Kazuya Kamenashi – Japanese Actor

Kamenashi Kazuya

Kazuya Kamenashi – Japanese Actor

Very Versatile actor and singer

BioData:

DoB: 23 February 1986 (31)

Dramas & Films:

  • No wo Produce
  • P JK (Policeman & Me) 2017
  • Sapuri
  • Second Love
  • Tokyo Bandwagon

Mare (Japanese Long Running Drama Review)

Mare poster

Mare (Japanese Long Running Drama Review)

I am currently watching this drama which is 156 episodes long.  🙁  I know, right?  But it has Yamazaki Kento and Tsuchiya Tao on it.

Each episode lasts for 15 short minutes and the first 3-4 minutes is intro of Tsuchiya as Mare, half-running and half-floating in a white summer dress.  She looks young and carefree.

Cast:

  • Tao Tsuchiya as Mare Tsumura
  • Kento Yamazaki as Keita Kontani, Hiroyuki’s son and Mare’s classmate and Mare’s Husband
  • Yō Ōizumi as Tōru Tsumura, Mare’s father
  • Takako Tokiwa as Aiko Tsumura, Mare’s mother
  • Shōno Hayama as Ittetsu Tsumura, Mare’s brother
  • Min Tanaka as Kanji Okesaku
  • Yuko Tanaka as Fumi Okesaku, his wife
  • Atsuo Nakamura as Yatarō Kontani, a lacquerware craftsman
  • Itsuji Itao as Hiroyuki Kontani, Yataro’s son and a public servant
  • Eisuke Sasai as Kōichi Kuramoto, a hairdresser
  • Sawa Suzuki as Hana Kuramoto, his wife
  • Fumika Shimizu as Ichiko Kuramoto, their daughter and Mare’s classmate
  • Guts Ishimatsu as Shin’ichirō Kado, a fisherman
  • Yūta Takahata as Yōichiro Kado, his son and Mare’s classmate
  • Muga Tsukaji as Makoto Teraoka, a postman
  • Eri Fuse as Kumi Teraoka, his wife
  • Mugi Kadowaki as Minori Teraoka, their daughter and Mare’s classmate
  • Daichi Watanabe as Takashi Futaki, Mare’s classmate
  • Fumiyo Kohinata as Daigo Ikehata, an expert patissier
  • Ryō as Rinko Ikehata, a Chinese restaurateur
  • Yuya Yagira as Daisuke Ikehata, their son
  • Yurika Nakamura as Minami Ikehata, their daughter

This drama is like a more modern version of Little House in the Prairie meets the Gilmore Girls.

Mare’s family was forced to move to the countryside away from Tokyo, where they accumulated a mountain of debts.  This was mainly because the father kept investing in quick get rich schemes, which ultimately failed.

The drama started rather slowly, taking time to introduce the people in the village of Noto, a place where everyone is welcomed with open heart.  People/neighbours would distribute their daily harvest, catch, etc to each other for free.  You won’t be left starving!

Mare’s family ended up in Noto renting a room in an inn run by an elderly couple Kanji, a salt-farmer, and Fumi, a brilliant cook.  Mare was with her dreamer father, strange and weak mother and younger brother.  They ended up staying in the inn permanently, in return they have to help out around the inn and in the salt mine.

Mare’s view of life was coloured by her weak loser father’s, who made their life a hand to mouth existence.

They were only staying for a few months in Noto when her father went back to Tokyo to look for a job.  There he stayed for six years without coming back.

Though Mare’s mother was upset, she was actually happy that her loser husband was chasing his dreams, irregardlessn of what was happening in their home front, where she abused Mare for child labour! 🙂

From a young age, Mare learned to shoulder the burden of her family.  She worked really hard.  She does not believe in having dreams, all she wanted was to become a salary woman in the local government were pay will be consistent.

But despite herself, she can’t help but aspire to be a good cook, a cake chef a patissier.

From Noto she travelled to Yokohama and train under a world renowned patissier, Daigo Ikehata.

For four years she learned the craft and excelled.  Daigo was impressed that he encouraged her to further her training in Paris.

Unfortunately love intervened.   She married Keita, who was an apprentice in laquer, though he was to inherit the historic with long tradition, wood laquer ware of Noto.  The marriage came with so much responsibility that her goal of becoming the world’s best patissier was put in the back burner.  It only got more complicated when she fell pregnant and gave birth to twins.

She did return to the cake business in the end and would continue to work and better her craft.

 


Finally finished watching this long drama.  It took me two days.  I love it.  there are parts that are really outstanding and some are not so good.

I have to admit the older cast out-acted the younger generation.

 

 

 

2018 – Year of The Dog

2018 – Year of The Dog

You belong in the Years of the Dog if you were born in the year: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018 and next one will be in 2030.

Nostalgia

2018 is a Fire Dog Year.

