Thursday, January 31, 2008

Shibaura Institute of Technology: Global Issues Projects: Water Diary

The students in my Global Issues 2 class at Shibaura Institute of Technology were given the following assignment:
  1. Keep a diary of your water use for 3 consecutive (連続) days. Record the following information:
    • The amount of water you used.
    • The time you used the water.
    • The reason you used the water.
  2. Write a report about your water use. Analyse your water use. Report on the following:
    • The total amount of water you used each day.
    • The average amount of water you used each day.
    • The time when you used the most water.
    • The most common reason you had for using water
Submit both your Water Diary and your report. Your report should be 200 – 250 words long.

Below are the reports submitted by some students

Seiya's Water Diary Report

Limitations of the of the water diary

(a) The total amount of water I used was not counted because I’m still living with my
family. So I couldn’t count the amount of water used to wash my dishes exactly.
(b) The amount of drinks which I drank was not counted because I only drunk juices during
these three days.
(c) I calculated the amount of water under some suppositions. I’ll show them below.
1. Washing my face and hands: 1200ml
2. Brushing my teeth: 150ml
3. Toilet (urinal): 500ml
4. Toilet:10 litres
5. Baths: 1200× The number of times I used the washbowl*

* Japanese people do not wash in the bath. They wash before they enter the bath. Often they scoop water from the bath tub and use this water while washing. Once they are washed, Japanese people get into the bath. (Mr. Stout)

Now, the report begins from the next line.

Chapter 1: Water Diary

1. First Day: Oct. 20th 2007 Saturday
(a) Washing my hands: 10 times
The Times I used water: 6:35, 6:50, 11:35, 12:40, 14:30, 18:10, 21:20, 21:45, 1:30, 3:30
(b) Washing my face: 2 times
The Times I used water: 6:35, 1:35 am
(c) Toilet: 6 times
The Times I used water: 6:30, 11:30, 14:30, 18:20, 1:30, 3:30
(d) Bath: 1 time (15 washbowls of water used)
(e) Brushing my teeth: 2 times

2. Second Day: Oct 21st 2007 Sunday

(a) Washing my hands: 8 times
The Times I used water: 11:35, 14:20, 18:40, 20:20, 21:45, 1:30, 2:30
(b) Washing my face: 2 times
The Times I used water: 11:35, 2:00 am
(c) Toilet: 7 times
The Times I used water: 11:00, 14:30, 18:40, 20:30, 21:45, 1:30, 2:30
(d) Bath: 1 time ( 20 washbowls of water used)
(e) Brushing my teeth: 2 times

3. Final Day: Oct 22nd 2007 Monday

(a) Washing my hands: 8 times
The Times I used water: 6:15, 8:40, 12:20, 12:40, 17:00, 23:30, 23:40, 4:30
(b) Washing my face: 2 times
The Times I used water: 6:15, 3:30 am
(c) Toilet: 6 times
The Times I used water: 6:15, 8:40, 12:40, 16:30, 23:40, 3:30
(d) Bath: 1 time ( 16 washbowls of water I used)
(e) Brush my teeth: 2 times

Chapter 2: Report

* Calculations were omitted.
1. The total amount of water I used each day → 1st:35 litres 2nd:42.8 litres 3rd:36.65 litres
2. The average amount of water I used each day → 38.15 litres
3. The time I used the most water:
It was late at night because I took a bath at that time and had to use much water.
4. The most common reason I had for using water
It was “washing my hands”. Hands carry many viruses. So we must keep our hands clean.
By writing this water diary I discovered that I use too much water every day. We take
water for granted, but some countries suffer from drought. I decided to pay attention to
the amount of water I use.

Dan's Water Diary Report

Dan's water usage is displayed in the table below:

Click to table see large size

1. The amount of water used each day:
a. I used 205.8 litres of water on 10/24, used 205.9 litres of water on 10/25, and used
106.8 litres of water on 10/26.
b. The average amount of water I used each day was 172.8 litres. That’s a lot of water.
2. The time when I used the most water was at night because the bath requires a lot of water,
and I always take a bath at night.
3. The most common reason for using water.
a. The most common reason I had for using water was taking a bath.
Is it not good for the earth?

