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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  • Interview: The Future of Kawaii Construction Sites Discussed by ASOBISYSTEM & kajikawa Construction’s Company Presidents

    15.May.2019 | BUSINESS

    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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    16.December.2022 | FEATURES / MUSIC

    FRUITS ZIPPER, an up-and-coming idol group from ASOBISYSTEM’s KAWAII LAB project, has a simple concept: “From Harajuku to the World.” For the past year, the girls have been transmitting what they call ‘NEW KAWAII’ from Harajuku, an area known for fashion and individuality, to their growing fanbase.

     

    Recently, we sat down with the members to chat about their first year as idols since debuting in April 2022.

     

    ーWhat has the past year been like as members of FRUITS ZIPPER?

     

    Manaka Mana

    “The past year has been a year of love. I’ve learned so much about myself and see my own weaknesses more than I ever have before!

    I’ve been able to encounter emotions I wasn’t even aware that I could, and I’ve even been able to recognize and verbalize a lot of new dreams and goals for the future!

    Thank you so much!”

    Noel Hayase

    “The past year has been the most packed year of my life. There was something to do every single day–it was so hectic and so fun! I could only think about how thankful I was to be part of FRUITS ZIPPER. I’m sure that we’ve all become stronger over the past year, and I want to keep working hard and expanding our activities more in the coming years!”

     

    Amane Tsukiashi

    “Every day seemed to fly by. I met and talked with so many people, and I was finally able to do the job I had always dreamed of doing.”

    ーYou performed in Thailand this year, highlighting your slogan of ‘From Harajuku to the World.’ Can you tell us any fun stories from that time?

     

    Yui Sakurai

    “I was so happy to see how many people knew about FRUITS ZIPPER–it was more than I could have ever imagined! So many fans told me how happy they were to meet me and it made me so thrilled!

    There were some fans who came from Japan too, and they joined the Thai fans to become Team Yui! I really felt like we had shared Harajuku with the world at that moment.

    I hope that we’ll keep expanding this way and visiting fans around the world. 

    It was such a warm and special day.”

    Luna Nakagawa

    “This was my first time performing overseas and I was nervous about how the audience would react. We weren’t well-known in Thailand, after all–but when we started singing Watashino Ichiban Kawaiitokoro, everyone sang along!

    The concert was so warm and the fans were so sweet, I immediately forgot that it was my first big overseas performance. I was full of adrenaline and it just turned out to be so much fun.

    That concert is still my best memory. I can’t wait to go back to Thailand to perform again.

    Since our motto is ‘From Harajuku to the World,’ I hope that we can keep expanding to other countries soon!”

    ーDo you have any goals for the next year in terms of overseas activities?

     

    Suzuka Chinzei

    “I want to do a European tour!

    I’m still studying German, but I’d love to try out my communication skills! 🥺 (I guess I could do that here too, but…)”

    Karen Matsumoto

    “I want to be friends with more overseas fans! 💖

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    ーGive a message to your fans both in Japan and abroad!

     

    Manaka Mana

    “In 2023, I hope that I can spend more time with fans from around the world in person! I want to become stronger and care for those important to me while growing my natural gifts!

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    Noel Hayase

    “Even though we’ve only just debuted, we’ve already been so blessed, invited to perform in Thailand and to spend New Year’s Eve in Taiwan. How have we been abroad so many times already? I want to keep the momentum going, spread my wings and aim for an even bigger stage! To all the international fans, just wait! We’ll keep bringing Harajuku to the rest of the world!”

  • Interview: MIOCHIN’s Kawaii Girl’s Guide to Tokyo

    15.December.2022 | FASHION / FEATURES

    Many visiting Tokyo in the future will want to find the most kawaii spots imaginable, and we know just the girl to serve as a guide! In today’s special interview, we chatted with MIOCHIN to share her recommendations. If you haven’t seen her colorful pop pics on TikTok and Instagram, you’ll want to jump into the MIONOSEKAI!

     

    Q. MIOCHIN, what store is a must-visit in Harajuku?

    “That would be SUGAR HIGH at Harajuku Alta! You can find colorful sweets and cute goods from all over the world. I always stop by when I have time because they have popular snacks I’ve seen on TikTok, tons of jewelry, and things I can use every day♪

    It’s also a really good spot for buying small souvenirs and gifts for people!★”

     

    Q. What store in Tokyo really embodies your personal worldview?

    “The minacute CONCEPT STORE at Ikebukuro Sunshine City. I’m actually the store’s producer!★

    Not only did I design this shop, but I’m also selling cute accessories in collaboration with minacute!!”

