Hatsune Miku

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Virtual Singer Hatsune Miku

The World’s Leading Vocaloid Opens for Lady Gaga

Japan’s top superstar with more fans on the Internet than any other Japanese pop star is virtual. Synthesized songstress Hatsune Miku has wowed audiences around the world with an innovative ensemble of music software that has allowed her fans to create over 100,000 songs, digital animation and live 3D performances both in Japan and abroad. She also opened for Lady Gaga in the U.S. Tokyo Journal’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie explored what’s behind global phenom Hatsune Miku with Crypton Future Media, the creators behind Japan’s virtual singer

TJ: Could you explain a little about what a vocaloid is? How does it work? Who uses it, and for what?
CRYPTON: “VOCALOID” is singing synthesizing technology developed by YAMAHA Corp. Hatsune Miku is software which came into the world as a result of this technology. By entering melodies and lyrics on one’s PC, the software sings them exactly as they are.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

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Cuba Gooding, Jr. Academy Award Winning Actor Expands his Creative Boundaries

With his mother being a singer with the Sweethearts and his father the lead vocalist of The Main Ingredient, Cuba Gooding, Jr. was introduced to the world of entertainment from a young age. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked to the film star, who won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for “Jerry Maguire,” about his roles in historical civil rights films as well as his aspirations to become a screenplay writer and director.

TJ: What are you doing in New York?
GOODING: I flew in for a couple of reasons, one of which was to meet with my agents and present them with my new screenplay. I’ve been writing scripts for the past year and I’m on my next one, which I’m really excited about.

TJ: Can you tell us about that?
GOODING: Well, I think I got into writing scripts because the last eight or nine years of my career I’ve been doing a lot of independent films. A lot of the financing has been contingent on my involvement, so I wound up in a producer capacity developing these scripts - actually choosing first-time directors, working on shot lists with directors, and seeing them through the process, including the editing room and post production by putting the final product together, looking for distribution and starting relationships with distributors and financiers. I think I found that the most important part of filmmaking is the director and I think that’s now my goal - being an actor/director. I think the easiest way for me to show my capability as a director is to bring the material, so it got me to thinking…working on scripts and finally turning out a screenplay. I went to Broadway for a production of “A Trip to Bountiful” with Cicely Tyson last year for seven months. I grew so much as an actor, as a filmmaker, as an artist period. When I was in that creative headspace, it made me want to continue to create even past what I was working on then, and that was when I wrote my first screenplay. So this is just a natural progression of things. I got another idea and wrote it down and now I’m working on that second one. Eventually, I will present this to buyers and see if there is any real interest in turning it into a screenplay. But right now I’m just allowing my creative juices to dictate what I do.

Meet Hikari Takara

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Meet Hikari Takara

Actress develops her career by learning English in Southern California

Tokyo Journal has zeroed in on eighteen-year-old actress Hikari Takara as a rising star in the international movie scene. Beginning her acting career at the age of twelve, Hikari has appeared in movies, TV dramas, and commercials. Following the release of her movie “Innocent Lilies,” Tokyo Journal first interviewed Hikari in fall of 2013 when Hikari moved to California to study English and do a homestay with an American host family. After a year in California, Tokyo Journal caught up with Hikari again. Hikari has her sights on being in a Hollywood movie and becoming a global star. Although she still has a long way to go, she has her acting experience complimented by her stunning appearance, height, newly founded English ability, dance skills, and some impressive martial arts moves. Prior to returning to Japan to resume her acting career, Tokyo Journal followed Hikari as she shows us some of her favorite hangouts and attractions in Southern California.

Holmes' Schooling

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NHK’s new twist on Sherlock Holmes

By Charlotte Goff

FEW could doubt that Sherlock Holmes is the world’s most famous fictional detective. Generations of readers have fallen for this master of deductive reasoning, prompting speculation as well as the fan-fiction about parts of his background not recorded by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In an imaginative twist on the classic detective stories, NHK has embarked on a new and unconventional Sherlock Holmes series – in which puppets and voice actors are the stars. From October 2014, viewers can expect plots full of the suspense that have hooked readers of the franchise for more than a century, distilled into a fresh and exciting form. Set in a 19th century boarding school, scriptwriter Koki Mitani brands the show a “racy school mystery.”

