Archive for the ‘Iwasa Misaki’ Category

Events, Iwasa Misaki Iwasa Misaki Fan Club Holiday Lunch/River Cruise Event (2017/12/09)

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It’s always exciting when I receive a mailer from Wasamin. I never know what surprises might be contained within. Will there be some new, exclusive fan club items? A special event? Perhaps another dinner show or concert? The last major mailer had a few interesting promotions. Wasamin’s 4th solo concert, Nagara Pro’s Enka Matsuri, and a fan club event, which was the biggest surprise of all…

As a special treat, Wasamin announced that her end of the year fan club event would be taking place on a boat, complete with lunch, entertainment, games, and a cruise down the Sumida River past Sky Tree. Sounds like fun, eh?

I quickly sent my application in well before the deadline, since I wanted to make sure I didn’t get shut out of this event. Interestingly, I got a telephone call from Nagara Pro a couple of days later. When I sent in my payment I naturally added 600 yen to the price of the ticket, which has been standard procedure with every Wasamin event I have ever paid for. However, it turned out that they weren’t charging the fee on this event. They didn’t want to send the money back to me, so they extended my fan club annual membership an extra month. At the deadline, Wasamin’s manager made the announcement that they had a very response to the event, and they would be renting a very large cruise boat so everyone could fit. Cool beans!


Check-in Queue

I made it out to the Etchujima docks in the late morning, and there were lots of fans milling around, waiting for check-in. I wanted to take a picture of the boat, but when I got there Wasamin was doing a photo-shoot on the top deck. When she finished, she waved to us and went below. At check-in they gave us a Nagara Pro guest pass, and told us where our seat assignment would be. I would be at table 3-B. I figured that would be somewhere in the middle, which was probably good since I sometimes, not often, but sometimes can get a little queasy on small boats. Although this was a river cruise, and the boat wasn’t that small. It was funny though, since we are supposed to show our fan club ID at check-in, but since I am the only foreigner the girl immediately exclaimed “Christopher-san!” without me even showing my ID, LOL. I have seen my name on the manifest before, and it does sorta stick out since it’s the only one not in kanji, AND it’s in all-caps. One by one we boarded the boat, storing our shoes since it had a tatami floor. There were small placards with our names at our assigned seats, and our bento lunch was waiting for us. Once we were all boarded, the boat left the dock. Wasamin was immediately introduced, and we were asked to open the bento.

Quite a luxurious lunch, eh? It has just about everything on it. But that wasn’t all. They would also be bringing out tempura, and soup. As for drinks, we had unlimited oolong tea.

So that is squid, fish, sweet potato, and of course, EBI! Now at one point one of the fans asked Wasamin if she was eating a bento box too, but she said she couldn’t eat at the event. However, that ALL went out the window when the tempura came out. Wasamin took one look at the squid and was like “I wan’t squid too!” She immediately sat at one of the tables and took a piece, LOL. Ichikawa-san came running over with an extra plate, a napkin, and a drink. The funny thing is, I think all of us were wishing she had stolen our tempura. (the fan got another piece) Not surprisingly, it happened again when the Ebi came out. Wasamin saw the giant shrimp and practically started drooling, so they brought out a piece for her too. LOL

Wasamin also promised there would be fun and games too. The first contest was a sort of “Name That Tune” type of game where they would play a one-second snippet of a Wasamin song, and you had to guess what it was. Only one person got them all correct. People that got four or five won prizes. I only got two correct. But it actually was quite difficult. Not very many people got 4 or better. BTW, the answers were 1. Saba Kaido, 2. Heavy Rotation (Enka ver.) 3. Nagori Yuki, 4. Kita no Hotaru, 5. Namida no Sanbashi.

The rest of the contests were all Janken. I came close on the first contest, but ultimately didn’t win. As for the prizes? It was mainly a bunch of leftover stuff from Wasamin’s trip to France. T-shirts, Uchiwa. Oh, and everyone who didn’t win got a random bromide, also from the France events.

Wasamin reminisced about the past year, and all the different things she got to do, like travel and perform overseas. We were also counting how many solo concerts she did. Ultimately she did EIGHT major solo performances, and that isn’t event counting the Enka ensemble concerts she regularly appears in. That’s a lot of shows. It makes one wonder why they are still using the counter (2nd concert, 3rd concert etc.) At one point she started asking us how we liked her hair. She first asked if we like when she grows her hair long, and a lot of people raised their hand. Then she asked if we liked it the way she just got it cut. Oh crap! She trapped us. WASAMIN! So of course most everyone raised their hand. That was the answer she was fishing for, LOL.  Finally, it wouldn’t be a Wasamin event without a bit of singing. After all, they DID have a full karaoke setup on the boat too. The short, 2-song setlist…

1. Watarasebashi
2. Saba Kaido

And keeping with tradition, we were allowed to shoot photos during this portion of the event. Here are some of my best shots….

And that ended the event. One by one we filed off the boat, where Wasamin was waiting for us for a short handshake and talk. I told her I was going out of town for Christmas and my birthday. At first she confirmed I was coming back, then wished me a happy birthday. Once everyone was off the boat, Wasamin gave us all one last farewell, and boat took off back to its main dock; Wasamin giving us one last wave from the window.

And that will likely be my last Wasamin event for 2017, unless she has something pop up just before the new year. The next event I can attend will be her Yamano Music event on January 2nd, but I have to win the ticket first. But yeah, it has been an incredible year to be a Wasamin fan. So many concerts, dinner shows, fan club events, mini-lives. She totally spoils her fans, which is why I have heard many fans of other AKB members say they are jealous of all the access Wasafans get to their oshimen. I should go back and count how many Wasamin events I went to this year. Perhaps I’ll have some time to do that over the holidays.

CK in Tokyo

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Concerts, Iwasa Misaki Iwasa Misaki Acoustic ‘Love Live’ at Hamamatsucho Cultural Hall (2017/11/26)

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We are winding down the year to the last couple of major Wasamin events in 2017. Her ‘Love Live’ Acoustic shows are becoming a twice yearly tradition, dating back to last year. This is not an Enka concert. Wasamin instead sings classic pop songs and ballads while playing guitar in an attempt to branch out and not be pigeonholed into one musical genre. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the first one in September of last year, but I have attended the last two.

This time, Wasamin would be holding two shows, one in the morning, and the other in the late afternoon. The venue, which is in a radio station building across the street from Hamamatsucho station, is extremely small, seating less than 200 people. I got a good look at it the previous evening when I went to see Minyo Girls’ solo performance. As usual, fan club members got first crack at tickets, and I scored pretty good seats; second row center for the matinee, and sixth row center aisle for the late show. I headed out early to queue up for goods, since I didn’t want to miss out on the cool new soccer jersey Wasamin was selling. (as well as her 2018 calendar) The shirt actually came in XXL size, which is a rarity in Japan.  BTW, Wasamin posted a video promoting the new goods…


I got me goods, and immediately tried on the shirt. Slightly snug. Normally in America I wear XL shirts, and I can usually wear an XL in Japan too. But for some reason when it is a Jersey, XXL is more like a regular large. Oh well. I also picked up a couple of CDs since Wasamin would be holding a handshake event after each show. Doors opened at 11 a.m., and since the venue was on the 12th floor, we were taken up in groups of ten via the elevators. The fan club came through with another beautiful flower/ balloon set.

