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China’s Most Favorite Japanese Girl Ai Fukuhara is Getting Married

Ai Fukuhara is getting married! China’s favorite ‘Japanese doll’ and famous tennis table player is tying the knot and all of Weibo wants to know how the marriage with Taiwanese Chiang Hung-Chieh will work out.

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Ai Fukuhara is getting married! China’s favorite ‘Japanese doll’ and famous tennis table player is tying the knot and all of Weibo wants to know how the marriage with Taiwanese Chiang Hung-Chieh will work out – and whose accent is going to win.

Table tennis star Ai Fukuhara (福原愛) is getting married. According to Nikkansports, the popular Japanese athlete and Taiwanese fellow table tennis player Chiang Hung-Chieh have applied for a marriage license in Tokyo.

Although the license procedure might still take some time, fans are already celebrating the upcoming wedding. Taiwan’s Central News Agency (中央通讯社) even announced in its “important news” column that Ai Fukuhara has become Taiwan’s “daughter in law” (台湾媳妇).

Bad Match?

But so far, the upcoming wedding has not come without hurdles. Earlier this year, it was rumored that the two were not compatible because of, amongst other reasons, the huge income gap between Fukuhara and Chiang, that would allegedly hinder their relationship.

picmonkey-collage

A Japanese women’s magazine recently also revealed that the Japan Table Tennis Association discouraged the athlete from marrying because they wanted her to focus on her career.

Chiang was allegedly also deemed an undesirable future husband because he plays in a lower level than Fukuhara.

Which Accent Will Win?

But on Sina Weibo, netizens are already sending their wishes and congratulations to the new couple. Amidst all the anticipation about the couple and their marriage, people are most curious about the “encounter of accents” between the Japanese Fukuhara Ai and Taiwanese Chiang Hung-Chieh.

Chinese netizens have even started to vote on whose accent would eventually become most dominant: Fukuhara’s north-eastern accent or Chiang’s Taiwanese accent.

One of the reasons why the Japanese Ai Fukuhara is so popular in China is her fluent Chinese. She was trained in the north-eastern part of China since she was a teenager and acquired the local accent. Her husband-to-be also has a particular accent; that of his hometown in Taiwan.

Although the couple speaks the same language, they use completely different tones and expressions. For example, when annoyed by people staring at you, people from northeastern China may say: “Ni chou sha?” (你瞅啥, literally: “What the hell are you looking at?”), while in Taiwan people use the slightly softer expression: “Biao jiang la” (表酱啦, literally: “Please don’t”). (To get an idea of these two accents, see this video of Chinese online celebrity Papi Jiang.)

Little Ai

The lively discussion on the couple’s accents and their future together shows how popular Fukuhara is amongst Chinese netizens.

Fukuhara is often called ‘Ai Jiang’ by Chinese fans, which equals the Japanese endearing ‘Ai Chan’ (“Little Ai”). On Weibo, she has 2.3 million followers (@福原爱FukuharaAi), more than the leader of the Chinese table tennis team Ma Long (@captain 龙); and much more than her long-time opponent Zhang Yining (@乒乓张怡宁).

Netizens’ love for Fukuhara even goes beyond their love for national sports’ heroes. During the Rio Olympics, many Chinese netizens expressed their sympathy to Fukuhara when she was beaten 0-4 by Chinese player Li Xiaoxia (李晓霞) in the female single semi-final.

“Ai Fukuhara will get married!” one netizen says: “The couple has already gone through rain and wind, and in the end they’ll stay together. I congratulate you. And as China’s most favorite athlete, you’ve made a deep impression on us. It’s not just your cute smile, it’s also your athletic strength and your north-eastern accent that make us love you. We wish you the best.”

-By Diandian Guo

©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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Diandian Guo is a China-born Master student of transdisciplinary and global society, politics & culture at the University of Groningen with a special interest for new media in China. She has a BA in International Relations from Beijing Foreign Language University, and is specialized in China's cultural memory.

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China Arts & Entertainment

‘First Lady of Hong Kong TV’ Lily Leung Passes Away at Age 90

Chinese netizens pay their respects to veteran actress Lily Leung Shun-Yin (1929-2019), who passed away on August 13.

Manya Koetse

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Lily in 1996, image via Sing Tao Daily.

While the Hong Kong protests are dominating the headlines, the death of Hong Kong veteran actress Lily Leung Shun-Yin (梁舜燕) has become a top trending topic on social media site Sina Weibo under the hashtag “Hong Kong Actress Liang Shunyan Dies from Illness” (#香港演员梁舜燕病逝#).

Lily Leung, image via http://www.sohu.com/a/333418087_161795.

The actress was born in Hong Kong in 1929. She starred in dozens of television series, including the first TV drama to be locally broadcasted. She became known as “the first lady of Hong Kong TV.”

Leung acted for TVB and other broadcasters. Some of her more well-known roles were those in Kindred Spirit (真情) and Heart of Greed (溏心风暴).

Leung, also nicknamed ‘Sister Lily’ (Lily姐), passed away on August 13. According to various Chinese media reports, the actress passed peacefully surrounded by family after enduring illness. She was 90 years old.

“I’ve seen so much of her work,” many Weibo netizens say, sharing the favorite roles played by Leung. “I always watched her on TVB while growing up, and will cherish her memory,” one commenter wrote.

Another well-known Hong Kong actress, Teresa Ha Ping (夏萍), also passed away this month. She was 81 years old when she died. Her passing away also attracted a lot of attention on Chinese social media (
#演员夏萍去世#).

Many people express their sadness over the fact that not one but two grand ladies from Hong Kong’s 20th-century entertainment era have passed away this month.

“Those people from our memories pass away one by one, and it represents the passing of an era,” one Weibo user wrote.

“Two familiar faces and old troupers of Hong Kong drama – I hope they rest in peace.”

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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China Celebs

Iconic Shanghai Singer Yao Lee Passes Away at the Age of 96

Yao Li, one of the seven great singing stars of Shanghai in the 1940s, has passed away.

Manya Koetse

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Chinese singer Yao Lee (姚莉), the ‘Queen of Mandarin pop,’ passed away on July 19 at the age of 96.

The singer, with her ‘Silvery Voice,’ was known as one of the seven great singing stars (“七大歌星”) of Shanghai of the 1940s.

For those who may not know her name, you might know her music – one of her iconic songs was used in the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians.

Yao’s most famous songs include “Rose, Rose, I Love You” (玫瑰玫瑰我爱你), “Meet Again” (重逢), and “Love That I Can’t Have” (得不到的爱情).

Yao, born in Shanghai in 1922, started singing at the age of 13. Her brother Yao Min was a popular music songwriter.

When popular music was banned under Mao in the 1950s, Hong Kong became a new center of the Mandarin music industry, and Yao continued her career there.

On Weibo, the hashtag Yao Lee Passes Away (#姚莉去世#) already received more than 200 million views at time of writing.

Many Chinese netizens post candles to mourn the death of the popular singer, some call her passing “the end of an era.”

“Shanghai of those years is really where it all started,” others say.

Listen to one of Yao’s songs below:

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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