Japanese Entertainment: 3 Underrated Female Japanese Singers

Although Johnny’s is the main type of music that I like here in Japan, over the past few years of living here I have discovered a handful of female singers that have caught my attention. Some of these singers aren’t extremely popular as compared to big artists like Namie Amuro and Koda Kumi or idol groups like AKB48, but people will definitely know their name if you mention them. That is why I describe them as “Underrated” Female singers. In this post, I will introduce three Female singers that I feel are underrated and are also a good bridge into Female singers in Japan.

1: Becky

Most people will know her as a “Talento”, or a TV personality in Japan, but surprisingly she also has a singing career under the name ベッキー♪♯. As most people are, I was first introduced to her through the variety show ItteQ and some dramas where she made an appearance. She is half Japanese, half English and began her singing debut in 2009 with her single “Kokoro Komete” 「心こめて」. She is the oldest out of the artists in this post at 30 years old, but her personality is so vibrant that she still seems in her 20’s!

For her music, she has a very distinct pronunciation when she sings by emphasizing her vowels and I was very attracted to that when I first heard her debut single. She has a very “pure” sounding voice to me and her more upbeat songs are very fun and vibrant, really showcasing her personality that I see on Television. The songs I would recommend from her are her debut single 「心こめて」(Kokomo Komete) as well 「ヤルキスイッチ」(Yaruki Switch) and 「風のしらべ」(Kaze no Shirabe). She has a YouTube channel with her music videos on it, so head there from the music video for  「心こめて」(Kokoro Komete) linked below!

2: Ayaka

Ayaka is a Japanese singer from Osaka and made her debut in 2006 with “I Believe” for a Japanese drama. Her debut year was a huge success and her first album “First Message” topped the Oricon charts and became the highest selling debut album for a female singer in 7 years. She is married to famous actor Mizushima Hiro since 2009 and also in 2009 she announced a hiatus due to a diagnosis of Graves Disease. She was on hiatus until 2012 and made a comeback with her album “The beginning”.

I was introduced to Ayaka through a Johnny’s friend who invited me to her concert in 2013. I had heard some of her songs before, but I didn’t realize that it was Ayaka that had sung them. This year, I had the opportunity to see her live again, this time for an acoustic live. This time I really felt the power of her voice and her vocal range is amazing! She can be powerful, as well as soft in the same song and her voice is so clear. Ayaka mostly sings ballads from what i’ve heard from her. Some of my favorites songs from her are new single「にじいろ」(Nijiiro), as well as “Beautiful”, which was the theme song for the drama 「シェアハウスの恋人」(Share House no Koibito), and 「はじまりのとき」(Hajimari no Toki). She also has a YouTube channel with some of her music videos on there, so please check out “Nijiiro” below!

3: Nishino Kana.

Nishino Kana debuted in 2008 with “I”. She was originally signed to SME records in 2006 when she won a contest called the “Miss Phoenix Auditions”. One of her biggest hits was “Best Friend” in 2010, as well as well as 「会いたくて」 (Aitakute). She has been nominated and won many MTV Music Video awards and Japan Record awards. She also appears in many fashion magazines for her specific style, which is not quite “Gyaru” , but a popular type of style with college age girls and women in their early 20’s.

Compared to the other two artists, she has a bit more of a “Pop” like sound to her music, making it more mainstream than the other two artists. Though she has more of a pop sound, she still writes a lot of her music. Out of all of these artists today, Nishino Kana is probably my favorite, as I like the majority of the music that she releases. I also find her lyrics very relatable to the average person, especially women in their late teens and 20’s. My favorite songs by her are are “ SAKURA, I love you?” “We Don’t Stop”, and “Be Strong”, as well as “Best Friend”. She also has a YouTube channel, so please check out “We Don’t Stop” below!

Had you heard of these artists before? If so, who do you like? If you didn’t know them before, are there any of them that you became interested in? Please feel free to let me know in the comments below!

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Johnny’s Goods Storage Ideas: Concert Tickets  

concert-tickets-1Tickets are one of those things that are tangible from an experience that you had, whether it be a movie or a concert or an event, which you want to keep safe to keep the memories alive. Johnny’s concerts are one of those things that are always important to me, so I keep my concert tickets in a safe place after I go to the show, to look back on the experience that I had and the memories associated with it.

Now, how can you store your Johnny’s concert tickets? There are many ideas, and I have tried a few of them over the years. Remember that storing your goods is a personal preference so the ideas that I present below are simply ideas to get your creative juices flowing and see what might work well for you!

Without further adue, here are 3 ideas on how to store your Johnny’s concert tickets!

Idea One: Scrapbooking binder with sticky pages

I used to use a binder with sticky pages for scrapbooking from the 100-yen (1 Dollar) store when I first moved to Japan, like this:

concert-album-5concert-album-6

I currently use this for Purikura and some old movie tickets now, but I used to fill it with all of my concert tickets!

I would recommend this method (but with better quality items) for people who like to scrapbook or like to add little personal touches to keep the memories in a more elaborate form. You also don’t have to worry about the size of the tickets because they will always be able to fit into the sticky pages. You can find very nice albums in many different sizes that specifically are made with sticky pages in many craft stores in Japan that are classified as photo albums. Overseas I have seen them in craft stores as well, like Hallmark or even Walmart and Target (for America) but they are classified under Scrapbooking. Some stores I recommend to look at for these in Japan are LOFT and Tokyu Hands. There are so many options that you can customize it exactly to how you want it to look like.

This didn’t work out for me personally because I didn’t like it visually, partly because of the cheap items I used for it though. I used to decorate and add comments to it, but I realized I didn’t need that extra element. I simply wanted to store my tickets to keep them safe and pull them out to look at.

Idea Two: Photo Album

A photo album is a great alternative to a scrapbook if you want nothing more but storage. I currently use a photo album because I have accumulated many tickets and I want easy access to them and also to preserve them as well.

The album that I currently use is this one I bought from LOFT:concert-album-3concert-ticket-2concert-album-4

 

It says L-Size pockets on the box, so you have to go to the store and make sure the pockets are big enough for Johnny’s concert tickets because they are quite large compared to tickets that I have seen before coming to Japan. LOFT is a bit pricey, but you can look at the samples of the albums before you buy them. Once again, Tokyu Hands also has them in Japan too. Overseas, regular photo albums work just as well too! You just need to make sure of the size of the pockets before you buy it.

Johnny’s has also sold albums specifically for concerts tickets in the past that you can probably at goods resale stores like Manadarake and Gorakudoh.

Idea Three: Simple box

In the beginning,  I first had a box that I would put everything into from concerts that I went to or Johnny’s things I had accumulated. It was an medium size box from my rain boots and I used to throw everything into there that was related to Johnny’s. I started out with this method, but eventually decided to change to a the sticky pages, and eventually a photo album.

The upside to this method is that everything is in once place, not just tickets. The downside is that it can be a bit messy to sort through if you have tons of things. If you keep your tickets together with just some pictures of the events that day, I think it would be a nice memory box to open and sort through sometimes. Once your collection grows though, I would recommend separating things to find them easier. The simple box is great for someone who wants to keep everything in one place though!

 

How do you guys store your Johnny’s concert tickets? Are there any other ideas you can share with everyone? Please comment below!

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