Marty Friedman

Marty Friedman

Tuesday, 09 July 2019 19:43

Ambassador of Japan Heritage

Ambassador of Japan Heritage

When I first started to become feverishly interested in Japan, I never dreamed I would eventually play at the legendary Budokan. Well, that’s not entirely true. It was within the realm of possibility. I was a rock musician, and so if I reached my musical goals I could wind up at the Budokan, somehow. When I eventually played there, I felt like all the struggles of being a musician had paid off big time.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 21:47

Kohaku

Big in Japan

Kōhaku

The Coolest Music Competition in the World

"Kōhaku will blow your mind."

FOR those of you who don’t know Kōhaku, I’d like to introduce you to one of the coolest institutions of music not only in Japan but in the world. The closest comparison might be the Eurovision Song Contest, but that would be doing Kōhaku a disservice. Kōhaku is an annual New Year’s music “competition” between male and female artists. There’s no prize and the competition part is really just in good fun to give the viewers a rooting interest. The 66th annual Kōhaku was broadcast live from NHK Hall in Tokyo. What’s so cool about it? Well, it’s one act after another in rapid succession with little talk in between and no long-winded thank you speeches. Each artist’s set is unique and even more extravagant than the previous one, which seems inconceivable for over 50 acts on a live TV broadcast. Only with Japan’s superhuman work ethic, unwavering discipline and accurate-to-the-second planning could such a mammoth of a show be pulled off year after year.

Tokyo Journal

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