Posts Tagged ‘Minyo Girls’

Concerts, Minyo Girls A Wild Weekend With Minyo Girls (Live at Oedo Hawaii Fest, plus 1-Man Live at Shinjuku Marz, 2018/07/14-15)



When I say wild, I mean a lot of interesting things went on with the Mingaru’s two appearances this weekend. First off was their appearance along with Wasamin at the Oedo Hawaii Festival in Nihonbashi. I had planned on meeting some friends, as well as the Wasafans for this event. Minyo Girls would be performing first, on the 1st floor of Belle Salle, and Wasamin would be performing 40 minutes later on the B1 level, which was actually inside Nihonbashi Station. The actual festival was happening on the B2 level, and cost 1000 yen to get in. So lucky for me I avoided having to pay any admission…

The problem was that Tokyo is in the middle of a tremendous heatwave. Not only that, it is extremely humid, which makes any outdoor activity quite the challenge. Minyo Girls were actually scheduled to perform outside. Which brings me to the prediction I made a couple months ago. In a previous post back when the girls performed with Wasamin in Saitama. I mentioned that their new costumes would be hell to wear at any outdoor Summer activities. This pretty much came true. It was supposed to be a full group show, but Ramukyun was announced as cancelling her appearance in the morning. A short time later, Rio was announced as out for the show, and just before showtime Miyabi was announced as out sick for the show. In fact, I sorta witnessed the drama around Miyabi, especially since I am friendly with her mom. Mom was called backstage, and a short time later she came out and started apologizing to everyone.

So the seven remaining members, plus Ryo, their one kenkyuusei, came out and did a shortened version of their performance. It was only around four songs, and they were sucking down water in-between each song. I felt bad, since the friend I was with was seeing them for the very first time. But with the heat, and the sudden lineup changes, they were really off their game. They didn’t do their intro properly, which I think is a cute feature of their act. The first song (Akita Ondo) sounded good, but the other three they sang all sounded off. The entire time I sat there I was just wondering how uncomfortable they were.

Taking all that into account, and since it was a free live, plus two of my three favorite members were out, I really didn’t mind the abridged setlist which was mainly songs from the single release. In fact, I didn’t even stick around for goods, chekis, and whatnot. Instead I headed down to the far cooler B1 level where Wasamin was about to perform. By the way, the reason I was so nonchalant about missing on goods and benefits, aside from the fact that Miyabi (and Ramukyun) were out was because Minyo Girls would be performing their one-man live the next day in Shinjuku. So I figured I’d save my energy (and money) for that. However, I did send Miyabi-chan a tweet telling her I hope she feels better.

In the meantime, my friend and I headed over to Oktoberfest in nearby Hibiya. We ended up being there for around six hours, but I was very conscious about how much beer I was drinking because I didn’t want to be hungover for the Minyo’s solo live on Sunday.

Mingaru’s One-Man Live at Shinjuku Marz (2018/07/15)

So my strategy paid off. I avoided drinking too much on Saturday night, and was good to go for the girls’ Sunday morning Solo Live. The group has been doing their monthly solo live in Asakusa for the past six months or so, but have changed that up for Shinjuku in the coming months. Why? I am not sure. It is technically not a bigger venue, and the stage seems slightly smaller. Perhaps it is less expensive? I am not sure, but I can say the tickets were considerably more expensive. I knew exactly where the club was since I have eaten at the izakaya above it (Sekai no Yamachan) on many occasions. Despite the fact that we had entry order numbers, I didn’t want to arrive early just to stand outside in the even more oppressive heat and humidity than the previous day. Luckily when I arrived they were already queueing everyone, and my spot was just inside the doorway in the shade.

Shinjuku Marz is not dissimilar from Shibuya Glad in that you enter the venue on a small balcony, and then go down a level to the floor-standing area, although Marz’ balcony is considerably smaller than Glad’s, quite a few people did watch the show from there. Also, since Minyo Girls always have a lot of family in attendance, there is a seating area on the far left mainly used by grandparents and siblings. (A few of these girls have very young brothers and sisters) I even got the opportunity to meet Miyabi’s grandmother. I told her that Miyabi is a great singer, and that I am glad she was feeling well today.

The good news was that none of the members were worse from wear the previous day, so we would be seeing the full group. After grabbing my prerequisite beverage (Oolong Cha) I took a spot three back from the stage. They were playing the new single music video on the giant screen behind the stage, and the show got off a little late. Also, the air-conditioning was on full-blast, so the place felt quite cool. Although when I stood very close to the AC unit upstairs I could sense the faint smell of mold.

