it’s known that boa, tvxq, and big bang are korean artists who began the road and maintained their status in (the) japanese market. they developed this new market, spread the korean wave, and created the genre: k-pop. following these artists, who can we count on to lead the next generation of k-pop? five member group, shinee, is in the lead. shinee, a part of sm entertainment, will restart interest in this year’s korean wave. the top singers with the most fan activities in japan, tvxq, are currently enlisted and even big bang is starting to enlist this year. so, everyone is gathering anticipation to see what presence shinee will have in this recently emptied k-pop space.
something worthy of showing this presence, objectively, is their appearance last year on japan’s representative end of the year music program, fuji tv’s fns music festival. this festival, together with nhk’s kohaku uta gassen, are japan’s most important end of the year programs. at the peak of the korean wave, up until 2012, there were many korean guests like tvxq, girls generation, and big bang on these end of the year programs, but then, for awhile, you could not see korean artists. last year’s program finally changed with boa and shinee as the only two korean artist guests on fns.
shinee has already began an arena tour which started last month. the arena’s seating scales are 15,000 - 20,000 seats per auditorium. their arena tour last year drew more than 400,000 fans. the tour this year, lasting until april, plans to go to tokyo, osaka, shizuoka, nagoya, kobe, and more. up to twenty arenas with five more potentially added on, this could increase to twenty five arenas. even though the schedule after may isn’t decided, following the current fervor of the public, there is a high possibility of adding 50,000 seat capacity domes to their tour. the past two years shinee have succeeded with both tokyo dome and osaka dome concerts.
though many korean artists advance into the japanese market and are active, shinee’s success has a different meaning. after boa and tvxq’s success the popularity of k-pop spiked and japanese fans would flock around as soon as they heard the word. like a dream, groups like super junior, girls generation and kara all successfully carried out tokyo dome concerts, and even groups that had only just debuted would have hundreds or thousands of fans show up at fan meetings and concerts. but, when political relations between the two nations deteriorated and an anti-korean sentiment grew around 2012, the interest in the korean wave weakened substantially. when shinee debuted in japan in 2011 the mood of society and the press had completely changed. as they met these difficulties from the start the method they chose to overcome it was to focus their attention on growing close local fans. instead of big events or advertising they held smaller concerts in small cities and districts to create bonds with locals. aside from tvxq, who had a clear path from the beginning, no other top korean artist had used this method to connect with japanese fans. in 2015, shinee finally had their first tokyo dome concert after four years of activities in japan. a marketer of universal music said: “their attitude for a famous singer from a large company yet consistently shown has opened japanese fans’ hearts, and it seems like their fandom has grown strong and distinguished.”
shinee has released a total of fourteen single albums and four full albums in japan, maintaining an emphasis on high quality local activities. after their september 2014 release of their third full album, i’m your boy, they reached first place on oricon’s weekly album chart, and last year’s fourth full album, d×d×d, naturally also rose to first place on the weekly chart. they plan to release their fifth full album, five, on the 22nd of this month. in this new album they will have a quite different concept and mood, especially in their title track, “get the treasure”, which will be darker and more powerful than their usual image.
popular music critic hwang sun eup says: “the thing that differentiates shinee from other idol groups is they’re always creating new results and consistently pursuing perfection in high quality work. by maintaining the balance of a long relationship with their fandom shinee will continue to occupy a larger role at sm entertainment.”
Akumajou Dracula X: Gekka no Yasoukyoku / Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Publisher: Konami Developer: Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo, Konami Computer Entertainment Nagoya (Saturn) Platform: PlayStation, PlayStation Portable, Saturn, Xbox 360 Year: 1997 (PS1), 1998 (Saturn), 2007 (360, NA/JP PSP), 2008 (EU PSP), 2009 (AUS PSP)
(170223) @vyrl: #shinee japan commemorates the release of their fifth album #five. meet the big promotions in progress in japan.
shinee trucks running in tokyo, osaka, nagoya and fukuoka. 🚚 railway lines decorated with shinee images and large signboards 🚃 and screens on buildings around shibuya station. 🏢 #globalshiningshineeisthebest 👍
[Translation] 100% SKE48 vol.1 Matsui Jurina x Nakanishi Yuka
Back with 100%SKE48, it’s time for Jurina and Nishishi.
