Sanrio Announces 60th Anniversary Exhibition ‘The Beginning of Kawaii’
From Hello Kitty to Pompompurin, Cinnamoroll, My Melody, and more – Sanrio’s internationally adored cast of characters can be universally agreed to be representatives of Japan culture of ‘kawaii.’ In celebration of Sanrio’s 60th anniversary, the company have announced an exhibition centred on the beginning of kawaii culture. The event will take place at TOKYO CITY VIEW from September 17, 2021 to January 10, 2022.
60th Anniversary Sanrio Exhibition: The Beginning of Kawaii is currently taking place at Matsuzakaya Art Gallery in Nagoya until June 12 and will move to Ōita Prefectural Art Museum where it will run from July 10 to September 5 before heading to TOKYO CITY VIEW.
© 2021 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. SP610376
This exhibition will not only look back over Sanrio’s 60-year history, but will also dive into how Japan’s culture of ‘kawaii’ came about. Fans of Sanrio and Japan’s kawaii can expect product and design showcases, in-depth explanations, and more.
Over 800 products, documents, and materials related to Sanrio will be presented, many of which will shine a spotlight on some of their most famous characters out of their roster of 400, such as Hello Kitty and My Melody, and other characters that might not be known to those outside Japan such as best friends Patty & Jimmy.
What to look out for at Sanrio’s 60th anniversary exhibition
Unforgettable Tower by Sebastian Masuda
Sebastian Masuda, a pioneer of kawaii culture, will showcase his symbolic art pieces at the event at TOKYO CITY VIEW’s observation deck, combining his iconic work against a breathtaking background.
The Beginning of Kawaii
Learn about the history of Sanrio’s culture of kawaii, beginning as a service to ‘move people’s hearts’ through gifts and products. Visitors will get a chance to see the secrets of Sanrio’s iconic style which draw a line under fancy products from other companies.
There will also be a chance to see Japanese illustrators Takashi Yanase, Ado Mizumori, and Rune Naito’s work with Sanrio.
The Birth of the Characters
What makes something kawaii or not kawaii? Why do characters not necessarily need to have a story to become so popular? These questions are more will be answered as the exhibition looks at the birth of Sanrio’s characters.
How did their hit characters come to be? During the 1980’s, Japan was a warzone for characters. Sanrio changed how characters became popular, moving from characters that were popular with everyone to creating characters that people wanted for themselves – their own personal characters. Discover how Sanrio’s long list of characters came about, including ones that have stood the test of time and ones that have declined in popularity.
Ichigo Shimbun is a magazine published by Sanrio all about Sanrio and their characters – a familiar read to all fans in Japan. The magazine will be featured at the exhibition.
Hello Kitty: The Character Who Turned Into a Global Icon
Hello Kitty is known the world over, with even Lady Gaga having worn a dress of Hello Kitty plush toys in the past. This dress will be exhibited at the event, amongst many other things related to Sanrio’s global idol.
A Battle Between Artists
Artists from various artistic background will participate in the exhibition by creating a range of different Sanrio works. Participating artists and their specialities include Ryūsuke Fukahori (objects), Hajime Nakatomi (bamboo art), Takaya Mori (sculptor), Mio Hashimoto (sculptor), and Risa Fukui (paper cut-outs).
60th Anniversary Sanrio Exhibition: The Beginning of Kawaii
Running: September 17, 2021 – January 10, 2022
Where: TOKYO CITY VIEW (Roppongi Hills Mori Tower Floor 52F)
Address: 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Toky0
60th Anniversary Sanrio Exhibition: The Beginning of Kawaii Official Website: https://sanriocharactermuseum.com/
Hikari Shibata to Open Photo Exhibition ‘THROUGH THE WINDOW’
25.August.2023 | FASHION
Model, DJ, and photographer Hikari Shibata will hold her first photo exhibition in five years, THROUGH THE WINDOW, at the FLOAT Gallery in Tokyo for four days starting September 8, 2023.
The exhibition’s title was inspired by Shibata’s shyness, which has always led her to photograph landscapes rather than people. Many photos were taken through windows, and both the view and reflections are meaningful and personal to Shibata herself.
This year’s exhibition features photos of daily life taken in Copenhagen, Denmark’s largest city, where Shibata stayed for a total of three weeks in March 2023. It will also feature photographs snapped in Berlin, Los Angeles, and New York City.
Shibata will visit the gallery in person to present her creations. In addition to the sale of exhibited photographs, guests will also be able to purchase T-shirts, hats, and Shibata’s first photobook, the latter of which is available in limited quantities. The self-published 112-page hardcover book was entirely designed by Shibata herself. T-shirts will be available in two colors and feature the title of the exhibition, while hats will come in three colors with an embroidered graphic image of the sun reflected in a window.
THROUGH THE WINDOW (Hikari Shibata Photo Exhibition)
Running: September 8-11, 2023 / 13:00-20:00
Venue: FLOAT (3-1-9 Megurohoncho, Meguro-ku, Tokyo)
*Please be aware that admission may be restricted in the event of crowding.
