Tatsuo Fukutomi (bemsha)

One can never really have enough of our good pal TRS and TRSD repeater, Top 5 Co-Host, resident PK toaster, photographyphile, devourer of books, “Delinquent” (a person who displays anti-social behavior or challenges authority as a result of listening to Bob Dylan) and DJ extraordinaire, Tatsuo Fukutomi AKA “bemsha” in our lives. Bemsha makes his 3rd or 4th (or 5th?) appearance on the stream, but always a welcomed guest (…truth be told, I started Tokyo Record Style Day just to hang out more with him.)

What more can I write about the ol’ bemshmeister that I haven’t written already? I’ve written about his encyclopedic knowledge of music, about his refined sense of taste and style, about being a connoisseur of Murakami-esque pursuits, Paul Smith-caliber duds, and choice underground records of all genres from around the world. Surely, I’ve written about his mental archive of fascinating stories and anecdotes on all manner of pop and subculture, collected from what I can only guess is a book-a-week batting average. OH! There we go, I’ve stumbled into something that I haven’t written about the ol’ great bembino – his love for the Yakult Swallows – notice his “YS” hat!

Tokyo’s underdog baseball squad plays 2nd or 3rd fiddle to the Yomiuri Giants. The Giants are to the Yankees what the Swallows are to the Mets, a scrappy bunch of misfits who get by on grit and grind, hashing it out in their 97-year-old stadium (where Babe Ruth once played), rather than on the backs of the blank checks written for the Tokyo Giants, who play in shinier, grandioser, boom-jidai Tokyo Dome.

Being a Yakult Swallows fan says a lot about a person, I suspect. For one, it says you beat to your own drum and have the courage to be yourself. When probably 80% or 90% percent of your gradeschool classmates all loved the Giants, you loved the Swallows. It also says you’re loyal, cuz, although the Swallows are very capable of leading the league like they are now, they’re not unfamiliar with being last, so you’re a stick-er-with-er, through thick and thin. Lastly, Swallows are just lovely birds …who SING SONGS!!! Aaaannnd he brings it back to music!

Ok, outta characters. More TRS on the way!

Various – Texas-Mexican Border Music Vol. 12 – Norteño Acordeon Part 2; San Antonio, The 1940’s And 50’s
Label: Folklyric Records – 9019
Series: Texas-Mexican Border Music – Vol. 12
Format: Vinyl, LP, Compilation
Country: US
Released: 1978
Genre: Latin, Folk, World, & Country
Style: Norteño, Ranchera, Corrido, Polka

Les McCann Ltd. – Bucket O’ Grease
Label: Limelight – LS 86043, Limelight – LS. 86043
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo
Country: Canada
Released: 1967
Genre: Jazz
Style: Soul-Jazz

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