Sports days or undoukai are held by schools all over the country. The time of year varies by prefecture. While the kantou area tends to hold them in the early fall, some northern prefectures hold them in early summer.

The first thing after the official opening speeches is a warm up. This is usually rajio-taisou. Everyone in the school will stretch and bounce in time to a count of 1, 2, 3, 4 a bit to work out the kinks.

The sports day is generally held on a weekend day so that the children's relatives can come and watch. People will come and stake out their spots with tarps and umbrellas.

Since the teachers have to work nearly a full day on the weekend for the event, most places have the next school day off.

There is generally some kind of dance performance by the children. They may perform local dances, folk dances, or ones they've made up especially for the day.

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Happy Birthday Ayane!

Today is Ayane's 5th birthday -- These past 5 years have flown by and she has grown so much. She's changed my life...from the way I think to the way I see. She has changed my entire being.

She is the reason I wake up in the morning and the reason I go throughout my day doing what I do. She has profoundly affected me in ways that I didn't know I could be affected - she is the reason I live.

Happy Birthday Ayane!



Dear Aya,

Every few weeks or so you tell me you're going to build the big Lego house following the directions and every few weeks or so you never finish it. You tell me you're going to finish later.



I know that one day you'll build the entire house, but until then it makes me happy that you keep trying.


Never give up on anything, keep trying and trying until you accomplish the thing that you've set out to do. What you'll learn from trying and the feeling that you'll get once you accomplish it will be one of the most rewarding feelings that you'll ever have.

Ebola Ready

Ayane, this is what you're mother has to go through in order to provide for you. To give you the things that you want and need. Appreciate her and all that she does, because she does a lot. You're very lucky to have a mother like yours...willing to do anything, go through anything just so that you can have a better future than your parents did.

If you haven't learned what Ebola is yet, looked it up and find out. This, among other things, is what mom has to put up with every day. Appreciate it.

Santa Teresa H.S. Marching Band


Aya and I drove down to Pleasanton last evening to see the Santa Teresa High School Marching Band perform at Foothill High School. The daughter of an old friend is in the band so we wanted to go and lend our support to the band. The image shows about all we saw.

The rain was coming down so hard that all we could do was find shelter and wait it out. By the time the rain let up, Santa Teresa was done performing and at their bus grabbing a bite before heading home. I decided that Aya and I would do the same...head home.

We'll try and catch the band again in Dublin next weekend.

Moonlight Steam Train Dinner Party

Last night the girls drove down to San Jose and then Santa Cruz. In San Jose they stopped off to check out the San Jose Ramen Festival. After that they drove down to Santa Cruz to enjoy a moonlight steam train dinner party.

Looks like they had a lot of fun. Sorry I didn't tag a long for this one. Eh, maybe next year.

Dark Spot

When I woke up this morning something told me to take a picture with my iPhone 6 Plus, so I did. After taking the picture and examining it, as I always do after taking a picture, I noticed a dark spot on the image (see below).

I was like, "what the what"! 


So I took a couple more images, same spot. Looked at the screen and the spot was there. I tried to clean the lens to see if it was just some lint or something, but that did nothing. I finally determined that this thing, whatever it was, was on the inside of the lens.

This let me know that it was some sort of defect in the camera of the iPhone 6 Plus. So, I drove down to the Apple store and showed the Apple guys what was up. They looked at it, said, "hmmmm" and told me they would give me a new phone. Exactly what I wanted to hear.

No questions asked they just gave me a new phone and I was off. Love the way Apple does Customer Service.

Fun in the Snow

This past Tuesday we took you up to Lake Tahoe for your third ski lesson. After being in class all day, we decided to pull the car over on our way home and let you make a snowman. It was a lot of fun, especially seeing you trying to navigate the snow that was knee high on you.

Nap Time

Getting you to lay down for your afternoon naps is always a challenge..but yesterday you made it quite hilarious. Me: Aya, it's time for your nap. Aya: *crying* Me: Get your blanket and lets go upstairs for your nap. Aya: *crying* Nooooo! Me: Aya, crying is not going to help you, let's go.

After a little work we finally reach your bedroom and you begin to give me endless excuses as to why you cannot take a nap now.

Me: OK, in to bed Aya. Aya: No, I need mommy! Me: Aya, mommy is busy, get in the bed please. Aya: Um, no, I need a vitamin! Me: You know you only get one vitamin a day. Please get into your bed. Aya: I need to take a shower! Me: Maybe after your nap. Aya: I have to go potty. Me: You just went potty - now get in the bed. Aya: Okay.

This is what you looked like soon after you got into the bed: Nap TIme

You slept for 4 hours!


When I picked up my new glasses from LensCrafters the other day I had no idea that I would be starting a trend. Here you are on a Saturday morning, trying to be like dad, wearing your glasses while watching the iPad.Eyeglasses And here you are again wearing your glasses while eating breakfast. @breakfast

You seriously crack me up!

No posts in awhile

It's been some time since I've posted something to this blog. I'm sure you can imagine with starting a new job, taking care of a 2 year old, and trying to please a demanding wife (just kidding honey) how busy I've been. I promise though, I'll start posting more soon.


Yesterday was Ayane's first day in preschool and I can't believe it's that time already. My baby girl is growing fast both mentally and physically..the next thing you know she'll be telling me she's getting married. I'm proud of you Aya, they said you did a really good job on your first day and mommy said you cried when you had to leave. You must have had fun.

Source: http://www.shutterdad.com/wp-content/uploa...

The Fierce Lion

Your second Halloween but the first one that you actually went trick or treating. You liked being in your costume and you loved carrying around that little orange bucket for your candy (which you can't eat by the way), but when it came to going up to each house you had a little problem. When your mother and I tried to take you to one of the neighbors doors, you screamed and cried and didn't want to go. However, if there were others kids there you happily trotted on up along with them and snagged your treats. You only made it to a few houses, but overall, I think you enjoyed the night.

Your mother on the other hand was a little disappointed. This was her first time trick or treating as well and she wanted to go to more houses. Maybe next year! :)

Source: http://www.shutterdad.com/wp-content/uploa...

Corn Maze

This past weekend we took you to the Smith Family Farms in Brentwood. You had a great time with the animals and then the music in the barn (wish I would have gotten some video of you dancing to the music). Here, you're in the corn maze trying to find your way out with, of course, your parents taking video and pictures, we weren't helping you much huh. At least we were there to comfort you when you took a little fall after tripping over some corn husks.

What You Say

As of today lil Aya, the things you like to say most are: "Whats that?" "Hi!" Counting to 10 in Japanese Counting to 5 in English "No!" "Wan wan!" - one way to say dog in Japanese

and of course singing a long with all of your Japanese children songs.

Tech Girl

You're not even two years old yet and you're already into technology, just like your dad. To see you sitting there with my iPhone and watch you turn on the music and move from song to song and dance to your favorites...turn on the camera and take a picture of yourself...to know what icon to hit to see the image you just took and to know what the play button is to watch that video I took of you playing with your blocks the other day...it all just amazes me to know end. It also makes me very proud that you're smart enough to figure this all out. I guess I better start a technology fund for you.

Source: http://www.shutterdad.com/wp-content/uploa...