    “The store feels like a big toy box and it’s filled with so many items that kids would love. Not only that–you can find popular brands from around the world and tons of sparkle too★

    We also hold workshops and events on weekends, so please come visit!♪★”

     

    Q. What’s your go-to Kawaii Spot?

    (The HARAJUKU Room)

    “If you’re looking to surround yourself with everything cute, it’s all about MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS! Each room is perfect for snapping photos–I’ve visited so many times for parties and photo shoots★

    There are four rooms: DOSKOI, HARAJUKU, ORIGAMI, and SAKURA, and each has a uniquely cute interior♪ If you’re planning on staying the night in Harajuku, be sure to check it out!”

     

    Q. Where can the readers find cute clothes like the ones found in your wardrobe?

    (Skirt, Jacket: grapefruitmoon)

    “Check out grapefruitmoon, a vintage clothing store. They have so many neat items from the 60s to the 80s, and the designs and shapes are so unique. I’d recommend browsing their retro dresses and funky bottoms★Whether you’re into more monotone fashion or something more flashy and bright, you’ll find it!♪”

     

    Q. Where do you buy your makeup?

    “ANNA SUI. I just can’t get enough of the brand’s vision, and the cosmetics are really one-of-a-kind. Honestly, I buy most of them–I especially love the perfumes. I love the scents and the designs are just too damn cute! It’s my favorite collection.”

     

    Q. To wrap things up, do you have a message to readers coming to Japan in the future?

    “I’m so glad that so many people are interested in Japan. I post so many colorful things on social media and always want to share Japanese culture with the world!♪

    There are so many interesting places that you can only find here, and fascinating activities that you have to visit to enjoy!

    I hope you’ll come enjoy our food, fashion, and sightseeing spots. And don’t forget to shop for some kawaii goods!★

    And I hope that once you do, you’ll love Japan even more!”

     

    PROFILE: MIOCHIN

    Active as an illustrator, TikToker, and streamer, MIOCHIN is known for her colorful pop world MIONOSEKAI. She has fans young and old from around the world and often broadcasts on YouTube and TikTok, recently attracting attention for her duet videos on the latter. Her original videos focus on everything from makeup and art to impressions. 

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dtdq2828/

    TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@mionosekai

    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnyOak5Hd4WG0oLECz6L0Og

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/dtdq2828

  • KAWAII LAB. Report #14 ~Makeup Tips from your Favorite Idols!~

    02.December.2022 | FASHION / FEATURES / MUSIC

    FRUITS ZIPPER, a new idol group from ASOBISYSTEM, has a simple concept: “From Harajuku to the World.” Ready to transmit what they call ‘NEW KAWAII’ from Harajuku, an area known for fashion and individuality, to their soon-to-be global fanbase, the group consists of seven members: Amane Tsukiashi, Suzuka Chinzei, Yui Sakurai, Luna Nakagawa, Mana Manaka, Karen Matsumoto, and Noel Hayase.

     

    A while back in Report #12, we chatted with Karen Matsumoto, Yui Sakurai, and Luna Nakagawa about their makeup routine and tips. This time, we’re asking Noel Hayase, Suzuka Chinzei, Mana Manaka, and Amane Tsukiashi to share their thoughts on makeup!

     

    Tell us about your favorite lipsticks and what makes them special!

    Noel Hayase

    When I do my own makeup, I use b idol’s Glossy Lip No. 08 and then layer PERIPERA’s G Tint No. 06 on the inside. I’ve tried so many b idol lipsticks and I finally found one that matches my skin color perfectly. The tinted one was a gift but I love applying it on the inside of my lips–it gives this neat blood-colored look. It also doesn’t fade which is awesome.

     

    Suzuka Chinzei

    I like THREE Lyrical Lipstick Bloom 11 RUN FREE. 

    The texture is soft, the color doesn’t fade, and the color is really cute. When I found it, I was so thrilled–it was the exact color I was looking for. Seriously, it’s the best lipstick! It’s honestly all I use in fall and winter♡

     

    -Mana Manaka

    Jill Stuart’s lip oil!

    We call the people who support us Soragumi, and some of them gave us these gifts along with letters and flowers after our first solo concert. We were so happy☁️

    I love the colors and the cloth wrapping, but I feel like it would be such a waste if I ran out so I only carry them as good luck charms. (Laugh)

     

    -Amane Tsukiashi

    DIOR ADDICT 524 DIORETTE

    DIOR ADDICT Maximizer 103 Pure Gold (This one was a gift🙇‍♂️) 

    04 rom&nd Dewiful Water Tint

    I have so many favorite lipsticks, but lately I’ve been into layering this shimmery gold maximizer with brown, orange, red, and darker lip shades. It’s really cute!🤍

     

    What do you use for your foundation?

