December 16th, 2011


Diplomacy in Japan in 2011: Which countries/regions does Japanese have friendly feelings towards?

The Cabinet Office Japan recently conducted a detailed survey into diplomacy, a topic they revisit about once every two yars or so.


Between the 29th of September and the 16th of October 2011, 3,000 people aged twenty or older were randomly selected from residency registers were approached for one-to-one interiews. Of the 3,000, 1,912 people, or 63.7% were resident at the address and willing to answer the questions. 52.5% of the sample were female, 8.2% in their twenties, 14.7% in their thirties, 14.8% int heir forties, 16.6% in their fifties, 22.8% in their sixties, and 22.8% aged seventy or older. 44.4% were employed, 9.8% were self-employed, 2.9% worked in a family business, and 42.9% were one of full-time homekeepers, students, unemployed, or retired.

This survey was reported on last week in the papers, but the English translations seemed to focus mostly on the relationship between the USA and Japan; the level of relationships with Japan’s Asian neighbours is a much more interesting statistic, however.

Research results

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Ryo Nishikido - yarichin

its baaaaaaccck: arama's classier than none of them hoes best of 2011

It's baaaaaaaaaack. That classy ass awards post that you pick the best and worst of 2011. 

So how is this gonna go down?

Between now and December 25th, you guys will nominate in the following categories who you want to compete for this glamourous blingee awards and fandom bragging rights. On December 26th - December 30th will be the voting and the winners will be announced on New Years Eve! Cause we're a classy community like that, pop out the champagne bottles and get your monocles ready cause its about to get classy up in here.

  • Song of 2011
  • Drama of 2011
  • Movie of 2011
  • Actress of 2011
  • Actor of 2011
  • Female Artist/Group of 2011
  • Male Artist/Group of 2011
  • Scandal of 2011 (NEWS exploding, Joe Odagiri is Koda Kumi and got Married, etc)
  • Japanese News Story of 2011 (Tsunami, Olympus scandal, etc)
  • TV Show of 2011 (Quiz Hexagon, stuff like that)
  • Thing/Singer/Actor/Idol You Hope Goes Away in 2012
  • Most Over Exposed Person(s) of 2011
  • Sexiest Female of 2011
  • Sexiest Male of 2011

Koda Kumi confirms her pregnancy

Singer Koda Kumi has confirmed that she is pregnant with her first child!

Koda was rumored to be pregnant shortly after she revealed that she was getting married to BACK-ON vocalist and guitarist, KENJI03. She planned to make her official announcement after entering a more stable period of pregnancy, however, with all the confusion from the media, Koda decided to release the news today.

On her official website, Koda Kumi wrote:

Hello everyone!

I wanted to report this to my fans first, but I discussed it with my doctor and was told not to make an announcement just yet since I’m not in my stable period of pregnancy. This is why I wasn’t able to report it to everyone at that time.

After the reports came out, a lot of people became confused. That wasn’t my intention, and so I decided to make this announcement earlier than scheduled.

At this time, I have been gifted with a new life!

With this new life, I pray everyday that the three of us will enjoy life as a family.

I hope everyone will continue to watch over us with warm eyes.

As for the tour, I have my body to think about, so I am currently discussing it with my staff.

I should be able to make an announcement early next week, so I hope you will all wait for me.


Congratulations, Koda Kumi!


Also, can we not make fun of people who get shotgun weddings?
Kakkoii Pi, Muscle Pi brings encouragement to the students of Touhoku

Blaise Plant and play for a group of 500

Popular American hip-hop group and Grammy Award-winning Black Eyed Peas's interacted with student volunteers at a special event in Aoba-ku, Sendai on December 15, 2011.

Sponsored by the U.S. Embassy, ​​about 500 students from all around the prefecture participated. During the Q&A, one student asked, "How do you feel you can support the affected people?", responded, talking about how the "positive, friendly face of the Japanese made the world proud," and advising them to treasure the Japanese culture.