The show started with a music box version of Hatsuzake, as Wasamin hit the stage. For this show, she would have a piano accompanist. She was wearing a very pretty black dress, that from my vantage point really showed off her cute legs. Here is the matinee setlist…

Matinee Performance
1. Snow Halation (μ’s)
2. Chippokena Ai no Uta (Ohara Sakurako)
MC Nagara Pro’s relationship with the Cultural Broadcasting station
3. Kandagawa (Kaguyahime)
4. Nagori Yuki (Kaguyahime)
MC Wasamin doesn’t like Winter, it is too cold. History of ‘Love Live’ concerts
5. Sweet Memories (Matsuda Seiko)
6. Watarasebashi (Moritaka Chisato)
7. Fuyu ga Kuru Mae ni (Kamifusen)
8. Fuyu ga Hajimaru yo (Makihara Noriyuki)
MC Summary of Winter themed songs
9. Nora (Kinoshita Yuko)
MC Today’s new goods
10. Himawari no Yakusoku (Hata Motohiro)
MC Special drawing, five fans win a signed cheki
11. Orion (Nakashima Mika)
MC Introduction of the pianist
12. Yuki no Hana (Nakashima Mika)
EN1. Moshimo Watashi ga Sora ni Sundeitara (Iwasa Misaki)

END SHOW

Interestingly, quite a few of the songs Wasamin performed had English lyrics. It is no secret that her English is not very good, so I am always interested in hearing her singing in English. It just melts my heart. Her English, as bad as it is, is soooo cute! Also, her performance of Fuyu ga Kuru Mae ni was incredible. It is a really powerful song, and Wasamin doesn’t often sing with THAT much power. I was really impressed! For the encore she changed into her new soccer jersey, which looked really cute under her black skirt.

The post-show handshake event was held in the station lobby, down on the second floor. I told Misaki-chan that I LOVED Fuyu ga Kuru Mae ni, and that I also enjoy when she sings in English. She asked how her English sounded. I gave her a big thumbs up and said Cho-Kawaii!

We had almost two hours until doors opened for the late show, so I decided to eat lunch at Devilcraft, and have a couple of beers. That may not have been the best choice since the beers started hitting me in the late show, and I suddenly felt really tired. In fact, I think I dozed off briefly. But I was able to shake myself awake and pay attention. I don’t think Wasamin would appreciate me sleeping in her show.

In addition to the goods, they were also selling tickets to Wasamin’s 4th concert in Ebisu, as well as tickets to NagaraPro Enka Matsuri in January. I have already pre-ordered my 4th Concert tickets, but I still hadn’t decided whether I wanted to go to the Nagara Pro NHK Hall Show. The tickets are quite expensive. (10,000 yen!) But since they were actually selling tickets for the special Wasamin cheering section, I bit the bullet and bought a ticket for the late performance. Once is usually enough for me and Nagara Pro Enka Matsuri, even if Wasamin promises to sing different songs in each show. The real stars of the event are Kiyoshi and Mizumori anyway.

Late Performance
1. Kabukicho no Joou (Shiina Ringo)
2. I Wanna See You (Abe Mao)
MC Promoting Cultural Broadcasting
3. Heroine (Back Number)
4. Konayuki (Remioromen)
MC Promotion of the water company Wasamin is the image girl for
5. Sweet Memories (Matsuda Seiko)
6. Watarasebashi (Moritaka Chisato)
7. Fuyu ga Kuru Mae ni (Kamifusen)
8. Fuyu ga Hajimaru yo (Makihara Noriyuki)
MC Backstory of Watarasebashi, apparently it’s a favorite of her manager?
9. Nora (Kinoshita Yuko)
MC Promotion of new goods
10. Chippokena Ai no Uta (Ohara Sakurako)
MC Special fan drawing for signed chekis
11. Orion (Nakashima Mika)
MC Pianist introduction
12. Yuki no Hana (Nakashima Mika)
EN1. Moshimo Watashi ga Sora ni Sundeitara (Iwasa Misaki)

END SHOW

Around 2/3 of the set was the same, but there were a few songs changed up in the beginning, and toward the end. Wasamin had on the same outfit, but she changed her earrings. And of course the MCs were somewhat different. I was really hoping she would sing Sweet Memories and Fuyu ga Kuru Mae ni again, which she did. And there were even more English lyrics in the second set.

And about that drawing. Unfortunately I didn’t win any of the signed chekis, although I did come close. The seat two to the right of me (B-12, I was B-10) won in the early show. Wasamin announced “B…juu….ni!” Dammit, I thought for a second I had it! Instead it was Yukikaze, who I also mentioned in my HKT/SKE handshake report on my last post.

I was one of the first in line for the post show handshake. I thanked Wasamin for the show, and told her she was great. I also explained to her that the #23, which is the number on the back of the soccer jersey, is also famous in America as being the uniform number of Michael Jordan. All the people in line behind me, as well as her manager, went like “Ooohhh” since I am sure they have seen people wear that old Bulls jersey in the past. I think Wasamin knew who I was talking about, although I didn’t confirm it with her.

I wasn’t hungry, so I decided to head home and get some homework done. I also wanted to check out the calendar. As Wasamin said in her video in the above post, it is a cute calendar. The same CD Jewel Box style she sold last year. And I think I will be joying the Spring, as April and May are among my favorite of the the photos.

And here is the soccer jersey…

Next up for me is Wasamin’s River Cruise luncheon on December 9th. I got my official confirmation in the mail this week, as well as a cute little gift from Wasamin…

Cute!!!

 

CK in Tokyo

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Events, Iwasa Misaki The Wasamin Weekend Enka Shop Tour (2017/11/18-19)

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The was a last-minute addition to Wasamin’s schedule, although she does do these on occasion, especially during her single pre-ordering period. Perhaps they wanted to give her a bit of a warm-up before her ‘Love Live’ shows next weekend? Not sure, but it was only a week or so ago that they announced Wasamin would be appearing at four different Enka shops on Saturday and Sunday.

Prior to this announcement, I thought I would be having a relatively light weekend. Minyo Girls were doing a free live in Asakusa on Saturday, and KissBee were doing an appearance on top of Tobu Department Store in Ikebukuro on Sunday. However, that ALL went out the window for me when these events were announced, especially since most of the Enka shops Wasamin would be performing in were very close to my apartment. On the other hand, did I really want to go to all four of these events. I mean I love going to see Wasamin, but at each event I need to buy more copies of Saba Kaido. I have lost count of how many copies I have purchased in the last year, but it is easily in the triple-digits. Ultimately I decided I would go to three events; the two on Saturday, and then the late event on Sunday. I chose to skip the early Sunday show since it was in Koiwa, which is not near my house. Okay, my plans were set, until….

I had just finished eating lunch at Akabane Station, and was getting ready to board a train to Higashi-Jujo, when I got the email. I had gotten cancel machi for an AKB48 theater show. 16th Gen, Sunday afternoon. Yatta! Oh wait. Sunday afternoon. That would conflict with the Wasamin event. And the Sunday afternoon event was the on within walking distance from my apartment. Oh no!!! This was a dilemma, especially since it was cancel machi, and not a great cancel machi number, I might add. (#103) If I chose to go to see AKB, there was a decent chance i wouldn’t get in, and then I would be missing out on both events. However, I make it rule to ALWAYS go to the theater when have a win or cancel machi, so that was it. I guess I wouldn’t be seeing Wasamin on Sunday, unless I made the trek out to Koiwa in the morning. Ugghh!

I made it over to Music Shop Dan in Higashi-Jujo around 10 minutes before the event. This is the second time I had been to this shop. The first time was furage day for Saba Kaido, back in January. They were selling Wasamin CDs outside in the drizzle. I bought one copy, and headed down the street to a local community center where they hold their events. (The shop is extremely small) There were about 30 people in the room.

