Tomioka Senior High School Dance Club current students, graduates, and coaches AKANE KIKAKU present the "EXPO Dance" video as a promotion for the 2025 Osaka International Expo. It was choreographed by dancer akane at the invitation of the Expo special supporters.
"Konnichiwa", theme song for the 1970 Osaka International Expo sung by the late Haruo Minami, has been updated into a 2025 version that is performed by his virtual avatar, HAL-O-ROID! Check it out!
Who is HAL-O-ROID??
National treasure Haruo Minami, the singing legend who captured the heart of all Japanese with his soulful voice, has been reborn as virtual artist HAL-O-ROID, thanks to the technology of speech synthesis, which is based on his actual voice.
Haruo Minami's digital song data has been so faithfully modeled with painstaking effort to accurately reproduce his natural sound that you would swear it was the original!
In this day and age when futuristic virtual artists are increasing, HAL-O-ROID represents a unique character that possesses the "kobushi" of the Japanese sound. Haruo Minami's characteristic movements and kimono-clad figure are recreated in 3D, so the visual aspect can also be appreciated.
Vocal & MMD model can now be downloaded for free！Downloads / terms and conditions can be found here (Japanese).
Name : HAL-O-ROID
Age : 37
Height : 173.73cm
Weight : 63.73kg
Favorite food : Rice
Favorite music : All genres
Vocal range : A2～E4
HAL-O-ROID is the virtual reproduction and living advertisement of the actual Haruo Minami. As HAL-O-ROID was designed to introduce the spirit of Haruo Minami to a new generation, we earnestly desire that his voice and songs continue to be created and put out into the world!
With HAL-O-ROID, the dream that the joy and enthusiasm spread by Haruo Minami's favorite songs "TOKYO GAMES ONDO" and "Konnichiwa" can live again.
In 1992, when creating a House music version of a hit song, Haruo Minami remarked in an interview, "Of course the original song is best, but continuing to play and tinker to create something interesting is the true path of those in the entertainment world." Were he still alive, he would surely celebrate the debut of HAL-O-ROID!
Actual name : Bunji Kitazume
Birth : July 19, 1923
Birthplace : Niigata Prefecture
Coming from a family of booksellers, the young Haruo Minami came to Tokyo at the age of 13 and became apprenticed to a noodle factory.
Later working at the Tsukiji Fish Market, he entered the Japan Narrative Singing School at 16.
In the same year he first set foot on the stage of a vaudeville theater in Roppongi as a rōkyoku （浪曲） singer under the stage name Fumiwaka Nanjo.
Upon turning 20 he joined the military, and following the end of the war spent 4 years as a prisoner of war in Nakhodka and Khabarovsk, Russia.
While laboring, he entertained his fellow prisoners with narrative songs and plays, learning greatly in the process.
After returning to Japan, he resumed his career in the rōkyoku and narrative song world.
In 1957 he made his ENKA debut as Haruo Minami with the songs "Chanchiki Okesa" and "Funakatasanyo" and later became the most well-known kimono-clad male singer.
His monthly performances quickly became the top attraction at Tokyo Kabukiza, Nagoya Misonoza, Osaka Kabukiza. He played to sold-out crowds at all the well-known theaters as a monthly regular for 20 consecutive years.
He will always be regarded as one of Japan's greatest singers.