Mingaru often “theme” their one-man live shows. This one was mainly Minyo-style songs in the beginning, and then it turned into a tribute to the Minyo Girls II EP. I love the second EP, so I was good to go. Moreover, I was so relieved that their performance skills were back on track today since the previous day was kind of a small disaster, LOL. Also, it was a very long show. They sang a lot of songs, and the encore was quite long too, I think 4-5 songs plus two long MCs.

They allow photography for two songs in the early part of the show. I used to have a difficult time getting my pics to come out properly, and I think others had the same issue since the past couple of shows I notice they change the lighting for this part. My pics look a lot better as a result. I was on the right side, which meant I had Rio, Matsuri, and Ramukyun right in front of me. The awesome thing about Ramukyun is the way she reacts when you smile at her. I think she has probably been told she needs to smile more, since nearly every time I smiled at her she would instinctively smile back. It is so cute. On the other hand, Miyabi (and Yutori) were both relegated to the back row for this entire segment, so getting good pics of them was a bit difficult. I also had a tall guy between me and Yuua, so that was an issue. But oh well. I got a few good group shots.

As has been a tradition at the 1-man shows, they had a VTR with announcements during the encore. We all have to kneel down for this (which kills my knees, BTW) They did a retrospective of all their releases, which some great early group footage, followed by an announcement of more 1-man live events in the fall. But the big announcement was the promotion of their one kenkyuusei, Ryo to a full-fledged member. It was cute how they did it too. The manager came out and presented her with a proper costume.  Nikkan Sports wrote an article about it…

I waited to buy goods until after the show, and there was a bit of a mix-up, thanks to 1) my non-fluent Japanese, and 2) Mingaru’s complicated system. You see, how many tickets you get, and what kind of tickets you get, depends on not only how much you spend, but what items you buy. This totally confuses the process where it used to be “spend XX yen, get XX tickets.” So I spent 4000 yen on goods, and only got one ticket. This wasn’t what I wanted. Not to mention, I specifically bought something I didn’t really want just to get to the 4000 yen mark. I couldn’t explain my problem on the fly, so I told her I would come back. In the meantime I tried to explain it to one of the other staff, who understood, but told me I would have to explain it all to the people in the goods booth. Jeez! The big issue was that I wanted to return the second thing I bought, since it didn’t get me the second ticket I wanted. Eventually the guy behind the counter understood what I was getting at, and let me return the item. I bought something else, and had my two tickets. One was for a signed cheki, the other for a shamekai.

I used my first ticket on Miyabi. The first thing she did was thank me for the “get well” message I sent her the previous evening. I told her I was worried, but was glad she felt better. The rest of the time I essentially talked about the heat.

Which was the same thing I talked about with Yuua. I seriously considered using my second ticket on Ramukyun, but she and Yuua were right next to each other, so I just could not do it. I really want to discuss Ramu being an AKB fan though. Not to mention she reacts to me while on stage all the time.

And with that I took off. I had to return to Oktoberfest since I had purchased in IQOS there the previous evening, which was defective. So I wanted to bring it back so they could either fix it, or give me a new one. They gave me a new one. But it was yet another interaction where I had to explain my problem all in Japanese. And since I came all the way to Oktoberfest, might as well have a couple beers. Frankly, after all the explaining and complaining and whatnot, I really needed a drink!

CK in Tokyo


Concerts, Minyo Girls Minyo Girls Live at the DMM VR Theater, Yokohama (2018/06/17) [Plus their new single!)


As part of a NagaraGroup concert triple header, the Minyos did a solo live show at the DMM ‘Virtual Reality” Theater. Along with Minyo Girls, both Hayabusa and Wasamin also had solo lives on the same day. This was the middle show. But before I get into that, here is the new PV for their first major single, Kirari ☆ Yume Ondo…

The CD releases this week in three different types with three tracks each. Some great c/w tracks as well, I highly recommend. Anyway, back to the concert…

I arrived in Yokohama relatively early because I wanted to get lunch before the shows. I was in the mood for sushi, and found a decent kaitenzushi around the corner from the venue. They were doing new single preorders outside, but I already knew I was going to buy the new goods, as well as a ticket for the group’s July solo concert in Shinjuku, so I skipped on the singles. Their newest item was a new version of their oshi towel, which is a great idea since the previous towel has the old lineup on it. This version is simply the group name. They also had the reflector postcards and plastic uchiwa, just like Wasamin. I bought the July solo show ticket, but held out on August since 1) they are more expensive than their previous solo shows, and 2) I’m not sure if I will be in town for the August show. But I got my goods, and my prepaid Ginger Ale, and headed in for my seat.

