How much of a culture are you really allowed to like?

Avril

Hello there lovely readers. Long time no see. I think it’s pretty safe to say the only person reading this blog who enjoys my sporadic blog posts is myself. But, I’m sorry and I have to admit, I do enjoy writing every so often. Maybe that means I should contemplate reformatting how I write my blog. But that’s neither here or there, or what this post is even about. No instead I want to talk about one of the most hot button issues of the moment. And of course I mean Avril Lavigne.

I’m sure by now absolutely everyone on the internet all over the world is well aware of the whole Avril Lavigne Hello Kitty situation. You’d literally have to live in a cave 3 miles below the surface of the Earth to not have heard about it. And I’m sure even if that was the case as soon as you rose to the surface you’d immediately be bombarded with chants of ka-ka-ka-kawaii.

Ok, maybe that’s stretching things a little too far. But it is in fact every where. I think it’s even more prevalent in our little corner of the internet since we’re all about Japanese music, pop culture, television, etc. But I think this has been prevalent on the internet long before the atrocity that is Hello Kitty. And by that I mean cultural appropriation.

Cultural appropriation is a term I myself wasn’t even aware of until I heard about it some months ago on tumblr. I of course knew that basis of what cultural appropriation is was going on in the world, but I wasn’t aware that there was a term for it. Now, I absolutely think cultural appropriation is abhorrent and not even remotely ok. But what I consider just as bad is the way people define cultural appropriation is maybe a little too strong. And I might go as far as saying a lot of it is mislabeled.

If you go on certain sites, say tumblr, you’ll find that a lot of the times what they consider cultural appropriation is if a White person shows any sort of interest in any non-White culture at all. And a lot of times it’s written in such a manner that you should feel bad that you are White and you should be ashamed of yourself if you even want to care about another country.

Now, maybe it’s just me, but I always thought that the world was one. And that everyone should be open to, and should explore, cultures other than their own. But it seems that that isn’t the case at all anymore.

Now I’ve heard a lot of people say things such as White aren’t allowed to like or mix in other cultures, even though tons of other cultures mix in European or American cultures. Those other cultures are allowed to do so because European culture was forced on them and they had no choice but to adapt and add that culture into their own. White people aren’t allowed under any circumstances to wear other culture’s traditional garb. Even if they are currently residing in a Foreign country and a native from that country insisted that they purchase and wear a piece of traditional clothing. The only time it is ok is if they are attending an event where tradition clothing must be worn, such as a wedding.

And I might add that this is usually only said about White people. I’ve heard people straight up say that other non-White races are allowed to embrace other cultures because they themselves are also minorities. You’re also not allowed to say that that itself is a racist statement because then you are only being a whiny privileged White person.

I can wholeheartedly understand if you are being racist towards another culture and putting down their traditional clothing. Or inappropriately wearing them. Or only wearing them to make a fashion statement. Or being a male or female wearing traditional grab that’s only supposed to be worn by someone of the gender opposite of your own. Then you are absolutely doing something wrong.

But to basically tell people that they aren’t allowed to like something because of their race of where they were brought up, is absolutely ridiculous. So, I now ask the main question of this article, how much of a culture is someone really allowed to like?

I think the first time I took actual notice of cultural appropriation beyond reading a post here or there on tumblr was around Halloween. I was looking up Sugar Skulls on tumblr because I was thinking of painting myself like that for Halloween. And I came across someone on tumblr saying some random woman was disgusting for wearing Dia de los Muertos makeup without being Mexican. Ironically, the woman actually turned out to be half Mexican. But that’s the first time I went, “but why can’t I like something that’s Mexican?”

Maybe it’s in bad form to think of it as a costume. But then, aren’t beer wench Halloween costumes equally offensive to me because I’m German? Oh wait, I forgot, being a privileged White person I’m not allowed to think like that. I guess since I live in America which is right above Mexico it doesn’t matter at all that we learn a lot about Mexico. Or that Cinco de Mayo is hugely celebrated in the US. Or that I’ve always been fascinated by Dia de los Muertos in general. And I suppose that I’m not allowed to because liking any aspect of another country’s culture is disrespectful for some reason.

This also takes me back to when I was learning Spanish in school. I had an extremely cool Spanish teacher. I was actually one of his favorite students and we got along swimmingly. Mostly because I was pretty much the only one who ever tried in Spanish. One time around Valentine’s Day I was the only person who was willing to conjugate verbs on the board. When I conjugated them correctly he gave me a heart shaped cookie. We also bonded over pork rinds. Because he brought them into class one day for everyone to try because they eat them a lot in Puerto Rico apparently. I was the only one in my entire class who didn’t think they were disgusting. It was mostly because pork rinds are delicious and I’ve been eating them my whole life. But I think that’s more of everyone in my town being weird. We went on field trip to the Pine Barrens once and tried fresh root beer. I was literally the only one who liked it. To this day that was the most delicious root beer I’ve ever had in my life.

Anyway, he was originally from Puerto Rico and all he would ever say was how beautiful a country it is. And how it’s such a great country for swimming. And how everyone should make sure they go to Puerto Rico once in their life because it’s that pretty. Well, in 6th grade to further share his culture with us, everyone that was in a Junior High grade at the time had to make vejigante masks and costumes. We then had to wear them in Spanish class the day they were due. And afterwards they were displayed all over the classroom for a few months.

And all that makes me think of is, that if I still had my vejigante mask and posted a picture of myself wearing it I’d be called racist for not being Puerto Rican. Even though out teacher was hoping we’d be interested in it and wanted us to experience a bit of his culture.

Also, in Spanish class in 8th grade we had a gigantic dominoes tournament because Cuban-Americans in Florida love to play dominoes. That’s not me saying it by the way, that was literally a section in my Spanish text book. Specifically Cuban-Americans in Florida playing dominoes. You can call my textbook racist if you want. Since then I’ve been a big fan of playing dominoes, I always try to get my family to play with me but they never want to. But I suppose I’m not allowed to play dominoes right?

But let’s shift our focus now away from Central America and focus on what I’m sure everyone cares about, Japan.

Japan is pretty notorious for some things that if were done by White people would be considered cultural appropriation. For one, Japanese music mixes English words into their songs. It’s done to such an extent that it’s often hard to find Japanese songs that don’t have at least one English word in them. And the Japanese language itself has a ton of loan words from English and European languages. That one may be a bit of a stretch though, since most languages have loan words.

Japan is also influenced heavily by predominantly White cultures when it comes to fashion. The most famous influence probably being school uniforms. The familiar sailor uniforms were inspired by the sailor suits children in royal European families wore, and were first introduced in the late 19th century. Huh, I guess that rules out Commodore Matthew Perry and his American Navy ships forcing the naval stripes on their uniforms, since he visited Japan in the mid 19th century.

