Welcome To The “Tokyo Idol Festival!”
I wanted to share a musical performance phenomenon underway in Tokyo – one that we happened upon!
First, according to wikipedia:
“in Japanese pop culture, “idol” is a term typically used to refer to young manufactured stars/starlets marketed to be admired for their cuteness.”
That “cuteness” is a cultural phenomenon in Tokyo – look at the crowd at this recent Tokyo Idol festival!
Here is a YouTube video from “The Tokyo Idol Project” – and gives you an idea of what this phenomenon looks like up close:
The Making Of A “Pop Idol!”
These young women are terrific dancers, great performers, and upbeat entertainers.
As wikipedia points out:
“Idols are intended to be role models. They are supposed to have a good public image and be good examples to young people. Idols aim to play a wide range of roles as media personalities (tarento), e.g. pop singers, panelists of variety programs, bit-part actors, models for magazines and advertisements.”
My wife Alex and I came across auditions for female “Pop Idols” at a park in Tokyo…it all began when we were wandering in Ueno park and found an amazing water lily pond:
The best part of this pond is when I took a panorama shot on my iPhone – and asked Alex to stand on one side of the pool until she was out of camera shot, then jump to the other side…this is what we ended up with:
At one end of the pond was an outdoor amphitheater, and we heard some very energetic pop music inside:
Our view was partially blocked, but signs were everywhere that there was a TV audition underway, and the stage held a number of excited young contestants as they rehearsed for their live show that was scheduled for later that day.
Apologies for the uneven quality of my filming, but I wanted to capture it on the fly with, as you will see, unpleasant stagehands watching:
The biggest annual idol concert festival is the “Tokyo Idol Festival”, which has been held since 2010. More than 300 idol groups, totaling 1,500 idols performed – to an audience of more than 80,000!
I found something similar when I was in Seoul Soth Korea…watch this video I shot of us walking down a Seoul street at night. I turned a corner and came across this:
Here is a look at that trip to Seoul, including my G4 Host Morgan Webb standing on the infamous “Bridge Of No Return” at the North Korea border:
Tokyo was an incredible adventure as well, especially sitting in the iconic “Lost In Translation” bar:
This was the scene where Bill Murray talks to Scarlet Johansson in “Lost In Translation” – see more of the hotel here:
That was just one of many great musical adventures to tokyo, like our night singing along with a golden gai bartender/musician:
My son Jeff found this great bar, and the bartender/musician sang an original song for us!
See more of that fun night here:
Let me know what you think of the “Tokyo Idol” phenomenon!