Japan Part Three: Music to Cook to

I was just preparing a few of Jun Tanaka’s recipes from my previous post – Japan Part Two: A Japanese Cooking Masterclass with Jun Tanaka – when I realised that I should probably put some food appropriate music on. There’s nothing quite like putting you in the mood for international food like matching music, which is probably why my flat mates tend to stay out of the kitchen when I’m making pasta from scratch as it’s usually accompanied by a very loud attempt at opera, sort of like the sound you’d get if you crossed a fog horn with a pair of brawling cats.

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Usually when I think Japan it’s live recordings from the Tokyo Blue Note club, Un bel dì vedremo (one fine day) from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, The Chairman’s Waltz from Memoirs of a Geisha or the entire back catalogue from Cowboy Bebop. But today, this little song about food popped back into my head after hearing it last year at a film screening at The Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square.

This has to be officially the sweetest song to cook anything to, especially breakfast, despite the fact that the breakfast that Aoi Teshima is singing about here might not be to your taste if you don’t live in Japan. Who wants eggs with rice, miso, fried fish and tofu at eight in the morning? Although, to be fair, if I was back in Tokyo I would be gobbling up an early morning feast like this:

8147288252_ba9a287123_bImage: Porto Bay Trade

This is the opening song from Ghibli Studios From Up On Poppy Hill, a charming (it’s Ghibli, would you expect anything less?) tale of high school love, absent families and mistaken identity set in a guest house and school club house somewhere in 1963’s Yokohama, Japan, just as they are preparing for the Olympic Games.

If you fancy improving your Japanese skills, here are the lyrics:

お鍋はグラグラ、お釜はシュウシュウ
O-nabe wa guragura, o-kama wa shuushuu
The pot is bubbling, the rice is steaming

まな板はトントトン
Mana ita wa ton to ton
The cutting board is standing by

お豆腐フルフル、卵はブルブル
O-toufu furufuru, tamago wa buruburu
The tofu is jiggly, the eggs are slippery

納豆はネバネバ
Nattou wa nebaneba
The natto is sticky as can be

焼けたフライパンに卵をおとして
Yaketa furaipan ni tamago o otoshite
Drop the eggs in a frying pan

お鍋に味噌をといて
O-nabe ni miso o toite
Stir the miso in a pot

あつあつご飯はおひつにうつして
Atsuatsu gohan wa ohitsu ni utsu shite
Pile the rice into a serving tub

支度は上々
Shitaku wa joujou
Everything is ready to go

みんなを起こして、みんながそろったら
Minna o okoshite, minna ga sorottara
Time to wake up the house, get everyone to the table

さぁ沢山めしあがれ
Saa takusan meshiagare
Now dig in, eat hearty

お日様も輝いてる
Ohisama mo kagayaiteru
It’s another sunny day

みんなで朝ごはん、わたしが作った
Minna de asagohan, watashi ga tsukutta
Another beautiful breakfast together, and I made it all for you

いそいで、いそいで
Isoide, isoide
Hurry up, dig in now

でも味わって食べてね
Demo ajiwatte tabete ne
But be sure to taste every bite

魚はジュウジュウ、脂もジュワジュワ
Sakana wa juujuu, abura mo juwajuwa
The fish is sizzling, the oil too is bubbling

素手で触ってアッチチ
Sude de sawatte a’chichi
So hot to the touch

耳たぶつまんで、お水で冷やして
Mimi tabutsuman de, o-mizu de hiyashite
Pinch those ears, splash some cold water

そんなヒマありません
Sonna hima arimasen
No time to waste

キュウリを刻んで小鉢に分けたら
Kyuuri o kizan de kobachi ni waketara
Slice the cucumbers into a bowl

味噌汁に葱パッパパ
Misoshiru ni negi pa’papa
Chop the onions for the miso soup

お茶碗並べて、お箸も配って
O-chawan narabete, o-hashi mo kubatte
Lay out the rice bowls, line up the chopsticks

支度は上々
Shitaku wa joujou
Everything is ready to go

眠そうな顔して、みんながそろったら
Nemusou na kao shite, minna ga sorottara
Such sleepy faces, get everyone to the table

さぁ沢山めしあがれ
Saa takusan meshiagare
Now dig in, eat hearty

今日も一日がんばろうね
Kyou mo ichinichi gambarou ne
Every day I’ll do my best

みんなで朝ごはん、わたしが作った
Minna de asagohan, watashi ga tsukutta
Another beautiful breakfast together, and I made it all for you

ゆっくり、食べてね
Yukkuri, tabete ne
Enjoy your meal

でも遅刻しないでね
Demo chikoku shinai de ne
But don’t be late, OK

みんなで朝ごはん、わたしが作った
Minna de asagohan, watashi ga tsukutta
Another beautiful breakfast together, and I made it all for you

いそいで、いそいで
Isoide, isoide
Hurry up, dig in now

でも味わって食べてね
Demo ajiwatte tabete ne
But be sure to taste every bite

Lyrics curtsey of the Ghibli Wiki Nausicaa.net

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. My husband is Japanese. It’s funny you’re cooking pasta listencing to Japanese!

  2. I meant “listening”

  3. emmacsleight says:

    Ha ha, I wasn’t actually, I was just using that as an example of when I put on food appropriate music, pasta to me = italian opera. I was making tempura shrimp and shitake and miso marinated salmon with wasabi and seaweed dipping sauce

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