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Ukiyo-e book

Just found this website : http://zoomingjapan.com/recommendation/japan-journeys-famous-woodblock-prints/

Awesome information about Japan, and more importantly, there's that ukiyo-e book giveaway. Go check it out! :D



I have booked myself tickets to Singapore in November... to attend the Anime Festival Asia at Suntec! Wheeee~~ Anyone else going?? Thought I saw magnetic_rose as an official affiliate?? :D



Greeeeeetings, my dearling Livejournal friends!

How's life?





Kinda low.. at 253/400.. but never the mind!



Haven't updated for soooo long!

So much things had happened, and more to come.

Will update something huge at a later date.

Meanwhile, back to Facebook and one-liner updates. LOL~


Happy NIU Year~

Year of the Ox. 2009.

Time sure flies.

The year started well, let's just hope it will end well too.

Maan, got lots of things to deal with offline. I will probably update less nowadays, unless I got some ground-breaking stuff to share. Hehe.


Goodbye, 2008~

Resolutions for 2009:
1. Find and stick to that much-needed full-time job!! Economic outlook is bleak, so no reason to be too fussy now. *sobs*

2. Save up and make my Japan trip a reality!

3. Be more patient with people. <-Always fail at this.

Not going to make a lot of resolutions nor going to wish for stuff. Other good things that come along, if they do, will be bonuses. :X

This could very well be my last public entry for the year, so closing it with some goodies. In the form of illegal music, hah!

Utsusemi download
Artiste: Plastic Tree
Album: Utsusemi (2008)
Language: Japanese
Genre: Rock
Comment: This album is what Plastic Tree is all about before they turned into pop-ish crap with their last couple of albums. The title track has that typical Platree melancholy and it rocks!

Future download
Artiste: Dustz
Album: Future single (2008)
Language: Japanese
Genre: Indie / Rock
Comment: The debut single from this Tokyo-based band. It's fronted by Ray Fujita, the Japanese-French actor most well-known for his roles in the tokusatsu genre.

Over download
Artiste: ClearVeil
Album: self-titled mini album (2007)
Language: Japanese
Genre: Visual Kei
Comment: A new-ish band signed on to Under Code Production, with a rather harsh overtone to their music. They're sounding promising and definitely something to look out for in the VK scene!

Spiders download
Artiste: Ashbury Heights
Album: Morningstar in My Black Car EP (2008)
Language: English
Genre: Synthpop
Comment: One of Sweden's many remarkable electronic music exports. This young and dynamic duo is fast becoming my fave in the genre!

L'ombre Triste download
Artiste: Dark Sanctuary
Album: Royaume Mélancolique album (1999)
Language: French
Genre: Gothic / Dark Atmospheric
Comment: Someone sent me Dark Sanctuary's debut album recently, and I must say, they had maintained their cool sounds well throughout the years! I very much prefer their French songs over their English ones though.

Hero download
Artiste: Younha
Album: Someday (2008)
Language: Korean
Genre: Rock
Comment: 20 years old Younha is making waves not only in her homeland but also Japan. This album really showcases her powerful vocals that could sing rock numbers as well as ballads.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2009!

Tis the season to be jolly~~

Just got back from a week's trip to Singapore.

Singapore Tourism Board had been hyping about "The sweetest Christmas" using a Candyland theme this year but it didn't seem to be as grand in reality.

However, I had great fun with friends. Been eating and eating the entire week! Steamboat, coffee, sushi buffet, coffee, ice cream, hawker food, more coffee, etc. It was just feasting all the way and less shopping.

I didn't even buy any manga this trip! Maan~ was planning to get some, but ended up buying novels instead. Currently reading 犬と私の10の約束 (Inu to Watashi no 10 no Yakusoku, 10 Promises to My Dog). There's a recent movie adaptation starring Tanaka Rena.

That reminds me. How was the JLPT, you ask? Hehe.. I.. I might need a 3rd attempt next year! LOL~ I've read somewhere that 2-kyuu and 1-kyuu will have the test bi-annually starting next year. Hmm, good thing, I suppose.


