‘Sushidols’ serving songs with wasabi!

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It’s hard making it as an idol group in Japan. In this business, thousands of girls and boys are struggling to find their niche, be it with snaggleteeth, clean towels or chainsaws.

This time Rocket News would like to present a girl group who have taken a more fishy road to success, by pitching in at their local sushi shop. Every Sunday, you can catch up-and-coming Idol Class do a free concert then sell you some octopus after the show, in what they call Sushidols.

A beautiful cross-promotional marriage, Nagoya-based spacious sushi restaurant Goichi produced Sushidols to bolster sales, and it seems to be working. At the same time, Idol Class has been building a solid resume of TV and event appearances, culminating in the video of their newest song Hold Onto Your Dream.

On top of that, recently Victor Music Arts Inc has announced their decision to publish Idol Class’s first official release, “Beginning Story.” To celebrate, they will perform a commemorative “debut” concert at Nagoya City Performing Arts Center’s Grand Hall on August 11.

Meanwhile, you can get a taste of these sushidols via their regularly updated video blogs or by buying one of their made-to-order CDs and DVDs from their website.

So let that be a lesson to all you would be idol groups just starting out. The quickest way to a fan’s heart is through their stomach. Source: JT

The Japanese Lady Gaga

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Kyarypamyupamyu is a Japanese fashion model and singer who has been popular since 2009. She is sometimes referred to as the “Japanese Lady Gaga”.

Known for her funny faces, she made her musical debut with “PONPONPON” in July and released her debut mini-album “Moshi moshi Harajuku” on Aug 17. One of the songs from “PONPONPON” is on YouTube and has been viewed 3.8 millions time as of Tuesday.

Kyarypamyupamyu is on the hit charts in other countries. Her popularity is immense on the South Korean portal NAVER. In one video on YouTube, a man named Yusef watches the PV and starts dancing and putting on a horse’s head. He says, “The only thing I can say is ‘Japan,’ just ‘Japan.’ Nothing else.”

Other comments include “Cute and crazy”, “She is the Japanese Lady Gaga and her song and video are addictive”, and “I listen to it everyday … like taking drugs”.

Teach Yourself Japanese

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Japanese uses a combination of three writing systems: HIRAGANA, KATAKANA and KANJI.

What is Hiragana?

HIRAGANA is the basic Japanese phonetic alphabet, which represents every sound in the Japanese language.

Theoretically, you can write everything in Hiragana. However, Japanese is written without spaces, and if you were to use only those characters, you’ll find yourself in some troubles right away.

In Japanese, writing the strokes in the correct order and position is essential, specially if you are writing a Kanji.

Kana are the syllabic Japanese scripts, as opposed to the logographic Chinese characters known in Japan as kanji (Japanese: 漢字) and the Roman alphabet known as rōmaji.

There are three kana scripts: modern cursive hiragana (ひらがな), modern angular katakana (カタカナ), and the old syllabic use of kanji known as man’yōgana(万葉仮名) that was ancestral to both.

First, we will start learning the basic alphabet. The attached file on this post has a full set of Hiragana characters, and I took my time to add the number of strokes for each one. I’m sure you’ll find it useful and easy to understand.

When practicing by hand, remember the stroke order and direction of the strokes.

You’ll notice a couple of intriguing symbols: dakuten ( ゛) and handakuten marker ( ゜).

Both are able to modify the sound of a kana and allow you to modify a voiceless consonant into a voiced consonant. Sounds complicated, but you’ll get used right away.

Dakuten (濁点?), colloquially ten-ten (“dot dot”), is a diacritic sign most often used in the Japanese kana syllabaries to indicate that the consonant of a syllable should be pronounced voiced.

Handakuten (半濁点), colloquially maru (“circle”), is a diacritic used with the kana for syllables starting with h to indicate that they should instead be pronounced with [p].

Finally, you’ll see what a double kana is. Basically, all of the double Hiragana are combinations of a Hiragana for a consonant + “ya, yu, yo” (や, ゆ, よ).

Resources:: 1, 2