January 30, 2008

happy birthday, Yabucchi!

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
Today I’m releasing a fourth bird, a bird called Yabu. [And if you're still wondering what I mean by that because this is your first visit or one of your first visits, please check this other post]

You already know what bird Yabu is though because I told you in that post about Shoon's new pendant, remember? =]

Yes, Yabu is an eagle.

Eagles look so proud and regal... and a bit scary too, let's admit it. XD Were it not for the fact that I know Yabu has an adorable naughty and childish side, I'd say he's a little intimidating. I swear I'm sure Shoon was downright intimidated by him until not so long ago. XD But especially when they were young. I think it was particularly evident in that old Ya3 show in which they went on the JAWS ride at the Universal Studios theme park. aguilaYabu and Shoon were sitting next to each other on the ride, and Yabu feigned ...maybe not XD he was scared of the mechanical shark and clang to Shoon's arm. ^3^ Poor Shoon though was so stiff. LOL I think he was more scared of Yabu clinging to him than of the fake shark. LOL If you don't know what I'm referring to, check this animated gif by Fahlyu. [opens in a new window]

And yet, even though Yabu is a bit intimidating, just like eagles are scary, he's also quite fascinating, like eagles too are. I'm sure he's quite scary when he gets angry too. I wouldn't want to be near Yabu when he gets angry. Perhaps it's the attractive of danger. XD Yuu compiled for the 8th day of our countdown to Yabu's birthday characteristics that supposedly apply to Yabu from 4 different horoscopes - numerology, Western astrology, Chinese zodiac, and Celtic horoscope. [It's amazingly accurate and very curious; you should go and check it if you haven't. ;-)]

Well, incidentally, in the Celtic horoscope Yabu is the Cypress - which is just perfect because the cypress is the most serious/severe-looking tree, just like Yabu LOL - and it says that people under that sign attract the opposite sex (well, and the same sex too, I imagine) because of their mysteriousness. It also says that "the partner would have to be strong and tolerant", which as Fahlyu said in the comments to Yuu's entry totally fits Shoon. ^3^ OTP, OTP, OTP! *gets bricked*

Back to the eagle... Not that I know much about eagles, but I think they're smart birds, and Yabu is remarkably smart too. Remember that Ya-Ya-yah show in which he took some kind of IQ tests and did so amazingly well in every question? I was so much in awe after watching it.

And he's a quick learner too. I think it helps that he has a huge confidence in himself. He has his moments of awkwardness now and then because he's rather shy [and now Hikaru would mention for the umpteenth time that he never looks anybody in the eye ;-)] and he had those often for a while after his growth spurt, but most of the time he's the Yabu that is so sure of himself he seems a little arrogant.

That said, though, I don't think he's arrogant at all, and though it's evident he loves getting attention and being in the limelight [and all johnnys do to some extent - they're showbiz people after all], he doesn't seem particularly anxious to lead.

I think he gets impatient with people who don't grasp things as fast as he does [thinking of the handbells Ya-Ya-yah episode now - I'll explain that in another entry], but just like eagles it seems to me he prefers doing things solo; on his own. There's an old Ya-Ya-yah article from the 2005.12 issue of Myojo that has a ShoonxYabu talk, and they have to say one thing they would change about the Ya-Ya-yah show. Shoon says he would like to have more livestages outdoors, like livestages at the beach in the Summer - typical Shoon, ne? ^__~ Yabu, on the other hand says he would have liked the show to have a solo corner for each member. He quickly adds that for example Shoon could have had a fashion corner. Seeing it from a Yamabu point of view I'd say that was a bit of Shoon fanboying on Yabu's part LOL , but being more realistic I think Yabu would have actually liked to have his own solo corner. =P

Ah, this is getting a bit long, isn't it? XD;;; I never thought I could ramble on and on about Yabu like this. Anyway. Our dear Yabucchi is now all grown up and long gone are the days in which people called him an annoying "mushroom head". Yeah, because of his mushroom haircut, you know. XD Which he wore well into early 2006 at least. Some have only realized how sexy Yabu is after his voice broke and had his final growth spurt and the JE stylists did something decent with his hair, and honestly, that puzzles me a little. Yabu has had the sexy in him for quite a while. You know, there are things in potency, and things in act. Yabu is sexy in act now, but he has been sexy in potency for some time. If you don't believe me just check this 2005 performance of Mayonaka no answer from the Ya-Ya-yah show.

This is one of my favourite Yabu solo performances, but I love even more when he joins Hikaru later to sing Kuroi asa, shiroi yoru. I love that song too, and Hikaru's voice, and I so want Hikaru to sing it again! *__* And Hikaru looks and sounds so young in this clip, doesn't he? Their voices blend so well, and with such a nice contrast. I don't know how to explain it, but I love the way their voices sound together. [this performance and 2 other Yabu solos can be downloaded in HQ at the countdown community]

I've said this before, but I had always hoped they would debut as Y&H if a Ya-Ya-yah debut was not possible. Well, what can I say? You can't always get what you hope for. Yabu is in HSJ now, and I wish things were different, but I'm slowly learning to be happy for him. He has always thrived under the attention, and he's the type that loves challenges, so it's understandable he's excited about all the chances he's getting now, even though this debut must have been bittersweet to him.