Also, the lolita sub-culture was inspired by the Rococo period in Europe. The ganguro sub-culture (which literally means black face by the way) was a way for Japanese girls to emulate the way girls in California looked and dressed. Not to mention that there’s the trend of black culture in Japan.

I’m sure there are other cases but these are the ones I know off hand, and too be honest I can’t be bothered to look up anymore. Surely these cases are purely innocent right? And it’s just Japan showing how much love and admiration they have for America and Europe? Quite honestly in my opinion it is. But make no mistake, if a White culture was doing the same thing about Japanese culture or any other non-White culture it would be a gigantic deal. After all, every other race of people besides White are allowed to do these types of things. That’s fair right?

So, that brings up another question was Avril Lavigne’s Hello Kitty racist to Japan and Japanese people? I read a great article on tumblr that showed that people in Japan don’t find it even a little bit racist. Instead they think Avril is showing great love for Japan. And they don’t understand why Foreigners find it to be so racist. While I personally do find the song itself to be terribly written, and her Japanese pronunciation leaving something to be desired, I don’t see how the song itself is racist.

I listened to the song yet again just to be sure. (God, the things I go through for this blog.) The song is literally about having pillow fights, slumber parties, playing spin the bottle, making pinky swears, and asking someone to play with you. The song is incredibly immature and truly something only a pre-teen girl could relate to. The only thing the people perceive as being racist about the song is her speaking in Japanese. But how is that any different than Japanese people singing in English?

The song itself is obviously solely for the Japanese market. Since a great deal of Avril’s fanbase currently is in Japan. It seems to be the only country that cares about her music. Case in point being I only heard Avril’s What The Hell because I was watching a Oricon chart video a few years back. I never heard it play in the US.

The main point for racism is then put on the music. It’s racist to some people because she’s wearing a cupcake skirt, has an overly cutesy set, and is also filmed in a candy store. Which makes people say that Avril is being racist and saying that Japan is only about and known for it’s wild clothing and cute culture. But is it really doing that? Or is the music video this sugary sweet because the song sounds like it was written for an 11 year old girl?

Let’s say that Avril is playing off of Japan’s cute culture, is that itself really wrong either? Japan does have a lot of playful, cute, and colorful aspects to it’s pop culture. And Japan itself seems to be marketing itself with this image. NHK World features a show called Kawaii International, which is a show in English marketed to the Foreign market. The show itself is about teaching people about Japanese fashion sub-cultures and cute cultures and shows people all over the world who wear these styles. And also teaches you how to wear these styles yourself.

Let’s say Avril wasn’t wearing a cupcake skirt. Let’s say she was wearing a lolita dress. Or what about if she was wearing the gyaru style? Or maybe she was even wearing shironuri. Would that make her racist? There are thousands of girls all over the world who dress in these styles because they genuinely like them. Does that make it wrong? Or is this a case of once again it not being ok because the people doing it are White?

I know that pretty much anyone in the world that like’s anything Japanese is associated as being this horrible weeaboo. This person who is fetishizing a country and race of people. Or someone who thinks Japan is superior to their own country. And I won’t deny that most people who like Japanese things do go through this annoying phase. Myself included. But believe me, most of the time it’s short lived and you realized how much of an idiot you were. But no matter how much you’ve matured and no matter what you like about Japan, there is still this stigma that you are forever a weeaboo. And it’s absurd.

So, is Avril in her embarrassing weeboo phase currently? Probably. But honestly I could care less. It’s not really important to the topic at hand. That’s not what this post is about. This post is about how much are people really allowed to like of a culture. And how did just liking another culture automatically become cultural appropriation?

Isn’t telling someone they can’t like another culture continuing the divide of people? Isn’t it making racism an even bigger issue? Isn’t it basically saying, “hey you can’t like that because you’re not from here.” When news flash, I am from there? Last time I checked we all live on the same planet. The planet is closer than ever thanks to the internet. So, why are people using it to push people farther apart? I understand if someone is genuinely being ignorant to another person’s cultures and traditions. But when people just want to experience something new, why is that wrong?

Have yourself a very idol Christmas 3

Christmas47

Well, hello there readers long time no see. If you haven’t noticed I haven’t updated this blog in almost two weeks. But don’t worry I’m not leaving you guys again. I’ve already said that that’s not going to happen. No, instead I’ve been working on my end of the year posts. Which is a top 100 singles ranking, for anyone who doesn’t follow me on twitter. Since that was too time consuming I decide to 86 my album song ranking. Though if there’s outcry from my readers I will make that post after the holidays.

But that’s not what this post is about. I decided since tomorrow is Christmas Eve it’s the perfect time to post my annual idol Christmas spam. Which is actually only my 3rd Christmas spam in my blog’s 5 year history. But it’s a tradition now. I’ve been collecting pictures all month to make to make this my biggest and best Christmas post. I collected a whopping 152 pictures for you guys. Which is over double the amount from last year.

I’d also like to take this time to wish my readers a Happy Holidays. Merry early Christmas and Happy early Kwanzaa. Happy belated Hanukkah and Happy belated Winter Solstice. As well as everything and anything in between. Or even happy nothing at all. 

Also, I’ll see you guys after Christmas where you can look forward to my end of the year posts. Though if you care about seeing how my Christmas is going you know I’m totally going to still be active and twitter and possibly tumblr.

So Happy Holidays again and enjoy the spam after the cut! Also credit to yoshiko_mama for all the Johnny’s scans.

Continue reading “Have yourself a very idol Christmas 3”

A wild Aim appears

BK

So, did you miss me? Actually, don’t answer that. I’ve thought a lot about it, a lot more than anyone has probably realized, and I’ve come to the conclusion I don’t care if anyone missed me. Of course I did spend a lot of days crying on the inside and yelling why, while dramatically throwing my hands into the air. But I am past that now. I’ve decided that it’s enough that I’ve missed me. I’m a smart independent blogger that don’t need no validation. At least, not anymore.

Also, I figured, hey, if someone random chick I’ve never heard of from NMB48 can graduate from the group and then return like nothing happened, why can’t I? Let’s just say this is my Jay-Z coming out of retirement post. Let’s not call it a comeback I’ve been here for years. Ok, I’ll stop now. Come on, have you at least missed my terrible humor that only I find funny?

Though I can’t take all the credit for this sudden epiphany, or any of it really. I got a sweet message from one of my lovely followers on tumblr. And all they did was ask a simple question, something along the lines of, “Am I ever going to blog again?” They also said, “It’s ok if I’m not.” Now, that alone is an innocent enough question, but such a simple question crashed against me like a wave. Suddenly I was flooded with emotions about blogging and I felt a twinge of pain.

