Thinking of others 他のことを考える

Dieses Bild hat ein leeres Alt-Attribut. Der Dateiname ist IMG_4273-1-scaled.jpg

I like to laugh. When I was younger, I even more often liked to laugh and once I started it was difficult to stop.

I used to take the bus to go to highschool. One day I saw something funny through the window. I do not remember what it was but I could not prevent myself from laughing. My laughter was quite loud and my friend sitting next to me, not having seen what was funny to me, was quite surprised by it. At the next red light when the bus stopped, the driver came to me and told me to stop laughing. Shortly after I noticed that in front near the driver there was a disabed person who was making body movements due to some illness. I suppose this person could not control himself and therefore moved around a lot. I understood that the driver thought that I was laughing at that person.

I was very depressed and at home I told my father about it. Then he told me that in public there are many different people. Maybe someone just lost a family member, lost money, etc. There are many different people in many different situations. Therefore one should think of others and avoid doing exaggerated actions or too loud conversations, etc. I understood well and since then I make an effort to be careful about that.

Nowadays because of the spreading of the internet, some people want to do things and also involve others in it in order to post it on the internet. Maybe this person did not have bad intentions. Of course it is wonderful to live happily and with joy. But one should respect that there are people who cannot take part in it. Only being happy and joyful is not necessarily helpful in all situations and for all people.





Picture by Yuka Simeno, May 2020 in Vienna

Danshari? 断捨離?

“Danshari” I suppose is a Buddhist word. But nowadays in Japan this word is used in the sense of “throwing away unnecessary things”. Many people recommend to do “danshari” as the best way to clean up and also it is said to bring good energy. That may be true but I rarely throw things away. Especially those things which I received as presents I rarely throw away because this person thought of me and made an effort to get this present for me. I want to cherish that person’s intenttion and heart and I do not want to discard this present. I have some friends who like to throw things away and if I have to, for those people I mostly give them food and other perishable items as presents. I find it to be a waste of energy to choose things for them because later they will most likely throw it away anyway. One day I woud like to have a big nice glass cupboard to put all those things (except food) that I have received during my lifetime as presents including my souvenirs and memorabilia in there as long as live.


Picture by Yuka Simeno, May 2020 in Vienna

Animal friends 動物のお友達

Friends! Good relationship with others is a wonderful thing. No matter if it is humans, animals or plants… I think friendship is a kind of trust. That is very precious.

Close to where I live there is an aprtment with many cats living there. Since it is on the ground level, those cats are very visible when they come to the window. This place is quite well known in the area and many people make photos and/or videos of those cats. I often pass by that place with my husband and about five years ago a construction site blocked our usual route and so for the first time we noticed that there were cats living there. That day the window was open and behind a metal fence there sat a cat. My husband, who is actually more of a dog person, wanted to gently reach out and touch that cat. I had had some experience with cats because in Japan some stray cats used to come to visit us. I said “We are seeing this cat for the first time and also between humans we don’t necessarily touch them during the first encounter. We must respect it and not touch.” Then we thought we saw in the cat’s eyes some particular glance toward us. We said that those eyes were beautiful colour just like Whiskey.

Since that day, when we walk in this direction, we always check if they are there and we noticed that there were about seven or eight cats living there. Over time we noticed their colours and fur patterns and we started naming each one of them. Although there are so many cats there, only the one with the Whiskey eyes became our friend. When we call out for him, quite often he will come out to see us. Of course it is a cat and will not come as fast as a dog would but we always say that he is almost like a dog. We should mention that we do not at all feed him anything. When we call out for him and the window is open, he will often come out and if his mood permits, we may gently touch his head, ears, chin, cheek and even his belly. If he is already outside when we call for him, he will respond with a “meow”. When the window is closed, he will also often come out, sit behind the glass and we get a feeling that he means to say “Sorry, I cannot come out!”.

