February 26, 2010


山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
Sometimes miracles happen, sometimes loving something makes you throw care to the wind and voice the feelings you had been wanting to speak out for a long time. I imagine that's what happened to Yabu when he said this in an interview published in fanclub booklet volume 1. (quoted in a Japanese BBS and found by my friend Mabel) edit: thanks to Stevenica for pointing out the right source. Credits for the scan: kk16221@LJ

『デビューっていうのは単純に嬉しかったんだ。やっぱりJr.に入ったときから、デビューはひとつの大きな目標だったから。でも「10人、多いな」とか「エッ、オレ、最年長?」、「BESTと7?」、「あれ、Ya-Ya-yahはどうなるの?」、「オレ、みんなをまとめるなんて、できないよ」とか。複雑すぎて頭がパニックだった。どう説明していいのか、いまだにわからない。ただ、迷うことやビックリすること、いろいろあったけど、その全部が自分にとっては大事だったなぁと今は思う。今、JUMPが大好きだし、すっごく幸せだし。でもねYa-Ya-yahでやってきたときの経験がなきゃ、絶対に今の自分はないと思う。昔の自分があるから今の自分があるんだってことを忘れたくないな』 (fanclub booklet volume 1)

When I was told about the debut... I just felt happy about it because, really, from the day I joined Johnny's, debuting had been my one biggest goal. However I was like... "10 people... that's a lot of people" ... "eh? I will be the oldest?" ... "BEST and 7?" ... "But then... what will happen with Ya-Ya-yah?" ... "Can I pull everyone together? I don't think so." It was all so complicated that I panicked. Even now I can't think of a good way to explain it. However, even though a lot happened, things that puzzled me and things that were a shock for me, now I think all in all those things have taught me much. Now I love JUMP and I feel blessed, but I think that without all the experience from Ya-Ya-yah I wouldn't be who I've come to be. I will never forget who I was because that made me be who I am now.

This is so beautiful and sincere it made me teary-eyed, and really, what else is there to say? Feelings break barriers and like the forces of nature they can't be contained. It's so wonderful that he said THE word and spoke out. Important things need to be said.

薮さん、本当にありがとう。 ♥

PS: Oddly enough, his words feel like a fitting reply to the fictional letter from Shoon I wrote for his birthday.
PS2: Thanks so much, Mabel, for helping me with the translation. <3

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2010.02.24 Hyakushiki

The theme of this Hyakushiki episode was "caricatures", and it was an entertaining episode, though I suppose it probably is more fun to those who actually know all the Japanese celebrities of whom they showed caricatures the boys had to guess. Also, again Keito and Takada got to do a location report. They take a lesson in caricature drawing with a famous caricaturist, and show the impressive results to Inocchi and the rest of the boys afterwards at the studio. I must say I've always envied caricaturists. That easiness they have for capturing a person's most characteristic features. Awesome! Next show's theme is "survival games", and that so brings back memories of onigokko! ^^ None of the boys are shown in the preview, but I hope it will be a location report and not a documentary.

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[480x272 - 161MB] 2010.02.24 Hyakushiki - caricatures.avi

February 21, 2010

2010.02.17 Hyakushiki

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
The theme of this week's Hyakushiki (日本の常識世界では非常識) would literally translate to "what is common sense in Japan shows a lack of common sense in (other parts of) the world", but that's very long-winded, so I chose to call it just "cultural differences". It was fun as it's always interesting (and useful) to learn that, for instance, what is a perfectly harmless sign in one country can be considered as offensive in another. Shoon was present in this episode, and supposedly will be in the next one too, as his name is still on the Hyakushiki site. There's quite a bit of class interaction apart from the usual quiz questions (to some of which Shoon's answers were pretty funny and bizarre) and for the first time in a long time two of the boys (Keito and Takada) went out of the studio. They (Keito, rather) talked to several foreigners asking them about the differences between Japan and their home countries. Also, in the last part of show, they re-aired a few yurugee bits, and I think a couple of them with Shoon and Keito hadn't been aired before. If you take it, leaving a short comment would be appreciated even though it's not necessary. The last show was downloaded 159 times and only 2 people said thanks.

If you can't watch the clip below, click here. If you'd like to have this or any previous Hyakushiki episodes in HD (1024x576), please consider joining the Shoon LJ community.

[480x272 - 158MB] 2010.02.17 Hyakushiki - cultural differences.avi

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February 10, 2010

If you...

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah

Dear Shoon,

your name has disappeared from the media schedule on Johnny's Net, and according to the Japanese fans, so has your profile from 着ボイス on J-Web. I don't understand what's happening, and I'm very worried. Japanese fans think you have quit Johnny's. Have you? I can't quite believe it. My heart still refuses to believe it, so I will do the only thing I can do: wait.

Your name still appears on the Hyakushiki site, which was updated just yesterday, and you were on the show that aired yesterday, but we all know that TV shows are taped weeks ahead, and as a friend of mine suggested, perhaps they'll just keep your name on the site until the last episode in which you were present is aired.

From what I know, Johnny's Entertainment hardly ever makes public statements when somebody quits, so I suppose for me confirmation will come when and if your name disappears from the Hyakushiki site. I just feel I shouldn't wait to say this. Perhaps I'm worrying for nothing, but I don't want time to cool down my feelings with reason. I think these things need to be said.

