20 August 2016

Keyakizaka46 has triumphant 1st anniversary concert at Keyakizaka

A year ago, when Keyakizaka46 was formed, the name was a big surprise. Up to that moment, the group had been called Toriizaka46.

Keyakizaka is a tony shopping street that runs along beside the upscale Roppongi Hills Mall. Months ago, members of the group said that one of their ambitions was to someday play a concert at Keyakizaka. That day came sooner than expected, Saturday evening.

Here is a report from the entertainment press, painting a picture of a triumphant love-fest between the group and an outdoor venue packed with its fans:

Neru goes to the art gallery and a movie


Art Gallery


Recently I like to sleep with the window open.
The breeze feels nicer than the air-con.

The other day, after work,
I went to the Paul Smith exhibition
at the Ueno Mori Art Gallery

It's a world-view I love so much
That it almost seemed a waste for me to take it in.

My desire to see it as soon as possible
and the knowledge that once I started, my viewing of it would be sure to end
competed in me.

At the entrance to the Gallery
I wondered if I should go in after all (lol)

But in the end I went straight in.

19 August 2016

Katou Shiho -- "Sorry for that unsightly Showroom broadcast" (blog post)

Katou Shiho is one of my favorite members of Hiragana Keyaki. She's a slow-talking 18-year-old graduate with a lazy smile, a soft face, and a personable manner. She has said that during high school, she had a part-time job in a convenience store and can operate a cash register "at the speed of light."

Two days ago, however, Katoshi had to shut down her Showroom broadcast in tears. It was another good broadcast, with her as present as ever, seeming to speak directly to you. She admitted she was feeling a bit negative -- probably feeling she had to work on her singing and dancing. And then disaster struck.

Her stream was acting up and she, in her "my pace" style, simply got up to go and check things out, leaving the field of view. But as she left, she knocked the camera and it swung to reveal a glimpse of a messy corner of her room, with clothes and bags jumbled over each other. Seemed fairly normal to me, lol, but not very presentable.

Viewers made a few snide comments, but she soldiered on for a while. Tears began to spring to her eyes, however. She said what bothered her most was that Kakizakai Memi, her young friend in Hiragana Keyaki, would surely be watching.

Keyakizaka46: which member of Nogizaka46 would you like to go on a "yukata date" with?

BLT magazine asked members of Keyakizaka46 which member of Nogizaka46 they would like to go on a "yukata date" with, and where.

1. Hashimoto Nanami
Shida Manaka -- She's exactly my type.
Watanabe Risa -- I'd like to do target-shooting and goldfish-scooping.
Ozeki Rika -- She's an adult, so I'd like her to take me somewhere to see beautiful night scenery.
Suzumoto Miyu -- I've always admired her.
Yonetani Nanami -- She was my motivation to enter the audition. And since I've met her, I really love her.

2. Shiraishi Mai
Watanabe Rika -- I love her.
Oda Nana -- I want to stare at her profile and the nape of her neck.
Kobayashi Yui -- She's ridiculously beautiful.
Moriya Akane -- I'd like to stroll around between Shiraishi and Etou.

3. Ikuta Erika
Ozeki Rika -- I've really respected her since before I entered Keyakizaka.
Sugai Yuuka -- I'd like to go to a festival with her.
Nagasawa Nanako -- I'd like to go with her to the Kaminarimon (at Asakusa Temple) and walk around eating.

"Hiragana Keyaki" song lyrics

Takase Mana has done us a service. She has published in her blog the lyrics to Hiragana Keyaki's song "Hiragana Keyaki," indicating what group of singers sings each line.

This allows us to hear and judge each group of singers. Not a problem for Manafi, who seems to be one of the best singers among the Hiraganas, lol. Here she is recording one of the lines they all sing together: "machikado no keyakitte"

I have taken the Japanese and romanized it, line for line. Then I have translated it, line for line when particular singers are singing, but a bit more loosely when the whole group sings together.

