14 J-Pop songs of Christmas :)…….an updated post..sort of~. ^ ^

(December 2009~! yet another re~posting Σ( ̄◇ ̄*)!) I really thought I would have more songs♪♪ to add here….and if anything pops~* up I'll be sure to update this post~ but for now this is for anyone who hasn't enjoyed these wonderful J-Pop Christmas♥songs just yet~…..minnasan have a very merry Christmas♥ and I hope these songs♪♪ can add a little bit more cheer* and brightness~* to your holiday♥season~ o(*´∀`)o゛

(From 2008's reposting….) Someone was a bit too lazy 😛 to write an all new post and I really just had two more songs to add this year so instead of uploading them separately I've just added them to last year's Christmas post just in case anyone missed any of the previous 12 Christmas songs. In the event in which I think of any more songs to add I'll just update this post. ^ ^

It's Christmas eve here in Hawaii and I'd first of all like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!! It's just been over a year since I first joined VOX and my first blogging experience. I'd like to say thank you to everyone who's ever visited this site, posted a comment, or just found something amusing by chance. 🙂

The cutest Christmas card arrived from Paul Thomas over at Hello!Blog. I think it's wonderful when friends make their own cards as it brings a nice personal touch to the greeting. Merry Christmas Paul and thank you for the card! 🙂
p.s. I will be having a nice Berryz Christmas! And you wrote your name correctly in Japanese characters! 😀

Christmas "miracles" do come true as I learned today! After months of no luck…today on the eve of Christmas I was at the right place at the right time and finally was able to purchase a Wii!!!

I just can't believe how difficult it is to find one of these! And after seeing members of Momusu try their hand at this console the attraction grew even greater albeit some of those games I don't think are available here (yet?). This Wii bundle comes with 2 sets of controllers and 2 games along with the base console and was priced significantly lower than what it would have cost if the accessories had been purchased separately. Heheh I hope that I'm still able to use my arms tomorrow after a night of Wii overload. 😛

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Christmas songs can truly be timeless parts of our lives and here I've chosen 12 14 songs that I've acquired over the years as J-Pop artists occasionally release them during this time of year and many become quite endeared tracks. So if you're looking to add some cute to your Christmas this year, all 12 14 tracks have been uploaded to help give this holiday season a J-Pop flavor to it. Hopefully some of these songs will inspire you to check out some of their other releases as well. :)  (Previous 12 songs uploaded by courtesy of 808 Monkey!) (2 newly added songs uploaded directly to VOX as mp3's)

 

01 White Light
Amuro Namie

The first added song is Amuro Namie's soothing track "White Light" which was released on November 16th, 2005…I really should have had this song up last year but somehow it slipped passed me!

And the second added track is Larc~en~ciel's "Hurry Xmas" which was released on November 14th, 2007…I really ♥ this song as it's a mixture of jazz and rock and Hyde's voice is just purely awesome no matter what style of song he sings…just amazing emotion and range! And here's the pv…..it's really cute too with all of the Santas running wild! ^ ^

 

First Next is Kato Noriko's Winter pop classic "Fuyu ga kita" which was released back on January 15th, 1998. One of Japan's cutest idols, Kato Noriko ventured into J-Pop and released 3 albums and a modest number of singles along with a few shashinshuu releases while also appearing in t.v. dramas. Click Click here to download "Fuyu ga kita."

Ah the days when 3" Cd singles still ruled Japan's music landscape! "Christmas Time" was written by Zard's Sakai Izumi and she also makes a guest appearance here with a nice touch of background vocals. Easily one of the most catchy J-Pop Christmas songs that I've ever encountered and it would be 6 years later nearly to the day that Zard would record their own version of this inspired tune. Barbier's version of "Christmas Time" was released on November 22nd, 1995. Click here to download Barbier's version of "Christmas Time."

Ribbon, one of J-Pops most vocally talented groups from the 90's released a mini Christmas album titled "Hoshi no ki no shita de…" back on November 20th, 1992 and here's my favorite song from this mini holiday collection…"Merry Kiss, Holy Smile" which adds a nice rock spin to the feeling of Christmas! Click here to download "Merry Kiss, Holy Smile." 

 

My favorite non H!P female J-Pop artist of all time released an ultra cute melody capturing the holiday spirit and nothing says "J-Pop" more than this tune when defining the genre which has gradually become less and less common in todays Japanese releases. "Christmas Cinderella" appears on Sakai Noriko's album "My Dear~Noriko Part V~" which was released on December 16th,1989. Nori-P's voice at her cutest! 🙂 Click here to download "Christmas Cinderella."

You may remember an episode of Hello! Morning where several members had "Fukuyama Mania!!" 😀 One of J-Pop's most beloved artists/musicians Fukuyama Masaharu delivers a instant classic with his heartfelt song "Heart of Xmas" which was the b-side to his single release "Peach!!" This single was released on November 5th, 1998 but transcends time seamlessly as I think you'll agree. Click here to download "Heart of Xmas."

Pony Canyon's sister group to Ribbon also released a mini album back on November 7th, 1990 and here we find the sweet Christmas melody of "The First Snow." Anyone interested in experiencing the sounds of a J-Pop girl group which helped pave the way for today's artists including H!P should give CoCo a listen! Quite simply my first J-Pop idol love which includes the "original" J-Pop "anime" voice of Miura Rieko. 🙂 Click here to download "The First Snow."

One of Johnny's Entertainment family's now more senior groups, the Kinki Kids released a very catchy holiday season tune as the b-side to their single "Happy Happy Greeting" which was released on December 9th,1998. Here are one of J-Pop's most vocally talented male duos! Click here to download "Cinderella Christmas." 

Another of my favorite J-Pop loves Moritaka Chisato who's had a special relationship with Hello! Project in recent years as a few of her songs have been re-recorded by members of the H!P family including Minimoni, Gocchin, Nacchi & Ayaya. Along with her substantial hand in the writing process, Moritaka Chisato also has one of the most distinctively different voices in J-Pop. This beautiful single was released on November 19th, 1997. Click here to download "Snow Again." 

Another J-Pop Christmas classic from Sakai Noriko, "Nan ni mo shinai Christmas" brings a vibrant international dance flavor to the season with this infectious melody! As the b-side to her single "Tabun taboo", this holiday gem was released on November 6th, 1992. Definitely one of the sweetest voices to grace Japan's airwaves, Sakai Noriko has developed into an established actress as well! Click here to download "Nan ni mo shinai Christmas." 

Smap's 14th album brings us the great Christmas tune "Ai no hi~kimi to merry christmas~" Even J-Pop fans not familiar with Smap will find this tune irresistible! Click here to download "Ai no hi~kimi to merry christmas~." 

As aforementioned, six years nearly to the day after Barbier's version of "Christmas Time" was released, Zard finally presented us with their touch on this wonderful Christmas song! The song appeared on Zard's "Zard Blend II~Leaf & Snow~" which was released on November 21st, 2001. Both versions have a nice different appeal to them and I'd recommend listening to them back to back. Click here to download Zard's version of "Christmas Time."

