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A memory collector
Now, then, and forever
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8th-Dec-2012 10:06 pm - Happy 39th birthday, Goro-chan
water
hbday 
Prince? No, a gentleman with sense of humor and special sensitiveness. 
And, he turns 39 today.

I know (and deep inside my heart I wish) that he will soon get married with the woman he loves and have lovely children.
Don't you think he will make a good father, especially the father of little girls?
4th-Dec-2012 10:14 pm - A commentary on PRICELESS
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The other day yutakuya gave me the link to a blog entry by Shirakawa Touko, a journalist and writer with Yoshimoto Creative Agency, on PRICELESS, saying that maybe I would be interested in translating it. So, I thought I should give it a try. 

Drama commentary: In PRICELESS, Kimutaku was Tora-san, the wanderer!

(Tora-san is the protagonist of the famous TV and film series Otoko wa tsurai yo during the 1960s and 1970s. He is a street vendor who is kind-hearted but unlucky in love.)

For this drama season, which one are you watching?

I’m enjoying Oooku and PRICELESS ~ Aru wake ne darou, nnamon!~ that stars Kimura Takuya of SMAP on Fuji TV.  

Speaking of Kimutaku, he’s the man who played all the roles with occupations that men long for: a racer, a pilot, a company president, a Prime Minister, and a public prosecutor.

I also wrote the entry “Why do young men in their 40s have a crush on Karei naru ichizouku?”

However, his role this time is homeless. The story is that he was sacked from the company in just a blink of an eye after the drama began. He also lost his mobile phone and his house (due to an explosion) and fell into homelessness.

We can see Kimutaku, who took cardboards and slept outdoors, and was in dire distress even for a glass of beer.

Like that, with such a rare role, there have been rumors about nothing but ratings (comments like he’s from an old era, or finally the drama will be cut down), but this drama “is not only better than expected but also continuously interesting.”

I remember that in the old days, when Kimura-san was young, I watched the skit he performed in silence.  I forgot about the TV show as well as its content, but I found it extremely funny and always thought that “this person is like Charlie Chaplin. He has the talent of a comedian.”

Certainly in this drama, his talent as a comedian is showed satisfactorily. He brings up a super humor even not with unnatural performance and scripted lines, but with things that look like in between lines of the scripts like small movements and intervals.

In the drama, every time there is also a story in which he “changes the life of related people on little sides.”

Some years ago, my friend who is in charge of dramas (for work she watches all trendy dramas) said: “As the connection with people is thin now, I want to try watching dramas with a person like Kimutaku who is hot and every time committed to excessive people .”

According to her, “to be committed to excessive people” is to move the story of a drama.

And, then the development of “warashibe chouja” (Straw Millionaire – a folk tale about a poor man who becomes wealthy through a series of successive trades, starting with a single piece of straw). Without a penny, from fishing for the change of a vending machine to earn 500 yen, in every story, one after one, he receives something from related people, uses that as the next funds and rises in the world. This time while it is small, finally it has become a business.

When you fall into pinches, chances will happen….although such story is quite obvious, what I can watch it without losing interests really is because this role fits Kimura-san so well.

Aging Nakai Kiichi and Karina who quietly fortify the sides also have also showed very good tastes.

Perhaps Karei Naru Ichizoku will be re-made with a different actor.

But this role is different. Because of him, it became an interesting drama. For actors, it is (honorable) like an imperial visit that they can come across the role that makes people think only they can play it.

If I think about it casually, to be committed excessive people, the man with deep empathy….there is someone who is like that.

The face that comes to my mind is the protagonist of that national movie Tora-san, the wanderer!

Although it seems to anger fans, that man is also the national idol of the Showa era (1926-1989). It is not even strange for national idol Kimura Takuya-san to be Tora-san, the wanderer, of the Heisei era.

In PRICELESS of Kimura Takuya, Kimutaku has become Tora-san, the wanderer, and it was the story of Straw millionaire.

Without saying “there isn’t such thing, right?” I think I has been cheated, and once again it is what I want to see. 

