Akira Kurosawa’s Legacy Featured

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Akira Kurosawa’s Legacy Impacts a New Generation of Filmmakers

Hisao Kurosawa Shares his Father’s Legacy with Young Filmmakers Throughout the World

AKIRA Kurosawa, one of the most influential directors in the history of film, will once again shape a new generation of filmmakers through a medium that Kurosawa himself might only have imagined: an online MFA program in digital filmmaking. Like celebrated moviemakers before them, aspiring filmmakers will learn their craft by studying with experts in the field. In addition, they will view hours of never-seen-before footage of Kurosawa himself on the set, allowing students to go behind the scenes and learn visual articulation directly from the master.


Perfume’s World Tour Hits L.A. Featured

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Perfume kicked off their latest world tour, Cosmic Explorer, at The Wiltern in Hollywood. Perfume is one of Japan’s most popular and recognized girl groups and the energy that surrounds the group while on stage can only be matched by the level of bass that was blasting through the speakers. In the 16 years since their formation, Perfume has not lost any steam, as they dominate both Japanese and foreign electro-pop music scenes. Tokyo Journal intern Michael Tang had a chance to experience their Hollywood performance during their Cosmic Explorer World Tour.

We Are X Documentary is a Must See Featured

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We Are X Documentary is a Must See

Visual Kei Pioneers Go from the Center Stage to the Silver Screen

By Tokyo Journal Intern Michael Tang

We Are X is a documentary about the lives of the Japanese rock band X Japan and its leader Yoshiki. Even those who have never listened to X Japan before will leave the theater incredibly emotional and moved.

Silent Siren Makes Some Noise Featured

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Silent Siren Makes Some Noise

From Models to J-Pop Idols

Silent Siren - nicknamed Saisai - performed in Hollywood on September 30th to kick off their S World Tour. Silent Siren is a Japanese all-female pop band formed in 2010. The group consists of four members who were originally models from popular Japanese girls’ magazines: vocalist/guitarist Sumire Yoshida (Suu), drummer & leader Hinako Umemura (Hinanchu), bass guitarist Aina Yamauchi (Ainyan) and keyboardist Yukako Kurosaka (Yukarun). The band’s highest achievement to date was performing at Japan’s famous Nippon Budokan, a 14,000-seat venue. Tokyo Journal intern Michael Tang had a chance to sit down with the band members before their Hollywood concert to learn more about Silent Siren.

BLOOD Featured

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Japan’s Somber Scandal Meets Musical Melody

From October 14 to December 18, 2016, the political thriller musical BLOOD hit the stage of The Complex in Hollywood. The stage play was inspired by actual events that occurred in Japan in the 1980s and 1990s surrounding a tainted blood scandal in which 2,000 people died from AIDS after contaminated blood was knowingly sold by a company in the U.S. to Japan. The production received rave reviews during its spring 2016 premiere and the fall 2016 production did not disappoint.

Keiko Matsui

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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.


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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.


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IN 1975, I attended a small showcase where the Ramones played for the press. They performed about a dozen songs for no more than 16 minutes, and I wasn't sure what had happened, but I wanted to see them again.

Legendary Rock Photographer Bob Gruen

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From John Lennon to Green Day 

Bob Gruen is one of the most well-known and respected photographers in rock and roll today. By the mid-1970s, he was already regarded as one of the foremost documenters of the music scene, working with major artists such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Tina Turner, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Elton John, KISS, Aerosmith, David Bowie and Alice Cooper as well as covering emerging new wave and punk bands including the New York Dolls, Patti Smith, the Clash, the Sex Pistols, the Ramones and Blondie. Tokyo Journal’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie interviewed his colleague and fellow Tokyo Journal columnist Bob Gruen about his remarkable career.


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Fusing East and West with Old and New

WagakkiBand is an intriguing act that fuses rock music with wagakki (traditional Japanese musical instruments), shigin (Japanese poetry recitation) and Vocaloid songs (a Vocaloid is a singing voice synthesizer allowing users to input their own lyrics). Singer Yuko Suzuhana, who won the Grand Prize at Nippon Columbia’s nationwide shigin contest in Japan, is joined by seven others playing traditional instruments including the shakuhachi (bamboo flute), tsugaru-jamisen (Japanese three-string guitar-like instrument), koto (Japanese harp) and wadaiko (Japanese drum). Their hit song “Senbonzakura” has over 22 million views on YouTube and their single “Ikusa / Nadeshiko Sakura” is the theme song for the anime TV show adaptation of Koei’s Samurai Warriors video game series. They played their first U.S. show on July 4, 2015 as part of Anime Expo at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, and their new album Yasou Emaki is scheduled for a September 2, 2015 release. Tokyo Journal ’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with vocalist Yuko Suzuhana, shakuhachi player Daisuke Kaminaga, koto player Kiyoshi Ibukuro, tsugaru-jamisen player Beni Ninagawa, guitarist and backing vocalist Machiya, bass player Asa, drummer Wasabi and wadaiko player Kurona at Anime Expo 2015 in Los Angeles.

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