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息吹 Preview for



Tokyo Fashion walk


Jin Akanishi

Vegetable Miso Soup Sukiyaki Sandwich Three-Color Gohan

Virtual Stars Stoke Our Collective Desire


Illustration by KEI © Crypton Future Media, Inc.

March & aprill 2012 Vol. 16 Seattle/Bellevue/Portland


IBUKI Magazine Vol. 16 March & April 2012



Interview — Jin Akanishi Jin Akanishi talks with us about his skyrocketing musical career and his newfound love of acting.


Virtual Stars Stoke Our Collective Desire


Sakura-Con 2012 review

We preview another blockbuster weekend of Japanese pop culture as Sakura-Con turns 15.

The virtual world blends with the physical world as real- life fans cheer on their favorite virtual idols and video game heroes and heroines.

Eat & Drink 12


Easy Japanese Recipes

12 Sukiyaki Sandwich 13 Three-Color Gohan 13 Vegetable Miso Soup Restaurant Index

14 28 Newly Opened

Lifestyle 16 17 23 24

i fart rainbow Store & School Directory Tokyo Street Snaps Travel — Tokyo Fashion Walk


An insider’s guide to Tokyo’s hot shopping spots.

26 Lifestyle

Place Nicofarre Food Yunker Energy Shots Movie Post Card Book Otaku Spaces Art Makimanga



Publisher Misa Murohashi Editor-in-Chief Bruce Rutledge Editor and Translator Yuko Enomoto Art Director Lance Sison

Contributing Writers & Artists Caroline Josephine Enfu (Ken Taya) Josh Powell Nicholas Vroman Gemma Alexander


Comments and general inquiries Advertising Info Published by Axia Media Group, Inc. Bellevue, WA 98005

Follow IBUKI magazine 3

[ interview]

“ Do what you love and it won’t feel like you’ve worked a day in your life. ” 4 息吹 ibuki • March/Aril 2012


Jin Akanishi

Singer & Actor Says Do What You Love

t has been more than a year since Japanese superstar Jin Akanishi signed a global deal with Warner Music in December 2010. Akanishi has been hitting the top of the iTunes Dance Album Chart with singles like “Test Drive (feat. Jason Derulo)” and “Sun Burns Down.” His second North American tour kicks off in Los Angeles on March 9, followed by Vancouver, Canada, on March 10, Honolulu on March 12, New York on March 15 and San Francisco on March 17. Ibuki’s English Cartier chatted with Akanishi ahead of the tour. Ibuki: How are you adjusting to life in the US? It must be exciting moving here; do you feel like you could live here for a long time? Jin: It’s nice here. There’s a lot of driving, which is different from Japan. I’ll be here and Japan depending on my projects. Ibuki: You have been visiting many cities in North America on your tours. Is there a city that you were particularly blown away by or that stood out in one way or another? Jin: I think every city has its own uniqueness. I’ve been in LA the most, and I have friends here, so that’s nice. Ibuki: Do you have any other loves other than music? Akanishi: Acting is definitely up there for me. I enjoy being able to take on different roles. It’s a fun challenge.

Did you call somebody special when you found out? Jin: I feel very grateful for all the support from my fans. I think I was just surprised and happy at the same time, and didn’t really have time to call anyone since I think I was in the studio for a recording session. For “Sun Burns Down,” I really felt the same way. It was surreal. Ibuki: You have a very distinctive style, hair, clothes — Is there a particular clothing item or accessory that you can’t resist collecting — for example hats, belts, shoes, coats? Jin: I love shoes, glasses, shades and hats. Definitely a big part of my wardrobe. Ibuki: Please tell us your goals in the future both as a singer and as an actor. Which profession will be your first focus? Jin: I want to do both. It’s too hard to choose. I like many aspects of being an actor and singer. Ibuki: Please tell us about your Japonicana tour. What can your fans expect at the concerts? Any surprises on the way? Jin: I’m rehearsing a lot for it right now. I’m excited about performing many of the songs for the first time ever. Lots of dancing, high energy. There will be some surprises, so hope to see everyone there!

Ibuki: What is the best advice you’ve ever been given? Jin: Do what you love and it won’t feel like you’ve worked a day in your life. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to work in the entertainment industry. Definitely something I’ve always loved and wanted to do. Ibuki: In "Take Over" episode 1, it was unveiled that you bought a new car. Are you a sports car aficionado? Do you mind telling us what a few of your favorite cars are? Jin: I don’t really have any favorites. I like bigger cars, but it’s hard to have one in Japan. It’s also hard to have a sports car in Japan, because you don’t have much room to drive fast anyways. I own an Infiniti FX in LA. It’s a fun car to drive. Ibuki: Your first single CD, “Test Drive (feat. Jason Derulo),” hit No. 1 on the iTunes Dance Chart on its release date. Your second single, “Sun Burns Down,” also hit No. 1. How did you feel when you got the news? 5

[ Feature Virtual Stars]


Virtual Stars Stoke Our Collective Desire By Bruce Rutledge

atsune Miku takes the stage to screams and shouts. The Tokyo crowd waves glow sticks and sings along with the slim blue-haired idol. Messages crawl across the screen: “Awesome!!! Cooool!! I wanna be there …” The crowd sings along with Miku. As guitar chords signal the song’s finale, Miku strikes a pose, her eyes pointed skyward. The crowd goes berserk. But that’s just one side of Japan’s hottest virtual idol. While she can be the epitome of cute J-pop one moment, in the next moment, she can look like something out of a Marilyn Manson video, one eye missing and blood splattered across her as she sings “Bacterial Contamination.” “I still love you, Miku, no matter what form you take,” says the message scrawling across the screen, and you can feel the fan’s consternation as Miku is transfigured into a sci-fi monster. “What are they doing to Miku?” another fan writes. Welcome to the world of vocaloids, where virtual idols are ours to create and define. These stars can transform into different scenarios faster than Meryl Streep can change accents, and the reason is that these virtual idols unveiled by corporations are refined and manipulated by amateur users, says Patrick W. Galbraith, author of The Otaku Encyclopedia and the upcoming Otaku Spaces. “Hatsune Miku really had no character when the software was released, and fans created the virtual idol we now know based on nothing more than an image.” At her core, Hatsune Miku is a singing synthesizer app developed by Crypton Future Media. Crypton kept details of Miku’s life pretty sketchy — the company offered few details about the blue-haired android. Then, in the spring of 2010, a freeware animation program called MikuMikuDance allowed fans to manipulate their own animation. Soon fans were creating their own animations for Miku and other vocaloids and posting the results on the popular Japanese website nico nico douga. Suddenly, the market for virtual stars, vocaloid music, video and related software exploded, and Hatsune Miku emerged as the Louis Armstrong of the genre. Since then, the virtual star has entered the physical world of commerce in a big way.

6 息吹 ibuki • march / april 2012

“As much as we call them virtual, there is an incredible amount of material surrounding these idols — for example, figurines, comic books, CDs,” says Galbraith. “Because there is no story or narrative to the virtual idol, one can start consuming and producing her at any point of contact, connecting to a large fandom and participating in the proliferation and power of the image.” As people give vocaloids more character and depth, cosplayers are eager to dress as the virtual idols. In fact, cosplaying trends have gone from predominantly anime characters to video-game stars and now to vocaloids. These days cosplayers need room in their closets for old school characters like Goku/Dragon Ball or Sailor Senshi as well as new arrivals like Nekomura Iroha and Hatsune Miku. Vocaloids have little personal history for fans to ponder, but the virtual heroes of the video-game world often have painstakingly detailed histories that users are aware of as they play the game, like the characters in the role-playing video game Final Fantasy, which has been around for 25 years. Today, vocaloids offer a complex range of options, with amateur creators delving into different musical genres and promoters holding “live” shows in Asia and the US that far-away fans can access through payper-view tickets., the US arm of nico nico douga, launched a section on its website dedicated to vocaloids because the company saw a surge in web traffic from Taiwan, the US and elsewhere. “Interest in vocaloids has been huge,” says CEO James Spahn. But how does a live show of a digital projection capture the imagination of the fans in the audience? Galbraith, considered one of the foremost experts on Akihabara and youth culture in Japan, says it’s about desire. “We all ‘feel’ that something is going on with an idol like Hatsune Miku because there is a collective force of desire behind her — a vibrant fandom that animates her and gives her life,” he says. “The audience supplies the energy. What we are seeing is the channeling of that collective force of desire.” On the following pages, Ibuki will introduce you to some popular virtual stars, from vocaloids to video-game characters, and some fascinating trends in this very new medium.

