Archive for the ‘Iwasa Misaki’ Category

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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Events, Iwasa Misaki Iwasa Misaki ‘Saba Kaido ~Memorial Version~’ 2-shot Cheki Event at Tokuma/Nippon-Crown Headquarters, Gotanda (2017/09/16)

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Obviously I have been ‘chomping at the bit’ to talk to Wasamin ever since I last saw her, especially since she just spent last week in San Francisco, at an event that I certainly wanted to be at, and would have been at under different circumstances. I would have loved to spend time with Wasamin in the town I spent over 20 years of my life living in, but at least I have the luxury of seeing her regularly here in Tokyo. Suffice it to say, we had a lot to talk about today.

I made it over to the Tokuma offices before noon, since her manager,  Ishikawa-san, announced on her blog that they would be selling ‘day-of’ tickets for this event on a lottery basis. This was originally a Chara-ani preorder exclusive, but since they didn’t sell out they made tickets available today for anyone who wanted to come. Ultimately they had enough tickets that it wasn’t really a lottery. Basically anyone who wanted tickets could buy however many they desired. I personally took advantage and purchased three extra tickets, so now I had six, 2 for each slot. The original lottery number drawing ended up simply being for queue position. I would be third in line for the first slot.

They had us queue up early enough to see Wasamin and Ishikawa-san show up and enter the building. Per usual, Ishikawa-san is all smiles, and waving to us, while Wasamin keeps her head down, mask on, baseball cap low over her eyes, and doesn’t pay any attention to us. LOL. However, most of us know that Wasamin likes to keep a low profile outside of events, so we don’t really try to engage her in situations like that. Btw, the outfit she had on was adorable! Wasamin is very stylish. 

Wasamin and I mainly spoke about San Francisco for most of the day. Here are the highlights…


Photoset #1 (BTW, these are the costumes from her July concert!)

Slot One: The first thing Wasamin said to me when I walked in was “Chris-san has a lot of friends in San Francisco!!!” I said Of course, and asked her what she thought of ‘my hometown’ She said San Francisco was beautiful, and she really liked it. “Good, I want to hear more San Francisco stories” She then told me that she ate steak every day, LOL! She also mentioned that she saw Alcatraz, but of course the way she pronounced it was very Japanese. (Arukuturazzu) So I repeated it back to her like I say it.

For our second pose, we decided to do ‘Golden Gate Bridge’. I told her that I saw one of the interviews she did, where she listed all of her favorite shrimp dishes. I also mentioned that my friend took a picture of Ishikawa-san. Apparently Wasamin didn’t know about this and immediately started laughing. And when I told her I have the picture on my phone. Ishikawa-san got very embarrassed.

During the break, and while in queue, I was showing the Japanese fans some of the pictures you guys took They were all very amused at the photos my friend took of Kimura-san and Watanabe-san. I was also relating some of the stories and the feedback I had heard from you guys (and others too) Needless to say, everyone was very happy to hear all of the positive feedback. Oh, and Kimura-san brought everyone Ghirardelli Chocolate. And of course they all asked me how to pronounce it.


Photoset #2

Slot 2: She was wearing my favorite costume of the three. The first thing I did was show Wasamin, and the rest of the staff my friend’s ‘s Ishikawa-san pic. The whole room was laughing. I also told her that everyone I spoke to loved her appearance, and wanted me to make sure I told her “Thank you for coming to San Francisco” She was really excited to hear that. Oh, and every time I brought up any one of your names she knew exactly who I was talking about. She was also happy to hear that I would be bringing my buddy Wil (from Nihongogo) to her appearance in Odawara next month.

Slot 3: Instead of looping, I used both of my pics at once since I had dinner plans, and I wanted to hurry home first to shower and change into different clothes. In any case, this time I wanted to ask her about the fan letter I gave her last month. I had missed the opportunity to get her feedback last month when I wasn’t feeling well and missed her appearance in Hamamatsucho. Anyway, I asked her if the Kanji was okay. She complimented me, saying that my Japanese is getting better and better. I told her that I want to write more letters, but they are difficult for me to write. However, I am still studying Japanese, so I will improve more. But she said she liked the letter, and to keep working hard.

And that was it for the day. On Monday afternoon she is appearing at a Niku Festival in Tokyo. I met with Rageballie (from 48-Talk) in Akihabara last night, and he mentioned he might be interested in checking it our. So hopefully I will soon have another Wasa-convert.

CK in Tokyo

Iwasa Misaki, New Release Iwasa Misaki 6th Single Saba Kaido ‘Memorial Version’ Release Week Festivities (2017/08/23)

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Wasamin returned from her big trip to Brazil, and had little time to rest before she started promotions for her new single release. By the way, the new single debuted at 25th on the Oricon singles chart this week. Wasamin has 7 appearances scheduled over an 8-day span, beginning with an appearance at the Meiji Gaien Fireworks Festival on Sunday. I didn’t go to this event, although originally I wanted to. However, given an apparent schedule mix-up it was probably for the best anyway. Here is the setlist. Wasamin and Hayabusa performed together…

Fireworks Festival Setlist (20 August 2017)
1. Mirai wa Jo Jo (Hayabusa)
2. Saba Kaido (Iwasa Misaki)
3. Omatsuri Mambo (Iwasa Misaki & Hayabusa)

Ticket Pia was once my favorite Japanese online site to purchase tickets from. However, lately I’ve been having trouble with their system. There was a show recently I tried to purchase tickets for, and it would not let me use any of my credit cards. Not to mention it would no longer allow 7-11 payments. I recently got an email from Pia saying my card is registered and now usable. But when I went on to the site to get a ticket for this event, 1) the tickets were super expensive, and 2) there were only really crappy seats left, with a noted ‘Poor view” of the fireworks. And after all, Wasamin was only the opening act. The headliners were Miwa and The Brilliant Green. Not that I would mind seeing Miwa, I just didn’t feel like doing it in an outdoor stadium in the Summer with a really crappy and expensive seat. So I skipped the show entirely, and I guess that was a very good move because…

Apparently the tickets and the website said the doors would open at 4pm, and the show would begin at 5:30pm. What it didn’t say was that 5:30 was the curtain time FOR THE HEADLINERS. The opening acts (there were four) were all performing before the curtain. So many f the Wasafans were caught off-guard, and missed most of, and in some cases ALL of her performance. After I heard that story, I was glad I skipped the show.

