Category: Strine Scribes

Little Girl’s Story Opens Door to Aussie Animal Boom in Japan

Scenes from Lucy-May of the Southern Rainbow

Back in the early ’80s Australia did not command a great deal of attention in Japan (to be honest, it still doesn’t command that great a presence to this day…)

Things changed, however, with the launch of Lucy-May of the Southern Rainbow.
Lucy-May of the Southern Rainbow was an anime by Nippon Animation that aired weekly from January 10 to December 26, 1982.

The cartoon told the story of Lucy-May Popple and her family, who had emigrated from Yorkshire to live in Adelaide, Australia. The story was based on a book called Southern Rainbow by Australian author Phyllis Piddington. The anime would be translated into numerous languages and aired in many countries outside of Japan.

The DVD cover

The cartoon introduced Japanese audiences to all sorts of Australian animals that were then largely unknown. Among the Australian creatures featured on the show were kangaroos, platypuses, wombats, kookaburras and koalas. There were no koalas in Japan when the cartoon aired, but the marsupials would sweep the country of its feet with their cuteness when the first koalas arrived at the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Nagoya two years later.

Lucy-May of the Southern Rainbow was part of the World Masterpiece Theater, a yearlong series that featured an anime adaptation of a famous book. Among those who worked on the series were Hayao Miyazaki, who had already left Nippon Animation before Lucy-May of the Southern Rainbow aired. World Masterpiece Theater aired from 1969 to 1997, then resumed after a 10-year hiatus and continues to air now.

Australiana for Australia Day

Austentayshus オーストラリア人コメディアンオーステン・テーシャス氏*が1983年豪州象徴的なものや地名などのごろ合わせによって詩「Australiana」で全国一世風靡し、No. 1ヒットとなった。かなりやばい言葉使いであり、色な所で放送禁止となった。
1月26日建国近年日にあたる「Australia Day」にちなんで、下記再現する。お楽しみ。


Sittin’ at home last Sunday mornin’ me mate Boomer rang (boomerang). Said he was havin’ a few people around for a barbie, Said he might cook a burra (kookaburra) or two.
I said, “Sounds great, will Walla be (wallaby) there?”
He said “Yeah and Veggie might (Vegemite) come too”.
So I said to the wife “Do you wanna Go Anna (goanna)?”. She said “I’ll go if Din goes (dingoes).”
So I said “What’ll (wattle) we do about Nulla?”
He said “Nulla bores (Nullarbor) me to tears, leave him at home.”

We got to the party about two and walked straight out the kitchen to put some booze in the fridge. And you wouldn’t believe it, there’s Boomer’s wife Warra sittin there tryin to plait a puss (platypus)!
Now, I don’t like to speak ill o’ Warra, (Illawarra), but I was shocked. I mean, how much can a koala bear?
So I grabbed a beer, flashed me wanga at ‘er (Wangarratta) and went out and joined the party.
Pretty soon Ayers rocks in and things really started jumpin.’
This Indian girl, Marsu, turns up, dying to go to the toilet but she couldn’t find it.
I said to me mate Al, “Hey, where can Marsu pee, Al? (marsupial)
He said “She can go out back (Outback) with the fellas, she’s probably seen a cock or two. (cockatoo)
Well, just then Warra comes out of the kitchen with a few drinks for everybody.
Fair dinkum, you’ve never seen a cooler barmaid (coolabah).
I grabbed a beer and said, “Thanks Warra, tah. (warratah)”
A couple of queens land (Queensland) at the party, one smellin’ pretty strongly of aftershave. One of ’em sat down next to me and I turned to him and I said, “Ya know mate, you reek a’ Stockade (Eureka Stockade).”
It was a really hot day; Osko felt like a swim. He said to Ina, “Do you want a have a dip in the river, Ina? (Riverina)” She said “I haven’t got my cozzie, Osko (Kosciusko).”
Well, Bo says, “Come in starkers, what’ll they care? (wattle, Lake Eyre)”
Ina says, “What, without so much as a thread, Bo? (Thredbo). Ah, perish the thought (Perisher)! Has Youcum been in (Eucumbene) in yet?”
A few of the blokes decided to play some cricket. Boomer says “Why doesn’t Wom bat? (wombat). Yeah, and let Tenter field (Tenterfield).”
He said I should have a bowl but I was too out of it to play cricket so I suggested a game of cards. I said to Lyptus, “Wanna game of euchre, Lyptus (eucalyptus)?”
He said, “There’s no point mate, Dar wins (Darwin) every time.”
Well Bill said he’d like a smoke. Nobody knew where the dope was stashed. I said “I think Maree knows (merinos).”
But I was just spinning a bit of a yarn.
Barry pulls a joint out of his pocket. Bill says “Great! Barrier Reefer (Great Barrier Reef). What is it mate?”
“Noosa Heads (Noosa Heads) of course. Me mate Ada laid (Adelaide) ’em on me.”
And it was a great joint, too. Blew Mountains away (Blue Mountains). And his three sisters (Three Sisters).
Well, I thought I’d roll one meself. I said, “Chuck us the Tally Ho, Bart (Hobart).”
He said, “They’re out on the lawn, Ceston. (Launceston). Can you get em for us?” Bernie (Burnie) says, “It’s okay mate, she’s apples, I’ll get em for ya.”
Just then, Alice springs (Alice Springs) into action, starts to pack Billabong (billabong). And you wouldn’t believe it, the bongs broken. I said “Lord, how? (Lord Howe)”
“Hey, man (Hayman,” somebody says, “Will a didgeri do? (didgeridoo)”
“Hummmmm mummmm mummmmm mummmmm maybe it’ll have ta.”
I look in the corner and there’s Bass sittin there, not getting into it, not getting out of it. I said “What, is Bass straight (Bass Strait) or somethin’?”
Boomer says, “As a matter a fact mate, he’s a cop.”
I said “Ya jokin’ mate, a cop? I’m getting outta here, lets go, Anna.”
She said, “No way, I’m hangin round till Gum leaves (gum leaves). Besides, I don’t wanna leave Jack around a (jacardanda) party on his own. Have you seen him? I think he’s trying to crack on to Woomba (Toowoomba) He’s already tried to mount Isa (Mount Isa). And he’ll definitely try to lead you astray, Liana. (Australiana!)”

