Posts Tagged ‘soccer’

We are the World Cup: anthems from pitches past

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Brazil soccer fans pose with a replica of the World Cup trophy on June 11 inside a metro station near Arena Corinthians stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. | AP PHOTO

Brazil soccer fans pose with a replica of the World Cup trophy on June 11 inside a metro station near Arena Corinthians stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (AP PHOTO)

Japan plays its first match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, against Côte d’Ivoire this weekend. Although the tournament kicks off two days earlier in São Paulo, for many the Samurai Blue’s opening game ushers in the event, along with the activities that would normally raise eyebrows but get a pass every four years, such as waking up at 2 a.m. to watch football and drinking before noon.

It will also unleash a new batch of World Cup songs that will play practically on loop for the duration of the competition, including the television network’s special theme tracks to various commercial tie-ins. And that’s just on the domestic side. Pitbull’s voice will haunt many for months to come.

World Cup-related songs have a long and interesting history, including official anthems (from superstars like Shakira down to half of Hall & Oates) and all sorts of country-specific tunes (Weezer sining for the U.S., the Village People putting on for, uh, Germany). Having qualified for their first World Cup in 1998, Japan doesn’t have the rich soccer-music history of other nations (“World Cup Willy!”), but entering their fifth cup, the country now lays claim to a handful of Cup anthems.

Here are the most noteworthy from each edition of the World Cup:

CONTINUE READING about World Cup support songs →

Pulsations (7.26.13)

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Here are the latest Pulsations, links to fresh stories and visuals about Japan, shout-outs to fellow bloggers, and highly clickable stuff that we think you might enjoy.

In no particular order, they are . . .

Toji Temple Market Overwhelms Your Senses (from Japanese Streets): A collection of colorful photos shows off the bustling atmosphere of this Kyoto market which takes place the 21st of each month.

Monster parents: The bane of teachers and … hardworking potato farmers? (from Rocket News 24): Did a potato farmer allow kids to come experience harvesting in his fields really get complaints that the potatoes were different sizes?!

“Forever Alone Fail” wins over Japan (from Kotaku): Two memes meet and go viral in Japan. Nope, your “girlfriend” did not take that picture…

Takuhiro’s shoes (from Ikimasho!): Do the shoes make the man? This one seems to think so, but can you even find his under all the tape?

Crisp Illustrations of creatures from Japanese Folklore (from Taxi): Heitor Seió Kimura’s take on yokai is spooky in a refreshing way.

Video Pulse

Yasu High School in Shiga Prefecture got help from the crew of a local NHK program to film this promotional video showing off their talented soccer team:

Tweet Beat: #deresama13, #akb総選挙, #日本代表, #ほこたて

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

The Twitter Japan blog releases a list of top hashtags for each week. Tweet Beat investigates the buzz behind the hashtag.

Bands compete for a spot on a Summer Sonic stage

926 bands are competing for a chance to perform at e+ Meets x Summer Sonic’s #deresama13. “Derreno!? SamaSoni!?” (“You’re playing Summer Sonic?!”) is in its fifth year, offering ostensibly any band the chance to be a hit at #サマソニ, one of the major summer music festivals. The Side-show Marine stage may be small, but it can supposedly put you in front of over 2,000 people.

Bands had to enter by June 4, but the hashtag really lit up when public voting began on the 6th. In addition to votes, which can be submitted via Twitter, plenty of other tweets are flying, including appeals from bands and recommendations from venues. The video included above is by the band in first place overall as of this writing, Mesumen.

After the voting phase ends on the 16th, 500 acts will move on to be culled further by judges. After a final live performance inspection, the winning line-up will be announced on July 24. In 2012, 14 bands performed. Who will make it through this year?

AKB48 fans crown new center for 32nd single

On June 8th, the results of idol group AKB48′s 32nd single general election (#akb総選挙, also #akb48総選挙) were announced live on Fuji TV. Rino Sasahara of sister group HKT48 came in first. This is the fifth years fans have been able to vote for which girls they want to see and hear the most. The right to vote is earned by being a member of various fan clubs or buying the previous single CD for a code — or in one case, 1.9 million yen worth of CDs (that’s almost $20,000 US) prompting someone to ask if it was even possible to open them all in time to vote, in addition to plenty more dropping of jaws.

