Archive for the ‘Minyo Girls’ Category

Concerts, Minyo Girls Minyo Girls: “Mingaru Dream Paradise” One-Man Live at Asakusa Gold Sounds (2018/02/25)



This has become somewhat of a “home base” for the Minyo Girls, as they have been doing a monthly solo live at this club for a little while now. It’s nice, since they do advance ticket sales for a discount at their other events, and it’s relatively inexpensive considering you are getting a full show, usually with the full group. Although unfortunately Yutori, who is a big part of the personality of this group, was out because of school commitments.


Photo gift, pretty much a solo live tradition for this group

The more material Minyo Girls do, the better they are sounding. Needless to say, I have really been getting into them lately. Plus, their lives are a lot of fun!

I arrived at the station around 15 minutes before doors opened. I was surprised that they were doing crowd control at the station, although it wasn’t very crowded at the time. It turned out that this venue was right in the heart of the Tokyo Marathon. Luckily, everyone was already watching the race, and Asakusa Gold Sounds was off on a side street, so I had no trouble getting to the show…

The venue is pretty much standing room only, with the exception for a side seating area for family and kids, plus another section reserved for the members’ parents. We were led in by our ticket number. I had #35, but I was able to get a standing spot on the right side, one back from the stage. (It’s a very small venue) After reserving a spot, I headed to the goods table, and bought the two items I still don’t have, the hoodie and the “new” oshi towel. (I have the original oshi towel) This afforded me three handshake tickets to use later, and I spent a lot of time lamenting how I would use these tickets…



As I went back into the venue, I was again greeted by Yuua-chan’s mom. Miyabi’s mom also gave me a little wave. Yuua-chan’s mom came up to me after the show as well to thank me for coming, which was really nice.


The theme of the performance was “casual.” This I knew. The members would be wearing their normal clothes, plus their official hoodie. What I didn’t know was that the show had another theme; cover songs. I had mixed feelings about this, since I am really joying their new songs and wanted to hear them perform. On the other hand, the songs they did perform were also interesting. I didn’t know all of them, but among the songs I did know…

Momen no Handkerchief
Sochuu Omimai Moushiagemasu
Valentine Kiss

What do these songs have in common? They are all songs Wasamin has performed. In fact, two of them she has recorded! I couldn’t wait to tell Wasamin about this. (In fact, I did yesterday, as told on the previous post) A lot of the songs they performed were also fast paced. In fact, their version of Momen no Handkerchief had a real “metal” feel to it. Adding to that was Miki on the shamisen, who seemed at times as if she was channeling Eddie Van Halen.


Although the theme was cover songs, it wasn’t ALL covers. They did perform Ureshii Namida in the encore, which is kind of their staple “end of the show” song since it gets everyone to wave their oshi towels. They also performed a brand new song called “EMOTION,” which you can see below on this official video…

Plenty of shots of the back of my head, LOL.


What really made this show special were the big announcements at the end of the show. The VTR began with a message from Yutori, who was the one member not in attendance. This was followed by a few surprises. First…


Minyo Girls will be continuing their monthly performances at Asakusa Gold Sounds. Okay, cool. And then…




Rina-chan will become a full-fledged member of the group! Okay, good for her. I like Rina-chan, except that she still seems like she is “getting her proverbial feet wet” in this group. She doesn’t seem entirely comfortable yet, although they did give her plenty of solo lines, and she actually centered one of the cover songs. She is still relatively new, so we’ll give her more time to mesh with the other members. Although her senpai were really excited about her promotion. And that’s not all…



Minyo Girls will be releasing their first major single. Not only that, it will be the ending theme to an Anime. Wow, this was unexpected. Half the girls lost it on stage. All crying, LOL. A couple of them were still whimpering a bit during the last song. Then it was time for chekis and stuff…


As I said, I had three tickets. I had decided to do 2-shot chekis with Miyabi and Yuua. However, I wasn’t sure what to do with the third ticket. If Yutori was there, I would have used it on her for sure. I also considered using it on Miki, or even Kako or the new member. But when I got to the front of the queue, Miyabi was staring at me, so it was decided; two Miyabi chekis.


Miyabi chekis

Now the way they do this is kind of unique, and if I had known the procedure beforehand I would have picked a third member to take a cheki with. After all the group shots and chekis are done, everybody re-queues, and you essentially get a handshake/autograph session with everyone you did a cheki with. Since I had two Miyabi, I ended up losing the opportunity to do a handshake with another member. So I was slightly bummed about that. On the other hand, I have always said that if I picked a third member, it would be Yutori.  But alas, she wasn’t there.

Yuua went for the seifuku cosplay. She’s learning…

It’s so cute how both Yuua and Miyabi both know me with different names. To Miyabi, I am ‘CK-san.” and to Yuua, I am “Kurisu-san.” LOL. I talked to both of them about how they were singing the same songs Wasamin performs. Interestingly, neither of them seemed to be aware of that. I also talked to both of them about meeting their parents in Yokohama. Miyabi seemed somewhat surprised, however Yuua knew all about it. She got all excited when I mentioned it, especially when I said that her mom’s English is very good. Finally with Miyabi, I told her that I enjoyed her birthday SHOWROOM.




