Category Archives: celebrity
Nobuko Miyamoto, singer,performance artist (A Grain of Sand), visited us over the weekend to perform at our local Japanese Culture Day Festival. She’s evolved from making social justice type work to environmental issues and has made two videos and does performances related to them…Mottainai and BYOC (Bring Your Own Chopstix)…very entertaining as well as motivating. Videos and more information on her website: http://greatleap.org/
Japanese Culture Day
Hilo, Hawaii Nov. 19
Sunday, October 30 1:09 am
In keeping with the theme of recycling and reuse, beautiful Japanese clothing and accessories have been provided by a number of families for the popular Shichi-go-san (which means 7-5-3) traditional kimono dressing and picture taking.
Kenji Kawai, president of the sponsoring Japanese Community Association of Hawaii (JCAH), invites everyone to participate and enjoy this special festival which celebrates Japanese culture. Admission is free.
In Japan, Shichi-Go-San is a festival commemorated by parents in mid-November to mark the growth of their children as they turn ages 3, 5 and 7. Girls are dressed in gorgeous ceremonial kimono and accessories, while boys are dressed in haori jackets and hakama pants.
At Bunka No Hi, Shichi-Go-San kimono dressing and photography will once again be offered. Expert kimono dressers led by Sakae Kaya will be busy all day, dressing girls 7 and 3 in beautiful kimono and all of the accessories, while boys, age 5, will be handsomely dressed in haori jackets and hakama. The cost is $35 for JCA members and $45 for non-members, which includes dressing, photography session, and two 5-by-7-inch photographs.
Reservations are required in advance and there are a limited number of opportunities. Call 959-7526 or 969-6437 or e-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. The organization also is looking for more children’s obi. If you have any that you’d like to share or donate, please call either phone number.
Other activities at Bunka No Hi will include entertainment by Nobuko Miyamoto (Mottainai and B.Y.O.Chopstix videos, and Mottainai bon dance); performance by Puna Taiko, demos, displays and the annual honoring of esteemed individuals as “Cultural Treasures.” Get personalized calligraphy done, for a small fee, and purchase food prepared by various kenjinkai groups. Also on sale will be Mottainai T-shirts and portable/re-usable chopsticks.
A Mottainai Recycled Art Contest is being staged in conjunction with Bunka No Hi.
Japanese Culture Day in Hawaii Chairwoman Jan Higashi invites everyone to create a work of art using such throwaway items as kamaboko sticks, tofu containers, foam food trays or related materials.
Artists should keep their creations within a maximum size of a 10-inch cube. Each piece must be original art made by the entrant. Drop off art by Thursday, Nov. 10, at the JCAH office on weekdays between 1 and 4 p.m. The office is at 714 Kanoelehua Ave., Suite 202, upstairs in the Hawaii Printing Building next to American Mattress.
The works of art, along with announcement of winners and prizes, will be displayed at Bunka No Hi on Nov. 19. For more info on the contest, please call 969-6437 or email email@example.com.
Bunka No Hi is sponsored by the JCAH, the County of Hawaii and KTA Super Stores.
Saturday, November 12 · 4:00pm - 7:00pm
Health Awakening Studio
9045 Fair Oaks Blvd. suite E
café SENDAI- Delicious Japanese foods, organic & healthy, Sushi, Home-made Miso, Kimchi and Artisan breads. 4pm-7pm
Silent Auction – Gift Certificates from local sushi restaurants, local businesses.
Japanese hand crafting – for both kids and adults. Making paper cranes (origami) and making Zori (Japanese indoor thong) from recycled materials.
Movie screening – “Gaia Symphony” see the trailer on our website. 5:30pm – 7pm The door will be open during the movie so you can come and leave whenever you want to.
Bring your friends and kids! I highly recommend to pre-order foods. Please go to our website for more details & ordering form
All the profits will go to specially selected organizations in Japan.
