Happy New Year!
If you live in Japan, you know that New Year’s Eve is a pretty low key affair here. At our house, it involves watching “Kohaku” on TV, until about midnight when my mother-in-law prepares soba noodles for health and longevity. Normally, I’m not all that into “Kohaku,” which is a music program featuring singers who were big over the past year. They divide the singers into groups – red (the women) and white (the men) and at the end, the audience votes and a winner is declared. Lilia was quite impressed by the pink Southern Bellesque dress and hat on Ayumi Hamasaki, as well as those funky nail charms. But the act we were all waiting for was singer-songwriter Angela Aki, a hapa (American mom, Japanese dad) who was born and raised here, in Tokushima. She went to the same elementary school as my son! Her big hit song this year, “Home,” was actually inspired by her memories of this area. She was dressed down in a red T-shirt with her name across the front and a denim skirt, so Lilia wasn’t terribly interested. Anyway, she talked about her grandma and Tokushima, and her singing and piano-playing were lovely. She did us proud.