Tower Ikebukuro Setlist (22 August 2017)
1. Hatsuzake
2. Tokyo no Bus Girl
3. Ajisai-bashi
4. Saba Kaido

Tower Shibuya Setlist (23 August 2017)
1. Mujineki
2. Ginza Kan Kan Musume
3. Wakasa no Yado (new track from the new release!)
4. Saba Kaido

Shinseido Kashiwa ‘Challenge Campaign’ (24 August 2017)
1. Mujineki
2. Koi no Dorei (originally recorded my Okumura Chiyo in 1969)
3. Tsugunai
4. Saba Kaido

I was able to make it to both of the Tower Records events, but I was busy today, so I couldn’t see Wasamin’s challenge campaign. But those are the perils when you go a free show at lunch time in the middle of the week. For Wasafans, it was the first time in quite a while that any of us really had a chance to talk to her. Aside from her Monthly Challenge Campaign appearances in June and July (neither of which I was able to attend) it had been over 2 1/2 months since she held a live/handshake event. So I had a lot to talk with Wasamin about. In fact, it had been a while since I wrote her a proper fan letter, so I had one ready for delivery at Shibuya…

For me, it is quite the undertaking to write a fan letter in Japanese. This one actually took me two days to write. I started writing it early Tuesday afternoon, but I hadn’t completed it by the time I needed to leave for the event. So, instead of rushing it, I decided to finish it the next day, which I did. As I have mentioned before, one of the best gifts you can give just about any idol is a fan letter. I am yet to meet an idol that doesn’t appreciate it.

Wasamin was mainly promoting some of her upcoming events, especially her next concert in September, as well as her solo dinner show in October. I have already sent in my application and payment for both of those events, as well as for her Love Live acoustic concerts in November. So I am all set. Well, almost all set, as she just announced a couple more events. Yamano Music Enka Festival, as well as a special Wasamin Mobile Subscription event. Unfortunately, and surprisingly, I do not have Wasa-mobame, so I am ineligible. But I will head down to Ginza next week to apply for the Yamano Music show.

As for my six handshake opportunities, it was mainly Wasamin and I catching up. Wasamin notices that I am one of the few fans that mimics her hand gestures while she sings, especially on Saba Kaido (I do it on a couple other songs too) She remarked on Tuesday that she is impressed that I know the entire song. During my last handshake on Wednesday, we both did it together. I also asked her about her visit to the AKB48 Theater last week, and told her I was there too. At first, she was like “How did you know I was there?” I was like “Twitter of course! And then I told her that I had won the evening show, so I was there too. Oh, I also had the chance to show her the Wasamin concert DVD cover I made for my Photoshop final project. To be honest, it was really poorly done, but Wasamin liked it, and showed it to the Tokuma label rep who was there too.

She asked if I was coming to the Chiba event the next day, but unfortunately I had orientation all day, but I said I would see her on Friday. Unfortunately that ended up being a lie, since I wasn’t feeling that great Friday afternoon. So I ended up going home to rest before heading out to see Wasamin (and Minyo Girls) But, I ended up falling asleep, for FIVE HOURS! When I woke up, it was too late for me to make the event. Wasamin gomen!


Uchiwa was a bonus giveaway at the events, promoting the Friday appearance.

Finally, Wasamin announced the release of her third concert DVD/Blu-Ray this coming October. Details are still coming in, but the item description says it is one-disc only, which basically says to me that it is only one of the concerts. Which one, I don’t know, since on Ichikawa-san’s blog it doesn’t list the “roaming the audience” or “guitar” portions of the setlist. I’m not sure if that means they will be omitted, or if they just aren’t sure yet. I believe, based on what I read, is that it just isn’t decided at this point. And anyway, it is probably best to keep it to a one-disc release since she does a lot of promotion for it at events, and that would be pretty tough, to get fans to shell out over 10000 yen at every event for a 2-shot.

 

CK in Tokyo

Concerts, Iwasa Misaki Picspam From Wasamin’s 3rd Concert at Yomiuri Otemachi Hall

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As I have mentioned on my concert reports, one of the features of Wasamin’s solo concerts is the opportunity for fans to take photos during part of the show.  Wasamin even roams the entire venue and poses for fans while she sings, so you have an excellent chance of getting some choice photos, even if you aren’t seated close to the stage.

So this post is what I think are the 30 best shots I took at the concert, ten from each show.  I probably took between 50-100 pics at each show.  I deleted a bunch that were blurry, or didn’t come out right, and probably kept around 25-30 from each show in total.

