Bloganuary: Learning

What is something you wish you knew how to do?

Piano. Play the piano.

I am not musical. I did not grow up longing to play an instrument. And to be honest, I don’t have a particular fondness for piano music — I do sometimes covet the ability though.

On new year’s eve in Japan the national past time is to watch a musical show called Kohaku. Japan’s top musical artists are separated by sex — the women are team Red and the men team White (a call back to The Tale of Genji) — and they alternate extravagant performances in a variety of musical styles to win (now chosen by the audience at home through votes made on our remotes).

This year they introduced the pianist/singer/songwriter Fuji Kaze. He’s from a remote village in the north and as a child he wanted to learn piano. He took lessons once a week and filled in the gaps with YouTube videos. When he was in 6th grade, his parents let him start his own channel and by 22 he had a nation wide hit, Nan Nan (see below). Now, an established pianist, he’s started working with major artists in Japan.

You can still watch his older videos on his channel — and I have been, he is extremely charming and earnest. What I want to stress is he is self-made. He didn’t just wish, he did.

Fuji Kaze does sing in English — he taught himself English — and has a very nice cover of Close To You (which you can find on Apple Music). Here is a Japanese song with some English mixed it, I especially like the way he sings this lyric.

“My heart is saying I’m not caring no more
Somebody slap my ass and let me go
I used to dance but I ‘m losing my beat
And now I lost my feet
Somebody bring back to me
That love and just let me be”

Tokuninai, Fuji Kaze

Watching Fuji perform on New Year’s eve made me wish I could express myself through music — It made me, once again, wish I could play the piano! — but more importantly, he reminds me that we have the ability to learn anything we want, whenever we want.

Do you agree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

During the new year, people go to temples and shrines to pray for a good year. They write their wishes and goals on these wooden plaques and hang them in the shrine/temple.

(The topmost photo in in downtown Yokohama)



26 thoughts on “Bloganuary: Learning”

    1. Oh, I’m glad you liked Fuji Kaze I just downloaded and watched his concert yesterday evening — he does a great job live.

      Good luck with your writing. I see you have a long list of published article on your blog. I want to read one. Which do you recommend to start with?


  1. Yes, everyone has the ability to learn new things and skills. Prolonged desire and perseverance when we don’t meet expectations are usual culprits that often make people quit before they reach their goal.


  2. I agree, we can learn anything we want, itโ€™s a matter of will and consistency. Learning the piano as an adult taught me that. When Iโ€™ve stuck with it and played regularly my abilities improve. Itโ€™s like that with anything we want to learn. And these days with the easy availability of online guidance and lessons we really can learn anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True x 1,000,000 = my agreement. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      So you learned piano as an adult? That’s very cool. I recently met a man who started learning the violin at 50. His daughter wanted to learn the violin, so he had the teacher come over to his home twice a week and now they have a unique father-daughter activity.

      Did you check out either of the videos? I’m curious if Japanese sounds weird or grating to the ear. To me, the rhythm and tones of the language are quite beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did watch the second video. No doesnโ€™t sound weird at all. It was a lovely melody actually even though I didnโ€™t understand much.
        And yes, Iโ€™ve learned a lot of things as an adult. Itโ€™s not as daunting as some make it out to be.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Thatโ€™s cool CT! I love many different kinds of music in a couple of different languages. Itโ€™s amazing how much there is to enjoy out there.
            Btw wondering if youโ€™ll check my latest post and will participate. Iโ€™m curious and would love to know peoplesโ€™ thoughts. Thanks!

            Liked by 1 person

  3. The image is so beautiful! Black and white has it’s own charm!
    I have always wanted to learn to play an instrument , like I mentioned in my post- for the shortest amount of time, it was the keyboard but I have really tiny hands and I couldn’t even reach all the keys ๐Ÿ˜ถ, so that disappeared!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure you could play if you really wanted to.

      I think the trick of mind that keeps us from trying is that we compare ourselves to the greatest X and become disappointed with our individual performances.

      You might not become the next Gershwin but you can become the greatest DreamGirlWrites who plays. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‡

      Liked by 1 person

          1. I actually do not live in the Netherlands anymore. But I travel to a different country every 3 months, so yes there is a lot to photograph. ๐Ÿ˜Š And thank you!๐Ÿ˜„

            Liked by 1 person

What's that you say? I can't quite hear you. Do you mind writing that down here? ๐Ÿ˜

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