I just noticed a news headline here on this site’s RSS feed called 「仮面ライダーV3」27年ぶり復活
If you have lived in Japan, surely you’ve seen 仮面ライダー. I am certainly no expert on the subject, but for decades it has been entertaining children (mostly boys, I guess) on TV and at the movies. As the name suggests, our hero is a rider (ライダー raida- rider) with a mask (仮面 kamen mask).
I think this is the show where a man (we’ll call him ‘Clark’) of normal statue and plain appearance says, while waving his arms about in an exaggerated fashion, 「変身!!」. Or maybe it is more like 「へぇぇ~~んしぃぃん!!」. After waving the arms and shouting the shout, he changes to a suited, masked man (whom we’ll call ‘SuperClark’).
I would imagine this led to the ゴレンジャー shows which invaded the US as ‘Power Rangers’.
But years before the Masked Rider, there was 月光仮面 or the Moonlight Mask(ed Rider). He appears in one of my favorite movies 隣の山田君. (My Neighbors the Yamadas – It’s not incredibly funny, but does a great job at showing off Japanese traditions). The father, after being outdone by his mother-in-law, imagines himself as the great Gekkoukamen Raida- saving the day.
Here is the theme song for 月光仮面:
どこの誰かは 知らないけれど Who and from whence he comes, no one knows but…
誰もがみんな 知っている Everyone knows him
月光仮面の  おじさんは The Moonlight Masked Man
正義の味方よ 善い人よ He’s a defender of what is right – a Good man!
疾風のように 現われて Like a hurricane he appears
疾風のように 去って行く Like a hurricane he disappears
月光仮面は  誰でしょう Just who is that Moonlight Masked man?
月光仮面は  誰でしょう Just who is that Moonlight Masked man?
I got this from this blog, but I think these are the correct lyrics.

It has a really catchy tune to it. When I get a second later, I’ll make it into a mini-Japanese lesson. Hey, maybe I can coax Yumi into singing the tune for us 🙂 – UPDATE: I asked Yumi. She laughed and asked if I was serious. This isn’t looking good. More to come…

変身 henshin metamorphosis, transform
ゴレンジャー gorenja– Five Rangers
月光仮面 gekkou kamen the Moonlight Mask(ed Rider)
隣の山田君 tonari no yamada kun My Neighbors, the Yamadas

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