Interview: Go! Go! Curry President Hirokazu Miyamori & Sakura President Toshiaki Yuasa Discuss Progressive Innovation and Generating Added Value

28.November.2019 | BUSINESS / FEATURES

Kanazawa, also known as Kaga Hyakuman-gokuーan old name with a long history that originally marked the city’s tradition of wealth, and can also be used to refer to anything that is quintessentially Kanazawa. Capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, the city of Kanazawa is known as a place rich in art and traditional culture, and enjoys no shortage of popular tourist and sightseeing spots. At the core of all of this is the creative mind of the Kanazawan people from which these things have formed. We had the chance to speak with two company presidents, both of whom were born in Kanazawa: Hirokazu Miyamori of GO GO CURRY GROUP CO.,LTD., and Toshiaki Yuasa of Sakura Inc.

 

The interview was carried out at the Show House Gallery at Sakura Inc.

 

ーーーMr. Yuasa, this is a really wonderful place, isn’t it? I’d like to begin the interview by asking for a brief explanation of each of your companies.

 

Yuasa: Thank you very much. My name is Yuasa, and I work at Sakura. We are a company specialising in custom housing, and have done so for the past 26 years since establishing. We centre on the Ishikawa Prefecture area, but also have galleries in Toyama, Gifu, and Kyoto.

 

Miyamori: I’m Miyamori, and I work at Go! Go! Curry Group. We opened the first Go! Go! Curry branch in Shinjuku in May 2004. We specialise in curry and sell pre-packed curry products. Today, we have restaurants not only in Japan, but America, Brazil, and elsewhere too.

ーーーIf I’m not mistaken, you were both born in Kanazawa, correct?

 

Miyamori: Yes. I’ve had “The Nation of Kaga Hyakuman-goku” chiseled into my head since I was small. I didn’t know what it meant back then, but after I travelled to Tokyo and went overseas, I realised how beautiful a place Kanazawa is for its history, traditional arts, and culture. Those two characters* had more meaning than I thought. They have weight, are a brand, and contain soul and spirit.

*Referring to the Japanese reading of Kanazawa, “金沢.”

 

Yuasa: It’s just as Mr Miyamori says. I feel a yearning when hearing the word Kanazawa. I believe anyone and everyone there has an interest in its traditions and culture. And that’s because Kanazawa is a region with history, with style.

 

Miyamori: From being a young age, it’s been normal to know and have artisans around you. For instance, you go to someone’s house, and their father would be a yuzen fabric weaver. When we would go on field trips, we would go to facilities specialising in traditional crafts, go to see a Noh play at a Noh theatre, get involved in various cultural and seasonal events. But these days, those kinds of things aren’t as tied to people anymore. It’s something I realised by going outside.

 

ーーーーI feel like I now understand a little more the reason behind why there are so many creative people in Kanazawa. Both of you are founders, correct?

 

Miyamori: When I was 20, I went to New York. I said to myself that I would definitely go back there again. It was a dream of mine. But I ended up forgetting about it when I became a member of society. One day, I saw that a local [baseball] player and star transferred to the New York Yankees. I was so happy hearing that, and at the same time I remembered, “Oh yeah, I went there one time too.” I had no intention of opening a curry shop or becoming a company president. I just wanted to go to New York.

 

Yuasa: I completely get that <laughs>. I worked for a local company for 15 years, and had some unexpected luck which led to what I’m doing today. I established the company in the latter half of my 30s, but at the time I really had the same kind of authority that Mr Miyamori has <laughs>. Being young is scary in a sense. ‘Management’ has a generational appeal to it, but Mr Miyamori is young, so I think he’s got much more to offer yet!

 

Miyamori: Haha!

 

Yuasa: When I look at Mr Miyamori here, I can tell he’s really close with his staff. Do you wear this uniform in Tokyo, too?

 

Miyamori: I do. I go about like this on the bullet train and plane too! The people in New York get me pretty well as well.

 

Yuasa: I bet! <laughs> You’re a man of nerve.

 

Miyamori: We’re a team, so even at this moment in time, my heart is connected to the hearts of all my hardworking staff across the country. They wear the same thing too. I don’t think of myself as a company president or an employee. I think I’m more of a captain.

 

ーーーーTell me about how you’re putting strength into each of your businesses today.

 

Miyamori: Up to now we’ve focused our efforts on opening more stores, but now we’re pouring our energy into building our brand. We now have consignments not only for Go! Go! Curry, but Turban Curry, Hot House, and Samrat too. And all of these brands have real soul. That’s why I don’t only want to open restaurants. I also want to sell pre-packaged curry and curry for business use, as well as polish our brand to attract more customers.