Illus trati on b y KEI ŠC rypt on F utu re M edia , Inc . ww ypto t

Hatsune Miku

is the first breakout star of the vocaloid world.

[ Feature Virtual Stars] Vocaloids Cross Borders, Genres Virtual idol SeeU debuted last September, singing tunes in Korean. By December, she had learned Japanese and become the first bilingual vocaloid. Around the same time, Hatsune Miku could be seen singing jazz standards. The vocaloid world is expanding quickly, both in terms of geography and musical genres. Yamaha Corp., which originated the voice-synthesizer technology and later sold it to Crypton Future Media Inc. of Sapporo, is working on a similar technology for the Chinese language. Yamaha says there are about 10,000 people in Japan creating vocaloid videos and music. These amateur creators are beginning to push their favorite virtual stars into new musical genres. Jazz Japan, a magazine for jazz aficionados, ran a special on listening to Hatsune Miku sing jazz in November, according to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan’s leading business newspaper. The newspaper also interviewed Mikunaru, a 43-year-old man from Kunitachi City, who has created several opera performances using vocaloids. He and his friends released two CDs of the music and have thus far sold 3,000 copies. Another sign that the vocaloid movement is gaining steam: Tsutaya, a chain of 1,400 stores throughout Japan that sell or rent music, videos and books, has set aside a corner in each store for vocaloid music. While the corner had carried only music from professional producers, from late November, it started carrying CDs released by amateurs. While Hatsune Miku is the big name in vocaloids, there are many other virtual stars to choose from. A couple of the most popular are featured on these pages.

Nekomura Iroha If you love Hello Kitty, this is the virtual star for you. Created by Sanriowave Co. in 2009, Iroha loves Kitty-chan and did a project with her in 2010. She is drawn by the manga artist Okama. She is one of several vocaloids to debut in Taiwan last fall. HELLO KITTY: SANRIO © 1976, 2010 SANRIO CO., LTD. TOKYO JAPAN (W) Illustration by Okama © 2009, 2010 SANRIOWAVE CO., LTD

SeeU Virtual idol SeeU debuted last September, singing tunes in Korean. By December, she had learned Japanese. © 2011 SBS-Artech, All RIGHTS RESERVED.

8 息吹 ibuki • march / april 2012

Smile for the Camera The Japanese video-sharing site nico nico douga played a vital role in the recent vocaloid boom, allowing amateur creators to post and share their music videos. The site, owned by Dwango Co., boasts 25 million users; vocaloid culture flourishes there. The American arm of nico nico is based in Seattle. The US subsidiary has two missions, according to CEO James Spahn. On the one hand, the staff hunts down hard-to-find footage of events that the Japanese will want to watch — everything from space shuttle launches to Parisian fashion shows to Detroit motor shows, with a presidential press conference or two thrown in for good measure. On the other hand, the company is building out an English website,, and luring amateur broadcasters by making the whole site accessible for the nominal membership fee of 25 cents while the site is in beta mode. Despite the fact that no English-language voice-synthesizer technology for vocaloids has hit the market yet, the demand for vocaloid videos on the US site has been surprisingly strong, Spahn says. It’s a clear sign that vocaloids have global appeal. Spahn and his staff engineered ticket sales for a live show featuring Hatsune Miku at the Nokia Theater during the 2011 Anime Expo in Los Angeles. The show was broadcast on The next two live events are on March 8 and 9 from Tokyo and will be broadcast live on Tickets are available at

Kagamine Rin/Len Are they brother and sister? Lovers? Just friends? Crypton Future Media Ltd. keeps us guessing, allowing amateur creators to take the two in the direction they like. Len is the male voice, and Rin is the female. But both voices were created by voice actress Asami Shimoda, who said that she created Len’s voice by singing from her chest, and Rin’s by singing from the top of her head, according to a wiki entry about the idols. The duo is best suited to electro-pop, dance music and enka (Japanese folk).

Skeptics may scoff at the idea of paying $25 to watch a virtual idol perform before a live audience in Tokyo, but fans don’t. When nico nico, which means “smile” in Japanese, sold tickets to watch a Hatsune Miku concert in Los Angeles, Spahn recalls, the company didn’t have a credit card reader yet, the price was in yen, and customers had to pay by paypal. At the time, Spahn said he thought the price of 2,000 yen ($25) would be too high for American fans, yet as many as 7,000 people bought tickets to that concert. “There were more people online than in the concert hall,” he says.

Illustration by KEI © Crypton Future Media, Inc. 9

[ Feature Virtual Stars] Virtual Heroes of the Gaming World Vocaloids come to us in a void. Hatsune Miku is an android. Nekomura Iroha likes Hello Kitty paraphernalia. But little else is known about these virtual stars, which may be why they elicit such enthusiasm from the fans who are shaping them. On the other end of the spectrum is the video-game hero, who often come to us with elaborate back stories that are memorized and internalized by hardcore fans, adding a richness to their play. Characters in the Final Fantasy series, for example, typically have a distinct past, which provides reasons for what they do. Gamers don’t play god, as vocaloid creators do; they play roles defined by their favorite character’s past. Here are a few of the biggest virtual stars in the gaming world.

Serah Farron Final Fantasy XIII-2 Serah Farron is a brand new character form the recently released Final Fantasy XIII-2. Known as Lightning’s little sister, Serah Farron appears timid and fragile. But don’t be fooled, she’s much stronger than you think and has weathered her share of tragedy. She plays a supporting role in Final Fantasy XIII and the main protagonist in Final Fantasy XIII-2. She is engaged to marry Snow Villier, although Lightning does not initially approve. © SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved. CHARACTER DESIGN: TETSUYA NOMURA

Cloud Strife & Tifa Lockhart Finaly Fantasy VII The hero and heroine of Final Fantasy VII and its compilation series, Cloud and Tifa have been stars in the gaming world for 15 years. Cloud has famously spiked hair and a muscular, compact body. While he can appear cocky at times, he’s a loyal friend who will do just about anything to save those he cares for, including donning women’s clothing, which he does to save Tifa Lockhart. Tifa’s nemesis is the Shinra Electric Power Co., making her a green heroine of sorts. She always wears a sleeveless shirt and exposes her midriff. Their relationship drives the emotional storyline. © SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved. CHARACTER DESIGN: Tetsuya Nomura.

10 息吹 ibuki • march / april 2012

Yuna — Final Fantasy X and X-2 The female protagonist of Final Fantasy X and the star of the sequel Final Fantasy X-2, Yuna went through a sartorial transformation that had some fans applauding and others perplexed. In FFX, she wore what looked like a hakama, a traditional piece of Japanese clothing worn by both men and women. In FFX-2, she was showing a lot more virtual skin (see image above). Yuna even sings some songs on the Final Fantasy X-2 Vocal Collections. © SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved. CHARACTER DESIGN: Tetsuya Nomura. Alternate Costume Design: Tetsu Tsukamoto.

Lara Croft TOMB RAIDER This British archeologist has it all: she’s beautiful, intelligent, athletic and brave. The video-game series has spawned all sorts of spinoffs, including movies where Lara Croft is played by Angelina Jolie. The character is said to be inspired partly by comic book heroine Tank Girl. Lara Croft is one of the first video-game stars to become a real-life action star. The newest Tomb Raider is expected to be released in 2012.


An Idol that’s Virtually Real Eguchi Aimi was the new kid on the block in the popular band AKB48, an all-girl group that boasts more than 60 members. Getting asked to join the group is a big honor, and fans wanted to know more about the newbie. Well, it turns out that Eguchi-san was born on Feb. 11, 1995, and lives in Saitama Prefecture. Or at least that’s what the band’s official website said.

© Square Enix Ltd. All rights reserved.

When Aimi was featured on a TV commercial for confectionery Ezaki Glico Co., some fans grew suspicious. Why was the new kid getting the prestigious TV commercial when those typically went to the most popular and senior members of the band? Soon, the conspiracy theorists had a thought: What if Eguchi Aimi wasn’t real? Other fans defended her humanity on blogs and fan sites to the point where Ezaki Glico decided to come clean in June 2011.

Images © Capcom U.S.A., Inc. All rights reserved.