Born in Kanagawa in 1997, Shibata is a model, DJ, and fashion director, known for sharing her life and unique fashion sense on social media. Her interest in photography dates to her high school days, and along with her work in Japan and abroad, she’s handled visuals for apparel brands and CD jackets. This will be her fourth photo exhibition.
Sebastian Masuda to Open Colorful New York City Sushi Restaurant SUSHIDELIC in June 2023
Sebastian Masuda to open SUSHIDELIC, a new sushi restaurant in Soho, New York City. The location will open on June 28, 2023.
“King of Kawaii” Sebastian Masuda, creator of Harajuku’s “KAWAII MONSTER CAFE,” loved by celebrities around the world, has created a new restaurant concept in New York City
Sebastian Masuda is a multi-disciplinary artist whose unique sense of color transcends the boundaries of art, fashion, and entertainment. His restaurant “KAWAII MONSTER CAFE” opened in Harajuku in August 2015 and quickly became a popular spot in Tokyo, frequented by celebrities from around the world, including BLACK PINK’s Jenny, Katy Perry, and Ariana Grande.
His next project will take place in New York City, where he is currently based. The restaurant will offer a completely new perspective on sushi, the most popular Japanese food in the U.S. and an integral part of the American lifestyle.
Enjoy an Immersive Kawaii Experience
The new location is meant to be an “immersive Kawaii experience.” Once you step into the restaurant, you’ll find yourself in a psychedelic and one-of-a-kind space that will make you feel as if you’ve wandered into another world. Guest will be guided by employees clad in colorful custom-made costumes, and three rotating cats will be suspended by the ceiling, rotating to reveal a secret image. Guests sitting at the counter will enjoy a pink custom-made conveyor belt, a.k.a a sushi lane.The restaurant will offer artist Sebastian Masuda “Immersive Kawaii Experiences” that go beyond THE DINING EXPERIENCE.
Featuring a Menu Developed by Japanese Chefs and Supported by AUTEC, Inc.
Chef Hiroki Abe and Sebastian Masuda collaborated to create an unforgettable menu, fully supported by AUTEC. After moving to the United States in 2001, Abe worked as an executive chef at EN Japanese Brasserie in NYC. He now works as a private chef at corporate events and parties around the U.S. On the technical side, AUTEC, which boasts the number one share of the automatic sushi machine market in North America, is backing up the venture. The sushi is sure to be as tasty as it is kawaii!
Featuring Restaurant Music by RAM RIDER, the Music Producer Behind the Score at KMC
The in-store background music is essential when cultivating an immersive experience. Music producer RAM RIDER, who created the music for KAWAII MONSTER CAFE, has written an incredible 70-minute ambient track for SUSHIDELIC. Guests can look forward to losing themselves in the adorable ambiance.
Tons of New Yorkers Visit During Pre-Opening, SUSHIDELIC Trends on Social Media
During SUSHIDELIC’s limited pre-opening, scores of New York-based celebrities and
influencers visited the shop. The unparalleled ambiance, food presentation, and experience have quickly become a hot topic on social media!
Opening in SoHo, the Trendiest Neighborhood in New York City
SUSHIDELIC is scheduled to open at 177 Lafayette St. in the heart of the SoHo area, where the latest fashions and trends are born and where many fashion brands have opened their flagship stores.
We will keep you updated with the latest information as it becomes available. Please look forward to the chemistry between “Sushi” and “Kawaii,” two of Japan’s proudest exports.
【KAWAII LAB.】IDOLATER Releases New Single ‘Aimai Silhouette’
12.June.2023 | MUSIC
On May 31, the idol group IDOLATER released its 11th single, Aimai Silhouette.
Unlike the group’s more mature love songs released in the past, this new track is packed with cuteness and a fresh sound.
Aimai Silhouette – IDOLATER (Digital Single)
Release Date: May 31, 2023
Streaming URL: https://kawaiilab.lnk.to/aimaisilhouette
Available on all major music download and streaming sites
FRUITS ZIPPER Holds First Anniversary Concert, Announce Appearance at the ‘Sayonara Nakano Sunplaza Music Festival’ in June
11.May.2023 | MUSIC
On May 4, the 7-member idol group FRUITS ZIPPER held the first Tokyo performance of their first-anniversary concert tour at Toyosu PIT.
Tickets for both the Tokyo and Osaka shows sold out immediately after they went on sale. To celebrate the first anniversary of the group’s debut, the lucky fans who were able to snag tickets came together at Toyosu PIT.
In the year since their debut, FRUITS ZIPPER has skyrocketed in popularity, performing live at several idol festivals and some of Japan’s largest fashion events, and successfully touring Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka. Their show at LINE CUBE SHIBUYA garnered incredible attention.
For the first anniversary concert, the stage was transformed by a special set and the member appeared in new never-before-seen costumes. They performed a total of 17 songs, and each member expressed their gratitude to their fans during the MC segments.
