Anthony Al-Jamie

Anthony Al-Jamie

Anthony Al-Jamie lived and worked as an educational administrator and journalist in Tokyo for over 20 years. His in-depth understanding of Japanese language and culture has allowed him to carry out interviews with many of the most renowned individuals in Japan. He first began writing for the Tokyo Journal in the 1990s as Education Editor, later he was promoted to Senior Editor, and eventually International Editor and Executive Editor. He currently works in higher education publishing and serves the Tokyo Journal as Editor-in-Chief.

Tuesday, 08 June 2021 18:29

Naomi Kawase’s Vision

From Nara, Japan to the Tokyo Olympics

Naomi Kawase’s Vision

for the Future of Film and the Next Generation

One of Japan’s most prominent directors, Naomi Kawase is best known for her documentary-style and semi-autobiographical filmmaking. As a graduate of the Osaka School of Photography, now the Osaka Visual Arts College, Kawase became the youngest person to win the Caméra d’Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival for her film, Suzaku. At the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, she took home the Grand Prix for her film The Mourning Forest. Since then, Kawase has served on the Cannes Film Festival jury and gone on to found the Nara International Film Festival in her hometown of Nara, Japan. Her upcoming developments include a new film, True Mothers, that was chosen for the Cannes International Film Festival Official Selection 2020, and her role in producing the official film for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Tokyo Journal Editor-in-Chief Anthony Al-Jamie met Naomi Kawase at the 2019 Short Shorts Film Festival in Hollywood following her Master Class on the “Possibilities of Film” and the screening of her short film Lies.

Tuesday, 08 June 2021 17:47

Dancer and Actor Naoki Kobayashi

Dancer and Actor Naoki Kobayashi

From EXILE to Hollywood

Over the last decade, Naoki Kobayashi has carved out a place for himself in Japan’s entertainment industry. Best known as a performer and choreographer for the J-pop bands EXILE and Sandaime J Soul Brothers, he performs frequently for audiences in the thousands while balancing projects as a runway model and TV and film actor. His latest venture is into Hollywood, making his debut in the English film Earthquake Bird, a psychological thriller produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Wash Westmoreland that was released worldwide in October 2019. Tokyo Journal Editor-in-Chief Anthony Al-Jamie talked to Naoki Kobayashi about his career in music and film.

Monday, 07 June 2021 21:52

EXILE: A Quest for Eternal Success

EXILE: A Quest for Eternal Success

Interview by Anthony Al-Jamie and Elizabeth Mays Photographs by Shane Karns

EXILE is an all-male J-pop group that over the past two decades has evolved from a boy band to a multi-generational entertainment empire. Six of EXILE’s 11 studio albums have gone platinum, with over 20 million sold in Japan alone. The group has had four generations of members, beginning in 1999 as J Soul Brothers and continuing today as EXILE. The group’s founder, Hiroyuki Igarashi, better known as EXILE HIRO, has retired from performing, but he oversees the band as chairman of its management company, LDH JAPAN Inc. LDH produced a supergroup of artists known as EXILE TRIBE, a collective that includes EXILE, EXILE THE SECOND, J SOUL BROTHERS III, GENERATIONS, THE RAMPAGE, FANTASTICS, BALLISTIK BOYZ, and Gekidan (Theater Company) EXILE. LDH has branched out globally through a score of initiatives ranging from music production and artist development schools to apparel, martial arts, modeling, film production and distribution, organic food production, and wedding planning. Members and EXILE TRIBE have also ventured into the world of acting, including Ryohei Kurosawa, better known by his stage name EXILE AKIRA, who appeared in Martin Scorsese’s Silence; Naoki Kobayashi, a lead actor in the Netflix original film Earthquake Bird executive produced by Ridley Scott; and Ryuji Imaichi. Each of these members appeared with Hiro at the 2019 Short Shorts Film Festival (SSFF) at Japan House in Hollywood. This interview was conducted on January 17, 2019.

Japan House Los Angeles

Perspectives on Japan: Art, Culture, Design, and Technology

Yuko Kaifu, the daughter-in-law of former Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu, joined the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs shortly after graduating from Nara Women’s University in Japan. Following an exciting career as an interpreter for Japan’s Empress Michiko and as a diplomat to the United States, Yuko Kaifu now serves as president of Japan House Los Angeles. Tokyo Journal Editor-in-Chief Anthony Al-Jamie sat down with Yuko Kaifu before the COVID-19 pandemic to discuss her role in the international promotion of Japanese culture and the efforts and successes of Japan House’s projects.

Thursday, 20 May 2021 17:57

The Tange Legacy: Like Father, Like Son

The Tange Legacy: Like Father, Like Son

An Interview with Architect Paul Noritaka Tange

Paul Noritaka Tange is an architect who graduated from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 1985. As the son of Kenzo Tange, one of the most world-renowned architects of the 20th century, Tange was exposed to architecture and design from a very young age. He developed his father’s passion for architecture and joined his father’s firm, Kenzo Tange Associates, where he later became president of the company in 1997. He has since founded his own architectural firm, Tange Associates, and risen to international prominence, designing buildings across Asia and the United States. He has been working hard to prepare for the Olympics in Tokyo, upgrading and designing important features of the Olympic landscape. Tokyo Journal Editor-in-Chief Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with Paul Tange to discuss his current and future projects, including his design role in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

TJ: The last time we spoke, you mentioned the prosperity that the Olympics would bring to Japan. It is amazing that since then you have had the opportunity to work on the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, the same type of building that your father created for the Olympics in 1964. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
TANGE:
Of course. While our work has taken place during different time periods, we are thankful to have been able to work on the swimming venue in Tokyo. It has been an honor for us both to be able to serve our country for the Tokyo Olympics.

