on sunday the three of us went to tenjin. yoshi and i had auditioned for a karaoke festival and we were both accepted. sunday was the day the contest was held. there were 21 entrants, both japanese and foreigners. there was one rule: japanese had to sing in english and foreigners had to sing in japanese. it was great fun. some people brought props and really got into their songs. i sang very well and many people complimented me afterward. yoshi also sang well, he was very pleased with his performance. and hiroyuki was so popular, being the only baby, and many girls were flirting with him! he is still quite shy and his coy behavior made the girls love him more!

well, if you're wondering (and i haven't already told you), i got second place! there were prizes for both the japanese and english performances, first and second for both. i am quite pleased, though both yoshi and i are disappointed he didn't win anything. for my prize i got 5000 yen worth of music certificates, which i gave to yoshi because he's the one who wanted to join the contest in the first place and also because i don't know what i want!

on the same day, the school where i took private japanese lessons threw it's christmas party. it was also in tenjin, so we walked there, though it was very cold. eiko-san and her brother haru-san (my japanese teacher) were both there, as well as many of the students of the school. it's actually an english conversation school so most of the guests were japanese, but a couple of british teachers were there as well as a visitor from australia and an ALT from new zealand. the party was in a nice cafe with a fantastic coconut latte and really tasty food, but they were out of vanilla syrup which was disappointing.

we also had live entertainment there: a young man playing the guitar and also a quartet made up of the british teachers and their friends. they sang christmas carols and it was wonderful. hiro, who hadn't slept all day, nearly fell asleep from the beautiful singing (but the applause kept waking him up!) afterward, the young men told me that seeing hiro nearly falling asleep made them smile and they were glad we were sitting in the front. soon after, hiro fell asleep in his stroller so we snuggled him up with a blanket and enjoyed one more cup of coffee with the christmas cakes. then we went home.

sorry, but hiro was a handful all day and i only got a few pictures. but here's yoshi singing:
yoshi is the piano man

and here we are afterward with 'umeboshi', a pop duo with a couple of CDs out...

with umeboshi