 

CK in Tokyo

Concerts, Iwasa Misaki Iwasa Misaki 3rd Solo Concert at Yomiuri Otemachi Hall, Tokyo (2017/07/22-23)

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Iwasa Misaki 3rd Solo Concert at Yomiuri Otemachi Hall, Tokyo (2017/07/22-23)

It’s about time that they decided to let Wasamin have more than one solo concert per year. Actually, if you count her ‘Acoustic Love Live’ shows, as well as her solo concert coming up this September, that makes six solo concerts in 2017 (Well, eight. Since this was three shows) This show was announced at the end of Wasamin’s January concert, and we knew that this venue was about half the size of Asakusa Kokaido. But what we didn’t know until we received our fan club mailers was that it would be three separate shows. One on Saturday, and two on Sunday. We also found out that they would once again be offering “Ichigo Seating,” which are not only the best seats in the house, but also offer some kind of special bonus. Ichigo Seats are 3x the price of the regular seats, so would it be worth it to spend so much on tickets to three shows???

Since I am a Wasamin fan, one would think that answer would be simple. But many people, (including me) questioned whether or not the Ichigo Seats were worth it at the last show. The bonus “rehearsal and high touch was kinda short, and rushed. Not to mention we get to shake hands with Wasamin all the time for the price of a CD. So at the end of the day we paid a big premium to be guaranteed the best seats. Also, they were offering a discount if you bought ‘regular’ seats to all three shows. Ultimately, I bit the bullet, and my devotion won out. I headed to the post office and paid to apply for Ichigo Seats for each show. It would take almost four months to find out if I won, and where my seats were. Which brings up another little ‘issue.’

Random Lottery?

One would think, since it was ‘supposed’ to be a lottery, that our Ichigo seats would have been scattered around the front section. But they really weren’t. People who won front row seemed to get it for all three shows. People with sixth row got it for all three shows. I was third row center, for all three shows. I think they need to do something about that. Not that it’s a big deal, since it is a small venue, and third row is still VERY close to the stage, but it doesn’t seem completely fair. Oh, and I don’t think it was favoritism either, since some of the biggest spenders at her CD events did not have front row. But let’s talk about the Ichigo Bonuses.

Ichigo Bonuses


Ichigo Seat Badges, hand-signed!

Each show had a different Ichigo Bonus to go with the premium seating. Obviously they wanted to make sure fans wanted to enjoy all of the bonuses, since if they made them all the same it might cause people to just buy one. The Saturday night bonus was a “Post-Show After-Party” where we would also be getting to take some kind of personal video with Wasamin. After the show they led us into a medium sized conference room, where they had snacks and water for us to enjoy while we waited. They asked us to get into a loose circle (there were around 50 of us) where they explained what would be happening. Eventually Wasamin came in, followed by her manager, Ichikawa-san, and a cameraman. (By the way, they were filming everything around this concert, including the fans outside the venue) Wasamin went into the center of the circle, and started asking us how we liked the show. We basically chit-chatted about the songs she hose, the costumes she wore, and whatnot. After a few minutes it was time for the ‘video shooting’ The way it worked was that in groups, we formed semi-circles of 15 people, and then Wasamin made a short speech, and then came around and gave each of us a quick ‘Thank You’ message. Here, check it out…

“Uhh, Hello Wasamin!” After this we got back into a circle, and Wasamin started asking us about the Ichigo Bonus. She said that she had read some of the comments online last January where people questioned if it was worth it. So this time she said she really wanted to do something worthwhile for the fans. Furthermore, she said she would do her best to think of something really fun to do the next day so we all felt good about spending so much money on Ichigo Seats. After that, we said our goodbyes, and she left the room, with us being allowed to leave a short time later…

The Sunday morning bonus was similar to the Ichigo Bonus we got in January, an opportunity to watch some of the rehearsal and soundcheck. Only this time, instead of being delayed at the end of the event by the press, she did her press interviews before the rehearsal, which ultimately caused us to be a half hour late getting in, so it was a good thing this was being done two hours before the show. The other bonus was that we would be getting to take a group photo with Wasamin on the stage, which we did in three groups.

The other nice thing was that we got to see MORE of the rehearsal. In January it was a quick MC, one song, and done. This time it was two longer MCs, and two songs. So a bit more…

For the final bonus on Sunday night, we got to enjoy a second encore. This was really nice too. Wasamin’s family was in the audience for this show, and also stuck around for this. When the show ended, they told us to stay in our seats while the rest of the fans filed out. Then after a 5-10 minute break the lights dimmed and the curtain opened again. It was extremely intimate, quite like one of her mini in-store lives. After a quick talk, the first song she sang AND performed on guitar was Nada Sousou. After this she once again brought up the Ichigo Bonuses, and asked us if we thought they better than last time. She also asked us which one’s were our favorites. (I chose Saturday night) After that she asked us if we were going to her September concert, or her October dinner show, and then she finished by performing Kikyou. So at the end of the day I think they did a great job making sure the Ichigo Seat bonuses were worth our while…

Outside The Venue

Yomiuri Otemachi Hall is actually upstairs in the main offices of the Yomiuri Shinbun in the business district near Tokyo Station. It was the weekend, so the neighborhood was pretty much deserted, and most of the restaurants were closed. The nice thing was that the building is directly over Otemachi Station, which also happens to be on the train line by my apartment, so very easy to get to and from. On the third floor waiting area, they had placed all of the flowers, as well as one table where you could pre-order Wasamin’s upcoming CD. Then on the fifth floor they had the goods tables, a small bar, and a booth to buy ‘day of’ tickets since none of the shows actually sold out. I actually bought one of every souvenir they had on the first day. However, they had a different acrylic stand for each day, so most fans lined up the second day just to get the second stand. Also, they ran out of L-size T-shirts the first day, so some people had to wait until the second day for that too. In addition, they were offering an autographed Saba Kaido clear file if you pre-ordered the CD. At first I bailed on this, since I already have multiple autographed Saba Kaido clear files. But when I saw that it was a new version of the clear file, I broke down on got one on the second day.

