Marty Friedman

Marty Friedman

After reaching legendary status as a guitarist racking up over 13 million albums sold with Megadeth, Cacophony and solo with a dozen albums, Marty Friedman stunned the heavy metal community by leaving his home country of the USA to make his musical contribution to the growing J-pop scene in Tokyo. He soon went on to appear in chart-topping songs with count- less artists in Japan, and to play Tokyo Dome and Budokan several times. Again doing the unexpected, he has also written two bestselling books in Japanese, acted in major motion pictures, done TV commercial campaigns for Coca- Cola and Sumitomo Bank, as well as over 600 television shows, hosting and guesting on every possible kind of program from comedy, political, cooking, music, education and everything in between. Marty Friedman’s latest album “Tokyo Jukebox 3” came out in 2020.

Welcoming Foreigners and Promoting Respectful Exploration

Tokyo has been hard at work on the mammoth task of preparing for the Tokyo Olympics and creating ways to make life easier for the throngs of foreigners who will visit, including English translations. Japan is known for its exotic charm, partly because most visitors can’t read the signs, newspapers or menus. This creates a disconcerting, yet incredibly exhilarating feeling that you are on another planet.

Tuesday, 09 July 2019 19:43

Ambassador of Japan Heritage

Ambassador of Japan Heritage

When I first started to become feverishly interested in Japan, I never dreamed I would eventually play at the legendary Budokan. Well, that’s not entirely true. It was within the realm of possibility. I was a rock musician, and so if I reached my musical goals I could wind up at the Budokan, somehow. When I eventually played there, I felt like all the struggles of being a musician had paid off big time.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 21:47

Kohaku

Big in Japan

Kōhaku

The Coolest Music Competition in the World

"Kōhaku will blow your mind."

FOR those of you who don’t know Kōhaku, I’d like to introduce you to one of the coolest institutions of music not only in Japan but in the world. The closest comparison might be the Eurovision Song Contest, but that would be doing Kōhaku a disservice. Kōhaku is an annual New Year’s music “competition” between male and female artists. There’s no prize and the competition part is really just in good fun to give the viewers a rooting interest. The 66th annual Kōhaku was broadcast live from NHK Hall in Tokyo. What’s so cool about it? Well, it’s one act after another in rapid succession with little talk in between and no long-winded thank you speeches. Each artist’s set is unique and even more extravagant than the previous one, which seems inconceivable for over 50 acts on a live TV broadcast. Only with Japan’s superhuman work ethic, unwavering discipline and accurate-to-the-second planning could such a mammoth of a show be pulled off year after year.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015 01:28

Kōhaku

Big in Japan

Kōhaku

The Coolest Music Competition in the World

Kōhaku will blow your mind.

FOR those of you who don’t know Kōhaku, I’d like to introduce you to one of the coolest institutions of music not only in Japan but in the world. The closest comparison might be the Eurovision Song Contest, but that would be doing Kōhaku a disservice. Kōhaku is an annual New Year’s music “competition” between male and female artists. There’s no prize and the competition part is really just in good fun to give the viewers a rooting interest. The 66th annual Kōhaku was broadcast live from NHK Hall in Tokyo. What’s so cool about it? Well, it’s one act after another in rapid succession with little talk in between and no long-winded thank you speeches. Each artist’s set is unique and even more extravagant than the previous one, which seems inconceivable for over 50 acts on a live TV broadcast. Only with Japan’s superhuman work ethic, unwavering discipline and accurate-to-the-second planning could such a mammoth of a show be pulled off year after year.

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