Popular voice actress and singer Sumire Uesaka hosts a radio show on Radio Osaka titled Uesaka Sumire no Bunka-bu wa Yoru Aruku (Sumire Uesaka’s Culture Club Walking at Night).
She invites cultural figures from various industries, and along with her assistant, Kana Hayase, aspires to be ‘the (self-proclaimed) most intellectual anime radio show in Japan’ The guest lineup so far has included: a courtroom sketch artist, a singer, a railroad traveler, an anime director, a professional wrestler, and more.
The show has gained a lot of popularity as Sumire Uesaka enjoys satisfying her intellectual appetite and catching up with a wide variety of topics with Kana Hayase. They have held several public recordings and even received an award at the 3rd Annual Anime Radio (Ani-Raji) Awards.
Exclusive Session and Interview at Nakano Broadway
A special winter edition of the show was recorded, titled Sumire Uesaka’s Culture Club Walking at Nakano Broadway. Our friends at the KAI-YOU editorial staff got the opportunity to accompany them on location for an exclusive photo session and interview!
TBS’ RadioCloud website streamed the show over the course of 8 installments. I hope the photos in this article can make you feel like you were there!
We also interviewed both Kana Hayase and Sumire Uesaka between their recordings. Kana Hayase smiled saying, ‘I might not be here if I weren’t doing this radio show with Sumipe-san’, and Sumire Uesaka said, ‘Kanape adds a different spice to the show.’ ‘Sumipepe’ and ‘Kanape’ are of course referring to our stars, Uesaka and Hayase. We heard some behind-the-scenes chat too that you never get to hear in the show.
Also, we got to hear how Nakano Broadway attracted Sumire Uesaka, who has been a regular visitor since she was a junior-high school student. Please enjoy the photo report!
Photography by: Tokiko Tagami | Interviewed and Edited by Kento Hasegawa
Magic Phrase: ‘Please write the bill to Radio Osaka!’
This recording is to introduce shops in Nakano Broadway, aka, ‘the sacred spot of sub-culture’. The pair is visiting various different shops, including Sumire Uesaka’s favorites. With 50,000 yen in hand that Radio Osaka gave them for the show, they are spending it on whatever attracts them!
First, the two visited ‘Mandarake Kaiba‘ on the 4th floor of Nakano Broadway. As they claim to sell old books that don’t fit the mainstream, they deal with books on art, literature, photography, sci-fi, picture books, spirituality, hobbies, entertainment, and other sub-culture related topics.
Both of them were attracted to an original issue of ‘Omoshiro-Hanbun (For the Hell of It)’ by rebel journalist Gaikotsu Miyatake!!!!!
The two of them looked through a number of strange books curiously. A book titled ‘Textbook for Witches’ got them interested, and we could hear them say ‘So tempting!’
Sumire Uesaka is famous for her interest in Russia, and after checking out a few Russia-related books, she said ‘It would be great if I could learn this for just 900 yen’, picking up this book…
‘STRIKES – Soul Meets Body’ (in Japanese)
It’s a textbook for Systema, a Russian martial art, translated and published by BAB Japan who publishes the martial arts magazine ‘Gekkan Hiden” (Monthly Secret Techniques). Recently, Sumire Uesaka showed off some special martial arts attacks like Hyakuretsu-ken (Hundred Crack Fist) on a certain web-media article. I wonder if she was influenced by this book.
Kana Hayase asked, ‘How do you decide which book to buy?’ and Sumire Uesaka replied, ‘I mostly decide by its cover.’Today, we got money for the show, so it’s a great opportunity to go ahead and choose a book by its cover!’.
After nodding to her, Hayase chose ‘Happiness Directory, Fortune Tellers & Spiritual Counselors’.
‘Please write the bill to Radio Osaka!’
Their budget is 50,000 yen and they have a lot to spend. Let’s go to the next shop.
Posing at a super-photogenic space
Now we are at Mandarake Hen-ya, on the same floor. They deal with corporate novelty items, and vintage toys like tin, super-alloy, and PVC.
Sumire Uesaka: ‘I should come in here to get my vision back when I have eyestrain.’
Kana Hayase: ‘It feels relaxing here. Like I’m back at home.’
There are lots of enamel signs on the wall, which were used for product advertising in the old days. ‘I love them so much that I even have a copy of “Enamel Sign Guide” at home,’ says Sumire Uesaka. She gives them a careful look.
‘I’ll take this Morinaga Milk Caramel one!’
The Morinaga Milk Caramel enamel cost 9,720 yen. She of course chanted the magic phrase here too, ‘Please write the bill to Radio Osaka.’ Hayase couldn’t decide and saved up for the next shop.
Mandarake Plastic on the same floor is a shop that sells dolls like Licca-chan and Blythe, magical girl items and picture books for girls.
‘Creamy Mami’s magical stick! Great, but it’s 270,000 yen…!‘ The price knocked her out.
Opening up the glass case, Kana Hayase couldn’t decide what to buy. Then suddenly, she picked up one toy and went, ‘Oh! This! I really wanted to find it!’
Kana Hayase: ‘The 3rd Himitsu no Akko-chan’s Tekumaku-mayakon magical mirror! I used to own one and cherished it when I was a kid, but I left in my mother’s car one day and lost it as she bought a new car soon after that… It’s been 10 years since the last time I touched one. I’m so pleased!’
Kana Hayase bought this for 3,240 yen. She seemed to be filled up with shoujo essence and her eyes were now sparkling.
Sumire Uesaka: ‘Nakano brings us such special encounters. It almost makes me cry with joy to actually witness the encounter before my eyes…’
A commemorative photo with their goodies in their hands!
As this shop is nicely decorated and has a great interior, a photo session started here. Sumire Uesaka and Kana Hayase got a lot of photos taken inside the spacious and gorgeous shop and at its entrance with torii gates (red arches used to mark the entrance to a Japanese shrine).
Sumire Uesaka in front of the torii gates looked so perfect and picturesque, and the staff members evoked gasps of admiration, saying ‘It’s like a music video!’ and ‘We have Nakano Queen here…’
Between the photo session, we interviewed Kana Hayase.
Next Page : Interview with Kana Hayase ‘I think it changed my life’