Higashi-Jujo Setlist
1. Hatsuzake
2. Ringo no Uta
3. Shitamachi no Taiyou
4. Saba Kaido

I only had one handshake ticket. During one of Wasamin’s MCs she was talking how cold it was this weekend, and mentioned that she was wearing ‘Heat-tech’ underneath. So I told her that I was also wearing Uniqlo’s Heat-tech. She asked if i had on tops and bottoms, but I told her just bottoms. She then asked if I would be going out to Saitama for the late event, which I affirmed…

Now there was over 2 hours to kill between the first and second events, and Warabi, which is in Saitama, is only 10 minutes away. I decided to kill some time by going to the local Dotour for a cup of coffee. I sat in the coffee shop for around 30 minutes or so, before heading back to the station. However, it dawned on me that Wasamin usually doesn’t leave the shops until a little while later. I hope I don’t awkwardly run into her on the street. As I walked past the shop, there was no sign of Wasamin. Cool. So I headed back to the station. I would still be getting to Warabi fairly early. I would figure out what to do when I got there. I went down the stairs to the platform. Oh shit…..

There’s Wasamin, standing there with her manager and assistant, waiting to board the train.

I quickly motioned an apology (praying hands) and walked down to the other end of the platform. For good measure, when we got to Warabi, I took a seat on the platform for about five minutes or so, and waited for Wasamin to hopefully exit the station before heading out myself. That would be the fourth time I have run into Wasamin out in public. And I know she likes her private time, so I don’t want to disturb her like that. With nothing to do, and an hour to kill, I went into the Warabi Dotour and had another cup of coffee.

I headed to the shop, which I had also been to before during Hatsuzake preorder. It is a tiny shop, and I wondered how the heck they were going to hold a performance there, unless, like many other shops, they had some kind of private performance area in the attic or something. Wasamin’s assistant opened the door, and said “Chris-san come in!” As I was purchasing my CDs at the door, I explained to her why I was still in Higashi-Jujo, and apologized for running into them at the station. She laughed, and said it was all good. A Tokuma rep happened to be there, and wondering what we were talking about, so she related the story. Anyway, they jammed us into this tiny store. It was so tight that shortly before the event they asked us to scrunch over to the left when Wasamin came in, so she could get through, LOL.

Warabi Setlist
1. Mujineki
2. Gakusei Jidai
3. Niji wo Watatte
4. Saba Kaido

I had two tickets for this event. As I stood in line, a couple of fans asked me what I did between the two events, and I related the story about seeing Wasamin at the station. I also mentioned my cancel machi for AKB, and they all thougt that I probably wouldn’t win. Anyhow, Wasamin had talked about all of the cassettes in the store. So when it was my turn I told her that when I was a kid, that is how I listened to music. (I neglected to mention that I actually go as far back as vinyl and 8-tracks) It was at this point she asked if I would be coming to the Sunday events. When I said I wasn’t sure, she was like “Ehhh, why?” But I was being pushed away. I had another ticket though. So when I came back around, she again asked why I wasn’t sure about Sunday. I was like “Well, I have cancel machi for AKB…” She immediately yanked her hand back, folded her arms and gave me the pouting look, LOL. I was over a barrel, so I immediately blurted out that I would be coming to Koiwa. She started giggling, and said she was only kidding. Phew, I don’t want to get on Wasamin’s bad side. After that I quickly bailed back to Tokyo since I had dinner plans, and I wanted to pick up a postcard to apply for Wasamin’s New Year Enka appearance.

Apparently Ikeda Megumi, who is a presenter for TBS Radio, was at the event. I didn’t notice her. Perhaps she was backstage.


Ginza Yamano Music’s Christmas Tree 

I decided to not bring my Happi-coat on Sunday since I was going to be out all day, into the evening, and didn’t feel like carrying it around all day. I made it to Koiwa around 15 minutes before the event. In fact, all the fans were already inside the upstairs venue. Once again, around 30 people. This is actually the third time I have been to this place. Again, for Hatsuzake preorder, and for Saba Kaido release week..

Koiwa Setlist
1. Moshimo Watashi ga Sora ni Sundeitara
2. Tokyo no Bus Girl
3. Wakare no Yokan
4. Saba Kaido

During the MC, Wasamin again brought up all the people who weren’t wearing their Happi. Dammit! I was wearing it yesterday! Then she made a big deal out of who was going to the event in Akabane later on. Wasamin indirectly giving me crap via the MC? Anyhow, I only had one ticket to see her this time, and as I got to the front Wasamin again pointed out that I always do the hand motions on her songs. In fact, she said it as “We do it together,” and said she actually aims it at me sometimes. (I actually noticed that a couple of days ago, she was aiming at me when she pointed to the audience) told her that I went to Ginza and got a postcard for January, so she was happy about that. Normally these Enka shops don’t want you milling around after you are done with your tickets, so I took off. I had a lot of time to kill before the AKB show (Which I ended up winning, it is on the previous post) but I also had a couple of errands to run. Oh, and I do have the setlist for Akabane…

Akabane Setlist
1. Hatsuzake
2. Toshishita no Otokonoko
3. Mugon-Zaka (the song she debuted at her challenge campaign this week)
4. Saba Kaido

I really like the Otokonoko song, so I am kind of sorry I missed it. Anyhow, Wasamin will be spending this week rehearsing for her ‘Love Live’ concert in Tokyo on Sunday. The following weekend she will be performing in Hiroshima and Fukuoka. The weekend after that will be her Lunch Cruise event, which I am really looking forward to. So still lots going on between now and when I jet over to Cali for Christmas. And one more bonus, Wasamin modeled one of the new goods available at Sunday’s show…

A soccer jersey? Awesome! I hope they have my size!

CK in Tokyo

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Iwasa Misaki Iwasa Misaki Monthly “Challenge Campaign” at Shinseido Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture (2017/11/15)

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It isn’t often that I have the opportunity to go to Wasamin’s monthly challenge campaign. It is held during the week, and during lunch time. So for the many who work, or go to school, or both, it is tough to make it out to the event. In fact, in almost two years this is only the fourth time I have been able to attend. It’s too bad because, not only does Wasamin debut a new song, (meaning a sing she has never performed before) this is also her hometown. Well, I think it is her hometown. Wasamin doesn’t reveal exactly where she grew up, and where her parents still live. But from the clues she has given over the years, we are fairly sure she is from this general vicinity. Anyway….

This is the 20th Challenge Campaign event Misaki-chan has done. Wow, going on two years! Quite a few of the songs she has debuted here in the past have ended up on her 2nd album, singles, or regularly performed songs at her concerts and events. Here is the list of the songs she has debuted here, thanks to Wasamin Superfan Wild-san…

01. Itako Hanayome-san (1960)
02. Gakusei Jidai (1964)
03. Ringo no Uta (1945)
04. Kita no Hotaru (1984)
05. Namida no Sanbashi (1977)
06. Futarizake (1980)
07. Ishikari Banka (1975)
08. Shitamachi no Taiyou (1963)
09. Namida no Renrakusen (1965)
10. Hibari no Hana Uri Musume (1951)
11. Ginza Kan Kan Musume (1949)
12. Osaka Rhapsody (1976)
13. Nangoku Tosa wa Atoni Shite (1953)
14. Yume Shibai (1982)
15. Okaasan (1974)
16. Kukou (1974)
17. Koi no Dorei (1969)
18. Osashiburi ne (1983)
19. Michizure (1978)
20. ———–

Sings 1-7 all ended up being recorded for Wasamin’s 2nd album, and her 6th single. Makes you wonder which of those songs might become the c/w tracks of her future singles. And quite the range, from 1945-1983. What would she sing today?