During the performance, it was announced that the group would perform at the Sayonara Nakano Sunplaza Music Festival on June 26. The venue, which has seen countless performances over its long history, will be demolished and replaced to commemorate its 50th anniversary. Fans are excited to see their favorite artists perform on this legendary stage, and many are curious to see how it will be transformed in the future.
FRUITS ZIPPER has also released the song Cho Medetai Song ~Konnani Shiawasede Iinokana? ~ (The Super Joyful Song ~Is It Okay to Be This Happy?~) on all major streaming services. The track was co-written by Sho Yamamoto, who wrote the group’s hit song Watashino Ichiban Kawaiitokoro, currently with over 700 million views on TikTok, and Gento Miyano, who has written songs for numerous popular artists. The super-happy pop tune has a sound reminiscent of idol tracks from the 2000s and has been a smash hit at live shows, stirring the fans into a frenzy.
<Sayonara Nakano Sunplaza Music Festival Performance Information>
Sayonara Nakano Sunplaza Music Festival
Date: June 26, 2023
Venue: Nakano Sunplaza (Tokyo)
Ticket information and additional information will be posted on the official FRUITS ZIPPER Twitter page（@FRUITS_ZIPPER）as it becomes available.
FRUITS ZIPPER New Single
Cho Medetai Song ~Konna ni Shiawase de Iinokana?~
Streaming Date: May 4, 2023
Streaming URL: https://kawaiilab.lnk.to/CSKSI
Available on all major music streaming and download sites
1. Cho Medetai Song ~Konna ni Shiawase de Iinokana?~
2. Cho Medetai Song ~Konna ni Shiawase de Iinokana?~ -Instrumental-
<FRUITS ZIPPER Tour Information>
FRUITS ZIPPER Japan Tour 2023 AUTUMN
9/3 – Zepp Namba (Osaka)
9/5 – Zepp Nagoya (Aichi)
9/8 – Zepp Fukuoka (Fukuoka)
9/10 – BLUE LIVE HIROSHIMA (Hiroshima)
9/13 – PENNY LANE24 (Hokkaido)
9/16 – KT Zepp Yokohama (Kanagawa)
【KAWAII LAB.】IDOLATER Releases New Single ‘Before the endroll’
01.May.2023 | MUSICIDOLATER is celebrating their 4th anniversary since their debut as a group. The group has been active as a five-member group consisting of Yukino Fushiki, Ayu Okuda, and Kurumi Tsukishiro, with the addition of Ririka Satsuki and Fuka Oishi, since April 2022.
This song is a powerful declaration of their determination to continue advancing towards the future, expressing the various emotions they have accumulated so far as their driving force, including the loneliness and frustration that they have shouldered while running as idols, as well as their gratitude towards those who have supported them.
Before the Endroll – IDOLATER
Release Date: April 22, 2023
City Pop TOKYO Collaborates with Idol Group FRUITS ZIPPER to Produce Member-Inspired Legendary NFTs
The NFT project City Pop TOKYO is inspired, fittingly, by City Pop, a music genre from Japan that is immensely popular worldwide, particularly among Gen Z. Now, the project is collaborating with the incredibly popular idol group FRUITS ZIPPER!
Starting at the end of April, Legendary NFTs inspired by the members of FRUITS ZIPPER will be released sequentially as part of the City Pop TOKYO NFT collection. These collaborative NFTs feature rare designs that are unique among the other characters in the City Pop TOKYO NFT collection and were drawn by Natsumi Sato, the illustrator who oversaw character design for the collection.
This collaboration will commemorate the release of City Pop TOKYO’s main collection, which will be available starting at the end of April. City Pop TOKYO will allow both NFT holders and non-holders to participate in new character development through a series of Twitter posts after the main NFT collection is sold. Characters will level up by earning training points when they post on Twitter, which will also be reflected in their NFT properties. The final ranking will be based on level, and a subsequent audition will be held, with winners being invited to join ASOBISYSTEM as new talents.
For this collaboration, the wildly popular FRUITS ZIPPER is sure to bring some new excitement to this incredible project.
●Seven FRUITS ZIPPER NFTs inspired by the group’s members will be added to the City Pop TOKYO collection as Legendary NFTs.
● Legendary NFTs were created by Natsumi Sato, the illustrator behind City Pop Tokyo. Each special edition release has its own unique parts.
● Unlike standard collections, Legendary NFTs will be sold via auction.
Available: April 19 at 21:00 ~ April 20 at 21:00
Amount Available: 7
Price: To be determined at auction
Below are the NFT designs. Illustrations will be sent to auction winners as NFTs.
<Special Benefits for Legendary NFT Holders>
● One NFT airdrop from City Pop TOKYO’s main NFT collection
● Easier to accumulate XP points when developing characters on Twitter
● A 3D model from the Gemie Metaverse (Design to be selected from airdrops from the main collection)
●NFT airdrops of future collections (details to be announced as soon as the collections are available)
*Legendary NFTs cannot participate in the promotional game or audition.
*The images and designs of the characters may be used by the FRUITS ZIPPER and its members during their activities.
