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.

Thursday, 16 October 2014 21:25

Doraemon Debuts on Disney

JAPAN’S beloved manga and anime character Doraemon has made it to Disney! The TV and film series “Doraemon” is being broadcast in the United States for the first time after playing to a huge following in Asia over the past four decades. Disney XD, a children’s channel available in 78 million households, began broadcasting 26 English-dubbed episodes five times a week in July 2014.

Thursday, 16 October 2014 00:00


Originally a five-piece band formed in 2005, the four-member band ONE OK ROCK now includes singer Taka (son of Japanese singers Masako Mori and Shinichi Mori), guitarist and founder Toru, bassist Ryota and drummer Tomoya. Fusing emo, rock and heavy metal with mixed Japanese and English lyrics, the band has gone from selling out shows in Japan to rocking fans overseas. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie caught up with Taka and Ryota before the band’s performance at the Pomona, California leg of the Vans Warped Tour; a two-month nationwide tour that went to 43 cities.

TJ: Can you tell me about your background? Where did you guys grow up?
TAKA: I was born in Shibuya, Tokyo. I grew up in Osaka and San Francisco.
RYOTA: I’m a bassist from Osaka. When I was six years old, I started hip-hop dancing and when I was 16 years old, I joined the band.

Thursday, 18 September 2014 22:55



OMOCAT Creator of Cute and the Surreal is Changing People's Views of Anime

Tokyo Journal met with OMOCAT, an anonymous illustrator inspired by anime and video games, who has not only art under her belt, but a fashion line and video game to boot. She specializes in animated illustrations (gifs), doing a wide variety of work ranging from comics, shirt designs, and typography. Learning her trade mainly online, as well as learning illustration and design in college, this young entrepreneur has broken into the Japanese and American markets all from the comfort of her Californian home. She has self-published six books to date and her most recent project of creating the surreal psychological horror roleplaying video game OMORI was successfully funded $203,300 through 5,910 backers on Kickstarter on June 5, 2014, far surpassing her goal of $22,000.

Thursday, 18 September 2014 22:53


A Revolution in Live Entertainment

SIRO-A is a performance group, originating from Sendai, that utilizes modern technology to create optical illusions, with dance set to techno music while incorporating the classic arts of mime and shadow puppetry. The group, who won the Spirit of the Fringe Award at the Edinburgh Festival in 2011, finished a Japan tour in July and will be appearing at the Leicester Square Theater in London from September to January of next year. The members of SIRO-A, which means “belonging to no group and impossible to define” reside in Yokohama near their practice studio. Group member Abe Toshinori talked with Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie about the group’s art form, their comparisons to the Blue Man Group, and plans for the future.

Thursday, 18 September 2014 22:48

Kenichi Ebina's Got Talent!

Kenichi Ebina is a self-taught dancer, performance artist, choreographer, and winner of America’s Got Talent: Season 8. He fuses freestyle, hip hop, martial arts and ethnic jazz, also incorporating illusions and digital theatrics into his show-stopping act, which earned him the prestigious “Showtime at the Apollo” dance title in 2007. Tokyo Journal’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked to Ebina after his one-man show at Pechanga Resort & Casino in California about life since winning America’s Got Talent, and his plans for the future.

Thursday, 18 September 2014 22:45


Visual-Kei Stars are Living the Dream

NIGHTMARE has enjoyed huge success since the Japanese visual kei rock band started in 2000, helped in part by their contributions to anime series like “Death Note,” “Claymore” and “Moryo no Hako.” By 2007, the band of Yomi (lead vocals), Sakito (lead guitar, backing vocals), Hitsugi (rhythm guitar), Ni-ya (bass, backing vocals) and Ruka (drums, percussion) had built up a following large enough to sell out Tokyo’s Budokan arena within two weeks. Eight years on, and in the 15th year of the band, Tokyo Journal caught up with Yomi and Hitsugi, who were preparing for the June 25th release of their new single, “Taboo.”

Thursday, 18 September 2014 22:36


Here's to the End of the World

Japanese Band SEKAI NO OWARI

Reaching No.1 with “Snow Magic Fantasy” (2014), and No.2 with both “RPG” (2013) and “Forest Fire Carnival” (2014), SEKAI NO OWARI have fast become leaders of the Japanese music scene. The band talked to Tokyo Journal’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie, charting its astronomical rise from an audience of zero to a sell-out super-arena tour.

