Apr 17 2015

Strange Taste

Category: Japan EntertainmentIchiban @ 2:26 pm

”So, what kind of music do you play?”

The four members of Strange Taste always have great difficulty in answering this question. It’s not that their sound is so unique, outlandish or ”strange” that it defies common labels to describe music, it’s just that they play such a wide range of styles that no single one could be applied adequately.

Frontman Matthew de Wilde and guitarist Naoharu Nishikata, the group’s songwriters, have for more than 18 years pooled their vastly different musical influences into songs that feel at home on stages in any environment, whether it be an inner-city livehouse, a large outdoor event, or in the gardens of the British Embassy. The resulting sound is mature, balanced and just good to listen to and tap your knees to.
The band’s live performance has punters’ ears visit a variety of moods designed and delivered to please and maintain interest for a gig that ends professionally on time, but feels over too soon. De Wilde’s lyrics deal with issues that he himself would consider “personal challenges” but are actually common to most if not all of us: human hope, loneliness, global warming, trust, war and peace, nostalgia, and the pain of failure and rejection. His banter with the audience during between-song-intermissions is like a chat over a cappuccino in a Komazawa coffee bar: friendly, in tune with local issues, and well-blended with the environment. Newcomers to Strange Taste gigs can often be seen walking away visually impressed with nods of “Now THAT was a good band!”

And the judges at the Setagaya Band Battle in February this year thought so too – awarding Strange Taste the Grand Prix, beating a total of 57 other entries.
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While the band have a number of independently produced CDs, they are currently re-working their online distribution strategy, so their recordings are currently and regrettably temporarily unavailable for public purchase. However, liking their Facebook page (Strange Taste Japan) is a good way to check out video samples of the band’s live feel, as well as stay in touch with upcoming gigs etc.
So… what kind of music do they play?
Well… you’d probably get the most accurate answer to that by just coming to a gig and getting a taste of Strange Taste!

 

Strange Taste are:
Matthew de Wilde (keys/main vocals)
Tetsuya Ando (bass)
Naoharu Nishikata (guitar/vocals)
Aki Udagawa (drums/vocals)
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Strange Taste are playing at:
☆Yotsuya Live Inn Magic on the Monday national holiday of May 4thhttp://liveinn-magic.com/access.html
☆Vanilla Mood Roppongi on Sunday June 7th
☆Setagaya City Festival, Bajikoen on Sunday August 2nd


Apr 01 2015

Silver Pron!

Category: Japan Entertainment,Japan News,Japan RelatedIchiban @ 11:15 am

Is today April Fool’s Day?
Make your own minds up over this article.

‘Silver porn’ shows fifty shades of greying Japan

PUBLISHED ON APR 1, 2015 11:31 AM

TOKYO (AFP) – Dressed in a kimono and kneeling silently on a tatami mat floor, 61-year-old Ms Yasue Tomita looks as if she might be about to perform a Japanese tea ceremony – instead she’s debuting as a porn actress.

Fluttering her eyelashes demurely as the cameras prepare to roll, Ms Tomita is proof that in Japan’s greying society you’re never too old to chase your dreams, however racy or unorthodox.

She has also become part of a flourishing niche market in Japan: “silver porn” – stretching the limits of eroticism among the elderly and overturning social norms in a country where people are expected to grow old gracefully.

Love, too, is not confined to the young, say Japan’s growing army of pensioners exploring their desires in more conventional ways, with dating agencies for the elderly reporting increasingly brisk business.

Ms Tomita confessed to being “a bit rusty” but made no apologies for her rambunctious lust for life, or her decision to put aside her knitting and crochet and launch into a career making X-rated movies.

“I like my handicrafts but I wanted to try my hand at this, while my body still works,” she told AFP before filming began.

“I do like sex, and this is my last chance before I get too old. I’m very nervous. I wonder if I should really do it, especially in front of so many people, but everyone should follow their dream.

“I just hope I can keep up,” added Ms Tomita, who used to work in a factory manufacturing car parts and registered for an agency in Japan’s booming “adult video” (AV) industry with her daughter.

“We applied through the Internet together. I got offered a job first, which surprised her a bit.”

