Category Archives: Pop Culture

Shishido Kavka: Meet Japan’s Famous Drummer, Singer and Model

Little drummer girl she is not, Shishido Kavka proves that she’s more than just the average J-rocker. Don’t let the name fool you though, Shishido Kavka is 100% Japanese and she’s already made a name for herself in Japan. For one, this girl can rock the runway and the stage.

Despite being born in Mexico, Kavka was raised in Argentina and Japan. At the young age of 14, Kavka tried her skills on the drums before going pro at the mere age of 18. All thanks to Kenji Ohshima of The High Lows and producer Satoru Horade, Kavka is now one of the prominent Japanese drummers in the business. Having played in more than a handful of Jrock bands, Kavka has settled for a solo career with her debut release of “Aisuru Kakugo” in 2012.

Shishido Kavka isn’t only popular for her drum playing abilities. Thanks to Kavka’s svelte and tall figure, the 27-year old has already walked for large-scale shows such as Tokyo Runway and Kobe Collection.

Model, Drummer, Singer
Model, Drummer, Singer

Being a well-known drummer and model, what more could Kavka ask for? Well, Kavka’s skills don’t just end there. This beauty also has the powerful vocals to boot. Shishido’s single, “Kiken na Futari” was used for the drama series “Doubles~Futari no Keiji” which catapulted her even more into the limelight.

Fans will be seeing more of this J-rocker and her music in the years to come.

Miss Universe Japan 2013, Yukimi Matsuo, Aspiring Manga Artist

Yukimi Matsuo, the winner of the Miss Universe Japan (MUJ) 2013 beauty pageant on Monday, revealed in press interviews that since she had achieved the title, she now wants to become a serialized manga artist. She told reporters that she had been drawing manga since quite a few years ago, such as illustrations and four-panel comics. However, due to her modeling, she knew that she would not have any time to serialize a manga in a magazine.

However, last summer, an editor at a web manga magazine invited her to work with him with the aim of her final goal of serialization. She told reporters that she had completed her goal of modeling by winning the pageant, and wanted to take on being a manga artist as her “final challenge” in life, as she is already 25 years old.

She pointed to Ai Yazawa (NANA, Paradise Kiss) and Moyoco Anno (Sakuran, Sugar Sugar Rune) as role models for drawing the beauty of women. When asked what type of person she likes, she said it would be someone who likes manga. Using manga as an example, she specifically called out Leorio from Hunter X Hunter as her type.

Read the rest of the story: Miss Universe Japan 2013 Is Aspiring Manga Creator.

Mika Nakashima Tops Oricon Album Chart

Singer Mika Nakashima’s 7th original album “REAL” sold 49,000 copies in it’s first week, and topped Oricon’s weekly album ranks.

This marked the first time in 4 years for the singer to top the chart for either a single or album since her 5th album “VOICE” was released in November 2008.

The album comprises 13 tracks including “Hatsukoi“, the theme song for the movie “Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu”, “Dear“, the theme song for the movie “Youkame no Semi”, and “LETTER“, which she wrote especially for her fans.

Celebrity Photographer, Leslie Kee, Arrested in Japan on Obscenity Charges

Tokyo-based Singaporean photographer Leslie Kee was arrested Monday on suspicion of obscenity after selling books containing pictures of male genitals at a gallery in Tokyo, police said.

The 41-year-old photographer, known for his pictures of Japanese pop stars including Ayumi Hamasaki, Yumi Matsutoya and Kumi Koda, was arrested along with two Japanese publishing firm employees.

The trio sold seven copies of a book “containing many photographs explicitly showing male genitals and others” to two customers at the gallery in the upscale shopping and entertainment district of Minami Aoyama, a Metropolitan Police Department spokesman said.

Read the rest of the story: Singaporean photographer nabbed in Japan for alleged obscenity.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Celebrates 20th Birthday

On January 29, singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (20) celebrated her 20th birthday with a special live event presented by telecommunications company “KDDI” at the Zojo-ji in Shiba Park, Tokyo.  With Tokyo Tower as her backdrop, she dressed in the pink ninja style and performed 7 songs including her song “Fashion Monster” for 1,500 people.

She talked about drinking at midnight upon turning 20 and revealed that she is a “merry drinker” stating, “I drank alcohol that tasted like juice.  I laughed a lot.”  She spoke about love with, “I want to try [dating.]  I am currently not [dating anyone],” and subsequently lifted her “ban” on alcohol and romantic relationships.

