Goldfish Scooping 金魚すくい, 金魚掬い

Posted On February 19, 2010

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Goldfish scooping (金魚すくい, 金魚掬い, Kingyo-sukui) is a Japanese traditional game in which a player scoops goldfish with a special scooper. It is also called, “Scooping Goldfish”, “Dipping for Goldfish” or “Snatching Goldfish”. “Kingyo” means goldfish and “sukui” means scooping. Sometimes bouncy balls are substituted for goldfish. Japanese summer festivals or ennichi commonly have a stall. Both children and adults enjoy the game. The game is played for pleasure, but today, there is a National Competition of Goldfish Scooping in Japan.

Each person plays individually. The basic rule is that the player scoops goldfish from a pool with a paper scooper called a “poi” and brings them to a bowl with it. This game requires carefulness and quickness as the poi can be easily torn. The game is over when the poi is completely broken. Even if one part of the poi is torn, the player can continue the game with the remaining part.

At ennichi or summer festival stalls, the game is not a competition. Participation typically costs around 100yen and players can take scooped goldfish home with a special bag. The game is unlimited, so players can scoop until their pois are completely broken. If they cannot scoop even one goldfish, the shopkeeper of the stall may kindly give them two or so. Each stall usually has its own rule. For example, there are some stalls where players can get a stronger poi if they pay more. Other stalls give players special presents if they scoop a lot. In some variations, there are also medaka (Japanese killfish) that are faster and harder to catch than goldfish. Usually, for every four goldfish, there is one medaka, so in ennichi, if you catch one, it is counted as four goldfish.

At National Championship of Scooping Goldfish, players follow the official rules that are different from above.

Requirements

The things necessary to play goldfish scooping is a pool which goldfish swim in, a poi, a bowl to keep scooped goldfish, a special bag with which to bring goldfish home, and goldfish themselves.

Pool

Usually, the goldfish are placed in a small plastic pool about 1m² and 20 cm (8″) depth.

Poi (ポイ, poi)

Poi consists of a round plastic frame and handgrip, and paper on the frame. Poi’s paper can easily break when it is put into water, so players should not move Poi fast. There are some classes inp Poi’s paper; No.5 (5号) is weaker, and No.7 (7号) is stronger. In some stalls, staff have unbreakable Poi which consist of net instead of paper to scoop goldfish.

Bowl

The bowl is usually made of plastic in a half-sphere shape, the diameter is about 15cm.
This is used to store the scooped goldish.

Bag

If players get goldfish, they can bring them home with special bags.

Goldfish

Varieties of goldfish often used in goldfish scooping are “Koaka”, “Demekin”, and “Anekin”.

History

This game started in the late Edo period, around 1810. In those days, pois were made of nets, and it was one of the children’s plays. Pois came to be made of paper and stalls started it in Taishō period, around 1910.

The game became more and more popular, and National Championship of Scooping Goldfish began in 1995. Today, it is so popular that people will surely see the stall at ennichi or summer festivals in Japan. On the other hand, it becomes a serious problem that scooped goldfish are not properly bred in the players’ homes.

National Championship of Goldfish Scooping

National Championship of Scooping Goldfish (全国金魚すくい選手権大会) is the biggest official competition managed by National Scooping Goldfish Association and Yamatokōriyama city in Nara Prefecture (Yamatokōriyama is famous as a producing district of goldfish.) It is held on the third Saturday and Sunday in August every year.

  • Children section: competition by children who are under 15
  • General section: competition by people whose age is 15 and up
  • Group section: competition for the sum number of the goldfish scooped by a team of three people

There are area trials and the first and second in every section can participate in National Championship. Extraordinarily in Nara trials, 60 people in child section, 80 people in ordinary section and 40 groups in group section can participate in it. The rule is detailed; size of goldfish, poi and pool, the number of umpire and so on. They compete with the number of goldfish scooped in three minutes. If the paper of poi is completely broken, the game is over and the score is the number of goldfish scooped until then.

In the tenth championship (2004) a player scooped 61 goldfish in three minutes in the semifinal. (This is a new high and that comes to the average of one goldfish per three seconds.) However she was the very bottom in the final.