So I think I will make this a monthly thing, since I do enjoy Minyo Girls’ solo lives. It is interesting that this venue, Asakusa Gold Sounds is somehow becoming their home base. I have noticed this lately with a lot of the groups I like. They do play at different venues, but ultimately they have a “go-to” venue that they regularly play at.  FESTIVE has Twin Box AkihabaraTokyo CLEARS has Akihabara ZestKissBee has Diver City & Venus Fort, even Himeri, when she was in NoPlan had Yoyogi Muse. Interesting…

After I had all of my stuff signed, I headed out. The Marathon had long passed by, so the streets had become somewhat deserted. The show was a lot of fun, and I already have a pre-order ticket for their March solo-live, so I am looking forward to that. Not sure if I will be seeing them between now and then. We’ll see.

CK in Tokyo

Concerts, Minyo Girls Minyo Girls Challenge Stage Vol. 3 Live at Yokohama O-Site (2018/01/21)…Plus an Amazing Post-Show Interaction!



After seeing and having such a great time at their Vol. 2 Challenge Stage last Summer, I was really looking forward to attending Minyo Girls’ next big solo live. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed. This show was full of surprises. New songs, new members, and then the biggest surprise that happened after the show as I was leaving the venue.

Unfortunately I am just out of the picture, but you can see my penlight on the far left side of the pic

Yokohama O-Site is a short walk from Yokohama Station, right in the middle of a major shopping and entertainment area outside the West Exit. I didn’t get to the venue until shortly before doors were opened. I wasn’t sure if it was festival seating or not. I mean I did have a ticket, and it had a number on it, but it wasn’t clear if it was a seat number. Once I saw the seating chart I decided there was no need for me to be in queue, so I instead went to the goods booth. The two big items they were debuting were a group T-Shirt and a Hoodie. They both came in XL size, however Japanese XL’s are kinda hit and miss with me, so I decided to just pick up the T-shirt. Additionally, I picked up one of their CDs (a friend wanted it) and a presale ticket to their solo live in February. That would afford me three post-show 2-shot/group shot tickets. Anyway, I made it to my seat, and put on my Minyo gear, this time remembering to wear not only my Miyabi pins, but my Yuua pins as well. I was in the second row, but had the last seat on the far right, right in front of the speakers.

I still haven’t tried on the shirt yet, LOLZ


The setlist had a few of the songs from their new CD. However, they also debuted three new songs they had never performed before. The first one was an original song called Hankachi DROP. Later they performed two old traditional songs, Akita Ondo, which was awesome. I think it instantly became my favorite Minyo Girls song. It almost sounds like something BABYMETAL could perform. Finally, Kokiriko Bushi, which they have released on video…

I hope they release more videos from the show, especially Akita Ondo!

As usual for the Minyo’s, they did have a photo-op portion of the show (much like Wasamin’s) Unfortunately for me, my seat was not very advantageous for photos, and I ended up trashing a whole bunch for being too blurry. However, I did get a few good shots in…


Miki and her Shamisen

However, the biggest surprise was when they introduced their new “kenkyuusei” member, Rina-chan. Interestingly, Rina-chan looks like she might be in the upper-half of the group, age-wise. They haven’t added her to the official site yet, so I’m not sure. But I am guessing that performing ability is a major factor in her selection since pretty much every member is a decent singer.

Left: Rina-chan, the new kenkyuusei. Right: Matsuri-chan (from Matsuri’s Twitter)


After enjoying my prerequisite 600 yen cola, I went back into the venue to line up for photos. I wasn’t sure why there were two separate queues, but once the event started, I realized the shorter queue was for group shots. Since I usually do group shots with this group, I switched over to that queue.

Have my two favorite members flanking me, and Yutori has her doll again, this time on top of my head.

I was kinda hoping Rina-chan would be in the group shot as well, but they had her helping with the sales table. In any case, the single-member cheki queue had grown considerably, so there was a bit of a wait. When my turn came I chose Miyabi, and she was very thankful. I confirmed that they sang three new songs in the setlist, and told her that she performed really well. At the end, she gave me a big “Thank You CK-San!” This would become very funny later on.


After the cheki I went back to the sales booth because I really wanted to take a cheki with Yuua as well. I still hadn’t purchased a ticket for their March Solo Live, so perfect. I bought the March ticket, and am now covered for the Minyo’s over the next two months. I could take another cheki too.


Yuua is such a sweetheart, although she isn’t quite as conversational during chekis. It is sorta surprising since she (and Fuuka) are essentially the main MCs of the group. I did manage to tell her that I love their new MV. Anyway, I didn’t want to spend any more cash, so I changed out of my Happi, gathered my things, and headed for the exit. It was at this point the most interesting thing happened……

One lonely flower basket =( Some of the fans (and family) also brought flowers


A woman was waiting for me at the exit. As I stepped out she said Hello, and asked me my name. she then introduced herself, as Yuua’s mother. She was standing there with Yuua’s Dad and younger sister and they were thanking me profusely for supporting Minyo Girls. We talked for a few minutes; she was asking me about what I was doing in Japan, and how I came to know the group. Her English was quite good (she said she takes lessons) I was about to leave, and she tells me to follow her….

“CK-San!” ~ Miyabi

Yuua in action!


Yutori stopped, like “Hey, I’m posing for you, take a shot!” and I blurred the pic.

She takes me over to this group of women standing by the staircase and intruduces me to them in Japanese. Just then, the first woman says “Is this CK-San?” Hahahahaha!!!! I know exactly who this is. Like mother, like daughter, she was Miyabi’s mom. I told her the story about how Miyabi surprised me the first time she started calling me “CK-San.” The other two were Fuuka and Izumi’s mothers, along with Fuuka’s younger sister. It was just incredible to be invited into this little pow-wow with the parents of the members. I mean I have met Wasamin’s parents before, and once met Himeri from DISDOL’s (and former Alice Project) mother, but never on the level of this. It was pretty neat, and I have a feeling I will be talking to them more in the future.

