Thursday, 26 January 2017 18:55

The Beach Boys

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.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 18:51

Don Lemon

CNN News Anchor Don Lemon

Breaking the News to the World

Don Lemon is the anchor of the weekday primetime show CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, as well as a correspondent for CNN's U.S. programming. After joining CNN in September 2006, Lemon has reported and anchored on-the-scene from many breaking news stories, including the inauguration of President Barack Obama, the deaths of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, the Sandy Hook Elementary School and Colorado eater shootings, the Boston Marathon bombing, the George Zimmerman trial, and the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. He has also anchored the network's breaking news coverage of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Arab Spring and the death of Osama Bin Laden. He earned a degree in broadcast journalism from Brooklyn College and also attended Louisiana State University, beginning his career at WNYW in New York City as a news assistant while still in college. In 2011, he released his memoir, Transparent, in which he discusses how he suffered from abuse, homophobia, racism and discrimination as a young child. Ebony named him one of the most influential blacks in America in 2009 and he has won multiple awards, including an Edward R. Murrow Award and an Emmy Award. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked to Don Lemon about his career and outlook on journalism.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 18:44

Takaaki Kajita

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.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 18:35

George Foreman

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.

Friday, 20 January 2017 22:52

Marin Minamiya

Ain't No Mountain High Enough for Marin Miyamiya

Japan's Youngest Mountaineer to Conquer Mount Everest and the World's Seven Summits

While most Japanese university students spend their time wondering what part-time job to get or preparing for exams, Marin Minamiya, a political economy student at Tokyo's elite Waseda University, is testing her physical, mental and emotional boundaries while also breaking world records. On October 1, 2015, the 18-year-old became the world's youngest female to successfully ascend the world's eighth highest peak, Mount Manaslu in Nepal. She also became the youngest Japanese person to successfully climb a peak above 8,000 meters. By March 2016, she had already skied to the South Pole, climbed the highest peaks in Antarctica (Vinson Massif ), the Australian continent (Carstensz Pyramid) and Russia (Mount Elbrus). In May 2016, she became Japan's youngest to conquer Mount Everest and since then climbed North America's highest peak, Mt. Denali, becoming Japan's youngest to complete the Seven Summits ー the highest mountains on each of the seven continents. Just prior to her Mount Everest expedition, Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked with Marin Minamiya about the ups and downs of mountaineering and what lies ahead for the young adventurer.

Friday, 20 January 2017 22:36

Sumire Matsubara

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.

Friday, 20 January 2017 22:22

Charlotte Kate Fox

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.

Friday, 20 January 2017 21:26

Junko Koshino

Designs Inspired by Vessels

In Japan, a “vessel” is a metaphorical term referring to the sheer size of a building, or even the heart of a person. Throughout my career, I’ve often created designs inspired by a “vessel.” This picture was taken at the Kyoto National Museum on October 9, 2015 at a Noh performance on the opening night of a fashion exhibition celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Rinpa school of Japanese painting. The costumes I designed were based on the Nishijin brocade, a traditional textile of Kyoto, and they were inspired by the “vessel” of the museum venue.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017 18:18

Tokyo Journal's Top 10 Rankings 2016 Final

Tokyo Journal's 2016 Polling Results


What are your favorite things about Japan and Japanese culture?

You vote. You decide!




In April of 2016 Tokyo Journal announced the first ever Top 10 Ranking for the reader's favorite Japanese entertainment icons, food, pop-culture, and travel locations. Over the course of 2016 we asked Tokyo Journal readers to vote for their favorite things in Japanese entertainment, food, pop-culture, and travel locations. This first year proved to be successful with over 500,000 votes submitted by readers from all over the world. Here are the top 3 winners for each category and stay tuned for the 2017 rankings.