The forthcoming series’ action centers on fifteen-year-old Sherlock, whose extraordinary observational talents see him labelled a nerd and cast aside by his peers. This societal rejection leads Sherlock into the path of newcomer to the school, John H. Watson. Watson is fascinated by the very attributes Sherlock possesses that enforce his rejection. The two become friends after Sherlock turns his mind to clearing Watson of accusations leveled against him in the opening episode. Later, the pair work together to take on the challenges hurled increasingly in their direction. The school setting is a first among Sherlock Holmes TV dramatizations. It offers a setting to which the show’s target audience – Japanese high school students – can relate. More than a simple detective drama, the new series is a coming-of-age tale and a platform from which to learn about growing up, logical thinking, justice, and having the courage to defend it.


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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.


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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.


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躍進し続ける SEKAI NO OWARI −世界進出に向けて−


2014年にリリースした「スノーマジックファンタジー」でオリコンランキング1位を、また2013年リリースの「RPG」、2014年にも「炎と森のカーニバル」で2位を獲得し 、SEKAI NO OWARIは急速に日本の音楽シーンを牽引する存在となった。観客ゼロのライブからチケット売り切れ必至のアリーナツアーまでの驚異的な躍進について、メンバーが東京ジャーナルのエグゼクティブ・エディターアントニー・ アルジェイミーに語った。

Hatsune Miku (Japanese)

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バーチャル・シンガー 初音ミク


インターネット上で圧倒的な人気を誇る日本のスーパースターはバーチャルな存在だ。初音ミクは、ファンによる10万以上もの曲を生み出すことを可能にした音楽ソフトウェアだ。3DCGによるライブパフォーマンスなどを国内外で行い、革新的な要素で世界中を熱狂させている。2014年には、レディー・ガガのツアーでオープニング・アクトも務めた 。この日本のバーチャル・シンガーを生んだクリプトン・フューチャー・メディアに、東京ジャーナルのエグゼクティブ・エディターアントニー・アルジェイミーが話を聞いた。

The Legendary Whisky a Go Go and Rainbow Bar and Grill

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Since opening in 1964, the world famous Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles has hosted some of the biggest rock stars in history. The Doors, The Byrds, Janis Joplin, Neil Young, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, Van Halen, Guns N’ Roses, Mötley Crüe and Metallica have played on the stage that continues to launch today’s up-and-coming artists. In 1972, Mario Maglieri, along with Whisky co-founder Elmer Valentine, Lou Adler and others, started the Rainbow Bar and Grill down the street from the Whisky. Originally the Villa Nova restaurant where Marilyn Monroe first met Joe DiMaggio on a blind date, the Rainbow opened with a party for Elton John. It went on to become a stomping ground for celebrities such as John Lennon, Keith Moon, Neil Diamond, Robert Plant and even Elvis Presley. John Belushi ate his last meal at the Rainbow, while W. C. Fields punched a hole in a wall, Charles Manson got thrown out and Janis Joplin had her last drink at the Whisky. Mario, who over time became the sole owner of the Whisky, passed on the running of these two legendary Hollywood hangouts to his son Mikeal, and now his grandson Mike. Tokyo Journal ’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie met with all three generations of the Maglieri family at the Rainbow Bar and Grill.

L.A.’s Entrepreneurial Photographer Brad Elterman

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Introducing Western Rock, Pop and Punk Pictures to Japan 

Brad Elterman is a renowned photographer from California’s San Fernando Valley who captured iconic shots of 1970s rock, punk and pop musicians including Robert Plant, David Bowie, the Sex Pistols, The Runaways, Bay City Rollers, ABBA and Leif Garrett. Although his gritty, snapshot-like photographs have appeared in such publications as Rolling Stone, People, Hit Parader and the New York Post, Brad made a name for himself sending his photos overseas long before the days of digital cameras and FedEx. He went on to launch one of the first West Coast celebrity photo agencies, California Features International, Inc., in 1980. In 1992, he co-founded Online USA, Inc., which was sold to Getty Images, Inc., in 2000. Tokyo Journal’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with Brad Elterman about his early days in Japan and how social media launched a resurgence in his career.

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