Space Battleship Yamato Themesong! Now with Violin Virtuoso!

If you ever wanted to hear THE anime themesong, except with more Stradivarius… now is your time!

Clips of Hakase Taro playing for the new Yamato soundtrack album.

Shivers… so lovely. The other clips are well worth listening to, for more virtuosi doing their thing.

Btw, the iconic male “choral” version of the theme played for the American dub, Star Blazers?

Yeah, that was actually a totally USA only idea. I don’t know what the producers were thinking – maybe they were copying the likes of Gigantor – but it really was pretty darned cool. (It sounded a lot more like a chorus on our TV than it does in the remastered version, where you can clearly hear that it’s just one guy.)

OTOH, the female crooning on the soundtrack is actually original Japanese stuff. (Handy that it was wordless crooning.) A wonderful example of how to sing high without pushing.

However, there are Japanese lyrics to the themesong. It’s very popular at karaoke places, I understand. Here’s Isao Sasaki, the  singer; the lyrics are subtitled in English. You’ll notice that the overall idea of both the US and Japanese songs are pretty similar, but the Japanese one was trying harder not to be “militaristic.” (For obvious 1970′s reasons – there were some crazy Japanese militarists around, and the show is basically redoing WWII as if this time the Japanese were helping the rest of the world and fighting the bad guys.)

Actual history of the Yamato, with footage of her on the ocean floor. Absolutely no secret refit into a spaceship, we swear. Basically points out the giant waste of the stupid kamikaze mission for the ship, and the horrible loss of life. Interviews with survivors.

Part of the mystique is connected with the name; Yamato was the name of the most ancient kingdom known in Japan, and it’s a poetic way of naming today’s country.

Every other anime TV show is okay… but my true ur-fandom will always be Yamato. Before I came to Star Trek, before Sherlock Holmes, before I came to Madeleine L’Engle even… Yamato. That’s it. Sorry, Gundam fans, but that’s just how it is.

Our Star Blazers.

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Erik Gnupsson, Bishop of Greenland and Vinland

Erik Gnupsson was the first bishop of a North American diocese. He was named bishop of Garda, aka Gardar, a see with jurisdiction over Greenland and Vinland, in 1121, under Pope Paschal II. He was consecrated by Archbishop Adzar. The diocese went out of business when the Greenland colony did, but it is currently a titular diocese being used by Bishop Clark.

Man, I love the Internet.

Ignore the bit in the article where they think Vinland is Newport, Rhode Island. Although that does explain some Lovecraft stuff.

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St. Beefhand???

St. Mainboeuf (or Mainbeuf, or Maimbod) is better known in non-French sources as St. Magnobodus, bishop of Angers, France from 610-660. He was chosen bishop by acclaim (ie, by voice vote of the people of the city).

He built a church of St. Saturninus, and established houses for the care of foundlings. He wrote the Vita S. Licinii (Life of St. Licinius/Lezin) in honor of the bishop who was his predecessor, and the Vita S. Maurilii (Life of St. Maurilius), a fifth century bishop of Angers who was a disciple of St. Martin of Tours.

His feast is October 16.

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Takayama Ukon to Be Beatified Next Year?

The story is in the English language version of Asahi Shimbun, and was praised by Get Religion.

Currently, he’s Venerable Justo (or Justus) Takayama Ukon.

His Christian name was Justo, and Western Christian sources called him “Dom” (Portuguese for lord). Takayama is his family name, and Ukon was his office name that he went by as an adult. Other names are Hikogoro (his baby name, which Japanese back then usually changed upon becoming boys or adults) and Shigetomo (his young man name).

He was a great general, but also waged peace. He loved Japan but died in exile. His life story is full of twists and turns, but he seems to have lived it all with honor and good sense.

The man has his own “Dom Justo Takayama Ukon” TV Tropes page. It’s a good explanation page. Just don’t follow the links if you want to do anything else today.

He has appeared as a character in various anime and manga, including Hyouge Mono (which is about a fellow disciple in the Way of Tea) and The Ambition of Oda Nobunaga (an alternate universe history/time travel anime).

I previously covered Blessed Diego Kagayama Hayato, the faithful samurai retainer who gave pro tips to his executioner; the blind biwa player, Jesuit brother Lourenço Ryousai; and the possible ninja-clan martyrs, Blessed Joannis Hattori Jingoro and Blessed Petrus Hattori.

Christian Samurai inventor and lord of Fukuwara, Juan Goto (aka Iwabuchi Matagoro), whose memory is celebrated with local festivals. His fate is unknown.

More stories of the Japanese martyrs. “They were killed and they conquered.”


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Pancho Barnes, Thou Shouldst Be Living at This Hour…

… because when they tweeted about this kind of crap, she’d put the Happy Bottom Riding Club in their face.

Meanwhile, hobby T-shirt maker and professional artist Elly Prizeman is hanging tough and continuing to support her shirt and her choice of fabric.


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St. Gwen Teirbron

I’ve talked about her on the blog before, but here are a couple of nice French Wikipedia articles with pictures of statues.

Sainte Gwenn – very bright painted statues on this page! The iconography of her nursing her triplets is nice.

Here’s a much older and more beautiful painted statue of Gwen and the triplets at the Chapel of Sainte-Venec (Guethenoc) (who was one of her triplets). There’s also a fairly ugly copy shown, that’s from the monastery museum in Landevennec.

She had five kids in all. Her son from her first husband was the famous St. Cadfan, ex-warrior and famous missionary in Wales. The triplets and her daughter were from her second marriage.

This other statue at the chapel, of a saint in armor with a book, is usually described as a statue of St. Guethenoc. However, Sabine Baring-Gould pointed out in The Lives of the British Saints, Volume II that Guethenoc was a monk who never had a warrior career, whereas legend called St. Cadfan a warrior before he became a missionary priest, and this made him a patron saint of warriors in Wales. Darned nice statue, either way.

Cadfan was part of a rather large, high-status, and popular family of saints who apparently fled political problems in Brittany by traveling to various parts of England and Wales, where they quickly got involved with preaching, building churches and monasteries, and doing good. Later on, many of them went back to Brittany while others stayed in Wales.

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Roasted Acorn Squash Seeds

Waste not, want not. If you’re baking an acorn squash, you already have the oven going. So rather than trash the seeds inside, roast them! (Apparently this method applies to many small squash seeds.)

Scoop out the squash innards, pulp and all. You do not need to wash them or separate seeds from pulp.

Put them in an aluminum pie pan (if you’ve only got one or two squash to cook) or on a cookie sheet with a rim. The more you separate the seeds out of their little seed clumps, the more they can roast evenly. If you don’t care, they will still roast, but you’ll get seeds in all different stages of roastiness. (If you’ve got little kids who want to help, separating the seeds would be a good goopy task for them.)

Add salt and whatever spices you want. Honestly, salt or salt and pepper is probably all you need, but some people do all sorts of flavors.

Drizzle with olive oil to keep the seeds from burning.

When you put your acorn squash in the oven, put the seeds in too, on another rack or the same one. If you’re cooking squash at 350 F, you only want the seeds in there for 10 minutes.

Take the seeds out of the oven. Let them cool a bit (possibly get them out of the pie pan if they look like they might burn). Taste and see if you want to add extra spices.

Eat them, shell and all! They should be a little bit crispy. If you put on a ton of oil, they will be softer.

Got this from My Halal Kitchen, which is not a cooking blog I’ve visited before.

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