My blog, is pretty much my baby. And it’s been with me through everything good and bad in the idol world. I’ve had times where it was an absolute blast writing and times where I felt less inspired. It became a place where I could vent all of my emotions and opinions. I could write that I cried over an idol and people would understand the sentiment instead of thinking it was weird. Granted I probably did get a lot of eye rolls for crying over NEWS. But at the same time I got a lot of praise for crying over Mitsui Aika. Where’s the equality in that?

But my blog not only got my through the tough times idol wise it got me through the tough times real life wise. And you’ll get that from the posts I made about Hurricane Sandy and my mother’s stroke. My blog became this special beacon shining light onto myself. It was everything that made me, me personified.

But let’s get to the real nitty-gritty now and ask the questions everyone is wondering. Why did I stop blogging in the first place? And the truth is I never planned to or really wanted to at the time. You all know how I’m procrastinator. So, it just started with the normal me putting off writing blog posts. And after a while the feelings of not wanting to write anymore fermented in my heart and I started wondering if blogging was worth it anymore. I had a lot of feeling like: “No one pays attention to my blog anyway,” “No one even bothers commenting on my blog so what’s the point,” “No one even notices I haven’t been blogging.” Among other extremely emo thoughts. I swear if I drank that would have been the point where I sat with a bottle of whiskey and cried myself to sleep. Though give me credit, I’m a bit more level headed than that. And behind this overly sensitive bleeding heart beats one of a true cynic. So, I could easy shove those thoughts away with a wave of my hand. Though I won’t deny that these thoughts in the back of my head were the fueling force behind not continuing.

So, what have I been up to in the 6 and a half months I haven’t been blogging? Well, it’s simple really, absolutely nothing. Well, obviously not nothing nothing. Just nothing of substance. I’ve pretty much just been going on with my life without blogging. Like I used to do before blogging, and let me tell you those were grim days.  I became an H!P fan in 2007 and started my blog in 2008. So, nearly every moment of me being an idol fan has been documented in this blog. So, not blogging for even half a year seems pretty surreal and made me feel oddly empty inside. And in an even odder way, it doesn’t feel like I’m even an idol fan if I’m not blogging about it. I thought just being an idol fan and not feeling pressured by having to write about everything going on would be fun and make me feel at ease. But let me tell you, it is so ungodly boring! How do idol fans do it? How do people who don’t blog about it or get their opinion fully out about idol feel satisfied? Because let me tell you, I wasn’t even in the slightest.

I have to also say I am deeply, incredibly, horrendously, completely sad about all the BIG idol stuff that happened that I didn’t blog about. Such as Tsunku screwing us out of the 12th gen and my beloved Tanaka Koki getting the ax from KAT-TUN. (Oh yes, there were tears.) I also, regret not making my blog anniversary post. I actually planned on my anniversary post (which would have been in July in case you’re wondering) my official comeback. But that obviously didn’t happen. Since I’ve missed so much I’m been thinking about asking people if there’s any PV they want me to review that I’ve missed in my time away, or any big idol news they want me to comment on.

Guys, it’s getting close to my annual posts. You know I can’t pass up doing them. They are WAY too much fun. Yes, the best/worst song posts are a little time consuming, but at the same time are some of my favorite posts to write.

So, I leave you guys with nothing more than just my triumphant return. And this blog post that is kind of a giant pat on the back to myself and written mostly for myself. As all my blogging is and always has been. I just had a moment of weakness where I lost sight of that. But I promise that won’t happen again. Though if it does, don’t take it personally. After all, this blog is really for myself. And it other people are caught in the crosshairs and like it, that’s fantastic. And if they don’t, well I’m not going to beat myself up over it. Not anymore.

Hurricane Sandy: The Aftermath

Anyone that has been reading my blog for a while knows that I currently live in New Jersey, so naturally I was effected by Hurricane Sandy. And anyone that regularly reads my twitter knows just how bad I was effected. But my tweets are just bits and pieces of the story. Small fragments about what happened until I had the chance to write a proper blog post. And that’s exactly what I’m doing with this post here.
Despite being away from this blog for an uncharacteristically long amount of time, (This is actually the longest break I’ve had in 3 years) I actually really love blogging. I love absolutely everything about it, so of course I wanted to blog about the Hurricane. There was only one problem, I don’t have anywhere to publish this post except for this blog. Well, that’s not entirely true. I do have a personal blog, but I haven’t posted there in years. I also have a livejournal, but I don’t really keep up with posting there. I mostly have an account so I can join Johnny’s fansubbing communities.

But besides from not having anywhere else to blog I also really wanted to blog about it here, where my lovely readers that care will be able to read about what has happened to me. Because honestly, if I blogged those other two places I doubt anyone would have read them. I don’t even think most of my readers know those other blogs even exist. I did consider not even making this post here. I’m super self self conscious and I feel like my readers are angry at me for not blogging in such a long time, and now don’t care about this post at all. I always think like that, even if I missed one day of blogging.
So, here goes nothing. This post will probably be lengthy and pic heavy. As always, you’ve been warned.

I guess the easiest place to start from is the beginning. When Hurricane Sandy was first announced my entire family, expect for my dad, pretty much laughed at the storm. Since Sandy had the same amount of power as Irene we counted on the damage to be the same, and in Irene’s case that was minimal flooding. However, with Sandy that couldn’t be farthest from the truth.

I live in an uneventful one square mile beach town that is almost directly on the coast, which turned out to be one of the hardest hit places in the entire state. Ironically, I’ve always tried to keep people online from knowing exactly where in New Jersey I live, and now whether you’re aware of it or not, you’ve probably heard of my town at least once. Either on TV, in a magazine, or in a newspaper. If you live in the US that is.

At about 5:30 PM on October 29th the power was cut off. And shortly before that my family went downstairs and put all of the wires for our TV and computer up on the table. Because during Irene we got mild flooding in the living room we had to quickly unplug everything and stack in on the computer desk while the water was rushing in. So, we thought we’d be prepared this year. And a little bit after that my sister walked by one of the heating events and asked my dad about the weird gurgling noise.

Around 8 ‘oclock that night brought in not only the high tide, but also the surge. Around that time my dad busted in the room and told us how flooded it was and to get downstairs to save everything we could. What’s even more awful about my house is most of it is sunken. My house is set-up as follows: you walking in and it’s my dinning room and kitchen. You walk forward and there’s a small area to in front of the 2 sets of stairs. You turn right and immediately you walk up the stairs to go to the 2nd floor, but if you keep going straight you walk down two steps and enter my sunken living room. My sunken downstairs has 5 rooms. Living room, family room, bathroom, computer room, and a garageish storage room.