Fly away, dear Yabu, fly as high as you can and soar the skies, because that's what eagles are meant to do. =]

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January 27, 2008

Taiyô's bird

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
Today I’m releasing a third bird, a bird called Taiyô. [If you're wondering what I mean by that because this is your first visit or one of your first visits, please check this other post] When I tell you what bird Taiyô is for me perhaps you'll think it's a strange choice of a bird because it's a small bird and Taiyô is... well, so tall. ^^

Actually, the first bird that comes to mind when you think of Taiyô is the ostrich because he is tall, rather clumsy at times, and also gets scared easily in certain situations. And ostrichs can be pretty stubborn too, like Taiyô is according to his friends. XD I guess I would choose the ostrich if I was going for a comical portrait of Taiyô, but I think Taiyô deserves to be seen under a serious light every once in a while too. ostrichWe all love the childish Taiyô who did unexpected things and gave the most bizarre answers, the character JE exaggerated so many times, but there's a lot more to Taiyô than that.

Going back to the ostrich for a moment, though, it's not because of his looks that I've chosen a small bird for Taiyô, so it doesn't really matter how tall he is. =] Secondly, Taiyô's clumsiness came mostly from having grown that tall so fast. The latest livestages and SC performances showed he was overcoming it. And finally, yes, Taiyô was given the title of "bibiri king" (something like the biggest crybaby) in that old Ya-Ya-yah show [2004.06.13] in which they were put to the test to know who got scared more easily, but I don't think Taiyô is the type who would bury his head in the sand, like ostrichs do.

No, Taiyô seems the type of person that looks at problems straight in the eye and faces reality, much though reality may hurt sometimes. I'm sure he considered his options carefully and realistically before making the decision of quitting, and as I once said, perhaps it even took more courage of him to quit than of Shoon to stay. So no, I don't think Taiyô is the type that would ever bury his head in the sand.

sparrowIn fact, speaking of courage, the last SC in which Taiyô appeared (2007 September) made me think that he had a bit of a sparrow in him as well, which surprised me quite a bit. That's one of the things that have always fascinated me from sparrows: how brave they are when they are so small. I swear I have seen them standing up to magpies, which are much bigger, and rather vicious. XD That time Taiyô almost pushed Yabu to be the one to say the title of a TOKIO song in a game of the Junior League segment. He looked so determined, like he was thinking: "I know this one, and nobody is going to stop me from saying it". Yabu was quite shocked at Taiyô's reaction too. XD I totally loved seeing Taiyô so smug for once. =] (the clip below is a actually a mishmash of clips from that SC; the junior league bit comes after the White Goat-Black Goat bit at the beginning)

But no, Taiyô is not a sparrow either. Sparrows are very noisy and restless, and rather feisty as well. Taiyô is a chaffinch, that pretty bird on the left. Chaffinches are the sweetest tempered birds, especially when you compare them to sparrows, which are, on the contrary, rather quick-tempered if annoyed.

chaffinchChaffinches are very calm, very docile, and are quite content to live in captivity, again unlike sparrows. Just with some food and water you'll see a chaffinch singing gratefully in its cage. They don't complain at all and give no trouble.

You might think that’s awful, and I’d rather see any animal free than in a cage, but what I mean is that —now leaving birds aside— some people are content with pretty little and that’s not a bad thing. Actually it’s a very good thing, and it’s the basis of Buddhism. [We suffer because we crave for things like money, a bigger house, attention from others..., and we can stop suffering if we control our cravings.] However that’s kind of hard to achieve when you haven’t been born with that kind of acceptance as a trait of your character. XD In short it’s being happy with the cards life has dealt you. It doesn’t imply you shouldn’t try to improve your situation, just that you don’t fret constantly about it, and that you’re glad for what you have.

I think that pretty much describes Taiyô. He’s the kind of person that doesn’t ask for much, who does what he has to do and does his best, and doesn’t complain. I’m sure that in all his years in JE he must have had moments of disappointment and perhaps even anger, but he has such a sweet disposition that he always took gracefully the teasing, the jokes, his having to act as the baka in the group..., and he never showed in any way he was bothered by the uneven treatment he got from JE. His smile never faltered nor did his good humour.

Again, all that doesn’t mean that I think he was unaffected by the way JE “rewarded” him for his years of hard work and loyalty. I imagine he was probably hurt, and perhaps he still is. He may be sweet-tempered and understanding, but he’s a human and he has feelings, just like the rest of us. At least that’s the way I would feel if I were him.

However, just like Shoon has to fight the fear I’m sure he has of losing his job, most likely Taiyô is now fighting against the hurt and the longing, and trying to regain the balance in his life. I’m sure he will, just with a little time, and it’s a good start that, as my friend Tina said he’s not moping at home but hanging out with his friends.

I wish you the very best, Taiyô, or rather, I wish you will get whatever it is you wish for and whatever will make you happy, because that’s what really counts. Some of us spend our lives running after “the big happiness”, and miss all the small happy moments of the day-to-day. I myself have a lot to learn from you in that respect. Fly away, dear Taiyô, and be happy and take care. =]

PS: A couple of scans as a belated Taiyô-birthday present for you Taiyô fans. ^3^ Please credit if you repost them; no credit needed for translations, icons, or graphics. The first one is from the 2004.01 issue of Potato, and the second one from 2005.03 of Potato too. =]

SCANNED BY IREA - http://yayayah8.blogspot.com SCANNED BY IREA - http://yayayah8.blogspot.com

