Music videos

Two foot-tappin' numbers from Minna no Uta ("Songs for everybody"), a venerable NHK feature vaguely resembling the less explicitly alphanumerical songs from early Sesame Street.

Item: "Ninja wa doko ja" ("Where's the ninja?"). It is illegal in Japan to mention a ninja in a poem or song without associated wordplay involving the archaic/regional variant copula ja; these lyrics are an excellent example of how it should be done.

On the surface, "Ninja" is a tragic tale narrated by a small boy who finds himself the victim of an ongoing campaign of harassment carried out by a single ninja whose employers remain unseen. The associated animation, however, problematizes the narrator's claims, not so much by accusing him of dishonesty as by calling into question the significance of any distinction between the boy and his adversary.

Ultimately, the visuals argue, the "ninja" is simply an Other invoked by the boy to explain -- or, rather, not explain -- events that are repellent to his Self. It follows that those around him reject these claims, since to them the boy and the "ninja" are merely hypothetical subdivisions within a single opaque Other.

I also really like his mother's outfit in the classroom scene.

Item: "Aka-oni to Ao-oni no tango" ("Red oni/blue oni tango"). A red devil and a blue devil find happiness with each other in the dead of night; an eerie down of identical rabbits look on, withholding explicit judgement but supplying the necessary rhythm with hushed cries and stabbing violins.

And is the nod to De sterrennacht only my imagination?

Popularity factor: 4


Reminds me of Pahl Hluchan.


this blog just keeps getting better and better!


hi great blog, i was curious why its illegal to mention ninja in a poem or song


I was just kidding about that.

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