A Smart Woodcutter's Woman of the Snow

"Yuki Onna" (雪女), or "Woman of the Snow", is an old traditional Japanese tale.

Most Japanese tales seem to involve the supernatural to some degree or another, but, in Yuki Onna, one of the main characters is a supernatural being. And, while she is a bit scary, she is also a sympathetic character.

I often get a little miffed at traditional tales. If specific characters would only think ahead just a little, the outcome might be so much better.

Yesterday, I was reading Lafcadio Hearn's Kwaidan, in which this story appears in one form, and I decided to rewrite it with an ending that I like better.

Here it is, borrowing from a previous rewrite (http://joels-random-eikaiwa.blogspot.jp/2015/10/the-woman-of-snow-japanese-folk-tale.html):

雪女 (Yuki Onna)

Narrator: Two woodcutters from a remote village,
  an old man named Mosaku and a young man named Minokichi,
  were working hard on a mountain not far from their village
  one afternoon in late fall.

Mosaku: There's a snowstorm coming. We should go home.

Minokichi: Just a little more wood.

Narrator: But the wind picked up and the snow began to fall,
  hard and cold.

Minokichi: Okay, I think you're right. Let's go.

Narrator: Mosaku and Minokichi packed their wood
  and hurried down the mountain.
  At the foot of the mountain, there was a wide river.
  It was deep and cold and fast, because of the snow.

Minokichi: Where is the ferryman?

Mosaku: He was wiser than we and has crossed already.
  We should take shelter in his hut.

Narrator: It was very cold in the hut.

Mosaku: Help me fasten the door.

Minokichi: Oh, it's cold. There is no place to build a fire.
  And the wind is so loud! How can we sleep?

Mosaku: Cover yourself well and close your eyes.
  You need the rest.

Narrator: Mosaku went to sleep quickly.

Mosaku: Ohh, it's so cold.
  I'm afraid we'll freeze to death.

Narrator: Just as the winds died down
  and Minokichi was falling asleep,
  he was awakened by the sound of the door of the hut opening.
  A flurry of snow hit his face.

Minokichi: Ah!

Narrator: Minokichi woke up,
  but he could not move or make a sound.
  In the moonlight, he saw a strange woman enter the hut.
  He could not speak, but he thought to himself.

Minokichi: She is so strange, so scary.
  But how beautiful she is!
  Where did she come from? Who is she?

Narrator: The woman went first to Mosaku and bent over him.
  Then she breathed on him, her breath a stream
  of ice crystals flowing into Mosaku's nostrils.
  Minokichi tried to scream out:

Minokichi: Mosaku! Are you all right?

Narrator: But he still couldn't make a sound.
  Then the woman came to Minokichi and bent over him.
  She looked into his eyes.
  Minokichi was terrified.

Snow Woman: You are young. I like you.
  I will not take you now.

Narrator: Minokichi still could not speak.

Snow Woman: But if you ever tell anyone what you saw tonight,
  I will kill you.

Narrator: The woman left silently.
  Minokichi's strength returned
  and he got up and looked outside for the woman.

Minokichi: She's not there!

Narrator: Then he shut the door and he went to Mosaku.

Minokichi: Mosaku?

Narrator: Mosaku did not answer.
  His body was as cold as ice.

Minokichi: Mosaku!

Narrator: The ferryman came in the morning.
  Mosaku was dead, and Minokichi was just barely alive.
  He was very sick from the cold.
  The ferryman took him back to the village.

Villagers: Mosaku is dead!
  But Minokichi is alive!

Narrator: The villagers held a funeral for Mosaku
  and mourned for a long time.
  And they helped Minokichi's mother take care of Minokichi.

Mother: Be strong, Minokichi, and get well.
  I am a widow, and I need my son.

Narrator: The next spring,
  Minokichi was able to work again.

Minokichi: I'm lonely!

Narrator: One day, on his way home with his load of wood,
   he met a very beautiful young woman traveling alone.

Minokichi: Hello!

O-Yuki: Hello.

Minokichi: My name is Minokichi.

O-Yuki: Mine is O-yuki.

