8 episodes

英語聞き流そう!
親しみやすい、日本を題材にした面白い、興味深いエピソードを短く、英語で読み聞かせ!
知らないうちに英語がわかる、聞こえる、英語耳に。
英語リスニング番組。エンジョイ、リスニング。

英語聞き流そう‪!‬ リスニング向上委員会

    • Education

英語聞き流そう!
親しみやすい、日本を題材にした面白い、興味深いエピソードを短く、英語で読み聞かせ!
知らないうちに英語がわかる、聞こえる、英語耳に。
英語リスニング番組。エンジョイ、リスニング。

    Doll’s Festival : 英語聞き流そう!

    Doll’s Festival : 英語聞き流そう!

    Doll’s Festival

    The Doll’s Festival in Japan is for celebrating girls and they decorate old style dolls on stepped shelves. The festival I had when I was 12 years old coincided with the day to know whether I passed or failed the entrance examination for the best private junior high school in the city. In Japan, each candidate is given an applicant number and a school releases the numbers of the passed ones on big boards put up in a school.

    After excruciating two years that I attended the supplementary private school for the exam additionally after finishing a whole day at the elementary school, I was reasonably confident. I went to see the announcement boards with my parents and my younger sister. It was a big day for my family, as the result would more or less decide my future.

    In front of the boards, I was astounded. My number wasn’t there. I failed. On our way home, we stopped at a bakery for cake for the Doll’s Festival. While my mother and my sister went in the bakery, I was waiting in the car with my father. It started to snow. I still can vividly picture those snowflakes falling and melting on the windshield. I had never felt so devastated before.

    In the evening, my mother took a bath with me and she wailed saying “I’m so disappointed!” again and again. Because I wasn’t used to seeing her crying, my despair turned fear. The fear that I made a fatal, catastrophic error. Since then, every year on the Doll’s Festival, I remember that year’s festival…

    Episode from The Family in Kyoto: One Japanese Girl Got Freedom by Hidemi Woods

    Audiobook 1 : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps.

    Apple Books, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total.

    • 3 min
    no place to go : 英語聞き流そう!

    no place to go : 英語聞き流そう!

    no place to go

    My parents married by an arranged marriage. Marriage used to be a knot between two families, not individuals in Japan. A mutual acquaintance introduced my parents to both families with their photographs. Although my parents didn’t like each other, the tie as the family seemed favorable to their parents. My mother agreed with the marriage very unwillingly after the fortuneteller said that she would handle money by the million if she married my father.

    As for my father, he reluctantly obeyed his parents’ decision because he had never said ‘no’ to his father in his life. A month after the wedding, my mother decided to leave my father because she couldn’t stand to live with his parents any longer. She went back to her parents’ home but her father didn’t allow her to come back. She had no place to go and gave in to her dismal marriage. And I was born. I wasn’t the result of a happy marriage, but I embodied my mother’s resignation…

    Episode from The Family in Kyoto: One Japanese Girl Got Freedom by Hidemi Woods

    Audiobook : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps.

    Apple Books, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total.

    • 1 min
    dealt with the devil : 英語聞き流そう!

    dealt with the devil : 英語聞き流そう!

    dealt  with the devil

    When I was little and took a bath with my mother, she said in the bathtub, “Never marry someone with whom you fall in love.” In her theory, marriage for love is a ticket to unhappiness because love burns out quickly. She insisted that I should have an arranged marriage as she did. She and my father would find a man for me and do all the necessary background checks so that I’d be better off.

    She also once said to me in the bathtub, “I married your father because he was wealthy. Do you think I would choose such an ugly man like him if he didn’t have money?” When I grew up, I learned that she had been seeing someone before she met my father at an arranged meeting, but she chose my father because he was richer and had better lineage.

    I think she dealt  with the devil and sold herself at that moment. Since then, she has been unhappy and that made her a person filled with vanity and malice. When it comes to decision making, I always imagine what my mother would do and do the exact opposite. Since I adapted this rule, my life has been easier and better…

    Episode from The Family in Kyoto: One Japanese Girl Got Freedom by Hidemi Woods

    Audiobook : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps.

    • 2 min
    gold-rimmed glasses : 英語聞き流そう!

    gold-rimmed glasses : 英語聞き流そう!

    a gold-rimmed glasses

    I was raised by my grandmother on my father’s side. She was a very strict and unsociable woman. She led a secluded life and spent most of the time retreating into her room. She would take a trip or go to the theater with my grandfather only once or twice a year.