クラシック豪テレビの各種「Stairway to Heaven」が面白い

Rolf Harris and his wobbleboard

Rolf Harris and his wobbleboard

 オーストラリア・イギリス両国だれでも知っているハリス氏は、1950年代から始まった歌や描きなど子供を中心に行なったパフォーマンスが暖かい思い出となっている。ハリス氏の面白い歌の特徴が「Tie me Kangaroo Down, Sport」のようなオーストラリアがテーマである上、ディジェリドゥやご自身発明のウォッブル・ボードを使うことだった。
 まだ現役パフォーマーとは言え、ハリス氏が最後に大ヒットしたのは1993年発表したレッド・ツェップリン「Stairway to Heaven」を自分風にカバーして英国、豪州、他No.1となった。(その後、ツェップリンのロバート・プラント氏とジミー・ページ氏が恩返し<?>としてハリス氏曲をカバー版出した、、、。)
 実は、ハリス氏がこの曲を作ったのは、「The Money or the Gun」というクラシックオージーテレビ番組のためだった。その番組は1988年から1990年の間に上映され、番組の一コーナーが色々なミュージックのジャンルによって同曲を弾く。ハリス氏の他の例としてビートルズ風かゴスペルやオペラ。以下が各種の「Stairway to Heaven」やその詳細。ツェップリンのファンが見逃せない内容だ!
Rolf Harris – Stairway to Heaven (豪風コメディ版)

Leonard TealeStairway to Heavenドラマ風の詩

Stairway to Heaven (オペラ版)

Stairway to Heaven (フェム・ファテレ版)

Stairway to Heavenドアーズ風版)

Stairway to HeavenB-52s風版)

Stairway to Heavenプレスリー版)

Stairway to Heavenビートルズ風版)

Stairway to Heavenレゲエ版)

Stairway to Heavenスイング版)

Stairway to Heaven (パンク版)

Stairway to Heaven (歌謡曲風版)

Stairway to Heavenラウンジ・ミュージック風版版)

Stairway to Heavenア・カペラ版)

Stairway to Heaven (ワイルドなコメディ版)

Stairway to Heaven (テレビCMのBGM風版)

Stairway to Heaven (ファンク風版)

Stairway to Heavenゴスペル風版)

Stairway to Heavenブロードウェイ・シアター風版)

Stairway to Heaven (オーケストラ風版)

Stairway to Heavenガール・グループ風版)

Stairway to Heaven (サイカデリック風版)

Stairway to Heaven (ブルース風版)

Stairway to Heaven (テクノ・ダンス風版)

Stairway to Heavenヒルビリ・ロック風版)


JohnnyHeyHey 今月また来日するハリウッド大スタージョニー・デップ氏がちょこちょこ日本に来ることにも関わらず、オーストラリアとあまり縁がない。
Hollywood heartthrob Johnny Depp is a regular visitor to Japan, and is due to return again later this month, but he hasn’t shown his face so often in Australia.
His first visit Down Under was way back in 1988, when he made a whirlwind trip to promote 21 Jump Street, the show he was then appearing in.
 それに伴った当時オーストラリアで最も人気だったテレビ番組Hey, Hey It’s Saturdayのセグメントに出た。同番組が1998年6月25日に上映し、後で世界的に大スターとなるカイリー・ミノーグ氏妹ダニー・ミノーグ氏を一緒に出演する。
Depp appeared on the Red Faces segment of Hey, Hey It’s Saturday, then Australia’s most popular program. He appeared on the program with Dannii Minogue, then perhaps better known in Australia than her soon to be globally famous singing older sister, Kylie.
The show aired on June 25, 1988, and he did not return to Australia after this show until 2010, when he showed up to promote Alice in Wonderland. He also appeared in an ad for the show together with Ossie Ostrich, the risque puppet that co-hosted the program with Darryl Somers, while Red Symons was also a regular.

