Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘Fashion’

DENNY RE-BLOGS: ~SeptemberWeen (゜Д゜;)!!

From the Ippome Ondo

From the Ippome Ondo” clip

It is with great pleasure that I am re-blogging the MorningBerryz48 post on the AKB48 “Halloween Night” single. Many of you have seen the video clip before, however her Berryzness has also included a weath of photos and also included the “coupling songs” (“B-sides” to those of us who remember 45 records) which come with the different versions of the single/dvd.

Wow. Her post is better than any dissertation that I could write.

I especially love the Enka-song and dance for “Ippome Ondo”. I wanted to make my own special post for “Kimonos on Monday” with a preview video of the song, but you can view it here in its entirety! Photos too!

My brain almost exploded with happiness when I saw Haruka Kodama in the Under Girls “Sayonara Surfboard”.  Also if you watch Next Girls “Mizu no naka no dendouritsu” you get a pretty good answer to the question: “Is it soup yet?”!

… and so much more!!!

Go see for yourself. If you have been following my blog for the Jpop culture, you should follow MorningBerryz48.

Mrs. Wiggins, cancel all of my appointments today. I’m busy.

Just click below …

Source: ~SeptemberWeen (゜Д゜;)!!

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KIMONOS ON MONDAY: The “Kimonos Era” of RUSH.

rush_2112_chibi_ver_by_wasawasawa-d576vgg

“Chibi” version of Alex, Neil and Geddy !

I know what you are thinking: “Denny … you know that those are DUDES, right?”

Well, way back when I was a progressive rock/heavy metal teen, one of the bands I liked was RUSH – the subject of this special kimonos post.

One of the stories in the great Rush “rockumentary” – “Beyond The Lighted Stage” is the anecdote of how the band came to wear kimono robes as part of their stage show.  Rush were a great hard rock power trio, and their working-class fans were a “T-shirt and jeans” crowd. (Include me in that.) Geddy Lee also said in BTLS that he might have preferred to just wear jeans and T-shirts onstage, but the record company wanted them to have an “image”. Rush toured with KISS and other bands who had all kinds of crazy costumes. The group was assigned to find a “look”.

Hi Fellas! The record company wanted us to change our image!

Hi Fellas! The record company wanted us to change our image!

The members wondered what type of stage get-ups they might wear, in order to look like “rock stars”. One day while they were on a concert tour, they visited a shopping district where shops sold “ethnic” goods. A Japanese shop had kimono-robes  — and the rest is history.

rush wearing kimonos

The kimono-robes looked somewhat “futuristic” I suppose, which would fit with their sci-fi “2112” rock epic. I’ve noticed on many episodes of “Star Trek” and the like, that people from all these advanced civilizations on other planets always wear ROBES. Why the robes? Does wearing a robe make you smarter? Does it show that you are technologically and philosophically advanced? Maybe in the utopian future, people are so used to robots doing all the work that they are just too lazy to find pants. Or is it that in the future only dumb people will wear jeans? (Cough) … but I digress.

Thus this explains the Rush kimono period. I know what you are going to ask: “Denny, were these ridiculous outfits scoffed at?” Of course! … and this despite being the “glam rock” period of the 1970s with its ridiculous androgyny trend.

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During the BTLS doc, Geddy Lee tells a great story about he was always made fun of by the heavy metal group UFO (link here in new window). The guys in UFO considered the kimonos “effeminate” and would call them ladies bathrobes. Lee also said that the UFO dudes would sarcastically (and in a fem-voice) would call Geddy Lee “Glee” as in “Oh, Glee are you ready for your bath now …”. UFO would open for Rush, and they would nail pink ladies bath slippers to Geddy Lee’s microphone stand. “Oh, you forgot your slippers … GLEE …”

You can get a good look at the Rush robes in this performance of “Farewell to Kings”. I actually bought this LP record, the week it came out in 1978. Oy.

Rush Kimonos made a return in 2012, but fortunately not on the guys. Although this young lady is not in Rush, she was part of the stage show for Rush’s “Clockwork Angels” 2013 tour. The group had a much more elaborate “Steampunk”-type stage show than earlier years.

SteamKimonofor RUSH tour

This is an example of the “Steampunk kimonos” the ladies in the orchestra wore. The kimono looks amazing!  (Full concert linked here.)

