Archive for 'Celebrities' Category

A legendary Japanese sword “Masamune” being confirmed for the first time in 150 years

By TERRY - Last updated: 火曜日, 9月 30, 2014

“Shimazu Masamune”, a special Japanese sword  provided to the-then emperor Koumei by the-then Shogun Iemochi Tokugawa upon the wedding of Iemochi and  Princess Kazunomiya who was Koumei’s sister 1862 ,which had been missing for 150 years, was reconfirmed as a personal property and was donated to Kyoto National Museum (http://www.kyohaku.go.jp/eng/index.html) in 2013.

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“Masamune” swords are  forged in the Kamakura period (1192~1333) and regareded as the first-rate Japanese swords, most of which are national treasures today. The reconfirmation this time is a precious “re-discovery” of an historic and cultural important  asset. The Shimazu Masamune will be exhibited from the coming Oct.15th on at the Kyoto national Museum.

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Nogizaka 46’s first concert tour

By TERRY - Last updated: 日曜日, 8月 31, 2014

Nogizaka46, a popular young female idol group and “the official rival of AKB48” hosted its very first solo concert tour of  nine concerts 16-30 at five venues. The final one was held at Meiji Jingu Stadium in Tokyo(http://www.jingu-stadium.com/), which more than 30,000 people visited.

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(http://www.nogizaka46.com/)

A music concert was held at the stadium for the first time in 14 years.

 

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Hayao Miyazaki wins an Honorary Academy Award

By TERRY - Last updated: 土曜日, 8月 30, 2014

Hayao Miyazaki, the top anime film maker and producer received an Honorary Academy Award, announced by Academy of Motion Picture  Arts and Sciences(http://www.interactive.org/) on the 28th. SAG2014082901001109_id1_20140829071510

Miyazaki is a representative of  Studio GHIBLI, the leading anime company and retired from  long-anime film business just after the release of  “The Wind Rises” in 2013.   After all the great works of Japanese animation culture, now he says he wants to bededicated to the business of  running GHIBLI Museum, Mitaka (http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/en/).

Miyazaki is the second Japanese in history to receive the award after late Akira Kurosawa, one of the most famous Japanese film director’s winning in 1990.  The award is given to a film world person who has made a huge contributions through efforts for long years to the film world or its culture, such as Kurosawa,Walt Disney,and other remarkable personages of the industry. Miyazaki’s long- year feats have been recognized thsi time.  The reception ceremony will be held on the coming Nov.8th in Hollywood.

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Goeido being promoted to the ozeki rank

By TERRY - Last updated: 木曜日, 7月 31, 2014

Goeido, a sekiwake-rank sumo wrestler, was promoted to the ozeki(one step higher rank from sekiwake and the second highest only to the yokozuna) by the Japan Sumo Association with the unanimous decision of its  members of the directors of board on Jul.30th. He will be an ozeki- wrestler from the next Grand Sumo sutumn tournament of Sep.14-28 at Ryogoku Kokugikan(National Sport Stadium) in Tokyo.

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Goeido(Gotaro Sawai) was the first ozeki after Kakuryu’s promotion,who is currently a yokozuna-wrestler, in spring 2012 and the very first one in three years as a Japanese-born wrestler following  Kisenosato in 2011.   Goeido energetically keeps his postition as a sekiwake for 12 consecutive tournaments since 2007, which is the record-long after Showa era, after having started his career as a sumo wrestker in 2005. This year, he defeated two yokozuna, Hakuho and Kakuryu and the total score 12winning to 3 losses, which is quite excellent. He also says he would like to realize his Yamato Damashii(/the Japanese Spirit) in his new coming career. Currently all the three yokozuna-wrestkers are from Mongolia and a lot of people may expect him to regain a glory of the Japanese national sport.

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SIAF 2014 being held

By TERRY - Last updated: 日曜日, 7月 27, 2014

“Sapporo International Art festival 2014” started on Jul. 19  in  Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, the northen part of Japan and will have been held for 72 days. (http://www.sapporo-internationalartfestival.jp/)

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This time the festival has a theme of “Cities and nature”, and contemporary artists’ works are shown with events visitors can take part in. This time Ryuichi Sakamoto, a world famous Japanese composer is a guest artist and his works are provided.

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Tokyo Idol Festival 2014 tickets, begun to sell

By TERRY - Last updated: 月曜日, 6月 30, 2014

One of  a popular girls’ idols/idol groups live event, “Tokyo Idol Group 2014” is going to be held on Aug.2-3, and  two types of its tickets, one-day tickets and two-day  tickets started to sell on Jun.28.  (http://idolfes.com/2014/english/)

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Names of idols/idol groups to perform in the event are being released bit by bit and 117 idols/groups are announced. A trait of Tokyo Idol Festival is that, unlike average idol events, the facilitators focus not only very famous ones but even on less known local idols that have aptitudes as general promotion acitivity of  all corners of the Japanese society as well.

