Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

“Hanako Oku and the Books Never Written.”

hanako oku writing

My son once had a kid’s joke book that included a section called “Famous Books Never Written”.  The list included such gag titles as “Under The Grandstands” by Seymour Butz, “Rusty Bed Springs” by I.P. Nightly, and “The Joys of  Drinking” by Al Coholic, etc.  Of course these are all joke titles.  There are probably some books that should never be written.  However, there are some that NEED to be written …

Sometimes when I am listening to Hanako Oku albums, and she has sent me into another delightful reverie, I sometimes fantasize what it might be like to be Hanako Oku’s American Biographer.  Although Oku-san is well known in Japan, she is largely unheard of in the US (my sophisticated readers being an exception).  Although my Ph.D. is not in Music, or Japanese Studies, and I don’t play the piano, I started to think — could I write a book about Hanako Oku?  Why not?!?!?  Why CAN’T I research her life story, and publish it for an American audience?

ANOTHER MUSICAL REVERIE

ANOTHER MUSICAL REVERIE

The book could introduce her music to an American audience.  In my vision, I want to tell HER story. (This is a  fairly safe fantasy, as most daydreams go.)  Of course, the fact that that I am not fluent in Japanese is probably the greatest barrier to such a manuscript.  I once contacted some Japanese language teachers at a university, and they were a little surprised that I would be so interested. One said, you mean “that diva for heart breakers?” (direct quote).

At first I thought that I would be able to compile material from the Internet, find translations of lyrics, and otherwise meaningfully transcribe the songs.  Perhaps the record company could be of some help.  What a challenge … a new academic world to explore … and so much Japanese culture to be learned along the way!  Also, I could relate stories of Oku-san’s youth to her development as an artist … growing up … through the indie years … the subways, the …

“WHOA, WATCH WHERE YOU’RE DRIVING YOU A@@%$&#! “

Oh, … sorry.  Back to reality.  Need to pay attention while driving.  If only I could write as well as Seymour Butz  : (

I even had a title for the book picked out: “The Little Great One”.

Why this title?  It could not be “The Great One” of course, because that name was previously affixed to the late Jackie Gleason, famous comedian and American television pioneer.  Mr Gleason would have outweighed Oku-san by at least 200 pounds.

greatonelittlegreatone

Click to view full size.

Hanako Oku would be titled the “Little Great One” because:

1). Although she may be small in stature, she looms very large as a singer-songwriter-performer!  She communicates big, intense emotions, in an effective way, and this makes her great!   All that sound, all those emotions emanating of this little lady with just a portable piano.  “When I listen to a Hanako Oku ballad, it feels like my heart is breaking, but also filled with joy — at the same time!” (he says — quoting himself) . 

2). Oku-san may also be considered “little” in that she may not be as popular, or as big a record seller as some others.  She may not have as many hits as certain trendy mega-hit pop groups (you can fill in the-name-of-whoever-the-Japanese-Justin-Bieber-is-here), but her music is BETTER, and will stand the test of time.  She is superior to most of the pop music “product” out there.  I think that her songs are more meaningful than most, even if I do not always have an English translation.  She is a GIANT among lesser songwriter performers.

Those, and for other reasons Mr. Butz may think of later, are my reasons why Hanako Oku is “The Little Great One”. I’m sure Jackie Gleason would agree.

Gotta drive …

zoom to the moon

Starlight: It took five years for Hanko Oku’s song “Garnet” to reach my world.

Advertisements

Comments on: "Hanako Oku and the Books Never Written" (5)

  1. I’ve always wondered if there was anything more behind your calling her “The Little Great One” besides her being a great artist.

    That first image is from 2006, isn’t it? I remember seeing that jacket in the music video for Chiisana Hoshi / 小さな星. Oh wait, it is from the video, isn’t it?

    And, well, just to show off a little (I hope you don’t mind), the rest of the images:

    Hatsukoi / 初恋 promotional image
    Waratte Waratte / 笑って笑って (or is it BIRTHDAY?) promo image
    Garnet / ガーネット single cover art

    Don’t forget to send me a free copy when you finish the book 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] searching for a music video by The Little Great One this week, I remembered these magical moments captured at Oku-san’s 2011 performance at a Red […]

    Like

  3. […] Although she sings in Japanese — a language I do not understand — she still touches my soul with her songs. You know the story … […]

    Like

  4. […] agree with Snivy, I think The Little Great One looks very pretty and exquisitely feminine throughout these performances. “What a nice lady […]

    Like

  5. […] that to me. Ahem … but perhaps I can provide a little shopping inspiration today. Here is The Little Great One’s Christmas Video released last […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

John Jr's Blog

Dreams Et Cetera

Jeffrey's blog

I write things, you read them. Seems like a fair deal

Campzzz

The problem slayer

Aphoristic Album Reviews

Personal Album Review Website

historyreads

an informative site for rediscovering art from the past!

Single at 60 Sucks

A blog for women starting over at 40, 50, 60 and beyond. "Sixty the new sexy," my ass!

Power Plant Men

True Power Plant Stories

Anime And Fan fiction

Welcome to Fanfiction Anime World アニメ

Himalayan Buddhist Art - Art Bouddhiste de l'Himalaya

5th to 18th century Buddhist Art of the Himalayas

ENGLISH CONNECTION

The medium for cultural understanding, economic cooperation and fostering peace.

Iwata Karen Indonesian Fans Club

岩田華怜インドネシアファンクラブ

100 Word Anime

Reviewing Anime

Sunlit Sakura

A Japanese Lifestyle Blog

My Aesthetic Insanity

Open the Doors of Perception

Nicole's 5 Cents

Semi-insightful, self-critiquing feminist with a passion for learning (especially from mistakes)

Anime QandA

Asking The Big Questions on Anime and Manga

The Millennial Merit

Perhaps they'll listen now

MPA Travels

Exploring Japan Through Pictures

Anime Girls NYC

Anime all day everyday!

JKB Idol Updates

Your daily dose of Philippine Idols. News about the latest Idols around the country.

Chaula Rininta Anindya

Terrorism and Military Studies Enthusiast

IDOL Underground

The Premier English Language Site for Japanese Idol news!

sloppybuddhist

hedy bach original photography mixed stories and music

KimchiSama

Anime for the Soul

Who We Are

Photo gallery giving white-Asian women the space to express who they are in their own words

Vivacious Minegishi

Love The Way You Are

Sashikoi

Fueled by Idols

The Narrow Bamboo Gate

The Journey of a Japanese Girl

Anime Shelter

A Safe Place For Anime Lovers

Yes Tiger!

Spreading our love of Japanese idols through news, music and PV reviews, group and member introductions, our experiences in Japan, translations, general ramblings, and more!

Hello!SayuNii

Morning Musume and Hello! Project Fanblog

The Flying Tofu

Japan . Travel . Food

Poke1StopShop

Your One Stop Shop for EVERYTHING Pokemon!

Moosmosis

Exploring an Arts & Sciences Education

MoeGamer

The best of overlooked and underappreciated computer and video games, from yesterday and today

Nezu's Fanfictions

Welcome here !

The Little Mermaid

MAKING A DIFFERENCE, ONE STEP AT A TIME

太郎

政治 風景 映画 芸能 有名人 ニュース 健康 医療 文化 放射能 中高年

Tokyobling's Blog

Tokyo in Photos

%d bloggers like this: