Iwasa Misaki 7th Single Re-release Week Promotional Festivities, Part 2 ~Hitting the Road~ Plus, a Couple of Big Wasamin Announcements!

Misaki-chan wrapped up the Tokyo leg of her new CD promotional events with 2 performances in Akishima, which is in Western Tokyo not far from Fussa and Yokota Air Base. But before I get into that, Wasamin’s Fall and Winter schedule is quickly becoming a series of special events that will undoubtedly keep her fans engaged and happy, beginning with the play she will be in through most of September…

8/31-9/25: “Umezawa Fumio Special Performance” Wasamin has been cast in this special play/song/dance performance at the famous Meiji-za Theater in Tokyo, starring along with Umezawa Tomio and Ken Naoko.

(Just Announced!) 9/29-9/30: Wasamin Special Performance on Sado Island! It has finally been scheduled. Misaki-chan will perform in Niigata on Saturday, then sail over to Sado Island for a performance there on Sunday Afternoon. This was just announced, so the details are still coming, but from the looks of it there will also be an fan club event on the ferry over.

10/8: Concert at Minoh Spa Onsen, Osaka We are still waiting for details on this one as well, but it is a concert at an Onsen, something Wasamin did once before early in her solo career.

11/4: Iwasa Misaki Kayou Concert, Nagano Wasamin will be performing a concert along with Sugimoto Kazuya

11/7: Yamano Music Autumn Enka Festival, Ginza What has become a tradition, Wasamin is a regular invitee to Yamano Music’s Enka Exhibitions.

11/17: Iwasa Misaki 7th Single Special Cheki Event at Nippon Crown I originally didn’t apply for this the first time around, so I am praying they will have “on the day” tickets. They probably will, so I’m not too worried.

(New!) 11/24: Iwasa Misaki Winter ‘Love Live’ Vol. 2 Wasamin acoustic concert, Yatta!

At this point I have a ticket to the play, an application in for the Yamano Music Enka Festival, and I will definitely go to ‘Love Live’ I am definitely interested in the Sado Island and Minoh Spa events, I’m just waiting on the details. But it is going to be an exciting Fall for Wasa-fans!

7th Single Mini-Live Event at Moritown, Akishima (2018/08/10)

I originally considered skipping this event, since I planned on going to all of the other events she had scheduled in the Kanto Region this week. But after thinking about it, I didn’t have anything else to do on Friday, I didn’t want Wasamin thinking I had skipped her live to attend AKB48’s Handshake Event, and despite the event being in Western Tokyo, it really wasn’t that far. That settled it, I was off to Akishima. I arrived around 45 minutes before the first performance. Most of the seats were taken by the locals, and a few early-bird Wasa-fans. Instead of staking out a spot, I went to have coffee at the nearby Excelsior Caffe, returning just before showtime.

I love Ponytail/Kimono Wasamin! (This is one of Wild-san’s Shamekai, he chose a solo shot)

I was standing in the back, which is where most of the Wasa-fans were hanging out. When a few of us put on our Happi Coats they drew the attention of more than a few curious locals. Wasamin came out in her black Kimono, with her hair tied back in a ponytail. I love when Wasamin unties her hair while still wearing a Kimono. Kind of formal, but casual at the same time. Here is the early setlist…

Setlist 13:00
1. Mujineki
2. Ihoujin
3. Tegami
4. Sado no Ondeko

Since this was a mall event, and not in Central Tokyo, it drew quite a few locals. In fact, I would say at least 3/4 of the seats were taken by people who were likely seeing Wasamin perform live for the first time. Also, today Wasamin announced the Sado Island event, which is something we Wasafans have been clamoring for since the single came out. I had enough tickets for one Shamekai, which I did after the first performance, and one handshake, which I saved for the second performance…

I am always hard pressed to come up with poses. When I decided on this pose, Wasamin was like “What the heck is this?” I called it the “Baka” pose. She was like “Why is it a “Baka Pose?” I don’t know, Misaki-chan, it just is! In any case, I wanted to talk to her about the books I was reading. As part of a class next semester, I need to read a bunch of novels by Japanese authors. I was telling her which authors I was reading, and she lit up when I mentioned Kanae Minato. She was like “Which book???” The problem was that I couldn’t remember the Japanese name, only the English title. Naturally, Wasamin wasn’t familiar with the English title. As I was walking away I thought I remembered the title, so I told Ichikawa-san. However, when I sat back down I realized that it although Kanae Minato did write a book with the title I mentioned, it was not the one I read. I would need to rectify this issue with my next ticket!

