Last month’s Tokyo premiere of
Drumline Live played to a packed house, with many celebrities among the crowd, including Morning Musume leader Ai Takahashi, actress Mika Mifune and former sumo wrestler Konishiki and his wife (pictured). The show features an all-black cast of musicians, dancers and singers who bring to life everything from a football halftime show to the classics of Motown. Konishiki, a talented musician in his own right, especially enjoyed the pieces by Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder. Reporters congratulated the former wrestler on his newly svelte appearance. “I’ve lost about 70 kilograms,” he replied, “mostly through diet and taking walks every day.” SC
Supermodel Ai Tominaga, 26, confirmed on her blog that she is ending her five-year marriage, though she denied a Flash magazine report that the break-up had anything to do with her husband making her get down on her hands and knees at a party to apologize for dressing in a bunny girl costume… Actress Waka Inoue, 28, a big meat eater, says: “Herbivores may be popular right now, but I love meat, and I need to marry a man who is a carnivore too.”… “Idol group” AKB48 will sing in Paris at Japan Expo 2009, to be held July 2-5
in France. CB
scene around town
||What: London Bus Cruising Party, Japan’s first traveling double-decker bar
Who: Promotions company Upstar
Where: Motoring around the streets of Shibuya, Omotesando, Roppongi, Shinjuku, Odaiba, Ginza and Marunouchi
When: Makes three trips daily between 5-11pm
Why: Rent it out for an unorthodox office party, birthday bash or post-wedding knees-up (for groups of eight or more). Individual passengers can also hop on, depending on schedule.
Call 0120-83-9559 or see www.upstar.co.jp/cafe for details.
||When do you think you’ll have your next “kiss”?
Survey of 2,184 L25 readers
Source: L25 women’s magazine (www.l25.jp)
The latest innovations in katakana English
Origin: menheru (abbr. of “mental health”) and “-er”
Meaning: person suffering from mental illness
Example: 政府はメンヘラーのサポートを強化すべきだ; Seifu wa menheraa no sapooto wo kyouka surubekida; The government should do more to help people with mental illnesses.
Origin: around 50
Meaning: men aged around 50 years old
Example: この不景気は特にアラフィフにはつらいものだ; Kono fukeiki wa tokuni arafifu ni wa tsurai mono da; The recession is making life particularly tough for men of around 50.
Origin: “magazine book”
Meaning: publication that has qualities of both a magazine and a book
Example: ムックは絵が多くて本より読みやすい; Mukku wa e ga ookute hon yori yomiyasui; Because they have many pictures, mooks are easier to read than books.
Origin: comicalize, as in “comic” plus “-ize” suffix
Meaning: to make something (video game, TV show, book, etc.) into a comic
Example: 聞いた？あの人気番組がコミカライズされるんだって。Kiita? Ano ninki bangumi ga komikaraizu sarerundatte. Did you hear? They’re making that popular TV program into a comic.
Origin: sounds like “check it out”
Meaning: check it out
Example: このバンドは最高ですよ。ぜひチェキラ！Kono bando wa saikou desu yo. Zehi chekira! This band is amazing! Be sure to check them out.
Bucking current economic trends, Japan’s low-end retailers are thriving. Convenience stores have begun supplanting traditional supermarkets in the hearts of consumers, thanks to a strategy of increasing their brand power while keeping costs down. The 7-Eleven chain has unveiled Seven Premium (www.sej.co.jp), Family Mart (www.family.co.jp) has developed its own line of eco-minded products, and Lawson has expanded its ¥100-shop offshoot, Lawson Store 100 (www.lawson.co.jp). Price wars are being fought on other retail fronts as well. In March, Mos Burger announced that it was cutting the cost of its burgers to mid-’80s levels, while Lotteria has unveiled a range of ¥150 products. Uniqlo has introduced a line of ¥990 of jeans, and—if you can believe it—medical centers have begun “one coin” health checks for just ¥500.
||Fans of Cold Stone Creamery are well aware that they have to wait in line to get their ice cream fix. So we’re wondering what kind of madhouse will greet visitors on Wednesday, May 20, when Cold Stone unveils its newest concoction—something called a Coolly—and gives them out for free. Yup, you read that right. On “Coolly Day,” customers can choose from two flavors of the shake-like drink: Green Tea Berry (frozen cha topped with ice cream, strawberries and green tea powder) or Café Cookie (frozen coffee with ice cream and Oreos covered in chocolate fudge). The offer is good at stores throughout Japan, and no other menu items will be available that day.
|Courtesy of Cold Stone Creamery
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