Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘Japanese culture’

IDOL HISTORY 101 – Part 27: Onyanko Club’s controversial song.

Before there was AKB48, the groups’ boss Mr. Yasushi Akimoto produced another group of young idols! Onyanko Club was popular in the 1980s. The group had 52 members, and arguably became the template for many idol groups which followed.

I stumbled upon this video posted by a user on YouTube, and wanted to share it. The song is “Sailor fuku wo nugasanaide”.  It stirred a little controversy back then, as you will see here —  teenage girls are singing about their sexuality. Hmmm … Young girls singing songs with suggestive lyrics – who would of thunk it? The song is actually kinda innocent by today’s standards.

Parents: Teenagers really do not think about sex and discuss it with their friends do they? There is an academic point in there to discuss I suppose. I like the clip because it is just so damn goofy. What a time -warp. It is yet another reason why I think Japanese popular culture can be at times so darn cute  … from my  foreign perspective. It is all starlight to me remember. If you are fan of Japanese music, this clip it should be an important part of idol history. The video is sub-titled in English for your pleasure …

(Spoiler: Don’t worry grown-ups — it all ends all OK. The protagonist really does not do it.) 

AKB48 paid tribute to Onyanko Club and covered the song. Thank you YouTube user. Note that it is an older AKB show clip – when the group was at its peak … (cough) when Acchan was still the center. So many of my old favorites were there — Shinoda-san and Tomochin, etc. I’d rather not get into a pissing contest as to whether the group is now past their peak – just enjoy the nostalgia.

Nostalgia embedded in nostalgia perhaps!

Starlight: This video will disappear in 5 … 4… 3… 2…

I know, Iwasa Misaki just announced her graduation …

iwasa misaki tumblr_m5b44vZjoJ1qcjwj8o1_1280

Darn the luck – my computer monitor went out last week. I had no way to check or compose or read any social media posts all weekend. I needed to obtain information about the Iwasa Misaki solo concert on January 30th.  What could I do? I was so bored I even watched American TV. My friend Bob will verify that there was very little Wasamin coverage in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. … and they totally missed this great poster:

iwasa misaki concert poster

The cool art poster for the concert.

Turns out … drum roll … Wasamin announced her GRADUATION during this concert!

Well, you would think I would be a big pile of sobbing jelly hearing this news. (Scoffs) I am NOT. I cannot say that I am happy about it, but it was not unexpected. Miss Iwasa has been with AKB48 for a long time, so it does not surprise me that she would make the announcement at her first solo concert. It was her 21st Birthday too.

iwasa-misaki-akb48-21

Misaki-san + Cake = Denny’s Happiness

I thought that she might graduate after that last AKB election. Ahem … Wasamin did not even RANK in the 2015 election. I could not believe that she was shut out of the top 80 members in the 48Family. (cough) … especially when lesser singers (cough cough) were so highly ranked. What an injustice that night was. I must have kicked over every trash can in Akihabara that night (or would have.)

According to various news reports*, Misaki-san will leave to pursue an Enka-singing career. I know she will be great, and it is mainly though her that I have been turned on to the genre.

I think that she would be good in any genre. She can handle any Jpop or rock song out there.  I hope that she finds the right team of songwriters and producers. I wonder if she will continue with Yasushi Akimoto’s songs. Maybe she will dabble in some songwriting herself. Whatever she decides, I will support her.

I am also hoping that there will be a DVD of her solo concert, and that there will be a DVD available for the AKB48 concert in which she graduates. So many in the family have announced graduation, they could all be funneled into one big show. Will Mr. Akimoto compose a special graduation song just for Wasamin? (Maybe.) Will Miss Iwasa finally get to center an AKB48 single? (Ha … NOT likely.)

At this writing, I am still hoping to find more photos and information from the concert Saturday night, and will post them accordingly. Really, any memorabilia would be great. I am willing to dumpster-dive through Tokyo’s recycling if need be.

wasmin concert stub

Fellow bloggers had posted these:

iwasa-misaki-graduation-01

Yes, my feelings on the last election too . Oh, OK … not that one.

iwasa-misaki-graduation-03

I may be feeling a tear myself, Wasamin.