Minokichi: It's nice weather.

O-Yuki: Yes, it is.

Narrator: The young woman seemed to decide to trust Minokichi.

Minokichi: Are you new here?

O-Yuki: I'm traveling.

Minokichi: You should not be traveling alone.

O-Yuki: My parents are both dead.
  I'm going to Yedoh to find work.

Minokichi: You can rest at our village for a while.
  My mother has room, if you wouldn't mind.

Narrator: O-Yuki decided to stop to rest.
  Then she decided she liked the people of the village.
  The villagers liked her, too.

Villagers: We are glad you came.
  You can stay in our village, if you want to.

O-Yuki: Thank you. Maybe I won't go to Yedoh.

Narrator: Minokichi and his mother liked her a lot.

Mother: Minokichi likes you.

O-Yuki: I like him, too.

Minokichi: Will you be my wife, O-Yuki?

Narrator: So they got married.
  The villagers all celebrated.

Villagers: Congratulations!

Narrator: One night, O-Yuki was sewing.
  Minokichi was watching her work
  while he fixed some of his tools.

Minokichi: O-Yuki-san, we have five wonderful children.

O-Yuki: Of course.

Minokichi: They have a wonderful mother.

O-Yuki: They have a good father, too.

Minokichi: They are beautiful, like you.

O-Yuki: They are handsome, like their father.

Minokichi: You know, it's strange.

O-Yuki: What's strange?

Minokichi: I've only ever seen one woman
  as beautiful as you.

O-Yuki: Oh? Who was that?

Minokichi: I don't know if it was a dream or real.

O-Yuki: Sometimes reality seems like a dream.
  Tell me more.

Narrator: But Minokichi remembered the snow woman's threat.
 Minokichi: I'm sorry I brought it up.
  I don't want to make you jealous.

O-Yuki: Should I be jealous?

Minokichi: You are as beautiful as she was.  More beautiful, because I know you.
  I never knew her.
  You don't need to be jealous.

Narrator: They continued working in silence for a while.

O-Yuki: Where did you see her?

Minokichi: I was sick and delirious.
  There's nothing more I can say.

O-Yuki: Were you scared of her?

Minokichi: Women can be scary sometimes.

O-Yuki: Did she look like me?

Minokichi: Sometimes you remind me of her.

O-Yuki: Oh? Is that good or bad?

Minokichi: That's hard to say.
O-Yuki: Can't you tell me about her?

Minokichi: No, I can't.
  I only saw her once, just for a moment.
  I never saw her again.
 Narrator: Minokichi had a strange thought.

Minokichi: At least, if I did, I didn't know her.

Narrator: O-Yuki suddenly threw her sewing on the floor
  and grabbed Minokichi.

O-Yuki: Tell me more!

Minokichi: Look at me in the eyes, O-Yuki-san.

Narrator: O-Yuki drew back and wouldn't look him in the eyes.

Minokichi: Please look at me.

O-Yuki: I can't, Minokichi.

Minokichi: Then I must suppose it was just a dream.
  Maybe I had a prophetic dream about you when I was sick.

O-Yuki: Was that when you were on the mountain?

Minokichi: I was very sick. I was delirious.
  I don't remember much after Mosaku died.

O-Yuki: How did he die?

Minokichi: He was an old man.
  He died of the cold.

  It was so cold that I almost died, too.

O-Yuki: Was there any other reason?

Minokichi: Not that I could say.

Narrator: O-Yuki picked up her sewing.

O-Yuki: If you can't tell me more, I think I'll die.

Minokichi: Are you jealous of a dream?

O-Yuki: Can't you tell me your dream?

Minokichi: I was sick and delirious.
  There's nothing more to tell.

Narrator: For some time, they worked in silence.
  Then Minokichi stood up and put his tools away.
  He knelt by O-Yuki and put one arm around her shoulders.

Minokichi: I would never do anything to lose you, O-Yuki-san.

Narrator: She turned and looked him in the eyes.

O-Yuki: Why can't you tell me more?

Minokichi: But you have no need to ask me that.