Cuteness in Japanese culture 可愛い

Posted On February 17, 2010

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Since the 1970s, cuteness, in Japanese kawaii (可愛い), has become a prominent aspect of Japanese popular culture, entertainment, clothing, food, toys, personal appearance, behavior, and mannerisms.

The rise of cuteness in Japanese culture emerged in the 1970s as part of a new style of writing. Many teenage girls began to write laterally using mechanical pencils. These pencils produced very fine lines, as opposed to traditional Japanese writing that varied in thickness and was vertical. Also, the girls would write in big, round characters and they added little pictures to their writing, such as hearts, stars, smiley faces, and letters of the Latin alphabet. These pictures would be inserted randomly and made the writing very hard to read. As a result, this writing style caused a lot of controversy and was banned in many schools. During the 1980s, however, this cute new writing was adopted by magazines and comics and was put onto packaging and advertising. From 1984-86, Yamane Kazuma studied the development of cute handwriting, which he called Anomalous Female Teenage Handwriting, in depth. Although it was commonly thought that the writing style was something that teenagers had picked up from comics, he found that teenagers had come up with the style themselves, as part of an underground movement.

Later, cute handwriting became associated with acting childishly and using infantile slang words. Because of this growing trend, companies, such as Sanrio, came out with merchandise like Hello Kitty. Hello Kitty was an immediate success and the obsession with cute continued to progress in other areas as well. The 1980s also saw the rise of cute idols, such as Seiko Matsuda, who is largely credited with popularizing the trend. Women began to emulate Seiko Matsuda and her cute fashion style and mannerisms, which emphasized the helplessness and innocence of young girls. No longer limited to teenagers, however, the spread of making things as cute as possible, even common household items, was embraced by people of all ages. Now there are airplanes painted with Pikachu on the side, and each of Japan’s 47 prefectures, the Tokyo police, and the government television station all have their own cute mascots. Currently, Sanrio’s line of more than 50 characters takes in more than $1 billion a year and remains the most successful company to capitalize on the cute trend.

Cute elements can be found almost everywhere in Japan, from big business to corner markets and national government, ward, and town offices. Many companies, large and small, use cute mascots to present their wares and services to the public. For example:

  • Pikachu, a character from Pokémon, adorns the side of three All Nippon Airways passenger jets.
  • Asahi Bank used Miffy (Nijntje), a character from a Dutch series of children’s picture books, on some of its ATM and credit cards.
  • All 47 prefectures have cute mascot characters.
  • The Japan Post “Yū-Pack” mascot is a stylized mailbox.
  • The Japan Post also uses other cute mascot characters (for example, on stamps).
  • Some police forces in Japan have their own moe mascots, which sometimes adorn the front of kōban (police boxes).
  • Sanrio, the company behind Hello Kitty and other similarly cute characters run the Sanrio Puroland theme park in Tokyo.

Cute can be also used to describe a specific fashion sense of an individual, and generally includes clothing that appears to be made for young children, outside of the size, or clothing that accentuates the cuteness of the individual wearing the clothing. Ruffles and pastel colors are commonly (but not always) featured, and accessories often include toys or bags featuring anime characters.

The fashionableness of cuteness has recently been challenged by the more Western-oriented ero kawaii image of sexiness.

Perception in Japan

As a cultural phenomenon, cuteness is increasingly accepted in Japan as a part of Japanese culture and national identity. Tomoyuki Sugiyama, author of “Cool Japan”, believes that “cuteness” is rooted in Japan’s harmony-loving culture, and Nobuyoshi Kurita, a sociology professor at Musashi University in Tokyo, has stated that “cute” is a “magic term” that encompasses everything that’s acceptable and desirable in Japan.

On the other hand, those skeptical of cuteness consider it a sign of an infantile mentality. In particular, Hiroto Murasawa, professor of beauty and culture at Osaka Shoin Women’s University asserts that cuteness is “a mentality that breeds non-assertion … Individuals who choose to stand out get beaten down.”

