Proof that it is a small world that we live in:

1. While walking to Shibuya station from a night of clubbing with friends, by chance ran into a friend that I hadn't seen in 2 years and had actually lost complete contact with. The amazing thing is that she lives in Osaka and was in Tokyo for a week and a half on vacation.

2. Most of my friends went to the same middle school, high school, and college. However, most do not know each other and only know each other only because they were introduced by others. Two people even went to the same middle school and high school (Toin Gakuen) , and university (Waseda University) where they both had the same major (Education), however, did not know each other.

3. I didn't know that an older man that I sometimes meet at a bar in Mishuku sometimes does sporstcasting until I saw him on tv. At first, I didn't recognize him, but then I thought, hey, I know that guy!

4. Old friend that I met for the first time in same bar in above #3 became the captain of Shimizu S-Pulse in the J-League, and later the captain of the Japanese National Soccer Team.

5. Went drinking with friends at a bar in Nishi-Azabu one night and ran into a woman that is from the same town and a good friend of an acquaintance of mine that runs a bar in Mishuku.

6. Old friend of mine's older brother started a j-pop band called Every Little Thing and is now a famous music artist and producer. He has since quit the band.

7. Same woman from #5 works with the singer in the band in #6s father.

8. While going to a club in Shibuya with 2 kouhai from college, ran into my senpai from the same college who was on his way home from work.

9. Friend of mine went to a video store and found an adult video with a picture of a girl that looks a lot like a girl that we know. He rented the video and sure enough it is her, but she won't admit it when asked about it, gets mad, and starts speaking in French. She happens to be an exotic dancer in Roppongi.

10. While waiting for date at Shinbashi station, ran into another girl I occasionally go out with. Too close for comfort, really sweated on that one.

11. Two guys that I work with now used to work at the same company with the girl in #10 that I was waiting for.

12. Found out that a good friend that I made at Stylus happened to live in the apartment building next to mine. He has since moved.

13. Found out that a good friend that I made at Stylus happens to live in the apartment above the bar in #3.

14. Found out 2 months after Stylus closed, that an American guy that I met there lives in the same apartment building as I do.

15. Ran into a guy at Stylus from New Zealand that I had met while clubbing 1 year earlier.

16. Ran into same friend from #12 while waiting for a date in Shibuya.

17. Guy I used to work with got caught by our manager with a girl that we work with. They were on a date at the Ueno Zoo and just happened to run into each other.

18. Ran into the same guy in above #17 in Fujisawa, a place an hour and a half away from my house.

19. Ran into 2 friends from Sytlus at Shibuya station on the same day. Also saw a girl who looked remarkably like Megumi Okina.

20. Ran into guy I used to work with while getting off of the train at Ikejiri Ohashi station. We just smiled and laughed at each other while the doors closed and he sped away. We used to talk about alcohol continuously, yet never actually went out drinking together. (1/25/2001)

21. While drinking at my regular place in Mishuku and talking to the establishment's owner, he got interupted with a phone call. I didn't pay attention to the conversation and it ended quickly. He then remarked that the phone call he just go was from the bassist, Tetsu, from L'arc~en~Ciel . Apparently, Tetsu was going to come in a little while. About 30 minutes later, one of the regulars that I drink with about once a week walked in the door and we greeted each other like we usually do. What I want to know is why don't people tell me these things earlier... BTW, I have 2 of his CDs... (2/7/2001)

22. Went to my regular place in Mishuku and sat in an open space at the counter. I was introduced by the owner to the girl sitting next to me who was by herself. We started talking and it struck me that, wow, she was really a nice and plain girl with an excellent personality. We talked for an hour or two, she did mention that she does _a little_ modelling, and she left. Two days later we ran into each other at the same place. We talked a little bit and she left. The next day, I went to work and looked up her name in Google. Her name is Jun Kusanagi.

23. Again, went drinking at my regular place in Mishuku but this time by chance ran into the boss of my drinking friend that I met at Stylus. (2/19/2001)

24. Ran into saru and his girlfriend at peak rush time at Shibuya station while getting off of the Yamanote Line. What are the chances of being there at #1 the same time, #2 same line (there are 4 lines that go through Shibuya), #3 the same train car (most trains on the Yamanote Line have 12 cars), and #4 the EXACT same door. (2/21/2001)

25. Went drinking at my regular place in Mishuku last week and made a new drinking friend who is terrific at making boke and always wants people to tsukkomi him. I told him that we regulars are always there getting our drink on and that he and his friends should join us. We met again by chance (well I'm there almost every night)... and I learned his name, Sakurai, and what he does for a living. (3/6/2001)

Feb 2003. What a month. Ran into mom while getting on the train during rush hour at Ikejiri station on the Denentoshi line. Parents live 20 minutes away in Tama Plaza. Found out my brother who also lives away from home got arrested for growing and dealing weed... that jackass. Also ran into my ex-girlfriend in Ginza that I hadn't seen since 1999. Twice in a week ran into guy went to college with in the states on the Oedo line.

