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When purple things are pulsating on your mind, I'm the one whose clock you want to clean. Aiding is Sparky, the Astral Plane Zen Pup Dog from his mountain stronghold on the Northernmost Island of the Happy Ninja Island chain, this blog will also act as a journal to my wacky antics at an entertainment company and the progress of my self published comic book, The Deposit Man which only appears when I damn well feel like it. Real Soon Now.

Friday, October 21, 2005

SPARKY: FEARLESSLY FACING FRIDAY'S FULLNESS FROM FUKUOKA!

Japanese idol

A Japanese idol (????; aidoru) is a celebrity who achieves widespread popularity and fame in Japan largely by virtue of her looks. The term usually refers to female performers in their late teens and early twenties who are considered "kawaii" (pretty, cute) and achieve fame through publicity in the mass media. Male performers such as Masahiro Nakai (aka "Nakai-kun") from the singing group SMAP are also commonly referred to (and refer to themselves as) "idols." Japanese idols are predominantly singers and actors, as well as models (in the case of females) for weekly men's magazines such as "Friday" and "Shuukan Gendai". Some of them may also appear as TV personalities (tarento). The idol phenomenon of Japan is comparable to Western concepts such as teen idol and celebrity.
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History

The idol phenomenon began during the early seventies and this reflected increasingly materialistic and richer Japanese youths. Teenage girls, mostly between 14 and 16, began rising to stardom. One in particular, Momoe Yamaguchi, was a huge star until her retirement for marriage in 1980. Idols dominated the pop music scene in the 80s; and this period is known as the "Golden Age of Idols in Japan". In a single year, as many as 40 or 50 new idols could appear, only to disappear from the public spotlight shortly afterwards. A few idols from that era, such as Seiko Matsuda, are still popular. In the 90s, the power of Japanese idols began to wane, as the music industry shifted towards rock musicians and singers for whom music was a more important sales point than looks or wholesomeness, as well as towards genres such as rap that were harder to square with conventional prettiness. The Japanese idol phenomenon has had a large impact on popular culture in Hong Kong and Taiwan, especially Cantopop.

It is commonly said female Japanese idols represent the perfect female form in Japanese society. They are symbols of female sexuality and are often dressed erotically. For this reason they are often idolised by both males and females. Male audiences' infatuations with an idol's good looks are fed with detailed information about the idol's measurements, favourite colours, food, hobbies, blood type etc. Female audiences are interested in imitating their style, hair colour, fashion etc. Good examples of fashion-leader idols are Ayumi Hamasaki, Noriko Sakai, Ryoko Hirosue and Namie Amuro.

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Namie Amuro was the most popular idol in the late 1990s, although marketed as more sexy and mature than other idols. She began her career in 1992 as a vocalist for the pop group Super Monkeys, but the group flopped very quickly. Producers liked Amuro, and in 1995, she went solo, enjoying massive success. One of her recent CDs, "Sweet 19 Blues", sold three million copies in advance sales, and went on to become the best-selling album in the history of Japan. This number has since been eclipsed by Hikaru Utada who is known as the current diva.

A diversification occurred in the 1990s and instead of few idols vying for popularity, a number of idols with specific characteristics divided the market. In the mid 1990s, idols became much younger than before, and groups of idols like Speed and Morning Musume became prominent. A new genre of idols called Net Idols became known in the late 1990s, only appearing on websites. In 1997, there appeared Kyoko Date, the first "cyber idol" or "virtual idol". Kyoko Date has a fabricated history and statistics and her own songs. Meanwhile, gurabia aidoru (????????, i.e. "[photo]gravure idols") such as Yoko Matsugane, Rio Natsume and Eiko Koike have largely appeared skimpily clad in cheesecake photographs, and some such as Natsuko Tohno and Sora Aoi have done the same nude.
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Culture

The culture of Japanese idol has changed over the years and it is questionable whether past idols would have same amount of success if given the same opportunity today. Most of those called idols have sung songs that would fit J-Pop and they are generally cute if not beautiful.

In the 1970s, idols had an aura of mystique that left much of their lifestyles secret. Their public and "private" lives were carefully orchestrated - they always appeared perfect in all situations and seemed to enjoy a lavish lifestyle that most Japanese could only dream about. In reality, however, they were placed under continuous surveillance by their promotors and were unable to enjoy the private lives invented for them. Their pay was surprisingly low. They were often overworked and even if their songs sold well most of the money went to the musicians and writers. Fans had few opportunities to see them beyond a few minutes on TV or radio and it was difficult to share their interests. Magazines were the best source for information and many idols had an official fan clubs that periodically mailed what little information could be released.

In the 1980s, idols became much closer to an average Japanese person, because the average lifestyle of the Japanese improved. While still tightly controlled, idols were allowed to show more of their actual personalities and were permitted to let out some carefully scripted outbursts. The media often fabricated "competitions" between two or more idols, based on things like the number of records sold, the number of fans in the official fan club, etc. In the late 1980s, instead of relying on magazines and TV, some started experimenting with new media and technologies like video games, with mixed results. The working conditions of idols improved and even those with a limited success can live modestly and more of the money made was paid to idols themselves, though they still only received a small proportion.

In the 1990s, instead of being marketed as people who lived better and were better than average, idols became people who just happened to have a little something to become popular. Where the tastes of past idols had to be saccharine, it was now acceptable for an idol to simply love eating ramen or to display something other than a smile, to lament having got a little out of shape or to admit to shopping around for lower prices. Idols also became a fixture in countless anime by singing opening or ending songs that have little relevance to the anime itself. Some experimented with being seiyu, and seiyu themselves became somewhat like idols, becoming increasingly popular. Even today, some are still involved with the video game industry, not entirely successfully.