Since my downstairs is sunken the water obviously got there first. I had to immediately roll up my pant legs and get into the water. When I stepped into the water it was up to my knees and had to have been either freezing or very near freezing. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever been in freezing water, but I don’t recommend it. It is extremely painful. I stepped in the water and my legs were instantly numb. Since they were numb they didn’t want to move, and every time I walked it felt like tiny knives were stabbing my legs. But I soldiered on. Since I’m pretty weak it was my dad and sister carried the computer modem and TV. After that was done my dad gather up important papers and my sister moved on to frantically unplugging everything. It was then my job to carry everything out of the living room and stacking it onto the dinning room table. Which means I had to keep going back in forth, in and out of the water. We managed to save the TV, computer, printer, house deed, social security cards, and birth certificates, as well as the letter I got from the president after writing to him when I was nine.

By the time the living room was emptied the water was now 3/4 the way up my thigh. Not only that, but the water was starting to rush in through the front door and spilling over the living room stairs into the dinning room. At that moment my dad looked out the window and saw that his car had floated into the middle of the street. He then stupidly opened the front door to get a better look and a gush of water rushed in. Shortly after that we went upstairs, while my dad stayed for a while longer. And good thing to because my fridge started to literally float away. My dad opened the door and filled it with water so it would remain in its place. Then my dad finally came upstairs after that. After talking for a bit, and after the initial shell shock wore off, we went to bed. Probably at about 11 or 12. But we didn’t really sleep for long because my dad busted into our room at about 6 AM to let us know the water was gone. We rushed downstairs and sure enough it was gone. Completely gone. I understand that the low tide brought the water back in, but I didn’t expect every last drop to be gone.

The next few days felt like a haze. It was filled with only being able to clean and cook during the day. We literally ate dinner by 5 ‘o’clock because it got completely dark at 5:30. In our freezer we had pork chops, chicken, and a few boxes of porkroll that we lived on for 3 or 4 days. They were obviously able to keep because we only opened the freezer when necessary. The oven part of the oven is shot, however the stove top still works. Well, half works. It doesn’t light but gas comes through, so all you need is a match to start it up.

It was after that that places to help people started opening up. The first was town hall. I walked there with my sister as we obviously couldn’t, and still can’t drive, since the car is shot. It’s awful, but I don’t fee all that bad about it. It’s not like we’re the only ones, 8 out of 10 people on my block lost their cars. When we went there you had to show ID and your name was put onto a list. In the front room next to the line of people was someone from the Air Force. I’m not gonna lie that was pretty exciting because it was the first time I’ve ever seen anyone from the military before. Through this disaster I also saw people from the Army and the Marines. After our name was written down went to a room to get supplies. We got a disaster relief food box, health and beauty supplies, a bucket of cleaning products, a mop, a broom, pillows, 2 pairs of work gloves, face masks, water, and an army blanket. We didn’t really need pillows and blankets but they made you take them.

Either that day or the very next day my dad walked to a local church where the army was set up. That’s where we got a box full of MREs (meals ready to eat). Military food actually isn’t as bad as you expect. It tastes like most canned food. But there was one I got that was pretty much inedible.

Now while all of this was happening everyone on my block was cleaning their houses. But they weren’t cleaning their houses like my family was. No, instead they straight up gutted every single piece of anything that was in their downstairs, whether it needed to be thrown away or not. And they threw absolutely everything in giant disorganized piles on their front lawn because apparently Governor Christie said to.But my god, it was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It’s too bad that we needed all our batteries for flashlights and I couldn’t take a picture. Anyway, my family on the other hand was a little more smart about it. Since this house is full of everything my parents have accumulated their entire lives we saved as much as we possibly could. Dried out pictures, kept books that weren’t that wet, clothes, lamps, and more importantly at least tried to let our appliances dry out. Also, my sister and I made it our personal mission to save all our DVDs. We own about 300 or more DVDs, which would take lots of money to replace. So we layed them all out in the sun and dried them out. We lost all the cases. Things like series we had to rip apart the cardboard cases. (Much like my collector’s edition of the X-Files.) However, you wipe them off with a cloth and they 100% play. I bet everyone else on my block threw them all away.

Also, at this point my town was still in rubble on the other said. My sister tried to look at the disaster, but the army would not let anyone near it. The side of my town by the beach was hit extremely hard. 200 houses in my town are destroyed. Houses are sitting on top of each other, nothing but wood, half ripped apart, and knocked off their foundation. Since everyone by the beach lives in one story ranch houses, during the storm they had to sit on their roves like it was Katrina because the water engulfed their entire house.

About a week after the storm I walked to my local K-8 school to file for FEMA. Since we didn’t have a phone, my dad had to file there on the phone while I waited in line. The line was to check over your account on the computer. Everyone that stood in line had a gold piece of paper, but since we were on the phone they said we didn’t need one. I stood in line for FEMA for 3 hours in the freezing cold. I even ran back to my house to get a check since my dad needed the bank account number. It wasn’t all bad since people were coming around with coffee and food. But I don’t drink coffee so that did nothing for me. Once my dad my was finally done on the food he rejoined me in line, where we found out they were taking people in order of the numbers on the gold piece of paper the man in the beginning assured me we didn’t need. People behind us were now trying to go in front of us. So my dad and I were literally yelling at the people to back up it’s out turn. And since they thought we were cutting in line they were yelling back, and for a minute it looked like an angry mob was going to attack us. Obviously everything got settled and we went next. But as soon as we were done a cop came and basically sent us off.

Somewhere in the mist of all of this my sister and I also walked to the school to get clothes. Since everyone in my house was running out of warm clothes we had to picked up used donated clothes, because it’s not like we could just throw our dirty clothes in the washer. Since my mom is handicapped from her stroke we had to go and collect her clothes too. So once all the collecting of clothes was said and done we carried like 50 pounds of clothes. Ok, it probably wasn’t 50 pounds of clothes but it certainly felt like it. I don’t recommend carry that much things to any distance, it sucks. And I’m so weak, so it was even more awful for me.

It wasn’t until November 7th that we got our power back. Which made me really sad, because it was a day late to watch the election. Last election I made patriotic ice cream and blew into noisemakers outside when Obama won. Obviously, that didn’t happen this year. No, instead I found out the next day on the radio. Even with the power restored nothing changed for us. We were still living with basically nothing. We had to get rid of our couches. And we had 5 couches! We had to rip up the carpet. Our dining room table was now in the living room holding things we wanted to save. So we made a makeshift dining room table out of a small playing card table.