About City Pop TOKYO
City Pop TOKYO plans to release 1984 original NFTs based on City Pop, a music genre from Japan that is immensely popular worldwide, particularly among Gen Z. The project’s characters are featured in trendy outfits and makeup representing symbolic fashion styles in Japan, such as GAL, SHOWA, and REIWA. After the NFTs are sold out, they can be registered as talents with ASOBISYSTEM and entered into the METAVERSE’S GOT TALENT NFT talent audition using Twitter! Successful entries will be invited to have full-fledged virtual careers, appearing in ads and releasing music. Community members can participate in surveys and vote on songs and other releases, coming together to help develop new talent.
Through this project, City Pop TOKYO will work to reaffirm the usefulness of Web 3.0 technology and NFT and further promote Japanese culture to people worldwide.
Kingdom Labs is a venture studio that aims to support and invest in projects in the gaming and toC areas within the Web 3.0 domain. The company provides consistent support to entrepreneurs building innovative business models across various industries, from planning to execution. One of the company’s key strategies is to partner with large companies that are expanding their business to Web 3.0 or that exist in a different area but hope to create Web 3.0 services. Kingdom Labs takes a unique, multi-disciplinary approach to maximize the interests of investors and partners, leverage its global team, and to grow its global portfolio and investment experience. The company also operates the world-renowned NFT collection Monkey Kingdom.
Representative: CSO Maurice Ng
UPBOND offers Wallet, which easily allows customers to manage their assets and connect to many Web 3.0 services. Its non-custodial wallet enables general consumers to easily engage with Web 3.0 marketplaces and allows enterprises to obtain customer information with its decentralized identity solution. UPBOND works with top-notch Japanese corporates to bring their business into this new frontier while also updating customer relationships.
Representative: Director Takashi Mizuoka
Head Office: 6-31-15 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo (8F)
GEMIE is an Asian entertainment-focused metaverse platform inspired by fan culture. The company aims to help artists achieve their full potential by providing them with the tools, resources, and opportunities they need to reach their goals and allowing them to interact with fans from all over the world without limitations.
Comment: “Instead of holding a talent show by region or country, why don’t we do it in the metaverse so there won’t be any geographical locations – you will be surprised how many talented artists who are worth a shot are scattered in our everyday life!”
Representative: Co-founder John Fung
FRUITS ZIPPER to Embark on First National Tour in September
18.April.2023 | MUSIC
Idol group FRUITS ZIPPER will embark on its first nationwide tour, FRUITS ZIPPER JAPAN TOUR 2023 -AUTUMN-, this September.
FRUITS ZIPPER has been climbing to the top of the idol scene at a breakneck pace. Their first overseas solo performance in Taiwan was recently a huge success, and tickets for their first anniversary live shows at Toyosu PIT in Tokyo and Namba Hatch in Osaka in May sold out immediately after going on sale.
The tour will begin with a concert in Osaka on September 3, followed by performances in Aichi, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, and Kanagawa. Tickets for the presale lottery are now on sale for members of the KAWAII LAB fan club.
FRUITS ZIPPER’s single Watashino Ichiban Kawaiitokoro, released last year, has inspired over 700 million related videos on TikTok, while the music video has been viewed over 10 million times. Keep an eye on their activities in the near future!
FRUITS ZIPPER JAPAN TOUR 2023 -AUTUMN-
Date: September 3, 2023
Venue: Zepp Namba / Osaka
Time: Doors open at 16:00 / Show starts at 17:00
Contact: Kyodo Information – 0570-200-888
Date: September 5, 2023
Venue: Zepp Nagoya / Aichi
Time: Doors open at 17:30 / Show starts at 18:30
Contact: Sunday Folk Promotion – 052-320-9100 (12:00～18:00)
Date: September 8, 2023
Venue: Zepp Fukuoka / Fukuoka
Time: Doors open at 17:30 / Show starts at 18:30
Contact: Kyodo West Japan – 0570-09-2424 (11:00～15:00 / Closed on Sundays and Holidays)
Date: September 10, 2023
Venue: BLUE LIVE HIROSHIMA / Hiroshima
Time: Doors open at 16:00 / Show starts at 17:00
Contact: YUMEBANCHI (Hiroshima) – 082-249-3571 (Weekdays 12:00~17:00)
Date: September 13, 2023
Venue: PENNY LANE24 / Hokkaido
Time: Doors open at 17:30 / Show starts at 18:30
Contact: Mount Alive – 011-623-6555
Date: September 16, 2023
Venue: KT Zepp Yokohama / Kanagawa
Time: Doors open at 16:00 / Show starts at 17:00
Contact: HOT STUFF PROMOTION – 050-5211-6077 (Weekdays 12:00~18:00)
VIP Standing: ¥16,500 (Including Tax, excluding drinks)
miniVIP Standing: ¥7,700 (Including Tax, excluding drinks)
General Standing: ¥5,500 (Including Tax, excluding drinks)
2F Reserved Seat: ¥5,500 (Including Tax, excluding drinks)
*Available tickets for Hiroshima and Hokkaido are VIP and General Standing only
KAWAII LAB. Fan Club Presale Tickets (Lottery)
Entry Period: April 10 at 21:00 ~ April 17 at 23:59
*Up to 2 tickets available per person per show
New information will be announced on the official FRUITS ZIPPER social media pages when available.