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Princess Noriko of Takamado engaged to a high priest of Izumo-taisha shrine

By TERRY - Last updated: 土曜日, 5月 31, 2014

Princess Noriko of Takamado, who is the current emperor’s  cousin’s daughter, has become engaged to Kunimaro Senge, who is a high priest of Izumo-taisha, a grand Shinto shrine in Shimane Pref, the Imeprial Household Agency said on the May. 27th.

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The two hosted a press conference for the announcement of their angagemnt at which they said they were so happy. The two have been close since they were young due to  their families’ close relationship.  Izumo-taisha(http://www.izumooyashiro.or.jp/) is one of the oldest Shinto shrines and  Ohkuninushi, a great leader deity in Izumo region (Shimane Pref. area)is enshrined there. According to the Japanese mythology, Ohkuninushi, who had  ruled Japan in ancient times , gave up his power to Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun and moved to the shrine having asked the goddess to build a huge shrine for him, and that is Izumo-taisha. Amenohohi,the second son of Amaterasu was said to have become the first chief priest of the shrine, and since then all the chief priests  have been  the god’s decsendents in heredity, which was also referred to by Senge at the press conference. Senge is the eldest son of the current chief priest.  The shrine experiences rebuilding ceremony of its main building every 60 years and its latest was done last year, which drew a lot of attention and many people visited that shrine in Shimane.  The couple will wed in this autumn after having some preliminary rituals according to the conventional protocols of the imperial family.

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“Morning Musume”‘s special train

By TERRY - Last updated: 土曜日, 5月 31, 2014

One of the top young female idol groups, Morining Musume is going to host a concert at Kawaguchiko  Stellar Theater near Lake Kawaguchi  on the foot of Mt.Fuji on May 31st (http://www.stellartheater.jp/).  This is the final day event of the series of MM’s spring consert tour 2014 and a special train “Morning Musume ’14” featuring MM is going to be operated in commemoration of the events  between Ohtsuki station and Kawaguchiko station of Fujikyuko Railway(http://e.fujikyu-railway.jp/) only on the 31st.

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The special train consists of three cars each of which will be decorated with MM’s posters and other items.And at all the 18 stations along the line, in-house announcements will be made by MM’s members, with limited number of memorial train tickets will be sold at the station.

 

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ANA renewed its uniform design

By TERRY - Last updated: 水曜日, 4月 30, 2014

ANA (All Nippon Airlines),one of  major airlines in Japan, hosted a new- design- uniforms- release exhibition on April 24th.

 

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This is the tenth change of  the uniform design of the company and  changed for the first time in 10 years.  The designs come in male and female versions of  three types of the uniforms of  the lounge staff , the ground staff, and the cabin attendants.

Yuzuru Hanyuh, the 19-year-old figure skater who won a gold medal  at the Sochi Olympics 2014 and won at World Figure Skating Championships 2014 appeared in the event and performed  figure skating motions wearing the new design uniform, for he is a contracted  athlete to ANA.

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The new design uniforms are welcomed by Hanyuu and employees of the company and as they seem fresh, light, and bright distinctive colors.  The designs were created by  Prabal Gurung, a worldwide popular designer who has created designs for  Michelle Obama the first lady of US and Princess Catherine of UK.  ANA expects the design to refresh the image of the company and appeal to consumers with the company’s  basic concept of “staying performing challemges to the world and staying changing “. The new design uniformes will start in this winter.

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Osamu Tezuka’s imcomplete posthumous items found

By TERRY - Last updated: 月曜日, 3月 31, 2014

Osamu Tezuka’s posthumous drawings, manuscripts, and some personal items such as half-eaten sweets were found from a long locked drawers of his desk in his office by  his daughter, Rumiko Tezuka on March 27th.

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Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989) was one of the top manga artist and thought to have been the greatest pioneer to develop and promote the manga culture not only in Japan but worldwide.  A lot of his works,such as “Atom Astro Boy”,”Jungle Emperor Leo”  have been dramatized, made to be anime, or other measures ,all of which have been loved by people all over the world for long years. His activities and works have influenced innumerable cartoonists, anime staffers, film makers, and other artists.