Ah and no Christmas collection would be complete without a Hello! Project tune…

…and happily back on November 27th, 2002 the Hello! Project family gave us just that!! This release seemed to be a bit of an obscure project and I just happened to come across it one day on the internet. A brilliant coupling of top Japanese enka singers along with the youth of Hello! Project, "Ai no Merry Christmas" blends both worlds beautifully into a wonderous winter ensemble! Quite possibly one of the most unique pairings of vastly different worlds this release stands as a truly timeless vision of these eras and what's possible when one dares to cross their paths together. While the main vocals are performed by Itsuki Hiroshi & Horiuchi Takao, two household names in Japanese folk music, the sweet touch is supplied by the ensemble of members pictured above in the form of a choir. The coupling with song
"Tabidatsu kimi ni" is perhaps an even prettier song as Itsuki Hiroshi is paired with the lovely vocals of Nakazawa Yuko & Fujimoto Miki!!! Click here to download "Ai no Merry Christmas."

I hope you enjoy these J-Pop Christmas songs as they'd make a nice holiday collection for years to come or at least I hope so! 🙂

Here's wishing everyone a safe and joyous holiday season & a Happy New Year!!

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About MorningBerryz

Lover and free spirit who's interests in Japanese culture and the like are insatiable. I am of pure Japanese/Okinawan descent, love my cats, sleep and am a bit naughty at times :).
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79 Responses to 14 J-Pop songs of Christmas :)…….an updated post..sort of~. ^ ^

  1. snow-flower says:

    i love japanese songs…but never really catch up with the japanese scene….

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  2. Mikey says:

    That's so nice of you! Especially to explain about all these songs and the backgrounds. Just what is needed to make Japanese music more accessible to those that like it, but are often hard pressed to find out more about the artists and the scene over there.I have a VOX group for song lyrics translations. If you ever have the time I would love to have more jpop songs translated to English.http://lyrics-translations.groups.vox.com/Merry Christmas and thanks again! :)Mike

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  3. HarimaKenji says:

    Glad to know you finally found a Wii ^_^ It's interesting to know that these are hard to find over there… In some of the biggest cities here, it wouldn't be THAT hard to find one, probably because almost no one here besides the biggest Nintendo gamers would have money to buy one XDAnyway… Merry Christmas! Take a look at my Christmas post in my blog (well, sort of, in the end) I have the feeling you'll like it =)Thank you for the music selection, it comes in a great time. Too bad I only know H!P, ZARD, SMAP and Kinki Kids in this list T_T I wish I had lots of time to listen to all of them.

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  4. chibon says:

    [참 좋습니다]

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  5. strawberriedoll I hope that some of these songs can help make your holiday season even brighter! 🙂

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  6. Merry Christmas Radicalipton! I hope you enjoyed the songs! 🙂

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  7. Hotaru says:

    I'm happy for you! You finally found a Wii! Now that I have saved up enough money, I'm hoping to get one myself! I just hope I can find myself in the right place and the right time, also! I haven't heard most of these songs, they all look great :DI hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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  8. Mikey I'm so happy that sharing songs like these can help spread a bit of J-Pop holiday joy! I did keep my comments on each group/artist to a minimum though as I didn't want to bore anyone… 😛 But it's nice to hear that this type of reading can be a good thing and I'll keep that in mind in the future. 🙂 Wow that's a great idea having song translations compiled here on VOX! This is the type of thing that really must make fans happy as understanding the songs really helps to enhance the entire listening experience. Ah I do only have a few translations done but will definitely post them here when I'm able. 🙂 In some older posts there are a few on this site although they're scattered a bit and may be hard to find. Merry Christmas to you too and I wish you a happy new year!! 🙂

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  9. Ivysgrandkid are these difficult to find in your area too? I've never seen anything sell so fast in my life! It was literally under 3 minutes and an entire pallet of Wii's were swept away! :O

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  10. HarimaKenji I find that amazing that you can find a Wii! The way they sell here is almost freakishly scary! :O With the current craze and Nintendo's inability to meet the demand they just don't stay in stock very long…in fact 5 minutes may be the current record for a Wii sitting out before it's purchased by someone! :O You literally have to be standing right there when it's brought out or you have no chance of getting one. Merry Christmas!! And I hope you enjoy the rest of the holiday songs! 🙂 Ah a Kamechan post! 🙂

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  11. Merry Christmas guacg!! Have a happy new year too!! That's very observant of you to notice that Aichan's missing in this Christmas release. I'm baffled by this as well and can't find any logical reason for her not being there. Especially when you consider her strong vocals it's even more puzzling. Maybe someone else can shed some light on this or perhaps she just wasn't available for the recording.

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  12. Merry Christmas and thank you Hotaru!! I can't believe I finally got a Wii!! I was beginning to lose hope that I'd ever get one or that perhaps the Wii 2 would come out by the time I found the first console. 😛 I'm hoping you can find one too and maybe they'll be easier to find after the holidays have passed although the demand hasn't slowed down a bit since their release it seems. I hope you can enjoy some Christmas J-pop this year with some of these songs as they'd be great for today! 🙂 Have a happy and safe new year too!!

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  13. Mikey says:

    Happy holidays to you too! :)I was looking at your profile and we do seem to have a lot of common interests. "Great minds think alike" as they say! ^^I will point people to your site and the other sites that you link to, when they express an interest in jpop from now on. 🙂 You live in Hawai'i, right? I lived there for a few years when I was a kid. Have you seen the very charming Japanese movie called Hula Girls (フラガール, Hura Gāru ? I saw it at a film festival and feel in love! I sent it to my "niecelets" who are 1/2 Japanese. (Ages 4 and 2). Their Momma was raised in Hawai'i and is hula dancer too. Anyway, I am always looking for appropriate jpop and other things from Japan for them. They loved My Neighbor Totoro and Hikki's Boku wa Kuma. :)Thanks again! 🙂

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  14. paul.thomas says:

    Hope you've had a great Christmas! You received my card, I was worried that it wasn't going to turn up in time, I missed the recommend last day for posting by a day, so was worried that it wouldn't turn up until after Christmas.I opened up your gift this morning and I just want to say thank you, I haven't had a chance to listen to all of the cds what with all the eating/drinking/sleeping going on, but I'm working my way through them and have 4 more to listen to. I'll also check through these Christmas songs a little later tonight.

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  15. Mikey that's very kind of you! Thank you! 🙂 Yes I do live in Hawaii and a friend gave me this movie which is a beautiful crossing of cultures. We have international film festivals here each year but I have a difficult time attending due to my odd working hours. What's great is that a lot of these featured films are slowly becoming available domestically which is nice since their a bit less costly than the original releases. Off the top of my head a few Japanese movies that I love are "Azumi", "Ooku", "Shinobi", "Shimotsuma Monogatari", "The Hidden Blade", "Bushi no ichibun", "Bubble e go!!", and "Sekai no chuushin de, ai wo sakebu." If you can find "Sekai no chuushin de, ai wo sakebu" I really recommend this film. It's one of the most deeply touching films that I've ever seen. Wow that's great that you lived in Hawaii while growing up and you're related to a hula dancer! That's a great idea sending them items from Japan as it will help bring them up with the culture. Hope you're Christmas was a great one!

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  16. Paul thank you again for the Christmas card and happily it did arrive in time! 🙂 I'm so glad that you didn't already own this collection as I was a bit worried about that. By far the best track in this fan club collection and the main reason to own it is Rikachan's "Rikaishite onnanoko." One of the absolute cutest H!P songs ever and I love how they incorporated each member's name into their song titles! Play it repeatedly…you'll love it!! 🙂 Nacchi's song is another great one too. Someone translated every member's comment track and I have it saved somewhere but I'm thinking you can probably still find it online.