A long but precious interview. Hope you enjoy reading!
*Please note this interview was done last year*
times have passed, so I can say
Jurina, just go without hesitation!
2015, Nakanishi Yuka, former SKE’s captain who was the main support for Jurina
Now, 1 year
has passed, positions and surroundings have changed a lot.
two of them talk about?
conversation has gone far longer than 8 years history.
Matsui Rena graduation
Nishi: Jurina, long time no see.
J: long…not at all! I still went to see your stage play
Nishi: Yeah, right. Thanks for coming.
J: “Cherry Boys” at Ginza Hakuhinkan Theater, right?
Nishi: How was it? I played the pregnant wife role.
that aside, I was impressed having a chance to see Nishishi’s stage play. Even
some scenes that weren’t so touching, I still felt “ahhh this is good” You were
really sparkling. I couldn’t hold my tears.
glad. Next time when there’s a stage play, you should try reviewing it. You
would help promoting this way *laugh*
though I’m younger but I feel like I’m your mom.
we have 8 years gap but it doesn’t feel weird.
J: Yeah. I
also think like that. It’s because we are in the same gen.
Nishi: But I
have twenty-something mind.
J: You are
overexaggerating *laugh* but you were really sparkling. Maybe, that’s because
it’s what you wanted to do.
That’s not it. It’s still too far from my dream.
Nishishi like this makes me want to do what I want.
However, after graduation, I felt that I could utilize what I have learnt from
it had to be perfect, right?
I was praised about dancing, my chance got higher.
J: This is
Enough with my stuffs, let’s get to the point! I graduated in March last year.
Then, how were you and SKE48? Still suffering from “Rena Loss”? (t/n: impact
from Rena graduation)
Loss” *laugh* I saw it from Rena-chan’s twitter. It’s interesting.
Nishi: I saw
it, too. *laugh*
Nishishi and Nee-san graduated, 1st gen had only 3 left (Jurina Rena Masana).
Though I always said “so lonely” but actually, Rena-chan was also thinking
see. She just hadn’t determined the time yet.
J: The time
when we three being together was short. For me, I wanted “we three, let’s try
our best together” so, when Rena-chan announced graduation, I felt really
this is the reason of “Rena Loss”
The pillars graduated continually.
you still have Masana, right?
J: Um, when
we have discussion, I started to feel that I’m being like Masana.
are also other kids, right?
(Kitagawa) Ryoha and Goto Rara-chan, right?
missed 7th gen.
J: And also
Kuma-chan (Kumazaki Haruka) as I see these kids growing up, I am happy. They
are the reason I can rise from Rena Loss.
Jurina, nurturing these kids is like seeing bright future of SKE48, isn’t it?
J: Yes. 1st
gen has only 2 left. There are also not many left in 2nd gen. Up until now,
many SKE’s main forces graduated one after another. It’s so lonely.
graduated almost a year, during this time, is there anything changed? I want to
remember when Nishishi and Nee-san graduate, you said “we hope that members,
who have realized that we won’t be here anymore, would come out and take part”
When they heard that, they got enthusiastic like “I have to do something for
SKE48” not just for themselves but for group. It was a pleasure to see. They
got fired up just like when 1st gen got in the group, like “We have to make
SKE48 better” the atmosphere was like that time.
see. I started to feel lonely a bit. Did everyone forget us already?
J: No way!
For example, Suzuki (Rika) and also many others, they said “Nishishi and Miepi
aren’t here anymore!” *laugh*
Be your support
Nishi: After suffering “Rena Loss” for a while, you were
saved by 7th gen. In March this year, Miyazawa-san also graduated, right? You
must be lonely.
Nishi: And worried?
J: Yeah. For me, Sae-chan is my first Senpai in SKE48. If
only we have her, we feel secure. Not only me, but everyone also thinks like
that because of Sae-chan existence. Of course, we were confused both when she
decided to graduate and when before her graduation stage started…though we
wanted to smile for her, there were kids crying.
Jurina, you felt worried or insecure, which one?
J: I felt
insecure. At first, I thought I wouldn’t cry in graduation stage but my tears
fell down when I was speaking.
also a senior.