 

Yuasa: I too am putting the majority of our attention into our brand. Branding involves a lot of things, like the image our customers have of us, and putting value in various different things, and by not responding to that structure when running a company, I believe there is no future for you. It’s difficult to find the right words to convey to customers who are particular about things, but is that feeling that the customer has not important?

 

Miyamori: You’ve got to show them, don’t you?

 

Yuasa: That’s right. There are many things here in this gallery like that which have added value, but even if I were to put them into words it would be difficult to get through, so I want to actually show them by preparing land and buildings. By adopting new things people have never seen before in properties, it adds value for customers so they don’t see it as just a building. To do that, it’s important to keep our eyes open and always work on innovating. If you want to innovate, but don’t have a clear vision or concept, your mind will become clouded before you can achieve it. And even when you do, every day is still a struggle.

 

Miyamori: Everyday, that’s for sure. <laughs>

 

Yuasa: Speaking of which, I’m the only impatient one. I leave it to my employees. Akira Yoshino, who won the Nobel Prize [in Chemistry] this year, also said it was for research for the generations of young people to come. He was right.

 

Miyamori: If there’s no challenge, there’s no growth, and it’s not fun. It’s blood, sweat and tears. I’m taking part in the next Kanazawa Marathon, and training for it has been really tough.

 

Yuasa: You’ll be running in that uniform, right? You’re sure to stand out from the crowd!

 

Miyamori: The people along the roadside cheer you on. That’s a huge source of strength. I can only relax once the run is over. That sense of accomplishment when you reach the goal is difficult to put into words. I want young people to experience this same feeling.

 

Yuasa: That sounds really good. If one of our workers signs up for the Kanazawa Marathon, I wonder if they’d be able to borrow a uniform from you?

 

Miyamori: If you’ve got someone who’d bear the responsibility of our company I’ll be sure to cheer them on! The people being cheered on, too. Even if it looks like you’ll be crushed, you keep at it. You’ll make bonds in the company. It’s the same with managing too. It’s tough to keep going, but when you achieve that goal, all of those troubles and hardships disappear in an instant.

 

Yuasa: It’s a cycle of achieving, and then aiming toward your next objective.

 

Miyamori: You completely forget about the troubles, don’t you? <laughs>

 

ーーーI see. And do you ever feel a sense of fulfilment at work?

 

Miyamori: It makes me happy when the customers call the curry we serve delicious. Other things too, like our curry being the first curry a child has ever eaten, or a family coming together again over it. We distribute curry to disaster-stricken areas, so we’re happy if we can become a source of energy for people too. I feel happy when our workers set high goals, we achieve them and grow from it, too.

Yuasa: It really makes me happy when I meet with a customer who bought a house from us a year later and they say that it’s a really great house. A house isn’t something you go and buy multiple times, so I feel relieved when they are satisfied. And although we’re a small company, I’m happy I can leave it to my staff so that they can grow. Because they try and they move forward, then the future will open for them. And with that, it’s the responsibility of the company president to bring about results from their hard work. Managing such a task is a tough job alone, but that’s what being a company president is. And if you don’t have that, you’ll fail.

 

Miyamori: I get that. You’ve got to pour in blood, sweat and tears if you want to grow. If you don’t go all out, you’re not going to sweat. You will grow greatly if you continue to go all out with everyone involved and achieve a monumental goal.

 

ーーーYou both have warm feelings towards your staff and workers, don’t you?

 

Miyamori: They feel like my own children. So it makes me really happy when they get married, have kids, and build a home.

 

Yuasa: That’s true. And also, if your company doesn’t grow, you can’t continue to exist. It’s important to always look towards growth and strive with everyone.

ーーーFor my last question, I’d like to ask you about your visions for the future.

 

Miyamori: Curry will save the planet! I’m aiming for the world with curry! For instance, if we were talking about ramen, and someone asked me which is more deliciousーeating ramen at a restaurant or at homeーI’d say eating it at a restaurant. But when it comes to curry, your mother’s is the most delicious. Basically, the curry you eat out isn’t growing or improving. Just like how Starbucks serves delicious coffee all around the world, I also want to serve delicious curry around the world.

 

Yuasa: Your vision is really easy to understand <laughs>.

 

Miyamori: Curry is actually a delicious form of Chinese food therapy. We can divide up allergies, so we make it delicious for everyone from children to the elderly. Also, when you eat curry, your bowel warms up, so with curry you can also look at increasing healthy life expectancy, building immunities, and fighting cancer. This curry is a Nobel Peace Prize meal! How about you, Mr Yuasa? What are you looking towards for the future?