Another show perk; free pic!

Moar Minyo tickets!

After a few minutes I bid my farewell and headed downstairs to find lunch.  But yeah, quite a neat experience overall, eh?  Minyo Girls are definitely a group that is demanding more attention in the idol world, so I invite you all to really check them out!

CK in Tokyo


AKB48, Concerts, Iwasa Misaki, Minyo Girls A Quick Update; A Theater Show, and a Cross-Promotion


A few things…

I wanted to cross promote a YouTube Show I was on last week.  My buddy David (DLJ) from New School Kaidan and I had a nice little conversation.  David and I have hung out in Japan, and when FESTIVE came to San Francisco he bunked at my condo.  In the audio-only video we talked about living in Japan, Wasamin (of course) AKB48, and indie idols, particularly Minyo Girls.  Please check it out!!!


Earlier this month I happended to win my 40th theater show.  It was once again Team Kenkyuusei (16th Gen) plus a few of the Draft Nominees as special guests.  I have discussed this theater show so many times that it feels like well-covered ground.  However, the cool thing was that it was just a couple of days before the January 6-7 AKB Handshake Events at Makuhari Messe.  So I got great reactions when I met the 16th Gen members (I met ALL of them, except for Orin) at the handshake events since they remembered me from the theater shows.  You can read about those interactions a couple of posts down from this one.

And of course I picked up the commemorative photo pack as a keepsake.


Finally, I am starting to get the occasional comment, which is nice.  I was beginning to get really discouraged because it seemed like I was getting readers, but nobody ever bothered to comment.  So please, comments are welcome!

And since somebody asked, here are the best places to keep track of Wasamin’s schedule.

Wasamin’s official Nagara Pro event page

Also, Ichikawa-san, Wasamin’s manager’s official blog is a great place for news and info…

CK in Tokyo

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Events, Minyo Girls Minyo Girls Live (with Hayabusa) at Nittoh Mall Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture (2017/01/13)


Before I begin this post I should probably point out that Minyo Girls have recently released two new MV’s, one from their Minyo Girls III CD and a brand new one from their Minyo Girls IV CD.  So here they are!!!

I love both of the new PVs, especially the one from the new CD. So pretty, and such a cute concept. Anyway, I had an open Saturday. And since Wasamin was down in Osaka for the day, I decided to see what other groups I like might be performing. Luckily, Minyo Girls added this appearance to their calendar at the last minute. I have been itching to see Minyo Girls live ever since their new CD came out around Christmas. This was the first chance I had, although Kumagaya is quite the trek. It is in Northern Saitama Prefecture, almost to Gunma, and takes over an hour to get there from Shinjuku. However, it is a direct shot on the Shonan-Shinjuku/Takasaki Line, so I decided to go for it. My other option was to go see KissBee in Laketown, but I opted for this. BTW, I saw Wasamin at this mall last year, so I was familiar with the layout.


The setup was basically each group alternated doing their event. Minyo Girls were 1st and 3rd, Hayabusa was 2nd and 4th. For some reason, they tore down all the other group’s stuff when one was performing. I’m not sure why they didn’t just keep everything up the entire time. Also, they were doing a cross-promotion with some hand cream/facial cream company, and were doing “treatments” on people right next to the event. (You got samples when you purchased CDs, LOL)

Another interesting, although not surprising phenomenon; I arrived 45 minutes early, but ALL THE SEATS were already reserved by Hayabusa fans. Female fans, jeez. They are more rabid and obsessive than the guys, I swear. Minyo Girls were performing first, but pretty much ALL of their fans were relegated to the standing area in the back. A couple of the Hayabusa fans eventually “Loaned” their seats to Minyo Girls fans, but not very many. They pretty much camped out in the seats for all four shows. The rest of the seats were taken by the local elderly crowd, who usually flock to events like this in small, out of the way towns. Anyway, I got my hands on a couple copies of the new release…


The odd thing was that the booth was only selling copies of “Minyo Girls I” when I got there. It was only after the girls started performing that they brought out the rest of the merchandise (although they were sold out of Minyo Girls II) They didn’t have very many copies of the new CD either, and sold out early on. Also, here is the new flyer they were passing out, with the animated versions of the members from the “zashikiwarashi” PV.

I ended up getting three tickets, hoping to do at least a couple of chekis with Miyabi and Yua. Unfortunately, they weren’t offering chekis for this event. Instead, one ticket got you a group shamekai. On one hand that’s pretty cool, except I really didn’t want THREE of basically the same group shot. I think I could have saved the ticket for a later date, but I wasn’t sure. So I just did the three shots…


There were only six members at the event, who happened to be all the members who live closest to Saitama. In fact, Yua is from Saitama, so they made a big deal out of that. I did get a brief chance to say hello to Miyabi and Yua (my two favorite members) while they were passing out their “business cards.” Yua came over to me, and Miyabi ran up right after like “I was ginna give him one!” LOL. I also had a chance to talk to Miki the shamisen player, who was selling CDs. Miki actually came to Wasamin’s event in Shinjuku on Thursday. So I asked her if she had fun. She said she had a lot of fun hanging out with the Wasamin fans. COOL!

And here are a few performance pics. I’ll put one of Hayabusa on the bottom, since I did watch their early performance.


I was considering bailing on Wasamin’s late performance on Sunday to go see Minyo Girls at Tokyo Dome City. (Yes, while the AKB shows were going on) However, since I got to see them on Saturday, I stuck with Wasamin on Sunday. Next up for me and Minyo Girls will be their Solo Live next Sunday in Yokohama.


