I had to laugh at this blatant copyright infringement by a local realtor who is using Fukuyama Masaharo’s NHK historical mega-drama Ryoma character to advertise apartments in Nakano. The incongruity of this late Edo character selling very ordinary apartments in the present time is funny. And it’s a rare instance of super-blatant copyright infringement.
Much of Japan is divided between love for its two main idols: Fukuyama versus Kimutaku. These two guys have dominated male stardom for over a decade. Personally I find Fukuyama more cheesie and less believable than the ever fashionable Kimutaka. On the other hand, the husband is completely engrossed by the Ryoma drama.
Do you have a preference between Fukuyama and Kimutaka? Other favorite male idols? Please feel feel to link to your favorite images, commercials, etc.
CNNGo has a fun interview with Numata Manabu, a Tokyo photographer who has been creating commercial and artistic images of male hosts for five years. I love these group portraits. Numata-san wants the viewer to see the hosts as individuals, and believes that many are smart and hard-working.
Numata-san also describes a progression in male hosts’ visual style, from old-school enka, to Kimutaku look-alikes, other popular Johnny’s boys, gyaruo and visual-kei. I think the kimono look is extra-festive!
My gorgeous blogger friend Green Eyed Geisha made my dreams come true with our private bonenkai, year forgetting party, which we celebrated at Top Dandy, a male host club in Kabukicho. See this Tokyo host website for a list of all 70 clubs!
I love the contrast between the simple sign out front, indicating the club’s location on the fifth floor of an ordinary building, and the elaborate photo styling of their website.
Once inside, we were met by a handsome tall guy who was very charming, and along with a portly short older guy led us into the chandelier-bedecked club. There must have been twenty chandeliers, including ceiling, wall, and at least one inside of a plexiglass drinks table. Plus many many mirrors.
Later, GEG told me that she hadn’t found our first greeter handsome, because his hair was too natural. I found him suave and charming, and loved that he had self-taught himself English. He also boasted that he had taken a 3 month trip to 20 countries, of which he most liked Turkey and South Africa.
GEG introduced me as her cousin, which seemed much kinder than uncle and explained that I was there to soothe her “first time” anxiety. She, of course, has been to several others before. But as first time customers at Top Dandy, we were entitled to a 5,000 yen (US$ 55) all you-can-drink, stay-as-long-you-want encounter with an endless parade of back-combed, floss haired boys.
Enough about flowers, trees and bombs. Yes, it’s time to re-examine Japanese men’s hair, and to tease the sister-in-law just a bit.
Anyone who follows Japanese male celebrities knows that two men have dominated this field and at any given moment are fronting at least 6 products each, from instant noodles to televisions to hair gel to canned coffeee. The battle is between SMAP idol Kimutaku and singer-actor Fukuyama Masaharo.
Some ladies like one, or the other. It’s rare that anyone likes both equally. As blog readers know, I prefer Kimu, my sister-in-law Fuku. Recently I noticed that as both are becoming solidly “Arafo” (close to 40), they are upping the airbrushing and botox.
Kimu is widely known for his ever-changing hair, generally blondish and curly. Now, Fukuyama seems to be strongly competing as to whose hair is more girlish.
What do you think? Which idol’s hair is more girlish?
The Japanese film Okuribito (おくりびと）has been nominated for an Academy Award (Best Foreign Film). It stars Motoki Masahiro (aka Mokkun), an actor in his mid-40s.
The story revolves around a cellist who loses his job in a New York orchestra, and becomes an undertaker in rural Japan.
Motoki became famous as one of the earliest Janny-su (discovered by Johnny Jimusho, the boy band king of Japan, who also promoted Kimutaku and SMAP) to soaps, songs and a nude photo book called the “White Room” in 1991.
Has anyone already seen the movie? I am super-curious to see it. Here’s the trailer and official website in Japanese:
I was hoping for the perfect Xmas today. Confronted with such public and shameless adultery, my dreams have now been shattered.
Darling Kimutaku, do our vows mean nothing? Everywhere I turn I see you with that woman. I know that Beyonce is famous, rich and beautiful. But why must you flaunt your indiscretions in public? You have turned peace and love into envy and hate. If you want to reclaim my heart, I am expecting over-sized jewels.
Too fast I finished watching Karei naru Ichizoko. The show was predictable, the acting poor, but I enjoyed watching the drama between Kimutaku & Kitaoji Kinya. Costumes and nationalist expression were also interesting. Probably Kitaoji’s surgery is limiting his facial expressions.
I am waiting for the fansubbing of Change, Kimutaka’s latest tv drama. Can anyone suggest other good Kimutaku or Kitauji Kinya dramas?
With Madonna’s “Miles Away” themetrack. The preview is in Japanese, but it’s easy to get the idea: ugly corrupt politicians select super-cute (ちょうかわいい）school teacher Kimutaku (木村 拓哉) with initially bad hair and make him the Prime Minister. Will Kimutaku make me a citizen?!
On a short walk through Kichijoji, Kimutaku (木村 拓哉), with his artfully shaggy perm, was literally everywhere: in a Sony digi-cam product display, on four magazine covers, and an NTT promotion with the full SMAP. In addition to the Cup of Noodle billboards and TV ads, and the on-going SMAP show, he’s got a new TV show debuting soon.
Could Kimutuku be even more pervasive? What if you could conjure him at will? What if he promoted every consumer product? I’m sure for many he’s already their number 1 imaginary friend.