TJ

TJ

Monday, 09 June 2014 22:45

Travel to the U.S.A.

Travel to the U.S.A.

Universal Studios, Hollywood, Scottsdale & New Orleans

TJ’s hotel reviewers headed to California, Arizona and Louisiana to experience the best places to stay and most entertaining things to do. Here are a few of our favorites.

Friday, 09 May 2014 22:10

The Yamano Beauty College Legacy

The Yamano Beauty College Legacy

Interview with Yamano Gakuen Chancellor & Kimono Aficionado Jane Aiko Yamano

Yamano Beauty College was founded in 1934 by Aiko Yamano (1909-1995), a pioneer in the hair and beauty industry. At 16, she opened her first salon in 1925. Her dream was to dignify the beautician profession by increasing educational standards. Yamano also introduced the permanent wave machine to Japan in the 1930s and in 1980 was awarded the “3rd Class of the Order of the Sacred Treasure” by the Emperor of Japan. Today the Yamano group of schools has 3,125 students, with four areas of study: beauty, aesthetics, medical/chiropractic and Japanese language. Yamano’s granddaughter and successor, Jane Aiko Yamano discusses the 80th anniversary of her family’s school and Aiko Yamano’s legacy.

The Man Who Brought Sushi to America, Part IV

Remembering the War

This is the fourth in a series of interviews with Noritoshi Kanai, chairman of Mutual Trading and the man who coined the phrase “sushi bar.”

Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00

Keiko Matsui

Keiko Matsui

Ambassador of Jazz

Keiko Matsui is a Japanese contemporary jazz pianist and composer who has received international acclaim for her 24 albums spanning a quarter of a century. Born in Tokyo and living in Los Angeles, California, Keiko spoke with Tokyo Journal during a recent trip to Japan before embarking on a tour to Peru, the U.S., Indonesia and Russia.

Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00

CREative teAM CREAM

CREative teAM CREAM

The duo that are making Japanese hip hop hip

Singer-songwriter Minami and rapper/track maker Staxx T form the Japanese hip hop group CREAM. Influenced by hip hop, pop and electronic dance music, they have gained popularity through their CREAM VISION YouTube channel featuring original songs, Japanese covers of western songs, and live performances, earning over 22,000,000 views and over 68,000 subscribers. In October 2012, CREAM started a free download project “Tada Uta” on their official website where fans could download their music at no charge, and their debut album DREAMIN’ was released in January 2013.

Tuesday, 06 May 2014 09:10

Paul Tange

Genius is in the Genes

Interview with Tange Associates President Paul Noritaka Tange


SEPTEMBER 4, 2013 marked 100 years since the birth of one of the most influential architects of the 20 century – Pritzker Prize winning Japanese architect Kenzo Tange (1913 - 2005). Many of Tokyo’s most renowned landmarks are Kenzo Tange’s structures, including the Tokyo City Hall Complex (Tocho); the National Gymnasium designed for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics; Shinjuku Park Tower / Park Hyatt Tokyo; Akasaka Prince Hotel, as well as dozens of celebrated structures across Japan and the world. A professor of architecture at Japan’s prestigious University of Tokyo, Kenzo Tange mentored many of Japan’s most acclaimed architects including Kisho Kurokawa, Arata Isozaki, Yoshio Taniguchi and Fumihiko Maki.

Kenzo Tange passed away on March 22, 2005 at the age of 91, but not before passing the baton to his son Paul Noritaka Tange. Paul earned his bachelor’s degree at Harvard University (1981) and master’s in architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (1985), before completing a research term with the Ministry of Construction. He then joined Kenzo Tange Associates, where he was promoted to Executive Vice President in 1988 and President in 1996. In 2003 the father and son duo renamed the company Tange Associates, with Paul Tange as its first president.

Paul Tange had significant success heading up the architectural design of complex projects such as the Tokyo Dome Hotel (2000) despite pressure from critics of neighboring goliath structure, the Tokyo Dome. In order to approve and complete the Tokyo Dome Hotel project Tange’s architects had to make considerable adjustments, including having to rotate the entire hotel to make it appear thinner.

In 2005, after the passing of Kenzo Tange, the world of architecture waited with great anticipation to see whether Paul Tange possessed his father’s artistic genius. The answer came in 2008 when, under Paul Tange’s direction, Tange Associates unveiled one of Tokyo’s most remarkable structures and the world’s second tallest educational building: the MODE GAKUEN Cocoon Tower. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with Paul Tange.

