Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

Hidemi’s Rambling No.144

Japanese school year ends in March, and it’s the time for good-byes. I, for one, had my fair share of good-byes in March. It was March when I left my hometown. A few years before that, I saw my best teacher off crying at the train station, also in March. She was my homeroom teacher when I was a freshman in high school. I had never had so helpful, close teacher as her in my life. Every time I felt gloomy, she somehow sensed it and encouraged me. Whenever I was talking with my friends after class, she joined to hear my stories, which she really liked because she thought I was funny. She saved me from my otherwise dismal school days during the year. One day, I heard that she was going to transfer to a distant city. I had felt so sad from then on. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. One morning, I was walking to a train station for school as usual. Near the station, a steep slope led to a small bridge over a filthy, smelly, purple river from some factories. While I was walking on the slope toward the bridge, from nowhere, a song came to my mind. That was the first song I ever wrote and was about my teacher. At her farewell party, I sang my song with playing the guitar in front of people for the first time. Although I played and sang flawlessly, nobody applauded. Instead, everybody cried. My teacher was crying for the whole song. My first song was probably too sad for the occasion…

Leave a comment »

Hidemi’s Rambling No.143

My cell phone is almost exclusively used to receive coupons from shops and restaurants via e-mail. I got a special coupon for big burgers from McDonald’s. It’s only valid for three days and makes the big burger at $2 each. I rushed to McDonald’s today and used the coupon. There were quite a few people ordering at the counter but to my surprise, no one was using a coupon although the deal was exceptionally good. They had a cell phone, all right, but were looking at it for other purposes, not for a coupon. When I think about what to eat, I give priority to coupons. But watching people order randomly and pay at its list price, I was wondering if I was crazy to try to save money to the maximum. Since the coupon was for two burgers at one purchase per customer, I actually exited the place once after I got two, then entered again, and placed an order for another two. That certainly no one was doing…

Leave a comment »

Hidemi’s Rambling No.142

Cherry blossoms begin to bloom. That means it’s the season for Japanese people’s customary cherry blossom-viewing picnic. It sounds lovely but the reality is a dreadfully gross event. Every once in a while, they feel the need to confirm their unity as a nation by doing the same thing at the same time. Their cherry blossom picnic is the perfect example. Before the full bloom, they save a spot a few days ahead with a tarp. On the picnic, they get together with their colleagues and bosses if they are office workers, or seniors and juniors if they are college students. And they drink beer into a stupor sitting on the tarp. A couple of people are killed by acute alcoholic poisoning every year. Parks and the areas with cherry blossoms are crammed with the tarps and people on them. It’s a completely miserable sight to me not only because of the tarps but also because it has become an obligation. They have to do this not to disturb the harmony in their community. I enjoy cherry blossoms every year by taking a walk near my apartment, because I’ve never been under obligation of any kind. I’m so outside of any community…

Leave a comment »

Hidemi’s Rambling No.141

To me, the best guitarist is Toshiyuki Abe of Tulip. Once, he came to a local radio show, which was recorded with the audience. My past best friend and I were determined to go to the studio because Mr. Abe hardly appeared on TV and the only chance to see him had been Tulip’s concerts. We called the radio station for the location and it was a 30-minute bus ride plus a one-hour train ride with a number of connections. It was Saturday and the only way for us to make it was going there as soon as school was over, as we were still high school students. We were tired from a long trip with our heavy school bags when we arrived. But to our huge shock, we found that we came to the wrong studio since the radio station had two studios at the totally different locations and the phone operator had told us the wrong one by mistake. It took another one hour to the other studio by train. We finally reached the studio exhausted, and the security guard at the gate didn’t let us in because we didn’t have the required pass which existence we didn’t know. After all the toil, we were denied on the spot. We were standing at a loss when we saw two girls beckoning to us at the gate. They had the pass and although we were completely strangers, they told the guard that we were their friends and came here together. The two girls looked like angels. The show had already begun but because Mr. Abe was the main attraction, his appearance was the last part, for which we were barely in time. I had never seen him so closely. We spent about four hours of turmoil in total on that day for Mr. Abe’s 15-minute appearance. It was so worthwhile, really…

Leave a comment »

Hidemi’s Rambling No.140

My lifelong favorite band is a Japanese band called Tulip. When I was in high school, I saw their performance on TV and got fascinated by their music instantly. I became a big fan of them. One day, I made a detour on my way home from school to a shop carrying goods related to popular musicians, and bought stickers of Tulip. That was when my past best friend whom I introduced yesterday came to my mind for the first time. Although we were in the same school since junior high, we had scarcely talked each other. But I had heard that she was also a big fan of Tulip. I thought she might not have one of those and got the stickers for her too. The next day, I handed them to her, and she was greatly touched by it much more than I expected. In return, she lent me all her albums of Tulip so that I could record them and save money. Tulip was the reason why I became a musician, and it also brought me a best friend…

Leave a comment »