Friday, February 25, 2011

Say Yes, Yes and Yes

In view that I am going on my long-awaited trip to my beloved Japan in FOURTEEN days (oh the agony! the wait!), and that I have been so tardy in writing of late, I think it wise to log in another post before March comes around. Really, Fat Geisha's social life has been so packed, and her fat presence is in such demand, that sigh, I have been neglecting my darling web admirers. I promise I will not desert you, my dears, even if I have to lose my precious beauty sleep to write!

The last time the Japan wave swept Southeast Asia like a plague (maybe wrong choice of words but you get my meaning) was in the 1980s and early 90s, when I was still in my innocent salad days (er-hem). In addition to J-Pop invading our airwaves, we were all watching numerous Chinese-dubbed J-dramas on TV. In those days, the J-dramas were the K-dramas of today, with such wonderful plots and many cute Japanese actors. Does anyone still remember the 1980s mega classic OSHIN?

The one J-drama that was ALL the rage in the early 1990s was "101 Kaime no Proposal" or "101 Proposals"). A charming story on a down and out middle aged man who just could not find a marriage partner, fell in love with an elegant and beautiful cellist and pursued her like a dog on a bone that verged on borderline stalker-ish. Obviously his dogged perseverance won the fair lady's heart in the end, and his journey was accompanied by the MOST INCREDIBLE title song "Say Yes", sung by famous J-Pop duo, Chage and Aska.

In all honesty, the song was far greater than the drama such that 20 years later, we are still belting it out with gusto at karaoke sessions but I couldn't quite remember the faces of the drama's leads (until I checked out Youtube). Even my mother hums to the tune when the song pops up now and then. It remains one of the top selling singles in Japan even today. Those wonderful, harmonious tenor voices of Chage and Aska which soared to such great heights asking the lady to just "Say Yes". Just say yes, dammit!

(A random question: Did anyone find it incredibly romantic that the male lead proposed at the end to his lady love with a nut bolt and she accepted? But not Fat Geisha, certainly not! Diamonds are the most romantic! The bigger they are, the more romantic! And thank GOD Samurai T had the sense to propose with a fairly big blinking stone, although I also have to give credit to our mutual gay friend who went ring-shopping with him.)

One of my favourite memories of the "Say Yes" song was during my visit to Kyoto 2 years ago, when we walked past this gigantic Christmas tree at the massive Kyoto Station and it was playing the instrumental version of the song. The simple tinkling piano music immediately sent me into a trance, and I just stopped under the tree and listened till the end. It was supposed to be a wedding song, instead of a Christmas one, and yet it fitted the mood so well then, I was immediately transported into a winter wonderland. At that point in time, I felt so incredibly blessed - I was in my favourite country, during my favourite season, with my favourite person and listening to one of my all-time favourite songs.

Let us all reminisce the good old days with a clip of the wonderful, iconic song "Say Yes" - a slightly different rendition (but equally good) sung by the talented Chage and Aska at their concert.

This is the moving final scene of the 1991 "101 Proposals". Although the man is not Takuya, I cannot help but be teary that Love Conquers All, in spite of the huge gulf (in looks, talent, etc.) between the two lovers. Weird that I couldn't remember most of the drama, but I remembered this scene very clearly. The title song captured the mood perfectly.

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