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January 26, 2008

One! clip and lots more

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
I'm almost done with catching up with unanswered comments. Speaking of which... Some of you don't have an LJ account so you don't get a notification when I reply, so here are links to my replies, because some of these go back to 3 or 4 entries ^^ :

+[happy b-day, Taiyo] reply to anonymous
+[hugely relieved] reply to Kel
+[please vote (and Taiyo rumour)] reply to anonymous
+[Shounen Club without Shoon] reply to Kel, reply to Mabel, reply to Stevenica
+[catching up] reply to Stevenica, reply to Kel

On to other things... Somebody nicknamed Rod from one of the Chinese forums I visit has uploaded a clip from the recently released DVD of the 2006 musical One!, the History of Takki in which Yabu and Hikaru perform Ikujinashi, so I thought I'd share it with you. For those of you who don't know, Taiyô and Shoon were not involved in this musical, so they don't appear in this clip. The only part Taiyô and Shoon had in Ikujinashi was a bit of backsinging in the chorus, but every time I watch a performance of that song with just Yabu and Hikaru, I'm always expecting to see Shoon entering mid-song with that impressive acrobatic bit he did, and Taiyô entering from the other end of the stage to join in too. ^^ So yes, even though their part in this song was small, any performance of Ikujinashi without them, even if they add some juniors to backdance, like in this case, is not the same. ^_~


Taiyô and Shoon not taking part in this musical, just like they didn't take part in Takki's 2006 and 2007 Enbujô is one mystery that has always made me wonder. I mean... it's decidedly weird if you think of the fact that the other junior groups -ABC, KMF2, and JJE- were there in full. It wasn't Tottsu and Kawai from ABC, but the 4 of them, and it wasn't just Kitayama and Fujigaya from KMF2, but all of them, etc. Why just Yabu and Hikaru from Ya-Ya-yah? And of course, like other times, they were there not as "Yabu and Hikaru", but as "Ya-Ya-yah".

I'd even started thinking if Takki was behind the decision of leaving them out of those events, as after all they were his shows, but it looks like it wasn't him after all...

One of my LJ friends, Princekira, who bought the DVD and is fluent in Japanese, posted an entry on her LJ about it and mentioned that at one point Takki, when introducing Yabu and Hikaru, he asked "Since when does Ya-Ya-yah have only 2 members?".

I don't know whether to love him for that or not, because she also mentioned that Yabu and Hikaru looked very uncomfortable when he said that.

Did he say that on purpose, as a kick in the gut to whoever had taken that decision, did he say it as a joke -if it was... lame joke for those involved ^^;;;- or did he ask it in a completely innocent way?

At first, upon reading it I thought it was a joke, like in one of the last SCs of last year Yabu and Hikaru were talking to Koyama and Nakamaru on the MC segment, and they had to describe Ya-Ya-yah with one word. Hikaru flipped the board and read what was written on it: "almighty", and explained it was because they had done virtually everything: a stage play, musicals, etc. And then he added: "Shoon says so." Koyama, Nakamaru and the audience laughed and either Koyama or Nakamaru asked: "and why didn't he himself come out here to say this?" I was like: "yeah, sure *rolls eyes*, like they are the ones to choose who will be in the MC segment. Pfft!" And then they joked saying that he was very shy, and yadda, yadda.

However, it seems Takki wasn't making a joke, because Princekira says that, after he saw how uncomfortable poor Yabu and Hikaru looked, he was like "Eh? Shouldn't I have asked? Well, I'm sure there are reasons", and that he was smiling but that it was pretty obvious he was uncomfortable as well.

Hmmm... Interesting to say the least, isn't it?

Other things... Are you following the countdown to Yabu's 18th b-day? ;-) If not you might want to go and check it for the surprises (Yabu/Ya-Ya-yah-related goodies) we've released so far: scans, a HQ clip of Kinou no tsuki ga mieru koro courtesy of Yungboy (thanks again for that wonderful present, Tina! ^3^ as you can see I waited for a special occasion to share it ;-)) from a 2004 SC that is the cutest thing ever, wallpapers, icons, a couple of fluffy Yamabu one-shots by harunomasu and a wonderful 2005 SC clip subbed by NEWShFAN that consists of a little MC segment in which KAT-TUN's Ueda talks to Shoon, Hikaru, and Taiyô while Yabu gets ready for the Anata ni o-tegami kakimashô segment, in which he and Jimmy Mackey read letters to each other, and finally there's a Ya-Ya-yah performance of Kaze ni notte. ^___^ Oh, and you can also leave a b-day message at the b-day guestbook if you want. ;-)

What else? ^^ ... ah, yes, Shoon-things to come. =D I've been bidding on more stuff at the Yahoo!Japan auctions, and hopefully they'll be arriving shortly, so I'll be posting scans of them at the Shoon LJ community. [Why not here too? Because I want the Shoon LJ community to have a reason to be, and the members of the community to get some benefit for being part of it. ;-) So if you're a Shoon fan, and you're not yet a member of Shoon around-the-Clock, what are you waiting for? =p] The pamphlet from the West Side Story musical Shoon starred in, and an article from a 2004 issue of Top Stage about it too. ^___^ The last picture is from a previous issue of Top Stage about a Shonentai version of the play that was staged the year before. I thought it was interesting because I knew Ikuta Toma had played Shoon's role (A-Rab) in that one, but I didn't know Tôshin had been in it too (playing the same role as he did the year after (Baby John). It's also interesting to see what a different A-Rab Toma's A-Rab was when compared to Shoon's. =] And I love that Shoon was given the role that was Toma's the year before. I want him to follow in Toma's steps. ;-) [oh, and I think the third pic proves that Shoon is much sexier with his hair color than blond ^3^]

More things! Yes, this post has a lot of different things, because I still need to catch up on all the things I need to share with you, and now it's Saturday I have time to do so. ^^ It's fancorner time! ^3^

bakahachi has the most original and beautiful Ya-Ya-yah tribute exhibit [From Here to Fourever] at her LJ! Please take a moment to go and visit. Click on the banner below. [Hydee: I love the background coloured thing you made that goes from red to green to blue and yellow! ^3^ and I love the pic you chose for the banner too]

It may not bring back yesterday, and it may not also change tomorrow...