    On those rare occasions, she always wore glasses that she usually didn’t at home. A pair of glasses was a must for her to dress up. She had only one pair with gold rims. Although they were an essential item of her best clothes, she looked terrible with them. She had a stern face by nature but the pair made her look fearsome. Everyone in my family knew that she looked much better without them, and yet, none of us had the courage to say so to her.

    Consequently, on every important, memorable event in her later life, she had an awful look by putting them on. She did it not just outside. When there was a guest or I took my friends from school to our house, she always greeted with the glasses on. She had great confidence in glasses. Shortly before her death, she even urged my father to wear glasses because she believed they would help him look grand and dignified. Her treasured gold-rimmed glasses were put into her casket when she passed away. The unpopular pair went to heaven with her. I know she’s wearing them up there still… 

    Episode from The Family in Kyoto: One Japanese Girl Got Freedom by Hidemi Woods

    Audiobook : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps.

    • 3 min
    judge themselves : 英語聞き流そう!

    judge themselves : 英語聞き流そう!

    judge themselves

    When my grandfather was young, his father wanted him to be a schoolteacher. He had been visiting schools to have his son hired. Behind his back, my grandfather, who didn’t want to be a teacher, secretly applied to the biggest department store in the city and got accepted for the job there without any connections.

    It was a famous, long-standing department store and before he started his job there was a three-way interview, the company personnel, my grandfather and his father. Now he came to a point to tell the truth to his father. Because he knew how much his father wanted to see him as a teacher, he braced himself for a stormy opposition. Instead, his father came to the interview, suggested to eat out on their way home, and ordered unusually expensive dishes for both of them, saying, “This is the best day of my life. I’ve never been this happy.”

    My grandfather was quickly regarded as an executive candidate at the department store for his earnest and diligent work. But only a few months later, his father suddenly died. He was a farmer and the family lost its breadwinner and the master of the house. My grandfather had no choice other than quitting his job to take care of the family as a successor. He gave up his dream, became a farmer and dedicated his life solely to succeed the family, which I left although I was supposed to succeed…

    It seems that people look back and judge themselves when they are nearing their ends. Not long before his death, my grandfather suddenly told my parents that he wanted to go to the department store where he once worked vigorously but had to leave to succeed the family.

    My parents thought his consciousness grew dim because they assumed that he meant shopping, which he was too frail to do. I know what he really meant. He realized that he should not have given up what he wanted to do for his life. On his deathbed, he pointed at my mother and said, “You’re next.” I wonder if she would end up like him. Surely she looks a strong candidate for that matter… 



    Episode from The Family in Kyoto: One Japanese Girl Got Freedom by Hidemi Woods

    Audiobook : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps.

    • 3 min
    if you don’t want to : 英語聞き流そう!

    if you don’t want to : 英語聞き流そう!

    if you don’t want to

    From kindergarten to the lower grades, I had suffered from insomnia. I hated going to kindergarten and then to school too strongly to sleep on school nights. As the morning to go there approached, I felt more and more nervous and tense. I would be wide awake in futon no matter how eager I was to fall asleep, watching glittering patterns on the back of my eyelids for hours. Tears ran through my cheeks into my ears during those long nights. When it dawned and the room was filled with the gray of the morning, I could finally doze awhile.

    I slept beside my grandparents as my parents were occupied with my little sister in a different room. Before going to sleep, I would try to be near my mother as long as I could because she used to be the last one that retreated to her bedroom at night. But soon I was to be prodded into going to my grandparents’ room to sleep. I once found the courage to confide to my mother that I was having insomnia. She scoffed at it and said anyone could sleep by just closing his or her eyes. Her advice was to close my eyes. I wondered how dumb she thought I was, since I did so to sleep every night. She didn’t take it seriously and so I kept staying awake on weeknights secretly.

    Sunday nights were the worst. The thought that a long week at school would start next morning made it undoubtedly impossible for me to sleep. My grandparents used to watch TV in futon before going to sleep. Their favorite drama was on Sunday nights and the end of the drama meant my grandmother fell asleep. I can still hear in my ears the sad tune of the drama’s ending. My grandfather would read a little after that. When the light by his pillow was turned off was a signal that he would also go to sleep and I would be left alone awake in futon.

    One night, he noticed I wasn’t asleep in the middle of the night. “You’re still awake,” he was surprised. I confessed that I couldn’t sleep, and he simply said, “Don’t sleep, then.” While I couldn’t believe what I had just heard, he explained, “You don’t have to sleep if you don’t want to.” I had never thought that way. I didn’t have to sleep! Like magic, his words cured my insomnia and I have fallen asleep easily ever since…

    Episode from The Family in Kyoto: One Japanese Girl Got Freedom by Hidemi Woods

    Audiobook : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps.

    • 4 min

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