This time we will be donating money to two aid organizations in Japan. One is ASHINAGA who are offering educational & emotional support to children who have lost their parent(s) in the disaster and another one is Team SAKE who are working directly with people to rebuilding local communities and businesses.
Presented by KIBO Connection
Kibo means hope in Japanese
Aileen Chanco, pianist and musical director of Music at the Mission in Fremont, CA (http://www.musicatmsj.org), shares her best wishes for the people of Japan after this year’s earthquake and tsunami disasters.
Teen star is giving all his 2011 prize money to tsunami relief, and then some
AKRON, Ohio — Sunday’s final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational could translate into a huge windfall for disaster relief in Japan.
Ryo Ishikawa, tied for second behind leader Adam Scott, has earmarked all of his 2011 prize money to a relief effort still helping victims of the earthquake and tsunami that struck March 11.
The WGC-Bridgestone winner receives $1.4 million.
“Japan is still in a devastating situation,” said the 19-year-old pro, who could become the youngest in 100 years to win any event now affiliated with the PGA Tour.
“There are people that have no homes right now, and we actually don’t know how long it’s going to take for Japan to recover.”
According to Japanese police and fire officials, the disaster claimed some 16,000 lives, left 450,000 homeless and destroyed some 250,000 buildings.
In addition his winnings, Ishikawa also has pledged an additional 100,000 yen (currently $1,275) for every birdie he makes this year. Combined, his total commitment adds up to about $955,000. One more good round Sunday would more than double that.
“That’s an incredibly generous gesture from a young man, really,” Scott said. “He should be proud of himself, and Japan should be really proud of him.”
Ishikawa, by the way, might not be recognizable to fans who remember his long locks. After sporting a Rory McIlroy-type perm at the British Open, he’s had the sides shorn and left it long only on top.
“Too hot here,” he said inEnglish.
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE — There are parties every night at the Evian Masters, always capped by fireworks at the Hotel Royal high on the hill above this quaint resort town on Lake Geneva. The Evian may not become an LPGA major championship until 2013, but Franck Riboud, the chairman and CEO of tournament owner Danone, a $40 billion company — and that’s a lot of yogurt and bottled water — has always treated the players in a major way.
There are precious few stops on any pro golf tour that combine natural beauty, luxurious accommodations and just plain fun as successfully as the Evian. There is another little tournament with the name “Masters” in its title that spoils its participants this way, but Washington Road in Augusta, Ga., will never be confused with Rue Nationale in Evian, just as no one would ever confuse Evian GC with Augusta National GC.
This event began as a Ladies European Tour stop in 1994 and became co-sanctioned as an LPGA event in 2000, the year before the Weetabix Women’s British Open — now the Ricoh — became an LPGA major. That created a compelling two-week European swing — a $3.2 million purse at Evian followed by a major — but this is the last year they will be played together.
Next week, the Ricoh Women’s British Open will be played at Carnoustie and next year it will be at Royal Liverpool, but in September, so as not to conflict with the Olympic Games in London. In 2013, the Women’s British will return to its late July date while the Evian moves to September so as not to have majors on consecutive weeks.
The last year of what for a decade was a dynamic pairing of events produced an incredibly memorable tournament. When play began Sunday, Ai Miyazato, whose first LPGA victory was at Evian in 2009, was at 13-under par and had a two-stroke lead over Ran Hong, her playing partner in the final round, Angela Stanford, Stacy Lewis and Miki Saiki.
When the smoke cleared — and before the final fireworks display of the week — an emotional Miyazato was 15-under par and holding the championship trophy and receiving a kiss on each cheek by Riboud and tournament director Jacques Bungert. Augusta National chairman Billy Payne almost never plants a smooch on the guy slipping into the green jacket at that other Masters — another way this event is different.