Starlight: From the first time I heard “Check out this Rush album”?

… the light will have now reached star Rho Cancri (which has 3 planets) and would also have reached star HR3259 (which has 4 planets).

KEEP ROCKIN’ IN THOSE ROBES SPACE DUDES!!!

real men wear kimonos

 

KIMONOS ON MONDAY: Hawks Town Haruka Kodama

haruka kodama tumblr_nmqs22p6OY1svq0spo3_540

Quick! Before you scroll down, choose ROCK, PAPER or SCISSORS. You will see why at the bottom.

Haruka Kodama STUNS in this blue kimono! I will have to admit that I have not followed the HKT48 very much yet. The market for the “Hawks Town” 48 seems to targeted a little lower in age than AKB48. Kodama-san is a rising member in the AKB Family however, and I have taken notice.

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This 18 year old Yamaguchi Prefecture native is turning into a fan favorite. Haruka or “Haruppi” (her nickname) is the “oshimen” or at least the HKT “oshi” for many fans.

If you’re happy … then I’m happy, Haruppi!

Her nickname reminds me of the cute HKT48 single “Hikame I Love You” linked here .  I even have it stuck in my head now … “HAPPY … HAPPY…”

Help!!!

haruka kodama tumblr_nmqs22p6OY1svq0spo4_540

Haruka Kodama is part of a “dynamic duo” within the HKT48 along with co-member Sakura Miyawaki. I’ve noticed that there is always a “dynamic duo” in each sister group. In NMB48 it would be Sayaka and Miyuki. In JKT48 it would be Melodie and Haruka. In SKE48 it would be Jurina and Rena. AKB … probably Mayuyu and Yukirin.

Sakura (L) and Haruka (R) of HKT48. They are not in kimono, but these dresses are very pretty. Maybe the sash and dress are "kimono-inspired" in texture.

Sakura (L) and Haruka (R) of HKT48. They are not in kimono, but these dresses are very pretty. Maybe the sash and dress are “kimono-inspired” fashion!

Haruppi trivia: Kodama-san’s birthday is September 19, 1996. Exactly the same day when I last updated my webpage at work!

Help me UPLOAD Haruppi-chan!!!

Help me UPLOAD Haruppi-chan!!!

Get this — her favorite color is “Black and White”. That is odd, for the very colorful “Happy Haruppi”!

haruka kodama inspires artists

Of course Haruka Kodama is inspirational to digital artists!

haruppi before and after being painted

Are you ready to face Haruka now?

DID YOU WIN?

DID YOU WIN? I’ll bet you chose Scissors! 

OK, Haruppi, you can relax now … Hey! … that’s not a kimono that’s a ROBE!

harappi in bathrobe

Starlight: I calculated that it is 6,899.27 miles to the Hawks Town Mall. How many Kodama postage stamps would it take to get my letter to Hawks Town?

kodamaharuka_yukata2014029-200x267

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Haruna Kojima: Finally, someone who can take a good “selfie”!

Finally! Someone who can take a good "selfie"!!!

Finally! Someone who can take a good “selfie”!!!

KojiHaru is great in this PeachJohn ad. HD is available (duh).

When will AKB48 member Haruna Kojima graduate?  2015 may be her year. She is one of the group’s founding members, and is now 28 years old. Kojima-san has always been an integral part of the group, and was great along with Takamina and Miichan in the “No Sleeves” sub-unit. (What with Takahashi-san announcing her graduation for later this year, we have to wonder how long Kojima-san will remain.)

She is a much more talented singer than she is gets credit for. She looks so good, that a lot of fans just admire her body. She is actually a darn good comedian, although she has always just “played herself” or at least what we think of as KojiHaru being herself.

I doubt if she will starve when she graduates. Haruna is already a successful underwear model for the “Peach John” women’s apparel company. Underwear model? … more like “underwear actress” because her 1 minute commercials are better than most Hollywood movies.

I will also include Part 2 and Part 3 of the PeachJohn “Selfies” contest there. Peach John has encouraged fans to post selfie pics in their latest campaign. (Sorry, you may have to sign in for the second one.)

