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On the 5th Day of *J-Pop* Christmas: I remember when all I wanted for Chritmas was [a] Unicorn

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, December 21, 2011 12:00am | Post a Comment
unicorn japanese pop j-pop band yuki ga furu machi holiday christmas new year song tamio okuda rock
It's come to this. I'm indulging today in posting what just might be the "fiiiive goooolllld riiiiiings!" equivalent to my most beloved personal favorites when it comes to this addition to the 12 Days of J-Pop Christmas countdown, the wonderful, white Christmas-y 「雪が降る町」(or perhaps "Snow Town" for a blunt translation) by late 80's/early 90's Japanese pop/rock unit Unicorn. This song isn't necessarily a Christmas song, but something more of a New Year's jam replete nostalgic lyrics fed by an emotional current moated with eddies of loss and regret, the kind of feelings a winter home-coming begets. Depending on how it gets to you, that feeling alone is Christmas-ish enough to warrant inclusion here. Also, there's snow!

It's no wonder the song begins with a lyric indicating a dislike for going out among the the holiday crowds, the city boy opting instead for an "over the river and though the woods" type of getaway to his down-home backwoods beginnings with the knowledge that snow is already falling there "again this year". He ponders getting a souvenir for his sweetheart and then contemplates the few remaining days in the year before adopting something of a fuck it, it's the end of the year attitude, reveling in the simpler times realness of the postcard perfect country snowscape.

Maybe it's because I always get a little homesick around this time of year, maybe I'm swimming against my own emotional currents and eddies linked to Christmases past. Maybe, just maybe I'm overdoing it a bit, but I like I said up top I'm indulging myself today. :p

Unicorn - 「雪が降る町」(Yuki ga furu Machi)

Christmas in Japan

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, December 17, 2008 04:23pm | Post a Comment
santa claus is coming to town with winter warlock
A few nights ago while watching an old VHS copy of Santa Claus is Coming to Town I began to wonder about this whole Christmas thing. The legend of Santa Claus, according to this stop-action, puppet laden, mind-bending slice of classic holiday TV programming, is a bit dodgy in parts and down-right unsettling as a whole (and hilarious when paired with the right kind of holiday spirits). How on earth did a story like this, the story of Santa Claus, ever so increase in popularity as to reach the mutated, lofty, legendary status it entertains today? It boggles the mind! But then Christmas is just plain weird and, ultimately, up for interpretation and reinterpretation given the varied spiritual, social, economic, geographic and educational contexts that embgodzilla christmas in japanrace it. That said, I'd like to explore Christmas the way the Japanese do it, as I believe it is a phenomenon that most Americans know little of unless you've had the pleasure of spending Christmas (or the New Year's festivities for the matter) in the biggest little archipelago on the Pacific Rim. 

Recently I asked one of my good buddies, an ex-pat who lives and works in Japan, if he'd be coming back to the good ol' U. S. of A. come Christmas. Sadly he won't be, but he assured me that his absence wouldn't hinder his warm wishes and memories of spending christmas in japan colonel sanders as santa clausthe holidays stateside with friends (and family too I suppose). One thing that he disclosed that has been sticking in my head is, "I have to fend off the almost daily, 'What's Christmas really like in the States?' question." What I'd give to know how he chooses to answer this question; "Oh it's like a weeks-long shopping fiasco that claims the sanity and lives of the over-worked and underpaid temporary workers of my country," I imagine him explaining to a wide eyed and wistful looking クリスマス enthusiast before losing their interest by then expounding upon the glory of salt-cured ham, home-made egg nog and football. I know my friends in Japan are missing out on some of the traditions and seasonal cheer they enjoyed growing up with, but if you ask me, they've got plenty to be merry about being so far away for the holidays. 

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