TJ

TJ

Thursday, 26 January 2017 21:59

Join the Night Shift

Don’t Drop Out to Make it in the Music World.

Join the Night Shift.

Students of L.A.’s Citrus College Mega Band, Night Shift, Join the Pro Circuit

ONE of the biggest concerns with higher education today is whether graduates can find employment when they enter the “real world.”

Thursday, 26 January 2017 20:43

DIR EN GREY

DIR EN GREY

Two Decades of Pushing Musical Boundaries

A Japanese metal band with nine full-length albums under its belt, DIR EN GREY has nearly 20 years of experience in the music industry. Drawing on inspiration from different genres, from the strong presence of visual kei at the inception of their career to current influences like alternative metal, DIR EN GREY continues to evolve and push boundaries. The five-member band showcases a masterful combination of music and lyrics. Formed in 1997, they caught the attention of one of their idols early on — X Japan’s Yoshiki, who produced five of their singles in 1999. The Los Angeles Times wrote that the lead singer, Kyo, “is a staggering vocalist” and “has stockpiled an extreme range of vocal in ections, from a guttural mutter to a tonsil-ripping scream — no electronic effects needed.” DIR EN GREY is set for an exciting summer. Their recent releases include a July 27th new single, “UTAFUMI,” in collaboration with renowned X Japan / LUNA SEA guitarist SUGIZO, as well as a June 29th Blu-ray/DVD of the band’s live performance of ARCHE on the legendary Nippon Budokan stage from February 2016. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked to Kyo (voice), Kaoru (leader/ guitarist), Die (guitarist), Toshiya (bassist) and Shinya (drummer) about the band’s journey and their plans for the future.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 20:39

All-4-One

All-4-One

The Dukes of R&B for 20 Years

With millennials suddenly embracing the nostalgia of their childhood, many former pop-culture figures are profiting from this newfound popularity for all things ‘90s. All-4-One is no exception. Their 1995 number-one hit “I Swear” was named one of the greatest love songs of the 20th century by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. With sales exceeding 22 million records worldwide, constantly touring and releasing new music, the GRAMMY Award-winning band released their 20th anniversary album, Twenty+, at the perfect time. Tokyo Journal sat down with Jamie Jones, Delious Kennedy, Alfred Nevarez and Tony Borowiak as they revisited their roots and discussed touring Japan.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 20:32

Nekomu Otogi

Cosplay as a Career

Nekomu Otogi: All Dressed Up with Somewhere to Go

In a world where “cosplay” has yet to become a household word, one may be surprised to find that a career can be made from the art of dressing up as a character from a movie, book or video game, especially from the Japanese genres of manga and anime. The only cosplayer represented by Japanese talent agency HoriPro, Nekomu Otogi, has taken cosplay to the professional level. Otogi does photo shoots for manga magazines and was once voted the most beautiful girl in Akihabara, the anime, manga, video game and discount electronics center of Tokyo. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked with Otogi about her cosplay experiences and her dream of becoming a manga artist.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 20:15

Kimura U

The Ambassadress of Cute

Kimura U and the Importance of Everything Kawaii

Not many countries can boast of having a kawaii (cute) fashion representative, especially when that rep is as unique as Kimura U. Her official government title is the Japanese Harajuku Fashion Representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Put simply, U is an official symbol of cute for Japan and she’s Tokyo Journal’s JapanCon Ambassadress. However, there’s more to U than her sparkly pastel exterior. She’s smart and ambitious — and it took hard work for her to achieve icon status. As her website boasts: “Kimura U does not stop.” Tokyo Journal ’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie is pleased to introduce you to his newest colleague, Kimura U.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 20:01

Virtually Falling in Love

Breaking the Glass Ceiling in Virtual Reality

Women Around the World Are Virtually Falling in Love with Voltage Inc.'s Japanese Romance Apps

While considered new to the United States’ app market, user-generated romantic storytelling apps have had a solid place in Japan’s mobile entertainment industry for over 15 years. Since its founding in 1999, Voltage Inc. has been the leading pioneer in the market for online drama and romantic storytelling. With user generated storytelling apps, such as My Forged Wedding and Be My Princess, aimed at a dominantly female audience created by a primarily female workforce, Voltage consistently ranks first in the entertainment category of app stores not only in Japan, but also 48 other countries including the United States. In addition to creating multiple award-winning romantic simulation games, Voltage has succeeded in cooperating with new communication platforms such as LINE, proving it can adapt to new technologies. In 2012, Voltage opened its first U.S. brand, bringing the Japanese virtual reality romance apps straight to a growing fan base. Tokyo Journal’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie met with Voltage CEO Yuji Tsutani to talk about the business’ success with female-oriented user games and the challenges of expanding into the U.S. market.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 20:01

Loudness

Thunder in the East

Loudness Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Breakthrough Album

Japanese heavy metal band Loudness has long been an innovator in the Japanese music scene. They made history by securing a U.S. contract with Atlantic Records and were the first Japanese rock act to perform at Madison Square Garden. They stand out in their unique determination to become a truly international heavy metal band. They have released 26 studio albums, five of them in the U.S. The band’s roster has changed multiple times since 1981, with the current lineup consisting of the original members — lead singer Minoru Niihara, guitarist Akira Takasaki and bassist Masayoshi Yamashita — and later joined by drummer Masayuki Suzuki in 2009. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie sat down with Minoru Niihara to learn more about his time with Loudness.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 19:58

Design Festa

Design Festa

There is more to Design Festa than Meets the Eye

The International Art Event Design Festa, known as Design Festa, is a large biannual convention focusing on art, performance, fashion and music. Tokyo Journal discussed the event with Design Festa’s overseas public relations coordinator, Sarah Feinerman.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 19:55

Justin Baldoni

Actor Justin Baldoni

Making a Difference Through Entertainment and Social Media

Born in 1984 in Los Angeles, California, Justin Baldoni was raised in Medford, Oregon with a Jewish and Italian background. Raised in the Bahá’í Faith, Baldoni strives to make his work a form of service. He has appeared in television shows and films including Disney Channel’s e Suite Life of Zack & Cody and NBC’s Heroes, which led to a leading role in the award-winning TV show, Jane the Virgin. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke to Baldoni about his experience taking part in the Youth and Leadership Panel at the Dalai Lama’s Global Compassion Summit, the importance of his Bahá’í Faith and how it has become the basis for a few of his current and upcoming projects.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 19:51

Loretta Sánchez

Congresswoman and U.S. Senate Candidate Loretta Sánchez

Weighing in on Climate Change and Nuclear Weapons at the World Compassion Summit

Congresswoman and U.S. Senate candidate Loretta Sánchez has represented California in the United States Congress for the past two decades. Her district in Orange County includes the cities of Anaheim, Santa Ana, Orange and Garden Grove. A graduate of American University’s MBA program, Congresswoman Sánchez holds a senior position on the House Armed Services Committee and is the second-highest ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee. She is the founder and co-chair of the Women in the Military Caucus, co-chair of the Immigration Task Force, and also a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, and the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, preparing the U.S. for missile or nuclear attacks. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie caught up with Loretta Sánchez while she was in Washington, D.C., and talked with her about her role in the Global Compassion Summit.

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