Chun Li & Ling Xiaoyu — Street Fighter & Tekken

It turns out that the new member of AKB48 is a CGI composite of her fellow bandmates. Designers combined Maeda Atsuko’s eyes, Itano Tomomi’s nose, Shinoda Mariko’s mouth, Oshima Yuko’s hair and body, Takahashi Minami’s outline and Watanabe Mayu’s eyebrows to come up with the pixie-cute Aimi. Aimi is still a big part of the band despite being outed as a virtual star.

These female icons are from the fighting games Street Fighter and Tekken. Chun Li, an undercover Interpol agent, first appeared in Street Fighter II in 1991. Chun Li’s claim to fame is that she was the first playable female character in a fighting game. Born in Hong Kong, Chun is out to avenge the murder of her father. Ling Xiaoyu first appeared in Tekken 3 and has shown up in every subsequent version of the game. Born and raised in China, Ling Xiaoyu goes to Mishima High School in Japan. She’s an accomplished martial artist, loves amusement parks and Peking duck, and dislikes math teachers. Chun and Xiaoyu will both appear and even fight each other in the Capcom and Bandai Namco collaboration title Street Fighter X Tekken, a new release out this March. 11

[ ibuki Recipes ] Sukiyaki Sandwich

Ingredients (2 servings) 4 slices French bread 1/2 lb sukiyaki sliced beef 1/2 onion, thinly sliced 2 lettuce leaves <sauce> 2 tbsp soy sauce 2 tbsp sake 1 tbsp sugar

Directions 1. 2.

In a saucepan, cook onion until softened. Set aside. In the same saucepan, cook beef on high heat until meat is medium rare. Add cooked onion and mix well. Add premixed sauce and simmer on medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the liquid is absorbed. Make a slice in the bread. Put sukiyaki beef and lettuce in the bread.

3. 4.

How to steam Japanese rice

Japanese rice is a kind of rice known as short-grain sticky rice. All traditional Japanese dishes naturally go well with Japanese rice. If you don’t have a rice cooker at home, try cooking with a saucepan and gas stove. It is easy and simple. Follow a few tips so that you can enjoy Japanese rice at the perfect texture and stickiness.

Directions 1. Combine 1 1/2 cups rice and 2 cups water, and let it sit for more than 15 minutes. 2. Cover pan with lid and bring water to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 min or until liquid is absorbed. 3. Remove pan from heat and let it stand covered for 10 min. Do not take off lid throughout steps 2 and 3 so that proper amount of moisture can be kept in pan. 4. Fluff with fork and serve.


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699 - 120th Avenue NE Bellevue, WA 98005 seattle 206.624.6248 | bellevue 425.747.9012 | renton 425.277.1635 | beaverton 503.643.4512 12 息吹 ibuki • january / february 2012

Easy Japanese cooking Three-Color Gohan

Ingredients (2 servings)

2 cups freshly steamed rice 10 green beans 1 egg, beaten ½ tsp sugar 1/2 lb ground chicken <Sauce > Premix 2 tbsp soy sauce, 4 tbsp sake, 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp water

Directions 1. 2. 3. 4.

Boil green onion and cut into bite-sized pieces. Set aside. Lightly grease a sauce pan and heat well. Mix beaten egg and 1/2 tsp sugar together. Pour into pan and scramble finely, using chopsticks. Cook egg on high heat quickly to make a fluffy texture. Set aside. 5. In the same sauce pan, heat the premixed sauce. Add ground chicken. Simmer the meat on medium-low heat, stirring constantly with chopsticks until the liquid is absorbed. Set aside. 6. Serve freshly steamed rice in a serving bowl. Top with green onion, scrambled egg and chicken.

Vegetable Miso Soup

Ingredients (2 servings) 1/2 potato, cut into bite-sized pieces 1 carrot. slice into bite-sized pieces 1/2 onion, thinly sliced 4 tbsp miso paste 1 tsp dashi powder


1. In a small soup pan, add water, dashi powder, potato, carrot and onion. Bring it to a boil and cook until vegetables are softened. Add miso gradually by stirring with chopsticks. 2. Serve hot.

Check out more recipes online

I LOVE SUSHI Taste the Difference

23 Lake Bellevue Dr., Bellevue WA (425) 455-9090 | 13

[ Restaurant Index ] SEATTLE Greater Seattle Mashiko Japanese Restaurant (206) 935-4339 4725 California Ave SW, Seattle Check out sushiwhore. com You’ll like it.


(206) 448-2488 2319 2nd Ave, Seattle

Shima Sushi

(206) 632-2583 4429 Wallingford Ave N, Seattle

Shiro’s Sushi Restaurant (206) 443-9844 2401 2nd Ave, Seattle

Setsuna Japanese Restaurant (206) 417-3175 11204 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle


(206) 632-7010 1618 N 45th St, Seattle

Maekawa Bar

(206) 622-0634 601 S King St # 206,Seattle

Fort St. George

(206) 382-0662 601 S King St # 202, Seattle

I Love Sushi — Lake Union 206-625-9604 1001 Fairview Ave N, Seattle

Marinepolis Sushi Land — Queen Anne

(206) 267-7621 803 5th Ave N, Seattle

Katsu Burger (206) 762-0752 6538 4th Ave. S, Seattle

Kaname Izakaya Shochu Bar (206) 682-1828 610 S Jackson St, Seattle Kisaku (206) 545-9050 2101 N. 55th St. #100, Seattle

Kozue Japanese Restaurant (206) 547-2008 1608 N 45th St, Seattle Momiji (206) 457-4068 1522 12th Ave., Seattle

South End Genki Sushi — Renton (425) 277-1050 365 S. Grady Way # B & C, Renton Daimonji Sushi & Grill (425) 430-1610 5963 Corson Ave S, # 194, Seattle Toshi’s Teriyaki Grill (425) 687-5938 509 South 3rd St, Renton

New Zen Japanese Restaurant (425) 254-1599 10720 SE Carr Rd, Japanese Fami-Res (Family Restaurant) www.newzensushi. com

Miyabi Restaurant

(206) 575-6815 16820 Southcenter Parkway, Tukwila

North End Cafe Soleil (425) 493-1847 9999 Harbour Place # 105, Mukilteo Bluefin Sushi & Seafood Buffet (206) 367-0115 401 NE Northgate Way # 463, Seattle Edina Sushi (425) 776-8068 19720 44th Ave W, Lynnwood Marinepolis Sushi Land — Lynnwood (425) 275-9022 18500 33rd Ave NW, Lynnwood Matsu Sushi (425) 771-3368 19505 44th Ave W #K, Lynnwood Sakuma Japanese Restaurant (425) 347-3063 10924 Mukilteo Speedway # G, Mukilteo Taka Sushi (425) 778-1689 18904 Hwy 99 Suite A, Lynnwood

Eastside Blue Ginger Korean Grill & Sushi (425) 746-1222 14045 NE 20th St, Bellevue Ginza Japanese Restaurant (425) 709-7072 103 102nd Ave SE, Bellevue Genki Sushi — Factoria Mall (425) 747-7330 B-4, 4055 Factoria Blvd SE, Bellevue

Hours: Sun,Tue-Thu 5pm-12am Fri & Sat 5pm-2am Mon Closed Happy Hour: 5p-6p & 9p-11p




Co 0% up O on ff

va Va lid w lid it no h a w ny th ot ro he ug r h dis D c ec ou em nt be s o r3 rp 1 rom 20 o 11 tio n


Samurai Noodle — U-District (206) 547-1774 4138 University Way NE, Seattle

Maneki (206) 622-2631 304 6th Ave S, Seattle Samurai Noodle — Uwajimaya Moshi Moshi Sushi (206) 624-9321 (206) 971-7424 606 5th Ave. S, Seattle 5324 Ballard Avenue, Seattle Aoki Japanese Grill & Sushi Bar Nishino (206) 324-3633 (206) 322-5800 621 Broadway E, Seattle 3130 E Madison St#106,Seattle Aloha Ramen Nijo (206) 838-3837 (206) 340-8880 8102 Greenwood Ave N,Seattle 89 Spring St, Seattle Bush Garden Restaurant Red Fin Sushi Restaurant (206)682-6830 (206) 441-4340 614 Maynard Avenue S., Seattle 612 Stewart St, Seattle Chiso Ricenroll — Madison Street (206) 632-3430 (206) 262-0381 3520 Fremont Ave. N, Seattle 214 Madison St, Seattle Fuji Sushi Shiki Japanese Restaurant (206) 624-1201 (206) 281-1352 520 S Main St, Seattle 4 W Roy St, Seattle Genki Sushi — Queen Anne Shun Japanese Cuisine (206) 453-3881 (206) 522-2200 500 Mercer St #C2, 2B, Seattle 5101 NE 25th Ave #11, Seattle Genki Sushi — Capitol Hill Tsukushinbo ((206) 257-4418 (206) 467-4004 1620 Broadway, Seattle 515 S Main St, Seattle Hana Restaurant Village Sushi (206) 328-1187 (206) 985-6870 219 Broadway E, Seattle 4741 12th Ave NE, Seattle Hiroshi’s Restaurant Wabi-Sabi Sushi (206) 726-4966 (206) 721-0212 2501 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle 4909 Rainier Ave S, Seattle Samurai Noodle — Capitol Hill (206) -323-7991 414 Broadway E, Seattle

