Battle Hymn of John Brown's Baby (E&J)

John Dougill dougill
Wed Dec 15 19:43:37 EST 1999

>So I wouldn't look for much political meaning in its use in the movie.

It's generally true of Japan in my experience that there is a cultural
preference for form over content.  As with decorative English, the use of
foreign flags etc., songs get used a lot for their sound rather than
meaning.  Last time I attended the graduation ceremony in my Buddhist
university the band launched into Danny Boy for no apparent reason.  When I
tried to find out why afterwards, people thought my questioning it was
itself strange!

I also remember being struck by hearing American folk music as the backing
for a charming film called Himitsu no Hanazono (1997, directed Yaguchi
Shinobu).  Since it was a very Japanese film and the music accompanied a
car travelling through the Japanese countryside, there seemed very little
rhyme or reason for choosing quintessentially American music except that it
sounded nice.


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