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  17. HarimaKenji says:

    MorningBerryz, I haven't seen the movie version of "Sekai no chuushin de ai wo sakebu", but there's a dorama adaptation I highly recommend (they're both based in a book of the same name). If you don't want to watch the same story twice, there's a dorama called "1 Litre of Tears" (Ichi Rittoru no Namida) I actually thought was better than Sekai. You'll be thrown in a dilema for that "most deeply touching" throne, I'm sure 🙂 I think it might have a movie adaptation too (it's also based in a book, a diary of a girl who has a rare degenerative disease, that's all I'm saying)I noticed you didn't mention any Akira Kurosawa movie, their already old but classics you shouldn't let pass if you ever see them on promotion or for rent somewhere, who knows? =P "Seven Samurai" and "Ikiru" are his masterpieces (black and white movies, they were released on 195X) Just some ideas…

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  18. Mikey says:

    I've heard a lot of people say that 1 Liter of Tears is pretty good! Someone sent me a song from it… ^^

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  19. Mikey says:

    "Sekai no chuushin de, ai wo sakebu" sounds very interesting! Do you like "K-Dramas" and Korean Films too? I love My Sassy Girl of course, and the new I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK also… I saw a reference to the Film Festival in Hawaii recently. I think it was for the documentary The Men of Hula… great doc. film too! I loved the Japanese Sci-Fi movie The Returner I saw at SDAFF a few years back too. So many films, so little time! ^^

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  20. Mikey says:

    I was just thinking… you have read Haruki Murakami (村上春樹, Murakami Haruki ?I loved Sputnik Sweetheart, After Dark, Dance, Dance Dance, and Norwegian Wood especially… (in translation, of course!) ^^

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  21. mizunohi says:

    Wii's are ao much fun! My brother was lucky enough (after standing in the cold outside several stores and a month of searching) to get a Wii last year just in time for christmas! Be sure to try bowling!
    Thank you for your wonderful collection of christmas songs! Merry Chirstmas and have a Very Happy New Year!

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  22. HarimaKenji thank you for the recommendations! I've heard about the drama version of this movie but having seen the movie version already I wasn't sure if I'd want to see different actors/actresses playing the same parts as I find them so endearing in this film. That might sound like a wacky reason to not watch it. 😛 But I imagine those that have watched the drama version may find it hard liking the movie actors in much the same way as they're drawn to the first version that they've seen. Although I'm sure that the t.v. drama version is excellent as well! "1 Liter of Tears"…sounds like a familiar title but I've never had the chance to watch it. Hmmm…I'll have to see if it's been released on DVD if there is a movie version. The only Akira Kurosawa movie that I own is "Seven Samurai" in the Criterion Collection DVD. Amazing what was directed so long ago and with so much depth in characters and story. This is a minor kick but I love that the intermission is actually played as part of the movie as I believe it was done when these older films were shown in theaters. The first time I watched it I was like…whoa! I can go to the kitchen without having to pause! 🙂

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  23. Mikey it looks like the both of us will be watching "1 Liter of Tears." I hope it's available to order! 🙂 Make sure to watch "Sekai no chuushin de ai wo sakebu" if you get the chance! You'll really fall in love with the characters and long after you've watched it it'll stay in your mind. Even after weeks had passed I was still thinking about this movie. Hmmm…I haven't watched Korean dramas as of yet but my mother loves them!! She seems to be watching them all the time! I've seen kind of a lot of Korean horror movies though as some are quite original and creepy. Sometimes though it seems that the Japanese and Korean directors/writers are copying each other as some films are a bit too similar. But still I really love horror films if they're done well. I wish I had the time to attend the film festivals that they hold annually here in Hawaii. I bought "The Returner." 🙂 If I'm thinking of the same film it stars the amazing Kaneshiro Takeshi and Suzuki Anne! I enjoyed this film a lot too! I really loved "House of Flying Daggers." "Haruki Murakami" hmm…I'm not familiar with this book.

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  24. mizunohi wow your brother really went through a lot to get one so early! I've been waiting for months! This bundle came with the sports game and bowling is our absolute favorite game right now! I'm really no good at bowling so now it's great that I can look foolish in the comfort of home! 😛 Slowly I'm getting better though. I love the Mii feature where there are so many possibilities when creating your own character and after seeing members of Momusu play with this system it's that much more endearing. 🙂 I want to create Momusu member characters in my console too! I'm happy that you enjoyed the holiday songs. Hope your Christmas was great and have a fun and safe new years too!!p.s. I hope your mom took your Christmas present out of hiding! Hopefully it fits okay as H!P shirts appear to only be available in one size. 🙂

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  25. mizunohi says:

    Today, with some beginners luck, my grandmother actually beat my brother at a game of bowling! That's true beginners luck! The Mii's are really funny, you can make them look so "interesting". (haha) XD I tried making a Risachan Mii…..it was a failure D: I'm really bad at making them, they just never turn out quite right XD
    I love the shirt! It's really big on me (The sleeves go down to my elbows!) but I love it and it looks great with a belt around it! 😀 The pictures that go with it are just adorable and the wristband fits perfectly! I think its funny how specific UFA is, with even the cardboard piece that hold the shape of the wristband sporting a UFA merchandise label. They really do put in every detail! I look forward to collecting more T-shirts! If momusu startes making the member-customized shirts I may not be able to resist!

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  26. mizunohi that's funny!…an older friend of mine gets beaten up by his son who I think is about 5 or 6 years old when they play Wii boxing! :O But since I haven't won a single boxing match yet I can't laugh too much! 😛 I'm going to try to create a Risakochan Mii next. I wish she had been on HM@ when they were playing the Wii so that I'd have an idea of where to start. Ah it's been so busy this week that I didn't even get a chance to post up the HM@ episode and next week looks to be just as busy if not worse. I'm happy that you like Kohachan's t-shirt set! I put some of those 3 1/2" x 5" UFA photos into those acrylic photo holders as they display really nicely. Maybe the shirt will shrink a little bit in time and fit better I do hope. H!P releases so many t-shirt sets among their members and groups and it's always hard to decide which ones to get. But the shirts with personal touches on them as with Berryz Koubou & Biyuuden are so creative and are such great ideas so hopefully more like these will be released soon.

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  27. みどり says:

    Oh, I wish I had caught this before Christmas! Still, it's so nice of you to post. (^_^) For next year, may I recommend Amuro's "White Light" or her duet with Gackt "Itsuka no Merry Christmas" ❤

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  28. Midori perhaps you can make a Christmas collection disc for future holiday seasons with these songs. 🙂 Ah I do have Amuro Namie's single "White Light" and was thinking about including it here but 12 just seemed like a nice number of songs. It really would be a great song to share for next season. 🙂

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  29. Mikey says:

    That's the same Returner I was talking about. Love that one. :)If you liked House of Flying Daggers with Zhang Ziyi, I bet that you will adore The Road Home (her first film). It is a wonderfully simple and pure movie about love and what we owe each other. Bring a hanky! It's at most Blockbuster Video stores here, so hopefully you can easily find it. Watch it with your Mom… If you have time, look up Murakami's Norwegian Wood at the library. I think that you would really enjoy it.

