Schmall Kine Sumo

In the 90s Sumo was all the rage in Hawaii. Bruddah Iz sang “Akebono…Musashimaru…and Konishiki” as our home grown local Sumotori quickly ascended to the ranks of Ozeki and Yokuzuna. The matches and rivalries were awesome against the great Chiyonofuji and the Hanada brothers.

One of the more entertaining Sumotori because of his diminutive size was Mainoumi. At 5’7″ and a “slim” 216 pounds, Mainoumi was a David amongst the Sumo Goliaths yet managed to climb to the rank of Komusubi in the top makuuchi division. Initially failing the Sumo Association’s physical entrance exam because he didn’t meet the minimum height requirement, Mainoumi got a silicone implant on the top of his head! LOL. He was the Sumotori facing off against Konishiki in the Sports Illustrated “Meat Bomb” article.

Nicknamed “Waza no Depaato” (Department Store of Techniques), Mainoumi, used up to 33 different techniques to juke and out finesse his much larger opponents. Coming off the line at the tachi-ai, he used to clap his hands in front of his opponent’s face as an attempt to throw him off….hilarious and sometimes effective. Other times might made right and he got squashed. Mainoumi was never the same after Sale fell on him in a match he ironically won, and broke his leg.

Who is/was your favorite Sumotori?

K-den,
Paul

mainoumi
Mainoumi vs. Sale da “Meat Bomb”

implant
what a short Sumotori does with a silicone implant

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Mainoumi (Shuhei Nagao) is now a TV personality, and does color announcing for Sumo broadcasts

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Bruddah Chad, first foreign born Yokuzuna! Did you have an Akebono POG back in the day?

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da boyz….Hanadas, Akebono, Musashimaru

chiyonofuji
The great Chiyonofuji…31 tournament championships!

Thumb Up or Thumbs Down?

How do you feel about the Making It Through specials we’ve been airing the past three Sundays? On one hand, isn’t it great having the show back after they stopped production of the series? But on the other hand, it’s only.four.hours. It’s like a tiny little teaser, getting us all back into the Okakura family’s dramas, only to be gone again after this Sunday. If they make more specials, should we air them? What do you think? Thumbs up or thumbs down?

We have several new specials starting this month you need to check out:

Let It Be is about a middle-aged couple that is about to experience an empty nest. Daigo and Aya Nagashima have raised three sons. When their youngest son gets married, Daigo, thinking his wife will be lonely, decides to retire and take his wife on a trip around the world. But his wife has other ideas. She can finally be her own woman and do whatever she wants. Watch this series beginning Sunday, March 9, from 9-10pm, to see what Aya’s plans are and whether they include Daigo.

The next new drama is Otome-san, which begins Sunday, March 16, from 8-9pm. Otome-san is the Japanese term for mother-in-law. Traditionally, relationships between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law are full of tension and strife. At least that’s how Asako Mizusawa’s relationship was with her mother-in-law. She lived with constant nagging and criticism from her husband’s mother, and was determined to have a different relationship with her daughter-in-law if her son ever married. So what happens when her son does marry?

The third new drama is Hidamari no Ki, a samurai drama beginning on Tuesday, March 18, from 9-10pm. This is set in the year 1855, the year following the Treaty of Peace and Amity between Japan and the U.S. A 26-year-old samurai, Manjiro Ibuya, has succeeded his father, and tries to make a name for himself by training more seriously than everyone else. This irritates the other samurai, and Manjiro constantly encounters trouble with other samurai, even his friends.

Catch our three new series starting in March!

Ja, ne!

 

 

 

The other old school Japanese superheroes

Both parents and kids know Kikaida, the red and blue jinzo ningen superhero who burst onto the local scene in the mid 70′s and returned to the KIKU airwaves some twenty seven years later along with Kikaida 01, Kamen Rider V3, and Inazuman. Do you remember the other old school Japanese superheroes? Perhaps this will jar your memory….

- Ten Four Ten Ten – The forgotten show that I can’t seem to find any information on. The show’s jingle still resonates in my head but nobody seems to recall this show featuring a team of do-good kids in space helmets. Were they glorified JPOs? LOL. If anyone remembers this show reply back.

