News Sushi: Morsels of News from Japan and Beyond #23

Editor Note: It is Friday and that means it is time for the World Famous, soon to be Intergalactic Famous, News Sushi from our very own, Hamish Downie. He brings us a decidedly different slant on Pop Culture as viewed through the lens of a non-native living in Japan. Thank you Hamish for your insights.



Nice to see you again! Are you having a good Friday? Are you ready to get healthy?


We’ve got some great health related news sushi this week… so let’s get to it! DJ…

We have a great new remix of my friend Thea’s featured track, “On the way you go” – Get it here:


American Independence Day was a while back, but this delicious offering from my friend Maryann Celis is still great! As she says, “Happy 4th!! Nothing says freedom like fried zucchini blossoms.” If you say so MaryAnn!

Happy 4th!! Nothing says freedom like fried zucchini blossoms #4thofjuly

A post shared by MaryAnn Celis (@maryanncelis) on

MaryAnn and I used to meet every Sunday in Tokyo and cook dinner for each other. I still think her Tiramisu is one of the best I’ve ever tried (it was the best until I had my friend (and future supporting actress in my feature film) Irina’s Tiramisu)…

If you’ve got a dream and think you’re stuck in a job that you hate, think of MaryAnn. When I knew her, we were back in Nova (Japanese English Conversation School)… but, she had a dream, and she ran the Tokyo Marathon, then she went to Harvard. Then, got a job at the UN – and has been going from strength to strength since then.


Themes in Felicity’s indie movie


Kaori Takee 竹江 香織

TGG: By now, Kaori Takee should be famous to readers of News Sushi, I’ve featured her more than anyone else! But for anyone in the back row who hasn’t been keeping up, can you please introduce yourself to our readers?

KT: Well first of all, what an honor that you keep me in your thoughts and feature me. It means the world that you support me, and of course I support you too! I’m Kaori, and I’m a California girl raised by a Japanese purist father. I laugh, but he’s great. He’s a chef so my world with sushi is well informed, along with food. But, me — I am a youtuber who has been featured on various panels on digital spaces like Collider. The entertainment industry is tough though and I’ve seen a lot of happenstances that has discouraged me from it. I still love the on-air stuff, but recently I fell in love with fitness. It’s a place where you can control your health and I like to go a step further and help people through support, motivation, and simply believing in everyone who wants to take a healthy lifestyle journey with me. It’s become a huge passion – to the point that I am now a wandering fitness expert, online coaching and training people. I love this new gig so much.

TGG: You have such an incredible portfolio of cosplay. I was so impressed with the Laura Croft one. What goes into creating the perfect cosplay outfit and photo?

KT: Why thank you. Well for me, a perfect cosplay is just feeling really good, sexy, and embodying that character. Every character that I’ve chosen has a special place in my mind. Perfect cosplay outfit is giving your own take, perfect photo is imaging and posing. Is that a good answer? I am super chill when it comes to taking photos, so I don’t put much thought other than getting my outfit together and just enjoying playing the character during that time frame.

TGG: As a Online and TV Host, you’ve interviewed everyone from filmmakers to the WWE to George Takei. Who was your favourite person to interview, and what was the craziest thing you’ve learnt?

KT: That is SO tough! Everyone (almost) that I’ve interviewed has added value to me in some way. I would say though, and maybe because I’m an underdog type of person, I’ve found a lot of voice actors interesting. They are so underrated and they are also more open and genuine than a lot of the people I’ve interviewed. I’ve learned that fame is fleeting and they are absolutely not better than us in any capacity, and it drives me nuts that just because someone is on TV or has a crap ton of IG followers, it creates this idea that they are better than us. It’s so not true. Especially since many are OF COURSE going to put their best foot forward on social media or during interviews! I don’t fan girl. You can be Tom Cruise and I wouldn’t date you if you didn’t have kindness or we didn’t connect. That industry is so full of fluff…. I just want everyone to know we are all human and deserve whatever we desire. Don’t let “status” trap you.

TGG: You’ve now parlayed success into a fitness business. Could you tell us what inspired your new career?

KT: Oh yes – well about 2 years back, I was hitting depression. Feeling not good enough in the entertainment industry. Feeling always slighted. Seeing not-so-kind people make it big because they knew who to talk to. I’ve seen the BTS and a lot of people are NOT who the masses think they are. But it’s image, and people feed into it. I would ask myself literally, is it because I am too kind to others (the way I was raised to treat everyone the same) or is it cause I’m not talented? I was just defeated constantly getting roadblocks and hits with my self esteem. I went to a bootcamp session and for those 45 mins I noticed my brain stopped feeding me negativity. Even for just those 45 mins, I was stress free. I started having something to look forward to. I had attainable goals, seeing a finish line and not feeling like it was up to fate and who you know… I felt that no matter what life was throwing at me, I had full control of my body during my workouts. And the physical changes are great but secondary to empowering and arming yourself with the knowledge that you are in full control of your body. And I want people to experience what I have. I’m far from my goals (cause i love to eat) but I know I want to challenge myself by continuing!

TGG: You and I met a number of years ago in Japan, and recently you achieved a long cherished goal and reconnected with your Japanese family. Could you tell us how that came about?

KT: Oh man it was so lovely. It was too short of a day but man, do you realize how important and beautiful family is. Can barely know each other but the room is filled with joy and love – wanting to share and catch up on so much time lost.

TGG: If anyone has a fitness goal out there, what is the one thing they can start doing today that would get them closer to their goal?

KT: Well, I’d say join my challenge – I am a coach and for a very reasonable fee I can be there with program designs and accountability for getting to your workouts and eating the right stuff. But if i’m getting off the marketing part (which I’m bad at) – I’d say whichever your goal is, food is key. You can be a gym rat but if you are eating the wrong foods, you won’t progress much and even demotivate yourself. Choose the right foods. What are your goals? Hit me up, I’d like to help you.

TGG: Now, for anyone who wants to look like the superheroes that they read, watch and dream about, how can then get in contact with you?

KT: Please reach out to me at
I am so ready to help you out if you want.



Here’s a few fun things I’ve collected from around the world for you! First up… the Munich Surfers!

Editor Note: The Facebook video Hamish originally had included was not public so, it did not display. I chose a Youtube video from a public source. Thanks to O’Neill for the video.

You might think that Munich is nowhere near the sea, and you’d be right. But, there is a river moat that accidentally became a surfing hot spot when a bunch of logs fell in. Now, it’s a tradition!

You might remember me sharing Matt’s work before, but here he is again as Superman doing Acroyoga!

Is that ‘The Grudge’? No… it’s News Sushi favourite Adam J Yeend! Doing a mud cleanse!

#sundayvibes #detox that face.

A post shared by Adam J. Yeend (@ajyeend) on

And finally, it’s Australian composer Guy Gross, who did the music for cult favourite “Farscape”… and for a bit of trivia, my sister was also an extra in an episode!

Farscape from Guy Gross on Vimeo.

Finally, here is Jasmine Croft, who I knew as a little kid when she tagged alone to her mother’s Art Classes. Now she’s starting her own fashion business… and here is a sneak peek!


That’s all for this week… it’s been great having you!


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