    -Noel Hayase

    I don’t put a lot on my skin, but I do apply a makeup primer called UV Idea XL Protection Tone-Up by La Roche-Posay first. After that, I use Dior Skin Forever Skin Correct Concealer to hide dark circles and redness. That’s all!

     

    -Suzuka Chinzei

    I moisturize with VT’s CICA cream. Depending on the weather, I’ll apply Chant a Charm sunscreen followed by The Skin Minimalist by Decorte. I put on powder last. I use CANMAKE’s Secret Beauty Powder or Elegance’s La Poudre Haute Nuance. No foundation for me!

     

    -Mana Manaka

    These were also gifts, but I use Lunasol sunscreen, Dior primer, and foundation!

    The bottle is really beautiful, with the engraving…❤️

    I ran out of powder when I was in Thailand recently, so I’m just using what I bought locally!

    I don’t know if it’s because it’s makeup from a really hot country, but it goes on so smoothly that it doesn’t feel sticky at all, even with a mask on. I’ve been using it even after I got back to Japan!

     

    -Amane Tsukiashi

    CHANEL Base Hydra Luminere

    (I might upgrade.)

    CHANEL Fluid Foundation de CHANEL B10

    Dior Forever Skin Correct Concealer 0N

    SUQQU Oil Rich Glow Loose Powder

    clé de peau BEAUTÉ LE REHAUSSEUR D’ÉCLAT 105 (This was a gift! 🙇‍♂️)

     

    What do you typically do when it comes to skincare?

    -Noel Hayase

    First, I use &honey cleansing balm to remove my makeup. When I heard that you could cleanse and wash your face at the same time, I gave it a try and it was amazing, so I’m never going back. After my bath and before putting on my makeup, I use a complete skin care set like La Roche-Posay’s skincare set, which includes mist lotion, toner, and skin cream. It’s not cheap, but since I started using it my skin feels so incredible. Remember to always buy products depending on what kind of skin you have!

     

    -Suzuka Chinzei

    Before makeup in the morning, I always cleanse with Bioderma. If I don’t feel moisturized enough, I apply a lotion emulsion. After cleansing at night, I use Bioderma again and then a toner emulsion. Sometimes I like doing face masks, and when I do, I use Mediplorer’s CO2 Sheet Mask. It was recommended to me by someone with really beautiful skin and it’s amazing. I also use a Cell Cure. It’s crazy after how much dirt it removes. (Laugh)

     

    -Mana Manaka

    I use lotion, then a face mask, then a serum!

    When I used the MediHeal mask that Luna recommended, I was so surprised at how good it was that I started buying and trying tons of different masks.

    I’m trying different things to see what fits and what doesn’t, and lately I’ve been buying a lot of Korean masks.

     

    Amane Tsukiashi

    I haven’t been doing much skincare, but I have been moisturizing a lot lately since my skin gets super dry. On some days I’ll do a face mask and use steam. On the day before an important photo shoot, I use my favorite CellCure 4t Plus.

     

    Oh no! You’re running late! You only have time to apply one product! What part of your face will you focus on and why?

    -Noel Hayase

    I’d only do eye makeup. In this day and age, everyone wears masks, so when you meet someone, you always make eye contact, right? Besides, if it’s just eye makeup, I can get by without base makeup, and I can do the rest of my makeup whenever. (Laugh)

     

    -Suzuka Chinzei

    I just need sunscreen!

    Sunscreen is life. It’s so important!

    Starting when I was in junior high, my parents told me to wear sunscreen, so I can’t imagine not doing it now. No matter how busy I am, I put on sunscreen, even while walking to the station.

    I was on the track team in junior high and I’d put some on every 30 minutes. 

    At the time I thought it was so annoying, but now I’m so glad my mom told me to do it. 

    (Strangely enough, my mom doesn’t wear sunscreen at all.)

     

    -Mana Manaka

    On days when I actually have a whole day off or if I’m just at rehearsal, I don’t wear makeup. I hide behind a mask and a hat! (Laugh)

    If I use anything at all, it’s sunscreen or foundation with sunscreen in it.

    It covers my eyebrows and eyes so much that I can’t see at all, but I do want to prevent spots!!! (Laugh)

     

    -Amane Tsukiashi

    Eyes!

