Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘Hanako Oku’

Hanako Oku and her HAPPY BIRTHDAY memes.

Happy 41st Birthday to “The Little Great One” Hanako Oku, born March 20, 1978.

Japan is twelve hours ahead of my time zone, so I am sending this tonight!

Mr. Penguin, I hope you have a sense of humor! It was Snivy’s idea.

… and now for a little bit of Oku-HISTORY!

Thank you, YouTube user 曽我部幸太郎

Starlight: Been a Hanako Oku fan for eight point eight light years!

PS: Dear friends. I do not have Twitter or Facebook. If you like Hanako Oku, would you mind sharing my post on your social media?

 

 

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Hanako Oku and my augmented reality.

I was very happy to see this Hanako Oku music video in my YouTube today!  I’m still trying to figure it all out. This is a song from her new album, her 10th album — “KASUMISOU”. Of course I have already pre-ordered it, silly. It is a very simple process: 1) Hanako Oku publishes a new record — 2) I buy … then wait a while.

I was watching the video this morning with my first coffee of the day. This is my favorite time of the day. The time of day, when I am at my most creative, and not beaten down quite yet by the ugliness I live in.

Yes, it is more Oku-magic! I don’t know what she is singing, I don’t know the language.  How does she DO it? The song draws me in, breaks my heart and gives me happiness … all at the same time.

Like almost all of her music videos — nothing really happens.

I’m not sure where this is, who these people are, and what the deal is with the diamond-like crystals. There are drawn anime people and objects inserted on top of actual photography. So, it is a  type of “augmented reality” that seems to be popular these days. (Note: I put the YouTube “auto-translate” setting on, and it seems to work well enough for a while.)

 

I like this reality better than my reality. I love the family of course. I like my coffee. I respect YOU my dear readers. I wish I didn’t live in a world of ugliness and ignorance. Driving to work, I will play this CD. Driving through the ugliness, on my way to encounter more ugliness, arrogance and ignorance. However, with Oku-san’s music overlaid above my field of vision, I will be able to augment the reality. I will have to park my car near ugliness … but at that point, I can switch to headphones.

I will need some time to figure out what those crystals are for though. I am not sure if they are really part of the song’s meaning, or if this is just part of the music video. Perhaps Miss Oku is overlaying some reality over her own life (or the life of the protagonist in the song). Wishing for something that is not there … or might have been there.

Hanako Oku holds her “Baby’s Breath”.

Hanako Oku’s music is very emotional. Complex emotions at that.  I may have to speculate a little about this photo, and the new album title. “Baby’s Breath” is a type of small flower that is often in a supporting arrangement of larger flowers. They are also used in bunches to decorate special occasions — often to decorate weddings. By holding this flower — is she saying subconsciously that she wishes that she has a child? Miss Oku-san is now forty years old. If she is going to have a children this is her last opportunity. I mean no disrespect in my speculation. She is a single, forty-year old woman who posts photos of her cat on social media. (“Just saying.”) A flower used to decorate weddings and is named after a life giving reality (a baby). If that is what she wants, I sincerely hope that she gets that. On the other hand, holding the flowers in this way is her perhaps thinking that she is accepting that it is not going to happen.

Yeah, like that. Thank you PONYCANYON record company for allowing this music video to be seen and enjoyed by fans. That’s ACTUAL reality!

Starlight: Less than one Earth rotation (not revolution).

Hanako Oku and how it is so difficult to shop for some people.

Merry Christmas! Hey everyone – I have not posted in weeks due to being sunk in a swampland.  However, I want to pull myself up from the disgusting mire long enough to wish all my readers and WP friends a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

“Ya got all your Christmas shopping done yet?” Ha Ha. Kindly old people who are trying to make conversation often say that to me. Ahem … but perhaps I can provide a little shopping inspiration today. Here is The Little Great One’s Christmas Video released last month:

I think it is a very nice music video. I sometimes joke that “nothing really happens” in most Hanako Oku music videos. That may be what I like about them. She usually just walks around, in most of her music videos. It makes the listener concentrate on the music perhaps.

Great also songs inspire great covers. Here is one just released by the lovely and talented Hitomi Sano.