Lucky numbers are: 3,4 & 9

Lucky flowers:  Rose (you can’t never go wrong with this delicately scented blossom), oncidium, cymbidium, orchids.

Lucky colours are green, red and purple.

 

Happy Chinese New Year 2018

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Happy Chinese New Year 2018

Orange (Japanese Film) Summary & Review

Orange poster

Orange (Japanese Film) Summary & Review

This is a beautiful film starring two of my favourite Japanese actors:  Kento Yamazaki and Tsuchiya Tao.

I actually previously watched this film and loved it.  But somehow I remember it as a sad suicide film.

Cast:

  • Tao Tsuchiya as Naho Takamiya
  • Kento Yamazaki as Kakeru Naruse
  • Ryo Ryusei as Hiroto Suwa
  • Hirona Yamazaki as Takako Chino
  • Dori Sakurada as Saku Hagita
  • Kurumi Shimizu as Azusa Murasaka
  • Erina Mano as Rio Ueda

I am glad I watched it again because it is not really about taking one’s life.  It is about growing up and taking responsibility for one’s self and grabbing happiness where you can.

This another parallel world story.

The central character to the story is Kakeru, who is a transfer student from Tokyo.  He became friends immediately with a close knit group made up of Naho, Suwa, Chino, Hagita and Azu.  He’s tall and a handsome boy though at times was rather melancholic.

The kind hearted Naho took him under her wing.  This was where it got supernatural.  The 16 years old Naho was happy to be back the second year in  high school.  She was full of hope and joy under the full blooms of cherry blossom trees.  She then noticed a letter tucked in into the front pocket of her school bag.

With much curiosity, she noticed that the letter was addressed to her and the sender was herself.

As soon as she got to class, she opened the letter which claimed that the letter was sent to her 16-year old from  herself 10 years into the future.

She was becoming more confused as the letter goes on.  Her 26 year old self was telling her to right all the regrets in her past.  There was going to be a boy, a transferee from Tokyo by name of Kakeru Naruse.  At that moment, their new homeroom teacher was introducing a transfer student by the name of  Kakeru Naruse.

Naho was absolutely flabbergasted.  The letter continues on to state not to invite Kakeru into the introduction outing.  Naho can’t really do anything about this as Suwa, Chino, Hagita and Azu all insisted that Kakeru try the new bread at a bakery with them.  They had fun and Kakeru was laughing.  Naho thought that was ok.

After that Kakeru did not appear at the school for two weeks. Naho was perturbed.  But just like that Kakeru was back at school again.

Kakeru was really a very personable young man (He is Kento Yamazaki 🙂  ).  Naho fell for his charm and so was another Tokyo transferee called Rio Ueda.

It was really unfortunate that Ueda confessed to Kakeru first about liking him.  They started going out together but Kakeru really liked Naho and Naho liked him.

He dumped Ueda, who became rather vengeful and made Naho’s school life miserable but only briefly as Naho had her posse of friends.

She later found out from Kakeru the reason why he was off for two weeks.  His mother died, she committed suicide.  She was bipolar and depressive.  She had her illness since Kakeru was a young boy.  His life with his mother coloured his own outlook in life and built such a huge guilty complex.  He blamed himself for not being with his mother on her time of need, he thought he could have stopped her.  Poor Kakeru was a damaged boy.  He suddenly died at the age of 17 by accident.

10 years into the future, Sawa was now married to Naho and they had a little baby.  They met up with the rest of the group and visited Kakeru grandmother for the 10 year anniversary of his death.  They found out that his death was not an accident but a suicide.  He left a note regarding it.

The friends where inconsolable with grief.  Mourning Kakeru all over again.  Naho was particularly upset.

 

Tsuchiya Tao – Japanese Actress

Tsuchiya Tao – Japanese Actress

Tsuchiya, at such a young age, has created an impressive catalogue of films and dramas under her belt.

She stars in some of my favourite Japanese dramas and films.

BioData:

  • 3 February 1995 (23)
  • Height: 1.55 m (5’1″)
  • Career:  Model, singer & Actress

Films & Dramas:

 

My Brother Loves Me Too Much (Japanese Drama & Film)

My Brother Loves Me Too Much poster

My Brother Loves Me Too Much (Japanese Drama & Film)

I have just watched this film, which I have been looking forward to be subbed in English for ages.  This film gives closure to the 5 episodes drama,  Ani ni Aisaresugite Komattemasu.

Cast:

  • Tao Tsuchiya as Setoka Tachibana
  • Ryota Katayose as Haruka Tachibana
  • Yudai Chiba as Takane Serikawa
  • Takuya Kusakawa as Chiaki Mioka
  • Yosuke Sugino as Kunimitsu Serikawa
  • Towa Araki as young Haruka Tachibana
  • Ito Ono as Chiyuku Mioka

The story is about a quasi brother and sister, Haruka and Setoka.