 

Yuasa: I want to build a company that tackles problems faced by customers, like adding value to buildings by making them earthquake-proof and lowering electricity costs, as well as seeing how to incorporate that into housing. Our customers are valuable so we’re seeking value. We want to make lots of houses that answer the question, “How can I live happily in this house?” I believe how people live happy lives in a house changes generation by generation, so I want to catch onto that and keep up with the times.

 

Miyamori: You really are a company president, Mr Yuasa! I don’t even think of myself as well, and I don’t think my employees do either <laughs>. But it’s amazing how much thought you’re putting into ways of living, and I think that’s wonderful.

 

Yuasa: Thank you. Before I met you, I thought you were a nonstandard person, but after listening to your story today, and seeing you in that uniform, my opinion has changed to conviction. It’s not everyday something like the Nobel Prize comes into conversation <laughs>. I believe things will get better for both yourself and your employees!

 

Curryーand property. Two completely different worlds, but two company presidents hooked on innovation and growing their brands. Their ambitions and warm feelings they have towards their staff will encourage the people they work with and pave the way for new challenges brought about by adding new value to their companies. The day when the people of Japan are living in their wonderful Sakura homes and eating delicious Go! Go! Curry in them may already be on the horizon.

 

 

Interview & Text: Yuki Yokoo

Photographer: pon

Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

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    kajikawa Construction CO.,LTD was established in Hekinan, Aichi 114 years ago, and throughout its long history it has sought to break down existing conventions and innovate within the industry. Last year, the company began its collaboration with ASOBISYSTEM. For instance, kajikawa built and set up a photo booth at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 while ASOBISYSTEM worked on the design of kajikawa’s company logo and company brochure. This year, both companies are set to strengthen their partnership as they announce a large-scale construction project centred around kawaii (cute) designs. I spoke to Yusuke Nakagawa (President, ASOBISYSTEM CO., LTD) and Mitsuhiro Kajikawa (President, kajikawa Construction CO.,LTD) about their thoughts and shared values on the project.

     


     

     

    ――I would first like to begin by asking for a brief summary of your respective companies and what led to this collaboration.

     

    Mitsuhiro Kajikawa: We are a construction business operating in Aichi Prefecture’s city of Hekinan. The company was founded in 1905 when it was first called Kajikawa Zousensho. In 1959 we began work in the construction industry when Typhoon Vera struck the Tokai region in an effort to help with reconstruction. In recent years, we have worked on many designs for earthquake resistance. One thing in particular is the “Implant Levee” which integrates with the earth. We get many orders to construct infrastructure that ensures structures hold steadfast against earthquakes and tsunamis.

     

    Yusuke Nakagawa: How many employees do you have?

     

    Kajikawa: As of now, 96. Around the time I became Company President there were around 50 but since then it has nearly doubled. Of course I still hold Aichi Prefecture near and dear to my heart as it is our roots, but I also have a desire to offer our services to many other places. Right now we are active up and down Japan, from Hokkaido to Kyushu.

     

    Nakagawa: Besides the main office do you have branch offices outside of Hekinan?

     

    Kajikawa: We have a branch in Takadanobaba in Tokyo. We’re also making preparations for Osaka Expo [2025], so to ensure that we can build infrastructure in the Kansai region we also opened an office in Osaka in March of this year. Infrastructure development is absolutely essential to winning influence with people. Even in Tokyo, the roads and other facilities are wearing out. We do of course reconstruct things, but I also think it’s also important to carry out earthquake resistance with what we already have to ensure their longevity.

     

     

    Nakagawa: Our company started out as an event organiser, but our focus gradually became acting as management for people. We have grown even further from that now; the various number of people and things we produce is increasing. This puts us in a position where we are very different from the rest, so I was very surprised at first when I saw a request had come from kajikawa Construction.

     

    Kajikawa: I had heard about ASOBISYSTEM by chance through agencies, but I knew you [managed] many famous names including Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. My image of you was also that you are a central figure in creating “Kawaii” which is a representative culture of Harajuku. Though I look like this, I’ve actually always loved kawaii things since I was young. But I can’t show that when it comes to things work-related. Getting the opportunity to do this and use the word “kawaii” feels very liberating for me [laughs].

     

    Brochure

     

    ――You started collaborating with each other last year. It began with ASOBISYSTEM designing kajikawa Construction’s company logo and company brochure. It has received quite the revamp, hasn’t it?