TJ: I understand you earned your bachelor’s degree at Harvard University and master’s in architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. How long were you in the Boston area?
TANGE: I was there for seven and a half years.

TJ: How is it living in Tokyo now?
TANGE: It’s a good time to be in Tokyo. Mr. Abe’s new economic policies seem to be working and the 2020 Olympics will help to make for an even better situation for our economy. It looks like we may be finally coming back into the global picture.

TJ: How is the field of architecture doing in Japan?
TANGE: Well, I think for some time Japanese architecture has been quite successful compared to other Japanese industries. It has gained global recognition and many Japanese architects have done work abroad. I believe my father was one of the first to begin doing work abroad in the 1960s. If I recall correctly, his first foreign project was the master plan of the city of Skopje in the former Yugoslavia. Skopje is now the capital of Macedonia. The city was destroyed by an earthquake and the United Nations asked my father to plan a new city. I believe last year was the 50th anniversary of that devastation and we went back to Skopje where we reconnected. I was very honored to be invited back on behalf of the Tanges after 50 years. So that was my father’s first project abroad. Many of his students followed him in the seventies and eighties.

TJ: Your father had many renowned students and disciples including the late architect Dr. Kisho Kurokawa, who did several projects abroad including the Kuala Lumpur Airport, the new wing of the Van Gogh Museum and the master plan for the capital city of Kazakhstan. He taught and mentored so many great architects.
TANGE: Yes, of course, Mr. Kurokawa, Mr. Isozaki, Mr. Taniguchi and many others. They worked for my father in the seventies and eighties and many graduates of Tange Kenkyushitsu have become leaders in the architectural world. So I believe it was a very rewarding thing for my father to be a professor.

TJ: Tell me about the MODE GAKUEN Cocoon Tower in Shinjuku. It’s fantastic!
TANGE: Thank you. It was quite an exciting project for us because it was a very rare situation where the client came without many restrictions. Their one and only requirement was they wanted to see architecture which they had never seen before.

TJ: There must have been a lot of architects vying for this project given the freedom granted by the client.
TANGE: I believe there were more than 200 entries and we were very fortunate to be awarded first prize and selected for the project.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 07:06

What to Do in Tokyo

VISIT the Roppongi area of central Tokyo, and you can check out striking new museums in what is known as the Art Triangle Roppongi: The National Art Center, Tokyo; the   and the Suntory Museum of Art (inside Tokyo Midtown). Discounts are offered for visiting all three. The
wave-shaped glass façade of the National Art Center, designed by internationally renowned architect Kisho Kurokawa, is extremely impressive, and the restaurant, cafés and museum shop compliment the center’s special exhibitions and educational programs.

Thursday, 26 December 2013 00:00

Sake-Bomb

This buddy comedy had its world premiere at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival and won outstanding screenplay at the 2013 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF). It hit theaters in the U.S. in November 2013. TJ spoke with the Osaka-born, L.A.-based director Junya Sakino and in-demand Japanese actor Gaku Hamada.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013 13:30

Doing Business in the U.S. and Japan

CEO in Focus

Clarion Corporation of America

Paul Lachner, President

TJ: Have you noticed any difference in the corporate cultures or management styles between Japanese- and American-owned companies?
LACHNER: Definitely. But I think it’s dangerous to classify all Japanese companies as the same. I think they are as diverse as American companies are. I spent five years at Sony before coming to Clarion. Of course, working for Sony I thought I was working for a Japanese company. Then I came to Clarion and I realized that Sony was a very different experience than it is at Clarion. Sony is a very Western Japanese company in their management, thinking and strategic planning, whereas Clarion is a more traditional Japanese company. Having only worked at two, I can’t generalize. But I can say that Clarion, as big as it is with 10,000 employees and $2 billion in sales, has a real family feel. It helps that almost all of the senior management in Japan have come through Clarion Corporation of America at some point in their career, so a lot of the folks in Clarion are well-known and liked here and do understand the American model.

Monday, 23 December 2013 09:56

Travel to Southern California

San Diego and Orange County


TJ’S hotel reviewers and their bicultural families headed out to Southern California to scope out some of the best places to stay and the fun things to do in San Diego and Orange County. After arriving at LAX, our families headed 45 minutes south on the 405 Freeway. First stop: Orange County. We stayed at many hotels and ate at many restaurants. Here is a list of some of our favorite things to do and places to stay in Orange County:

Staff Continued

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