Hawaii’s KIKU-TV RIP

You may have heard a rumor that KIKU will stop airing Japanese and Filipino programming soon.

Unfortunately, the rumor is true.

Starting Monday, June 28, 2021, KIKU and other stations owned by RNN National, LLC will air ShopHQ 24/7.

via the station’s FB page

Definitely sad news to hear that KIKU-TV will no longer show Asian programming. The station brought us NHK’s Red & White Song Festival every year (well, up to 2019’s edition of the show) as well as NHK’s Taiga drama (probably how many saw Ryukyu no Kaze — yes, in spite of how Japanese it was). There was a time when they also broadcasted Okinawa’s folk music red & white song festival (Shinshun Minyou Kouhaku Uta-gassen). The channel will definitely be missed.

Film: “Minami no Shima no Furimun”

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The film’s poster at Consolidated Theatres Pearlridge West 16.

Minami no Shima no Furimun” (also called “Furimun’s Paradise” or “Furimun in Okinawa“) is the 2009 directorial debut of comedian/actor Gori of the comedy duo Garage Sale. Gori, who also stars in the film as its main character Eisho (the furimun), also gets credit for writing the film as well. (A synopsis of the film can be found on AsianMediaWiki.)


The film trailer.

Rounding out the rest of the main cast:

  • Masaru (a father figure & friend of Eisho’s) played by Masao Teruya
  • Rimi (Masaru’s daughter & Eisho’s friend) played by former Folder/Folder5 member AKINA
  • Hitoshi (Eisho’s best friend) played by Daisuke Moromizato of the comedy duo Ham.
  • Masaru’s wife is played by Kanako Fukuda
  • Hitoshi’s mom is played by Yoko Tanaka
  • Kinjo-sensei played by Tomi Taira

Making appearances in the film are Rimi Natsukawa as the saataa andagi fortune-teller, ISSA (DA PUMP) as a bartender, KEN (formerly of DA PUMP) as a bar’s door person, Taeko Yoshida as a bar’s mama, and Hiroki Kawata (Gori’s partner in Garage Sale) as a referee.

The film is currently screening at Consolidated Theatres Pearlridge West 16.

You’ll find some film trivia as well as a look at the music featured in the film after the jump.

Continue reading “Film: “Minami no Shima no Furimun””

Yusuke Kamiji, Yu Yamada get “BLOG of the year 2008” honors

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Congratulations to Yusuke Kamiji and to Yu Yamada for being honored with Ameba’s “BLOG of the year 2008” award. Kamiji, who also won the award last year, is known for his blog which has a Guinness World Record distinction for most unique hits in a day. The Ameba awards is categorized by: tarento/actor (there’s a male and a female one for this with Kamiji taking the male award, of course), artist, model (Yamada won this award), owarai geinin (comedian), and tokubetsu (other).

(Via Tokyograph.)

Mark this date: 2/14/09 Ukulele Picnic in Hawaii

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One of my favorite artists of both Okinawan and Hawaiian music is Keith Nakaganeku (with his band Calabash) and I got a tip that he’ll be performing along with his friend Masaru Shimabukuro (BEGIN‘s guitarist) at this year’s Ukulele Picnic 2009 in Hawaii on Saturday, February 14, 2009. He’ll be singing “Nada Sou Sou” and Masaru will be backing him up on the Ichi Go Ichie instrument he and BEGIN designed with luthier K.Yairi.

There’s a pretty impressive lineup of musicians from Hawaii and Japan and best of all, the event is free, and will be held at the Kakaako Waterfront Park in Honolulu, Hawaii.

And if you haven’t purchased Keith’s debut album, “Hawaiian Jazz Done Asian Style,” it’s available on Amazon.com. (Image to the left contains a clickable affiliate link that helps out Karakui.com if you purchase the album from it. Nifee in advance! 😀 )

BEGIN’s record label, Teichiku, started up their own YouTube channel where you can find the band’s latest song, “Egao no Manma,” for viewing. I guess it’s a great way to see what Masaru looks like so you can give him a shaka and Aloha when you see him (and Keith too) at the Ukulele Picnic. 😉

(Nifee deebitan for the tip, Derek & Keith!)

Wallpaper: Takeshi Kaneshiro in John Woo’s “Red Cliff” (TSUTAYA online)

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One of the best films I’ve seen this year, John Woo’sRed Cliff” gets the kabegami (wallpaper) treatment and the one we’re featuring (three in all) has actor Takeshi Kaneshiro (who plays strategist Zhuge Liang) in it. Go and download the wallpaper (in commemorating the Japan release of the film) from TSUTAYA online here.

And if you haven’t yet seen this masterpiece, the DVD is already out and can be purchased from YESASIA with English subs.

(Via 壁紙fan!)

Show your support

From the NYT: “Okinawans Protest Japan’s Plan to Revise Bitter Chapter of World War II

For the past quarter of a century, Japan’s high school textbooks had included the accepted historical fact that that Okinawans had been coerced into mass suicides by Imperial Army soldiers.

But six months ago, the Education Ministry said that next year’s government-endorsed textbooks would eliminate all references to Japan’s soldiers. According to the revised passages, the Okinawans simply committed mass suicide or felt compelled to do so. But by whom?

[…]

Okinawa, which suffered the only battle on Japanese soil involving civilians during World War II, was an independent kingdom with its own culture and language until it was officially annexed by Japan in the late 19th century. During the war, Japanese soldiers distrusted Okinawans and feared that they would act as spies for the Americans.

Only a few survived the war from both of my grandparent’s families. My mom once told me a story of how she walked for miles upon miles carrying her younger sister to get away from the devastating war.

If you feel strongly enough to make yourself heard about this, please show your support by adding your name to this online petition.

[Nifee to Keith Nakaganeku for the email.]

Autumn 2007’s line-up of J-dramas

Summer 2007’s J-drama line-up proved to be a successful one for actors from Okinawa so how does autumn look?

So which ones are you going to watch? 🙂

A TV Season Like No Other

I’m not sure how many of you may recall a time (in the ’90s) when the J-pop scene was filled with artists from Okinawa from Namie Amuro to SPEED. Although you’ll still find Namie, ORANGE RANGE and Haikara at the top of the J-pop charts, it’s definitely far from what it used to be. So it comes as quite a surprise to look at the 2007 summer lineup of TV dramas from Japan and find that there’s an actor/actress from Okinawa in seven, yes seven (and that’s not counting an actor, born in Tokyo, who I can’t verify as being linked to Okinawa but that name…), of them. Below is a list with the drama and the actor/actress who is starring in it (links via DramaWiki):

Isn’t this awesome? And to think that we still have actors (Gori) and actresses who are not in dramas this summer: Yukie Nakama, Aya Ueto, Takako Uehara (SPEED), Yu Yamada and Meisa Kuroki.

Found on YouTube: ‘Shiisaa no Gokigenyousa’

One of the funniest skits I’ve seen by Garage Sale from the FujiTV show “Wannai R&R” (One Night Rock ‘n Roll). Garage Sale — watchers of the NHK series “Chura-san” will be familiar with the comedic duo — Okinawan-ize a well-established variety show called “RAION no Gokigenyou” (see clips from the original on YouTube) complete with a shiisaa (playing the part of the lion from the real show) and guests.