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Birthday of two famous Japanese

5 Mar

Today, 2015 March 5th, is the birthday of two famous Japanese people.
They’re famous in Japan, at least. Are they known in your country too?

First of all, the world’s oldest person, 大川ミサヲ (Misao OKAWA), was born on 1898 March 5th in Osaka, Japan. She is celebrating her 117th birthday today with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren!

Next, also from Osaka (but wasn’t born there)…today also would have been the birthday of 安藤百福 (Momofuku ANDO).
He is the man who invented instant Cup Noodle!

「カップヌードル」

He was born Taiwan on 1910 March 5th. At that time, Taiwan was a Japanese territory.

At the age of 22, he moved to Osaka, Japan and eventually became a naturalized Japanese citizen.
When he became a Japanese citizen, he changed his name to Momofuku Ando.
“Ando” is a common Japanese family name…but “Momofuku” is an unusual name in Japan. But his first name was changed to Momofuku when he became Japanese because it is an uncommon pronunciation in Japanese of his Chinese first name (pronounced “Baifu” in Chinese). It is written 「百福」 and literally means “One hundred fortunes“.

The logo of Google’s Japanese homepage today is of Momofuku ANDO.

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KISS Treasure Palace & rock photo exhibit

14 Jan

Last month there was a “KISS 秘宝館” (“KISS Treasure Palace“) temporarily in Osaka, Japan before the upcoming KISS Japan Tour 2015.

I wondered why it was only in Osaka. But my friend told me that it’s scheduled to be in Tokyo too.

The “KISS 秘宝館” (KISS Treasure Palace)

The “KISS 秘宝館” (“KISS Treasure Palace“) will be in Tokyo, Japan from Wednesday, February 4th – Sunday, February 8th; open until 5:30PM each day.

The address is:
有楽町朝日ギャラリー
東京都千代田区有楽町2-5-1 有楽町マリオン11階
(Yurakucho Asahi Gallery
Yurakucho, Tokyo 2-5-1 Yurakucho-Marion 11F
)

Admission is free.

And…

there is also an exhibit of rock photographs  in Tokyo by Koh Hasebe of Japan’s “Music Life rock magazine.

KISS on the cover of Japan’s “Music Life” magazine.

This exhibit is also free.

It’s from now until Wednesday, February 11th (a Japanese holiday).

The location is:
“B-Gallery” on the 6th Floor of the “Beams Store”
3-32-6 Shinjuku, Tokyo

A photo of KISS in Japan taken in the late ’70s by photographer Koh Hasebe .

The photographer, Koh Hasebe (l), and original Music Life Editor-in-Chief Kaoruko Togo.

 

KISS Shrine Lanterns

9 Jan

Udo Music Promoters, the Japanese company in charge of organizing and promoting the upcoming KISS Japan Tour 2015 (My post about it) has put up many billboards and flyers around Japan about the KISS concerts, they’ve also had KISS on Japanese TV programs.
Those are normal for concert promotion.

But sometimes Udo Music will do something unique and unusual to promote a band.
For example, before the 2013 KISS Japan Tour, there were “KISS Spicy Niku-man” dumplings available at convenience stores here. (They were delicious!)

Well, often when shrines in Japan have a festival, there will be rows of 提灯 (Japanese paper lanterns) with the names of companies, organizations and individuals who made monetary contributions to the shrine.

Rows and rows of 提灯 with contributors’ names printed on them at the “Mitama Festival” at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo.

They’re a very common sight in Japan.

But what is unusual is the Udo Music has arranged to have two KISS 提灯 (Japanese paper lanterns) at a festival at the famous 「今宮戎神社」 (“Ima-Miya-Ebisu Shrine”) in Osaka, Japan!

One says “Gene Simmons” and the other says “Paul Stanley“.

They say 「ジーン・シモンズ」 (“Gene Simmons” (l)) and 「ポール・スタンレー」 (“Paul Stanley” (r)).

