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June 3, 2006 Jamie Lee and Megan Thompson sing "Lake Biwa Rowing Song" at Imazu Port, Shiga Pref.
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This was the first time the English song was sung in public. 「琵琶湖周航の歌」英語版の発表会、今津港の歌碑前
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The world premier of "Lake Biwa Rowing Song."
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As if drawn to the singing, the floating school named "Uminoko" (Child of the Lake) also docked at the same time.
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Nov. 26, 2006 Jamie and Megan Thompson sing "Lake Biwa Rowing." (verse 1 only) on the NHK TV Nodo Jiman amateur singing show.
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The twins talk with the host of the 61-year-old TV program. NHKのど自慢出場、合格
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Megan: "And Japan's nature is also beautiful..." This show was broadcast live from Mitoyo, Kagawa Pref., near Megan's town.
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The show's Champion is announced. This high school girl from Takamatssu, Kagawa Pref.
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Everyone waving goodbye at the end of the show. Singer Fuji Ayako on the extreme right.
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The twins pose with the high school girl who went on to be the show's Champion.
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Small trophy for those who appeared on the TV program. (Photo by Jamie Thompson)
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Nodo Jiman for those who made it to the preliminary screening.
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Feb. 25, 2007 Jamie Lee Thompson gives her speech at the 3rd Biwako Nihongo Network's Japanese Speech Contest by Foreigners.
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Title of her speech was, Biwako Shuko no Uta no Boken (Adventures with Lake Biwa Rowing Song). 「琵琶湖周航の歌」の冒険
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After the awards ceremony, she was asked to sing a little bit of the English song she talked about. She beautifully sang the first verse and drew much applause.
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Jamie won the speech contest. Her award certificate from Shiga Governor Kada Yukiko. 第3回BNN外国人による日本語スピーチ大会 最優秀賞を受賞!
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Mar. 4, 2007 Nakamura Naoko sings "Lake Biwa Rowing Song" at Canora Hall in Okaya, Nagano Pref.
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The first Japanese person to sing the English song in public. This was at the Okaya International Exchange Association's 15th anniversary festival.
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The first person to sing the English song in public outside Shiga.
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Nakamura Naoko sings "Lake Biwa Rowing Song" up to verse 3.
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June 16, 2007 Singing in front of Verse 4 song monument on Chikubushima.
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Jamie and Megan Thompson singing in front of Verse 4 song monument on Chikubushima. This was during a Lake Biwa cruise.
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Jamie and Megan Thompson singing during a Lake Biwa cruise.
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After they sang, a mad rush to buy the CDs ensued, followed by an autograph session. More info about Lake Biwa Rowing Song here.
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June 17, 2007 At the 11th Biwako Shuko no Uta choir contest, the "Lake Biwa Rowing Song," was sung in English for the first time by Jamie and Megan Thompson, posing in front of a banner.
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Held annually in June since 1997, this choir contest has over 20 choirs, mainly from western Japan, competing for cash prizes. Takashima Shimin Kaikan Hall, venue of the choir contest. Near Omi-Imazu Station on the Kosei Line. 高島市民会館
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Poster for song competition. 第11回「琵琶湖周航の歌」音楽祭 合唱コンクールHeld annually in June since 1997, this song contest has over 20 choirs, mainly from western Japan, compete by singing two songs each. One song they must sing is Biwako Shuko no Uta, while the other song can be anything. On June 17, 2007, the English version, called "Lake Biwa Rowing Song," was sung for the first time at this contest. 第11回「琵琶湖周航の歌」音楽祭 合唱コンクールでジェイミーとメゲン・トンプソン姉妹がコンクールで英語版を歌った。
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Hall lobby and reception desk where you pay 500 yen admission.
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Imazu-cho Tourist Association booth in the lobby where they sold song-related souvenirs, including our Lake Biwa Rowing Song CD.
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Lake Biwa Rowing Song CD flyer. The CD is 800 yen.
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Our Lake Biwa Rowing Song CDs also on sale. 私どもの英語版CDも販売されていました。琵琶湖周航の歌資料館で電話で注文できます: (0740) 22-2108 詳細はここ.
