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At long last, I have finished revising and editing my English translation of Koharu Kusumi’s autobiography, A Career Change at 17 (17歳の転職, 17sai no Tenshoku), published two years ago on February 10. I was trying to release it on February 10 this year, but didn’t quite make it for either Japan time, UTC, or my time zone, but it’s still February 10 in some time zones, so I guess that still qualifies as releasing it on the second anniversary of the book’s publication.
I sent Koharu a previous draft of it for her birthday last year but have made a number of edits to it since.
So for all of you waiting to read what Koha has to say about her life growing up in the Niigata countryside, her auditioning for Morning Musume。, or her interests in food and health, now you can do so without having to struggle to read it in Japanese if that is not your forte. That said, Koha and all of the staff involved in publishing this book are not getting any revenue from this unauthorized translation in any way, so I would strongly encourage you to support Koha by purchasing a copy of the book yourself, especially if you enjoy reading it. Think of this as a supplement to the original work to make it more accessible to English-speaking readers rather than a substitution for it.
You can buy a copy (or several) from one of the following online merchants, or another of your choice:
So without further ado, here is my translated version of the book, in 3 versions (each 12 MB):
(EDIT (March 7): A few typos and other small errors have been corrected.)
- Koharu Kusumi: A Career Change at 17 (electronic version) (for viewing on the screen, with clickable hyperlinks in color)
- Koharu Kusumi: A Career Change at 17 (printable version, one-sided) (all page numbers appear on the right)
- Koharu Kusumi: A Career Change at 17 (printable version, two-sided) (page numbers are on opposite corners of alternating pages)
You can also download these files on the Hello!Online tracker.
It seems I’m updating about once a year now. :( I haven’t left the fandom, but I guess I lost interest in blogging at some point. Maybe I’ll resume soon. I’ve done a lot of things in the meantime though, including visiting Japan twice, so I definitely have stuff to share.
Anyway, with the sudden announcement that Saki is graduating from S/mileage, I’ve now experienced for the second time the sudden graduation of my favorite member from H!P. Saki wasn’t originally my favorite in H!P, much less S/mileage, nor was S/mileage my favorite group, but she gradually became more interesting and I even decided to get a haircut like hers when “Short Cut” came out. I’m glad I got the chance to meet her briefly at the mini-live and handshake event at Sunshine City in Ikebukuro last December.
But what inspired me to post now was a couple of lines in a comment by Tsunku♂ posted on the official Hello! Project site:
This was originally translated by takamaruyo as
Also, she is still an immature student.
A working adult would understand that abandoning work half way is an inexcusable act, but please consider her straight and strong feelings, and watch over her with your warm and love.
When I read this, my immediate reaction was Who would write such a rude thing?! The remarks came off as an overly harsh criticism of Saki’s decision in the middle of a comment apologizing for the sudden announcement and change in lineup. It seemed really out of place.
So I read the original in Japanese, and though I’m not completely fluent, I thought it wasn’t nearly so harsh. It didn’t directly criticize her for her maturity nor expect her to understand such a decision to be irresponsible. Rather, it seemed that Tsunku♂ was defending Saki from people who might criticize her for being immature and irresponsible and that he was explaining that since she was still in school and a minor, what one would expect of her would not be the same as what one would expect of a working adult. Sure, he’s upset about it and it most likely ruined plans he had for S/mileage, but this wasn’t the place to say that. I pointed this out, and offered my own translation, which has since been incorporated into takamaruyo’s. But since I wrote that in a hurry, it’s not terribly great, so I point you instead to Pure Idol Heart’s version:
Again, Ogawa is still an inexperienced student and a minor.
For a working adult, it would be unacceptable to give up their job halfway.
However, please consider her straightforward feelings, and watch over her warmly.
There’s still some implied criticism but it isn’t directly calling her out for being immature and irresponsible.
Unfortunately it seems the original translation had been reposted all over the place, and a number of people in the community have been outraged at Tsunku♂ for something he didn’t quite say, and others have taken the rude comments to be revealing something about Saki’s relationship with Tsunku♂ and H!P, though it really isn’t. And of course, if you read Tsunku♂’s defense of Saki against accusations of irresponsibility as exactly such an accusation itself, it puts Saki herself in a bad light too.