Aisha the Geisha Says ‘Nah, Nah’ to Her Goon

Memoirsofanaisha_herolrgAisha the Geisha, Koo Wee Rup‘s greatest export to Japan, reveals the heartarche that led to her re-Orienting her life goals in the mystical East while the love of her life was left in Nar Nar Goon, dealing with a rising son of his own…

***Catch MEMOIRS OF AN AISHA at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, April 10-21***
Book at or

Written & Performed by KATE HANLEY
Choreography DANICA LANI
Production Design/Costume KIM RITCHIE

A Breakout Performance Focusing on Australia’s Cowra

A scene from "Kaura no Hancho Kaigi" with Japanese POWs wearing the crimson uniforms they wore at the Cowra Prison Camp.

A scene from “Kaura no Hancho Kaigi” with Japanese POWs wearing the crimson uniforms they wore at the Cowra Prison Camp.

Kaura no Hancho Kaigi (Honchos’ Meeting in Cowra) superbly dramatizes events surrounding a definitive incident in Australia-Japan relations.
The play being performed by the Rinkogun theater group daily until March 24 (with two shows on March 19 and 21) centers on the Cowra Breakout, an attempted escape by about 550 Japanese prisoners of war being held in an Australian POW camp in August 1944.
Interwoven with the action surrounding the decision to rebel and attempt to escape or die trying by a group of men whose own homeland had effectively killed them by bureaucracy and cultural manipulation is a tale of a group of women making a film about the incident, but also containing a sub-plot of documenting the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Overall, the result is a must-see for anyone with an interest in Australia-Japan relations, though it may not be exclusively pleasing and could raise discomforting issues that can sometimes be shoved under the carpet, prime of which is the fact that Australia and Japan were once at war and bitter, racially opposed enemies: a matter not commonly known in Japan.
HonchoLargeThe play is also an unabashedly left-wing account of events, but this is also Kaura no Hancho Kaigi’s greatest strength as it humanizes the characters, notably the Imperial Japanese Army soldiers whose wartime culture depended on their dehumanization.
Playwright Yoji Sakate‘s script admirably addresses many serious issues, but perhaps too many, and sacrifices clarity at times in an apparent effort to ensure all sides have their views presented, but this foible is only a minor one.
Made for a Japanese audience, Kaura no Hancho Kaigi is essentially a Japanese-language play, but has large swathes of English (sometimes for mysterious reasons), much of which is delivered with deplorable Australian accents by American actors John Oglevee and Benjamin Beadsley, who redeemed themselves by breaking the fourth wall to apologize for their Strine deficiency.)
Nontheless, the somewhat surreal play had a bit of everything from action, humor, tragedy and drama, and is certainly worth seeing.

カウラの班長会議Kaura no Hancho Kaigi (Honchos’ Meeting in Cowra)
All seats reserved (prices range from 1,500 to 4,000 yen)
Showing until Sunday, March 24 at Shomokitazawa Za Suzunari
For inquiries or ticket sales, contact Rinkogun
(All inquiries should be made by a Japanese speaker)

Namatjira Legacy Torched! 豪画界の重要な自然遺産が放火で破壊される

Ghost gum trees depicted by Albert Namatjira

Ghost gum trees depicted by Albert Namatjira

Ghost gums on the verge of being recognized as part of the Northern Territory’s heritage have been destroyed by arson, according to various mainstream Australian media reports on Jan. 4.
These eucalyptus trees had come to prominence after being painted by Albert Namatjira, the first indigenous Australian artist to achieve widespread global recognition.
The torched trees were apparently about to be recognized as an important part of the state’s heritage, but were burned to the ground some days ago. Northern Territory authorities are investigating the motives into the arson attack.
Namatjira was active and his work recognized globally at a time when Australia did not even recognize its indigenous populations as citizens of the country. Many of his works featured ghost gums.
Albert Namatjira

Albert Namatjira

Namatjira lived a tragic life. When he was born in 1902, indigenous Australians were all wards of the state, and they would not even be regarded as “second-class citizens” until voters “deigned” to give them that status in a 1967 referendum (that came too late for Namatjira, although he had been granted rights akin to the average white Australian upon achieving wealth and global fame in the 1950s). Namatjira first attracted attention within Australia in the 1930s and his renown gradually spread across the world. He subsequently became wealthy, but used nearly all his money to support members of the Arranda tribe to which he belonged. Unfortunately, Namatjira, like many of his fellow tribe members, was an alcoholic and died impoverished in 1959 at a tragically young 57.

Ghost gums that inspired great art felled by fire