Category: Indigenous Strine (Woiwurrung)

An Aussie Touch to a Landmark Japanese TV Show

Australia provided an (admittedly unacknowledged) touch to Monster Prince (怪獣王子), one of Japan’s most popular TV shows in the late 1960s.
Monster Prince told the story of Takeru Ibuki, a boy left stranded on a tropical island while a baby when his family is caught in a volcanic eruption and subsequently raised by dinosaurs living there.
Together with his brontosaurus friend, Nessie, Takeru defends the island, and by extension the Earth, from invading aliens.
And that’s where the Australian touch comes in…Takeru’s weapon of choice is a boomerang!
The show ran for two series and was made by Nihon Tokusatsu Kabukikaisha.
The role of Takeru was shared by twins, Yoshinori and Mitsunori Nomura, both of who were prominent child actors at the time, but for who this would be their final role before they both left showbiz.
Monster Prince was plagued by troubles throughout its duration, though its merchandise did brisk sales.
Confectionary giant, Lotte, the program’s sponsor, wanted to pull the plug after the first series, but agreed to extend its backing when the show was sold to the United States.
In-fighting also plagued the program, which was shot in Kyoto but by a crew from Tokyo, and rivalries between those from the ancient and modern capitals were apparently fierce.
Nihon Tokusatsu Kabukikaisha wound up following the end of this series, which came as the tokusatsu boom that had encompassed Japan through much of the 1960s slowly declined from its zenith.

Check out KAIJU OUJI: MONSTER PRINCE, which has an awesome write-up on Monster Prince, a program also known outside of Japan by the romanization of its Japanese title,Kaiju Ouji.

See a subtitled version of the first-ever episode of Monster Prince (featuring plenty of boomerang throwing and an awesome scream to kick-off the opening titles!)


Birdflipper オーストラリアニューサウスウェールズ州が非常事態宣言となり中心となっている山火事関連記者会見で務める豪手話(Auslan)通訳が「中指を立てる」と指摘がありネット上で課題となっているが同州ロア協会がどう表現がいつもの侮辱的な意味がないという。

Auslan Signbank (Auslanデータベース)
Auslan 辞書

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

賀正!巳・蛇年2013年!Happy New Year 2013, the Year of the Snake

SerpentNenga2013Lettered 2013年は巳年で、蛇が脱皮をすることから「復活と再生」を連想させ、餌を食べなくても長く生きることから「神の使い」として崇められている。
Welcome to 2013, the Year of the Snake, according to the Chinese Zodiac. The Year of the Snake is said to evoke images of rebirth and revival, due to the snake’s repeated shedding of its skin, as well as have a strong connection with the gods due to the reptiles’ ability to live for long periods without eating.
Probably the most famous overseas of those Japanese born in the Year of the Snake are singer Namie Amuro, fashion designer Junko Shimada, entertainer and youngest SMAP member Shingo Katori and actor Masahiro Motoki.
Of course, the snake also plays an important role in Australian mythology.
That’s due to the Australian indigenous mythology.
Australia’s indigenous peoples believe in the Dreamtime myths in which the Rainbow Serpent plays a crucial role. Other prominent snakes in Australian aboriginal mythology include Wagyl, which created the Swan River, Yurlungur and Eingana.’s New Year illustration derives from images of the Rainbow Serpent.


The Sapphires

The Sapphires

Just as Japanese cinema was globally renowned in the 1950s only to subsequently fall into decline, Australian movies lauded across the world in the 1970s and 1980s can now no longer make much of an impact outside of their homeland.

Unlike the domestic Japanese market, however, which is of a scale large enough to support its own industry, the Australian domestic movie business is tiny. This ensures that short of making a hit of the likes of the initial Crocodile Dundee series entries, the Mad Max series or something akin to Happy Feet or Moulin Rouge, a general release Australian movie is almost destined to be more of a charitable enterprise than a business.
This applies even for movies rated highly domestically and overseas.
This year has seen a move that proves to be a case in point.
We’re referring to The Sapphires.

The movie based on a true story about a band referred to as Australia’s version of The Supremes is said to be an Australian-style Dreamgirls and was awarded and highly rated when shown at international festivals such as Cannes and, rare for an Aussie movie these days, even sold overseas.
The movie featured Jessica Mauboy, one of Australia’s best-known indigenous singers, as part of a tremendous cast who worked to tell the fascinating tale of a group of indigenous women plucked from a reserve to form a band that became something of an international sensation at a time when it was still common for them to encounter discrimination in their homeland still deeply influenced by the White Australia Policy, the Stolen Generations and other aspects of its racist past.

But, The Sapphires flopped at the box office internationally, starting with failures in its first overseas markets in France and Britain.
And it’s not even planned for release in Japan.


Children in Yuendumu, NT

Children in Yuendumu, NT

English is now Australia’s most commonly used language, but there are also still dozens of indigenous Australian languages that are native tongues for many people living Down Under.
And many indigenous Australian languages have for tens of thousands of years used sign language as well, the most famous example being that used in the Warlpiri language used in the remote central Australian desert, centering on the community of Yuendumu.
Including the Warlpiri, these sign languages are often the result of taboo practices, where custom forbids certain members of tribes speaking to other members. The sign languages developed as an alternative to verbal communication.
A bilingual English-Warlpiri sign in central Australia.

A bilingual English-Warlpiri sign in central Australia.

Many Warlpiri speakers and other indigenous Australians maintain their traditional lifestyles even today, ensuring these sign languages are retained even as their languages are threatened by the dominance of English.
Warlpiri and other northern Australian indigenous languages have strongly influenced the area’s use of a form of Auslan, the Australian Sign Language that targets the hearing impaired.

Manyu-Wana, a Children’s Program in Warlpiri