    I always think that wearing eye makeup makes a huge difference. 

    I’d want to do my eyebrows too, but at least I can hide them with my bangs. Eyes it is!

     

  • Interview Series Vol.3: What Does ‘Kawaii’ Mean to You?

    14.November.2022 | FASHION / FEATURES

    “Japan is such an interesting country, where so many cultures blend and evolve.”

     

    Moshi Moshi Nippon is dedicated to sharing Japanese pop culture with audiences around the world. Recently, we launched a new interview series with foreign influencers active in Japan, and for the third edition, we’re chatting with Zhu Zhu! A popular influencer with over 2 million followers on Weibo, Zhu Zhu claims that since coming to Japan, her fashion has become ‘softer.’ We sat down to ask her what kind of Kawaii she’s found in Japan.

    Q. Why did you first come to Japan?

    “In 2013, I moved to Japan with my family because Beijing’s air pollution had become really bad. It’s already been nine years!”

     

    Zhu Zhu when she first came to Japan

     

    Q. When you first arrived in Japan, what surprised you?

    “When I first came to Japan, what really surprised me was the wide use of the word ‘kawaii.’ It’s so interesting that literally anything can be called kawaii. Sure, it makes sense to call girls, animals, or clothes cute, but in Japan, people call things cute that people in other countries would never refer to in that way. I mean, I think calling things ‘cute’ when you mean ‘good’ is something really commonplace here. (laugh)” 

     

    Q. Tell us what you find the most Kawaii in Japan!

    “There are so many cute things in Japan, but I think that the sweets take the cake. I was surprised by how small they are unlike in other countries. And there are so many kinds! Cakes, baked goods, wagashi, they’re all so incredibly kawaii!”

     

    Q. How did your encounter with Kawaii culture in Japan change you?

    “Since I first came into contact with the Japanese version of kawaii, I think my style has become softer. When I was overseas, I typically just worse really simple outfits and makeup, but now, I’m always conscious of looking girly and cute.”

     

    Q.In Japan, what are you interested in right now? Where do you want to visit in the future?

    “I recently read an article about Yufuin Floral Village, which is England-inspired. It looks so cute and I really want to go!”

     

    Q. Do you have anything to say to our readers who want to visit Japan in the future?

    “Japan is such an interesting country, where so many cultures blend and evolve. No matter how many times you visit, you can always find something new. Please visit!”

     

    Zhu Zhu Profile

    An influencer from China with 2 million followers on Weibo. Nicknamed “Big Cousin” on social media, she has been a favorite of many Japanese brands for years. Since moving to Japan, Zhu Zhu has actively shared fashion, beauty, travel, and food posts on social media. In addition to appearing on TV and in magazines, she has collaborated with a number of major Japanese apparel and cosmetics companies. 

  • KAWAII LAB. Report #13: FRUITS ZIPPER ~From Harajuku to Thailand~

    04.November.2022 | FEATURES / MUSIC / SPOT

    FRUITS ZIPPER, a new idol group from ASOBISYSTEM’s KAWAII LAB project, has a simple concept: “From Harajuku to the World.”

     

    This summer, the group’s track Watashino Ichiban Kawaiitokoro took off on TikTok with the music video racking up over 500 million plays, propelling the girls into the idol spotlight. Along with regular monthly performances, tickets for the girl’s first solo concert in September and their second solo concert in November were sold out immediately. FRUITS ZIPPER is scheduled to go on tour in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka in February 2023, and even the fashion industry has become obsessed, with the group serving as the seasonal ambassadors for Samantha Vega starting in August 2022.

     

    Only six months after its debut, the members of FRUITS ZIPPER are already taking their first steps outside of Harajuku. Their first overseas trip was to Thailand, called the land of smiles. 

     

    FRUITS ZIPPER performed as one of more than 50 artists representing Thailand and Japan at the THAI-JAPAN ICONIC MUSIC FEST 2022 from October 21 to October 23. The music festival was held to commemorate the 135th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Japan.

     

    Four different stages were set up during the event, and FRUITS ZIPPER managed to attract fans not only from Japan, but from Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Myanmar, the Philippines, and other Asian countries. Many guests even knew the choreography to a number of FRUITS ZIPPER songs, including, of course, Watashino Ichiban Kawaiitokoro. The audience was thrilled when the members addressed them in Thai, and a collaboration interview video shot with local idols was also taken. It’s now available on FRUITS ZIPPER’s TikTok channel, so check it out!

     

    We sat down with the seven members of FRUITS ZIPPER to hear about their best memories from Thailand!