Dozo Cafe Bellevue


(425) 644-8899 | 3720 Factoria Blvd SE, Bellevue

Dozo Japanese Sushi Cuisine (425) 251-0900 | 206 Main Street, Kirkland 14 息吹 ibuki • january / february 2012


11204 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle • 206.417.3175 •

[ Restaurant Index ] Dozo Cafe — Factoria

7671 SE 27th St, Mercer Island

Izakaya Sushi — At The Landing (425) 228-2800 829 N 10th St. Suite G, Renton Izumi Japanese Restaurant (425) 821-1959 12539 116th Ave N.E., Kirkland i Sushi (425) 313-7378 1802 12th Ave NW., Issaquah Oma Bap (425) 467-7000 120 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue Kikuya Restaurant (425) 881-8771 8105 161st Ave NE, Redmond Sushi Maru (425) 453-0100 205 105th Ave, Bellevue Sushi Me (425) 644-9800 1299 156th Ave NE #145, Bellevue Sushi Mojo (425) 746-6656 1915 140th Ave NE, D1-B, Bellevue

Sushi-Ten (425) 643-6637 2217 140TH Ave NE, Bellevue Momoya Restaurant (425) 889-9020 12100 NE 85th St, Kirkland The Bento Box (425) 643-8646 15119 NE 24th St, Redmond Sushi Joa (206) 230-4120 2717 78th Ave SE, Mercer Island Gourmet Teriyaki (206) 232-0580 7671 SE 27th St, Mercer Island Noppakao Thai Restaurant (425) 821-0199 9745 NE 117th Ln, Kirkland Kiku Sushi (425) 556-9600 13112 NE 20th St # 200, Bellevue Marinepolis Sushi Land (425) 455-2793 138 107th Ave. NE, Bellevue

(425) 644-8899 3720 Factoria Blvd SE, Bellevue

Dozo Sushi & Dining (425) 251-0900 206 Main St., Kirkland


I Love Sushi — Lake Bellevue (425) 455-9090 23 Lake Bellevue Dr, Bellevue

I Love Sushi — Bellevue Main

Akasaka Restaurant (253) 946-3858 31246 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way Main Japanese Buffet (253) 839-9988 1426 S 324th St, Federal Way Blue Island Sushi & Roll (253) 838-5500 35002 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way Tokyo Garden (253) 874-4615 32911 1st Ave S #G, Federal Way Kyoto Japanese Restaurant (253) 581-5078 8722 S Tacoma Way, Lakewood

(425) 454-5706 11818 NE 8th St, Bellevue

Sushi Tama (253) 761-1014 3919 6th Ave, Tacoma TWOKOI Japanese Cuisine (253) 274-8999 1552 Commerce St, Tacoma Kabuki Japanese Restaurant (253) 474-1650 2919 S 38th St #B, Tacoma Ask your favorite cafe, store or restaurant to stock IBUKI Magazine!


Rikki Rikki Japanese Restaurant (425) 828-0707 442 Parkplace Center, Kirkland

Tokyo Japanese Restaurant (425) 641-5691 3500 Factoria Blvd SE, Bellevue Ricenroll — Bellevue Square (425) 455-4866 2039 Bellevue Square 2nd fl, Bellevue Ricenroll — Issaquah Highland (425) 369-8445 1052 Park Dr. Issaquah Ricenroll — Albertson’s on Mercer Island (206) 232 0244 2755 77th Ave. SE, Mercer Island Marinepolis Sushi Land — Redmond (425) 284-2587 8910 161st Ave NE, Redmond

Shima Sushi Bar

4429 Wallingford Ave N, Seattle Tel: (206) 632-2938 Hours: Sun-Thu 5 pm - 10 pm Shima Fri & Sat 5pm - 12am

Wallingford Ave N

Gourmet Teriyaki (206) 232-0580


N45th St.

N44th St.

Tacoma & Federal Way I Love Ramen

(253) 839-1115 31254 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way Bistro Satsuma (253) 858-5151 5315 Point Fosdick Dr NW #A, Gig Harbor Hanabi Japanese Restaurant (253) 941-0797 31260 Pacific Hwy. S, Federal Way Koharu Restaurant (253) 839-0052 31840 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way

Come Experience Japanese street food


2319 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121 | (206) 448-2488 | Hours: Weekdays 11:30 am – 1am, Weekends 4 pm – 1am 15

16 息吹 ibuki • january / february 2012

[ Business Index ] Art & Furniture Kobo Kobo at Higo (206) 381-3000 604 S Jackson St, Seattle Kobo Capitol Hill (206) 726-0704 814 E Roy, Seattle Shop & gallery featuring art, craft and design from Japan and the Northwest The Wing Luke Museum (206) 623-5124 | 719 South King Street, Seattle Azuma Gallery (206) 622-5599 | 530 1st Ave S, Seattle The Cullom Gallery 603 S Main St, Seattle | (206) 919-8278

Bakery and Cafe Setsuko Pastry (206) 816 0348 1618 N 45th St, Seattle Healthy alternative pastries with a Japanese spin

Fuji Bakery Seattle Store (206) 623-4050 | 526 South King St, Seattle Fuji Bakery Bellevue Store (425) 641-4050 | 1502 145th Place SE, Bellevue UniCone Crepes (206) 243-6236 | 2800 Southcenter Mall, Tukwila Hiroki Desserts (206) 547-4128 | 2224 N 56th St, Seattle Panama Hotel Tea & Coffee House (206) 515-4000 | 607 S Main St, Seattle Fumie’s Gold (425) 223-5893 | 10115 NE 1st St # CU2, Bellevue Kitanda Brazilian Bakery & Espresso (425) 641-4413 | 15230 NE 24th St, Redmond Zoka Coffee & Tea — Greenlake (206) 545-4277 | 2200 North 56th St, Seattle Zoka Coffee & Tea — University (206) 527-0990 | 2901 NE Blakeley St, Seattle Zoka Coffee & Tea — Kirkland (206) 284-1830 | 129 Central Way, Kirkland Cortona Cafe (206) 327-9728 | 2425 E Union St, Seattle Seabell Bakery (425) 644-2616 | 12816 SE 38th St, Bellevue Seattle Coffee Works (206) 340-8867 | 107 Pike Street, Seattle Cafe Zingaro (206) 352-2861 | 127 Mercer Street, Seattle Caffe Fiore (206) 282-1441 | 224 West Galer Street, Seattle Oasis Tea Zone (206) 447-8098 | 519 6th Ave S, Seattle Chatterbox Café (206) 324-2324 | 1100 12th Ave # 101, Seattle

Grocery & General Store H-Mart — Lynnwood (425)776-0858 | 3301 184th Street Southwest, Lynnwood H-Mart — Federal Way (425)776-0858 | 31217 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way


Seattle Uwajimaya (206) 624-6248 | 600 5th Avenue South, Seattle Bellevue Uwajimaya (425)747-9012 | 699 120th Ave NE, Bellevue Renton Uwajimaya (425) 277-1635 | 501 South Grady Way, Renton Beaverton Uwajimaya

(503)643-4512 | 10500 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale HWY, Beaverton

Daiso Alderwood Mall (425) 673-1825 | 3000 184th St SW, # 398, Lynnwood Daiso International District (206) 355-4084 | 710 6th Ave S, Seattle Daiso Southcenter Mall (206) 243-1019| 2800 South center Mall, #1378 Tukwila Daiso Westlake Center (206) 447-6211 | 400 Pine St, # 124, Seattle Daiso The Commons at Federal Way (253) 839-1129 | 1928 S Commons, Federal Way Daiso Great Wall Mall — Kent (425) 251-1600 | 18230 E Valley Hwy, Kent Mutual Fish Company (206) 322-4368 | 2335 Rainier Ave S, Seattle Anzen Hiroshi’s (503) 233-5111 | 736 NE MLK Blvd, Portland