Japanese Entertainmant / Food in Japan / Japanese Pop Culture / Japan Travel


Japanese Entertainment

Japanese TV & Dramas

Best J-Drama Actress


1. Satomi Ishihara

2. Akari Hayami

3. Haruka Ayase


Best J-Drama from 2015-2016


1. Flowers for Algermon

2. Mysterious Thief Yamaneko

3. From Five to Nine


Best J-Drama Actor


1. Tomohisa Yamashita

2. Takuya Kimura

3. Kazuya Kamenashi


Best J-Drama of All Time


1. Nobuta wo Produce (2005)

2. Long Vacation (1996)

3. Hana Yori Dango (2005)


Best Variety Show


1. Smap x Smap

2. Momoclo Chan

3. Shabekuri 007




Japanese Movies

Best Horror Movie


1. Ring

2. Ju-On

3. Sadako 3D


Best Japanese Movie


1. Battle Royale (2000)

2. Seven Samurai (1954)

3. Godzilla (1954)


Best Japanese Movie Actor/Actress Worldwide


1. Ken Watanabe

2. Takuya Kimura

3. Takeshi Kitano


Best Japanese Film Director of All Time


1. Hayao Miyazaki

2. Akira Kurosawa

3. Takeshi Miike


Best Akira Kurosawa Film of All Time


1. Seven Samurai

2. High and Low

3. Hidden Fortress




Japanese Music

Best J-Rock Band


1. X Japan

2. The GazettE

3. Babymetal


Best Japanese Female idol Group


1. Momoiro Clover Z

2. Morning Musume

3. *C-ute


Best Japanese Female Singer


1. Miwa

2. Yui

3. Ayumi Hamasaki


Best Male idol Group






Best Japanese Male Singer


1. Tomohisa Yamashita

2. Gackt

3. Jin Akanishi




Japanese Sports

Best Favorite Japanese Male Athlete


1. Yuzuru Hanyu (Figure Skater)

2. Kei Nishikori

3. Kohei Uchimura


Best Favorite Japanese Female Athlete


1. Mao Asada (Figure Skater)

2. Ai Fukuhara

3. Saori Yoshida


Go back to the Category



Food in Japan

Japanese Food

Best Street Food


1. Ramen

2. Takoyaki

3. Yakitori


Best Favorite Sushi


1. Salmon

2. Toro (Fatty Tuna)

3. Tuna


Best Japanese Sake


1. Dassai

2. Kubota

3. Hakkaisan




Restaurant in Japan

Best Theme Restaurant


1. Kawaii Monster Cafe

2. Robot restaurant

3. Maidreamin Cafe


Best Japanese Fast Food


1. Mos Burger

2. Yoshinoya

3. Pepper Lunch


Best Kobe Beef Restaurant


1. Ishida

2. Houki

3. Wakkoqu


Best French Restaurant in Tokyo


1. Les Cristallines

2. Troisgros Japon

3. Joel Robuchon


Best Italian Restairant in Tokyo


1. Pizzeria Da Napolistaca

2. Elio Locanada Italiana

3. Bulgari ll Ristorante


Best U.S. Restaurant


1. Outback Steakhouse

2. Hard Rock cafe

3. Denny's


Best Izakaya (Japanese Pub)


1. Hibiki

2. Gonpachi

3. Nihonbashi-tei


Best Mexican Restaurant


1. Fonda de la Madrugada

2. La Jolla

3. El Caliente


Best Curry Rice Restaurant


1. CoCo Ichibanya

2. Manten Curry Rice

3. Curry House TIRI TIRI


Best Tonkatsu Restaurant


1. Wako

2. Maisen

3. Katsuzen


Best Craft Brewery


1. Miyashita Sake Brewery

2. Baird Brewery Company

3. Abashiri Brewery


Best Asian Restaurant in Tokyo


1. Asian Palm

2. Monsoon Cafe

3. Mango Tree


Best Kaiseki Restaurant (Japanese Traditional Multi-Course Dinner)


1. Gion Karyo, Kyoto

2. Nakamura, Kyoto

3. Ogata, Kyoto


Best Tempura Restaurant in Tokyo


1. Tempura Kondo

2. Ten-ichi Ginza Honten

3. Tempura Motoyoshi


Best Sushi Restaurant


1. Sukiyabashi Jiro

2. Sushi no Midori

3. Sushi Dai


Best Tonkotsu Ramen Restaurant in Tokyo


1. Ichiran

2. Shibaraku

3. Botan




Japanese Sweets

Best Sweets


1. Melon Pan

2. Crepes

3. Taiyaki


Best Wagashi Shop


1. Higashiya Ginza

2. Tokyo Mise

3. Toraya Tokyo


Best Bakery & Dessert Shop


1. Sweets Paradise

2. Rose Bakery

3. Ice Monster Omotesando


Best Chocolate Snack


1. Pocky

2. Choco Pie




Go back to the Category


Japanese Pop Culture

Japanese Anime & Manga

Best Shonen Manga


1. One Piece

2. Fairy Tail

3. Full Metal Alchemist


Best Shojo Manga


1. Akatsuki no Yona

2. Kimi ni Todoke

3. Orange


Best Kawaii Cartoon Character


1. Pika-chu

2. Totoro

3. Rilakkuma


Best Studio Ghibli Movie


1. Howl's Moving Castle

2. Spirited Away

3. My Neighbor Totoro


Best Anime 2012-2016


1. Attack on Titan

2. One-Punch Man

3. Tokyo Ghoul


Best Animated Movie


1. Wolf Children

2. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

3. The Girl Who Leapt Though Time


Best Anime of All Time


1. Dragon Ball Z

2. One Piece

3. Death Note


Best Gotochi Character (Regional Mascot Character)