Haruka had found out quite a while ago that Setoka was not his blood sister but he loved her anyway as if she was his real sister as first.  He made it his mission to protect her at all costs, including affairs of the heart.

Unfortunately for Setoka, Haruka went rather overboard with protecting her that he frightened any boy who would come near.

At the age of 17, she had told Iskedes! (I like you!) to 12 boys but each time. they would always run away or told her “No” despite intially showing interest in her.

Actually these 12 aborted romances occurred during the drama, Ani ni Aisaresugite Komattemasu.  

She was aggrieved and found solace and comfort with her brother, Haruka, who she later found out had actually scared the 12 boys and backed off.

Towards the end of the drama, her first love, Takane,came back from his studies abroad and now a doctor.  He told her that he likes her, she is his first love.

Suddenly she has become a male magnet as a playboy Chiaki, she met in the park was also interested in her.

There was also her teacher, who loves speaking in English, who is comically full of himself and thought that he was God’s gift to women or rather school girls.

The drama ended with Setoka having to choose from these interested males.

The film follows on from the drama.

Suddenly Haruka is more aggresive with Setoka.  At one point they were on the brink of kissing when Takane arrived at the Tachibana beach house.

Takane, Chiaki and  the rather oily teacher pursued her.

In the end she chose Takane.  But during a date that turned rather amorous, Setoka stopped Takane from going any further.

In his frustration Takane told her that her heart is not 100 per cent his and that she is in love with someone else.

At first Setoka did not understand what Takane was getting at until he said that Haruka was not her real blood sibling.  Apparently Takane knew all along because he remembered a one-year old baby girl coming to live with the Tachibanas about 16 years ago.

Setoka ran all the way home and confronted Haruka for the truth.  She found out the truth from  Haruka, who  said that no matter what she will always be part of his family.

Next day at school, someone said about starting over, which inspired her to fully break up with Takane, who was in confrontation with Haruka.

Setoka overheard Haruka saying that he loves her.  And that is that.

It was cute after getting over the initial discomfort about siblings romantic relationships taboo.  They are not really blood related and Haruka did loved her tenderly and cared and cooked for her.

Haruka said that he will wait for Setoka to feel more comfortable and truly love him before they start dating.  Of course Setoka said that she had loved him for a long time also.  Cute.

I have to mention that the boy who played the young Haruka is so cute.  I can see another Kento Yamazaki in him.  Just give hime 5-8 years.  Kawaii.

There was another thing that niggled me so much while watching the film.  It was the strap of Setoka’s blouse which was undone by Takane in the car.  During a heart to heart talk between Haruka and Setoka, one scene would show the strap undone, the next scene, done up hurriedly, and then undone again and finely neatly tied back in a bow.  Seriously, it was rather off-putting.

Aside from that it is a cute romantic story with lots of laughs.  Good acting all round especially by Tsuchiya Tao.

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday

Following Shrove Tuesday yesterday, today is Ash Wednesday, the official first day of Lent during the Christian year and the prelude to Easter.  Lent represents the 40 days that Jesus Christ spent in the wilderness, fasting and contemplating his mission on earth. Known as the ‘Day of Ashes’ because of the practice of having ash rubbed &  drawn on the forehead in the shape of a cross (representing Christ’s crucifixion), by a priest at the  dedicated Ash Wednesday church service. The priest and participants from the church congregation intone the phrase either the words:-

“Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or  the dictum “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”       

Anglican,Catholic and most Protestant and Christians hold Ash Wednesday services around the world. Following the service, participants observe some sort of fasting,abstinence and spiritual contemplation for 40 Days, ending on Maundy Thursday in 2018.

The practice of using  ash comes from the 11th Century and is taken from the Biblical Book of Daniel, where ashes are regarded as a sign of Penance & fasting. The ashes are normally made by the burning of palm crosses. These palm crosses were  handed out to  church congregations during the previous year’s Palm Sunday service (commemorating Christ’s entry into Jerusalem to crowds waving palm leaves in celebration) and given back to the priest shortly before Ash Wednesday. The priest will then burn the crosses and mix the ash normally with Holy Oil to sanctify and make a ‘paste’ with which to rub on the participant’s forehead.

Shen Yue – Chinese Actress


Shen Yue – Chinese Actress

Awww I love her. She was so adorable in A Love So Beautiful as Chen Xiao Xi.

BioData:

  • DoB: 27 February 1997 (20)
  • Height: 1.58 m (5’2″)

Dramas & Films:

IShen Yue

  • Hu Yi Tian, as Jiang Chen in A Love so Beautiful, is her first kiss ever.
  • She wears contact lenses.
  • She was not allowed to date by her father, who was a history teacher in her high school.

 

 

 

 

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