This got me into the shopping spirit alright! I wanted to send her something nice. Oh! — Her new song is the background music in this new commercial for SNOW.

Uh. although I’m not really sure what the lovely young woman is selling. Ideas for smartphone apps? Maybe. I though maybe Ms. Oku-san might enjoy these pantaloon-type puffy pants. They might be something she could wear around the studio.  She might find these useful for yoga, or for lounging at home and  of course — songwriting. Of course, one could wear these, relax at home, eat yogurt, and watch one of the Star-Wars movies that features Yoda … but I digress.

I chose this “Royal Blue” color. Might you suggest a different color choice?  I know that they are not Christmas colors – but I was thinking the hue might brighten up January. It would take a while to ship the pants to Chiba, so I thought that this color might brighten up a dreary day sometime next month for her. Much as the same way that her records cheer me up whenever I have to commute back and forth from the swamp.

https://www.amazon.com/HOEREV-Super-Modal-Spandex-Pilates/dp/B00J6WDFSW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1545238940&sr=8-1&keywords=women%27s%2Bpuffy%2Bpants&th=1

I am also hoping that she will release a new album soon.

Ms. Oku-san will have one final singing engagement this year! There will be a free concert held on Sunday, December 23 at  4:00 in the afternoon at Yokohama Landmark Plaza 1st floor Sakata no Garden Square. Maybe a fan will film a little bit.

There will be CDs on sale of course, and there will even be a handshake opportunity!

(Denny choking up … yes, free open concert … to be able to shake those little hands … )

You can find more information more info on TLGO’s Twitter or her website

Starlight: I figure it would take me less than a day to get to Cleveland. Then from there it is a 16 hour direct flight to Yokohama. Assuming I am not going to stop in Hokkaido. Of course you waste half a day on both ends of the flight due to airport waiting, etc. Then I would need some time to check into a hotel.  Plus, Japan is “12 hours ahead” in the Japan time zone …Yep — I can be there by the 23rd!

Oh, wait — now I see what the app does.

 

HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY — HANAKO OKU

She is a great musician who stands alone in her field!

Birthday wishes going out today to “The Little Great One” — Hanako Oku born this day March 20th 1978.

This might be a tough one for her … She turns FORTY!

Ha. Age is just a number though, … at least I tell myself that.

Oh, of course there has to be a song. The song I would like to share for this special day is “Panorama no Kaze”.  This was from a live performance in 2008. It is one of the Oku ballads that always takes me there. (gulp)

Of course, she is a great artist in any decade.

Starlight: Wanna see my collection?

Kimonos on Someday: Hanako Oku’s O-mikuji is read at her Hatsumode

It is a lovely kimono – and what a lovely smile!

This photo was posted on the official Oku Hanako website on January 7:

https://ameblo.jp/kokoroletter/entry-12342670278.html?frm_src=thumb_module

Ms. Oku-san is at a Shinto shrine, her first visit to a shrine this year.

The Japanese term “Hatsumōde” refers to a person’s first shrine visit of the New Year. Typically, it refers to a visit to a Shinto shrine, however a visit to a Buddhist temple is sometimes done. The translated page indicates that she admitted she has not visited a shrine in a long time. She also says it has been a long time since she wore a kimono! Oku-in-kimono photos are almost impossible to find.

She is doing that smirk, because that scroll she is reading is her O-mikuji.

An “O-mikuji” is a rolled or folded preprinted fortune which is purchased by making a small offering at the shrine.

I cannot tell from her post what the fortune reads, but she seems a bit amused — and maybe more than a bit skeptical about the prediction.

Perhaps the fortune predicts “at long last an unrequited love will be fulfilled”!

That would be great … but then she would be out of a job … Ha Ha … Oh.

Starlight: Missed this by only a month!

A song? Oh, OF COURSE you get a song!

 

Hanako Oku and Pokémon Ultra Sun

A l o l a   C o u s i n s !

I am currently playing Pokémon Ultra Sun as a character named “Hanako”. The name is based on one of my favorite recording artists Hanako Oku! Don’t worry — Denny from Sinnoh will appear in Pokémon Ultra Moon. When I buy a new game I usually like to differentiate the trainer character. This also helps in keeping track of Pokémon in the Pokémon Bank.