It has been like this for about five years. In the meantime we have also gottn to know the owner family and we have become friends with them as well. Because of this cat my husband now also has a little experience with cats and it is fun to pass by that window. My husband and I always talk about how it is wonderful that friendship goes beyond even species. This friendship, which the Whiskey-eyed cat gives us is so precious. We feel his trust toward us and we are so happy.

お友達!他との良い関係は素晴らしいことです。人間とでも、動物とでも、植物とでも… 友情は信頼でもあると思います。とても貴重なことです。




Picture by Yuka Simeno, May 2020 in Vienna

Congratulations, Mother! お母さん、おめでとう!

Today (May 27th) is my mother’s birthday. Her real birthday is March 11th but back then in Japan it was not as strict in terms of documentation, it was in fact possible to choose a different birthday for the records. Her name is actually “Sajiko” but the Chinese characters are pronounced “Sachiko”. But my grandmother always used to call her “Saji san” (My grandfather died when I was three years old so I do not know what h sd to call her). My father on the other hand used to call her “Shime”. I asked him why but he did not respond. Many relatives also asked about it but my father never revealed his reasons. The only possible thought that comes to mind is that my mother’s maiden name was “Shimeno” and that it was derived from that. “Shimeno” family are not our blood relatives because my mother’s father (grandfather) was adopted by Shimeno family of Kochi as a child. This grandfather was the first son of a painter called Toraji Ishikawa and a woman named Shizu Takigawa from Tokyo. Sadly, Shizu passed away quite young and the painter was also very young at that time. Therefore his son, my grandfather, was given up for adoption. My mother’s mother (my grandmother, who raised me) is from a town called Ino in Kochi prefecture. When she was a child, she suffered a family tragedy but she did not know about it until later in life. When she was very young, her father had a fatal accident. Her mother married again. Her mother gave birth to my grandmother and a younger brother and also the man had children from a previous marriage. My grandmother did not know about this and she had a very good relationship with her parents and siblings. Sadly, her only blood-relative brother died during the Second World War. When she was quite young she gt married to my grandfater and gave birth to an only daughter, my mother. It could be said that to my mother’s knowledge she had few blood relatives .

Recently I heard from someone that someone is spreading rumours that I am not my mother’s real daughter. This is extremely vicious and unforgiveable. Should it ever be required, I can instantly show my birth certificate. Of course there are few relatives on my mother’s side and also my mother passed away in 2011 but it must not be allowed to spread lies about my family. The love and relationship between mother and child is something special and strong. I cherisch my mother and I lover her. I am also part of her existence.

Congratulations for your birthday, Mother, I will live strong also for you. I will fulfill your wishes.




Picture by Yuka Simeno, May 2020 in Vienna

Cover cow? カヴァー カウ?

I love Milka chocolate. There are new cover pictures on milk chocolate bars. It says “Milka presents Gerda, Katja and Moocha…” How cute! I get a feeling that the chocolate contains their milk. I thank them and I will cherish the taste. I love all flavours but my favourite is marbled Katja chocolate!


Picture by Yuka Simeno, May 2020

Self-suggested memory 思い込み

“England!”. At a café in Vienna, I spoke that word many times. My Viennese friend corrected my pronounciation and said “England”. Back then I had just started to live in Vienna and my German was not yet that good. I did not understand why she corrected my pronounciation and so I ever more forcefully responded with “England”. And so she also responded with “England”. Finally we had to give up. Much later I noticed that in German the letter “E” is pronounced differently from English, more like “A” in this case. I knew that well but the spelling of the word was the same and so I had the self-suggested memory that it had to be pronounced the same as in English.

Also some day at the language school for beginners, which I had been attending at that time, my teacher corrected my pronounciation of the word “Schinken” (ham). I thought maybe my voice was to soft and so I more loudly said “Schinken”. My teacher in turn responded with “Schinken”, going back and forth. Some colleagues started to laugh and finally we gave up. Much later I noticed that my pronounciation was “Sinken” instead of “Schinken” (with -sch). If I had looked at the spelling, that problem woud have been solved quickly. I thought “Sinken” and therefore my pronounciation was correct. Only after I got home did I realize that I misspelled the word.

