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!]
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 fybix.net.)
Whoa, not too shabby for a blog focusing on Okinawan pop culture. This makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 😀
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 nikkansports.com.]
Who: Nomura-Ryu Ongaku Kyo Kai Hawaii Shibu
What: 40th Anniversary Celebration & to honor Harry Seisho Nakasone Sensei
When & Where: April 22, 2007 (Sunday) at 2:00 PM at the Hawaii Okinawa Center (Waipahu, Hawaii)
If you’re interested in purchasing tickets for the event please leave a comment or email me at karakuipress[at]gmail[dot]com.
(Sorry for the late plug folks.)
Perhaps the most anticipated film of 2007 for Okinawa movie fans is “Koishikute”, directed by Yuji Nakae (“Hotel Hibiscus”, “Nabbie’s Love”), and based on the early days of J/O-Pop super group BEGIN. You can now view the trailer of the film (kudos to them for making it available on Apple’s superb QT format too) on the official website and the film opens nationwide in Japan during GW (read: let’s make this a blockbuster!). The trailer is also a great way to hear the group’s forthcoming single and the theme song of the film, “Miifaiyuu” (Imperial Records), which hits stores on the 7th of this month. And those of you who’re into film soundtracks will be happy to know that it’ll be released on March 21, 2007. (It’s worth noting that Japanese film/televsion soundtracks tend to not include the single(s) in them.)
Will 2007 be Takako Uehara‘s (24, ex-SPEED) year? The J-Pop singer has a best-of album “départ ∼takako uehara single collection∼” (AVCD-16120 [CD-only version], AVCD-16119/B [CD+DVD version]) set to be released on March 14th and on February 5th we’ll have a chance to see her as the image character for Coca-Cola Japan’s Sokenbicha drink. Now who besides me is looking forward to watching the CM (commercial) and hearing her sing the Sokenbicha♪ jingle? Hello? Anyone out there? 😛 [Via nikkansports.com.]
I’m not sure if any of you will miss it, but I disabled Snap previews. If you want it back, leave me a comment and I’ll think about it.
A feature of my previous Okinawan pop culture blogs was the DotW, or the Discography of the Week. Long time readers of my blogs know that although I called it DotW, entries were posted rather sporadically (mostly due to the amount of free time I had to work on the discography) and the main focus of the artist discography was the romanization of album tracks and links (if available) to the artist’s website. I also added in a little tidbit of information on the background of some of the artists. Well, I think it’s time that I brought this feature back to the blog. Oh, and there’s “one more thing” that I’ll add this time around, samples.