I thought it would be cute to play as “Hanako” to honor Ms. Oku-san.

I tried to style her in the way she looked when her music career was rising in the 2005-20011 period. She often wore boyish clothes — usually jeans and a t-shirt. Of curse, the delightful Ms. Oku is more sophisticated in her stage attire now, but I liked her early period. I used her short brownish bobbed haircut with bangs. I chose red frame glasses after Ms. Oku’s trademark red spectacles. I think that she would like the Pickachu t-shirt I gave her, and her boots are closest to what she wore in her early period. I also named her Festival Plaza “Oku University”.

I chose Rowlet as her starter Pokémon. It turned out to be a female Rowlet, so I named her “Olympia” after the forested mountain region in the Pacific Northwest.  A lot of owls live there. I have decided not to let Olympia evolve, at least not until the main story is finished. She is just too cute.

Hanako received the special event Pokémon Rockruff which is the only one which could be evolved into the special “Dusk form” Lycanroc. Little Olympia could sometimes be overwhelmed by higher-level Pokémon, so I gave her a strong wolf to defend her. I named the puppy/wolf “Roofies” after my previous post on Lycanroc linked here.

A little off-topic: I was very proud to see that my Lycanroc post gained 13,000 views! That one post gained nearly 7,000 reads on just November 17, 2017 — which was my most viewed day ever! It seems a lot of people were looking for nicknames for event Lycanroc on the Ultra Sun-Moon release date!

Other members of the team include a Yungoos I named “RikiTikiTavi” after the mongoose in the classic Rudyard Kipling story. Hanako had previously caught other Yungoos named “Youngblood” and “TRUMP2016“. I am also not letting little Riki evolve. It is just too cute, the little biter. He holds a Normal Z-Crystal for extra power.

Hanako’s Charjabug is named “EmergencyUse” except that the electric bug is often used. She never has to worry about her batteries running out. Her bug cannot evolve however, until it encounters the special magnetic field present in the Vast Poni Canyon or on Blush Mountain.  It is a slow bug, so it carries a Quick Claw.

Her Wishiwashi is named “Smells Fishy“. It is good to be skeptical on an adventure. Sometimes things do not appear as they seem. I can suggest many more Wishiwashi names from my old fish post linked here. It carries a Waterium-Z.

I wanted Hanako to have Alola-only Pokémon, and as it turns out, many are small-less powerful ones which still need to evolve. Her Comfey does not evolve. She caught one female Comfey named “Princess Lei” after the Star Wars character, but named another one “Lei Lady Lei after the Bob Dylan song linked here.

Regarding songs, which Hanako Oku song might be playful enough for a Pokémon adventure? Most Hanako Oku songs are emotional piano ballads dealing with unrequited love — or “break up songs” as is sometimes described on American radio. I thought that her song “Takoyaki” sounded playful enough. I could see the young trainer prancing through the tall grass singing this one.

“Takoyaki” is the name of a Japanese snack made like a wheat dumpling, but containing OCTOPUS!  If little Hanako catches an Octillary, guess what she will name it?

Hanako’s Rotom Dex is well meaning, but often questions his existence and always wants to be reassured. Likewise, I think that my Pokémon journey is coming to an end. I first started playing Pokémon with my son when he was in second grade. We always bought every new game on release day. He would get one version (Diamond) and  I would take the other (Pear). We did this all the way through Pokémon Sun and Moon.

I noticed that he had less enthusiasm for Pokémon these days. He is very much more into Fire Emblem these days. He still wants the new Pokémon, but mainly just rushes through the story to beat the champion. I on the other hand was always diligent about filling the Pokédex.(“Denny” finally filled the National ‘Dex in Pokémon Y, including all the event Pokémon.) My son is not at all thrilled about Ultra Moon, even though this is probably THE BEST GAME IN THE SERIES.

So … without a kid interested, should I continue to play Pokemon games? … at my age? … with my responsibilities? I still enjoy writing “Pokémon Nicknames” as the series is less so about naming Pokémon, and more about being a jumping off point to discuss unrelated aspects of Popular Culture.

I am hoping that she will finish her adventure. Are you interested in what she will name her Alolan Pokémon? Please comment!

Starlight: Looking back through the telescope at 2010. 

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!

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