Living Legend

Living Legend (18)

 

 

Tatsuya Nakadai Featured

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Tatsuya Nakadai

Sixty years of Film, Television and Theater

Tatsuya Nakadai is a shining star of post-war Japan. Still active in the entertainment business as an octogenarian, the legendary actor’s work in film and theater has been acknowledged worldwide. The films he has appeared in have won awards at the Oscars and the “Big Three” film festivals in Berlin, Cannes and Venice. Nakadai’s career defies easy categorization because of the wide variety of characters he has portrayed in films and plays. His dynamic performance on screen is unforgettable, especially his work with Japan’s cream-of-the-crop film directors, including Akira Kurosawa, Masaki Kobayashi and Kon Ichikawa. His appearances in Kurosawa films such as Kagemusha and Ran have etched his name into the history of world film and in 2015 he was awarded the Order of Culture by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie sat down with Tatsuya Nakadai at his acting school, Mumeijuku, to hear about his career and experiences working with Kurosawa.

Tito Time in Tokyo Featured

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Tito Time in Tokyo

Legendary Jackson Brother on The Jacksons’ 50 Years in Entertainment and his Solo Album Debut in Japan

The legacy of the Jackson family is phenomenal. The Jackson 5 was the first group to debut with four consecutive number-one hits on the Hot 100, where they also had 16 Top 40 singles. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999. Two of their recordings — “ABC” and “I Want You Back” — are among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. They had their own family variety and animated TV series in the 1970s and returned to TV in 2009 for a reality show called The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty. Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Michael and Marlon Jackson began performing as The Jackson 5 in Gary, Indiana in 1965. Their father, Joe Jackson, booked his sons in talent contests, high school functions and then larger venues until they won the Amateur Night competition in August 1967 at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. In 1975, the brothers renamed themselves The Jacksons, which later included the youngest brother, Randy. Their sisters Janet and Latoya also had sensational solo careers of their own. In 1984, Michael Jackson left The Jacksons at the end of their Victory tour. Dubbed the King of Pop, Michael was the best-selling music artist of all time when he died in 2009. He was the first artist in history to have a top 10 single in the Billboard Hot 100 in five different decades and was the most-awarded recording artist of all time. Guinness World Records recognized Michael as the most successful entertainer of all time and for supporting more charities than any other entertainer. It may be surprising to learn that it took the second eldest Jackson brother, Tito, 50 years to release his first solo album, Tito Time, initially in Japan in December 2016, and then with a global debut in 2017. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked to Tito while he was in Tokyo about being in the entertainment business for half-a-century, Michael and his brothers, his new album and his love for Japan.

Interview: Inventor Dr. NakaMats

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Dr. Yoshiro NakaMats is said by many to be Japan’s most prolific inventor. Take an in-depth look at his astonishing background in what is his most revealing interview ever.

Interview with Inventor Dr. Yoshiro NakaMats

Dr. Yoshiro NakaMats is said by many to be Japan’s most prolific inventor. His documented patents include some of the most significant inventions of our time including 16 patents related to the floppy disk which he sold to IBM, and many other inventions including retractable landing gear, the digital watch, the digital display and in total 3,368 inventions. Dr. NakaMats sat down with Tokyo Journal for an in-depth look at his astonishing background in what is his most revealing interview ever.

 

George Foreman

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Former Heavyweight Champion George Foreman on Muhammad Ali

From Fighting to Peace and Compassion

On June 3, 2016, Muhammad Ali, three-time heavyweight champion and one of the most significant and renowned sports figures of the 20th century, passed away at the age of 74 after a long ght against Parkinson’s syndrome. The self-proclaimed greatest boxer of all time, famous for his ability to “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” in the ring, was also known for his efforts to promote peace and compassion outside the ring. His 1967 stand against the Vietnam War transcended the realms of faith and politics and resulted in Ali being arrested, found guilty of draft evasion charges and stripped of his boxing titles. However, he successfully appealed in the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction in 1971. After retiring, he devoted his life to charitable work by promoting world peace and condemning bigotry — two things that all faiths could relate to. He met with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and successfully negotiated the release of American hostages, served as a United Nations Messenger of Peace in Afghanistan, walked with Malcolm X, exchanged jokes with the Dalai Lama and lit the torch opening the 1996 Olympics.

Takaaki Kajita

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Nobel Prize Laureate Takaaki Kajita

Resolving the Neutrino Puzzle

The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded jointly to Japanese scientist Dr. Takaaki Kajita and Canadian scientist Arthur B. McDonald for the “discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass.” Modern physics uses the Standard Model, which defines three differerent types, or “flavors,” of a very small, elusive particle called the neutrino. In 1998, Dr. Takaaki Kajita detected neutrinos that were created in reactions between cosmic rays and the Earth’s atmosphere inside the Super-Kamiokande detector, an experimental facility in a Japanese mine. Measurements showed deviations, which were explained by the neutrinos switching between the differerent “flavors.” This is ultimately meant that neutrinos must have mass. As the Standard Model is based on the theory that neutrinos lack mass, this research meant that the model must be revised. Dr. Kajita was born in 1959. In 1981, he started his scientific career in the graduate program at the University of Tokyo, where he received his Ph.D. in physics in 1986. After graduating, he began working at the University of Tokyo’s International Center for Elementary Particle Physics. In 1988, he moved to the University of Tokyo’s Institute for Cosmic Ray Research and has served as its director since 2008. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked to Dr. Takaaki Kajita about his contributions to the eld of physics.