Something so small as the choice of a few words here and there to translate a statement can really skew an audience’s reaction in extreme ways. I’m not criticizing the original translator though, as no translation is perfect, especially on such a short notice.
I’m struggling with how to render things properly myself as I undertake my current project of translating Koharu’s autobiography/self-help book 17sai no Tenshoku. I decided to work on this just a few days ago, and though it’s certainly going to be quite a time-consuming project, especially since I have to look up unfamiliar words and expressions all the time, I think it’s worth the effort. It’s certainly helping me improve my Japanese, even more than just reading it as I had been before I decided to translate it. And since it’s my first translation project, it’s giving me some experience in choosing the right words and structures in English to express a text written in a completely different language. Certainly a lot of nuance will be lost in translation, and some will be gained that wasn’t in the original, but at least by the end of it, I’ll have a text that others in the English-speaking fan community can enjoy. I don’t believe anyone else is working on a fan translation, and there’s no way Up-Front Books is publishing an official one (though that would be awesome).
I’m currently up to page 35 of the book, though this looks like more than it actually is, since the page numbering starts with the eight pages of color photographs Koha included at the front (adorable baby Koha! awwwww <3) and includes the lengthy table of contents that lists every chapter, section, and subsection, each with its own title. Koha's writing is very Kohaesque, if you're familiar at all with her personality. It jumps around a lot and frequently gives brief impressions of one scene before jumping to the next. The text within each subsection is divided into parts separated by a blank line, and these parts are divided into paragraphs. Sometimes just a few words make up such a part by itself. A single page can have up to five distinct parts. On top of that, about half the book is dialogue in script form.
This style of chunking text into short sections may be characteristic of contemporary literature in general, when most people read stuff on cell phones and have trouble with text that isn't conveniently arranged for reading on a tiny phone screen. This article by Yoko Tawada is an interesting read on the subject. It seems a newer translation of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov in Japanese has been selling way better than anyone would expect, and likely for the main reason that the translator has intentionally broken up Dostoevsky’s gigantic walls of text into bite-size pieces.
Koha, though, goes a bit beyond such expectations. It might be suggested that this book is ghostwritten, which may be standard for celebrity autobiographies, but Koha says in the preface that she wrote it all herself and was involved in the editing process. As I read it, I’m having trouble imagining anyone besides Koharu writing this. More than just the short sections, the writing is very much in her style.
So hopefully this will be finished in a couple months or so. I’m certainly having fun reading it and trying to find the right balance between readability and faithfulness to Koha’s style as I take her words and express them in a form more accessible to many of us.
Seems I haven’t updated this thing ages… since before Koha’s graduation announcement even … :o
I’d like to resume blogging, though; I have a boatload of planned and unfinished posts (nothing like going on a hiatus in the middle of a series…), and hopefully they’ll appear sometime.
Anyway … a few days ago, I was reading Koha’s blog, and noticed that she had just announced appearing on Ameba Pigg. She had done so the day before too, and I had made myself a Pigg account and ventured into the unknown to look for her, but without success. According to her posts, she had been hanging out in the Niigata area of the “Furusato” section, among other locations.
So this time, since she hinted that she’d be somewhere outside of Tokyo (and would be wearing a green jersey), I headed back to the “Furusato” section and picked the first room that wasn’t full, which was the Iwate room….
*blink* This place seems lively…
(That’s me in the purple odango and glasses and an orange triangle above my head. Due to having no Ameba money, I hadn’t been able to afford any outfit more interesting than the basic options…)
It’s a Koha!
Koha gets ambushed by a mob of fans….
… and escapes, only to be re-ambushed…
Here’s her info box thing, and me saying “Konnichi pa”. The clueless person at the bottom is confused and asking who Koha is. XD
The ambush continues…
Koha requests that everyone read her blog and not to block her from view (by crowding too closely around her).
I contribute a “sine cosine tangent“.
Koha says “sarang hae yo” (“I love you” in Korean) in hiragana to everyone. ♥
Coincidentally, I’m right in front of her (sorry for blocking you, Koha! ._.)
Koha telling people she can’t be seen because everyone’s blocking her… T_T
Pyon pyon revolution?
And then she vanished. :o
Seems half of my favorite H!P members, past and present, love math. :p ^_^
(with a little translation help from Murr–thanks!)
