Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Hello Japan! January round-up

Hello Japan!

January's mini-challenge was to listen to any kind of Japanese music and I'm glad to see that it was a little more successful that December's mini-challenge. And thank you so much to Novroz and Gnoe for their enthusiasm in sharing their love of Japanese music with us. If you haven't yet visited everyone's posts I hope you'll do so now.

Here we go...

Novroz at Novroz' Life shared how she came to love J-Rock, and some of her favourite bands. Then she posted her tribute to the band, L'Arc-en-Ciel. Next she talked about Taiko and the Amazing Hono o Daiko. And to round out the music theme, she went on a childhood flashback and talked about her first love of Japanese music in the Sounds of Anime & Tokusatsu.

Michelle at su[shu] highlighted the music of composer, Joe Hisaishi.

Gnoe at Graasland gave us a 5-part music series! First, she wished us a Happy New Year with a little help from Pizzicato Five. Next she shared music from the movie Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto. For the third part of the series, she posted about a concert of contemporary classic composers that she attended. The next installment was a little change of pace with dj maho☆thaidisco. And for the last part of the series, she talks about the music of Sheena Ringo.

Mee at Bookie Mee also returned to her past for a nostalgic look at some of the Japanese music that helped lift her spirits during a difficult time in My YA J-Pop.

Sakura at chasing bawa also revisited old memories and shared some of her old favourites.
Velvet at vvB32 Reads talked about some Japanese Taiko concerts that she's seen.

Kristen M. at We Be Reading shared some of her and her son's favourite anime music.

Natakiya at Bento Anarchy created a tribute bento to a favourite Japanese band, plus she also shares some of what she learned about traditional Japanese instruments, the koto and the shakuhachi.

Photo © Monty H. Levenson

Teresa talked about the band, Blue Hearts.
Thanks to my son, I've been listening to The Blue Hearts (they're punk music) for a year now. My son started me on them, because the Clash are one of my favorite bands and they were a major influence on The Blue Hearts. My son gave me The Blue Hearts' 5th CD (I already have the first 4) "High Kicks" for Christmas and I listened to it today for the first time. Sounds good and I look forward to listening to it (and the other CDs I have of theirs) again.

Kathrin at Secret Dreamworld of a Bookaholic shared some of her old favourites as well.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the mini-challenge for January. It was fun to see the different kinds of music that everyone posted about.  And reminiscing seemed a common theme for this month's challenge. I hope you enjoyed looking back and reliving the music of your past, if only for a few songs.

I have to admit that I don't listen to much Japanese music these days. I did when I first came to Japan in the late 90s and listened to J-Pop quite a bit, like Globe, The Brilliant Green, Love Psychedelico, hitomi, and so on. But I got away from Japanese music during the years we lived in England and even after we moved back to Japan I just never got back into the J-Music scene, although reading about everyone else's favourites has kind of made me want to again. The only real exception is that I do like listening to some of the traditional Japanese instruments, like taiko (drums), shamisen, koto, and so on. One of my favourites is the Yoshida Brothers who play the shamisen. Fitting in with the season, here is their song, Fuyu no sakura (Cherry blossoms in winter).

Before I announce the winner of the January prize, I'd just like to clarify how the winner is selected. As you know, to be eligible for the prize, you have to participate in that month's mini-challenge and either provide a link to your post, or leave a comment with the details. I love it when your enthusiasm for a topic inspires you to post more than once! However, to be fair, each person receives one entry per month, regardless of how many times you post on that month's topic. On the positive side, there is also no rule saying you can't win again, so even if you've won previously, your name will be entered again each month you complete a new mini-challenge. I hope this seems reasonable but let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Ok, so without further ado, the winner of the Year of the Tiger ornament is ...
... Sakura!
Congratulations!  I'll be in touch for your mailing address. 

In case you're waiting impatiently, the Hello Japan! February mini-challenge will be up tomorrow, but I'll give you a hint... it just might involve popcorn.  ;)

The small print: Links in this post to Amazon contain my Associates ID.  Purchases made via these links earn me a very small commission.  For more information visit my About Page.


  1. Thanks Tanabata and apologies for my late acknowledgement (I was on holiday and was trying to stay away from the computer!)

  2. chasingbawa - No worries, I was barely online last week myself. And you're very welcome! Thanks again for taking part in the mini-challenges. :)


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