Nangoku Gyarus on Next Chao (YouTube)

via Twitter

Yoshimotozaka46 has a YouTube series called Next Chao and they recently featured the comedy/music duo Nangoku Gyarus (they’re so new that there’s no other info on them other than the video). The duo is Higa Ruruka (sanshin) and Minosako Kana (ukulele) from Kyoto and the skit has the both of them naming things that they think are most popular in Okinawa (e.g. “Who is the first person that comes to mind for an actor/actress from Okinawa?”). Be sure to watch it till the end as they do a mash-up of “Nada Sou Sou” and “Shimauta”.

Nangoku Gyarus on Next Chao

Gori’s (Garage Sale) Comeback

I can say without a doubt that Teruya Toshiyuki aka Gori (from the comedic duo Garage Sale) is the most important person in Ryūkyū pop culture. Known widely as Gori the comedian, if his last name Teruya rings a bell for those that follow Ryūkyū pop culture, yes, it’s that Teruya. His grandfather is the great minyou artist and standup comedian Teruya Rinsuke Terurin, his uncle is the great Uchinaa Pop musician Teruya Rinken (Rinken Band), and his cousin is model and actress Chibana Kurara. Outside of this comedic performances, he’s also known as an actor (NHK’s Churasan), can be found on many a variety show speaking Uchinaa-guchi, and most important (to me) is his work as a film writer-director as showcased in the amazing film Senkotsu (洗骨, the English title is Born Bone Born — fun fact is that in the past films from Okinawa have had directors from Japan with main/supporting actors from Okinawa but this one is a director from Okinawa (Gori) with main actors from Japan and supporting actors from Okinawa). And like every artist during the pandemic, Gori turned to YouTube to showcase not only his numerous talents but to also feature Okinawa’s culture.

Getting back to Gori’s comeback, it was announced on his Twitter on April 20th that he had contracted Covid-19 and was discharged from the hospital. Up to then, he had been very active on his YouTube channel and other engagements (he missed 2-3 weeks due to the illness) so it was strange to see him offline during that time without knowing the reason. Needless to say, it’s so great to see him back on his channel (his most recent video is of his popular character Gorie) and active again. I should add that he can always be seen wearing a mask and social distancing as much as possible but as he’s actively traveling to different places and collaborating with other comedians, it contributed to having a higher risk of contracting Covid-19. The number of Covid-19 cases in Okinawa have been over 100 every day and mostly on the main island. Please everyone stay healthy and if you’re able to get vaccinated, please do so for yourself and for those around you.

Follow Gori on his YouTube channel (sadly, in Japanese only) and on Twitter.

Gori to be in Yoshimoto Kogyo’s new idol group

Management agency Yoshimoto Kogyo has launched a new idol group named Murasaki Shikibu, featuring five of its popular comedians. The unit consists of Sekai no Nabeatsu (as the leader), both members of Ameagari Kesshitai (Hiroyuki Miyasako and Toru Hotohara), Cocorico’s Naoki Tanaka, and Garage Sale’s Gori (emphasis is ours – karakui.com).

Murasaki Shikibu made their stage debut with a performance in Shinjuku on Sunday. The members’ hairstyles drew comparisons to the Johnny’s Jimusho group Hikaru Genji, but instead of performing with roller skates, they took the stage on stilts instead.

Their debut single ‘LOVE Nandayo,’ written and composed by Nabeatsu, goes on sale this Wednesday.

(Link: Sekai no Nabetsu heads new idol group.)

Looks like Gori’s going all-out this year or is it Yoshimoto Kogyo that’s working him to the bone? Either way, it’s a great thing for fans of the comedian who’ll be seeing a lot of him this year.

Rimi Natsukawa becomes an actress – Tokyograph

Newlywed singer Rimi Natsukawa is ready to make her acting debut. She has been cast in ‘Minami no Shima no Furimun,’ a movie starring and directed by comedian Gori of Garage Sale.

The movie is Gori’s first full-length directorial effort. The story is a comedy set in Okinawa, where both he and Natsukawa are originally from. Natsukawa plays the part of a mysterious fortune teller.

Natsukawa is also singing the film’s theme, titled ‘Unju no Furusato.’ Gori wrote the lyrics, while Kiroro’s Chiharu Tamashiro (also an Okinawan) composed the music.

‘Minami no Shima no Furimun’ will have its first screening at the Okinawa International Movie Festival, organized by Yoshimoto Kogyo. The festival runs from March 19 to March 22.

(Link: Rimi Natsukawa becomes an actress.)

Gori’s on a roll this year and will also be starring in director Kazuaki Kiriya’s much anticipated 2nd film, “Goemon.” Sanspo.com has pics of Rimi and Gori so be sure to check it out.

Comedian Yoshio Kojima to make film debut – oppappii!

Popular comedian Yoshio Kojima (Kumejima, Okinawa) will be making his film debut in the SF love/comedy flick “Kami-sama no Pazuru (Puzzle)” which will hit theaters in Japan on June 7, 2008. The film will be directed by Takashi Miike and stars Hayato Ichihara (“Check It Out Yo!!“) and Mitsuki Tanimura. Not sure where Kojima’s going to fit in here but I’m hoping he’ll wear more than his trademark “costume” in it but maybe that’s “sonna no kankei nee!” 😛

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a link to the film (a delay which isn’t really surprising for Japanese films) but with Miike at the helm and the actors involved, it looks to be at the very least, interesting.

(Via Yahoo! Japan.)

Two Uchinanchu at the top of Oricon’s most successful young star of the year

Oricon has released the results of its end-of-the-year survey asking men and women who they thought was the most successful young star of 2007. With two thousand people participating in the survey, the answers were actress Yui Aragaki and comedian Yoshio Kojima.

(Via Tokyograph: Yoshio Kojima, Gakky named this year’s top stars.)

I guess the ranking somewhat brings a little holiday cheer for the end of 2007 with the disappointment that the only Uchinanchu artist performing at this year’s “NHK Kouhaku Utagassen” will be J-rock artist Gackt. Now if only Gakky had released her debut album at the beginning of 2007… Oh well, there’s always 2008. 😉

YouTube: Yoshio Kojima

One of my daily routines every night is to check YouTube’s Most Viewed of the Day and I’ve been seeing a lot of clips from a Japanese comedian by the name of Yoshio Kojima. Lo and behold, he’s from Okinawa! A graduate of Waseda University, the comedian got his big break from his appearances in GuruNai. The clip above also features beautiful actress Ryoko Kuninaka (recently seen in the J-drama “Hotaru no Hikari”).