I didn’t use the bath on 10/26 because 10/26 was a very busy day. On 10/26 I had my part time job and assignments and so on.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Homelessness in Japan by Yuta Mashiko - Takushoku University

Good afternoon everyone. Today I want to talk to you about the homeless in Japan. Please listen to my presentation and please think about homeless people. In my presentation, first, I want to tell you about the homeless situation in Japan. Then I want to talk about the problems that are caused by homelessness.

Ok, let me start with some information about homelessness in Japan. The population of Japan is about one hundred million, and the number of homeless people was about twenty-five thousand people at it’s highest, but it has decreased to eighteen thousand now. Ninety-five percent of the homeless are elderly and middle-aged. The youngest is 30 and the oldest is 60. The number of young homeless people has increased in recent years and they are called Net Café Refugees. Most of the homeless live in huts and in tunnels. They live in urban areas. Ok, I’ve told you about the homeless situation in Japan. Now I will talk about the problems that cause homelessness.

The biggest reason people become homeless is unemployment. They lose their houses through company bankruptcy. Homelessness has increased due to the long-term deterioration of business in Japan. Other reasons are personal. For example, various problems related to family relationships, gambling dependence and alcohol dependence.

What problems occur when homelessness increases? First of all, there is the problem of disturbances to the public peace. Actually, assaults on homeless people have occurred. Many homeless people freeze to death every year. Also, they lose the right to vote (選挙権) because they have no address, and they can’t get a driving licence. As a result, finding employment becomes difficult and it is not possible to become independent economically. So can these problems be solved?

Japan has enacted a law to help the homeless to get back into society. There is the livelihood protection law in Japan. But the solution to this problem is difficult. A lot of homeless people want to work but finding employment becomes difficult because they have neither a dwelling nor a resident’s card. It is also difficult to contract rental housing. Also, the older people cannot learn new skills and new jobs. The support of the government is difficult in present day Japan. Therefore, support from private organizations is important. For example, meals provided by volunteers, dwellings such as tents, donations of new clothes and blankets, and support finding employment. Even still, this alone doesn’t solve the problem.

Ok, I’ve talked about the Japanese homeless situation, the problems caused by it and what the Japanese government has done for the homeless. Finally, finding a solution to this problem is very difficult but we can do some things in our every day lives. Lets make a world where everybody can live easily.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Homelessness in Japan Lu Lin (Kathy) Takushoku University

Good afternoon everyone. Have you ever heard of homeless people? Yes, I think most people often see them in the streets, in parks, and by riversides, what did you feel when you saw them? Homeless people have increased and their existence has become a social problem. So today I am here to talk about my research about homelessness in Japan. I’m going to cover four areas. First, I’ll talk about the population of Japan and what percentage of it consists of homeless people. Second, I want to explain the homeless situation in Japan to you. Then I will tell you about the cause of homeless people in Japan. And finally, I’ll talk about what we can do to help homelessness in Japan.

So let’s start by looking at the population of Japan. Japan’s 2005 National Census showed that its total population is 127.76 million, of which 18.56 thousand (0.015%) are homeless. Most them are in Osaka and Tokyo (2003 counted 7,757 in Osaka, 6,361 in Tokyo and 2,121 in Aichi). And 93% are men. Please look at the chart.

Most of the homeless are between the ages of 50 and 60. The youngest one is 26 and the oldest one is 78. Homeless people can’t get enough food or clothes sometimes. Most homeless in Japan live in parks, train stations, under bridges, garbage dumps and scraped factories near a city.

Why there are many homeless in Japan? Now I’ll talk about how the problem caused. Tokyo is one of the biggest cities in the world. So some people from outside come to the big city in order to realize their dreams. But they come without good preparation. They can’t find a job in order to make their dream come true. There are other causes too. For example having no job. Homelessness is often due to financial problems, or sometimes people become homeless because they have just been released from prison, or they are having physical health problems etc. They can’t get basic things to live. So how do we help the homeless?

Japan has enacted a law to help the homeless to get back into society. The main spirit of the law is, first, helping homeless people to get a job and get a place to live. Second, taking care of their mental and physical health. Also, there are many things we can do:
1. Ask our parents if you can clean out our closet and give some of our old clothes to homeless children.
2. Collect toys from our friends, for homeless kids.
Of course there are still many more ways to help the homeless. If only we care about the homeless, we will find a way to do something for them.

