TJ

TJ

Monday, 30 January 2017 18:51

The Chaotic Contrasts of Kathmandu

The Chaotic Contrasts of Kathmandu

KATHMANDU is a sprawling nightmare. A million people live within the city’s labyrinth streets. Buddhist and Hindu temples are peppered throughout the city, their crumbling ramparts propped up with timber and hastily constructed retaining walls. Ancient buildings lean threateningly to one side; the adjacent buildings are sometimes the only obstacle delaying their catastrophic collapse. Incredibly, people still live in these dilapidated structures. Some inhabitants squat, cooking their meager meals over open ames. Others wash themselves with buckets of water on crumbling second-storey balconies, unconcerned with the potential avalanche surrounding them.

Monday, 30 January 2017 18:27

President Douglas Erber

Japan America Society of Southern California

President Douglas Erber

Founded in 1909, the Japan America Society of Southern California ( JASSC) builds economic, cultural, governmental and personal relationships between the people of Japan and the U.S. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie sat down with JASSC President Douglas Erber to discuss his experience in Japan and in running this non-profit membership organization, which connects individuals and organizations in Southern California with an interest in Japan and U.S.–Japan relations.

Friday, 27 January 2017 07:27

BLOOD

BLOOD

Japan’s Somber Scandal Meets Musical Melody

From October 14 to December 18, 2016, the political thriller musical BLOOD hit the stage of The Complex in Hollywood. The stage play was inspired by actual events that occurred in Japan in the 1980s and 1990s surrounding a tainted blood scandal in which 2,000 people died from AIDS after contaminated blood was knowingly sold by a company in the U.S. to Japan. The production received rave reviews during its spring 2016 premiere and the fall 2016 production did not disappoint.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 22:37

The Shut In

The Shut In

In this installment from his Japan Journals, Donald Richie skirts the topic of death with an aging Somerset Maugham

The following is part of Tokyo Journal’s Living Tribute to Donald Richie who passed away on February 19, 2013. Donald Richie’s contribution was originally printed in the January 1995 edition of the Tokyo Journal. It was excerpted from Japan Journals 1947-2004 by Donald Richie (Stone Bridge Press. 2004). Donald Richie’s first visit to Japan took place in 1947. Since that time he became a celebrated film critic, author and composer, not to mention a journalist of many talents recording the changes of over half a century of life in Tokyo. Donald Richie contributed to the Tokyo Journal over the years and when asked about times in the ‘90s, Donald replied, “Frightening but exhilarating. I think everybody with a pencil should be out there taking notes.”

Thursday, 26 January 2017 21:59

Join the Night Shift

Don’t Drop Out to Make it in the Music World.

Join the Night Shift.

Students of L.A.’s Citrus College Mega Band, Night Shift, Join the Pro Circuit

ONE of the biggest concerns with higher education today is whether graduates can find employment when they enter the “real world.”

Thursday, 26 January 2017 20:43

DIR EN GREY

DIR EN GREY

Two Decades of Pushing Musical Boundaries

A Japanese metal band with nine full-length albums under its belt, DIR EN GREY has nearly 20 years of experience in the music industry. Drawing on inspiration from different genres, from the strong presence of visual kei at the inception of their career to current influences like alternative metal, DIR EN GREY continues to evolve and push boundaries. The five-member band showcases a masterful combination of music and lyrics. Formed in 1997, they caught the attention of one of their idols early on — X Japan’s Yoshiki, who produced five of their singles in 1999. The Los Angeles Times wrote that the lead singer, Kyo, “is a staggering vocalist” and “has stockpiled an extreme range of vocal in ections, from a guttural mutter to a tonsil-ripping scream — no electronic effects needed.” DIR EN GREY is set for an exciting summer. Their recent releases include a July 27th new single, “UTAFUMI,” in collaboration with renowned X Japan / LUNA SEA guitarist SUGIZO, as well as a June 29th Blu-ray/DVD of the band’s live performance of ARCHE on the legendary Nippon Budokan stage from February 2016. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked to Kyo (voice), Kaoru (leader/ guitarist), Die (guitarist), Toshiya (bassist) and Shinya (drummer) about the band’s journey and their plans for the future.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 20:39

All-4-One

All-4-One

The Dukes of R&B for 20 Years

With millennials suddenly embracing the nostalgia of their childhood, many former pop-culture figures are profiting from this newfound popularity for all things ‘90s. All-4-One is no exception. Their 1995 number-one hit “I Swear” was named one of the greatest love songs of the 20th century by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. With sales exceeding 22 million records worldwide, constantly touring and releasing new music, the GRAMMY Award-winning band released their 20th anniversary album, Twenty+, at the perfect time. Tokyo Journal sat down with Jamie Jones, Delious Kennedy, Alfred Nevarez and Tony Borowiak as they revisited their roots and discussed touring Japan.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 20:32

Nekomu Otogi

Cosplay as a Career

Nekomu Otogi: All Dressed Up with Somewhere to Go

In a world where “cosplay” has yet to become a household word, one may be surprised to find that a career can be made from the art of dressing up as a character from a movie, book or video game, especially from the Japanese genres of manga and anime. The only cosplayer represented by Japanese talent agency HoriPro, Nekomu Otogi, has taken cosplay to the professional level. Otogi does photo shoots for manga magazines and was once voted the most beautiful girl in Akihabara, the anime, manga, video game and discount electronics center of Tokyo. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked with Otogi about her cosplay experiences and her dream of becoming a manga artist.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 20:15

Kimura U

The Ambassadress of Cute

Kimura U and the Importance of Everything Kawaii

Not many countries can boast of having a kawaii (cute) fashion representative, especially when that rep is as unique as Kimura U. Her official government title is the Japanese Harajuku Fashion Representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Put simply, U is an official symbol of cute for Japan and she’s Tokyo Journal’s JapanCon Ambassadress. However, there’s more to U than her sparkly pastel exterior. She’s smart and ambitious — and it took hard work for her to achieve icon status. As her website boasts: “Kimura U does not stop.” Tokyo Journal ’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie is pleased to introduce you to his newest colleague, Kimura U.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 20:01

Virtually Falling in Love

Breaking the Glass Ceiling in Virtual Reality

Women Around the World Are Virtually Falling in Love with Voltage Inc.'s Japanese Romance Apps

While considered new to the United States’ app market, user-generated romantic storytelling apps have had a solid place in Japan’s mobile entertainment industry for over 15 years. Since its founding in 1999, Voltage Inc. has been the leading pioneer in the market for online drama and romantic storytelling. With user generated storytelling apps, such as My Forged Wedding and Be My Princess, aimed at a dominantly female audience created by a primarily female workforce, Voltage consistently ranks first in the entertainment category of app stores not only in Japan, but also 48 other countries including the United States. In addition to creating multiple award-winning romantic simulation games, Voltage has succeeded in cooperating with new communication platforms such as LINE, proving it can adapt to new technologies. In 2012, Voltage opened its first U.S. brand, bringing the Japanese virtual reality romance apps straight to a growing fan base. Tokyo Journal’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie met with Voltage CEO Yuji Tsutani to talk about the business’ success with female-oriented user games and the challenges of expanding into the U.S. market.

Staff Continued

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