Passing an English Test
I took English proficiency test.
The first stage was in January to test
listening, reading and writing.
Then, the one who passed it goes to
the second stage, speaking test in March.
It was my first time taking interview test.
I practiced a lot, but I was very nervous.
Fortunately, I did perfect on the interview,
and passed it!
I recieved the certificate.
I will try the next grade in June.
It will be pre-2.
I am already nervous again!
| Resin-enclosed specimens making
I participated in a workshop at the Natural History Museum.
We make resin-enclosed specimens just like these.
I was planning to make insects or plants specimens,
but the weather was not good to collect them.
So, I used sea shells and star sands that I collected
at the sea shore of Ishigakijima and Taketomijima in Okinawa.
It took more effort and time than I thought.
We started from making the liquid Resin,
and then pour it as the first layer.
We had to wait an hour to the next step.
We put coating on each specimens and place it
on the first layer. After waiting another hour,
we pour the second layer. We repeat this to the third layer.
No wonder it was a whole day workshop!
Finally finished making the layers with enclosed specimens!
This is upside down at this point.
2 weeks later, we will come back.
We take the specimens out from the case, and
finish it with sand papers and glass coating.
I hope it will be done fine!
Nagai Botanical Garden
Spring is coming!
Plum flowers are blooming nicely!
Twice in every month, a curator of the Museum of Natural History give a guide tour
in the botanical garden in Nagai Park (the Museum is in the garden).
One is to explain plants. And the other is for animals, birds and insects.
This time, we were looking for birds
preparing for spring.
Many people gather in the group.
Some are maniac, they know so much about birds,
and they are so good at finding little birds in the trees.
Some are just like me who likes walking around and talk with people.
What I found and thought interesting today were...
Three different birds in a line.
Great cormorant, the black one in the front,
Grey heron, in the middle,
Great egret, in the last.
You can also see a bunch of turtles sun bathing.
Looks like they are enjoying the spring sun.
They will be very busy soon to find a partner,
and make a nest for babies.
Here we found a grasshopper impaled by a shrike!
Everyone was taking a picture of him.
I think he became a hero of this day...
because there were not many birds as we expected.
The curator said that the number of the birds is clearly decreasing this year,
and it might be the influence of the big typhoon in last summer.
It destroyed many trees, and damaged the plants to feed the birds.
And the last one is...
Foot print of a raccoon.
They look really cute, but alien species here in Japan.
They give damage to the local species, so disliked by people
protecting local plants and other animals.
They used to hide in the mountains, but recently everywhere
even in the center of the city.
They are safe in this garden, so numbers are growing, the curator said.
It was nice walking in a spring sunshine.
It has been cold and cloudy or rain alot these days...
I am so happy that the winter is almost over!
I took Kanji exam in January.
I passed the grade 6 in August.
So, I challenged the next grade, 5.
I am happy that I passed!
Learning new kanjis is not that fun, but
we must do it anyway...
I have already learned all kanjis that
I am supposed to learn in elementary school.
I have to keep practicing and using them or I can forget easily.
Let me talk a little about Japanese language.
In Japanese language, we use three characters.
Kanji, chinese character imported from china,
Hiragana, and Katakana, made in Japan.
Kanji has meanings in each character.
In Japanese, we have several ways of reading Kanji.
For example, kanji 安 is a character meaning peaceful, or cheap.
We read this character "an" or "yasu" according to the words.
安心 (peaceful mind=relief) we read "an-shin",
安物（cheap goods) we read "yasu-mono"
One same Kanji, different ways of reading.
many have more than two ways of reading in each Kanji.
We must learn both.
Hiragana and Katakana are made from Kanji or a part of Kanji.
Each sound is represented by one character.
ま-な-か for "ma-na-ka" my name.
あんしん for "a-n-shi-n" relief as written in Kanji, above.
To learn more ....
| Workshop about Antlions
I arrived Natural History Museum at 12:30.
because the registration for workshop starts at 13:00.
I missed it last month, so I really wanted to join.
But! There was already a line of kids!
Luckily, I was the 12th of 15 participants.
This workshop is really popular!