TJ: Tell me about yourselves.
NAKAJIN: I’m Nakajin. I’m such a serious person that I almost get tired of it. I’m from the Ota ward of Tokyo.
SAORI: I’m Saori. I play the piano and do stage and general production for our live shows. I’m also from Ota. We were all childhood friends actually, so we lived very close to each other. I met Fukase when I was four.
FUKASE: I’m the vocalist Fukase. My hair has been red for a long time.
DJ LOVE: My name is DJ LOVE. I like eating.

Thursday, 18 September 2014 22:17

The Heroic Dr. Henry Heimlich

The Doctor Who Has Saved More Lives Than Any Other Human Being Alive Today

Interview by Anthony Al-Jamie

Dr. Henry Heimlich is perhaps the most important person I have interviewed in my entire career. He has invented medical procedures and devices that have saved, and continue to save, hundreds of thousands of lives every year. His medical innovations include the famous Heimlich maneuver, an approach to dislodging food from choking victims that can be done by just about anyone without any tools. Its success earned him celebrity status in the late 1970s on the talk show circuit including Johnny Carson’s “The Tonight Show.” Another innovation is the Heimlich Chest Drain Valve, a device that helps to prevent lungs from collapsing when bleeding occurs by draining air and liquid from the chest. This medical device is used in hospitals throughout the world, by police and emergency personnel to save the lives of gun shot victims, and by military personnel in just about every combat zone since the Vietnam War where the device saved lives on both sides of the line. Dr. Heimlich’s Micro-Trach is said to maximize oxygen intake, outperforming nasal cannulas, while completely concealing oxygen tubes under patients’ shirt collars. His remarkable work with the reversed gastric tube operation in the 1950s was the first full-organ transplant performed outside of the Iron Curtain and allowed patients with a damaged esophagus to swallow again. This is Part 1 of a series of interviews with the renowned Dr. Henry Heimlich.

Thursday, 18 September 2014 21:40

Creative Lab: Party

It takes a special sort of talent to mastermind the world's first 3D photobooth, a replica Lady Gaga speaker, or a radio signal-repellent fashion line. Tokyo Journal's Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked with Masashi Kawamura, who alongside his partners at Creative Lab PARTY, has done all three. Established in Tokyo in 2011, and with a recently opened New York office and world-wide projects in the pipeline, it's fair to say that PARTY is just getting started.

TJ: Could you tell me about your background? You were born in Tokyo, and then...
KAWAMURA: I moved to San Francisco in kindergarten, and then came back to Tokyo in high school. I started to get into coding and design at university, and got my first job at a Japanese agency called Hakuhodo. Then I spent about ten years working for advertising agencies in different cities: London, Amsterdam, New York...

TJ: So what did you do with Hakuhodo?
KAWAMURA: I was a commercial film planner, which is a niche title and special to Japan, where TV commercials are considered the main form of advertising. The way it forced me to only do TV commercials was good training but a little limiting for me. I saw the outside world doing more integrated communications and was like, “Wow, I gotta put myself into that group.”

TJ: And tell me a little bit about PARTY?
KAWAMURA: PARTY is a company I started in 2011 with four partners – that’s Naoki Ito, the chief creative officer; Qanta Shimizu, our chief tech officer; Hiroki Nakamura, a creative director, and me. Each of us had been having success in the advertising, communications, and design world, but felt the structures of these agencies were limiting to our desire to push the boundaries of creativity. Now, we specialise in projects that merge storytelling and technology, and we call ourselves a lab to make sure that we don’t forget our experimental and innovating spirit. It’s the first entity I’ve been in that I feel like change is part of the culture.

Thursday, 18 September 2014 20:10

Sisters Cities Pioneer

Thelma Press, Southern California Sister Cities Co-Founder

Born to British parents in Darjeeling, India, Thelma Press attended Loreto College where one of her teachers was Mother Teresa. With this kind of influence, it’s not surprising that Thelma would go on to seek ways to promote peace. She has done just that as a Sister Cities International veteran since 1959, beginning with the establishment of the relationship between San Bernardino, California and Tachikawa, Japan. She has served on boards and in key positions for Sister Cities International, the San Diego-Yokohama Sister City Society, the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego’s Balboa Park, the Asian Arts Council of the San Diego Museum of Art, and the first Sino-U.S. Sister Cities Conference in Beijing. Thelma Press has received over 60 awards for her work in international relations and in 2012 was approved as a Global Envoy, the highest honor of Sister Cities International. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie visited with Thelma Press in San Diego, California.


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