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Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

DENNY RE-BLOGS: [AKB48 Sousenkyo]Bunshun exposes Sutou Ririka’s relationship with a man and she digs her way out by announcing marriage

Well, I can’t say I ever obsessed over her. She was good, and I loved her in that “Durian” song.

She really should have announced her GRADUATION first, then some time later the engagement. At least then, fans like me could still live a life of denial.

I wish her all the best, but I feel a little betrayed.
In … total … agreement … with … Yuko’s … hat!

One positive note, at least she upstaged the Irishwoman winning the election for the xxth time in a row.

I sure hope that she announced this because there is a “little idol” on the way. That would be great … otherwise …

So devastated we all are that Mayu Watanabe announced she is leaving show bisness and will be opening her own Udon noodles shop.
(Ha. That last line I just made up, or I saw it on CNN, I forget).

AllThingsJpop

Timeline

1 day before Sousenkyo: Bunshun teases on a major scoop involving NMB48 member.

Sousenkyo: While thanking her fans for putting her in 20th position, NMB48 Sutou Ririka said “I started to like someone for the first time. I, NMB48 Sutou Ririka,will marry. It sounds nonsensical, but i am serious. I have always received your support and realised many dreams. In the midst of it, i have found a person i really love. I have never lied as an idol, and like everyone as myself. My feelings to marry is real. Thank you.”

Whilst everyone thought she was joking, the MC pressed her for confirmations and asked about her partner. That was when things started to get serious. “You guys thought me about love. I really want to live seriously.”

Late night: Bunshun releases article detailing Sutou Ririka’s sleepover at a man’s house on the night of 8th May 2017…

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Pokémon Nicknames: Dhelmise

Ahoy cousins! Aye, I hope yer not be afeared of the deep, as I recon me names for this ship’s ghost …

Ha – I bet I sounded just like one of those “Pirates of The Caribbean” movie characters. I think that they have a new movie … or something coming out … or recently. I really don’t follow that series. I heard it was going to be “Rated R” … because it is about pirates … and …  see … and pirates say “AHHRR” a lot … and hoo boy.

Dhelmise (in Japanese: ダダリン  “Dadarin”) is a dual-type GHOST and GRASS-type Pokémon introduced for the Alola Generation VII (source: Bulbapedia). Dhelmise is genderless, and does not evolve into or from any other known Pokémon. Basically, Dhelmise is the rusty anchor of a sunken ship, combined with the ships (steering) wheel — and covered in seaweed. One of its eyes appears to be a compass. (A full description from Bulbapedia is linked here.) Although Dhelmise is ghost and grass (seaweed) it is surprisingly not a WATER-type It can learn moves such as “Whirlpool”.  This is appropriate, as I see Dhelmise trying to pull foes down to a watery grave. Ha Ha — or as I should say — ARRR … Another odd characteristic about this Pokémon is that its signature ability is “Steelworker” which boosts STEEL-type moves by 50%. That makes sense, as an anchor is made of iron. Thus a good move set for this Pokémon should include Ghost, Grass, Water and Steel moves.

My favorite name for this ghost Pokémon is “Hard-To-Port“. I envision that this phrase was the last order the doomed ship’s captain gave, just before the vessel wrecked, sending all hands down to Davy Jones’ Locker. (No, not that Davy Jones, silly.)

Sailing-type names are cute. Do you know your port-side from your aft?

No, ya scurvy dogs —  I said “Fire the aft cannon — the AFT!!!”

Another fun nickname might be based on the old Village People song “In The Navy”  linked here.

When you think of sailors you think of the various nautical-themed tattoos that they decorate themselves with. Tattoos are really not my thing personally, but I still admire the art.

(Denny humming/singing):  “In the navy — Yes, you can sail the seven seas … In the navy — Yes, you can put your mind at ease … In the navy…”

Dhelmise may be hard for Alola adventurers to find.  A how-to video from YT is linked here — just don’t use a Quick Ball like that guy, because Quick Balls look stupid, unless your Pokémon is actually blue-and yellow in color. Don’t get me started.

So long for now cousins —  or at least “until the sea gives up its dead …”

Note to my Readers: Since my last post a couple of weeks ago, I have gone over a QUARTER MILLION views on this blog. Take THAT Dave Barry!

Pokémon Nicknames: Electrike and Manectric

I love electric-type Pokémon, so it is not so “shocking” that Electrike and Manectric are among my favorite all-time Pokémon.

From Bulbapedia — Electrike (in Japanese: ラクライ  “Rakurai”) is an Electric (only) type.  Electrike evolves into Manectric starting at level 26, where it remains an Electric-only type. Manectric ( in Japanese: ライボルト  “Livolt”) can evolve into Mega Manectric using the Manectite.