Ok, I’ve talked about the Japanese homeless population and situation, and the problems caused by it , and finally, I talked about what we can do to help homelessness. So everyone of us from now on, let’s do what we can to help homeless, then the world will be more beautiful. Thank you for listening!

Homeless in Japan by Cheng Ya Bin

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Homeless in Germany By Gao Song (Lisa) Takushoku University, Hachioji, Japan

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. Germany is one of the richest countries in the world. You may imagine that if you live in Germany you should have a wonderful life because it is very common to have a nice flat, and car. However, life isn’t good for everyone there. Some people can’t afford to buy a flat or car; they can’t even afford to buy food to survive. Why are more than 7,000 kids living on the streets in Germany? What are the best methods to help the homeless? The purpose of this presentation today is to raise awareness so that we can help the homeless and prevent such problems from getting worse.

So, let me begin by giving you an outline of my talk today. First of all, I’ll explain what is the cause of homelessness in Germany? After that, I’ll talk about what agencies are working in Germany to help the homeless, and what these agencies are doing in order to help them. Finally, let’s discuss what we can do to help the homeless.

Right, let’s start by looking at the cause of homelessness in Germany. There are 4 different factors which are causes of homelessness. According to the data, the population in Germany is 82 millions, and 345,000 people are homeless. Forty percent of the homelessness is caused by economic problems. Thirty percent is caused by drugs. Two percent is caused by problems faced by youngsters whose ages are from 14 to 18 years old, and the rest is caused by other problems, such as people wanting to earn money by living on the streets, or other activities controlled by some bad organizations.

It is easy to see that the economic problem is the biggest factor of causing homelessness. In Germany, an average income standard is 2500~3000 euros, about the same as Japan, the taxes are also very high, because the government will use this money to help unemployed persons and the homeless. I made an investigation, and I found information on a family that has 3 persons with a small apartment. It is very hard to have savings, if only one person goes to work. In addition, Germany has a high standard of education, so the people with low education find it difficult to find a job. On the other hand, many homeless people can get money from social welfare systems or other organizations. It is the biggest reason why the lazy people choose to sleep on the streets, and beg for food instead of having a job.

Now, I’d like to move on to another cause of homelessness, taking drugs. In Germany, drug addicts are very common among homeless people. Norbert Müller, director of the Prälat-Schleich-Haus in Bonn, is one of the volunteers who builds shelters for the homeless. He found nearly half of his shelter’s residents were drug addicts. Furthermore, most of them refused to accept help from government or social welfare systems, because they would be prohibited from drinking wine and using drugs if they lived in shelters. So they go back to their former life style, and continue taking drugs and sleeping on a bench or in a doorway.

Now, I’m going to turn to the last point cause of homelessness. In Germany, there are nearly 7,000 kids who are living on the streets, and more than third of them are in the capital city. For example, Mischa is an 18 year old boy. You can find him sitting at the entrance of a suburban railway station nearly every day. When his parents divorced, he stayed with his mother. After three years, his mother died of cancer, and he found he was alone. Without any qualifications, it was difficult to find a job; soon, he spent all of his money.

Peter Mucke, director of Terre de Hommes, says that in recent years, more and more youngsters became homeless due to a troubled family background, violence, and drugs. Most of them were from small towns in the eastern or western parts of Germany.

I have finished explaining the cause of homelessness in Germany, next, I’ll talk about what agencies are working in Germany to help the homeless, and what these agencies are doing in order to help them. There are three organizations that give help to the homeless. ‘One euro jobs’ is the way to help unemployed persons and the homeless to get simple jobs that pay one euro per hour. ‘Off Road kids’ is actively providing advice and guidance to street kids in Berlin. Master Love Institution prepares large quantities of hot food and warm clothes for the homeless in winter, and each homeless person can receive a package which contains hot food, a sleeping bag, a cup, warm socks and other items. In addition, many companies sell these things to Master Love Institution with a 40% discount in price.

Ok then, to sum up, let’s discuss what we can do to help the homeless. First, I don’t think only giving the homeless some money is a good method because it will be considered as the easiest way to get money without any work by lazy people. Second, we should encourage some homeless people who have lost their confidence and dreams, for example, a young girl who had a history of taking drugs. With her friends’ help, she has given up drugs and finished her high school diploma. This success story tells us the most important thing for them is a dream. Third, we should help the real poor people who are in need of food and shelters.