CK in Tokyo


Concerts, Minyo Girls Minyo Girls Solo ‘Countdown’ Live at Hamamatsucho Cultural Hall (2017/11/25)

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I mentioned on a previous post how I had scored a ticket to this show after the website declared it sold out. I really do like Minyo Girls a lot. I usually don’t see them very often, despite the fact that they are now appearing regularly at idol live events. However, they usually only perform on weekends, and they are usually the first act in the morning. Frankly, I prefer to see them solo where they have a much longer set. Actually, I pretty much feel that way about most idols. Solo lives are better than multi-act lives.

I took an afternoon nap before the show, and woke up quite late. So I was going as fast as I could trying to make it to the show on time. It was a good thing I knew where this venue was from seeing both Wasamin and Minyo Girls perform there in the past. I got there around five minutes before curtain, passed up the goods table for the time being, and get to my seat. It turned out that my Row J ticket was actually in the very last row….technically. They had seats set up against the back and side walls too, so there were people behind me.

Two cool things about this show. First, they were going to have a photo-op portion of the concert. This is becoming the new tradition for a lot of groups these days, although Minyo Girls have been doing it for quite a while. Second, this was going to be Minyo Girls’ ‘Countdown Live’, the ten most requested Minyo Girls song, voted on by fans on a dedicated website. As for the setlist, I am sorta doing this by memory since I have not seen any setlist posted anywhere on the internet. But here is pretty much what it was…

10. Iyouutsu! Kabuki Mono
09. Zashikiwarashi
08. Hanagasa Ondo
07. Himitsu no Yoru
06. Aizu Bandai
05. O-men Men Men
04. Ureshi Namida!
03. SAKURA☆ Kishi
02. Takeda no Komori Uta
01. Let’s Go Takarajima!
(New PV “Making of” VTR)
EN1. Toryanse (New song from upcoming release!)
EN2. Ureshi Namida!
(Note: I might be slightly off with this setlist)

Here is a video of the new song performed in the encore, AND the VTR of the new PV filming.

Overall, I thought it was a really nice setlist, and pretty much covered all of their best songs. My only two complaints. As usual, the song that fans like the most (Let’s Go Takarajima!) is not one of my favorites at all. Contrarily, Oni-san Da~are is one of my favorite songs, but didn’t make the list at all. It was, however, the play-out song as the girls left the stage after the encore.

A couple of thoughts after watching the show…

1) These girls really are superior performers. They are good dancers. They can definitely sing well. Miki is a competent shamisen player. Overall they are a an extremely talented ensemble of young idols. Unfortunately they haven’t quite caught on yet do to 1) their association with enka, despite the fact that they are becoming more of an idol group as of late. and 2) Their ages. Most of them are 12-13, with one 11 year-old, and three aged 14-17. Speaking of age…

2) I really like that they are adopting a more crossover Minyo/Pop style, as it makes them a lot more fun to watch. That said, I think it is important that they maintain the traditional/folk image as I think that’s what truly makes them special.

3) They are all definitely becoming more idol-like in personality, although talking to them it is obvious by their demeanor that they are young kids. It makes it slightly awkward to talk to them at times, but they are doing their best. This is why I almost prefer taking group shots with them as opposed to individual chekis. It feels odd being fished by a 12-year old, and Miyabi is a definite fisher.


4) I still have sort of a difficult time deciding who my favorite member is. I want to say it is Miyabi, since she makes a tremendous effort to get me to oshi her. Even in this show, when they roamed the audience, Miyabi was sure to look directly into my camera a bunch of times trying to give me a lot of good shots. I really like Yua too. She is adorable, and an extremely energetic performer.


5) At the end of the show, they made two announcements. First, that they would be selling tickets to the group’s Christmas Live Event, which I would love to attend but can’t. They also had tickets to their January Solo Live in Yokohama, which I CAN go to. The second, and biggest announcement was the upcoming release of Minyo Girls IV, their fourth mini-album (not counting their first indie release) Unfortunately for me that will be releasing in December while I am out of town, so I will probably miss most of the release week festivities.

This photo, taken at their latest PV shoot, was sitting on our chairs when we came in

After the show I went down to the lobby to decide which goods I would purchase for handshake tickets. I picked up a ticket to the Yokohama show, but they don’t give you tickets to that. The only items they had which I don’t already own were the T-shirt (too small) and the cheki book. I decided to get the cheki book, which would get me two meet and greet tickets. I could either use one each for chekis with Miyabi and Yua, or take a group shot. Ultimately I decided on the group shot…

When my tun came they all greeted me, and I asked Yutori who the doll was that she was holding. They all yelled in unison “Gangan,” or something like that. I thought it was cute that Yutori would bring a doll out for the event. After the photo I told them all they did a great job, and that I had a lot of fun. And with that, I took my leave. I was in a drinkin’ mood.

Finally, some of the photos I took at the event….


(l-r) Minori, Yutori, and Kako




(l-r) Miki on shamisen, Yua, Miyabi, Fuuka

Final Group Shot

I’m in the far back, but you can see me since I am holding a lightstick in front of my face

I can’t stress enough what a great group these girls are. Their music is great, they sing well, their costumes are beautiful, and they are a lot of fun to watch. If you have the chance, please check them out. I already have my ticket for their January live. Hopefully I will be able to catch them before that too.

