Obama Becomes Japan’s English Teacher
( New York Times )

When Utako Sakai was changing the background music in her beauty parlor recently, she did not opt for the classical piano pieces she usually chose.

Instead, she picked her favorite CD: “President Obama’s Inaugural Address,” released by Asahi Press, a Japanese publisher of language books. She says the speech lifts her spirits and helps her to learn English all at once.

Most Japanese people, including those studying English, would have difficulty comprehending a speech given by a native English speaker. But “Mr. Obama’s English is easy to understand because he pronounces words clearly and speaks at a relatively slow clip,” said Professor Tadaharu Nikaido, a communication specialist here. “Movies tend to be the most difficult for Japanese, especially when actors mumble their words.”

But there are probably a large number of buyers who do not really possess the basic English skills to understand his speech, said Yuzo Yamamoto, an editor at Asahi Press. Since the sales took off, he has received postcards from readers saying they had been touched by Mr. Obama’s speeches, but “those same people have said they were moved even though they didn’t understand English well,” he said. “Some even said the only phrase they caught was, ‘Yes, we can.’ They said they were in tears nonetheless.”

【 まずは準備運動 】

・piece 一片、断片、一遍の作品
・comprehend 理解する
・mumble もぐもぐ(ぶつぶつ、ぼそぼそ)言う
・nonetheless それでもなお、それにもかかわらず

● 解説ザブ〜ン!
posted by K.Andoh | Comment(3) | TrackBack(0) | 日本−社会



Obama, in Japan, Says
U.S. Will Study Status of a Marine Base on Okinawa
( New York Times )

President Obama, seeking to mend fences with Japan, America’s most important Asian ally, announced Friday that he would establish a high-level working group on the contentious issue of the continuing presence of a Marine base on Okinawa.

The decision, announced at a news conference with Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama just hours after he touched down in Tokyo to begin his first presidential trip to Asia, appears to represent a concession by the Obama administration to at least consider Japan’s concerns about the base, which is unpopular on Okinawa and which the new Japanese government had promised to try to move off the island.

Mr. Obama was, in effect, making a political gift to Mr. Hatoyama: seeming to reopen a door Mr. Gates had shut, even though Japan policy experts indicated that the establishment of the working group was most likely only a face-saving way for the new prime minister to show the Japanese public that he was keeping a campaign promise.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・ally 同盟国
・establish 設置する、設立する、(制度・法律など)制定する
・indicate 指し示す、示す、表わす

● 解説ザブ〜ン!
posted by K.Andoh | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 国際



America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room. Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.



When I first started out professionally in Japan, I had a number in mind, maybe 500, 600 or 700, ... but not anymore.





Matsui Goes Wild, and So Do His Fans in Japan
( New York Times )

For many Japanese, Hideki Matsui is a man of contradictions ―
a towering hulk with a sensitive heart, a player of fierce
self-discipline known for lewd jokes and a national hero who refuses to play for his country at international tournaments, much to the chagrin of his home fans.

For this baseball-loving nation, Matsui’s performance at the World Series on Wednesday ― hitting a home run, tying a World Series record with six runs batted in and being named the most valuable player ― sent a clear message. It put a Japanese player and the Japanese game on the American baseball map more firmly than any compatriot’s performance did.

“Matsui’s one-man show!” an early headline proclaimed after the New York Yankees’ victory. “Unstoppable Matsui goes wild on the field,” another read.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・contradiction 矛盾、否定
・hulk 廃船の船体、図体の大きいもの・人
・lewd みだらな、わいせつな
・compatriot 同国人、同胞(の)
・proclaim 宣言する、公布する

● 解説ザブ〜ン!
posted by K.Andoh | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | スポーツ



Suspect Was ‘Mortified’ About Deployment
( New York Times )

Born and reared in Virginia, the son of immigrant parents from a small Palestinian town near Jerusalem, he joined the Army right out of high school, against his parents’ wishes. The Army, in turn, put him through college and then medical school, where he trained to be a psychiatrist.

But Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the 39-year-old man accused of
Thursday’s mass shooting at Fort Hood, Tex., began having second thoughts about a military career a few years ago after other soldiers harassed him for being a Muslim, he told relatives in Virginia.

He had also more recently expressed deep concerns about being sent to Iraq or Afghanistan. Having counseled scores of returning soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder, first at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington and more recently at Fort Hood, he knew all too well the terrifying realities of war, said a cousin, Nader Hasan.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・deployment (部隊・兵力などを)展開する、配置する
・psychiatrist 精神科医
・terrify 恐れさせる

● 解説ザブ〜ン!
posted by K.Andoh | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 米国−社会