Thursday, December 18, 2014

けなげ組 of the world, unite!

I don't suppose you remember my post about the existential humor of the kakipi four years ago? I thought the けなげ組 kenagegumi series of hardworking but underappreciated objects (kombu, straw wrappers, plastic leaves in bento lunches, bread crusts, unused belt holes and erasers, fish tails, kickstands, wine bottles, baseball mits, earlobes, etc.) had been discontinued; in fact I was quite crestfallen about it, as there's a tragicomic brilliance about it. Well, at the K convenience store near my friend's apartment here in Toyohashi, I've found more! 
 
Not only did this give me a chance to find out what kenagegumi means: the team of 健気, defined here as brave; gallant; courage; manly; heroic; praiseworthy; industrious; pure; lovable. I've found what might be the true closer of the series: kenagegumi members ##1-2 as well as ##99-100. #1, it turns out, are the kakipi themselves, detritus of the sloppiness of senbei makers. And #100? Why it's you and me, keeping on keeping on, marching toward our dreams with a smile despite the sadness of the past and a difficult present. "That you is the #1 kenage"!

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