If any of you love the music in Studio Ghibli movies and would like to play said music on the piano, allow me to recommend スタジオジブリ作品集 to you. It’s got music from all of their movies, including ones that haven’t been released in the United States (incidentally, I recommend おもひでぽろぽろ, and the English subtitles on that edition are fine though you will need an all-region DVD player to watch it), and it’s a joy to play. I knew I would enjoy playing some of it, e.g. bits from Totoro and Pom Poko, but I hadn’t realized just how much some of that music had sunk into me: e.g. playing the music from Castle in the Air just felt right, and I’d forgotten how beautiful the song from Spirited Away is.

It’s possible that other people might prefer different editions of this music: for example, it’s probably not the right edition for somebody new to the instrument, and certainly there were areas that I had to pick my way through somewhat gingerly. But the selection of pieces in the volume is really top-notch. If you’re interested but don’t feel like figuring out how to deal with a web site in Japanese, you can also find it here or here. (I haven’t used either of those sites, though.) Though if you do decide to order from Amazon Japan, I recommend filling up your cart with Nikoli volumes (here’s one to get you started)—Amazon’s initial shipping charges are enough to give one pause (though the good news is that items arrive quite quickly), but charges for additional items are pretty reasonable, and Nikoli volumes themselves are a great value for the price.

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