Monthly Archives: December 2006

Mamani Mamani – Great Fuji Ⅱ


     Because Co had to go to work, Mamani Mamani, Lucy, Aya and I said to good-bye to him and we went for lunch then. We had gyu-don. bowls of rice topped with cooked beef and vegetables. After lunch Mamani Mamani and Lucy went shopping at a 100yen shop. Lucy  bought may ties for souvenirs and Mamani Mamani bought many maki-su, a Japanese kitchen utensil woven by bamboo and it’s  used to make sushi roll. I heard from Aya that he started to like nori, sea weed, but I wondered what he was going to do so many makisu… 

      After happy shopping, we went to Tokyo American Club, where they were supposed to have a party. They had to join in a staff meeting there. We walked to the building from Roppongi, where there were many police officers who were guarding embassies and consulates from terrorists. There are many such kind of facilities in Roppongi area. Mamani Mamani seemed to think there was a crime or something around there because some of the buildings were under close guard.

     While walking I saw Tokyo Tower. The tower has been very popular recently because a novel entitled Tokyo Tower was a great hit, though I haven’t been there. I thought I was in Tokyo at that time because the tower is a symbol of Tokyo.

     After visiting Tokyo American Club, Aya and I had to say good-bye to Mamani Mamani and Lucy. We promised to see each other next year. They are supposed to come here to Japan next year, too! According to them, they seem to have exhibitions in Tokyo and Nagoya next time. If they come to Nagoya, I’ll be able to see them easier.

      That was short time, but I had a great time together with Mamani Mamani, Lucy, Aya and Co. Thank you to all of them!

Mamani Mamani – Great Fuji


     I went to Tokyo to see two of my Bolivian friends and two of my Japanese friends the other day. The Bolivians are a painter Mamani Mamani and his business partner Lucy, and the Japanese are one of my ex-coworker Aya and one of my Internet friends Co. Mamani Manamni came here to Japan with Lucy this time because of his exhibition in Tokyo and Osaka.

     Mamani Mamani was born in Bolivia. He’s very proud of his Aymaran descent and depicts the spirit and colors characteristic of the Aymaran art in his paintings.

     I met Mamani Mamani and Lucy at Expo in Aichi prefecture last year. Mamani Mamani exhibited his works at Expo, and he and Lucy had stayed here during the exhibition for a half year. I visited Expo many times, in fact I visited more than 40 times, and became friends with them there.

     Interestingly Aya also visited Expo many times although she lives in Yokosuka, Kanagawa prefecture, and became friends with Mamani Mamani and Lucy!  Aya didn’t know that I was a friend of them, and I  didn’t know either that she was also a friend of them for a while!

     One day Aya and I found out the fact that both of us were friends of Mamani Mamani and Lucy when we happened to go to Expo together last year. We were very surprised at it. And of course, Mamani Mamani and Lucy were also really surprised when they knew we had been friends! So Aya and I decided to see them together this time.

     By the way, I have many friends in "mixi", one of the biggest social networking services on the web in Japan. Some of my "mixi" friends know Mamani Mamani and some of them went to  his exhibition in Tokyo this time. Co is one of them.

     When I wrote to Co about the plan of visiting Tokyo, I thought he and I wouldn’t be able to see each other this time because I didn’t have that time. But he replied, "I think I can go to  the place at the time before going to my job!" So he also came to the place where Aya and I had decided to meet the Bolivians each other. 

      According to Co, he was really impressed at Mamani Mamani’s paintings in his exhibition. He wanted to show Manamani Mamani some photos of Mt. Fuji, which is the highest mountain in Japan, taken by himself because the theme of the exhibition was Mt. Fuji.
Co loves climbing mountains and taking photos. The Mt. Fuji’s photos were taken by him from the second highest mountain when he reached at the peak.

    Mamani Mamani was very impressed by those photos when we met. And he was so pleased to be given one of them from Co and and drew the sun for him in return.

The Flute Ensemble


      Do you know "mixi"? It is the biggest social networking service in Japan. I am the member of it and have made many friends there. One of the friends belongs to a flute ensemble named Ashibue-no-kai (reed club) and invited me to their concert on 3rd.

     The concert was held at Shirakawa Hall in Fushimi, Nagoya last Sunday of the 3rd. I was lost on my way to the hall that day because I had never visited there. When I saw a lady cleaning the street and asked her how to get there, she looked tired of my question. I found out the reason of her expression later. After saying thank you to her, I saw many people who seemed to be lost with maps on the way to the hall and  saw many people had already lined up in front of the hall when I arrived. She could say the same thing to many people as she said to me.

    Shirakawa Hall was bigger and more beautiful than I had thought. Probably it must be famous for classical music fans. I thought that when I saw posters on the wall of the hall.