Setlist
1. Gomen ne, Tokyo
2. Mugon Zaka (1993, originally recorded by Kouzai Kaori)
3. Gakusei Jidai
4. Saba Kaido

Wow, 1993! That’s relatively new compared to what she usually performs. But it is a beautiful ballad.

Some of the fans noted that it was a smaller than usual crowd, although Wasamin usually gets a lot of ‘walk-ups’ when she performs here since she is technically performing outside on a crowded shopping street. During her performance, a lot of people will walk over to check out who is performing. Many just keep walking, but some will stay and watch for awhile.

Since I grabbed a quick lunch right before the show, I didn’t have time to buy CDs beforehand, but I managed to be first in line to get two CDs/tickets after Wasamin finished singing. I was outside talking to a couple of fans, and didn’t notice that the handshake session had started, so I quickly jumped into the line. For my first handshake, I happened to have my study sheet from the Kanji test I took earlier in the day. I showed Wasamin the sheet, which happened to have the kanji for “song” (Uta) on it. I told her that I can always remember this kanji because I think of her standing in front of a microphone. She got a big kick out of that. She then noticed that on my sheet, next to the kanji, is a drawing of a cute girl singing into a standing microphone. She was like, “Yeah, it is me!” LOL

In-between handshakes I had asked the other fans if the Yamano Music shop upstairs from the event sold Wasamin CDs, and if they had the postcards that we can send in to apply for Wasamin’s January performance in Ginza. They told me that they do indeed have them, since Shinseido and Yamano are like partner stores. I interpreted that to mean that it was all one shop, so as I passed the sales table, I asked the woman in charge if they had the postcards upstairs. The fans next to me began to laugh; “Chris, that’s a different store!” Huh, I thought they just told me it was all one shop….

So as I get to the front of the line, Shim-san begins to relate this story to Wasamin and Ichikawa-san, and they all get a good laugh at my expense. In the meantime I was giving them the ‘sad, puffy lipped’ look. And as Misaki-chan grabbed my hand I exclaimed “But I want to see Wasamin in Ginza!” Anyhow, I told her that I would be spending Winter vacation in California. She said she would miss me while I was gone.

I did a little shopping around Kashiwa before heading back to Tokyo. In the meantime my tickets for Wasamin’s ‘Love Live’ later this month arrived in the mail…

 

2nd row and 6th row. Not bad at all! For the last ‘Love Live’ in the late Spring I was around the 13th row, in the second section. I also have my Minyo Girls ticket for Saturday, which is 10th row.

Wasamin has a bunch of events coming up this weekend. Saturday she will be in Higashi-Jujo and Warabi, then on Sunday she will perform in Koiwa and Akabane. I should note that both the Jujo and Akabane locations are almost within walking distance from my apartment, and Warabi isn’t too far from me either. So I have Misaki-chan hanging around my neighborhood for the weekend. Fun tiems!

And special bonus, Wasamin commercial for the water company she is the image girl for.

Good job Misaki-chan!

CK in Tokyo

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Events, Iwasa Misaki, Minyo Girls Iwasa Misaki Live at Hama-Matsuri in Hamamatsucho (with Hayabusa & Minyo Girls) 2017/11/03

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(By the way, I apologize in advance if this post gets a little Minyo-centric. They are a lot of fun, after all.)

This is the third time in the last couple of months that Wasamin has performed at a festival in or around Hamamatsucho. Last month she was at the Minato Citizen’s Festival, and just before she went to San Francisco, she performed at this exact location, also with Hayabusa and Minyo Girls. That particular event I missed because I was under the weather. But I was really excited about this event not only because I was seeing Wasamin, but it had been a while since I had seen Minyo Girls.

My original plan was to go see KissBee in Ikebukuro, and then head over to the Hamamatsucho festival afterward. However, I decided to nix the KissBee plans, and just go to see Wasamin. I got to Hamamatsucho around a half hour before the NagaraPro performance began, and as I got within a half block I could clearly hear Saba Kaido being played on the speakers. At that point I thought they were doing a sound check, until I heard Wasamin start to sing. WTF??? I was positive the posts said 4pm-5pm, and it wasn’t even 3:45 yet. As I turned the corner, lo and behold there was Wasamin up on stage. However, after one verse, she stopped. It turned out they were only doing a sound check. Phew!

As I walked past the giant Pikachu, I immediately saw the NagaraPro booth over on the left. It was easy to find since all of Minyo Girls were running around and playing grab-ass with one another. You know, basically acting their age. They had the booth divided into three sections, one for each group. I was interested in what Minyo Girls was selling. As I walked over the Minyo Girls were handing out flyers to everyone. Just then, one of the members came up to me and handed me a flyer. “Arigatou, Kako-chan!” I said, to her surprise. At which point Matsuri came over and said to Kaku “He’s been to our events before. Just then, Miyabi-chan came over and said “Hello CK-san!” Yua, who was standing next to Miyabi, was like “His name is CK?” At this point I told them both that they can call me Chris. A short time later they had to leave to do their sound check, so I finally had a chance to shop their booth. The first thing I noticed, that really got me excited, was that they were selling tickets to their Solo live at the end of the month, which according to the NagaraPro website is “Sold Out.” So I was able to score a ticket. And since I have multiple copies of every CD they have released, I decided to get the one item of theirs that I don’t have, a Minyo Girls light stick. For that I got two tickets, which I planned on using on Miyabi and Yua, so I was good to go. Anyway…


So now I have tickets to both of Wasamin’s events, and now Minyo Girls!

While Minyo Girls were doing their rehearsal, Hayabusa was passing out NagaraPro flyers around the venue as well. Its weird though, and perhaps it is beacause they know I am a Wasafan, but the guys from Hayabusa NEVER come to me. In fact, of all the times I have seen them, only one of them (Yamato), one time, has ever engaged me. But whatever. I also noticed that unlike the other two acts, Wasamin was not tasked with passing out flyers. Well, she IS the headliner, after all!

I forgot to mention that while I was making my purchases at the Minyo Girls booth, Ichikawa-san came over to say hello, and was sorta chuckling that I was buying Minyo stuff. I asked her if Wasamin was doing handshake or 2-shots. She said handshake only. Good! I bought two CDs, which turned out to be a great idea, which I will explain later.

Minyo Girls lead off the event, doing a mixture of their traditional songs, and their pop songs. Their set was a lot of fun, and you could tell the people at the event were getting into it. There was also a group of young girls (mid-20’s) who were totally cheering the group on. The other interesting thing I noticed was that Miki, the shamisen player, did not have her instrument plugged into anything. I will have to check it out next time, built is the first time I have noticed that. Their set went a little bit long. But once they ended I immediately headed back over to the booth, since I didn’t really need to watch Hayabusa, and I wanted to use my tickets before Wasamin started. I didn’t do a group cheki this time, instead opting for two individual chekis with Yua and Miyabi.


Miyabi (top) Yua (bottom) Yua actually took the picture of me and Miyabi.

