Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Girls, girls, girls!

Recently, I brought you a few cards from a magazine called Young Champion. That's not the only magazine that focuses on beautiful young ladies, though. It's hard not to miss what seems to be a third of the magazine rack at the convenience store full of pretty faces. What's actually inside those magazines I might never know, but I do find some of the premiums they offer, usually in the form of trading cards.

I had my annual health checkup last week, an adventure that included taking two poop samples, blood samples, and a urine sample, the usual blood pressure, eye check, etc, an EKG, chest X-ray, and even a barium meal X-ray to see my stomach. All of this work was done by Japanese-speaking nurses, and my Japanese skills aren't that good. But I made it through. While the full results won't be in for a few weeks, the first words out of my doctor's mouth at the end was "You must lose weight." But everything else looked good, so far.

Anyway, I had nothing else planned until the evening, so I headed out to Nakano Broadway. I'll be going back this weekend to pick up some things I passed on due to cash concerns, but I did make a few decent finds. I got two old Calbee card albums and two 1980 Calbee singles (those card images are now added to the 1980 Calbee post). One of the "box" stores had a couple card non-sport card lots I pulled the trigger on, and another had some cards from one of those girly magazines.
The first four cards are from Volume 27 and 28 of Girls! magazine, issued in 2009.
 Erena Ono appears in volume 27.
 Atsuko Maeda is in volume 27 and volume 28.
 And finally Yuko Oshima is in volume 28. All four girls used to be members of AKB48. It looks like Girls! included three cards in each issue of its magazine through volume 35. I don't know when they started including cards, but at least issue 15 had cards. The magazine is actually a "mook" and includes a DVD, and is issued sporadically. The latest issue, volume 48, came out in September 2016.
 Also issued in 2009, this card #G-150 also features Atsuko Maeda.
 And card G-155 is Yuko Ohshima (Oshima). I haven't done any research to find what magazine this comes from, but it's from the same publisher as Girls!. The numbering scheme just simply doesn't make sense to me right now to say it's from Girls!.
 This card is a CD promo. J-Pop performers frequently include premiums with CDs, including trading cards. Some performers issue a whole set of cards, found one per CD.
Not from a magazine, this is a card from Hits (Hit's). They issued a full set of Yuko Oshima cards in 2010, and have issued plenty of idol and model card sets in addition to this set. It's interesting that the Kinoshita Circus can be seen in the background. I wonder if the circus paid for the placement, simply allowed the photographers to shoot there, or were paid for using their circus.

More pretty girls tomorrow...


  1. Hope your test results turn out good. Sounds like they do some pretty thorough testing in Japan. I can't remember ever having to give a poop sample. Great group of ladies. Looking forward to seeing more tomorrow.

    1. Yes, just you wait. It will happen eventually. As for the test results, nothing terribly surprising, other than maybe I'm healthier than I expected. I'm overweight (duh) and I have high cholesterol (though I need to actually see how high it is - all of the information is in Japanese and I left the results at work). High cholesterol isn't surprising thanks to all the McDs I've been eating lately and my frequent curry and fried chicken meal choices.

    2. Oh man. I could live on Japanese curry. Glad to hear that you're healthier than expected. I'm pretty sure I've read that people in Japan often live longer than most countries around the world.

    3. There are lots of reasons for that, of course. A healthier diet in general, though Japanese people are apparently getting fatter. Portion sizes are smaller, and junky foods are much more expensive meaning they're more luxuries. Fruit, even, is costly, let alone ice cream, popcorn, candy bars... People prefer tea to soda.

      Kids are encouraged very early on to participate in clubs. For some this is piano or other musical instruments, but for many it is dance or sports. And sports is a big part of school culture. A whole holiday is dedicated to sports, and all schools hold Sports Day events where all the students compete in events.

      And thanks to the compactness of the country, Japanese people are at least a little more active. I don't have a car and I haven't driven in five years. Instead, I can walk to the nearest train station to go long distances, and instead of driving down the street I walk. I generally take the stairs or walk up/down the escalator instead of using an elevator or standing on the escalator, and that's thanks to Japanese culture.

      It's just more balanced out here. Except for the work-life balance, but that's a whole other story.

  2. Great post and I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. I remember all those health checks mandated by the Japanese government when I was there. Same thing every time....lose weight even though my BMI(below 25) was healthy according to American standards. Ha!

    1. Technically, I can skip the health checks if I choose. I think the government mandates that businesses offer them. But they are free. And this one was an adventure of its own. The nurses weren't the friendliest but it wasn't horrible.

      Japanese people are so skinny that I think your BMI needs to be below about 10 to be "healthy" here. Which would be classified as "dead" in many other countries. I am overweight though, that's not just Japanese math.

  3. Replies
    1. I prefer Atsuko if we're comparing the above ladies. But my girl is Mayu Watanabe if we're doing AKB48, and Yuko Oshima if we're talking Japanese models. I think I need to find a new model though, since Yuko Oshima essentially retired before I got to Japan.