Maiden’s Prayer

Thursday, August 25, 2011
Maiden’s Prayer


Subj:Summer is here

with us!

Enjoy the sunshine

on the English Bay!

Date: Mon, Aug 22, 2011 4:53 pm.
Pacific Daylight Saving Time

“Wantirna South”

(Monday, August 21, 2011)

Thanks, Kato…I’ve read the above article.
I see female visitors all the way from Australia now.
Pretty impressive!

Hail storms in the summer. Egads!

Kato, don’t you think it’s a bit boring?
Well…, come to think of it, the climate is opposite.
They are in winter while we enjoy the hot sunshine, aren’t they?

Ingrid Fujiko Hemming

La Campanella

By the way, I was fascinated by the above performance of Fujiko Hemming.
I’m thinking of taking a piano lesson.
When I feel competent, I’ll let you hear my music and hope you’ll enjoy it.

Thanks again, kiddo.

Love, Diane ~

Diane, are you really thinking of taking a piano lesson?

Yes, I am.

Well, if so, I’ll tell you about a quite interesting story.

What story?…just tell me.

Soon after I entered one of the middle schools in my home town—Gyoda City in Saitama Prefecture, Emiko played “Maiden’s Prayer” before all the students in the auditorium. I was thirteen years old.  Although I had never talked to her before, I had known her for previous six years because she was in the next class of my elementary school.

Was she pretty?

Oh, she was beautiful and charming. Actually she was a princess to me.

In my mind she always looked like a real princess in Paris.

Why is that?

‘Cause her family belonged to the high society in the community, and her family-owned factory was one of the big producers of the Japanese socks in Japan—altogether, the factories in Gyoda produced 80% of the socks in Japan.

What do the Japanese socks look like?

This is a pair of Japanese socks.

How come there is a slit between a toe and fingers?

…’Cause the japanese traditionally used to wear a pair of Japanese clogs.

Are these the Japanese clogs?

Yes, they are.

For what occasion did Emiko play “Maiden’s Prayer”?

I don’t remember exactly what kind of event it was. Anyway, she gave us a superb performance.

Did she really play it like this?

Yes, she did.  I had never heard the tune in my life…sounded like the sweet music in Heaven.



Tekla Bądarzewska-Baranowska was a Polish composer.
She was born in 1834 in Warsaw.
She married Jan Baranowski and they had five children in their nine years of marriage.
Bądarzewska-Baranowska died on 29 September 1861 at the age of 27.
Her grave in the Powązki Cemetery features a young woman with a roll of sheet music titled La prière d’une vierge.
One of her daughters, Bronisława, was enrolled at the Warsaw Institute of Music in 1875.
A crater on Venus is named after her.

A Maiden’s Prayer

Bądarzewska wrote about 35 small compositions for piano; by far her most famous composition is the piece Modlitwa dziewicy Op. 4 (“A Maiden’s Prayer”, French: La prière d’une vierge), which was published in 1856 in Warsaw, and then as a supplement to the Revue et gazette musicale de Paris in 1859.

Percy Scholes, writes in The Oxford Companion to Music (9th edition, reprinted 1967) rather unkindly of Bądarzewska: “Born in Warsaw in 1838 and died there in 1861, aged twenty-three.
In this brief lifetime she accomplished, perhaps, more than any composer who ever lived, for she provided the piano of absolutely every tasteless sentimental person in the so-called civilised world with a piece of music which that person, however unaccomplished in a dull technical sense, could play.

It is probable that if the market stalls and back-street music shops of Britain were to be searched The Maiden’s Prayer would be found to be still selling, and as for the Empire at large, Messrs.
Allen of Melbourne reported in 1924, sixty years after the death of the composer, that their house alone was still disposing of 10,000 copies a year.”

The composition is short piano piece for intermediate pianists.
Some have liked it for its charming and romantic melody, and others have described it as “sentimental salon tosh”.
The pianist and academic Arthur Loesser described it as a “dowdy product of ineptitude.”

