I had to go to a meeting at the Shinjuku Mitsui building yesterday. It’s got a large lobby and an outdoor terrace, both of which are occasionally stages for mini concerts. This time there was a grand piano, a man in a tux and a woman in an evening gown. When I came in, she was singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow, in English, and quite well, I might add but I can’t imagine why she chose that particular song. Then she sang a special Christmas medley including Joy to the World, Silent Night and Rudolph, all in Japanese.
I once saw a US military band performing there. No explanation, but I suppose it’s got something to do with neighborhood relations, except that the “neighborhood” is a bunch of other tall office buildings and a couple of ritzy hotels, including the Keio Plaza, where they filmed Lost in Translation, one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.
I tried to enjoy the concert, but it’s disconcerting (nyar, nyar, nyar) when Rudolph has an akai hana instead of a red nose. The whole experience gave me a brief reality jolt. I guess some things just get lost in translation.