- Rainbowman – Before Kikaida, there was Rainbowman. A lot of Buddhist meditation was required for him to gain power. Which of his seven Dash’s was your favorite? Most of my friends wanted to be Lightning Man or Fire Man. Nobody wanted to be the dirt guy (doo doo man). Remember the action figures? Press the button on his stomach & he shakes his head, “No”. Press the button on the back of the neck, he nods “Yes”.

- Go Rangers – The original Power Rangers. One of the coolest team of heroes. Ao (Blue) Ranger, the guy with the bow and arrow, was the same actor that played Kazami Shiro (Kamen Rider V3). Yellow Ranger was the fat one who loved curry and all the girls wanted to be Momo (Pink) Ranger

- Denjin Zaboga – This show had the coolest toy ever! Like the robot in the show, you could transform him into a motorcycle, deploy a helicopter from his head, make a car come out of his boots, and watch out for his chain punch! This guy I worked with years later had brought to Hawaii the original Zaboga robot motorcycle from the show.

- Robocon – The girls loved this cutesy show with all the robots trying to earn good deed points and the well-intentioned Robocon always seeming to screw up. My sister had a Robocon toy slot machine.

- Diamond Eye – The sword wielding silent caped hero with big diamond eyes. All I remember is that the bad guys were very demonic and that the theme song was cool. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any videos on YouTube.
diamond eye

- Raideen – One of the original transformer-like giant robots, Raideen had the face of an Egyptian pharaoh and could transform into a fighter jet. Unlike the other live action shows, Raideen was a cartoon, maybe one of the first anime to be shown in Hawaii.

- Ultra Seven – KIKU is currently airing Ultraman Leo on Fridays at 6:30pm. Ultra Seven was in episode one as the Ultraman passing the torch on to Leo. In the 70′s this show was dubbed in English. Look at the Hawaii credits below…do you know any of these people?

- Candy Candy – Not a superhero show but the girls used to love this anime and learned to draw those anime eyes with the three white dots in them. lol.

Which show was your favorite back in the day and why? Send a reply.

Denji Endo!
Paul

Have You Seen Ultraman Hiding in the Corner?

 
Website Update:

*New-Profile pictures added to blog posts-now you can SEE who is posting (check out my picture/profile below)!

*New-Community Calendar Submission Form-Form has been updated so it is easier to fill out and submit.

Announcement Scroller-Though this has been up for a while, there is an announcement scroller on the “Japanese Shows” and “Schedule” Page. I will post any changes and news here-be sure to check it out every once in a while so you can stay up to date!

Announcement Scroller

 
Have you seen Ultraman hiding in the corner on some of the website’s pages? What is that about!? Stay tuned to find out!…

Old School Ala Moana Shopping Center

I was out over the weekend with friends and the question came up about whether there was a sandbox at Ala Moana shopping center or not.  The answer of course is ‘YES’ there was.

My friends know I have a great memory for things from my childhood but I have trouble remembering what I had for lunch yesterday.  My theory is that our brains are like hard drives and that once they get filled to capacity they have to purge useless information to make room for new data.  Funny thing about my brain is a crap load of old useless stuff is stuck in there like commercial jingles and cartoon theme songs from the 70′s.  To this day I can sing them all verbatim and can even recite Wrestling Hawaii locker room interviews.

So back to the sandbox.  The good thing about it was that back in the day parents could drop their kids off at the sandbox, do their shopping, and return four hours later and the kids would still be there.  Can you imagine parents doing that today?  I remember the sandbox had those concrete turtles and ladders to climb on and of course cigarette butts and those mysterious black Cheetos left behind by the neighborhood cats.  LOL.

Ala Moana back in the day was more grungy and fun.  Remember all those totem pole water fountains made from ceramic pots?  Once I was running around on the wet bench outside of Longs and slipped and fell in the fountain.  Before the high-end shops made their appearance at the mall the walkways were all asphalt with gum spots everywhere.  Do you remember Keiki Land?…the first arcade complete with a merry-go-round, boat ride, and a whirlybird helicopter.  Shirokiya was the place to go to buy your action figures…..Rainbowman, Kikaida, Kamen Rider, Zaboga, Daimond Eye, Raideen, Go Rangers.  Pete’s Modelcraft had all the cool hobby stuff.  I got my first BMX bike from Eki Cyclery….a Mongoose with motomags!  Honsport was the sporting goods store, and if you wanted morning breeze or fake doo doo Party Center was the place to go.  I picked up my first album, Cheap Trick’s Dream Police, from DJ’s Sound City.  Street level makai was the mysterious side of the mall.  India Imports had weird stuff and remember those wooden Indians in a barrel with a spring loaded da kine?  We would check those out in the bowels of Sears.  I got my first Boogey Board and skateboard from Penney’s of all places before they added the “JC” to their name.  The first surf shops I can remember were Hawaiian Island Sports, which later changed to “Creations” and Sera’s.  Who remembers the huge bird cage between Liberty House and Shirokiya?