Linguistics

Other translations of kawaii can include adorable, precious, lovable, or innocent. According to sociologist Sharon Kinsella:

“Kawaii is a derivation of a term whose principle meaning was shy or embarrassed and secondary meanings were pathetic, vulnerable, darling, loveable and small. In fact the modern sense of the word kawaii still has some nuances of pitiful whilst the term kawaisô derived directly from kawaii means pathetic, poor, and pitiable in a generally negative if not pleasing sense.”

Influence on other cultures

Cute merchandise and products are especially popular in some parts of East Asia, such as China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.

In some Asian and western cultures, the Japanese word for cute kawaii has joined a number of other Japanese words borrowed by overseas Japanophiles, sometimes in the wrong context. While the usage is almost entirely limited to the otaku subculture, it has been used by American singer Gwen Stefani, who gave kawaii a brief mention in her Hollaback Girl music video, Gwen also released a line of fragrances inspired by this love of kawaii dubbed harajuku lovers

The concept of kawaii has spread to Europe,, including to Russia, where there is a Kawaii Factory brand which sells kawaii accessories.

Blood types in Japanese culture 血液型

Posted On February 17, 2010

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Type A
Best traits Earnest, creative, sensible
Worst traits Fastidious, overearnest
Type B
Best traits Wild, active, doer
Worst traits Selfish, irresponsible
Type AB
Best traits Cool, controlled, rational
Worst traits Critical, indecisive
Type O
Best traits Agreeable, sociable, optimistic
Worst traits Vain, rude

There is a popular belief in Japan that a person’s ABO blood type or ketsueki-gata (血液型) is predictive of their personality, temperament, and compatibility with others.

Ultimately deriving from ideas of historical scientific racism, the popular belief originates with publications by Masahiko Nomi in the 1970s. The scientific community dismisses such beliefs as superstition or pseudoscience.

HISTORY

The ABO blood group system is widely credited to have been founded by the Austrian scientist Karl Landsteiner, who found three different blood types in 1900. Ethnic studies did show different blood group distributions across the world (e.g. Asian people having a higher percentage of Type B). This fact was used by Nazis to further ideas of supremacy over different races. Those distortions were debunked before Nazi Germany invoked race laws like the Nuremberg Laws, where the wording “German blood” is figurative for Aryan lineage.

In 1926 Rin Hirano and Tomita Yashima published the mythology “Blood type biological related” in the medical journal of army. Just like the ones before it, it was a non-statistical and unscientific report, motivated by racism.

In 1927, Takeji Furukawa, a professor at Tokyo Women’s Teacher’s School, published his paper “The Study of Temperament Through Blood Type” in the scholarly journal Psychological Research. The idea quickly took off with the Japanese public despite his lack of credentials, and the militarist government of the time commissioned a study aimed at breeding the soldiers. The study used no more than ten to twenty people for the investigation.

In another study, Furukawa compared the distribution of blood types among two different ethnic groups, the Formosans in Taiwan and the Ainu who live in Northeast Asia, especially Hokkaidō. His motivation for the study appears to have derived from a political incident. After the Japanese occupation of Taiwan following Japan’s victory over China in 1895, the inhabitants tenaciously resisted their occupiers. Insurgencies in 1930 and in 1931 killed hundreds of Japanese settlers.

The purpose of Furukawa’s studies was to “penetrate the essence of the racial traits of the Taiwanese, who recently revolted and behaved so cruelly”. Based on the finding that 41.2% of a Taiwanese sample had type O blood, he assumed that their rebelliousness was genetically determined. The reasoning was supported by the fact that among the Ainu, whose temperament was characterized as submissive, only 23.8% had type O. In conclusion, Furukawa suggested that the Japanese should intermarry more with the Taiwanese in order to reduce the number of Taiwanese with type O blood.

The fad faded in the 1930s as its unscientific basis became evident. It was revived in the 1970s with a book by Masahiko Nomi, a lawyer and broadcaster with no medical background. Nomi’s work was largely uncontrolled and anecdotal, and the methodology of his conclusions is unclear. Because of this he has been heavily assailed by the Japanese psychological community, although his books are phenomenally popular.