The commercials, follow the Haruna and her friends Maggie and Kana on their daily selfie routine. I know you see the girls romping around in campy, lingerie poses, but the commercial actually encouraged customers to take simple and natural photos throughout the day. The last segement shows “real” customers in everyday Peach John attire.

No Doubt, Kojima-san has a smoking-hot body, but that is not why I like her. You can STOP laughing now, thank you! Have a look at this amazing white dress Kojima-sama wears in this live performance!

I am a little troubled hoever by news that Miss Kojima is to appear nude in the next issue of Anan Magazine.  My friends over at Nihongogo have posted an article here.

http://nihongogo.com/2014/09/akb48s-haruna-kojima-bares-all-in-newest-issue-of-anan-magazine/

I don’t think that Kojima-san should do nudes while she is a member of AKB48.  If she does them after graduation, then that would be her choice, but for the most part it is just something that the group does not do. Now I am not a prude … and no one would like to see KojiHaru naked more than I (only for a second, then I would look away).  I also do not want to be one of those people who CRITISIZE THINGS THEY HAVE NOT SEEN! I am against self-righteous censorship.  I have not “read” …er , I mean seen the photos, for all I know she might be “nude” but you might not “see anything” … if you know what I mean.  When a magazine says that a celebrity “bares all”, they often do not.  Nihongogo does attest that these photos show “the best breasts that Japan has to offer” …

Haruna-Kojima-Bares-All-In-Newest-Issue-of-AnAn-Magazine-2

Maybe this is a step to her graduation this year. Kojima! You made a liar out of me!

I do enjoy good landscape photography!

I do enjoy good landscape photography!

… and don’t try buying a copy at the newsstand.  I already bought them all.

 

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“Trying … hard … not … to … love … her … so … much …”

Milky and a kimono that needs to be worn

I hear you Captain Kirk.

I think that anyone would fall for her, Jim. Fanboy that I am — I will share some postings from YouTube that feature the Milky one — Miyuki Watanabe. 2014 was a big year for Watanabe-san, what with winning the Janken and getting her shot at solo work. The sound is a little flat here on this particular live TV performance, but I do not care. YouTube keeps removing all her recent performances, but I keep finding new ones! (They must be good because YouTube keeps removing them!) I’m loving this retro-style 80s-themed song Mr. Akimoto arranged for her. Enjoy this Milky heaven!

I’m so happy she has had a chance to shine solo recently.  She is one of my favorite members. I have always thought that she takes a good photo … However — pity the poor life of the professional photographer! What if you had this job of taking magazine photos of Miyuki Watanabe? Dull, boring, tedious!!! What would be more excruciating than watching Milky make all those poses … taking photos — over and over again. Feel free to waste eight minutes of your coffee break on her photo shoot. My favorite is the “frame” which begins at time 5:24.

On the subject of photos, this is a very cute photography video with SUBTITLES IN ENGLISH!  Here some of the other 48 family members are in a competition to take the best “Gravure” photo. See  the contest amongst between Team Nemousu (Yukirin) VS Team AKB48 Group Alliance (Oya, Kizaki, Kimoto, Shibata and Furuhata of SKE48).  I think that you will find it to be a cute and funny little photo shoot to watch … and, er …

and … oh … (Denny feels weak suddenly, has to sit down on park bench)

Oh … (Denny pauses), oh … (with slightly different vocal inflection).

Oh … Miyuki (Denny takes off cap, exhales, stares at horizon)

NMB48 / AKB48 member Miyuki Watanabe 2014

Miyuki Watanabe … or some type of illusion?

Oh … (Denny takes off glasses, slumps slightly into bench, considers landscape.)

(Exhales again) …Watanabe (Denny sits back up and continues.)

As one can see, the other members do a good job at their amateur-gravure.  There were 468 great shots from many different angles. (I was pulling for Yukirin to win.) I love this clip, because it not only shows how physically beautiful Miss Watanabe is, but this clip also captures the high quality of her character.  Her positive and friendly attitude is very attractive. She is a lovely young woman — inside as well as out.

With so many great photos, it was hard for Milky to choose!  Do you agree with the winning choice?

Please enjoy another Watanabe slide show (captions by Denny).

One last treat for Milky fans: This is a Panasonic commercial which includes a few old photos of Watanabe-san as a little girl! So adorable!