After grabbing lunch in the food court, and an iced tea at the Cafe, I returned to the event stage. I could have gotten a nice seat for the late event, but I chose to remain in the standing section. Here is the setlist…

Setlist 15:30
1. Saba Kaido
2. Ringo no Uta
3. Osaka Rhapsody
4. Sado no Ondeko

There was an older couple who were front row center for both the early and late shows, and they cheered loudly when Wasamin announced shwas singing Ringo no Uta. I think they are actually Wasamin fans as they had some of her goods, but they aren’t event regulars. In fact, there were a few people at this event who I did not recognize, but they were wearing Wasamin concert gear. When I see things like this I realize that Wasamin’s fan base is bigger than one might think, and there are lots of fans, even fan club members who only occasionally go to events. Anyway, with my one ticket I decided to continue by book conversation with Wasamin…

During the break I looked up the Japanese titles of some of the books I have been reading. Apparently Ichikawa-san told Wasamin the title I originally said, but I corrected her and told her I had read Koukuhaku. Wasamin absolutely lit up. “I read that, I love that book! Did you like it? Wasn’t it scary?” I was so excited to be sharing this with her. Earlier I had mentioned another author Wasamin didn’t initially seem familiar with, but I knew it was a famous manga, so when I told her the title of that one, she again was like “Oh yeah, I know that manga!” She started giggling, and mentioned to Ichikawa-san that I was reading Otouto no Otto. I think she found it funny that I was reading it because it’s a gay-themed manga. She asked if I liked it, but I actually haven’t started it yet. It is next on my list. But I think I will mention more of the titles I am reading since most Japanese people I have mentioned them to seem to know them, and Wasamin does enjoy reading, so there is a good possibility she will be familiar with those too.

I stuck around until the end and waved goodbye to Wasamin. She took a few photos in front of Shinseido before taking off for the airport.  Wasamin was off to Fukuoka to perform at Tower Records Tenjin, and then headed down to Hiroshima for a Sunday event, before wrapping up the promotion Monday in Northern Saitama Prefecture. I had already told Wasamin I would come to Saitama, despite it being a very long train ride, and the mall being somewhat far from the station. I was up for the adventure…

So after going to all of Misaki-chan’s events during the week, and planning on attending her final event on Monday, I felt okay with taking the weekend off while Wasamin traveled to Fukuoka and Hiroshima. After all, I was going to have a long ride to see her in Kamisato, which is almost in Gunma Prefecture. However, while Wasamin was busy in Western Japan, I decided to use my free Saturday to pick up one of my preorders in Kita-Toda. I knew there was a small storm in the forecast, but I figured since it wasn’t a long ride, and it happened to be sunny out at the time, I would take off in the early afternoon. Big mistake…

When I got to Saitama it was pouring. Plus, there were lightning bolts shooting down from all directions. In fact, one of them looked like it hit about a block to my right. It was quite scary. I didn’t know whether to take cover, or to just run for it. Eventually I safely made it to the mall, and dried off a bit before heading to Yamano Music to get the CDs. After that I camped out in Choco-Cro drinking an iced coffee while waiting for the storm to blow over.

This is my CD haul for the re-release. Right now I am in possession of six copies of each version. I have already given away two sets, one of which was the one I picked up in Saitama. After the storm I headed to Devilcraft and offered the CDs to the waitstaff. None of the girls seemed to want them, but then one of them pulled me aside as I was leaving and asked for one. I gave her the set. I hope she enjoys them. I have one more set I need to pick up in Yokohama, which means that I bought 9 sets in total. (27 CDs)

Meanwhile, here are the setlists from Wasamin’s performances in Fukuoka and Hiroshima. Amazingly, Wild-san, who is from Shiga Prefecture (near Osaka) drove to Tokyo this past week, then drove to Fukuoka and Hiroshima, before coming back for the final event at Kamisato. Talk about commitment!!!

Fukuoka Setlist 13:00 Saturday
1. Saba Kaido
2. Natsu no Tobira
3. Ryoshu
4. Sado no Ondeko

Fukuoka Setlist 15:30
1. Hatsuzake
2. Blue Light Yokohama
3. Osaka Rhapsody
4. Sado no Ondeko

Hiroshima Setlist 12:30 Sunday
1. Saba Kaido
2. Tokyo no Bus Girl
3. Osaka Rhapsody
4. Sado no Ondeko

Hiroshima Setlist 15:30
1. Tomonoura Bojou
2. Koisuru Fortune Cookie (Enka Version)
3. Tegami
4. Sado no Ondeko

Final Event at Aeontown Kamisato, Saitama Prefecture

I decided to catch an early train since 1) I wasn’t sure how I was going to get from the train station to the mall, and 2) I wanted time to eat lunch. It takes 85 minutes to get from Akabane Station in Tokyo to Jimbohara Station via the Takasaki Line. It is the final stop before entering Gunma Prefecture. It is a very nice ride passing through quite a few quiet Saitama suburbs. Along the way I repeatedly thought to myself; “This would be a nice place to live.” Eventually I arrived. I knew there was a shuttle bus that goes directly to the mall, but it goes on a 2-hour break right in the window of my arrival. Last time I came here I ran into two other fans getting off the train, and we split a taxi to the mall. This time I ran into another fan, and he had arranged for someone to pick him up. He invited me to tag along, which is nice because it is about a 30-minute walk from the station. We arrive at the mall around 11:30, and I immediately ran into my friend Tanaka-san, who I had met the last time I came here. He’s a 48-group/Babymetal fan from Gunma. Tanaka-san had a gift for me. I have no idea where he found it, or how much he paid for it, but I was really excited to get it…

A Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 Oshi Towel! How awesome is that? As long as I have been a Wasamin fan, I only ever got to see WH7 perform once, and that was at Ogi Matsuri 2011. Anyway, I grabbed some Spicy Cold Soba from Ringer Hut before heading down to the event. I fully expected to be standing for the show, but shortly before it started I noticed an empty seat on the far right of the first row. I asked if it was taken, and then grabbed it. So I had a nice vie of the first performance. Ultimately I gave up the seat for the late performance, opting to stand in the rear center. Here are the setlists…

13:00 Setlist
1. Saba Kaido
2. Niji wo Watatte
3. Tokyo Rhapsody
4. Sado no Ondeko

15:30 Setlist
1. Mujineki
2. Ihoujin
3. Ryoshu
4. Tegami
5. Sado no Ondeko

Since it was the final event, Wasamin gifted the fans with a bonus song for the final performance. Before the show I had purchased my usual three CDs, which would be enough for one shamekai and one handshake. However, I was informed by Wasamin’s manager, Ichikawa-san, that with I could redeem each of my completed point cards for another handshake ticket. The point cards were part of the pre-sale promotion. I had five completed cards, which meant I could get five additional tickets. So now I had eight tickets, enough for four shamekai, Yatta! I also noticed there was a flower shop near the stage, so I went over and purchased a small bouquet for the first shot…

She asked if they were for her. (Did she think they were for Ichikawa-san?) I told her I know she was very busy this week (she responded in English, “Yes, very busy!”), and all the traveling she did was surely difficult, so I wanted to give her a token of appreciation. I also asked her about one of the other books I was reading, Hakase no Aishite Sushiki. She said she knew of it, but hadn’t read it. She also asked if I enjoyed it, which I did. I explained that all of this reading is part of my upcoming Japanese Literature class. I took my leave after she wished me luck. Since I now had more tickets than I originally thought I would have, I immediately re-queued…

This time I decided to show off the oshi-towel I received as a gift. Wasamin giggled with embarrassment, “Natsukashii!” I know, it IS natsukashii, but it’s a cool gift, right? I pointed out Tanaka-san, who was watching from the back. I then added that I have a lot of Wasa-souvenirs, but I did not have that oshi-towel, so I was very happy to receive it.

I saved the other four tickets for the second performance. In the meantime I decided to do a little window shopping. This particular Aeontown is quite small. It doesn’t really have any big brand-name stores. Even the CD shop seemed to be an indie. I was looking for a specific English-translated book, but their book shop, as big as it was, didn’t have an English section. Finally the late performance rolled around, after which I lined up for my first shamekai.

So we did the “Usagi Pose,” but I pointed out that it really wasn’t a Rabbit pose we were doing after all, it was a Hakubishin. On Sunday night I went outside on to my balcony as saw this strange animal walking along the telephone lines around 8 feet away from me. It looked like a cross between a raccoon and a cat (or maybe a small dog) It stopped and stared me down before scurrying away. I looked it up on the internet, and found it is called a Civet. I had never heard of them before, and had never seen one. So I related the story to Wasamin, and she seemed shocked. She was like “Where do you live again?” Before I left she quickly asked if I was coming to see her at Meiji-za, which I replied affirmatively. However, there was one part of that answer I left out. I would give her a little more detail during my last shamekai…

“Hang Loose Dude” I explained to Wasamin that this is a “Hawaii Pose” What I had failed to mention was despite pre-ordering a ticket for Wasamin’s play, I have forgotten which date I applied for. I am waiting for the ticket to arrive to know which show I am going to see, LOL. However, I told her I was very excited about the upcoming Sado Island Performance. I told her I would do my best to go since I’m sure it will be a lot of fun. And Wasamin confirmed, there WILL be a Fan Club event on the boat. The only question now is how expensive will this event be? The boat tickets are around 2500-3000 yen each way, and hotels range in price. Of course you have to tack on the Shinkansen ride to Niigata as well.

I sat down and watched some of the “big spenders” loop the line, until the event ended just before 5pm. We all arranged for our various rides back to the train station to head back to Tokyo. And when I got home, I had a special Wasa-package in the mail…

Not only did I get a copy for Misaki-Magazine #6, but I also got the pre-order form for the Winter Love Live Concert. So I will head over to the Post Office later today and put in my order for that ticket. And with that, another super-fun Wasamin CD promotional week in the books!

CK in Tokyo