We were also told we have to rip off nearly all of our sheetrock from the downstairs. My has been trying to hold that off as long as possible because no heat + no sheetrock = a horrible situation. However, we’re going to do it this Saturday. Freezing or not, we can’t have mold grow in our house. If it does our house will surely be condemned.

We were still getting food from the town hall up until like a week ago. The store is a little farther away to walk to, so we only walk there when we feel like having meat. That’s how it is even now, since we don’t have a car. My sister and I usually go to the town hall everyday to pick up hot lunch for the family. We even did that on November 20th which was my mom’s 51st birthday. But for some miracle they had bakery cakes that day, so at least she got that. And I have to say that was the best red velvet cake I’ve ever had.

Now, onto the pictures.

A handout I got from town hall letting us know where to go. Obviously I blacked out the names and addresses.

People actually handed this out on my block.

The first box of food we got.

The MREs we lived on.

The box basically tells you to be a good solider. Lol. 

It’s supposed to be pulled buffalo chicken. It was disgusting. But every other meal I had was good.

The cheese and crackers was the best part. The crackers kinda tasted like matzo. I forgot to take a picture of the dessert. XD All the deserts were good. There was a granola bar, energy bar, and patriotic cookies as other desserts. The drink mixes weren’t good though. They tasted like watered down kool aid.

We also got some weird possibly military grade spam. It actually wasn’t bad.

The limited access sign for my house. At least it wasn’t condemned.

A donation sign for my local firehouse.

Red cross blanket.

My town featured in the Asbury Park Press.

The water line shown from the front of my house.

And from the back.

Trying to save things outside angle one.

Angle two.

Angle three.

And angle four.

Family room pre-clean up.

Downstairs bathroom.

Dryer.

Saved DVDs.

Saved things piled into my living room.

Arial shot of my town.

More of my town.

The best picture I could find online of my town hall.

My town once again.

And again.

A house from my town on the cover of Newsweek.

Now that I’ve said all, another reason I made this blog post is because I need help from my readers. In the form of small donations of money. I actually agonized over asking for help, because I know there must be people out there that probably can’t believe I have the nerve to ask. And since I haven’t been keeping up with blogging I don’t know if I do have a right to. But I wouldn’t be asking for help of my family wasn’t pretty much desperate. It goes like this: home owner’s insurance doesn’t pay for floods, you need flood insurance. Flood assurance only cover the 2nd floor. You then need FEMA, but FEMA denied us. Since we actually tried to save things and still had things in our house they said we weren’t hit hard. What they actually said was, “There was no visible damage.” We live in the middle of the block and flooded the most, but because we didn’t gut our entire house for no reason we apparently suffered no damage!

I’m not asking for much I really only need some people out there to just give me $50. $50 and that will pay for my mom’s pills. Because right now we can’t even afford that, and obviously if she doesn’t have her pills there’s an 80% chance she’ll have another stroke. I just need 5 people to donate $10, or 10 people to donate $5. Hey, even if 25 people donate $2 that would help. I know this probably sounds incredibly selfish to some people. But my family obviously has nowhere else to turn except for people on the internet.

To send money all you have to do is log into paypal.com and hit send money. You then enter the email address, amount of money you want to send, and click I’m sending to fmaily or friends. The email address you send it to is lilpixie61@aol.com That is my mom’s paypal account, mostly because I don’t actually have a bank account.
If I didn’t explain this clear enough at the bottom of Airiin Deshou’s donation project post, he explains donating to someone in much greater detail than I possibly could. Read the post by clicking here.

I really do wish someone out there can help me out. I know that now it sounds like I’m begging, but honestly I’m not to proud to beg. Especially if it’s for my family.

How and why I’m a fan of Japanese music

Ever since I started this blog I always wanted to make a post about my history with Japanese music and how I got into Japanese music in the first place. And when my post about my love hate relationship with AAA was featured on
International Wota, Ray said he would like me to talk more about Jrock (And Hinoi Team. But he wanted me to go release by release and give my opinions on them, which I’m honestly not going to do in this post. Perhaps I will sometime in the future.) And that was pretty much an excuse for me to write this post now. It’s taken me this long to write it because I was hesitant to post about it at all, because I’m not sure if people really care about my backstory too much. But whether a lot of people care about this post or not, I really felt like writing it.  Half because I think some people are curious to see how my taste in music has evolved over the years and half because the reason I got into Japanese music is so random that it’s almost laughable. It wasn’t really as cut-and-dry as when I first started to like Kpop. Since I was already into Japanese music the jump wasn’t that hard. Also, this is most likely going to be a giant wall of text, you’ve been warned.

Obviously, everyone found out about Japanese music a ton of different ways for a ton of different reasons. I like to think that most people found out about it in some grand way like stumbling upon it on the internet or hearing a Japanese song at the end of a Japanese movie and then searching for the song. Or even through anime or videogames. I guess that’s not really all that grand, but I’ve always though the way I got into Japanese music is slightly silly and ridiculous. Even though it’s just past 7 years that I’ve been into Japanese music I can honestly remember the reason I got into it like it was yesterday. It was the first day of 7th grade, I was sitting at a table with people I wasn’t friends with at all. And among them was this girl who was pretty much labeled weird by everyone. So, to make things less awkward it was randomly asked “if you could learn any language which one would you learn?” Come to think of it, I might have actually be the person who asked this question. Which completely proves how awkward and shy I am around people I don’t know. Everyone answered with obvious languages like French or Spanish, I said Italian, but this random girl was different. She said Japanese. And I remember just being completely dumbfounded. Being 12 years old at the time I knew absolutely nothing about Japan at all. To me Japan was such a random country that was so out of the ordinary. And at the time I could not fathom why she would pick such an unusual language. I later found out she only liked Japan because of anime, but I didn’t even really know or care what anime was at the time.

