Monday, November 22, 2004


No, this is not about the music by Ayumi Hamasaki or Kitaro or Southern All Stars, or any other popular music in Japan. This is not about the music that you listen to in Japan, but about the music you have to hear whether you like it or not.

Well, it’s finally getting cold and I’m going to need Kotatsu (table with a heater to warm feet) very soon.

My Kotatsu (without futon)

The Kotatsu buton (futon to cover kotatsu) that I had vacuum packed last spring is now drying on the balcony to get ready for this winter. At this time of the year, there are a couple of songs you repeatedly hear in this town.

If you hear a car slowly circulating in town playing an old-fashioned children’s song aloud, that’s a kerosene vendor. If you need some kerosene for your heater, all you have to do is to step outside the house ASA you hear the song, stop the car and buy some. (Maybe you have to bring your own empty container…I’m not sure because I don’t have a kerosene heater in my apartment.) There seem to be 2 vendors frequently circulating in town. One uses a children’s song about a fox cub in late autumn and the other uses a winter song about snowfall. Looks like we hear those songs more often here in this rural area than in Osaka or Hyogo, but I guess I got used to it. They don’t bother me so much as far as they are not played too early in the morning.

Another kind of music I inevitably hear almost every day is the background music they play in the supermarket. Now I’ve tried hard many times but I cannot recall how it was in supermarkets in the U.S. Was the music on when I was shopping at Walmart or K mart or Sack & Save? Maybe, maybe not…. Anyway, here in Japan, some big supermarkets have their original song/music and have it on all the time. One place I go almost every day has their original one and, in addition, plays some 80s and early 90s pops (Cyndi Lauper, Bon Jovi, Wham, etc.....) arranged as background music. Sometimes I really feel nostalgic but other times I feel sad about the way my favorite songs are arranged…

Sometimes I find myself keep repeating those music in my mind even after the kerosene vendor is gone or I got out of the supermarket. Some songs are really addictive, aren’t they? For me one perfect example is the “kinoko (mushroom) song.” If you have lived in Japan sometime between 2003 -2004 (or maybe even earlier), you probably heard a commercial song that goes “kinoko no ko noko genki na ko…” on TV and/or in a supermarket. I’ll tell you what: They’re still playing the kinoko song in some supermarkets around here!! Ahhhhh……!!!!!

I read on the paper yesterday that one of the dolphins I saw last weekend died last Saturday. So sad…

posted by obachan, 11/22/2004 11:08:00 AM


I notice only the kerosene vendor with the snowfall song in our town.
BTW, I haven't come here for a while. Just before opening my site here at Blogger.com, I got an account at the social-networking site "Echoo!" These days I've been busy posting there my Japanese essays that are better read by the Japanese only. The name of my site there is "Ted's Coffeehouse." "Ted" is my nickname at "Echoo!" Please come to have a cup of coffee there when you have time. -- Tatsu
commented by Blogger Tatsuo Tabata, 11/23/2004 9:00 PM  
Nice coffeehouse you have there. BTW, my favorite coffee is Brazil Santos :)
commented by Blogger obachan, 11/24/2004 11:43 AM  
Oh, I want to serve you Brazil Santos at my coffeehouse on the next occasion of your visit there. The name of a kind of coffee has reminded me of a funny story a former colleague of mine told me. I'll write it in "Surely I'm ..."

BTW, the words "my Japanese essays ... by the Japanese only" in my previous comment do not correctly convey what I wanted to say. I should have written, "... essays I want to be read especially by the Japanese." -- Tatsu
commented by Blogger Tatsuo Tabata, 11/28/2004 8:32 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 7/06/2005 9:34 AM  
Obachan! That mushroom song and the videos is one of my fondest memories from Osaka. They were so cute to see when I went to the supermarket!

Thanks for reminding me of them. Now I'll try to find a video :)
commented by Blogger Liz, 3/16/2008 5:04 AM  
Hi Liz!
So nice to hear from someone who knows that mushroom song. This post was written in 2004, and you know what? They still play that song at one of the supermarkets I always go here! :D
commented by Blogger obachan, 3/17/2008 12:57 PM  

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