Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mika's Book "Kimi No Soba Ni" 「君のそばに」

Our good friend and colleague Mika Tsuneda's CD/book set will be released on December 1st. "Kimi No Soba Ni" (Close to You) includes a CD with original music composed by Mika, and performed by her group "Wings." It also includes all the lyrics of the songs on the CD, photos by Mika, several essays by Mika, and some Scripture. This set is a wonderful combination of visuals, sound, and printed words. But, the really exciting thing is that Book Com, the publisher, is a mainstream Japanese publishing house. This means that this book is going to be sold all over Japan, in hundreds of bookstores! Making it accessible to a wide range of readers here in book loving Japan.

I went with Mika to Book Com so I got to meet the two men she has been working with (a promoter and an editor). It was amazing to here them say things like, "this book is for people who are seeking something, this book is for people who are looking for healinhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifg, these photos have power." They were warm and supportive towards Mika and seemed genuinely excited about the book. One incredible fact they told us is that every day there are four hundred books published in Japan! That does not include manga, magazines, or newspapers. Amazing.

If "Kimi No Soba Ni" sells well, and I think it will, all kinds of possibilities will open up for publishing other books by Mika, as well as others. Perhaps it will become a series.... with several artists who are Christians publishing similar works of art.

How to Order:

++Book Details in Japanese: 「君のそばに」 CD付フォト&エッセイ/常田美香(ウイングス)

++Any bookstore in Japan should be able to order the book, if asked to do so.

++You can order directly from the Publisher "Book Com"

++Japan Amazon also has it but at this time is out of stock "Kimi No Soba Ni" on Japan Amazon

++If you live overseas and want to place an order, write to me by putting a comment on this blog, if you want to keep it private just indicate that and no one else will see it.

The center page is this photo of "love" written on a moist window, with flowers visible in the background

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Japan & US Premiere of "Mujo No Kaze"

In January of this year (2007) we (CAN Japan) collaborated with Biola University in the making of a short film. "Mujo No Kaze" was shot on location here in Tokyo, in Japanese. It was a big project that took a lot of teamwork and planning. For me it was a great experience working with the group of eleven that came from Biola, soon we will get to see the results of all our effort. The new, high quality, trailer is gorgeous! The music, mood and cinemaphotography are all very impressive. I heard from Graham Fleming of All Nations, who saw the entire film that "it turned out fantastic, really, I was very, very pleased. "

The Japan premiere
of Mujo No Kaze will be hosted by All Nations on November 30.

Name: All Nations - A Year in Review

Date: Friday, November 30, 2007

Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Location: Grace Church (Grace Christian Fellowship) in Ome, Japan (Tokyo Area) MAP

Phone: 042.830.1604

Description: Please join All Nations Japan as we celebrate our accomplishments in 2007. We will showcase dance selections from AN Dance Summer Tour, short film projects including Mujo No Kaze, and unveil the first painting from a children’s book, "Perfect Places to Play."


The following update was posted by Alyssa Iwata, one of the Biola students, on the Mujo No Kaze blog.

Mujo No Kaze was picture-locked in July (or thereabouts). Dean Yamada (Biola teacher/Director of the film) then began working with various post-houses on sound-mixing, and color correction. Many of you may be wondering what the blazes has been going on with this film since then. A lot, actually. I’ll attempt to corral all that information here:

>>The completed film was submitted to (two film festivals) Sundance and Slamdance, mid-October. We’ll hear if we’re in at the end of this month/beginning of the next.

>>The US premiere is set for December 1st at the AFI Mark Goodson Theatre in Los Angeles. Doors open at 8:15pm. Admission is free. The first screening will be at 8:30pm. For those who are late (which would be a very sad thing, indeed), there will be a second screening at 9:15. Following the 8:30 screening, there will be a Q&A session with the Director/Writer -- Dean Yamada,

>>We launced a Mujo No Kaze Website website where there is a high quality version of the trailer posted!

>>The trailer is also on YouTube. The quality leaves much to be desired, but if it would tickle your fancy to see it on that massive purveyor of media, I present you with the link here.

>>We have created a Facebook group, so if you would like to support us or want to catch the latest news, join us at: “Mujo No Kaze: The Wind of Impermanence”

Mujo No Kaze has been one heck of a wild ride, and it’s not over yet! –posted by alyssa iwata

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"Eight or Nine, Maybe Ten"

"Eight or Nine, Maybe Ten" is what my Dad said when I asked him now many church dinners he and his girlfriend Aggie had attended. Now, for those of you who don't know what "church dinners" are.... There is this tradition in Minnesota where every fall churches, mostly of the Lutheran variety, serve a meal in the church. The churches charge admission (according to my Dad rates vary from $7.00 to $12.00). So, this is not a program for reaching out to the homeless. The more popular ones attract large crowds (hundreds) hungry for featured items like home made pies, ham, roast beef, turkey, Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, gravy, lefse and yes, of course, lutefisk. Most all of them have lefse, some have Lutefisk. "It was no good" was my Dad's response to the Lutefisk he got this year.

My 86-year-old Dad and I outside his apartment in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

Lefse & lutefisk are what a lot of people get excited about.

Lefse is a primarily potato driven, flat, soft, bread type of delicacy that purists (i.e. my family eats it) roll up and eat cold with a little butter and white sugar.

Lutefisk is a barely edible, slimy, gelatin like, white fish that they soak in lye (can you imagine eating something that has soaked in lye for weeks, perhaps months)? When I was a kid, I sold Lutefisk to our customers in the Red Owl store in Kerkhoven MN. We would get large vats full of liquid with the lutefisk floating in it. We kept these vats in the walk in cooler. People would come up to the counter and order big portions of it so I would go into the walk in, fish it out (pun intended) of the ice cold fluid, and put the slimy, nasty stuff into clear plastic bags. Made me wonder if our customers hadn't lost their minds.

Apparently, they took it home, ate it and enjoyed it because every year, late in the fall, we sold hundreds of pounds of Lutefisk. The season for Lutefisk sales in MN runs from around Halloween, ramping up to Christmas when demand is high. After Christmas, Lutefisk pretty much disappears from both stores and minds until the next season rolls around.

For those of us from a Scandinavian background, both lefse and lutefisk bring back memories of home, Christmas and of Mom cooking up all kinds of great stuff in the kitchen. I guess that is why I miss it so much.

There really are a few people who live the life of Lake Woebegone.