It’s Samurai Month on KIKU!

We try to have at least one program in the jidaigeki genre airing on KIKU at any given time. (Jidaigeiki refers to period dramas, usually about the lives of samurai.)

But we have FOUR jidaigeki programs airing in October:

1. Our taiga drama, Strategist Kanbe, which airs Tuesdays at 8pm and replays on Wednesday at 12 noon and Sunday at 7pm.

2. Mission to Kill, which airs Tuesdays at 9pm and replays on Wednesdays at 1pm.

3. Hidamari no ki, which airs Thursdays at 8pm and replays on Fridays at noon.

4. And Ninja Sarutobi III, which airs Fridays at 8pm and replays Saturdays at 7pm.

October is a great month for jidaigeki lovers. But come November, the theme will be modern dramas. I’ll share more with you about that later.

Ja, ne.

 

Investigator Mariko

In an earlier post, I told you that the Mariko series that begins on Thursday, October 2 at 9pm was the 7th in the series. That is incorrect. It is the 11th in the series! Please be sure to watch it this Thursday.

In other news, Giselle “G” Tongi, host of our Kababayan Today show was in Hawaii this week, taping segments for her show. Kababayan Today airs Monday-Friday, 3:30-4pm and on Sundays from 4-4:30pm right here on KIKU. I’ll be posting about the upcoming Hawaii segments soon.

Ja, ne!

Partners 10

 

Tomorrow is the night! Partners 10 begins with a two-part episode Thursday night (4/24) at 9pm. The second part airs next Thursday, 5/1, at 9pm.

And don’t forget to also catch the first episode of Doctor X II, on Monday, 4/28, at 9pm! Let me know what you think of her new shorter hair style.

Ja, ne!

What’s Your Favorite Detective Drama?

 

Detective dramas are big in Japan, and we normally have one or two on our schedule at the same time (in addition to our Mystery Theatre, which is usually also a detective-type drama). Right now, we are airing Doubles (Thursdays at 8pm) and Partners 9 (Thursdays at 9pm). Partners is a long-time favorite amongst our viewers, but we’ve also heard that a lot of you like Doubles.  You’ve told us that your other favorites are the Asami Mystery Theatre series and our Fat Detective series. (Stay tuned for news about Fat Detective 2.) Do any of you remember the Investigator Mariko series? We are considering bringing new episodes of this back.

Which is your favorite? Are you interested in seeing Investigator Mariko again?

Getting back to the current detective series, both dramas are ending soon. The last episode of Doubles is next Thursday, April 3rd. The following week — on April 10th — we begin a new drama titled “853″. This stars Yasufumi Terawaki as Detective Shinnosuke Kamo. The number 853 refers to the busy precinct where Detective Kamo used to work. That is, before he accidentally (?) shot a criminal in his custody. After the shooting incident, Detective Kamo was reassigned to a smaller rural jurisdiction.

For 10 years, Detective Kamo keeps his nose to the grind despite his demotion to a smaller precinct. But one day, he is called upon to put his excellent detective skills back to work in the 853.

The last episode of Partners 9 airs on April 17th. The following week, we begin airing Partners 10! Did you know that in Japan, they are already airing Partners 12?

Last week, I wrote about jidaigeki, and mentioned a new show we will begin airing on April 4th titled “Mission to Kill”. (This is about assassins who are hired by victims to avenge their crimes.) Although this program is a samurai drama, I would consider it a detective drama, too, because the samurai police are tasked with solving the crimes, just like modern detectives.

Tune in to all our different detective dramas!

Ja, ne.

 

 

Nandemo Kantedan – Japanese Antiques Roadshow

Are you familiar with PBS’s Antiques Roadshow? Experts knowledgeable in various fields, such as art, furniture, jewelry, ceramics, and many other specialties (even weapons), travel around the country and evaluate items people bring to them. In many cases, the items may have been in their families for years, passed down through generations. In other cases, people purchased the items at garage sales or flea markets without knowing whether the item has true value or is just a piece of junk. And in still other cases, people have consciously collected the item as an investment.

Whatever the case, it’s always interesting to hear an expert’s opinion about the market value of a product that may have just been collecting dust in someone’s home for years.

There is a television show in Japan similar to Antiques Roadshow. It’s called Nandemo Kantedan, which literally translates to ‘experts in anything’.

A film crew from Nandemo Kantedan is in Hawaii this week, along with several antique experts from Japan. They are here to evaluate items — primarily Japanese antique items — that may have been brought to Hawaii from Japan, and to provide their expert opinions about the authenticity and/or value of those items.

If you have something that has been passed down to you by your parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents, and you always wondered about its value and authenticity, these experts will be at the Moiliili Community Center this weekend — March 15 and 16, from 10am-6pm in Room 303. No appointment is necessary; just bring your valuables. And good luck!

Ja, ne!

 

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

mainoumi2
Mainoumi (Shuhei Nagao) is now a TV personality, and does color announcing for Sumo broadcasts

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

biguys
da boyz….Hanadas, Akebono, Musashimaru

chiyonofuji
The great Chiyonofuji…31 tournament championships!

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

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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