Current popularity

Discussion of blood types is widely popular in women’s magazines as a way of gauging relationship compatibility with a potential or current partner. Morning television shows feature blood type horoscopes, and similar horoscopes are published daily in newspapers. In addition, a series of four books that describe people’s character by blood type ranked third, fourth, fifth and ninth on a list of best selling books in Japan in 2008 compiled by Tohan Corporation.

Although there is no proven correlation between blood type and personality, it remains popular with the many matchmaking services that cater to blood type. In this way, it is similar to the use of astrological signs in the west, which is also popular in Japan. Asking one’s blood type is common in Japan, and people are often surprised when a non-Japanese does not know his or her own blood type.

Many idols, tarento and other Japanese celebrities include a blood type statistic in their profiles, in addition to other facts such as their hobbies and star sign.

It is common among anime and manga authors to mention their character’s blood types, and to give their characters corresponding blood types to match their personalities. Some video game characters also have known blood types, such as in the Street Fighter series, the King of Fighters series, the Soul series, the Final Fantasy series, the Resident Evil series, the Melty Blood series, the Guilty Gear series, and the Dead or Alive series, which lists character blood types in both the manual and in-game biographies. In addition, it is common for video game series, such as Gungriffon, Tekken, Metal Gear Solid 2, Princess Maker and Loveplus to allow for blood type as an option in their creation modes.

JAPANESE IDOL アイドル

Posted On January 21, 2010

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In Japanese culture, idols (アイドル, aidoru) are (usually female) media personalities in their teens and early twenties who are considered particularly cute and pretty and who will, for a period ranging from several months to a few years, regularly appear in the mass media, e.g. as singers for J-pop groups, bit-part actors, TV personalities (tarento), models in photo spreads published in magazines, advertisements, etc.

History

The idol phenomenon began during the early seventies, reflecting a boom in Japan for the musician Sylvie Vartan in the French film Cherchez l’idole in 1963. The term came to be applied to any cute female actress or singer. Teenage girls, mostly between 14 and 16, began rising to stardom. One in particular, Momoe Yamaguchi, was a huge star until her marriage and retirement in 1980. Idols dominated the pop music scene in the 80s; and this period is known as the “Golden Age of Idols in Japan”. In a single year, as many as 40 or 50 new idols could appear, only to disappear from the public spotlight shortly afterwards. A few idols from that era, such as Seiko Matsuda, are still popular. In the 90s, the power of Japanese idols began to wane, as the music industry shifted towards rock musicians and singers for whom music was a more important sales point than looks or wholesomeness, as well as towards genres such as rap that were harder to square with conventional prettiness. The Japanese idol phenomenon has had a large impact on popular culture in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

It is commonly said female Japanese idols represent the perfect female form in Japanese society. They are symbols of female sexuality and are often dressed erotically. For this reason they are often idolized by both males and females. Male audiences’ infatuations with an idol’s good looks are fed with detailed information about the idol’s measurements, favorite colors, food, hobbies, blood type, etc. Female audiences are interested in imitating their style, hair color, fashion, etc. Good examples of fashion-leader idols were Ayumi Hamasaki, Hitomi, Ryoko Hirosue and Namie Amuro. However, in what most Europeans would see to be a contradictory stance, this interest in the detail is accompanied by a simultaneous apparent disinterest in the truth of this detail as it is presented. This is most starkly shown in terms of age. For example, it is widely ackowledged that many idols are older than the u19 or u15 categories that they are placed within. There is also an accompanying playfulness with age that one might not ordinarily associate with the stereotypical rigidity of Japanese culture. The popular idol magazine ‘Beppin’ for example is happy to associate a widely different age to the same model on consecutive pages of the same edition. This seems not to bother Japanese fans who understand that the model’s details are a role. It can also be associated with ideas that lie deeper within Japanese culture: Firstly, the idealisation of youth which is reflected in such things as ‘cutesie’ adult fashions and the portrayal by women of themselves (in terms of dress and manner) as younger than they are. Secondly, it can be seen as part of a Japanese tradition of developing roles within roles, this can be seen in the behaviour of the masked Geisha and in Kabuki theatre. For a fuller understanding of both role play and the idealisation of youth in Japanese media and culture it is worth reading articles by Dr Sharon Kinsella, referenced below.