Some people say you might be on hiatus, that perhaps you're taking some time off because of your studies. In all these years, the only time I remember you taking an official break was in 2006, when Koyama mentioned in Shokura that you were taking a little vacation after the filming of Satomi Hakkenden. I'd love to hold on to that hiatus excuse, but again it just means more waiting. I'm more than willing to wait, though. I'll be here, waiting for your return, the return of the Hyakushiki king, even if months go by without any news of you.

What shocks me the most about all this, is that -if you have really quit- I don't understand why you would want to quit at this point, after all the fight you put up in the last two years, it seems strange to me that you might have decided to give up. I imagine it must be really frustrating to see other people around you getting more and better opportunities from the jimushô, but you seemed to truly enjoy what you were doing, content with any opportunity you might get, ready to make the most of them. If you had looked morose or dissatisfied, I would understand why you would want to quit, but how can I believe that when just on yesterday's Hyakushiki you were giving away the brightest smiles? I wonder if perhaps your parents, tired of seeing you were not getting the opportunities you deserved, tried to talk sense into you, if they asked you to put your feet on the ground and get yourself a real job.

At the beginning of this month the international fan community I built for you in 2006 reached 1400 members. I made a banner to celebrate -as I have been doing every time we had 100 new members- and I chose the following motto: "Shine on. The world is your stage".

That will hold true for me whether you remain in the entertainment business or not. There's something that makes you special, something that would take me pages and pages to explain, something that makes you shine and stand out. You have thrilled lots and lots of people with your acting, your dancing, your acrobatics... and even though I think it would be a shame if you never did any of those things again, I'm sure you'd continue to weave magic for those around you. I'd just be sad I wouldn't able to get any of that magic, but I have 9 years worth of it in my memory -the 9 years you have been a member of Johnny's- and I feel immensely lucky for that.

If you have quit I'm going to miss you awfully, and I know I'm going to feel lost for a good while. During these three years I've been holding on to you to hold out, to go through the day in this somewhat greyish, not too gentle world. You have become my comforting cup of hot chocolate after a long, tiring day, my own piece of sun that would turn any cloudy sky into a bright, Summer one. I draw strength from your smile, and it accompanies me everywhere I go. I even talk to you on my mind, quite often, as though you could hear me and you were watching over me. Last year I went through a bit of a rough period, that required quite a big effort from me, and I remember that every morning, when I left home, so early that it was still dark outside, I would start an imaginary conversation with you that would begin with something along the lines of "Morning, Shoon. Or, for you, good afternoon rather, because now it must be past midday in Tokyo", and then I'd 'discuss' with you whatever difficulties lay ahead for me in the day, and I'd get philosophical about life and people and things like that. I suppose this would amuse you if you knew. But it helped me get through it all.

Even now, when I sit in front of the computer every morning to work on my translations, your image greets me with that soft, gentle smile and the clean, earnest look in your eyes. That photo has become such a favourite of mine, that I've had this simple desktop on my computer screen for 7 months now and have no plans of changing it anytime soon. It's just perfect.

You've taught me to be strong, and that's what I'm trying to be - even though I've cried a little over this, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Right now I feel a bit lost, as I said, like a blind man without his cane, but I hope I'll find my way again. I hope you're doing well, and I'm ready to wait, even to the point of despair. I hope you haven't left, but if you have, I hope you will be happy -that, above all else, whatever you decide to do from now on with your life-, and that you will at least consider joining some other agency because it would be a pity to let your talent go to waste. 翔央くん、あなたって本当に素敵ね。私はあなたを心から愛しているわ。

I tend to associate songs with different moments in my life, and this song fits my mood right now. The 'Japanglish' lyrics do not make complete sense, but they make sense to me, because as the saying goes, "If you love deeply enough, you won't need to be loved in return".

If You (天空のエスカフローネ OST - Tenkuu no Escaflowne OST)

If You

Open the door
To a room I've never been before
Counting all the books I've read so long
Something is wrong Where love has gone

If I should cry
Thinking of the love I felt inside
Don't misunderstand nothing's the clue
I cry for you Cause of love its true

When does love
Speak words above evolving pain
Like if these tears turn to rain
Endlessly calms the sea
For you and me

If you're so cold
If worlds just hold
If want to lean
I'm here for you
If you

When does love
Create the worlds above our pain
Like if these tears were to rain
Endlessly for the sea
Still you and me

If you're so cold
If worlds just hold
If were to lean
I'm here for you
So if you

Close the door'
Cause the room won't need us anymore
Holding our words
Just fill those books
Sometimes love looks
Like if love has gone

So I won't cry
Now I know our love will never die
If I understand the reasons why
When you... if I and you...
Know that love is true

February 06, 2010


山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
It seems there was a slight audio-video synchro problem with the last Hyakushiki (yurugee 8), so I re-converted and re-uploaded it. Sorry about the inconvenience for making you re-download it. m(_ _)m [480x272 - 160MB] 2010.01.27 Hyakushiki - yurugee 8 fixed.avi

Okay, this week's Hyakushiki. It had the oddest theme: "how does it turn out after this?", but it was fun, and Shoon was just awesome. <3 It's nice when they allow the boys to have a more active part in the show, because really, it makes such a difference. I know I'm biased, but Shoon in particular makes everything so much fun. Just his start with that theatrical "What is the thing that falls from the skies?" was so, so much win. ♥ XD Also, I love how much Inocchi seems to enjoy watching Shoon take his place. LOL If you can't watch the clip below, click here. If you're interested in the HiDef version (1024x576), please consider joining the Shoon LiveJournal community. You'll be most welcome, whether you're a Shoon fan or not. =)

2010.02.03 Hyakushiki - how does it turn out after this? (.avi 160MB - 480x272)