And for some reason that honest and strange responce really stuck with me. I kept asking myself, “Why Japan? What is so great about this country?” So, when I got home from school I started looking up Japan just to find out what was so appealing about it. And I looked up Japan for a while. I think it was about a month. But since I was 12 in all honesty, it was probably closer to a week. I remember looking up everything, history, culture, fashion, food, etc. And because I had been doing that for a while I started to think Japan was an interesting country. Then one day it just hit me, I had an idea. And it is such a clear vivid memory that I can honestly remember the exact moment it happened. I simply just though to myself, “Since I like Japan so much, I wonder what the music from Japan sounds like?” And that simple  question, because I was curious about everything at the time, started everything. Actually I’ve always been like that. I remeber when we started learning about astronomy for the first time in 3rd grade I was so interested in it I started watching anything I could about space. I was the only nerdy 9 year old in my class that watched the science channel. XD

But anyway, back to the topic at hand. I did a simple google search of Japanese music. And I came across a website that was streaming a few songs. Among them were the artists I bothered listening to, which were Hamasaki Ayumi and Dir en grey.  The songs on the site that I listened to were M and Duty by Hamasaki Ayumi, and The Final by Dir en grey. I think I might have also listened to Embryo, but I honestly can’t remember. Looking back that moment was completely symbolic.  Those 2 artists represented complete opposite ends of the spectrum. And it was the defining moment as a fan, as whoever I chose would determine what type of Japanese music fan I would become. I do admit from the moment I heard both artists I completely fell in love with all of the songs. However, in the end I did gravitate more to Dir en grey. I just found the music to be so different then anything I had ever heard before. At the time I didn’t have my own taste of music. I was still pretty impressionable and just listened to whatever my older sister was listening to at the time. Which was Green Day, Blink 182, The Offspring, things like that. Which probably also swayed my opinion a bit. I just found Dir en grey’s music to be interesting and enticing. That and the fact that I thought Kyo was incredibly gorgeous. Which is slightly shallow, but what can I say?

And just like that I started to really get into Jrock. I listened to basically anything I could get my hands on. Though my main focuses were Dir en grey, Gazette, Alice Nine, An Cafe, and Miyavi. And when I say I was into Jrock I was really into it. Usually when I like something I can’t just like it casually, I usually latch onto it and absorb myself completely in it. Which some people might take as being obsessive. But I prefer to think I’m just enthusiastic about the things I like, and maybe with a touch of zealous. So, when I got into Jrock I got into it 150%. It was the majority of what I listened to for months, it was all I talked about, I wanted to dress Jrock, all other music was inferior, etc. I also used to quote Jrock lyrics frequently. No, seriously I’d quote them. Not the actual lyrics but the translations. My favorite quotes I used to reiterate frequently were: “Even loved ones scatter like petals from flowers in my hand. So even if I engraved the meaning that I lived in my hand, it will only be known as flowers of vanity.” Which is from The Final by Dir en grey. I also used to quote, “And a flower, doesn’t even know it’s own beauty it’s entire life. Sad isn’t it?” Which is from Miyavi’s Girls be Ambitious. I also called Kyo a prohet a couple dozen times. Which is something Kyo fans used to, and still probably do, call him. Which I am so over and is slightly embarassing to admit now. And let’s not forget the absolute hatred I had for Kisaki. Full on I wished he was dead hatred. And the reason for such an intense hatred? Well, a rumor of course. I’m sure Jrock fans immediately know what I’m reffering to. And if you don’t here’s the story. Everyone is probably well aware that before Dir en grey was formed all the members minus Toshiya were in a band called La:Sadie’s. In La:Sadie’s instead of Toshiya being the bassist it was instead Kisaki. The rumor then goes like this: Kyo had a girlfriend, I’ve also heard fiance, back then. Allegedly Kisaki slept with her. Which devestated Kyo and since then he’s refused to write happy songs. Which is sort of true. Kyo’s girlfriend did cheat on him back then, however no one knows 100% why or who it was with. But fans love to place blame. And I was one of them. I started to hate Kisaki and refused to listen to Phantasmagoria. Pretty ridiculous right? And I seriously never listened to them, the first song I ever heard by them was Kami no Uta which was their final song, that was released in 2007. However, as much as I loved, and still love, Kyo my full focus and fangirl attention went 100% to Miyavi. I followed him insanely closely, closer than anyone I had ever followed up until then, and even now. There is not 1 artist that I like half as much as Miyavi. Not even Morning Musume. You could add every idol group I love and maybe that would equal my love and adoration. Which should show how much I love Miyavi. I remember I boasted about knowing everything about Miyavi to my sister once. And she made the mistake of asking, “what do you mean everything?” So I preceded to tell her everything which took 45 miutes. Which I mentioned to her the other day when I told her about Berryz Koubou coming to AnimeNEXT, in which she said, “Oh god, don’t remind me.” There was also that one time my friend insulted Miyavi in front of me and I had to literally stop myself from slapping her. Good times. XD

I was so silly and obnoxious back then. I was the type of fan everyone hates. But I was 12-14 for god’s sake. Obviously, I’ve changed considerably since then. I just wanted to show the kind of mindset I had back then. Which is why I never gave Super Junior or Arashi a second look. Both groups were insanely popular on internet at the time, so of course I had to look them up. They were so happy and upbeat that it was laughable. I was listening to guys singing about suicide and sleeping with their mother (Seriously, Gazette’s Sugar Pain is a hilarious song.) that I couldn’t take them seriously. Which is a contradiction really because An Cafe’s and Miyavi’s music was incredibly upbeat and happy. Even Alice Nine has never been really heavy. And I did still listen to Jpop at the time. But I guess it made sense to me at the time. XD But I think it was really mainly because they were overly happy and they were guys, if they were females I probably would have listened to them. An Cafe and Miyavi were fine to me because they were still Jrock. Despite being insanely upbeat they still dressed and were Jrock. At the time I was more interested in Jrock guys than the male idol look. That has to have been my mindset.

But when I first got into Japanese music even though I was heavily into Jrock it’s not all I listened to. I did another google search of Japanese music and discovered Puffy AmiYumi and Otsuka Ai. And a couple months after I got into Japanese music for some reason we switched to cable. And I begged my mother to get the anime network that they offered just so I could get bento beat box to be able to watch Japanese music videos on TV. We only ended up having cable for a few months but it was enough time to discover some new music. I honestly can’t remeber all the music they offered, I can only remember the music I liked. Oh for some reason I also remember vividly that Chemistry was one of the artists, only because I remember saying that they were awful. The songs I did like were Shouchi no Suke by Suitei Shoujo, Shining Star Wasurenai Kara by Tamaki Nami and Rainy Days Never Stays by The Brilliant Green. I was so in love with those songs that I tapped the videos off my TV. I still have that VHS tape floating around my house somewhere. And because of the anime network, I became a pretty big fan of Tamaki Nami and Tommy Heavnly6/February6. I also googled which artists videos we featured in the opening of bento beatbox and discovered Koda Kumi and ZONE that way. Also, like I said before in my AAA post I was incredibly into Hinoi Team at the time. They were a group I randomly found and became attached to because they had just formed and they were my age. I’ve already talked about them a great deal and don’t feel like repeating it again, so if you really care about how I felt about Hinoi Team you can read the post here.