BTW, a funny little side story. The total for all my goods and tickets came to 6200 yen. Being that I like to minimize change and bills in my pocket, I gave the girl 11200 yen. (1 10,000-yen bill, 1 1,000-yen bill, and 2 100-yen coins) This completely confused her, and she kept trying to give me the smaller money back, but I kept insisting. She brought another girl over, who also didn’t get it. Finally the manager came over and had to explain basic addition to them. 11,200-6,200=5,000. One 5,000 yen bill. But they ended up giving me 5 1,000-yen bills. :fp: 

I was in the 5th row on the left side, and had a decent view of the stage. I was really interested to see how they would incorporate ‘virtual reality’ into their show. In case you are wondering, the theater has a he back screen and an invisible screen in front of the stage. There are also side screens to give the show sort of a “Cineramic” feel. So essentially you have visual effects going on all around the performers in sort of a 3D effect. Here are some example pics…

Personally, I found the effects to be kinda cool. However, I also saw Wasamin perform there later in the day, and the difference in the utilization of the effects was noticeable. For Wasamin, it seemed like they really thought about how the effects would enhance the song, and also how they would look in relation to Wasamin. For Minyo Girls, it just seemed like they chose some cool effects and went with it, regardless of how it would actually relate to the performance. This cause some of the effects to be a bit distracting and odd. They also used the effects for most of the show. The only time they didn’t use them was when the members came out to the floor for a couple of songs, and the ‘photo-op’ segment. It seems like my iPhone camera is getting more and more unreliable for getting clear shots, but here are a few shots of the members…

Ramu-kyun. Interestingly, I take more photos of Ramu than any other member including Miyabi and Yuua. I really like her a lot. I’ll talk more about that further down the post.

Rinacchi, one of the group’s singing ‘aces’

Kako, the ‘senior’ member

‘Captain’ Izumi, who is always genki

Yutori, the ‘member I have known the longest

Rio, Minori, and Matsuri. Unfortunately I didn’t get any good individual pics of the three of them.

And of course my ‘2-top’ Yuua and Miyabi

After the show it was time for benefits, which were done in a small room outside the venue. Minyo Girls have kind of a strange system. First of all, you get one ticket for every 2000 yen you spend. This is usually good for a signed cheki, or shamekai. If you spend two tickets you can take a full group picture. One of the issues is that all of their stuff is oddly priced, so it’s tough to hit the 2000 yen plateaus evenly. And their is no partial, so if you spend 3500 yen you get one ticket. they used to sell various member pins for 500 yen that you could buy to bring it up to the next level, but they haven’t done that lately. So whenever I am buying goods I am always trying to mathematically work it out to hit as close to 2000, 4000, or 6000 as possible. Also, for some reason which I am not sure of, I earned a bonus ticket this time around. I mean they do have a ‘ponta card’, but I haven’t hit any level up as far as I can see. So cool, I guess. I wasn’t sure if I wanted a group shot or not, but the manager came over and asked me if I wanted to take one. Ultimately I decided to go for it. I must say, it is probably one of the coolest group shots I have taken with them, and I got the new oshi towel in it too (Yuua and Miyabi helping me hold it up.

After the shot I got Matsuri’s attention, since I wanted to tell her that I am also a fan of the K-Pop group Black Pink. During the group solo live last week Matsuri did a dance performance to the song ‘Boombayah’ which I really liked. Anyhow, my comment got Matsuri, Izumi, and Rina all laughing very hard. Oh, and it seems Ramukyun is an AKB fan, and recently went to Asai Nanami’s birthday show at the theater…

After that they had two separate lines. One was for chekis, and the other for shamekai. Personally I prefer the chekis since I like to collect them, and quite often I get them signed by the members. I wasn’t sure which line was which, so I asked their new kenkyuusei Ryo, who was helping direct fans and answer questions. She actually pointed me to the wrong line, but a few fans nearby corrected her, LOLZ. Since I had used two of my tickets for the group shot, I had two left for individual pics. Per usual I used them for Yuua and Miyabi.

To be honest, I have been captivated by Ramukyun ever since she joined the group. In fact, the first time I saw her live I took a cheki with her. The issue is that chekis with these girls are already kinda pricey. I don’t want to add a third girl to my repertoire. I could always take one with her in place of Miyabi or Yuua, but that would be a problem. They are not a huge group, and they all see who is taking photos with who. I have been taking pics with Yuua and Miyabi for a couple years now, and have also cultivated a sort of ‘friendship’ with both of their parents. Not to mention these girls are pretty young. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, and I do like Yuua and Miyabi. So I guess my only pics with Ramu will be the group pics. Or perhaps if one of them is out for a show Ramukyun will be my backup. Yeah, that’ll work…for now.

For some odd reason they only allowed me to get one cheki signed, so I chose Miyabi. I told her that I really enjoyed the show. She asked my if I was going to see Wasamin later. I told her I was, but that my ticket for Minyo Girls was a better seat. So I didn’t get a chance to say much of anything to Yuua other than ‘Thank you’ and ‘Great job.’

Bonus ‘gift’ photo was taken at last month’s solo live in Asakusa (I remember those costumes!)