     

    Nakagawa: I spoke with President Kajikawa and wondered whether he knew that the word “Kawaii” doesn’t apply solely to things like fashion. We too don’t take “Kawaii” as something superficial, we treat the concept closer to what it actually is. The essence of “Kawaii” is something that brings a smile to and brightens people then and there. I feel that President Kajikawa understands that concept and that’s why he sent us an offer. So I want to invest in our “Kawaii” and and return the favour with a lasting relationship.

     

    Kajikawa: When I took a look at the design of the company brochure I was surprised to see two of my favourite elements in there. The first were my favourite colours, pink and and green. The second was the use of traditional Japanese patterns. You took those traditional patterns and made them into a more contemporary pop design. You were kind enough to put all of my wishes in there, so much so that I was left wondering if we’d had a conversation about it beforehand.

     

    Nakagawa: I was happy that you liked it and admired that you accepted the design. The construction industry is a world I’m unfamiliar with, so I was worried what kind of reply I would get. Your openness to upturn the conventions of the industry and make it into something tangible I felt was wonderful.

     

    Logo

     

    ――Your company logo has changed too.

     

    Kajikawa: We are enthusiastically using all the new things we are incorporating. The design will be a hit with younger people. I believe we are breaking out of our old shell and taking new steps forward. It’s a trigger that’s making me feel we are a company to have great expectations for in the future.

     

    Nakagawa: When you look at the construction industry from the outside, your perception of it ends up being just what you imagine it to be. But by simply changing the logo and the brochure that perception can change. I believe the role of a simple brochure can add more value. It is really difficult to realise that adding value is important and then to put money into it. President Kajikawa is a symbol of looking forward.

     

    Kajikawa: The main mission of the construction industry is to adhere to and build what the government office has planned which means we are unable to suggest anything ourselves. It’s for that reason we are receiving help from ASOBISYSTEM, because I want to add our own unique values. By no means are we able to do it on our own. Our ideas end up coagulating and we can’t move on from there. I am grateful to ASOBISYSTEM for giving us a good incentive and for making us feel that we are able to do something if we strive to make that effort.

    MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 Photo Booth

     

    ――You worked together to set up a photo booth at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FES 2018. This was designed by ASOBISYSTEM with design checks by President Kajikawa.

     

    Kajikawa: I was very interested in it because the word “Kawaii” is used in designs all around the world. It has a strong message, doesn’t it? It felt unpredictable at first, but when I saw so many people standing in front of the panel taking photos it made me realise that leaving it up to top class designers can influence people.

     

    Nakagawa: We were particular about the colour combinations, weren’t we? You are particular about colours. I’m the same. We also endeavoured to make the design something that conveys the strength of kajikawa Construction as a construction business.

     

    ――Your collaboration together is set to continue throughout the year. It seems you are pressing forward with your large-scale “Kawaii” construction project.

     

    Kajikawa: In order to raise the added value of our company, it’s necessary that we change the way all of our employees think. It’s important to that we have them fully understand what we are doing with ASOBISYSTEM. The best way to do that is to show them a finished product. So our next step will be to forward the project by changing the design of our construction sites. For example, making cones, poles and fences pink. We will show them something they can see with their own eyes.

     

    Nakagawa: There are construction sites even in Shibuya that have character designs on them. They are becoming photo spots [for people]. It’s important to appeal to your employees too, but the effect of purely adding value to your construction sites feels promising.

     

    Kajikawa: It’s promising that our construction sites will become photo spots. Another one of our objectives is to make working people feel happy and make them feel like what they’re doing is worth it. Construction sites are isolated places. Them being dangerous is a real reason for that. Though people aren’t actually allowed to enter, by making the design “kawaii”  we can remove that unwelcoming feeling locals have for [construction sites], and that’s wonderful. Business meetings have only just begun but I hope for it to come to fruition by next year.

     

     

    Nakagawa: Are you also thinking of expanding overseas?

     

    Kajikawa: I’m thinking within the next 1-2 years.

     

    Nakagawa: I’m really looking forward to seeing “Kawaii” exported overseas from a new angle. I believe it will catch the attention of a lot of people and have a notable synergistic effect. We’re also working on creating key visuals and a film.

     

    Kajikawa: We are aiming for a pop world where coloured poles are characters that move. I get excited just picturing it. I can’t wait for the day when we make it public.

     

     

    ――I’m sure you would agree that when it comes to business, contribution to society is an important aspect. Will your “kawaii” construction sites have societal contributions too?

     

    Kajikawa: It has only just begun so I can only speculate, but the construction industry has a big mission to service infrastructure for the benefit of people’s lives. Plus, if we set forth to add value to “kawaii” elements, something which appeals to people, I think we can contribute a little to this brutal world. We are constantly in charge of 40-50 construction sites in Japan at any given time, so by giving them a “kawaii” outlook, don’t you think it might calm things down a bit?