J: Um, I
would like to have Sae-chan graduates with atmosphere that is full of
happiness, so I didn’t want to cry. Sae-chan is essential. Although I said like
this, I still can’t be as great as her.
can’t be exactly the same. If your goal is to be like that, I think you are
forced yourself too much.
overwhelmed with the feeling of wanting to be support for everyone but I may
not be good enough to say that.
That’s so? Jurina is kind of person who lead everyone just by letting them look
at her back. I think you’re showing juniors that everything is okay. Meanwhile,
we also had concert tour and performed “Wimbledon e tsureteitte”
J: I got to
do a roleplay with you and Masana, too.
want to sustain that condition, don’t want it to end but you couldn’t. You must
be very anxious.
J: Now, I
have no one to rely on.
about Yuasa (Hiroshi, SKE theater manager)? He’s just like one of 1st gen. You
can talk to him about absolutely everything.
J: Yeah, I
can talk to him about everything. He also has experience as AKB48 manager. His
comeback would make SKE better.
know it when you were on concurrency, right?
why he understands when I ask him ‘would doing like this be good for SKE?’ it’s
good that he’s back.
me, in fact, I didn’t know that he’s back. Is there any change?
J: The love
for SKE48 has increased.
doing many things for SKE48 even when members don’t see him.
wouldn’t tell these things to members. He might be misunderstood easily. He should
let them see sometimes.
right. Yuasa-san also has weakness. But however, he’s trying to find the way
for SKE48. He’s working, anyways.
may be because Jurina’s perspective has broadened? You started working 7 years
ago, now you’ve grown up, right?
J: I think
so, too. Yuasa-san is also not young.
Right. You’ll be 20 next year? You entered when you were 11. As we speak,
Yuasa-san must not be quite young *laugh*
Nakanishi’s this 1 year
J: Hey, how
about you in this past 1 year? I want to know, really want to know.
Nishi: I got
roles in 3 stage plays, got accustomed to it a bit. Though I can’t compare with
other actors but being in new environment, living my life actively, I think I’ve
grown a lot in this past year. I started to live in Tokyo alone, signed with
new agency, did what I never do, gained more experience. There are more things
I accomplished by myself, but I also feel lonely.
J: I see!
those 7 years, there were only things I do with members, right? Now, I’m alone.
Feel so lonely.
it’s incredibly lonely, right?
anything changed after you graduated?
SKE48, there were only younger people. Now, colleagues who play in stage plays
together are all older. I’m still studying how should I communicate with them.
J: Have you
met former members?
Nishi: I met
Shawako (Hata Sawako) often, at least once a month, we would go have dinner.
She insisted to come to see my stage play because we are in Venus Project
together and maybe because we are in the same agency.
about current members?
went out with (Deguchi) Aki, Masana was also there. *laugh* and Ha-chan (Ono
J: all 1st
Nishi: I met
Masana many times after graduate.
J: Did you
talk about SKE48?
course, it was about Jurina * laugh* like “recently, there’s something like
that” or “she cancelled concurrent position” Around half month ago, I also met
Isohara (Kyoka). I got to know that she was about to move to Tokyo. She got
agency and would come to work in Tokyo.
great! I’m happy to know about graduated members.
Suzuki (Rika) also contacts me a lot. (Inuzaka) Asana, too. Asana, she really
believes in you.
J: Where did
you hear that from?
J: I’m so
right! I also met Kuwabara Mizuki. We went out to eat with (Kato) Rumi.
J: I also
met her a lot.
Mieko (Nee-san), though we haven’t met but we talk a lot.
bond is so strong. Especially 1st gen, you still keep in touch even after
graduate. I’m glad.
Nishi: my life is just like that recently. Talking about you
cancelled concurrency, you also sent LINE message.
J: To Ikkimuchi LINE group, what did you think? (t/n:
Jurina, Rena, Masana, Nakanishi, Mieko aka Ikkimuchi)
think “ahh is that so?”
though I didn’t say it out but I can give you some advice if you need. I think
it’s good for your health. You would go back and forth between Tokyo-Nagoya less.
J: Not at
J: To be
honest, I didn’t cancel it because of this.
Nishi: but I
think I understand why you did that.
J: What you
said is just like what my fans said to me.
