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Hidemi Woods 

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

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A Korean Friend hr580

October 28, 2016

The neighborhood I grew up in wasn’t so good and low-income families were everywhere. While a small hamlet that my house stood consisted of well-off families of farmers, it was surrounded by poor areas where many Korean-Japanese lived. The income difference produced chronic tension. Naturally, the t…

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Phone-Phobia hr579

October 16, 2016

When I was a teenager, a smartphone era was still years away to come. I came from a large family that had one phone in the house, which meant a scramble for a phone call. It was usually a three-way battle: between my grandfather, my mother and me. My grandfather used to be the chairman of a local se…

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Defection from A Negative Empire hr578

September 30, 2016

I’m a singer-songwriter living in Japan. Yet, I’m totally unfamiliar with Japanese recent entertainment. As I haven’t caught up with Japanese pop music, TV dramas and movies for decades, I don’t know any tunes, any titles and any names and faces of a band, a singer or an actor. I have lost interest …

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Ordinariness vs. Contrariness hr577

September 16, 2016

I have signed up for a few online survey websites and answer some questionnaire or other every day to earn small change. Other than money, there’s a byproduct in answering them. Each questionnaire has a set of answers to choose from that a survey writer thinks participants’ answers are supposed to b…

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The Influence of Global Warming hr576

September 3, 2016

I live in an apartment that is enclosed by the mountains and a five-minute walk to the ski slopes. It was built about 30 years ago, when this area was cool enough to be lived without an air conditioner in high summer. As an air conditioner was assumed unnecessary, my apartment has the structure that…

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A Demon’s New Home hr575

August 19, 2016

I visited my parents for the first time since their financial difficulty made them sell their house and move into an old condominium. It situated only two train stations away from Kyoto but in the different prefecture, which meant they were kicked out of their hometown too. The moment I met them the…

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The Crane hr574

August 6, 2016

The hotel I checked in on my trip to Kyoto gave me a discount coupon for the buffet breakfast and I had it next morning at the restaurant. The buffet had Japanese expensive dishes in addition to the familiar Western breakfast dishes, which made up the most luxurious buffet breakfast I’d ever had. As…

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The New Kyoto hr573

July 23, 2016

When I spent 40 minutes aboard the bullet train bound for Kyoto from Tokyo, an alarming notion popped into my head. “Did I miss Mt. Fuji?” It’s around this time that Mt. Fuji comes into view closely in the bullet train window. Somehow Mt. Fuji is a special mountain for Japanese people. It's said tha…

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Price of Greed hr572

July 7, 2016

According to my parents, I was such a sullen infant who always put a long face. I had the habit of uttering “Butch!” as if to show dissatisfaction, and I received ‘Butch’ as my first nickname from my parents. When I started talking, I was a child who constantly grumbled. My mother’s impression was t…

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Genetic Parsimony from Atavism hr571

June 23, 2016

I was brought up by my grandparents who led an extremely saving life. Although we were well off and lived in a big house back then, most lights were kept off to save the electric bill and the house was always dark. Turning on the TV was available by my grandfather’s daring permission. We would eat d…

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A Wise Shopper hr570

June 4, 2016

I’m always impressed by the size of houses that appear in TV shows and movies of U.S. Even when the setting is for a poor family, they live in a mansion by Japanese standards. That’s why the story is often confusing when the house tries to tell how much its inhabitants go through hardship. Japanese …

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Reward hr569

May 20, 2016

My parents didn’t get married for love. Their marriage was part of a deal to inherit the family’s fortune and they took it for money. Another part of the deal was to carry on the family and they had me as a successor. It had gone according to their plan until I decided to do what I wanted for my lif…

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The Decision hr568

May 7, 2016

We all face decisions every day, big or small. It may be as trifling as what to eat for lunch, but sometimes it is as important as what decides a course of our life. And the big one often comes abruptly like a surprise attack when we least expect it, unguarded. I faced the first crucial decision une…

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Formula 1 Team Owner’s Misery hr567

April 23, 2016

As an avid fan of Formula One racing, I spend every winter longing for a season opener. My long wait was finally coming to an end with ten days to go until the first race. That was when the bad news arrived instead of the race. A Japanese TV network station that had been broadcasting Formula One for…

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The First Cold in 10 Years hr566

April 9, 2016

I started coughing the next day when I got back from a four-day trip of my winter getaway. The day after that, I had a high fever. Now it was official that I had a cold. I had been very careful not to catch a cold for years by wiping my hands with wet tissue every time I touch public materials, gurg…

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Escape from the Snow World hr565

March 26, 2016

The mountain region in Japan where I live is covered with seven to ten feet of snow every winter. My town is in a close area with mountains in all directions. Those mountains turn into tall white walls in winter. Deep snow lies beneath, white walls stand around, and snowflakes constantly cover the s…

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Vertigo hr564

March 12, 2016

When I woke up in the morning and sit up on the bed, my room whirled before my eyes. Anxiety was what I felt first thing in the morning. I wondered if I had a serious illness, if I was developing a brain tumor, if my autonomic nerve was damaged and if I couldn’t live a healthy life any longer. I was…

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A New Life hr563

February 27, 2016

I usually watch US TV dramas and movies by recording them on a digital video recorder. As the selection is unbearably limited in Japan, I make up other US programs by getting DVDs. Recently, my DVR hasn’t been in good shape and I needed to come up with a new way to watch US shows. I use a fiber-opti…

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The Flight to Japan hr562

February 13, 2016

After I checked out the hotel in Laval, I was waiting for the Uber in front of it. Snow of the day before brought a bitter chill that made me shiver while I enjoyed a breathtaking view of a clear sky in the early morning. I was going to the airport where I would take a flight to Japan via Toronto. N…

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A Shopping Mall in Laval hr561

January 30, 2016

Near the hotel I stayed in, there was an indoor shopping mall called Carrefour. I walked on the bridge that crossed a 10-lane highway and caught a glimpse of the glass ceiling of the mall up ahead. As I came closer, the mall got bigger and more splendid. It was my first visit to this mall which beau…

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Got fried #oysters, pasta #salad and #cod #roe at a grocery store. #lunch Got fried #oysters, pasta #salad and #cod #roe at a grocery store. #lunch
#Cafe time at a family #restaurant. #Pear #jelly and iced #coffee. #Cafe time at a family #restaurant. #Pear #jelly and iced #coffee.
Got some #Chinese takeout at half price. Sweet and sour #pork, mabo eggplant, sauted #beef and peppers. #chinesefood Got some #Chinese takeout at half price. Sweet and sour #pork, mabo eggplant, sauted #beef and peppers. #chinesefood
Out of my apartment window, there is a beautiful #December. #trees #sky Out of my apartment window, there is a beautiful #December. #trees #sky
A #pork ginger bowl at a #Japanese #restaurant in the train station. $8 including #miso soup and Japanese pickles. #lunch A #pork ginger bowl at a #Japanese #restaurant in the train station. $8 including #miso soup and Japanese pickles. #lunch
The #snow season kicks off in earnest in my town. It's snowing now! #trees The #snow season kicks off in earnest in my town. It's snowing now! #trees