You can see the goods on this post in the Wasamin thread on Stage48…
http://stage48.net/forum/index.php?…asa-misaki-wasamin.1886/page-145#post-1344620


Fan Club Flowers

Also, they had a huge film crew for this show. It was almost as if they were filming a documentary, as they seemed to be filming everything going on the entire weekend, both inside and outside the venue. Even when the fan club members decided to take a group pic after the show, the camera crew ran out and recorded us doing it. However, they did cause one big issue the first evening. When we got into the venue, they had cameras and crew set up in a lot of seats. Unfortunately, people bought tickets for these seats, and they were GREAT seats. At first they were telling people where they could sit further back. But the fans were not going to accept this, and eventually the camera crews were all moved somewhere else. Ultimately it caused a fifteen minute delay to the start of the show. This didn’t seem to be an issue on Sunday though, as the cameras were back to their original positions. In fact, for the last show I was right behind the cameraman, and could watch his monitors with all of the camera angles.

The Setlists

They promised that all of the setlists would be different, and they were, although not completely. Some of her singles moved around the setlist, and they changed the songs during the guitar segment, and the ‘roaming around the audience’ segment. Oh, and they also added Seto no Hanayome to Sunday’s performances due to the death of singer/songwriter Hirao Masaaki, who many of you may know as one of the judges on the AKBingo! DIVA Championships.

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Saturday Night Setlist (7/22)
01. Mujineki
02. Kanashimi Honsen Nihon Kai
MC (Wasamin winging it)
03. Ginza Kan Kan Musume
04. Shitamachi no Taiyou
05. Nangoku Tosa wo Ato ni Shite
MC (Monthly challenge campaign)
06. Yume Shibai
MC (More on the challenge campaign)
07. Omoidezake
08. Futarizake
09. Hatsuzake
MC (VTR Highlights of Wasamin ‘Love Live’ show in May)
[Next segment on guitar]
10. Misaki Meguri
11. Kandagawa
12. Ito
MC (Introduction of photo shooting session)
13. Momen no Handkerchief
14. Watashi no Aoi Tori
15. Heart no Ace ga Detekonai
16. Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide
17. Koi no Dial 6700
MC (End of photo shooting)
18. Nora
19. Ihoujin
20. Ajisai-bashi
21. Moshimo Watashi ga Sora ni Sundeitara
End of Main Show
(VTR- Deleted scenes, making of Saba Kaido PV)
EN1. Tomonoura Bojou
EN2. Gomen ne Tokyo
MC (Wasamin 4th concert will be held February 4th at Ebisu Garden Hall!!!)
EN3. Saba KaidoShow End

Sunday Matinee Setlist
Ichigo Seat Holder Special Rehearsal Setlist
(All Ichigo Seat holders got to take a group shot with Wasamin before the performance)
R1. Saba Kaido
MC: (Congratulations to Ichigo Seat holders. Wasamin didn’t realize the ichigo rehearsal bonus was two hours before the show, LOL. I guess that’s why there was a 20 minute delay)
R2. Mujineki
01. Gomen ne Tokyo
02. Kanashimi Honsen Nihon Kai
MC
03. Ginza Kan Kan Musume
04. Shitamachi no Taiyou
05. Nangoku Tosa wo Ato ni Shite
06. Yume Shibai
MC (Monthly challenge campaign)
07. Seto no Hanayome
MC (Looking for audience members who came from far away)
08. Omoidezake
09. Futarizake
10. Hatsuzake
MC (VTR Highlights of Wasamin ‘Love Live’ show in May)
[Next segment on guitar]
11. Thank You
12. Kaze ni Naru
13. Ito
MC (Introduction of photo shooting session)
14. Shochuu Omimai Moushiagemasu
15. Natsu no Ojousan
16. Natsu no Tobira
17. Toshishita no Otokonoko
18. Aoi Sangoshou
MC (End of photo shooting, goods presentation w/ discussion of which colors represent which singles)
19. Nora
20. Ihoujin
21. Ajisai-bashi
22. Mujineki
End of Main Show
(VTR- Deleted scenes, making of Saba Kaido PV)
EN1. Moshimo Watashi ga Sora ni Sundeitara
EN2. Tomonoura Bojou
MC (Wasamin 4th concert will be held February 4th at Ebisu Garden Hall!!! Also, it is decided. Official song penlight colors are: Mujineki=white, Moshisora=skyblue, Tomobojo-red, Hatsuzake=green, Gomen ne Tokyo=yellow, Saba Kaido=dark blue)
EN3. Saba Kaido

Show End

Sunday Night Finale Setlist
01. Tomonoura Bojou
02. Kanashimi Honsen Nihon Kai
MC (Wasamin winging it)
03. Ginza Kan Kan Musume
04. Shitamachi no Taiyou
05. Nangoku Tosa wo Ato ni Shite
06. Yume Shibai
MC (More on the challenge campaign)
07. Seto no Hanayome
MC
08. Omoidezake
09. Futarizake
10. Hatsuzake
MC (VTR Highlights of Wasamin ‘Love Live’ show in May)
[Next segment on guitar]
11. Marunouchi Sadistic
12. Silly
13. Ito
MC (Introduction of photo shooting session)
14. Dancing Hero (Eat You Up)
15. Watashi no Aoi Tori
16. Shoujo A
17. Playback Part Two
18. Kazari Janai no yo Namida wa
MC (End of photo shooting)
19. Nora
20. Ihoujin
21. Ajisai-bashi
22. Gomen ne Tokyo
End of Main Show
(VTR- Deleted scenes, making of Saba Kaido PV)
EN1. Mujineki
EN2. Moshimo Watashi ga Sora ni Sundeitara
MC (Wasamin 4th concert will be held February 4th at Ebisu Garden Hall!!!)
EN3. Saba KaidoIchigo Seat Members Exclusive Bonus Encore Performance
EN-2A. Nada Sousou (on guitar)
EN-2B. Kikyou

Show End

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It had been a while since many of her fans had seen her perform live, aside from her performance in the play she did in Osaka, since she hasn’t really had any CDs to promote. But many of the fans remarked after the first show that there was something slightly different and more professional about Wasamin’s performance. Her singing was top notch, and she was also using her body in a much different way. You could tell it was having a positive effect on her singing.