Books, Games & Anime Anime Raku

(425) 454-0112 |10627 NE 8th St, Bellevue

Kinokuniya Bookstore

Seattle Kinokuniya (206) 587-2477 | 525 S Weller St, Seattle Beaverton Kinokuniya (503) 641-6240 | 10500 SW Bvtn-Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton Tokyo Japanese Lifestyle — Southcenter Mall Store (206) 241-0219 | 633 Southcenter Mall, #1220, Seattle Tokyo Japanese Lifestyle — Northgate Mall Store (206) 363-3213 | 401 NE Northgate Way, #740, Seattle Tokyo Japanese Lifestyle — Tacoma Mall Store (253) 475-5380 | 4502 S Steele St, #616, Tacoma Tokyo Japanese Lifestyle — Capital Mall Store (360) 943-5790 | 625 Black Lake Blvd, # 334, Olympia Anime Asylum (503) 284-6626 | 1009 Lloyd Center, Portland, OR VIDEO HOP Downtown Store (206) 587-4037 | 601 S. King St. Suite#101, Seattle Pink Gorilla — University District (206) 547-5790 | 4341 University Ave NE, Seattle

Specialty store Saké Nomi — Sake (206) 467-7253 | 76 S Washington St, Seattle Umai Do Japanese Sweets (206) 4325-7888 | 1825 S Jackson St Ste 100, Seattle

Fashion Miki House USA (425) 455-4063 | 1032 106th Ave NE #123, Bellevue Momo (206) 329-4736 | 600 S Jackson St, Seattle Unique Plus — organic children’s store (425) 296 -1024 | 219 Kirkland Ave. #101, Kirkland

Senior Care Nikkei Concerns (206) 323-7100 | 1601 E. Yesler Way, Seattle

Japanese Construction Koji Uchida’s Japanese Construction (206 ) 369-5012 Japanese gate, fence, shoji, tatami mat, bathroom, tea room and more

Health and Beauty AISHA Skin and Body Care Therapy (206) 621-9494 509 Olive Way #Suite 1201, Seattle eN salon (425) 883-1010 13112 NE 20th St # 500, Bellevue WellnessOne of Eastgate (425) 289-0092 | 15100 SE 38th St., Ste. 305B, Bellevue Acupuncture Associates — Eastgate (425) 289-0188 | 15100 SE 38th St #305B, Bellevue Studio 904 Hair Salon (206) 232-3393 | 3041 78th Avenue SE, Mercer Island Hen Sen Herbs (206) 328-2828 | 13256 NE 20th St, Bellevue Lynnwood Olympus Spa (425) 697-3000 | 3815 196th St SW #160, Lynnwood


Japanese Floral Design

Ikebana by Megumi (425) 744-9751 Sogetsu contemporary school of ikebana. Classes in home studio and around town Yushoryu Ikenobo (206) 723-4994 | 5548 Beason Ave. S.,Seattle Ikenobo Lake Washington Chapter (425) 803-3268 | The Little Flower Station (425) 770-5888 | Children’s Bilingual Education Japanese Montessori School 3909 242nd Ave. SE, Issaquah |

Bellevue Language Arts (425) 643-3319 | 13701 Bel-Red Road, Bellevue Language Seattle Japanese Language School (206) 323-0250 | 1414 S Weller St, Seattle Music

School of Taiko (425) 785-8316 | Continuing Education Program

Nikkei Horizons (206) 726-6469 | www. Cooking

Hiroko Sugiyama Culinary Atelier (425) 836-4635 | 22207 NE 31st St, Sammamish NuCulinary (206) 932-3855 | 6523 California Ave SW, Seattle Satsuma Cooking School (206) 244-5151 | 17105 Ambaum Blvd S, Seattle Tea Ceremony Urasenke Foundation Seattle Branch (206) 328-6018 | 5125 40th Avenue N.E., Seattle 17

[ special Sakura-con 2012 ]

Sakura-con 2012


akura-Con, the Pacific Northwest’s biggest annual celebration of Japanese pop culture, rings in its 15th year this April 6-8 at the Washington State Convention Center. It’s clear the Con will once again pack the convention center with cosplayers, gamers and anime aficionados from several states and countries, as it has been doing for several years now. The Con has come a long way from its humble beginnings at the Double Tree Inn in Tukwila. What’s next? A mega-rally at Qwest Field?

of the most professional and well-run Cons of its kind. This year should be no different. Sakura-Con will feature exciting acts such as musical group Stereopony all the way from Okinawa; Fumiko Kawamura, the head designer at Chantilly, a rising star in Lolita fashion; multimedia artist and musician Kanon Wakeshima; designer Naoto Hirooka and many more voice actors, musicians, designers and creative forces in the world of anime, manga and games.

And as always, the fans themselves will help create a spectacle with their creative cosplaying. The Con features contests, dances, a Sakura-Con, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, boasts a volunteer staff of more masquerade ball, fashion shows and nonstop parties that leave evthan 950. Several VIP guests of past years have told Ibuki that it is one eryone a little breathless and disoriented come Sunday night.

IBUKI Magazine original T-shirts are sold at our Sakura-Con Booth

Visit Our Booth

The leading source for Asian books We suport Sakura-Con, we support IBUKI ! including manga, Asian magazines and cookbooks!!

Seattle 525 S Weller St, Seattle (206) 587-2477 Portland 10500 SW Beaverton Hillsdale, Beaverton (503) 641-6240 Inside Uwajimaya 18 息吹 ibuki • january / february 2012

KANON WAKESHIMA Avant-garde cellist, singer and songwriter Kanon Wakeshima will be making her first trip to Sakura-Con this year. Kanon is a unique performer. She likes to weave literary references into her music, riffing off everything from Alice in Wonderland to Shakespeare. Kanon is also a gifted visual artist; her line drawings and character designs are released under the name Hirari. Last year, she did a 10-city, seven-country European tour to rave reviews.

H. NAOTO Designer Naoto Hirooka launched his popular brand h.Naoto in 2000. It received plaudits from Japan and abroad for its originality and unique take on the gothic Lolita and visual-kei looks. Later Hirooka created the character-based Channel H and Hangry & Angry, which celebrated cute anime and game costumes. Hirooka continues to innovate, creating the hEAVEN line as well as men’s wear that references biker, worker and military styles. Hirooka will conduct a fashion show at the Con. © h.NAOTO

Featured Music & Fashion Guests © DefSTAR Records Inc. All Rights Reserved

FUMIKO KAWAMURA YUKO ASHIZAWA As the head designer for Chantilly, Fumiko KawamuYuko Ashizawa is the founder of the gothic Lolita mecca Atelier-Pierrot, which is located in the famous Laforet fashion mall in Harajuku. The Tokyo store features classic gothic Lolita outfits that have been a staple of fans for years. AtelierPierrot has been in business for more than 30 years and is one of the key reasons the gothic Lolita community has been able to expand so steadily. Ashizawa will be arranging a fashion show at Sakura-Con.


STEREOPONY is an all-girl rock band that formed in Okinawa in 2007 and will be attending their first Sakura-Con.

ra is at the forefront of Lolita fashion. She started Chantilly in 2007 with an idea that girls love cute things, but they also like more mature – what she calls “madam-like” -- outfits. The Chantilly brand offers cuteness with a hint of elegance. Kawamura has taken her Chantilly brand around the world to spread the word about gothic Lolita fashion. At Sakura-Con, she will be organizing a fashion show featuring Con participants.

Turn the page for ibuki’s exclusive interview with STEREOPONY !! 19

[ special sakura-con 2012 ]


Okinawan Gals Are Ready to Rock Seattle!


tereopony, an upbeat, hard-rocking band from Okinawa, will be performing at SakuraCon this year. The band consists of Aimi on lead guitar and vocals, Nohana on bass guitar and Shiho on drums. Listen to them talk, and you expect their music to be demure and cute. But when they get on stage, they transform into rock stars. In fact, they take their inspiration from another hard-rocking trio from Seattle. Stereopony has been around since 2007 and is signed with Sony Music’s gr8! label. Anime fans will probably recognize some of their songs because they’ve been featured on several popular series and in a Lipton ice tea commercial in Japan. The young women say they love playing in front of American audiences, even if their English isn’t so great. When they played at Austin’s SXSW in 2009, they got a rowdy ovation. Let’s see if Seattle can top that. Ibuki chatted via email with the band ahead of its trip to Japan. Here are excerpts from the chat.

©Sony Music Records Inc. All right reserved.

