Ganbarimasu

23 04 2011

Long time no see all, no surprise school has been keeping me more than busy. And with the way I blog, that would take way too much time out of my routine schedule, so no insightful posts. Tonight is an exception, assuming that I can finish the draft before I get sleepy or have to do something.

While sitting on the bus traveling back to the shore, I was being contemplative.  Have no idea why, but it tends to happen when I look outside windows in the dark while moving. Auto vehicles do that.

So what pray tell have I been contemplating about? I’ve been thinking about the word “がんばる”. For non-Japanese readers that word is “ganbaru”.

In the wake of the Great Touhoku Earthquake (I believe this is actually the title for the event), you might have heard this word being used a lot. It tends to be translated to a number of meanings, including some form of: do your best or hang in there. If you are a fan of Japanese culture, language, entertainment you have most definitely come across this phrase. I have recently been listening to Taku Takahashi’s radio show, TCY Radio, and have noticed that he has many cuts where international artists and DJs have their shout out to Japan. Most recently, many non Japanese DJs and artists have been shouting “ganbatte Japan” and in fact the whole country is enveloped with this phrase. For the devastated areas it is very much a time where this term applies.

There have been great efforts for charity and encouragement all over Japan. Johnny’s Entertainment had a huge event that brought out I believe all of the current talents of Johnny’s. Another example, my beloved Hello! Project for example. After the earthquake, many of the girls have been posting their words of relief and encouragement on their blogs. Even beyond Hello! Project, their agency, Up-Front Works had a large event in Yokohama. They also produced a big collaboration with many many artists under Up-Front and beyond Up-Front. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a moment to watch KAN’s 愛は勝つ performed by … many artists.

In my opinion, quite moving. You can see pretty much all of the girls in Hello! Project even the members of Dream Musume! I don’t believe the 9th generation of Morning Musume are there, but that’s ok. But even beyond that we have Makoto and Tsunku and his girls under Nice Girl Project. I even noticed Emyli in the shuffle among all the people I don’t actually know.

Ganbarou Nippon. It’s a very big message to the nation that just experienced one of the top 5 earthquakes in years. But in a rare occasion, I will turn the attention of this post to me. And how does this apply to me? I’ve been going through a lot lately. And I realize there are many times where I can do so much better.

With the addition and combination of the 9th generation members of Morning Musume, the Great Touhoku Earthquake, and the developments in my life I felt very compelled to think about the word, ganbarimasu, today. There are talks all throughout one’s life about doing one’s best. Many times, it’s merit. Other times, it’s fluff. But think about it. I want to really look into myself and find myself. Over this and next year, my transformation to the adult I hope to be will happen. This is the biggest crossroads that I have to pass in my life right now.

And so I thought on the bus today. And so I thought about my beloved idols and how they do their job. I’ll call it a job, because I have heard the distinction made before. I’ve seen many students fall through the cracks from lack of motivation, laziness, or some unforeseen circumstance. And of course I am guilty of one of these or all of these at some point.

But I think about it … though I am not at all qualified to judge on behalf of the idols. They are doing their best aren’t they? The 9th generation girls are doing their best to learn years worth of choreography and songs, on top of behavior and professionalism, on top of acting and talent, on top of their own lives as girls and students. That’s a lot. Does what I have on my plate stack up to what they have? No. They’re in the limelight already. But they’re doing their best.

Ganbarimasu! And so, the first song to come up in my head here is not the 9th generation’s song, but the 5th generation’s song: Suki na senpai. It is a classic that has been sung by many a generation. But the key message here is the very last line of the song. がんばります!先輩!”Ganbarimasu! Senpai!”

So what am I doing with my life…? I need to learn a lesson from my idols and do the same thing they are. がんばります!

~Siggy, who you can imagine as doing the same pose as the amazingly cute Suzuki Kanon above, just nowhere near as cute~

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