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"Sekai Fureai Aruki" is a really unusual show on NHK that features no visible host. Alternatively featuring a male or female narrator, the show is a virtual walk through various towns all over the globe. Most of the walk is shot in real time, and includes face-to-face exchanges with people randomly encountered on the streets and alleyways.
We stayed at Daikon-no-Hana, a hot spring inn, in Miyagi Prefecture on Sunday. This is one of the private outdoor baths by the river. The photo was taken on Monday morning after breakfast. The night before we visited the bath. Although there were lights at the bath, the inn provided flashlights because the raised wooden walkway through the woods was pretty dark.
Now that I've at least got a digital camera in my phone (still have yet to get a stand-alone camera), I'll be able to snap a few pics of architectural details that amuse me as I wander around.
The Self-Defence Force's explosive ordnance disposal team began an operation Sunday morning and successfully removed the one-tonne US-made bomb buried some 3.5 metres below the ground, officials said.And, as luck would have it, the way back was even more of a mess because someone decided to go and jump in front a train. What a way to end the weekend. . .
I used to listen to Kate Bush all the time. Even had posters of her on my bedroom wall at home and my dorm room in college. Now I just found this British video newsreport of Kate Bush traveling to Japan in 1978 to compete in the Tokyo Song Contest. Pretty cool. It looks like she visited Meiji Shrine before the peformance. But I guess she didn't pray hard enough there since she only took home the silver prize. I don't know too much about her popularity in Japan back then or even now. Judging from the karaoke parlor song book lists, she was never that big. The only Kate Bush song I can ever find at karaoke here is "Wuthering Heights," and even that is listed under Pat Benatar, who covered the song on one of her own albums.
On March 11, Javier Bardem came to Japan to promote the film. For some inexplicable reason, the actor was paired up on stage with Edo Harumi, a 40-something-old (?) comedian who recently won a TV comedy contest and has been showing up everywhere on variety shows. Her schtick is always the same. She wears a black suit-dress, then proceeds to rip it off to reveal some kind of red leotard underneath, then the song "My Sharona" starts to play, and she dances to the beat while reciting phrases that all end with the sound "gu." The "gu" sound means "good," and every time she says it, she gives a double thumbs-up to the cameras. I don't really see what's funny about it except for the fact that it's so bad it's funny. . . sort of.
I saw a bit of the press conference on morning TV news, and Bardem seemed somewhat amused, if a bit confused, by Harumi's presence. Yet he still went along with it and posed with her, both holding up their thumbs. Unfortunately, Rie couldn't get this image out of her mind, and it kind of ruined the movie experience for her. For some reason, I had forgotten about it, but I did think the first shot of Bardem looked a lot like Bananaman Himura. He's got the same bowl haircut!
And here's the original closing titles from the anime for comparision:
In the end, one of them goes blind.