Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Nothin’ can be warma
Than to be on Fujiyama
For a

They say that Life imitates Art. And I can tell you, they’re right. (Whoever “they” are.)

Years ago - it was April 1990 - I was riding the Silver Aerial Bus from New York to Tokyo, heading out on a Bidnis Trip.

New York-Tokyo flights are lengthy affairs, chewing up about thirteen hours of elapsed time. To keep the passengers from getting too restive, the airline graciously shows a couple of movies.

On this particular flight, the first movie was Family Business, a 1989 comedy in which Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman, and Matthew Broderick play a grandfather, son, and grandson, all involved in the Family Business: thievery. Hilarity ensues.

The characters are Jewish; the movie opens with a scene at a Passover seder meal.

I had already seen the movie, and was resigning myself to two hours of boredom and/or naptime, when I had an inspiration: Why not listen to the movie’s Japanese soundtrack?

I was curious to hear what a seder would sound like in Japanese...and my curiosity was answered almost immediately, as the familiar words of the Four Questions wafted through my headset. But this time, they sounded a little different:

“Ma nishtana ha-raira ha-zeh mikol ha-reirot?”

Yep: Hebrew with a Japanese accent!

Looks like this year, I’ll get to experience a Japanese Passover seder for real. Elder Daughter and I will be there for the first half of the eight-day holiday...which means I will need to pack some matzoh and kosher wine. Sake and sushi, good as they are, are not the building blocks with which one may construct a seder meal.

Yes, they say that Life imitates Art...and in this case, they may very well be right. Can’t wait to find out.

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