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© 2018 Pamela MacCarthy


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Tuesday, January 31, 2006  

I went to see the film Memoirs of a Geisha
or Sayuri
as it is titled in Japan.

Sayuri as portrayed by Ziyi Zhang

I was very excited to at last see this film.
It was playing in a new TOHO cinema,
with modern spacious seats, and not too crowded.
It was sold out on my first attempt.

All the controversy concerning wrong nationalities playing certain roles, etc.,
had me curious to know if indeed it would
be a cheesy Hollywood production;
garish, and unauthentic-
Or what?

I suppose if this were a documentary,
we could all go on about how this isn't this,
and that isn't that.

But on the whole, the film works.

The actors and actresses were spectacular.
The scenery, breath taking.
The soundtrack,
featuring luminaries such as celloist Yo Yo Ma,
violinist Itzak Perlman,
and with John Williams' score,
completely captures the essence of the story.

The shakuhachi flute was used slighty past the subtle point,
but the artistry behind the playing made it moot-
I loved the sound of the kodo drums,
they added depth and excitement to the scenes...

The story was a sad and beautiful tale.
In the beginning, I recognizeded the actor Mako
as the old fisherman-
His face captured in a grimace of pain,
as he watches his grandaughters
being carted off after being sold.

Coincidentally, the story is beautifully narrated by Hoshi, Shizuko;
who is also Mako's wife, in real life.
Her narration of Sayuri telling her tale
has an authentic edge of maturity that puts you at ease,
and draws you in to the story.

The child actress, Ohgo, Suzuka who played Suyuri as the child
named Chiyo, was fantastic.

Her scene when she is running,
with those long 9 year old girl in yukata's legs
making her wish for her future just caught my heart.
She captured the role so naturally.

All the roles were excellently portrayed.

I feel Ziya Zhang is Oscar material,
her performance transcends cultural differences-
The supporting actresses gave incredible performances;
Michelle Yeoh as Mameha,
Li Gong as Hatsumomo
and Kaori Momoi as Mother.

Suyuri's debut dance

I loved this story.
I loved this film.
It is the way a film should be-
A total sensual pleasure.

If in fact there were small flaws in accents,
the story being told was not hindered by them.

I totally recommend it.

I now own the soundtrack CD.
It is a nice souvenir of an excellent film.

Till next time...
Mela signiature

1:35 PM

Monday, January 30, 2006  

It's officially the blah time of year, for me.
In Tokyo the weather is like this:
Seemingly endless days of sunny, cold, and extremely dry air.

I am so looking forward to this.

Today, I may go see SAYURI:Memoirs of a Geisha.

It was sold out on my first attempt.

It's going to be strange to view it in English, in Japan,

Oh well, only in Hollywood could they make a story
about Japanese people,
use Chinese actors to play the lead role,
and ship it back to Japan,
in English.

It seems a bit insulting, but what the hell do I know.

For example;
They used an Australian to play a Southern Belle
in the Civil War day movie, Cold Mountain,
and a British man in the lead.

They can argue that there were no other suitable Americans to play that role,
but gee, golly, damn-
Are we all that dumb?

This Chinese actress Ziyi Zhang is probably doing a great job in this role,
I'll get back to you on that one.

Maybe if weren't for the fact that she also stars
in an insufferable hair product commercial
on Tokyo television,
I'd be less apprehensive:

In this commercial the announcer / MC asks this long shiny black haired model;

(which, by the way, there are no more black haired women in Japan,
they've all dyed their hair red, or lighter brown shades!)

"What do you atribute your success to?"

Then, there's pin drop silience,
only to get her response:

"Inna Byoo Dee."

I can't take it.

If that isn't annoying enough,
all western blonde and redheaded women
in the backround are made out to be pouting and cowering
in the presence of this "Asian Beauty".

Only in Japan...

Today, I'll go watch Inna Byoo Dee do her thing.

l'll get back to you on this...

Till next time...
Mela signiature

11:26 AM

Friday, January 27, 2006  

Today is the birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

January 27th, 1756-December 5, 1791.

