With the release of her "Utada Hikaru SINGLE COLLECTION VOL.2" album a couple days away, and the final concerts before her hiatus a couple weeks away, singer Hikaru Utada has been doing promotions seemingly nonstop in recent weeks. On Sunday, she made her first public appearance since declaring her hiatus in August, then updated her blog that night with a few more announcements.
First of all, Utada's December 8-9 concerts at the Yokohama Arena are going to be aired in HD on Sky PerfecTV! on January 22, 2011. They will then be aired on Space Shower TV sometime in February. Before those broadcasts, Sky PerfecTV! will run multiple broadcasts (starting on December 30) of a special program including an interview with Utada and footage of her past concerts.
Space Shower TV and Sky PerfecTV! are jointly running a giveaway of 500 pairs of tickets to the Yokohama Arena concerts. More information is available here.
Utada also revealed that "Arashi no Megami," one of the new songs on her album, is being used as part of the "1 Choco for 1 Smile" campaign being run by Morinaga Chocolate. The campaign is an ongoing charity project to support children in cocoa-producing regions, and Morinaga has already pledged to donate part of its revenue from this year to the cause. "Arashi no Megami" will now be used as the campaign song, and for every purchased download of the song between November 24 and February 14 (Valentine's Day), 1 yen will go towards the campaign. This matches Morinaga's upcoming promotion, which will donate 1 yen per box of chocolates sold during the next Valentine's season (January 1 to February 14).
To promote her new album, Utada appeared live on J-WAVE's "McDonald's TOKIO HOT 100" radio show on Sunday, marking her first appearance at the J-WAVE studio since six years ago.
Host Chris Peppler talked with Utada about her impending hiatus, which starts next year. The singer had previously stated that she wants to take a break to focus on her "human activities." Asked to elaborate on that, she said, "While working as an artist, you're protected by the people around you. I want to take a step away from being an artist, and return to almost zero. When I get to my 40s or 50s, I don't want to become an old lady who can't do anything without a manager."
She continued by indicating that she intends to work towards more positive communication between her and her parents, singer Keiko Fuji (59) and music producer Teruzane Utada (62). She also mentioned that she would like to try doing volunteer work overseas and learning French. She refused to commit to a time for her comeback as a musician, saying that she will return when she feels that she "can see her own self clearly." She ended by saying, "I think the ordinary things are special."