No.186 (4/22/11)

Grandma's Old Sayings

By Nao H. Kauffman
Chief Editor

Starting with one live radio show in March 2010, a heart-warming song gradually went around and came here to stay all through Japan. The song, gThe Venus Of The Toilet,h was written by a street singer/songwriter named Kana Uemura, for her deceased grandmother. In January 1983, she was born in Hyogo prefecture. At the age of 8 years old, the movie, The Sound Of Music, gave her inspiration; shortly, she began to aspire to become a singer and practiced music day after day. Once she turned into a teenager, she troubled over her future between a singer and comedian, since she also loved the world of entertainment. However, she never stopped singing. She challenged herself for a street musician audition in Osaka and was awarded a grand prize. Her struggling singer life began, and it was just the winter of her nineteenth year.

Compared to many of her other songs sung with clear, warm voices, the song was unusually successful and made into the charts last year. As a result, she was invited to an expo in China and also the prestigious annual television music show held on New Yearfs Eve. Then, her story about the song was transformed into a television drama this year. Once many people listened to this song, they could not help recalling their own grandmother. I definitely was one of them. If you search YouTube for gtoireno kamisama,h you can browse the story and song that has touched many hearts. Although the song is about 10 minutes long, she honestly expressed herself for her grandmother and could not omit any of the music. Besides the particular phrase that inspired this song, there are many other grandmasf old sayings in Japan. To my interest, I found they are very common and alike when I compared to people from different areas. Here are some examples of the sayings below. These are very unique to know. Do you have anything like these in your culture?

- If you whistle at night, snakes come around.
- If you cut your nails at night, you will not be able to be present at your parentsf death.
- If you sneeze three times, someone may be talking about you.
- If you keep hick-ups for a long time, you may be ill.
- If you have thick and large lobes on your ears, you will become rich.
- You will get better from a cold once you pass it to someone else.
- If you sleep right after you eat, you will be a cow.
- If you put head toward the north when sleeping, it will bring bad lucks.
- You are not supposed to pass foods from chopsticks to chopsticks.
- When frogs make sounds, it may rain.
- When catfish make a row, an earthquake may be occurred.
- If you make a wish three times in your heart before a shooting star disappears, your wish will come true. Then, if you tell your wish to others, your wish will not come true.

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