CK in Tokyo


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


(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…

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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Concerts, Minyo Girls An Afternoon with Minyo Girls at Ueno Park (Yes, Idols Do Check Out Their Fans’Twitter) (2017/08/13)


This worked into being a perfect day.  I have mentioned on social media that the one thing that makes the sweaty, sticky Tokyo Summer tolerable is all of the Summer festivals.  Like the state and county fairs in America, they are filled with fun, food, and great music.  So when I was going over the schedules of my favorite idol groups this week, I noticed that Minyo Girls would be playing a festival in Ueno Park this weekend.  For me, Summer Festivals + Idols = super-fun tiems.  So Sunday morning I headed to Ueno Park…

As expected, the holiday weekend drew a huge crowd to Ueno Park for picnics, the zoo, the museum, and of course this event, which was the Pakistan & Japan Friendship Festival.  It was the usual festival atmosphere, with tons of booths filled with festival food, drink, crafts, including many Middle Eastern themed dishes.  There was also a wall to wall entertainment schedule of both Japanese and Pakistani artists.  And of course there were plenty of idols on the schedule as well, including P.IDL, Chu-Bit, Banzai Japan, and Caprice.  Minyo Girls were on the Sunday schedule, with two performances in the late morning and early afternoon.

Seven of the ten Minyo Girls were at the event.  Notable missing were three of the youngest members, Matsuri, Yutori, and Yua, who is arguably my favorite member.  But no matter, my other favorite member, Miyabi, was there, and given the lack of competition she was definitely fishing me a bit, but I will talk about that later.  As I have mentioned before on this blog, Minyo Girls’ song catalog has become a bit more “idol-ish” after their early stuff was a lot more traditional and folk-y.  For these two setlists, they were singing both kinds of songs.  BTW, the nice thing is that Minyo Girls does allow fans to take photos and film, so both performances are on YouTube.  Here ya go…


And here are a few photos I took at the event.  I stood at opposite sides for the performances, so you get both aspects of the show.  And of course I try to get a few shots focused on Miyabi.


From the first performance

From the second performance


After the first performance, I was trying to decide what I wanted to buy.  Pretty much everything they had was either 2000 or 3000 yen, and came with a ticket.  For one ticket you could either get a signed cheki, shamekai, or something signed.  For two tickets you could take a group shamekai, which is something I like to do with this group.  The only issue is that I already have multiple copies of all their EPs, so what would I get?  At the end of the day I decided on their second EP, Minyo Girls II, since it is my favorite, and I think I have the fewest copies.  And since I was sweaty, I got their oshi towel.  I decided to take my group shamekai, and Miyabi actually asked to be up front with me.  You see?  Fishing…LOL.

Yeah, the sun was irritating my eyes, which is why they are technically closed

Leaning in, like “this is MY fan!”  These girls learn the art of being an idol very young, don’t they.  But I do like Miyabi, and she was very talkative with me today. Asking me where I was from, how long I have lived in Tokyo, and whatnot.

I should point out, that with the absence of Yutori and Yua, most of the members I interact with were absent.  In fact I think a couple of them didn’t really recognize me from past shows, since I noticed Izumi came up to me like I had never seen the group before and handed me flyers.  But once I put my Happi coat on, they knew I was a fan.  Anyhow, for the second post-performance event, I had decided I would do a signed cheki with Miyabi, and I was trying to decide between their new penlight, which was 3000 yen, or their sensu (folding fan), which was 2000.  Meanwhile, Fuu-chan kept telling me to line up for the cheki, but I didn’t want to be first in line.  I think she was getting frustrated with me, but Kaku was just laughing. (BTW, Kaku was engaging me quite a bit too throughout the day)  So after buying my sensu, I lined up third to see Miyabi, and get my cheki…

Now the funny part was when she signed the cheki she asked me if should sign it to “CK”. The interesting thing is a) I have never told her my name, furthermore in person I do not use my online nicks (CK, Cristafari) So I was puzzled for a second how she came up with “CK”, then of course I remembered that idols read twitter, and that IS my twitter handle. So I asked her if she looked at my Twitter, which she admitted. LOL. I told her she could call me Chris from now on.  But check the top of the cheki, LOL.  She is the first idol EVER to call me by that nickname!


After my cheki, I was totally parched (and a bit sunburned) so I purchased an orange smoothie, before finally heading back to Ueno Station, and ultimately back home.  But it was a fun time.  I got to see TWO performances, and Minyo Girls seem to be doing a lot more activities lately, including one-man lives, so I’m sure I will be seeing a lot more of them in the near future.

CK in Tokyo

Events, FES☆TIVE, Minyo Girls Idol Extravaganza, Summer 2017! Part Two (FES☆TIVE & Minyo Girls)


Continuing from my previous post…

I remember when Wasamin graduated from AKB, and I resolved to devote most of my “idol energy” toward her solo career.  However, I would go and see other idol groups “once in a while”.  After all, I was really only into two groups, Tokyo CLEARS and FES☆TIVE, so it wouldn’t be too difficult.  Unfortunately for me, that list of “other idol groups” has continued to grow to the point that every week I am checking 7-8 different websites for idol schedules, seeing if there are any shows I would like to see.  That said, I think I have done a half-decent job of exercising some restraint.  I didn’t go to see Chaki, or No Plan, or Hyper Motivation, despite the fact that all of them have been active this month.  Oh, and then there is Kozue’s dance-idol unit “I LOVE YOU”, who I would really like to see one of these days.  See, the list continues to grow…



Like KissBee, FES☆TIVE are out promoting a new single to be released in time for “Tokyo Idol Festival,”  and the song is appropriately titled ‘Let’s Go Fes!’  The group is maintaining their usual, busy performance schedule, but are also throwing in a few free in-store lives to support the release.  The event I went to was held at Tower Records Kinshicho, where I saw Wasamin back in May.