I don’t know if Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley made contributions to the shrine, or if Udo Music made the contribution in their names…but either way, these lanterns are cool!
I want them!
I wish they were at a shrine in Tokyo rather than on the other side of the country in Osaka!

Hey, Ima-Miya-Ebisu Shrine, after the festival, give me those lanterns, please!

KISS vs Momoiro Clover Z song titles announced

18 Dec

As I mentioned last month (in this post), the American hard rock band KISS and the Japanese pop band Momoiro Clover Z are collaborating on two songs.

KISS vs ももいろクローバーZ

My friend Masa just told me that the titles of the songs (which will be released on 2015 January 28th) have just been announced.

Momoiro Clover Z will release a CD with a song titled 「夢の浮世に咲いてみな」. It will feature Momoiro Clover on vocals and KISS playing the music.
And KISS will release a CD with a song titled “Samurai Son” which will have KISS singing and playing the music, and Momoiro Clover on singing the chorus!

KISS x Momoiro Clover

17 Nov

Where to start this post?

Thirteen months ago, KISS (an American rock band that I’m a big fan of) played some shows in Japan.
My friend and I saw their 2013 October 20th show. (I wrote a post with photos here about it).

I have seen KISS in concert many times, actually…and it’s always been a great show!

Well, it’s been officially announced that KISS are returning to Japan in about three months!

KISS Japan Tour 2015 flyer

The Japan tour dates are:
2015 Feb 23 – Nagoya
2015 Feb 25 – Osaka
2015 Feb 26 – Hiroshima
2015 Feb 28 – Sendai
2015 Mar 3 – Tokyo (at the Tokyo Dome)

A surprising fact about the March 3rd date at the Tokyo Dome is that KISS will have the Japanese band “Momoiro Clover Z” as the opening act.
First of all, many concerts in Japan have no opening act at all. KISS almost never does for their shows in Japan.
But more surprising is that this band, Momoiro Clover Z, though popular in Japan…is a J-pop band!
They have, though, played at “OzzFest Japan” last spring (which I saw). I was surprised that they were at OzzFest…and now I’m surprised again that they’ll be sharing a stage with KISS!

Momoiro Clover Z have also collaborated with heavy metal guitarist Marty Friedman (who lives in Tokyo) on one song, and on another with heavy metal guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen.
And now, Momoiro Clover Z and KISS will not only sharing a bill at the Tokyo Dome…but the two bands will be releasing a collaboration song on 2015 January 28th.
This song featuring American hard rock band KISS and Japanese pop band Momoiro Clover will be released internationally on i-tunes…and on two CDs in Japan (an official KISS CD and a Momoiro-Clover one).

KISS with Japanese pop band “Momoiro-Clover Z”

 

Featured on KISS Online

4 Jun

Yesterday morning I was watching the Japanese morning TV program 「めざましテレビ」  (“Mezamashi TV“) as I do every morning while I get ready for work…when suddenly KISS was on the show to promote their new album “KISS 40“!

Of course I took a photo of my TV screen and tweeted it.

tweet

It got many re-tweets. Even KISS‘s official twitter account re-tweeted my photo!

And, KISSonline.com, their official homepage, put my photo on the KISS site.

kol

My photo on KISSonline.com

Thanks NaoKISS for telling me about it.

Big Bird came to Japan

31 May

I didn’t know that there was a Sesame Street special that had Big Bird visit Japan.

image

He and his dog got seperated from their tour group in Tokyo which led to a number of cultural misunderstandings … such as Big Bird thinking people were telling him that they were from the U.S. state of Ohio when they greeted him with “Ohayo” (‘good morning’)… until he was helped by a mysterious woman who turned out to be “Kaguya-hime” (a famous Japanese folktale “Bamboo Princess”) and she helps him and his dog get back to Sesame Street in America.

image

Here’s the special on YouTube: