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The same old places

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Japan's “lockdown”

Japan began an official state of emergency at the start of April, and local governments of 7 prefectures began their “lockdown”. This was further extended to the rest of the country in mid-April.

But the type of “lockdown” has been different to many countries in the world. It has not been a forced lockdown and people can go out to parks and shopping as long as they are careful to keep their distances.

In this blog for Japanese language learners, Akari Ueno sensei, a Japanese online teacher at JOI tells of her own experience in this situation. She found something that brought her comfort in these troubled times.

Read and listen to the blog on YouTube and study the Kanji and vocabulary to learn more Japanese online for free.

いつもの場所
The same old places

ueno

By UENO Akari

park-april-2020

 コロナウイルス感染拡大の影響で日中に歩く機会がめっきり減り、その上、雨がちな日も続いていました。これでは足腰が弱ってしまうし、日光浴もできないな、と残念に思っていたところ、日曜日は晴れてくれました。そこで、久しぶりに家族と公園を歩きました。

 そこは、幾度となく足を運んでいるいつもの公園でしたが、私たち家族も含め、マスクをつけ、大声を出すこともなく静かに歩いたり遊んだりしている人々の光景は、いつもの公園のものではありませんでした。

 この光景に少し違和感を覚えながら歩いていると、いました、ありました。いつもの池で泳ぐ鳥、いつもの場所で咲く花・・・人々が今までと違う生活をしている中、鳥や花、虫や木々はいつもの営みを続けていました。人間よりずっと過酷な環境の中で、しなやかにたくましく生きるその姿に、いつも以上に勇気づけられ、気がつくと何枚も写真を撮っていました。

いつもの場所にいつもの生き物たちがいてくれたことで、心穏やかに家路に着くことができました。

flower-april-2020

To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video.

いつもの場所(ばしょ)

 コロナウイルス感染拡大(かんせんかくだい)の影響(えいきょう)で日中(にっちゅう)に歩(ある)く機会(きかい)がめっきり減(へ)り、その上(うえ)、雨(あめ)がちな日(ひ)も続(つづ)いていました。これでは足腰(あしこし)が弱(よわ)ってしまうし、日光浴(にっこうよく)もできないな、と残念(ざんねん)に思(おも)っていたところ、日曜日(にちようび)は晴(は)れてくれました。そこで、久(ひさ)しぶりに家族(かぞく)と公園(こうえん)を歩(ある)きました。

 そこは、幾度(いくど)となく足(あし)を運(はこ)んでいるいつもの公園(こうえん)でしたが、私(わたし)たち家族(かぞく)も含(ふく)め、マスクをつけ、大声(おおごえ)を出(だ)すこともなく静(しず)かに歩(ある)いたり遊(あそ)んだりしている人々(ひとびと)の光景(こうけい)は、いつもの公園(こうえん)のものではありませんでした。

 この光景(こうけい)に少(すこ)し違和感(いわかん)を覚(おぼ)えながら歩(ある)いていると、いました、ありました。いつもの池(いけ)で泳(およ)ぐ鳥(とり)、いつもの場所(ばしょ)で咲(さ)く花(はな)・・・人々(ひとびと)が今(いま)までと違(ちが)う生活(せいかつ)をしている中(なか)、鳥(とり)や花(はな)、虫(むし)や木々(きぎ)はいつもの営(いとな)みを続(つづ)けていました。人間(にんげん)よりずっと過酷(かこく)な環境(かんきょう)の中(なか)で、しなやかにたくましく生(い)きるその姿(すがた)に、いつも以上(いじょう)に勇気(ゆうき)づけられ、気(き)がつくと何枚(なんまい)も写真(しゃしん)を撮(と)っていました。

 いつもの場所(ばしょ)にいつもの生(い)き物(もの)たちがいてくれたことで、心穏(こころおだ)やかに家路(いえじ)に着(つ)くことができました。

The same old places

Due to the spread of the Coronavirus infection, the chances of taking walks has decreased noticeably, and on top of this, we have had continuous days when it tended to rain. With this, just as I was thinking that it was a shame that our leg muscles were growing weaker, and we couldn't get any sun, Sunday was a fine weather day. And so I took a walk in the park with my family.

And there we saw the park that we had been to countless of times but, everyone including my family, was wearing masks, and there was a scene of people walking quietly without raising their voices so it was not the same park we'd always seen.

And in this scene as we walked around, it felt a little strange, but there they were here and there they were there. The birds were swimming as always in the pond, and the flowers were blooming in the same places they always bloomed … as people are engaging in lifestyles that are different from before, the birds and flowers, and the bugs and trees had continued to engage in their usual activities. It gave me comfort to see their forms living flexibly and vigorously in environments that are much harsher than those of humans, and before I knew it, I found myself taking many photographs.

So we were able to go home calmy with the knowledge that same nature was still going on in the same old places as always.

◆感染拡大(かんせんかくだい) spread of infection

◆めっきり remarkably; noticeably

◆~がち tend to~; often~; liable to~; prone to~

◆足腰(あしこし) leg muscles

◆日光浴(にっこうよく) sunbathing

◆幾度(いくど)となく countless times; many times

◆足(あし)を運(はこ)ぶ go

◆光景(こうけい) scene; sight

◆違和感(いわかん)を覚(おぼ)える: feel odd; feel strange

◆営(いとな)み workings; activities

◆過酷(かこく)[だ] harsh

◆しなやかに flexibly

◆たくましく: vigorously; powerfully; tough

◆勇気(ゆうき)づけられる be encouraged

◆家路(いえじ)に着(つ)く go home

ueno

Hajimemashite everyone ! My name is Akari Ueno.
I live in Tokyo with my husband and daughter. I have had the experience of living in Hokkaido, Yokohama and Singapore.
I studied History in university, so I love touring around historical ruins. When I was younger, I went to see the Great Pyramids and Borobudur in Indonesia, but now I merely tour around the neighborhood parks with my daughter. I dream of touring around the world's famous ruins with my daughter one day.

When I study languages, one English phrase always comes to mind, "Use it, or lose it". I used to be scared of making mistakes, so even when I learned new vocabulary, I didn't use it. But after learning this English phrase from a friend, I started to use the vocabulary and terms I'd learned without fear of making mistakes.

Try to use your newly learned vocabulary and phrases all the time in the lessons. Looking forward to meeting you all in class !

Start 3 Trial FlexLessons for only $9 !

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Guest Wednesday, 27 May 2020