In ageing Japan, around 32 million people – a quarter of the population – are 65 or over. Thanks to a low birthrate and growing longevity, that proportion is expected to rise to 40 per cent by 2060.

With statistics like that, it’s no surprise that geronto-porn is big business.

Adult movies rake in about US$20 billion (S$27.4 billion) a year, and those featuring unashamedly wrinkly men and women account for between 20 per cent and 30 per cent of that market, industry insiders say. Sales have rocketed over the past decade as more of Japan’s perky seniors celebrate their mojo.

Though not for the faint-hearted, the genre took off thanks largely to now-80-year-old Shigeo Tokuda, the twinkle-toed king of granddad porn, who has peeled off for hundreds of hardcore flicks with titles such as “Forbidden Elderly Care” and “Manic Training of Lolitas”.

Pornography became widely available in Japan in the 1900s, with seventeenth century Edo-era woodblock erotic prints being many people’s first introduction to the genre.

Attitudes towards sex are less prudish than in other parts of the world and fun-loving fertility festivals, where giant wooden phalluses are joyfully carried around towns, take place annually in parts of Japan.

“Everyone has different sexual tastes or fetishes,” said director Fumiaki Kimura. “Elderly porn has become very popular over the past 10 years or so. Older couples watch together because they can feel a connection, a sense of closeness or familiarity, being the same age.

“It’s like a forbidden pleasure,” he added. “Young people watch it because they’re fed up with the regular stuff – whatever turns you on. You do hear about actors taking Viagra, but that can be dangerous for the older guys.”

Mr Tokuda, who beds actresses young enough to be his granddaughter, also co-starred with Ms Fujiko Ito, just two years his junior, the pair frolicking in hot springs or on tatamis with Ms Ito in a kimono.

Ms Natsuko Kayama, 44, a porn star with 25 years’ experience in the industry, told AFP she wanted to outlast the oldest swingers in town.

“I’d love to be the oldest AV actress,” she laughed. “I want to break the record if I can – if I last that long.”

Far away from the steamy film sets, others entering the autumn of their lives are simply interested in finding companionship, perhaps after losing or leaving their first long-term partner.

But with habits set, it isn’t always easy to meet someone, and many turn to one of hundreds of matchmaking services catering to older clientele, such as the Ai-Senior company, which boasts a total of 6,000 registered members, some in their 90’s.

Later life dating hit the headlines last year with the grisly case of the “Black Widow” – 68-year-old Chisako Kakehi, who was arrested in November accused of murdering her septuagenarian fourth husband with cyanide.

Placing adverts for an “unattached elderly man with assets”, she was said to have amassed millions of dollars in insurance and other payouts over 10 years as a result of the death of a string of spouses and lovers.

Most elderly daters, happily, have far more felicitous stories to tell.

Mr Yosuke Komori, 66, and his 57-year-old wife Mutsuko met through another dating agency. Both previously married, they wed four years ago and still hold hands like smitten teenagers.

“I think a healthy sex life is an added bonus of marriage,” said Mrs Komori, who got married in a daringly short dress, to the horror of her daughters.

“I think perhaps my husband is sufficiently confident in that department. But the most important thing in a relationship is mutual understanding.”

For bashful Mr Komori, it was never only about the physical side of things.

“I feel most contented when she is happy,” he said sheepishly. “I don’t want to sound soppy, but I just want to make her smile. What’s important is love, actually.”

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/asia/east-asia/story/silver-porn-shows-fifty-shades-greying-japan-20150401#sthash.1WcHsdCx.dpuf

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Mar 31 2015

Miss Universe Japan

Category: Japan News,Japanese GirlsIchiban @ 11:18 pm

OMG!!! A HA-Fuuuuuuu!

 

TOKYO: Born and bred in Nagasaki, Ariana Miyamoto went to study in the US before becoming a model. On Mar 12, she won the Miss Universe Japan title. However, beauty pageant fans are not unanimous in their acceptance of her victory, as some prefer a pure blooded Japanese to wear the crown.

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Check out all the contestants.

