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Thursday, May 04, 2017

THE GIRL FROM MANCHURIA

There are times that the internet leads one into rabbit holes of strange proportion. Somewhere in between Midori no Chiheisen and Biwako Aiga on Youtube one will find Manshu Musume. It's also in the vicinity of Shanghai no Odoriko and Fue no Hakuju.


満州娘 -- MANSHU MUSUME


[SOURCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4i_u3n_mGGQ.]


Tinkelty-plonk. Nice, cheerful, and rather inane tinkelty-plonk. And though dated, also timeless. As the fact that it is on the internet establishes.

On the whole I think I prefer Beniya no Musume (紅屋の娘), which is also cheerful, laden with symbolism (red shop - moon - red clouds - sun - diluted dye - plaintive request - rainbow), and has a lovely tune.

[Note: As for the lyrics of Beniya no Musume, the only words I recognize are the Kanji, because Chinese is easy, Japanese is not. So I can't provide a translation.]


Manshu Musume was a hit in the pre-war period, and obviously the theme fit right in to the designs of Japan's empire builders. Most of Manchuria rejoined China after 1945, the Japanese who resided there were eventually repatriated, and all pipe-dreams of separation snuffed out. Considering that the Ching Dynasty had started the land scramble in Manchuria because it was grossly underpopulated, and they (rightfully) feared Russian designs on their territory, it is fitting that Northern China's most on-again-off-again region is now permanently and predominantly Han.




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4 Comments:

  • At 8:06 AM, Anonymous Kostis said…

    Have you read this book? Does it look any good? I know that you have interest in obscure cultural intellectual things.

    https://www.oakknoll.com/pages/books/127162/konstantinos-sp-staikos/greek-editions-of-aldus-manutius-and-his-greek-collaborators-the

     
  • At 12:00 AM, Anonymous Kostis said…

    Still looking forward to your post on what you think about this book, whether it interests you. Thanks you!

     
  • At 1:56 AM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    Mildly interesting, but it's an illumination of a world largely foreign to me. That's not to say that I would not find myself endlessly intrigued by the book, were it in front of me. But like my cousin's brilliant tract on the theology and art of of the crucified deity in the Carolingian era, it is not something I would automatically search out.

    I did not succeed at Latin; Greek was something I successfully avoided. Only one of those two was necessary for graduation. Consider it a delicto per omissionem commissa.

     
  • At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Kostis said…

    Perhaps you could nonetheless write a post about the mental associations that reading about this book brings to your mind, based on whatever you can find about it, and the topic in general, on the internet? That could be an interesting post: interesting for you to write, and interesting for me (and perhaps other readers) to read.

     

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