     

     

    -How did you feel about your first overseas trip to Thailand?

     

    Noel Hayase

    “It was our first time performing in Thailand. Not many people knew who we were and we were far away from home, but people welcomed us with open arms. So many people came to watch us, and I was happy to see the audience dancing along to the songs!”

     

    Yui Sakurai

    “When I became an idol two years ago, Thai fans really supported me. Back then, I told them I’d love to come to see them, but I never got the chance.


    I’m happy that I was about to finally achieve that goal, or my dream, I guess, of going to Thailand to meet all of those fans. There were so many more people waiting for me than I could have imagined, and even though we couldn’t communicate very well with the language barrier, we could easily communicate through music. I was so happy.”

     

    Karen Matsumoto

    “So many non-Japanese fans came out to support us! Even though they didn’t speak Japanese, they did their best to tell us they were rooting for us, and that they loved us. I was so happy, I can’t wait to go back!”

     

    Mana Manaka

    “This was my first visit to Thailand, and part of me felt a little uneasy since everything felt so different when compared to live shows in Japan. I was allowed to take pictures and to really use my voice, and the stage configuration was really confusing. But everyone in Thailand was super welcoming and kind, and I was so happy to see them trying to learn Japanese. They’d listen to me talk and nod, looking me in the eyes, even if they didn’t understand what I was saying. It was a wonderful trip that reminded me how excited I am to travel abroad. I hope I can see everyone in Thailand again, thank you so much!”

     

    Luna Nakagawa

    “Even though I’ve been an idol for a while, this was my first trip overseas. Going to Thailand had always been a dream of mine, but at the same time, I was nervous. I didn’t know what kind of fans I’d find there, or if there would be any fans at all. But the Thai people were so unbelievably kind.


    During our performance, a girl held up a board that said ‘Lunapi’ and waved a purple penlight. She shouted that she was looking so forward to meeting me, and it made me so happy.

    We started to share information with the Thai people after our performance was decided, but it seemed that they had known about us before that. I felt that so many people had been excited about coming to see us, and now I just want to go to Thailand again to see everyone a second time. Kob kun kaa!

     

    Amane Tsukiashi

    “This was the first time I had visited Thailand, and I thought it was so beautiful. Seeing ICONSIAM was unbelievable–the biggest building I’d ever seen! I was so happy to see the fans, and so many told me that they had been waiting to meet us. Thank you so much.”

     

    Suzuka Chinzei

    “Before going to Thailand, I wondered how many local people knew about FRUITS ZIPPER and how many would actually come to see us. When we actually took the stage on the first day, there were so many Thai people, and Japanese people too! Since I was able to use my voice to the fullest in Thailand, I was thrilled when the audience could sing along with the ‘Ne, ne, ne’ part in Watashino Ichiban Kawaiitokoro! This live show was so unique to Thailand, and it felt so much freer than live shows are in Japan right now with all the restrictions. Since there was a language barrier, I wanted to put all of my feelings and emotions into my performance. I felt like I could communicate with the audience with my eyes, and those three days of performances were so unforgettable. We’ll be back and we’ll be even stronger, so wait for us until then! Kob kun kaa!

     

    FRUITS ZIPPER is on course to become a smash hit not only in Japan, but around the world.

     

  • Interview: Shakuhachi Player Yoshimi Tsujimoto Discusses Her Craft and the Upcoming Concert at Kumano-Nachi Taisha

    20.October.2022 | MUSIC / SPOT

    Each year, an incredible event is held at Kumano-Nachi Taisha, a Shinto shrine and World Heritage Site located in the Kii Mountain Range of Wakayama Prefecture.

     

    To kick off the ‘diamond celebration,’ a special concert will mark the 1,250th anniversary of the birth of Kobo Daishi, the Japanese Buddhist monk who founded the Shingon school of Buddhism. Yoshimi Tsujimoto, a shakuhachi player from Hashimoto, will perform in the concert scheduled to begin on October 22 at 13:30. 

     

    Moshi Moshi Nippon sat down with Yoshimi Tsujimoto to discuss her music and, most importantly, her interest in sharing the sound of the shakuhachi with the world.

     

     

    −How did you become interested in the shakuhachi? 

    My father loved the shakuhachi, and because of that, I grew up surrounded by the sound of it. That’s how it all began!

     

    −What attracts you to playing the shakuhachi?

    I love the timbre of the shakuhachi. 

    Those who play the shakuhachi often say that a single note has the power to bring someone to enlightenment. 

    Curiously, individual differences in tone are more easily discernible with the shakuhachi than with other instruments. That means that a person can express themselves in more unique ways.