The triumph, the seventh of Miyazato’s LPGA career to go with 15 in Japan, was a quietly dominating performance by a player whose swing has a hypnotic tempo that could put even strong French coffee to sleep. She went out in 33 to extend her lead to three strokes then held off Lewis, who got as close as one stroke before a bogey on No. 16 after a poor wedge shot ended the suspense, by two strokes with a 70.
“I was nervous this morning, but I really trusted myself,” Miyazato said, the trophy resting near her, along with other spoils of the victory, like a new Rolex. “‘Even when the lead was down to one stroke, I was in no hurry,” she said. “I kind of expected that to happen.”
Miyazato, whose first LPGA victory was at Evian in 2009, was emotional that day because she finally proved she could win away from her home tour, which she had dominated with a dozen victories before joining the LPGA. This time she was playing for a greater cause — her embattled homeland.
“This year, I really felt like I was playing for Japan and not myself,” Miyazato said after getting her first win of the year. “It was so difficult early in the season with what was going on with the earthquake in Japan,” she said about her slow start this season. Miyazato said she would give some or all of the $487,500 she won to the foundation she created with other Japanese female players to aid in earthquake and tsunami relief.
“This is my favorite tournament,” Miyazato said, “and I am so happy to win, especially right now. We are having some tough times in Japan.” As she stood on the 18th green for the closing ceremony, a team of three skydivers jumped from a helicopter, two carrying the flag of France and the third with the flag of Japan. When he landed on the green he handed the flag to Miyazato, who broke down during her acceptance speech delivered in flawless English.
This has been a good stretch for female athletes from Japan. First they won the Women’s World Cup in soccer, and now Miyazato collects the second-largest check in women’s golf, ranking only behind the U.S. Women’s Open. More importantly, the Evian Masters acquired another priceless moment to add to its memory bank.
Officially, the Evian becomes a major in 2013, but really it has been acting like one for more than a decade. The classy way in which it handled Miyazato’s victory — delivering the flag of Japan with the skydivers, making certain the tragedy in Japan was never overshadowed by a mere golf tournament — is just another example of how hard Riboud and Bungert work to make the players feel appreciated.
There will be a lot of talk going forward about the pros and cons of having five major championships, and that will be an interesting — and no doubt lengthy — debate. But there is no debate about this: The Evian Masters is one great golf tournament, and this year it produced the absolutely perfect winner. It produced a major moment.
– Ron Sirak
By Paula Hancocks, CNN
July 19, 2011
Tokyo (CNN) — It’s not often that it’s acceptable to open a bottle of champagne at 7 o’clock on a Monday morning, but this was one of those occasions.
David had beaten Goliath and the Japanese football fans crammed into a Tokyo bar had screamed themselves hoarse watching their national team play two-time winners the United States in the women’s World Cup final in Germany.
It was a rollercoaster of emotions for 200 fans; twice they thought their team had been beaten as the U.S. took the lead but twice they pulled it back.
The timing could not have been more anti-social as the game kicked off at 3.45a.m. local time. But apart from a few snoozing supporters, potentially due to the free-flowing beer rather than the late hour, the passion stayed alive throughout.
There were plenty of Japanese football shirts on show in the Footnik Bar in central Tokyo but with the men’s players’ names on the back — that could well change now.
“It wasn’t conceivable that Japan would win the World Cup, and it wasn’t even the men who did it but the women,” said Futoshi Arai, a fan from Tokyo.
“I was surprised, their games aren’t even aired on TV and they won the cup, it gave me goose-bumps.”
After the March earthquake, tsunami, nuclear and political crises, this country was overdue some good news.
As the team progressed through the competition against the odds, the nation was inspired by the team and it became about more than just football or a trophy.
“After the disaster, the whole country was in the spirit of trying their best. What we saw was the soul of Japan,” another Fan, Yasushi Tsuha, told CNN.
There were few dry eyes in the sports bar as the victorious Japanese players lifted the World Cup trophy for the first time. Men and women were overcome with emotion and pride in a team that few knew anything about before this competition.
