Friday, October 11, 2013

wacky tacky Tunes: Koi Suru Fortune Cookie

We're baaaack!!!  We had an incredible time in Japan traveling to four cities, visiting friends and family, and riding trains, planes, automobiles, subways, boats, roller coasters, and easily one-and-a-half million feet of escalators and moving walkways.  I have so much to report but I must start the telling of our adventures with a confession.

I will confess that, by the end of our recent trip to Japan, I half expected to become some sort of national celebrity.  After all, what could Japan love more than a dashing, bespectacled American with all the charm of Mr. Grant, all the talent of Mr. Astaire, all the heft of Mr. Arbuckle, all the timeless, good looks of Mr. Mortimer Snerd, and a collection of homemade, monster sweatshirts?  I was ready to be a star!

Talk about delusional...

Sadly, I don't think the people of Japan are looking for American culture in its Tiny-est purest form; instead they are looking for American culture refracted through a finely-crafted Japanese lens.  I am no expert on Japanese pop music, or "J-Pop" as the kids like to call it, but I was slightly surprised by the latest craze sweeping the island nation, namely "Koi Suru Fortune Cookie" by the Tokyo-based, fan-driven, 88-member (and counting), girl group, AKB48.

A small selection of AKB48's membership.

A generic disco track with candy coated lyrics and English phrases like "Come on, come on, come on, come on, baby," the "Fortune Cookie" song is indicative of most J-Pop: non-ironic, choreographed anthems with the kind of vocal stylings America hasn't heard since Christmas with The Chipmunks.

"Koi Suru Fortune Cookie" - AKB48

It was obvious from this great display of extreme talent that I just could not hope to compete.

I'm not kidding; they are so huge that they have their own restaurant... 

If we couldn't be pop stars or have our own prime-time, Japanese television program or an eponymous "cafe & shop," I thought that, at the very least, our likenesses would be featured very much like those of the dancing travelers in the above video (see 1:59).  I may not have the build of a dancer but dang it, I can mooove!!!

Despite the characterizations depicted thus, the people of Japan are beyond reticent to commence dancing and frolicking in the street.  In fact, my every attempt to just that was met with looks less quizzical than completely disdainful.  The notable exceptions being our Japanese sister, Nami, and her new husband, Masa, who used both the AKB48 song and its accompanying dance routine in their wedding video.  In fact, Nami not only did nothing to dismiss, she even encouraged our impromptu dance recital in the grocery store of the Aeon Mall.

"The Syncopated Clock" - Leroy Anderson
For the first half of the day, this song plays over and over and over again;
grocery shopping is FUN in Japan!

Wanting to impress family, friends, and the Japanese public, Mary not only practiced her grocery store moves; she attempted the AKB48 choreography as well.

Mary, Nami, and Masa perform the "Fortune Cookie" dance.

After hearing "Koi Suru Fortune Cookie" in the wedding video, the streets of Nagoya, a karaoke club, hotel lobbies, Tokyo food courts, and in my head on a never-ending, two-week loop, I have come to appreciate the is pretty catchy.  I guess I kind of miss Japan already.


Mr. Tiny

p.s. Please stay tuned for the rest of our Japan trip and some Halloween fun as well!!!


  1. Welcome back! I missed you!

  2. Awesome videos. Cant wait to see the rest of the blogs and stories about your trip.

  3. i can't wait to see your posts about japan! i have to admit, sometimes when i'm up by myself i fall into this weird wormhole of j pop videos on youtube. did you hear any kyary pamu pamu? i like here the best! I MIGHT know the dance to this song:

  4. Welcome back!! I love thinking about a song that follows you everywhere (and also, being part of a cult-like, 86 person strong girl band) (as its leader, natch). I am looking forward to seeing more post about your trip!!