I miss the rush and crush of Singapore streets. LOL~


Node of Scherzo

OH MY~! I'm so behind in Visual Kei stuff that I missed out on this one!


If you've known about this, just bear with me as I do the necessary introduction of what I know so far.

Node of Scherzo is a single-track release by a 'theatrical rock show' of the same name under KAMIJO's record label Sherow Artist Society. It features THREE vocalists of KAMIJO, Juka (ex Moi dix Mois) and Kaya (ex Schwarz Stein), and is supported by HIZAKI and Jasmine You of Versailles -Philharmonic Quintet- (Oh yeah, I wasn't aware of Versailles' name issue until today).

Very much KAMIJO's style, this song tells a story. It is the story of Darkness (Juka) and Light (KAMIJO), battling over Beauty (Kaya). I think it's an on-going act, performed at lives..?

Someone please enlighten me more on this!!


Departing from the norm.

In moments when our lives derail from the norm, do we desperately try to get back on track or do we sit back and enjoy the ride?

Are we too complacent with routine and habits that we become fearful of the unknown, which could be full of wondrous things for all we know?

I have the utmost desire to find out. I refuse to be complacent like some of the folks I know. They ooze negative vibes and I refuse to be part of that. Yet, the more I try to depart from the norm, the more I find myself back to square one. It's like a vicious cycle that refuses to break. I'm inevitably pulled back, and often against my will.

I sense the mockery from those complacent beings: "No matter how you try, it's useless. You're no better than any of us. Join us, relish in the familiar."

NO! Never!

Please do not plant seeds of doubt in me.

I will be different and I shall prove it someday. Even if that day never arrives, at least I know I had tried. The result isn't as important as the process of getting there.

Meanwhile, I shall just sit back and enjoy the ride into the unknown.


Super Natural, the current resident band at Victoria Arms, is one of the hottest live units to come to our fair city in recent months. Combining different musical styles with raw and energetic performance, the band is sure to make you move and groove! Yours Truly shares with you her recent privilege of speaking to Zureen, lead vocalist and senior member, about the band.

By Antonia Chiam, freelance writer
Photo courtesy of Super Natural

The beginning
A seven-piece live band from Johor Bahru, Super Natural derives their diverse sounds from the latest chart-topping hits to all-time favourites from the 70s, 80s and 90s. This band is fronted by the dazzling vocals of Zureen and Mazlina, two highly vibrant female vocalists. The musical talents of Alan and Along (keyboards), Nuar (bass), Lan (guitar) and Nas (drums) complete the lineup. The band leader is Azlin, their sound engineer who has over 16 years of experience in the music industry.

Azlin founded the band two years ago, when he came across some of the current members playing live in a flea market event. He was very impressed by their talents, and most importantly, their passion and showmanship in their music.

Zureen said of the members, “Most people think that it’s the frontline, or the vocalist, of a band who does the movements and interaction. But the boys, they were really into their music and that was what Azlin was looking for. He wants all the band members to actively play their parts on stage. So he gathered the boys as part of the team and that is how Super Natural started.”

On the origin of the band’s name, Zureen stated that it came about from the natural talents of the members. The musicians do not only play their respective instruments well, they can really sing too.

A wide-ranging musical repertoire
Super Natural’s live performances showcase an incredible range of styles and sounds. The band performs songs that almost span the entire musical spectrum, including rock, ballad, R&B, Latin, reggae and dance. They mostly perform in English and Malay, but depending on request and the crowd, they can also perform selected numbers in Mandarin, Cantonese, Indonesian, Japanese and Spanish.

“Sometimes, we need to see the types of patrons. Some may not instantly warm up to our music, so depending on their background, let’s say if they’re Chinese, we might sing a Chinese number to break the ice,” shared Zureen.

Having heard the band performed a Cantonese number by Beyond once, Yours Truly is very convinced by the band’s linguistic skills as well as musical talents.

