A Very Japanese Pastime: Karaoke


Karaoke. We have all heard of it, but only some of us have tried it. Let’s face it, Karaoke isn’t a very British pastime. If you ever come to Japan though, it has to be up there on your list of things to try. Unleash the Ed Sheeran, Rihanna, and Morrissey in all of you.

We were recently invited to experience a three hour marathon session with our local friends, Noriko and her daughter (a student) and another student friend. Kate and Joe also joined us in what turned out to be an incredible baptism in the art of non-alcohol fueled Karaoke fun (I couldn’t exactly drink around students!)

Turns out, if you let your hair down and break through those artistic barriers you may have built yourself during that brief stint of studying performing arts, you can channel Eminem better than Marshal Mathers himself. If you just lose yourself in the music, you may come to understand the lyrical genius (and horrifying crudeness) of long-forgotten artists like Sir Mix-a-Lot.

The three hours flew by in a haze of genres, ranging from some accidental work work work to some disney genius under the sea. It also gave Dan and I an idea; Karaoke date night.

So a few weeks later, Karaoke date night came true! We started off tentative, booking in for an hour. Yet, as the songs flew by (including some seven minute Prince tracks) we kept picking up that phone to order another hour. Another three hours later, we emerged into the night feeling giddy and talented. Is it possible I am really a singer that has be longing to break free? “I’ve got to break freeeeeeeee!”

Perhaps not. Still, in that Karaoke room, anything is possible!

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