Maeda Atsuko to star in commercial for Sapporo Beer

On January 30th, it was revealed that former AKB48 member Maeda Atsuko has been chosen as the new image character for Sapporo Beer’s ‘Mugi to Hop‘. While she has starred in numerous CMs in the past, this will be her first appearance in a CM for an alcoholic beverage.

The new CM will air starting in February and it will also star Tamura Masakazu and Hotei Tomoyasu. Since her graduation from AKB48, Maeda has starred in CMs for Softbank Mobile’s ‘Shirato Family’ series and job search site ‘Mynavi Tenshoku‘.

AKB48’s Minami Minegishi Caught At GENERATIONS’ Alan Shirahama’s Home Overnight

AKB48 is facing a new sex scandal today as group member Minami Minegishi was photographed spending the night at GENERATIONS’ Alan Shirahama’s home on January 17th, according to a report from Shukan Bunshun.

Minegishi was seen entering Shirahama’s home at 12:09 am that night. At 3:00 am, the lights in the house were turned off without Minegishi leaving. The following morning, the two left the house at different times, both wearing face masks to try to conceal their identity.

Representatives for both parties involved have yet to commented on the report, though AKS, AKB48’s label, has stated they are investigating the situation.

Minegishi and Shirahama first met each other in 2011 when they co-starred in the reading drama “Moshimo Kimi ga”. The two have remained friends since working together.

AKB48 has a strict no-dating policy. Previous scandals similar in nature to Minegishi’s have resulted in other members being forced to leave the group, the most recent example being Yuka Masuda, who was accused of sleeping with rapper ISSA.

AKB48’s Tomomi Kasai Photobook has Publisher Under Investigation with Child Pornography Case

Since announcing her graduation from AKB48 and releasing her first solo single, Tomomi Kasai was set to release her photobook until many expressed concerns regarding its cover.

“Young Magazine”, a weekly magazine, was ready to publish their next edition on January 12th, but has postponed the release to January 21st due to the photobook’s cover. The photo used for the cover was deemed too innapropriate for their readers, so an alternative photo had to be used instead.

The photo book cover has caused plenty of backlash from netizens who are critical of its scandalous nature. Some say she’s just “desperate for attention” while others expressed that the picture was “such a dumb idea to begin with”. Others find it “disturbing” and “awkward”, especially with an underage child holding her breasts.

This issue has also prompted police to investigate publishing company Kondasha for what could potentially be considered child pornography. Before charges can be levied against the company, it must be determined whether or not the photo is in fact of a child with his hands touching the idol’s breasts.

In Japan, a guilty verdict for violating child pornography laws carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of five million yen.

Oguri Shun & Yamada Yu have another wedding in Hawaii

Actor Oguri Shun and actress Yamada Yu, who registered their marriage back in March last year, held their wedding ceremony and reception party in Hawaii’s Lanai island.

The ceremony was held at Four Seasons Resort Hawaii, Lana’i at Manele Bay in a garden-wedding style. Though the couple has already held a wedding in Yamada’s hometown Okinawa in last October, they always wanted to hold another wedding in Hawaii where the memorable place for the couple as they visited there many times since they started dating in spring of 2008.

Rakugo-ka Shofukutei Tsurube and Kinashi Noritake (of comedian duo Tunnels) served as their guardians, and about 100 people including their families and close friends attended the wedding. Yamada wore a wedding designed by Ian Stuart, and Oguri wore a pink vest. Reportedly, it was the wedding full of laughter.

The couple sent the written message to the press, “In the beginning of the new year, we received a lot of congratulations from our great friends and seniors for our marriage. From here on, we would like to continue to face with our work sincerely while cherishing a family.”

In the end of the ceremony, Yamada said with a smile, “It was such a wonderful wedding ceremony. I am truly happy that many people congratulated us.”

“Soshite chichi ni naru” Marks Fukuyama Masaharu’s Return

Fukuyama Masaharu marks his return to movies playing a father role for the first time. “Soshite chichi ni naru” is scheduled to be shown in cinemas from October 5th, 2013. The movie is directed by Koreeda Hirokazu.

Fukuyama plays the role of an elite salaryman Nonomiya Ryota who is very egoistic. However, he encounters the biggest crisis of his life, when he finds out that he has unwittingly raised someone elses son for the past 6 years due to his own son accidentally being switched with someone elses at birth.

His wife is played by Ono Machiko while the other couple whose child gets swapped is played by Lily Frankie and Maki Youko.