On Japan Category (97)

 

 

Loudness

Written by  |  Published in Movie, Music & Entertainment

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.

DRUM TAO's Drum Art

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DRUM TAO's Drum Art

Combining the Japanese art of taiko drumming with contemporary costumes and choreography

DRUM TAO has entertained over 7 million people in 500 cities in 23 countries, performing at 120 locations around Japan every year. The wadaiko (Japanese drum) troupe combines the artistic visual elements of a Cirque du Soleil show with the dynamic energy of a rock concert performed with traditional Japanese instruments. The group reflects Japanese tradition through music and dance, while incorporating Maori, Korean and Indonesian influences, and mixing traditional Japanese songs with modern compositions created by members of the troupe. In addition to taiko drums, TAO uses other instruments including the shinobue (Japanese flute), bamboo marimba, gongs and the koto (horizontal harp).

The Beach Boys

Written by  |  Published in Living Legend

The Beach Boys

America's Most Iconic Band's Mike Love Still Having Fun, Fun, Fun After Five Decades

As one of the most iconic pop-rock bands of the '60s, the Beach Boys' vocal harmonies are among the most unmistakable, innovative and enduring in the history of rock and roll. They were the only group able to challenge the Beatles' success in terms of their overall impact on the Top 40. The Beach Boys had over 80 songs chart worldwide, including 36 U.S. Top 40 hits, which is the most by any American rock band. Four songs reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The GRAMMY Award-winning group is one of the world's best-selling bands of all time, with worldwide sales exceeding 100 million records. Rolling Stone magazine listed them as the 12th greatest artist of all time in 2004. The California quintet's original lineup ー consisting of the Wilson brothers, Brian, Dennis and Carl, as well as their cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine ー was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. The group's lineup has changed over the years and two of the Wilson brothers have passed away, but in 2012, for the band's 50th anniversary, all of the surviving members briefly reunited for a new studio album and world tour. The Beach Boys are no strangers to Japan, having first performed in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Kyoto and Fukuoka in 1966. A look at the back cover of their 1966 album, Pet Sounds, reveals photos of the group in Kyoto, outfitted in traditional samurai costumes. Half a century later, the current lineup of the Beach Boys not only returned to perform six concerts at the new venue, Billboard Live Tokyo, but they also performed for the first time ever in Seoul, South Korea. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked to original member, singer, songwriter and activist, Mike Love, about the band's legendary career, his love for transcendental meditation and his fondness for Japan.

Takaaki Kajita

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Nobel Prize Laureate Takaaki Kajita

Resolving the Neutrino Puzzle

The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded jointly to Japanese scientist Dr. Takaaki Kajita and Canadian scientist Arthur B. McDonald for the “discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass.” Modern physics uses the Standard Model, which defines three differerent types, or “flavors,” of a very small, elusive particle called the neutrino. In 1998, Dr. Takaaki Kajita detected neutrinos that were created in reactions between cosmic rays and the Earth’s atmosphere inside the Super-Kamiokande detector, an experimental facility in a Japanese mine. Measurements showed deviations, which were explained by the neutrinos switching between the differerent “flavors.” This is ultimately meant that neutrinos must have mass. As the Standard Model is based on the theory that neutrinos lack mass, this research meant that the model must be revised. Dr. Kajita was born in 1959. In 1981, he started his scientific career in the graduate program at the University of Tokyo, where he received his Ph.D. in physics in 1986. After graduating, he began working at the University of Tokyo’s International Center for Elementary Particle Physics. In 1988, he moved to the University of Tokyo’s Institute for Cosmic Ray Research and has served as its director since 2008. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked to Dr. Takaaki Kajita about his contributions to the eld of physics.

George Foreman

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Former Heavyweight Champion George Foreman on Muhammad Ali

From Fighting to Peace and Compassion

On June 3, 2016, Muhammad Ali, three-time heavyweight champion and one of the most significant and renowned sports figures of the 20th century, passed away at the age of 74 after a long ght against Parkinson’s syndrome. The self-proclaimed greatest boxer of all time, famous for his ability to “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” in the ring, was also known for his efforts to promote peace and compassion outside the ring. His 1967 stand against the Vietnam War transcended the realms of faith and politics and resulted in Ali being arrested, found guilty of draft evasion charges and stripped of his boxing titles. However, he successfully appealed in the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction in 1971. After retiring, he devoted his life to charitable work by promoting world peace and condemning bigotry — two things that all faiths could relate to. He met with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and successfully negotiated the release of American hostages, served as a United Nations Messenger of Peace in Afghanistan, walked with Malcolm X, exchanged jokes with the Dalai Lama and lit the torch opening the 1996 Olympics.

Sumire Matsubara

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Sumire Matsubara

Rising Star Returns to Her Japanese Roots

Simply known by her first name, Sumire Matsubara is a Japanese actress, singer, dancer and model. The daughter of entertainers Junichi Ishida and Chiaki Matsubara, Sumire moved to Honolulu, Hawaii at the age of seven after her parents’ divorce, as her mother wanted to shield Sumire from the press and start a new life. After her second year in the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Musical Theatre and Acting program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sumire returned to Tokyo to begin her career in the Japanese entertainment industry. Sumire has appeared in stage productions and on television throughout Japan, as well as in commercials, magazines and corporate events/parties. She also has begun appearing in U.S. television and film, including a guest role on the CBS drama Hawaii Five-0 as well as her upcoming Hollywood lm debut in The Shack, in which she will play the “Holy Spirit” alongside Sam Worthington and Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer. In 2015, she was the recipient of the Rising Star Award at the Asian World Film Festival. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie met with Sumire to talk about her experiences with culture shock and her hopes to break stereotypes.

Charlotte Kate Fox

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Charlotte Kate Fox

The American Dream in Japan

New Mexico native Charlotte Kate Fox made waves in Japan as the first non-Japanese heroine of the NHK television broadcaster's asadora [morning drama] series Massan (2014- 2015), taking on a challenging Japanese-language role with no prior Japanese experience. The role in the series, based on the Nikka Whisky Distilling Co.’s founder and his Scottish wife, made Fox a household name across Japan and launched her career in Japanese television, film, music and theater. Fox has also tackled roles back in the U.S., recently starring as Roxie Hart in Chicago on Broadway before touring with the international production to Japan. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie sat down with Fox to talk about her experience living and working in Japan as well as her role in Chicago.

Streetstyle Glamour

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Tokyo Journal photographer Lola Rose captures the latest in street fashion in her photo column "Streetstyle Glamour."

Harajuku Fashion Walk

HARAJUKU FASHION WALK

Tokyo Journal Street Photographer Malgorzata Dittmar hits the streets with her lens to see what's hot in Harajuku

Living Legend - Dr. Rod Ellis Featured

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World-Acclaimed Applied Linguist Helps Pioneer Online Education

Dr. Rod Ellis is a world-acclaimed British applied linguist and thought leader in the field of second language acquisition. In the late 1990s, Dr. Ellis joined renowned applied linguists Dr. David Nunan and Dr. Ruth Wajrnyb at Anaheim University where they helped pioneer the field of online education. A former professor at Temple University in both Japan and the U.S., Dr. Ellis serves as a distinguished professor in the School of Cultures, Languages and Linguistics at the University of Auckland and as a senior professor in the Graduate School of Education at Anaheim University, where he has held the roles of department chair, dean of the Graduate School of Education and VP of academic affairs. He has taught in numerous positions in England, Japan, the U.S., Zambia and New Zealand. TJ caught up with Dr. Ellis at the American Association for Applied Linguistics 2015 conference in Toronto, Canada.



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