Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just Call Me "Oya Baka"

In Japan, there is an expression for the parent (oya) who is proud as punch of their child, to the point of sounding foolish (baka) to others (when bragging about their offspring, especially).

As for me, I only had one child, so in a sense all my eggs are in that one basket. All my worry, all my pride, all my advice and all my loving energy as a mom was poured into just one boy, my son Michael.

Growing up in an intercultural home in Japan, my son's language skills were basically Japanese, with bilingual hearing skills (he spoke rather broken English). Despite reading many American picture books together till he was 8 or 9, and my urging him to read and write English, he wasn't very motivated to master those skills as a boy. Upon discovering his ambition to live in the states, though, Michael decided to develop his English-speaking ability. Through his personal determination, he suddenly began speaking to me in mainly English from high school age on.

After moving to LA, and being immersed in English at every turn, his language ability has really improved-- just ask his gramma, who is happy to speak to him on the phone every couple of weeks.

But the main thing I wanted to share with you today, was one of his accomplishments as a musician, which is his greatest passion, and the reason why he chose LA as the place to live in the states. While working in a restaurant his first year there, he made friends with a fellow who produces electronic music for animation and commercial jingles. One day this friend offered Mike the opportunity to help co-write a jingle for the Coca Cola company, who had hired him to create the background music for a 15 second ad, slated to be shown in Australia (in 2007). Mike and Chris worked on it a few hours and came up with a demo tape the company immediately OKed and then used for the ad. If you'd like to hear it, please click on these urls:

There are two versions of the ad, though the music is the same. The guitar you hear is Michael's!!
Isn't that cool!?

That's all for today from your favorite Oya Baka! (o´c_,`o)

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