Blog and Book Reviews

Movie “The Eagle Huntress” 11/27/16

November 28, 2016

It is really a cool movie. Aisholpan, a 13 year-old girl, trains to become the first female eagle huntress in 12 generations of her Kazah family. She is strong, she loves eagles, she loves nature, she loves her family, she loves her friends at school, SO she is a good girl! This attempt is against to the pinnacle of a tradition that has been handed down father to son for centuries, but never to daughter. While there are many old/traditional Kazak eagle hunters who totally reject the idea of any female taking a part of this tradition Aisholpan’s father, Nurgaiv, believes in his daughter for her ability and talent. He thinks a girl can do anything a boy can do, as long as she is determined. They work hard together, and… I should not say everything. You must watch this movie. Go Aisholpan!

お友だちからお願いします 三浦しをん 大和書房  11/27/17

November 28, 2016

三浦しをんさんの、ゆるキャラエッセイ集。かなり広範囲から集めたもののだけど、三浦カラーが一貫している。一つ一つが大変短いので、ちょこっと読むには、最高です。三浦さんの「お茶目」ぶりが、どこかしこにも出ていますよ!

仏果を得ず 三浦しをん  双葉文庫 11/27/16

November 28, 2016

私は三浦しをんさんに、はっきり言って、かなりいかれている。彼女の本は、取り敢えず全部(手に入るものは)読んでやれと思っている。この本は、彼女の職業紹介ガイド風の本の一冊。林業、辞書編集、など、彼女の手にかかると、すごーい小説になる。そしてこの本は、文楽を題材にしている。(どうも、彼女自身、人形浄瑠璃にはまっているらしい。)文楽のすごさを、現在の設定で、魅力的に、紹介している。恋愛、嫉妬、競争、など、様々な人間関係の中で、若い主人公がもまれ、成長していくお話し。やっぱり、面白かった。是非お読み下さい。

九州場所、幕を閉じる。11/27/16

November 28, 2016

毎日熱い声援を送り、真夜中に一人相撲観戦をした15日が終了。毎場所、場所後はしばし、放心してしまう私です。鶴竜関、おめでとうございます。又、三賞に輝いた、正代関、石浦関、玉鷲関おめでとうございます。毎日、素晴らしい取り組みに満ち溢れていて、今年の相撲シーンを象徴するような15日間でしたね。御嶽海関、遠藤関、栃ノ心関、北勝富士関など、場所を盛り上げた力士達。毎日一喜一憂しました。千秋楽は、黄金トリオの藤井アナウンサー、舞の海さん、北の富士さんの、最強コンビのテレビ中継で、今年最後を飾りました。稀勢の里の「ここぞという時に、力が出せない」のは、何故?という疑問には誰も答えられない。。この人ほど、横綱に近い人もいないのに、毎回手の中からチャンスがこぼれてしまうんですね。

ロスアンジェルス相撲愛好会の第二回例会も中日に開かれ(私、発起人!)、楽しい時が持てたのも、最高で、共通の話題で、大いに盛り上がりましたよ。今後も、場所毎の中日に開いていく予定。ロスアンジェルスに住んでいて、相撲大好きのかたは、是非ご連絡下さいね。お相撲最高!!日本人で良かった。

 

2016 Nov. Sumo Hoshitori Hyo. The Last Tournament of the year is just finished.2016 Nov. The Second Meeting of LA Sumo Fan Club!! It was lot of fun.

 

 

Haruki Murakami “Norwegian Wood” 11/15/16

November 15, 2016

I have read this book at least 5 times by now. Each time I cry at the same places, one is the cucumber scene when Watanabe at Midori’s father’s death bed. It is very quiet, tender, gentle, and beautiful scene. Murakami is known to be a sort of Japanese-American style writer, but he is really Japanese. (I have not read his novels in English yet.) This book was written 30 years ago, and it is still very fresh. This book makes me homesick. I know it is better this way, to feel homesick rather than being in Japan. My teenager era, when I struggled so much with my identity (music was always with me), I strolled around Shinjuku so much. I had a favorite Rock bar to hang around where I was exposed to Rock music and Progressive Rock music besides Beethoven and Chopin. This book is my time machine. I am sure I will read it again and again.