This is my account of going to see Morning Musume。 at Anime Expo in Los Angeles last week, which is a bit delayed due to technical and other difficulties. It was quite an adventure, and there is much more to say than I have room for here, but this should be a nice recap of my experience. I’ve left out parts that I think have been covered comprehensively elsewhere, like details of the MM Q&A panel and the concert. So, without further ado, LET’S STARTING!!! (o_0)
When it was announced that Morning Musume。 would be signing autographs, I wanted to make the experience super awesome, so I got some additional merchandise that hopefully I’d be able to get signed while at AX. This included a full-size Papancake poster (Taiwan version):
Hello! Hello Kitty toaster is my roomie’s, not mine. ^_^)
This poster hung above our breakfast/dinner table for a while, and it was definitely enjoyable to eat breakfast with Koha (or eat breakfast while being stared at by Koha…).
I also got a Best☆Kirari poster and a Koha mini-poster, and my roomie got a Kirari to Fuyu poster.
After it was announced that we could get a different item signed by each member (for up to nine separate items), I wanted to do just that, since having all of their autographs on one item is kinda boring. Things didn’t exactly turn out as planned, but I was going to have these items signed:
- Mini Moni ja Movie: Okashi na Daibouken! DVD cover — Takahashi
- Souda! We’re ALIVE CD cover — Niigaki
- Hare Ame Nochi Suki ♡ CD cover — Kamei
- Ai no Sono ~Touch My Heart!~ CD cover — Michishige
- FIRST KISS CD cover — Tanaka
- Papancake poster — Kusumi
- Onna ni Sachi Are CD cover — Mitsui
- Shouganai Yume Oibito CD cover — Junjun
- Platinum 9 DISC CD cover — Linlin
- Osaka Koi no Uta CD cover — HANGRY
If it turned out I’d be able to attend more than one autograph session, I’d get something else signed by everyone. Or maybe everyone except Koha, because I had a ton of Koha stuff. ^_^
In addition, since giving gifts was allowed, I decided to give each member one. Being broke, I decided to get MIT t-shirts for Aichan and Sayumi and a plush lobster for Koha. On top of that, each member would get an individual personalized card.
I had a lot to say to Koha, Aichan, and Sayu (who also happen to be my roomie’s favorite members—we like a lot of the same things; it’s like we’re the same person ^_^), so I filled up their cards, but I didn’t know what to say to the others. So rather than putting something generic on all the remaining cards, I came up with some pretty random messages for a few of the other members.
Eri got a pretty terrible (and self-referential) haiku:
|亀が好き||kame ga suki||I like turtles|
|亀井 大好き||Kamei daisuki||I like Kamei a lot|
|俳句です||haiku desu||this is a haiku|
It was so bad it deserved another haiku to comment on its atrociousness:
|詩は酷い||shi wa hidoi||poetry so bad|
|墓に芭蕉の||haka ni Bashou no||Bashou in his grave|
|寝返りね||negaeri ne||is rolling, isn’t he?|
Continuing with the haiku theme, I decided to write Reina some nonsensical Dadaist ones, all having a seasonal theme but otherwise not making a whole lot of sense (though they all have some extratextual resonance of one kind or another) … these actually took a while to write; nonsense isn’t as easy to write as it might seem.
|サスカチュワンに||Sasukachuwan ni||to Saskatchewan|
|果実 飛ぶ||kajitsu tobu||fruit flies|
|紅葉の絵||momiji no e||picture of autumn colors|
|手押し車は||teoshi kuruma wa||the wheelbarrow|
|青いです||aoi desu||is blue|
|冬の道||fuyu no michi||winter road|
|あいにくケーキ||ainiku keeki||unfortunately the cake|
|うそじゃない||uso ja nai||is not a lie|
|春か猫||haru ka neko||spring or cat?|
|知らないよ||shiranai yo||I don’t understand|
Having run out of creative haikujuices, I offered Aika the Y combinator in PostScript:
Apologies to Risa, Junjun, and Linlin … yours weren’t as spectacular, alas, other than a banana drawing for JunJun. :-o
As for the other three, Aichan got a green MIT t-shirt with a design like this but in black and white:
Her card had this on the back (“MIT ♡ Aichan”):
Inside, I told her how I really liked Q.E.D. Shomei Shuryo especially due to its MIT connections and that I knew of at least five current MIT students coming to AX just to see Morning Musume。 (which is a considerable number given that the school only has about 10,000 students), and several more who are H!P fans.