ZEROTOKYO and ASOBISYSTEM Collaborate on ASOBIZA Party Event
06.April.2023 | MUSIC
ZEROTOKYO, an entertainment mecca known for heating up Tokyo nights, is teaming up with ASOBISYSTEM to create an exciting new party! ASOBIZA, named after the origin of Kabukicho, will be held on April 28.
The lineup includes music artists as well as charismatic figures at the top of their fields in fashion, beauty, and art. Transcending musical genres and generations, this night will embody ZEROTOKYO’s concept of being a true “Entertainment Junction.”
Additional performers may be announced in the future.
[Event Report] CANDY TUNE, the Newest Idol Group from KAWAII LAB, Holds Debut Performance, FRUITS ZIPPER and IDOLATER Also Take the Stage
16.March.2023 | MUSIC
On March 14, ASOBISYSTEM’s idol project KAWAII LAB. held a live event at Spotify O-EAST. The event, titled KAWAII LAB. SESSION ~CANDY TUNE~, saw the first-ever performance from CANDY TUNE, the newest idol group from KAWAII LAB, also known for creating the popular groups FRUITS ZIPPER and IDOLATER.
KAWAII LAB. is a new project by ASOBISYSTEM created to introduce Japan’s growing idol culture to the world.
FRUITS ZIPPER is one of the most talked-about idol groups in recent memory, with their solo concert shows selling out instantly and their song Watashi no Ichiban Kawaiitokoro pulling in over 690 million views on TikTok. KAWAII LAB also produces IDOLATER, a group known for exploring the boundary of music, fashion, and other unique aspects of culture through an idol perspective.
In March, the seven-member idol group CANDY TUNE was announced. Its members include Rino Fukuyama, Mizuki Kirihara, Natsu Minami, Nanako Ogawa, Bibian Murakawa, Shizuka Miyano, and Kotomi Tachibana.
Tickets for this show were completely sold out in advance. The packed venue was filled with excitement, with fans looking forward to the live performance far before the show started.
To start, Misa Kimura, a model and talent who serves as the general producer of KAWAII LAB., appeared with FRUITS ZIPPER members Suzuka Chinzei and Runa Nakagawa. Despite the project only being active for one year, she seemed to be filled with incredible emotion at the addition of CANDY TUNE to the lineup, bringing the total number of idols signed to KAWAII LAB to 19.
IDOLATER was the first to take the stage, called out by Misa Kimura herself. Dressed in fashionable light blue outfits, the girls immediately grabbed the fan’s hearts with their cool performance of Kesenai…before moving into Endless Summer, Vapor City, Kimi ni MuCHU♡XX, and Mahou no Kagi wo Te ni Iretara in quick succession. The girl’s potential was on full display as they played hit after hit.
IDOLATER’s stylish and clean live performance ended with DIAMOND and Endroll wo Mukaeru Mae ni.
When Misa reappeared on stage, she announced that IDOLATER would be holding its anniversary solo concert on April 22 at Spotify O-WEST. Member Fuka Oishi was delighted to be performing at the largest venue in IDOLATER’s history. “I’m so thrilled,” she said.
FRUITS ZIPPER took to the stage next, and the venue was immediately illuminated with colorful penlights. The members were greeted with loud applause as the starting track began to play.
The group performed RADIO GALAXY first, and the audience’s enthusiasm was palpable as the songs jumped between various genres like a roller coaster ride, from EDM and hip-hop to idol pop and mellow tunes. Continuing into Sekai wa Kimikara Hajimaru, the sweet love song made the audience swoon as they heard the girl’s incredible vocals.
Suzuka Chinzei also congratulated CANDY TUNE on its debut during the MC portion of the performance. FRUITS ZIPPER also promised to keep the stage lively until it was their turn to perform at their own debut show.
The group then performed Happy Chocolate, a popular song currently trending on TikTok. Their comical and cute choreography spread into the audience where fans mimicked their moves, making it a truly sweet and memorable moment.
As the girls began performing the fast-paced song Kanpeki Shugide☆, the mood in the venue took a turn, and things became much more lively. As expected, the group performed the massively-popular track Watashino Ichiban Kawaiitokoro as the finale, and just as Suzuka promised, the audience was all warmed up for CANDY TUNE to finally take the stage!
Just as was the case with IDOLATER, another major announcement was made during the MC portion. The first KAWAII LAB Official Fan Club event for FRUITS ZIPPER was announced to take place on April 10 at Shirokane Takanawa SELENE b2. The group’s first live show was originally scheduled to take place at this venue on April 10 last year, but it was postponed due to the pandemic.