Namie Amuro was the most popular idol in the late 1990s, although marketed as sexier and more mature than other idols. She began her career in 1992 as a vocalist for the pop group Super Monkeys, but the group flopped very quickly. Producers liked Amuro and in 1995 she went solo, enjoying massive success. This status has since been eclipsed by Ayumi Hamasaki, who is known as one of Japan’s current divas.

A diversification occurred in the 1990s and instead of few idols vying for popularity, a number of idols with specific characteristics divided the market. In the mid-1990s, idols became much younger than before, and groups of idols like Speed and Morning Musume became prominent. A new genre of idols called Net Idols became known in the late 1990s, only appearing on websites. In 1997 there appeared Kyoko Date, the first “cyber idol” or “virtual idol”. Kyoko Date has a fabricated history and statistics and her own songs. Meanwhile, gurabia aidoru (グラビアアイドル, i.e. “[photo] gravure idols”) such as Yoko Matsugane, Rio Natsume and Eiko Koike have largely appeared skimpily clad in “cheesecake” photographs.

Whereas in previous years an idol kept up her idol image until she chose to retire or was simply too old to continue being a credible idol, in recent years several ex-idols have successfully matured from being an idol to becoming full-fledged actresses, singers or musicians who are respected for their craft instead of (or in addition to) being admired for their looks and image.

Culture

The culture of Japanese idols has changed over the years and it is questionable whether past idols would have the same amount of success if given the same opportunity today. Most of those called idols have sung songs that would fit J-Pop and they are generally pretty, cute, or fresh-faced, if not beautiful. However, there are exceptions to the norm.

In the 1970s, idols had an aura of mystique that left much of their lifestyles secret. Their public and “private” lives were carefully orchestrated—they always appeared perfect in all situations and seemed to enjoy a lavish lifestyle that most Japanese could only dream about. In reality, however, they were placed under continuous surveillance by their promoters and were unable to enjoy the private lives invented for them. Their pay was surprisingly low. They were often overworked and even if their songs sold well most of the money went to the musicians and writers. Fans had few opportunities to see them beyond a few minutes on TV or radio and it was difficult to share their interests. Magazines were the best source for information and many idols had an official fan club that periodically mailed what little information could be released.

In the 1980s, idols became much closer to average Japanese people; this is likely because the average lifestyle of the Japanese improved. While still tightly controlled, idols were allowed to show more of their actual personalities and were permitted to let out some carefully scripted outbursts. The media often fabricated “competitions” between two or more idols, based on things like the number of records sold, the number of fans in the official fan club, etc. In the late 1980s, instead of relying on magazines and TV, some started experimenting with new media and technologies like video games, with mixed results. The working conditions of idols improved and even those with limited success could live modestly and more of the money made was paid to idols themselves, though they still only received a small portion.

In the 1990s, instead of being marketed as people who lived better and were better than average, idols became people who just happened to have a little something to become popular. Where the tastes of past idols had to be saccharine, it was now acceptable for an idol to simply love eating ramen or to display something other than a smile, to lament having got a little out of shape or to admit to shopping around for lower prices. Idols also became a fixture in countless anime by singing opening or ending songs that have little relevance to the anime itself. Some experimented with being seiyu, and seiyu themselves became somewhat like idols, becoming increasingly popular. Even today, some are still involved with the video game industry, though they are not always entirely successful.

Visual kei ヴィジュアル系

Posted On December 21, 2009

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Visual kei (ヴィジュアル系, vijuaru kei, lit. “visual style”) refers to a movement among Japanese musicians that is characterized by the use of make-up, elaborate hair styles and flamboyant costumes, often, but not always, coupled with androgynous aesthetics. Some sources state that Visual Kei refers to a music genre, or to a sub-genre of J-rock (a term referring to Japanese rock in general), with its own particular sound, related to glam-rock, punk and metal. However other sources state that Visual Kei’s unique clothing, make-up, fashions, and participation in the related sub-culture is equally as important as the sound of the music itself in the use of the term.

History

Visual Kei emerged in the late 1980’s (however, evidence of presence in even the early 70’s should be noted,) pioneered by bands such as X Japan, D’erlanger, Buck-Tick, and Color.