One of the other features of the three shows was that she wore different costumes for the guitar and audience photography portions of each show, which was also a nice touch. Speaking of that, like I mentioned before she switched up the songs she performed on guitar, and the songs she sang when she roamed the audience. These are the highlights of the shows because they are in many ways the biggest surprises of each show, seeing what songs she will perform. I must admit I was shocked when she performed Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide and Koi no Dial 6700, not to mention Shochuu Omimai Moushiagemasu. She also had a few nice choices for her guitar songs, including the Leo and Sheena Ringo songs. Wasamin still has some work to do on improving her guitar work, but it is neat to see her on stage doing her best every time.

Of course they also had a photo-op portion of the show, where fans were free to take photos. I put a couple of examples on this post, but I will try to do a photo collection post here a little later. They also announced Wasamin’s 4th concert will be taking place on February 4th in Ebisu, not to mention she will be doing a Winter ‘Love Live’ show in November. So lots of concerts to keep the fans happy.

Oh, and a couple other cute stories.
1) Wasamin’s family are usually in the audience for her big concerts. For this show they came for the last performance. However, it was the first time I have ever seen Wasamin address them in the middle of the show. While she was performing in the audience, as she passed them she stopped, pointed and said. “It’s my Mom and Dad!” Cute!
2) this will be good for those of you going to see her in San Francisco, but part of one of the MCs was to talk about the goods. All of us really like the penlight which has a preview function where you can scroll through the colors without changing the color of your glowstick. During the third show we were having races to see who could change their glowstick to a specific color the most quickly. But in the second show Wasamin decided each of her singles has a distinct “Official Color” So here they are…
Mujineki=white
Moshisora=Light Blue
TomoBojo=Red
Hatsuzake=Green
Gomen ne Tokyo=Yellow
Saba Kaido=Blue

Anyway, you guys going to her San Francisco show can have fun with that. But be sure and tell them how you found out.


(This was the first photo we took, the one with her manager we took later)

After the shows the fans took one last group pic, which Wasamin’s manager joined in on, and then we went on our merry ways. Overall the shows were a lot of fun, and to me they never got boring, especially since she switched up so many of the songs. Next up for us is her September concert in Chiba. But in the meantime she will be doing a bunch of promotional appearances in late August to promote the ‘memorial’ release of her 6th single. So plenty of Wasafun in the wings

 

CK in Tokyo

Iwasa Misaki The Umezawa Tomio Special Theater Troupe Special Performance, featuring Tegawa Toshimi and Iwasa Misaki…Live at Shin-Kabukiza, Osaka (2017/06/18)

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The Umezawa Tomio Special Theater Troupe Special Performance, featuring Tegawa Toshimi and Iwasa Misaki…Live at Shin-Kabukiza, Osaka (2017/06/18)

There was no way I was going to miss Wasamin performing in a play….

This was the first time since I believe 2012 since Wasamin has performed in a play like this. And in that performance she mainly sang. You have to go all the way back to 2009, when Wasamin was cast as one of the main supporting characters in AKB Kagekidan: Infinity for her last significant stage acting role. I actually saw Infinity twice. Once with Sae and Yukirin as the main characters, and then the other version with Akimoto Sayaka and Takamina. In fact, for anyone who has the DVD, I am in the audience (8th row center) for the DVD performance of the Sae/Yukirin version. Moreover, it was at that play that I got to have my first ever significant conversation with Wasamin. Wow, so many years ago!

As I wasn’t sure when I would be able to get out to Osaka and see the show, I did not preorder theater tickets. In fact, when the general sale went online, I continued to procrastinate. This was a major error since at some point they stopped offering the tickets online, and you could only reserve by phone. This is when things got weird. I called the theater a few days before opening night to reserve a ticket for the final weekend. However, they told me that all seats for all shows were sold out. This was odd for a couple of reasons. First off, none of the nights were sold out when I checked online a week earlier. In fact, there were very few sections even sold out. Second, the website said that tickets were available. I immediately thought that they were trying to screw me for some reason. But what could I do. The next day I received three things, a mail magazine from Nagara Pro that specifically said that tickets were available. Then, Wasamin’s manager blogged that tickets were available. And then NagaraPro teeted that tickets were available. WTF??? So this time I had my Japanese friend call for me. They tried to tell him it was completely sold out,but when we pressed them by mentioning the social media posts, they immediately changed their tune, and voila! I had my ticket!

The show ran from June 10th through June 19th, with two performances on most days. I got a ticket for the penultimate performance on June 18th. My seat was in the upper balcony, but it was first row dead center, so it would not be a bad seat at all. I was a little late getting out of the house on Sunday morning. I had planned to possibly go to Namba in the afternoon before the show, but my tardiness sorta ruined those plans. Instead I went straight to the theater. In case there were any issues with my ticket, I wanted to get them ironed out. The theater was easy to find, as it is right next to the train station. I went upstairs, immediately found the box office, and got my ticket. In fact they were already pulling it when I walked up. I guess I was the only foreigner with a ticket at Will Call. In the meantime, the matinee performance was just getting out. It was then I realized something i didn’t previously know…

This play is 3 1/2 hours!

