Naomichi Hanazono, Who Performs “Japanese Dance With Western Music,” Is Poised for a Global Breakthrough | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Naomichi Hanazono, Who Performs “Japanese Dance With Western Music,” Is Poised for a Global Breakthrough

Entertainment Reporter Toshio Ishikawa's "Behind the Scenes" of the entertainment industry: ......

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Naomichi Hanazono held a birthday dinner show. Kon Omura also attended the celebration.

Toshio Ishikawa, entertainment reporter, tells us what’s going on behind the scenes in the entertainment industry at ……

Naomichi Hanazono, a Butoh dancer and singer, celebrated his 34th birthday with a dinner show 19 years after his debut. He decided to hold the event for the first time in three years, after agonizing over whether to hold it at the COVID-19 crisis.

I first met him about 15 years ago. I have seen and heard him dance and sing often since then, but this show has definitely progressed and I felt that his fan base is growing.

The sharpness of the dances had also become wonderful. A birthday cake was prepared to celebrate, but since it was the COVID-19 crisis, instead of a song of congratulations from the fans, he and special guest Kon Omura performed a “knife-entering” ceremony.

I’m over 90 years old, but Naomichi has a long way to go. I have been a fan for more than 10 years. Today, I had to work for Lizap, but I came to Tokyo for Naomichi. I always want to see him in NHK’s Kohaku Uta Gassen.”

Mr. Omura sends his enthusiastic support. Mr. Omura, who himself works out at LYZAP, is light on his feet and looks very energetic.

Also in attendance was Mrs. Devi, an opinionated woman in the entertainment world. When we asked her about her impression of Naomichi, she replied

She said, “I greatly respect Mr. Naomichi’s efforts to promote Japanese culture while preserving the traditions of the classical arts in the age of Reiwa. His dancing is truly fascinating.

I have been supporting him whenever time permits and will continue to do so. I know you all feel his greatness, and I hope you do too.”

He praised him. The fact that many other celebrities, including designer Yumi Katsura, also attended the event shows how much his art has fascinated people.

Although we had to limit the number of people due to the COVID-19 crisis, the venue was packed with about 200 fans. One of the fans commented

“I am happy because I got to see Naomichi.

I’m happy because I got to see Naomichi,” one of the fans said.

The hotel told us, “Please limit the number of people at each table to six,” but we managed to keep the audience until the last minute. But we managed to get as many guests as possible,” said Naomichi.

Naomichi said, “I have been dancing since I was a child. He has studied Nihon buyo (Japanese classical dance) and Tsugaru shamisen (Tsugaru shamisen) since he was a child, and has named his own dance “Jyuha Shinshi (Japanese New Style),” aiming to create a new and innovative style of Japanese dance.

In October 2008, Naomichi founded “JPN dance Association” as a representative. He aims to establish a new genre that fuses Japanese dance and dance, and already has about 300 members. He feels that his name is definitely growing.

He says, “I have released a few singles so far, but they were considered the direct path of dance. But now I’m getting more demand for my singing as well.

I am very happy about that, and with the upcoming broadcast on BS-NHK on September 11, I am very happy to have more opportunities to be active.

Naomichi, who has been charming his fans not only with his dancing but also with his singing, said that next year will be an important “anniversary year” for him. About that, he said

More than half of this year has passed. I don’t know what will happen to Corona yet, but next year will mark the 20th anniversary of my debut. I would like to tour 40 places in Japan, but due to Corona, it may be only 20. For the sake of the customers who are waiting for me, I hope to make it to 40 places.

He shared his enthusiasm with us.

The one and a half hour birthday dinner show was filled with the power of his dances and the guests, and no one left their seats. Especially the way he danced Japanese dance to Michael Jackson’s hit songs made me feel that he is absolutely world-class.

In fact, Corona Mae has performed twice in Los Angeles, U.S.A., and it was a success. I think that if he were to release his Japanese dance on social networking sites such as “TikTok” with songs by not only Michael Jackson but also Lady Gaga, Billy Irish, and Bruno Mars, all of whom are currently popular, he would break out like Pikotaro, who has become world-famous.

There are issues that need to be cleared, such as copyrights, but if Naomichi becomes a worldwide hit, Japanese dance will become a global phenomenon. There is no doubt that he is that promising.

  • Interview and text by Toshio Ishikawa (Entertainment Reporter)

    Born in Tokyo in 1946. He has a unique career path from Shochiku's Advertising Department to a reporter for women's magazines to an entertainment reporter. He has appeared on "The Wide" and "Information Live Miyaneya" (both on Nippon Television Network Corporation), and currently appears regularly on "Mentai Wide" (Fukuoka Broadcasting System), "Su Matan" (Yomiuri TV), and Rainbow Town FM.

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