Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

Hidemi’s Rambling No.274

It’s common in Japan that a child remains at a parents’ house after going on to college or starting to work at an office, or even after marrying. That had been my family’s tradition for a very long time and as a result, we lived in the exact spot where our ancestors had lived, without moving for hundreds of years, because a firstborn should have stayed in the parents’ house. That had lasted until one particular firstborn broke the tradition by leaving the house; that was me. So, my grandparents, my parents, my uncle, my younger sister and I had all lived together when I was little. This uncle of mine is my father’s younger brother and he was such a trouble some existence when we lived together. He constantly teased me and stole from me. My biggest pleasure back then was to get a snack at a nearby small candy shop after school with my scarce allowance. But the snack was often gone the moment I put the bag in the house and looked away from it. My uncle would eat it. I never understood why a grown-up like him sneaked a kid’s snack. He brought me a toy whenever he went on a trip or out for an errand. Even so, his daily plunder harmed goodwill, and I earnestly wished he would leave the house as soon as possible…

Leave a comment »

Hidemi’s Rambling No.273

Along with many rather unpleasant memories of my childhood, I also have a few good ones about my family. New Year is the biggest holiday in Japan and two days prior to New Year’s Day, all my family would make ‘mochi’ every year, that is rice cake made from glutinous rice. That’s my family’s tradition passed for who-knew-how-many generations. As we used to make ‘mochi’ not only for our stock of food but also for offerings to shrines and temples and for gifts to our relatives, it took the whole day to finish making hundreds of them. My grandmother boiled glutinous rice over a kiln and my father put it in a wooden mortar and made it into rice cake by pounding with a heavy wooden mallet. My grandfather was sort of a ‘show runner’. The rest of my family- my mother, my sister and I- shaped the rice cake into small balls. Because New Year was so close, everybody was in a good mood and the usual tension between us went away for once. It used to be the happiest day spending with the whole family together for me. But even our long-survived tradition couldn’t stand a recent rapid change of time. The wooden mallet and mortar were replaced by a rice cake-cooking machine. The kiln by the gas stove. We needed a less amount of ‘mochi’, as our relatives got fewer, and the whole day work became unnecessary. I left home. My grandparents passed away. This is the way my happiest family event has disappeared…

Leave a comment »

Hidemi’s Rambling No.272

A vast maneuver site of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces is situated near the apartment I currently live in. Although there are houses and apartments densely around it, they often exercise in firing artillery and parachuting, and disturb us with thunderous noise. Since I usually sleep in the daytime, coping with their noise is particularly difficult. That’s surely one of the reasons I’ve decided to move out. Yesterday, I woke up with the loud noise of a helicopter. I thought it was a usual parachute exercise, but it sounded slightly different. It came and went around busily. Then, I remembered the news that North Korea bombarded South Korea the day before. I imagined the Japanese Self-Defense Forces might be prepared for the contingency. If war broke out there, Japan would be too close geographically. As North Korea’s weapons are out of date, their missile might mistakenly hit here instead of South Korea. But when I took the thought calmly, I realized that there seemed to be more chance of a Japanese helicopter crashing onto the residential area than that of a North Korea’s missile. In either case, I had better speed up packing…

Leave a comment »

Hidemi’s Rambling No.271

In Japan, the series finale of ‘LOST’ has been just aired; thus my several-years-long fun is finally over. I had made countless predictions for the ending, all of which were outwitted. I wasn’t prepared for that surprising conclusion. After six years of adventure with ‘LOST’, it’s certainly the best TV show I’ve ever seen. It beat my other favorite shows like ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, ‘Seinfeld’, and ‘South Park’. I was deeply moved by some of the episodes and made ‘LOST’ the TV show that I cried most. In total, I may have cried more than I did when I saw the movie, ‘Field of Dreams’. The character I shared emotion with most was Ben. His personality was so similar to me that I sometimes felt like someone who knew me was writing his lines. One of the ‘LOST’s best aspects was that most of the character’s parents were evil. Too many good parents appear on the movies and TV shows and that makes me scoff at them. Whoever wrote ‘LOST’ must feel the same way as I do about parents. ‘LOST’ was real and touched me. I already miss the show. I wonder if I can find a superb TV show like it ever again…

Leave a comment »

Hidemi’s Rambling No.270

I found that the problem I’ve been tackling, which is to boost the volume of our new song, could be solved by redoing the mixdown. But it’ll take a few more months to complete. Although we have more than 20,000 visitors for our website and MySpace profile, and they kindly keep coming, not a single song has been up there yet. That’s shameful to me. Also, I feel reluctant to tell my partner that I need more time to complete the song. I thought about an extreme. What if I were the only human on this planet? If there were no one else besides me, I would redo by taking as much time as I want until I reach my satisfaction. Time is relative like happiness and bears meaning simply in relation to others. Come to think of it, our new song is written just about it. While I’ve been working on it, I ignored what I had written myself. So, I decided to go back to the mixdown. Considering the song’s theme, it was destined to take time…

Leave a comment »