O-Yuki: Oh? Why?

Minokichi: Because you have my heart, and no one else.

O-Yuki: But you broke your promise.

Minokichi: I made no promise.

O-Yuki: Aren't you afraid of me?

Minokichi: I'll never be afraid of you.

O-Yuki: But I told you, ...

Minokichi: I've never given you any reason to be angry.

O-Yuki: But you know.

Minokichi: I know? What do I know?

Narrator: O-Yuki laid her finger in Minokichi's lips.

O-Yuki: Promise.

Minokichi: I promise.
O-Yuki: And you are not just a good father,
  you are a good husband, too.

Narrator: And they had five more children,
  and all their children grew up to be good people.
  And when Minokichi was seventy-five years old, 
  he and O-Yuki said goodbye to all their children.
  Then they left on a trip and were never seen again.

Minokichi: So, can you tell me now?

O-Yuki: I'll show you.
  You've been a good father and a good husband.
  It won't hurt.
  Don't be sad.

Minokichi: Will we be together?

O-Yuki: You've been a good father and a good husband.
  We'll be together.

Minokichi: Then show me.

Narrator: And, of course, no one can tell what happened after that.


PTA July Notes -- Daily English (More Homestay)

Some Daily English
for Home Stay

This is from July's PTA lesson: http://joels-random-eikaiwa.blogspot.com/2016/07/pta-july-notes.html. There are some more notes at that link you may want to look at.
これは7月の PTA レッスンを抜粋したものです: http://joels-random-eikaiwa.blogspot.com/2016/07/pta-july-notes.html. リンク先に、見たいと思われる注釈もあるかも知れません。

(previous -- 前)

Showing the house 家を案内するところ :

Art: Here we are!
  It's your home for the week, mate.
Here we are.
(我々はここにいます。 => )到着しました。
It's your home for the week, mate.

Nanami: It's big!
  Is it just your family?
It's big!
Is it just your family?

Alice: Just Art and me and our children.
  Come on in.
Just Art and me and our children.
Come on in.

Art: There's a dunny on the left here,
  and the kitchen is right there through the living room.
There's a dunny on the left here,
and the kitchen is right there through the living room.

Alice: There's lots to eat.
  Are you hungry, love?
There's lots to eat.
Are you hungry, love?

Nanami: Can I put my bags away first?
Can I put my bags away first?

Art: Sure.
  Your room is up the stairs with all the children's rooms.
Your room is up the stairs with all the children's rooms.

Nanami: Actually, I'd like to take a nap first.
Actually, I'd like to take a nap first.

Alice: No worries.
  You must be bushed.
There are no worries.
You must be bushed.

Breakfast 朝ご飯 :

Art: Honey, can you wake our homestay student up?
Honey, can you wake our homestay student up?

Alice: Okay.
  Nanami, love, can you get up?
Nanami, love, can you get up?

Nanami: What?
  What time is it?
What time is it?

Alice: It's time for breakfast.
It's time for breakfast.

Nanami: Oh!
  I slept all night.
I slept all night.

Alice: All apples.
  I'm sure you're famished.
It's all apples. == It's all good.
I'm sure you're famished.

Nanami: Sure am.
  Smells good.
  What is it?
I sure am hungry.
It smells good.
What is it?

Alice: Bacon and eggs.
  Come downstairs when you're ready.
Come downstairs when you're ready.

Nanami: Thank you.
  Where can I brush my teeth?
Where can I brush my teeth?

Alice: There's a dunny up here, too.
  Just down the hall to the right.
There is a dunny up here, too.
It's just down the hall to the right.

Counting the Members of a Family

Counting the Members of a Family

Ann said, "There are five in my family."

"Five what?" Jotaro joked, "Mice or monkeys?"

"Five cats," Mari suggested.

Tomohisa gave his opinion, "Witches. There are five witches in Ann's family. They all fly to school on brooms."

"Cool!" Junko was impressed.

Ann pouted. "Five people. There are five people in my family, my grandfather, my parents, and my little brother and me. No witches!"

Mari responded, "My family is five, also -- my big brother and my little sister, my mom, my turtle and me."

