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.

Friday, 02 May 2014 00:00

Dancing on Air II

Dancing on Air II

Dancer, Adam Young, Defies the Odds, Battling Cystic Fibrosis

The following is Part II of a series of interviews with Adam Young, a 32-year old ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary dancer from California, who has cystic fibrosis (CF) and received a double lung transplant at UCLA in May 2013. He began dancing at the age of six in Riverside, California, and won national competitions in the United States and Australia at the age of 17, as well as the Kennedy Center Emerging Young Artist Award Scholarship at age 18. He was offered a full scholarship to the renowned Juilliard School and the Ailey School in New York but was unable to relocate due to CF complications. Graduating from the University of California, Irvine with honors on full scholarship as a dance major in 2003, he went on to dance with the Nashville Ballet for two seasons. He trained at the Conservatoire de Paris and has danced, judged and taught throughout the United States and performed internationally in France, Germany, Australia, Canada and Mexico. His professional career was put on hold in 2006 when cystic fibrosis caused his lung capacity to fall below 40 percent. Adam’s determination to overcome an addiction to pharmaceutical drugs through a 12-step program in 2010 allowed him to receive his lung transplant in 2013 – which has in turn given Adam a chance to return to the stage and continue pursuing his passion for dance. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor, Anthony Al-Jamie, talked to Adam about his inspirational story.

Monday, 05 May 2014 00:00

Spider-Man Creator Stan Lee

Spider-Man Creator Stan Lee

The Marvel of Comic Books and his POW!erful Partner Gill Champion

Stan Lee is the man behind some of the world’s best-loved superheroes, including Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, the Avengers, X-Men, The Fantastic Four and over 300 more. An American comic book writer, editor, publisher, media producer, actor, and voice actor, Stan Lee is currently Chairman Emeritus and Editorial Board Member of Marvel Comics, as well as Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of POW! Entertainment. Aged 91, Stan Lee is as sharp as ever and his lifetime accomplishments are as remarkable as the heroes he created. He successfully forced the Comics Code Authority to reform its censorship policies. He led the expansion of Marvel Comics from a small division of a publishing company to a multimedia powerhouse. The Spider-Man strip appeared in more than 500 newspapers worldwide, making it the world’s most successful syndicated adventure strip. He has been inducted into the comic industry’s most hallowed halls of fame and received numerous awards including the 2008 American National Medal of the Arts presented by President George Bush for his work as one of America’s most prolific storytellers and for recreating the American comic book. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie met with Stan Lee and business partner Gill Champion at their headquarters in Beverly Hills, California.

Friday, 02 May 2014 11:20

KISS's Gene Simmons

Rock ’N’ Roll Samurai

From Legendary Rock and Roll Superstar to Business Warrior, Music Business CEO Gene Simmons Conquers All

Interview by Anthony Al-Jamie

Rock star, producer, publisher, actor, reality TV star, family man, professional sports team owner, entrepreneur and all-round marketing genius: what kind of steroids must one take to master so many ventures with dynamic energy and youthful enthusiasm for over 40 years? To find out, I drove to Gene Simmons’ Beverly Hills mansion. Meeting Gene Simmons was an educational experience from the get-go. Parking on the edge of the large circular driveway to this huge mansion - the kind you only see on a reality TV show - I looked up to see the towering KISS star on top of the staircase, yelling pinpoint directions to me about where to park. Before the interview; before I’d even parked the car, I knew this was a man who was in control. I couldn’t help but feel intimidated, but as I entered his palatial estate Simmons greeted me with a kind smile and, knowing that I had lived in Japan for many years, introduced himself in perfect Japanese using all the politest forms of the language. He offered me a cup of coffee and asked me to wait in his office, which doubles as a KISS museum. It includes literally thousands of unique KISS and Gene Simmons branded memorabilia – everything from motor scooters to pachinko machines!

Friday, 02 May 2014 00:00

Yoko Ono

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.

 

Thursday, 26 December 2013 09:02

Dancing on Air

Dancer Adam Young Defies the Odds Battling Cystic Fibrosis

Adam Young is a 32-year old ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary dancer from California with cystic fibrosis (CF) who received a double lung transplant at UCLA in May 2013. He began dancing at the age of six in Riverside, California and won national competitions in the U.S. and Australia at the age of 17, as well as the Kennedy Center Emerging Young Artist Award Scholarship at age 18. He was offered a full scholarship to the renowned Julliard School and the Ailey School in New York but was unable to relocate due to CF complications. Graduating from the University of California, Irvine with honors on full scholarship as a dance major in 2003, he went on to dance with the Nashville Ballet for two seasons. He trained at the National Conservatoire de Paris and has danced, judged and taught throughout the United States and performed internationally in France, Germany, Australia, Canada and Mexico. His professional career was put on hold in 2006 when cystic fibrosis caused his lung capacity to fall below 40%. Adam’s determination to overcome an addiction to pharmaceutical drugs through a 12-step program in 2010 allowed him to receive his 2013 lung transplant, which has given Adam a chance to return to the stage and continue pursuing his passion for dance. TJ talked to Adam about his inspirational story.