Ibuki: How did your band form? Were you friends before you started the band? Stereopony: There is a music studio in Okinawa where all the music lovers hang out, and that’s where Aimi and Nohana met. Then Aimi asked Shiho to play the drums. They were classmates in high school.

Ibuki: You are all from Okinawa. Americans know that there are beautiful beaches there. We also know there is US military there. But what else can you tell us about Okinawa? Stereopony: It’s very laid-back and will make you feel very relaxed. Okinawa is also known for the greatest longevity in the world.

Ibuki: Your music is hard driving and energetic. Who are your inspirations and musical heroes? Stereopony: NIRVANA!

Ibuki: What sort of things are you looking forward to doing and seeing in Seattle? Stereopony: We heard that Seattle has lots of greenery and that the city is beautiful! We’d also like to go visit Safeco Field where Ichiro is playing!

Ibuki: Who thought of the name Stereopony? Stereopony: We came up with the name together. It’s (an originally) coined word. Ibuki: For your American fans who don’t speak Japanese, please tell us what sort of themes you like to sing about most. Stereopony: We sing about our anxiety and the struggles for our generation. Ibuki: What is your favorite anime? Stereopony: Pokemon! Ibuki: We saw your interview on Crunchyroll. You all seemed so polite and soft-spoken. But on stage, you rock out. Do you feel like you become a different person on stage? Stereopony: We naturally get uplifted on stage and next thing we know, we are rocking!

20 息吹 ibuki • january / february 2012

Ibuki: You’ve performed live in the US at anime conventions and elsewhere. What’s different about performing live in the US and performing back home in Japan? Stereopony: Having to speak in English during our MC on stage is not easy!! But we try our best so we can communicate with our US fans as much as possible. American audiences are very direct and responsive. It’s always fun to perform in the US! Ibuki: Do you have a message for your fans at Sakura-Con? Stereopony: We love anime ourselves too, and we’re very excited to perform in front of all the anime fans in the US!

JUNE 28 & 29

THE MATRIX LIVE: FILM IN CONCERT Don Davis, conductor / Seattle Symphony Take the red pill and let the Seattle Symphony transport you into The Matrix. Watch this groundbreaking film on the big screen while the Orchestra plays the soundtrack live. Costumes encouraged. Suitable only for 15 years or older.

JULY 12 & 14

THE PLANETS — AN HD ODYSSEY Ludovic Morlot, conductor Women of the Seattle Symphony Chorale / Seattle Symphony R. STRAUSS: Opening from Also sprach Zarathustra LIGETI: Atmosphères COLIN MATTHEWS: Pluto HOLST: The Planets This performance features state-of-the-art, high-definition images from NASA’s exploration of the solar system projected on the big screen above the Orchestra. Originally created by the Houston Symphony.

Tickets going fast! 206.215.4747 | SEATTLESYMPHONY.ORG 21

Uwajimaya Village

Your Asian Dining and Shopping Destination Samurai Noodle


Seattle's Best Authentic Ramen Shop

Tel: (206) 624-9321 Hours: Sun - Wed 10:00 am - 8:15 pm (last order) Thu - Sat 10:00 am - 9:15 pm (last order)

Hong Kong Style Pastries and Cakes Tel: Hours:

Noodle Zen Authentic Japanese Noodles Soba, Yakisoba, Udon and more! Tel: Hours:

(206) 749-5451 Open10:00 am - 8:00 pm everyday

(206) 903-8232 Mon -Sat 9:00 am - 8:00 pm Sun 9:00 am- 7:00 pm

Burgers & Shakes at Seattle Uwajimaya Tel: Hours:

(206) 264-7800 Mon - Sat 10:00 am - 8:00 pm Sun 10:00 am- 7:00 pm

Serving Soft Serve Fresh Frozen Yogurt

Tel: Hours:

Tel: Hours:

High Quality Optical Eyeglasses Tel: Fax: Hours:

(206) 652-8436 (206) 652-8475 Open 10am-8pm everyday

Fresh and Exciting Thai Food Tel: Hours:

Herfy’s Burger

Authentic Hawaiian Dining (206) 624-9156 Open 9:30 am - 8:30 pm everyday


(206) 682-0724 Open 11:00 am - 8:00 pm everyday

Fresh and Natural Cream Puffs Tel: Hours:

(206) 623-0892 Sun-Fri 9:00 am - 8:00 pm Sat 9:00 am - 9:00 pm

Salon Juno

(206) 749-5451 Open 10:00 am - 8:00 pm everyday

Saigon Bistro Pho, Salad Rolls, Duck Soup and more! Tel: Hours:

(206) 621-2085 Open 10:00 am - 8:00 pm everyday

Bibimbap, Bul-go-gi, Chi-gae and more! Tel: Hours:

(206) 381-1207 Mon-Sat 10:30 am - 8:30 pm Sun 10:30 am - 8:00 pm

Beauty & cosmetics products from Japan - Shiseido, Pola, Cle de Peau BEAUTE etc. Tel: Hours:

(206) 223-1866 Open 10am-8pm everyday

- Asian magazine, manga, recipe books and more

Best of the Seattle Asian Trend Leader

Visit our International District Branch inside of Uwajimaya.

Tel: Hours:

Tel: Hours:

Tel: Hours:

The Leading Sauce for Asian Books (206) 587-2477 Mon- Sat 10:00 am - 9:00 pm Sun 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

(206) 223-1204 Mon - Sat 10:00 am - 8:00 pm Sun 11:00 am - 6:00 pm

(206) 377-6800 Mon-Fri 9:00 am - 7:00 pm Sat 9:00 am - 4:00 pm / Sun Closed

1 息吹 ibuki • january / february 2012 2h 22 FREE Parking with Purchase | 600 5th Ave, Seattle WA98104 | Seattle’s International District


Scarves: moussy Tankto: Forever 21

Earrings: Forever 21 Necklaces: Bunkaya Zakka-ten & too much

Rings: moussy & Forever 21


Age 20 Occupation Stud ent Height 163cm Area Shibuya Favorites: Brand K3, moussy Shop K3 Co. Salon kakimoto arms

Tokyo Street Snaps Visit for more street fashion snaps from Tokyo. Photos Š Japan Fashion Association. All rights reserved. 23

[ Travel ]

Tokyo Fashion Walk

By Caroline Josephine

Tokyo boasts some of the most amazing and diverse fashions in the world. One would assume that in a city as dense as Tokyo, fashion would be more general and trends would take over, but that’s not true here. Let’s take a tour of the three largest fashion spots in Tokyo.




Our first stop is Shibuya. Follow the signs for the Hachiko exit; the famous 109 shopping center is straight ahead. Girls wearing shorts year round totter down the street on heels that are impossibly high. This winter’s most popular item is furry earmuffs. Shibuya is generally the trendiest area of Tokyo and the home of gal culture. Brands like Liz Lisa, EGOIST and D.I.A. have ruled over their own sub-genres of gal for years, changing and molding the style. Gal has gone from the bleached hair, tan skin and wild makeup to a more sophisticated and accessible look. Mode and blogger styles have popped up and mixed in with the older ganguro and himegyaru styles. But don’t fear, lovers of the traditional, even the mamba look is still alive.

Photos By



A quick walk to Harajuku will reward you with a change of pace. The colors come alive on Takeshita-dori. If you don’t look carefully, you might not see there is method to the madness. Harajuku style might be the most well-known style to come out of Tokyo, but it does not rule Tokyo’s fashion scene. The wild use of colors in both clothes and hair really make this style stand out though. Most brands, such as MALKO MALKA, really market the wild and crazy look, which is popular among both boys and girls. Photos By

Street Snaps By

24 息吹 ibuki • january / february 2012


Harajuku -

laforet area

Mixed in with the Harajuku kids, you can see princesses. Girls with puffy skirts fluffed with petticoats wander down the street. They look adorable in dresses that have fantastical motifs on them. One girl has a hat made out of cards; another is paying homage to the boy who never wanted to grow up. These girls pop in and out of shops as they wander down Takeshita-dori, but they usually end up at the end of the street, with Laforet shopping center as their target. Inside is a Lolita shopping paradise, with many shops boasting Lolita-style clothes. Some of the most popular and recognizable brands are Angelic Pretty, Chantilly and Black Peace Now. Each brand caters to a different sub-genre of Lolita style.

