My brother and I play a game....I call it "What weird shit can you find on YouTube?" He was floored when I found Minami Haruo's Tokyo Gorin Ondo, my hunt inspired by a coin I got last weekend from my father's safe deposit box, and a vague memory of my mother practicing the fan dance to it.
It wasn't all that easy to find-I knew it was the Olympic theme for the '64 Olympics, and that was all. On-line, I found souvenir documentation from the Olympics, and watched Hirohito's speech. This image was vaguely familiar...you know 45 slipcases had a life expectancy of two months, especially with pre-schoolers in residence, and I had nothing but that memory to guide me. I had to play "match the characters" on a few sites to find the right version of the song. Sakamoto Kyu sang one very clear version, and I knew it was the right song, but the wrong voice. It's funny; when I was a little girl, Minami's voice scared me. Now, it is familiar and comforting.
This moved me to tears. The old oba-san in the front row touched my heart, she clapped so enthusiastically...the Olympics must have been a glorious sign of post-war recovery, and a source of great national pride and hope for her, and others of her generation. The end of starvation, no more waiting for neighbors and friends who didn't come home.
Of course, baby brother had to top me. Equipped with a better command of Japanese spelling, he found this:
which my mother owned. It was released in 1963, and I remember the 45 slipcase. (Isn't it a kick to hear a song with a xylophone in it?) Hearing this song reminds me of good intentions Mom had for us. I was a little startled to see the post date. Tsuko te hoshi noh? (What is it you want?) I wanted to hear the song again, Ma. Thanks.