Thursday, 19 December 2013 00:00

The Man Who Brought Sushi to America, Part III

Introducing Japanese Food Culture to America

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

TJ: Can you tell us about Rocky Aoki and Benihana?
KANAI: Rocky Aoki and I were introducing Japanese food to the U.S. almost at the same time, with me on the west coast and Mr. Aoki in New York. Mutual Trading’s idea was to introduce traditional Japanese food culture to Americans. However, Mr. Aoki combined Japanese and American food to create something brand new – the Teppan steakhouse. Since then, the spreading of the Japanese food business was based on two styles – Mr. Aoki’s Benihana Restaurant-style and my idea of traditional food, namely sushi. Mr. Aoki was a very personable man and a better businessman than me. Benihana grew through advertising and Mr. Aoki’s self-promotion. Finally Benihana arrived in California and I took my sushi concept to New York. At that time, I remember thinking to myself that sushi had a bright future due to its innate strength as a traditional culinary property, unique to Japanese foods.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 00:00

Tomomi Itano

Graduating from AKB48

Tomomi Itano

Tomomi Itano has been called the “Queen of Commercials” in Japan. She has gone from a first generation member to a 2013 “graduate” of AKB48, a Japanese girl group that took Japan by storm in 2005 to become a social phenomenon. According to Guinness, AKB48 is the largest pop group in the world, originally made up of 3 teams - A, K and B, each with 16 members. It is one of the highest-earning musical acts in the world, with sales surpassing a record US$226 million in 2012. On August 27, 2013, Tomomi had her final graduation performance with AKB48 and is now working hard on her career. Tokyo Journal ’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked with Tomomi Itano to find out about this 22-year-old superstar.

Monday, 09 December 2013 00:00

Tao Okamoto

Tao Okamoto

Japanese Supermodel

Interview by Anthony Al-Jamie

Japanese supermodel Tao Okamoto resides in New York City, where she is capturing the attention of the American and European fashion world and is widely recognized as one of the top models to ever come from Japan. At the age of 23, her signature bowl haircut took the fashion world by storm and she’s never looked back, becoming the face of Ralph Lauren and walking the catwalk for such brands as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Miu Miu and Michael Kors. She has fronted campaigns for Vivienne Westwood, D&G, Emporio Armani, Kenzo and Tommy Hilfiger. In 2009, she was the first Japanese model in nearly a decade to grace the cover of Vogue Nippon. In 2013 she entered the acting world as the love interest of Hugh Jackman in “The Wolverine” and in January 2014, she will make her Japanese television debut in a police drama miniseries entitled “Chi No Wadachi”. Will she continue to shine on the silver screen? Tokyo Journal’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked with Tao to find out.

Monday, 09 December 2013 00:00

Hiroshi Tamaki

Interview with Hiroshi Tamaki

Hiroshi Tamaki is a popular Japanese actor, singer, and model from Nagoya, Japan. He has acted in Japanese films and TV dramas, served as host of the 2012 reboot of the television cooking competition “Iron Chef”, recorded a number of albums and singles as a singer, and performed in concerts throughout Asia. He made his debut in the drama “Am I Weird?” in 1998 and gained recognition with his appearance in the 2001 film “Waterboys”.

Monday, 09 December 2013 00:00

Yoshiki

Japan’s Rock Legend Yoshiki Rocks Classical Charts Worldwide

Visual Kei Pioneer Rock Legend and Classical Genius Gets Intimate with TJ

Interview by Anthony Al-Jamie

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30 million records sold, a 15-country world tour, 18 sold out Tokyo Dome concerts for 1,000,000 screaming fans, and Yoshiki and his band X Japan, are gearing up for another world tour. In his spare time, Yoshiki composed and recorded Eternal Melody, which remains one of Japan’s top-selling classical albums, and his most recent release “Yoshiki Classical” debuted at the top of the iTunes classical charts worldwide. He has collaborated with some of the world’s leading artists and producers including Queen’s Roger Taylor and legendary Beatles Producer Sir George Martin, performed for the Emperor of Japan, and he has created the theme songs for the World Expo and the last two Golden Globes. This classical genius is a hard rocking innovator and creator of the genre “Visual kei” – combining the styles of punk, rock, heavy metal, glam rock and classical music. In 2008, four years before Tupac’s hologram wowed Coachella, Yoshiki and X Japan brought back their deceased guitarist HIDE by hologram to perform in concert. Some may think it requires a super hero to accomplish all of this. Stan Lee, Marvel Comics founder and creator of Spiderman and the Hulk, agreed and created a superhero based on Yoshiki called “Blood Red Dragon.” What can’t Yoshiki do? Let’s find out.

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