Somewhere in the midst of this youtube was created. Which helped me get into Japanese music much more. I used to have to download everything which I absolutely hated. Youtube was a big part of how I got into Jrock as much as I said I did above. There was only maybe a 6 month period of being a Japanese music fan before youtube was created. Which makes some of this chronologically out of order. But not by much. And let me just say that my family could not stand that I liked Japanese music at all. They didn’t want to hear about it and was convinced it was simply a phase. And because of that my mom refused to buy me anything Japanese related. No movies, no music, and no language books. She didn’t buy me a Japanese CD until I was 16. Which is why I have hardly any Japanese CDs. And also why despite being a Japanese music fan for 7 years I can’t speak Japanese. I only know phrases and very basic Japanese. Because for some reason my mom still refuses to buy me language books. And about a year after I got into Japanese music I told my best friend at the time that I liked Japanese music and she literally laughed in my face. Which are the main reasons I feel slightly embarrassed for liking Japanese music and why I don’t tell people I like idol music or even about this blog. Just the negative way people would react, I’d rather not experience it.

Also, around the end of 2005 or early 2006, which was 1 year before I got into Morning Musume and Hello!Project, I was in love with Mini Moni. Which might not makes sense that I would like them and not even know or care about H!P, but it happened. I remember that sometime in around 2006 I randomly heard Strawberry Pie. I cannot for the life of me remember how or why, but I just did. I thought the song was so adorable that I fell in love with Mini Moni. I mean really in love. I watched all about them. Their TV appearances, their anime, Mini Moni The Documents, and even half of their movie. Back then I actually liked Mari the best. Which I think is funny. Which is why in the beginning of getting into Morning Musume I was a Mari fan. Anyway, I pretty much only listened to Mini Moni. I randomly heard that Mari was in Morning Musume, so I decided to download a song by them. That’s right I just downloaded Go Girl ~Koi no Victory~, and nothing else. I didn’t google the group or even watch the PV. I did like the song, I ended up putting it on a mix CD. But for some reason I just didn’t look up Morning Musume beyond that.

It wasn’t until 2007 that I finally got into Hello!Project, but it was by complete accident. And I got my first, well actually second, taste of it in 2006 when I went on youtube to search for a PV by Jrock singer Moon Kana, who at the time simply went by Kana. And when I tried to look her up the first result I got was Koi Kana by Kusumi Koharu. Can you imagine that if Kana switched her name to Moon Kana a few years earlier I probably wouldn’t be a H!P fan at all? Anyway, I was so intrigued by the video that I clicked on it, and it was literally love at first sight. I fell 100% in love with the song. To such a degree that I memorized all the gestures she did in the PV and would copy them while I watched the video, I even ended up learning the dance. This was around the time the song came out so it was June of 2006, or maybe a month or 2 afterwards. And even though I was so smitten with the song I didn’t look up Koharu at all. Instead I would just youtube her name every so often to see if she had a new song out. And I did that up until Happy was released. And by that time I was completely in love with all 3 of her singles that I decided to find out what this girl named Kusumi Koharu was all about. I quickly found out she was part of Morning Musume. And by then I actually cared, so I looked up Morning Musume. I found out that Kanashimi Twilight was their most recent single and listened to it. I absolutely loved everything about it. It was happy and it was amazing. I then went on a  myspace group for Momusu to learn about the members. The group showed promo pics of each girl in their Kanashimi Twilight outfits with their names under it. I remember just sitting there, closing my eyes and repeating their names over and over until I could remember every single name and put each face to the name. I remember that I wanted to follow these girls because they were all very close to my age. And because of that I became instantly drawn to Koharu and Aika, because Koharu was my age and Aika was only 1 year younger. And when I first got into Morning Musume I used to read a certain blog everyday, it’s where I got all my news from before I discovered Hello-Online. The blog is called Hello Non-Pro Hour. It was a big inspiration for me as it was one of the reasons I decided to start my own blog. The blog went down a couple months before I started my own blog, and later one of the writers, Gaki, moved on to Pure Idol Heart. Which is a big reason I support Pure Idol Heart so much. But apparently Hello Non-Pro Hour has been making posts again, well a few months ago they did, which I was completely unaware of until I googled the site just now for this post because I couldn’t remember the blog’s name. 

So, I was so inspired that I decided to make a blog. And Janakya Mottainai was born, but it wasn’t really the JM you know today. When I first started my blog I wasn’t the avid idol fan that I am today. I was actually mainly a Morning Musume and Buono fan. (Obviously I was a Buono fan since I named my blog after one of their songs.) I only had minimal interest and knowledge about Berryz Koubou, C-ute, and past groups. I was a casual fan of theirs. Where I heard some music, but not all. My main focus and attention went on Morning Musume. And like I’ve said on my blog before, when I started JM I didn’t even know all of Berryz Koubou and C-ute’s names yet. It was just that when I made JM I wanted to feature all of H!P on my blog, so I did despite not being an expert on most of H!P yet and because I felt people wanted to read about all of H!P and not just Buono and Morning Musume. So, I featured them from day one and learned everything about them on the fly and of course as I blogged I found out a lot more about them just by following them extremely closely. Obviously since then, I have now learned nearly everything there is to know about past and present H!P. Their music, songs, concerts, and members themselves. And I owe all of that to my blog. Because since day one I’ve always tried to give readers what they wanted and to make the best blog possible. If it wasn’t for that drive to please everyone and myself, I probably wouldn’t be the huge H!P fan and idol fan I am now.
But that’s not the only reason why JM is different today. Since a majority of my readers haven’t been reading my blog since day one they might be surprised to know how clustered, unorganized, and pretty much unsure of what it was, JM was back then. Despite the fact that I wanted it to be a Jpop blog I had posts dedicated to H!P, Jpop, and Jrock. Early on I discovered that wasn’t going to work and ended up dropping Jpop and Jrock all together. Which helped fuel my love and passion for H!P. And that’s pretty much it. Every step of the way in my H!P fandom after that has been detailed in my blog. If you want to know further you can check out past posts.