     

     

    Kajikawa: For example, if pink-dyed construction sites appeared in Japan and around the world, it’s bound to make a lot of people smile. That’s the symbol of Japanese technological strength and culture. It might eventually bolster the presence of Japan throughout the rest of the world. Plus, if people are taking kawaii photos, then they are going to seek out construction sites. A day like that may come, and working at a construction site might become a status. There are many pieces of dreams in the collaboration between kajikawa Construction and ASOBISYSTEM. Our unique tag team which defies industry may shake things up in a unique way.

     

    Interview & Text: Fumihiko Suzuki

    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

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  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica 10 Exhibition to Open in Kanazawa for Limited-Time

    17.December.2021 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    The Puella Magi Madoka Magica 10 Exhibition will be open at Daiwa Korinbo in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture from December 26, 2021, until January 12, 2022. The event commemorates the 10th anniversary of the anime series, and this limited-time run will be the first time the exhibition has been held in the Chubu and Hokuriku regions. 

     

    Puella Magi Madoka Magica 10 Exhibition Admission Ticket with Goods

     

    The Puella Magi Madoka Magica 10 Exhibition invites visitors to relive the series’ story with newly-drawn key visuals, production materials, illustrations, videos, and much more. 

     

    In addition to original merchandise such as tapestries and new illustrations, visitors can find local acrylic charms for purchase. 

     

    Kanazawa is located close to the Sea of Japan, and visitors coming during this holiday season can enjoy the beautiful snowy scenery and delicious local fare as well!

     

    (C)Magica Quartet/Aniplex・Madoka Partners・MBS

  • Ayako Suwa’s New Work ‘TALISMAN in the Woods’ on Exhibition at KAMU Kanazawa

    17.December.2021 | FASHION / SPOT

    KAMU k=k, the sixth space in the private contemporary art museum KAMU Kanazawa, will officially open on December 17, 2021. The location was created as a multi-purpose exhibition space, and it’s first project will be ‘TALISMAN in the Woods’ by Ayako Suwa, active in the field of food art. The work is seat in Hakusan and Kanazawa and revolves around the themes of nature, cities, and water circulation.

    TALISMAN in the woods ©Ayako Suwa Courtesy of KAMU kanazawa 



    In the year and a half since its opening in 2020, KAMU Kanazawa has continued to inspire with unique spaces inspired by artist’s individuality. The opening of ‘KAMU tatami’ in October made a big splash, and ‘KAMU k=k’ will only be a limited space for around four years. This follows the museums philosophy that the role and shape of a city changes over time, meaning that the museum should change along with it. 

    KAMU kk Courtesy of KAMU kanazaw

     


    The space is five meters high, and seven meters wide and deep, giving a theater-like atmosphere. Giving a wildly different impression than it’s surroundings, visitors can enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime art experience. 

    TALISMAN in the woods ©Ayako Suwa Courtesy of KAMU kanazawa 

     

    The first exhibition held in “k≐k” will be “TALISMAN in the Woods” by Ayako Suwa. Ripples will spread outside of the museum, following the theme of water circulation. Visitors will be asked to pay attention to how nature silently impacts daily life, and will be inspired to create connections with the world around them. In this exhibition, Suwa will share insight on water from Hakusan, a city supplying water to huge areas of Ishikawa Prefecture. This three-dimensional work was created by the artist during 2020 during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic. Using Cedar branches and leaves from Hakusan, the installation is on a massive scale consistent with the new space.After the exhibition, the talismans displayed in the work will be returned to the soil of Hakusan to connect the exhibition with local nature. 

    ©Ayako Suwa Courtesy of food creation

     

    ©Ayako Suwa Courtesy of food creation

     

    Through crowdfunding, guests can snag a piece of Suwa’s work along with other special items. In addition to simply owning a piece of art, upon the death of these talismans, guests can participate in the ritual of returning these pieces to the forest. 

     

    TALISMAN ©Ayako Suwa Courtesy of food creation

     

     

  • Channel 47 Produces Special Short Video for Kanazawa Film Festival

    10.December.2021 | BUSINESS / FASHION / SPOT

    Highlights from the Kanazawa Film Festival

     

    Channel 47, a company using the power of entertainment and pop culture to convey the appeal of Japan to the world, made a splash at this year’s Kanazawa Film Festival by producing the short video ‘HAKKEN -in Kanazawa Movie Festival.’ This was shown at both the Kanazawa Film Festival and the Tatemachi Film Festival, which were held simultaneously in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture in September 2021. The video is available to watch on the official Channel 47 YouTube channel. 