     

     −You’ve performed in many different countries. Do you get different reactions to the shakuhachi in other countries when compared to Japanese audiences?

    I have a vivid memory of a time I performed a classical shakuhachi piece solo. This particular type of classical music is called ‘wabi-sabi,’ and it isn’t very loud or lively. 

    In Japan, when I finish a performance, people usually clap. But when I performed in South America, as soon as the piece concluded, there was a standing ovation with people shouting “Bravo!” That would never happen in Japan, and it left such a lasting impression on me.

     

    −Are there any countries that have left a lasting impression on you, or that you would like to visit in the future?

    I have good memories of every country I’ve visited, but I think that Cuba left the biggest impression. I just made me think about how incredible music can be.

    I’d love to visit Bulgaria, Morocco, Armenia, Uganda…it’s tough, because I want to visit every country I haven’t been to yet. (laughs)

     

    −You’re from Hashimoto City, near Mount Koya. How did you feel when you heard that this concert would be held so close to your hometown?

    What I felt was pure joy.

    Personally, I’ve always loved Mount Koya, and I went there many times as a child. It’s such a pleasure to be able to perform there.

     

    −Tell us some of your favorite memories involving Mount Koya.

    I go to Mount Koya at least three or four times a year. It’s not a particular memory per se, but every time I go, I love to eat vegetarian food, explore, and buy wheat buns and sesame tofu as gifts to take home.

     

    −Are there any local foods or places that you’d recommend?

    The fruit is delicious in Wakayama, and my hometown is famous for persimmons.They are so yummy, and I just want everyone to try them!

    Mount Koya and Kumano Kodo are both World Heritage sites, and they are both absolutely breathtaking. Other than those, I’d recommend Adventure World! It has adorable pandas roaming around freely and the most wonderful dolphin shows. Everyone from around the country should visit!

     

    −Finally, do you have a message for Moshi Moshi Nippon readers?

    Japan is filled with incredible places and culture. The shakuhachi, a beloved traditional Japanese instrument, is one piece of that culture.

    I want audiences around the world to hear the sound of the shakuhachi and to make it more familiar. If you have a chance to hear it, I hope you will.

    Be sure to follow Yoshimi Tsujimoto’s activities going forward as she shares the beauty and culture of shakuhachi with the world.

  • Interview: What Type of ‘Kawaii’ Did This Popular Foreign Influencer Find in Japan?

    03.October.2022 | FASHION / FEATURES

    Kawaii is marshmallow-flavored medicine for the soul.”

     

    Moshi Moshi Nippon is dedicated to sharing Japanese pop culture with audiences around the world, and today, we’re featuring a foreign influencer living and working in Japan! This time, we interviewed Etsuna, a popular influencer from China, discussing how Yume Kawaii fashion brings her comfort and the many types of ‘kawaii’ she’s found during her time in Japan. 

     

    Q. What brought you to Japan?

    “After graduating with a major in animation, I was working at a university in Shanghai as a teacher, but I decided to enroll in Tama Art University’s graduate program to study for my master’s degree. That’s when I came to Japan, and I’ve been here for 15 years!”

     

    Q. When you first came to Japan, what surprised you? Was anything different than what you had imagined? 

    “Everyone wore such bold makeup, and that really surprised me! When I first came to Japan 15 years ago, I think the gyaru trend was still big, and a lot of girls had that strong Harajuku style and big personalities. Heavy eye makeup and blush was the big thing. I thought everyone was getting ready to film for a TV show.” 

     

    Q. What do you think of when you heard the word ‘kawaii’ in Japan?

    “MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS, character cafes, and Yume Kawaii fashion…they are all so unique and so adorable! Those things are what I think of when I hear the word ‘kawaii.’”

     

    Q. Did finding Japanese kawaii culture change you in any way?

    “Before I experienced kawaii culture, I was a teacher, so I wore a lot of black, white, and gray every day. But after encountering kawaii style for the first time, I started experimenting with different kawaii subcultures, like the Mori Girl trend back in the mid-2000s. Eventually, I fell in love with Yume Kawaii (Dreamy Kawaii) fashion, which is filled with pastels and a fantasy-like aesthetic. I’ve been dressing in that particular style for about ten years now. To me, kawaii is like marshmallow-flavored medicine for the soul. It’s very healing.” 

