October 2, 2010

JAPAN: Grannies to pitch Saga tourism at Shanghai Expo

Singalong: Gabba, a group of elderly female singers from Saga Prefecture, perform in front of Fukuoka City Hall last November. KYODO PHOTO

TOKYO, Japan / The Japan Times / October 2, 2010

SAGA (Kyodo) Gabba, a singing group made up of eight Japanese grandmothers, will appear Saturday at the Shanghai World Expo to promote tourism in their home base of Saga Prefecture.
The group, whose oldest member is 93, will sing and give a talk as the Japan Pavilion holds Saga Prefecture Day. The prefecture said the recent row over the Senkaku Islands left them worried that China may cancel the event, but it decided to go ahead and send the group as scheduled.
"I want to show that old people in Japan are full of energy," said the group's leader, Eiko Nagamatsu, 84.
Seven of the eight members will perform their debut song, "Ureshika Tanoshika Chagatsuka," ("Happy, Merry and Embarrassed"). They will introduce themselves in Chinese and use some Saga dialect while wearing Chinese garb and "mompe," traditional work pants for Japanese women.
(C) The Japan Times

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