I think that if in both cases those people had more diligently explained the spelling, for example by writing it down, we would not have had such confrontations. If someone has dificulity in terms of pronounciation, one has to pay attention to where exactly the problem lies. Sometimes that pronounciation does not exist in their native language. In that case, there should be some specific practice. In this my case however, it was my self-suggested memory of mixed up spelling with another language.

Self-suggested memory does not only exist in language but also in many situations in life. I believe it is important to always be receptive to learning without the fear of making mistakes. In my opinion thereby we learn and also later we can contemplate those memories and laugh at them.





Picture by Yuka Simeno May 2020 in Vienna

Purple ball 紫の鞠

These flowers are so big! Almost more than half of my face. Many people look at them in astonishment and some take pictures. Do you know what they are called?


Picture by Dieter Pasching May 2020 in Vienna

Learning by yourself 自身で学んでいく

As a singer of classical music, until now I have had several teachers and all of them were wonderful. But I think that in the end one must learn by oneself. Because I “understand” eventually I myself have to get to this sitation. That means it is important to learn by oneself.

I think that concerning education it is important that students experience for themselves. That is also like a relationship betweeen parents and children.I think in many cases children should think for themselves and try out things. Parents already experienced this situation and already know the result. I think in some cases parents should not reveal the result right away but rather let the child find out the result. Because “understand” can only be attained by oneself. In some cases it is not good that parents force their own result upon the child. Children can arrive at their own result. This of course depends on the situation and advice is good. However the timing and amount of that advice is a very complex matter.



Picture by Yuka Simeno May 2020 in Vienna

Kahogo (overprotected) and Amayakashi (spoiled) 過保護と甘やかし

Someone said “I was overprotected (Kahogo). My parents permitted everything that I wanted.” I found that statement strange. I think it is not overprotected but rather spoiled (Amayakashi). Sometimes in the Japanese language I think people confuse those two words. Maybe some people see it that way because in both instances there may be cases that a child can do what it wants and the parents support that behaviour. Because parents provide enough material things, time, freedom, etc. for that child. That means that parents place some kind of trust and acceptance in that child’s will by fulfilling all the child’s wishes which effectively means valuing the child’s world. Maybe because of that they think of the word overprotected. But to my eyes in some cases it is spoiled and sometimes it is even neglect. I think that somtimes trust and neglect are confused with one another.

Personally I grew up in a highly overprotected environment. Because I am an only child, I was well protected by my family. Sometimes however, it was too much. Seen from other people’s perspective, my receiving attention of family and many material things such as books, toys, etc., some might think that I was spoiled by my family. This may be true to some extent, because in terms of material things I could get almost everything I wanted. Also many of my desired actions received much support from my family. For that I am very grateful to my family.

There is always the opposite side to something. Nobody may be able to understand my being fixated, bound, and receiving strict education except maybe other people in a similar situation. At age 18 when I moved to a different city to live alone and attend university, many colleagues talked about their longing for home. I however did not feel lonely at all. I felt strong relief and I could fully concentrate on my studies. I noticed how much my family interfered in my life and how much that weighed on me. But thereby I also think I gained strength. Of course I think that many things would have been nicer if my family had treated me differently. But through all those circumstances my present self exists and I am very grateful for it.

As I have just mentioned, overprotected or spoiled is a complex matter. I think it is important not to judge people based on some superficially obeserved points and to not have envy towards them.

(“Spoiled” in most cases means that the child’s will and wishes are fulfilled. “Overprotected” does not always mean that the child’s will and wishes are fulfilled, because there may be prohibitions. I think this is more the case of parents’ will and wishes being fulfilled.)






Picture by Yuka Simeno , May 2020 in Vienna

A man is coming! 人が来る!

This area is restricted to people. Ducks were relaxing there.
But watch out, a man is coming! He even carries a stick?!
Relax, ducks! It is a statue of Emperor Franz Josef.
皇帝フランツ ヨーゼフの銅像です

Picture by Yuka Simeno , May 2020 at Burggarten Vienna