2003   JULY 24   #205

Japanese Magazine Flexidisc (1984)

In 1984, when I lived in Chicago, a video-artist friend of mine who made origami earrings introduced me to a huge Asian department store somewhere on Chicago's far north side, new home to many people from all corners of the world. The store was filled with mostly Japanese and Chinese wares and crafts, and it devoted much of its space to the burgeoning Japanese magazine market. Though I understand nary a word of Japanese, I was fascinated by these outrageously thick and glossy magazines--especially the children's issues, which often included toys, games, and even candy taped to their spines... and also flexidisc records such as this one.

Who these characters are, I don't know; what they are saying, I can only guess at, but the hyperkinetic atmosphere and nursery-room music compelled me to keep a copy of this record long after I abandoned the magazine. I imagine such freebies were common during the 1980's and have probably been replaced by CDs or MP3's in recent years. If anyone out there can tell me what's going on in this flexi, I'd love to know! Thanks to Otis again for providing a home for lost orphans such as this and providing the WWW with constant and joyous surprises. In English now: Bye bye!

- Scott Elledge

TT-4:08 / 5.7MB / 192kbps 44.1khz

Philip Bennett writes:
In case no one has written in yet to translate your selection for July 24, here's a brief explanation. Pickle and her friend (whose name I can't catch) are playing a sound recognition game--1st sound being an ambulance--when Pickle gets a phone call from Jajamaru-kun, apparently some type of feline, who wants to come over and play. As soon as he hangs up he's at the door, explaining he ran the whole way. They all listen to and identify more sounds, then sing a song about friendly pigeons who eat seeds and fly away together. Pickle ends the record by reminding her listeners to obey their parents. The record is intended for an audience of very young children.