I was done with my tickets, and the Wasamin fans were already milling around outside waiting for the evening show. I decided to take off for a little while and take a short break before starting the whole process again for Wasamin.

Ya know, I really love this group. I think their music is great, and they really have a bright future. I hope they don’t stray too far from the ‘Minyo’ aspect of their music, since that is what I think makes them special. There are some folk-style songs on their new single, so that’s a good sign.

CK in Tokyo


Concerts, Minyo Girls Minyo Girls: “Mingaru Dream Paradise” One-Man Live at Asakusa Gold Sounds (2018/05/27)


Minyo Girls have been doing their monthly “Dream Paradise” stage at Asakusa Gold Sounds for a while now. It’s a nice little venue located very close to central Asakusa and Senso-ji Shrine. The Minyo’s do a full one-man live with special games and prizes. This is also where they make a lot of their big announcements. It’s a lot of fun. They also use this show to showcase a different side of the group. Today’s theme was ‘Solo Performances.’

Limited Edition photo w/ our lottery drawing number on the back

I was excited to see their one-man live again after missing last month’s edition. I had a really low-numbered entry ticket, which would guarantee me a really good spot too. However, I lost track of time and left my apartment quite late. Based on the train schedule I would arrive 5 minutes before doors. It takes three minutes to walk to the venue from the station entrance. I might make it after all. I turned the corner with one minute to spare, and was disappointed to see they had just opened the doors. Damn! I still managed to get toward the front of the queue, only a couple of places back from where I should have been. Once inside I positioned myself just behind the people standing against the stage at the far left. Not bad.

The show started with the girls’ usual giggle-filled Kage-ana, and then their exotic intro music. Once again, the members were in plain clothes for this performance. Some of them dressed in theme for the solos they were going to do, others went for a cute outfit. After member introductions, the girls went directly into their solos….


Minori (Yeah! Meccha Holiday!- Matsuura Aya) Once again, Minori shows that she is a true otaku at heart (last time she did a Momoclo song) Minori’s not one of the strongest singers, but like the last time I saw them she had a lot of fun and bounced around the stage quite a bit.


Matsuri (Boombayah!-Black Pink) This was more of a dance exhibition than a singing performance. However, Matsuri did sing parts of the song. This reminded me a lot of watching my nieces dance in the living room to their favorite pop songs. And by the way, I now have Matsuri to thank because I have been listening to Black Pink for the past couple of days, LOL


Rio (Moonlight Densetsu-from Sailor Moon) Rio was decked out in her Sailor Moon t-shirt and belted out this song quite well.

Izumi (Heart Shaker-Twice) More K-pop, and another dance performance. Izumin didn’t sing at all, instead trying to incite the crowd to jump, dance, chant etc. Dancing is more Izumin’s forte anyway, so probably for the best.

Yutori (Nagori Yuki- Kaguya Hime) Yutori on guitar and singing. The last time she performed on guitar I mentioned that she played the same chord the entire time. Well, she showed me! She played quite well, and sang the song decently too, albeit at a slightly low volume. This is a song that Wasamin also sings and performs on guitar. And I would say that Yutori’s guitar playing is close to Wasamin’s level.

Kako (Traditional Minyo-style Song) I have no idea what song it was, but Kako’s strong point is belting out that traditional Enka vibrato. She she was on-point in that respect.

Ramu (Shamisen solo) We finally get a chance to hear Ramu actually play. She was all ‘plugged in.’ I don’t think this was a particular song per se, more like general riffing. From the start I thought she was channeling George Thorogood. Really hard chords, and bending the notes. Toward the middle she changed to a more nuanced and traditional type of sound. But it was a nice showcase. It didn’t seem perfect, as I thought I might have heard a few mistakes along the way, but given I didn’t know what she was supposed to be playing, I wasn’t sure. Oh, and Ramukyun had on the cutest outfit of all. The little animal ears were adorable.


Miyabi (Amuro Namie song) Miyabi in seifuku and a pink wig. Cute! I don’t know which song this was, but per usual she did an excellent job, and showed why she is one of the best singers in the group.


Yuua (Inoue Azumi song) I had to ask Yuua about the artist since I had never heard of her before. It was a standard pop song. Like Miyabi, Yuua did a great job.


Rina (???) I have no idea what pop song this was, or who the artist was, but Rinacchi was awesome! It is becoming apparent when it comes to singing, she is an absolute ace, and I expect her to be taking an even more front-line position in this group going forward.

