I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Taeko Ohnuki -- Metropolitan Museum (メトロポリタン美術館)

Man, is this gonna be a hot week! Looks like Toronto is finally going to relate to what much of Japan has been enduring this summer. 36-degree Humidex today and it's only going to get worse until about Thursday. I do have the fan running behind me as I write and my parents have got the AC going full blast in the living room. These are the times when I think about the existence of any places outside my home that I can escape into to cool down....and save money on the electricity bill.

Along with shopping malls, my memory goes back to last October when I had that trip to Japan. It ended up that a few of us decided to take a look through the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno Park. It is climate-controlled so it would be the perfect place for a lot of folks trying to beat the heat outside. Mind you, I was a little hesitant about being in Ueno Park at all since there were a few months when the local government closed off several parks due to the incidence of dengue fever transmitted through mosquitoes.

It's not the smoothest segue into today's song, but there aren't a whole lot of kayo kyoku with hakubutsukan or its English translation of "museum". In fact, the only one I know is by Taeko Ohnuki(大貫妙子)who whipped up this cute waltz-like number titled "Metropolitan Museum" in 1984 as a contribution to NHK's "Minna no Uta"(みんなのうた...Songs for All)program of children's songs.

As the video shows (sorry it's been taken down), the music has got that toy shop innocence about it as Ohnuki cheerfully wonders whether that angel hanging around in the museum could use some socks since the place can get a bit drafty at night (I could use a bit of drafty right now) and whether the sleeping pharaoh could use an alarm clock to wake up after 5,000 years of sleep. I think for those folks who loved the Ben Stiller movie "Night at the Museum", this could have been the ideal tune for the Japanese release.

(a jazz version)

"Metropolitan Museum" is also on Ohnuki's 10th album, "Comin' Soon" from March 1986, but I first heard it on one of the singer's BEST compilations. I have never considered myself a museum aficionado but on days like these, I wouldn't mind admiring items like the Mona Lisa or a skeleton of a T Rex in air-conditioned comfort.

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