Again, if you happen to read this translation as well as other translations on my LJ, please be noted that my Japanese is nowhere to be called good or perfect, and English is not my native language, either. I'm translating SMAP stuff, mainly because I want to practice my Japanese so it doesn't become rusty. Another reason is that it will allow me to understand more about SMAP. On the other hand, I hope you will enjoy facts and stories about SMAP like I do :) 
20th-Nov-2012 09:33 pm - Ai wo komete. Umi
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Recently I'm addicted to this song. I love Aoi Teshima-chan. She can create a special feeling when she sings - calm, pure, earnest and kind of innocent. When she sings on the stage, she wears a long dress and her hairstyle looks like a school girl. She never dances, but only with a mic, she sings with all her heart.

If there's a word that I can use to describe her image in general, that is "angelic." And I love to call her my little angel.



Ai wo komete. Umi (With love. Sea)

The time I met you,
Poppy flowers were blossoming.
Do you still remember it?

A telephone pole inclined towards
An old stone wall and hedge.
On a black heavy bicycle,
You became a wind,
Taking me away from top of the hill.

The time you set out on the trip,
Poppy flowers were blossoming.
Do you still remember it?

At the glittering sea, signs of floating ships,
Fragrance of blue pine trees,
Those were also sad.
But I knew that
I could begin rowing even all by myself.

A sea breeze is blowing on the hill road,
Bringing a letter to me.
Surely, it’s always from you,
Wherever you are.

I’m very fine.
I’ve grown taller than last year.
I’m always here,
Now, from now on, and also earlier,
Praying for the safety of your trip.

From the poppy hill,
With love.

20th-Nov-2012 12:27 am - You know, Kimura-san, you're cool
summer
I tried translating Kimura's talk on Non-stop 2012.10.22. What I love the most about the talk is how Shitara Osamu-san, the host, couldn't help but keep blurting out how cool Kimura is. I think he respects, admires and likes Kimura a lot.
Shitara-san is also half of the Bananaman combi and used to act in Mr.Brain.

Shi: Please welcome Kimura-san! Thank you for your hardworking today from the morning.

K: No, not at all.

Shi: Are you okay? You don’t feel sleepy?

K: No, I don’t.

Shi: You’re strong in the morning?

K: No, I’m weak.

(Everyone laughs)

K: I’m weak, but I’m not sleepy.

Shi: You’re showing courage?

K: No, not at all. It’s because I always watch Non-stop.

Shi: Eh? Really?

K: It’s true.

Shi: Actually, during the FNS 27hrTV, he did the pose of Non-stop that apparently only I got it. I was really happy. It was when we had the meal during SMAPxSMAP corner.

K: Yes.

Shi: After this, he will be the special guest on the corner “Displeased person.”

K: I’m not that displeased.

(Everyone laughs)

A female host: Just his name, it’s still cool … (looking at Kimura) So cool!

Shi: It’s obvious, isn’t it! He’s the top, so it’s obvious!

K: (touches her T-shirt) It looks good today. (clothes) The universe. (face) The Saturn.

The host: It’s not the Saturn! Because there’s nothing around my face!

Then, while a female announcer was asking audience to send questions they want to ask Kimura, Kimura was making another trademark pose of the show.

"You're so cool"Collapse )

17th-Nov-2012 10:55 pm - Miyuki-sama, chou kakkoii yo
waiting
Today I found the new song of Nakajima Miyuki-sama. I always love her songs, her music and her style. I listen to her songs every day. I also plan to buy her singles, albums and the DVDs of her annual live. But at the moment, I can't call myself a true fan of her yet, cause I didn't even know that she released a new single and a new album in October (laughs). 

I've watched the PV ten times already. As I was watching it, I couldn't help thinking continously: "So cool!" It's not only about the PV, but also about the melody and the lyrics. For me, Miyuki-sama's image is pretty much of a traditional lady who walks in kimono very elegantly. But that lady also holds a very strong and kind heart. She never misses anything in this life. She writes songs about everything, beautifully and with all her heart. But honestly, I've never imagined that she would take such a cool stance in a PV. 