While the general search results are a mess thanks to some bots, it is still possible to find genuine reactions. One fan remarked how Mayu Watanabe seems to be growing up as evidenced by her speeches, while another admired Yuko Oshima’s ability to take her dethroning lightly. An AKB48 fan club in southern California recorded a video of their reaction to the results, which was later found by Japanese fans. Their conclusion? “They’re just like us.”

“Hoko x Tate” outrages viewers with absurd Hacker vs. Security Co. special

“Hackers: ‘We’ll show you how we can hack any program!’ vs. Boujin: ‘We’ll change any virus into a safe file!’ but what it ended up being was a ’15 hour endurance file search game.’”

Hoko x Tate” is a show on Fuji TV that pits absolute opposites against each other to see which side comes out on top. The June 9 two-hour episode was “Hackers who can invade any program vs. A security program that won’t let any hackers invade,” which translated into pitting three Russian hackers against a security company called NetAgent, makers of email security software, Boujin.

The hackers were supposed to break into a computer to find specific photos, but the computers given to the security team were running on versions of Windows over 10 years old and there were all sorts of rules about what they could and couldn’t do. The hackers were deemed winners in the first round, but not as fast as the show made it out to be. Maybe “30 minutes” was cited as the time it took to the hackers to break in, but in reality they had only jumped threw half of the hoops the security team had thrown at them.”

In the end, NetAgent won overall, because the hackers forfeit due to losing the second round (of three planned rounds) despite hacking into the computer because they couldn’t find the image; it was explained that the “file name was changed,” but it turns out this is was edited by someone on the show’s production side in post and the security team had actually “encrypted the file.” Nevermind that the hackers actually got into the computer. But then, the show was rigged so that the computers had huge security holes. I feel exactly like this Twitter user:

“I didn’t watch it, but looking at my timeline it seems like today’s Hoko x Tate was, simply put, lose-lose?”

The fiasco prompted comments like “I trust TV show production companies waaay less than computer security companies,” and “Fuji TV vs. Viewers.” NetAgent later posted a detailed blog post about exactly what conditions were like and security measures they took that ended up leaving some people with a positive image of the company, despite Fuji’s harmful editing choices and the overall bad set-up.

Info added from Gadget Tsūshin.

Bonus: Japan qualifies for World Cup

Although the official hashtag for team Japan is #daihyo, the most popular one during last week’s World Cup qualifying match versus Australia was #日本代表. The Japan Times social media team actually created a Storify summary of the event featuring plenty of tweets, so if you haven’t seen it yet, definitely check it out!

A win-win for Nadeshiko and Japan’s merchants

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Takashimaya's Nadeshiko commemorative dessert

As Japan welcomes back its women’s soccer team from their world cup triumph, Nadeshiko fever grips the nation. While the team’s victory is sure to spur women’s interest in soccer, it has also inspired the nation’s merchants. From sushi restaurants to department stores, special celebratory offers are the order of the day.

Sponichi Annex reports that Nadeshiko Sushi in Akihabara (which existed long before the women’s team was dubbed Nadeshiko) has been supporting the women’s team since it began kicking butt around the middle of the tournament. While the team battled it out on the field, the staff of the restaurant proudly wore its colors and when they won, the sushiya celebrated by dropping their ¥980 set meals to ¥700. In nearby Kanda, Izakaya Nadeshiko also discounted its sashimi set from ¥1,200 to ¥600. The izakaya naturally benefited from its name, as it popped up in online searches for the women’s soccer team’s name.

Over in konbini land, Family Mart is selling commemorative goods and holding a special thanks sale in honor of the Nadeshiko team up until July 25. Customers who buy items such as beer get entered into a lottery to win prizes.

Takashimaya will be selling a range of commemorative items from July 23 in honor of the victory. The department store also got on the ball quickly and invented a new Nadeshiko commemorative dessert. The blue and green lemonade jelly confection, which has a cute white-chocolate soccer ball perched on top, is available at the store’s rooftop beer garden for ¥420.

Not surprisingly, publishers are seeing brisk sales with Nadeshiko-related content.  According to Sankei News, a book titled “Homare” by  team captain Homare Sawa was sold out by July 18 at Kinokuniya stores across the country. Book 1st also sold out of “Honmare” as well as “Nadeshiko Power” (a book by teammate Sasaki Norio) before the final. The company is now placing an order 10 times as big as the last order for fresh copies.

Because no one was expecting the ladies’ team to beat the odds and come out on top, manufacturers were caught unawares. So we’re betting there will be plenty more Nadeshiko-related tie-ups to come.

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