middle age man was heard.
Inside was small dining place with several tables and a counter. Over the counter was the big fat middle age man who seems like the restaurant master.

"Long time no see, Gen-san" said Yuriko. They seems to be aquaintances.
"Hi, Yuri-chan, Such a long time we haven't seen each other. Is that a guy the rumor tells your Canadian husband?"
"Yes, his name is Jacques."
Jacques smiled at Gen-san and greeted saying "Nice to meet you, I'm Jacques."

"Oh, you really chose a very nice guy, didn't you. You have great talent of choosing a quality man."
Yuriko looked a little embarrassed by his words.
"Now get in. Jacques-san. I treat you dinner. I've got a great fish. This is celebration for reunion with Yuri-chan and meeting with her new partner, Jacques-san, a very handsome husband."
Jacques thought localies are nice. They seems not type of outsider hater as Yuriko described. He thought he would be getting along if he could try politely.

After Jacque and Yuriko sat down at a table, Gen brought sake and glasses to the table and poured sake into their glasses.
"How is Taro doing these days? I heard he went to England" said Yuriko.
Taro. Very first name he heard. Who is he?
"Well, he was such a stupid boy. After all, he went back to Japan. He tried to imitate what you are doing and study abroad. But he could never get used to living in foreign country."
"Does that mean he went back here?"

Yuriko sounded kind of strange whe she said that. What is wrong with her?
"Yeah, he knows you came back. But he is so ashamed of seeing you. You came back home with such a handsome husband. He can never see you."
Suddenly sound of door opening was heard.
"Hey, speaking of" said Gen.

"Taro, long time no see" said Yuriko. In front of her was young boy who looked the same age as she. He really looked local young boy with cute face. The face resembles the restaurant master, meaning son of the master. The height was as tall as Yuriko. Not big but his body was muscular.

"Yuri-chan" said Taro. He seems very close to her. Taro looked at Jacques.
"Is he your husband?"
"Yes, he is. His name is Jacques."

Taro looked at him very strangely. Jacques smiled and said "nice meeting you." He should have said "I've heard so much about you" in that situation but he never heard of him. Why didn't she ever talk about him? The answer to the question was known by his face and action he took right after this. 

"Yuri-chan, why are you doing this? Do you want to make me more miserable than ever? You are Japanese girl but why did you marry a foreigner?"
"Taro" said Yuriko looking so guilty.
Behind Yuriko Gen said "Taro, shame on you. It can't be helped. She got really crazy about this foreign guy. That is the way it is. You should grow up". Taro started to drop tears from his eyes.
Then Gen shouted angrily "You do such a shameful thing as being Japanese boy, Nihon Danji." Taro immediately stayed away from the place and ran away.
Yuriko looked at him running away and dropped tears as well.
"What is wrong, Yuri?" said Jacques.

"Ha, ha, ha, Jacques-san, you make both Japanese girl and boy cry. Sucha a naughty guy!" said Gen. His words made them uncomfortable.
"Let's go out," said Yuriko. She took Jacques's arm and got out of the restaurant. They walked for a while and got in dark beach.
"Tell all about this" Jacques asked Yuriko.
Yuriko told him all about what just happened. 

Taro and Yuriko were friends from childhood. Taro and Gen were local fishermen and managed the restaurant "Nihon Danji." From childhood they promised to marry when they grew up. But thing has changed since Yuriko was awarded scholarship to attend college in Canada by winning English speech contest in high school. She wanted to enroll college after high school graduation but enrolling in Japanese college is too expensive. Scholarship was free and enabled her to attend foreign college and speak English. She thought it would be beneficial for her life. Then she flew to Canada telling Taro to be patient until her graduation of the college.

But she met Jacques in Canda and got married to him. One of the reasons she never wanted to go back home was Taro's presence.
Taro got so shocked when he heard the news Yuriko got married in Canada. He once thought of flying to Canada to get back Yuriko. He decided to study English hard to confront Jacques but he was very poor in English. He saved money for studying English in England. Then he went there and studied some English for a year but he came back after he found he was never good at English. Now he saw her again in hometown very miserably.
"Sorry, I never told you that."
"It is OK. I understand why you never wanted to" said Jacques kindly thinking what a trouble he got, so that he should not see Taro again while he was in this town.  

