Sunday, November 22, 2015

JAPANESE HEROES WALK THE MIRACLE MILE! A Who's Who of Fandom Celebs Attends a Jazz Concert!

Bin Furuya, Mari Shimizu, and Hiroyuki Takano pose for photographers during intermission at a jazz concert in Tokyo. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Saturday, November 21, saw a jazz concert take place at Hotel Molino near Shin-Yurigaoka Station. Mirai Miracle performed a number of jazz songs for a lively audience. In fact, toward the end of the show, most of the audience was dancing and singing right along with the music. It was truly a sight to behold!

Mirai Miracle sings jazz songs in both English and Japanese. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Although I've attended many jazz shows in Japan, the aspect that stuck out the most for me was the presence of several notable Japanese genre celebrities. Bin Furuya, Yuriko Hishimi, Hiroyuki Takano, and Mari Shimizu were all in attendance. I've talked about these folks so many times on this blog that introducing them all again seems beyond redundant. Still, if you'd like info on their careers, you'd do well to check this blog's archives.

Yours truly with the original Ultraman suit actor, Bin Furuya.

During the show, I was seated at Bin Furuya's table, and joining us were many familiar faces in Japanese fandom. We shared many laughs and great conversations.

Actress Yuriko Hishimi gets in on the fun as the audience starts dancing with the music. Photo by Brett Homenick.

As I mentioned earlier, the concert got especially fun when most of the people in the crowd began dancing and even singing with the music. That certainly never happened at any of the other jazz shows I've attended!

Japanese heroes Bin Furuya and Hiroyuki Takano shake hands and agree to save the world once again. Photo by Brett Homenick.

I was especially pleased to get to know actress Grace Mika. Even though I saw her perform on the stage last year alongside Bin Furuya, this was my first time to talk with her. She was born in Hawaii and speaks English very well (despite being raised in Japan).

Yours truly with actress-singer Grace Mika, who has co-starred with Bin Furuya onstage.

When all was said and done, many of us went to a nearby karaoke place and sang a variety of songs. We were briefly joined by Yuriko Hishimi, but Hiroyuki Takano stayed until the end and probably had more energy than the rest of us combined!

Hiroyuki Takano belts out the theme to Barom-1 during a karaoke after-party. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

As for me, I sang "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel. Takano-san later told me that his favorite Billy Joel song is "New York State of Mind." 

It was a great evening in so many ways, and I'm very glad to have attended. I'm also glad to have caught the train home in time! We were out so late it seemed entirely possible I could have missed it!

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