Here’s one that nobody seems to remember.  Do you remember the large Santa before his eye job?  When I was a kid Santa has small cheerful eyes.  Then sometime in the 80′s I think they gave him those large evil eyes ala Sta Puft Marshmallow man from Ghost Busters.

Kramers man of the month, Woolworth’s chicken, the smell of incense at Iida’s, the giant dented ornaments on the Christmas trees, haircuts at Thom’s Barber Shop, The Ritz, Lynn’s Delicatessen, Connie Conrad from Security Diamond & Conrad Jewelers, San Francisco Rag Shop, etc. etc.  Soooo many great memories…..too many to list.

What were some of the shops or experiences you had at Ala Moana from back in the day?  Let me know, so I can fill my brain with more useless stuff.  hahaha.

K-den, Paul

Bird-Cage-Small da birdcage

koi pond had way more Koi back in the day

04_Ala Moana_1962_MOA  remember this fountain?

07_Ala Moana_interior_1971_1  the object was to get the Koi to eat your finger

Pete's is this pic from Ala Moana or Pearlridge?

woodmanlift the barrel, and BOING!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you open to new experiences?

I recently attended two events that were completely new experiences. To be honest, I accepted both invitations without knowing what to expect. In fact, if anything, I had rather low expectations.

But both experiences blew me away! And since you still have an opportunity to experience one of them, I’ll tell you about that one first.

The Hakuoh University Handbell Choir is performing at three free concerts between tonight and Tuesday. I attended a performance today and it was incredible! Using handbells weighing up to 15 pounds, the students played songs ranging from big band (Glenn Miller) to opera (Carmen) to contemporary hits and Hawaiian music. The choir has the capacity to ring seven octaves of handbells and their performance is nothing short of amazing. Here are details about their three upcoming free performances:

Thursday, February 13, at 7pm at Central Union Church

Friday, February 14, at 10am at Leeward Community College Theatre

Tuesday, February 18, at 7pm at Windward Community College’s Paliku Theatre

Please try to attend one of their performances; you will not be disappointed.

HakuohHandbell2 HakuohHandbell2014group

The other event I attended was a celebration marking the 50th anniversary of Sogetsu in Hawaii. (Sogetsu is a school of ikebana, or flower arranging.) To help mark the milestone anniversary, the celebration included a series of demonstrations of flower arranging by Sogetsu Master Instructor Toshiyuki Ohki from Japan. I use the words “demonstration” here, but “performance” is a better description of what Ohki-sensei did.

Using materials collected mostly from the Lyon Aboretum, he created dynamic, untraditional, and amazing displays that push the definition of ikebana way beyond “flower arrangements”. These were not just flower arrangements; they were exhibitions.

What a treat it was to witness a Sogetsu master at work using untraditional materials for both the vessels and the arrangement pieces. Here are a few samples of his work.

Sogetsu 1 Sogetsu 2

The lesson for me is to always be open to new experiences.

Ja, ne!

 

 

 

 

Hello Kitty is everywhere!

Back in the mid 70′s when I was a little kid (yes I’m old) watching Kikaida and the like on KIKU, my sister and her friends were introduced to Hello Kitty.  The boys had their Japanese action figures (not dolls, lol) and the girls were into puffy stickers, Japanese smelly erasers, and the invasion of Sanrio products.  Hello Kitty was the first “kawaii” (cute) character adorning stationery, school supplies, and accessories along with Little Twin Stars and My Melody.   Twenty years later my girlfriend at the time, though in her twenties got into a cute Sanrio frog called Keroppi and a kawaii dog, Pochacco.  Sanrio was alive and well in the 90′s