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  30. I really like Kaneshiro Takeshi! Have you ever played the first "Onimusha"? They modeled the main character after him and it looks just like him! 🙂 Ah I have "The Road Home" with Zhang Ziyi! It was a beautifully touching story and after seeing Zhang Ziyi in only fighting movies it was really great seeing her in a love story like this. Hmmm…we really do have similar tastes! "Norwegian Wood?….I'm now thinking about that great Beatles song! 🙂

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  31. Mikey says:

    Did you see him in Peter Chan's Perhaps Love?! I love that movie so much! And I hear he might be in the film version of Onimusha too! ^^Norwegian Wood is named after the Beatles' song. And several other tiles have a song or musical theme as well. He is a big music lover. 🙂 He is my favorite Japanese writer. So nice to meet a kindred soul… 🙂

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  32. Thank you! I'm going to check for this movie now! Wow they're making a movie based on "Onimusha?!!" I love the first game the most so hopefully they'll cast him in it! With all of the technology and movie magic today I think they can make a really great movie. Thank you for all of your suggestions. 🙂

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  33. Mikey says:

    And it has the lovely Zhou Xun in it too! She is in so many things, but I loved her as the "Little Seamstress" in Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress! Both the book and the film are highly recommended. (I always say read the book first!) I saw that one at the first San Diego Asian Film Festival that I attended, in 2003. How time flies! ^^

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  34. Wow you've really watched a lot of international films! I love Chinese movies too and outside of the martial arts ones, I find so many to have deep sentiment and often tragic situations with the main characters. Ah I'm very guilty of watching a movie instead of reading the book first! 😛 But I totally agree that reading the book first really enhances the experience as there are a few times that that has actually occurred. Another movie to add to my must see list! 🙂

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  35. Mikey says:

    Yes, I think that films and movies are very different things. The depth a book has isn't easily portrayed in a film. Did you see Snow Falling on Cedars? I loved that book so much. Seeing the film added another dimension. It is hard for me to think of those characters now without seeing Ethan Hawke and Youki Kudoh as them. 🙂

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  36. I have this DVD but I watched it only once when it was first released. I haven't thought about this movie in quite awhile! If I remember correctly Suzuki Anne played her character in youth. I really loved Kudoh Youki in "Picture Bride" and it was the first time I heard of her. She actually had a brief singing career too and I have 3 of her albums one of which is a movie themed release. Movies can really place faces to characters which stay with you afterwards and the Harry Potter film series has really done that for me and probably a lot of others I'd imagine. The casting is so perfect.

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  37. Mikey says:

    Yes, she played a young character, back from the future… :)I first saw Yuki in Mystery Train, which I had heard about many times. I have Picture Bride too! Boy, did her character get a bum deal! ^^ She has her own web site, that has quite a bit about her current ventures. She started off in TV comedies, right? I'd love to hear what she sings like.The best actors become their characters. Some actors say it's very hard to leave the roles they've come to inhabit. I'm reading 1 Liter Tears online… <tear>

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  38. This is funny, kind of like living in a parallel universe! I bought Mystery Train but it's just on VHS but actually I found this movie to be kind of strange. It was strictly due to my sudden interest in Kudou Yuki that I looked for this movie after checking on her films. Living in Hawaii, "Picture Bride" received a lot of attention here and the film enjoyed a great reception too. This might have served as an early gateway into foreign films for some too I imagine. I'll try to ask a friend to put up some of her songs from the CDs that I have.

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  39. Mikey says:

    Yes, I was curious about her from the reviews of Mystery Train initially. Plus, my Interest in Hawai'i from living there and my niecelet connection. 🙂 There was no Youtube back then, so you just had to dive in. Apparently, Yuki is living full time in LA now…Perhaps you know of Ang Lee's films? His current one is Lust Caution but I've always loved his early film Eat Drink Man Woman Such a wonderful movie!Hope I'm not spewing out too many films! It's just that you seem on the same wave length as me on many of the films that have touched me. :)If there aren't too many songs, perhaps you could email them? There are some songs I'd like to send you too. ^^

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  40. Hahah "Mystery Train" might have been just too bizarre for me or perhaps I just didn't understand it since I watched it so long ago. Ah I have the DVD for "Eat Drink Man Woman" and interestingly the same friend at work who suggested "My Neighbor Totoro" suggested this movie as well. I enjoyed this film too! A tragically sad but great movie that just came to mind is "Raise the Red Lantern" or I think that was the title as I just rented this one awhile back. Moving film but it was a bit depressing. I'm actually going to have to ask a friend to upload Yuki's songs the next time I see them which may be this weekend as my computer is just way too old and slow to accomplish this. 😛 Hahah downloading is a problem as well for me! 😛 It's a really good thing that I like buying the artists that I like. I may just create a little Kudou Yuki post here but I'm not really sure yet.

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  41. Mikey says:

    Many of the Miyazaki animes are released by Disney in the US. They feature the original sound track and the English language versions. Plus, a lot of extras too. So, you should be able to find some of his animes at places like Blockbusters to rent.Check THIS 🙂

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  42. Thank you!! I've never been to Studio Ghibli's official site before and I do imagine these titles should be easy to find with his great popularity here in the U.S. There's a few titles listed that I'm not familiar with on this site.

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  43. Mikey says:

    Thank "The Princesses" (my niecelets)! 🙂 They got me interested in Miyazaki. I kept hearing from people how much they loved My Neighbor Totoro as kids or young adults, so… My first Totoro was a bit torrent with subs. Then I got them the Disney release. It has both the original Japanese and the English cast versions, which is so good for them. – English now, Japanese later, as their comprehension increases. 🙂 I notice that in the Japanese version, the kids are a *lot* more respectful… ;)I think your friends mentioned most of the main animes he made. For me, I think that in many ways that Spirited Away is most wonderful of them all. I am sending that to the Princesses next, even though it might be a bit scary at their age. They are all great though – I can't imagine you being disappointed in any of them.I'm thinking of getting Netflix. I just need to see how many "International" type DVDs they carry. I watch very few Hollywood films these days. It starts at $4.99 a month…I love it that VOX makes it so easy to add links to what you are talking about. ^^

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  44. It's really wonderful that you share all of these films with your nieces and you'll be known to them as the wonderful Uncle with great imagination and generosity! 🙂 A friend at work has Netflix and he says that it's so easy to use, convenient, and really worth the cost! I guess if you watch movies a lot you can get new ones that much more often. He doesn't watch too many foreign films though so I'm not sure what kind of catalog they have. With International film festivals and foreign films in general being so popular now, I really do hope that they have a great selection to offer. If they have "So Close" starring Shu Qi watch this one! I thought it was a dynamic action film from start to finish and the end will really have you on edge….or maybe I was just on edge! 😛

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  45. Mikey says:

    This is almost scary! I was gonna' mention So Close to *you* several times today! Shu Qi is such an unexpected story! She was making "type III" movies, (Hard R rated), but slowly she got better roles, leading to great films like Three Times… Karen Mok is pretty good in it too, and does some of the soundtrack singing. But what I really, really want (to borrow a Spice Girls phrase) is the version of The Carpenters Close To You, as sung by Corrinne May in the soundtrack (in the first part, played on the building sound system, right before she jumps out of the window). Have you heard of Corrinne May? She is a wonderful singer! Originally from Singapore, is now lives and records in LA.Anyway, I have been dying to get that song Close To You by her. There is the Karen Mok version, but that ain't the same… Some day! ^^I want them to appreciate their Japaneseness! After 5 or 6, your inborn thirst for language starts to diminish. Since I originally wanted to be a teacher, this is very gratifying, being able to affect their lives in a positive way. AND they are so cute and smart!! They give so much to me too. Emma, the 4 year old, freaked when I sent her a talking card that I sung Happy Birthday to her on. 🙂