     

    Q. When it comes to Japan, what interests you now? Where would you like to visit in the future?

    “Today, it feels like Japanese fashion is becoming more and more simple, and the Harajuku kawaii trend is starting to disappear. Is that because people don’t like standing out in that over-the-top way? Do they feel embarrassed if they dress differently than most people? I’ve met a lot of people who love Yume Kawaii fashion, but they might not have the courage to wear it themselves. That’s why I’m currently researching how to bring Yume Kawaii to AR. If I can bring it to the virtual world in a way that blends with the real world, I can create a brand-new experience for everyone. Using mobile AR technology, people will be able to transform their everyday clothes into something with more Yume Kawaii style!”

     

    Etsuna’s Original Yume Kawaii AR Filter

     

    Q. Please give a few words to those living abroad who are interested in visiting Japan!

    If you really want to experience Japanese kawaii culture, stay at MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS in Harajuku! There are so many fashionable people in Tokyo too, and if you hang out near Harajuku Laforet on the weekend, you’ll see people taking plenty of pictures. Come have a special trip to Japan and surround yourself with all things kawaii! Have fun!” 

  • NAKED Exhibition Inspired by Tea Master Sen no Rikyu Opens at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa

    16.August.2022 | FASHION / SPOT

    NAKED’s newest work, inspired by Sen no Rikyu, has opened at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa! The exhibition will run through September 3 and blends physical art pieces found in the museum with the Metaverse. 

     

    NAKED’s first exhibition at this popular Kanazawa Museum brings visitors a modern version of chanoyu, or the ‘Way of Tea.’ This year marks the 500th birthday of Sen no Rikyu, a historical figure who had a significant influence on the tea ceremony still found in Japan today. NAKED wants to honor his contribution to shaping this massive part of Japanese culture. Visitors are invited to a traditional tea ceremony room, but the experience itself has been modernized by NAKED. This unprecedented art exhibition allows both those who know nothing about Sen no Rikyu and those who know him well to experience his philosophy and aesthetics in an entirely new way.

     

    Gate: Greetings from the Master

    Open-air: The Crossroads of this Transient World

    Wash Basin: Where the Four Seasons Float

    Dry Landscape Garden: The Teachings of Rikyu

    Tea Whisk: “Make a Good Tea for your Guest.”

    Hanging Scroll: The Master’s Memories

    Small Room: Evolution

    Tearoom: The End and the Beginning

    NAKED Fuji Canele

     

     

    Tsukubai, or a low stone basin filled with water, is used to cleanse the hands before entering a tearoom. Using interactive art, the water’s surface is covered in digital flowers that blossom when a guest’s hands pass over the basin. 

     

    In the ‘Small Room: Evolution’ area, guests will find the Sustainable Contemporary Golden Tearoom, which was created by NAKED staff together with sixth graders using golden trash collected at Kanazawa University Elementary School. The calligraphy on display in the tearoom was also done by children, with the best creations selected to be included in the exhibition. The scent was produced by EarthRing, an aroma brand located in Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture. The ‘Tea Whisk’ area offers a unique experience for all five senses, including the scent of matcha, which guests can smell when they mimic the act of prepping tea. 

     

    In addition, guests can purchase special NAKED Fuji Canele and a Kutani ware Original Tumbler with special tea-inspired motifs. The Canele is a triple collaboration with Fukumitsuya, the oldest sake brewery in Kanazawa, so don’t miss out!

  • Creepy-Cute Halloween Sweets Available for a Limited Time at Hyatt Centric Kanazawa

    04.August.2022 | FOOD / SPOT

    Halloween is on the way, and the Hyatt Centric Kanazawa hotel is prepping some spooky sweets to celebrate! From October 1 until October 31, a Monster Halloween Cake Set will be available at the hotel’s restaurant FIVE – Grill and Lounge. Guests can also enjoy a Halloween lunch and dinner menu featuring a chic menu filled with black, red, and purple dishes. Visitors who come in costume will gain access to some special offers as well!

     

    Halloween Lunch / Dinner Course

    Poached Eggs with Black Chaudfroid Sauce

    Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Beet Variation

     

    The courses were inspired by an adult Halloween party and will be available for four days only. Each dish contains colors perfect for the season, like haunting black and bloody red punctuated with a purple-tinted memory of moonlight. While the dishes may look strange, they are made with the finest ingredients. 