The heads on Electrike and Manectric look Egyptian to me. My favorite name for Electrike is “Tutankhamun“, “King Tut” or “Lil’ Tut“. I like to use “Cleopatra” or “Blue Nile” for females.

Female Manectric’s bouffant hair also remind me of the Bride of Frankenstein, so I also like “The Bride“.

The demands of a bride on her wedding day can be a little hair raising I guess. Here’s a clip.

I also like to use meteorological/lightening type names.

Manectric’s hair can be mined for related names. “HairRaising” etc.  My first level 100 Manectric from the original Pokémon Sapphire was “HerrEdison“.

You may be stimulated from the names of my other electric types. See these links for Pachirisu, Blitzle / Zebstrika, Togedemaru, Joltik / GalvantulaHelioptile / Heliodisk and  Electrode / Voltorb .

What is the name for your shocking little dog? Please comment!

Denny watches a pretty girl pee.

Readers: This very cool and funky song is merely my suggested music track for you to listen to as you read this post. Click and enjoy. Which reminds me …

Whoa. I have not posted on WP for a long time. I am in SO MUCH trouble at work. I need to get caught up on all these agricultural fertilizer reports. Yup, I gave up blogging for a while. I have been  a good employee — keeping my nose to the Moonstone. Look, I am even bringing work home where I can do company work on my own PC!

The work is very boring. and I get distracted so easily by these pop ups. Wait — this looks interesting.  An ad for “KornHub”? Well it must be agricultural then, so I will just click over there and … OH MY GOD!!!

Wait — this is interesting. I don’t usually look at video sites like these (Denny coughs). Besides, there is probably something agricultural in here. Ok … typing “nitrogen” into the search box … and …  Hello.

It says if I click there, I can watch a sexy Asian lady urinate. Oh, no no. I could NOT do that. Really. Not my thing. Look I am not a prude, but I draw the line at bodily functions. I could never watch that. That would be perverted. True, I know that it is only “Number 1” … but still.  I am NOT a pervert. These videos are not for me. I don’t have any fetishes.

Besides, although men’s bodies are disgusting, ladies are perfect. Women’s bodies are beautiful, fragrant works of art.  (Denny momentarily loses touch with reality). Pretty girls don’t PEE. Their little hoo-hoos don’t really make that bad stuff  do they? (Denny in denial) How could this video even exist?

I’m NOT going to watch this!

Uh … maybe … unless … maybe YOU want to look, my dear Readers … er .… I mean … this one time would not hurt could it? If you say that it is OK … watching a pretty girl take a pee, I will do it. That does not make me a bad person, right? Right? 

OK then (Denny exhales), here goes. CLICK.

Huh …you know, these urinal-on-the-floor-toilets always seemed weird to me. Japan is otherwise so highly technological – so why is it that some basins look like a hole in the floor? … and OH! …

I think she likes me, she looked right at me and smiled. So pretty. Whoa … the panties are down … uh … hoo-boy … well, that answers the “hairy or shaved” question. Mystery solved!.

Wow — she IS vert cute.  Hmmmm … so beautiful in there ... so interesting … she seems like she has good balance. I wonder what led her here?

OK, this event should start any minute. (Denny watching, waiting).

Alright … gunna happen soon … (Denny glances at watch).

… Hmmmm  … still waiting here. It is a nice view and everything, but nothing is happening.

Ha. Penny for your thoughts, dear girl. She is smiling, but she should be thinking about running water. It’s gotta start any second now …

Uh … still waiting. (Denny’s mind wanders) Gee, I wonder how many miles I put on the Volkswagen last week. Darn it — I should go check … I think I am due for an oil change … and OH MY there it goes!!!

So …

Uh huh … OK … right … OK … so … so that is what it looks like. Ahem.

Starlight: I really do need to get back to work.

This is a photo of the famous Kegon Falls in Japan. What?

Pokémon Nicknames: Drifloon and Drifblim

So if I grab then hold on — Drifloon will carry me away someplace?

Ahem. I have a lot of name suggestions and a lot of cosplay to share this week, so clear the hanger …

Drifloon and Drifblim were introduced in Generation IV (Diamond and Pearl.) These Sinnoh Region Pokémon are both Ghost-and-Flying types. From Bulbapedia:

Drifloon (in Japanese: フワンテ  “Fuwante”) is known as being one of the more “creepy” Pokémon because it supposedly captures unaware children.