During this time, I already turned to be your fans. *laugh*
right. Nishishi and Nee-san graduated, Rena-chan graduated, then we faced with
“Rena Loss”. For SKE48, this is really huge. I, myself, felt that if I don’t do
something, SKE48 would be over.
this, I knew it from LINE.
J: So, just
as I said earlier, the ones who saved me were 7th gen.
don’t know much about 7th gen, tell me what they’ve got.
J: so much
that I can’t explain it all *laugh* First of all, 7th gen has to perform
“Party” stage. I went to see them practice and rehearsal. I felt nostalgic.
looking at ourselves in the past?
J: Yeah. I
sat in the front row, watching them practice, seeing those sweat, hearing
stomping sound “bang bang” that kind of feeling.
of young spirit.
J: Yes, this
feeling is SKE48. But AKB48’s “Party” stage and SKE48’s “Party” stage are
That’s right. SKE48’s “Party” stage is full of SKE48 characteristic. It has
J: When 7th
gen performed, they still gave out AKB48 feeling. I wanted to put SKE48 soul
into it, so I went to practice with them. There’s a song called “SKE48”, right?
There’re famous places of SKE48 in this song. If they don’t perform it with
SKE48 soul, it can’t be right. I just told them like “let’s change a bit here
and there” Though I don’t know much but I did it with the thought of how would
we like the fans, that have been supporting us since the beginning, to feel
when they come back to see us.
see. How’s Goto Rara?
moment I saw her for the first time, I felt that this is the feeling of SKE48.
What do you mean?
J: She has
aura, looks reliable.
never talked to her. The day I graduate was the day 7th gen debut.
J: To other
7th gen, I would be like “do your best!” “it’s not correct here” but to Rara,
there’s nothing like that at all.
that much fighting spirit?
being like this means we set very high barricade for her.
J: Is that
so? I also think that it puts her in trouble.
Nishi: This is also what Jurina had been through.
J: Um. She
is really like me. I went to see Shonichi rehearsal and once again after that.
Rara wasn’t cheerful at all that time. She seemed anxious and kind of lonely.
When performance ended and sending off audiences, she mostly kept her head
down. There might be some fans said something harsh to her. It was the time
when she’s in 3rd position in “Mae no Meri”, there may be quite a number of
fans that objected against it.
are always this kind of fans.
J: Once it
ended, I rushed to her. Though she didn’t say anything but I could see her
painful eyes. So, I said “I know what you want to say” At the time of Oogoe
diamond, I also went through these things, like skipping me at handshake event.
I knew well how Rara felt, I thought I have to encourage her.
became Onee-san *laugh*
J: At first,
I thought fans would accept it but it wasn’t like that. Whoever stands on the
front must put guard on, no matter with members or fans.
if you couldn’t get through these things, you wouldn’t be able to shine. Like
Jurina being Jurina nowadays, I think it’s a step you need to step over.
does Jurina think about SKE48 from now on?
J: I want us
to be like Chunichi Dragons. People living in Nagoya say “If you think
about Nagoya, it must be Chunichi” that’s the reason they support, right? It’s
just like that. We need to pay more attention to locals. Both staffs and
members think like that. There are still many people who don’t recognize SKE48.
I want people no matter near or far to come to see SKE48. However, the current
SKE48 has only little exposure in local. So, we want to go and perform in many
is also involved with cancelling concurrency, right?
J: Right. I
want to have people say “If you think about Nagoya, it must be SKE48”
issue remains since SKE48 established in 2008. Since we can’t achieve it, we
need to continue on.
Rena-chan was still here, we were in AKB48 Senbatsu together. We agreed to “try
our best to let people recognize SKE48” but recently, only one SKE member in
AKB senbatsu is me. If there is only me in that place, people would see me as
AKB member. This thought always lingers in my mind. So, once concurrency ended,
I can proudly say “SKE48” out loud
there’s someone come to see you and think that you’re good, I’m sure they will
come to know SKE48.
J: Yeah. But
if I’m still in concurrent position and talk about SKE48, they would be like
course, we also like AKB48.
AKB48’s single this time, Ryoha and Rara entered senbatsu, too.
44th single, right?
