This week we are thinking of Japan. The two dolls that are finding new homes are from Mary's trip to the Land of the Rising Sun in 1970. It's clear that it was a significant trip both for Mary and for the fans there. Expo '70 was held in Osaka as a festival to bring together 77 countries and nearly 65 million people.
Mary played seven shows in four days in July 1970 at the Expo Hall. Gallagher and Lyle and Paco Pena supported Mary. They all got some sightseeing in too, along with Mary's family who also joined them on the trip.
Since that one visit and since we started Mary Hopkin Music in 2005, there is still a lot of love for Mary there. Japanese fans represent our biggest market and it's always great to correspond with them.
Some of our customers are small CD retailers who sell on to other fans. During the awful events of 2011 we heard that some of their clients were not responding. One fan had suffered some damage in his flat which resulted in Mary's CD being stuck in the player - able to be played but not able to be removed!
They sent news of how people were recovering in general. Certain songs meant a lot to them: 'One Fine Day' from the Spirit album, being from the Japan-set opera Madame Butterfly; 'If You Love Me' from Now and Then because it was familiar to them and talked of love and healing.
A few years ago, Live at the Royal Festival Hall 1972 was released by Airmail Recordings as part of their concert series. This is the first time we've negotiated a licensing deal but it was worth it for the Japanese fans.
We're fully aware of language barrier and if we had the time and resources there'd be a whole website in Japanese. But for now we rely on the small dealers, the larger ones such as Disk Union, and the army of fans whose English skills allow them to spread news of Mary to the rest of the country.
One lovely lady told us that because of Mary's music she learned both English and Welsh, went to University in Wales and is now living in France. Back when Mary's mother ran the Friendly Society she wrote that several fans were writing to her partly in Welsh inspired by Mary's Welsh albums and that Mary was pleased to be spreading the Welsh language across Japan.
A big thank you to all our friends in Japan for their support, both then and now.
Jessica Lee Morgan is Mary's daughter and runs Mary Hopkin Music.