Famous Japanese People
Welcome to the January 2010 edition of the Japan Blog Matsuri. The theme for this issue is “Famous Japanese People” and willing contributors were asked to tell us about their favourite Japanese celebrity, public figure or historical figure. The theme was extended to include 2D Japanese anime, manga and game characters.
This month’s edition also introduced a special twist, a matsuri cash giveaway where the submitters of the two best articles to this matsuri, as deemed by the readers, will be awarded a donation of ¥5,000 each (roughly US$50) paid via PayPal.
For now, sit back and relax as I present to you seventeen fantastic submissions to this month’s Japan Blog Matsuri. Don’t forget to soc (vote) for your favourite submissions.
‘It is with much embarrassment that I have returned alive’ are the words of Shoichi Yokoi, a Japanese imperial army straggler who lived in the jungles of Guam for 28 years after World War II ended. Muza-chan from Muza-chan’s Gate to Japan reports. Read more.
To vote for Muza-chan’s ‘Shoichi Yokoi’ soc it up here.
Philip Seyfi from NihongoUp tells the inspiring story of Tomoe Gozen, a famous Japanese female warrior of the female samurai (onna bugeisha) class. She was a samurai during the time of the Genpei War (1180–1185). Read more.
To vote for Philip Seyfi’s ‘Tomoe Gozen’ soc it up here.
To increase international understanding of Japan and its people the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has appointed three ‘Cute Ambassadors’. Harvey from JapanNewbie chooses his favourite ‘Cute Ambassador’, the gothic lolita Misako Aoki (青木美沙子). Read more.
To vote for Harvey’s ‘Misako Aoki’ soc it up here.
Mas Oyama, karate master and founder of Kyokushin kaikan, played a leading role in influencing Brett from Rainbowhill‘s love affair with Japan. Brett recounts how a childhood gift, Mas Oyama’s book “Boy’s Karate”, has been a continued source of inspiration. Read more.
To vote for Brett’s ‘Mas Oyama’ soc it up here.
Peach Boy Momotarō, the popular Japanese hero, is a boy mysteriously born from a giant peach according to famous Japanese folklore that dates back to the Edo Period. Jamaipanese puts his own humorous spin on his interpretations of the legendary folktale. Read more.
To vote for Jamaipanese’s ‘Momotarō’ soc it up here.
supreme nothing salutes Seiji “Guitar Wolf”, lead singer and guitarist for the Japanese garage punk power trio “Guitar Wolf” – The World’s Greatest Jet Rock ‘n’ Roll Band – founded in Nagasaki in 1987 and still going strong today. Read more.
To vote for supreme nothing’s ‘Guitar Wolf’ soc it up here.
The Envoy from Through Eyes From Afar gives an account on the life and death of Japanese author, poet and playwright Yukio Mishima, the pen name of Kimitake Hiraoka, remembered for his ritual suicide by seppuku. Read more.
To vote for The Envoy’s ‘Yukio Mishima’ soc it up here.
Billy from tune-in-tokyo rates Japanese alpine skier Akira Sasaki. When Akira’s not competing with the Japanese Olympic team he’s extreme skiing – carving up the powder on extremely long, steep slopes and dangerous terrain. Read more.
To vote for Billy’s ‘Akira Sasaki’ soc it up here.
Sanjo-chan from CEN.TAKU.ME discusses how Auron, one of the main playable characters in Final Fantasy X, had a profound affect on her life and how he contributed to her otaku-ism. Sanjo-chan is a self-confessed Auron fangirl. Read more.
To vote for Sanjo-chan’s ‘Auron’ soc it up here.
Mike the gakuranman tenders the enthralling story of Ii Naomasa, one of the Four Guardians of the Tokugawa. He was fondly known as ‘The Killing Machine’ and affectionately known as ‘The Red Demon Samurai’. Read more.
To vote for Mike’s ‘Ii Naomasa’ soc it up here.
Koichi Domoto (nicknamed ‘Kochan’) is a member of KinKi Kids, the duo under the management of Johnny & Associates. His famous quote “Show Must Go On” is a source of inspiration and motivation for Kristy who applies this mantra to her own life. Read more.
To vote for Kristy’s ‘Koichi Domoto’ soc it up here.
The Rene Report enshrines Japanese idol, singer–songwriter, television personality and actor Tsuyoshi Domoto in her post creatively entitled ’244′ (‘tsu’, ‘yo’, ‘shi’). He is the other half of KinKi Kids, the duo under the management of Johnny & Associates. Read more.
To vote for Rene’s ‘Tsuyoshi Domoto’ soc it up here.
yonasu presents the geeky side of Japanese pop singer Ai Takahashi whom he says ‘is most likely the cutest and sexiest celebrity geek out there’. Hello! Project’s Ai-chan, the current leader of Morning Musume, has a weak spot for anime and games. Read more.
To vote for yonasu’s ‘Ai Takahashi’ soc it up here.
Tony Alexander from The Soul of Japan tells the intriguing story of the amazing artist Leonard Foujita, a Japanese expat in Paris who revolutionised the art world with his famous ‘white skin’ portrayals. He was born Japanese, died French but later resurrected Japanese! Read more.
To vote for Tony’s ‘Leonard Foujita’ soc it up here.
Be taken on an expedition of the 88 temple pilgrimage of Shikoku by Maz from Mazikeen as she introduces you to the spirit of the Japanese monk – Kōbō Daishi – founder of the Shingon school of Buddhism and also said to have invented kana, the Japanese syllabic script. Read more.
To vote for Maz’s ‘Kōbō Daishi’ soc it up here.
Ryan from Caught*Red-handed takes you on a journey back to the Meiji Era where he covers the life and times of Japanese author, writer, teacher, translator, entrepreneur and political theorist, Fukuzawa Yukichi, the Father of Modern Japan. Read more.
To vote for Ryan’s ‘Fukuzawa Yukichi’ soc it up here.
A touch of nostalgia from locohama of Loco In Yokohama as he recollects the beautiful singing voice of Pat Suzuki, the female jazz singer. Loco reminisces her incredible rendition of How High The Moon and the hoops he had to jump through just to get a recording of it. Read more.
To vote for locohama’s ‘Pat Suzuki’ soc it up here.
The winners of the ‘matsuri cash giveaway’ have been announced.
That just about wraps up this month’s Japan Blog Matsuri. A big thank you to everyone who participated. Stay tuned for the next edition hosted over at Muza-chan’s Gate to Japan.