As well as our personal travels, there were quite a few news stories that made the trip interesting – firstly, the great Momo (peach) crisis of 2009 in Fukushima. The rainy season basically didn’t end this year, and summer was “cancelled” in northern Japan. This meant that the peaches (that rely on hot sunny days through the summer) that Fukushima and the city’s mascot Momorin are famous for were not up to the usual high standards this year (but still pretty impressive!).
The next big story was poor ol’ Noripi. A popular singer from 10-20 years ago, every day of the week we were treated to the Japanese media ripping her to pieces for indulging in some rather unpleasant drug-related activity in her spare time. The story started when her hubby was arrested on a drugs related charge, and she immediately disappeared. A few days later she gave herself in to police and she too was arrested for drug activity. Now, the music/entertainment industry and drugs are not necessarilly completely mutually exclusive; but in Japan, the laws and public condemnation regarding drugs are unforgiving, and as a result poor ol’ Noripi is looking at some pretty hard time in the bighouse.
The other big story which broke while in Japan was the announcement of Yo La Tengo’s impending new album and tour! Drug abuse and Peach crises aside, all seems good in the world when Yo La Tengo announce a new album, due September, and a new tour. Will they make it to Oz, and more importantly, will Tas be included on the international touring circuit this time round? Only time will tell…
In the meantime here’s a few more pics of Japan. I will put Tas news up as it comes to hand. For the time being Salamanca Market is still Salamanca Market, the spring winds and rain are back and making life a little more difficult than it really needs to be, but there should be some nice icy scenes to capture in the next few weeks. The waterfalls should be absolutely pumping too this spring – rainfall is breaking 100 year records in parts of Tas this winter.