 

 


Miss Miyamoto is the pageant’s first mixed-race winner, being born to a Japanese mother and an African-American father.

 

 

 

 

“I saw the result of Miss Universe Japan. My honest feeling was: does it make sense that a foreigner represents Japan?” wrote a Twitter user. “Miss Universe Japan is not Japan,” read another tweet.

 

 

 

Japan is still far from being considered a multi-racial society. As of 2014, there were only 2.356 million foreigners living in Japan or two per cent of the entire population. In response, the Japanese Government is easing laws to allow more foreigners to live in the country.

Although the move has attracted a record 13 million foreign tourists last year, the rate of new foreigners relocating to Japan has by contrast increased only very slowly.

For some foreign residents, they feel like they are treated differently simply because they are not Japanese. “The older Japanese don’t like foreigners much. They ask me to go away,” said a Filipino woman.

“I’m a Singaporean. They don’t speak badly about Singaporeans. But it sometimes happen. I get feedback from people about other countries,“ said a Singaporean man.

On the contrary, if foreigners are just passing through the country, they are usually treated quite well. “Even if they don’t speak the language, they can point to the right direction, hand signal things away,” said an Asian-American traveller.

With the Japanese population on decline, its Government has been relaxing visa requirements, particularly to Southeast Asian nationals.

– CNA/pp

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Mar 10 2015

Tokyo St Patrick’s Day Parade 2015

Category: Japan RelatedIchiban @ 9:49 am

The Festival is held in conjunction with St.Patrick’s Day Parade held by Irish Network Japan Tokyo in Omotesando. This year they mark the 23rd parade! See below the video of last year’s parade. Visit there website from here to check out the details!

Guinness time…

Thanks to Diageo(Guinness, Kilkenny, Baileys), Dubliners, IDA, Enterprise Ireland, IJCC, Shannons, Finn McCools, The Hub, DCU, Harman, H&K and many more for making all this possible.
お問い合わせ;contact_inj_jp@inj.or.jp
Enquiries : English Japanese
Japanese : Website in Japanese

★St. Patrick’s Day Parades 2015 around Japan★ Save the Date !
フォロワーの皆様、明けましておめでとうございます!
今年ももうすぐ「アイルランド・フェスティバル」の季節がやってきます。今年もイベント情報を本ページで発信していきますので、よろしくお願いいたします。 全国各地のセント・パトリックス・デー・パレード、第2回アイ・ラブ・アイルランド・フェスティバルの開催予定は以下の通りです。今から予定を空けておいてくださいね!
★St. Patrick’s Day Parades 2015 around Japan★

Saturday, 14 March 3月14日(土)
Yokohama 横浜 http://inj-yokohama.com/
Nagoya 名古屋 http://inj.or.jp/group/inj-nagoya
Kumamoto 熊本 http://parade.kumamoto-ireland.org/
Sunday, 15 March 3月15日(日)
Tokyo 東京 http://inj.or.jp/group/inj-tokyo
Fukuoka 福岡 http://www.celtic.or.jp/
Okinawa 沖縄 http://kozaweb.jp/
Saturday, 21 March 3月21日(土・祝)
Chiba 千葉 http://chiba.inj.or.jp/
Takamatsu 高松 http://inj.or.jp/group/shikoku-inj
Ireland Festival in Osaka 2015
March 22, 2015 (Sun)
Nanba Dotonbori Tonbori Riverwalk
Sponsored by INJ Osaka Festival Executive Committee

http://irishnjosaka.web.fc2.com/index.html

★I Love Ireland Festival 2015★
Sunday, 15 March 3月15日(日)
10:00 – 18:00
at Yoyogi Park, Tokyo 東京・代々木公園イベント広場

http://www.iloveireland.net/

St-Paddy's-Tokyo-2015

INJ WEBSITE
Contact us
Facebook :
English (General Japan and Tokyo) : www.facebook.com/groups/irishnetworkjapan/
Japanese: www.facebook.com/groups/inj.nihongo/
Shikoku : www.facebook.com/groups/154769474607271/
Yokohama: http://www.facebook.com/IrishNetworkJapanYokohama/
Embassy Ireland Festival site :www.facebook.com/IrelandFestivalJapan
Also on Twitter @IrishEmbJapan
Thanks again to Diageo(Guinness, Kilkenny, Baileys), Dubliners, Jameson, IDA, Enterprise Ireland, IJCC, Shannons, Finn McCools, The Hub, Hard Rock Cafe, Hobgoblin, DCU and many more for making all this possible.