The word called Visual Kei was created with “PSYCHEDELIC VIOLENCE CRIME OF VISUAL SHOCK” that was a slogan of X Japan.

Color vocalist “Dynamite Tommy” formed his record company Free-Will in 1986, which has been a major contributor in spreading modern Visual Kei outside Japan.

In 1992, X Japan launched an attempt to enter the European and American markets, but it would take another 8 years until popularity and awareness of Visual Kei bands would extend worldwide.

In the mid 1990s, Visual Kei received an increase in popularity throughout Japan, and album sales from Visual Kei bands started to reach record numbers. The most notable bands to achieve success during this period included, X Japan, Glay, and Luna Sea, however a drastic change in their appearance accompanied their success.

During the same period, bands such as Kuroyume, Malice Mizer, and Penicillin, gained mainstream awareness, although they were not as commercially successful.

By 1999, mainstream popularity in Visual Kei was declining, X Japan had disbanded, and the death of lead guitarist Hideto Matsumoto in 1998 had denied fans a possible reunion. It was not long before Luna Sea decided to disband in the year 2000.

In 2007 the genre has been revitalized, as Luna Sea performed a one-off performance, and X Japan reunited for a new single and a world tour. With these developments, Visual Kei bands enjoyed a boost in public awareness, described by the media as “Neo-Visual Kei”.

Popularity

Visual Kei has enjoyed popularity among independent underground projects, as well as artists achieving mainstream success, with influences from Western phenomena, such as glam, goth and cyberpunk. The music performed encompasses a large variety of genres, i.e. pop, punk, heavy metal and electronica. Magazines published regularly in Japan with Visual Kei coverage are Arena 37°C, “Cure”, Fool’s Mate and Shoxx. Noted bands who at least at some point sported a Visual Kei theme include Dir en grey, Luna Sea and Malice Mizer.

Popularity and awareness of such groups outside of Japan has seen an increase in recent year

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There’s so many Visual kei band in Indonesia. Some of them are cool, but I’ve saw some of Visual kei band whose vocalist cut his arm with razor when he singing. So odd >.<

GUNDAM ガンダム

Posted On December 13, 2009

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Gundam (ガンダム, Gandamu) is a metaseries of Japanese anime created by Sunrise studios that features giant robots (or “mecha”) called “Gundam”. The metaseries started in April 7, 1979 as a serial TV show called Mobile Suit Gundam. That first TV series has since spawned a franchise that has come to include works released in numerous media. Titles have appeared in the form of multiple television series and OVAs, movies, manga, novels and video games, among other modes. The story from the original 1979 series has been considerably extended with sequels, prequels, side stories and alternate timelines. As a result, the title “Gundam” has become a collective term for the seven distinct but related timelines that can be pieced together from the stories that appear in the Gundam franchise. Generally speaking, the timelines do not intersect, but they do contain a few common elements such as the titular war machines called Gundam. However, all Gundam timelines/worlds long after their own anime series will eventually intersect and combine back to one in the series Turn A Gundam.

The original timeline for the Gundam series was the Universal Century (UC) series, which included Mobile Suit Gundam (1979) and Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (1985). Since the 1990s, alternative timelines have been produced and developed, including the Future Century, After Colony, After War, Correct Century, Cosmic Era and Anno Domini timelines.

As of January 21, 2008, the Gundam franchise is a 50 billion yen trademark. In the 2008 ranking of average sales figures for anime copies sold in Japan (1970-2008 total sales figures averaged by episode), Gundam series were in 4 of the top 5 places: Mobile Suit Gundam ranked second, with Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny third, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED fourth, and Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam fifth. Also, Mobile Suit Gundam Wing ranked 18th and Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ ranked 20th. Gunpla’s (Gundam Plastic model) holds 90% of the Japan character plastic model market.

Academic fields in Japan have also viewed the series as a good inspiration in research fields, with the Gundam academy (or officially International Gundam Society) being the first academic institution based on an animated TV series.