Since this is for an English-speaking audience, I lay out the romanization first, the translation second, and the actual Japanese third:

18 August 2016

2channel: "Suzumon, I love you! I want to know more about youuuuuuuu!"

keyakizaka-channel.com compilation of photos and comments from 2channel (photos originally from Miyu's blog and from BLT graph magazine):

-- There's a Suzumon shortage

Kakizaki Memi of Hiragana Keyaki on Showroom

Memi-tan proved again a few hours ago on Showroom that she is a natural idol. Young (14), hesitant, but forthcoming and confident in dealing with fans. And clearly still on a high from her debut.

Praise and affection poured in to her in Showroom messages. Here is the first part of her session, to give you an idea of who this person is. You'll be seeing more of her over the next few years:

柿崎 芽実 けやき坂46(ひらがなけやき)160818 18時00分...

She said was nervous before her first handshake session last weekend, but was happy to discover that she enjoyed it a lot. People were nice and she could talk with them. She wished she could answer every question, but couldn't find the words. She will try to get better at that.

17 August 2016

Nanako with (almost) all of Hiragana Keyaki

Nagasawa Nanako has published in her blog a photo of herself with Aoi, Satoshi and eight of the eleven new members of Hiragana Keyaki.

left to right: Satou Shiori, Sasaki Kumi, Higashimura Mei, Sasaki Mirei, Takase Mana, Harada Aoi, Nagasawa Nanako, Katou Shiho, Saitou Kyouko, Takamoto Ayaka, Ushio Sarina (I might have Mana and Kyouko reversed). Missing: Iguchi Mao, Kageyama Yuuka, Kakizaki Memi. Click photo to enlarge.

In her blog post, Nanako says she looks forward to having more chances to work with them, and to becoming good friends. She says their song keeps running in her head, especially the lines: "Like hiragana, we will just honestly be ourselves." (Hiragana are simple Japanese syllabic letters, as opposed to the more complex Chinese characters that are also part of the Japanese writing system.)

New Hiragana Keyaki Showroom sessions today

Hiragana Keyaki has another set of Showroom sessions in either 10 hours or 13 hours, depending on whether you believe Kageyama Yuuka or Showroom itself.

Showroom says the sessions start Thursday 18 August at 1800h. Kage-chan says in her blog that they start at 1500h. I think Showroom is more likely to be right, but personally, I'll check both times, lol.

◆2016年8月18日(thu)18:00〜 柿崎芽実 Kakizakai Memi
◆2016年8月18日(thu)18:20〜 齊藤京子 Saitou Kyouko
◆2016年8月18日(thu)18:40〜 佐々木美玲 Sasaki Mirei
◆2016年8月18日(thu)19:00〜 影山優佳 Kageyama Yuuka
◆2016年8月18日(thu)19:20〜 高本彩花 Takamoto Ayaka
◆2016年8月18日(thu)19:40〜 高瀬愛奈 Takase Mana
◆2016年8月18日(thu)20:00〜 東村芽依 Higashimura Mei
◆2016年8月18日(thu)20:20〜 佐々木久美 Sasaki Kumi
◆2016年8月18日(thu)20:40〜 加藤史帆 Katou Shiho
◆2016年8月18日(thu)21:00〜 潮紗理菜 Ushio Sarina
◆2016年8月18日(thu)21:20〜 井口眞緒 Iguchi Mao

All times Tokyo time. But if you click through on those links, it should show the time in your time zone (at least the one your computer or phone is set to).

What the Hiragana Keyakis think we should look at about them

Here's a poster from HMV stores in Japan. It gives the members of Hiragana Keyaki a chance to say what we should pay attention to about each of them. A number of Japanese commenters have things to say about what Saitou Kyouko writes.

click to enlarge

top row: 
Iguchi Mao: "Please watch over me as I gradually become more like an idol."