     

    「HAKKEN -in Kanazawa Movie Festival-」

     

    The film was produced by Channel 47 to promote both film festivals. The Kanazawa Film Festival aims to ‘promote Japan’s countryside culture to the world,’ and with such similar goals, the two were perfect partners. 

     

    In conjunction with the project, Channel 47 invited AMIAYA and Etsuna (both talents under ASOBISYSTEM) as special guests to the awards ceremony of the Kanazawa Film Festival. The Channel 47 Award was given to MELIA, who also won the Promising New Director Grand Prix. 

     

    The short video highlights some of the best moments from both events and includes interviews with the Director of Eiga no Kai (The Film Association) and MELIA. There’s plenty of impressive footage to see, so check out the highlights!

     

    HAKKEN -Discover Kanazawa with AMIAYA-

    HAKKEN -Discover Kanazawa with AMIAYA-, also produced by Channel 47, shows off Kanazawa’s best pop culture tourist spots. 

     

     

    HAKKEN -Experience Kanazawa’s History with ETSUNA-

    The final HAKKEN film produced by Channel 47 shows off the incredible depth of Kanazawa City and how much it has to offer. 

     

     

    The Kanazawa Film Festival is an ongoing event held by the Eiga no Kai at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa and at other venues throughout the city. The goal is to help develop the area and share countryside culture with Japan and the world. The 15th such event was held from September 18 to September 20, 2021. In addition to staging special works each year, the festival has an established reputation in the film community for its ‘New Directors with Promising Talent’ program. This year, 83 films were entered into the New Directors competition, with 11 being chosen to be screened. MELIA came out on top for ‘Experimental Tour,’ and also won a special Channel 47 award.

     

    The Tatemachi Film Festival is organized by the Tatemachi Shopping District Revitalization Association and is held at the same time. The venue was the rooftop of Tatemachi Parking, a multi-story parking garage in the city also popular for outdoor music festivals. It was held from September 17 to September 19, 2021.

    Official Site: https://www.eiganokai.com/event/filmfes2021/kanazawa/

     

     

    Channel 47 is a project using the power of entertainment to share Japan and its local culture with the world. By getting popular celebrities and public figures involved, the company produces events and content that conveys the appeal of specific Japanese locales and customs to global audiences. 

    Official Site: https://channel47.jp/

    Contact: info@channel47.jp

  • Discover the wonder of Kanazawa with AMIAYA and ETSUNA with new “HAKKEN” videos produced by Channel 47

    16.November.2021 | BUSINESS / FASHION / FEATURES / SPOT

    Fashion icons show the modern and historical charm of Kanazawa, Japan

     

    TOKYO, JAPAN (16 November, 2021) – Channel 47, a company focused on globally promoting the appeal of local and popular Japanese culture through the power of entertainment, is excited to debut their new “HAKKEN” video series today, 16 November, highlighting the wonderful modern and historical tourism aspects of Kanazawa City in Ishikawa Prefecture. “HAKKEN” is the Japanese word for discovery, which is the core feeling this new video series is aiming to convey. Channel 47 wants toinspire viewers to discover the wonders of Japan’s local culture through these shortfilms.

     

    The debut videos feature fashion icons AMIAYA and ETSUNA (both represented by ASOBISYSTEM), each exploring a different facet of what Kanazawa has to offer curious visitors. These films were produced by Channel 47 as a part of promotional efforts for the Kanazawa Film Festival held in September of 2021. These entries in the “HAKKEN” series were informed by Channel 47’s shared philosophy with the Kanazawa Film Festival, to disseminate the culture of Japan’s countryside and promote its appeal worldwide.

     

    In the first video, twin model & singer duo AMIAYA discover the “pop” elements of the city at locations such as the Omi-machi market, the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, the Nagamachi Samurai District, and more. Along the way they sample delicacies from some of Kanazawa’s highly rated restaurants. Through their experiences viewers will see art, food, shopping, and scenery that has high appeal among visitors.

     

    Watch “HAKKEN – Discover Kanazawa with AMIAYA”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9-gD-ftTE0

     

    Find AMIAYA online

    Official Website: https://asobisystem.com/talent/amiaya/

    AMI Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amixxamiaya/

    AYA Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ayaxxamiaya/

    Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/AMI__AYA

     

     

    In the second video, fashion designer and influencer ETSUNA takes a different approach and wanders the traditional side of Kanazawa. Starting with a stroll in the Higashi Chaya District, her journey takes her to make ceramic art at Hokutoh, and to see historic locations such as the Ishikawa Bridge, the Gyokusen’inmaru Garden, Sannomaru Square, and more. To fit the traditional theme of her visit, she visits Kimono & Antiques Soki and gets dressed for the occasion. Viewers will see through ETSUNA’s exploration the beauty and historical legacy of Kanazawa City.

