Learning by Drinking: Kajii Motojiro

Kajii Motojiro
If your coworker throws a tantrum and lies down in the middle of the street
Author | 17 February 1901 – 24 March 1932

When one hears the name “Kajii Motojiro,” the first thing they think of is lemons. When one hears the word “lemons,” the first thing they think of is Kajii Motojiro.

Okay, that might be an overstatement. The first thing they think of is lemon soda. And lemon sours. But right after those two things, it’s Kajii Motojiro. Even before one thinks of lemonade, they would think of Kajii Motojiro.

Even if you have never read his works before, surely many among you would at least be reminded of the title of Lemon upon the mention of his name.

Kajii died of tuberculosis in 1932. He was 31 years old. Because he died so young, he left behind only around 20 short stories. The majority of these stories were released in fanzines, and only one book of his writings was published during his lifetime.

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Learning by Drinking: Hiratsuka Raicho

Hiratsuka Raicho
If your coworker hurls rocks at your house and still you don’t stop drinking
Philosopher | 10 February 1886 – 24 May 1971

The proportion of women over 40 who regularly consume alcohol is increasing.

According to a survey by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the percentage of women in their forties who drink frequently (meaning more than one unit of alcohol on three or more days a week) has seen a drastic rise in the last 20 years. It now stands at 15.6%—an increase of 5.7% since 1996. On the other hand, the percentage of men in their twenties who drink has dropped to less then a third of what it used to be, falling from 36.2% to just 10.9%.

Surely a result of women’s social advancement and diversification of interests, if you actually go to a bar and do a quick visual survey, you will instantly notice the multitude of lively women present there. Then, almost as if to prove the results of this survey correct, if you go and read the comments on forums discussing this news, you will find numerous young men saying things like, “Alcohol just tastes bad.”

But while it is none of anyone’s business what anyone else drinks or does not drink, you still come across comments saying things like, “What are you aunties doing, drinking alcohol? And you call yourselves women?” Apparently, it does bother some people.

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Imai Miki – Motto Motto Motto (English Lyrics)

もっと もっと もっと
More More More

It was a private rendezvous
Busy streets having grown dark

Riverside
In a taxi hurrying towards you
My earrings swaying

The wind dances
I am dreaming
Passing through signals

More and more close to you
More and more crazy about you
That is how I want to love you

Twilight…
Please, my special someone

It was a chance meeting like any other
Many seasons having passed since then

Yet even now my feelings remain unchanged
And each time we are to meet, my heart races

Cheeks burning up
Street after street
Fixing my makeup in the backseat

More and more gently
More and more radiantly
I will give you a miracle

Twilight…
Please, kiss me before long

As I now feel these new feelings
Embrace me passionately

When I cross over that bridge
I shall find you waiting with a smile

Twilight…
Tonight, I want to be with you until morning
More and more close to you…

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Imai Miki – Ame ni Kiss no Hanataba wo (English Lyrics)

雨にキッスの花束を
Rain and a Bouquet of Kisses

Suddenly he says, “let’s get married right now!”
Storm warning, everyone in town hurrying home

Telling each other “I love you,” both of us grownups
But after all that talk about keeping a proper distance…

An out-of-the-blue proposal!
In the middle of a scramble crossing!
You’re kidding me!
Frozen, my umbrella rolls over like a flower

Can’t even hear the honking cars
So drenched I can’t move
The entire world holds its breath
As we stand here staring at each other
Kiss, kiss!

I’d always liked you — frankly, I was waiting for this
While doing my best to look all cool and indifferent

I cherish both my work and my love life
But really my biggest treasure is his smile

A dream-like proposal!
Lipstick running down my chin!
But a headstrong woman like me…
Am I really the one you want?

A ring of raindrops
Landing on my fourth finger
What a once-in-a-lifetime memory
Make me happy, okay? I love you!
Kiss, kiss!

Destiny beckons to us
A bouquet of tearful kisses
Brimming with the word “yes”

An out-of-the-blue proposal!
In the middle of a scramble crossing!
You’re kidding me!
Frozen, my umbrella rolls over like a flower

Can’t even hear the honking cars
So drenched I can’t move
The entire world holds its breath
As we stand here staring at each other
Kiss, kiss!

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Imai Miki – Kakehiki 27 (English Lyrics)

カ・ケ・ヒ・キ・27
Negotiation 27

Hey, let’s freshen up our tea
Or should we make it coffee?
Two hours of this awkwardness
Conversation headed nowhere
Mixed with feigned laughter
What are we gonna do now
By just the two of us?

This could be the start of something new
But wait, stop, there’s…
There’s a timing to everything, right?

Only a single light in the room
Our shadows reflected on the table
Nonchalantly, inadvertently, we get closer
When suddenly he says he’s “nervous”
Seriously…?
That’s gotta be against the rules!

“We’re friends! Why would you be nervous?!”
Is what I blurted out
But really though, kiss me

Old enough to know better
Yet my heart’s going pit-a-pat
How long will you play innocent?
Come on already, kiss me!!

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