Saturday, January 05, 2013


Bits and pieces of popular culture examining politics, left over from the end of the year.

More from the Kohaku Uta Gassen

I have already posted one panel from Sato Masaaki's review of the year in politics as performances in the annual New Year's Eve Kohaku Uta Gassen ("Red-White Song Battle" - Link). To the collection I will add two more.

For the myriad AKB48 fans out there, here is the bouncy but mournful song of the eight Noda Cabinet ministers who lost their Diet seats in the December 16 election debacle.

The original is AKB48's iconic hit "Aitakatta" (Link-YouTube - yes, there seems to have been a time when Akimoto Yasushi had no money). However, instead of singing aitakatta ("I wanted to meet you") the defenestrated cabinet ministers sing a-itakatta ("Whoa! That hurt!").

For fans of more traditional forms of music by and for children, we have Kim Jong-eun warbling about his December Surprise:

Unha ga tonda
Firipin made tonda
Firipin made tonde
Seiko shite ochita
Hinan kaze fuku na
Unha o tobaso

"The Un-ha has flown
It flew all the way to the Philippines.
Having flown to the Philippines,
It was a success and fell to earth.
Wind of criticism do not blow!
Let us loft the Unh-ha!"
The original is "Soap Bubble" (Shabon dama), a nursery song by Noguchi Ujo (1882-1945). It goes:
Shabon dama tonda
Yane made tonda.
Yane made tonde
Kowarete kieta.
Kaze, kaze fuku na.
Shabon dama tobaso.

"The soap bubble has flown.
It flew all the way to the roof.
Having flown all the way to the roof,
it burst apart and disappeared.
Wind! Wind! Do not blow!
Let's loft soap bubbles."
Here is a very old recording of the children of the Kobari Elementary School (Niigata Prefecture) singing "Shabon dama" in its full length version. (Link - YouTube)

Senryu of December 22, 2013

This one is already two weeks old...but the sentiment still holds, hopeless as it is.


Kokkai no
Mae ni tatetai
Usetsu kinshi

I would like to put up
In front of the Diet
"No Right Turn Allowed"

- Sakamaki Katsumi, Hino City

On with the New Year!

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