Hanako Oku and What is the answer to Six times Seven?
I wanted to wish Hanako Oku a HAPPY BIRTHDAY today! It is the 20th … I think in Japan. It is still the 19th here in the USA. I guess I am a little time-trippy today, even more than usual. It might be all the fumes from my hand sanitizer.
You do the math! What is Six times Seven?
Starlight: Ms. Hanako Oku, born March 20, 1978.
Although it is a Happy Day we hope there is one sad note. The Fan Club linked on the Oku Hanako web page will cease operations on March 29. Also, her radio show also is ending.
From NGT48: Homma Hinata, Yamada Noe, and Mashimo Kaho.
From STU48: Imamura Mitsuki, Oki Yuka, Taniguchi Mahina, Nakamura Mai, Yano Honoka.
I am still a fan, but I have to admit, I really do not know most of the girls in the AKB Family anymore. I recognize some of the faces from the music videos, but it seems I would need to start over again, and learn who is who. It is a lot more difficult in 2020, than in 2012. Where are the AKB Trading Cards? AKBingo is now off the air. I can’t learn the girls personalities if I cannot watch the skits anymore. Also the AKB Cafe is closing. One graduation after another .. Huh. It makes me wonder if Mr. Akimoto-san is planning to disband the groups during some type of announcement at the 2020 Olympics. … er … but I digress …
Starlight: Hopefully some better photographs will be up on social media by now. Most of the girls have Instagram and Twitter accounts, so a lot of cute images should be posted there.
“Count what you have now, Don’t count what you don’t have …”
That’s right Mariya! Although my blogging pace has slowed down the past couple of years, I have noticed from my click counter that “Denny Sinnoh’s Akihabara Starlight” is now up to close to a HALF-MILLION reads!!! It should go over 500,000 this weekend. Look to my sidebar to the right under “blog stats”. See if YOUR CLICK is the one that pushes me over 500 K!
Thank you WordPress readers! Of course some bloggers have millions of reads, but I am happy whith what I have counted here, thus I want to share this song. At my “day job” of processing agricultural chemical request orders, I sometimes have to write up technical reports. These tech papers are only read by about maybe five people or so. I have to feel good that my writing has been seen by half-a-million humans and their bot minions. Special Thanks to YT user Artzie Music for sharing this song.
Her time zone is twelve hours ahead of mine, so I wanted to send this out before her birthday cake is shared!
Yuki Kashiwagi (柏木由紀 Kashiwagi Yūki) was born July 15, 1991) in Kagoshima, Japan. Her home city is on the western tip of the island of Kyushu. It is the largest city in the Kagoshima Prefecture. Yukirin grew up in the shadow of the emblematic stratovolcano, Sakurajima. There are not a lot of songs about volcanoes, but Yuki is famous for singing one! (LINK HERE)for her first solo performance. Remember my old Sakurajima postcard?
Enough of the geography lesson. Today is your special day Yukirin. My you have grown more and more beautiful every year young lady.
You have made your Uncle Denny very proud!
Enjoy the day Yukirin. I have to wonder how long you will be an Idol, but that is your decision. Please keep us informed on your Instagram and Facebook! (Makes me wish I had not been banned from Facebook.) See the links below —
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.
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!
Mr. Children or “Misu-Chiru” is one of the most popular rock groups in Japanese pop music history. Today I wanted to share with you my FAVORITE Misutā Chirudoren song called HANABI.
There are a number of good live performances of the song on YouTube. It was hard to choose just one to share, but I settled on this one from late 2017. It does beg the question, how is it Thanksgiving, when the performance is in Japan?
* … and I thought I was the only one who had this grocery store fantasy!
Mr. Children’s web site is linked here if you want to learn more about the band, the albums, upcoming tours and so on. My WordPress Jpop mentor, Morningberryz48, had written a great article about the band — linked here. Another of her articles is linked here. Lyrics and English translation are linked here.
After I viewed a few of their live performances, I came across some interesting covers of the song. Some of the covers were by professional singers. Others are karaoke-like. Let me share some of the pretty ones. Each cover adds a little bit more to an appreciation of the song. I’m sure you will be drawn in the same way I was. Which one do you like best?
This is a very sweet and beautiful cover, by the very sweet and beautiful Minami Sakuma, from her YouTube Channel.
This next cover by the YouTube duo kobasolo . This cover includes the lyrics in Romanji and an English translation. Make sure to have your CC on!
Nice job kids!
More? “mou ikkai … mou ikkai!” …There are so many good, heartfelt covers of this wonderful song out there, but I think this next one is my favorite cover:
This is by Hitomi Sano. See and hear more of her on her YouTube Channel. I love how she sings it while playing solo piano. She sings it with the perfect blend of LOVE and URGENCY. Her hair, her lovely face, give the appearance of windswept emotions. Like the “Hanabi” or “Fireworks” which are ephemeral. They are a joy, but they are bittersweet because although they are a climax, they cannot last. We wonder about our own imperfect perceptions. Are we wrong for feeling this way? We deal, and we make our way … but I see that I have digressed.
There are too many to share here, but I think that this next one will be popular with anime fans.
Mari Channel, another YouTube user, has presented this interesting, amusing and passionate music video as Kashiko Mari. The playback works best if you enable your CC , as you get the sing-along Japanese lyrics, plus the English translation. True, you are watching an animated sprite, but the little cartoon lady really BRINGS IT! Note her very emotional face, mouth and hand gestures.
Thank You Kashiko! Of course you can find other covers through the suggested links on YT. If you need just “one more time — one more time –“
Just for you, Bob: The guitar chords for the song are linked here.
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.
Of course I keep up with my summer reading! I am so happy that my favorite AKB48 member has made this useful reference manual to help me at my office. Even though I am very dedicated to work, and cannot blog very often these days, I am not too busy to wish my oshi a HAPPY 26TH BIRTHDAY! Please enjoy one of my favorite Yukirin moments from her solo tour last year.
(Denny sighs, swoons) … she’s my favorite niece … but I am pretty sure that she will announce her graduation from AKB this year. Alas, it is probably time for the dear young lady to move on. Yukirin may be near the end of her AKB48 career, but I am sure she will continue as a solo singer, actress and media personality.
I want to pay tribute to Yukirin History here. This is an old AKB sketch where Yuki played an old kendo master –as a man! Note the Kashiwagi beard and mustache. There is a funny moment at about time 3:00 where her “assistant” is supposed to strike her on the head. Their timing was actually off, because Yuki really does get hit hard on the head. Ha. Watch her reaction.
Oh, Yuki, you are a real trouper!
Starlight: Yuki Kashiwagi – born July 15, 1991
See more of Miss Yuki Kashiwagi on my Pinterest board linked here.
Likes: Pop Culture, Humor, Japanese Culture, Iwasa Misaki, Hanako Oku, AKB48 History, Kurosawa films, Kimonos, Anime, Lolita fashion, Buddhist philosophy, and finding the perfect nicknames for my Pokemon.
A fansite; for old and new fans of AKB48 and all their domestic and international sister groups: (SKE48, NMB48, HKT48, NGT48, STU48, JKT48, BNK48, MNL48, AKB48 Team SH, SGO48, AKB48 Team TP, and CGM48)
I HEAR YOU!