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This journal is written by Kuma (Felis catus) and Kuma's owner Y (homo sapiens). We have moved from Japan to Australia in 2011.


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2017-11-08 21:05   The Minister of Finance in the family

Y (Kuma's owner)

There is plenty of information about Japan on the internet, books and TV. I look at it from a Japanese point of view and some of them are incorrect. Today, I'm going to introduce about common Japanese family's customs that most foreigners don't know. It's the Finance Minister at home.

Sometimes, foreigners say that Japanese women are in a weak position. Maybe it can be said depending on a situation but when they say about money, the circumstances are different.

In Japan, the wife is in charge of the family budget. It might be changing with the times but still lots of wives have the right to make decisions about using money. Long ago, at the time when people got their salary by cash, the employer put cash into an envelope and gave it to his employees. The envelope was of course sealed. So, people said that a husband who brought an envelope that was sealed was a paragon of a husband. That meant a husband who did not sneak money from the envelope was a nice husband. I think you already can guess who has the right to open the envelope, it's the wife.

Maybe you are wondering how husbands get their pocket money. Usually, the wife decides how much money her husband can use. It's the same as children. The Japanese husband gets pocket money from his wife. Therefore, people ironically call wives the Minister of Finance. When I was a kid, every family had a Minister of Finance. The numbers of households in which both partners work have been increasing lately, so the circumstances might be changed to some extent but I think this custom still remains strong.

I remember my childhood when my family went out and had a meal at the restaurant, my mother paid for the meal every time. I thought it was a natural thing to do. However, one day when I was watching an American movie on TV, I saw a man pay money and I felt a bit strange.

I know now most (or all countries except Japan?) countries have the opposite custom of Japanese. If you are not Japanese, maybe you are surprised reading my blog. On the internet, I found an article that male foreigners who live in Japan and know about Japanese customs well say Japanese women are nice but they believe that they can control the money, so it's not a good idea to get married with them. Foreigners seem that they don't want to receive pocket money from their wives. If you are considering marrying a Japanese woman, don't change your mind by reading my blog.

Me? Of course, I'm the Minister of Finance.

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2017-10-23 22:21   The requirements to be an Australian citizen

Y (Kuma's owner)

I had been paying attention to the citizenship test and English ability test which were considered to be mandatory to people who wanted to be an Australian citizen.
I heard that the Australian government is planning to demand university-level English to applicants. I didn't know exactly how much score would be needed, for instance on IELTS, and looked for news and found that the government were considering to achieve a minimum level of "competent".
"Competent" was still a blurry image to me and I looked for the information again and found that it's level 6 or 6.5 score of IELTS because many Australian universities require a minimum overall IELTS score of 6 or 6.5. It's a bit high for people who come from non-English speaking countries.

Now I'm writing this blog in English and wondering how much score of writing category of IELTS I am able to get?

Australian Citizenship Test

However, I heard the news that this proposal was rejected recently. I think I'm going to take the citizenship test in the future. The Japanese government doesn't allow to have dual citizenship, so if I got Australian citizenship, that means I will lose Japanese citizenship. Most Japanese who live in Australia keep Japanese citizenship for the reason that they cannot keep dual citizenship. If I could, I would like to keep both citizenship but if it's not allowed even in the future, I would choose Australian citizenship because my base of life is here, Australia.

I heard the news that Kazuo Ishiguro won the Nobel prize for literature. He was born in Japan and grew up in the United Kingdom. He said that he had to abandon Japanese citizenship by the reason I wrote above. People who abandoned Japanese citizenship are increasing for several reasons.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to my friends' home party. There, one of my friends gave me several Australia quizzes. It was a good opportunity to learn about Australia but on the other hand I realised that ironically Australian friends couldn't answer some of the questions.

I like quizzes and was curious about the citizenship test, therefore I bought the book literally titled "Australian Citizenship Test Practice Questions." Unfortunately, there are lots of political questions which I'm not good with. It seems not easy to get a high score without studying but I can understand it because it's the citizenship test, if it's too easy I would be surprised.

After ten years later, I wonder what kind of society we will have. So many people are moving beyond the borderline recently and the world seems to be greatly changing. I hope that everyone will have a peaceful life regardless of nationality.

I hope the Japanese government will change the regulation and will allow dual citizenship in the future.

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2017-10-18 22:56   Having no friends

Y (Kuma's owner)

I moved into the current house in 2013. I like the town I live in now; beautiful nature, friendly neighbors, small but convenient shopping centre. My husband and I preferred a small town and this town was exactly what we wanted.

However, I have one issue since I have moved here. I have no friends.

Several years ago, I lived in a much denser residential area and I often had chances to meet neighbors. I sometimes had a chat with my neighbors and it was fun. We visited each other's houses for talking or having tea and I'm sure it helped my English. In retrospect, the days I lived in that town was a very good environment for learning English.

Here I am in one of the small towns in Queensland. The population is not so big and my neighbor's houses are not close. Therefore, I don't have much chance to meet them. My time to talk in English decreased sharply, and in addition all my friends have sold their houses and moved too far away. That was very unlucky for me, I couldn't believe that all of them have gone.

I don't think this situation is good for me. I'm now looking for some gatherings of hobbies. Isn't it a good idea to join a club or a gathering? However, here I also have an issue. There are no gatherings or activities that I'm interested in. This town isn't big and no wonder there are no varieties of activities and gatherings. Now I'm at a standstill.

Should I join an activity even if I have no interests? No, I don't think so. I think it would be fun to talk with the local people but I have to put up with something that I'm not interested in. I found some volunteer work several months ago. The one I was interested in was the volunteer work of planting tree seedlings in the wild area. I love nature and maybe I will have a chance to meet people who have the same interests.

I believe that I'm able to find some activities or gatherings that I'm interested in someday and it would be great if I could find good friends there.

| | Category Misc.