Continued to Chapter 4.

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12 August 2012

Translated Novel: "Let's Fundoshi" Chapter 1

This is translation of Japanese novel on my Japanese blog site. The original title of the novel was "Nihon Danji wo Yamerarenai (Can't stop being Japanese traditionl man).

A Candadin man experiences FUNDOSHI, Japanese traditional male underwear, swimming suit and custume for festival.

Jacques Charbonneau was a Canadian man born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He belogns to majority of that reigion, so called "French Canadian."

From his childhood, he spoke French at home. His parents and relatives were all French Canadians. But he spoke English at school. Half of his friends were Englisha dn the other half were French.

Therefore his native languages were both Englisha and French. He was a billingual but since he entered Tronto University in State of Ontario, one more language was added and then he became tringual. The third language was Japanese.

Why he studied Japanese was he met a Japanese girl named Yuriko Watanabe, whom he fell in love with. She could speak English but he wanted to speak to her directly in her mother's language. The he chose Japanese as his major. With help of Yuriko, he mastered Japanese. His Japanese was excellent so that even Yuriko said that he could speak like Japanese national. He graduated from Japanese department of the university with top rank. After graduation, he started translation and interpretation among English, French, and Japanese. Afterwards, Yuriko became an important job partner and finally a partner in his private life.

When they got married, Yuriko's father, Taizo Watanabe flew to Canada and approved their marriage. The wedding was held in a small church with attendance of small number of people. Taizo was her only family member since her mother was already dead and she was the only child for Taizo.

Jacques wanted to visit Yuriko's hometown but he had been busy for his work and he was too afraid of flying. He could not have chance to visit Japan. He always regretted that he never visited his wife's hometown. He thought he should overcome flying phobia and visit Japan. He could speak Japanese fluently but he could only use it to his wife and Japanese living in Canada.

Yuriko never recommended Jacques to visit Japan. Her hometown was one of most conservative place so localies never welcome a foreign white man like Jaques. She heard that localies did not think her marriage to a foreigner was a good thing. So They thought they did not have to regret it.

But in the third year of their marriage, the couple had to visit Japan. Taizo got sick and was hospitalized. He got out of the hospital but had to stop working and stay home for rehabilitation. A woman who lived nearby sometimes visited him to see how he was but he seemed so depressed that Yuriko should look after him to help him recover his condition.

Yuriko was so worried that the two decided to go there. Translation work could be done even after they moved to Japan as long as they could maintain internet access. They checked the IT environment there and found out there was no problem doing it.

Jacques stood for more than 10 hour flight and finally arrived in Kansai International Airport in Japan. The two travelled to her hometown, Awai Town. The town was on the coastal line of the Sea of Japan in Chugoku region, it was a fishery town. From her home, spectacular ocean view was seen from a window. Taizo gladly welcomed Yuriko and Jaques after a long absence. Taizo was a local fisherman.

They used the room Yuriko had used from her childhood. They started getting along as family. Jacques found Taizo very weak comparing what he saw at the wedding. He got thinner and looked pale. He was as tall as Yuriko but looked smaller than before. He wished he would come back his fishery work afte he regained health. He thought about how to deal with him. Jaques called hime "Otosan (Father)" like Yuriko did.

A week has passed. Things happened as expected. Localies called him "Gaijin (Foreigner)." They spoke about him behind him but they never greeted. They treated hime like outsider. He tried to understand what they said but the language they used was blended with strong accent and dialect. With Yuriko's help. Jacques gradually understood what they said.

Even after they understood the language, living in conservative and closed community was hard for him. Furthermore he was a tall white Canadian. Some stayed away just by looking at him. He was appearently discriminated.

One more troubling thing happened, that was because of season he visited.

Hot and humid climate. It was far different from where he grew up. Even Montreal could get as hot as 30 degree but such hotness was what he never experienced before. It was because of Japan's humidity.