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  46. Mikey says:

    Netflix has So Close: HERE 🙂

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  47. Hahah every time I mention "So Close" to anyone they have no idea what I'm talking about and I'm guessing never watch it afterwards. She was also in "The Eye 2" or was it 3? Is there a 3? I've never heard of her until she was in "Transporter" which was such a great action film!! Hmmm…I'm not familiar with Corrinne May but will take note of this song when I watch the movie again. "Close to You" is such a beautiful song! I wonder if there's a soundtrack available for this movie…although I imagine you've already checked on that. You're being such a wonderful mentor and every thing you've done will help to make them grow up so educated and well. 🙂

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  48. Mikey says:

    I have a bunch of ethnic Chinese friends from places like Malaysia, Australia, etc. (Emma's "Aunties"). And they turned me on to many of the great Chinese films that are out there, like So Close, Perhaps Love, and so many others.Remind me to put some Corrinne May songs on your 1 Liter Tears CD. I am very sure that you will fall in love with her singing and lyrics.My Sugar Cat is the name of that song! ^^

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  49. Sometimes I buy movies on impulse…actually it's quite often! Actors/actresses that I love are usually the biggest draw even if I haven't heard of a film before. It usually turns out great but there have been a few times that it turned out to be an unwise gamble and in those cases I really have to like who's in it to feel okay. Just a few favorites would be Kimura Takuya, Matsu Takako, Takenouchi Yutaka, Fukada Kyoko, Ueto Aya, Kaneshiro Takeshi, Nakama Yukie…and this list could go on for awhile so I'll stop there! Please watch "Shinobi-Heart Under Blade" if you have a chance. I've shared it with friends at work and everyone's really loved this movie. Odagiri Joe and Nakama Yukie have such great performances and the effects and story are both spectacular! Odagiri Joe also stars in "Azumi" with the very talented Ueto Aya! I'm kind of obsessed with this movie and I've watched it so many times. This may sound wacky but I have 3 different releases of this movie. 😛 Matsu Takako was the main reason that I watched "The Hidden Blade" and this movie was released in the U.S. too. It's a beautiful film set in feudal Japan with an underlying love story. I also recently watched "Bushi no ichibun" starring one of my all time favorites Kimura Takuya. This film is part of a trilogy and is the final part after "The Hidden Blade" but because the films' stories aren't directly related you can watch them in any order. I have the Japanese version of "Bushi no ichibun"…hmmm not sure if it was released in the U.S or not.

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  50. Mikey says:

    I love movies that I know people have never heard of, but will love… like The Road Home. 🙂 Have you heard of The Banquet with Zhang Ziyi?? based on Hamlet? It's an especially beautiful film to watch (breathtaking) and the cast is awesome!Because of the people I know, I have mostly been steered to Chinese and Korean films (even Thai), so it great that you can help balance it out. It's very helpful to me. Most of the people I know are very interested in Japanese culture, so it could help them too! 🙂

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  51. Zhang Ziyi is my favorite Chinese actress!! Is "The Banquet" available domestically or will I have to look for an import release? I also loved her in "The Warrior", "Memoirs of a Geisha" (despite a lot of people thinking that she was miscast) and of course "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." Something that I really like about her is the way that she speaks. I find it so different…kind of a wispy pronunciation. I don't even know if "wispy" is a word. "Slippery" pronunciation may be putting it better.

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  52. Mikey says:

    She is a true superstar now. She is to appear in an American film this year! Look here at her unofficial site. She really is different. You can easy believe that she is haughty princess (as in Musa) or whatever role she plays. She is the spokesperson for many charities too. I've loved everything she's been in. have you heard of Princess Raccoon ?? ^^ At Amazon they have some available from their reseller program. It is marked Region free, so any DVD player can play it… Check it out HEREZhou Xun (Perhaps Love) is in it too!I think that i got my copy from yesasia where it first came out…

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  53. I've actually seen this cover before but had no idea it was her along with Odagiri Joe. Odagiri Joe as "Bijomaru" in "Azumi" was such a wonderfully dark character and he's really diverse in the roles that he chooses. Thank you! I'm going to check Amazon for these movies. Hmm…I think I'm watching "3:10 to Yuma" tonight.

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  54. Mikey says:

    Glad the information was useful to you. I've been following Zhang Ziyi's career for a while now… 3:10 To Yuma is in my Netfix queue… :)Are you aware of the classic 1957 Glenn Ford original of 3:10 To Yuma? One of the better westerns Hollywood made.Amusing info: heheTanuki (狸, Tanuki? alternatively タヌキ) is the Japanese word for raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides). They have been part of Japanese folklore since ancient times. The legendary tanuki is reputed to be mischievous and jolly, a master of disguise and shapeshifting, but somewhat gullible and absent-minded.
    Tanuki is often mistakenly translated as raccoon or badger.

    [edit] Folklore
    Statues of tanuki can be found outside many Japanese temples and
    restaurants, especially noodle shops. These statues often wear big,
    cone-shaped hats and carry bottles of sake in one hand, and a promissory note
    (a bill it will never pay) or empty purse in the other hand. Tanuki
    statues always have large bellies. Older depictions of the tanuki show
    them as having large testicles as well, although this feature is often omitted in contemporary sculpture.[citation needed]
    The comical image of the tanuki is thought to have developed during the Kamakura era.
    The actual wild tanuki has unusually large testicles, a feature that
    has inspired humorous exaggeration in artistic depictions of the
    creature. Tanuki may be shown with their testicles flung over their
    backs like travellers' packs, or using them as drums.
    As tanuki are also typically depicted as having large bellies, they may
    be depicted as drumming on their bellies instead of their testicles —
    particularly in contemporary art.
    A common schoolyard song in Japan (the tune of which can be heard in the arcade game Ponpoko and a variation of which is sung in the Studio Ghibli film Pom Poko) makes explicit reference to the tanuki's anatomy:
    Tan Tan Tanuki no kintama wa,Kaze mo nai no ni,Bura bura

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  55. It's funny I was all set to watch "3:10 to Yuma" when I got home on Friday night or actually I think it was Saturday morning but then I had the sudden urge to watch "Kiiroi Namida" which stars every member in Arashi! I wasn't even aware that "3:10 to Yuma" was a remake until recently! Depending on how much I like this film, I may have an interest to watch the original afterwards. The previews look really intense so I'm really looking forward to it!! Tanuki are very strange creatures! :O

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  56. Mikey says:

    Several of my friends have seen 3:10 to Yuma and loved it. Ever since Clint Eastwood "brought back" the Western with The Unforgiven, there haven't been that many I'd consider great (like the classic John Ford westerns) but this might just be one of them! :)Do you have a Tanuki in your front yard – for good luck?? ^^I just saw
    The Blind Swordman: Zatoichi last night. It was awesome! Takeshi Kitano is amazing too. 🙂 The Region 1 DVD has an English track. Even the bonus material does too – very unusual! Makes a lot easy for peeps that don't like reading subs and watching… ;)I LOVED that tap dance ending!! So unexpected!Kiroi Namida means "yellow tears"? Here is the Wikipedia article on Arashi. I bet you could add some to that article! I didn't know that they were from Hawai'i too!!My work hours are weird: (I'm at work now) SUN: 10:30AM-9PM, MON-WED 3PM-1:30AM. I have THU/FRI/SAT off, which is nice. 🙂