So my backup plan was to head to Namba after the show, but the long duration of the play put the Kibosh on that, I would barely have time to get back to Shin-Osaka for a Shinkansen back to Tokyo. Bummer, but it couldn’t be helped. I instead hung around the theater, and snapped a few photos. It is a really nice place. Actually, the original Kabukiza theater is in Tokyo, and this is their satellite location in Kansai. They mainly do traditional Japanese Kabuki-style performances. There were other music artists in the cast, like Wasamin’s NagaraPro senpai Tegawa Toshimi, who played one of the main characters, as well as another male enka artist who I wasn’t familiar with. And of course you had Umezawa Tomio, who is a famous actor in Japan. Anyway, I went upstairs and found my seat. I noticed most of the Wasafans had seats on the third floor too, although a few were on floor level. Also, there were tons of empty seats. TONS!!! In fact both balconies were at less than half-capacity. So why the hell were they trying to tell me it was sold out!

It wasn’t actually a 3 1/2 hour play, it was really three different performances. The play itself ran for about 70 minutes, after which was a 30 minute intermission. They second part was a musical performance, starring Shimi-san. Wasamin was introduced by Umezawa-san, and performed Saba Kaido. After another intermission, the third part was a traditional dance performance, and the songs were also performed by the cast. Wasamin performed Gomen ne Tokyo, with backup dancers in this part. As for the play, essentially the story was about a girl who runs away from her family and elopes, only to come back years later in shame with a baby in tow, and her family’s struggle on whether or not to accept her. Wasamin played the main character’s younger sister, who loves her sister and is upset with her father’s stubborness, ultimately resulting in my favorite Wasa-line of the show. “Otousan Hidoi!!!” as she spent the next few minutes blubbering in the background. Her exclamation of that line was so cute! I didn’t understand much of the story-line, especially toward the end, but it was a mix of comedy and drama.

As for Wasamin’s singing, it was fun to see her perform in this atmosphere. The other funny thing was that I was probably the only foreigner there, and was getting more than a couple of curious glances from the obasans sitting around me. However, once they realized I was there for Wasamin, I was bombarded with a hundred questions. They were all so surprised. By the end, I was friends with everybody! After the show I hustled out of the theater, and headed back home. It had been a long day, and I had a long ride ahead of me…

Like I said before, this was the first time I had seen Wasamin perform in a play since Infinity, almost 8 years ago. So this was a very nostalgic experience for me. That was one of my big motivations for going, not to mention the fact that I didn’t want to disappoint Wasamin. Plus, it was also a really neat cultural experience. That was my first time seeing a Kabuki-like performance live. I have also been saying that I would like to attend a Takarazuka performance too. I need to check into that again!

 

CK in Tokyo

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Iwasa Misaki Catching Up With Wasamin Part Two…DVD Release Events (May/June 2017)

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In May, Wasamin fans were treated to the release of her 2nd concert DVD/BluRay, which would come out on the 17th.  Prior to that there were various ‘pre-order’ events, since Wasamin is always making public appearances.  She’s the busiest girl in show business! LOL.  But before I get into that, a little show and tell.  A few weeks ago I got a mysterious package in the mail from Tokuma Records.  Now I am keenly aware that when I see Tokuma on the return address, it probably has something to do with Wasamin.  Anyway, I opened it to find this…

That is our group pic from the Wasamin BBQ party a couple of months ago.  Neat, huh?  Now I know what you are thinking, quite the ‘sausage fest’  Yeah, it was odd.  As I mentioned on my blog post about the party, they had two seatings for the BBQ party, and for some reason they put ALL of the female winners in the early seating.  On the other hand, we were told that the girls didn’t eat very much, which is why there was such an abundance of food for our afternoon event.  Oh, and I forgot to post this on the blog before, but this is the second ‘Team Picture’ I received from Wasamin.  The first one was from the Bus Tour, and it came with a really nice commemorative card…

Anyway, back to the Concert DVD events.  As I mentioned, Wasamin did a few pre-order events for the DVD, and they weren’t limited to in-store events.  You could also pre-order it at her ‘Love Live’ Acoustic Concert.  The big benefit was that you would get a cheki and a photo for buying the DVD.  On the other hand, it isn’t cheap.  The DVD is 5000 yen, while the BluRay is 6000 yen.  Luckily, you could also get a handshake from buying copies of Saba Kaido, so I wasn’t always buying the concert.  All told, I ended up with 6 copies of the concert (4 DVD, 2 BluRay)  Three of those I bought during pre-orders, and three I purchased during release week.  Speaking of release week…

Wasamin would be doing six appearances during release week.  Five in Tokyo, and one in Osaka.  I ultimately ended up attending four of the six events, although I was late to two of them.  One of them I missed the performance entirely, and only made it for the meet and greet.  That was the evening that I also went to the Tomochin single release event, which I posted on this blog a couple of weeks ago.

For the actual release day event, Wasamin performed at HMV Shibuya, which is slowly becoming a popular place for pop artists to appear.  Just a couple of days ago I posted about seeing Chaki and YUSA here.  I have also seen FES☆TIVE perform at HMV Shibuya.  It should also be noted that this is where Wasamin had release events for her fist album, and for her 4th single, Hatsuzake.  Only those were done outside in the square in front of the building.  This also happened to be the release day of AKB48’s Sousenkyo guidebook, so many of the Wasafans picked up a copy of that.  And I also picked up a copy of Aoba Hinari’s photobook, since this was one of the few shops that was carrying it.