Wow Gundam is so coool^^ I’ve tried to draw Gundam many times, but it was so hard. >.<

Shimizu Shota – Kimi ga Suki

Posted On December 13, 2009

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release date: December, 10 2009

Tracklist:

01. 君が好き

02. Family feat.KEN THE 390,SHUN&COMA-CHI

03. One Last Kiss ~Acoustic Version~

04. 君が好き (Instrumental)

Another great single from Shimizu Shota. His voice is so great. I think he have a different kind of voice with the other Japanese male singer. Try to listen this^^

GANGURO ガングロ

Posted On December 13, 2009

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Ganguro, literally “face-black,” is a fashion trend among Japanesegirls, an outgrowth of chapatsu hair dyeing. The basic look isbleached-blond hair perms that take half a day to set and cost about $400,and a deep tan, produced by tanning beds or makeup. Theintent is to produce the tanned, blond California beach girl look.Accessories include high platform shoes or boots, purikura photo stickers,and cellular phones. They go to tanning salons tomaintain a dark-brown tan year-round (or apply a dark-brown foundation).

The centerpiece of their street costume is 15-cm (6-inch) or higher platform shoes or sandals that makes them tower over the average Japanese. It lets them “look down” on the world or to have the world “look up” to them. One step beyond the ganguro is the yamanba, which roughly translates as “mountain hag or witch” from Japanese folklore. Besides being ganguro, these girls wear more outrageous makeup with white lipstick, white eye shadow around the eyes (a racoon or panda look), silvery hair, and some glitter or fake tear drops on the cheek. They also have a loud, gregarious way of talking and laughing.

They also dye their hair brown or gold and wear blue contact lenses. It’sthe California beach girl look without the bikini. And sometimes they evenwear fake flower leis or fake flowers in their hair. The Shibuya and Ikebukurodistricts of Tokyo are the center of ganguro fashion. It goes against the grain of the usual Japanese standard of female beauty, which calls for skin as white as possible. The roots of the trend are said to be in the mid-1990s, starting with a popular tanned Okinawansinger named Amuro Namie.

How to look like a Ganguro Girl:

  1. First dye your hair: either blonde, orange, silver, gray, gold or white, the choice is yours. You may also like to add complimentary highlights or pink hair extensions. If you don’t want to dye your hair you could always buy a wig. Dyed hair in Japan is known as Chapatsu hair.
  2. Apply a dark fake tan on your entire body, and then use a dark powder, foundation or bronzer to make your face look even darker. If you already have very dark skin, then you can skip this step.
  3. Smooth on some glitter or sparking face powder, be careful not to use too much.
  4. Next, add white eye shadow: either just on the top lids or around your entire eye.You should apply it very heavily, and you could also use white eyeliner over the top to make it show up even more. Some ganguro use white concealer instead of/as-well-as eyeshadow. The overall look you should aim for is raccoon or panda eyes.(optional)

  5. Apply thick liquid black eyeliner to your top lids, making the line thicker towards the outer corner. Some ganguro use black ink for a very black look.
  6. Add some large fake lashes.
  7. Use either a black or white mascara, depending on the look you want.
  8. Use brightly colored (particularly blue) flat color or starburst contact lens
  9. Stick on some jewels, gems, heart or star shaped stickers and/or fake teardrops under one or both of your eyes. You can use lots or a select few depending on your preference.
  10. Next, brush a soft line of white powder down the center of your nose.(optional)
  11. Apply white or very light pink lipstick, it helps to put some concealer or foundation on your lips first, to make the color stick.
  12. Get glamorous nails; the more nail art and jewels the better.
  13. Wear lots of necklaces, bracelets and rings, try to choose girlie, cute or surfer chick items.
  14. Stick one or more large fake hibiscus flowers in your hair, or alternatively wear a string of them as a necklace.
  15. Wear bright colors(esp. pink).
  16. Vinyl and plastic are popular fabric choices.
  17. Miniskirts combined with incredibly large platform boots are a staple of the Ganguro style.
  18. You may like to compliment your look with a tye-dye sarong.
  19. Wear platform boots/shoes.

I think Ganguro is cute and scary^^;. Ganguro is not exist anymore. Ganguro was booming in 2000-2002.

Dare to wear: HARAJUKU FASHION

Posted On December 12, 2009

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Harajuku fashion doesn’t have any special rule to use. If we want to wear Harajuku fashion we should have a big confident and colorful clothes. This is some style of Harajuku fashion we can use :DD.