Finally, it was time for the new group CANDY TUNE to appear. Misa Kimura took to the stage first “I’m so nervous,” she said to the audience. “Can we get some cheers?”
The fans erupted with loud applause, and soon after, the seven members of the group–Rino Fukuyama, Mizuki Kirihara, Natsu Minami, Nanako Ogawa, Bibian Murakawa, Shizuka Miyano, and Kotomi Tachibana–took their first steps onto the stage, ready to share the wonders of Harajuku with the world.
Dressed in colorful outfits, they first performed hanamaru, a song written to cheer up anyone who listens to it. The girls were clearly a little nervous, but they danced as hard as they could, obviously doing their very best. As the song blended into Kiss Me Patissier, the audience erupted–it was hard to believe that this was the first time that the song had ever been performed live. The song is one of the most popular tracks from the group’s first album, and its flirty lyrics immediately melted fans’ hearts.
During the MC, Murakawa, a former HKT48 member and veteran idol, spoke to the fans. “Isn’t this venue too full,” she said with a laugh. Each girl introduced herself, offering some insight into why they had become idols and what they hoped to achieve going forward. It seemed that their time chatting had cut through the tension, and they performed Nanairo Prologue in high spirits. As if in sync with the members, the fans’ voltage also rose to a fever pitch, and following the performance of Mikan na Seishun, the audience exploded with thunderous applause.
After all four songs from the group’s first album had been performed, it was revealed that, like the senior groups in KAWAII LAB, CANDY TUNE also had a surprise to reveal. On the big screen, it was announced that CANDY TUNE’s first solo live performance would be held at Spotify O-WEST on June 27. The members immediately shouted with joy.
“Aren’t you full yet,” Murakawa asked the audience, before announcing one more song.
CANDY TUNE performed hanamaru again, but unlike the first time, a music video produced in secret for the occasion played on the screen. Sounds of surprise and excitement immediately erupted from those in the audience.
The audience’s voltage was at its highest during this performance, which was synchronized with the music video featuring the members in cute cheerleader outfits and a picnic scene that their friendship with one other. Although it was their first time on stage together, the seven members showed as much poise and dignity as their seniors.
At the end, each member shared a message with their fans. “I have a bad habit of second-guessing my own happiness. There have been so many times in my life when I wonder if I should be as happy as I am–but right now, I’m so incredibly overjoyed,” said Fukuyama.
“I was so nervous before we got here,” said Kirihara. “But when I saw all of your faces, I knew from the bottom of my heart that I had made the right choice to become an idol!”
“Even if I’m reborn, I hope to stand on this same stage again,” said Minami while crying.
“I didn’t really feel like an idol until today, and I was so afraid to stand up here in front of a packed audience,” said Ogawa. “I never thought I’d be an idol,” echoed Tachibana. Both showed intense appreciation for the countless fans that had gathered at the venue.
“I will always cherish this moment,” said Miyano. “I hope to make many more memories in the future!”
“I never thought I could care for people so quickly after meeting them,” said Murakawa, shedding a few tears. “I have so much love and affection for everyone, and I want the seven of us to keep working hard to share Harajuku with the world. Standing here now, I know that we can become an idol group loved around the globe!”
After each group had finished their performances, all 19 idols from all three KAWAII LAB groups stood on the same stage together.
As a final surprise, Misa Kimura announced that KAWAII LAB. SESSION would be held on June 12 at Zepp Shinjuku, a venue scheduled to open in April. “I’m so excited that we get to perform at Zepp,” said FRUITS ZIPPER member Yui Sakurai.
With excitement in the venue still building, the final performance and the long-awaited collaboration began. All 19 members formed a circle and began to perform FRUITS ZIPPER’s breakout hit Watashino Ichiban Kawaiitokoro. Fans in the audience were permitted to record during this part of the concert, and after the show concluded, countless videos were posted to social media sites.
A project to shoot a TikTok video of Happy Chocolate with the audience also took place at the end of the event. FRUITS ZIPPER member Mana Manaka gave a brief explanation of the choreography before taking a video of the fans gathered at the venue. The night ended as the idols and fans danced together.
KAWAII LAB is continuing to produce cutting-edge idols ready to be shared with the world. With the addition of CANDY TUNE, the future is looking bright, and fans will want to watch out for what’s coming next.
Text: Masatoshi Mayuzumi
Photo: Shinsuke Hayashi / Miki Higashi
Kimi ni MuCHU♡XX
Mahouno Kagiwo Teniiretara
Endrollwo Mukaeru Maeni
Sekaiwa Kimikara Hajimaru
Watashino Ichiban Kawaiitokoro
Kiss Me Patissier
Watashi no Ichiban Kawaiitokoro
<FRUITS ZIPPER Fan Club Exclusive Concert ‘FIRST CONTACT’>
Date: April 10, 2023
Venue: Shirokane Takanawa SELENE b2
Time: Doors open 17:30 / Show starts 18:30
General Admission Presale Tickets: ¥4,500 (Standing, Tax Included)
*This event is for members of the KAWAII LAB. Official Fan Club only.