He was born 250 years ago today.

The Magic Flute is one of my favorite works of his.

Imagine, sitting down in the theater, seeing this set,
and hearing The Queen of the Night's aria...

Stage Set for Mozart's Magic Flute
Karl Friedrich von Schinkel
Gouache, 463 x 616 mm
Staatliche Museum, Berlin

Wolfgang Amedeus Mozart's music
goes on and makes time stand still.
Evidence is still strong,
215 years on...

4 years ago today,
I quit alcohol & tobacco.

It seems longer...

Till next time...
Mela signiature

2:49 PM

Thursday, January 26, 2006  


©2006 Pamela MacCarthy

This is my first digital art work for 2006.
I saw this in the brain fog & fuzzy logic of the flu.

An attack of the humdrums, it was...

To Seymour Digi-art...

Living in Japan,
television here is OK if you are Japanese
and/or follow their sense of humor.
But, if otherwise,
American TV shows once they reach Japan,
are slightly out-of-date.

Take American Idol.

The show has only just now reached here.

I watched the auditions, and wow,
there is some bizarre shit out there.
I guess things haven't really changed much from
The Gong Show days...

I sat in a room filled with the gamut:
from clever eccentrics to full out nutters
for a 5 show taping session-
My show being on Friday.

Whatever buzz I had goin' on, after a great audition,
was ridin' on the rims
by the time I appeared onstage.

They had a great stage orchestra, a great group of guys
who could throw some notes together,
but once I stepped on the stage, a cute little tee hee was waiting for me,
or should I say not waiting for me:

There was no microphone-
Only overhead mikes.

And no monitors.

Sing out, LOUISE!

Instant dues.

The premise of the Gong Show was different.
They didn't hold out for talent-
In fact, they seemed to discourage it from happening-
and when or if it actually appeared,
they were only mildly amused...

On American Idol they are waiting for the talent-
To whisk it off,
to bigger and better places-

The auditions seem to be just that:
The thing the judges must endure
to separate the wheat from the chaff...

Completely different premise.

I know this song is a few years old, but I only just recently first heard it.

It's a tune written by Eddie Vedder of PearlJam
for the soundtrack of Big Fish, the Tim Burton film...
It's becoming a favorite of mine:

Tidal waves don’t beg forgiveness
crashed and on their way
Father he enjoyed collisions; others walked away
A snowflake falls in May.

And the doors are open now as the bells are ringing out
Cause the Man of the Hour is taking his final bow
Goodbye for now.

Nature has its own religion; gospel from the land
Father ruled by long division, young men they pretend
Old men comprehend.

And the sky breaks at dawn, shedding light upon this town
They’ll all come ‘round
Cause the Man of the Hour is taking his final bow
Goodbye for now.

And the road
The old man paved
The broken seams along the way
The rusted signs, left just for me
He was guiding me, love, his own way

Now the Man of the Hour is taking his final bow
As the curtain comes down
I feel that this is just
goodbye for now.

The Man of the Hour

-Eddie Vedder, PearlJam

Till next time...
Mela signiature

9:57 AM

Saturday, January 21, 2006  

We had our first snow here in Tokyo yesterday...

Bijin in the Snow
ca. 1820

Kikugawa Eizan

Bijin is a style of Japanese woodblock print.

I was caught by the daintyness of these two girls
walking in the snow with their very stylish geta
and bangasa,
but then I saw the lacquer case...

It reminded me of one of those 'ole Martin guitar cases from back in the days
of Prohibition...

They sure weren't carryin' anything musical in those.

Till next time...
Mela signiature

3:39 PM

Thursday, January 19, 2006  

Guess who I went to see the other night?
I'll give you a hint:
I loved this band in NYC in the late 70's.
CBGB's was one of their haunts.
All original members are Gabba Gabba Gone,
except one,
to carry it on...

Marky Ramone & the 2006 Tour
came to Tokyo.

Marky Ramone

In my wild girlish days, I explored all types of music, clubs, etc.

Still do.