The split between men and women was fairly even. Women who had no interest in football before had suddenly become die-hard followers.
When I see women like me giving so much spirit, it gives me energy to keep going in my daily life,” said Ayako Nishi.
Japan had been the underdog and the sentimental favorite before the match. Now they are the best in the world.
Winning goalie Ayumi Kaihori of Japan made two saves in the shootout. (Getty Images)
By NANCY ARMOUR,
AP National Writer
Jul 18, 5:05 pm ED
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP)
Their country’s misery was never far from their hearts.
Thousands dead or missing. Villages erased. Homes destroyed.
The players on Japan’s women’s World Cup team invoked the slow recovery from a devastating tsunami and earthquake time and again. Whatever they could do, they vowed, they would.
True to their word, the gleaming World Cup trophy will ride back on the plane with them—a prize, they hope, that will lift the gloom, even if only for a short while.
“Before we went to the match tonight we had some commentary on television and we heard comments on the situation in Japan,” coach Norio Sasaki said after Japan upset the Americans for the World Cup title in a riveting final Sunday night, 3-1 on penalty kicks, after coming from behind twice in a 2-2 tie.
“We wanted to use this opportunity to thank the people back home for the support that has been given.”This was Japan’s first appearance in the final of a major tournament, and it hadn’t beaten the Americans in their first 25 meetings, including a pair of 2-0 losses in warm-up games a month before the World Cup. But the Nadeshiko pushed ahead, playing inspired soccer and hoping their success could provide even a small emotional lift to their nation, where nearly 23,000 people died or were reported missing in the March 11 catastrophe.
Following each of their games in Germany, the players made a solemn parade around the field with a banner that read, “To our Friends Around the World— Thank You for Your Support.” Before Japan upset Germany in the quarterfinals, Sasaki showed his players images of the destruction to remind them of their higher purpose.
“They touched us deep in our souls,” star Aya Miyama said about the photos at the time.
And they responded in kind. Joyous fans wearing Japan jerseys hugged and sang in Tokyo as they watched the players hold the trophy aloft, confetti swirling around them and flecking their hair with gold. Special newspaper editions were printed by the national papers and handed out to pedestrians in Tokyo on Monday morning, while scenes from the game were replayed constantly on television.
It was the first World Cup title won by an Asian country.
“If any other country was to win this, then I’m really happy and proud for Japan,” Carli Lloyd said. “Deep down inside I really thought it was our destiny to win it. But maybe it was Japan’s.”
As the Japanese players celebrated, the Americans watched in stunned silence. Through every comeback, to every last second, they believed they were meant to be World Cup champions after their rocky year—needing a playoff to qualify, a loss in group play to Sweden, the epic comeback against Brazil.
Hope Solo (R), and Abby Wambach
(L) both were awarded performance
trophies. (Getty Images) They simply couldn’t pull off one last thriller.
“The players were patient. They wanted to win this game,” Sasaki said. “I think it’s because of that the Americans scored only two goals.”
The Americans squandered countless chances before Abby Wambach scored in the 104th minute of overtime to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead.
But Homare Sawa, flicked in a corner kick in the 117th to tie it. It was the fifth goal of the tournament for Sawa, who led all scorers in her fifth World Cup.
“We ran and ran,” Sawa said. “We were exhausted, but we kept running.”
The Americans had beaten Brazil on penalty kicks in a quarterfinal, but they didn’t have the same touch Sunday. Give feisty goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori credit for some of that. Chirping and yelling, she showed no fear as she faced the Americans. Never mind that she is just under 5-foot-7, and the goal is 8 feet high and 24 feet across.
Shannon Boxx took the first U.S. shot, and it banged off Kaihori’s right leg as she dove. After Miyama made her penalty, Lloyd stepped up and sent her shot soaring over the crossbar. As the crowd gasped, Lloyd covered her mouth in dismay.
After Kaihori’s impressive two-handed save on a shot by Tobin Heath, Mizuho Sakaguchi converted Japan’s third kick. One more, and Japan would win the title.