The funny thing about FES☆TIVE is that the share the same label as Wasamin.  As a result, they share quite a few of the same label reps at events.  At this event, there were FOUR people from Tokuma who I regularly see at Wasamin events, including Yamaue-san, Sasou-san, the sound engineer, and one other guy whom I don’t know the name of.  Even funnier, when I first saw FES☆TIVE back in 2015, I had asked the Tokuma reps at Wasamin’s “Gomen ne Tokyo” event about them, and it was Sasou-san who called them a bunch of “busu-idols” (ugly girls!)

The new song is a lot of fun.  And the good news is that their two newest members, Piano and Saria have settled in quite well as permanent members.  I was worried about that since the group lineup had been static for so long.  Anyway, the new single is a lot of fun, and maintains the type of energy you would think a song like “Let’s go Fes!” would have…

FES☆TIVE’s post-show perks are pretty standard, and the same as what they usually offer.  One ticket for a shame or cheki, and a second ticket if you want to have the cheki signed.  (Actually, at their paid events it is only 500 yen more to get the cheki signed)  Per usual, I queued up for Hinarin as fast as I could since these days she is BY FAR the most popular member of the group, and her line stretches all around the store.  I don’t even bother trying to see her more than once.  I just line up for her quickly, and then use the rest of my tickets on other members…usually Hiyo-chan.

FES☆TIVE is going to be busy over the next couple of weeks with major idol events like TIF, but they will be squeezing in a couple of release events next week, including one in Akihabara.  I will do my best to make at least one of those events.


Minyo Girls

My guilty pleasure.  Actually, they really are a very talented group, and they have a very special gimmick.  Plus, you have to remember that both Wasamin and her manager have enlisted the Wasafans’ help in promoting them.  Throw all of that together, and I am proud to support them.

Speaking of ‘gimmick’, it is interesting to see them kind of go in a similar direction that Momoiro Clover went when they were signed to a major label.  (Remember early Momoclo? When they all wore Yukatas and had a ‘minyo’ sound mixed into their songs?)  When Minyo Girls first started they were strictly covering traditional Japanese folk songs.  However, once King Records signed them they seem to be breaking away from that genre a bit and doing more ‘idol-sounding’ material, albeit with a minyo/enka spin.  In fact, with each release they seem to be transitioning more and more into pop-idols.

Minyo Girls have yet to release an actual single, instead they release EP/Mini-albums with 5-6 tracks.  The event I went to see was outside the Cultural Broadcasting Radio building in Hamamatsucho, a place where I have seen Wasamin AND Hayabusa on more than one occasion.  I did not know until I got there that this event was celebrating the release of their third major label EP, ‘Minyo Girls III’  Since the show was right down the street from Devilcraft, one of my favorite places in Tokyo for Beer and Pizza, I went there first to ‘warm up’ for the event.

When I got to the venue, I think the people at the booth thought I was a random passing foreigner, that was until I bout four copies of the new CD, AND pulled out my Minyo Girls Happi.  The guy was like “Whoah, where did you get that???”  I wasn’t kidding when I told them I was a fan.

My three favorite Minyo Girls

After the event, where they played most of the songs from the new release, they were offering to sign copies of the CD jacket.  At first they said it would cost one ticket, but then someone else decided it would be free to anyone who bought the CD so cool.  Then it was time for handshakes, cheki’s and whatnot.  There were only six of the ten members in attendance, but all of the members I like were there.  So it was all good.  I first chose to do a group shot, which is a little more expensive, but it has become sort of a tradition for me with this group.

It looks like I am practically sitting on Yua, LOL

That is the FOURTH Minyo Girls group shot I have taken.  They are all fun to pose with.  I had tickets left, so I decided to do a signed cheki with one member.  Now I say that Yua is my favorite member of the group, but I also like Miyabi almost as much, not to mention the tiny Yutori, who always seems to remember me best.  Since I went with a Miyabi cheki the last time I saw them, I decided to go with Yua this time, despite the fact that Miyabi gave me real kami-treatment during the CD signing.

One of these days I want to take a cheki with Miki, the shamisen player.  She kind of sticks out as being much older, and not really that cute, but she is a major reason for their uniqueness, and sometimes I wonder if the other fans appreciate that.  Oh, and one more thing…

Their new PV!!!  ‘Ureshi Namida!‘ is from the CD ‘Minyo Girls II.’  They have been talking about releasing a single.  Perhaps this will be the one???  Anyway, Wasamin’s big concert is in just a few hours.  So expect that big report coming up soon!

CK in Tokyo

Minyo Girls Minyo Girls May 2017 “Challenge Stage Vol. 2” is Now Available to View Online!


Well, at least some of their more “idol-ish” performances are.  I really enjoyed this concert this past May, where I was lucky enough to score a front row, left side seat.  It was part of a Nagara Pro ‘doubleheader’.  Minyo Girls did the matinee, and then Wasamin’s Love Live was the evening show.  Here is my original post about the show.

Anyway, here are the videos.  Enjoy!  And by the way, I bought their Happi Coat.  Just looking for an opportunity to wear it again!


Ureshi Namida!


Himitsu no Yoru


Iyooooootsu! Kabuki Mono


Let’s Go Takarajima!




Japan Do Do



CK in Tokyo



Concerts, Iwasa Misaki, Minyo Girls Iwasa Misaki ‘Love Live’ Solo Acoustic Concert at Shinjuku Sumitomo Yasuda Life Hall (2017/05/07) Plus, Minyo Girls Live!