Due to her professed interest in math, Sayu also got an MIT t-shirt, but one that was more disguised. It had this design (not my photo, and not the shirt I bought):
In her card, I commented that the three letters clued by the formulae also happened to be the first three letters of her family name in Kunreishiki romanization (Mitisige). It’s like Sayu and MIT were made for each other… XD SayuMIT!
The back of Sayu’s card (featuring Euler’s identity):
Koha’s was by far the longest, as I had plenty to say. I told her about how her music was largely responsible for getting me into the H!P fandom, and that the “sine cosine tangent” line from “Hana wo Pu~n” was too awesome. I drew diagrams corresponding to her hand movements in the PV (the angle is in the bottom left, and she outlines the two sides whose ratio is the sine, cosine, or tangent of the angle; note that in Japanese convention, you put the denominator in a ratio first—1/3 is “sanbun no ichi”):
(The above was actually my first ever YouTube video, posted under my old account, back before this blog even existed.)
Also, I told Koha I shared this clip in my electronic music class and passed around my copy of Kirarin☆Land, and that my classmates and the instructor were very impressed (which is true … one classmate even wanted a rip of the album tracks).
In addition to this, I wrote down all eight of the double dactyls I had written to celebrate Koha’s birthday last year on a larger card and rolled it up.
That sums up my preparation, I think. Now to attend my first ever non-classical concert and my first ever anime convention! XD
Day 0 – Airport Awesomeness and Line-waiting Lameness
I flew into Orange County on June 29, and stayed there with my relatives for a week, other than the days of the convention. As this is irrelevant, I’ll jump to Day 0, July 1, when Morning Musume。 arrived at the airport.
I wasn’t originally planning on going to meet them at the airport, due to my lack of transportation and not wanting to inconvenience my relatives. But as June 30 rolled by without a sign of the group, it became clear that they’d definitely arrive on July 1, which was eventually confirmed by a fellow passenger on their flight.
I decided to get myself to the airport by public transportation only, as part of the charm of visiting a new city for me is getting lost in its public transportation, which inevitably happens regardless of how much planning I do. This has happened to me with Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Chicago, so I was eager to add Los Angeles to the list.
It took me 3.5 hours to get to LAX, using two local Orange County buses, an Orange County express bus, two Metra trains, and an airport shuttle. I did in fact get lost, as I failed to request the Harbor Freeway station stop to switch to the Metra Green Line. The bus didn’t announce its stops, and since no one requested that stop, it drove right on by. :-o Eventually, we got to downtown LA, driving right by the convention center, so that was my first glimpse of the place I’d be spending most of the next few days. I got off at 7th street and took the Metra from there, adding about forty-five minutes to my planned trip.
Arriving at the airport with plenty of time to spare, I saw that a small group had already gathered at the waiting area in the Tom Bradley International Terminal:
It was here that I met Bryan and Jen, hosts of the truly epic Hello! Party to come, and Claudia and Ivet, creators of the 3,2,1 BREAKIN’ OUT! OPV that won the Morning Musume。 prize. XDDD
After much waiting, during which several passengers from another flight from Japan did a double take after seeing the huge banner we had up (“Ehh~~??? Morning Musume。‽‽‽”), the members themselves appeared, to much fanfare and chaotic screaming:
We chased after them (from a respectable distance) and saw them get into a white van. Seeing them up close (and getting waves from them ^_^) was so awesome! One fellow passenger on their flight, after asking what all the commotion was and being told they were a popular J-pop group coming to America to perform for the first time, had this to say (regarding Aichan, I think): “She had nice legs.” :-o
I next went to the LA Convention Center with Bryan, Jen, Claudia, and Ivet, and got in line for badges. I was melting and hungry, so I parted ways and went to grab food, which in retrospect was probably not the best decision. Returning to the line a bit later, I saw that it had grown to a ridiculous size. Oh well. Unfortunately they had computer trouble, so I ended up waiting 90 minutes in the blazing sun. Ugh. And after that line came the concert ticket line, which was fortunately mostly in the shade. After four hours of waiting, I finally had badges and concert tickets for myself, my roomie Kyttyee, and our dear friend Aaron the Apathetic Wota (whom I will affectionately call A~ron in this post), who earlier this year had managed to accomplish the amazing feat of unintentionally attending a Johnny’s concert in Japan.
