Monthly Archives: February 2013

Quick lessons in J-Rock and Uchusentai

My knowledge of J-Rock is close to zero.  And even though the JF Manila Library has quite a selection of J-Rock and J-Pop music, my exposure to Japanese music is mostly to traditional music or contemporary music using traditional instruments (i.e. taiko, shamisen and koto).  When news came about that our office will going J-Rock this Nihongo Fiesta, I knew I had a lot of catching up to do (I didn’t know J-Rock and I clearly have no idea who Uchusentai: NOIZ was or what visual kei rock group looks like).  Nihongo Fiesta (fiesta is a Spanish word for feast or party) is one of JF Manila’s yearly events that attract thousands of Filipinos of all ages to celebrate and participate in a weekend of Japanese language and art through activities such as speech contests, quiz bees and concerts. Since the 2013 Nihongo Fiesta was going to highlight the concert of Uchusentai, our office secretary was kind enough to email me the link to the group’s video “Narda” to educate me with the group’s music and over-all look.

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Lesson 1:  The Look

At first glance, the group reminded me of the American rock band KISS because of the make-up and the flamboyant outfits.  Apparently this is what the Japanese movement “visual kei” is:  the use of make-up, elaborate hairstyles  and flamboyant costumes.  And  Uchusentai is one the popular visual kei bands of Japan.

 Lesson 2:  The Music

The first video of NOIZ that I saw was their video the Filipino rock song “Narda”.  I was surprised, their version was pretty good.  No wonder it became a big hit with the Filipinos.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lde76arEmGA.  Their music style is not what I expected; I thought I would hear be a lot of screaming/noise (in Japanese of course) but  their music is rather pleasant.  Not the sound I was imaging based on their look.

With only a few days to go before the Uchusentai: NOIZ concert, our office is finalizing all the logistical requirements for the event.  I am have been updating my checklist little by little at the same time listening to their music and watching their videos from last year’s “Best of Anime” to better prepare myself for the concert.   Now that I have an idea on what they look like and what they sound, I think I am ready for the concert.  The only thing I need to do now is prepare for the big crowd… that I think will be Lesson 3: The Crowd.

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2013 Nihongo Fiesta goes J-Rock with Uchusentai: NOIZ!

Gear up this February as the 2013 Nihongo Fiesta goes rock with the Japanese band Uchusentai: NOIZ.   Nihongo Fiesta is the yearly event of the Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM) that showcases Japanese language, arts and culture through events like the speech contest, quiz bee and musical concerts.

This year, the fiesta presents three (3) events that will surely excite the otakus and the general public alike:  the 40th Nihongo Speech Contest, 5th Quiz Bee – Nihongo for High School Students and the much awaited rock concert of Uchusentai: NOIZ.

 Uchusentai: NOIZ is a visual kei rock band from Japan. Formed in 1999, the group is composed of Angel Taka, Masato, Kyo, Kotaro and Yamato.  They are known for their energetic music, wild cosplay-like outfits and live shows full of energy and on stage antics.  The free concert will be held on February 23 (Saturday), 7:00 pm at the SM City North EDSA Skydome.

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The 40th Nihongo Speech Contest gathers Filipino students and professionals from all over the country to prove their excellence in the Japanese language through speech.  An all-expense paid week-long study tour in Japan awaits the Champion and the Outstanding Performance Awardee.  It will be on February 23 (Saturday) at 10:00 am.  The 5th Quiz Bee – Nihongo for High School Students brings together high schools from Metro Manila as well as other regions to best each other in a game of knowledge of Japanese language and culture.  The quiz bee will be held on the same day from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm.  Both events will be held at The Block Cinema 1 at the SM City North EDSA in Quezon City. 

The 2013 Nihongo Fiesta is part of the celebration of the 40th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation.  All events are open to the public. For more details and inquiries, please contact the Japan Foundation, Manila at (02) 811-6155 to 58; email@jfmo.org.ph  or visit www.jfmo.org.ph . The 2013 Nihongo Fiesta is made possible with the support of the SM City North EDSA, the Embassy of Japan, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines, Inc. (JCCIPI), The Japanese Association Manila (JAMI), Japan Overseas Enterprises Association (JOEA), Association of Filipino Nihongo Teachers (AFINITE), Animax, Japan Airlines, UNIQLO, Canon Marketing (Philippines) and Yoshinoya.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

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