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  57. The sad thing is that "3:10 to Yuma" may have to wait until next weekend. I have a strange habit of watching movies on weekends for some unknown reason. 😛 For me "Tombstone" is my favorite western as naive as that may sound! I just love Val Kilmer and his performance as Doc Holiday is just the best!! I thought that he really did steal the show despite the incredible cast. I love "Tombstone." 🙂 Haha no Tanuki just as a kadomatsu outside. 🙂 Wow you saw "Zatoichi" already?!! That was quick!! The musical number at the end was such a wonderful surprise!! The director and producer(s) really had fun with this production!! I'm so happy that you loved it!! Show it to your friends if you have the chance. 🙂 Hmm..actually they debuted in Hawaii but are from Japan. It was wonderful that Arashi had a fan club event here and I was really happy to be able to watch it although I wish in hindsight that I were a fan back then and actually were there! 😛 That's what you really have to love about Japan's ties to Hawaii!! :)You do have some strange work hours too!! Every morning at 1:30 a.m. I just think to myself can't I have a few more minutes. 😛 Hit the snooze…no I already have… 😛

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  58. Mikey says:

    "I've got your huckleberry!" That's got to be Val Kilmer's best role! (Remember him in Top Gun??) I love Tombstone too. 🙂 In fact, I've been there – because of the movie mainly. They even have re-enacted gunfights during the day. I saw Boot Hill too. They say (and History Channel had a program about it) that Tombstone is haunted. I lived in Arizona for about 5 years. Very diverse state. It's not all desert and rattlesnakes like people think. ^^That is cool about the ties between Hawaii and Japan! 🙂 Thank goodness for all those Picture Brides! :)I'll tell you – for big film lovers like us, Netflix is awesome! I got the CD from Netflix in the mail and was watching it in 1/2 hour. Every time I send one back in it postpaid mailer, they send another from my queue. Plus, you can watch many online. 🙂 Thanks for the tip. It would have taken me a long time to find that film otherwise! 🙂 And you prompted me to look at Netflix again. Last time I looked, they didn't have many foreign films – now they have a bunch!! That Zatoichi has an English soundtrack really help gaijin get into it! 😉 (like my roomie John)Now, I know what to get you for Christmas, since you are obviously missing out on your Tanuki good fortune! ^^1:30am. I am just leaving work then MON-WED. Of course there is a 2 hour difference – You guys are -10GMT and have no Daylight Savings Time?? Do You work MON-FRI? I'm trying to think what job that would be?? 😉 I think we have some nurses that come in at 11PM and our 3rd shift Computer Operators come in a 9PM. I'm stumped!

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  59. Ah I didn't know that this place was real! 😛 I know that the characters were based on real people but the name of the town is real? Well if it's haunted I'm definitely not going there! It's great that you shared Zatoichi with your friend too! It's such a wonderful film and one that I can watch over. Wow Netflix sounds very efficient! And for the price you really can't beat it. I'm happy that we have no daylight savings time here as it always confuses me, especially when watching mainland stations that shift their time slots accordingly. I work Monday through Friday and I'm so happy to have the weekends off. I may change jobs if it weren't for that! 😛

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  60. Mikey says:

    Yes, Tombstone is a real place and the events depicted actually (more or
    less) happened there – Like the famous shootout at the OK Corral. I'll
    protect you from the ghosts lil' Lady! ^^

    I think you would find Netflix very useful, especially with schedules like ours. I like just sending them back in the mail in their pre-paid
    package. Then next DVD in your queue is automatically sent. One less
    trip to make! And many times the local video store don't even have it!!
    Or the time and expense of ordering from someplace like
    yesasia.com… I would buy some anyway, but it's nice to have a
    "virtual" collection available rapidly too. 🙂 $5 per month is all it costs for the 1 in the queue option…DST is a real pain in the behind! Having to reset all your clocks every 6 months is crazy, especially at work with all the servers we have!! ^^Nice to have real weekends!! – I know what your job is… You're a ninjaette, right?? Like Puuca and Garu ! 🙂

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  61. Maybe one day I may explore Netflix as that's an incredible rate for an entire month. I have a friend at work who makes all of his movies look real by recreating the cases and it's a very impressive job actually. I think he has more movies than Blockbuster and that's what some of us call him. 😛 The thing is that he gets virtually everything released each week…even those that I don't think he watches and it makes me feel very normal when I see what he's doing. 😛 Although we don't change our clocks here, daylight savings time still sneaks up on us as suddenly some of our programs are on an hour earlier or later. I really shouldn't complain about that though. 🙂

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  62. Mikey says:

    Ah, so you have a "connection" then. 🙂 That's amazing that he even even does movies that he himself isn't interested in. You must work in an interesting place!Back in the day, the had to fly the programs over, so most shows where a *week* late! :O

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  63. Mikey says:

    I was gonna buy the new Yuna x Celine and Truth from cdjapan. Just the shipping started at about $30!! I canceled the order… :(Perhaps I'll try yesasia.com many of there items are stocked in the US.

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  64. Mikey says:

    What about Mai Kuraki?? I loved her 1st CD! 🙂

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  65. Cdjapan's shipping can be quite expensive even if you don't select EMS and I find it only balances out when you order quite a few items. I usually like to combine orders if the release dates are close together but it's still quite expensive. I hope that YesAsia has these in stock as their shipping is much more reasonable. Wow I'm really happy that you're interested in purchasing "Truth"!! I think this is such a well written song and her vocals really shine! If you can find the limited edition of her album "Heart" it has the pv for this song as well as 5 others. It was released almost a year ago so it may be difficult to find though. The catalog number is SRCL-6480~1 although it may come up under SRCL-6480 without the 1 but that may mean it's the regular edition without the extra DVD. The limited edition is quite pricey at almost $40 though and I really don't mean to get you to spend more money then you already have. She's so beautiful in the pvs and I imagine that they're all uploaded on Youtube. I have Kuraki Mai's albums "Delicious Way" and "Perfect Crime" along with 3 of her early singles. I haven't followed her recently but I really like her voice too!

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  66. For the last 8 years, I’ve been trying to figure out the name of this one J-idol singer who I remember seeing on the J-pop shows that used to be shown here in LA.