And last but not least, here are four cute drawings beargirl26 made of the four Ya-Ya-yah members. ^___^ I love that she has included little details like an eagle for Yabu, Shoon's trademark wink, his new pendant... =]

MyDrawing-1 MyDrawing-3
MyDrawing-2 MyDrawing

PS: Taiyô's proper and belated ^^;;; birthday entry tomorrow... because it's SUNday! ^___^

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January 22, 2008

catching up

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
I'm feeling horribly restless. Since Christmas I've been unable to catch up with so much stuff I have to do and things I want to write here. x__x

This is going to be like... the big "catching up" entry, so please forgive the fact that some things have no connection with others.

a late announcement

I think I’ve made an announcement of the countdown to Yabu’s 18th birthday everywhere except here on my own blog. ^^;;; So I’ll do it now: a group of friends and I are holding a 10 day countdown to Yabu’s 18th birthday (Jan. 31st). You only turn 18 once in your life, right? =] We’re releasing a little surprise on each day (Yabu-related goodies), so if you haven’t yet checked the LJ community at which we’re holding the countdown, please go and take a look by clicking on the banner below. ;-) [oh, and... did I tell you about Yabu’s b-day contest? ^^ Can’t remember if I did. I’m giving out lots of old and recent Ya-Ya-yah clippings, and all you have to do is answer a few questions. ^__^ Click here to know more.]

about the comments

I finally found the time to start replying, but I still have a lot to answer and I want to reply them all because I really appreciate your reading and commenting. ^__^ Please bear with me. m(_ _)m

Taiyô’s b-day entry and Shoon’s 7th anniversary in JE

I still have to write Taiyô’s b-day entry -__-;;; —I wonder if you can guess what bird he is ;-) — and I need to write another entry to congratulate Shoon properly for having... survived 7 years in JE. *hugs Puppet* I wanted to post that entry yesterday (and Taiyô’s one last Sunday) but I just found the time to make a header. *points header*

big small things that made me happy in the last days

+ The February episodes of Shônen Club were recorded yesterday, and apparently Hikaru and Shoon were standing next to each other on the stage in the ending song, and leant on each other's shoulder when they were singing!!! *spazzes* It's funny that some months ago, before the HSJ debut, that would have been a perfectly normal occurrence, but in the current circumstances it seems something short of a miracle. I mean... in the last SCs even at those rare times they were both on the stage at the same time they didn't even make eye contact. I wonder if the audience cheered. I hope they did. I would have squealed. 8D I probably will when I see it with my own eyes. Now, if something similar happened with Yabu and Shoon... *dreams*

+ What a great success the Taiyô contest/tribute project was thanks to you guys. =] My friend Tina submitted a beautiful fanvideo and she offered to upload it for those who might want it (the original is a 640x480 clip and obviously much better quality than the streaming clip below). Click here to download it.

+ The curious... coincidences? that makes you think somebody in NEWS wants to keep Ya-Ya-yah alive: First my friend Aki made a post on her LJ about the logo of the Pacific concert tour, a smiling face with NEWS inside the mouth. Not only are those the colours of the Ya-Ya-yah members; the colours are also in the order JE used to arrange them (red-Yabu; blue-Hikaru, orange-Taiyô, green-Shoon). Apparently it was Massu who designed it. Makes sense. Ironically enough HSJ were guests at a recent NEWS concert and they wore t-shirts with that logo. *scratches head*

And then, according to a Japanese girl who has a link to my blog and is a Ya-Ya-yah and NEWS fan, it seems that Massu has mentioned Ya-Ya-yah not once but twice at their latest concerts, thus breaking the taboo that seemed to have fallen upon the very word. He said it once referring to Tegoshi and their playing dodgeball in the Ya-Ya-yah show, and the second time it was to answer a question somebody asked him about where he was last year, at the beginning of the year, and he replied he was filming on location with Ya-Ya-yah. Okay, so maybe they're just coincidences, but it’s great nevertheless to know Shoon’s “Honey” will still mention Ya-Ya-yah so freely. ^___^

Oh, and then of course, as Kamichan mentioned on one of his latest posts, there’s the title of their song Taiyô no namida which could be translated both as “Tears of the sun” or “Taiyô’s tears”. I too thought it was a curious coincidence, and if Koyama had a say in how many e’s “Weeeek” (is that right?) should have, perhaps somebody in NEWS proposed giving the song that title in reference to Taiyô? Okay, maybe not, but... who knows? I think it might make sense. After all Massu, Koyama, Shige, and Tegoshi were in the Ya-Ya-yah show from the beginning. There’s a very close bond between them and the Ya-Ya-yah members, and they are in a way indebted to Ya-Ya-yah.

