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.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Black Biscuits -- STAMINA

Saw the NHK educational variety program "Tameshite Gatten" tonight and the theme was on how to increase one's stamina as one ages. Of course, for all those veteran Japan hands, the word "stamina" has become part and parcel of the Japanese language, especially during the daunting summers when the energy levels can drop into nothingness. Often enough, the word is used when it's put next to ryori or "cuisine". The telly was always talking about the dishes to provide those calories for that boost in stamina such as unaju (eel on rice) or some form of ramen...dishes that I would be more than happy to nosh on even if my stamina was perfectly fine.

Also, the theme of tonight's "Gatten" automatically had me remembering the debut single of that gimmicky unit from the 90s, Black Biscuits, composed of Taiwanese tarento/actress Vivian Hsu and comedians Kiyotaka Nanbara(南原清隆)and Hiroyuki Amano(天野ひろゆき). It was released in December 1997 and had a funky enough beat, but to be honest, I much preferred their follow-up "Timing". Still, the song written by Hiromi Mori(森浩美)and composed by Kenji Hayashida(林田健司)did very well by hitting No. 2 on Oricon and selling over a million copies. And it still makes for a nostalgic memory of watching Japanese variety television almost 20 years ago.

Of course, I was in my early years of life in the Tokyo area at the time, and one night I was out with a few friends for dinner in the Hibiya area. One of them was a fellow who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and seemed to know a number of the beautiful people in Japan. During dinner, he got a call on his cellphone from one of his buddies who was actually learning how to drive a car. In mid-conversation, he nonchalantly muttered to us that it was none other than Vivian Hsu. close to celebrity.

My stamina food:
spicy ramen & karaage don
Also, my fast track to cholesterol overload!


  1. Hey!

    Huge fan of your blog; this question is unrelated to this post because I couldn't find a question form-

    A while back you had a post about a mid 1980's quasi-New Wave/Techno band, with a front man that had a kind of rebellious attitude and kooky hair. I think they had a notable song that they performed on a Japanese television show which was the video you posted; he had kind of a rebellious cynical affect to his performance which I think you commented on. I searched back in the posts but couldn't find it anywhere. Would you be able to help a brother out in identifying it?

    1. Hi, Alexander. Thanks very much for your comments and I'm glad that you've been enjoying the blog.

      As for your question, I think perhaps you are referring to "Ikenai Rouge Magic" (1982) by the late Kiyoshiro Imawano, and yep, he's quite the rocker:

      Hope that this is the one you were looking for!

    2. Hmm, sadly this isn't it. Though I now know Ikenai Rouge Magic is really excellent. I love the glam and the Sakamoto kiss!

      I'm sorry I've thrown you such a curve ball without much information! The music was a bit more '80s pop-rock and less glammy rock n' roll. If I remember correctly the front-man was also sartorially distinctive but had more of cynical "I'm not happy to be here" attitude; I wish I could whistle the song for you! I'll start scouring the archives again


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