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Source: Yomiuri Shimbun | Blaise Plant's Twitter |'s Twitter

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This seems to be part of a special initiative on the part of the US Embassy called Tomodachi to improve relations with Japan (there's currently huge anti-American sentiment because of the American base in Okinawa) as well as encourage the people of the Touhoku region during this difficult time. Based on the photo and comments posted by Blaise Plant on his Twitter it appears that they were filmed as Blaise showed around Sendai.

Oh, and GO CANADA! (Blaise is Canadian)

Maeda Atsuko to play the heroine in upcoming movie, “Kuyaku Ressha

It’s been announced that AKB48’s Maeda Atsuko will appear in the upcoming movie, ‘Kuyaku Ressha‘, alongside actor  Moriyama Mirai. ‘Kuyaku Ressha’ was adapted from Nishimura Kenta’s novel, which received the 144th Akutagawa Prize, a prestigious literary award.

The story is set in 1987 and revolves around ‘Kitamachi Kanta’ (played by Moriyama), a 19-year-old day laborer who’s infatuated with alcohol and brothels. He has no friends, no girlfriend, and has self-esteem issues because his father was an outrageous sex offender. However, he reaches a big turning point in his life after a special encounter.

Maeda will play as the heroine, ‘Sakurai Yasuko’, a secondhand bookseller who’s also the love interest of the protagonist.

Maeda, who stated that she’s a big fan of the movie’s director Yamashita Nobuhiro, commented, “I thought I wouldn’t be getting any more acting-related offers since I’ve participated in a lot of works this year. I can’t believe I received something I really would love to do at the end of the year….  I accepted it right away, saying, ‘I’d love to do it.’  It is really a happy offer!”

Director Yamashita stated, “I believe that co-staring with Moriyama-kun and other cast members will be an exciting challenge for Maeda Atsuko as an actress.”

Aside from Moriyama, Maeda will be acting alongside Kora Kengo. “Kuyaku Ressha” is scheduled to be released in 2012.


Kyary Pamyu Pamyu designs shampoo for Reveur

On December 15th, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu appeared at a sales event for her collaboration with shampoo brand, ‘Reveur’. This new shampoo is called ‘Reveur x Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Limited Collaboration’ and will cost 1,890 yen (~24 USD).

Kyary prepared two different designs, the ‘Baby Scent’ and ‘Cotton Candy Scent’. She confessed, “To be honest, I tend to find things troublesome, even taking a bath. But I thought I could enjoy bath time with my favorite ‘Baby Scent’, which has the mixed smell of mother and milk, and the ‘Cotton Candy Scent’ which has a sweet smell.

Kyary spoke a little about Christmas as well. “I thought I would be doing something this Christmas, so I made the day free, but it seems like nothing will happen. I think I may be lying around at home,” she said. Kyary made everyone laugh when she complained about how she caught a cold because of the recent cold weather. “If I could have a present from Santa? I would want the power of immunity…

Kyary’s collaboration shampoo will be available in 600 AEON shops nationwide starting on the 17th.

Silly Pi, "BLAH" Pi

More info about Fuku Arashi programs

Fuku Arashi

It was previously announced that Arashi would be collaborating with Fuji TV for their Fuku Arashi campaign. Some programs were announced as part of this campaign (such as Kotatsu DE Arashi) but few-to-no details were given.

Recently the Fuku Arashi campaign site launched giving more details about their various shows.

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My Body is Ready

Who else is looking forward to the Kotatsu DE Arashi show?? XDD
  • Current Mood
    silly silly
  • Tags

AKB48 and SMAP to perform a Christmas medley on ‘SMAP X SMAP’

It’s been announced that idol group AKB48 will guest-feature on the December 19th broadcast of Fuji TV’s ‘SMAP X SMAP Special‘.

The members will dress up in Santa outfits for the special occasion, and sing Christmas carols like “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” with SMAP. Both groups will take the stage for a total of six songs, including AKB48’s ultra-popular hit, “Kaze wa Fuiteiru“.

