Jan 1 2020
Jul 16 2011
The Mercers (Craig, Kana, Yuki and Haku) are planning on coming to Osaka for a visit! Kana and the kids will be arriving on Friday, September 2nd and Craig will be arriving on Saturday, September 17th. We’ll all be heading back to Canada on Saturday, October 25th. We are looking forward to visiting with all of our friends and family. Below is our itinerary so you can see when we might be free to hang out and catch up. Mata ne!
Apr 15 2007
Well our day to leave Nippon has finally come. We, with heavy hearts, are heading down to Kansai Airport in about 10 minutes (2:00pm JST). Before we left though we wanted to say Sayonara to all our wonderful friends and family in Japan.
We also wanted to say a big CONGRATULATIONS to Ai and Junya Fujii on the birth of their first son Hayato. We were hoping to meet the new little one before we left and Ai did not disappoint us. YAY! Hayato was born on Thursday April 12th at 1:14pm and weighed in at 3070grams.
We have met so many cool people in Japan and we will sorely miss you all (Yoshio, Shigeru, Daniel & Miyuki, Madoka, Mika, James & Hiromi, Lian & Atsushi, Eiko, Misako, Ai & Junya, Rie, Shima, Tomo & Koichi, Terry & Tomomi, David, Mac & Aya, Ryoko & Kenji Sei, Teruko and list goes on and on)! It is doubly hard to leave Kana’s family (Mom, Dad, sister Chie and her wonderful newborn son Seia) as Grace Yuki has really made our times together very very memorable. Family is good that way hey!?!
So this is it from the Mercers in Osaka. I guess our next video series will be “The Mercers’ Adventures in Victoria”. Love and Prayers Everyone. SAYONARA!
Apr 11 2007
Our “Sayonara Parties” are done and we are switching into serious packing up mode. We cancelled our cell phones yesterday, which means if you are in Japan and you want to reach us, you should emailor call 72.426.3987.
We sure are going to miss all of our new friends that we have made while being in Osaka these past two years. Last night we were finally able to make it out to our local Izakaya “Enjoy Sake” which we have been trying to get to since it opened last summer. Even Kana made it out which is so rare…a fitting way to end our last get together in Osaka. Sniff Sniff.
For those of you wondering what flight we will be on and when here are the particulars:
We are flying on Air Canada (flight number AC36) from Kansai Airport (KIX) at 5:25pm on Sunday, April 15th. We will arrive at Vancouver Airport on Sunday April 15th at 11:00am (it’s wierd I know but there is a 16 hour time difference between Osaka and Victoria). Wish us luck for the joy that is customs and immigration. YAY!
Our best friends Adam & Marianne Richards have graciously agreed to come with a huge van to pick us up from Vancouver Airport and drive us back to the Island. We are planning to make a short stop off at my Dad & Mom’s place to introduce Grace Yuki in person before finally arriving at my Mom’s place where we will be hanging our hats for the next few weeks while we look for a place of our own.
In other news, Kana’s best friend Ai her husdand Junya are expecting their first baby any hour now and we are really hoping we will get to meet the new little one before we have to go.
Mar 28 2007
Sorry we have been so short on the news lately! But moving between countries is a lot of work!
We are all doing good. Grace Yuki has just started walking this past two weeks or so and is enjoying it greatly as are her parents!
Also I have added some more recent photos to the gallery, with more to come when I find the time (if I find the time)
Here is the list of upcoming stuff:
- Friday March 30th – David’s sayonara at Sakuranomiya by Osakajyo
- Saturday March 31st – Kana’s sayonara with the KaToRiShiA
- Saturday April 7th – Craig’s sayonara with the Royal Kids Crew
- Monday April 9th – Craig, Kana & Grace’s sayonara at Bayside Mall (5pm to 8pm)
So yeah there ya go we got more sayonara parties going on than we can shake a stick at. Hopefully all of our friends in Japan can make it to one or another.
Feb 27 2007
David Suzuki and Keibo Oiwa tell an awesome story in “The Japan We Never Knew”. Both David (a Canadian of Japanese ancestry) and Keibo (a Japanese of Korean ancestry) travel throughout Japan (from Okinawa to Hokkaido) meeting with activists, rebels, and regular everyday people who are trying to make a difference in modern day Japan. Their story starts with artists who try and capture the horror of war and ends with those trying to battle Japan’s relentless onslaught on the environment. This book was a real eye opener for me and I really enjoyed the factRead more…
Oct 25 2006
On Saturday October 21st from 4:00pm to 8:00pm we held the first ever AIM English Studio Halloween Party. Our goal, to have the most authentic North American Halloween Party in Japan! We had a Trick or Treat/Haunted House, Pumpkin Carving, Costume Contest, Pinatas, and lots of regular Fall Fair games like Bean Bag Toss, Musical Chairs, Bobbing for Apples, a Shooting Range and the ever popular Fish Pond.