Today, I covered three points. First, I told you about the cause of homelessness in Germany. Please remember there are nearly 7,000 kids who are living on the streets. Second, I told you about what agencies are working in Germany to help the homeless, and what these agencies are doing in order to help them, please don’t forget there are many organizations likes Master Love Institution which give help to the homeless. Finally, I told you about what we can do to help the homeless; I hope you can remember that it is not a good method to only give the homeless some money. Try to encourage them to have dreams for the future. Thank you very much.

Sources (2006, October 5). Germany's Homeless Must Leap Hurdles to Get
Help. Retrieved from,2144,2194430,00.html on
January 24, 2008 (2007, July 12). Falling between the cracks: Street kids in Germany on the rise.
Retrieved from on
January 24, 2008

Khaleej Times On-line (2007, January 11). Concern grows over more and more street kids in Germany. Retrieved from on January 24, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Homelessness In America
Zhaohai Yan (Joyce)
Takushoku University

Photo by Franco Folini

Good afternoon everyone. I’m Joyce. I’m a Chinese student studying in Japan. This semester I took the English Speech course. At the end of the term, our teacher asked us to make a presentation about homelessness as the term-examination. At first I didn’t know who homeless people were, or what homelessness is, but now I really know many things about homeless people. Do you know about homeless people? If you don’t, it isn’t a problem because today I will tell you about the homeless in America. I am going to cover three main areas. First, I will talk about the population of America, and how many homeless people there are. Second, I will tell you about what the cause of homelessness is in America. Third, I will tell you what we can do to help homeless people.

Ok, to begin, let me start with the population of America and the percentage of the American population that are homeless people. There are about 303.6 million persons in America. Over 7% of these persons are defined as homeless persons.

Two point three to three point five million persons are experiencing homelessness every year. Forty-three percent of the homeless are single men. Thirty-three percent of the homeless are families with children. Seventeen percent of the homeless are single women. Three percent are unaccompanied minors. Point four percent of the homeless are from an unknown demographic.

Ok, I have told you about the population of America and how many homeless people there are. Now, I will talk about what the cause of homelessness is. As you know, America is the country that is considered to be more prosperous than any other country in the world. Why is there a rising number of homeless people in America? What is the cause? There are many different causes including: personal problems, lack of education, domestic violence, drug addiction, poor work habits, and lack of skills, but the main cause of homelessness is economic. Some people have the economic resources to deal with some things like personal problems and lack of education but others don’t have the economic resources to deal with their problems so they become homeless people. Once they have the economic resources, they will buy a house or deal with their personal problems, and they will become members of the common society. Therefore, most of those who are homeless aren’t seen on the street at all because they are somewhere working or going to school or doing something to help themselves. Maybe you could be standing next to a homeless person at the bus stop and not know it because she or he is dressed for her or his office job.

Ok, finally, I’ll tell you about how we can help these homeless people. First of all, the American government prepares food and clothes to give the homeless people and it sets up some tent villages for homeless people. Ok I have told you about what the American government is doing to help the homeless but what can we do?

Maybe we can give some money, food and clothes to homeless people, or we can take part in some activities to help homeless people but the most important thing we can do to solve the problem is to help them to find a job. So how can we do that? I think the basic thing we can do is pay taxes to the government. So the government can use the money to do something. For example: build houses, repair and build roads and so on. Then the government can employ homeless people and the homeless people can get a job and make a living. Ok, there are other ways to help homeless people. If you know some good ways, please contact me. I am very happy to research the problem with you.

In conclusion, let me go through the main points again. I have told you about homeless people in America. I covered three main areas. First, I told you about the population of America and how many homeless people there are. Second, I told you about what the cause of homelessness in America is. Third, I told you what we can do to help homeless people.

Ok, now, I think you have got to know about homeless people. Last, I want you to know that to help homeless people is to help ourselves. It is because it is possible for anyone to become homeless. So we have to help homeless people. Good luck everyone! Thanks for listening.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Learn English and Feed the World - How Cool is that!?

