Attending lessons due to COVID-19

Dear all,

We have advised our students to opt to
1) Attend the lesson online while the actual lesson is conducted in the classroom.
2) Ask for a video recording of the lesson
3) Come for the actual class (should the student wish to do so)
We have prepared for this kind of situation since a few years ago when our PSI index in Singapore reached 400.
For those who are viewing online, the whiteboard and PC screen will be shown to them.


コロナウイルスとus (Coronavirus & Us)



今日は敏感なトピックを話したいと思います。それはコロナウイルス (coronavirus)です。

コロナウイルスは皆さんの生活に影響を与えてしまったと思います。僕もそうです。毎日、マスクをつけて、出かけています。教室に入る前に、消毒剤で手を塗ります。シンガポールでは、1枚のマスクは1ドルで、相当高いです。僕が買ったのは日本から (1枚約1.25ドル) のです。今、Amazon日本から見て、マスクはもっと高くなりました。


心理学の場からみると、人は危険な場面に陥ったら、脳は反応します。人の感情を制御することで知られている扁桃体 (amygdala) は
脳の認知システム (cortex /cognitive system)は作動されます。不安かストレスがある時、脳の認知システムは扁桃体によって、パニックと集団思考 (groupthink)が発生します。サバイバルモード (survival mode) みたいの状態です。

Singapore Psychological SocietyのFacebookから
𝗪𝗵𝘆 𝗗𝗼 𝗣𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗰𝘁 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗪𝗮𝘆 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗗𝗼?

In modern society, numerous risks (e.g., terrorism, catastrophes, and pandemic outbreaks) lurk around every corner. Whenever people witness an emergency situation or see someone getting harmed, our brains are hardwired to react in a certain way. The amygdala of the brain (emotional system) gets activated together with regions of the cortex (cognitive system) that analyze and interpret behavior. In times of stress and uncertainty, this thinking part of our brain gets hijacked by the emotional system, resulting in 𝗽𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗰 and 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗸 𝗯𝗲𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗼𝗿. This translates into a phenomenon more commonly known as survival mode or fight-or-flight, which is driven by the need for self-preservation, protection, and safety. Such primal instincts date back to prehistoric times, where we needed to be on the constant lookout for danger in order to survive. The same primal instincts are activated in our present-day crises. We are hyper-focusing on the virus.






Reflection for 2019

2006 Jan, I embarked on this never-ending journey to learn Japanese. Despite opposition from my family, with a lot of hard work and money earned from my work, I am able to travel to Japan many times
(this is my 40th trip to Japan), am able to understand what is written on the signboards and am able to order the food that I want to eat with ease.Learning Japanese also allowed me to meet many like-minded people. For some, it has allowed me to call them my close friends, and for some, to have the chance to teach them this beautiful language.What has learning Japanese done for you?





I am on a normal train from Nagoya to Osaka, then to a new prefecture, Tottori.

Yesterday, I had the chance to go to my sensei’s place to cook chicken rice for her family.

Quite satisfied, although we put too much chicken stock for the rice.

For the vegetables, we used 小松菜(こまつな).

As this period is 年末、there are lots of people who are going back to their hometown to celebrate the new year. Just look at the crowd at 8am.

As I finish the trip with Tottori and Okayama, I hope to reflect on 2019 and what I want to do for 2020: to bring more students to enjoy Japan and to integrate Japanese and psychology to our courses.

Hope you all have a good new year.



Buying things (Part 2)

Dear all,

This is a repost of what i did a few years back.


いくらですか (i-ku-ra de-su ka/How much is it?)
その値段はちょっと。。。(sono nedan wa chotto…./That price is a bit…)
ちょっと負けてください。。。(chotto ma-ke-te ku-da-sai /Please give me a little discount)

In most big department stores, you can get a tax refund if the price exceeds 5,000/10,000 yen. But most of the time, there’s isn’t. So be thankful if they give you a discount and say ありがとうございます (a-ri-ga-tou go-zai-ma-su) (^_^)