Lost in Translation


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.


13 thoughts on “Lost in Translation”

  1. I am very sorry to be missing the ever-amusing Tokyo Xmas mash-ups this year, so I am absurdly grateful that you delivered a couple of them to me today!

    (And heh, my sistah in Lost In Translation hateitude. Even if I hadn’t disliked it on its own merits, I certainly would have grown to hate it more every time someone who has never been to Tokyo mentions it in conversation, to support their belief that they totally understand what Japan is like bleah.)

    1. Amen sistah. A friend who really should have known better was practically panting to see the Keio Plaza when she visited Tokyo because she loved the movie. Bleah and double bleah.

  2. The film is poor. Just wholly feeble.

    I understand why “Over the Rainbow” at Christmas: Because “The Wizard of Oz” is now shown each Christmas on television/cable. Why THAT evolved, I don’t understand.

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