Thursday, May 31, 2007

謎のサークルを探せ!サーチ・ザ・サークルキャンペーン SBI Card Search the Circle Campaign!

Search the Circle

SBI Card is (or was, depending on when you read this) holding a contest for people (well, people who read Japanese) using Google Earth called the Search the Circle Campaign (謎のサークルを探せ). Two people who can find the three keywords will get a chance at 1,000,000 yen (100万円).

Of course some people can't resist and they've spilled the beans:
This blog takes you through all the answers up until the final one and this one gives you the coordinates of The Circle (you click on it to get the entry form). It also has all the answers in one handy post but where's the fun in that? Of course you have to enter in each keyword first to get up to the circle and you can get them here, here, and here. The final clue is contained in a video released on youtube.

Blueberries man, blueberries.

Oh, and I forgot to mention. The contest started on April 25th and ends tonight May 31st at midnight (all times presumed to be JST). I already entered. You didn't think I'd just give people this information, did you?

Muscle Musical on Muscle Channelマッスルチャンネル におけるマッスルミュージカル

Muscle Channel Logo
Muscle Musical Logo

I've written about the Muscle Musical before but I haven't really shown you guys anything about the show yet. Well, right now on BS-i they are broadcasting the Muscle Channel (マッスルチャンネル), the latest show produced by the people who brought you SASUKE (hosted by 佐藤弘道 Hiromichi Sato). The Muscle Musical will be playing in Las Vegas and they also have their own theater in Shibuya。The Musical A Team will go to Vegas to spread the word while the B Team (I'm looking at YOU 知幸) will perform in Shibuya. Anyway, some kind soul with access to BS TV (I know, I know) has uploaded the Muscle Musical part of the first Muscle Channel episode that shows the history and the making of the 2007 version of the Musical. I'll embed part 1 here and give links to the rest. Thanks goes out to youtube user musclemusical (I don't think they are official)! It's eight parts that takes about an hour to watch but some of the stuff they do is pretty amazing. Enjoy!

Pt. 2
Pt. 3
Pt. 4
Pt. 5
Pt. 6
Pt. 7
Pt. 8

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

新SASUKE 2007春 - 1st ステージ Shin-Sasuke Spring 2007 First Stage

I'm a bit behind but here are some (admittedly not very good) screen caps of the obstacles of the First Stage to Shin-SASUKE 2007...

1. ロープグライダー/Rope Glider

2. ロッググリップ/Log Grip

3. ポールメイズ/Pole Maze

4. ジャンピングスパイダー/Jumping Spider

5. バンジーブリッジ/Bungee Bridge

6. グレートウォール/Great Wall

7. フライングシュート/Flying Chute

8. ターザンロープ/Tarzan Rope

9. ロープラダー/Rope Ladder

You have 130 seconds!

Later stages will be put up eventually. Probably after all the obstacles have changed again.

新SASUKE 2007春 Live Blog (With Caps Lock!)
新SASUKE 2007春! On! Tonight!
Attention SASUKE Lovers! (With Mister SASUKE hate!)

ザ・ダイソー, Safety, and You

Found at ザ・ダイソー (The Daiso, a 100 Yen Shop chain)

Various colors and flavors!
Which one? Which one?

For those of you who are...gifted.
Bigger than the average bear!

For the businessperson on the go!
condom with a carry case red
condom with a carry case red and white
condom with a carry case

The Art of Ube: 11 and 33 宇部の彫刻

The devastating aftermath of World War II left Ube city in ruins. As the people began to rebuild their city they felt a desire to transform the desolate land into utopia. Projects along with reconstruction were started with people's hopes to maintain a strong tie with nature. The urban renewal projects brought in landscaping and horticultural programs. And in 1961 the Yamaguchi Open-air Museum was born.

No. 11 SEED 増殖 by 伊藤憲太郎 (Itou Kentarou)

No. 33 アルウィン・ニコライの陽-〈眩驚〉by 土田隆生 (Takao Tsuchida)

坂井泉水 Sakai Izumi of Zard (1967-2007)

From MDN:
"Singer Izumi Sakai has died after sustaining head injuries in a fall from the edge of a hospital building in Tokyo, her management agency has announced. Sakai, a member of the popular group ZARD, was 40."
(Japanese version is here.)
Other articles are here and here.
Sakai made her debut in 1991 and as well as hits with Zard such as Makenaide she also wrote hit songs for other artists:
突然 (Totsuzen) for Field of View
Teenage Dream for Deen
あなたと共に生きてゆく for Teresa Teng
I first found out about Zard through the Best of Detective Conan theme song CD which contained the song 運命のルーレット廻して. I also enjoyed Sakai's cover of 異邦人 with B'z guitarist Tak Matsumoto.
At the time of her death, Sakai was battling cancer but had been planning to release a new album later this year.
According to her official fansite, a service will be held for her 27 June 2007, more details to be announced.

Wikipedia links:
Izumi Sakai
ZARD (Japanese)
ZARD (English)

Two Interesting CMs..ダンディハウス「ニッポン ダンディ?」 and Pure Pure Garden

Nothing much to say here, just take a gander:

Kuwata Keisuke (桑田佳祐) for Dandy House's ニッポン ダンディ? campaign. (Note: The song playing is Kuwata's newest solo single 男達の挽歌(エレジー)).
(Thanks to youtube user hydeken69)

And Rinka (梨花) for Kanro's Pure Pure Garden.
(Thanks to youtube user ekaitza26)


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs 道路標識と信号機

Or Every girl's crazy about a sharp dressed man..

Over at Rocking in Hakata Deas points out something that I never really realized: The guy in the crosswalk signals is wearing a hat.
It's not just in Hakata:

But it's not just the crosswalk signals. Japan wants people to know that being a snappy dresser and traffic safety work hand in hand:

I asked a friend why the guy is always wearing a hat. Their reply was something along the lines of "It's so that he doesn't look like a monster." Good enough for me.

Other links of interest:
信号機(しんごうき) (Dig the crazy moving gifs!)
Why, yes, there is a Japanese web page with a bbs that collects photos of different traffic signals around Japan, did you even have to ask?
Traffic light
William Potts, inventor of the 4-way three color traffic light

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

リンガーハット ちゃんぽんちゃん! CM RingerHut: We are the CHAM-PON!

So Ringer Hut has a new character: CHAM-PON-chan! (I will forever capitalize it like that)

And, as you can see by the logo above the ad campaign for CHAM-PON is We are the CHAM-PON! Sounds suspiciously like the title to a well-known Queen song? Well, it's all part of the plan (thanks to YouTube user nakadamania):

I wonder if those gaijin extras knew what they were cheering for?

The Ringer Hut CM page is here.