Miyabi and Yua were playing with me the entire time. They kept coming over to me and trying to engage me, ti was totally cute. Even Miki came over to me at one point and thanked me for coming. Miyabi kept asking me about their DMM Yell thing that they do, but I don’t really know much about it, so I apologized to her. Though i did tell both of them that I got a ticket for their solo live. Interestingly, as I was doing my cheki with Yua, Wasamin’s set was starting. Just then one of their managers came running over, telling Yua to please hurry, and that I am probably in a hurry to see Wasamin, LOL. I told them it was okay, and ultimately I really only missed the first half of the first song. BTW, here is Wasamin’s setlist…

Setlist
1. Hatsuzake
2. Ginza Kan Kan Musume
3. Ringo no Uta
4. Saba Kaido

Ultimately, it was much like one of Wasamin’s usual events, although it was a much bigger crowd, and she was really engaging with people and the audience, as well as the people in the food booths. In fact I mentioned in my first handshake with her that her MCs were very interesting tonight. She asked if I understood what she was talking about. Yeah, more or less, I did. She also promoted her 3rd Concert DVD, as well as her upcoming 4th Concert in February. Once Wasamin’s set ended, everybody made a beeline over to the NagaraPro booth.

Minyo Girls were still doing cheki’s with the fans. Ya know, I think many of the adults around Minyo Girls are actually their parents. Hayabusa was doing their handshakes, and whatnot. But once Wasamin’s set ended, the line to buy goods became GIGANTIC!!! The line to actually visit Wasamin was really short, because everyone was caught in the big queue. I remarked to Wasamin how big the line was. She was like “Yeah, I noticed” I said I was lucky that I bought tickets before the event. “Good job, Chris-san!” I knew Wasamin had a long line of fans coming, so I gave her my best wishes and excused myself to go to dinner.

The next Wasamin event I will be attending is her November challenge campaign performance on the 15th. Then the following weekend she has a bunch of appearances scheduled out near where I live. So I will have to go to at least some of those events!

 

CK in Tokyo

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Events, Iwasa Misaki Iwasa Misaki Solo Dinner Show Live at Hotel Chinzanso, Tokyo (2017/10/27)

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Wasamin has developed quite the repertoire of special events to keep her fans constantly engaged.  Over and above all of the in-store mini-lives she does on a regular basis, her schedule is filled with fan club events, live concerts, and special excursions.  Her dinner shows are quickly proving to be one of the most special events.  Not only do the fans get to see an intimate live performance in a beautiful ballroom, the show also includes a very nice dinner, with dishes handpicked by Wasamin.  Not to mention most of the fans get dressed up for the occasion.

So when Wasamin announced that she would be doing her first “solo” dinner show in Tokyo, we weren’t at all surprised.  However, we were surprised at the choice of location, Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, which happens to be one of the nicest hotels in Tokyo.  One would figure this would be a fairly high-ticket affair, but at 15,000 yen, it was surprisingly inexpensive.  Anyway, it should be no surprise that I immediately reserved a ticket during Fan Club preorder.  But it should also be noted that this event was open to the public, so you didn’t need to have a fan-club membership to attend the event.

After a Japanese grammar exam in the morning, and watching NFL football while eating pizza for lunch at Rocco’s in Oji, (awesome pizza btw, and they show NFL, MLB, and NBA games) I headed home to rest and get ready for the evening.  I had originally misread the show info, and thought doors opened at 7pm, but luckily I realized it was slightly earlier, so I headed out early since the hotel isn’t very close to public transportation, and I wanted to account for the possibility of getting lost.  However, large hotels are normally not too hard to find, and after taking a nice walk in a beautiful neighborhood along the Kanda River, I found the back entrance to the hotel.

And what a gorgeous hotel it is!  The rear entrance isn’t even on a street, it is on a walking path in a park-like setting.  Once stepping through the rustic gate, there is an amazing onsen, surrounded by traditional Japanese structures, pagodas, and beautiful little lakes and streams.  Restaurants are tucked away into secluded and serene locations.  I was there at night, but I could tell that it is probably even more gorgeous during the day.  Eventually I wound my way through the paths, and up to the hotel’s 1st floor, which was where the ballroom was located.  However, most people were waiting on the main (3rd) floor of the hotel, so I hung out there while waiting for doors to open.

At 6:30 the doors opened, and we had 30 minutes of cocktails before dinner.  It was an open bar of beer, wine, whiskey, and non-alcoholic drinks.  Of course there was also a booth outside selling Wasamin’s CDs and DVDs.  It was then we found out that they would also be doing 2-shots if you bought a copy of her 3rd concert.  Awesome!  So many of us have been waiting for a chance to a do a 2-shot with her at one of these dinner shows.  So I immediately picked up another Blu-Ray before heading inside to my table.  In the meantime, the fan club had sent a Halloween themed flower stand for the event…

I was at table #9, which was pretty much dead center in the middle of the room.  The fan club was spread out pretty much all around the room.  Eventually dinner made its way into the room.  It was four courses, in addition to unlimited bread.  (They had onion bread!)  Here is what we had to eat…


The menu.  Japanese reading practice time


Salmon and Trout, medium rare w/ pureed potato and pickled vegetables


Panko Breaded Cutlassfish and sauteed shrimp over Risotto w/ Balsamic glaze.


Roasted sirloin with 16-grain rice and vegetables.


Caramel Mousse w/ Vanilla Ice Cream and fruit.

After dessert and coffee, the show was getting ready to start.  Actually, the show was supposed to begin at 8pm, but the dinner ran very late.  It was almost 8:45 when the show finally started.  But first Wasamin did a kage-ana where she was asking us how dinner was.  Also, it was announced the previous day that like at her concerts, there would be a camera-shooting portion of the show.  Here is the setlist…

Setlist

1. Hatsuzake
2. Tomonoura Bojou
3. Mujineki
MC: Wasamin talking about the official colors for her six singles.  Camera-shooting time starts

4. Toshishita no Otokonoko
5. Momen no Handkerchief
6. Koisuru Fortune Cookie (Enka ver.)
MC: Camera shooting time ends.  Wasamin talks about the planning that went into the show.

7. Saba Kaido
8. Nora
MC: Wasamin leaves stage, recording plays of her asking us how we are enjoying the event.  (Unfortunately, she didn’t always leave enough time after her questions for our responses, LOL)  Wasamin changes costume, her guitar is setup on stage.
9. Misaki Meguri
10. Ito
MC:  Final songs, “Ehhhhhhh????”
11. Wakare no Yokan
12. Gomen, ne Tokyo
(Main show end)
Encore:  Another feature of the event, it was announced that there would be a drawing at the show where Wasamin would sign any memorabilia you wanted.  Ultimately they drew three people, two at table#8 and one at table #2.  One person got his Happi Coat signed, the second got his Wasamin phone case signed, and the last person had her sign his copy of Saba Kaido.
13. Moshimo Watashi ga Sora ni Sundeitara

Show End


You can see me in both pics, although I am easier to find in the top photo

Wasamin always gets a kick out her fans when they get a bit of booze in them, as she makes comments about how genki we are at night.  She also thanked everyone for coming out on a Friday night after a long week of work, noting that this was “Premium Friday” which got a jeering laugh from the crowd.  One interesting moment, Wasamin briefly lost her voice in the middle of Saba Kaido.  She went to sing a line, and it came out all wrong.  She had to quickly clear her throat, but she finished the song just fine.  She quickly grabbed a couple sips of water before starting to sing Nora.

The audience shooting was a lot of fun.  There were 14 tables, so she had plenty of time to do complete circles around every single one, stopping for lots of closeups.  I got a lot of nice shots, including some where she was literally inches away from me.  At one point during Momen no Handkerchief she noticed that one of the fans had left his lens cap on his camera.  She actually stopped, pulled it off, and started making fun of him in mid-song.  It was too funny!