But the way I got into JE is another story all together. And believe it or not, again, it was by an accident. Being a fan of Hello!Project I knew that Johnny’s existed. Especially since I was a fan when Arihara Kanna was caught with Johnny’s Junior Hashimoto Ryosuke. And I was also around for Natsuyaki Miyabi’s scandal that was allegedly with Hey! Say! JUMP member Inoo Kei. (Can I just say I doubt it was Inoo. Mostly because if there’s one JE member that is legitimately gay, I’m like 80% sure it’s Inoo. XD Which could be an offensive statement to Inoo fans, or anyone reading this really, but look at the way he carries himself. You can’t pretend you haven’t thought that at least once yourself.) But at the time I had absolutely no idea who either person was. I remember looking up both guys and saying how each girl could do better. But even though I knew they existed I never listened to them or really knew what they were all about. That is until I decided to join a dubbing group. Let me first off start by saying, I love dubbing groups and I love group dubbing. Though I honestly haven’t been in one in a while. The last one I was in had me record 3 songs and then they were just never released and I was removed from the group with zero warning. A lot of people are ok with dubbing as long as the dubbers can actually sing. Which I don’t agree with and I think is completely unfair. I’ve personally been spreading my medicore, or teribble depending on who you ask, voice to the masses over the years. I absolutely could care less what people think of my voice or me for it. I love idol music, so of course I love singing idol music. It’s not fair that only people with amazing voices should be allowed to sing. People feel the same way about karaoke. But screw that, I love to sing and I’m not going to let my lack of ability stop me. And if people don’t like it, don’t listen to group dubs. Because there are only a handful of dubbers that can actually sing.

Ok, that was extremely off topic, but it makes me angry that people feel that way. So, I joined this group. Which I won’t name because, what am I their promoter? And besides that I’m not active there anymore and never really was. I joined the group and was put into my group. We actually covered 2 NEWS songs, Cherish and Ai no Matador, and I wasn’t really aware at the time, and didn’t care because I was more focused on learning the song than whether it was a good song or who it was by. Since I was placed into this group I decided to listen to some of their past releases. They did a cover of Weeeeek and this was back when idol agencies didn’t really crack down on copyright as much as they do now, and group dubs could post their group dubs over videos a lot more, and have youtube channels of them. Which you don’t see as often anymore. This group covered Weeeeek and I thought that they did such a good job that I fell in love with the song. (I also discovered Kuchibiru Kara Romantica that way as well.) I fell in love with it so much that I had to hear the original. So, I watched the PV and that was it. With just one listen I was absolutely in love with them. I told one of the girls from the dub group that I was friends with at the time that I was watching the PV and that the group seemed to be really good. So, she of course asked which member I liked. I googled and it and it turned out to Ryo. She then proceeded to tell me I shouldn’t become a fan of his because of how much of a jerk he was. Good times. XD
I actually did come into contact with JE 2 times before, but I was completely unaware of it at the time. Both times were in 2007. The first time was when I was talking to a friend I made through myspace. We mainly used to fangirl over Miyavi together, but we occasionally talked about regular Jpop too. And because of that she knew that I was a huge Tamaki Nami fan, so she sent me a news clip that talked about the new stage play that Nami was in, a Japanese version of High School musical. Along with Tamaki Nami the stage play also starred Koyama Keiichiro, but at the time I had no idea who he or NEWS was. And my only response to her was that I didn’t even like High School Musical but really wanted to see it because Nami was in it. And I also remember clearly saying to her that the random guy that kisses Nami is hideous. To which she said, “I think he’s cute.” Look how much sooner I would have been a NEWS fan if that was Ryo-chan instead of Kei-chan in the play. The second time was when I watched the movie Boku wa Imouto ni Koi o Suru which starred Matsumoto Jun. I had already seen the OVA because I found it randomly online and just had to see it because it was about incest which I found to be so odd and laughable. And once I found out they made a moive about it I just had to see the ridiculousness in live action. So, I watched the movie shortly after it was released. Well, I didn’t actually watch the whole thing. I watched half of it because it was terrible. And I actually thought the main actor, which was MatsuJun, was hideous. And rightfully so, because he didn’t really look that good in the movie. And I was more excited that Komatsu Ayaka from PGSM was in it. And finding out who the cute classmate was. Which was Hiraoka Yuta, who I still love today.

Shortly after discovering NEWS I completely engulfed myself in them. I started with their most recent single, which was Summer Time. I also watched their concerts to find out what music was good and watched anything with them I could get my hands on. So, for a good 6 months I listened to nothing but NEWS, well within Johnny’s anyway. It wasn’t until I watched the Johnny’s Countdown concert for that year that I was exposed to the other Johnny’s groups. Which I actually didn’t care about, or even plan on getting into other groups, I was just watching the concert for NEWS and NEWS alone.

But of course that’s not what happened, and I discovered another group too, completely by accident. I was watching the Johnny’s Countdown concert for 2008 and heard a song I liked. I had absolutely no idea who the group was or what the song was called, I just remember thinking, “Oh, I like that song about cherries.” And I literally googled Johnny’s song cherries. Obviously that song turned out to be Mayonaka no Shadow Boy by Hey! Say! JUMP, and it obviously wasn’t about cherries. So, shortly after that I started to get into HSJ. On my blog I did some NEWS related posts in 2008. But after the Johnny’s Countdown I decided to cover Johnny’s a lot more and started covering all the groups despite only being a fan of NEWS and HSJ. Ironically, that hasn’t really changed. I am still mainly a NEWS and HSJ fan, but I do know a lot more about the other Johnny’s groups than I did back then. Also, every step of the way in my JE fandom after that has been detailed in my blog. And you can see how much better my writing about JE has gotten as I started to know more about each group.

Random note, I realize that I wrote twice as much about JE as I did about H!P. The reason for that is I’ve been into and blogging about H!P a lot longer then JE. My blog has pretty much tracked my H!P fandom extremely closely. I have never really gotten a chance to write about how I got into JE before. Well, until now that is.

Shortly after adding Johnny’s to my blog I became more aware that AKB48 existed. As an idol fan I knew they existed and listened to their songs because they were similar to H!P. But since I was an H!P fan I saw no point in really getting into them since at the time H!P was pretty much all I wanted and was interested in. Also, I thought the girls of AKB48 weren’t really cute or appealing. But shortly after that I saw a few of the blog that I read featuring AKB48. So, I became interested in them and decided to listen to their newest single, 10nen Zakura, and became hooked. A couple months after that I turned Janakya Mottainai into 100% an idol blog. But all that meant was that I would feature H!P, JE, and AKB48. Hardly an idol blog really. Since then I have started featuring more idol groups, but only the idol groups I genuinely like. I have felt pressured at times to cover all idol groups even groups I’m not a fan of just to gain more readers and to make my blog a mecca of idol groups and coverage. But I absolutely will not do that. I think my writing and blog as a whole would suffer if I started covering groups I don’t like just because they fall into the idol category. Which is why I might not be covering your favorite idol group. The best example of this is Tokyo Girl’s Style. I just don’t see anything spectacular about them to became a fan of theirs.

I think that’s pretty much it. My 7 year history of Japanese music as best as I can remember. And as short as I could make it while still getting all the main details out. If there’s anything else you would possibly want to know that I haven’t mentioned here, feel free to ask. And I would also love to hear how everyone else started to listen to Japanese music.