Saturday, June 23, 2012

Chiba Kun Ambassadors On Nekketsu BO-SO TV

"The rising Korean super star"

Kevin Ng
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So guys, do I look like a Korean? I'm not sure why Kevin felt so, but I will welcome his compliment with both hands and open heart haha! Sounds very much like a direct translation from Malay language though, but cincai-lar.

Catching up from where I stop in the previous entry, in which I did a countdown to the live show of Nekketsu BO-SO TV (熱血BO-SO TV). Our first task as a guest was a very simple one - to clap hands during the opening. The show is led by Mr Happa Ikki (八波一起), a popular presenter and TV personality, who acts as the boss of the company. The show is being portrayed as an advertising company to promote the charm of Chiba Prefecture and joined by several staffs and reporters, known as its agents. Unfortunately for us, its advisor, Mr Morita Kensaku, who is also the governor of Chiba Prefecture couldn't make it to the show on that day.

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Woahh, never thought on day my name will appear in a Japanese show lol!

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Tried to control my machoness in front of the camera, for not wanting to appear as overly excited like a jakun in my first live TV appearance haha!

This show started its broadcast in early April 2010 on a weekly basis. Among the guests who have been invited to the show in the past were Chiba Kun (チーバくん) and also Akimoto Sayaka (秋元才加) and Kuramochi Asuka (倉持明日香), members of the idol group AKB48 which has gained enormous popularity in Japan.

Chiba Kun Ambassadors was invited to appear in the show every fortnightly beginning April this year. Our job is mainly as a commentator, to share our thoughts about the differences between Japan and our homeland for each segment in the show. So far, Zoltan Gergely Kurunczi (Hungary), Sikiru Tijani (US), Mi and Kei En (China) have appeared in the show in April and May. For June, I was invited and to pair up with Mi for the show.

The showed started with the introduction of each members in the set. As Mr Happa were introducing me, he made an impromptu request to have me stand up, to tell the whole Japan how tall I am lol! That was totally not in the script and was a spontaneous thing. So, I stood up proudly to show how tall I am, while he continued to pose me with another couple of questions. It was then that he said, "Errr, can already. You can sit down now" haha wtf!

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  Nabedana Co., Ltd. (鍋店株式会社) a sake brewing company in Kozaki town, (神崎町) in Chiba.

This week, all three segments were all about food. Maybe they knew I love food so much, that they purposely prepare such segments for me lol! First up was about an exploration of a famous wine cellar in (酒蔵探訪) in Kozaki town (神崎町) by Kuro-chan (クロちゃん). Located in Katori District, in the far northern section of Chiba Prefecture, Kozaki has been known as a village for fermentation and there are two shops which produce sake.

One of the shop which was featured in the show is Nabedana (鍋店), which has brewed the finest sake for the past three centuries. Mr Sato from Nabedana brought some of its sake to the studio for the guests to try on. It has a distinctive fragrant smell and the more you drink it, you will feel the heat produced by the sake. I however, just took a sip of the sake, 'coz I was kinda worried that I might get drunk and fall asleep halfway through the show lol!

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The varieties of sake produced by Nabedana.

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Filtration process or shibori (絞り), where bellows are used like a filter, in which moromi (final culture) are filtered to get clear sake.

The second segment was called the "Nekketsu Local Gourmet" (熱血ご当地グルメ), a corner to introduce Chiba's popular food and restaurants. This week, it was a unique sandwich from Kamogawa city (鴨川) in the southern tip of the Boso Peninsular. The hosts made the guests to guess what kind of sandwich it was, which prompt several silly answers from them.

Rikki-san said it was a whale-cum-dolphin sandwich lol wtf!

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It's smoked mackerel sandwich (サバサンドイッチ).

This special sandwich is made famous by a restaurant called FUSABUSA (里海食堂 FUSABUSA). The crispy toast combines perfectly with the freshly smoked mackerel, which also has sliced tomatoes, lettuce and onions to go in between the bread. This dish originated from Istanbul, Turkey and is a very popular dish, widely sold in coastal towns in Japan. In Turkey, it is called balık ekmek (balık=fish, ekmek=bread).

So, how did the mackerel sandwich taste like? This fishy snack takes on almost poetic resonance. Really. The mackerel fillets, generously proportioned; and the bread, bearing a beautiful char from the grilled and perfectly sized, so that fish is not lost in a sea of dough. The salad, which is fresh and crispy and if you like, piled onto your sandwich freely.

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The freshly caught mackerel are smoked before they are inserted into the bread.

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The sandwich was too good that I didn't bother to look at the camera anymore lol!

The segment that followed afterwards was "Chiba's Soul Stirring Taste" (魂を揺さぶる千葉の味). As we welcome the upcoming summer, the trio of Takeuchi Siblings (竹内兄弟) introduced the taste that represent the summer season in Chiba - watermelon.

From the show, I learned that watermelon originated from Africa and was introduced to Japan after the Muromachi Period (室町時代), from 1337 to 1573. Watermelon, known for its potassium content, is found to be effective for fatigue recovery and diuretic effect, which works wonderfully well during the hot summer months. Watermelon are widely produced in Chiba Perfecture but the most popular one is in Tomisato city (富里市), where it is known as Japan's largest watermelon production city.

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Everyone shared a funny moment during the live show.

This city is so into watermelon that there is an event called the "Watermelon Road Race" (スイカロードレース) held annually. What's unique about this event is that at every checkpoint, there would be a corner for the runners to enjoy free watermelon. At the end of the race, runners can feast on the juicy watermelons as much as they can. Sounds quite fun, isn't it?

I guess if this is done in Malaysia, the runners might bring their fruit juicer to make watermelon juice at the end of the race lol!

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"Suika Musume" (スイカ娘), a kind of pickle made of watermelon skin.

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My weird facial expression after tasting the "daughter of the watermelon" lol! But to be fair, it didn't taste that bad; the pickle taste very much like pickled cucumbers.

Back to the watermelon story, the staff from Fusa-no Eki (房の駅) has come out with two new products made of watermelon. The first one is called the "Suika Musume" (スイカ娘) or the "watermelon's daughter". It is a type of pickle made of watermelon's skin. The watermelons used are those which are still young; when their sizes are still about the size of a tennis ball.

The second product was watermelon jelly (スイカゼリー). I have eaten stuff made out of watermelon such as watermelon juice, but this is my first time to see watermelon are turned into dessert.

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Watermelon jelly, packed in a very cute container.

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This is the traditional way for the Japanese to eat their watermelon. Just kidding!

So, after three segments, all on food ended, it was also time to say goodbye to the show. Compared to the rehearsal, the forty-minute live show went by like a a flash. I'm glad that my first live appearance in a TV show was a smooth sailing journey without any silly or awkward moments, which I am famed for haha!

Ever since this story about me appearing in the show went public, whenever I chat with my friends nowadays, they will tease me with lines such as, "Yes, Mr Celebrity?" or "Ada itu olang sulah manyakk sombong". So, in return, I replied them, "Yup exactly, so from now onwards, you guys gotta take nombor giliran or book me a few days earlier whenever you wanna chat with me haha!

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Having a photo with Mi at the end of the live show.

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A group photo with everyone who appeared in the show on June 16, 2012.

Just a friendly public announcement here. I will be making a second appearance next week on 30 June 2012, on the same show again. It is also a live appearance and will start at 5:30 p.m. on Chiba TV. Do catch me if you have time! Suddenly I feel like I am talking like a celebrity already now lol!

Link of the show (16 June 2012) on the official site.

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