Here is a collection of shots I took during the show…

 

 

 

We were all hoping we would win the lucky drawing to get stuff signed, so it was kind of a bummer she only chose three people.  I keep hoping that one day I will get the opportunity to get my Happi Coat signed.  Anyway, the show ended, and we all dispersed into the reception area to line up for 2-shots and handshakes.  However, the event had run extremely late, and Wasamin needed to get to Osaka the next morning since she has events all weekend in Western Japan.  So they asked us to present all of our tickets at once instead of looping the line.  I actually waiting a little while before lining up, since the line was actually extremely big.  My turn eventually came…

I basically told her that the show and dinner were wonderful, and I love when she performs Misaki Meguri, since it is such a beautiful song.  In fact, I would go as far as saying that her version is even more beautiful than the original.  By the way, they feature her performance of Misaki Meguri over the Documentary feature on her new concert DVD, so be sure and check it out!

At around 10:15pm we had all exhausted our tickets, and Wasamin gave us all a farewell before she left.  In the meantime Wasamin’s management asked us to all take a group shot.  Actually, we took around 8 group shots for various people’s cameras.  Oh, and before we left Ichikawa-san asked us to mention the hotel when we tweet pictures and reports from the event.  And with that, the event was over.  My friend Phil and I left through the rear entrance, which was actually closed.  But one of the attendants in a Yukata actually let us out through an exit in the onsen, which was really nice since we didn’t want to walk all the way back to the hotel.  I was able to make the second to last train on the Toden Arakawa Line, which made my journey home a lot shorter than trying to take the Metro or JR.


Once again, the “Rat Pack”

I can’t stress enough how wonderful this event was.  Just everything about it was perfect.  Wasamin looked beautiful, the venue and food were beautiful.  It was a really special event.  And the good news is that Wasamin’s manager blogged later that the event was a big success, and they think the next time she does a dinner show they might choose this hotel again, since it was so amazing.  Speaking of amazing, we have two special events coming up in the next six weeks.  First, Wasamin’s Love-Live acoustic show will be taking place in late-November.  According to the website, both shows are already sold out.  Then in early December there is a fan-club exclusive boat excursion which looks like a lot of fun!  According to Wasamin, that event is almost sold out too.  So lots of fun for Wasafans heading into the holiday season!

CK in Tokyo

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Events, Iwasa Misaki Iwasa Misaki Live at Ginza Enka Matsuri (2017/10/24) PLUS 3rd Concert DVD Release Promotions

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Wasamin was incited for the sixth year in a row to appear at Yamano Music’s Enka Festival. If you have ever been to the Yamano Music Store in Ginza, it is an amazing place. The first couple of floors sell CDs, mainly focusing on theJazz, Enka, and Classical genres. They do have an idol section too. However, once you get past the 2nd floor it is a true music store, with each floor dedicated to different instruments. It’s a really cool place…

So, they invite various enka artists to appear individually at this festival, and each one performs at a designated time at the ‘Jam Spot’, which is the top floor of the store. The tickets to the shows are free, however you must apply by mail, and you must purchase one of the performing artists’ CDs to get the postcards to apply with. You get five postcards per purchase, so technically if you want to you can apply for up to five different performers. For me, however, I put all five of mine in for Wasamin in order to maximize my chances to win. So you can imagine the surprise on my face this time when THREE tickets arrived in the mail. Jeez, I only needed one.

I got to Yamano Music a little early, just in case somebody needed an extra ticket. However, I was not the only one with extras. I eventually went and queued up in the stairwell. Oddly enough, with my three tickets, none of them were a good entry draw. (My lowest was #95) There was hardly anyone this far down the stairs. One of the other fan club members noticed me down there, and came down to hand me a much better ticket. (She had three as well, and they were ALL below #40) So I got to move up three flights. Not that it mattered. First of all, JAM SPOT is a really small room. With #39 I was in the 3rd row, left side. However, after everyone came in there were still seats in the 7th row, and beyond the 10th row there were plenty of seats. The difference between the 3rd and 10th row is less that 20 feet.

I should also note that this happened to be “Furage Day” for Wasamin’s new concert DVD/BluRay, so we were all getting our hands on it for the first time. And, we would be getting to do shamekai with the purchase as well. Ultimately, Wasamin’s Enka Matsure performance isn’t that much different from her usual mini-lives, except she does a few more songs. BTW, here is the setlist for Enka Matsuri…

1. Hatsuzake
2. Ginza Kan Kan Musume
3. Shitamachi to Taiyou
4. Yume Shibai
5. Kita no Hotaru
6. Nora
7. Saba Kaido 

Since I currently only have a DVD player in my apartment, and I wanted to watch the concert when I got home, I purchased a DVD. I do have one of each type coming in the mail from pre-order events, and I will be buying more copies later on this week as well. Also, I have been feeling slightly under the weather for the past few days. So when it was my turn to talk to Wasamin a basically said that I planned to watch the concert tonight. (Although I screwed up and originally said I was going to watch it “next,” then I corrected myself. LOL I did go home and watch the concert. I will do a mini-review of the DVD at the bottom of this post…

Release Event at Tower Records Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture (2017/10/25)

I was debating whether to go to this event in Kanagawa, or tomorrow’s event in Saitama. I wouldn’t mind going to both, but there’s the matter of purchasing an expensive concert DVD every time. Not to mention Wasamin’s Dinner Show is on Friday, and if they go Shamekai for purchasing the DVD there I definitely want to participate. In the last week I bought tickets for both of Wasamin’s concerts in February, her Boat Event in December, AKB’s 50th single, and Kiss Bee’s new single preorders. My wallet has been taking a beating. At the end of the day I decided to go to Kanagawa.

I had never been to this Tower Records before, and got lost trying to find it. It is on a big shopping street very close to JR Kawasaki Station, but the confusing thing is that there is a building with a big Tower Records sign on it, but that isn’t where the store is. It took me a good ten minutes to figure that out as I circled the building looking for an entrance. Finally I figured it must be somewhere else on the street. By the time I found the shop Wasamin had just taken the stage. Here is tonight’s setlist…

1. Hatsuzake
2. Ohisashiburi, ne
3. Ringo no Uta
4. Saba Kaido

This particular Tower Records, as well as the Urawa Store she is performing at tomorrow, doesn’t really have a proper staging area. They basically push a bunch of shelves to the side and make a stage area. However, it is not a very big area, and gets filled up quite quickly. By the time I got there, I could barely get in past the entryway. There was space in the middle, but it was all blocked by people jamming the entries. Eventually I got annoyed with more and more people jamming into this little space, and moved behind the shelves. It was a bit further away, but it was more comfortable.

This time I bought a Blu-Ray copy. (My Blu-Ray pre-order from Odawara arrived in the mail too) While I was posing with Wasamin I mentioned that I paid for my Boat Event ticket today. And while I was doing my handshake I told both she and Ishikawa-san that I watched the show, and gave them my thoughts. It was late, and I hadn’t eaten, so I took off to find dinner, but not before I noticed that the mall has a replica of Rome’s famous Bocca della Verita outside the store. (The mall does have an Italian theme)

DVD Review

As for the Concert DVD, it is only one of the three concerts she performed that weekend, the last one. However, there is a “digest” of the other two shows on the DVD extras. Why they chose the third one? Not sure, but if you read my original review of the concert back in the Summer, I mentioned that there was an issue with the camera positioning on the first night, and they had to re-position all of the cameras at the last second, even causing the show to start late. So I am guessing that the first show’s filming wasn’t that good. But the good news is that we at least get highlights on all the sings she performed that weekend. As for the filming, much of the concert is ‘extreme closeup’ on Wasamin. Now, if you are like me, and are a fan of Wasamin’s adorable face, that isn’t an issue.  In fact, I was for the third concert I was sitting right next to the cameraman who was filming that shot, and even had a closeup view of his monitors with all of the camera angles.  So that was a fun little bonus for me.  On the flip side, there were a couple of times where the color seem to drain out of the shot, mainly on longer shots from the side. But overall it is a nice concert, and I recommend it for YOUR collection!

