December 1, 2010 8:21 PM   Subscribe

Oh my god this is wonderful.
posted by griphus at 8:30 PM on December 1, 2010

Oy vey, 馬鹿野郎!
posted by zardoz at 8:39 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by parki at 8:43 PM on December 1, 2010

Wow. My dad has this on a cassette tape buried somewhere in his living room. I never, ever for a second thought I'd encounter it again. I have severely underestimated you, Internet.
posted by saturday_morning at 8:47 PM on December 1, 2010

I liked this. Luckily for me there were links to the movie to remind me of what they were saying exactly. One difference I noted was that in the movie they had Tevye doing stuff while he talked and sang, but not in the play. I guess because in the play there were no props for him to do stuff with.
posted by amethysts at 8:47 PM on December 1, 2010

I'm not surprised it works though. Everywhere in the world has parents who want the best for their kids but wants the way it's always been, and kids who want to do whatever they want, and then the government comes down and stomps them out one way or another.
posted by amethysts at 8:50 PM on December 1, 2010

They've been performing this at the Imperial Theatre, which I can see from my office window, since September 1967.

Interesting fact: The role of Tevye was portrayed over 900 times between 1967 and 1986 by well known jidaigeki actor Hisaya Morishige, who passed away last year.
posted by armage at 9:33 PM on December 1, 2010 [3 favorites]

Hmm, that link didn't seem to work: Hisaya Morishige
posted by armage at 9:33 PM on December 1, 2010

What a great find! This beats the Japanese video explaining how to break matzah exactly in half.
posted by espire at 9:44 PM on December 1, 2010

Which isn't actually a Japanese video. It was done by Israeli design firm Mantis (my source). Their name, given as "The Mantis Family", appears on the title card at the end of the video.

Also, the people in the video are (to my eyes) clearly Israeli, and they're slathering chocolate spread on the matzah, which is the most Israeli thing in the world.
posted by yiftach at 11:28 PM on December 1, 2010

Um, wait. All due respect to the Japanese, but buried not that far down in the related videos is

The Temptations doing a Fiddler on the Roof medley.

The Temptations. Doing Fiddler on the Roof.

Has that had its own FPP? Were you aware this existed?

My mind is utterly blown.

It's The Temptations. Singing Fiddler.
posted by yiftach at 11:38 PM on December 1, 2010 [5 favorites]

Could somebody tell me what they're singing during the bit where the English counterparts would be singing "tradition"?

Just curious.
posted by KChasm at 11:39 PM on December 1, 2010

仕来たり! (しきたり or shikitari)
posted by mexican at 12:01 AM on December 2, 2010

...and not 伝統 as the post title would suggest.
posted by mexican at 12:02 AM on December 2, 2010

posted by JHarris at 2:19 AM on December 2, 2010

Dear, blessed Zero! Sing for me and blot this out of my memory.
posted by RavinDave at 3:22 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Espire: What, uh, what ... why ... why would they even ...

They eat matza?!
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:23 AM on December 2, 2010

By the way, if you missed it -- Jerry Bock died last month at age 81. NPR (and Fresh Air in particular) ran a series of interviews and sound clips with Bock and Sheldon Harnick.
posted by RavinDave at 3:42 AM on December 2, 2010

Wow, RavinDave -- file that under "I didn't even realize they were still alive...!" That's how I felt when Adolph Green died.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 4:21 AM on December 2, 2010

Thanks! I've seen parts of this, but never the whole thing. And yiftach, you are amazing: combining 2 of my faves.

Sadly, Joseph Stein also passed away recently, just a week or so prior to Bock.
posted by lesli212 at 4:25 AM on December 2, 2010

Minasan! Chanukah Omedito Gozaimasu!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:39 AM on December 2, 2010

Ya wanna know what kills me.

Something a lot of people don't know. There exists footage of Zero Mostel's version of "Fiddler". Not just clips ... and it's not movie quality. It's just reference footage -- but it's reference footage of pretty much the whole friggin' show!!! It's used every time there is a significant revival; viewed by the director, choreographer, actors, etc.

And we'll never see it, because that bastard Jerry Robbins stipulated that it could never be released to the general public.
posted by RavinDave at 4:53 AM on December 2, 2010

In fact, there is a famous story about Fiddler on the Roof in Japan.

Joesph Stein, who wrote the book for the show, recalled this about the very first foreign production:

"[We were] in Japan, and I went there, for the final rehearsals, with some trepidation. The Japanese producer, after an effusive greeting, said: 'Tell me, Mr. Stein, so they understand this show in America?' I was bewildered. 'Why do you ask?' 'Because,' he said, 'it is so Japanese.'"
posted by kyrademon at 4:58 AM on December 2, 2010 [3 favorites]

I approve of all of these things.
posted by jquinby at 7:07 AM on December 2, 2010

I have wanted to learn Japanese for some time. Seeing these videos has not lessened that impulse.
posted by dry white toast at 7:37 AM on December 2, 2010

Haha, I still get chills from the songs even when I don't understand the language. Fiddler is the best.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 9:56 AM on December 2, 2010

I've always been surprised by the amount of Jewish source material in Japan. (Wish I could find a better online reference)

From the article:
  • A Japanese Festival (ontousai) Illustrates the Story of Isaac.
  • The Crest of the Imperial House of Japan (chrysanthemum) Is the Same As That Found On Gates of Jerusalem.
  • The Star of David Is A Symbol Also Used At Ise-jingu, the Shinto Shrine for the Imperial House of Japan.
  • Japanese Religious Priests "Yamabushi" Put A Black Box on their Foreheads Just As Jews Put A Phylactery on their Foreheads.
  • Japanese "Omikoshi" Resembles the Ark of the Covenant. (Jewish Ark Dance vs. Japanese Omikoshi Dance
  • The Robe of Japanese Priests Resembles the Robe of Israeli Priests.
  • Waving the Sheaf of Harvest Is Also the Custom of Japan.
  • The Structure of the Japanese Shinto Shrine is the Same As God's Tabernacle of Ancient Israel.
The formal name for the Emperor "Jinmu," the first Emperor of Japan, is "Kamu-yamato-iware-biko-sumera-mikoto." Joseph Eidelberg says that it can be interpreted in Hebrew as "The king of Samaria, the noble founder of the Hebrew nation of Yahweh." This is not to mean that "Jinmu" himself is really the founder of the Hebrew nation, but the memory of the Hebrew nation might have come into the legend of the Japanese first Emperor "Jinmu."
A lot of this information was shared with me by Japanese people I knew when I was living in Japan. I would love to find some books on the subject in Japanese.
posted by circular at 10:37 AM on December 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

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