It's a world of laughter, a world of tears;
It's a world of hopes and a world of fears;
There's so much that we share,
That it's time we're aware
It's a small world, after all.

It's a Small World, after all;
It's a Small World, after all;
It's a Small World, after all;
It's a small, small, world.

There is just one moon and one golden sun,
And a smile means friendship to everyone;
'Though the mountains divide,
and the oceans are wide,
It's a small world, after all.

It's a Small World, after all;
It's a Small World, after all;
It's a Small World, after all;
It's a small, small, world.

Richard and Robert Sherman

While it's true that the song gets firmly stuck in nearly everyone's heads, thanks mostly to the repetitive refrain, It's a Small World remains one of the most beloved of all attractions at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

The seeming banality of the lyrics is, I'm sure, intentional. The whole idea -- since we know the Sherman brothers could write much better music -- was to create a song that could have come from the mouths of babes, so to speak. The whole attraction, in fact, is designed to highlight the "small world" idea by depicting a world filled with children, all singing this same song; this somewhat simplistic song thus fits perfectly.

The attraction was originally developed by Walt Disney and his imagineers for the 1964 World's Fair in New York City (along with Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and the Carousel of Progress). When the World's Fair had ended in 1966, it moved to Disneyland Park in California. Walt Disney World has its own, slightly different, version (which happens to be the only one I've experienced).

Both versions have a fleet of boats which travel along a track set just below the water. The boats slowly wind their way through several large rooms, each of which is filled with animatronic children and animals from a different part of the world. The musical style changes with each change in setting, too, but all of the soundtracks are synchronized so that the music naturally blends from one style to another as the boats travel along.

And at the end, the final room leading back to the docks contains several farewells, each in a different language of the world.

Disney itself recognizes the ubiquity and pervasiveness of the song, enough so that they poke fun at it in the movie The Lion King. In one scene, Zazu is sitting in a cage next to Scar, apparently there to provide entertainment for the usurper. "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen," sings the bird, but Scar finds this too depressing and demands something more upbeat. Fine: "It's a Small World, after all; It's a Small World, after all..."

"No, no, no!" argues Scar. "Anything but that!"

Then Zazu starts in on "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts," but that's neither here nor there.

The original musical concept was that each doll would sing a different national anthem but, as this proved to be unworkable, it was decided that one song would be composed and then translated into different languages. This way the transition from one part of the attraction to the next would be seamless. Disney asked Richard and Robert Sherman to write something. The brothers had previously written the songs for the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Carrousel of Progress as well as all the music for the movie Mary Poppins.

Here are the lyrics to “It’s a Small World,” in two of the languages heard on the attraction; Spanish and French (at Disneyland, you can hear the song in Italian, German and Swedish as well):

Spanish:

En el mundo hay risas y dolor
Esperanzas y hay tambien temor
Mucho hay en verdad, que poder compartir
Entre la humanidad

Muy pequeño el mundo es
Muy pequeño el mundo es
Debe haber mas hermandad
Muy pequeño es

Una luna hay solo hay un sol
Para todos brillan sin distincion
Y aunque muy grandes son, las montañas y el mar
Muy pequeño el mundo es

Muy pequeño el mundo es
Muy pequeño el mundo es
Debe haber mas hermandad
Muy pequeño es

French:

Au bout du Pole Nord ou sur l'equateur
Il y a un jean qui rit il y a un jean qui pleure
Du soleil due midi au soleil de minuit
On a tous la même vie

Car le monde est tout petit
Devant le ciel on se dit
Que nous sommes des fourmis
Le monde est petit

Au bout du Pole Nord ou sur l'equateur
On a toujours l'air de venir d'ailleurs
Mais quand on fait le tour de nos joies, nos ennuis
On a tous la même vie

Car le monde est tout petit
Devant le ciel on se dit
Que nous sommes des fourmis
Le monde est petit
Indeed, you can hear this song sung in many languages as you ride. Here are a few more cobbled together from the depths of Google:
Nihongo!

Sekaijû dare datte,
Hohoemeba nakayoshi sa,
Heiwa inori te o kumi arukô,
Chiisa na sekai.

Sekai wa hitotsu,
Sekai wa onaji,
Sekai wa marui,
Tada hitotsu.

Kotoba wa minna chigatte mo,
Minna no kokoro wa onaji,
Katakumi atte mirai e arukô,
Chiisa na sekai.

Deutsch!

Es gibt nur einen Mond, eine Sonne scheint,
Und mit Läscheln ist bloss nur Freundschaft gemeint,
Trennen Berge und Meere und Grenzen querfeldein,
Diese Welt ist ja so klein.

Diese Welt ist klein, so klein,
Diese Welt ist fein, so fein,
Diese Welt ist klein, so klein,
Diese Welt ist fein.

Italiano!

Mari e monti non ci dividono,
Luna e sole sempre risplendono,
Se un sorriso farai in risposta tu avrai,
Amicizia e simpatia.

E un mondo piccolo,
Dopo tutto è piccolo,
E un mondo favoloso,
Ma è piccolo.

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