1. Kumamon

2. Funassyi

3. Gunma-chan





Best Famous Cosplayer 2016


1. Touga

2. Reika

3. Linda Le(Vampy Bit Me)




Japanese Fashion

Best Harajuku Fashion


1. Galaxxxy

2. Angelic Pretty

3. 6% Doki Doki


Best Women's Fashion Brand


1. Cecil McBee

2. Olive des Olive

3. Freak's Store


Best Japanese Fashion Brand


1. Comme Des Garcons

2. Junko Koshino

3. Kenzo


Best Female Model


1. Kiko Mizuhara

2. Mirei Kiritani

3. Rola




Japanese Video Games

Best J-RPG of All Time


1. Final Fantasy VII

2. Kingdom Hearts 2

3. Persona 4



Go back to the Category


Japan Travel

Japanese Destinations

Best Theme Park


1. Tokyo Disneyland

2. Universal Studios Japan

3. Tokyo Disneysea


Best "Day Trip" from Tokyo


1. Yokohama

2. Kamakura

3. Mt. Fuji


Best Vacation Spot


1. Kyoto

2. Ishigaki Island

3. Nara


Best Famous Landmark in Tokyo


1. Tokyo Tower

2. Shibuya Crossing / Hachiko Statue

3. Tokyo Skytree


Best Distinctive Building


1. Tokyo Station

2. Nakagin Capsule Tower

3. Omotesando Hills


Best Area for Hot Spring


1. Hakone Onsen

2. Kurokawa Onsen

3. Beppu Onsen


Best Ryokan (Traditional Japanese Hotel)


1. Takinoya

2. Shuhokaku Kogetsu

3. Hotel Hanayura


Best Ski Resort


1. Niseko Grand Hirafu

2. Fujiten Snow Resort

3. Hakuba Happo One Ski Resort


Best Japanese Architect


1. Tadao Ando

2. Kenzo Tange

3. Kisho Kurosawa


Best Place to Visit in Tokyo


1. Harajuku

2. Asakusa Temple

3. Odaiba


Best International School


1. Tokyo International School

2. The American School in Japan

3. Yokohama International School


Best Language School


1. Sendagaya Japanese Institute

2. Akamonkai

3. Coto Language Academy




Japanese Hotels

Best Five Ster Hotel in Tokyo


1. Park Hyatt Tokyo

2. Palace Hotel Tokyo

3. Imperial Hotel Tokyo


Best Hotel for Young Travelers


1. Kyoto Guesthouse Roujiya

2. Nui. Hotel & Bar Lounge

3. Hostel Haruya Aqua, Kyoto




Japanese Leisure & Recreation

Best Place to Karaoke


1. Shidax

2. Big Echo

3. Karaoke-kan


Best Game Center


1. Club SEGA


3. Shinjuku Playland Carnival


Best Japanese Festival


1. Sapporo Snow Festival

2. Awa Odori Tokushima

3. Gion Matsuri


Best Fireworks Show


1. Tokyo Bay Fireworks

2. Sumidagawa Fireworks

3. Edogawa Fireworks


Best Department Store


1. Mitsukoshi

2. Matsuya Ginza

3. Isetan


Best Shopping Complex/Mall


1. Shibuya 109

2. Roppongi Hills

3. Omotesando Hills


Best Art Museum


1. National Museum Tokyo

2. Japan Ukiyo-e Museum

3. National Art Center


Best History & Science Museum


1. Tokyo National Museum

2. Edo Tokyo Museum

3. Samurai Museum


Best Special Interest Museum


1. Ghibli Museum

2. Cupnoodle Museum

3. Sapporo Beer Museum



Go back to the Category

Friday, 13 January 2017 21:43

Tokyo Journal's Top 10 Rankings 2016

Tokyo Journal's 2016 Polling Results

What are your favorite things about Japan and Japanese culture?

You vote. You decide!






In April of 2016 Tokyo Journal announced the first ever Top 10 Ranking for the reader's favorite Japanese entertainment icons, food, pop-culture, and travel locations. Over the course of 2016 we have asked Tokyo Journal readers to vote for their favorite Japaneseentertainment icons, food, pop-culture, and travel locations. This first year proved to be successful with over 500,000 votes submitted by readersfrom all over the world. Here are the top 3 winners for each category and stay turned for the 2017 rankings.

Spanning across Japanese entertainment, food, pop-culture, and travel locations.

Staff Continued

Our Poll

Who would you like TJ to interview?

Masayoshi Son - 28.1%
Bill Gates - 40.6%
Hiroshi Mikitani - 22.5%
Richard Branson - 8.8%
The voting for this poll has ended on: August 1, 2016

Tokyo Journal

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