January 26th, 2013


Foreign visitors to Japan surge 34.6% in 2012

The number of foreign visitors to Japan in 2012 surged 34.6% from the previous year as the tourism sector rebounded after the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster, the government said Friday.

Overseas arrivals totaled more than 8.3 million, just short of the record 8.6 million seen in 2010, the Japan National Tourism Organisation said.

“The inauguration of new services by low-cost carriers and the easing of visa-issuance conditions by the Japanese government have also contributed to the increase,” an official from the organization said.

The number of visitors in 2011 plunged to 6.2 million, hit by the massive earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan’s northeast and sparked a nuclear crisis at the Fukushima power plant in March that year.

The number of visitors from mainland China slipped by more than a third in December from a year earlier following a flare-up in a territorial row between Tokyo and Beijing, however for the full year, numbers were up 37.1%.

Annual arrivals from Taiwan were up 47.6% to a record 1.4 million.


ayaka 2

SKE48's manager vows to kill himself if he ever has relations with one of the girls

SKE48's official youtube channel recently uploaded a video of SKE48's new manager. In the video he vows to not have an inappropriate relationship with any of the girls, and if it does happen in the future he will perform seppuku. Fans on 2ch became suspicious since he's good-looking, which prompted the video to be released in the first place. Also, back in 2010 there was rumors of SKE's old manager having sexual relations with one of the members.


NINKI ratings for the week of 28/1~3/2/2012

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I think this is SKE's highest NINKI so far? Question is, whether the single can top their previous best-selling one or not. And hopefully Mika will live up to expectation and get that no.1 album.

Source 1, 2

NMB48's Yamamoto Sayaka Steals The Show At AKB48 Request Hour 2013

Currently, from the 24th January to 27th January, AKB48 are having yearly request hour where all 48-related songs are being voted for, and the top 100 songs are performed.
Today, on the 26th of January, ranking in at no. 40 to everyone's surprise, was a solo song, Jungle Gym by Yamamoto Sayaka, NMB48's captain and ace.

The song was a coupling B-side for NMB48's 3rd single, Junjou U-19, released in 2012.
sayanee jungle gym uwahh

Not only did she sing the song live, she also performed an acoustic version of the song with her acoustic guitar (different arrangement from the original recording). Her performance of the song can be seen below.

Alternate link just in case: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNTA3MjU3MzIw.html

EDIT: And before anyone else complains this isn't news, she did make the news on her own.

Okay she was a bit shaky/flat especially at the start, but she just got better and better as the song went on.
I'm so prouddd of herrr!!!
Arguably one of the best girls to ever come out of the 48Family <3
AND I've been waiting forever for the live perf of this, and finally, I get it and it's perfect.
All the emotions she put into the songg and her pretty voice!!
I just can't...*is very emotional now*

EDIT: Sorry I don't know what's up with the embed :(
I just left links instead.

Pikarin opens up SNS site + Cosplay Detective Pikarin Compilation

She is known as the popular model Shiina Hikari (17) of gyaru magazine, ‘Popteen’. Despite her cute looks, she loves anime and cosplay, so much that she’s known for her “wota-kei gyaru model” character. Which is unique in that not many gyaru models declare themselves as wota/otaku. She is a new type artist that represents teen culture, and avex’s new ultimate weapon.

The concept for her debut is “Pikarin from the Underworld”. She ascended from the Underworld, to debut in the human world.

And then, she opened her own SNS website which can be read in foreign language with using automatic translation the SNS provides.

It is the SNS for the school “Shiritsu Mayumi Gakuen“, Pikarin attend to there in the human world.

According to officials, many foreigners have joined the SNS already. You can use social account (such as facebook, twitter) to enter the SNS, so it’s very easy to see her daily life.

Please sign up at the “Shiritsu Mayumi Gakuen“ site, and have  a good time with Pikarin!

Shiritsu Mayumi Gakuen SNS

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source: 1, 2, 3

Namie Amuro Announces and Posts Sample of New Song "Big Boys Cry"

From her official Facebook page:

Official Facebook ページにひと足早く新曲 “Big Boys Cry” が届きました☆

"Thank you very much for all the comments!!
Here is the new song "Big Boys Cry" exclusively on facebook!!
It's just a small sample but hope you guys enjoy it!!"



[RUMOR] Aiba Masaki leaving Tensai! Shimura Doubutsuen?

Watch Shimura doubutsuen 26/01/2013

Aiba Masaki, one of the co-hosts of the variety program 'Tensai! Shimura Doubutsuen' since 2004, cried in the last episode. But it was broadcasted in cuts, so the reason he cried is unknown. (it will be shown next week probably)

He said:
19:10 - 誰もいないこのスタヂオで (dare mo inai kono sutadjo de) = In this empty studio(...)
40:30 - 好きなこと最後まで (Suki na koto saigo made) = (Doing) the things I like, till the end(...)

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Source 1, 2

What do you think this is all about Arama?
& Sorry for my awful English..

EDIT1: Replaced LQ video with HQ video

EDIT2: According to Yamakaze-san's update audiences who attented the shooting said he didn't cry because he is gonna leave TSD. (Maybe he cried because of a sad clip or something) But it's weird because he says 'in this empty studio'. It seems that we won't be 100% sure till next week..

FUNKY MONKEY BABYS Reveals Title Of Group's Final Single


FUNKY MONKEY BABYS, who will be disbanding in June, has revealed that the title of their final single will be "Arigatou".

The new single will be released on February 27th, marking the group's last single together as they prepare to go their separate ways. With their last single being titled "Arigatou", it serves as one last goodbye to the group's fans.

FUNKY MONKEY BABYS announced on November 29th that they would be disbanding as DJ Chemical prepares to become the chief priest of his parents' temple. Their original disbandment date was going to be on March 31st at the end of their final tour, but was later moved to June 2nd after they organized a final farewell concert at the Tokyo Dome. Details about FUNKY MONKEY BABYS' new single will be released on a later date.