+ learning from Quin that it was the webmistress of the Korean Ya-Ya-yah site Moonlightboy.com, the person who sent that postcard to SC requesting they aired the Te wo tsunaide yukô clip. I think Yabu and Hikaru were probably moved that somebody requested for that song, and the things she said in the postcard about it being a song that warmed her heart when she was feeling sad, so it would warm “these cold days” and so on. What they don’t know is what a big fan of them she is, and that she’s been a fan of them from the very beginning. I felt very happy for her when Quin told me. =]

things that made me sad in the last days

+ Fiona, the owner of the Chinese site HappyTown, a site that had been formerly a Ya-Ya-yah fansite, finally changed the header to a HSBest header.

+ Upon being criticized by some fans for doing so and for not having made any mention of Taiyô’s resignation, she deleted all the messages from the BBS and deleted the Shoon and Taiyô icons so now you can only choose Yabu or Hikaru icons. I don’t think it’s fair of other fans to criticize her —after all she was the one who had been uploading the Ya-Ya-yah show every week all this time—, but I think that was a bit extreme. <=( I know she’s always being more of a Hikaru fan than a Ya-Ya-yah fan, but still...

+ A few days ago I checked the profile of the Ya-Ya-yah LJ community for some info, and the number of members has gone down from well over 1000 (I think it was at least 1500 last time I checked) to 900 and something. ;____; Does that mean some people are no longer interested in Ya-Ya-yah now that JE broke the group up? I mean... the Beatles are no longer around but people still listen to their music and all, right?

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January 17, 2008

happy birthday, Taiyo!

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah

[EDIT]: The results of Taiyô's b-day contest are out! ^o^ You can find them here (SunDay LJ comm) or here (tribute site).

This is not the entry I wanted to post on Taiyô's birthday, but I'm very busy with work and haven't had the time to write it. ;___; It will come though, hopefully tomorrow, a proper birthday entry.

It's already January 18th already in Japan, so I thought I'd just log in to say happy birthday to the birthday boy ^___^ and to let you all know that I'm alive ^^;;;.

Thanks a million too to all the wonderful people who have voted so far! If you haven't voted yet and want to vote, you still have time: until today at midgnight GMT+1.

I also want to take the chance to thank again all the people who are taking part in the contest, and the people who have submitted - and keep on submitting- tributes to Taiyô. This little b-day project has been a huge success thanks to you all. I think Taiyô can be very proud of his fans. =D You can keep on posting your tributes at the SunDay LJ comm at any time. They'll all be reposted at Taiyô's permanent tribute site, A Tribute to Taiyô... and with a little luck there's a chance Taiyô himself might see them!

A few days ago Shiraishi Chiyo (白石知世), one of the young actresses who starred in Kinpachi Sensei 7 with Taiyô (actually she's Taiyô's age) made a post on her official blog about an outing with some of her Kinpachi co-stars - Taiyô among them. They went to a karaoke place, and she posted a small photo she took with her cell phone. He's not smiling in the photo, but he looks well and it's great to know he went out to have fun with old friends and that he keeps in touch with them. He'll probably keep in touch with his JE friends no matter what as well. =] I learned this from a Japanese LJ friend. Somebody asked Chiyo to take down the photo in case it might harm Taiyô [though I can't really see how ?__?], and she's deleted the entry and has replaced it with another one that simply shows a photo of the karaoke machine.

Anyway... I asked this friend of mine to help me translate a short message to Japanese, and I left a comment on Chiyo's blog asking her to tell Taiyô about the tribute site. Hopefully she will and then Taiyô will know he has lots of fans not only in Japan, but also abroad. =]

What follows is another tribute entry I wrote for the tribute site, about the Taiyô headers this blog has had. To check all the other tributes that were submitted, please visit A Tribute to Taiyô. There are videos, poems, drawings... all about Taiyô and for Taiyô. ^__^


I've always thought that the graphic part of a site or blog is a very important part, and the headers of my blog are, just like my posts, another way of expressing my moods, feelings, and impressions. And there's always a little history behind each one. I thought I'd share with you the history of the main Taiyô headers I've used so far... and also show you the one I'll be using on his birthday. ;-)

click to see full size click to see full size

The header on the left is a header I made last year for Taiyô's 16th birthday. I wanted a picture that reflected a mature and calm Taiyô, so I used that one of him with the striped shirt. The smaller pictures on the right of him with a Dalmatian are from one of my favourite Taiyô photoshoots. The grin in the small picture at the top is so bright and sincere. The second picture is... gosh, I love that picture. Taiyô's smile and the way he's looking at the dog are so warm. ^__^ And the third picture is like a reflection of the child Taiyô will always have inside, no matter how tall he gets. =] The circles obviously symbolize the sun, with the glow around them, and the header itself has the 3 colours the sun shows at the different times of day: red, yellow, and orange. =]

The header on the right is not exactly a Taiyô header, but there are four versions of that picture if you remember, one with each of the Ya-Ya-yah members standing in front and the other three behind, and I chose the one with Taiyô in front because he was the one that looked best. Honestly, Taiyô is almost always the one that looks best in pictures. He's so photogenic! For some reason this photoshoot reminded me of Matrix, so I turned it into a Matrix header. XD

click to see full size click to see full size

The header on the left... *sigh* That header is from the time when we learned about the HSJ debut and all of us were wondering what was going to become of Taiyô and Shoon and I was still campaigning with the "I want Ya-Ya-yah to go on". ;__; Looking at this picture and the Yabu-Hikaru one from the same article, it almost seems like it was an omen of what was going to happen: Yabu and Hikaru standing with one foot inside a golden heart, and Shoon and Taiyô sort of trapped behind an almost intangible barrier.