     

    Watch “HAKKEN – Experience Kanazawa’s History with ETSUNA”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3h-57mhouU

     

    Find ETSUNA online

    Official Website: https://asobisystem.com/talent/etsuna/

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/etsunaotsuka/

    Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/etsuna_artist/

     

    ABOUT KANAZAWA FILM FESTIVAL

    The 15th Kanazawa Film Festival was held from September 18-20, 2021 in Theater 21 at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary art in Kanazawa. The festival has a reputation not only for the high quality of films presented each year, but also for its “New Directors with Promising Talent” program. This year 83 films were entered in the “New Directors with Promising Talent” program, and 11 of them won screening rights. The Grand Prix was awarded to MELIA’s “Experiential Tour”, for which she also received the special Channel 47 Award.

     

    More information on the Kanazawa Film Festival can be found at

     https://www.eiganokai.com/event/filmfes2021/kanazawa/

     

    ABOUT CHANNEL 47

    Channel 47 is a project that using the power of entertainment to communicate the appeal of Japan and its different regions to overseas audiences. Through planning and producing events with celebrities and personalities, Channel 47 creates content that conveys the appeal and charm of Japan’s many different regions to viewers all over the world. Channel 47 created the post-movies for the 15th Kanazawa Film Festival, held in September 2021. Additional efforts to promote the event overseas include producing

    English subtitles for “Alien Painter” which was screened as a Kanazawa Film Festival Scholarship Film.

     

    For more information about Channel 47 please contact: info@channel47.jp

  • Hyatt Centric Kanazawa Reveals Halloween Inspired Menu for October

    13.September.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    All-day restaurant FIVE – Grill & Lounge, located within the Hyatt Centric Kanazawa hotel, will begin serving up a selection of Halloween-inspired treats beginning October 1, including cake sets, parfaits, muffins, and various lunch and dinner items.

     

    Guests will also be able to enjoy some mischievous cocktails and mocktails inspired by witches and ghosts!

     

    Halloween Cake Set 

     

    Black Sesame Pudding

    Mummy Macaron

    Ghostly Mousse

    Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwich

    Coffin Tart

    Monster Cream Puff

    Halloween Parfait Set

    Halloween Dinner/Lunch Course

     

    Halloween Muffin Box

     

    Halloween Cocktails 

    Spooky Night

    Hallo-Wine Sangria

    I sWitch (Mocktail)

     

    The Halloween Cake Set is filled with ghoulish treats, each one displaying incredible attention to detail. In the Halloween Parfait Set, guests can enjoy a tower of different sweets, including black currant and chocolate. Themed with creepy eyeball decorations throughout, it offers a variety of overlapping textures and tastes guests will want to savor until the last bite.

     

    When thinking of Halloween, the colors orange and purple instantly come to mind. For the Halloween Dinner/Lunch Course, the menu’s creators went with a more dark theme, envisioning a ghost appearing at any moment. The entire restaurant will be decorated in black and gray, creating a truly haunting dining experience.

     

    Don’t miss out on the Halloween Muffin Box, a set of mini-muffins made with fresh autumn ingredients, and offering a much cuter feel. Quantities are limited!

     

    The gin-based Spooky Night cocktail is refreshing, with a bold blue color and red-rim on the glass, sure to turn your mouth bright crimson. Hallo-Wine Sangria, house-made with autumn fruits, has a unique design, with a skeleton rising from the glass! For those wanting a mocktail, the I sWitch asks guests to pour the accompanying red syrup over the cotton candy, changing both the appearance and flavor of the drink as if by witchcraft!

     

    Which of these treats would you be after?

  • Girl Group NiziU Named Brand Ambassadors for Visée, Introduce Limited-Edition Eyeshadows

    10.September.2021 | FASHION / MUSIC

    Cosmetics brand KOSE has announced that popular girl group NiziU will act as brand ambassadors for a new collection of Visée eyeshadow, Glossy Rich Eyes N.

     

    Visée Glossy Rich Eyes N  – Available in 8 shades + 2 limited edition shades

     

     

    Photo Shoot

     

    「Visée AVANT」Limited Edition Seasonal Visual with MAYUKA&NINA

     

    The theme for this year’s campaign was ‘Find the Color Just for You.’ By trying all possible shades, even those which seem out of the consumers comfort zone, they will absolutely find the perfect color. For this photo shoot, NiziU applied makeup inspired by their respective member colors, showing off their individuality.