The desk drawers that had been locked for about 25 years because the key had been long lost after Tezuka’s passing was finally unlocked by his daughter  who said finally she had successfully made a copy of the key. A manuscript written about comments of Katsuhiro Otomo who is the creater of  a popular manga and movie works of “AKIRA” was one of the found items.  Some hand drawings of his are quite arousing which might be a bit different from general images of  his manga works. These newly found works may give us new impressions about Tezuka’s works and his art world.

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The 28th Gold Disk Awards

By TERRY - Last updated: 金曜日, 2月 28, 2014

The 28th Gold Disk Awards  winners’ names and works were announced on this Feb.27th.  These awards are given to music artists whose achievements are higher and this time the accomplishment performances  Nov.1 ,2011 – Dec.31, 2013 were  examined objects. (http://www.golddisc.jp/award/28/index.html)

The” Artist of The Year “(the Japanese Music section)(this is the grandprix of the awards) was given to AKB48, and the group has won the same  grandprix three straight years, which was the record-high of the awards’ history. And the “Artist of The Year”(the Western Music section) was given to One Direction, a popular rock’n roll band from UK. The”Best Asian Artist” was given to  TVXQ(/東方神起).  And totally, 59 artists or works  received those honorable prizes.

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National Foundation Day, Feb.11th

By TERRY - Last updated: 金曜日, 2月 28, 2014

Japan’s National Foundation day falls on Feb,11th. This year a lot of related events were held.    lectures about the Japanese mythology were held at some shrines or academic facilities, and supecial commemorative parades were conducted in the Meiji Shrine, Harajuku,Aoyama, Omotesando area where a lot of people including foreign tourists visit even on ordinary occasions. Still the shrine where the Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken are enshrined may have special meanings of  love of  the country. (http://kenkoku.web.fc2.com/parade.htm)

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AAA “PR Ambassador” of “One Piece”

By TERRY - Last updated: 金曜日, 1月 31, 2014

AAA, a popular music artist group of  young males and females has become a “PR Ambassador” of “One Piece”, the worldwide popular Japanese comic and anime work describing pirates, reported on 14th.  The group is in charge of  the thme music of the anime work  and such a promotion campaign has started commemorating teh 15th anniversary of the great subculture work.

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EXILE won the grand prize of the 55th Japan record Awards

By TERRY - Last updated: 火曜日, 12月 31, 2013

EXILE, one of the most popular music artist group, won the grand prize of the 55th  Japan Record Awards held  in Tokyp on Dec.30. (http://www.tbs.co.jp/recordaward/)

 

EXILE won the grand prize with its latest song “EXILE PRIDE~Konna Sekai wo Aisurutame ~” for the first time in three years and they had received the prize three times consecutively 2008-2010. The group gave up joining the awards in 2011 for they believed it to be farer after the great record of winning the grand prize three straight years. After that, AKB48 won the grand prize consective years instead 2011-2012. However, that female group  couldn’t win three times in a row, which has been achieved only by Ayumi Hamasaki and EXILE so far, and now  EXILE has established the new record of “four times winnings of  the grand prize ” in the awards’ history. HIRO, the leader of EXILE  gave words of joy and gratitude to the fans saying everything was the best.; he will retire as a performer of the group at the end this year and will exclusively serve as president and producer of the group and its company.  One of the mcs of the show, Aya Ueto, actually, is HIRO’s wife, so they must be happy very much for being able to leave such a memorable record just before his retirement.

Some musicians, artists, dancers, and so forth received excellence awards and best awards.  Among them, especially Kota Shinzato, an 18-year-old male singer stands out with popularity, who won the Best New Artist Award.

 

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The emperor’s 80th birthday

By TERRY - Last updated: 火曜日, 12月 31, 2013

Our current emperor’s birthday is Dec. 23rd and is a public holiday. This year he became 80 years old on that day and as usual the imperial palace was open to the public for the general audience.

In 10:20- 11:40 the emperor, empress, crown prince and princess, prince and princess Akishinonomiya, and their daughter princess Mako  appeared three times on the terrace of the building and waved to the vistors who waved Japan’s national  flags in celebration to them.  28,945 visitors including those signed on the memorial notebook were there in total.  The emperor gave a special speech there in which he expressed his joy and gratitude of people’s celebration, his grief and sympathy with the victioms and sufferers of 3.11 and those who are suffering from the aftermath of the storm  damages in Izu island.

Actually, I was there on that memorable day and saw the emperor and other imperial members, joining a tour training program of a tour guide school. I happened to see three friends of mine who were all English tour guides there in spite of the huge crowd.  In addition, I met a group of people from Twaiwan who came to Japan to show their friendship and for goodwill with us Japan. They were very friendly and talked in Japanese with us.  I hope such international friendship and peace are quite important.

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