Photos by

Ginza Next up on our tour is the almighty Ginza. Make sure to stop at an ATM before you head over there because the brands are well known and high end. Ginza dazzles the eye with beautiful shops lining the streets. Ginza has a large concentration of Western shops mixed in with very famous Japanese department stores. Ginza is perfect for the young professional because not only can you buy clothes that are perfect for work, you can also buy affordable, yet fashionable items as well.

Photos By

About Caroline

Caroline Josephine, a creative writer and fashion lover, has been living in Japan for almost four years. She spends her time running to catch the train, spending all of her money on clothes and playing with stuffed Mamegoma toys. Caroline writes about her life and the fashion in it at

C: Life in Japan - 25



place Nicofarre — A Disco for the Information Age • By Nicholas Vroman

When the bubble burst in the early1990s, the party kept on going deep in the heart of Tokyo’s big party district, Roppongi, at the dance club Velfarre. With six floors of hedonistic excess, the self-proclaimed “largest disco in Asia” brought warhorses like Donna Summer and Banarama to Tokyo along with the nightly throb of techno and trance. By 2007, after less than four years, the place was history. Flash forward to the summer of 2011. Where the old disco once ruled, another has risen in its place: Nicofarre. The name references the older establishment and nico nico douga, a popular video-sharing website where fashionistas and party kids can keep up with the latest in club music and culture. In fact, the company that owns the site, Dwango Co., also runs the new club.

NIcofarre opened with a bang last July, featuring two of the most popular groups in Japan: K-pop boy band Tohoshinki and the all-girl otaku favorites, AKB48. The club itself has made a leap into the information age with LED screens covering the walls and ceiling of the main hall, creating a 360-degree visual experience for the club-goers. Web surfers can “visit” the club online and type comments that will appear on the walls of the club in real time. The club has grabbed the meme of the interactive virtual world and made it real. Says Takeshi Natsuno, managing director at Dwango, “We wanted to create an interactive musical experience where reality and virtual reality become blurred.” Images ©

movie Post Card • By Nicholas Vroman

drink Yunker Energy Shots • By Nicholas Vroman

At the age of 98, legendary Japanese film director Kaneto Shindo directed Post Card, a searing anti-war parable that shows why he’s still one of the best film directors in Japan. In press conferences last year, the wheelchair-bound nonagenarian stated that Post Card would be his last film. News is he’s now preparing a new film. Post Card was not only the Japanese entry for the Academy Awards’ Best Foreign Picture, but it also won the Mainichi Film Award in Japan for the best picture of 2011. Shindo has been making films since the 40s and is most famous in the US for his terrifying supernatural parable, Oni Baba. He’s a native of Hiroshima and, particularly since the destruction of his hometown in 1945, he’s held a strongly pacifistic and anti-war philosophy that shows up in many of his films. Post Card takes the ongoing tragedies of a woman (the inimitable Shinobu Ohtake) who loses not one, but two husbands to the war. Then she loses her stepparents. A former comrade (Etsushi Toyokawa) of her first husband, charged with delivering her his last postcard from the front, finally finds her. After a long, dramatic night, a reconciliation that is not necessarily happy, but hopeful, brings the film to a close. Post Card feels a bit old fashioned. The acting is broad, the situation a bit over the top. But Shindo’s heartfelt anti-war message is strong and eternal in this late-career masterpiece. 26 息吹 ibuki • january / february 2012

Yunker Energy products didn’t fuel the Japanese postwar economic miracle, but they probably didn’t hurt. In 1956, when Sato Pharmaceutical Corp. came out with herb-based energy pills, a weary, overworked nation turned to them to get through the long days of rebuilding Japan. By 1967, Sato began producing hugely successful liquid versions. Their flagship tonic, Yunker Energy Shots, has finally reached U.S. shores and, just like in Japan, has taken off with stunning success. Yunker Energy Shots are a concoction of vitamins and Eastern and Western herbal ingredients such as Oriental Ginseng, Royal Jelly, English Hawthorn Extract, Epimedium (Leaf ) Fluid Extract and Cnidium (Fruit) Fluid Extract. Add a bit of sugar, a whopping amount of vitamin B vitamins and you have one energizing drink. So how does it taste? For those who like their energy drinks in the form of something like Coke or Red Bull, sorry to tell you, a Yunker Energy Shot certainly doesn’t carry the sugar rush of those American favorites. It tends more toward the sophisticated tastes of an Italian bitter like Cinzano. All in all, it’s not a bad balance between the medicinal and the proverbial spoonful of sugar. How does it work? Between the slight niacin tingle and the mysterious workings of the herbs, it gives a pleasant uplift without the dreadful crash of sugary sweet analogues. Yunker Energy Shots are poised to become the next big thing in the USA. Try some today.

Book Otaku Spaces • By Josh Powell It’s perhaps very easy to look at a photograph of a grown man surrounded by toys, comics and video games and dismiss him as infantile or an odd fanatic — a product of all the stereotypical strangeness often associated with contemporary Japan. But in Patrick Galbraith’s Otaku Spaces, we step beyond this to a more nuanced and personal understanding of otaku, those obsessive collectors of anime, comics, games and figurines. As Galbraith notes in his introduction, photographing otaku posing amongst their collections has “been repeated to such an extent it is cliché. At the same time, little if anything is known about the people …” The book does contain such photos (and they’re well done), but it’s the accompanying interviews with 20 different otaku that makes this book a thoughtful work of cultural anthropology. At first glance, many of the otaku share similar characteristics: single males living alone in small apartments, or still with their parents, with no interests beyond the scope of their obsessive collection, refusing to compromise their otaku lifestyle for a chance at a relationship with the opposite sex. Through the interviews, however, we gain a broader understanding of who they are. For one, they aren’t all male — and female otaku are just as uninterested in romantic relationships. Some are younger, some are older. Some collect the staples — the so-called ACG trio of anime, comics and games — while others have more obscure collections: Russian science fiction or ephemera from Japanese motorcycle gangs and underground cults. There’s even a world-champion kickboxer known to enter the ring wearing the costumes of his favorite female characters — confounding preconceived notions of masculinity. Some otaku wax poetically about transforming robots; others speak profoundly about what it’s like to de-

vote oneself to a singular pursuit. Some are able to step back and look at their otaku-ness objectively, while others seem less self-aware. The interviews are bookended on one side by Galbraith’s introduction to the world of otaku and on the other by his encyclopedic knowledge of Japan’s most famous otaku ‘hoods. The description of Akihabara’s development from postwar Japan to present day is particularly illumiwhen presenting this article to nating. A final section includes inKinokuniya Bookstore terviews with two academics from $20 >> $18 prestigious Japanese universities who give fascinating insight into the culture of otaku and Japan in general, and really provide the Japanophile not interested in anime, comics or games a definite reason to pick up this book. Finally, there’s the inclusion of Androniki Christodoulou’s photographs: the previously mentioned otaku portraits as well as her documentation of Akihabara, Nakano Broadway and other otaku hotspots. Some of the most engaging photos are the ones depicting concerts and charapa (character parties) — the colorful costumes and bright stage lights shining out from the inky darkness of interior spaces. With Sakura-Con just around the corner, Otaku Spaces is the perfect read to get you in the mood — whether you’re an otaku yourself or just curious what all the excitement is about.

10% discount

art MAKIMANGA — Hard-Core Cute • By Gemma Alexander “I think cute stuff can heal people. When people have a ‘blue feeling,’ seeing something cute and nice can help them,” says Makiko Snoddy, the creative force behind MAKIMANGA. Working at the Kinokuniya bookstore, she saw that people were drawn to cartoon characters like the ones she enjoyed creating. Although such characters are usually drawn in the manga style, Snoddy wanted to bridge Japanese and Western styles. Snoddy adds that she does not follow the trend to incorporate gothic or punk elements in her cartoons. “I like totally cute stuff, 100% positive images. My animal characters are hard-core cute.” She named her line of products featuring those animals MAKIMANGA. Snoddy says, “My husband used to send manga-style drawings of me when we were engaged and I was still living in Japan. He called them ‘Maki manga,’ so I thought that would be the name of my brand.” Snoddy chose to take a slow approach to building her brand so that she can present each new product with confidence. MAKIMANGA recently debuted with a collection of American-made tote bags and magnets. Sweatshirts are available by special order. Snoddy incorporates names and personality traits into all of her character designs. Customers can learn about each of the animals by visiting her website,, where they all live together. MAKIMANGA products can be purchased on her website as well as at local stores including Kinokuniya, Uwajimaya, Kobo at Higo, Venue and San Marco Grocery. Images © MAKIMANGA 27

[ Newly Opened ] Toshi’s Teriyaki Grill — Downtown Renton

IZAKAYA 居酒屋 In Japan, Ohanami is something you can not miss in Spring season.