Unfortunately, this meant I missed the last express bus out of LA, so I had to get a ride from my relatives. :-/
Day 1 – Opening Ceremony, Q&A Panel, and More Waiting in Line
The next day, A~ron and Kyttyee picked me up, and we arrived at the convention center in time for the opening ceremony, details of which you can find elsewhere. Afterward, A~ron and I got in line for the exhibit hall, which was ridiculously long and extended the entire length of the South Hall and a bit further. Once we got inside, shortly after noon, we rushed to the JapanFiles/JPopHouse booths to get autograph tickets. Unfortunately, the lines for the two booths had merged, and the staff were trying to untangle them. As it turned out, I was in the JPopHouse line when I thought I was in the JapanFiles line, and the rearranging resulted in the section of the line I was in getting shuffled to the back of the JapanFiles line. So after thirty minutes of waiting, I was now back at the end of the line. >_<
A~ron, having gotten into what looked like the JPopHouse line, ended up further ahead of me in the JapanFiles line, and was able to get a HANGRY ticket, but no MM ticket. So we managed to get something after all. Later on, we were able to get a second HANGRY ticket from JPopHouse after the panel, as they still had them for a while longer.
We headed to the panel and got there as the one before was letting out. We were able to get seats at the right of the fourth row, and after the panel was over (details of which you can find elsewhere), we got our autograph tickets and followed the directions to the back of Hall K in the Exhibit Hall. There we found hundreds of people running around in circles following each other, quite an amazing thing to experience. After overhearing some more sensible directions from the info booth, we headed upstairs to Room 301 and found the actual autograph line. Unfortunately, there were two lines on opposite sides of the building, and we were told to go to the other line, despite being right by one line of people who had already gathered. I decided to go to the other line while A~ron secured a spot for Kyttyee in the first line. The other line, when I got to it, wasn't much longer, so I stayed there. As it turned out, that was a mistake, as Kyttyee was able to get autographs in like 30 minutes (and a 3-minute conversation with Aika! :-o), while I ended up having the door shut in front of me with about twenty people ahead of me (I was #182).
Oh wells. Try again on Saturday?
We (CFB, Greg, maiZe, joh, and Paul, I think) headed down to the JPopHouse booth and got in line (yet again!) for some H!P merchandise. I bought a photoset and a Platinum 9 Disco poster, since the autograph session had specified one item for all members to sign, and I didn’t have anything I wanted to have signed that had all nine members on it. I also purchased some glowsticks and glow bracelets from JapanFiles. They had run out of all the colored glowsticks, but luckily found they still had a box of the red ones (Koha!!) as I got there. So yayz.
Having not eaten anything since dinner the day before, I was ready for some dinner, which I had at IHOP with CFB. Afterward I chilled for a bit with CFB and friends. We heard that Morning Musume。 was staying at the Westin, and discussed going there, but alas, I never actually went there the whole time I was in LA. :(
Returning to the convention center, exhausted, I napped in the lobby (should have brought a save point to set up next to me XD), and eventually got to the Econolodge motel in Hollywood or somewhere, where I would stay the next two nights with Kyttyee and Sekai no Melody friends Vivi and Kimi. Before catching some Z’s, we sang, danced, and listened to some of my mashups, and fangirled over the Koha posters Kyttyee and I had brought. ^_^ Kohaaaaa~~~!! *squee!*
Day 2 – Concert, HANGRY, and Hello! Party
In the morning, Kyttyee, A~ron, and I found ourselves back at the convention center for some more awesomeness. We met up with our friend “Edwin », who introduced me to Morning Musume。 in the first place, back when I was just getting into J-pop way back in 2007. Unfortunately, his choice of “LOVE Machine” left me disappointed with the group (I stopped watching the PV a third of the way in because I couldn’t stand it), and it wasn’t until several months later that I found that MM had awesome songs I liked.