I love the raw energy of punk rock,
and The Ramones,
in my opinion,
were one of the bands in NYC that punk took off from.

This past Sunday night at Pink Noise in Tamagawa Futaba,
I caught the Marky Ramone 2006 Tour:
Marky Ramone; on drums,
David Brooks, on vocals,
and a very tight Japanese back up band,
featuring Yukio Yamamura on guitar, & Koujiro Akai, on bass.

Before the show, I went up to the dressing room to meet

It was kind of a trip for me to meet up with somebody from
my old 'NYC days...
Marky is looking good.-
Serious, and down to earth...

He spoke of his other projects, including his radio show at Sirius Broadcasting.

David, the vocalist, was very personable
and unpretentious,
his stage show followed suit...
Here was the set list:

Rockaway Beach
I Don't Care
Sheena is a Punk Rocker
Havana Affair
Beat on the Brat
53rd & 3rd
She's the One
The KKK Took My Baby Away
Pet Sematary
Rock 'N' Roll High School
I Wanna Be Sedated
Psycho Therapy
Chinese Rock
Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment
Judy is a Punk
Poison Heart
Blitzkrieg Bop

The tour photographer snapped a pic of me, in my "CBGB" garb,
when I get it, I'll post it...

I was a pogo'in fool that night.
It felt great to relive that energy again.

I made an iPod playlist
of some of my favorite PUNK tunes :

Judy is a punk - The Ramones
Take a Walk on the Wild Side - Lou Reed
Holiday in the Sun - The Sex Pistols
Gabba Gabba Hey - The Ramones
Hanging on the Telephone - Blondie
Sex Junkie - The Plasmatics featuring Wendy O. Williams
Pepper - Butthole Surfers
Los Angeles - X
Peek a Boo - Siouxsie & The Banshees
Nobody's Hero- Stiff Little Fingers
Frigging in the Rigging - The Sex Pistols
Blitzkrieg Bop - The Ramones
Fuck a Mod - The Exploited
I Know What Boys Like - The Waitresses
Too Many Creeps - The Slits
The Kid with the Replaceable Head - Richard Hell & The Voidoids
I Wanna Be Sedated - The Ramones
One Way or Another - Blondie
Rockaway Beach - The Ramones
Should I Stay or Should I go? - The Clash
Anarchy in the UK - The Sex Pistols
Beat on the Brat - The Ramones
Personality Crisis - The New York Dolls
She's the One - The Ramones

Till next time...
Mela signiature

9:16 AM

Saturday, January 14, 2006  

You'll try in vain,
you can't explain -
The charming, alarming, blonde women.
They fascinate, they captivate -
Beware, the amazing blonde women.
Be careful when you meet a sweet blonde stranger.
You may not know it but you're greeting danger.
You'll try in vain,
you can't explain -
The charming, alarming, blonde women.

Blonde Women

-Hollander / Mills

Till next time...
Mela signiature

12:48 PM

Friday, January 13, 2006  

I have a gig tonite at Club Kei, Akasaka.
Featuring Yuichi Inoue; piano, & Stan Gilbert, on bass.

Till next time...
Mela signiature

12:32 AM

Tuesday, January 10, 2006  

Wow. What a day I had.

Michio and I went first to the Fuchu Hachiman Shrine.

It is a tradition we do every year, to pray for a fortuitous year.
I took many photos of Michio,
he was looking very handsome for his Seijinshiki...

Then, we walked together to go to hall where they had the ceremony.
He saw some old classmates along the way.
Outside, all the 20 year olds were dressed in their formal attire.
I saw many girls wearing the beautiful kimono, with ostrich feathered stoles,
golden slippers and handbag,
with updone hair with flowers and hair ornaments.

Just lovely.

The guys were dressed mostly in dark grey suits, some in formal kimono-
Michio dressed in his own way,
as he has always done-
A navy blazer, medium blue shirt, khaki colored slacks,
green & blue silk tie, and a pea coat.

I will do his portrait painting;
using these photos I’ve taken of him
as a guide,
over the upcoming winter weeks...