Harajuku Style for GIRL

Color: Bright pink color is still a mainstay of Harajuku dresses for girl.

Tops: It’s depend on the weather. You can combine Tank top, shirt, and cardigan if you stay in cold area. For hot and warm are like Indonesia, you can wear T-shirt with stunning color and interesting print. You can combine it with jacket or scarf .

Bottoms: Don’t be afraid to wear unique and colorful skirt. And you can combine the skirt with  stunning colored legging.

Shoes: You can combine stocking with pumps shoes [for feminin] or colorful socks with boots [for tomboy]. Choose a boots or thick sole shoes with bright color.

Accesories: Sun glasses, chain necklace, or candy. You can use a hat or ribbon.

Harajuku Style for BOYS

Tops: For the boys who don’t want to use many accesories, you can wear T-shirt,  jacket,  jeans and shoes like usual. But the color should have ornament or cool motif. Harajuku boys still use sporty dress as a mainstay because they’re comfortable to wear. They’re often inspired from hip hop singer or rockstar.

Bottoms: The basic is beetween longpants or shortpants. For the longpants, usually jeans, and sporty model. Don’t forget to choose an unique model. You can twist a scarf in your waist as a skirt.

Shoes: The shoes is like usual; Sneakers, Pantofel, Boots, etc. But they should have an stunning color or cool print.

Accesories: Harajuku boys usually play with accecories and hair. Silver accesories like skull, cross, chain, and others are good. Beside that, they’re often have an unique hairstyle, messy, and colorful. You can use a wig or temporer haircoloring. And you can mix it with hat.

Tips:

1. You should match the dress with your skin color. If you have dark skin or clear brown skin, choose the bright color. But if you have white skin, you can wear any color of dress.

2. Choose the dress model that not make you feel uncomfortable. Harajuku style is a heap dress style. Japan have a cold weather. But in warm country you can’t wear more than 2 kind of clothes.

3. If you still study, first tell your parents if you want to coloring your hair and watch your school rule about hairstyle. Just use temporer haircoloring for save.

Manga まんが

Posted On December 12, 2009

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Manga (kanji: 漫画; hiragana: まんが; katakana: マンガ) consist of comics and print cartoons (sometimes also called komikku コミック), in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 20th century. In their modern form, manga date from shortly after World War II, but they have a long, complex pre-history in earlier Japanese art.

In Japan, people of all ages read manga. The genre includes a broad range of subjects: action-adventure, romance, sports and games, historical drama, comedy, science fiction and fantasy, mystery, horror, sexuality, and business and commerce, among others. Since the 1950s, manga have steadily become a major part of the Japanese publishing industry, representing a 406 billion yen market in Japan in 2007 (approximately $3.6 billion). Manga have also become increasingly popular worldwide. In 2008, the U.S. and Canadian manga market was $175 million. Manga are typically printed in black-and-white, although some full-color manga exist (e.g. Colorful). In Japan, manga are usually serialized in telephone book-size manga magazines, often containing many stories, each presented in a single episode to be continued in the next issue. If the series is successful, collected chapters may be republished in paperback books called tankōbon. A manga artist (mangaka in Japanese) typically works with a few assistants in a small studio and is associated with a creative editor from a commercial publishing company. If a manga series is popular enough, it may be animated after or even during its run,[9] although sometimes manga are drawn centering on previously existing live-action or animated films (e.g. Star Wars).

“Manga” as a term used outside Japan refers specifically to comics originally published in Japan. However, manga-influenced comics, among original works, exist in other parts of the world, particularly in Taiwan (“manhua”), South Korea (“manhwa”), and the People’s Republic of China, notably Hong Kong (“manhua”). In France, “la nouvelle manga” has developed as a form of bande dessinée (literally drawn strip) drawn in styles influenced by Japanese manga. In the United States, people refer to manga-like comics as Amerimanga, world manga, or original English-language manga (OEL manga).

taken from Wikipedia

Manga is a great things that spreading all over the world now. All my friends read manga. And I created manga^^. Here’s my manga artwork:

ほたるの 光

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