J: Um! This
made my heart grows. Even though SKE48 was the no.1 group in last year general election,
but after “Halloween Night” Sae-chan, Aya-chan, Churi and Kaotan were not
chosen. It’s so frustrated. Though we were looking forward to make SKE48 be
difficult. Only one member power can’t do anything.
J: That’s right.
We also can’t blame staff-san.
it’s about how will you create chances for SKE48 to be more popular. But
recently, you started to use twitter.
J: Yes. I
started on my 19th birthday.
think this can help people know more about SKE48.
J: But I’m
not good with internet.
you are *laugh* however, Kamata (Natsuki) is now invading Shogi world. She got
calendar from Shogi association and posted it on twitter. Jurina, you can post
more of your selfies.
J: I can?
Absolutely! Everyone can see cute Jurina. Twitter really has power of
spreading. If members show what they can do, it would help spreading more. That aside, you always push yourself too
much. You should know your limit. What if you get sick, it wouldn’t be the
In that case, I hope there will be a lot of members say “you can reply on me”
until now, though they have “next generation” tag on them, but I think they
shouldn’t be bound by that. I think we all have to take responsibility.
J: Um. Now,
I feel that everyone is really solidified.
That’s good. If everyone keeps the thought “I will pull it forward” in mind, it
would be great, right? Jurina is also considering “who should come and help
pulling SKE48?” This is the best way. If anyone can stand as the center of
SKE48 without hesitation, that would be nice, right? However, there might be
the case that you expect too much from them that they got awfully pressured.
your working schedule is already that full. For example, if you get sick and no
one can replace the center position in that complicated situation or only this
child can do gravure…something like that, what should we do?
J: For me, I
also want SKE48 to have Kami7.
happens spontaneously, doesn’t it?
doesn’t happen spontaneously. I think releasing a single with few members is
one way to do.
Summer” also has 7 members. It
has really good balance.
single released in last autumn also has 7 members.
Nishi: Love Crescendo,
is it? I think it’s very challenging because you would never know how it will
single released in March “Chicken LINE” me, Ryoha and Rara are on the front row. Though I don’t have
authority to determine this but I think it’s the image of SKE48. This is good
although I want many members to stand at the front. When people say “thinking
about SKE48, it must be this girl” and that face pops out in their mind. If we
could have more SKE48 faces popping out, we would be stronger.
In order to make people remember, we need regular TV program.
That’s the most important!…though we just surmise it *laugh* but to utilize
SKE48, we have to form MC team.
judging from what we’ve talked so far, the feeling of wanting SKE48 to be
better comes out all the time. You’re not changed at all. I think Jurina’s love
for SKE48 is greatest.
J: I always
think of how I can spread SKE48 further. It’s what I always worry about.
you ask me, I think it’s not the thing that you have to carry too much. There
are things that Jurina alone can’t do, right? All of that turns out to be “I
have to do something”
J: Umm this
is exactly what I can’t do *laugh*
leaving it to Yuasa-san is enough. Let staff-san handle it. There are a lot of
staffs that love SKE48. There may be things that we can’t do right now but it’s
okay. If Jurina wants to do it, just tell staff-san “This kid has this
outstanding point” wouldn’t it be good? Just tell them to notice others’ good
J: Um, I
way, it will be like “our Jurina said that” *laugh*
J: If I say
it, will I be able to persuade?
can’t see members before they changed into costume. Members, when they are in
front of managers, get so nervous that they can’t express well. So, if Jurina
can tell them “that girl is really good at telling jokes”, maybe when they
contact with comedians, they would see this point. Have you tried talking with
many persons? For example, talking with BUBKA-san that “This girl has perfect
body” or “This girl is really fired up, please invite her too” Oh! In the past,
you also told BUBKA-san that you want them to shoot me in swimsuit. Though they
didn’t really make the photoshoot, but you did it. *laugh*
but I’m still not quite confident in my thought.
That’s alright. I can guarantee, have some confidence.
J: Is that
so? It would be better if I’m not that serious, right?
J: Then, in
order to do that, I have to know more about members. I want to meet members
more often, talk about SKE48 more often.