     Ahibue-no-kai, the reed club which held the concert, was established by a flute player Tsutomu Nomura as the director in 1988. Most of the members lives in Nagoya area. I don’t know how many people belong to the club, but they sometimes play as a small ensemble at clinics, and sometimes play as a big flute orchestra which has more than 30 players at concert halls. They play not only orthodox classical music but also contemporary music. And they are now turning toward introduction of old Japanese songs.

     I listened to music as follows:
       1. Mathew Passion Oratorio (BWV244)- No.47 & No.78  (J.S. Bach)
       2.Divertiment KV137 – Allegro di molto (W.A.Mozart)
       3.Romance in G major (L.v. Beethoven)
       4.Hungarian Dance in D major (J. Brahms)
       5.Medley of Japanese old songs vol.2: Me-me-kohitsuji (bleating lamb)~Toryanse (please come through)~Jugoya-Otsukisan (the moon at the full moon night)~Aoi-me-no-ningyo (A blue eyes doll)~Nanatsu-no-ko (seven children)~Akai-kutsu (a pair of red shoes)
       6. Medley of Japanese old songs vol.4: Nogiku (wild chrysanthemums)~Makiba-no-asa (morning in the meadow)~Syojoji-no-tanuki-bayashi (music by raccoon dogs in Shojo Temple)~Tsuki (the moon)~Kojo-no-tuski (the moon at a ruined castle)~Hakone-hachiri (the long road in Hakone)~shiki-no-ame (rain in four seasons)
       7.Medley of Japanese old songs vol.6: Okashi-to-musume (sweets and a girl)~Yamadera-no-oshosan (a Buddhist priest at a temple in the mountain)~Kozika-no-Bambi (Bambi, the fawn)~Hanayome-ningyo (a bride dall)~Karasu-no-akachan (babies of a crow)~Haru-no-ogawa (a stream in the spring)~Ominago-yo (A girl)~Oshogatsu (New Year’s Day)

     Their music had a lot of diversity. There were many senior citizens in the hall and they looked happy especially when they listened to old Japanese songs. According to the conductor, who is the director of the ensemble, many Japanese people don’t know those old Japanese songs because the songs haven’t been sung recently any more. And he would like to pass many old Japanese songs down to future generations. Yeah, I am sorry to say that I myself didn’t know most of the Japanese songs they played.

     Anyway I had a wonderful time and was be able to relax.

Christmas Tea Concert


     Do you know M&P’s Tea? It is a tea company in Japan. They sometimes have Tea Concert, in which following the concert, an afternoon tea party is usually held, too. Whenever they inform me about their Tea Concert, I always join them. I like to listen to the music, but to tell the truth, the reason why I go to their Tea Concert because that I like Paul’s cucumber sandwiches with his special recipe. Paul is M&P’s P and is one of the owners.

     There was a Tea Concert on 2nd in the City of Nisshin, which is next to Nagoya. It was the 11th concert and the first Christmas concert for the company. They served mince pies this time. For me, it was the first time to try one. Mince pies are traditional sweet pastry from Scotland eaten in only the Christmas season.
     Paul told the audience some mince pie’s trivia at the concert:
      1. Eating seven mince pies in different places before Christmas is lucky.
      2. Mince pies are made from "mincemeat" which contains no meat.
      3. Mince pies should be eaten in silence!
   Oh, I didn’t know them! I had thought that mince pies had meat inside! And it’s very interesting that you should be quiet when you eat mince pies. But I chatted with my mom when I tried one after the concert…

     The mince pies were very nice. And I enjoyed having their hand-made cucumber sandwiches, scones and cakes with their many types of tea as usual.

     Oh, I haven’t mentioned about the concert itself yet! This time I was able to listen to wonderful string quartet performed by H-Mountains Quartet:
       Quartet No.75 Op. 76, No1 (J. Haydn)
       Antique Dance and Aria No.3 – Italiana & Siciliana (O. Respighi)
       Tango (I. Albeniz)
       Pizzicato Polka (J. & J. Strauss)
       Meditation from "Thais" (J. Massenet)
       Czardas (V. Monti)
      It was my first time to see pizzicato. Their music was very nice not only to listen to but also to look at.

Schmidt & Marat


     What I am taking at a university is not an ordinary English conversation or grammer class but is a kind of psychology class. In the class, students watch movies and study about the characters psychologically. Now we are watching About Schmidt, which is a story of a retired man acted by Jack Nicholson in 2002.

    Yesterday our teacher told us an interesting fact. Look at these pictures! One is from the movie, Warren (Jack Nicholson), the hero of the story is sleeping in the bathtub. And another one is a painting entitled The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David in 1793, which is one of the famous scene of the French Revolution.

     Interestingly the both of men are in the middle of writing to someone. Warren (left) is alive but Marat (right) is dead…