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


仏果を得ず 三浦しをん  双葉文庫 11/27/16

November 28, 2016



November 28, 2016




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


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


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.