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Hidemi Woods 

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

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A Picture-Card Show hr586

I was absorbed in one kind of play when I was about seven years old. It was paper play called ‘kamishibai’ in Japan. It’s a picture-card show in which a performer tells a story while showing a picture that corresponds to it. A performer impersonates the characters to say their lines and flips a pict…

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A Train Ride in Japan hr585

My main means of transportation is the train. As manners and common sense vary in countries, I introduce here what a train ride in Japan is like. In the Tokyo metropolitan area, it’s just atrocious especially during the rush hours. I had had a lot of trouble when I lived in the area. It’s almost imp…

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Gold Dust hr584

“Would you believe it if I said gold dust could fall on you?” I was asked out of nowhere by Kuri-chan who sat behind me in the classroom when I was a senior in high school. I had known her since junior high and we had chatted casually all the time. Although we had never belonged to the same group to…

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Stressful Relaxation hr583

After I completed recording the main vocals for my new song in August, I came down with a cold. I got over most of it within a week, but a throat condition remained bad. It has been persistent ever since and I still can’t shake off this nagging condition. My throat hasn’t reverted to normal yet, whi…

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Some Remain, Others Disappear hr582

Once a year in autumn, a road race of classic cars is held in Japan. The race starts in Tokyo, runs through five prefectures in four days and finishes back in Tokyo. It stops for the night at a certain checkpoint during the long journey and one of the checkpoints is a hotel in a small town where I l…

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Huge Absence hr581

I went to the Tulip concert the other day. Tulip is my lifelong favorite band and the reason why I became a musician. They are making a national tour commemorating their 45th anniversary. Since I was a teenager, I’ve been to several concerts every time they were on tour. They used to tour every six …

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A Korean Friend hr580

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Had #beer at a cafe/bar. Appetizers are #coleslaw, #avocado with cod roe. #bar Had #beer at a cafe/bar. Appetizers are #coleslaw, #avocado with cod roe. #bar
A #Japanese popular dish called 'omu rice', an omelet which has #tomato #pilaf inside. Got it at a convenience store, at $4. #rice #dinner A #Japanese popular dish called 'omu rice', an omelet which has #tomato #pilaf inside. Got it at a convenience store, at $4. #rice #dinner
Having #strawberry #crepes at the Italian restaurant near my apartment. #dessert #sweets Having #strawberry #crepes at the Italian restaurant near my apartment. #dessert #sweets
Got fruit #doughnuts at a grocery store at half price and had them at home. #dessert #sweets Got fruit #doughnuts at a grocery store at half price and had them at home. #dessert #sweets
As the deep snow closes it in during the winter, I made the New Year's visit to the nearby #temple now. A 400-years-old #tree stands at the entrance. #Japan As the deep snow closes it in during the winter, I made the New Year's visit to the nearby #temple now. A 400-years-old #tree stands at the entrance. #Japan