An uplifting and colorful commercial for the newly complete Kyushu Shinkansen has just won two awards at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity!! (A gold for outdoor, and a silver for media)
If you’re the type of person, like I am, to frequently come across fun/weird videos from Japan, as friends send them to you via Facebook or Twitter, then you probably saw this commercial back in March, when it first started airing. The Kyushu Shinkansen ran only between Kagoshima and Shin-Yatsushiro from 2004, not connecting to other Shinkansen (bullet train) services which could take you elsewhere in the country. It didn’t even go to Kumamoto, which would be the next stop after Shin-Yatsushiro. … Yet, finally, on March 12, 2011, despite the devastating disasters which struck the north of the country the previous day, the Kyushu Shinkansen began operations along the full length of the island, so to speak, from Kagoshima in the south, to Hakata (Fukuoka) in the north, where it connects directly into Shinkansen service to Hiroshima, Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo, and plenty of places in between, as well as plenty of places further on. Opening ceremonies were canceled, however, on account of the disaster.
In any case, it is a most wonderful commercial, and through it I have discovered a new (new to me, that is) musical artist whose albums I am now on the hunt for :)
Maia Hirasawa, whose song “Boom!” is featured in the commercial, is a singer of Japanese descent, born 1980, and you’ll never guess where she comes from!
Sweden. Yes, like so many of my favorite bands/artists, Hirasawa is Swedish, though she has spent quite some time in Japan.
This post is getting long, so let me just leave you with one more of my favorites of her songs.
I don’t tend to go to concerts, and there are relatively few artists/bands I’d probably go out of my way to go see, but if/when I find myself able to attend a Maia Hirasawa concert, for her, I’ll gladly, eagerly, go.
I look forward to getting my hands on some of her albums. Hope you enjoy these two videos – her other songs are quite different, too; if you’re interested, I suggest you check them out. Google, YouTube, are your friends.