A Movie “The Handmaiden” 11/8/16

November 9, 2016

“The Handmaiden uses a Victorian crime novel, Sara Waters’ “Fingersmith”,  as the loose inspiration to create Japanese-occupied Korea in the 1930s. The result is a historical drama, an erotically charged thriller, and, most importantly, true romance. Park Chan-wook, a director, is very sophisticated, creative and flexible. I don’t want to go into the details of the story. You have to watch this movie. Park is not afraid of Asian style taboos. He knows the beauty of Korean women. Yet he is very humorous.

It is written in Korean and Japanese. I imagine I was the only one who understood Japanese language in that movie theatre that day. Japanese in this movie is not smooth because Korean actors and actresses are speaking it. But their Japanese sounds very erotic. They speak horrible porn language in Japanese, but they don’t understand as native. So they speak as if they don’t feel anything. It turned to be very erotic. I won’t be able to speak the language choice in this movie!

The movie is beautifully made. We enjoy “The Handmaiden” with eyes, ears and heart.

Schubert’s Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession Ian Bostridge Knopt 11/7/16

November 7, 2016

First of all it is a beautiful book. And it is very heavy.. They use very nice paper. If you like Schubert’s Winterreise this is the book to read. I have played many of songs in this collection and recently heard Alfred Brendel/Matthias Goerne’s performance of Winterreise at Disney Concert Hall. I believe it was one of the last performances before Brendel retired. Of course I grew up listening Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau/Gerald Moore recording. Many of us have very strong attachment to Winterreise and the author goes very deeply musically, historically, and artistically. I have been practicing Schubert’s Impromptu Opus posth. 142 No. 3 and it is very nice to feel closer to Winterreise which was composed in Schubert’s final month.

私のこと、好きだった? 林真理子 光文社 11/7/16

November 7, 2016

久しぶりの林真理子さんのご本。彼女の「白蓮れんれん」「野ばら」「本をよむ女」「下流の宴」「ぶどうが目にしみる」「Ruriko]など、私は大ファンです。それだから、ある種の郷愁と、期待感を膨らませて、手に取ったこの本。ああ、これだ!林真理子節だ。というのが、1ページ目からの感想。彼女のバブル期への偏愛(私が勝手に思っている)や、彼女独特の性悪的見方、悪女ぶらせるところ、なんか懐かしくもあるけど、私があまり好きでないのも、事実だ。だけど、最後が圧巻ですね。ここで、人間の本質は、いかに!というのに、答えがでる。長年常に第一線で書いてきた作家というのは、違う。本のページから、圧倒されるようだった。

そういうふうにできている さくらももこ 新潮社  11/7/16

November 7, 2016

初めてさくらももこさんのご著書を拝読!確かに、面白い。メチャユーモアのセンスがある。何といっても、テンポ感が良い。あっという間に読んでしまった。ご自身の妊娠・出産のドキュメンタリーなのだが、しっかり物事観察しながら、かなり苦しい場面にも合うのだけど、底抜けに能天気なのが、最高だ。ももこさんのご著書、いろいろ探求します。

Robert Schumann: Davidsbundlertanze, Op. 6 10/7/16

October 7, 2016

I have been in love with Robert Schumann’s Davidsbundlertanze. After coming back from the summer concerts I decided to learn this piece. I have played several Schumann pieces, but I never had a chance to play Davidsbundlertanze. This was basically written for the wedding gift to Clara. He took the opening melody from Clara’s Mazurka Op. 6 and he switched around Carnival (Op. 9) and Fantasiestuck (Op. 12) to match Op. number for Davidsbundlertanze to her Mazurka. Carnival and other pieces were written before Davidsbundlertanze.

There are 18 small movements (piano cycle) and each shows different mood and attitude according to Florestan and Eusebius. There is a lot of affection, of course. You hear Robert calling Clara’s name, Clara and Robert are joking each other, they are having fun, sometimes they are anxious and nervous, Robert singing serenade for her, he hears her voice in distance, Robert is happy to see her beautiful smile, They argue… And the piece ends with many Cs. C is the first letter from Clara. Robert later said he was the happiest when he was writing this piece.

I performed Davidsbundlertanze yesterday for the first time in public. I had a hard time controlling myself not being involved too much. I am just in love playing it.