Starlight: varying lengths from the outer arm of the Milky Way.

PS: Inside joke aimed directly at you Bob!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

UPDATE: 01/07/2015: I added the following to this post yesterday. Some bloggers had already commented, so I want to be forthcoming that I have added content here:

Perhaps I could explain my “She is beautiful both inside and out” observation. If you view that clip of the other girls taking the photos, it strikes me how NICE they are to each other. Milky is humble, and respectful. The Japanese girls respect and encourage each other.

What if a similar thing were on an American TV show? The people involved would probably not be so nice. I flip through channels sometimes and see these vulgar American “reality” TV shows (Mtv, E!, etc). You can fill-in the names. These shows always have the chicks giving us — and each other — a lot of “attitude” and they would “dis” each other. There would be no sweetness. On these American shows, the ladies might look hot on the surface, but I estimate that their emotional juices would be very sour. Very nasty. Perhaps good looking on the outside, but very ugly on the inside.*

Not so with Milky and the others. Much more feminine, and full of goodness.

I have this problem where sometimes I have to put something else down (ex. American pop culture) in order to build up something that I like (ex. Japan pop culture). I don’t want to do that. Sorry about that, but I see no comparison (although I know that this is just one example).

*Just another reason why I have given up on American pop culture.

KIMONOS ON MONDAY (Week #34): Kimono wardrobe used in “The Equinox Flower”

fujiko in equinox flower

Kimono wardrobe utilized in Ozu’s 1958 film”The Equinox Flower”:

EquinoxFlowerPoster2

“Equinox Flower”  was the first color film by the great Japanese film director Yasujiro Ozu. Although this movie was not specifically about kimonos, a variety of kimonos were worn by the actresses.  The kimonos were just a part of daily life and are seen in a variety of home and work situations.  I might use the phrase “a slice of life” to describe many of the Ozu films.  He was very good at depicting people in everyday situations.  Very little is “over the top” in an Ozu film. Yet they are still beautiful, and poetic. They draw you in. We feel as if we are living in the moments depicted in the film. When I watch an Ozu film, I feel less like I am watching a movie and more like I am reading a good book.  Sometimes I watch a portion of an Ozu film before bedtime, the way I might read for a while before bed. I know full well that I will not finish in one night, and I want to savor the experience over time.

The story itself is about an influential businessman (Shin Saburi) who is was often sought after for his straightforward and honest advice by his various business associates, family and friends. Despite his astute analysis and advice for others, he mishandles a situation closer to home.  His daughter informs him that she wishes to marry a man that she loves, rather than enter into an arranged marriage that he wants. These changing, postwar cultural attitudes are explored in this gentle Ozu film.

I watch a lot of  older Japanese cinema. It is always a treat for me when the great Chishu Ryu makes an appearance!  Ozu often used him in his movies (ex. “Tokyo Story”). Here Ryu plays a man who seeks advice from the Saburi character. They have a good time at a reunion, where Ryu receites poetry.  Note the “man kimono”.

Equinox Flower very long poem at reunion

Note the man’s kimono worn by Ryu-san in this scene. That was one long poem! Good thing there was a lot of Japanese beer at this reunion.

Japanese actress Fujiko Yamamoto steals the show for me.  She had a small but pivotal  part as the daughters friend. Here is a cute fan art caricature of her in the movie : )

drawing of fujiko yamamoto in equinox flower

I recommend “The Equinox Flower” for your Netflix queue!

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KIMONOS ON MONDAY (Week #28): The artwork of Rieko Morita

Morita Rieko 00a12552a51d310225f6726c043965fe

Rieko Morita (Morita Rieko) is a Japanese painter from Kobe, Japan.  Although most of her art is not kimono-themed, all of it is interesting. I especially like the “panel art” that she does, and would love to have one of these in my office.*

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The following is from her official website: “A Japanese artist renowned for her remarkable precise description technique of Maiko, symbol of Kyoto’s traditional culture, and other objects such as seasonal flowers and exotic women. Rieko draws keen attention at the present Japan art world as a leading artist of the Japanese painting of the next generation.”

Visit her official web site linked here.

http://www.morita-rieko.com/english/profile/index.html

This YouTube video is a slide show of some of her other (non-kimono) art.

*How many hints do I have to drop!

 

 

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