He got sweat very soon. Japanese got used to it but Jacques never resist such wet feeling. He was adapted to the coldness but not such humidity sweating so much.

His body finally responded to it. He got eczema. It was itchy and reditsh. He could not stop scratching. What should he do? He came over to help his father in law recover but he, himself became sick.

Yuriko advised him to see a doctor. The doctor diagnosed his symptom. The result was "latex allergy" in other way, it is called "Rubber allergy."
Jacques asked a doctor "Why did I get such allergy?"
"It is because of underwear you are wearing. The rubber band got soaked and melted down to your skin. Japan's humid summer melted rubber and got into your body that caused allergy symptom. Unless you stop wearing it, it can never be cured."

"You tell me never to wear underwear? Oh, no!" Jacques was shocked to hear that. It was never comfortable living without undewear. Especially for men it was necessary to tighten private zone to stay normal.

"Since you can't wear conventional underwear, we advise patients to wear something else instead" the doctor said showing him white long cloth.


Continued to Chapter 2.

09 October 2010

My new novel idea "Uptown Girl" inspired by the same titled song

"Uptown Girl" is my favorite song sung by famous U.S. pop star, Billy Joel.

I recently heard the song again and then came up with new novel idea.

The title is "Uptown Girl."

The story is a daughter of big auto maker owner got out of boring party and stopped by a small bar.

She met a young bartender in a bar. They were alone and talking each other. He was surprised with her outfit which was unusual in the atmosphere of the bar. She wore high-class dress and pearl neckless.

They made friends each other and heard Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl" together. They felt kind of mutual with the song.

Next week the uptown girl met a bartender in the factory of her father's company. She worked as a regular worker in the company. But he was a a temporary worker dispatched from a greedy temporary help company. The temporary help company's main shareholder was in fact her father's auto maker. The aim of outsourcing was to avoid taking responsibility as employer so that the company didn't have to hire workers as regular worker. They never have to raise salaries and provide safe and secured environment and it is easy to lay off.

He worked under severe condition. He decided to form a union with his colleagues in the temporary help company.

She met him again and learnt what he was doing. She was shocked to hear how her father's company treated workers to boost profit. She found out how she had been spoiled and known nothing about what was happening in real world.

Then she decided to join his activity to better the condition of the factory workers.

The bartender had a dream of creating a great hybrid engine. He studied it but was never accepted because of lack of academic background.

The story is actually not only inspired by the song but real social issue of the world. How the rich people exploit working class people's labor.

I don't know how Billy Joel came up with the lyric of the song but it surely reflects class gap issue in the world, not only in the U.S and Japan but the rest of the world. It is recently getting serious as the economy went bad so a lot of corporations have to lay off so many workers.

But class gap is in fact the result of capitalist economy system as German economist Karl Marx described.

Maybe we can think about that by listening to the song. The song was created by Billy Joel but is also covered by British singers, Westlife.

Uptown Girl by Billy Joel

Uptown Girl by Westlife

This one is good covered version as well.

29 November 2009

Short Novel: "Bauhausler" Conclusion

A story of Japanese woman who experienced Bauhaus art and love romance in Berlin, early 1930's when Nazis came to power.


Please read introduction first.


Auschwitz Museum in Oswiecim, Poland, November 2009

"Now let us read the will she left. It was also a letter to our museum."
The head of the museum said.

"It was 1991 when I came back to Berlin. A year after reunification of Germany. Berlin Wall was fallen down. People were pleased with new reunited Germany. After the war, I started a hotel management in Tokyo for foreigners because I spoke good English and German. Japan turned into democratic nation with new constitution. The first hotel I managed was very small one but as reconstruction and development of Japan underwent, my business expanded, I could own more and bigger hotels in Japan and later in other countries. Next thing I knew, I became a successful business woman. People call me "Hotel Queen." It seemed my life restarted after the war. I felt like I never had any life in pre-war era.

When I turned age of 80, I decided to retire. I've accomplished everything I thought I should. Last business trip for me was Berlin and Krakow. Chikano Hotel opened new franchises in reunited Berlin and the old capital, Krakow in Poland. About 60 years have passed since I left Berlin. The city experienced heavy bombing in second world war and division by the wall during the Cold War era.

