When I woke up this morning, "NHK News at 9" was on as usual, so my parents and I were watching that over breakfast. One of the reports dealt with the sale of a bunch of grapes called Ruby Roman which went for over 1 MILLION YEN! Well, according to current exchange rates, that would be about $8,203.45 in American greenbacks or $10419.54 in Canadian dollars (buy Canadian, you Japanese tourists!).
Good golly, Molly! The news report went further in their calculations to state that each grape in the bunch would be worth about 30,000 yen or $312 CDN. My family went into a bit of a scoffing fit. We can always count on Japan to come up with mangoes that demand a down payment and installment plan, and watermelons that would more likely be stored in a bank vault than a fridge. Now I find out about grapes that could earn a place in a suite in the Waldorf-Astoria.
Wow. As I was sluicing down on my 50-cent bowl of porridge, I started thinking about the blog and about what kind of kayo I could talk about that would address such high-money lunacy. Of course, Japan's Bubble Era of the late 1980s came to mind. But I couldn't really come up with any Japanese tunes that could reference those high-flying days; the Japanese may have spent and lived large but I don't they flaunted it too much through lyrics and music.
Then, I remembered that famous dance emporium in Tokyo, Juliana's Tokyo. Images of decadence flew through my head as women in tight bodicon (wow, that's a blast-from-the-past expression) swished and swayed on top of elevated stages flapping ridiculously huge feather fans. The men seemed to look like they just came straight from the office, though. And of course, that song! HOO!
Tons of music must have been pounded out of the speakers at Juliana's Tokyo at ear-shredding levels, but there was that one song which was the theme tune for the disco to the public at large. I never knew what it was called or who was responsible for it....until tonight. It's apparently called "Can't Undo This!!" by Maxmizor.
Strangely enough, as I had been associating the Bubble Era with Juliana's Tokyo, I had to correct my assumptions. The disco actually opened up in May 1991 when the Bubble had already burst. So, all that hedonism was going on as the tatters of the bubble were coming down from the ceiling as glitter confetti. Go fig.
According to J-Wiki, Juliana's had its time between May 1991 and August 1994 so I was just ending my time on JET when the party got going. And even during my time back in Toronto when I was trying to earn my TESL certificate, some folks that I'd never met at the weekly language exchange one day were showing around their CD of Juliana's music. I think even by that point, the place had already peaked. Some years later, it was VELFARRE which became the dance place to be seen in Roppongi. One time, a bunch of students and teachers including myself actually went into the place one Saturday night, and by that point, I think even it was starting to head into history. Considering most of the kids on the dance floor in the cavernous basement, I felt like the nervous science teacher who had to act as chaperon.
However, my most bizarre experience with dancing occurred some years earlier during my JET stint in Gunma Prefecture. My other colleagues and I ended up in a karaoke joint in Numata City. And apparently the rule was that 40 minutes out of the hour was dedicated to wailing away into the microphone but then suddenly for the remaining 20 minutes, clouds of dry ice fog rolled in and it became a disco...for 20 minutes.
Enjoy your grapes...