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  67. Hopefully it won't edit my comment again.For the last 8 years, I’ve been trying to figure out the name of this one J-idol singer who I remember seeing on the J-pop shows that used to be shown here in LA. She always stood out from the others. I even recorded a few of her performances but I couldn’t read the kanji so I didn’t know her name or the names of her songs. Well now I know she’s Moritaka Chisato. I guess she’s too old school for people to care about so I couldn’t find her anywhere on English J-pop websites. But I recognized her unique appearance immediately in your posted photo. There’s no way I could’ve identified her without the pic. I didn’t realize how long she’s been around. It seems like most of the videos on youtube are from the 80’s or early 90’s. At first I thought maybe this isn’t her – I guess I only know her from the later part of her career. I searched though the thumbnails for images where she looked older and oddly enough the first link I clicked ended up being exactly the song I was looking for – and I still don’t know the name of the song because it’s written in kanji. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlUkeLAzftA I love Snow Again – I put it right up there with Namie Amuro’s White Light, my usual J-pop Christmas favorite. The music video for Snow Again is great too – a lot of cinematic shots that artfully compliment the mood of the song. Snow Again has that pensive quality that I really like in J-pop culture. You often see it in the anime and dramas. I don’t know if it’s a unique trait in J-pop culture but I definitely notice it and I’m assuming that Japanese must identify with it. For instance in songs like My Little Lover – Destiny, Sakuragumi – Sakura Mankei, Ai Takahashi – Yume Kara Samete, Rimi Natsukawa – Hana+Warabigami. L’arc en Ciel – Jojoushi and Quruli – Bara no Hana are two more exceptional examples.

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  68. Hello…wow that's so awesome that they broadcast J-Pop programs in LA! ^ ^ I'm so happy that you were able to find out who she is as I absolutely love Moritaka Chisato's music too! I became a fan of hers in the mid 90's before she retired from the music industry and over the years I've managed to collect her entire music discography of albums & singles. So true that she has the most unique and easily recongnizable voice and when you add in that she wrote just about all of her own lyrics, performed on drums, guitar, and recorder she is truly amazing!!!! She debuted in 1987 and released 21 albums and 40 singles. The clip you linked is "Gin iro no yume." Love that pv too!! It really captures the mood of that song so well. Ah we have quite a few similar favorites here! ^ ^ I'm yet to do a proper post covering Moritaka Chisato but hopefully I can have something written with songs & pvs up some time in these first few months of the year. Nice to meet you! ^ ^

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  69. Hey, nice to meet you and thanks for all the info. Yeah, it’s especially surprising to me that she played drums! I guess no one else really compares but for me sometimes the singer Aiko will display Chisato-like qualities. I was looking through her videos and I couldn’t find Futari wa Koibito. But I did notice that youtube will translate kanji into English for you. So Gin iro no Yume means Dreams of the Silver? As I was checking out her videos it became apparent to me how much Morning Musume patterned themselves after Chisato. Well, in terms of population, LA is the big Japanese/Japanese American city so they used to show a lot of Japanese TV. I used to watch Hey Hey Hey, the show that probably introduced J-pop to a lot of Americans. And even though I had no clue who they were, I can still remember seeing Morning Musume on Heyx3. I only know it was them because looking back I can clearly remember Aibon and Tsuji who were always the focal point. On a sidenote, the first time MM really made an impression on me was when I saw them perform on the 2002 Kouhaku. I thought “there’s so many of them!” (in a good way, not an overwhelming AKB48 way) and they did that costume change. And oddly enough, the last time I saw Chisato perform was, I think, on that same Kouhaku. Unfortunately Fuji TV programming and actually Japanese TV in general seem to have disappeared so I don’t even think Hey Hey Hey is shown anywhere in mainland America anymore. It’s kind of funny now that J-pop culture is more popular than ever but I guess the internet makes up for everything. It’s kind of a shame when you think of how J-pop and shows like Iron Chef became known in America through Fuji TV programming. Like that Yatta Yatta song is memorable to me because I remember seeing those guys on their Fuji TV comedy show. Now in LA they only show the yearly Taiga drama, Kouhaku, and one drama every Sunday. But if you subscribe to TV Japan like I do then you can at least get all the NHK programming :o)

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  70. Moritaka Chisato's career was really a unique and special time for J-Pop! She did so much more than just sing with her writing and live performances on instruments. She also plays the drums on numerous tracks on her latter albums and singles. Aside from actual bands, you just don't see too many artists being so well accomplished as Moritakasan was. I adore Aiko too!! I love her voice and she was so adorable on this past Kouhaku! Ah "Futari wa koibito" is my second most favorite song by her just after my favorite "Watarasebashi" Yes it's "Silver colored dream(s)." ^ ^ So true as Moritakasan really influenced a lot of artists that followed….she really pioneered a unique style of J-Pop. Ah I can totally understand how Nono & Aibon made quite an impression that you'd remember them later! ^ ^ "Heyx3" is such a fun show as the hosts are so comedic too! Of course the performances are great too and I used to love seeing their music champ countdown. I haven't watched the show in awhile though as I used to have to rent videos here from our local Japanese video shop……hmmmm I didn't have a subscription to our pay networks back then either. I'm trying to remember what they performed on the 2002 Kouhaku…????? I have it recorded so I should rewatch it. That's really sad that they stopped broadcasting Japanese t.v. there and like you say especially now since it's so much more popular and surely many fans would subscribe to it. The Taiga dramas are great too….but you must really commit to them as they run through an entire year! My favorites so far were "Musashi" and "Toshiie to Matsul." It's good that you still get dramas there too….a great reason to plan for Sunday in front of the t.v.! ^ ^

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  71. After reading the lyrics for Watarasebashi, I can see why you like that song so much. The lyrics have a really moving narrative and I’m impressed that Chisato wrote them herself. I guess after knowing the lyrics you can’t help but make the song one of your favorites although, judging by the youtube comments, it seems like people love any version of the song regardless of understanding the lyrics or not. But it does make me wonder about the lyrics in a lot of songs since, like most J-pop fans, I’m attracted to the music in spite of not understanding the lyrics. You have to figure if people could understand the lyrics, they might be more attracted to certain songs – though there might be times when you kind of wish you had never learned the meaning of the lyrics. But anyway, when I first read through the Watarasebashi lyrics, I got to the bottom and read, “Sorry if there are any typos…” and for a split second I thought, “what an interesting way to end a song – hey wait a minute!” Because “sorry” kind of fits the tone of the song especially at the end and it seems like the kind of thing the Japanese would say. So then I go to youtube to watch the video and I check out a live version first only to be surprised by the fact that I’m watching a video posted by none other than MorningBerryz! You weren’t kidding –you really like this song. It’s like I’ve been led in a circle. I listened to both Aya and Chisato’s live and studio versions. I listened to Aya and Maki’s live version – which was great with two great singers but I still think a solo singer more effectively conveys the emotion of the song. I even listened to Momoko’s cute live version – it was sweet of her to attempt such an adult song (how would you like being compared to Chisato, Aya, Maki). After going back and forth between Aya and Chisato’s versions, I think I prefer Aya’s out of all the versions because for me she captured the emotion of the lyrics the best with her slower more serious tone. I especially like the way her music video expresses the mood of the song. But yet again I’m reminded how much Chisato’s style of music influenced HP. Some of my favorite Musume songs like Furusato (prefer Ai, Risa, Tsuji versions) are reminiscent of Watarasebashi. For the current line-up of Morning Musume, I prefer hearing the newer material in the live show but you could argue that the heart of the group is that Chisato inspired soul which maybe a lot of fans lament has disappeared. In the comments for Chisato’s Watarasebashi video, a guy was complaining how Japan’s current singers aren’t as good as the old singers. That’s generally true for American music and even the overall quality of American music was better in the past even though there are always exceptions. In the case of Japan, it might be that the quality is similar just different styles of music. I mean Utada Hikaru is as good as any J-singer ever was but maybe her style of music is not everyone’s favorite. Likewise maybe some prefer older Musume to the stuff since Sexy 8 Beat. Personally my favorite period of Musume is 2002 to 2006 – because I didn’t really “discover” the band until 2005 – so I guess I prefer the older stuff or the mid career older stuff. But I still think the newer songs are the highlights of today’s live show. One of the funniest Japanese shows I’ve ever seen was the Hey Hey Hey Morning Musume (Olympics?) show where they ate shaved ice and had to guess what something was using only their feet. But since I haven’t seen Heyx3 in a while, I think I’ve come to prefer Music Fighter. I guess, three comedic hosts are better than two and they always manage to bring out the funny in their guests probably because of the “fighter” thing. In my opinion, guests will often have their best appearance on Music Fighter both in the interview and, for whatever reason, in their musical performance too. Maybe it’s the cool late night show where the atmosphere is loose. I started liking Sayumi after I saw her on a Music Fighter show hilariously talk about how kawaii she thought she was. And then there was this tension between her and host Aoki-san over who was more kawaii. For the 2002 Kouhaku, the big song Morning Musume performed was Go Girl Crazy – at least that’s all I can remember from their usual medley. I recorded that performance but I accidentally recorded over it! I didn’t have the commitment to watch an entire Taiga drama until this last year when I started subscribing to TV Japan. So all I know is Atsuhime which, from the few comments I’ve read, doesn’t seem to be people’s favorite. But of course since it’s my first, I like it much in the same way that I’ll always like 2005 Musume. I’m not sure but I think this may have been the first time they bothered to subtitle a Taiga drama on free TV – maybe that’s why this is my first. Eventually TV Japan started running a subtitled version too. I’ve noticed that everything’s nicer when you subscribe. The quality of the picture is better, no commercial interruptions, and they don’t edit out the opening title sequence which I like to see for the music and graphics. I like the music from Atsuhime. For samurai themed stuff, my favorite movies are by a director named Hideo Gosha who made movies in the 60’s and 70’s. Critics/fans who have seen his movies (usually in film retrospectives) really love them but he’s kind of a long story since he and his movies are not well known. From what I’ve seen, the cinematography is always excellent and his movies pack a more visceral punch than Kurosawa’s. I still need to see the new samurai films like Twilight Samurai and Love and Honor.