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Program. 残念ながら、私どもがこのプログラムに掲載されていませんでした。
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Twenty-five choirs, mainly from Shiga and neighboring prefectures, were competing. They sang the same song in various ways.
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To enter the choir competition, the choir must have at least 12 members. The entry deadline is late Feb. Entry fee is 5,000 yen per choir (3,000 yen for high school and younger choirs).
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Each choir had to sing two songs: One was Biwako Shuko no Uta, and the second one could be any song. Each choir had to sing both songs within 8 min.
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The choirs sang the same song in various ways. Most of them also had a piano player. The choir competition lasted from 10 am to 4 pm.
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At 12:15 pm, during lunch break, Jamie and Megan Thompson sing "Lake Biwa Rowing Song." 昼休み中午後12:15からジェイミーとメゲン・トンプソン姉妹が歌う。
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Jamie and Megan Thompson sing "Lake Biwa Rowing Song," all six verses. ジェイミーとメゲン・トンプソン姉妹が歌う.
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Jamie Thompson コンクールで初めて英語で歌われた。歌が終わると大きな拍手。
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Megan Thompson 昼休み中だったし、プログラムにも載っていなかったので大勢の客が退場した後に英語版が歌われた。
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Backstage
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Awards ceremony 受賞式
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Trophies. The 1st place winner would receive 100,000 yen, 2nd place 50,000 yen, and 3rd place 30,000 yen.
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1st place winner 「合唱団かやの樹」(三重県伊賀市)が金賞
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Imazu Junior High School students roamed inside the hall lobby to announce free boat rides on a fixed-seat boat. 「フィックス艇の体験いかがですか?」Note that they do not offer these boat rides anymore.
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Sounded like fun, so we went to the lake shore and rowed on this fixed-seat boat. It is a replica of the boat used 90 years ago by Oguchi Taro and crew.
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Made of wood with non-sliding seats. This boat became obsolete as sliding-seat boats came to fore. 小口太郎たちがこういうもの乗ってましたね。
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We rowed for about 20 min. Great fun for total beginners. 今津中学校ボート部がフィックス艇の体験乗船もやって面白かった。
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June 24, 2007 Hikone VOICE World Gathering was an annual event of this international exchange group in Hikone. Held at Viva City Hall in Minami-Hikone.
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The event featured various international entertainment by a Russian troupe and local foreign students attending universities in Shiga. The last performance was by Jamie Thompson who sang Lake Biwa Rowing Song.
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Jamie sang by herself (without twin sister Megan), however, we provided piano music which included only Megan's voice. So it sounded like both sisters were singing. First time we did that.
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We also have our Lake Biwa Rowing Song CD on sale here... 私たちの「琵琶湖周航の歌 英語版」のCDもできました!
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Oct. 20, 2007 Umizukuri Boat Festa in Ogoto. At the end of a rowing race between Otsu and Ogoto, a mini concert was provided near the lake shore with reed flute (yoshibue) players and Jamie singing the song in English.
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And guess what, Shiga Governor Kada Yukiko threw a surprise and went on stage to sing in English with Jamie. Wow, what an honor. A real people's governor.
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Megan could not make it to this event, nor could Philbert. Thanks to Akazawa-san, leader of the flute group, for the photos.
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Cover of Lake Biwa Rowing Song CD
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Oct. 18, 2008 We sang at the Sports Recreation Shiga 2008 festival held at Kibogaoka Park in Yasu. It's an annual event held in a different prefecture. People from all 47 prefectures and South Korea participate in tournamen
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There was an entertainment stage called Kenmin Yume Stage where 8 acts, including us, performed from 9:30 am to 11:15 am. We performed at 10:20 am.
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Jamie and Megan Thompson sing "Lake Biwa Rowing Song" at Sports Recreation Shiga 2008 on Oct. 18, 2008 in Kibogaoka Park, Yasu, Shiga Pref.
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MC Chiho Ono from FM Shiga (e-radio) asks the twins a few questions. Also see the video here.
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