From Pokémon HeartGold:  “It is whispered that any child who mistakes Drifloon for a balloon and holds on to it could wind up missing.”

From Pokémon Black 2: “These Pokémon are called the Signpost for Wandering Spirits. Children holding them sometimes vanish.”  

Drifloon evolves into Drifblim (in Japanese: フワライド “Fuwaride”) beginning at level 28.

I like to make my balloon a flying advertisement. I like to name a Drifloon “YOUR-AD-HERE” then send it out on the Wondertrade. Ha … because your fellow players want to know if they are missing out on advertising opportunities. ”Eat-At-Joes” is an old Looney Tunes running-joke reference.

Hey! You might even name your crazy balloon “Looney”!

Now some balloons are made of rubber. Some are made of latex. Go and have fun with those types of names. “Rubber Baby” is from the tongue twister:  “rubber baby buggy bumpers“.

Drifblim is more of a hot air balloon rather than a blimp, but I have used “blimp” type names such “Goodrich” or “NotAGoodyear”. Speaking of blimps, please enjoy this balloon cosplay:

My favorite name for Drifblim is “Zep Leddelin” as a play on the name of the famous rock band Led Zeppelin. Yes, zeppelins may be shaped differently than hot air balloons, but it is still fun.

Hindenburg” might be another example. Maybe “Branson” after the Virgin Co. CEO who is always trying to set hot air ballooning records.

PaperBalloon” might be a good historic reference to the Japanese Paper Balloon Bombs which were used in World War II. Japanese scientists figured out a way to launch a balloon  from Japan which would be carried by the westerly jet stream winds to North America. This resulted in the only civilian casualties on the mainland United States in WWII. A Sunday school teacher and his family were on an outing in the Oregon woods when his children – not knowing what it was –touched  it, and the explosion killed them all. In this case a balloon did take children away.

I also imagine that Drifloon may work as a weather balloon, so I name it “Radiosonde” after the instrument package carried aloft in a weather balloon. Of course, most UFO sightings are merely stray weather balloons.

I also suggest the names “Nadir” and “Nadar” as references in the history of remote sensing. Balloons were once used for military reconnaissance. In 1858, Gaspard Felix Tournachon (later dubbed “Nadar”) captured the first recorded aerial photograph from a manned balloon.

The word “nadir” is a photogrammetry term referring to the line to the ground directly below the remote sensing platform, and the center of the Earth. This term means that your balloon is right on top of things when you take your photo.

Drifblim trying to find the nadir point

“Blim” and “loon” remind me of “Bloom“, so one name might be “Bloomers” as in … ahem …a ladies unmentionables. “Buys -Ballots” is another meteorology term (despite how it sounds, it does not have anything to do with George Soros).

Then I thought of “Bloomberg” after the former mayor of New York City who – I am not making this up — tried to ban 32-ounce sodas from being sold in NY. The idea there is that consumers suck up too much of the liquid candy. Thus they need a government nanny to stop New Yorkers from becoming a bunch of fat, lazy, government dependent, entitled welfare cheats. Really, drinking too much sugary soda can really make one balloon up – ha ha – balloon up! …get it?

You might us “99 Balloons” or some variation, after that German commie’s hit single from the 1980s: “99 Luft Balloons“. 

Others? How about “Blimpie” — as in the name of a submarine sandwich company. “Up and Away” is a reference to the famous song by “The Fifth Dimension”.

Readers: This may be my last post for some time. I hope that I have provided something for everyone here!

What do you like to name your big purple balloons? Please comment!

Ohio coffee playlist with Moritaka Chisato

When I met her in that Ohio coffee shop, I kept telling myself “Denny, don’t stare  … don’t stare at her legs… don’t stare at her legs you idiot …”

Ohio!  Ha … “Ohio” that is how you say “good morning” in Japanese!

Ha … please don’t correct me, I know that the phrase is really “Ohayō” お早う or “Ohayōgozaimasu”.  I have become a big fan of Japanese singer Moritaka Chisato these past few months. Every morning I look forward to the perfect combination of 1) my morning mug of coffee 2) my iPhone on which I can watch YourTube videos, and 3) my headphones. It is the best time of the day, sitting there, having a good morning coffee … of course my life is complete shit at work, but at least I am happy for those 25 fleeting minutes. Ahem, I am particularly happy when listening to music videos from this wonderful artist.  All Japanese culture comes to me by starlight, and Moritaka Chisato is a good example. I first learned about her from another blogger’s post (MorningBerryz48). The original post is linked here. Moritanka Chisato had her first hits in the late 1980s and was popular through the 1990s. I guess you could call her stuff “nineties music” — but she recorded a variety of great music in many different genres. She was a little different from many pop/idol singers of the time because she wrote her own music and was an accomplished instrumentalist. Ohio! Lets us get to the videos!