I wish Wasamin the best. (Denny sighs) She can move on to other things now … she will probably be dating soon.

(Ahem) … I hope she finds a nice guy who will support her, and treat her well (… choke….sniffle ). I think that she deserves to have a good man … (choke) … and she will probably get married in a couple of years … (Denny beginning to sob)…

iwasa misaki tumblr_ny11tlifF11s82ar1o7_540

I also think she will make a good mother someday  … (Denny’s tears flowing uncontrollably now) … she will raise a happy home … full of music and laughter … and she will teach her kids to sing songs … there will be a lot of love (um … gulp.) … and happiness in the household … her husband will love her and cherish her … good for you Wasamin (Denny starts to lose it) … I will be happy for you ….

Waaa …. (Denny starts crying like Lucy Ricardo)

Starlight: Can one of you help me up off the floor?

* http://akbzine.com/2016/01/30/iwasa-misaki-announces-graduation/

http://akb48-daily.blogspot.com/2016/01/iwasa-misaki-announces-graduation.html

http://www.jpop-idols.com/en/iwasa-misaki-graduation-akb48/

http://www.nikkansports.com/entertainment/akb48/news/1598742.html

http://www.tokyohive.com/article/2016/01/akb48s-iwasa-misaki-announces-graduation

The Cleveland Plain Dealer? Nothing.

Denny Re-Blogs: AKB48 group seijin shiki “coming-of-age” ceremony 2016 (from AKB48 Daily)

48g-coming-of-age-ceremony-2016-01

AKB48 Daily has posted some images and videos from “Coming of Age Day” on 11 January 2016 at Kanda Shrine in Tokyo, as well as some presentations from the AKB Theater.

Source: AKB48 group coming-of-age ceremony 2016 | AKB48 Daily

I will try to post more kimono photos of the events as I find them. (I may have to edit, and re-post this again later, sorry.)

Until then, please enjoy this gallery:

Starlight: 2016

Wasamin: I still can’t help but “fanboy” all over her…

The wind has been knocked out of Denny’s sails, so he has not posted in several weeks.  I have not even logged in for a couple of weeks (sorry). The weasels in the Japanese music industry have made it extremely hard to be a fan.

I don’t blame the artists, I don’t blame the girls – just the management dickweeds. (Well, that would describe 99% of the music industry in America too).

Thus, this is the dream I had: … as I approach the Japanese islands in my Black Ship … a lone Samurai (who looks a lot like Toshiro Mifune, by the way) is waving his sword on the beach and shouting (in English, oddly).

toshiro mifune red lion

I know, I saw “Red Lion” too.

GET AWAY FROM HERE!!

THERE ARE NO “IDOLS” HERE!!!!

THERE ARE NO IDOLS … ONLY MULES!!!

… THAT’S RIGHT — WE ONLY HAVE MULES … GO AWAY!!!

IF YOU TRY TO LOOK AT ONE OF MY MULES I WILL CUT YOU DOWN!!!!!!

Ahem … needed some coffee after that…

Still, I can’t help but “fanboy” all over the delightful Miss Iwasa Misaki-san. Here she is on that Japanese variety TV show. I don’t know the same of it, all I know is that she is a frequent guest, and often sings “Enka” ballads while she wears an amazingly beautiful kimono.

Well, she is not wearing a kimono here, but she sings this wonderful “traditional” Japanese song.

im with the band wasamin

Note the junior high kids from that popular anime about the junior high school band “Hibike! Euphonium” are there — IN REAL LIFE!

http://myanimelist.net/anime/27989/Hibike!_Euphonium

Well, there will probably not be a Christmas song from Miss Iwasa, so this will have to do. I think it has a very “holiday” feel. Please enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWH8VGWN3pM

Happy Holidays if I don’t see you …

Starlight: Lots of parenthesis!

See more Misaki-san on my Pinterest board for her linked here.

Also see more Mifune-san on my board for him here !

