Orange Plankton single 'Ai no Youna'.
Tokyo pop band Orange Plankton’s singer, Yumi, e-mailed me tonight to tell me her song, ‘Weather and Music’, which I translated from Japanese into English, will be used in a TV commercial to be aired from early next year in mountainous Yamanashi prefecture, Wakayama prefecture, famous for its tangerines, Shizuoka prefecture, renowned for its green tea, and other parts of central Japan.
The song will be the background music for a commercial that advertises, of all things, a chain of pachinko parlors. Pachinko is the name for stand-up pinball machines that too many Japanese spend hours sitting in front of in hopes of winning buckets-full of silver balls, which they can then convert into cash in little trading stations down the street from the parlors. (In other words, it’s a form of gambling, a mindless time-killer like slot machines.)
To think that the song ‘Weather and Music’, which sparkles and flows like molten snow from a mountain, will help promote pinball gambling... It’s actually amusing, and makes me wish I could see the commercial (though it won’t be airing in Tokyo, from what I hear).
Speaking about amusing things, this passage from the book Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris by A. J. Liebling, made me smile:
Following the publication of some of the foregoing papers I had an avalanche of letters–perhaps a half a dozen–asking scornfully whether, in my student days in Paris, I did nothing but eat.An avalanche of half a dozen letters. I know the feeling.
Friends sometimes tell me they read Japan Live often. But they hardly ever leave a trace in the form of comments or e-mails. Which is fine, and I don’t expect a tsunami of comments, but if you do have a question or you feel like saying something about, oh, anything in the whole entire world, don’t be shy! Just click the word ‘comment’ under this or other posts and go from there. (Between Meals, by the way, is classic, a tiny feast of 185 pages for anyone who loves food and good writing on it.)