I am indeed back. After 2 weeks visiting old friends in Tokyo, I arrived to a much colder Toronto last night. It felt rather dreamlike being back in my old stomping and teaching grounds of 17 years' residence since returning to The Great White North almost 3 years ago. There was that sense that I had never left...despite some changes in people's lives and urban infrastructure, the subway and JR stations all had those familiar distinct chimes, I didn't need to pull out a map to navigate through the masses. It was nice to feel that way.
And of course, my friend and I ate our way through the megalopolis. I almost feel as though I have to say 2 weeks AND 2 kilograms later. Being the foodie, I just had to take a lot of shots of the local fare; you might say I was the more photographic and less profane Anthony Bourdain. The above photo, for example, was one of the several complementary breakfasts that I had at the Toyoko Inn near Asakusa at which we stayed during our time in The Big Sushi. Fun, free and filling!
One of my other missions on the long-awaited trip was searching my old CD haunts for some fine music. And my first catch was Akiko Yano's（矢野顕子）"Gohan ga Dekitayo" (Dinner's Ready), her 4th album from October 1980. It had been a goal of mine to find this album which was first introduced to me via nikala's own 80s playlist on the blog since it was considered to be an important album meshing her own New Music with the technopop sounds of the Yellow Magic Orchestra. I was able to find it at Recomints in Nakano Broadway, and despite an earlier report that I had made that the J-Pop/kayo kyoku wing closed down, the store is still open although melded with the Western pop section.
The track that I want to feature here is the title track which was written and composed by Yano and backed up by Yellow Magic Orchestra. It is a playful Yano pop song with some of the bloops and bleeps that were typical of YMO back in the late 70s, and it has an interesting source in that the singer-songwriter based it on Matthew 5:44-46 about loving one's enemies. I'm not a religious person by any means so when I look at the lyrics, I see someone kindly inviting folks over for a good hot meal and conversation...always a welcome thing. I had plenty of similar experiences during my half-month in Japan in restaurants and homes.