 

KIMONOS ON MONDAY: I could not have a more wonderful daughter than Sakura-tan.

sakura ea2e00653a7ee0ae04521d599c174ad3

I think that Sakura Miyawaki is the “bestest” daughter than anyone could ever wish for.

sakura 404aae6361aa3c49eb92e75274791971

This charismatic young Idol has grown to be a multi-talented young lady. Sometimes when she is on stage and does a typical Sakura-pose with a goofy face, I have to wonder if she is really TRYING to be that cute, or is that just the way she is.

sakura 5ca5118c38f402b1cfec5d859a5a7e34

Sakura-tan is cute AND wholesome.  I do get a little protective of her sometimes. I know she is popular with all the boys in high school. These magazine covers and photo shoots she does – well, it can make a Dad worry.

sakura aed7e0821d168ffed20f80a5e0e54167

Sakura has a good head on her shoulders, though. She apparently can handle the sudden rise to fame. I taught the little lady how to use a firearm … just in case.

sakura 08c124b30e0ac97abdb1964c6b9a6965

I hope you enjoyed this Sakura-Slide-Show.  What is your favorite Sakura moment?

Reality Check: Actually, Sakura’s parents were against her becoming an idol at first. They must have been so worried for her. It was Sakura’s GRANDMOTHER Emiko who encouraged her.

Please see this link for some great English-subbed Sakura history. The images video of her acting in school plays as a little girl are precious and priceless!

http://ukn48.com/ukn48-150603-miyawaki-sakura-musume-wa-idol/

Starlight: My heart is as warm as a thousand Suns after watching that.

See more Miyawaki-san on my Pinterest board for her linked here.

KIMONOS ON MONDAY: SKE48 Trading Cards.

jurina f7c2eef0e78cc67ae17f064c393bc108

Fan me off Jurina Matsui!

It still feels like July where I live, so I am going to try and cool down with a photo card collection of SKE48 members wearing lovely yukata.

Please enjoy this photo gallery of SKE48 Trading Cards, 2015. OK, everyone get your fans ready …

Notice that every time this page loads, the the mosaic changes.

Remember Rena?

Rena Matsui.

Rena graduated SKE48 and the AKB48 Family in August, 2015. Is this the end of the Matsui-to-Matsui axis? Who will step up — to team up — with Jurina and become the new “dynamic duo” within SKE?

rena and jurina matsui of ske48

Matsui squared — Rena and Jurina (no relation).

Starlight: I may have to travel to the planet of the Cold Turkeys for some time …

KIMONOS ON MONDAY: Squeezing out some sweetness with Mion Mukaichi

Time to cool down this blazing hot summer with some light colored floral kimonos, and some creamy sweetness of AKB48 member Mion Mukaichi.

I mean that ice cream thing young Miion is holding …

Mukaichi Mion 541a1ac5d7dfa6a39c3bbf515cb8782d

Papico is a brand of Japanese ice cream treats. Seen here is the “Chocolate Coffee” flavor, although Miion knows that my favorite is “Vanilla Shake” flavor. The company also makes several “seasonal” and “special” flavors each year.

This is an unusual way to package an ice cream treat! Each pack contains two plastic “bottles” that must be broken and twisted open.  When I first saw this photo, I did not know the package was ice cream. The top of the bottle looks to me like some type of ladies razor, good for trimming certain sensitive areas, well … you know.  My mind wanders when I get hungry.

Papico is popular with both kids and adults, despite the odd packaging. The reward is you can suck out the sweetness from the bottle – but don’t be greedy. You can share the other one. Warning: There are stories of  ice cream lovers who have damaged their gums on the plastic, trying to suck out the last, small amounts of sweetness.

Mukaichi Mion d09cd26e3d03821d411c0c735bedfcb2

Everyone should be as open to trying new things like this 17-year old Team K member.

Mukaichi Mion 4163ee21cb4999a0702bf9b78ca48dff

I chose Miion because of her sandals!

Miion is wearing a perfect summer kimono combo here. Her hair ornaments and sandals fit the outfit perfectly.

Mukaichi Mion 26c6268b9c1053c3e5f45ff7c46bdbc5

Perfect for sharing with another member. “Everybody Suck” indeed (non-kimono song). Also enjoy how lovely the other members were this day!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For more AKB48 members in colorful kimonos see this TV commercial linked here.

http://papico.glico.com/cm/15papico_cm2_30.html

Starlight: Mion Mukaichi 向井地 美音   (Mukaichi Mion) born January 29, 1998 in Saitama Prefecture.

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