The first song is 気分爽快 translated as “Refreshing Feelings”.  There are several different versions and live performances of the song on YT (check out the “drums” version linked here), but this particular MV is very intriguing. I would have to ask my friend Bob to identify the guitars which the guitarist plays here. Oddly, at one point in the video, he is playing a different one than moments before! Now I have watched this MV like the Zapruder film, detailing each moment. There is a “Mystery Woman” dressed in a green sweater-top. She never turns to face the camera, even during the big wide-shot group dance part. We … never… see… her… face. I was thinking that perhaps she is the Moritaka from the future, or perhaps visiting from another dimension … but then again I’m a nut.

Moritanka Chisato portrays a teacher in this next video “Song of Study” or “Study Song” depending on which order you read it. There are a lot different versions of this MV too, but I think that this one is the most endearing. Musically, it sounds like the mid-eighties. Somewhere between Cindy Lauper and DEVO.

Ms. Chisato plays a teacher. I have taken some notes: The superiority of the Japanese educational system is clearly on display here. Ms. Chisato is clearly better than any boring teacher I ever had. Who wants to listen to some dork lecture about rocks? I prefer Ms. Chisato’s suit. Oh, man in that tight suit, nice hose and pretty shoes — she reminds me of a young Mrs. Sinnoh. I like how at one point she gives a boy the choice between a comic book and a study guide, and he chooses the manga, much to her disappointment. After she teaches for a while she gives him the choice between the workbook and a Nintendo Gameboy, and he chooses the schoolbook! (Notice how much larger Gameboys were in Japan. Those things were HUGE!) I noticed that she gives pretty big tests. They are easy (look close) but they are really BIG tests. You will also notice that the school day goes by very fast with her. The hands on the classroom clock fly around very quickly. I sure would like to be this teacher’s pet : )

“They say that the big band sound is coming back!” (Sorry about that stupid comment. I have had to put up with that one half-my life.)  Now, if you have not exited my post yet, you are in for a treat. The next song is “So Blue”. Despite the big band, dance hall atmosphere, this song rocks out pretty hard.  I might even call it “progressive” rock, as it is so interesting and complex. Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir? Forget that, you will find a much better guitar/drum/strings arrangement from Chisato-san here. (Denny sups coffee.)

This next song is “August Love”. My comic-book reading otaku friends like Matthew and The Otaku Judge should recognize the lovely Moritaka is singing inside one of Superman’s fortresses. Now, this is not his Arctic isolated fortress. Instead Superman keeps Mori-chan forever young in this PACIFIC fortress. (It has a slightly different coloration.) Can you imagine the fun Superman has in that place, listening to Ms. Chisato – trapped in time — kept forever young, singing about August Love – with that facethat hair … and that red lipstick. (Denny gulps.)

Gentemen, hold on to your hearts, because if you have not fallen in love with Moritaka Chisato yet, you will succumb during this next beautiful song — “Watarase Bridge”. She was going for a Beatles “Let It Be” sound and video. Well, screw the Beatles. At least Chisato-san did not have to lie about who was playing the instruments. SHE IS!  Clearly one of her best songs, even my other Jpop hero Hanako Oku loves it. Psst: Watch for the “mystery woman” to walk through right at the end.

If you love Jpop, make sure that you add some Moritaka Chisato to your collection! Her official web links are here:

Official Website: http://www.moritaka-chisato.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chisatomoritaka
Twitter: http://twitter.com/moritakastaff
Google+: http://plus.google.com/u/0/108720770772129735479/posts
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/moritakachannel

She has a great volume of music and video to explore. She is older now, and not publishing as much as during her hey day in the 1990s. She is married to a nice guy and has two lovely children.

I have also started a Pinterest board for Moritaka Chisato linked hereThanks MB, for introducing me to another great artist, I might otherwise never would have known about.

Starlight: I discovered Moritaka Chisato on November 16, 2016 through MorningBerryz48’s blog. I can’t do justice to MB’s post. She has all this great album cover art, photos, live performances, songs lyrics, etc.

Wha … Why are you still here? go have  a look!

川の流れのように The greatest song of all time?

What is the greatest popular music song of all time?

Is it “She Loves You (Yeah,Yeah,Yeah)” by the Beatles? Could it be “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin? Is your choice “YMCA” by the Village People? Well, all of those are valid choices to be sure …

However, please allow me to make a case for “Kawa no Nagare no Yō ni”, which translates from Japanese as “Like the Waters of a River”.

