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kurumazakaJul. 16, 2014 - 02:36PM JST
I second the votes for Tanimura, Oda and Hirai. While he's still relatively new, would add Shimizu Shota as well. He got a standing ovation at the Apollo when he performed there.
Posted in: Japan’s 10 best singing voices as chosen by people in the industry
kurumazakaJul. 15, 2014 - 09:22AM JST
Kind of surprised Kyosuke Himuro (especially from the BOowy years) didn't make the list.
kurumazakaJul. 15, 2014 - 08:44AM JST
Any Koji Tamaki fans out there should check out Sapporo based musician Yuya Hoshino. He is produced by Anzen Chitai guitarist Wataru Yahagi and frankly could step in for his obvious hero and have old Anzen Chitai fans wondering if they were listening to Tamaki himself. And he's a damn nice kid to boot!
kurumazakaJul. 01, 2014 - 04:12PM JST
Compared to their SMAP sempai, Arashi are actually pretty good. A Johnnies group harmonizing? Say it ain't so!
Posted in: Arashi announce largest dome tour ever
kurumazakaMar. 12, 2014 - 09:00AM JST
According to Wikipedia, the Japanese suzemebachi is a subspecies of the Asian giant hornet. Read a NatGeo article that said these nasty wasps have killed 42 people in northeast China. Like the suzumebachi, their favorite snack is entire hives of honeybees, which just a few can decimate in short order. Japanese honeybees have developed specialized defenses against them (they swarm the scout wasps, buzz violently, and literally cook them alive) but European honeybees are essentially defenseless.
Posted in: Asian hornets seen for first time in Japan
kurumazakaMar. 03, 2014 - 02:49PM JST
Don't know what the US can really do about this beyond some sort of sanction regime against Russia, which would of course be vetoed by the Russians (and possibly Chinese as well) in the Security Council. While my heart goes out to those Ukranians who desire to be a part of the EU, militarily the US/NATO has few, if any, viable options. Russia has all the numerical and geographic advantages, and crucially, the support of about half the Ukranian population. Russia had no trouble seizing Crimea because the predominatly ethnic Russian population welcomes the Russian military presence. What the heck is the US supposed to do about that?
Regarding Japan and the Northern Territories, this changes nothing. Russia was not going to return them anyway, regardless of whether Abe buddies up with Putin or not.
Regarding the Senkaku issue, China would be wise not to push its luck. Unlike Ukraine, the US military does have the ability to influence outcomes here.
Posted in: Japan expresses concern over Russia's Ukraine move
kurumazakaJan. 31, 2014 - 10:24AM JST
Have seen Clapton several times at Budokan and can say he still has it. And his side man is Doyle Bramhall II (with Derek Trucks on one tour), worth listening to on his/their own. Never been to a Stones show, but last live TV performance I saw (Super Bowl) was outright awful with Mick and Keith totally out of sync with each other. Ronnie Wood was the only bright spot in that performance. Jeff Beck is incredible!
Posted in: Big music acts coming to Japan one after another over next few months
kurumazakaDec. 20, 2013 - 01:24PM JST
Smith, as someone who lived in the City for 12 years I think you are underestimating how frequently this stuff happens. My then 9 year old son got his "Mr. Freindly" play backpack ripped off. My buddy chained his Haro freestyle BMX bike to a tree, came back 10 minutes later to find nothing but a cut chain. Another buddy had a cellphone snagged right off his table while he gabbed with friends. I myself had a Nautica umbrella stolen in a university admin office right off the back of my chair. Larceny is just a part of living in NYC.
Posted in: Anna Umemiya victim of pickpocket in New York
kurumazakaDec. 20, 2013 - 01:00PM JST
Have seen her live a few times (including super lucky front row on the rail for the Tokyo dome show). She works her tail off and her dancers are incredible! The "Feel" show was very well done. She was clearly having throat issues, actually coughing in a couple songs but just kept right on with it. Thanks for a great experience, Namie san!
Posted in: Namie Amuro back on top of charts after four years
kurumazakaDec. 20, 2013 - 12:33PM JST
That's NYC for ya. My wife got hit twice when we lived there. Once on the subway. She felt a slight tug on her bag as she was getting off the train, turned as the doors closed and the dude smiled and waved her wallet at her. The second in a Starbucks right behind my back. Dude used his two kids as a diversion. He had the little boy grab the wallet, he took it and stashed it somewhere, then came back and played dumb. Called the cops but couldn't find the stash spot so with no proof they had to let the creep go. He had already served time on Rikers twice for the same thing. NYC can be a rude awakening for someone straight out of Japan, (we had already been there for 8 years the second time and were considerbly more street smart) especially someone like Ms. Umemiya who seems to always be wearing thousands of dollars worth of clothing and jewelry. She is a walking bullseye.
kurumazakaDec. 12, 2013 - 09:12AM JST
Jean, as a guitar fan it is with more than a bit of embarrassment that up until about a year ago, I was one of those multitudes who knew nothing of Jim Hall. (many thanks to Jazzradio.com for the free education!) Mr. Hall and Joe Pass opened my eyes to the beauty of understated elegance. RIP Jim, hope you get to play with Joe up there.