Iwasa Misaki ‘Love Live’ Solo Acoustic Concert at Shinjuku Sumitomo Yasuda Life Hall (2017/05/07)

This is actually the second solo acoustic live concert Wasamin has performed. The first one was back in September, which I didn’t attend since the ticket sales took place while I was in California, and it sold out before I got back to Japan. Like last time, it is part of the Nagara Pro concert series, six performances over five days at this venue. Wasamin’s show would be the finale. And unless I misread, these were among the last shows being put on at this venue, as it is going out of business later this month.


Wasa-Min Fan Club members were given priority ticketing, which we applied for at the same time as her July concert preorder back in March. When general sales started, we had not gotten official word whether or not we had scored tickets, aside from Ichikawa-san, Wasamin’s manager blogging that we shouldn’t be worried about it. (BTW, we have the same issue today, as the general sale for her July concerts this morning, and none of us have gotten any word back on our pre-applications) Finally, around two weeks ago, I received a special delivery in the mail. My ticket to this show had arrived. It was 11th row, almost dead center. Not quite as good as I expected given I pre-ordered, and the hall only has 20 rows. However, it is a small venue, and it isn’t like I haven’t had countless up close and personal experiences with Wasamin in the past, right? So what if I didn’t have the greatest seat this time. But before we get to her show…

Wasamin’s concert was scheduled for 5:30pm. However, there was also a matinee scheduled at the same venue for another Nagara Pro artist. And since both Wasamin and her manager have been attempting to promote this group, I decided to score a ticket. It was only 2000 yen anyway. Not to mention, I really do like Minyo Girls.

Minyo Girls ‘Challenge Stage Vol. 2’ Concert at Shinjuku Sumitomo Yasuda Life Hall (2017/05/07)


I arrived around 45 minutes before doors, and there was already a considerable line, which is important to note since there weren’t assigned seats for the early show. This venue is in a weird spot. If you have ever been out the JR Shinjuku Station West Exit, it exits underground into sort of a subterranean mall. The easy to miss venue was behind a shoe store to the left, near the Keio Station. Even the ground level entrance was hard to find, with just a small sing over a small non-descript door. Anyway, I scanned the line for any other Wasafans, who are known to go to Minyo Girls shows, but I only found two. Eventually we were let in, and I skipped the goods line for the time being to try and find a seat. The center section was filling up all the way into the upper half of the venue. But upon closer look, the side sections were practically empty! I hustled closer and closer to the stage. Could it be? Yes, the front row left side was available, save for the aisle seat. I grabbed the seat one off the aisle. I couldn’t believe I scored such an incredible spot given how far back I was. By the way, if you have never seen Minyo Girls before, here is a PV…

While I waited for the show to start, I wondered about the pre-show music they were playing on the P.A. It was some familiar sounding J-pop group, I just couldn’t figure out who. I tried to use Shazam, but my wi-fi wasn’t working this far below ground. Also, I noticed a bunch of fans (all in the front row) had on Minyo Girls Happi Coats. They were really sharp looking too, however I was surprised to see so many wotaku being into them. Eventually the show started…


I won’t bore you with too many details since this is supposed to be about the Wasamin concert, but Minyo Girls put on a really fun show. I also didn’t realize that they do have a few standard J-pop songs in their repertoire. (Those songs I tried to Shazam, it was them!) My front row left side seat was perfect, since my favorite member Yuua was right in front of me most of the show. However, it was the other girl I like, Miyabi, who kept making eye contact with me. At first she seemed confused by my presence, despite the fact that this is the FOURTH time I have seen them. But eventually she started interacting with me a little bit. Yuua, on the other hand, barely acknowledged me, or anyone else. She mainly focuses on performing. Eventually, like many NagaraPro artists, they did a photo-op portion of the show, which lasted for two songs. I took lots of pics.

As we left the hall the members were at each door saying goodbye to the audience, and handing flyers with the setlist (with which CD each song is from), and pictures of the members. Neither Yuua nor Miyabi were at the exit I chose. However, Yutori, who was the original center of the group was there. As she handed me a flyer she exclaimed. “You are a Wasamin fan, right?” Nice to see somebody in Minyo Girls remembers me. After all, I have taken a photo with Yutori on two previous occasions. I immediately went to the goods table. I wanted to che out this Happi Coat. It was exactly the same as Wasamin’s, except different color, and a Minyo Girls design. Also, it was like 40% cheaper than Wasamin’s! So I bought one, along with Yua and Miyabi button sets, as well as their first CD (which I do have, but it is in the U.S.) They gave me a cheki ticket. I went to use my ticket, but they told me it was for a full group shot only. So I went back to the goods table to pick up the other CD, which gets you an individual cheki. I thought I already had this CD too. However, upon closer inspection I realized this was a different CD entirely. It was just that the covers look so much alike. I put my Happi coat on, and prepared for my photos…


As I was putting the coat on, I caught someone staring at me. It was Ichikawa-san, Wasamin’s manager. She was laughing at me. So I said “Don’t tell Wasamin!” The issue was who would I pick. Originally I thought I would pick Yuua, but then Miyabi was playing with me throughout the show. Then there was Yutori, who remembered me from before. I eventually went with Miyabi.