The workshop started at 13:30.
I was so happy to participate.
Antlion is called Arijigoku in Japanese.
It means "hell for ants". Funny name.
These are adults of antlions.
We observed it well.
I have found them while I am hiking
in countryside a few years ago.
They are cute!
Most of the kids were younger than I was.
Many girls in my age scream and ran away
when they see insects,
but I like most of the insects
as well as other animals.
How about you? Do you like insects?
| Field seminar and Book talk
I went to Natural History Museum
to learn about birds today.
Botanical garden in Nagai park recovered a little
from the damage of Typhoon on Sep. 4th.
The theme of this seminar was
bird's gape and angle of mouth.
It was hard to see mouth of birds on the tree,
but it was fun to walk around.
We walked about an hour and a half, and
studied (dead) bird.
After lunch, there was a book talk event.
The talk was about Artistic Anatomy
by an illustrator who published this book.
All the illustration were beautiful,
and his talk was interesting.
The events in the museum always opens
a door to a new interesting world.
| Natural History Museum
I wanted to join in a kids workshop event
held in Natural History Museum.
It was about ant-lion.
But it was already capacity over
and I could not join in....Oh, no!
This workshop event is always popular and
we have to go early to register...
I decided to come back next month
for the same event, and for today,
I went into a lecture room.
The lecture was about slime molds.
My mom said it was really interesting
but the room was dark for the screen,
so I became really sleepy.
I came out and sit next to the staff
of the lecture at the entrance.
He is my favorite curator in the museum.
My mom was excited learning about slime molds,
and I had fun talking with a friendly curator.
（Kinokoto mushino seminar）
Seminar about mushrooms and insects
The museum of natural history is in Nagai park, Osaka city.
The botanical garden is also in Nagai Park,
but has been closed since the last typhoon
destroyed trees and gardens.
In spite of my worry, the museum did not
have much damage and has been open as usual.
On Sep. 8th, they had a seminar about mushrooms and insects.
It is part of the special exhibition about mushrooms.
I got.a chance to see this exhibition
when I participated a workshop to make a bone specimen.
I became interested in mushrooms.
Mushrooms and some kinds of insects are closely related.
They had two presentations.
Both of them were very interesting.
Tennoji Zoo is in Osaka city.
You can see Tsutenkaku and Abeno Harukas
from the zoo.
I attended a lecture event.
Once or twice in every month,
zookeepers or animal doctors talk
about the animals in the zoo.
Today's theme was domestic and livestock animals.
It was interesting.
I want to work in a zoo.
After the lecture, I went to see some animals.
Many bats had babies! Cute!
Koala is sleeping up high on the tree.
We use telescope too see him.
I really like this chimpanzee.
He is so friendly!
Kids living in Osaka city has a free pass
to this zoo. I am so happy about it.
I want to learn more about animals.
We had a field trip organized by the Natural History Museum Osaka.
Many people joined this event.
We gathered at Tannowa beach about 6pm.
It is an hour and a half away
from the center of Osaka city by car or train.
Here, we try to catch sea-fireflies and learn about them.
Do you know what kind of species they are?
I didn't know much about them before this event.
We set the trap and wait till it gets dark.
Then we pull up the trap from the sea.
Sea-fireflies are hiding in the sand during daytime,
and coming out from the sand at the bottom
and start moving at night.
This is Umihotaru!
Looks disgusting? No no no...
Look how tiny the are!
And it glows beautifully in the dark water!
Not so bad, right?
I was too exited, so I could not take good photo.
It was so much more beautiful to see in real.
Umihotaru has been on the Earth since 400 million years ago.
They have hearts, blood, and male/female difference in there tiny bodies.
They are very sensitive for their living environment,
so it is hard to find in the polluted sea.
We have to keep our environment clean.
Studying for Kanji exam
I have Kanji exam next week.
I have to work hard...
I hope I can pass.
Making A Bone Specimen
I went to the Natural History Museum.
I participated in a workshop
to make a chicken bone specimen.
It was difficult, but very interesting.
I will make a report about this
to bring school as a homework.
Do you have homeworks in summer holidays?
In Japan, yes...