“We haven’t had anything in Tamil yet,” Zureen added with a laugh.

During performances, the band members have long cables for their mics and instruments to allow them a liberal movement around the stage and below so that they can better interact with the patrons. The band is noted for a charismatic and often fun approach in engaging the audience into their show.

The Cat City experience
Zureen finds the crowd in Kuching has changed much since the last time she came to here. According to her, the crowd used to be of an older age group a few years ago, but now there are more youngsters coming to their shows. “It’s mostly a mixed-age group now, and that’s good. I like it,” she said.

She thinks the people here have really high expectations of songs and have different taste in music compare to the Johorean crowds, which tend to request more Malay and dangdut numbers. However, she thinks it is a good challenge for the band to be versatile with the different crowds and at the same time, to perform up to standard.

When asked on what they think of Kuching, she declared with enthusiasm, “We love it here! It’s a first-time trip for some of the members. The people here are really friendly, and it’s why we want to come here. We would love to come back here again. It’s one of our favourite places now.”

The band is here until end of the year.

Plans for the future
In a time where bands, signed or unsigned, are actively promoting their stuff on Cyberspace, Zureen revealed the possibility of a plan to launch a blog for the band. This allows them to put up their profile and musical portfolio and to keep their fans updated about the band’s activities.

The band also hopes to widely tour the country.

“I’m hoping that one day the whole of Malaysia will get to see Super Natural perform live. These boys are talented, they are really good musicians,” Zureen concluded positively.

Young, talented, energetic with a good sense of humor. That’s how naturally good they are. Treat yourself to live music that wows your aural and visual senses. Make sure you catch Super Natural live every night from Mondays to Saturdays at Victoria Arms, Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites. Having seen them a couple of times, Yours Truly dare to say that you will not be disappointed!

*Special thanks to Grace Balan-Law, PR Manager of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites.

This article was exclusively posted at Catscity.com.my, my fave local forum/site.


BE FOREWARNED *Fangirlism ahead*

There's an anime for 黒執事, one of my fave manga by 枢 やな (Toboso Yana)!! Premiered this month!! w00t~~~ Haven't seen any episode subbed yet though. Hmmm. Not enough awareness??

Lookie the vid~~~

Sebastian is looking HAWT!!! <3333 *squeeee*

OPENING THEME "Monokuro no Kiss" by Jrock band SID!! Wooohooo~~~ another fave! <3333 Check out the full music vid!


Intellectually intimidating


Why do some guys feel threatened by the signs of intellect from women?

The latest hot debate in a forum I frequent.


Why am I not surprised?

Korea Least Attractive Tourist Spot

By Kang Hyun-kyung
Staff Reporter

Korea is one of the least attractive countries for tourism, but the average five-star hotel rate is one of the highest among Asian countries, Rep. Choi Gu-sik of the Grand National Party (GNP) said Tuesday.

Korea ranked seventh among eight Asian countries in the ranking of attractive tourist spots, according to an opinion survey conducted by the Korea Tourism Organization.

In the poll of 7,000 foreigners aged between 18 and 64 who are familiar with the country, Japan ranked first, Singapore and Thailand joint second, followed by Hong Kong, China and Malaysia.

Read moreCollapse )

Earlier this year, President Lee Myung-bak said the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism should hammer out plans to attract more foreigners, saying the tourism industry is one of alternative engines for growth along with the environment.

Lee pledged to promote culture and medical tourism during his term to reduce the widening tourism deficit.

Source: Hankook Ilbo (30/09/08)

Hmmmm. Not surprised at all.

But what caught my attention was the last bit. Medical tourism, eh? More specifically, the plastic surgery industry? Even more specific... the trendy district of Apgujeong in southern Seoul with its numerous "beauty" clinics. A booming trade indeed. Trust the president to promote such a lucrative industry.

What surprised me more is Malaysia's ranking. A notch higher than Korea?? Amazing!