Click to see larger image

This is a really cool website: It's a vocabulary quiz. For every word you get right some rice is donated to hungry people. At the start, you will get words from different levels. Soon, the website will understand your level and you will get only words at your level. After that you can level up. Therefore, this website is fun for everyone. I love it! I'm at Level 42.
Please visit this website and take the quiz. Then visit this website again and write a comment. Tell me how you liked the website. Tell me your level. Tell me how many grains of rice you donated. I'm really looking forward to hearing what you think of this website!

Monday, January 14, 2008

You can make your own English Comics

Click on the image to make it bigger

My friend Steven Nishida introduced me to a really cool website called You can make your own comic using this website. I made the comic above. Try it! It's fun and easy.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


On the way home from Germany I stopped in Seoul. I stayed in Seoul for three nights.

The dark green area on the map is Seoul. Seoul is very close to North Korea.

I visited some palaces in Seoul including Changdeokgung. Changdeokgung is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This is a lovely bird I saw in a park in Seoul. I was surprised that I didn't see a lot of crows and pigeons because there are many crows and pigeons in Tokyo.

I think the most interesting thing about Seoul is the markets. There many markets in Seoul.

There are many kinds of food you can eat in the markets. In this picture a woman is making Korean pancakes. I don't know the Korean name for these pancakes. They are almost the same as another Korean pancake called Pajeon. The Japanese name for these Korean pancakes is Chijimi. They are similar to Chinese Cōng Yóu Bǐng and Japanese Okonomiyaki.

This is the chijimi that I ate. I shared it with my wife. I was too big. We couldn't finish it. It cost 4000 won. Four thousand won is about five hundred yen, or about five dollars.

Cologne Cathedral

On the twenty-sixth of December I made a day-trip to Cologne. I visited Cologne Cathedral. Cologne Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also, it was the tallest building in the world from 1880 to 1890.
Cologne Cathedral is built in the Gothic style. Therefore it has very ceilings and pointed arches.
It also has many beautiful works of art. You can see some examples of the art work below.

The Crucifix of Bishop Gero is in the picture above. It was made in the 10th century CE.

The picture above is a nativity scene that was made specially for Christmas. The picture below is a close-up of the baby Jesus with his mother and a shepherd.

I climbed to the top of the bell tower. It was very a very difficult climb. I made me very tired.

The picture below is the view from the top of the bell tower. You can see the Rhine river.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Christmas Day in Frankfurt

Almost all the shops and restaurants were closed in Frankfurt on Christmas Day. Fortunately, one restaurant in the Hotel Steigenberger Frankfurter was open. The restaurant was Oscar's.
I ate Weiner Schnitzel for dinner. It was served with potatoes and cranberry sauce. Weiner Schnitzel is not a part of a traditional German Christmas dinner. However, cranberry sauce is a part of a traditional Canadian Christmas dinner.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Christmas Market in Nuremberg

The Christmas market in Nuremberg is the most famous German Christmas market. It is called Christkindlesmarkt. Christkindlesmarkt means Christ child market. The picture above is the symbol of the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt. It looks like an angel but it is not an angel. It is the Christ child. It is the baby Jesus. You can see this symbol  of the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt everywhere at the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt.

One of the most famous attractions of the Nuremberg Christmas market is the clock of Frauenkirche (Our Lady's Church).

Every day at noon the clock's chimes ring and the figures move around in an circle.

Another attraction of the Christmas market in Nuremberg is a ride in a horse-drawn carriage.

There were many beautiful crafts on sale at the Christmas market. One of the most interesting were the Christmas pyramids. The heat from the candles rises up and makes the propeller spin and the propeller spinning makes the figures below spin too.

There were also hand-made Christmas tree ornaments and Christmas wreathes for sale.

The Nuremberg Christmas market was very beautiful at night.

After the Christmas market closed at two o'clock on Christmas Eve I went to Nuremberg Castle. The view from the castle is great!

This is Albrecht Durer House. Durer was a famous artist who lived in Nuremberg.

This is a statue of Durer

I was really tired after walking all over Nuremberg on Christmas Eve. Fortunately, the hotel I stayed in was very comfortable. The pillow and the quilt were the best! Filled with Canada Goose down. Warm and Cozy!!!

Early Christmas Day I went back to Frankfurt.