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Recently I have rekindled my interest in the Japanese eclectic skiffle group Tama. Tama seemed to have totally fallen off the Japanese music scene but in fact they have kept a core of the group together and still have a following. Individually or in groups they still regularly play around Tokyo but I have never seen them.

Living near Tokyo for 8 years I have seen Paul McCartney and Elton John but have not seen any Japanese artists (except for being on TV with Shingo of SMAP and Chiaki of Pocket Biscuits). Working at eigoMedia, for my first 4 years here, taught me a lot about English culture in Japan but did little for the Japanese side of things.

Why, you may ask, am I interested in Tama. Well, unfortunately I just have not latched onto any other Japanese cultural thing and Tama now seems to offer a niche where I could be involved. Now, I need to open up a bit and get involved in something Japanese in Tokyo. Tama are now not very popular and that is a good thing as far as I am concern.

I have something to offer Tama and its fans. For the last 4 some years I have had these Tama pages on my site and, this May, I did the first update of this Tama site and I added even more improvements this August (2003). This must be the only English Tama site in the world although some of the other sites have remotely understandable translators.

My site, that features lutenist Robert Jones (who lived around 1610), may seem out of touch for someone living in around Tokyo but my Tama work is an effort to get more in touch and the popularity of Robert Jones is bound to increase all over the world and especially in Japan where his songs have recently been recorded and sold in major shops. I have started to translate some things about Robert Jones and have put a few Japanese Tama titles on my site. The Japanese on my site is done with pics since I don't think many people around the world have computers that support Japanese text.

Tama have severely criticized by people. Like Robert Jones, Tama has a sense of humor that people are unwilling to laugh at. These people only want to criticize them for being silly. Why can not people take funny people seriously?

Patrick Thomas Connolly - August 2003

Thanks go to Ayako from Kyushu, my pen pal of 10 years, for introducing me to the music of Tama. Also to Chikao Shiratori, who is the creator of Tama's web site and webmaster of Digipad's web sites. You can connect to those sites by clicking on my Tama Englished front page.

This work is a byproduct of my study of the Japanese language. I know very little Japanese and many people have helped me in translating, Tama songs, starting with Rie from Chiba City, who I knew in Vancouver, my Japanese teachers. Tomoko, Hiroko, in Urayasu and Guitarist Ryuji Fujihara who also gave insights into the group and Japanese music. I also give my thanks, of course, to Tama and even my wife Yoko, who didn't divorce me even though I did play Tama CD's!

Patrick Thomas Connolly

This page was written by Patrick Connolly. All materials are copyright Patrick Thomas Connolly - 2003.
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To Tama's 7th Album, 'Tama' (The Cat's Cover- up).
Click to Tama's eighth CD, 'Pantheon Ginza'.

See Tama's Discography Part 1 (1989 to 1997) in English.
See Tama's Discography Part 2 (1998 to the present).
Click to see Tama's Discography Part 3 Compilations and Solo Albums.
See English Translations Tama's lyrics - Organ - A Bell Singing