The girls collectively asked how they did, and the audience gave them an enthusiastic response. Next, it was time for games and contests. The first was a batsu/prize game featuring that infamous “box” with a mystery item that the audience can see, but the girls can’t. They had to guess what was in the box. Now, this had the potential to be a hysterically funny segment, except Miyabi led off, and with no fear shoved her hands in there and started to feel around. She pretty much gave away that it wasn’t anything scary (although she wasn’t sure what it was) so the rest were all pretty much fearless in doing this too. Eventually most of the girls figured out what it was, and in unison revealed it was corn on the cob, LOL. The winners all got cotton candy, while the losers had to do something silly on twitter later on.

Miyabi and Yutori

The next segment was the fan prize contest. Usually it’s signed photos, a framed picture, goods. But this one was really weird. It was basically like a garage sale. The girls were giving away a personal item. It was all very random (a pencil box, throw pillow, compact mirror) This was one time I sincerely hoped I didn’t win, and thankfully I didn’t. They did one more song, which was the photo-op portion of the show. I did get a few nice shots being close to the stage. Unfortunately I was far from Ramu-kyun, and didn’t get any real good shots of her. After this they left the stage.


The encore chant didn’t last very long before they came back out and sang their upcoming single Kirari ☆ Yume Ondo. Afterwards it was time for announcements. The first announcement had to do with the future of their monthly one-man lives. They are skipping June since they will be doing single release festivities instead. However, in July and August they will be moving their monthly show to Shinjuku Marz, which is a club I have never been to. Although I have eaten at the restaurant on top of it a few times. (Sekai no Yamachan) The last announcement was they will be doing a performance in Korea. They were all really excited about that. In fact they were all so excited that Izumin bumped her head and had to be taken off-stage for a few moments. After seeing the debut of the new full PV, they finished the live with their standard Ureshii Namida.


The above video is the 30-second TV Spot for the upcoming single.  You get the gist of the entie video from the preview, but what they don’t show is some of the graphics they use to ID the members, and show what they are shouting in spots (Think the old Batman TV show)  It’s a pretty fierce PV, and I love the outfits.


I was greeted by Yuua’s mom in the beginning of the show, and by both Miyabi and Izumi’s moms afterwards. There was another mom there who I had never seen before. She was kinda young and petite. Ramukyun’s mom? Maybe Yutori’s? I didn’t ask. I hadn’t yet bought goods, and wasn’t sure what I wanted to get. My original plan was to get a second t-shirt and a couple of buttons, which would afford me two signed chekis. However, they ran out of buttons, and there was nothing else on the main table I wanted. They had a separate single pre-order table, where you got a signed cheki for every two singles you bought. (Well, each cheki is one ticket, and each signing is one ticket) Since the pick-up shop was HMV Shibuya, I decided to go that route. I would be getting a signed cheki for both Yuua and Miyabi. I would love to get one for Ramukyun too, but I have to limit myself, and as much as I love Ramukyun she is third-banana in this group for me.

They do the photos and the signing in two separate processes. Oh, and they now also offer a shamekai option. Oh, and their newest kenkyuusei Ryou was helping run the cheki process. She is so tiny, but she is very outgoing. I was surprised. Between the two segments I went outside to get some air, Miyabi’s mom was like “You’re leaving?” No, I’ll be back in a few minutes! I did the signings pretty much consecutively. I asked Miyabi if she was a big Namie Amuro fan. She was like “Huh?” but Yuua heard me and asked her on my behalf. She was kinda non-committal about it, LOLZ. This was also when I asked Yuua the name of the artist she sang. When it was my turn with Yuua, I told her that I missed seeing her when the group went to Kamisato, which is close to where she is from. I assumed she was busy. She was like “Yeah, I wasn’t there, but I live close” Yeah, I know that. Rinacchi was right next to her, so I took the opportunity to tell her that I thought her performance was great. She smiled and thanked me, and then Rio nudged her shoulder as if to say “You see? You were good!” LOLZ.

I should be pretty easy to find

With that I left to have lunch, and go to Wasamin’s mini-live in Minowa. (Which you can read about in the Wasamin thread) Not sure when my next encounter with the Minyos will take place. I’ll have to check the schedule.

CK in Tokyo


Minyo Girls Minyo Girls/Iwasa Misaki Mini-Live Event at Aeon Town Kamisato, Saitama Prefecture (2018/05/06)


Part 2 of 2…

I must admit, I am still kinda bummed that I missed the Minyo’s one-man live last weekend in Asakusa. I had a great entry ticket number too, which probably would have gotten me against the stage. But I made the mistake of going out and partying late the evening before, and I was just too tired to go. With that in mind, I felt like I owed it to them to make it to one of their live events in the near future, especially since they are promoting the release of their first single, which is a tie-in to an anime called Dual Masters! The single is called “Kirari ☆ Yume Ondo,” which while having a hint of traditional folk to it, is definitely more of a pop song. Anyway, when I was planning out the weekend, I noticed that Minyo Girls’ and Wasamin were both performing at the same mall on Sunday. I originally planned on skipping this Wasamin event, since Kamisato is extremely far from Tokyo, practically on the border of Saitama and Gunma Prefectures. But since I was getting two-for-one, seeing both Wasamin and the Minyos, it made the trip more worth it to me. So I swapped my Saturday and Sunday plans, and made it out to this event….