That one was so depressing that I just felt I had to make another, and also at that time Taiyô had stopped appearing at Shounen Club, so I made the one on the right. The text in Japanese means "I want to embrace the sun/I want to give Taiyô a hug", because that was what I wanted to do at that time. The pictures I chose were pictures that showed each member's bond with Taiyô. The Shoon and Taiyô one is a favourite of mine and of most people, I think. It's just too adorable for words. The Taiyô-Hikaru one is one of my favourite pictures of the two, especially because of how cute and childlike both look. And the Yabu-Taiyô one... I love that one too. I love the bond between Yabu and Taiyô. I think Yabu loves Taiyô's simplicity and kind nature precisely because he's a complicated guy. I feel that around Taiyô Yabu can be himself.

click to see full size click to see full size

Not much to say about the header on the left. That's a header I made for Taiyô's 6th anniversary in JE this year. I made it in a bit of a rush, but I chose one of the earliest pictures of him, to signify the long way he had made. Who would have said he wouldn't celebrate any more anniversaries in the jimusho? ;___; Yui posted yesterday an entry on her blog about crushed hopes, and that's something I'll never forgive JE for: for crushing Taiyô's hopes.

The one on the right is a very gloomy one, the header I used the day I learned Taiyô had left JE. I thought a sun eclipse on a cloudy day was the best way to show the way I was feeling then. However, I also chose this picture because the sun shows a little, because as I wrote on my blog when I took that header down, even though we can't see Taiyô now, I want to think that the Sun is out there, somewhere, shining over Tokyo. =]

click to see full size click to see full size

The one on the left is the header I used when I took down the eclipse one. I wanted a happy header to say thanks to Taiyô because I think he wouldn't want to see his fans sad, and I chose that pic because I wanted a picture that showed what I'm sure Hikaru, Shoon, and Yabu gave him when he told them he was going to quit: their support.

And, finally, the one on the right is the header I'm going to use on his birthday this year. =] I chose that paparazzi picture of him because it's one of my favourites too. He looks mature, very handsome... and kind of skeptical, which fits what I want to convey. I think Taiyô is an intelligent and hardworking person, and I have no doubt he'll find something else on which he'll pour his energies and dreams, but I'm afraid that what has happened must have made him lose some faith in the world. That's another reason for me to hate JE. However, I wanted this header to have a positive symbolism too for the future, and that's why I used a dark background, and that picture of Taiyô, because the sunlight is shining on Taiyô's face, and it looks as if he himself were really the sun, glowing and bringing light into the darkness. That's also why I used that quotation and the golden glow for the text. =] The bad poem at the bottom is by me, and those of you who read my blog know what it means. ^^

PS: sorry about all the comments and e-mails I still have to answer. m(_ _)m

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January 13, 2008

hugely relieved

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
I can't very well tell you how happy I was too see Shoon is on today's SC. It was such a huge relief when he appeared all of a sudden with Tsuka-chan and Tottsu in the theme medley! I was already dispairing by then because at the opening of the show ALL the other "main" juniors were introduced -even Taiga and Shintarô- but Shoon wasn't. ;___; Why the hell is that? Has he become a pariah that cannot appear with the rest, or what? Seriously JE, I hate you so much for things like this.

Oh, well, it's ironic how little it takes to make me happy. But then, with all that's been happening lately it's understandable that I'm expecting very, very little from JE these days. So yes, I was already dispairing he wouldn't be there... to the point that at first I thought he was Kawai or Goseki and it took me a second to recognize him! @__@;;; Well, the three of them were dressed in red too: Shoon was wearing that awesome red outfit Ya-Ya-yah wore in the very last concerts. For some reason Shoon wasn't wearing the black handkerchief/tie that goes with it, but he was handsomer than I've ever seen him, I swear. *___* He had a bit more screentime in this, or rather it wasn't like a lot of screentime, but it was quality screentime, which is better, and he made the most of it. Such a great performance and dancing, all three of them. Shoon was so sexy as well. *smiles happily* It's such a waste that he doesn't get more attention, seriously. *shakes head*

And when they backflip at the end... Shoon does it without using his hands, while Tsuka and Tottsu leave their microphones on the floor and use their hands. Curious. Being ABC I imagine they can backflip without using their hands too. I can't recall if I've ever seen them backflip that way because I'm not an ABC fan so I don't look that closely when they perform, but I'm sure they can. I wonder if they let Shoon do his trademark backflip (without the hands) like that so that he could show off a little in the few minutes of screentime he gets now. :)

And right before Shoon appeared on stage Reon sang Change the World with other juniors. I was so excited to see him holding a microphone and actually getting a bit of screentime. ^_____^ *is proud of Reon-chan*

I wasn't planning on updating today, but I just had to share my relief and happiness with you. ^^B I'll try to edit this post later if I can, and upload the whole medley (here's the Reon and Shoon part), because it was quite nice - Taiga and Shintaro got to sing too, and I love both. =]

PS: I love that Shoon still wears his Ya-Ya-yah outfits. As somebody said in the comments to one of the previous entries, Ya-Ya-yah won't be dead as long as Shoon is still there. =]

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January 12, 2008

please vote! (and Taiyô rumour)

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
First of all, THANKS SO, SO MUCH to all all those who have submitted contest entries and tributes to Taiyô! ^___^ They're all wonderful, and so varied and original! =D As you know the deadline for the contest was yesterday, but you can keep submitting tributes to Taiyô. They'll all be reposted at A Tribute to Taiyô, the permanent tribute site to Taiyô. What follows is a list of the entries submitted for the contest. Please go through them and leave a comment saying who you'd choose as the 3 winners.
1st prize - entry #___ , 2nd prize - entry #___ , 3rd prize - entry #___

All comments will be screened, and unscreened on the day of Taiyô's b-day, Jan. 18th. =] Good luck to all contestants!

