Wednesday, June 29, 2011


June 29, 2011

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The following is a translation of the Henshu Techo column from The Yomiuri Shimbun's June 29 issue.

* * *

Length of tour: three days. Number of hours in Japan: 102. Guaranteed fee: 60 million yen. Policemen mobilized for security: 8,400. Total cost of mobilization: 90 million yen. Boys and girls taken into police custody: more than 6,500.

These numerical snippets are presented by writer Kazutoshi Hando to sum up the hoopla that surrounded The Beatles' visit to Japan in his book "Showa-shi Sengo-hen" (Postwar chapter of Showa era), published by Heibonsha.

The British rock group flew into Tokyo on June 29, 1966, 45 years ago today.

Some of the teenagers picked up by police at that time would now be nearing 60 years old. Forgetting the days when they were nuts about the Fab Four, some might have grumbled about the recent popularity vote to elect front-line members of the all-girl pop group AKB48.

Perhaps some said: "I don't know why they call it a general election. Some fans bought two or more of the group's CDs to vote in the popularity contest. They want to go that far just to vote for their favorites? I can't understand young people today."

I wrote about Showa-era diva Hibari Misora in this column on June 24, the 22nd anniversary of her death. Today marks the 108th anniversary of the death of Rentaro Taki, composer of the famous tune "Kojo no Tsuki" (Moon above an abandoned castle). Tomorrow is the 119th anniversary of the birth of composer Ryutaro Hirota, noted for his songs "Kutsu ga Naru" (Shoes ring) and "Hamachidori" (Plovers).

This is a time when we sing melodies to ourselves, as if to break the gloom of the rainy season.

As a poem by Kazumi Tsutsumi reads:


How beautiful musical scores are

even though I can't read them

(Jul. 4, 2011)

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