The view and scenaries seemed to be drastically changed from my memories except Brandenburg Gate.


I stood at Brandenburg Gate recalling my old memories. I still remembered some of the things. Yes, Bauhaus. School, friends, Meisters. But it was almost fading away as I became very old. However, Bauhaus has been part of my life even after I left. I tried to acquire Bauhaus furniture and design in my hotels. It was simply because I liked that. After I attended opening ceremony at Chikano Hotel, Berlin, I left for Krakow. Very last franchise I visit before retirement. It was my first visit to Krakow. I was pretty much impressed by the city's beauty. I was so glad that such a beautiful city became my last business deal. After the opening ceremony ended, my career as hotel woman ended. So I decided to have first trip in my retirement. The place was there in Krakow. Local tour guide recommended me to visit countryside of the city, which was also beautiful, too.

Then the tour guide asked if I knew Auschwitz. I told him I heard about it before. He told me I should visit there because it was world's historic place. I knew how historic it was because I heard about what Nazis did to so many innocent people in the war. I predicted thing like that would happen even before the war stared because I did witness what happened. That was the reason I had to leave Berlin a very long time ago. 

At first I entered Birkenau and looked around the concentration camp that had a railway station. The final desitination for the prisoners. They became prisoners not because of what they did but because of what they were like being Jew, Roma, or homosexuals. When they arrived, they were divided to go to gas chamber or cottage. Those who could work had to be survived for forced labor. They had to live in cottages like ones for livestocks. When they became useless, they were easily executed in gas chamber or shooting place or by any other brutal method.

I went to the museum exhibition in Auschwitz main building. I saw so many things such as hairs, trunks, prosthetic limbs, shoes taken from prisoners. Over one million were killed in this place. I was shocked and saddened. But I had to face most shocking thing in my life there. I walked on the corridor of the museum and saw the line-up of photo frames hanged on the wall. The guide told me they were all black and white prisoners face photos. Some of them had flowers on top of the photo frame. That was what the survival families left. I saw the photos passing by. All were shaved head and looked frightened. I had to stop by at one photo. I looked at it carefully and then fainted.


A few minutes later, I woke up and drunk a glass of water at the office room. I asked who he was. I was very sure but I wanted to confirm. Then the museum staff checked out and told me he was whom I knew. Meister Marcus Weiss. The record indicates he was arrested for treason in 1938 by Gestapo. After years of deportation to several camps, he was finally deported to Auschwitz and executed in 1943.


I recalled all my memories with him. From when I first met him at Bauhaus and aparted in my apartment. After I left Berlin, I desperately waited for him but I gave up and decided to live my life. I almost forgot him. But I finally saw him again. In such tragic way. I told my story regarding relationship with Marcus to the museum staff. They all understood how I felt. I decided to become a donor for preservation of this monumental place. The place no one should forget and anybody should know. Please know my story."


The head of the museum finished reading the letter. He seemed to be moved to tears because he knew Madame Chikano very well. He saw her several times before she passed away. He continued the speech.

"Madame Chikano indeed became major contributor for preserving the museum. She donated so much money to this museum while she was living. Because she had no relatives or family members, most of her fortune went into preservation of this museum. She will continue to be a major contributor of this museum."

The head of the museum smiled and pointed out a Wassily chair on the stage.


"Her experience symbolized paralell of Bauhaus and Auschwitz. Both German made. Germany-born Bauhaus was once banned by Nazis who built Auschwitz. It was revived in post war era in the U.S. by exiled Bauhaus Meisters. Bauhaus art concept became mainstream for modern design and architecture. Bauhaus school was gone but its concept and art survived and prevailed. Madame Chikano spent only for 5 months in Bauhaus but her life experience was like how Bauhaus went through. The chair was one of what she used in her office room. To commomerate her contribution, we would like to place this in this museum." He put bouquet flowers on it and said,


"Rest her soul in this place and Bauhaus."





This novel is copywrighted by this blog's manager, Masagata.

Next short novel would be "When East meets West" or "Fullbrightor" or anything else.       

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