Japanese Fashion: EATME Harajuku Store Grand Opening – October 26th, 2014

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On October 26th, I went to the grand opening of EATME, a brand by the famous Model Tsubasa Masuwaka. Tsubasa is best known for being a “Gyaru” model in POPTEEN and POPSISTER Magazines (although has graduated from both) and also has two cosmetic lines, Dolly Wink and Candy Doll. She is also a singer under the persona “Milky Bunny”.

EATME is Tsubasa’s first clothing line and has been around since this past summer online at Runway Channel, but the first shop opened in Harajuku just last week. EATME comes from Alice in Wonderland, which my friend Rosie tells me she is a big fan of those kinds of styles. How I would like to describe the style is a bit on the sexy side with some of the shapes of the clothing, but the accents of it make it cute and tone it down by giving it a bit of a conservative, “British” edge. “British” is a trend in clothing in Japan recently, especially for Fall and Winter,  but EATME seems to be different where it fundamentally is based off of the British style, and not just following the trend this year.

Around noon on the 26th, Rosie and I headed over to the shop after eating lunch. She has been a fan of Tsubasa for a long time and she was excited to see the shop. The store was surrounded by flowers from people congratulating the shop on it’s opening, something that is common for shop openings, as well as stage plays and concerts in Japan. When we went to the shop, we thought we were going to have to wait but it ended up that we were given a number and ushered right in after a few minutes. We walked in and the store there was a photo backdrop on the left and a staircase to the right leading up to the second floor.

We then began to look around and just as we were looking at the sweaters on the table at the front of the store, just on the other side was Tsubasa herself! I couldn’t believe it! We were both nervous and we walked around the store for a while looking at the clothes not being able to talk to her, because she was helping other customers. Once Rosie and I decided what we wanted to try on, I went first into the dressing room. I tried on (and eventually bought) a white and blue rose- print dress from the store.

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White and Blue Rose Print Dress by EATME. Photo Taken in Yebisu Garden Place

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While I was changing out of the dress I had tried on, I heard Rosie outside of the dressing room talking with someone. I walked out of the dressing room and found that she was talking to Tsubasa finally! After they talked Rosie went into the dressing room and tried on two dresses. Tsubasa then began talking to me and asked me what dress I was going to buy. She was so nice and gave both Rosie and I advice on how to wear the dresses that we picked out and was interested that we were from a foreign country and joked around with me about letting people in America know about the brand. That day she wasn’t able to take pictures with customers or sign anything, but we were able to shake her hand! It was an amazing experience to be able to talk to the producer of the brand herself and get advice from her on how to wear the items we bought.

At the end, we checked out and took pictures in the picture area at the front of the store and then went to look up stairs. Upstairs contains vintage clothes that aren’t part of the EATME brand and it had a nice boutique feel to it.

Below are parts of the Fall Look Book from the EATME Website. I like the vintage “British” feel to it, as well as it being a bit on the “sexy” and mature side, but also has that touch of cuteness to it. I also particularly like the dresses in the collection.

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All Pictures are credited to the EATME Brand found on the EATME Website

I look forward to seeing more from this brand in the future! It has caught my eye and I can’t wait to see the next collection that comes out.

Check out the brand’s website below! What do you think of it? Tell me in the comments below!

EATME Brand Website

Store Layout and Location Details

 

*I am not affiliated with this brand. This is only my personal report on the event that happened*

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Stageplay Report: Masuda Takahisa 「フレンド -今夜此処での一と殷盛り-」 October 12th, 2014

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On October 12th, I had the opportunity to see Masuda Takahisa’s play 「フレンド -今夜此処での一と殷盛り-」two times at the Tokyo Globe Theater! The Tokyo Globe theater located at Shin-Okubo station, one stop away from Shinjuku going towards Ikebukuro station on the JR Yamanote Line. This is only the second time I have ever been to the Globe Theater, the first being for Shige’s play back in April “Naka no Hito” 「中の人」. The first showing of the play started at 1:00pm so my friend and I actually entered about 10 minutes before the first show started and I quickly bought goods and sat down. My seat was on the first floor, Row G on the right side when facing the stage. These seats weren’t bad for the first viewing because I felt like I was inside the play at the end (which I will get into later), even thought it was a bit low to the ground and me being small, sometimes seeing in-between other peoples’ heads in front of me wasn’t fun. Then the play started right at 1pm.

Play Overview

Please note there are spoilers following this, so please be careful if you are going to see the play!

The opening scene begins with Massu’s character helping a drunken person walk along, coming in from the right section of seats near the stage, then up the stage, and barging into a bar late at night when they are closed. Here you also meet the character that will become Massu’s character’s wife later on, Akiko. It then cuts to one of the characters explaining the setting of the play. The setting is a bar/ Izakaya called “Friend” (in Katakana) located near Shibuya Station in Tokyo. He also introduces some of the characters as well and after this the play starts.

The play takes place beginning in Showa Year 5 (1930) and continues through out the years until, I believe, probably between Showa year 17 or 20?(1942-1945) when the bombings of Tokyo happened. It is a “one room” setting play with only one set change towards the end of the play.

