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Original article via Tokyo HivePUFFY to release best album to celebrate their 15th anniversary.

I’m really excited that PUFFY will be celebrating their 15 year anniversary (& I’m a bit stunned that it’s been 15 years already).  I’ve been a long time fan of the band & I have already been to 3 of their concerts in the U.S. (as well as collecting as many of their CDs as I can).

I must say that these 2 ladies are an amazing pair.  Being able to balance work & family life is not an easy task, but Ami Onuki & Yumi Yoshimura are able to make it look so effortless, & I applaud these strong women.

You know what else?  This is a little-known fact about myself: PUFFY was one of my “gateway” / “bait” bands into the Japanese Pop music scene.  Around the time I had just learned about Japanese Pop music (a.k.a. JPop), Japanese anime was just becoming hugely popular in America.  I had previously known about anime & such, but I had no clue what Japanese Pop music was like.  I had no idea that Japanese Pop music was so modern & popular all around the world.  I first learned about this amazing music genre when I was given some Japanese Pop CDs from my older cousin who resides in Japan as a gift.  He had given me one CD by Morning Musume & one by BoA.  I really had no idea what was going on or what the lyrics meant, but I had immediately fallen in love.

After that first experience, I dove head first into the world of Japanese Pop music & pop-culture.  I spent many weekends at the one music shop in the local Japantown, browsing all the aisles, marveling at all of the beautiful & shiny CD covers.  I was lucky that I had a friend that knew about Japanese Pop music long before I had even heard of it, & she recommended a few artists for me to listen to…one of which was PUFFY!  This friend was great.  Not only did she know a few things about Japanese music, but she could also read some Japanese text, so she was able to translate a few CD names for me at the time.  (Thanks friend!)

Once I had immersed myself into the Japanese Pop music scene, I was utterly obsessed!  To this very day, I am still crazy about Japanese Pop music…probably more now than I ever have before… But now I have branched out my musical ears into other genres of Japanese music…also listening to: JRock (i.e.: LUNA SEA, Judy And MaryOrange Range, the Pillows, etc.), JSoul a.k.a. R&B (i.e.: Ken Hirai, Namie Amuro, Emi Hinouchi, Kato Miliyah, etc.), JRap (i.e.: m-flo, Teriyaki Boyz, Rip Slyme, Rhymester, etc.), & JSka/JJazz (i.e.: orange pekoe, Crazy Ken Band, Jazztronik, OreSkaBand, etc.) among many others.  If you browse through my iTunes music folder, you’d probably notice that 80% of my music is Japanese,  10% Western Top 40/Pop, 8% Jazz/Bossa Nova, & 2% World/International.

Overall, I’d definitely say that PUFFY has influenced me in exploring other genres & (languages) of music.  Thank you PUFFY & Congratulations on celebrating 15 years & many more!

Ame Warashi approved!

So, I got this idea from randomly surfing around on You Tube yesterday.  I had recently subscribed to the Vlog of a YouTuber who posted a video response to the question “What are 5 recent things you are obsessed/in love with?”, and I got the idea to post my answers as well.  But…..I’m totally lazy & I am absolutely not motivated to make a low-budget YouTube video of myself.  Instead, I’m much more inclined to type this out.  So, here it goes:

5 Recent Things I’m Obsessed With:

1. Pinky Street vinyl dolls:
Created by the Japanese company Vance Project, these little 8-inch cuties are hard to resist!  They are so much fun to collect because they aren’t just any typical Barbie-type plastic doll.  With these dolls, the customization is practically endless.  All the dolls have removable snap-on hair (so you can mix & match the front & back hair pieces) & interchangeable clothes.  In the original sets, each package included: 1 dressed up doll + 1 extra outfit (to mix & match) + 1 accessory item (that you can snap onto its hand) + 1 hair accessory item (i.e. extra set of bangs, ribbons, or a hat).  There are also many tutorials & DIY books you can find online about how to customize your own Pinky dolls by painting them & using sculpy clay.  My Pinky dolls collection has reached over 60+ dolls (plus 1 model car, 1 comic book, 1 accessories kit, 1 military weapons kit, 2 postcard sets, 1 diorama making book & 2 DIY books).  For me, it’s not really an expensive hobby since each doll costs around $12USD a piece (including all the little accessories that come with it).

2. Stickers:
I’m absolutely obsessed with stickers & I love to collect them.  My fiancee thinks I’m nuts & also thinks that collecting stickers is a stupid hobby, but I can assure you that I am not like some coin collector or stamp collector.  I actually use my stickers. Yes, I do.  I love to use my stickers to personalize & decorate greeting cards & handwritten letters (yes, I do still write snail mail!).

3. Calendars:
I love calendars, especially decorative ones that you can hang on the wall because those can double as cute wall art.  I often like to save my old calendars & use them as posters or framed pictures.  You just cut off the bottom edge where the dates are & voila!  You can use the upper picture as a poster or wall art!

4. Diary (a.k.a. schedule notebook):
In Japan they are often called a “diary”.  For the rest of us, it’s just a glorified schedule notebook.  I love using these notebooks to keep track of what’s going on in my life.  However, I don’t really use them for the purpose they were intended.  For all of my important appointments, I use my cell phone since I can set an alarm reminder.  I use my diary to write down everything that I’ve done in the day…kind of as a record of all the things I’ve done.  I also like to go back & read all of my old entries & reminisce about all of the fun stuff I’ve done.

5. Background wallpapers:
I love to use custom background wallpapers on all of my electronic devices.  (Please see my previous post about where I like to get my HQ desktop backgrounds).   Every few months I will rotate my background wallpapers & it really adds a pop of eye candy & daily inspiration.

This is a picture of all of my Pinky dolls:


This is a picture of my sticker collection.  This is only 75% of my entire collection.  I have over 150+ sheets of stickers:

These are the current calendars I’m using in my room. The first is a pop-up desk calendar & the 2nd is a wall calendar by the brand fewmany:


This is the current diary I’m using.  I bought a plain diary from the Japanese stationery store LoFT & added some decals & a few crystal beads to make it look personalized:

Here are the current background images I’m using:
1. macbook, 2. iPad, 3. iPhone

I love typography.  Text.  Even a simple word, with the right font, can look like art.  This video “The Alphabet 2” by N9ve is an amazing experiment by N9ve, and I absolutely love it!  Plus, it’s kind of a cool, hip way to teach kids the alphabet!!

The Alphabet 2 on Vimeo
on Vimeo

via The Alphabet 2 on Vimeo.


September 2011

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