+ entry #1: +The Smile That Drives My Heartbeat+, submitted by Aki
+ entry #2: +Sayonara+, submitted by ange113unny
+ entry #3: +Sunshine drawing+, submitted by fuzz__ball
+ entry #4: +a drawing for Taiyo+, submitted by sakinah95
+ entry #5: +the boy who lives up to his name+, submitted by bakahachi
+ entry #6: +letters to Taiyo from Ya3 and me+, submitted by glowingmoon630
+ entry #7: +Taiyo icons+, submitted by sue_ya3
+ entry #8: +chalk pastel & watercolor drawing+, submitted by savergirl
+ entry #9: +happy birthday, Taiyo! (fanvideo)+, submitted by lil_chihime


PS: I'm sorry I haven't answered yet the comments from the previous entry. Will do later if possible. m(_ _)m

PS2: About Taiyô supposedly not having really quit JE... I'd love to believe it's true, but I don't want to give anybody false hopes if in the end it's not. The official "version" when a johnny quits is almost always that he wants to focus on his studies. That's what they said when Macchan quit and he hasn't come back. Admittedly the same was said when Asaka disappeared for a while and then reappeared, but I think we should take this with a pinch of salt. When the Ya3 show's name was deleted from the schedule at the Johnny's Net site, a Japanese fan called TV Tokyo and they too told her the show was not going to be cancelled, but it actually was. It's also rather fishy that Taiyô should decide he needs more time for his studies right after the HSJ debut was announced. =/ To those who haven't read it, I'll post here the comment Stevenica (hi! Thanks for telling us! *waves*) left on the previous entry: [This piece of news was taken from this entry of Japanese fanblog - you need to scroll down a bit] Some Taiyo fans saw a sketch of TaiyoxYabu in Duet and they called the editors of Duet as well as Wink Up to ask if Taiyo's still there (otherwise the sketch wouldn't have been published)...and they got the same answer: that Taiyo has not left JE!!! According to that Japanese fan, none of the Taiyo fans who subscribed to J-web received any text message so far notifying them! (they always send a notification mail to fans if their idol has really left JE)

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah

January 08, 2008

Shounen Club without Shoon

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
Again I haven't updated in a while. ^^ The Xmas frenzy had taken its toll on me (here in Spain Xmas lasts till Jan. 6th), then I got busy with work and stuff, and then Shoon was absent on Sunday's SC, which was so depressing. -_- That's the reason for the new header.

Honestly, what game is JE playing at with Shoon and Shoon's fans? ;__; If you prick us, do we not bleed? There are moments when I think I won't be able to stand much more of this uncertainty. Yui says she read somewhere that he was going to be in the SC again next Sunday, but as she says Shoon doesn't seem to fit anymore on SC being as he is now a junior without a group, and the SC staff doesn't seem to want to put a remedy to it. At first I was hopeful, seeing he got to sing bits of medleys with Hasshi's nameless group and bits with random juniors in the closing song, but little by little he's been given less and less screentime, and then last Sunday he wasn't there at all. ;___; Honestly this is worrying. And what has worried me even more is that nobody -except Yui and the Japanese Shoon fans whose blogs I read- mentioned Shoon's absence. Is HSJ's glitter numbing people's minds or what? O_o

There are moments when trying to be positive doesn't work, because I remember what happened with Hoshino Masaki and Yoshikazu Tôshin, and it scares me that something similar might happen to Shoon.

When Akama Naoya disappeared Hoshino remained in Ya-Ya-yah... but it wasn't for long, and Tôshin stayed around on SC for a while when his group disbanded, and he performed now and then with ABC, but then he stopped appearing on SC altogether and has focused on theatre plays, which obviously are not aired on TV, so you can't download them from the Internet unless it's a fancam.

I don't want Shoon to be the next Hoshino, and I don't want him to be the next Tôshin. I want Shoon to be the next Ikuta Toma, who has no group either, yet has starred in a number of dramas and theater plays and has gotten really popular lately after his role in Hana Kimi. However, perhaps that's asking for too much. .__. A few days ago I googled for more info on Toma, and Shoon and him are very different and their careers have been quite different too.

For starters Toma was offered to enter JE when he was working on a variety TV show for kids, while Shoon had to audition. I don't mean to say by this that Toma had it easier than Shoon; just that JE has had an interest in him from the start.

JE's interest in Shoon seems to be rather inconstant. There have been moments when he has been given important chances, but at others it's like they forget he exists.

By the way... googling for info on Toma I found out that 4TOPS was only one year in existance (2002-3). I think that makes Ya-Ya-yah's break-up much more shocking and tragic by comparison. I mean... Ya-Ya-yah were together for almost 6 years (2002-7, except for Hikaru who joined in 2003)!