The cool thing was that Wasamin was promoting the DVD release by singing songs from her concert.  So we were hearing some of these performances for only the second time.  And of course since it was release day, I picked up a copy of the DVD.  I wanted to watch it that night anyway, and I hadn’t received my pre-orders yet.

Thursday was an off day for Wasamin, but she appeared at Tower Kinshicho on Friday night.  However, this was the event I essentially missed because of the Tomochin event.  I tried to make it to hear some of the performance, but I had never been to this store before, and got temporarily lost trying to find it.  By the time I found the mall and the store, I could hear the last few notes of Saba Kaido and the Wasafans cheering in the distance.  Oh well.  At least I was in time to visit with Wasamin.  But since I was totally sweaty from running around, I chose to skip the Shamekai.

Wasamin would be making two appearances on Saturday.  The first would be in the morning out in Machida, which is in Western Tokyo.  I woke up feeling a bit fatigued, so I decided to skip making the long trip.  Instead I would just go to the evening event in Asakusa.  However, I ended up falling asleep in the afternoon, and waking up very late.  I cleaned myself up as quickly as I could, and headed out to Asakusa.  I was going to be a bit late.  The other issue was that Asakusa was celebrating Sanja Matsuri, so that could make getting to the venue from the subway even more complicated.  I made it to Yoro-do, where Wasamin has appeared many times.  All of the employees know me there, so they helped me make a quick purchase, and get upstairs to watch the rest of the show.  Wasamin was just starting her third song when I got to my spot in the back.  But I was happy I made it.

Since I was in the back, I was actually the first person to do a Shamekai with Wasamin.  I apologized for being late, and told her that I wasn’t feeling well that day, but I really wanted to see her.  She asked me what was wrong, and I essentially told her that I had a very bad headache all day.  I also told her I wanted to check out Sanja Matsuri, which was taking place outside.  Anyway, she told me to feel better.  And I immediately did since when I pulled my bonus photo, I got this!

An autographed picture.  These are not easy to win!  So it is nice to be lucky once in a while.  Wasamin’s manager congratulated me, and I was on my way.  In the meantime I took some photos and a video of the festivities outside.  I recorded a short video too of part of the procession making its way past Yoro-do, where Wasamin’s event was going on.

 

It was a lot of fun, and there was tons of great food.  Unfortunately I also felt slightly queasy, so I didn’t eat anything.  I just looked around, and then went home.

On Sunday Wasamin did her promotional appearance in Osaka, and then came back for one last appearance in Urawa, Saitama.  This is becoming a regular stop for Wasamin’s live appearances, which is nice because it isn’t very far from where I live.  In fact, she performed there again this past week.  But on this particular day I had a class Monday evening, so I would need to rush if I was going to make it from Shinjuku to Urawa in under an hour.  In fact, I had around 20 minutes to get from my classroom in Sanchome, on to the Shonan-Shinjuku Line at Shinjuku Station.  It was doable if I hustled.  Which I did, and I made it, by about 3 minutes.  Unfortunately, this train is packed like a sardine can during rush hour, not to mention I was sweaty from the brisk walk, but I would bear with it for the 34 minute ride.

I made it to Urawa around 12 minutes before the event, which would give me time to quickly dry myself off.  I bought one last copy of the BluRay, and watched the event from the back.  Once again, Wasamin was wearing an extremely cute Summer dress.  I waited for a little while before queueing up for my shamekai.

This was the interaction that I asked Wasamin about the Karaoke party, which I mentioned on the previous post.  I asked her if I would have to sing at the event, and her cryptic answer was something to the effect of “If you would like to, it would be good.”  LOL.

This was also the first time I had spoken to her since the announcement that she was performing in San Francisco.  Wasamin knows that I am from California, so she asked me if I would be flying back to the States for the event.  The truth is I really want to,  I really do.  I would be so proud to see her perform in California with a bunch of my friends there.  However, do to my schedule, it is going to be next to impossible to make the trip.  However, there is a silver lining to this, since the reason I cannot attend has to to with the fact that I was able to extend my stay in Japan through the end of 2019.  Considering that, it is a good trade-off.  So Wasamin may be disappointed that I can’t go, but she is happy that she’s got me in Japan for AT LEAST another 2 1/2 years.

And that was the end of Wasamin’s DVD promotion.  As I mentioned above, she made another appearance at Tower Urawa this past Monday, which I attended.  However, it was considered a Saba Kaido event, so there were so Shamekai offered.  But it was good to see her perform one more time before she embarks on her two week trip to Osaka to appear in a play.  I still don’t have a ticket to that yet since I procrastinated, and now I am scrambling to find a ticket since they ended the online ticket sales.  I’m not sure if I can get a ticket at the box office, or by some other means.  But hopefully I will be able to go.

Oh, and for those who haven’t purchased Wasamin’s concert DVD yet, be sure and check it out!  It is every bit as good as I remembered.  The portion of the show where she roams the audience is awesome, and it has a couple of very nice VTRs.  One is about her journey learning to play the guitar, and the other is a look back at her year since graduating from AKB.  Definitely worth the purchase!

CK in Tokyo

Iwasa Misaki Catching Up With Wasamin Part One…The Saba Kaido Karaoke Party at Big Echo Ikebukuro (2017/05/28)

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Wow, has it really been almost a month since I last did a Wasamin post on this blog?