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  72. Hi….I really want to address you in some way if it's okay but for now I'll say hi shadedpainting! ^ ^ You make a very interesting point as many fans of J-Pop are in ways attracted to the sound and aura of it originally but I think many do go on to learn and embrace the language as their interest peaks when the lyrics are understood more. It really can change favorites as you can really relate to the songwriter's words more in some songs more than others. I think a perfect example would be Sakai Izumi's lyrics as she wrote in such a personable way covering situations and feelings which are common to everyone….it really engages fans more I think to see their favorite vocalist going through similar situations and emotions of everyday life. I have a few song translations posted here under her group Zard. I miss her music so much (´⌒`。).Ah I'm so sorry! It must have seemed silly of me making those references when they were already posted……I guess I just didn't want to seem to imposing as I can sometimes go a bit overboard on my favorites♥. ^ ^ I do love "Watarasebashi" so much and it's true that the words make this song even more endearing as I can relate to them in a sense although that's a quite distant connection in which I speak of. OMG I'm sorry I do have a tendency to not check spelling and other grammer mishaps as I tend to type as I think so I really run into a lot of bad spelling pitfalls as my fingers sometimes have minds of their own. >_< It's definitely most suited for a solo vocalist as the words would lose some of their meaning if more than one were to perform them…but still each performance is really sweet. Ahhhh I adore Momo's version so much!!! LOL! I uploaded that version too….big surprise! 😛 I'm so goofy! 😛 I was actually using her clip for my Berikyuu! Idol giveaway series last year. I sometimes write wacky but hopefully fun things. 😛 Both Gomaki and Ayaya are really outstanding vocalist in their own right as I love them both so it was so amazing to hear them both sing "Watarasebashi"……..just pure ♥! \(^o^)/ I do lean towards Ayaya's version too though between them but still Moritakasan's….I guess because I have a strong attachment to her music, it's still the best for me personally. But I can totally relate and understand why you love Ayaya's the most. And her pv is great too! The scenery on that bridge really give me goosebumps as well! I totally agree with you! There definitely are exceptions when it comes to greatness and the state of music today versus older releases. Utada Hikaru is an excellent example definitely…..I think that maybe some sentiments may lie in how Japan's music influences have gone so much outside of the country more and more these days as they've adopted a much more Americanized style with R&B and hip hop as a little example. Japan's true J-Pop stylings have been somewhat lost in many of today's popular artists who embrace outside influences much more……not to say that it's a negative thing as it surely isn't as all music styles do find outside influences which help to enhance and lead to their growth in time which is certainly a healthy development. Still the decline in quality overall is surely visible. And it really applies to just about every form of music out there unfortunately…..albeit there are many many exceptions to this. Ah~~! I've watched that shave ice episode too!!! I cracked up soooooooooo much!! Hamachan is a rascal as is his counterpart!!! Brain freeze and way too much syrup!! lol! 😮 Music Fighter is so entertaining! Their hosts truly are so much fun as you say……and I saw that episode too where Sayu and Aokisan went head to head in a cute battle of words! That really carried over too in future episodes as Aokisan will never forget her words ever I think! Aokisan as a member of Momusu????…..that was so funny too! =)"Go Girl~koi no victory~" was awesome!! thank you for reminding me! ^ ^ Hmmmm…I have a friend who is a diehard Miyazaki Aoi fan and even he is finding it difficult to keep his interest in the drama….he notes that it began after the Shogun had passed away. I totally messed up and didn't follow the drama from the beginning so it was difficult for me to embrace it at all……what was I thinking? >_<; I so totally know what you mean about editing and how it destroys shows!!!! The opening sequences and songs must be shown in their entirety even if the viewer has seen them time and time again over the course of a drama……it's just so important as the songs become just as important in time and the viewer truly grows to embrace them just as much as the drama themselves. ^ ^ And the accompanying images of course!! Sorry if I'm rambling here. 😛 I don't know if you'll like these at all but……hmmm… a few of my favorites in the samurai genre would be…"The Hidden Blade" I so adore Matsu Takako as an actress and singer/songwriter! (English name for the movie), "Shinobi", and "Azumi"….these may not be in your taste though but if you watch any of them please let me know of your thoughts. They're much more modern but I thought they were amazing nonetheless. Ueto Aya and Nakama Yukie are so amazing too! I do love the "Seven Samurai" as such an amazing film too. ^ ^

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  73. Nino-baby says:

    Many of the download links don't work 😥 Otherwise fantastic post! Love Christmas music ^^

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  74. U~gh! gomen nasai~!! (+_+) I hadn't noticed that I think only half of the links still work when I moved this post~ (._.;)! I really should have checked them all…and now I'm wondering if they disappear all on their own in time? I don't think they were deleted so it's a bit strange…..and also I'm not sure if I should re~post them as perhaps most visitors have already gotten them I think? I hope the other six songs worked okay for you~….I'm really sorry (._.;)

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  75. Nino-baby says:

    Yes they worked 🙂 But I would have liked to listen to all the songs XD But it's okay I guess 😉

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  76. Pingback: ~Merry Christmas to you♥~*~~*thank you for a wonderful year!! featuring 「Tomochin!!写真集」 | モーニングBerryz48…the morning after….. "Always wear protection before reading…(^q^)."

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