Also, my group shot. Flanked by Yuua and Miyabi, nice. BTW, I attempted to talk to Miyabi about the show. However, given these girls are so young they aren’t that good at talking to their fans. That’s okay, they will get there. I was done. I would go look for lunch somewhere nearby while I waited for the evening show. I had two hours to kill…

Now for the Wasamin show…


I got back to the venue around 30 minutes before doors. Half the Wasafans were milling around on the street level, the other half underground. I met up with Side-san, who was collecting money for the fan club flowers. We normally don’t buy a stand like you see at most concert, instead opting for a bouquet that is sent to Wasamin’s dressing room. She posted a pic for us…


Eventually we were all called in to queue up. It didn’t really matter for seating. The queue was mainly to get to the goods line first. Asdie from CDs and the DVD preorder, most of the goods were leftovers from the January concert (lightstick, uchiwa, towel) as well as these phone card/cheki things that were 1000 yen each. It was quite expensive for a cheki, and I didn’t know what to do with the phone card, so I only picked one of the three different varieties.


After taking photos of the flower stands, I put on my Wasa-Happi and headed in to my seat. My seat was next to another fan club member, Aso-san (sounds like Asshole-san, as he once explained to me, LOL) I surveyed the audience to see where most of the regulars were seated. It seemed like the fan club were all seated up to row 13 (I was row 11) After that were mainly people I didn’t recognize, and nobody wearing fan club gear. I did see quite a few people near the front who I hadn’t seen before. Wasamin’s fan club has a lot of people who don’t show up to events regularly, so it is always interesting to see who is in attendance. A lot of them also have the yellow Wasa-Happi coat too. After an opening act that consisted of this creepy juggler, clown, illusionist, plus a 19-year old make enka singer, the show finally began. Wasamin singing acapella from behind the curtain. Here is the setlist, with the original artists listed. Songs Wasamin played guitar on in italics…

1. SAKURA (Ikimono Gakari)
2. Kaze ni Naru (Tsuji Ayano)
3. Cherry (Spitz)
4. Marounuchi Sadistic (Shiina Ringo)

5. Sakurairo Mau Koro (Nakashima Mika)
6. Koi ni Ochite (Kobayashi Akiko)
7. Anata ni Aitakute ~Missing You~ (Matsuda Seiko)
8. Ano Subarashii Ai wo Mou Ichido (Kitayama Osamu & Kato Kazuhiko)
9. Momen no Handkerchief (Ota Hiromi)
10. Ito (Nakajima Miyuki)

11. Hitomi (Ohara Sakurako)
12. Himawari no Yakusoku (Hata Motohiro)
En 01. Mirai e… (Kiroro)


Whenever I have seen Wasamin go a guitar performance, she has always been sitting down. However, when the curtain opened she was playing while standing up. Just Wasamin, a microphone, and a sheet music stand. Her backing band consisted of a pianist/keyboardist, violinist, and a second guitarist. Wasamin looked adorable, with her pink ‘Minyo Girls-esque’ skirt, white sweater and jeweled white pumps. Although it was funny watching her play since you could tell she wasn’t used to performing this way. She barely moved, rooted in the spot in front of the mic. BTW, her guitar playing has definitely improved from the last time I heard her play in January. She makes fewer and fewer mistakes every time, although sometimes she will mess up/forget lyrics. However, I don’t know if that is a concentration thing, or perhaps it is because she is singing so many new songs. Probably a combination of both.


So again Wasamin did an entire MC about our Happi Coats. Last week in Chiba she was complaining that hardly anyone wears their coats to her mini-live events. But here she noted everyone was wearing them. She is like “You are supposed to wear them at everything, not just the big events!” What makes it even more funny is that the very next day she had an event at Tower Shinjuku, and only ONE fan wore their coat. She was like “Jeez, only one of you brought your Happi!?!?!?” LOLZ Later she noted that there would be no enka in this performance at all.

Some great songs in the setlist. Wasamin covering Shiina Ringo and Ohara Sakurako were highlights, and I have seen and loved her performance of Momen no Handkerchief before, but not while playing guitar. In a later MC she was discussing the fan club, and what events might be in the works. It seems another Bus Tour might be in the planning stages. Also, there was a prize portion of the show. Wasamin was drawing seat numbers out of a box to win signed guitar picks and chekis. Unfortunately I wasn’t one of the lucky winners, but the odds were pretty low. She came out for one encore song, which she dedicated to her mom for the upcoming Mother’s day. And that was the show, except for one major Wasamin faux pas. SHE FORGOT TO INTRODUCE THE BAND! We gave the band a second round of applause as they exited the stage. BTW, Wasamin and her manager apologized for this on social media later on.


The show was over, but there would be a post show handshake/2-shot event taking place. I hadn’t decided whether or not I would buy a DVD or CDs, but after seeing her in that cute costume, I decided to spring the the more expensive DVD to get a shamekai. The line was gigantic, going outside the venue and down to the basement level, then looping back up the stairs. I eventually decided to brave the line, since it wasn’t getting any shorter.


I basically told her that I loved the show and her outfit. She asked me how much I loved the show. “Was it perfect?” I said of course it was! They were trying to move the line more quickly, so I quickly said goodbye and that I would see her the next day in Shinjuku. Usually we all stay until the very end. However, theater staff began kicking out everyone who didn’t have a ticket left. So I bailed. The line was still long anyway, and it had been almost an hour.

Wasamin’s second concert DVD comes out next week. I believe it is the same day as the SSK Guidebook and Itano Tomomi’s new single. So next week she will be doing 5 events, four of which are around Tokyo. I’m not sure if I will go to all of them or not, but I will certainly be attending the release day event at HMV Shibuya. Also…

I received a postcard in the mail, and I have won a ticket the Iwasa Misaki Karaoke Party later this month. I’m not sure if this means I didn’t win the ‘Saba Party’ (I sent in applications for both) which was much harder to win. However, I’m just glad I won one of the two major prizes from the 6th single


CK in Tokyo