Flash forward another decade and Sanrio opens a store in Ala Moana and amongst other cutesy items sells a Hello Kitty toaster that toasts Hello Kitty’s face on bread.  My sister of course had to buy it.  Since then it seems like Hello Kitty is everywhere.  From blinged out iPhone cases to steering wheel covers.  I’m pretty sure that a good number of these products are not officially licensed by Sanrio but nevertheless Hello Kitty and Sanrio are doing more than fine financially.  Turns out Hello Kitty and Sanrio are number 5 on Forbes list of the 20 best selling licensed entertainment products at $800 million!

http://www.forbes.com/pictures/fhgl45igd/no-5-hello-kitty/

A couple of Friday’s ago a new karaoke place opened up at the old Ichiriki Loft location on Piikoi called Air Park Karaoke Lounge.  A friend of mine went to the grand opening party and got to sing in their……yup, Hello Kitty room.  Ohhhhh nooo!    What, no Kikaida room?!  A’cmon!

- Paul

airparkkaraoke

airpark3

airpark5 airpark4

 

Making It Through 2013 Special

The final installment in the Making It Through series — #10 — finished airing on KIKU last May, 2013. This was the culmination of 20 years of Sunday nights of appointment TV on KIKU with the Okakura family. Or so we all thought.

After the series ended, the producers made a four hour special that took up where the series left off. It teased us, squeezing a year’s worth of episodes into four short hours to give us an abbreviated look at what was happening with the different family members’ lives following the series.

And now, they have done it again.

This month, we will air the second four hour Making It Through special produced since the series ended. It’s torture to only have four short hours to catch up with Daisuke, his daughters, and their families.

How are Shin and Takako doing? Do they have children? How is Takako’s father? Is Hinako still interested in cooking? What is Yoko doing? Is she working or raising her twins? What’s happening with Fumiko and her ex-husband? Does Yayoi still have a house filled with a non-related extended family?

Will all our questions be answered? Tune in on four Sundays: February 16, February 23, March 2, and March 9, from 8-9pm for Making It Through 2013. (Although we are in 2014, the series was produced in 2013.)

Ja, ne.

Japanese whiskey

Scotch is my go to drink.  Give me a Johnny Walker Black on the rocks and I’m good.  Occasionally I like to try something new but never really got into Japanese Scottish whiskey outside of 12yr. Suntory Yamazaki.  Last Friday some friends and I went to Bevy in Kakaako on the corner of Keawe and Auahi for pau hana.  Since it was my friend’s birthday we stepped to the bar and I asked him what he wanted.  Hibiki is what he chose.  I’m not going to bore you with a long review about the aromas and oaky subtleties.  Let’s just say da buggah was guuud!  So smooth and the bottle looked like a crystal decanter.  Next drink was Yamazaki 18 yr.  In the stores Yamazaki 12 goes for about $50.  Yamazaki 18 retails for $150.   So factoring bar math into the equation the two Yamazaki 18′s cost $70 at Bevy.  Kinda pricy but for that exorbitant price you get a custom made 3″ diameter round ice cube.  lol.  They bring out a cylinder of ice and a contraption that melts it into a perfectly round sphere.  Anyway dat buggah was super ono!  Better be huh!

Later that night I headed to Hanagasa to meet up with a high school classmate who resides in Japan.  Coincidentally he also brought a Japanese whiskey for us to sample, Chichibu Ichiro’s Malt.  According to him it was unobtainable outside of Japan.  We shot it so let’s just say despite his build up of it…..da buggah was rough!

The next night we went to play poker at a different friend’s in-laws and by coin-ki-dink he and his wife bought Japanese Scottish Whiskey to try.  Hibiki again and this one called Nikka Taketsuru 12 Pure Malt.  He picked them up at Don Quijote.  Hibiki $58 and Nikka $60.  The Nikka Takesuru was probably my favorite, but both were good.

Anyway for what it’s worth go try some Japanese Scottish whiskey next time you’re out.

YOSH!

- Paul

photo 2 photo 1 photo 3photo 4

 

 

 

Doubles

p5rn7vb

We have a new detective drama beginning next week on Thursday, 2/6. It is titled Doubles, and is about a team of detectives with opposing personalities. If this sounds familiar (think Partners), that’s because it is! These two detectives  have completely different approaches to solving crime. The only thing they have in common is their desire for justice. Oh, there is another thing they have in common: they’re both young and handsome.

Ja, ne!