Theory

Dr. Hiroshi Aoyagi has proposed that Japanese idols are a modern version of the geisha, a woman whose art is to perform a highly stylised and artificial interpretation of ideal feminine beauty. He also parallels the phenomenon to ritualistic practices in other cultures. As traditional institutions break down as a result of modernization and industrialization, Aoyagi argues that the mass media are fulfilling this function more and more, and that the nationally-known teen idols in Japan are in fact playing the all-important role of performing their culture for their audiences.

List of Japanese idols

(Note: By their nature, idols often have a short celebrity life-span, so the above list may become rapidly out of date.)

See also


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Noriko Sakai

Noriko Sakai (????, Sakai Noriko. born February 14, 1971) is a J-pop star and actress.

Sakai was born in the Fukuoka Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan. Her debut single was on February 5, 1987. The name of that song was "otoko ni naritai" (I want to be a boy). Above 40000 copies were sold. She remained a lovely, energetic girl idol in Japan in the 80s.

Discography
  • Fantasia – Noriko part 1
  • Guanbare – Noriko part 2
  • Guanbare CDV Special
  • Times – Noriko part 3
  • Yumeboken Noriko Special
  • Soundtrack - Gunbusters (Active Heart)
  • Blue Wind – Noriko part 4
  • My Dear – Noriko part 5
  • Singles – Noriko Best
  • White Girl – Noriko part 6
  • Sweet'n Bitter – Noriko part 7
  • CD-File 1
  • CD-File 2
  • CD-File 3
  • Soundtrack - Video Girl Ai (Ureshi Namida)
  • Magical Montage Company
  • Sentimental Best
  • Manmoth
  • Singles Noriko Best II
  • Anata-ga Michite yuku
  • Natural Best
  • 10 Songs
  • Watercolour
  • Twin Best (dual album)
  • HoHoe (Chineese: Smile)
  • Soundtrack - Hoshi no Kinka (Aoi Usagi)
  • Soundtrack - Zoku Hoshi no Kinka (Kagami no Doresu)
  • In Snowflakes
  • Workout Fine
  • moments
Television Dramas
  • Toi Shinseki Chikaku no Tanin, NHK 1990
  • Hitotsu Yane no Shita as Kashiwagi Koyuki, Fuji TV 1993
  • Longing For The Old You, NTV 1994
  • Watashi, Mikata Desu, TBS 1995
  • Hoshi no Kinka as Kuramoto Aya, NTV 1995
  • Zoku Hoshi no Kinka as Kuramoto Aya, NTV 1996
  • Hitotsu Yane no Shita 2 as Kashiwagi Koyuki, Fuji TV 1997
  • Seija no Koushin, TBS 1999
  • Tenshi ga Kieta Machi, NTV 2000
  • Honke no Yome, NTV 2001
  • Toshiie and Matsu as One, NHK 2002
  • Mukodono 2003, Fuji TV 2003
  • Fight as Kido Ayako, NHK 2005

Filmography


Sora Aoi
Sora Aoi

Birthdate: November 11, 1983
Birth location: Tokyo, Japan
Birth name: -
Date of death: -
Measurements: 35-23-33
Height: 5 feet 1 inch (155 cm)
Weight: -
Eye color: -
Hair color: -
Natural bust: Disputed
Orientation: Heterosexual
Ethnicity: Japanese
Alias(es): Sola Aoi, ????
Website: aoisola.net

Sora Aoi (????, also known as Sola Aoi) is a Japanese AV idol, or porn star, and nude model. She was born on November 11, 1983 in Tokyo, Japan. She made her debut as a nude model in November 2001 and gained popularity due to her young-looking face and voluptuous figure. In May 2002, she made her debut as an AV idol (pornstar) in the film Happy Go Lucky, with the two adult film studios Samansa and Alice Japan. Although she was criticised for faking sex in her films, made possible by the Japanese censorship laws, Aoi gained more fame. At one point, she was in the top 10 Internet searches on Google and Yahoo! Japan. Aoi has since played parts in non-pornographic films and TV shows and sang on some punk rock albums. She continued to work for Alice Japan and Samansa until November 2004, when her contract was not renewed. Sora then moved to a newly formed porn film production company known as S1 - the studio's main selling points were that its films were thinly censored because the company that applied the censor was not monitored by the Japanese government and that the films contained more hardcore scenes such as gang rape and bondage. She has stayed with S1 (as of July 2005) and continues to release on average about one film a month with them.

Prior to signing with Kuki (Samansa, Alice Japan, etc.), Sora made two other adult movies. Summer Break and Twinkle Twinkle supposedly aired on a subscription porn TV service, although details have not been confirmed. Furthermore, Sora has done at least a few gravure (nude-only) movies over the years, such as Blue, Full Nude, and Full Nude 2.

Figures

Height: 1.55 m (5' 1")
Measurements: B:90 (F Cup) W:58 H:83 (35-23-33)
Blood type: B

Filmography

  • Summer Break
  • Twinkle Twinkle
  • Happy Go Lucky
  • Let's Go Blue in the Sky
  • Virgin Sky
  • Cosmic Girl
  • 50/50
  • Sola-Graph
  • Sexy Fruit
  • The Secret of Younger Sister
  • Mejiri
  • Splash
  • Soap Heaven
  • Max Cafe
  • Y-Setsu Model
  • Be My Valentine
  • Lolipop
  • Witch Hunt
  • Fetisch Sola
External links


Have a fun Friday! - Sparks

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