Happy Shogatsu! It's New Year (of the rat) and all the BGM has miraculously switched to trad. (BGM is background music. Did you know? I didn't. Here such acronyms abound.) At all other seasons Kyoto shopping is fuelled by Western and J-pop, but for New Year it has all been replaced by koto (a giant 13-string zither) and shamisen (3-string 'banjo') pinging out warabe-uta, traditional Japanese tunes such as might normally be heard only in school concerts and tourist traps (oh, and pedestrian crossings). Today I was browsing (mainly for a woolly toilet seat cover - a strange but necessary invention - no CH!) to these old national favorites. I knew most of them as, earlier in the year, I had availed myself of a CD of 'Children's songs' from the local 100 Yen Shop (= Pound Shop). Imagine shopping to Hot Cross Buns and the like. I wonder if the Arndale Centres would be game?
Click on title for lyrics and translations of these tunes/songs.
Later...it occurs to me that some of these songs were originally street cries anyway - cf. Hot Cross Buns.