第60回福娘発表会 The Daihyou Fuku Musume-Election - Adventures of Anette

Monday, December 5, 2011

第60回福娘発表会 The Daihyou Fuku Musume-Election

The 4 girls appointed Daihyo Fuku Musume, including me, lined up in the front row.
Yesterday was the first big day for me as a Fuku Musume, as it was time for the shooting of the TV show where they do a presentation of the fifty elected Fuku Musume girls.
As I wrote in a previous post, every year they select a certain number of girls to work as shrine maidens in the Toka Ebisu festival in January, and I was lucky enough to become one of them. For this year there had apparently been as many as 2984 girls applying, and being one of the 50 Fuku Musume girls is of course considered a high honor.

But still, the competition did not just end there.
Among the fifty elected girls only four of us would get the greatest honour of becoming Fuku Musume Representatives, or Daihyou Fuku Musume (代表福娘). This would be done through another election process where a panel of judges were going to choose four of us based on a short self appeal. With a big audience and TV Osaka's cameras filming the whole thing you can bet it was nerve-racking..
The day itself was quite long, we had a rehearsal where we went through the practical stuff before the actual TV shootings, so there was of course a lot of waiting.
The Japanese girls all showed up in their kimonos, and all of them were really pretty. You could tell that they had put a lot of work into the hairstyling! Us foreigners participants, on the other hand, showed up in our normal clothing.. Although we were getting dressed up by some of the assistants later it felt somewhat 中途半端 standing there next to the pretty Japanese girls. Personally I don't have much experience when it comes to kimonos yet, so I was pretty happy that they had assistants working on dressing up us foreigners. I guarantee that I could never have put that kimono on by myself and made it look nice ><.

The TV-shooting was quite alright. Every one of the girls had an estimated 15 seconds to give a self appeal, and some followed up by showing some of their talents. The whole setting actually somehow reminded me of the TV-show American Idol, with the judges ready to make fun of you if you screwed up. I was so nervous that I messed up my self-appeal a bit too.. Still, the judges must have liked what I said, because I was elected one of the four Daihyou Fuku Musume! My self-appeal sounds a bit strange when translated into English, but basically what I said was that even though I come from a cold country I have a warm heart, and that I would work hard to bring warm luck to the Japanese people.
I'm not sure if I would have voted for me if I had been one of the judges though, I think some of the other girls had really funny and good self-appeals. To be honest I did not even consider it likely that I would be one of the chosen girls. But then again, our title (Fuku Musume) does indicate that we are lucky girls, so it seems that I had a lot of luck this particular day!!

Though the election is over, the real work is yet to be done. In January all of the Fuku Musume are going to work together in the Toka Ebisu festival, where we are going to sell lucky charms. As one of the Fukku Musume leaders I guess that makes me much more visible, and I am aware that by some Japanese it is not regarded as a good thing that they let foreigners become Fuku Musume. Which is quite understandable, as it is a highly traditional Japanese role. But I do believe that most people are able to see beyond the fact that we are not natives, and appreciate the diversity this gives the festival. After all, we elected foreigners just have to do our best to be good representatives for our countries, and at the same time try not to pay attention to the negative attention we also might get exposed to.
みんな一緒に頑張りましょー☆!

Anyway, I wasn't sure whether or not I should write about this yet, since the Fuku Musume TV-show is not going to be aired until the 29th of December. But since it seems the press already have written about it in a couple of posts, I guess that means it should be fine for me to write about it too.

Edit: The Norwegian Embassy also wrote about the selection here, and I've also got a video showing some of the self-appeals from the contest:




Recommended Hotels in Osaka

Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel
Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel
Superhotel Lohas Honmachi
Superhotel Lohas Honmachi
Khaosan World Namba
Khaosan World Namba
The St. Regis Osaka Hotel
The St. Regis Osaka Hotel


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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who'd gladly trade a trip to the shoppingmall for a hike in the forest any day.

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Adventures ofAnette


The classical story about a girl who went for a one-year exchange program to Japan, fell in love and got stuck there. Starting out as a student in Kyoto in 2010 I now work full-time in Tokyo as a hotel consultant, and write mostly about my travels, working life in Japan as well as a bunch of random stuff.
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