Onshirazu (Ingratitude)

14th-Nov-2012 11:53 pm - Shingo's greatest monster
Shingo
An excerpt from Shingo's recent interview in a newspaper

Q: For you, who is “monster”?

A: The greatest “monster” for me must be SMAP members. Truly amazing people are all together. I also try my best to not lose to other members.

Q: What’s the condition of an ideal combination?

A: It’s a relationship where two people can spend time with just themselves, even without speaking. In SMAP, it’s Kusanagi-kun. If I’m with him, even though we don’t say a word, I don’t feel bored.

Q: How can you memorize long scripts?

A: I memorize scripts at the location. It’s because if I don’t try putting myself in that situation, I won’t grasp them. I can remember scripts basically after reading them once.

Q: What is your method of eliminating stress?

A: It is to feel that people support me. It’s the best, if I am told “Try your best, Shingo-chan” in the street. 

13th-Nov-2012 11:35 pm - Ne...
sleep
05
Good sleeps
Beautiful dreams
Happy days
and Never lose your pure heart

All are my wishes to you on this special day
Happy birthday, dear...

People around you often talk about Kimura Takuya's existence. 
For me, it's something very simple. 
Kimura Takuya is a man who lives to give his all and appreciate all the things that are given to him. 
It sounds so simple, ne. To give and to receive.
But not many people can do it without hesitating...
9th-Nov-2012 11:44 pm - Te wo nuku hou ga tsukareru
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The other day I got some time to watch a couple of PR clips of Priceless. Of all the clips, the talk on Mezameshi left the most impression on me.  It was when Maeda Oshirou-kun, one of the two child actors interviewed Nakai Kiichi-san:

M: How is Kimura-san, from the view of Nakai-san?

N: As Oshirou-kun sees, what do you think?

M: He’s really kind.

N: He’s kind, isn’t he? He’s cool, right?

M: Really cool.

N: I also think the same. Kimura-kun is always a star. He’s famous. I think it’s really hard (to be a star and famous). He’s doing his best. He’s putting into efforts much more than people can imagine. That’s amazing.

The answer of Nakai-san surprised me, and then made me smile. Don't know if it's just me, but from the way he said about Kimura I can feel that not only does he respect Kimura but he also likes him a lot. Because you don't use such complicated description when talking to children, let alone simply for praising someone you got to work with by chance. I feel like Nakai-san were trying to tell people who mistakenly think that it's natural for Kimura to get the best and create the best. I feel like he were trying to protect Kimura. 

Actually, Nakai-san's answer reminds me of an excerpt from Suzuki Osamu-san's book "TV's tears" in which he writes about Kimura like this:

“Kimura Takuya. If we assume that you can become Kimura Takuya, will you want to do it? Kimura-kun and I are at the same age, and I was allowed to work with him since I was 22. However, I would say ‘NO’ to it. You should understand it, right? You should know how hard it is to keep at that position. Whatever he does, he doesn’t cut corners. He uses all of his strength for every work. He is an actor, but when he arrives at the site of SMAPxSMAP, he seriously thinks about every skit. Sometimes I think it’s okay for him to not do skits. It’s okay for the man who creates hit after hit in dramas to not do the skit where he wears the pink costume. Neither Oda Yuji nor Oguri Shun does that; there’s no need to do that. Even so, he does it. Because he truly seriously tackles things that people think it’s okay to not do it, I think it was the unique existence of Kimura Takuya.

Several years ago, when Nakata Hidetoshi, the former representative of Japanese soccer team appeared at the World Cup, Kimura-kun, who is also his close friend, told him this on the phone: 'Perhaps there’s a big pressure, but when you appear on the ground, the Japanese people who can taste such pressure are not just 11 people. Therefore, I want you to enjoy the ultimate pressure.’ When I heard that story, the words left me speechless. It was not about the words that the person who is at the same age with me said. After that, whenever I feel pressure, I also remember those words. I think now the person who can taste the pressure is only me, so I enjoy it. However, to compare my pressure with Kimura’s it’s just about 1/1,000,000.”

