December 10th is Apology Day. To commemorate, somebody made a site called Gomenne.jp (Gomenne means I’m sorry) that counts down to Dec 10 with a hot Japanese girl for each of the 31 days preceding the made-up holiday. You can click on each girl to see a detailed profile of her, as well as a video of her apologizing. This girl, 19-year old Asuka Morimoto, apologizes for eating all the steak at a family dinner.
In Japan, there’s a category of celebrities called gravure idols. The closest Western equivalent would be a swimsuit model, or someone who poses in sexy photographs without exposing her privates or doing anything pornographic. Many believe that Agnes Lum, a 1970s import from Hawaii, was the first gravure model ever. She came to Japan to become a talento, or celebrity, but rather than focusing on singing and acting, she made a living by posing in sexy shots caressing a surfboard or just laying out by a beautiful beach. Her seductive eyes, tanned skin, and luscious breasts made her instant obsession fodder. She had a couple of hit singles, and also appeared in a couple of commercials, including one for a Daihatsu minivan with her two kids.
Check out a fan-made photo montage set to her singing a cutsey Japanese song after the jump.
Taichi Saotome may be the most beautiful man in Japan. The 17-year old actor is a famous onnagata, or female impersonator who has starred in everything from jidaigeki (period plays) to Zatoichi movies. His new play, Sennen no Inori (The One Thousand Year Prayer), debuts on July 23rd in Tokyo and August 4 in Nagoya. It already has rave reviews, mostly by women, who claim they were more moved by his feminine performance than anything else in the whole world.
Saotome was destined to be a superstar. His father is the head of a famous theater troupe, and Beat Takeshi had eyed him as promising talent since he was a wee elementary school kid.
Keep reading for a sneak preview of his stellar performance in Sennen no Inori.
Yep, I’m off to São Paulo for a week—and hopefully taking a side trip to Rio and some jungly rain forests. Look! São Paulo kinda looks like Tokyo. Did you know it also has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan? There are about 1.5 million Japanese immigrants and descendants living in Brazil—more than in the US. And some of them are hot and talented! My two favorite Japanese-Brazilians are supermodel Juliana Imai and Lovefoxxx of CSS. CSS is a kickass indie-electro girl band from Sao Paolo that I’ve seen in concert a couple times in San Francisco. Pics after the jump.
The Miss World contest is coming up, and right now all the contestants are in China visiting the Great Wall. Pictured here is Rui Watanabe, who represents Japan this year. (Last year it was Kazuha Kondo.)
Check out this clip of Riyo Mori on a reality TV show. The girl might be hot enough to have won Miss Universe, but she’s also dumb enough to show up at an airport without valid ID. Wait, scratch that. She didn’t have a passport, drivers license, or other form of government-issued ID, but she DID have her Miss Universe sash. Homeboy at the US Airways counter actually let her through, probably because he was pressured by half a dozen hot girls and a camera crew.
While Riyo won the global pageant, back home she wasn’t everyone’s favorite. She’s not really "cute" in the way Japanese people want girls to be cute, I guess. Want to decide for yourself which woman should have been Miss Universe Japan? Check out this next video (after the jump) from the selection ceremony.
Burlesque queen Dita Von Teese made an appearance in Tokyo yesterday at the Peach John lingerie fashion show in pretty, lacy red panties. Here, she is pictured on the cover of the company’s mail order catalogue with the slogan: Very Lingerie, Very Dita. That slogan is just so Very Japanese.
First it was Cameron Diaz causing Japanese boys to go gaga over Softbank’s new phones and calling plans. Now it’s Brad Pitt, campaigning to get screechy-voiced school girls to switch carriers.
Cameron Diaz, along with the new "call-for-free" concept that her commercials promoted, caused Softbank’s system to crash overnight when phone numbers became portable in late October. Maybe Brad Pitt will cause its handsets to spontaneously combust.
They’re all pretty and smart, but it was 20-year old Yoshie Takeuchi (front, right) who won the beauty-and-brains pageant yesterday. Keio’s one of the top 3 Japanese universities, and many Miss Keio contest winners have gone on to become famous TV anchorwomen, etc.
In Japan, reading the news on TV is considered one of the most prestigious female professions. You have to be pretty, smart, and proper. Really pretty, smart, and proper. People like me who talk shit and dye their hair red would never make the cut.
Here’s an example of an ad campaign that was too successful for its own good:
Cell phone numbers in Japan became portable last Tuesday, meaning DoCoMo users could now switch over to Au without changing their numbers, etc. (I remember when this happened years back in the US. I got the fuck out of my Sprint PCS contract ASAP.) Anyway, to beat out competitors, Softbank Mobile–which changed its name from Vodafone on Oct 1 and whose parent company owns 41% of Yahoo! Japan–launched a big ad campaign with Cameron Diaz advertising free calling minutes and text messaging–a new concept in Japan, where most users pay by the minute for each outgoing call.
Their campaign was so successful that Softbank stopped taking applications for new phone lines on Sunday, when their system became so inundated that it ceased to function.
Silly Softbank. That’s what happens when you crowd every commercial break with footage of a hot blond with a killer smile, introduce 15 paper-thin new handsets in 64 colors in one season, and guarantee cheaper prices than anyone else in the market, no matter what.
This 18-year old cutie pie won the Skate America championship yesterday, beating out American Kimmie Messner and 16-year old compatriot Mao Asada (not related to Chairman Mao). She did really bad in the Torino Olympics earlier this year, placing 15th, but she’s off to a shining superstar start this season.
I know, you’re wondering if she’s single, right? I happened to see her on some variety show this year where she confessed to having a special somebody in her life. Sorry guys, guess there won’t be any triple jumps from this hottie coming your way anytime soon.
The Miss World 2006 pageant took place in Poland yesterday. Miss Japan didn’t win, but if you have a Japanese girl fetish you can check out Kazuha’s promo video here.
The beauty queen who created an even bigger buzz was the Miss Universe contestant from Japan, however. Back in August, this Okinawan hottie was the 1st runner up and a favorite of many drooling spectators. I like her because she dressed up like an anime superhero chick for the National Costume part. You can catch a special recap of Miss U with a Kurara special on October 8.
So here’s my question: Which girl rocks your universe…or world…or whatever?