     

    A special web movie and visual for Glossy Eyes Rich N featuring the NiziU girls is available on the special product website and through the official social media channels. The eyeshadows will be available at drugstores and other retailers, as well as online, beginning September 16. Members Mayuka and Nina will also appear in limited season ads for Visée AVANT.

     

    An original movie featuring all members is also available to view on the official TikTok brand account and the Glossy Rich Eyes N special product website.

     

    Interview with NiziU

     

    Q1. Visée has partnered with a number of women before, each symbolizing the current era. What are your thoughts on being chosen as brand ambassadors for Visée now?

    Mako: I’m turning 20 this year, and I’ve really wanted to show a different side of myself now that I won’t be a teenager anymore. I was so happy when I was chosen for this project, since it gave me the perfect chance to do just that!

    Maya: We’re so incredibly honored to be chosen as ambassadors for Visée! I use their products regularly, but there are so many different colors of product available. I think this will inspire people to make use of colors they may not use often, and to try new things!

     

    Q2. How did you feel after shooting wrapped?

     

    Ayaka: It felt like something totally different than what NiziU has tackled in the past. I typically wear more cutesy makeup, but this time I tried to show something more mature. It was refreshing. It was a blast getting close-up shots taken of my eye makeup!



    Q3. The theme for this year’s campaign is ‘Find the Color Just for You.’ It calls on people to find a color that best matches their personality. After the first ad shoot, what were your impressions of your fellow members’ new makeup looks?


    Riku: Maya was the one getting her pictures taken first, and she looked so gorgeous that Ayaka and I couldn’t stop staring at her! Honestly, we were staring at her so much that when she finally looked over at us, she did that typical Maya smile, and it was like we fell in love with her. (laugh)



    Q4. This year’s visuals are impressive, with the NiziU members showing off very different expressions than usual. Is there anything you refer to or try to do personally, to find new facial expressions?


    Mayuka: It can be really difficult, but I find it useful to look at photos of some of the more senior members and practice copying their expressions.

     


    Q5. Again, this year’s theme is ‘Find the Color Just for You.’ Each of the nine members of NiziU have their own distinct personalities, so with that in mind, what do you think makes you stand out as an individual?

     

    Rima: For me, it’s my different worldview. It allows me to converse in a very unique way, and to really adjust how I carry myself depending on the location. My member color is red, which also has many meanings: it can be powerful, or mature, or energetic, or mischievous. I’m like a chameleon. I hold many different personalities that I can switch to at the drop of a hat.

     


    Q6. As a member of NiziU, you’ve had many different and unique experiences. Have you found any unexpected sides of yourself during your time as a member?

     

    Rio: I used to think I was one of the cool girls, but during this photo shoot, I was given a makeup look and outfit that was more cutesy. That’s a side of myself I haven’t explored, and this is something that happens frequently during the many events and challenges we take on as a unit.



    Q7. During the makeup shooting sessions, we were able to see very different sides of the NiziU members. Is there anything new you’ve learned about the other members recently?

     

    Miihi: Compared to how we all were when we all joined, everyone is really starting to show their true selves! We’ve so close, there’s nothing that we don’t know about each other at this point!



    Q8. The Glossy Rich Eyes N products that you used this time come in a wide variety of colors, making it possible for anyone to meet their perfect shade. Speaking of ‘meetings,’ what do the members of NiziU want to meet more than anything right now?

     

    Nina: I want to meet with WithU (the name for NiziU fans). We haven’t been able to meet them face to face yet, and I hope we’re able to soon.

  • Yusuke Nakamura Exhibition Opens at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

    08.May.2021 | FASHION / SPOT

    The Yusuke Nakamura Exhibition opened at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, on April 29. It was also announced that the Japanese illustrator is releasing the first artbook to compile all of his CD cover art on May 28, but the book can be bought early at the exhibition.

    Yusuke Nakamura Exhibition

    Yusuke Nakamura Exhibition CD Artworks

    Yusuke Nakamura has designed covers forASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, Masashi Sada, Spitz, and more

    Commentary on the CD covers written by the Yusuke Nakamura himself

    Rough sketches are featured in the book

    A talk between Yusuke Nakamura and Masafumi Gotoh (ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION)

    It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call Yusuke Nakamura one of Japan’s most prolific artists, having worked with some of the country’s biggest names such as ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, Gentouki, Masashi Sada, and more. His new artbook, entitled PLAY, compiles all of his CD covers from 2002-2020, commentary, rough sketches, talks, and more. While many things from the book are explored at the exhibition, there’s plenty of content exclusive to the book too, so it’s a must-grab for fans.

     

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