As a guide, here are the characters names that I mention here:

Actor’s Name – Character’s Name

Masuda Takahisa: Yasuhara Yoshihiro

Kaname Endo: Nakahara Chuuya (The Poet)

Aimi Satsukawa: Miyaji Akiko (Yasuhara’s Wife)

 

This play is actually based on a true story of a famous Japanese poet named Nakahara Chuuya. He was a famous poet in the early Showa period. Massu’s character, Yasuhara, went to school together in Kyoto with him they are good friends. Nakahara is going through struggles many struggles, including love problems and problems with his attitude and not getting along with people well, which leads to many funny scenes in the play, but also some emotional ones as well. The play has many themes, including friendship, love, and loss. Through the play, Yasuhara evolves as he grows older and he has to choose giving up working with Nakahara on writing and literature and the arts, which he loves, for having a stable job for income because he gets married. This decision comes from the cover that he drew for the author’s book being rejected by the publisher (which he helped get published in the first place) and him getting married as well. This ends up being one of the most emotional scenes in the play because he is rejecting to continue being Nakahara’s “partner”, but explains that he will stay his friend no matter what. This also happens on the day that Yasuhara’s engagement is being official. Other emotional scenes include the girl working at the bar, Akiko (who ends up being Yasuhara’s wife character’s wife), accepting the offer of the owners of the bar to become their daughter, as well as sending off their friends to War and the scene when Yasuhara came back from the funeral of Nakahara.

The play did a good job of blending in comedy with all of the emotional themes, which is why I called it an “emotional roller coaster” after I saw it for the first time. The funniest scene in the play for me was right after the really emotional scene of Akiko accepting the owner’s offer to become their daughter. At the beginning of this scene, Yasuhara is about to enter the bar, but stops when he sees the owners come down the stairs, so he quickly shuts the door and stands outside the bar listening to the whole conversation as it goes on. At the end of the scene, when Akiko accepts the offer to become their daughter, Yasuhara begins to bawl crying and everyone in the shop is confused to where it is coming from, and one of the other characters exits the shop and sees him crying and brings him inside. Massu was adorable and the way that he cried on the lamppost outside the shop was hilarious! I was laughing so hard after crying at the emotional scene before it. Yasuhara was a great combination of adorable and cheerful, but also surprisingly serious at certain points.

The ending of the play was a huge emotional punch. The play had been pretty steady up until about ¾ of the way through. After that it, speed up once the war started until all of a sudden sirens begin to go off. These are sirens during war for when an air-raid bombing is about to begin to warn people to take shelter. Bombs “go off” and then you see Yasuhara stumble out from the back of the theater as the bombings are going on, all covered in soot and dirty and he is searching for his wife. This is the part that you feel like you are in the play, as the play actually moves into the seating area. Yasuhara trips and falls (passing out) then the bombings all of a sudden “stop”. From the right side of the theater, Nakahara’s “ghost” appears and begins talking to Yasuhara and leads him back to Friend, just as he normally used to back in the day. The only catch? Friend is on fire. So this scene is very powerful and eerie as everything is like normal with everyone dead and alive there, but the bar is on fire. The sound effects then stop after showing that it was a gathering of some sort, and everyone begins reciting some poetry together (possibly from Nakahara’s poetry?) and then all of a sudden Yasuhara begins to be pulled back into the “real world”, saying that he can’t die now, as he made a promise Akiko (his wife) when they got engaged that he wouldn’t die as all of her family died in a bad earthquake and she didn’t want to be left alone. Yasuhara gets pulled behind the curtain and the Nakahara recites more of the poetry and exits out the back of the theater. It then turns to Tokyo being in rubble and Yasuhara waking up at Friend in rubble as well. On the right side of the stage you see the figure of someone approach and they take their hood off as she notices Nakahara. It is Akiko and they are finally reunited after the bombings. They have an emotional reunion with her showing some important things that she saved that were important during the play, as well as saying that the owners of the bar are safe. The play ends with them hugging and crying there in the rubble of Friend.

At both performances I was crying so hard at the end of the play that I still hadn’t stopped as the curtain call was going on. Massu’s acting was amazing and this play was such an emotional roller coaster. Tons of people were crying during this play, which really does show that the whole cast, not just Massu, did an amazing job. Even I, who still isn’t totally fluent in Japanese, was moved to tears. I wish that I could understand more of the poetry in this play, but poetry is difficult to understand in any language. There were  also some romantic scenes between Yasuhara and Akiko that were cute as well! There wasn’t any kissing, just hugging, which actually made it even cuter I think.

I also attended the second show that day and that one began at 6pm. I was in Row N towards the right side of the stage again and since it was elevated I had a very clear view of the stage and this was probably a better seat than the one I had at the first show because of that. I was also closer to where Massu entered a few times in the play.

IMG_2628Thank you Massu for an amazing play! It was more than I could ever imagine!

I hope that you all enjoyed this play report! I did my best to convey some highlights of the play without telling everything about it. Please leave any questions or comments down below.