Currently at the Top of My Playlist

The PV for melody.’s latest single, “Finding My Road” (released on February 14), is pretty cool but it’s the song that I’m totally grooving too. If you’re not familiar with melody.’s music, seek out the English-language version of “Close Your Eyes” and “Our Journey” — also in English — which was coupled with her November 2006 single “Lovin’ U” (which interestingly was the CM song to Raycious from Kanebo — see our entries on Yu Yamada). I count both those songs among my favorites of her music. The Hawaii-born J-Pop singer’s official website is available in an English version so go check it out!

Yu Yamada’s Next Single to be CM Song for Kanebo

Ever heard of a J-Pop group by the name of Y’z factory? I have, but I won’t blame you for having not heard of them. The singer from that trio that you should know about is 22-year-old Yu Yamada who is slowly making her way around the Japanese entertainment biz. We’ve seen her model for the fashion magazine CanCam, star in J-Dramas like “Satomi Hakkenden” (which aired in Hawaii on KIKU-TV earlier this year), and now she’s coming to our iPods with the upbeat dance song “REAL YOU”. The forthcoming release of her 2nd single (as a solo performer), “EYES ON ME” (March 7, 2007), will also be her first CM (commercial) song for a Kanebo cosmetic product called Raycious. Keep your eye on that link because it looks like we’ll be able to watch the CM soon and there’s also a Download link which I think will be for a desktop and/or screensaver. [Via]

[Update: Yu just blogged about it. 🙂 ]

Another Desktop

Yukie Nakama Desktop

Download a desktop over at Yahoo! Japan for a promo featuring our favorite actress from Okinawa, Yukie Nakama. You’ll have to correctly answer all of the questions on the quiz in order to download the desktop (one type, three different screen sizes). Although it’s all in Japanese, it’s multiple choice and answers are provided if you miss any so what are you waiting for? [Via 壁紙fan!]

Takako Uehara Sokenbicha Desktop Available


Well, we blogged about Takako Uehara (ex-SPEED) and her part as the image character for Sokenbicha back in the beginning of the month, and now the kind bottlers of Coca-Cola Japan have a couple (there are three in all but only two of them with Takako) of desktops available for download. (In case you don’t know who Takako is, she’s the girl on the left. And in case you were wondering who the other two beauties are: the girl next to Takako is Sayo Aizawa [model, talent] and next to her is Jun Hasegawa, a fashion model.) Oh, and if you need to see more, be sure to check out the CM (commercial) too. [Via 壁紙fan!]

Get Spooked

You can’t live in Okinawa and not hear a ghost story or two. During my stay in Shuri, I was told that Japanese soldiers can be seen marching down the Shuri streets at midnight and about a haunted park up the street from where I lived. Christopher Luna links to a book called The Ghosts of Okinawa by J.A. Hitchcock who lived in Okinawa from 1992-1995. It’s interesting to note “that both Kadena Air Base’s 18th Services Squadron and Marine Corps Community Services have special Halloween tours” that “sell out weeks in advance”. Me, I try to stay as far away from getting spooked as I can. I don’t even watch horror flicks. 😛 (Link via

Rimi Natsukawa to Go Independent!

Phew, just got home from practice, took a much needed shower and I see this bit of news waiting for me to read in my newsreader. Not sure how major this bit of news will be to most readers out there but to me, this is pretty big. Rimi Natsukawa (33), who will take a break from entertaining as of April of this year, announced her plans to go independent due to conflicts of interest with her record label (she’s [was?] currently signed to Victor Entertainment). As an independent, Rimi will seek out music that she wants to do — her music, on her terms. An interesting side note to this story, her latest single “Furusato” (VICL-36214), written by J-Pop star Noriyuki Makihara, just hit store shelves on the 7th of this month and is the theme song for the TBS drama “Fukumaru”. I’ll write more on this as the story unfolds. [Via]