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Mar 10 2015

I LOVE CHEESE

Category: Tokyo FoodIchiban @ 8:55 am

Our friends at I Love Cheese are having another ….

Cheese tasting party at Dining Bar BBC, Akasaka

4 April at 17:00

Dining BAR BBC              Facebook page here:

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don’t be an April fool wait till the 4th and get your wine and cheese on!

 

PASS THE CHEESE, PLEASE

by Julian Ryall  Original article here:

UK firms take slice of tough Japan market

The proud noses of our friends across the English Channel have been out of joint ever since it was revealed that the approximately 400 different types of cheese produced in France is a pale shadow of the more than 700 varieties now made in the UK.

Moreover, a renaissance in demand for top-quality, niche British cheeses means that figure is still growing.

While we may not produce the most in terms of volume—the Americans take that particular title, thanks to their vast appetite for processed and mass-produced mozzarella and cheddar—or consume the most per head—the average French person eats a whopping 26.3kg of cheese every year—British cheese-makers are at the top of the craft when it comes to taste, texture and variety.

This makes it even more annoying for Brits in Japan to be confronted by a limited range of limp and lifeless processed cheese in an average Japanese supermarket.

“I couldn’t claim that we had any experience when we set the company up three years ago. We were just enthusiastic and massive consumers [of cheese]”, said Sean Brophy, managing director of I Love Cheese Co., Ltd. “And I couldn’t get what I wanted here”.

After starting on a limited scale, the firm is now importing up to 60kg of top-quality, artisan cheeses from the UK every month, said Stephen Davies, president.

Sourced from specialist makers covering the highlands of Scotland to Cornwall, I Love Cheese is selling to individuals through its website, and increasingly building contacts with restaurants throughout Tokyo to stock British dairy products.

“The business grew out of a conversation I had with Stephen about four years ago. We initially talked about opening a specialist shop for British cheese, but when we looked into it more closely, the costs were simply prohibitive”, said 54-year-old Brophy, a freelance technical translator who is originally from Coventry but has been in Japan for 24 years.

There followed a fairly steep learning curve on British cheeses, the local market here, and forging relationships with manufacturers in the UK.

The pair also had to figure out the complicated process of importing what the Japanese tax authorities consider to be a luxury foodstuff, on which they impose heavy duties.

“It has been tricky”, admits 43-year-old Davies, from Bromsgrove in the West Midlands, who balances the cheese business with his job in a specialist travel agency.

“We are taxed under CIF [Cost, Insurance and Freight], which means that the rate is determined by combining what we paid for the cheese plus the freight costs”, said Davies. “And that obviously makes our costs higher and the price for the consumer higher.

“What we find puzzling is that the tax authorities do not use the same calculation for other goods that might be considered luxury items”, he said.

British beer and wine, for example, are exempt. Equally, cheese that is imported in bulk from some of the largest manufacturers, such as Australia and New Zealand, is also exempt from all taxes if it is to be used in other types of processed food here.

“The high taxes obviously mean that there is a limit on how low we can go on our prices, but we are hopeful that something positive might come out of the international trade agreement that is being discussed between Japan and the European Union”, Brophy added.

Around 80% of the people who purchase on-line are British expats who would simply not otherwise be able to get their hands on something like a Berkswell Artisan ewes’ milk cheese, coated in its distinctive thick rind, or a Yarg that has been wrapped in the leaves of nettles.

The remaining 20% are Japanese, said Davies. The business partners are aiming to build up a solid base of expat customers at the same time as sharing their love for British cheese with more Japanese people.

In time, they anticipate that the split will be reversed, with perhaps even 90% of their business coming from high-end restaurants across Japan.