It’s not that I haven’t been seeing her over the last month.  In fact, she released her second concert DVD, so there were those festivities.  It was just that I had planned on reporting about the DVD release in one big post,  However, I got kinda busy, then got backed up on event reports, and there ya go.  So this is better late than never.  I will start by doing a brief report about the special ‘invitation only’ event I attended two weekends ago…

Wasamin Karaoke Party! at Big Echo, Ikebukuro (2017/05/28)

This was one of the two big prizes you could win if you mailed in the contest entries contained in the Saba Kaido singles.  The Grand Prize was a “Saba Party”, which was held the week prior.  It turned out to be a Saba tasting party at a very nice Saba restaurant in Tokyo.  Only a few people got to win that prize, and unfortunately I was not one of them.  But I did win the other big prize, and that was a Karaoke party…

There were two Karaoke sessions planned, and 30 people won for each session.  It was held in the basement party area of one of the big Karaoke chains in Tokyo.  What a Wasamin Karaoke party would consist of, I wasn’t sure.  But she has held these after every single release, and the other Wasafans told me it was fun.  Since I wasn’t sure, I asked Wasamin about it at her event in Urawa a few days before.  Specifically, I asked her if I would be doing any singing at the event.  Her cryptic response did not shed any light on it…

“Do you want to sing?  Do you?  If you want to sing, it will be good!”


T
he Shamekai I took with Wasamin in Urawa, moments before we would have that cryptic convo

Obviously Wasamin’s response still left me in the dark, but no matter.  I had actually been to a Karaoke party with friends just a couple of weeks prior, so I was kinda brushed up on my Karaoke skills.  Personally, I am a mediocre singer.  Not horrible, but nobody is ever going to sign me to a singing contract.  On the other hand, I am not uptight about it.  I am perfectly willing to sing badly in front of people.  So no real worries.

I was running slightly late, but I don’t live far from Ikebukuro.  I got to Big Echo just a few minutes before doors opened, and the Wasafans were queued down the sidewalk.  I was second to last in line, so I assumed I wouldn’t have too good a spot.  We were lead in via an elevator, five at a time.  When I got downstairs I scanned the room, four long tables that sat eight each.  The two tables in the middle were pretty much filled, the table in the back was empty, but the table in front had a few open spots, including the first seat, so I took it.  This was like having front row center, cool!  Saso-san, and Yamaue-san, two of Wasamin’s assistants, informed us that we would have unlimited Orange Juice and Oolong Tea during the event, which would be around 60-90 minutes.  They also provided us with tambourines and maracas to use during the performances.

Wasamin came out in a cute little summer dress, and congratulated us for winning the event.  Meanwhile Saso-san queued up the first song,  Watashi no Kare wa Hidarikiki, which is a song she has performed quite a bit lately since she debuted it at her second concert.  She also sang Blue Light Yokohama, and another song I did not recognize.  After that it was time for audience participation.  We were going to be able to sing duets with Wasamin.  Well, some of us were…

Wasamin asked if anyone wanted to sing a duet with her.  Surprisingly, or perhaps not surprisingly, around 90% of the room raised their hand.  They had only allotted around three songs for people to sing duets, so we would have to decide by Janken.  The winners would also receive a set of signed clear files from all of her singles.  I was in a bit of a quandary, since the only rule was that whatever song we chose, Wasamin had to know it, and agree to sing it.  I am fine with singing Karaoke in English, but Japanese is another story, and Wasamin had already sang the song I know most of the lyrics to.  But hell, this was the chance of a lifetime, I would try to win, and worry about what to sing if the situation arose.  Unfortunately, I was not one of the lucky winners.  Oh well.  But the people who did win, all sang pretty well.  So kudos to them!

Next was time for requests, which was again decided by Janken since most of the room wanted to request something.  I couldn’t think of anything in particular that I wanted to hear, so I did not participate.  The first guy who won was an 85-year old fan who requested Saba Kaido.  Ehhhhh?  Wasamin was like “you know I am going to sing that at the end”  But he didn’t care.  He insisted that was his request.  Okay then.  The next guy requested Kanpeki Guu no ne, from Watarirouka Hashiritai, which also inspired a round of “eeehhhh” from the audience.  I mean the guy could have at least requested a WH7 song, right?  The next guy requested AKB48 Team K’s “Saka Agari”, now the fans and Wasamin are like “WTF???”  She was like, “Are you guys the 48-fan group?”  Oh, and although Wasamin has performed this song before, she completely forgot the lyrics, so it ended up being a bunch of mumbling and the chorus.  After the second verse, she was like “Okay, enough of that!” and stopped the song, LOL.  Mercifully, the last person chose an enka song for her.

Wasamin would perform one more song, Saba Kaido (again), before she thanked everyone for coming.  It was also announced that we would get to take a cheki with her, and get a small present, which turned out to be rice crackers with Wasamin’s name and Saba Kaido written on them.

Since I was in front at the first table, I ended up being the second person to take a cheki.  The idea was that we would pose with microphones like we were singing a duet.  Wasamin handed me the microphone, and I immediately started singing the chorus to Saba Kaido.  Wasamin was like “Wait, do that again”  At that moment she flipped on our mics and we sang Saba Kaido, well, just a couple of lines of it.  So now I can (sorta) say I did a duet with her too.  Anyway, we took the cheki, I thanked Wasamin, and I was in the elevator.

It was a fun event.  It went by kind of quickly, but it was neat to be in that casual setting with Wasamin, just foolin’ around and singing Karaoke.  I would definitely do it again, and hopefully I would get a chance to sing a proper duet with her.

Oh, and I was going to make this a dual-report post, but this is running kinda long, so I will talk about the DVD release on my next post.

CK in Tokyo