There is also a segment where we get to see the preparation that goes into putting these shows on. Wasamin basically performs the concert in a little room in front of a bunch of execs while they decide which songs to perform and when. Additionally, we see backstage footage, and get Wasamin’s thoughts throughout the process.  Much of the backstage documentary-style footage was done with Wasamin’s performance of the song Misaki Meguri as the background soundtrack.  It is such a beautiful song, and adds a bit of nostalgia to the theme.

But the best part, and I had a feeling they were going to do this, is that they have a digest of all the Ichigo Seat festivities. So you get to see a bit of the first night post-show party. You also see the bit of the matinee pre-show events, and of course the special encore at the end of the last show. And yes, I am on the DVD plenty. Both in the concert, and in the extra footage.

Anyway next up is Friday’s Dinner Show. I will be sure and take good pics of each course on the menu. This is a really nice hotel, and I am really looking forward to see what our dinner is going to be.

 

CK in Tokyo

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Events, Iwasa Misaki Iwasa Misaki Live at the Minato Citizen’s Festival, Hamamatsucho (2017/10/08)

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I was debating whether or not to go to this event. On one hand, I like to go to as many Wasamin events as possible. However, I need to pace myself, especially when it comes to these DVD Pre-order events. It’s fun to take shamekai with Wasamin, but it isn’t cheap. There was also an idol event in Makuhari very close to the Sunday AKB concerts, which featured KissBee, FESTIVE, and Disdol. Three groups I am into seeing these days. Ultimately I decided to stick to my Kami-oshi. And I could go get pizza and beer afterward at Devilcraft too!

Setlist
1. Hatsuzake
2. Ginza Kan Kan Musume
3. Ringo no Uta
4. Tokyo no Bus Girl
5. Heavy Rotation (Enka ver.)
6. Saba Kaido

It was a festival crowd, which meant the were a lot of people there to watch the entertainment. Foreigners too. I always like to observe the foreigners watching Wasamin perform, seeing their reaction and such. Also, this was like an extended mini-live, with six songs instead of the usual four. I think they did that to fill a complete 30-minute time slot. And since it was a festival, that meant there were lots of people attempting to take photographs, so security was racing around the area to stop them.

The nice thing is that you don’t necessarily have to pre-order a concert DVD to meet with Wasamin, since they are still promoting her 6th single, Saba Kaido. So I ultimately decided to go on the cheap, and went with two singles (and two handshake tickets) I told Wasamin how much I like Japanese festivals, and she asked me if I had any festival food yet. That was the odd thing, the food was kinda hard to find. Most of the booths involved community services and children’s activities. So I told her not yet, and she was laughing at me as I struggled to get out the “not yet” grammar. I mean I know the grammar rule, but it is sometimes difficult for me to access it “on the fly.” After waiting a while, I went in for my second ticket, and I asked if she had ever heard of Devilcraft, which is an American Pizza parlor and microbrewery in Hamamatsucho. They also have a location near the Tokuma offices in Gotanda. She said she hadn’t heard of it but wanted to try it.

In the meantime, the act after Wasamin was a Hawaiian dance troupe, so it was nice to have that music as the backdrop of the Wasamin handshake event.

 

I am not able to attend Wasamin’s next couple of mini-live events, but I did win ticket(s) to her appearance at the Yamano Music Enka Festival. In fact, I won three tickets, which was kind of odd. Anyway, if anybody wants to go…

They also announced Wasamin’s appearance schedule for the concert DVD release, so her upcoming schedule for the rest of October is as follows…

10/15 Ageo Shosen Plaza (Saitama Pref.)
10/17 Tokyo International Exchange Center (Wasamin will be police commissioner for the day, plus a mini-live)
10/19 Rainbow Bridge Concert Fundraiser at NHK Hall
10/22 Saba Festival, Fukui Prefecture
10/24 Yamano Music Enka Festival, Ginza
10/25 Tower Records, Kawasaki (Kanagawa Pref.)
10/26 Tower Records, Urawa (Saitama Prefecture)
10/27 Wasamin Solo Dinner Show at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo
10/28 Aeon Mall Shin-Ibaraki, Osaka
10/31 Monthly Challenge Campaign, Kashiwa (Chiba Pref.)

 

CK in Tokyo

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Events, Iwasa Misaki Wasamin Fall Events…Promoting Her Upcoming Concert DVD/Bluray

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Okay, it is time for a much needed Wasa-update. Wasamin is busy promoting her upcoming DVD/Bluray release of her 3rd Concert at Yomiuri Otemachi Hall this past July. By the way, the tracklist has been published, and the DVD will show the third performance, with highlights from the other two performances as bonus material.


small image of the dvd box

Last week she appeared in Saitama Prefecture at Ito-Yokado Nishikicho, and yesterday she was at Odawara Dynacity in outer Kanagawa Prefecture.. Both memorable locations in Wasa-history…

Setlists: Nishikicho (2017/09/30)

12pm
1. Hatsuzake
2. Blue Light Yokohama
3. Gakusei Jidai
4. Saba Kaido

3:30pm
1. Mujineki
2. Ringo no Uta
3. Shitamachi no Taiyou
4. Saba Kaido

I mentioned these are memorable locations in Wasamin history, both for similar reasons. Ito-Yokado Nishikicho was the location of the final day of her first album (Request Covers) promotional tour. It was hosted by Jumbo Kobayashi, who was such a funny MC. He loved poking fun at the fans, but at the end of the day he enjoyed hanging out and talking with us. Anyway, since this is a DVD release event, that means reserving a copy gets you a shamekai. They are also offering handshake tickets for buying the new version of Saba Kaido as well.

I decided to go with a goofy pose for a change, and Wasamin LOVED it! She was laughing so hard at this photo when I showed it to her later. (And then she dropped my phone :rolleyes: ) By the way, the other great thing about Wasamin doing mall events is that I can get a lot of shopping done between shows, as well as get a haircut.

Setlists: DynaCity (2017/10/07)

1:30pm
1. Hatsuzake
2. Ginza Kan Kan Musume
3. Toki no Nagare ni Miwo Makase
4. Saba Kaido

4pm
1. Mujineki
2. Blue Light Yokohama
3. Koisuru Fortune Cookie (Enka ver.)
4. Saba Kaido

Wasamin has performed at Dynacity a few times. However, the last time she appeared here was for the Gomen ne, Tokyo tour final. She did three performances that day, and the Wasafans bought out every single copy of CD from the local Shinseido, which was promoting the event. This ultimately caused the event to go past the closing of the mall, which did not make mall security happy, AT ALL!

Wasamin and I pretending to be dinosaurs, in honor of Dynacity. Actually, I think the name of the mall is more a play on the term “Dynasty,” which I explained to Wasamin. Unfortunately, I really couldn’t explain to her what Dynasty means in Japanese. TBH, I have a hard time explaining it in English too. Fortunately Kentaro was there, who is bi-lingual, and he said he would explain it to her. Also, I brought a special guest to this event. My buddy Wil wanted to see the performance, since he was fresh off of seeing her at San Francisco. Both Wasamin and her manager were very happy to see that he made the trip.