We were wondering at first whether our students and families would enjoy an authentic western Halloween Party, but after we sold 230 meal tickets our fears were laid to rest. To say that the party was a smashing success would be an understatement. It was AWESOME! We had about 240 guests (students, their friends and families) and over 4600 pieces of candy.
Aug 3 2006
Hello All. Kana, Gracie and I just returned from a three day trip to Fukuoka (which is the big city on Kyushu, the island just south of Honshu which is the one we are on) to visit Kana’s Grandma Tomoe (toe-moe-ay), Gracie’s Great Grandma! Photos will be following in the next couple of days.
The other subject I wanted to bring up is the Friends Page. It has been working off and on and if you were to look back over the news items you would see many posts about our little guestbook.
Anyways, I have finally returned to the low tech original, although it will let spammers spam us (the reason I switched over to the new one), at least people can post comments with some assurance.
I am very sorry to those who have signed the Friends’ Page thinking we had received it, when in fact we hadn’t! Please re-post your thoughts when you get some time.
Hope everyone is having a great summer.
Aug 2 2006
For anyone who is interested in the Pacfic War, their reading collection cannot be complete without “Midway: The Japanese Story”.
The Battle of Midway (June 5th – 6th 1942) was a very decisive battle in the Pacific War, that after a few short minutes saw the Imperial Japanese Navy’s strength reduced drasticallyRead more…
Jul 21 2006
It is a shame but I must admit that I know nothing about Japan, especially it’s history, politics, government….which I should know. And if I had not have any chances to go outside of Japan, I doubt that I wouldn’t have even known of this fact. I think I am a typical, regular Japanese female and I guess this fact would be applied most of the people in my generation. I have heard so many times from the people who stayed in other countries long enough to be able to notice how we are blind and careless about our own country.Read more…
Jul 8 2006
I have just recently added a couple of new book reviews to the Book Review area.
The first one is “The Japan Journals” by which is a collection of journal entries by Donald Richie (longtime resident of Tokyo, film critic and write) spanning from 1947 to 2004.
The second book is “The Japan We Never Knew” by David Suzuki and Keibo Oiwa. This book covers the pilgrimage of David and Keibo to the side of Japan few people know about; the environmentalists, the artists, the Okinawans, the Ainu, the Burakumin, The Koreans. The Japan We Never Knew is an excellent book that I am sure you will enjoy too!
Jul 7 2006
There are five vowels in the Japanese language (similar to English). The sounds are::
- "a" that sounds like AH as in Father
- "i" that sounds like EE as in Week
- "u" that sounds like OO as in Google
- "e" that sounds like AY as in Day
- "o" that sounds like OH as in Nose
When words have two vowels together each vowel should be pronounced by itself, such as in the word "いえ" (which means house）it is pronounced "ee-ay". When two of the same vowels are together then you hold the sound longer. For example in the word "いいえ" (which means no) the "ee" sound is held longer, where as in the word"いえ" both sounds have the same length.
Jun 1 2006
Donald Richie has been in Japan forever…well actually since the US occupation after the Pacific War (WWII). He has literally “been there and done that”. Donald is a preeminent authority on Japanese films, prolific author and “Gaikokujin at Large” in Japan.
The Japan Journals comprise his thoughts (diary) over the last 57 years or so and anyone who has spent anytime in Japan should enjoy most parts of this book.Read more…
May 10 2006
This coffee table book is a collection of essays from many “Native English Teachers” living and working in Japan.
The book contains accounts of English Teaching from both the University and Language (Ekaiwa or English Conversation) School levels.Read more…
Apr 12 2006
Costco is another good place to get foreign foods and other stuff in Kansai. It is located in Amagasaki which is about 15 minutes away from Osaka (Umeda) on the JR Hanshin Line (between Kobe and Osaka).
Costco is good for some things, like buying in bulk, but if you are looking for just a few items it may not be worth the effort.
Where Costco shines is in the goods! If you are looking for items other than food, then Costco will be the place to look and as always the prices will be quite reasonable.
Jan 1 2006
My older brother Kirk came to visit (Dec.29 2005 to Jan.08 2006) soon after Grace Yuki was born . While he was here, Shigeru Komamonoya (the older Japanese fellow whom I met one day on the JR Train and has been a good friend to Kana and I ever since) was able to arrange for Kirk to attend a New Years Eve/Day Kendo Practice at Osaka Taiiku Daigaku (Osaka University of Health and Sport Sciences). The really cool thing is that one of Kirk’s Senseis from the UVIC Kendo Club (Hayashi Daisuke) went to Osaka Taiiku Daigaku and knows all the Seneis there. Although there is only one picture of him, Morioka Sensei is a good friend of Hayashi Sensei, in fact, they went to Jr.High together!Read more…
Dec 28 2005
Grace Yuki Mercer was born on December 22nd, 2005 at 10:17AM weighing 2900 grams. This video is a compilation of the first three days of Grace Yuki’s life as seen by us (her parents). We hope you enjoy our greatest Christmas gift of all!