Kenji asked, "What about your dad?"

Jotaro was still joking. "He's the turtle."

Mari replied, "I never met my dad. He left after my sister was born."

"Oh. I'm sorry I asked."

"It's okay. My mom says he was a jerk, and we are better off without him."

Jotaro decided to tell about his family. "I have five brothers and two sisters."

"Wow!" Junko expressed everyone's surprise. "That's eight! There are eight children in your family. Do both your parents live with you, too?"

"Yes. We live with both of my parents. And my mom's parents live with us, too. And we have three dogs and two cats and five hamsters."

"Five hamsters!" Ann was surprised.

"Dad said we have to keep them in separate cages, or we'll have even more."

Kenji was adding things up in his head. "Eight and two is ten. Two grandparents, that's twelve. Three and two and five is ten pets. That makes twenty-two. You live in a family of twenty-two!"

Jotaro grinned. "Dad says it's a family of twelve and a zoo. We are famous for our zoo of twenty-two!"

Tomohisa bragged. "My family is famous for kabuki."

"So, is your father a kabuki actor?" Ann asked.

"No, we just watch it."

Mari quietly said, "My hometown is famous for kabuki."

"Do you have a kabuki theatre?" Tomohisa asked.

"Yes. There is a theater and a kabuki school in my town."

Jotaro asked, "How many people are there in your town? Is it a big town?"

"My town has a population of 25,000."
[私の町の人口は25000人です。(twenty-five thousand)]

Ann asked, "How many schools are there in your town?"

"There are four regular schools in our town, one high school, one middle school, and two elementary schools," Mari replied.

"Middle school?" Junko asked.

"Junior high school," Tomohisa suggested.

"Well, last year, the new school building was completed," Mari explained. "They changed the name from South Junior High School to Mars Middle School."

"Did they just change the name?"

"No. They moved the ninth grade to the high school, and they moved the sixth grades from the elementary schools to the middle school."

"How many students moved?" asked Junko.

"Eighty-seven freshmen and eighty-three sixth graders."
[9th grader => freshman (中学校三年生が四年制度高校の一年生になる)]

Kenji asked, "Does your school have volunteer activities?"

"It does," Mari replied, "but I don't usually join them. How about you?"

Kenji replied, "I participated in volunteer activities last Sunday. There were five students, including me."
"What kind?" asked Jotaro.

"I helped feed animals at the local zoo."

"Do you do that every week?" asked Ann.

"Almost every Sunday."

Tomihisa said, "I usually don't get involved, but I joined in on the park cleaning project last Saturday. It was fun. There were forty people, including students."

Junko changed the subject. "I have three tickets to the movie. Who wants to join me?"

"Only three?" Ann asked. "We can't all go."

Jotaro dug in his pocket. "Here are three more movie tickets!"

"Great! That's six. There are six of us. Let's all go!" said Mari.

Jr. High Level Shopping Phrases

Here's a list of simple phrases that should be about junior high level:
How can we help you?
What can we do for you?
Do you carry _______?
Do you carry _______?
How about _______?
What do you think of ______?
How much?
How much is it?
How much is _______?
ドル $
円 ¥
It's _______.
That'll be _______.
two thousand three hundred ninety-eight yen
two thousand three ninety-eight
thirty-four dollars ninety-seven cents
thirty-four ninety-seven
¥2,398 です。
It's two thousand three ninety-eight.
$34.97 になります。
That'll be thirty-four ninety-seven.
Would you like this?
Would you like to try it?
May I try it?
I would like this.
I'll take this.
Thank you.


Setember PTA Topic: Shopping

The topic from September last year was also shopping:
September 2015 -- Shopping Topic
We had a little story for practice:
Reading Practice
And we had some simple shopping phrases for practice:
Simple Shopping Phrases
And here are the notes from last year:
Notes from September 2015
[Sept. 9th:

Posted a list of simple phrases for the junior high students.

See you there.

[Oct. 15th:

Finally posted the notes from class.
Again, my apologies for letting it take so long. 
The children's classes do come first, of course.