The Beach Boys

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The Beach Boys

America's Most Iconic Band's Mike Love Still Having Fun, Fun, Fun After Five Decades

As one of the most iconic pop-rock bands of the '60s, the Beach Boys' vocal harmonies are among the most unmistakable, innovative and enduring in the history of rock and roll. They were the only group able to challenge the Beatles' success in terms of their overall impact on the Top 40. The Beach Boys had over 80 songs chart worldwide, including 36 U.S. Top 40 hits, which is the most by any American rock band. Four songs reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The GRAMMY Award-winning group is one of the world's best-selling bands of all time, with worldwide sales exceeding 100 million records. Rolling Stone magazine listed them as the 12th greatest artist of all time in 2004. The California quintet's original lineup ー consisting of the Wilson brothers, Brian, Dennis and Carl, as well as their cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine ー was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. The group's lineup has changed over the years and two of the Wilson brothers have passed away, but in 2012, for the band's 50th anniversary, all of the surviving members briefly reunited for a new studio album and world tour. The Beach Boys are no strangers to Japan, having first performed in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Kyoto and Fukuoka in 1966. A look at the back cover of their 1966 album, Pet Sounds, reveals photos of the group in Kyoto, outfitted in traditional samurai costumes. Half a century later, the current lineup of the Beach Boys not only returned to perform six concerts at the new venue, Billboard Live Tokyo, but they also performed for the first time ever in Seoul, South Korea. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked to original member, singer, songwriter and activist, Mike Love, about the band's legendary career, his love for transcendental meditation and his fondness for Japan.

Horiyoshi III

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Horiyoshi III

Japan’s Legendary Tattoo Master

Interview by Kimo Friese and Horikichi

TJ: Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
HORIYOSHI: My real name is Yoshihito Nakano. I was born on March 9, 1946 in Shimada, Shizuoka. I am the eldest son with a sister and brother.

TJ: Tell us a little about Irezumi, the traditional art form of Japanese tattooing.
HORIYOSHI: It depends what you mean by traditional? Tattoo tradition, Japanese tradition or Asian tradition? If you say Asian tradition, it was most affected by Confucianism. But if you are obedient to Confucianism, you can’t get tattooed because the belief states that you should not hurt your body. But since tattoo culture had already existed before the ancient Chinese ideas that transformed into Samurai philosophy in Japan, Confucianism couldn’t exclude tattoo culture. The concept of the tattoo can translate into strength, religion, or many other things. But in Japan, it basically represents courage or strength, like the Samurai’s fighting spirit. On the other hand, tattoos also have artistic aspects. Actually, it’s difficult to talk about Irezumi tattoo and tradition because the scope is too wide.

Yoko Ono

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Tokyo Journal’s Exclusive Interview with Yoko Ono on the 33rd Anniversary of John Lennon’s Death

Interview by Anthony Al-Jamie

Why is Yoko Ono amazing, you ask? What is not amazing about her would be a better question! Not only is she the most famous Japanese person in the world, she has been breaking new ground in art, peace activism, and music for six decades. Now, 81-years old, Yoko is producing one chart-topper after another, with 11 #1 dance singles, all while traveling the world promoting peace. Performing with her band, the Plastic Ono Band which includes the exceptionally talented Sean Lennon (son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono), Yoko has captured the interest of a new generation not emotionally vested in The Beatles and free of prejudice.

 

Living Legend - Dr. Rod Ellis Featured

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World-Acclaimed Applied Linguist Helps Pioneer Online Education

Dr. Rod Ellis is a world-acclaimed British applied linguist and thought leader in the field of second language acquisition. In the late 1990s, Dr. Ellis joined renowned applied linguists Dr. David Nunan and Dr. Ruth Wajrnyb at Anaheim University where they helped pioneer the field of online education. A former professor at Temple University in both Japan and the U.S., Dr. Ellis serves as a distinguished professor in the School of Cultures, Languages and Linguistics at the University of Auckland and as a senior professor in the Graduate School of Education at Anaheim University, where he has held the roles of department chair, dean of the Graduate School of Education and VP of academic affairs. He has taught in numerous positions in England, Japan, the U.S., Zambia and New Zealand. TJ caught up with Dr. Ellis at the American Association for Applied Linguistics 2015 conference in Toronto, Canada.

Living Legend - Dr. Shuji Nakamura Featured

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Nobel Physics Laureate Shuji Nakamura Sheds Light on How He Invented the Blue LED

Dr. Shuji Nakamura, along with two other Japanese researchers, Dr. Isamu Akasaki and Dr. Hiroshi Amano, received the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics in recognition of their major breakthrough in lighting technology with the invention of efficient blue light- emitting diodes (LED), which has enabled bright, energy-saving white light sources. Dr. Nakamura is a physicist and inventor specializing in semiconductor technology. He is a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara College of Engineering. Tokyo Journal’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with Dr. Nakamura about his career, the intellectual property legal battle he faced with his former company, Nichia Corp., and the impact of his invention on the world.



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