The music was composed by Akrika Mitake with lyrics by Yasushi Akimoto. They composed this ballad for the famous Japanese enka singer Hibari Misora. The song was to be her last single, and she died shortly after it was released in 1989.

From Wikipedia:  “… was voted the greatest song of all time during a national poll in 1997 by NHK, with more than 10 million votes. It is often the song of choice for artists  performing live tributes to Misora.” According to linguistics blogger Larry Kenny “it is learned routinely by high school students in Japan.” and “The song embodies the very essence of enka, if not the very essence of the Japanese people.”  I would be able to agree with that, as it is a very moving song. Mr. Kenny has provided a great English translation, and has written a wonderful article about the song linked here.

Several famous singers have recorded the song. I am including a little YouTube playlist here.

As performed by Hibari Misora:

This recording is by Cantonese singer Teresa Teng.

Here is a version with American “soul” singer Diana Ross and opera singers Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras. Dam!

How about this version by Mexican singer Mariachi Vargas?

You can probably find many others through various YuteTube links. If I was not tearing-up so much, I could probably practice the song with this karaoke:

Mr. Kenny also has created this version that [his singer Evan Ross] sings in English. Now the singing is not as “enka” as some others, I will admit, but [they have] created a very respectable, heartwarming rendition.  (Much better than I ever could.)

[Evan Ross] sings his beautiful translation of the lyrics in English. [Mr. Kenny] actually provides two English translations of the song in the article. One is a “literal” translation of the words from Japanese, and then he created another “non-literal”  descriptive version. Wow. Just wow. Mr. Akimoto’s original lyrics are so meaningful, so filled with eternal truths … that they may transcend language barriers and even create new meanings. The following is Mr. Kenny’s non-literal interpretation.

Like a dream, like a dream, passing day after day
down this long, narrow road I’ve been walking
If I turn, looking back I can see far away
the old town that I loved long ago.

Roads that wind and twist in every way,
Bumpy roads that have seen too many days
With no map to guide us, every path we cross in our lives,

Ah, just like the waters of a river, countless bygone days,
one by one how gently, how slowly they go,
Ah, just like the waters of a river, on unendingly,
into the sky painted colors of evening flow.

In our journeys and lives, though they start and they end,
still the road never stops, on forever,
as we reach toward a dream, making memories and friends,
we draw near the people who we love.

As the rain beats down upon our heads
and the mud covers all the road ahead
on we walk because soon a bright new day will come again

Ah, just like the waters of a river, slow and gracefully,
lay this body down, let them take me away,
Ah, just like the waters of a river, like the seasons flow,
as we wait for April sunshine to melt the winter grey.

Ah, just like the waters of a river, slow and gracefully,
lay this body down, let them take me away,
Ah, just like the waters of a river, on eternally
as we hear the rushing current flow out to the bay.

http://www.larrykenny.com/enka/kawa.php

I think the lyrics are especially poignant as Hibari Misora passed on soon after the song was released. The lyrics introduce imagery about the philosophy of life — by analogy — flowing like a river. It is nostalgic in that the singer/listener is looking back over their life, not with regrets but with the appreciation of a life that was lived. I have to wonder if she knew she was near the end of her life when she made those live performances. If she had no regrets, and had nothing but love at the end … well — it shows.

I hope you can find your own fluid meaning there.

Finally, “Kawa no Nagare no Yō ni” was also recorded by my favorite enka singer Iwasa Misaki. There are no [legit] music videos of Misaki-san’s recording on YourTube. There are even a few non-Misaki fakes out there! However, let me share this SoundCloud link to Miss Misaki’s great interpretation of the song.

Are you ready? Sitting down? Clasping the armrests? Tissue box nearby?

Wasamin’s version always turns me into a big, blubbering sack of protoplasm. If you enjoy it even half as much as I do, you can order the CD single from CD-Japan linked here. The song 川の流れのように is the third song (a second B-side?) of her three-track CD-Single of Gomen ne Tokyo. Note: Only the REGULAR edition CD-single has the song!

If you want one, I will buy you a copy!

Why not listen to some Enka music? … What feelings do the lyrics pull out of you, or what pictures from your life can you imagine?  … Try to observe nature as if it were a beautiful sound of a song … think of someone you loved … Think of your favorite memories of places you enjoyed … 

Find again what you love about your life. Enka.

Starlight: It took 28 lightyears for 川の流れのように to reach my world.

PS: What is your favorite all time song? You can list your choice in the comments below. If there is a YouFlube link for your favorite please provide that too.

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