The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

Clammbon – For Your Pleasure

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Clammbon is a Japanese musical trio, consisting of vocalist/keyboardist Ikuko Harada, bassist Mito and drummer Itou Daisuke. The group, originally formed in 1996 when the three were students at Tokyo Music and Media Arts Shogi, made their major label debut on Warner Music Japan three years later. Their music is characterized by their quirky sound combining jazzy chord progressions with J-Pop and electronica influences.

The name Clammbon is taken from a fictional character in a short story by Kenji Miyazawa.

Because the universe links like-minded people throughout the ages:

Kenji Miyazawa was a Japanese poet and author of children’s literature in the early Shōwa period of Japan. He was also known as a devout Buddhistvegetarian and social activist.

He found employment as a teacher in agricultural science at Hanamaki Agricultural High School (花巻農学校). Saving his meagre salary, he was able to finance the publication of his first collection of children’s stories and fairy tales,Chūmon no Ōi Ryōriten (注文の多い料理店, The Restaurant of Many Orders) and a portion of a collection of free-verse poems, Haru to Shura (春と修羅, Spring and Asura) in 1924. Although neither was a commercial success, his work came to the attention of poets Kōtarō Takamura and Shimpei Kusano, who admired his writing greatly and introduced it to the literary world.

As a teacher, his students viewed him as passionate but rather eccentric, as he insisted that learning came through actual, firsthand experience of things. He often took his students out of the classroom, not only for training, but just for enjoyable walks in the hills and fields. He also had them put on plays they wrote themselves.

From 1926 until his death in 1933, Miyazawa struggled to improve the material and spiritual life of the impoverished peasants of his native Iwate. He introduced new agricultural techniques and new varieties of seeds. He left his position as instructor at Hanamaki Agriculture School in 1926 to establish the Rasu Farmers Association. At the detached house of his family, where he was staying at the time, he gathered a group of youths from nearby farming families and lectured on agronomy. The association also engaged in plays, music, and other cultural activities.

In 1926 he learned Esperanto and tried to translate some of his Japanese poems into the Esperanto language; the translated pieces were published in 1953, long after his death.

His writings from this period show sensitivity for the land and for the people who work in it. A prolific writer of children’s stories, many that appear superficially to be light or humorous, all contain stories intended for moral education of the reader. He wrote some works in prose and some stage plays for his students and left behind a large amount of tanka and free verse, most of which was discovered and published posthumously. His poetry, which has been translated into numerous languages, has a considerable following to this day. A number of his children’s works have been made into animated movies (anime) in Japan.

Miyazawa’s works were influenced by contemporary trends of romanticism and the proletarian literature movement but, above all, were influenced by his devotion to the Lotus Sutra in particular.

 

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Author: Daniela

I was born in Croatia, at that time Yugoslavia. My family moved to the US when I was very young, but I still treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother shopping early every morning, at the open air market, to buy the freshest vegetables for the day's meals, and the traditions that were the underpinnings of our society. Someone once noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world; one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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