Minyo Girls management does a great job of informing you about little details for each appearance. Not every member performs at every show, and their Twitter schedule details each performance lineup well in advance. That said, I was kinda bummed that Yuua and Yutori were both not performing on this day. However, Miyabi would be there, as would their brand new Shamisen player, Ramu. I was really interested in checking out her Shamisen skills.

Since I knew it would take me a while to get out to Kamisato, I left my house at 8:45am bound for Akabane Station. However, by the time I got there the next Rapid or Express Train wasn’t leaving until 9:40am. This was cutting it kinda close for me. I would get to Jimbohara Station 30 minutes before the first performance, but Aeon Town is around 2.4km away from the station, and there are no buses. So I would need to make the walk in 30 minutes, or take a taxi. Luckily, I ended up on the train with a couple of Minyo fans, and we split the taxi to the mall.

Minori, w/ Kakotan and Ramu-chan

The girls came out 10 minutes early to do one rehearsal performance of the new single, and then went backstage to wait for the official event. The way the day worked, Minyo Girls performed at 11:30am and 2:30pm, while Wasamin performed 1pm and 4pm. It was going to be a long day. As far as the Minyo Girls’ Setlist, I don’t really keep track of which songs they perform in which order, but I am getting better at recognizing their songs and titles. He are some of the songs they performed, in addition to Kirari ☆ Yume Ondo, which they performed at both events…

Shochuu Omimai Moshiagemasu
Akita Ondo
Kokiriku Bushi
Ureshii Namida
Bitter Sweet

Okay, let me take on a few Minyo subjects….

1) The new costumes. They are really cool. From the beginning I have always thought the group has nice costumes, and with each change they upgrade to something even better. The bottoms look like long skirts, but are actually baggy pants The tops almost make them look like samurai. The only trouble I see is that with the Summer fast approaching, they might be uncomfortable performing outdoors.

Rina-chan (l), Matsuri (r)

2) Rina-chan. She was the first “new” member to join the group shortly before Fuka and Miki’s graduation announcements. At first I didn’t think she was really fitting into the group. However, I feel totally different after watching these performances. First of all, she can sing! She has great projection and control. She’s definitely one of the strongest singers in the group, and that’s saying something since most of the members are pretty good singers. Second, she’s a good MC. This was the first time I had ever seen her take center stage and MC a segment. She seemed right at home, confident, smiling, having fun. Let’s just say that I have finally “accepted” her as a Minyo Girl, LOL.


3) Ramu-chan, the newest full member. OMG, she is as adorable in person as I thought she was in her photos. When Miki graduated, I was extremely worried that losing their Shamisen player would leave a gaping hole in the group dynamic. Apparently they felt the same, as they wasted little time in finding a replacement. Now the question is whether Ramu-chan is as talented on the Shamisen as Miki was. After seeing this live, I have no idea. She wasn’t really playing. First of all, the instrument wasn’t plugged in, and it was fairly obvious that she is in the process of trying to learn the songs. She had an intense look of concentration on her face, and seemed focused on following along. Keep in mind that she just joined the group a week ago, so we will give her some time to figure things out. That said, it seems like the entire fanbase has become smitten with her, as she was BY FAR the most popular member taking chekis. It seemed like every other person chose her to take a cheki with, LOL.


4) Miyabi-chan. With Yuua not performing at this event, Miyabi-chan functioned as the group sole center. Sh’s not the only one to sing solo lines. In fact, Kako, Matsuri, and now Rina all get considerable solo time. However, Miyabi stands at Zero Position at the beginning of every song. The other thing I noticed, and I noticed it a few days ago on her DMM Yell account, her face has completely broken out. Oh no! Poor Miyabi-chan. But alas, she is 13 years old. Sometimes these things happen.

5) With the exception of a few of their old ‘staples’, they are focusing a lot on their newer material. I m happy about this, since I think their newer material is really good. In fact, I can’t wait for their next EP since I want a recorded copy of Akita Ondo, as well as Kokiriku Bushi.

I stood in the back for three of the four events since I arrived late, and all the seats were taken by locals, and a bunch of the Wasafans who apparently got to Kamisato first thing in the morning. However, Wild-san, a Wasamin fan from Shiga Prefecture, offered me his first row center seat for thesecond Minyo Girls performance. Since they allow photography, I got a bunch of great shots of the group. Of course I focus most of my shots on Miyabi (and Yuua when she is there) But today I was fixated on taking pictures of Ramu-chan. LOL.

