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(English) Darrell Smith “OCEANSIDE” CD Release Live

(English) To celebrate the release of Darrell Smith’s new album OCEANSIDE, a special concert has been announced. Nine of Japan’s top players will make up Darrell’s backing band, including GODIEGO guitarist, Asano Takami. Darrell performs songs from his albums OCEANSIDE and Made in Japan. Merchandise (t-shirts and tote bags) available too. This concert is sure to be a moving experience for all.

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(English) Hojoya Hajiki

(English) Hakata doll craftsmen and their apprentices finished packing 1,200 sets of Hojoya Hajiki in wooden boxes on Aug. 20 at Hakozaki Shrine. They will be sold at 8:00 a.m. on Sep. 12 at Hojoya, one of three major festivals in Fukuoka City. The festival runs from Sep. 12 ~ 18. The name hajiki derives from a Japanese verb haji-ku meaning “to flip” or “to repel.” So Hojoya Hajiki is considered as a sort of lucky charm to ward off bad luck. The set includes 27 pieces of hajiki or flat ceramics with different designs. Each piece is created under a given theme that changes every year. They are not for children to play with but for display and are made by bisque-firing the clay, same as those for creating Hakata dolls. It took two months that the craftsmen create all those items. This year’s Hojoya Hajiki set features Hakata’s major events, local specialties, and historic items and people such as the gold seal, Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival, motsunabe (beef offal stew), Kuroda Kanbei (Josui), and the Western Japan Ohori Fireworks Fans of Hojoya Hajiki often queue the day before, and, in many cases, they sell out very quickly. Source: Nishinippon Shimbun 8/21

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(English) Women’s Advancement Talk Session in Fukuoka

(English) Fukuoka Prefecture is organizing an international event to promote awareness of women’s advancement in workplaces and communities. Around the same time many events related to the advancement of women in Japan with distinguished international speakers will be held.

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(English) The Smallest Fireworks Festival

(English) Kids’ photo studio “Acestudio” in Torikai Shrine holds a family event on Aug. 30, called “The Smallest Fireworks Festival (世界一小さな花火大会)”. In contrast to summer’s huge fireworks displays, this event is dedicated to the little ones. There’s a kid’s sparkler relay, and somen nagashi for children too. For the adults, there’s ¥100 food and drinks including beer. Professional photos will be taken of the event and uploaded online later.

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(English) International Band Night 2014

(English) If you like The Beatles, and have yet to visit Cavern Beat (Fukuoka’s very own Cavern Club), then International Band Night, on Saturday 27th September 2014, is the perfect opportunity! International Band Night features six live acts: “Lorraine Disco Special”, a Japanese one man guitar/vocal rock’n'roll act; “Nagasaki Ukestra”, a nine piece international ukelele/vocal group; “Saloon”, a Japanese rhythm and blues band playing Chuck Berry covers and more; “The Routes”, a cult garage rock group; “Godzilla Snacks” a US style indie rock trio; and alternative hard rock by “Chattering Man”, who will be celebrating the release of their debut album at this event.

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(English) The 5th Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale 2014

(English) First held in 1999, this year marks the fifth edition of the Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale (FT5 for short). The international exhibition is held under a different theme every three years to showcase the most promising artists from across Asia. Highly acclaimed both in Japan and around the world for its focus on contemporary Asian art, the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum aims to create a space of art exchange between Fukuoka and Asia through the event.

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(English) Darrell Smith

(English) Darrell Smith is Fukuoka’s Piano Man, regularly finding his audience “in the mood for a melody”. Born in Japan to American missionary parents, he spent one year in California for every four years in Fukuoka and Japan. Music was always a huge part of life – first being exposed to gospel music in church, his interest expanded through childhood (when he spent his monthly allowance on records by UK artists such as U2 and The Cure). Playing saxophone and piano in school, Darrell was 20 when landed his first professional gig in Fukuoka. But it was an eleven-year stint at the Fukuoka Grand Hyatt that’s to thank for his nickname “Pianoman” – a nod to Billy Joel, whose hit song was requested perhaps a few too many times. Nowadays Darrell’s busy schedule includes playing at weddings, voice-over and narration jobs, songwriting for commercials, radio presenting, and preparing for the release of his third solo album “Oceanside”. Being Darrell’s first time to release a full-length collection of all-original material, the album has been a personal journey six years in the making. Each Monday, Darrell hosts TENJIN UNITED on LOVE FM 76.1 – a show for which he personally selects all the music. Besides performing on stage, it’s his next favorite thing. His new CD “Oceanside” will be launched with a live show on Sep. 13 (Sat.) 18:30~ at Resola NTT Yume-Tenjin Hall.

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Fukuoka City Bulletin September 2014

从福冈市政府发行的《市政信息报》中挑选对FUKUOKA NOW的读者有用的信息!

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(English) Congrats Hakata

(English) With its first floor wrapped in a see-through vinyl curtain, Congrats Hakata feels like a yatai. When we went, we saw all kinds seated around the triangular island counter: chatting couples, co-workers enjoying a bottle a wine, and foreign tourists feasting on Congrats’ trademark meat dishes. The most popular menu item is the 300g sirloin steak. It is slow-cooked over charcoal and served with chimichurri, a tangy South American sauce made from chopped parsley and minced garlic. Congrats’ generous portions make sharing with friends easy. There is also a lengthy wine list, so why not have a bottle of natural French or Italian wine (¥3,000~) with your meal? The wonderfully aromatic Moroccan lamb brochette is a simple yet elegant kebab that will keep you coming back for more. Congrats uses different spices and seasonings for each type of meat in order to bring out the respective flavors. We also recommend the Greek-style fried octopus, and don’t forget to order the focaccia bread—it’s baked fresh in the Congrats kitchen.

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