How how how it happens~

EoJjeoDa by Brown Eyed Girls

어쩌다 어쩌다 어쩌다 널 사랑하게 됐는지 내가 왜 이 꼴이 됐는지
어쩌다 어쩌다 어쩌다 내 맘 다 타버렸는지 내가 이런 바보였는지

이거 참 이럴 줄은 몰랐어 오늘도 난 지쳐 너만 기다리다
너 때문에 눈물 쏙 뺀 여자들 그 중에 하나가 되기는 싫었어
너를 바라보다 아차 싶었어 다잡았던 내 맘 놓치고 말았어
그런 나를 부르면 Oh My Honey 일분일초만에 니 앞에 있는 나

너무 멋진 멋진 그대 널 바라보면 어질어질해
너무 나쁜 나쁜 그대 다 모르는 척 웃고만 있네

어쩌다 어쩌다 어쩌다 널 사랑하게 됐는지 내가 왜 이 꼴이 됐는지
어쩌다 어쩌다 어쩌다 내 맘 다 타버렸는지 내가 이런 바보였는지

아무렇지 않은 척 해도 네게는 다 보이겠지 난

유명했어 까칠 도도 이런 내가 변해 너로 인해

고로 나를 도로 돌려놔줘 나를 봐줘 Red Alert
너와 있으면 왜 이럴까 심장이 멎어

끝이 뻔히 보이는 게임이야 나를 모두 말려 니 말만 나오면
그래도 난 어쩔 수가 없잖아 너만 생각하면 입가엔 미소만
하루 하루 고민고민 해봐도 너의 속을 몰라 깜깜한 밤이야
나만 보고 말해줘 Oh My Darling 지겹지도 않니 그 많은 여자들

너무 멋진 멋진 그대 날 바라볼 땐 아찔아찔 해
너무 바쁜 바쁜 그대 하루라도 더 보고 싶은데

어쩌다 어쩌다 어쩌다 널 사랑하게 됐는지 내가 왜 이 꼴이 됐는지
어쩌다 어쩌다 어쩌다 내 맘 다 타버렸는지 내가 이런 바보였는지

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.ME 내가 널 더 좋아하지만
Yon don't be nasty 미치겠어 나의 마음이
커커커커 커져가네 난 워워워워 워쩔까 예
오로지 그대에게 반했죠 사랑한다고 내게 말해줘

어쩌다 어쩌다 어쩌다 그렇게 넌 태어났는지 내 맘을 다 뺏어갔는지
어쩌다 어쩌다 어쩌다 내 눈 앞에 나타났는지 사랑하게 만들었는지


Eojjeoda eojjeoda eojjeoda.. neol saranghage dwaenneunji.. naega wae ikkori dwaenneunji..
How how how it happens.. I become in love with you.. Why do I become like this..


Murakami: writing and running

Murakami Haruki is one of Japan's most famous and critically acclaimed novelists, with legions of fans globally. But do you know he is also a serious runner who makes it a point to run one marathon a year?

In a new collection of essays, titled 走ることについて語るときに僕の語ること (Hashiru koto ni tsuite kataru toki ni boku no kataru koto, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running), Murakami reveals his passion for running. This book, which was published in Japan late last year, features works written between summer 2005 and autumn 2006 while he was preparing to run in the New York Marathon.

"One thing I noticed was that writing honestly about running and writing and writing honestly about myself are nearly the same thing. So I suppose it's alright to read this as a kind of memoir centered on the act of running," he said in the foreword of the English translated version of the book (translated by Philip Gabriel).

He took up running in 1982, just few years after he began his writing career. While he loves long distance running, Murakami doesn't recommend it. "I think I've been able to run for more than 20 years for a simple reason: it suits me", he said.

He shares the life lessons he's learned from running, such as enduring pain and focus.

"Most of what I know about writing, I've learned through running every day. I know if I hadn't become a long distance runner when I became a novelist, my work would have been vastly different. How different? Hard to say. But something would have been different", he said.

I'm planning to get a copy of this book; undecided to get the original Japanese or the translated English. Murakami is simply brilliant, and although I'm not into running and stuff, this ought to be another marvellous literary piece.