Posted in: Jazz guitarist master Jim Hall dies at 83
kurumazakaNov. 27, 2013 - 09:02AM JST
Gee, would appear China may perhaps be trying to surround Taiwan?
Posted in: Japan receives int'l support over China air zone
kurumazakaNov. 27, 2013 - 08:50AM JST
Expect a lot more of the same. Would imagine this is going to be daily routine for a while.
Posted in: China says it monitored U.S. B-52 air zone flights
kurumazakaNov. 20, 2013 - 10:18AM JST
The more I ponder this the more I think the Abe govt. is being set up by Korea and China. What is Abe going to do when the South Koreans challenge him to publicly explain WHY Ahn is a mere criminal? Frankly, the international community doesn't pay much attention to SK/NK/China calling Japan unrepentantly militaristic because it's been used politically so many times, but what about if they could provoke the Abe government to actually say it themselves? How could they use the fallout from such an explanation as leverage in territorial disputes? The Abe government needs to stuff a sock in its mouth promptly.
Posted in: China praises Korean assassin whom Japan calls a 'criminal'
kurumazakaNov. 20, 2013 - 08:52AM JST
Wow, talk about bad politics on both sides, but especially from the Japanese government. Do they not comprehend what they are actually saying by arguing that Ahn was a mere criminal? Way to hand loads of ammo to the other side...frigging stupid!
kurumazakaNov. 19, 2013 - 02:03PM JST
Ossan, I admit I have not seen the trailer. But that makes it even worse. This is an American director basically blaspheming a classic piece of Japanese history. Chushingura, romanticized or not, really happened, and it is a story the Japanese take great pride in. Director is taking some real liberties here, and I suspect it will piss a lot of people off. But truth is, I'm probably making a big deal over nothing. But we Americans can't complain if a Japanese director decides to make a movie about the American war for independence that features Miyamoto Musashi and his band of Iga ninja as George Washington's personal special forces unit.
Posted in: Keanu Reeves explores world of samurai
kurumazakaNov. 19, 2013 - 10:20AM JST
Ossan, checked out Hirado. Was shut down by the Tokugawa and merged into Dejima by 1641. Asano Takuminokami committed seppuku in 1701. Reeves is 49, so we should assume his character is between 40-55 years old meaning at closest, his character was born 4 years after the Hirado trading post was shut down. A bit of a stretch, but at least somewhat plausible. I guess we are to assume that his british father was employed by Ako Han (Hyogo pref, a good clip away from Kyushu in those days) without Tokugawa knowledge?
kurumazakaNov. 19, 2013 - 09:18AM JST
Thanks Ossan, didn't know about Hirado!
kurumazakaNov. 19, 2013 - 08:45AM JST
Will be interested to see how they try to explain the half British samurai element. Is he supposed to be descended from John Adams? Other than the Dutch, who were strictly confined to Dejima in Nagasaki, foreigners were not exactly welcome in Tokugawa era Japan.
kurumazakaNov. 15, 2013 - 08:53AM JST
Probie, I half-way agree with you. Yamamoto frankly does know a lot about this issue. It has pretty much been his whole life for the past 2 years. However, while it was definitely an attention grabbing stunt, he did it to keep people talking about the issue rather than personal glory. I'm sure he knew he was going to take a lot of heat for his actions. But if you look though the eyes of the Uyoku Dantai, this was far more than a breach of protocol. As Probie stated, his actions implied that he felt the Emperor was at best," under-informed," at worst, outright ignorant of the suffering of his people. I can see where the black truck gang would consider this a grievous insult to the Emperor. As Dennis Bauer pointed out, this should not be taken as an empty threat.
Posted in: Lawmaker who gave letter to emperor receives death threat
Sep. 01, 2014 - 10:41PM JST
Alcohol works temporarily.
Posted in: Neuroscientists say it's possible to overwrite bad memories
It's odd, your timeline mentions nothing about the $5 billion from the US, or the…
Posted in: Putin seeks 'statehood' talks on east Ukraine
Sep. 01, 2014 - 10:39PM JST
In Singapore, there are also memorials to honor heroes who died fighting the Japanese. To Singaporeans,…
Posted in: With eye on Japan, China announces national 'Martyrs' Day'
Sep. 01, 2014 - 10:38PM JST
Let 'em show, let 'em show.
I'm one with the pervs and the otakus.
Posted in: Porn queens raise Y5 mil for AIDS charity at 'Boob Aid'
Let Dagestan and Chechnya and North Syria have their own states too.