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.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Asakusa Star Plaza

While hunting for the pretty elusive Miyada Records in the streets around the Kaminarimon in Asakusa, we happened to come across a not very large concert hall. At the entrance of this concert hall were dozens of hand prints from those famous in the entertainment world.

That was a familiar sight as I had seen/heard of it when I watched the making of one of Kouhei Fukuda's concerts earlier this year, where during his break he wandered out of the concert hall to a concrete field of hand prints in search of Michiya Mihashi's; he found it, and coincidentally, their hands are of the same size. At that time, I thought that it'd be amazing if I could go there, but not knowing its location, I just left it as that. So stumbling upon it while in search of Miyada Records came as a pleasant surprise.

I recognized many names of singers, composers, and actors, so there I was admiring each print and hunkering down at each one I liked to compare my own hand size with theirs. It was really enjoyable despite the heat and the leg muscle workout. Many of those whose hand prints were immortalized before the concert hall had already passed on, so to me, placing my hand in their hand print was as close as I could get to shaking or touching their hand.

Anyways, here are some of the hand prints. Photos courtesy of Mom because my hands were covered in dirt and dust from touching the impressions.


For lyricists and composers, we have Rokusuke Ei (right) and Shosuke Ichikawa (left). Ei's hands were big and wide, he was quite a big guy (Update: he just passed away last week, at the age of 83. Rest in peace, good sir). Ichikawa, on the other hand - pun intended (?) - was easily the smallest hand print on display. I know he's not as big as the lyricist, but I didn't know he was that little!


Here we've got Tetsuya Watari (right) and Makoto Fujita (left). Watari has the biggest hands of the lot with long and thick fingers; exactly how I'd envision a towering tough guy's to be.


On the right is Hiroshi Itsuki's and on the left is Shinichi Mori's. Itsuki has got nice, uniformly shaped hands too, while Mori's were smaller than expected.


Then there's Yuzo Kayama's and Saburo Kitajima's. Kayama has large palms.

Yukio Hashi's hand print is on the right while Ichiro Fujiyama's is on the left. I'm aware that Fujiyama was a slim man, but his hands were so slender and his fingers were freakishly long (pardon me, Mr. Fujiyama)!


Continuing the ryukoka singer trend from Fujiyama, we have Yoshio Tabata (right) and Dick Mine (left). My hand was almost the size of Batayan's, just that he had slightly wider palms and slightly longer fingers. Besides Itsuki's and Ei's, I find myself liking Mine's hands too. He had quite a... manly but shapely hand.


Moving on to the showa era enka singers, we've got the Queen of Kayo, Hibari Misora's dainty little hand print, as well as the rokyoku master, Haruo Minami's. Perhaps the only one smaller or the same size as Ichikawa's hand was Misora's. Minami's print was one of the few left-hand-prints, and he did too have rather nice hands.


The last ones that were taken photo of were Michiya Mihashi's and Hachiro Kasuga's. Kasuga had surprisingly big hands - he had really large palms. As for Mihashi's, they were smaller than expected too... But out of those I had placed my hand in, his was a perfect fit.

Okay, fine, his thumb was slightly thicker than mine, but still.

Taken from Azuma-bashi


  1. Hi, Noelle. Thanks for the tour!

    Nice to see that Asakusa has its own version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Yeah, considering the recent passing of Rokusuke Ei, it was rather poignant that you came across his hand print very recently. Not surprised about the size of Watari's hands...carrying all that artillery in his old cop show and any historical epics must have given a certain gravity (and a few callouses) to his hands.

    I can only wonder what Yujiro Ishihara's hands must have been like.

    1. Hi there, J-Canuck.

      Oh, I did give a tour, huh? Didn't realise it when writing the article. But you're welcome anyways.

      I'm pretty sure Yujiro's hands must've been like Watari's... Or perhaps he had nicer hands? All the better to hold that ever-present, delicate brandy glass, am I right? :)

    2. Come to think of it, one would need more tapery fingers to handle the brandy glass rather than meat hooks. But I could see thicker hands being more the thing to handle cigars. I'm wondering if Yujiro also smoked those along with the cigarettes.

    3. Pretty sure he smokes cigars too. Conjuring up the image of Yujiro by the bar with a cigar in one hand and a whiskey glass in one hand... He either seems like a mysterious gentleman, or a head hoodlum.


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