Anyway, “Edwin » (being “Edwin ») didn’t stick around for the concert (!) and parted ways with us. We made our way over to the main hall, and somewhere along the way, I lost the poster that Kyttyee, Vivi, and I had made for Aichan (saying “MIT ♥ Aichan! We’ll always support you! Ganbatte ne!”) and took pictures of us with in front of MIT’s Great Dome, which we were planning to give to Aichan as a present (sorry! :( ). In addition, I had forgotten my glowsticks and glow bracelets at the hotel, so all I had were the eleven glow bracelets that had broken and which I was wearing. Kyttyee got us some more glowsticks (no red, alas…) and glow necklaces, and while waiting for the concert to start, I hooked them together into an awesome glowstarball that I waved during the concert (though it would have been even more awesome with non-dead glow bracelets forming the star, and with red glowsticks).
I must say, I was disappointed with “LOVE Machine” being performed, but the rest of the concert was pretty cool, other than having “3, 2, 1 BREAKIN’ OUT!” performed way too many times and being too short overall. But the medley and “Sono Bamen de Bibiccha Ikenai jan!” were definitely awesome (I use that word too much…).
Afterward, Kyttyee and I got in line for the HANGRY autograph signing, and since they wouldn’t let us form a line past a certain point, we walked around in circles and grabbed some food, which we ended up eating in line and actually brought into the autograph booth with us (“Hi HANGRY! Have some nachos!”).
ZOMG, HANGRY in person! It was surreal. I gave her the card I had written for her, and asked her to sign Osaka Koi no Uta, which she did, as “HANGRY → Yossie” (in hiragana):
Due to the excitement (which for the second time I just typed as “exciteness” … ???? O_o), I think I forgot to shake her hand. Blargz.
I grabbed dinner at IHOP (the third time I ate there while in LA), and headed to the awesome Hello! Party, where I encountered lots of fellow H!P fans, including Amy, Rocky, Lysa, CK (who I had met earlier in the day), mp122984, and delrey28.
The party was super awesome, and I stayed until the end. Kyttyee and I were planning to karaoke Renai♥Chance!, but we were too far back in the queue and didn’t get to. But I’m still eager to see what mashup karaoke sounds like and what kind of reaction it would get from a large gathering of H!P fans. (Next Hello! Party? XDDD)
Day 3 – Ch-ch-chance!
Waking up at 8:00 was FAIL. Checking online, I found that the line for the morning autograph session was already more than a hundred people long. Nevertheless, we rushed to the convention center and found the line (thereby missing the second half of the TSUNKU♂ panel >_<). Kyttyee and Kimi chilled in the standby line, while I joined the ticketed line with my ticket from Thursday. And to my surprise, the line was shorter than I expected, with me being only #183 in line (one spot higher than on Thursday). Since Thursday's session had started late and ended early and was rather unorganized, I was hoping it'd be speedier this time and get through more than 160 people.
Unfortunately, after waiting 90 minutes and having had my hopes up, I had the door shut in front of me again, with only twelve people in front of me. >_<
Dejected, I made my way down to the exhibit hall and joined Kyttyee and Vivi for some lunch before going over to the afternoon autograph session in hopes of finding someone who was getting individual items signed and didn't care much for Koha (so I could get my Papancake poster signed instead). As it turned out, they had changed their policy at the last minute to be only one item for all the members (like the other sessions), so this wouldn’t have worked anyway. But at the time I didn’t know that, which worked out in my favor, since after unsuccessfully asking a few people in line, I ran into Claudia and Ivet, who had an extra ticket (thank you so much! you are awesome! XDDDD). Unbelievable joy!
So I got in line (in front of Amy and Mozenator) and had all my individual items out, along with everyone’s gifts. It was hard to hold everything at the same time and I accidentally dropped some of my stuff on the floor (>_<). The line was moving really quickly, compared to the previous lines I was in, and in no time, we were right in front of the booth MM were in, which I had walked past before getting in line, seeing them through the curtains.