"Whatever he does, he doesn’t cut corners" - this sentence of Suzuki-san reminds me of one of the most quoted sayings by Kimura not only among Smappies but also non-fans or the public: "It's more tiresome to cut corners." (Te wo nuku hou ga tsukareru). 
31st-Oct-2012 01:28 am - That day I had adoration for them
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Arai Akihiro is dubbed “the foster parent of SMAP” as recognition for his merits of training SMAP from pure idols during their young days into comprehensive talents like they are today. He was the mastermind (producer) behind SMAP’s past shows including Yume ga MORIMORI, and SataSMA, as well SMAPxSMAP and SanTaku during their early years. However, in July 2007, he was promoted to the Planning Senior Manager of the Production Department, and has stopped being involved in the work of producing since then. He is now the Chief Producer of Fuji TV, supervising new projects within the corporation.

At some time between 1998 and 1999, Arai-san wrote a series of essays under the column called “TV Yomoyama Banashi” (TV Miscellaneous) in Kyoto Newspaper. A part of the series was called “Variety Paradise” in which he mentioned about his first meeting with SMAP and a couple of interesting facts about SMAP’s color codes, as well as SMAPxSMAP like how and why the show had bistro SMAP,….

(This is different from the summaries of SMAP stories told by Arai-san that a Smappy posted at SCS some time ago. Hope that I can go back to those with full details some day in the near future.)

Nakai is blue, Kimura is red, Goro is pink, Shingo is green, Mori is white...what color is left?Collapse )
22nd-Oct-2012 12:19 am - SMAP...are monsters
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An extract from Matchy-san's talk with Tokumitsu Kazuo-san - a freelance announcer, an MC, a talent and also an adviser to Sony Music Artists - on Tokumitsu-san's music radio show on October 20. 

To: Among Johnny’s groups, SMAP release the most singles, right?

Ma: Yes.

To: Furthermore, even though they do acting, then hosting again, and then work as comprehensive talents they are still really active. For such a group called SMAP, how do you take them?

Ma: SMAP…are monsters, right?

To: They are!

Ma: Yeah…that group.

To: That’s an exact expression.

Ma: Yeah. Each of them has pride in being a member of SMAP.

To: Indeed.

Ma: For Nakai, this kind of feeling - “Among this group of SMAP, I’m the leader”-  is really strong.

To: Oh…

Ma: That’s why when SMAP go to somewhere, the feeling “The one who has to protect SMAP is me!” that he gives is really strong.

To: So, he gives such feeling.

Ma: He does. Therefore, when it comes to SMAP, when being told “please do this, please do that,” Nakai could be a man who says “Wait a second, please! No, that is…”

To: I see.

Ma: That’s why we would really feel “Ah, that is absolutely how a leader is.”

To: Do you talk with Nakai-kun? He says he respects and is scared of Matchy-san, so it’s difficult to approach you.

Ma: Nakai is like that. But then, everyone, hmm…when we have chances to talk, well, since each has different personality, my viewpoint is also vary for each one.

So, for example, Nakai somehow calls me “Matchy-san, Matchy-san.” But, for Kimura, “it’s impossible to call Matchy-san.” He calls me “Kondo-san, Kondo-san.” He asked me: “Is it okay for me to not call you Matchy-san, but Kondo-san?” That’s why each of them is different.

To: Matchy-san also doesn’t call him “KimuTaku” like the public, right? You call him “Kimura,” don’t you?

Ma: I call him Kimura.

To: As I thought, that’s how it is.

Ma: But…well, everyone is happy with that. On my birthday, I receive emails and calls from kouhais. Some time ago, when my father died, Kimura was the first one who immediately called me (after the news). Even though his call was responded by the answering machine, that guy left a very long and great message for me.  He’s really kind. Kind, everyone is kind.

To: I see.

Ma: Yeah.

To: You know… now I want to show everyone the current facial expression of Kondo Masahiko-san.

Ma: Hahaha.

To: You look a bit teary. Well, things like that. The man himself is also talking with me with a very kind look.

Ma: (laughs shyly)

To: Kouhais are good right?

Ma: They are. 

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