Blog and Book Reviews

2019-2020 3rd@1st Season 9/16/2019

September 16, 2019

2019-2020 season will make our concert series for 6th season! This year’s offerings run the gamut: from Mozart to Jazz, from Paris to Broadway. Featuring my musician friends and visiting artists from the community and beyond, the concerts are presented in the inspiring surroundings of the beautiful First United Methodist Church of Pasadena’s historic building.

I would like to specially comment on our newly restored Steinway 9ft piano. George Ashikyan, a wonderful piano technician and a friend of us, worked on the piano during the summer. The piano got a new Steinway action and many details worked on. It is so beautiful. The touch is fantastic and the sound is amazing, especially in the acoustic in the sanctuary. You will enjoy hearing the piano in this season.

Please go to for more information. The opening concert will be on Saturday October 19 at 7:30pm with Mozart Piano Concerto no. 9 and Requiem. Please note that the opening concert starts at 7:30pm, but other concert will remain at our regularar concert time as 4pm.

Happy Fall! I look forward to seeing you at concerts.

ユートピア 湊かなえ  集英社 9/16/19

September 16, 2019


Nのために 湊かなえ  双葉文庫 9/8/19

September 8, 2019


おもかげ  浅田次郎  毎日新聞社 9/8/19

September 8, 2019






Movie “Honeyland” 8/26/19

August 26, 2019

It is a sad and heartbreaking documentary movie, but shows a dignity, sublimity, and tenderness in human’s life. Hatidze Muratova is apparently the last of Macedonia’s nomadic beekeepers, who uses an ancient method. This movie does not tell us too much. It gives us moment to imagine, feel and think. We hear constantly bees’ buzzing and see a beautiful nature in mountains. Hatidze sticks her bare hands into natural stone nests and sing old folk songs to her buzzing swarms. She sings so beautifully. So innocent! Joy and Happiness.. Her face is weathered and weepy living in nature. But her eyes are always so bright and curious. She takes care of her half-blind 86-year-old mother. They chat like any other mother-daughter does. Their small house has no electricity, no water. The mother talks about Hatidze’s marriage possibility. She laments that her daughter has become a burden to her.. But she goes on.

When Hussein Sam, his wife, and their seven kids drive into Muratova’s neck of the woods with a herd of their cattle, the life of solitude and peace is changed. Hatidze was wondering at first, but she starts to enjoy their accompany. She accepts them. She plays with kids, she teaches Sam a beekeeping business and they start to share their lives together. She always stresses to Sam that she only takes half of the honey that’s produced by each hive, as that ensures the bees will survive and be able to produce more later. That sustained harmony is more valuable to Muratova than the extra few Euro she could earn by taking every drop of honey. That is what she has been doing all her life. That is what she believes. But Hussein has 7 kids and 2 adults to feed. He struggles. He breaks a harmony… He is desperate. So you know what comes next. But Hatidze never loses dignity. And she never forgets to enjoy her life even when she does not have almost anything. I could not stand quickly after the movie was over. I felt very heavy in my mind. I fully recommend this movie.




An Animation Movie ” Mirai” 8/26/19

August 26, 2019

4-year-old boy, named Kun, feels forgotten by his parents when his little sister Mirai (It means “future” in Japanese) arrives. Kun-chan (Little Kun) thought his little sister is stealing all of attention from his family. He feels neglected. His world is different.. Mirai is cute and everybody pays attention to her. As his mother returns to work, and his father struggles to run the household (he works at home as an architect), Kun-chan becomes increasingly jealous of baby Mirai at every moment.  Even the family dog, Yukko, feels neglected. One day he storms off into their magical garden, where he encounters strange guests from the past and future — including his sister Mirai, as a teenager. Together, Kun-chan and a teenage Mirai go on a journey through time and space, uncovering their family’s incredible stories. A magical garden serves as a time-traveler. For instance Kun-chan meets with his mother as a child. Through those adventures Kun-chan will grow up and opens a new perspective on his world.

It is a beautiful and imaginative animation movie. Surely you will enjoy it too. As a Japanese pianist I often use a song from Japanese animation movies for my encore at the concerts and the audience always give me a wonderful feedback. I am sure you will cry during this movie. I watched “Mirai” on one of flights this summer, and I cried too.

坊ちゃん 夏目漱石 新潮文庫 8/4/19

August 4, 2019


東京飄然 町田康 中央公論社 7/30/19

July 30, 2019


スクラップ・アンド・ビルド 羽田圭介  文藝春秋 7/16/19

July 17, 2019


死の島  小池真理子 文藝春秋 7/16/19

July 17, 2019


When we are living it is in Christ Jesus,

and when we’re dying, it is in the Lord.

Both in our living, and in our dying,

we belong to God, we belong to God.