One method of doing that is by holding regular cheese-tasting events at bars and restaurants around Tokyo. The I Love Cheese roadshow made an appearance at The White Fox restaurant near Oji Station, opened by classically trained British chef Trevor Blyth in 2006.

“It has always been quite difficult to get good British cheese because there is one major importer of top-quality European cheeses, but they focus on French and Italian makers, and have a very limited selection of British cheeses”, said Blyth. “And they’re expensive.

“The food we serve here is tapas-style, a fusion of French and Japanese cooking, but it also fits very well with British cheeses and wines, and our sales of UK cheese varieties are doing very well now”, he said. “We are even finding that some older Japanese people are stopping in here as they change trains on their way home and having a glass of wine and a selection of cheese”.

Arrayed on his counter are just some of the I Love Cheese offerings, including a dark and crumbly Aged Leicestershire Red, a round of the very popular Capricorn Somerset goat’s cheese and a Lincolnshire Poacher. Veins course through the dark orange of a Blue Shropshire, while the Sage Derby is flecked with green.

“I really believe there is a great deal of potential demand for these sorts of cheeses here”, Blyth said, adding that new scientific research is helping, as it is debunking some of the myths about cheese being unhealthy.

Cheese that is made in a traditional way and only contains natural fat is actually good for the human digestive system, according to studies, although the stabilised fat typically found in processed cheese is a different matter.

The Alvis family, owners of Lye Cross Farm in Somerset, have already made substantial inroads into the South Korean market with their hand-made West Country Farmhouse Cheddar, and are looking to build on the contacts they have in Japan.

“We have found that one of the difficulties is that the channels to market are very heavily structured”, Tim Harrap, head of collaboration for the firm, told BCCJ ACUMEN. “They have been in place for so many years that the distribution networks are pretty rigid and difficult to break out from”.

Harrap took part in a three-day trade mission to Japan with Dacian Ciolo, European commissioner for agriculture and rural development.

The aim was to promote Lye Cross Farm’s organic cheeses and its Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cheese, a label that indicates a foodstuff that originates in a specific town or region, which has characteristics linked to that place and is produced in a defined geographical area. Lye Cross Farm’s production facilities are a mere 10km from the village of Cheddar.

“I went on a similar trade mission to China a few years ago and it proved successful”, Harrap said. “We are now doing a lot of business with our PDO cheese in South Korea and we would like to develop other markets, such as Japan.

“I’m hoping this trip helps to build our credibility in the market, builds the profile of Lye Cross Farm, and that we can take things forward from there”, he explained.

While cheese has traditionally been considered a French speciality among Japanese consumers, Blyth believes a new generation of cheese-lovers here might be favouring imports from the UK.

“Until now, a lot of Japanese didn’t even realise that Britain makes cheese—and that it can be so good”, he said.

www.ilovecheese.jp

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Mar 10 2015

Kozue Kuriyama Jazz Pianist

Category: Japan EntertainmentIchiban @ 6:51 am

If you love great jazz, you’ll love Kozue. Check out her site and download some of her songs here or from itunes if you can!
Go and see her play April 5th and 15th at Roppongi’s Softwind!

A versatile pianist and composer, Kozue Kuriyama has performed with Dave Liebman, Victor Mendoza, Fernando Huergo, Winston Maccow, Rick Overton, Artem Chirkov, Pasha Tseitlin, Jeffery Nicholson and Emi Kuriyama.

Kozue was born and raised in Chiba, Japan. She began playing piano at the age of three, and composed her first piece at sixteen. Since then, she has developed her own unique playing and composing sound.



Kozue-Kuriyama-Live

 

 

Taken on an iPhone but still good quality…

A 2009 graduate of the Tokyo College of Music, Kozue was exposed to a wide variety of music while attending school. She studied classical piano performance with Atsuko Okada and Masahiro Kawakami, and jazz theory and improvisation with Rick Overton. After participating in the International Music Festival 2008 and 2009 in Portugal, her passion for jazz was awoken and she made the decision to trust it. After graduating, she continued performing with her sister, vocalist Emi Kuriyama. They recorded their first album together, “Power,” in the summer of 2009, for which Kozue composed and performed.

