NTV holds 3rd edition of 'Nodo Jiman Za! World' series for foreign singers


NTV held the third program in its “Nodo Jiman Za! World” series for foreign singers on March 9. “Nodo Jiman” has been around for decades, mostly on NHK — “nodo” means throat and “jiman” means boast. It features amateur singers from across Japan who sing their hearts out before a nationwide audience. It has mainly been for Japanese (although African-American singer Jero once appeared on it).

Last year, NTV aired its own version — “Nodo Jiman Za! World,” specifically for foreign residents who love singing J-Pop songs in Japanese.

There are four groups (A, B, C and D) with four participants each. The participant who gets the highest score in each group advances to the final round to compete against the other group winners.

Chris Hart from the U.S. was the winner of the third ”Nodojiman Za! World.” Chris, in B group, sang one of SMAP‘s hit songs, “Yozora no Muko” in front of SMAP member and program MC Masahiro Nakai. After his great performance, Chris did a brief duet with Nakai. Nakai said that “Chris’s performance is amazing, so I’m embarrassed to be here. Chris’s performance is perfect, and I cannot find any weak points.”

One of the judges, veteran singer and television performer Akiko Wada commented that “I love black music, and while some Japanese singers cover back music, it is rare to see black people cover J-Pop. Chris covered ‘Yozora no Muko’ perfectly.”

Chris got the highest score and advanced to the final stage. In the final stage, Chris sang “Tashikanakoto” by Kazumasa Oda who is a very famous Japanese singer-songwriter and composer.

Nicholas Edwards from the U.S. won the previous ”Nodojiman Za! World.” Nicholas sang the popular Japanese hard rock duo B’z‘s “Love Phantom” in the first stage. Special guest Japanese fashion model Ayame Goriki commented that “Nicholas’s performance is amazing. I was so surprised that I couldn’t move.”

One of the judges, Japanese rock band HOUND DOG vocalist, Kohei Otomo said that “I would like to see Nicholas’s performance one more time and I would like to hear him sing a ballad.” Nicholas topped C group. In the final stage, Nicholas sang “Tsubomi” by Kobukuro, and was the runner-up.

In A group, Martina Miale from Italy sang “Time Goes by,” a song by Japanese pop and rock duo Every Little Thing, in the first stage. One of the judges, theater director Amon Miyamoto, commented that “Martina sings with beautiful Japanese language. Although Italian and Japanese languages are similar, Martina expresses polite Japanese language’s sensitivity and emotion very well, so her sweet voice strikes me.”

Martina advanced to the final stage. Martina performed another song by Every Little Thing, “Dear My Friend,” in the final stage

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Can they use chopsticks too?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I watched this. Was a good show with good music!

However, I do not like Nicholas...just seems so, I don't know....fake.

Chris Hearland was amazing!

There were several other groups that did very well, unfortunately it seems that adding "style" to otherwise boring karaoke songs is frowned upon.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

i watched this show and didn't know 3/4s of the songs they choose to sang.

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This was the only show I have watched on TV for a long time, and it was by chance as the wive had it on. I was amazed at some of the singers as they sounded better then the real ones :D

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Why is the exclamation mark after "Za" and not "World"? Does "Za" mean "The" here, or something else? Putting exclamation marks in the! middle of sentences is strange.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We should hear them cover black music.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i watched the show. The winner was of course better than anybody from SMAP.

Although Italian and Japanese languages are similar, Martina expresses polite Japanese language’s sensitivity and emotion

This is a nonsense. Italian and Japanese are not similar. Italian is such a musical, beautiful language. Japanese is one of the worst sounding languages for my ears.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I saw this too. Chris Hart really was excellent. In fact he left me speechless. If you missed it, judge for yourself:

Singing SMAP:< http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtHe5YZwmm0&feature=related>

Singing Oda Kazumasa: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnu6QDD5sT0

0 ( +1 / -1 )

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Watched..most of the singers had better voices than the original Japanese singers!

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Sweet. It doesn't take much to outsing the bulk of Jpop singers but that lad is obviously a pro in any language. The arrangement of much of jpop is too bland for my own tastes, as is pop music in general. I have heard some nice enka type songs reworked by Jamaican reggae artists which really was good. Give me enka any day.

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There are two kinds of people in this world, and one of them is Japanese.

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Watched..most of the singers had better voices than the original Japanese singers!

I agree with this. But I think the judging was somehow unfair. I do not understand the low score of the German student (girl) who sang the song Arigato and the high score of the Turkish girl. Nakai san said many times how kawaii the Turkish girl was which was true but it is a singing contest. Sometimes I thought they awarded scores randomly. For example I thought Peru singer was so so but his result was huge.

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These individuals from various non-Japanese countries have shown admirable skill in penetrating the rich and wholly unique traditions of the Yamato people.

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I think Nicholas Edwards' performance of the popular Japanese hard rock duo B’z‘s “Love Phantom” was amazing. I was so surprised that I couldn’t move. I would like to hear him singing in Japanese again and again from now on.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"Za" is used as a kind of adjective to mean something best. By putting "!" just after it, they make it look more amusingly pompous than just putting it after "world". I don't think Oda Kazumasa can be matched by anyone. But kudos to Nicholas Edwards.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This a great show to watch and the talent gets better each time. I have to admit those people are very brave to sing Japanese songs.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Interesting article. But what is "black music"? Can people use the genre name instead? As it is quite non-specific to say "black music" as people of color have founded several different genres.

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