At this point, they told us that we could only have one item for all the members, so I was desperately trying to stuff all my individual items into my bag, pull out and unwrap my group poster, and keep from dropping everything on the floor at the same time while walking into the booth—where I found MM in not their expected order (!), so I had to re-sort my gift cards as well. I handed my poster to a staff member (who promptly unrolled it in front of Reina, sitting at the front) and asked if it was ok to give gifts, then handed over my pile of gifts as well. As a result of this chaos, I didn’t get to say anything to Reina other than a quick “arigatou gozaimasu” since she had already finished signing. >__<
Having failed to shake HANGRY’s hand on Friday, I wanted to shake hands with Morning Musume。 this time. Apparently this session was a “no handshakes, no touching, no chitchat” session, unlike the previous two (probably because they needed to rush through 200 autographs—I think only 200 of the announced 300 tickets were actually given out) in a short amount of time. But I didn’t know that—I assumed handshakes were ok because they were fine in the previous sessions. Either they didn’t announce the policy for this session, or I was too busy trying to do too many things at once and didn’t register what they were saying. So I came in expecting to be able to shake hands and say a few reasonably short things to the MM members.
I remembered to ask for a handshake only after Reina was already done signing, so I attempted to shake Linlin’s hand. She didn’t appear to notice (and my brain was too frozen to say anything), so I retracted my hand and moved on. >_< I don't think any of the staff noticed either, because I didn't get any response from them.
Next was Aichan. I managed to say hello to her and tell her I'm an MIT student (showing her my MIT ID card), and that I loved her drama Q.E.D. Shomei Shuryo. She seemed pretty excited and said “arigatou”. ^_^ I was cut off by a staff member saying something (presumably telling me to hurry up), so I thanked her and moved on. XDDD
After Aichan were Risa, Aika, and Eri. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what happened at this point because I got an unexpected “HI!!!!” and enthusiastic waves from both Eri and Aika (at different points in time) while I was still in front of another member. I hope I responded appropriately to their greetings and remembered to thank all three of them for their autographs… :o
Next was Sayu, and I was going to say something mathy, but everything was rushed and confused, so I wasn’t able to say much. I do remember that my poster rolled itself up, and I got a “sorry, sorry!” from Sayu and maybe Koha while I helped them unroll the poster.
Seeing Koha unoccupied (and looking pretty tired, I think), I greeted her with a “KONNICHI PA!!!” and got a “KONNICHI PA!!!” in return, along with an ever-delightful Koha-esque 8D of utter glee (XDDDD). Since I had missed my chance to shake hands with all of the previous members, I offered my hand, and Koha, after a brief moment of hesitation (well, it was a “no handshakes” autograph session after all …), shook it (♥ ^_^ ♥). KOHANDSHAKE!!! XDDD *squee~!*
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to tell her how awesome she was, but hopefully she’ll have a chance to read the card I wrote for her.
I hope I didn’t completely skip over Sayu while doing this (if so, I’m sorry!). D-:
And I don’t even remember what happened with Junjun. O_o
And … curses! I was going to wish Sayu and Koha a happy birthday, and I forgot! >_< gahhhhhhhh … well, I put it in their cards, so I hope they saw them… ^_^
Overall, getting to see Morning Musume。 in person and interact with them was a blast, even if the session was extremely rushed, and the members didn't seem to be enjoying it too much (from other people's reports, apparently several members were told to hurry up and not to interact with the fans, and at least one fan had their hand slapped by a staff member for wanting to get a handshake >_<). I don't recall making eye contact with Reina, Linlin, Risa, Sayu, or Junjun (T_T), but being greeted by Eri and Aika and getting to talk a bit with Aichan and Koha (with a Kohandshake!) was definitely too awesome for words. XDDD
Afterward, there was much ecstatic squeeing as we met up with CFB, CK, joh, maiZe, Rocky, and Paul and looked at what we’d had signed. ^_^
And that is where I’ll end my report, because I left the con later in the evening and didn’t do anything on Sunday. Maybe I should have gone to the airport to see MM off (Koha was wearing glasses and Sayu, Aichan, and Junjun were wearing what appear to be snowboots! I totally approve, having worn glasses and snowboots at the con myself… XDDD), but it was nice just to relax after several days of rushing around, waiting around, and not getting enough sleep.
I’d like to thank Morning Musume。, HANGRY, and TSUNKU♂ for taking the time and effort to come to LA and meet us fans, and the AX/UFA/JapanFiles/JPopHouse staff who made all this possible, even if things could have been done a bit differently. And a bucketful of huge thanks to Bryan and Jen for organizing Hello! Party, and thank you to all H!P fans for your support, whether or not you attended AX; without you, this event wouldn’t have happened. Until next time! ^_^
WHO WANTS A COLONOSCOPY?