Kozue graduated from The Berklee College of Music in 2011, where she was
immersed in jazz and contemporary music. She studied with legendary musicians, including Nando Michellin, Leo Blanco, Ross Ramsay, Jeff Covel, Winston Maccow, David Fiuczynski and Victor Mendoza. She received a number of scholarship awards, including the Classical Performance Award in 2010 and the MBNA Professional Music Award in 2011, and several of her compositions were presented at various showcase concerts held at the Berklee Performance Center in 2011.

Now she leads her group, named the Kozue Kuriyama Jazz Quartet, where she is joined by Zac Zinger(Sop/Alt Sax), Kozue(Pno), Alejandro Zorrilla(Bs), and Oscar Suchanek(Ds). The group has been playing together for over a year, and it is currently recording its first album, with an expected June release date.

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Mar 10 2015

NinjaGirl

Category: Japan Entertainment,Japanese Girls,Korean GirlsIchiban @ 6:38 am

Check out up and coming interviewer Ninja-Girl’s homepage, twitter and FB pages.

NinjaGirl (aka Tomoka) is the main interviewer of her site. She interviews various talented individuals including actors, photographers, dancers, models and other gifted people who deserve larger recognition.
One of her main visions for the project is to promote foreign talents in Japan while promoting Japanese talents globally.

ninja-sexy

NinjaGirl went to the US as an exchange student, originally with the intention of becoming a special-effects make-up artist.

She has worked with numerous people in the entertainment industry including Rick Baker, Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks) and Michael J. Fox among many others. Upon returning to Japan, NinjaGirl was employed by TBS as a TV reporter. She has also worked as a radio personality (FM Tokyo, Radio Nippon) for over five years and continues to provide voice-overs for TV commercials.

NinjaGirl also has extensive experience in the fashion industry and currently assists clients with their personal styling. She is also currently involved in the entertainment, film and television industries in both Japan and the US. She has also recently written a novel with her mother which garnered top sales on Amazon Japan.

Please share the NinjaGirl website with your friends and help spread word of all of the amazing individuals she has interviewed!

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Mar 10 2015

Win a trip to Japan

Category: Japan RelatedIchiban @ 6:28 am

One App for Japan!

An app for visitors to Japan!
Take our survey, give us your feedback and one lucky winner will get two round trip BUSINESS CLASS TICKETS to Japan!

one-app-japan

And don’t forget to try the dating app with your Japanichiban Friends log in details.

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Jan 30 2015

All aboard

Category: Japan NewsIchiban @ 4:06 am

All aboard! Never gets old.

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Jan 27 2015

Jihadi John aka Mohammed Emwazi memes

Category: Japan NewsIchiban @ 9:03 am

Mohammed Emwazi

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese envoy in Jordan expressed hope that both Japanese hostage Kenji Goto and a Jordanian pilot held by Islamic militants will return home “with a smile on their faces,” as questions rose Tuesday over the government’s handling of the crisis.

How Japan is fighting back at Jihadi John with MEMES: Images of ISIS executioner cutting kebab meat and posing with a selfie stick go viral as nation shows it won’t be silenced over new hostage threat.

  • Jihadi John seen threatening to Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto this week

    • Demanded $200million within 72 hours or said he would kill hostages
    • As deadline approached Japanese began creating internet memes
    • Darkly comic images shared online as a mark of defiance against ISIS 

    Showing the familiar sight of fearful men kneeling in orange jumpsuits in the desert, the latest footage of Jihadi John caused despair across the world when it appeared this week.

    In the latest clip, the Islamic State enforcer demanded a $200million ransom to free Japanese men Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto, giving them just 72 hours to live.

    But as the deadline approached the Japanese public responded with a show of defiance by creating dozens of darkly comic internet memes mocking the deranged ISIS killer.

    In the pictures, which have been widely shared online, the masked murderer is seen using his knife to carve kebab meat, taking part in a cooking show, and holding a selfie stick.

    The vast majority of the posts are written in Japanese, but one in English reads: ‘Tomorrow will be sad but it will pass and ISIS will still be a big joke. You can’t break our spirit.’ 

     for video

  • chefmini

brascardslegokimmickey

 

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