What’s ohanami?


If you have been in Seattle awhile, you may remember the long lines at Toshi’s Teriyaki, which used to be located at 372 Roy St. The restaurant was a hit back in 70s for its simple yet delicious teriyaki-style meat with white rice. Toshi’s Teriyaki received rave reviews from many local publications at that time. Toshi opened several chains and franchises since then, raising the profile of teriyaki in this town. In December 2011, this legendary restaurant was reborn as Toshi’s Teriyaki Grill in downtown Renton. This time, Toshi’s two sons — Taichi and Yuuki — lead the way, although Toshi himself has returned to the kitchen after 10 years of retirement. The store returns to its roots to serve the original teriyaki chicken for under $5. The menu is very simple: Toshi’s Original Chicken for $4.75 (with Red-Hot Spice $4.85); 7 Ounce Beef Steak for $5.95; Chicken & Beef Combo for $5.65 and several side orders. “I want to keep it simple, delicious and reasonable. Actually, one customer who took our food home called us and said, ‘Thank you, your food was great!’ That’s what I wanted,” said Taichi Kasahara. Toshi’s cooks fresh meat once you’ve ordered, which makes a big difference, Taichi says. Toshi’s Teriyaki Grill (425) 687-5938 | 1509 South 3rd St, Renton

People gather under cherry blossoms at neighborhood parks with friends and family, and enjoy drinking with good food.

Toshi Kasahara (middle) and his sons Taichi (right) and Yuuki (left). Wow, that sounds good. But it is illegal drinking at public parks in America.

Sugi chan I know.. But you can come to Issian!! Cute flowers to look at!

Sugi chan Sugi chan


1618 N 45th St Seattle, WA 98103 Tel: (206) 632-7010 28 息吹 ibuki • january / february 2012

The Chicken & Beef Combo ($5.65) comes with half chicken and half beef. The meats are very juicy and soft. The homemade teriyaki sauce has no cornstarch and has a fresh, clean taste.

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Study & Homestay in Japan



Global Education

1-Year High School Exchange This program welcomes students from North America to Meitoku Gijuku High School located in Kochi prefecture for one year as exchange students. Students may transfer course credit to their current schools in the United States or Canada through this program. Students may enroll in subjects equivalent of up to about 70 units / 7 unites of credit during one year program, including Japanese, English, Math following native school curricula. All students will participate in extra activities such as baseball, soccer, basketball, sumo, judo, fine art, marching etc. Exchange students will live in an on-campus dormitory.

Application closing by May 31st !!

Call Sankei Global Education (800) 332-0208 to obtain broucher with more information

Summer School July 22- Aug 2, 2012

This program is a 12 day Japanese language study program at the Meitoku Gijuku High School in Kochi prefecture. The school campus is located near a Kochi prefectural nature park and surrounded with beautiful natures. Students will join three hour Japanese classes in morning, followed by activities such as fishing, sea kayak, and Japanese hot spring experience. This program is suitable for middle school students currently studying Japanese and who want to improve their skills during summer, as well as native Japanese living in America.

Application closing upon all placements taken

Call Sankei Global Education (800) 332-0208 to obtain broucher with more information


This Program welcomes anyone who wants to experience the real Japanese way of life while staying with host families. This is a great chance to learn Japanese culture, custom and everyday conversation. You may customize your stay from weekend short-stays for your vacation to long term stays to accommodate your study abroad program. We offer 24 hour emergency support from English speaking staff. You may take post-arrival orientation covering “Daily life in Japan,” “Japanese culture,” and “Home-stays in Japan.” No matter how old you are, or how good your Japanese language ability is, this home-stay program will be a great intercultural experience for you.

Call Sankei Global Education (800) 332-0208 for more information 29

[ LOCAL EVENTS ] Tour Jin Akanishi Japonicana Tour —

MAR 10


When: March 10, 8pm Where: The Centre In Vancouver for Performing Arts Fee: $30-$90 Be a witness of Jin Akanishi’s second live tour in North America. The tour kicks off in Los Angeles on March 9, followed by Vancouver, Canada, on March 10, Honolulu on March 12, New York on March 15 and San Francisco on March 17. Info:

MAR 11

3.11 One Year Anniversary When: March 11, 10am-3pm Where: Seattle Center coalition members together with the Consulate-General of Japan, and community organizations, are holding a special event to observe the one year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. There will be a variety of activities including a documentary film shown by the Consulate-General of Japan, as well as sharing of information and resources for emergency preparedness here in the Pacific Northwest. Info:

The Deems Tsutakawa Band featuring Danny Yamamoto

MAR 23

When: March 23, 7pm-10pm Where: Nagomi Tea House, Seattle ID Admission: $30 A benefit show for The North American Post featuring local jazz group The Deems Tsutakawa Band at Nagomi Tea House. Deems is proud to welcome guest performer Danny Yamamoto, drummer and one of the founding members of legendary jazz group Hiroshima. Info:

MAR 24

WA StateJapanese Language Speech & Skit Competition When: March 24th 8am-5pm Where: Pigott Auditorium, Seattle University

Mochitsuki Community Fair: 11:00AM – 4:00PM The largest Japanese language contest in the Pacific Northwest expands the competition to include high school students and university and community college students this year. Two winners will visit Japan thanks to the sponsorship of YMCA of greater Seattle. Info:

Kobo Ikebana workshop

MAR 25

When: March 25, 1:00 - 3:00pm Where: Kobo at Higo Fee: $35 including flowers and other materials

Megumi Schacher, a certified instructor of the modern Sogetsu School of ikebana, will give a demonstration introducing the creative range of Sogetsu ikebana using flowers and native plant materials. To register for the class, call (425) 744-9751

Know of upcoming Asian food, music or other community events? Drop us an email so we can share it with our readers! Get IBUKI magazine mailed to your home or office SUBSCRIPTION ORDER FORM $24 /year (6 issues) To subscribe, fill out contact information below and send with $24 check or money order. Make check or money order payable to: IBUKI Magazine, 12727 Northup Way Suite 3, Bellevue, WA 98005 Name: Address: E-mail address (optional):

30 息吹 ibuki • january / february 2012


Sakura-con 2012 When: April 6-8 Where: Washington State Convention and Trade Center Membership Rates: $55 pre-registration, $60 at the door Presented by the Asia Northwest Cultural Education Association, Sakura-Con is the oldest and most well-attended anime convention in the Pacific Northwest. The huge event has anime theaters, gaming, cosplay contest, cultural panels, dances, concerts, art contests, over 100,000 sq. feet of exhibits and more! See page 19 to learn more about Sakura-Con 2012. Info:

FEB 24 Visit Ibuki booth or pick up Ibuki from our cos play girls!

Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival

APR 13

When: April 13-15 Where: Seattle Center Admission: Free Explore Seattle’s deep connections with Japan and celebrate the beauty of spring at the Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival. Learn the game go, play with Japanese toys and participate in a tea ceremony demonstration while you explore Seattle’s deep connections with Japan and celebrate the beauty of spring. The event is a feast for the senses. Delicious food, taiko drumming, Japanese artisan demonstrations, skateboard routines and artwork present both a modern and ancient view of this complex culture. Info:

Voices of the Second Wave: Chinese Americans in Seattle by Dori Yang — book reading

APR 21

When: April 21, 4:00 pm Where: the Wing Luke Museum Fee: Free Author Dori Yang will read from her book on the second wave of Chinese Americans — those who came to the US during the 1950s and 60s. Speak with a few of the subjects in the book. Info:

Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration


When: May 6 Where: Seattle Center Admission: Free Enjoy the rich cultures of the region’s Asian-Pacific Islander communities through song, dance, art and displays. The festival launches Asian-Pacific Islander Heritage Month in Seattle with spectacular lion dances, colorful costumes and traditional dress, youth drill teams, martial arts, taiko drums and incredible artists from around the state. It also provides access to community resources and children’s arts and crafts. Info: http://www.seattlecenter. com/festal

NEXT ISSUE Coming November Coming May 1st 1st

32 息吹 ibuki • march / april 2012

IBUKI Magazine #16 - Virtual Stars  
IBUKI Magazine #16 - Virtual Stars  

IBUKI Magazine celebrate Asian food and culture in the Seattle & Portland metropolitan area. Using food as a back-drop, IBUKI Magazine provi...