*Accompanying guests must also be Fan Club members. We will confirm if you are a fan club member upon entrance to the venue.
<IDOLATER Anniversary LIVE>
Date: April 22, 2023
Venue: Spotify O-WEST
Time: Doors open 17:30 / Show starts 18:30
VIP Admission: ¥10,000 (Tax Included)
・Access to the front area of the venue
General Admission: ¥1,500 (Standing, Tax Included)
<KAWAII LAB. SESSION>
Date: June 12,
Venue: Zepp Shinjuku (Tokyo)
Time: Doors open 17:30 / Show starts 18:30
Starring: IDOLATER, FRUITS ZIPPER, CANDY TUNE
Admission: ¥5,000 (Priority Standing, Tax Included) / ¥3,000 (General Standing, Tax Included)
<CANDY TUNE First Solo Concert>
Date: June 27, 2023
Venue: Spotify O-WEST
Time: Doors open 17:30 / Show starts 18:30
Admission: ¥5,000 (Priority Standing, Tax Included) / ¥2,000 (General Standing, Tax Included)
CANDY TUNE Releases First Album ‘CANDY TUNE’
09.March.2023 | MUSIC
CANDY TUNE, the newest group from KAWAII LAB, released their first album on March 7. KAWAII LAB is continuing to introduce Japanese idol culture to fans around the world.
The seven-member group is comprised of members Rino Fukuyama, Mizuki Kirihara, Natsu Minami, Nanako Ogawa, Bibian Murakawa, Shizuka Miyano, and Kotomi Tachibana. Just like candy, which comes in tons of different flavors and shapes, the members will bring their own unique personalities and quirks to their pop tunes as they carry on KAWAII LAB’s mission of sharing Harajuku style with the world.
Two songs on the group’s first album CANDY TUNE were produced by Naoki Kubo and Suu, former members of SILENT SIREN–the sweet and playful Kiss Me Patissier and the inspiring song hanamaru. Hirotaka Hayakawa, who has produced hit songs for countless artists, also contributed. Nanairo Prologue tells the story of the seven members moving forward across a rainbow-colored bridge, andMikan na Seishun (Unfinished Youth) has a fast-paced sound sure to be a hit with new fans. The group’s artist photo and the jacket art for the album were provided by Yuko Takayama (yenter).
CANDY TUNE will hold its debut concert titled KAWAII LAB. SESSION ~CANDY TUNE~ on March 14 at Spotify O-EAST. To commemorate the special occasion, IDOLATER and FRUITS ZIPPER will also perform. The three groups will perform the FRUITS ZIPPER hit track Watashi no Ichiban Kawaiitokoro together during the event, and tickets are now on sale.
Additionally, new interviews with the members and behind-the-scenes footage have been uploaded to CANDY TUNE’s official YouTube channel.
CANDY TUNE – CANDY TUNE (1st Digital Album)
Streaming: March 7, 2023
Streaming URL: https://kawaiilab.lnk.to/CANDYTUNE
Available to stream on all major subscription music streaming services
M1 Kiss Me Patissier
M3 Nanairo Prologue
M4 Mikan na Seishun
M5 Kiss Me Patissier -Instrumental-
M6 hanamaru -Instrumental-
M7 Nanairo Prologue -Instrumental-
M8 Mikan na Seishun -Instrumental-
[Debut Concert Details]
Event Title: KAWAII LAB. SESSION ~CANDY TUNE~
Venue: Spotify O-EAST
Date: March 14, 2023
Time: Doors open 17:30 / Show starts 18:30 / VIP Event Ends 22:30
Performers: IDOLATER / FRUITS ZIPPER / CANDY TUNE
Admission: VIP ¥5,000 / General ¥3,000 / Day-of ¥3,500
The idol group CANDY TUNE consists of seven members: Rino Fukuyama, Mizuki Kirihara, Natsu Minami, Nanako Ogawa, Bibian Murakawa, Shizuka Miyano, and Kotomi Tachibana.
The group was formed by the KAWAII LAB project, started by ASOBISYSTEM to promote Japanese idol culture around the world. CANDY TUNE will make its debut in March 2023.
Just like candy, which comes in tons of different flavors and shapes, the members will bring their own unique personalities and quirks to their pop tunes as they carry on KAWAII LAB’s mission of sharing Harajuku style with the world.
<What is KAWAII LAB?>
KAWAII LAB is a new project by ASOBISYSTEM aiming to promote Japanese idol culture to the world. The company works to discover, train, and produce idols with the potential to be active on the world stage.
KAWAII LAB is produced by Misa Kimura, a model and TV personality. A fan of idols for many years, Kimura was formerly the leader of the idol group Musubizm.
Other KAWAII LAB. groups include IDOLATER, a culture-holic idol group consisting of finalists from ASOBISYSTEM’s first national audition in 2018, and FRUITS ZIPPER, a group transmitting NEW KAWAII from Harajuku to the world debuting in April 2022.
In March 2023, the project launched a new idol group.