Ushio Sarina: "I'll be happy if you look at me just as I am."

16 August 2016

Takase Mana -- Hiragana Keyaki's first live

From Takase Mana's blog


First Live 

Hello. (。・ω・)ノ

Today is all sorts of photographs!

To everyone who came to the handshake event, thank you very much!
Were Saturday and Sunday real? Were they a dream? Today I'm in this strange mood where I'm not really sure, lol.

(from left: Mana, Katoshi)

What do you think of Hiragana Keyaki's new outfits??
Right in the midst of the cuteness, bang!, there's the cool.
I think they're great! (*'∀'人)*+ 
Actually, the colours are the same as Kanji Keyaki's, but reversed!

Ushio Sarina (Hiragana Keyaki) -- blog post after weekend handshake event

Here's Sarina's blog post from just after the weekend's handshake event in Nagoya. How can you not love her? So pretty. So real. So insecure. So sweet on Showroom. And, from what we have seen, such a good dancer (see end of post).

Powawawawawawa~n ( ˊ〇ˋ )♡


I've intended to write every day, but by the time I notice, there's already not enough time left.
I began to write a daily diary, but it ended up with just scattered entries and no entries at all over two months...

I've always been someone who starts things but doesn't finish (´ ・ω・ `)
I want to do it somehow. I have to cure myself of this.

Yesterday and the day before was our first handshake event!!
Thank you to everyone who came ( ´ ` )♡

As I wrote before, I came out in a rash and was so uneasy and nervous that I couldn't sleep.

But little by little, everyone's words helped my nervousness go away!

The kind words of even people who were supporters of Shihorin and Memi-tan made me so happy. [Sarina was paired up with Katou Shiho and Kakizaki Memi for the events.]

The Keyakizaka46-sans, and everyone, were extremely nice. It was such a lovely time ♡

14 August 2016

Kakizaki Memi -- the "Young Queen" of Hiragana Keyaki?

Here we go again. For its first performance, Hiragana Keyaki was centred by its youngest member, Kakizakai Memi, 14. (She and Nagahama Neru were double centres.) Keyakizaka46 itself is centred by its youngest member, Hirate Yurina.

Here is Memi-tan with Hiragana Keyaki's second-youngest member, Kageyama Yuuka, during this weekend's handshake event in Nagoya. All the Hiragana members were crowned with flowers. She says her dress is from Ank Rouge. Memi-tan likes cute things, and French dolls in particular. A few weeks ago, she said she wanted to become "Keyakizaka's French doll":

Yonetani Nanami apologizes for falling during performance

On Friday nights' big Music Station appearance, Yone-san fell during the performance of Silent Majority.

One benefit of being in the back row is that few people noticed. She seemed to bump into a stage prop and took a tumble. But she got right back up and continued as if nothing had happened. Like a pro.

In her blog now she apologizes for falling, and thanks both fans and other members for their concern and their kind words. She confirms that she did bump into something on stage. That can happen on a stage of limited size with a full 21-member senbatu. But she feels badly that it happened during this appearance on an important show with a huge audience.

She says she is perfectly fine, and was not hurt. She is grateful for the concern expressed by fans during the handshake event in Nagoya over the weekend, but she apologizes for causing them concern.

She goes on to say how much fun it was to perform KataMira (Kataru nara Mirai wo...) for the first time at the mini-live in Nagoya. For Saturday's "national" handshake event, she was paired with Shida Manaka. Here they are together:

Nagasawa Nanako makes arrests at Nagoya handshake event

Nanako said she would do it, and she did: for two of her four handshake sessions in Nagoya Sunday, she was in police uniform.

Here's one report from a guest:

Nanako: "Oh."
me: "I'm turning myself in again."
Nanako: "You're turning yourself in. What have you done?"
me: "I've fallen in love with Naa-chan."
Nanako:  "I'm taking you to the station, then." (smiling)
Oh, what heaven!