Nishi: I can’t help you with that *laugh* but Sae-san also
graduated. SKE48 is getting to the next chapter, right? No matter it’s big or
little issue, you need to think it through though you still can’t see the
right. SKE48 right now has a good sign. In Sae-chan graduation concert, I said
“SKE48 is in a pinch” but now, I don’t feel anything bad. That’s because
juniors are so active. Everyone wants to do something for SKE48. So, I think
promising future is waiting for us.
J: One thing
without a doubt is that although member graduates, fans are still here. Just
like when I said “SKE48 is in a pinch” the fans replied me “SKE48 will be
alright” “let’s do our best together” I’m happy hearing that. SKE48 are driven
by fans. Members, fans and staffs, we hold hands and go together. Though there
are members graduate, the heat is not cool down at all. So, I’m looking forward
to this coming general election.
coming soon, do your best!
J: Since I
cancelled concurrency, I face with anxiety ‘what I should do’. So, having a
chance to talk with you today, I feel that my perspective has been broadened. I
want to go forward!
J: It’s a
bit sad but I’m the type that if there’s anything I can do by myself, I would
try. I can’t stop.
many times have I told you that don’t overdo it *laugh*
eat properly, sleep properly, health comes first!
just like my mom *laugh*
you face any problems, come to talk in Ikkimuchi LINE group. Mieko would be the
first one who replies. *laugh*
always reply late.
If you wait for me to reply, you would just change the topic already…about
this, just forget it! For me, I want you to stay childish forever.
J: But I’m
are you talking about? Kuwabara Mizuki is almost 25 but she’s still childish!
She still says “…yaki!” *laugh* So, you just continue being like this.
These are not my best shots although I like the last one quite a lot :) <=I always like to put the best thing last this way it feels much more rewarding to finish something :)
Last weekend i had been daydreaming a lot about my time in Japan and how much I miss being there. It was a sweet nostalgia that overcame me and I enjoyed bathing my soul in the memories of the warm summer nights, the gentle, subtly scented breeze, the subtle harmony of things seemingly incompatible, the feeling of being accepted and eyed with a curiosity and appreciation formerly unknown to me. These are my memories of Japan that I treasure and cradle deep within my heart. I felt very happy this weekend finally being able to afford going back to Japan again.
I didn’t make my schedule yet but I will visit Tokyo, Nagoya and Kyoto again :) I have a few friends in Tokyo and one in Nagoya and in Kyoto :)
The photos above remind me an awful lot of Ghost in the Shell (the first Anime :) or Akira (^-^) I took these from the first and second platform of Tokyo tower :) I can recommend it a lot :3 If I had a girlfriend/wife I would take her there :) It is so nice to see Tokyo at dawn and after dark :) It is very inspiring to see the differing lighting situations and views of the city.
Right now I’ll need to feed off of my memories for a little more until I can finally enjoy being back in Japan again :)
I will travel there in late August and stay for a month exploring, handing in letters of application to different companies along the way and just enjoying the fleeting moments of joy and subtle sadness (o^-^o)
I feel happy, excited and melancholic at knowing that it will be yet another impermanent moment in Japan. :) It is somehow the essence of Japan to me everything joyful has yet a deep melancholic note to it that is hidden in plain sight yet this very melancholy is what makes it beautiful and one appreciate the momentary beauty it presents.
I’m getting carried away and I’m daydreaming or dreaming for most of the time now. It is blissful selfishness that runs through my brains and heart unifying the often divided with one goal. Questioning whether reality can ever fulfil my expectations yet being certain that it will since all I want are simple things neither all of them nor more than I need thus neither striving for perfection, completeness or prize I can live with parts being left unfulfilled since they will provide my soul with the fuel that is imagination and strive that will serve as inspiration for my photos and my work (^-^)
Sorry for the awfully weird way I wrote this article m(_ _)m I’m feeling kind of weird publishing this but today I just ended up writing similar things no matter how often I erased the article or tried other photos (^-^;) So I decided to publish it although I fear I will come off as someone quite weird (^-^;) Anyway so happy ✽(′ॢᵕ ‵ *ॢ)✽ஐ
I will write updates on my progress :)
I wish everyone a goal that unites your hearts and souls and makes you feel happy while you are working towards it and sweet dreams of course as they are what inspires and fuels one to go after the goals vaguely seen at a distance (^-^)/