So … we’ve been at the halfway point for a while now. My original plan was to do this every year, and that certainly doesn’t look feasible at this point. Though getting through half the countdown in one year is some progress, I guess. The countdown covered only PVs up to and including 2007, so all the fantastic videos from 2008 weren’t included. And seeing as how this will continue on into 2009 without honoring the 2008 PVs, here’s a list of the 2008 H!P PVs that I thought were noteworthy, in alphabetical order:
- Abe Natsumi & Yajima Maimi (°C-ute) – 16sai no Koi Nante (1213 Ver.)
- Berryz Koubou – Dschinghis Khan
- Berryz Koubou – MADAYADE
- Dschinghis Khan × Berryz Koubou – Dschinghis Khan Tartar Mix (β Ver.)
- Buono! – Gachinko de Ikou!
- Buono! – Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!
- Buono! – Renai♥Rider
- Buono! – Rottara Rottara
- °C-ute – FOREVER LOVE
- °C-ute – Edo no Temari Uta II
- MilkyWay – Anataboshi
- MilkyWay – Tan Tan Taan!
- Morning Musume。 – Resonant Blue (Another Ver.)
- Shugo Chara Egg! – Minna no Tamago
- Tsukishima Kirari starring Kusumi Koharu (Morning Musume。) – Papancake
Sorry I don’t have anything more exciting. This countdown should (hopefully) pick up again in January.
My computer died last week. The AC adapter connector thingy broke, and thus my poor laptop was unable to power up.
But now it’s alive again! Rather disemboweled, but fully functional nevertheless. I think I removed like 60 screws or something.
So yeah! I can get back to doing that remix album now…. Yayz! ~^.^~
And while I have everything dismantled, I might as well put the keys in their proper locations… wheeeee….
It’s no longer Koha’s b-day in my time zone, but it’s still Koha-day in most time zones west of here, so …
MORE DOUBLE DACTYLS FOR KOHA! YAYZ ^_^
Seriously, the double dactyl is the most demented form of poetry ever … hence, perfect for Koha. ^_^
Futari wa NS
Team up to try to dis-
Prove Gauss’s rule.
Finished with traveling,
Koha now looks for a
Place to explore.
DNA → RNA:
Err in directing us
Which way to go.
A commencé à chan-
Ter en français.
Cependant, tout le monde
Trouvait son accès de
« Francocacophonie »
* A rough English translation that loses all of the delicious rhyming tonguetwistery of the French:
Started to sing
However, all the world
Found her outburst of
Yayz! I wanted to do 16 double dactyls in honor of Koha’s turning 16, but since double dactyls do double duty, so to speak, 8 should be enough. ^.^
I’ll probably have more double dactyls to post in the near future, though….
Happy birthday Koharu!
In celebration of Koha’s birthday (07.15), here are a few double dactyls I’ve composed:
Master chef Kirari
Proves she can pancake-sort
Faster than SHIPS.
Hana wo Pu~n
Koha and Mai, though
Experts at tangent and
Cosine and sine,
Seizes the heartstrings and
Moves one to tears.
More double dactyls are in the works, so stay tuned!
Welcome to yet another H!P-related blog. I’ve been lurking around the H!P blogosphere for the last couple of months and have finally decided to announce my existence, so here I am. Greetings. I am … uh … I have a couple of Internet handles but they date back to like high school and I need a new one. Let’s see… since this an H!P blog, and H!P is partly responsible for my coining a new word back in November or so, I’ll go with Kawaiirrhea. Here’s a definition:
kawaiirrhea (or kawaiirrhoea) [kʰəˌwaɪəˈɹiːə] n.
: an overwhelming feeling of being inundated with extreme cuteness, as often occurs in conjunction with experiencing the output of Hello! Project
(from Japanese kawaii ‘cute’ + Greek rhoia ‘flow’)
I’m a college student living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and taking probably too many courses, so I won’t be posting too frequently, except when I’m procrastinating, which happens frequently.
I will mainly be writing about topics related to Hello! Project and to a lesser extent, other elements of the J-Pop landscape. Also, since I’m something of a (multi-disciplinary) geek, you may find random unexpected intrusions from math, computer science, physics, linguistics, or literature (or other fields). Don’t worry; it makes sense … I think.