Buy your copy from


Conspiracy theories

Zeitgeist, the Movie (2007)

Watch this documentary with an open mind. It's truly thought-provoking.


Short one

I noticed I spend more time updating stuff on Facebook than on LJ now. FB is amazing! And so much fun than LJ, I reckon. :x I've reconnected with old friends and old uni mates, some whom I've not heard from since graduation.. which is like, what, 4 years ago?! Whoa~! Some folks are married.. WITH KIDS! Double WHOA! Haha!!

Also busy with my involvement in Soka Gakkai's peace exhibition, which will be held here in October. I will be one of the exhibition guides. Yay!

Other things (as ranted in previous locked posts), status quo for now.

Well, till next time! :D


5 seconds of emo-ness

My heart feels like it had been stabbed a thousand times over.



crisis.. one after the other..

Seems like the petrol crisis is getting from bad to worse.

Petrol companies are going on strike.. and people are panicking. Cars queuing up at petrol stations like mad.

I think I'll go pump my car tomorrow morning when everyone's at work.

Bad times.


Vampire Knight MVs

I am soooo in love with Vampire Knight anime.. and the official music videos!

Opening theme song by ON/OFF, "Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi"


Ending theme song by Wakeshima Kanon, "still doll"

As expected of Mana's production, *thumbsup*


oh noes!

Fuel price increases.... Inflation soars....


I think I need to get myself a bicycle. For realz.


Bring back the vamps!!

I can't believe they're axing my latest fave TV series!!

Save the Moonlight!! Click: http://www.moonlightarmy.com/

Life is about moving on.

Human life is a mobile thing. It is never standing still. Time never stands still for anything or anyone. Everything and everyone change, because that’s what life is all about. Moving on, moving forward, ever changing.

A foot step forward, and another, gradually building up to a pace. Walking away, walking out, going ever forward, not looking back.

It sounds simple.

If only it is truly so.

Random Korean quotes on love...

기다리는 법은 아는데,
다가가는 법을 모른다.

사랑하는 법은 아는데,
표현하는 법을 모른다.

내 마음은 아는데,
너의 마음을 모른다.

내가 널 얼마나 사랑하고 아껴도,
너의 대한것은 많이 모를것이다..


넌 아직 내남자가 아니기에..

I know how to wait ,
but I don't know how to approach.

I know how to love,
but I don't know how to express it.

I know how I feel about you,
but I don't know how you feel.

I know that although I love you so much and care for you,
I wouldn't know that much about you...

Why you ask?

Because you're not my guy yet...

。。。★★   ★★별을좋아하는사람은。。。。
。。★∴∴★ ★∴∴★꿈이많고。。。。。。。。

A person who loves stars
Has many dreams
A person who loves rain
Has many sad memories
A person who loves snow
Is pure
A person who loves flowers
Is lovely
A person who loves all of these things
Is in love right now

Vampire hotness~~

Vampire Knight episode 1!! RAW. OUT!

Kaname is soooo hot!! The artwork is soooo detailed! BEAUTIFUL!!!


Let's learn to count in Japanese!

Hahaha! This is so cool! Learning to count from 1 to 10 in Japanese, using word play. I didn't get it the first time I listened to it, but I caught on the idea the second time. Hehe.

Works like this:
Itachi no tanuki = Nuki (basic verb Nuku - to omit) Itachi's 'ta' becomes "ichi" (1)
Kani no katori = Tori (basic verb Toru - take) Kani's 'ka' becomes "ni" (2)
Sanma no manuke = Nuke (Nuku - omit) Sanma's 'ma' becomes "san" (3)
Ohashi no ohanashi = Ohashi without (Nashi) 'oha' is "shi" (4)

And so on.

So cute!

Antoinette Blue

Found Kitade Nana's PV on youtube. This is really morbid, and not quite what I had in mind (after watching D.Gray-man).


Yooo hooo?

Gina (tobeychick)... Where are youuuuu?




winter rose
美齡アントニア // 미령


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