E Mei hopes her blog and summer classes can help train 50 top
Japanese translators in time for the 2010 World Expo, an ambitious
goal for an 80-year-old retired teacher.
E learned Japanese as a child. She moved to Japan at three years
old and stayed there several years.
She set up her blog last May to communicate with students
learning Japanese and help them by posting jokes, stories and
discussions of the country's culture on the Web. The blog, which is
called Yinghuamanwu (meaning cherry blossoms in the air) has
attracted thousands of visitors over the past 11 months.
The retired middle-school teacher is assisted by her
granddaughter E Qing, who bought her a computer 12 years ago and
taught her how to surf the Web.
"I was curious and confused when I first saw the computer and
did not even know how to type on the keyboard," she said. "My
granddaughter bought me a tablet, a machine that allowed me to
write with a pen instead of typing, and installed an operating
system in Japanese, which greatly improved my writing speed."
"Usually it takes me several hours to finish a small Japanese
story or a joke, but I still do it as I have found many young
people who love Japanese benefit from my blog," E smiled.
The blog (http://blog.oldkids.cn/emei19301930) now contains
hundreds of articles about translation, years of accumulated
Japanese stories, jokes and tales of her own experiences in
"Blogs are really a good channel to spread knowledge and
communicate with different people," said the vigorous woman. In
2001, E set up free Japanese classes for university students during
the summer vacation at a site near her home.
She plans to keep running the classes through the World Expo to
train 50 volunteer translators for the event.
(Shanghai Daily April 2, 2007)