I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Chisato Moritaka -- Kumamon-mon (くまモンもん)
In terms of pop culture, I could say that a couple of aspects attached to the United States would be beauty and glamour. In Japan, I think the big word there is cuteness. Maid cafes, AKB48 and all of history's aidoru come into play here, and of course, Japan has all those yuru kyara(ゆるキャラ)representing prefectures, cities, businesses and all other campaigns.

Yuru kyara are all those cute mascot characters which have grown so much in number that they should probably deserve their own citizenship. Arguably the most famous one is the twitchy-to-the-nth-degree Funassyi(ふなっしー)representing the city of Funabashi in Chiba Prefecture which happens to sit right next to my old city of Ichikawa. I always wondered about whether Ichikawa even had a yuru kyara, and apparently it does. Her name is Manarin(マナりん).

However, No. 2 might be a more laid-back fellow much further south. This is Kumamon the bear who promotes Kumamoto Prefecture. For all you Trekkies, this was (or will be) the birthplace for Keiko Ishikawa, the wife of Miles O'Brien, good ol' engineer from the USS Enterprise and later on, Deep Space Nine.

I found out from Wikipedia that Kumamon actually won the Yuru-Kyara Grand Prix of 2011, and then a couple of years later, he even got his own adorable song. Titled "Kumamon-mon", I discovered the tune while I was skimming through the article for singer-songwriter KAN (to write up on one of his older albums) since he was the one who composed and co-wrote the song along with Kundo Koyama(小山薫堂)for release as a single in September 2013. You may want to hold off on any sugary treats for a while after listening to and watching the video. And who better to sing the song than former techno aidoru Chisato Moritaka (森高千里...she hits the "mon" part just perfectly)? I think Moritaka and KAN make a great combination for a cutesy ditty like this.

Apparently, this is the official music video for "Kumamon-mon" which peaked at No. 13 on Oricon.

To leave off, I just have to provide footage of the legendary Funassyi.

Kristi Lu Stout of always made my day when I saw you on CNN International. It is indeed a pleasure to see you lose it to Funassyi.


  1. Kind of off topic, but going through your Chisato tag I noticed that you have a lot of her CDs. I was wondering if by any chance you have a copy of New Season? That record is just one of those discs that never shows up on Ebay no matter how many times I look. I was wondering in case you have a copy if it'd be possible for you to rip it and upload it for me? I know it's online in mp3 and stuff but I'm looking for lossless, since that's the only reason I even buy physical copies anymore. It'd be really cool if you could.

    1. Hello ABC 123. Thanks very much for your comments. Actually I don't have too many of her discs outside of her BEST compilation, and unfortunately, I don't have that debut album of hers "New Season". I can imagine that it might be one of the rare ones out there. I checked out Tower Records and CD Japan but no luck. I wouldn't give up, though. There are a few of those rare of the rare that I've been searching for decades...and I haven't given up yet. :)


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