I had four tickets. In the first set I used two to take a group Shamekai. The nice thing is after the shot you get to shake hands with all the members. For the second set, I decided to do chekis instead. I cheki cost one ticket, plus one ticket to get it signed. However, I decided to forego the signing and get two chekis instead. For the first cheki I of course chose Miyabi…

I basically told Miyabi that I think the new costumes are cool, and I would see her again soon. Afterwards I saw Miyabi’s mom, and I think her dad was there too. Since they live in Gunma it would make sense that her family would be there. I also saw Izumi’s mother, who I met once before. There was another family there, but I’m not sure who they belonged to. Maybe Ramu-chan? Anyway, Miyabi’s mom said hello and thanked me for supporting her daughter, and both her parents waved to me when they left after the second performance.

Now I could have just waited and had Miyabi sign the cheki, but instead I decided on another photo. Let’s see, who would I be interested in taking a photo with? At this point for me it was a no-brainer…


As I said before, it seems like all the fans are smitten with Ramu, and I totally understand why. With every photo she just seemed more and more amazed that everyone was asking for her. She must have thanked me 3-4 times while we were taking the photo, which was a “Shamisen Pose.” The bad/good news was that when the cheki developed, it didn’t expose properly. They had just finished the chekis when I noticed this, but I showed it to her manager, and she said no problem and had Ramu-chan come over to re-take it. BTW, I asked her a couple of times if she was practicing the new songs, but she just kept thanking me.

Ultimately, I am happy I made the trek out to Northern Saitama Prefecture to see them. They have a few live events coming up next weekend. The only one I can potentially make it to is on Saturday night in Yokohama, where they are doing a free outdoor live in front of Tower Vivre. But I have a friend coming into town that day too, so we’ll see.

CK in Tokyo


Concerts, Minyo Girls Minyo Girls: “Mingaru Dream Paradise” One-Man Live at Asakusa Gold Sounds (2018/03/25)


~Fuuchan and Mikorin Graduation Stage~

I guess I didn’t realize how “big” this graduation would be until I experienced it. Well, maybe that is only partially true. For one, these are not the first graduations from this group. Minyo Girls lost a couple of members in the early days, but that was before the group really started taking off and forming any sort of significant fanbase. In the case of Fuuko and Miki, both of them are original members. Fuuko, is in many ways the captain, centering most of the MCs, while Miki on the Shamisen is the true backbone of the group, and a big part of what makes them special. Neither of them are the most popular members, but their contributions to the group are going to be missed. So yeah, I am very sad to see them go. But before that, there was a show to do!


I had pre-bought my ticket back in January, which was a good thing since the show was ultimately sold out. Asakusa Gold Sounds is just a short walk from Kuramae Station on the Oedo Line, and very easy for me to get to. I arrived around 20 minutes before doors and took my place in the queue. Once in, I bypassed the bar, goods table, and flower displays and immediately claimed a spot. I was three back from the stage, dead center. Cool. After camping out my spot, I decided “Hey, I always see the other fans dropping their bags, and coming back later on, so I decided to do the same. I went to the bar and grabbed a beer, and I went to the goods table. I knew exactly what I would be buying, a ticket for their next two One-Man Lives in April and June, that would get me two cheki tickets. Interestingly, when I returned to my bag there was another drink ticket underneath it. Nobody around me wanted to claim it, so I would be getting an extra drink later. Yatta!

In the meantime, while I was in line the graduation committee asked if I wanted to be part of the group, and sign the exclusive card for people who contributed to the flowers. Of course I said yes, although it ended up costing me 1000 yen per member. But hey, it’s the least I can do. I didn’t have change outside, but once I bought goods I was able to pay them. After this, the show was about to begin….

Now back in January, at their challenge stage, the members drew colored balls to separate themselves into units. This ended up being Minyo Girls’ “Unit Matsuri” BTW, apparently Yuua had gotten a nosebleed just before the show started, so she came out with a bunch of tissue in her nose and in her hand. After their usual introduction, the members explained how the show was going to go, and each unit had their own unique style…

Unit 1, Kako & Yutori: First of all, tiny Yutori on guitar!! Now before we got too excited, the song they performed basically had one guitar chord throughout (basic A minor), so she essentially had to hold that one chord for 4 minutes and strum. Kako solo’d the song, which was a traditional song from one of their early releases. Kako is a very good soloist, so ultimately this was a great unit.

Unit 2: Matsuri & Yuua: They also chose a traditional song, and did a very good job. I also liked their choice of outfit; white t-shirts with black shorts. Very cute. They also used the song to unfurl a banner thanking Fuuko and Miki at the end. Good job! And I was further impressed with Yuua since she sang very well despite still having a tissue stuffed in her nostril, LOL!