     

    Monster Halloween Cake Set

    Witch’s Mont Blanc Pudding

    Mummy Macaron

    Denture Parfait

    Jack-o’-Lantern Cream Puff

    Frankenstein Brownie

    Gyuhi Ghost

    Spider Web Mousse

    GO FOR KOGEI 2022 Collaboration 5×5 Cake Set

     

    A special cake set featuring everything from Frankenstein to spider webs will get you in the Halloween mood. The lineup includes Witch’s Mont Blanc Pudding topped with purple sweet potato cream, and the adorable Jack-o’-Lantern cream puff filled with–you guessed it–pumpkin cream. Come enjoy some other playful treats like the Mummy Macaron filled with apricot and the Denture Parfait with berries and marshmallows. On weekdays from October 3 until October 21, the cakes will be served on a special Kutani ware in collaboration with GO FOR KOGEI 2022. This 5×5 set will be limited to five servings per day. Kutani ware is a style of traditional Japanese porcelain found in Ishikawa Prefecture.

     

    Halloween Cocktail

    This year’s Halloween cocktail is the rock-themed Back in Black. With a tequila base, you’re sure to have some extra fun after downing this classy beverage. 

    Come enjoy some spooky and cute Halloween sweets while you can!

  • ‘Alien Artist,’ Winner of Best New Director at Kanazawa Film Festival 2021, Released

    29.March.2022 | MOVIE

    The Kanazawa Film Festival aims to ‘promote Japan’s countryside culture to the world.’ The event held from September 18 to September 20, 2021 marked the 15th anniversary. 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.

     

    The film Alien Artist was directed by Seiyo Hotani, who took home the promising director award in 2020. Given the excellent critic feedback for the movie, it has been decided that Alien Artist will be officially released this spring. Hotani is a university student studying philosophy at Kyoto University, and his directorial work certainly shows off his knowledge on the subject. The film was entirely shot in Kanazawa and Kaga, Ishikawa Prefecture.

     

    Alien Artist inspired viewers with its bizarre storytelling and display of ideology and philosophy. If you could eradicate all of the ‘evil’ people on Earth, would you? Who decides who is evil? The movie follows a number of unique characters, each with their own personal stories and motivations, as the world faces destruction and rebirth. 

     

    Alien Artist

    Runtime: 90 Minutes
    Release Year: 2021
    Director: Seiyo Hotani
    Script: Hifumi Keihan
    Executive Producer: Ikuya Onodera
    Cast: Kunihiko Watanabe, Yuuritsu Maruyama, Ryofu Karuma, Rui Kiriyama, Shigeo Osako, Jirou

     

  • Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Collaborates with Famed Kanazawa Curry Shop Go! Go! Curry! for LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project

    25.March.2022 | FOOD / MUSIC / SPOT

    Celebrating the 10th anniversary of her major label debut, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is staying active in 2022. Next month, the singer will finally take to the stage at Coachella 2022 in California. In conjunction with the nationwide tour, the LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project was launched to energize Japan through the appeal of regional towns and cities. The singer has just announced a collaboration with the now globally-recognized curry chain Go! Go! Curry!, headquartered in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture.

     

    With locations popping up around the world, Go! Go! Curry! serves real Kanazawa-style curry. Kanazawa curry can be recognized by its thick roux, and it is often accompanied by plenty of shredded cabbage. Served on a stainless-steel plate, it can be eaten with a fork or spoon, and a crunchy cutlet is placed on top. 

     

    The collaboration logo is a mix of the key visual from Kyary’s current 10th ANNIVERSARY JAPAN TOUR 2022 CANDY WAVE and the Go! Go! Curry! gorilla mascot. This recognizable ape is now seen wearing Kyary’s 10th-anniversary red ribbon.

     

    Fans can now buy the aptly named ‘Go! Go! Kyary!,’ a classic Kanazawa beef curry, from the LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project website. A collaborative T-shirt is also on sale featuring the new logo and the singer’s 10th-anniversary logo!

  • Attack on Titan Anime Creators Discuss the Series in New YouTube Interview

    07.March.2022 | ANIME&GAME

    In a new interview posted to YouTube, Yuichiro Hayashi, the director of Attack on Titan The Final Season, and Yusuke Tannawa, the CG Producer and Screen Designer for the show, are discussing the series’ incredible success. Both creators also chat about the struggles they’ve faced during production, their relationship with the original manga creator Hajime Isayama, and much more. 

     

    Attack on Titan The Final Season Part 2 – Yuichiro Hayashi (Director) × Yusuke Tannawa (CG Producer, Screen Design) Special Interview

     

    Attack on Titan Final Season Part 2 is currently airing on NHK General each Sunday at 24:05. It is also available to stream on dTV, d Anime Store, GYAO!, Netflix, TELASA, Hikari TV, and Amazon Prime Video.

     

    ©諫山創・講談社/「進撃の巨人」The Final Season製作委員会

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