TJ: I understand that you are working on the Yoyogi National Gymnasium project, which was actually built by your father.
TANGE:
Yes, we are currently upgrading the building in preparation for the Olympics. While respecting the original design, we have made changes to adjust to the modern expectations of the Olympics. Primarily, we want to ensure that the building is structurally sound in case of an earthquake. We have also worked to upgrade aspects of the gymnasium, including the addition of more comfortable seating and increased accessibility. While we have avoided making too many changes, we hope to achieve the modern Olympic standard.

Friday, 12 July 2019 15:07

Tournament of Roses

Tournament of Roses

America’s New Year Celebration

The Tournament of Roses, or the Rose Parade, is part of America’s New Year Celebration, an annual celebration held in Pasadena, California on New Year’s Day. Since the first Rose Parade on January 1, 1890, the parade has been broadcasted on multiple television networks and is followed by the Rose Bowl college football game. Both the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl are organized by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, which has been run by David Eads as executive director and CEO since February 2017. Eads has attended every Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game since moving to Southern California in 2000. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie sat down with Eads to talk about the Rose Parade.

Thursday, 11 July 2019 17:51

Steve Killelea's Peace Initiative

Institute for Economics and Peace Founder: Steve Killelea

Measuring Peace with the Global Peace Index

Steve Killelea is the creative force behind the Global Peace Index, the world’s leading measure of peacefulness, endorsed by the Dalai Lama and Jimmy Carter. Killelea is the Australian founder of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), an international think-tank with offices in Sydney, Mexico City, The Hague and Brussels. IEP is dedicated to building a greater understanding of the interconnection between peace, business and economics, with emphasis on the economic benefits of peace. An accomplished high-tech entrepreneur, Killelea is at the forefront of philanthropic activities focused on sustainable development and peace. In 2000, he established The Charitable Foundation (TCF), which specializes in working with the world’s poorest communities in East and Central Africa and parts of Asia. TCF has substantially impacted the lives of over 2.3 million people. Killelea’s founding of IEP was recognized as one of the 50 most impactful philanthropic gifts in Australia’s history. In 2010, he was honored as Member of the Order of Australia for his service to the global peace movement and his provision of humanitarian aid to the developing world. In 2013, Killelea was nominated one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in Armed Violence Reduction” by the UK group Action on Armed Violence. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked with Steve Killelea about how he defines peace and the Global Peace Index.

Thursday, 11 July 2019 17:29

Illuminate Education

Illuminate Education: Tech with a Heart

Spreading Altruism Within the Company and Around the World

Illuminate Education, located in Irvine, California, is an education and technology company that develops software applications to track student performance at all grade levels across the United States. The dynamic team of former teachers, educators and administrators also bring their zest for success in business to new grounds. The company’s founder and CEO, Lane Rankin, encourages his employees to do good outside their tech jobs through domestic and international campaigns to fight poverty and equip disadvantaged communities with the tools to succeed. The Illuminators, as they are known, have provided after-school tutoring to children in crowded Santa Ana, California, built houses in Tijuana, Mexico, and bolstered educational development in Burma. Their latest projects include building a self-sustaining Internet café in Tijuana and supporting the construction of a new school in the Congo. Bringing this warmth of heart to the inner workings of Illuminate, Rankin also prides himself on treating his employees like family. The non-hierarchical company was one of the companies awarded “Best Places to Work” for 2018 by Glassdoor, a website for employees and former employees to review companies and their management. Tokyo Journal’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with Lane Rankin about his company’s efforts to make the world a better place.

Tuesday, 09 July 2019 18:46

CNN News Anchor: Erin Burnett

CNN News Anchor: Erin Burnett

Erin Burnett’s Journey to Journalism

Erin Burnett is a news anchor who headlines her own show, Erin Burnett OutFront, on CNN. She also serves as the network’s chief business and economic correspondent. She has covered breaking news stories such as the Paris and Brussels terror attacks, and has reported from Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran, Israel and across Africa and Asia. Starting out as an investment-banking analyst at Goldman Sachs, Burnett went on to work at Citigroup, CNBC and now CNN. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked with Erin Burnett about her successful journalistic career and what she has learned along the way.

Tuesday, 09 July 2019 18:27

Soulrocker: Michael Franti

Soulrocker: Michael Franti

On a Musical Mission for Health, Happiness and Equality

Michael Franti is a musician, rapper, poet, spoken word artist, singer-songwriter, filmmaker and hotelier who has been a pioneering force in the music industry for three decades. His lyrical activism is a positive force for social justice and peace. His group, The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, opened for U2 during their 1992-93 Zoo TV Tour. His latest band is Michael Franti & Spearhead, which blends hip hop with funk, reggae, jazz, folk and rock. Its single, “Say Hey (I Love You),” is multi-platinum. From a diverse household with a multiethnic background, Franti has dedicated his life to spreading the joy of music and positivity to millions of people. His audiences have been as diverse as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, prison inmates, the U.S. military and locals on the streets of Middle East war zones — and he’s done the last 18 years of this without wearing shoes. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with Michael Franti about his quest for equality through melody.

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