KAWAII LAB. will continue to promote Japanese idol culture to the world, launching and developing new idol groups, not only in Tokyo but in other cities as well!
Fan Club: https://kawaiilab.asobisystem.com/
teamLab Forest Fukuoka to Introduce Spring Sakura Theme for a Limited Time
07.March.2023 | SPOT
Starting March 4, the permanent museum teamLab Forest Fukuoka will transform its artwork into a stunning spring theme. Guests will be able to enjoy gorgeous cherry blossoms for a limited time, and starting March 24, the Catching and Collecting Forest will also be transformed in the same way.
TeamLab’s works are created in real time by procedural generation, meaning that they are always changing and evolving. Each work changes depending on the season.
▼Starting March 4
Both Shifting Valley, Living Creatures of Flowers, Symbiotic Lives – A Whole Year per Year and Animals of Flowers, Symbiotic Lives II – A Whole Year per Year are only available to see during spring. Come and see animals made entirely of cherry blossoms as they roam through the museum!
The work titled Soft Terrain in Granular Topography shows multicolored grains of light pouring from the sky, while Flutter of Butterflies, Ephemeral Life surrounds visitors with brightly colored butterflies
▼Starting March 24
In the Catching and Collecting Forest, visitors can explore with their smartphones and catch various animals made entirely of cherry blossoms.
teamLab Forest Fukuoka – SBI SECURITIES Co., Ltd.
Venue: BOSS E･ZO FUKUOKA 5F, Next to Fukuoka PayPal Dome
Address: 2-2-6 Jigyohama, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Official Site: http://forest.teamlab.art
Tokyo Diary Map #1: Actor Ryo Ogata Recommends Relaxing Spots in Tokyo
The new Tokyo Diary Map series aims to introduce readers to awesome spots in Tokyo that they might want to visit! Each entry features locations recommended by a single artist or talent, and fans will get to not only discover new places to visit in Japan’s capital, but also get to learn more about the thoughts and feelings of these unique individuals.
The first participant in the Tokyo Diary Map series is Atsushi Ogata, a multi-talented TV personality and actor. Last year, he appeared as a beauty-concious man on Nippon TV’s DANCING SANMA PALACE, spurring a major buzz by revealing his cosmetic routine. He’s also a notable actor, having appeared in the papercraft theater company’s 7th performance Sekai ga Asa wo Shiroutomo (Though the World May Know Morning), telling the story of a man and a woman, a couple of friends, and a certain woman “until morning.”
-Tell us about your favorite spot in Tokyo!
“Daikanyama T SITE TSUTAYA. I feel like I can really relax there. I love being surrounded by my favorite fashion magazines, and no matter what magazine you pick up, they’re all so exciting and educational. That’s what I like about bookstores–you can pick up something you’re not usually interested in and learn something new. It’s the best.”この投稿をInstagramで見る
Daikanyama T SITE TSUTAYA
16-15 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
– How do you like to spend your time at Daikanyama T SITE TSUTAYA?
“I pick up a new book, find a seat, and take my time reading. I like people-watching and checking out people’s fashion too. Also, there’s a nice café called ivy place nearby, where I can read while having a relaxing cup of coffee.”この投稿をInstagramで見る
-You studied fashion design in the United States. How did that experience influence you? How do you want to make use of that experience going forward?
“Learning about fashion at art school was very inspiring. It was also very interesting to see how people with different ethnic backgrounds dress and to see their individual personalities. For example, I saw high school students wearing backpacks instead of using school bags. I just loved seeing people’s unique fashion. It made me realize something that I still believe in to this day–that there’s nothing more beautiful than wearing what you like in your own way. I’d actually like to create my own clothing brand in the future, so I hope to put my high school fashion design studies to good use.”
–Which apparel stores do you frequent?
I always peek into Dover Street Ginza!この投稿をInstagramで見る
Dover Street Ginza
Ginza Komatsu West Building (6-9-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo)
-What fashion styles are you interested in lately?
“I like a lot of different genres, but lately I’ve been into chic styling, like pairing shirts and sweaters. I dream of dressing like Thom Browne. I want to try to buy at least one piece from his collection.
-You post a lot of illustrations on your Instagram. Do you usually like to draw? When do you lke to create?
“I bought an iPad to draw because I really wanted something to do something new during COVID. For me, when I plan time to draw something, it never goes well, so I tend to just draw when inspiration suddenly strikes. I have no particular style, I just draw whatever I want!”
-What inspires you as someone so expressive? What has piqued your interest lately?
“I get inspiration from a wide range of different people. It could be people walking on the street, people on the train…lately, I’ve been meeting the most inspiring and wonderful people. Listening to their stories is what inspires me the most. Fashion inspires me, humanity inspires me, people’s auras inspire me.”
-Finally, please give a message to those who are planning on coming to Japan!
“Japan is just wonderful. It’s the best. The food, the people, the scenery, all of it is incredible. Once you visit, you’ll definitely want to come back. Please come and enjoy!” (Laugh)