Japanese Anime Festival “Kumafes” Hatune Miku

Kumafes Report,  Part 3

The next performer was  “Mito” impersonating Hatune Miku.   She mimicked Miku’s dance moves.  Hatune Miku is one of the  vocaloid  characters.   Vocaloid is a singing synthesizer program, which can create a natural sounding voice.  My daughter likes Hatune Miku very much.  She prefers songs by synthetic voice to human voices.  Hmmm strange.

I know the feeling that people want to mimic her dance.    I used to dance with my daughter, playing a Wii dancing game of Japanese songs.   To get a good score, we waved, swung and shook the wii remote control to the beat of the songs.  lol   Furthermore, I wanted to dance to American music, so I bought “We Cheer”.  But the reaction of remote control wasn’t as good as Japanese one.  I wonder if  the latest We Cheer has improved?

Back to Mito,  she was cute dressing up and dancing as Miku.   I pasted the nice Miku’s dance video along with Mito’s one.    I’m tempted to synchronize these videos.    Doesn’t this video make you want to dance?   Let’s dance!

Dance Party Night

The last posting was about belly dance.  I learn flamenco too.  My flamenco teacher told me to go and see a dance party and gave me the ticket.   However it was not a dance in disco or nightclub.  It was a ballroom dance.  I’d never seen it except for TV.  I was just curious what it was like.

When I entered the party room,  oh dear!  there were many elderly people.   People in their 60s and 70s? created a peculiar atmosphere.  Why is a ballroom dance popular in elderly people in Japan?   Is it the same situation in overseas?   Pre-retiree men may be busy at work.   How about young women?   It must be tough to dance with an old man.   Senior adults are vigorous.   They looked very happy.  They held up their heads and stepped well to the music.   Women dressed in their flashy dresses.  Men dressed in … How should I say…

At this point enter SOUNDCLOUD!  Please look at the picture while listening.

The chairs were placed along the walls.   While sitting quietly, I was asked to dance by various men.    I politely refused each time.  I was embarrassed.   They must have looked quizzically at me.   I should have worn jeans, not a long skirt.   When I regretted it,  a younger good-looking man came up and said, “Would you like to dance?”  “I can’t dance.  I’m just looking.” “Don’t worry. It’s all right.”  He took my hand and led to the center of the hall.   “First, move sideways.  That’s it!  You’re doing great. ” “Then, move back and forth.  Now you’ve got it!”  I was able to move naturally with him.  He must be a teacher.   After music ended, he brought me back to the seat.   “Wow!  he is like a prince!  Then am I a princess?”   What an old princess!  But the image in my mind was like this. lol

If I can always dance with a handsome man like him, I will learn a ballroom dance.   But I ‘d like to decline the dance with complete strangers.  It would make me sick to be my hand and back held.  ( In Japan, it’s not the custom to kiss and hug.  There is no physical contact even in family)  I think a ballroom dance itself is attractive though.  I reaffirmed a solo dance is the best for me.   After dancing, I went home right away.  But I guess I should have asked his school name…

That night I recommended my husband learning a ballroom dance after retirement.   He said “I don’t want to dance with an old woman.”   No problem!  You’ll be an old man by that time.

High School Sports Day

In Japan, there is a school event called “Wundoukai” Sports Day once a year.   On that day, students’ family members go and see the results of their children’s effort and enjoy a picnic lunch together.  My daughter’s high school held it this month.  There were standard plays such as relay and running races, a tug-of-war, dance…

Relay race

Tug of war

There was a costume parade too.

“Ohendan” cheering squads attract people’s attention.  No mini-skirts and pompons, the all-male groups (there are exceptions, though) are disciplined.  Squad members wear team-color costume and compete on their performance to the beat of a Japanese drum.

If you want to watch the whole performance, click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TS4SdH-lXk

All students sing their shool song at the end of a sports day.

I created YouTube account to upload these videos.  It was very easy.  I hope overseas readers will find them interesting.

The Unique Movie “Departures”

My family went to Nagano, my husband’s hometown,  last week.    As I mentioned at    https://happyuan.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/i-attended-a-funeral/   his mother passed away in July.    Most funerals in Japan are done with Buddhist rites unless people have a strong faith in other religions.    After that, relatives regularly hold Buddhist services for the dead.   They are held on the 7th and 49th days after death, one year after, two years after and at ever increasing intervals after.

On the 49th day after the death of my mother-in-law, a memorial service was held among my relatives.  A Buddhist monk and relatives chanted sutras and burned incense  for her.   It is concidered that a deceased person arrives in heaven after 49 days of long journey.   I think she lives happily in heaven now.

The  Japanese film “Departures” came to my mind while listening  to the Buddhist sutra.   This is  very unique and touching movie.  It is not a love story, action nor suspense.  It describes about a  encoffiner, a funeral professional who prepares deceased bodies for burial and entry into the next life.   It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 81st Oscars in 2009.     I was moved to tears.