I guess the break-up of 4TOPS must have been very hard for the fans because they clicked so well together and because they were so popular everybody thought they were going to debut together, right?

Back to Toma... he has his own J-web, it seems, and he has a corner in Wink Up too. Also, I think he's never been in a second-line position like Shoon has been all these years within Ya-Ya-yah with Taiyô. If I'm not much mistaken I'd say Toma was the Hikaru in 4TOPS while Yamapi was Yabu. Sort of. You know what I mean, I imagine.

What things does Shoon have in his favour? He's still very young. When they both starred in West Side Story Toma was already 19 while Shoon was 15 (going on 16).

Shoon has also been in a weekly TV show for 5 years and has been in which has been the leading junior group since KAT-TUN debuted. He's well-known as can be seen from the fact that he gets recognized on the street... even y foreigners as he tells in one of the February mags! And he has a solo too, which is not a minor thing, I'd say.

He wasn't on SC last Sunday, but he was at the countdown concert, and he was grouped with ex-3TOPS (Toma, Kazama, and Hasegawa Jun) and Tôshin to backdance for TOKIO. That made me really happy. Okay, so he just backdanced, but there he stood like an equal with Toma and the others, who are all older and have been working solo for a few years already. It also reminded me of the time when they were all together in West Side Story and Shoon seemed content and at ease. He probably relates to them more than to any of the other juniors now, and feels they can understand what he's going through; especially Tôshin.

Toma got to sing at the countdown concert, and that gives me hopes too. He's 23 now. Shoon is 19. Perhaps in two or three years Shoon will have found his ground too and will be as popular as Toma is right now. For that, though, he needs to be given some chances, and I hope JE won't make him wait long, because I imagine for him this must be as frustrating as it is for us, his fans.

PS: Please remember that the deadline for Taiyô's b-day contest is this Friday! Here you can check the entries submitted so far, and here you can submit your own entry or tribute. Also... I'm holding one last final contest this year: the contest for Yabu's 18th birthday. If you're interested, please click on the banner below to learn about the prizes, rules, etc.

PS2: I've uploaded Yabu's and Hikaru's pics from the February issues of Duet, Potato, and Wink Up. Credits to HAPPYTOWN for them all.

PS3: Here's a late New Year present from me. These scans are from a 2003 issue of a stage magazine called Look at Star, and it's an article about the first time Ya-Ya-yah staged Stand by Me. I bidded for the mag just because of these pages. ^^ But it was worth the while. Taiyô looks so adorable in these! They all do. ^^B


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January 02, 2008

dreaming up reality

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
Sometimes weird things happen. Things that make you smile and think: "That can't be!".

I didn't mean to post yet, I wanted to finish answering comments first -and speaking of first... happy New Year to you all!- but this made me smile so much that I just had to share it with you.

As a matter of fact I shouldn't be telling you about this because this was supposed to be part of a fanfic I wanted to write, but...

Some time ago I came up with an idea for a Yamabu pre-HSJ fic in which Shoon gave a very romantic present to Yabu: a pendant that symbolized them both.

I wasn't supposed to let you in on this till Yabu's birthday either, but the bird I associate Yabu with is the eagle, because he's proud and daring as eagles are. In the story I intended to write, Shoon gives Yabu a pendant with the shape of an eagle and explains to him that the eagle symbolizes Yabu and also relates to him because his name, Shoon, is the japanized form of "Sean", which in turn is the Irish form of "John", and the symbol that represents Saint John, one of the four evangelists is an eagle. Um, yeah, I know, that's kind of baroque, but I'm that baroque. XD

So anyway, a few days ago I was googling for an image of a pendant with the shape of an eagle and found this:

This is a real pendant that can be purchased at this Japanese site. I fell in love with it at once, and it also gave me an idea to give another turn to the story. If you notice, the eagle on this pendant has a sun on its back. (well, it doesn't look like a sun, but on the site they explain it's a sun) In fact, after finding those pictures I thought I'd change the story a little to be post-HSJ debut so Yabu would be the one to give the pendant to Shoon so he wouldn't feel alone on the stage because it represents the four of them: him (the eagle), Taiyô and Hikaru (the sun shining - because "Taiyô" means "sun" and "hikaru" means "to shine"), and Shoon himself because of Saint John's eagle.

Shoon is wearing a new pendant on the February photoshoots. Not the one I was hoping he'd wear next *points navigation bar* - well, a girl can dream, ne? - but this made me blink repeteadly:

It can't be the same pendant; it just can't! And I'm sure that once we finally can get a good look at it won't be the same pendant, but they look so much alike, don't they? - from what can be seen of it, at least. XD

It was just so curious I had to share this with you. ^__^ And the scans too! I still have to upload the Duet, Potato, and Wink Up ones for Yabu and Hikaru, and I want to upload some more Taiyô shop pics, but I had been waiting so long for these scans that I just needed to share them with you too. Credits for all the scans go to ZANSANHANE as always, except for the third Wink Up one, for which credit goes to VENDY (thanks, Kozumifan for the tip!). The Duet ones are particularly adorable because they have a double page with Hasshi, Reon, and Shoon!!! ^_____^ The Potato one has Shoon on his own, and it has entered the ranking of my favourite Shoon photos. *____* How can you be so beautiful? The last two ones, from Wink Up, are actually the same page, but I thought I'd edit it so you can stare at Reon's picture as long as you want without having to break your neck. LOL


*goes back to answering comments from the previous entry*

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