The American musician Bob Wills arranged the piece in the Western swing style and wrote lyrics for it.
He published it first in 1935 as “Maiden’s Prayer”; later, it became a standard, recorded by many artists.
It is also played on certain garbage trucks in Taiwan.

In the 1930 opera Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, scene 9 in act 1 is satirically based on a pianistic paraphrase of the piece, whose theme is quoted by the men’s chorus later in the following ensemble.

SOURCE: Wikipedia
PICTURES: From the Denman Library

Ever since I heard the tune, Emiko has become my idol.  When I entered the university in Sendai, I started to play the piano.

Did you take a piano lesson.

No, I didn’t.  Instead, I learned to play the piano by myself.

No kidding!  Did you learn it by yourself?

Yes, I stayed in a rich family with a grand piano in the suburbes of Sendai.

Oh, my goodness!  Sendai is very close to Fukushima, isn’t it?

Oh yes, it is.

So you were exposed to the atomic radiation, weren’t you?

Don’t be silly, Diane.  I was in Vancouver when the disaster took place.

Was Emiko in Sendai at the time?

Oh no, she entered a prestigious conservatory of music in Tokyo.

You couldn’t meet her, then.

So I phoned her when I went home on my summer vacation.

What for?

I felt competent so that I wanted to play “Maiden’s Prayer” for her.

But you had never talked to her before, hadn’t you?

No, never…but she remembered me.

I don’t believe it. Why on earth did she remember you?

‘Cause she was a top student in the middle school.  So was I.  You see, Emiko and I were rivals.

Is this a true story, Kato?

Yes, it is.  You’d better believe it because I even wrote a story in Japanese about this episode, using her real name.

【One-sided love with “Maiden’s Prayer”】

(Monday, June 19, 2006)

Anyway, I can hardly believe it.

Well, in that case I’ll tell you another amazing story.

Another episode about you and Emiko?

Oh no, this story is my father’s life and death, and the Empress of Japan.

Are you serious?

Of course, I am.  My father graduated from only elementary school because, when he was a kid, his family was so poor that he couldn’t afford higher education. So he worked as a school janitor and studied by himself to obtain a teacher’s certificate in music.

Why in music?

My father told me later that music was the easiest subject to obtain a teacher’s certificate because not many people applied for.

I see. And did he eventually get the certificate?

Yes, he did, but soon the war started and he had to fight in Okinama.

Okinawa? You said? The battle in Okinawa was the worst in the World War II, wasn’t it?

Yes, it was.

Shootout on Okinawa

The Last Battle Of WW2

Did you father survive the war.

Yes, of course.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been born after the war. My father was stationed in Miyako Island, which is the fourth-largest island in Okinawa Prefecture. My father survived the war because the US army took a hopping frog strategy, in which they ignored insignificant resistant forces.

So the US army ignored Miyako Island, didn’t they?

Yes, they did.

Miyako-island, Okinawa


But tell me, Kato, how on earth your father came to know the Empress of Japan.

Empress Michiko

Empress Michiko of Japan (皇后美智子 Kōgō Michiko was formerly Michiko Shōda (正田 美智子, Shōda Michiko).
born on October 20, 1934.
She is the wife and consort of Emperor Akihito, the current monarch of Japan.
She was the first commoner to marry into the Japanese Imperial Family.
As crown princess and later as empress consort, she has become the most visible and widely-travelled imperial consort in Japanese history.
Her full title is Her Imperial Majesty The Empress of Japan.

Empress Michiko was born in Tokyo, the eldest daughter of Hidesaburo Shōda (1904–1999), president and later honorary chairman of Nisshin Flour Milling Company, and his wife, Fumiko Soejima (1910–1988).
She attended Futaba Elementary School in Tokyo, but was obliged to leave during the fourth grade because of the American bombing during World War II.
She returned to school after the war ended and attended the Seishin (Sacred Heart) junior high school and High School in Tokyo.

In 1957, She earned a bachelor of arts in English literature from the Faculty of Literature at the University of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo with summa cum laude.

