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

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!

NFL or WWE?

Great game yesterday between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers…..especially since I’m a huge Seattle fan.  I must have aged five years watching the teams slug it out.

Today the discussion in the media and on all the social networking sites is…. Richard Sherman.  Say what you want about Sherman’s over the top trash talking but his bravado is getting more people hyped about the Superbowl.   As a long time fan of professional wrasslin’, his interviews remind me of many a cocky, self absorbed, “heel” looking straight into the camera and calling out the all-American clean cut “baby face” hero.  Is he related to Booker T?  Maybe it’s just me but I’d rather have an honest reaction like Sherman’s then the typical canned, politically correct, sound clips that star athletes are expected to say and have been saying since they were stars in high school.

That being said I hope he nevah “batchi” himself.  And maybe twenty years from now if he does have a long hall of fame career and becomes an NFL analyst like Deion Sanders, the public will look back on yesterday’s interviews and laugh.

Should be a great Superbowl!  Good luck to the Denver Broncos……NOT!  Legion of Boom gonna shut Manning down if ya smellllllllll….what the Hawks are cookin’!

 

New Filipino Drama!

Next Sunday (January 26th), we begin a new Filipino drama, Losing Heaven. This drama is from GMA Network and is about two women who start off as best friends as children and become sisters when one of the girls — Bridgette — becomes an orphan and Ellery’s father adopts her.

They grow up together and find happiness, each pursuing the career of her dreams. That is, until Jonas enters their lives.

Bridgette meets Jonas first and is instantly smitten. But Jonas only has eyes for Ellery, and after they marry, Bridgitte turns her jealousy and bitterness on Ellery.

When Jonas and Ellery learn she can’t conceive a child, Bridgette volunteers to be a surrogate mother, hoping it will bring her closer to Jonas. But life goes on as usual until Ellery is badly injured in a car accident.

Bridgitte seizes the opportunity to force Jonas to marry her and annul his marriage to Ellery for the sake of the baby.

But what will happen if and when Ellery regains consciousness?

Tune in to Losing Heaven, starting Sunday, January 26th, at 6pm. There are 35 episodes in this series.

 

What’s Coming Up

Now that the 2014 New Year’s specials are over, we ‘d love to hear from you. Did you like them? Which was your favorite? Do you prefer the dramas or the food and travel shows?

The New Year’s specials may be over, but there are still a lot of special things coming up on KIKU. First of all, the 2013 Taiga drama, Yae no Sakura, is ending. The final episode will air next Tuesday, January 14th, with a re-telecast on Sunday, January 19th.

The next Taiga drama is Gunshi Kanbei, but it does not begin until February 18th. So in between, please watch these two programs on Tuesday nights: Sleeping Beauty and Ninja Sarutobi III.

Sleeping Beauty begins with a half hour episode immediately following the final episode of Yae no Sakura at 9pm on January 14th. The next four weeks following that, Sleeping Beauty will air from 8-9pm on Tuesday nights. It’s a romantic comedy about a woman given an opportunity to re-invent herself after her husband asks her for a divorce.

Ninja Sarutobi III will begin on Tuesday, January 21st, at 9pm. This is about the grandson of a legendary ninja named Sarutobi Sasuke. The grandson lives under his famous grandfather’s shadow without real purpose until he is tasked with escorting a lord’s daughter on her journey to Kyoto. The responsibility forces Sarutobi III to face challenges and in the process, he grows as a man and a ninja. It’s a cheerful samurai drama that will have you in laughter and tears.

Ja, ne!