|Rock on, Takashi!|
The memorial hall occupied only one corner of what was probably the one of the largest buildings in the area, the Makkari Flower Center, that also happens to be the local novelty store and market, and the whole Hosokawa sh-bang was situated directly in front of a few crates of root vegetables. The entire building was, in all honesty, quite underwhelming, and it smelt like dirt and veggies, but with my highly sought-after Hosokawa stuff in front of me, those didn't bother me. And my reaction upon seeing this corner was different from the Yujiro museum: I couldn't stop a large grin from stretching across my face. The lady cleaning the floor at that time must've been rather perturbed/amused.
Photo-taking was allowed, by the way, so I'm able to show you guys more pictures. Some of the photos were provided by Mom.
The first thing that I saw there was this replica of Hosokawa's statue (I'll be talking about that later). Well, it doesn't really look like him, and if I'm not wrong the man himself actually mentioned this very thing in a "Kayo Concert" episode that had him back at home. The rest of the things on display include posters of his past and recent works and commercial tie-ups, some newspaper clippings, his numerous awards, some photos of him as a kid, and a part of his on-stage wardrobe (glitzy). There was this one article that featured him donating Makkari-mura's first electric piano, and from the looks of Hosokawa in that newspaper piece it was probably not long after he debuted.
|Top: Class photo|
Bottom: Piano donation
Those posters made my eyes lit up, especially the "Kita Dake" (北岳... first from the left in the picture here) one since it's, up to this point in time, Hosokawa's latest single and I happen to like the song a lot. Unfortunately, upon inquiry, there were none left to take home, even though there were about 6 smaller ones below that big one... Fine...
The photos here show theater-play-Hosokawa. He looks pretty fierce, but I have problems taking him seriously like that.
It was another wonderful experience, this time being amongst the items of a singer I love. Having the chance to see the goofy and awkward side of Hosokawa besides the regal and professional front he puts on whenever he appears on TV was nice. And viewing this guy's progress from a rural village boy to one of the greatest enka singers was mighty impressive. So there's no wonder he is one of Makkari-mura's pride and joy, other than the Yuri bulb, of course. Never got to try that root vegetable, but I did see the Yuri mascot in a pink shirt shuffling about the Flower Center.
|Hosokawa's fans... huehuehuehue...|
With that done and the Flower Center given a customary visit, we then headed over to the Makkari Park, that was less than five minutes away from the Flower Center, where Hosokawa's statue stood. By then the rain had slowed to a drizzle so it wasn't particularly uncomfortable. The only thing was the worms. Had Mom not mentioned those flat, white and LONG things out and on the ground because of the rain, I would've been more at ease. Yes, worms give me the willies. But anyways, the real statue was quite a sight to behold, and it would've been even more picturesque if the sun were out and Mt. Yotei weren't shrouded in fog.
Yup, the real deal does look like him, and I think it stands at the same height as the original too (not including the pedestal). To our surprise, the statue also "sings". When one approaches, it will play Hosokawa's recorded message and a snippet of his minyo song performance. Then on one side of the pedestal is a panel with five of Hosokawa's hand prints, one representing the mentioned message while the other four represented the following hits: "Kokoro Nokori" (心のこり), "Kita Sakaba" (北酒場), "Yagiri no Watashi" (矢切の渡し), and "Naniwabushi dayo Jinsei wa" (浪花節だよ人生は). If you put your hand near/on a hand print, the respective song will play.
Naturally, the first thing I did was freak out about being able to put my hand on Hosokawa's hand print - Hosokawa has long fingers. Then I was trying to figure out how to get "Yagiri no Watashi" (lower right hand corner) to play, which took me a few tries. I'm not sure why I chose this song in particular, especially when I had a longer history with the other three. I wonder if it's because I'm able to appreciate it in its entirety, rather than just its music.
The last thing on the Hosokawa-itinerary was to see the plaque that honors him. This was a distance away from the town center, and to get to it one must drive through the Makkari farms - mostly vegetables but some were dairy farms, didn't see any cows though. When we finally got there at the end of a farm road, I was wondering why the singer's plaque was built in such a far out place rather than in the middle of the village. Then Dad mentioned that it was most likely because they had wanted to have it with the majestic Mt. Yotei in the back. Can't argue with that, and it does make the plaque even more spectacular.
Well, that about wraps up this article. Stay tuned for my record shop escapades.
|Even enka singers need good dental hygiene!|