Well I hope you all rang in the new year with peace and love around you. May this be another great year for writing fun and exciting journals!

Let’s get down to business!

Week 1: New Year Predictions

1: What is one thing you want to try this year?

2: Do you believe in fortune-telling? Have you ever had a new year fortune (omikuji) come true?
3: Make a prediction about 2017.

Sample Journal, Question 1

A few weeks ago I saw a flyer with very exciting news (for a Canadian). The city will put a temporary ice rink at the Happiring terrace near Fukui Station this winter. This  year I certainly want to try ice skating in Fukui.

Week 2: Winter Flowers

1: What is your favorite winter flower?

2: Do you keep any flowering house plants? Write a little about them.

3: How can you enjoy flowers in the winter?

Sample Journal, Question 1

We can’t see many winter flowers in Canada. Between the short days, frozen ground and heavy Image result for winter flowersnow we don’t start seeing flowers until early March. But I love seeing dried

berries in the snow. Whenever we went for hikes in the winter the bright flashes of red among the bare black trees and white snow was a welcome break in the cold winter forest. I often photographed them, or cut vines with dried berries to bring home and make wreaths and other winter decorations. In Japan we can enjoy many kinds of flowers even in the winter. I certainly feel much warmer to see their faces.
Week 3: Mystery

1: Has something mysterious, that you can’t explain, ever happened to you?
2: As a child were there any mysteries that you solved as you grew up?

3: If you could know the answer to one of the world’s great mysteries, what would you like to know?

*the world’s great mysteries could be any common thing that isn’t well explained, for example who built Stonehenge and why

Sample Journal, Question 2  When I was about 4, my eldest brother told me that a little elf lives in the fridge. His job is to turn the light on and off when we open and close the door. My brother also explained if you opened the fridge quickly you could catch a  glimpse of his hand sometimes. I couldn’t believe my brother. But at the same time I had no way to explain how the light turned on and off. It was a big mystery to me. Several years later, we moved to a new house. At that time we also bought some new home appliances, including a new refrigerator. I excitedly inspected the new fridge. It was a larger model, and black (I had thought all fridges should be white, so a black one was very impressive). I opened and closed the different doors and imagined where different foods would go. Then I noticed a little white button. I couldn’t imagine what it was, so I pressed it. To my surprise and delight the fridge light turned off! I silently congratulated myself on solving the mystery.
Week 4: Radio

1: When do you listen to the radio and why?

2: Do you think radio is a dying art?

3: Write about a radio related memory.

Sample Journal, Question 3   A few years after we moved to Canada, we returned to England for summer vacation. We spent most of the summer staying with my maternal grandmother. Granny, as we called her, loved the radio. Every afternoon, before tea, she would listen to her favorite radio drama. We soon learned that granny was not to be disturbed during her drama, but that if we prepared the tea just in time for the 4pm chimes she would read our tea leaf fortunes. It was great fun hearing the stories she made up while peering into the tea leaves at the bottom of our cups.