The thing that moved me about the whole event
was the feeling that seemed to resonate


On the faces of these young adults, and everyone else who came in contact,
of all ages...
A lot of these young people were meeting up with classmates they haven’t seen since grade school.
”Hisashi-buri!” (it's been a long time, hasn't it?)
Lots of smiles, laughs, group photos.
I was happy to be a part of it...

Michio’s dad, Akio, arrived to go to the ceremony with Michio.

I put my Ipod on to listen to Stanley Clarke's
School Days
to kick start me into part deux
of the festivities:
My birthday celebration.

First of all, I’d like to thank my family;
my mother Shirley & Al, my sisters; Debbie, Wendy & Bonnie,
and all my wonderful friends;
for your thoughtful cards, e-cards, notes, phone calls, and gifts!

You all made my day.

Since it was a national holiday here,
all restaurants, department stores, & movie houses were packed to the rafters.
I hate crowded scenes,
so I decided to do what I truly enjoy;
cook, while listening to excellent music.

Michio came home after the ceremony
and gave me a beautiful hand calligraphy drawn card,
and flowers.

I made an Italian-styled feast for us,
and blew out my birthday candles...

I can’t help but feel that this day
was really something special in that Michio & I
will always have this connection...

I’ve been in Japan 15 years,
and Sejinshiki has never fallen on (my birthday)
Jan 9th.
Just this year, it worked this way,
and my mom tells me I was also born
on a Monday...

It was kind of like the movie 2001:A Space Odyssey,
when all the planets line up with the monolith...

I will post some pics as soon as I can...

Here’s my new January 2006 Itunes list:

Movin’ to Montana- Frank Zappa
Sunday Kind of Love - Etta James
The Foggy Dew - The Chieftans with Sinead O’Connor
On a Night Like This - Bob Dylan
Blue Tango - Paolo Conte
Court and Spark - Joni Mitchell
Innocent When You Dream - Tom Waits
Big Rock Candy Mountain - Harry McClintock
O Superman - Laurie Anderson
The Storm is Over - R Kelly
Call Me - Blondie
Raised on Robbery - Joni Mitchell
Man of the Hour - Pearl Jam
It’s My Turn - Diana Ross

Today, it’s back to school, back to work...

It has been one helluva holiday season!

Till next time...
Mela signiature

12:15 PM

Friday, January 06, 2006  

One week from tonite, I will have my first concert this year
at Club Kei Akasaka,
on January 13th, Friday.

It is also a belated birthday gig for me.

I will be appearing with
Yuichi Inoue on piano,
and Stan Gilbert on bass...

My birthday is January 9th,
My sun sign is Capricorn, Leo rising...

This year will be a little more than my birthday,
for as fate would have it,
it is a date I will also share with my son, Michio.
Because this year, my birthday also
falls on Seijinshiki,
or Coming of Age day.

I start a new decade, and this year so does Michio.

He turns 20.

He will attend the Seijinshiki ceremony, on my birthday.

A whole lot to take in...

I am proud, yet sad...
Happy, but sentimental.

I plan to go to the ceremony hall with Michio to take lots of pictures
of him with his friends.
After all, I’ve watched these kids grow up from kindergarten!

For my birthday, who knows?

Don’t be such a schnook...
It’s not how you feel,
it’s how you looook
and you look mahhhhvelous, dahling...

Till next time...
Mela signiature

9:00 PM

Monday, January 02, 2006  

Well, here it is, the second day of the New Year.

The beginning of the Year of the Fire Dog...

Today I plan to do something that seems to have almost become a tradition.

Me & Michio will go to see the latest Harry Potter flick, at last!

Being that this film arrived in late November,
and a sizeable chunk of Tokyo’s populace
has spit the bloody scene to parts
far less urban,
we should be able to see this film relatively crowd-free.

A girl can dream...

It looks like it could snow today...

Till next time...
Mela signiature

11:43 AM

Sunday, January 01, 2006  

Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu!

2 0 0 6

Happy New Year - animated

Till next time...
Mela signiature

12:00 AM

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