Misaki has an appearance today near Tokyo Tower, which I am still debating whether or not to attend. I was thinking of skipping it, but I have to miss her pre-order event next weekend, so I’m not sure…

CK in Tokyo

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Concerts, Iwasa Misaki Iwasa Misaki Solo Live Concert at Inzai City Bunka Hall, Chiba Prefecture (2017/09/23)

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When this concert was announced back in late Spring/Early Summer, we weren’t sure if it another leg of Wasamin’s “Third Concert,” a “Fourth Concert,” or something else entirely.  They didn’t give it any sort of title like that, nor did they call it an “Acoustic Live.”  What we did know was that we had another solo concert on the schedule, which is a treat for any Wasamin fan.

If you count the “Love Live,” this is Wasamin’s sixth solo concert in 2017.  And we have two more “Love Live” shows coming up in a couple of months, which will make eight, and I’m not even counting all of the other major performances she has participated in.  This show would be taking place in Chiba Prefecture, which is where Wasamin grew up.  Specifically, it was in Inzai City, which is a bit of a trek from Tokyo, fairly close to Narita Airport.  Although it isn’t too far from Wasamin’s hometown.  For those of us in the fan club, we had the opportunity to apply early, which hopefully meant we would be getting good seats.

A couple of weeks before the show our tickets arrived via Yamato Transport.  I got 6th Row Left, one seat off of the aisle.  In the days leading up to the show, it was announced that they would have some of the same goods from Wasamin’s July concert, plus a couple of new items.  A ticket holder, and a cap.

I really like the cap.  The ticket holder itself is kinda generic, but the strap, which Wasamin designed, is really cute.  Anyway, the day of the show finally came, it was time to make the trip out to Inzai.  It was about 50 minutes from Tokyo’s Nippori Station via the Joban Line, with a transfer to the Narita Line.  I ran into a few other Wasafans on the train, and we walked together to the venue, which was about a kilometer away.  We arrived around 40 minutes before doors opened, and hung around until it was time to buy goods.  They also announced that there would be a post-show handshake event, and if you pre-ordered her 3rd concert DVD, yo would get multiple handshake tickets, and a cute little bag, with a Wasamin design on it.  I decided that I would forego the bag, and save my money for the time being, instead opting for one handshake ticket via a CD purchase.

Anyhow, I made it to my seat a few minutes before the show.  It wasn’t a bad spot, and it turned out nobody showed up for the aisle seat next to me, so I have a bit of maneuverability when it came to the photo-op portion of the show.  I also had Wasamin’s family seated fairly close to me, so that was kind of a bonus.  Anyhow, here is the show setlist…

1. Hatsuzake
2. Futarizake
MC1: First time doing a solo concert in Chiba, which is her hometown.
3. Flying Get (Enka Ver.)
4. Heavy Rotation (Enka Ver.)
5. Koisuru Fortune Cookie (Enka Ver.)
MC2: Special Guest, Ikeda Megumi, radio presenter from TBS Fine. She works with Wasamin on her ‘Wabi Sabi’ radio show. 2nd Special Guest, Inzai City official mascot Inzai-kun.
6. Wakasa no Yado
7. Kita no Yado Kara
MC3: Wasamin talks about the setlist having songs in “pairs” (“zake” “yado” etc.)
8. Tsugaru Kaikyo Fuyugeshiki
MC4: Ikeda Megumi talking about Wasamin’s history, with a cute little story about why Wasamin decided why she wanted to be a singer when she was a little girl. Also, beginning of the audience photo-op session
9. Blue Light Yokohama
10. Seto no Hanayome
11. Ringo no Uta
12. Shitamachi no Taiyou
13. Ginza Kan Kan Musume
MC5: End of photo shooting, Wasamin talks about her history with the song Seto no Hanayome. Guitar setup brought out by staff.
14. Nada Sousou (Wasamin on guitar for songs 14-16)
15. COSMOS
16. Ito
MC6: Ikeda Megumi hosts a Wasamin quiz where fans can win autographed goods. Also, goods corner, promoting what was for sale in the lobby.
17. Tomonoura Bojou
MC7: Wasamin discusses future events, including the special Mobame event she is hosting tomorrow
18. Moshimo Watashi ga Sora ni Sundeitara
19. Gomen, ne Tokyo
20. Saba Kaido
End Main Show/Encore (Encore lasted about a minute, Wasamin came back out very quickly)
EN1. Kawa no Nagare no You ni
MC8: Wasamin promoting post-show handshake meeting in the lobby
EN2. Mujineki

End Show

Ultimately this show ended up being a lot like the July concerts, so I guess we will call it an extension of the Third Concert series.  The setlist was similar, and the outfit she wore for the photo-op looked a lot like one of the outfits she wore in July.  However, there were a couple of differences.  Mainly the inclusion of Ikeda Megumi from TBS radio as the MC, and the guest appearance of Inzai-kun, the local city mascot.  We didn’t get a chance to take a photo of Inzai-kun himself, but luckily Wasamin posted one (below).  Megumi-chan was mainly there to cover for Wasamin while she did costume changes, but it was a lot of fun to see her.  If you ever listen to old episodes of Wasamin’s radio show, Megumi-chan is the MC that comes on at the end.

 

Wasamin was in a bit of a feisty mood, verbally sparring with the fans a couple of times.  When she was introducing the ‘AKB Enka Version Cover’ portion of the show, one fan up front sorta scoffed at the mention of AKB, and she snapped back “Mehh Janai!  During one particular MC she was talking about being from Chiba, and one fan yelled out “Where in Chiba are your from?”  She was like “Ummm, good question, where am I from?  Uhhh, let’s move on…”  Later on when she announced the last song of the main set, as a tradition we all scream out “EEEEHHHHHHHHHHH?” but this time she mimicked us.  LOL.  Finally, during Ringo no Uta and the ‘photo-op, roaming the audience’ part of the show, she took time to remark, mid-song mind you, that perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to pick “clapping songs” while everyone is snapping photos, LOL.  She mentioned it again during Ginza Kan Kan Musume, which by the way is turning onto one of my favorite songs that she performs.

The show attendance was a little bit disappointing.  Inzai Bunka Hall seats around 500 people, and it was about 2/3 full.  So it was a bit disconcerting to see the last 8 rows pretty much completely empty.  Inzai is a bit far from Tokyo, so perhaps some people were discouraged by the long distance.  Her next big concert in February is in a much bigger venue, so let’s hope she picks up some momentum and can fill the place.  Anyhow, here are a few more shots I took of Wasamin at the show.

After the show ended I took my time before lining up for the handshake.  I knew a lot of people got tickets, and the line would be long.  Eventually I queued up, wearing my cap, ticket holder, and of course my Wasamin Happi.  When it was finally my turn, I thanked her and told her that I had a lot of fun.  She said “Really?  I am so glad to hear that!  And you have the cap and holder!”  I responded “Yes, aren’t I Ikemen???”  Of course that got a laugh out of Wasamin and Ichikawa-san, who both emphatically exclaimed that I did indeed look Kakkoii with all of my Wasagear on.  Before I was pushed out I told her that my friend Kenji had gotten some great pictures of her, and she should check them out.  Which according to Kenji, she later did.

And that was the show, Kenji and I made it back to Kioroshi Station in time for the 8:20 train, and celebrated with dinner at Torikizoku, which is a cool Yakitori Izakaya Chain.

Oh, and let’s not forget the flowers sent by the Fan Club…

A few Wasamin events coming up…

Next month she has a couple of mini-live events scheduled.  She is doing another dinner show in late October, this time in Tokyo.  Her Autumn ‘Love Live’ in November will actually be two performances, and she will again be part of the Yamano Music Enka Festival this Fall.  My application is in.  I hope I win.

CK in Tokyo

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