Fans have never seen Ado’s face, and that won’t change even after they shake her hand.

There’s a lot of image and appearance-based marketing in the Japanese pop music industry, and there’s perhaps no clearer example of that than “handshake events.” Despite often not including any live musical performance, these meet-and-greet promotions are extremely popular with fans for giving them the chance to shake hands with their favorite artist and bask in their presence.

Yet when Universal Music Japan announced on Thursday that it’ll be holding a handshake event for J-pop vocalist Ado, it was a pretty big surprise. Not because Ado isn’t popular – she’s the singer behind the phenomenally successful “Usseewa,” and her songs are also the driving force behind One Piece Film: Red, which was a smash hit even by the lofty standards of the anime franchise. No, what makes Ado doing a handshake event surprising is that even though it’s been four years since she made her professional debut, she’s never shown her face, as Ado, in public. So how do you have a handshake event for a huge recording star while still keeping her identity a secret?

Like this.

During the event, Ado will be positioned inside a giant box made of opaque material. Fans will step forward one by one and insert their forearm into a hole in one of the walls, after which Ado will clasp it and give it a shake.

The hole appears to be surrounded by protrusions calculated to eliminate lines of sight, so that fans can’t peek in and catch a glimpse of Ado, not even her hand. It’s unclear whether or not the singer will be able to see the people she’s shaking hands with, perhaps through a video relay and monitor inside the box, or if she remains as effectively blind as the fans whose hands she’s shaking.

The handshake event is part of the promotion for Ado’s upcoming second album, titled Zanmu, meaning “Remaining Dream.” The album is scheduled for release on July 10, and fans who purchase it will receive a serial number which can be used to enter a lottery to win one of three prizes, including tickets to the singer’s October concerts in Yokohama and personalized autographed posters. A total of 1,000 handshake tickets are up for grabs, to be split between a two-day event to be held in Tokyo in October, with the exact location to be revealed to ticket winners only at a later date. Full entry details can be found on the Universal Music Japan website here.

Source: Universal Music Japan via Otakomu
Images: Universal Music Japan
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