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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 11:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,552,662


In General karaoke, arikawa sensei and a plane crash Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #116 New 05-24-2012 12:11 PM
karaoke, arikawa sensei and a plane crash
we are far too young and clever by winterofdiscontent

I went to karaoke last week. I only go about once a year. Kara is empty as in karate and oke is short for orche - stra. Empty orchestra. The guy who invented karaoke didn't patent it and didn't make any money from it.

Once after an aikido event I went to a large karaoke bar with a few of the teachers. Sadateru Arikawa sensei came too. That was not so common. He didn't like social drinking much and he didn't like noisy places. He certainly didn't like singing. He was always happy to talk about aikido but it's difficult to talk against a background of karaoke.

Arikawa sensei didn't want to sing but some of the teachers were insistent. So eventually he agreed. Reluctantly. He had damaged his throat when he was young. His speaking voice was very quiet and husky. And his singing voice was very thin. But he liked me to sing songs in English.

Sometimes I sing Japanese songs. One of them is Ue o Muite Arukou. It's a positive and happy song with a catchy melody. I walk looking up. It was the first Japanese song to hit number one in the USA and it is one of the biggest selling singles of all time. It was bizarrely called Sukiyaki in English - a kind of grilled meat hot pot. The singer of Ue o Muite Arukou was Kyu Sakamoto. He died in the crash of JAL 123 on 12 August 1985. I remember that plane crash. It was the worst single plane crash in history. That night Ue o Muite Arukou had been playing when I had a meal in a Japanese pub. And in the following days I got phone calls from all over the world. Someone with a name similar to mine had died in the crash.

One of the songs Arikawa sensei liked me to sing in karaoke was Moon River. That brings us to moon in the water.


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photo:we are far too young and clever by winterofdiscontent http://www.flickr.com/photos/wintero...nt/3497901545/
winterofdiscontent's photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wintero...th/3497901545/

The lyrics on the screen are from Come on Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners.

Kyu Sakamoto, Ue o Muite Arukou

Dexys Midnight Runners, Come on Eileen

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I have an essay in a charity e-book put together by some writers and photographers to raise money for victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku on 11 March 2011. It costs $9.99.

niall matthews 2012
Views: 3501 | Comments: 5

RSS Feed 5 Responses to "karaoke, arikawa sensei and a plane crash"
#5 05-27-2012 08:49 AM
niall Says:
Thanks Billy. I don't think I've ever been to Hull but talking about it reminded me of Mick Ronson. He was a great guitarist who played with David Bowie. He died from liver cancer when he was only 46. His last album was provisionally called To Hull and Back and then Heaven and Hull - both great titles.
#4 05-27-2012 02:02 AM
Makochan Says:
Hi Niall, me again, I forgot to say, some sword work would be great. Best Billy
#3 05-27-2012 01:57 AM
Makochan Says:
Hi Niall, very nice blog, I can just picture the scene. Happy days at the Karaoke bars, it's nice to know the meaning of the word. Every time I hear Moon River (which is not often) I think of you. The last time it was on the radio I was driving home from Hull and I was in full (glorious?) voice. Hara-Kiri was great. Best always, Billy
#2 05-26-2012 03:52 AM
niall Says:
Thank you Francis. I like to sing too - but perhaps not very tunefully. One of these days I'll do an article about the breathing in singing and the breathing in aikido. It's good to hear about the Great Buddha. Arikawa sensei was a very kind man but he was very shy too.
#1 05-24-2012 02:00 PM
aikishihan Says:
Fatalistic and poignant alignment of disparate, yet connected events and meanings for you Niall. I love to sing, as does my son, and he does it semi professionally. I do it for pleasure, but not for public scrutiny. Again, I will never forget Arikawa Sensei's extraordinary kindness and regard for taking me to see the Great Buddha. A revisit in 2005 was not nearly the same.

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