Archive | 6:58 pm


22 Aug

First of all, I should mention that I’m a fan of the American rock band KISS (have been since the late 1970s), and that’s why this interests me.

On the 1976 KISS album “Destroyer“, there’s a song titled “Detroit Rock City” (although the band hails from New York City, their first sold-out headlining show was in Detroit, Michigan…this song is a tribute (of sorts) to the city).

In 1999, KISS released a movie also titled “Detroit Rock City“. It starred Edward Furlong (best known for his part in Terminator 2). This movie is basically about the adventures of four teenagers trying to get tickets to a sold-out KISS concert in 1978.

(This was actually KISS’ second movie. In 1978, they released a not very good television movie titled “KISS Meets The Phantom Of The Park“. This movie was about the band battling a disgruntled amusement park employee who kidnaps people to create evil robots in their likeness. Seriously.)

So what does any of this have to do with a blog about Japan? (Besides KISS’s 歌舞伎 (Kabuki) style make-up and their use of Japanese written characters (especially 「力」 (Chikara = power))).

Well, a new Japanese movie is being released here about a timid teenager from the countryside in Japan who moves to Tokyo to become a pop-star, but ends up leading a heavy-metal band that wears 歌舞伎 (Kabuki) style make-up.

The title of the movie is 「デトロイト・メタル・シティ」 (“Detroit Metal City“).

(The writing on his forehead says (murder)).

Due to the make-up and the similarities in titles, of course I immediately thought it was KISS inspired.

But I didn’t know, until I saw on TV today, that Gene Simmons (KISS’ bass guitarist) was in the movie 「デトロイト・メタル・シティ」 (“Detroit Metal City“).

(Here’s Gene Simmons in KISS make-up)

(And here he is on the set of “Detroit Metal City” in Tokyo)

Here’s a video of Gene Simmons performing a song in the 「デトロイト・メタル・シティ」 (“Detroit Metal City“) movie:


22 Aug

Today and tomorrow we are taking my oldest daughter to look at a few high schools to help us decide which one she should go to next Spring (she’ll start 高校一年 (10th grade (first year of high school in Japan)) in April).

In December, she’ll begin taking high school entrance exams! (Next year, my 2nd daughter will do the same…then the youngest after that!)
They grow up too fast!


Yesterday we went to 銀座 (Ginza) and 上野 (Ueno).
Near 銀座 (Ginza), I saw this 新幹線 (Bullet train) pass by (it was going past a train station, so it wasn’t moving so fast at the time):

And at 上野 (Ueno), we went to a junk-food store that sold ラムネ (Ramune), which is a popular (especially in the summer) carbonated drink in Japan.
It has a distinctive bottle with a marble in the neck.
It usually has a lemon flavor…but this store had many odd flavors and there was a sign that said 「まずいラムネランキング」 (“Top Ten Worst Ramune Flavors”)!

Some of the まずいラムネ (Worst Ramune Flavors) included
Wasabi Ramune“, “Curry Ramune“, and “Takoyaki Ramune“…but the “#1 Worst Flavor” was 「キムチ・ラムネ」 (“Kimchee Ramune”)!

So I had to buy it!

I’ve haven’t tried it yet. I’ll let you know how it is.
(Actually, I really like 「キムチ」 (Kimchee)…(spicy, Korean cabbage). So I’m wondering how this drink tastes.)

From there, we went to a カラオケボックス (“Karaoke Box”), which is a private room for singing Karaoke (you can also order food and drinks from a menu and they’re brought up to the room you’re in).

I’m a terrible singer…but my kids enjoy it.

In the news,

  • A wild monkey got into busy 渋谷駅 (Shibuya Train Station) in Tokyo. Over thirty police officers attempted to capture it, but the monkey managed to flee the train station.There are wild 日本猿 (Japanese monkeys) in the countryside but in the city they’re usually only seen in the zoos.
  • The American Navy’s nuclear aircraft carrier, U.S.S George Washington, will be stationed in 神奈川県横須賀市 (Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture) soon. There are a number of Japanese people who are against the ship coming here, mainly because it’ll be the first nuclear-powered ship to be stationed in Japan.The fact that there was a fire onboard the carrier last Spring compounded their worries.
    (You can read my earlier post about the USS George Washington coming to Japan).

    And now, it’s been reported, two sailors from the ship have been arrested last weekend in California, USA for murder!