Unit 3: Miki, Rina, & Izumi: WTF was this??? They were basically lip-syncing to a rock song, with male vocalists! They actually had their mics up, but you could barely hear them over the song. Weird choice.

Unit 4: Fuuka & Minori: Idol fans at heart, they chose to sing Momoclo’s Chai Maxx. They weren’t bad, but it looked like they were basically up their goofing around.

Unit 5: Miyabi & Rio: Whoah!!! A ballad? And harmonizing. They were truly great. This wan’t really a contest, but if we had to choose a winner, this would take it by a mile. They also used the song to deliver flowers to the graduating members.

I didn’t realize it during the last concert, but your raffle number is on the back of the photo you received

After the units, they did a giveaway of laminated and autographed large photos of each of the units. Unfortunately I didn’t win, but they looked very nice. They performed two more songs, with a photo-op section before leaving the stage. Personally, I just snap away and hope for the best.

Minori, Matsuri, Kako (w/ Miki)

Yuua, Fuuka, Yutori (w/ Minori, Kako, Miki)

And of course I take lots of pics of Miyabi and Yuua, which is quite easy since technically they are the performing centers of this group. They are both excellent singers, and Yuua in particular has excellent stage presence. In fact, I think their personalities show up well in the photos I take. Miyabi’s catchphrase is “cool beauty,” and Yuua is extremely energetic. Anyway, here are a few Yuua/Miyabi pics…

I took around 150 shots in total, but deleted close to 100 of them on the train home. Anyway, the encore started immediately. Well, eventually it got started. The guy leading the encore got a bit creative, and confused the audience. He wanted us to do “Fuuchan! Mikorin!” but most everyone started doing “Fuuchan! Fuuchan! Mikorin! Mikorin!” Ultimately we got it together, and the girls were back on stage rather quickly anyway. Fuuchan immediately started making fun of the fans for screwing up the encore call.

The encore started with a VTR retrospective of both graduating members. Sometimes we forget that they have been around for four years. They were like babies in the early days. You could hear lots of sobbing coming from the stage as they showed all of this old footage. After that was a video congratulations from each member. It was all very nice. After that, both Fuuchan and Mikorin made a speech, and then finally their signature ending song, Ureshii Namida (their 2nd PV), for which we were given special pink glowsticks to use. Obviously there was lots of crying and hugging happening onstage. Interestingly, the one who seemed in the most distress was Rina, who is still brand new. I kept wondering, why is she crying the hardest? Matsuri and Miyabi were both also crying very hard as well. That was the show. Of course we still had lots of post-show benefits.

I had two tickets, and my plan was to use them on Miyabi and Yuua, as I normally do. But first they do the group pics. I kept asking myself if I wanted to do a group pic instead, and decided to go for it. I went back to the goods table, and bought some of their new buttons. You draw them out of a hat. Of course I was hoping for Miyabi and Yuua. I drew Kako, Rina, Minori, and one other I couldn’t see. But it ultimately fell back into the box, so I had to draw again, and I got Yuua. Nice! However, by the time I got back into the stage area, they were finishing group shots. Oh well, I would go with “Plan B”


I lined up for chekis, and both Yuua and Miyabi were busy with fans, so when they asked who I wanted to see I chose Yutori. Just as I said it Miyabi walked over to me, so I quickly changed it to Miyabi. The way they work it, you don’t really have any time to talk during the cheki. But after all the shooting is done, you again line up to get all of your chekis signed. It is at this point that you get to talk to the members. In the meantime, I circled the line and took a cheki with Yuua, and finally with Yutori. It was the first time I have taken a 2-shot with Yutori, and she was very thankful.


After having my second drink at the bar, and saying hello to Yuua and Miyabi’s parents, I queued up for autographs, first going to Miyabi. I was trying to tell her that I like her new hairstyle, but I’m not sure she was listening. But I also told her that her unit song and harmonizing were great. That she heard and understood. Next, I went to Yutori. I wanted to tell her that I had been reading her English tweets She got really excited when I mentioned it, and I told her that I even responded. Ultimately, she is the first member I ever met, and she has always been very nice to me, so I am glad I finally took a 2-shot with her. Finally, I went to Yuua and asked her how her nose was. She said she was fine. I basically told her good job.


After that I took off, but not before taking pics of the graduation flowers. I had errands to run, and I wanted lunch. I walked over to Yoro-do to pick up some pre-order CDs. It was funny, the lady assumed I was there to pick up Wasamin CDs, but was surprised when I pulled out my Mizumori Kaori order slip. LOL. When she said she was surprised, I then pointed out my Minyo Girls T-shirt. Although I don’t think that surprised her quite as much.

So I have a ticket to each of the next two solo live events, and I have much lower numbered tickets. So hopefully I can work my way to the front row next time.

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

Tags: , ,

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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