Wambach made her penalty kick, but Saki Kumagai buried hers and the rest of the Japanese players raced onto the field.
“This is a team effort,” Kaihori said. “In the penalty shootout I just had to believe in myself and I was very confident.”
It’s been 12 years since the United States has won the World Cup, and these players were certain they were the ones to break the drought. They’d needed to beat Italy in a two-game playoff just to get into the World Cup, then lost two games in a three-month span, an unusual “bad streak” for the defending Olympic champions.
After easy wins in their first two games in Germany, the Americans lost to Sweden—their first loss ever in World Cup group play.
But they rallied with one of the most riveting finishes ever in a World Cup game—men’s or women’s—against Brazil in the quarterfinals. Down a player for almost an hour and on the verge of making their earliest exit from a major tournament, Wambach’s magnificent, leaping header in the 122nd minute tied the game.
The Americans beat Brazil on penalty kicks and, just like that, a nation was hooked.
Japan player Aya Miyama scores a tying goal past USA goalie Hope Solo (right). (US Presswire)
Hollywood celebrities, pro athletes, even folks who don’t know a bicycle kick from a Schwinn were captivated by the U.S. women and charmed by their grit and can-do attitude that is proudly American.
The final set the record for tweets per second, eclipsing the wedding of Prince William and Kate and the death of Osama bin Laden. The exciting climax drew 7,196 tweets per second, according to Twitter. Paraguay’s penalty shootout win over Brazil in a Copa America quarterfinal later the same day came close to beating it with 7,166.
The previous record of 6,939 was set just after midnight in Japan on New Year’s Day. Other spikes include bin Laden’s death (5,106 per second) and the Super Bowl in February (4,064).
President Barack Obama was a fan, taking to Twitter on Sunday morning to wish the team well, and his staff posted a tweet after the loss.
“Couldn’t be prouder of the women of (hashtag) USWNT after a hard-fought game. Congratulations to Japan, Women’s World Cup Champions.”
The U.S. fell to a team to whom the victory meant so much more than just a title.
“It just seemed like all of Japan suffered so much,” Wambach said. “It seemed like their country needed them to win more than ours.”
June 10, 2011 7:00 pm ET
Gwen Stefani hosted a Harajuku themed tea party earlier this week and announced today that the event raised an amazing $120,000 for the Save the Children’s “Japan Earthquake Emergency Fund.” The private tea party treated generous guests to a special performance by No Doubt and an appearance by Gavin Rossdale.
Gwen Stefani: “Meeting the fans who donated their money for Save the Children’s relief effort in Japan was so inspiring. It was an incredible day filled with lots of emotion. I can’t believe I had the opportunity to host an event that could actually help people. I never thought that in my life I could make a difference but through the power of music and fashion we were all brought together to help the kids in Japan. It feels amazing to give a little back to a culture that has given me so much.”
The Harajuku themed tea party attracted 200 guests at “Royal/T” in Los Angeles which is the first Japanese style “cosplay” maid café and pop art space. Gwen Stefani’s muses Love, Angel, Music and Baby were also on hand at the event to help Gwen host. In order to help raise funds, the tea party included a raffle which offered collectable vintage L.A.M.B. memorabilia which happened to be from Gwen’s own personal closet. There were also Harajuku Lovers fragrance sets, UK-based Momjii message dolls and other items raffled off during the event.
Tony Kanal, No Doubt: “Gwen’s Save the Children event was a beautiful evening. Not only could we do our small part in the effort to raise funds for those affected by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, we got to play an extremely fun and intimate surprise live set for the very generous fans that donated a lot of money for a great cause.”
The $120,000 raised from the Harajuku themed tea party, when added to Gwen Stefani’s recent $1 million donation, totals a staggering $1,120,000 in funds raised by Stefani for Save the Children’s Japan Earthquake Emergency Fund.