Biographers of the writer Yukio Mishima report that he had considered marrying Michiko Shoda, and that he was introduced to her for that purpose some time in the 1950s.

 Yukio Mishima

SOURCE: Wikipedia
PICTURES: From the Denman Library

You see, she was the first commoner to marry into the Japanese Imperial Family. When she married the crown prince, almost all the Japanese were fascinated by her charm and beauty. Before the royal marriage, the world-famous Yukio Mishima had met her on an arranged meeting with a prospect of marriage. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it.

You mean, your father also met her on an arranged meeting?

Oh no, he didn’t.  It’s impossible because my father was living in a different world. Nonetheless, Princess Michiko bacame my father’s idol.  My father knew that she loved music—especially, songs for children. So, one day he composed a piece of music based on her poem, and let his pupils sing the song and recorded it on his cassette tape, then sent it to the palace. Princess Michiko seemed to like it. And her secretary wrote a thank-you letter. When he received it, my father literally jumped up and down with a great deal of ecstacy.

Is this a real story, Kato?

Yes, of course, it is. In fact, later, my father and mother built a new house and set up an alcove and placed the letter in the alcove. He said that he would make the letter a family treasure for generations to come.

Amazing!  But I can hardly believe it.

【Himiko’s Monologue】

Wow! What a fascinating story?
Can you believe it?
Well…, you’d better believe it because I saw the letter when I visited Kato in Gyoda, Saitama Prefecture.

Playing the piano is one thing; romance is another.

Come to think of it, I’ve never met a decent man in my life.
How come I’m always a loner?
I wish I could meet a nice gentleman at the library in my town as Kato met Diane.
Well, they say, there is a way where there is a will.

Have a nice day!
Bye bye …


“Queen Nefertiti”

“Catherine de Medici”

“Catherine the Great”

“Mata Hari”

“Sidonie Colette”

“Marilyn Monroe”

“Hello Diane!”

“I wish you were there!”

“Jane Eyre”

“Jane Eyre Again”

“Jane Eyre in Vancouver”

“Jane Eyre Special”

“Love & Death of Cleopatra”

“Nice Story”


“Spiritual Work or What?”

“What a coincidence!”

“Wind and Water”

“Yoga and Happiness”

“You’re in a good shape”




“Net Travel & Jane”

“Net Love”

“Complicated Love”

“Electra Complex”

“Net Début”

“Inner World”

“Madame Riviera and Burger”

“Roly-poly in the North”

“Amazing Grace”

“Diane in Paris”

“Diane in Montmartre”

“Diane Well Read”

“Wantirna South”




■ 『きれいになったと感じさせる


■ 『ちょっと変わった 新しい古代日本史』

■ 『面白くて楽しいレンゲ物語』

■ 『カナダのバーナビーと軽井沢に


■ 『今すぐに役立つホットな情報』

■ 『 ○ 笑う者には福が来る ○ 』
















Hi, I’m June Adames.

I like a leisurely stroll

while listening to nice music

such as “Sous le Ciel de Paris.”

Sous le Ciel de Paris

by Hideshi Kibi(日本人)

You can find some Japanese musicians in Paris.

Fujiko Hemming also likes Édith Piaf

who sings “Sous le ciel de Paris.”

Sous le ciel de Paris

by Édith Piaf

I like Chanson Française (French song).

How about you?

Kato also love Édith Piaf,

but he considers Juliette Greco’s

“Sous le Ciel de Paris” much beter.

Sous le Ciel de Paris

by Juliette Greco

I believe Yves Montand’s “Sous le Ciel de Paris” is the best of all.

Sous le Ciel de Paris

by Yves Montand

I love Paris, but Vancouver isn’t bad at all.

To tell you the truth, Vancouver is a paradise to me.

Kato thinks that Vancouver is better than Paris.


Here’s a Japanese proverb.

If I translate it literally, it means this:

The lighthouse does not

shine on its base.

It also means this:

The darkest place is

under the candlestick.

I’m pretty sure that your birthplace is a paradise to you.