SMAP X SMAP has also invited other guests to participate in the special, such as Abe Sadawo and YOU for “Bistro SMAP”, and Nakai Masahiro (who’ll deliver a parody of Shoujo Jidai as “Showa Jidai”). Additionally, viewers will finally get to learn the results for Gory Pamyu Pamyu’s challenge on the ‘SMAVEX DANCE Contest’.

The ‘SMAP x SMAP Special’ will air on December 19th at 10:30 p.m. JST.


They need to stop with Showa Jidai.

NINKI ratings for the week of 20/12~26/12/2011

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Note 1:

The NINKI ratings are the results of a POLL conducted by Oricon indicating degree of interest/degree of purchase intention in an upcoming release. Although the ratings are never a true reflection of sales, it does give a strong prediction about where the single/album will place in terms of popularity amongst the Japanese public. However, they are NOT an indication of how it will perform in terms of chart positioning and total sales for the week.

Note 2:

According to Oricon's note under the NINKI page, Oricon researches about 870,000 of its members by random sampling of 400 members in their 10s until 40s. 50 men and 50 women are chosen randomly to participate in each age group. (However, some popular artists have had NINKI exceeding 500, so we can only assume that Oricon has extended the polling to around 600/700 people now.)

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Rooting so hard for both FMB and Ketsumeishi to do well! It'd be interesting to see who get the top spot, as I think both will sell around the same numbers. And although their NINKI is below 100, I'm almost positive that they'll do well since FMB's best album from February last year still charting and has sold 618,481 copies to date, while Ketsumeishi's studio album this year sold 88k in the first week. Ketsumeishi's sales might suffer a bit though since the sales will be split up among the 4 albums.

Also rooting for SMAP, ABC and Laruku! :)

Source 1, 2
Holidays Tux
  • dangel

Katori Shingo's "Shingo Mama" to return to TV screen after 3 years

On December 15th, it was announced that SMAP's Katori Shingo (34)'s female persona, "Shingo Mama", will return to the small screen after 3 years. Shingo Mama is returning via the upcoming Fuji TV program "Oja Map" (Wednesday, 7 P.M. JST) which will begin its broadcast in January of 2012.

This is a program that Katori, along with Yamazaki Hironari of Untouchable, will take on as a host for this show and will also star in a ‘Kichatta (I've Arrived)' campaign as a part of the promotional event.

Although "Shingo Mama" made her final appearance at May 2009's broadcast of SMAP's long-running program "SMAP X SMAP Special", there have been a lot of support to bring back Katori's character. The support was increased up a notch after Shingo Mama made an appearance at last month's SMAP's 20th Anniversary Fan Event at Tokyo Dome.

In response to this, Shingo Mama revealed, "I started to think ‘I could do it!' but it proceeded rapidly from there." In the end, Katori promised to "absolutely appear on ‘Oja Map'!" which sealed the deal.

In the meantime, check out Shingo Mama's PV, "Shingo Mama no Oha Rock" back from August 2000 below!

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And just for the hell of it, Shingo Mama kissing Gackt. XD

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Source: Tokyohive

'Comfort women' monument erected in front of Japanese Embassy in Seoul

A civic group demanding that the Japanese government apologize to and compensate Korean "comfort women," who were forced to provide sexual services to Japanese soldiers before and during World War II, erected a bronze monument symbolizing the victims in front of the Japanese Embassy on Dec. 14.

The monument, referred to as a "peace statue," was unveiled during an official ceremony on Dec. 14, a day that also marked the group's 1,000th protest in front of the Japanese Embassy, held every Wednesday since January 1992.

Japanese government officials had asked South Korea to intervene and stop the group's monument plans, insisting that such a monument would harm the embassy's dignity and have a negative impact on the countries' diplomatic relations, but their demands were not addressed.

During a news conference on Dec. 13, a spokesman for the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the government would not intervene, stating that "the problem is not of a character to be tackled (by the South Korean government)."

"It is questionable whether such a monument would harm (Japan's) dignity," the official said, adding that the comfort women issue should be resolved by the Japanese government "from a broad perspective."

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