LACMA's Awazu Kiyoshi Exhibit Featured

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Awazu Kiyoshi Graphic Design Exhibit at Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (LACMA)

The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (LACMA) is hosting a dazzling show to honor the work of the Japanese artist Awazu Kiyoshi entitled “Graphic Design: Summoning the Outdated.” The exhibition started in October 13, 2016 and lasts until May 7, 2017. It is located on the third level of the Helen and Felix Juda Gallery. The exhibition shows books and posters from the 1960’s to the 1970’s. It is an exploration of Japanese visual culture, a personal journey with imagery that presents a folk-influenced character, an investigation of shades and forms, and a reflection on the prospects of the functions of possibility. The show takes the observer amidst Awazu’s foundation of surreal alignment in his work that advertises movies, theatre, art, and literature. LACMA’s ongoing intent to collect and display graphic design means that all the pieces in the exhibition have been acquired fairly recently. A walk-thru of the show gives a feeling of extended rural life.

BLOOD Featured

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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.

AkibaFest 2016 Featured

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AkibaFest 2016

by Tokyo Journal Intern Michael Tang

AkibaFest was filled of fun activates for amine lovers and was held on October 15th and 16th, 2016 in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. The two-day event, created by Aniplex of America, attracted a large crowd of amine fans. It seamlessly filled the event space with attendees, cosplayers, industry professionals and Akihabara-lovers. The event had a Maid Café, video game demonstrations, merchandise, workshops, screenings, cosplay contests, and more.

Silent Siren Makes Some Noise Featured

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Silent Siren Makes Some Noise

From Models to J-Pop Idols

Silent Siren - nicknamed Saisai - performed in Hollywood on September 30th to kick off their S World Tour. Silent Siren is a Japanese all-female pop band formed in 2010. The group consists of four members who were originally models from popular Japanese girls’ magazines: vocalist/guitarist Sumire Yoshida (Suu), drummer & leader Hinako Umemura (Hinanchu), bass guitarist Aina Yamauchi (Ainyan) and keyboardist Yukako Kurosaka (Yukarun). The band’s highest achievement to date was performing at Japan’s famous Nippon Budokan, a 14,000-seat venue. Tokyo Journal intern Michael Tang had a chance to sit down with the band members before their Hollywood concert to learn more about Silent Siren.

2016 OC Japan Fair Featured

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2016 OC Japan Fair

A Japanese Cultural Experience in Southern California

By Tokyo Journal Intern Michael Tang

DSC09685 4sOn September 9th and 10th, 2016, the OC Japan Fair returned for another amazing festival showcasing Japanese culture in Orange County, California. This year’s event was located at the Phoenix Club of Anaheim. The OC Japan Fair featured an exhibit hall where vendors sold various Japanese related goods, from anime merchandise to traditional Japanese kimonos. There was an area for children to play kingyo-sukui, the fun and sometime stressful game of catching goldfish with a paper scooper.


We Are X Documentary is a Must See Featured

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We Are X Documentary is a Must See

Visual Kei Pioneers Go from the Center Stage to the Silver Screen

By Tokyo Journal Intern Michael Tang

We Are X is a documentary about the lives of the Japanese rock band X Japan and its leader Yoshiki. Even those who have never listened to X Japan before will leave the theater incredibly emotional and moved.

Perfume’s World Tour Hits L.A. Featured

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Perfume kicked off their latest world tour, Cosmic Explorer, at The Wiltern in Hollywood. Perfume is one of Japan’s most popular and recognized girl groups and the energy that surrounds the group while on stage can only be matched by the level of bass that was blasting through the speakers. In the 16 years since their formation, Perfume has not lost any steam, as they dominate both Japanese and foreign electro-pop music scenes. Tokyo Journal intern Michael Tang had a chance to experience their Hollywood performance during their Cosmic Explorer World Tour.

Akira Kurosawa’s Legacy Featured

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Akira Kurosawa’s Legacy Impacts a New Generation of Filmmakers

Hisao Kurosawa Shares his Father’s Legacy with Young Filmmakers Throughout the World

AKIRA Kurosawa, one of the most influential directors in the history of film, will once again shape a new generation of filmmakers through a medium that Kurosawa himself might only have imagined: an online MFA program in digital filmmaking. Like celebrated moviemakers before them, aspiring filmmakers will learn their craft by studying with experts in the field. In addition, they will view hours of never-seen-before footage of Kurosawa himself on the set, allowing students to go behind the scenes and learn visual articulation directly from the master.


Miyavi: The Samurai Guitarist Featured

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Making Music and Movie Magic

MIYAVI is making waves on both sides of the ocean in the music and movie industries. Born in 1981as Takamasa Ishihara in Osaka, Japan to a Korean father and a Japanese mother, the singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer and actor took on the stage name MIYAVI. Known for his unconventional style of slapping the guitar rather than playing it with a pick, his international fan base has nicknamed him the Samurai Guitarist. Tokyo Journal’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked to MIYAVI about his multifaceted career.

X Japan Rocks New York

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X Japan Rocks New York's Madison Square Garden

Japan’s Greatest Rock Band Takes a Bite out of the Big Apple

Interview by Anthony Al-Jamie

On October 11, 2014, X Japan did what most Japanese bands and performers have only dreamt of doing for decades. They played the most revered concert venue in the United States–Madison Square Garden–on the stage that has been graced by the likes of Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, The Who, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Elton John and Michael Jackson. X Japan is one of the most successful Japanese rock bands in history with more than 30 million albums, songs and videos sold. They sold out the 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome 18 times, and in fall of 2014, just prior to their historic Madison Square Garden concert, the band returned to their old stomping grounds for a two-night stint at Yokohama Arena. X Japan pioneered an entire musical genre known as visual kei, fusing glam rock, punk rock and heavy metal with wild hair, androgynous makeup and flamboyant costumes. Formed in 1982, X Japan was one of the first Japanese bands to achieve mainstream success while on an independent label. In their three-decade career, they have released five studio albums, six live albums, eleven compilation albums and numerous videos. They’ve had their share of drama with the tragic deaths of their beloved guitarist HIDE and bassist TAIJI. At HIDE’s funeral in 1997, more than 50,000 fans came out to mourn his passing. At the same time, lead singer Toshi was struggling with the beginning of a horrific 12-year experience of being abused and taken advantage of by his wife and her co-conspirator as described in his alltelling autobiographical book Brainwashed. After X Japan’s breakup in 1997 and reunion in 2007, fans around the world have been eagerly awaiting a new album and another world tour. What’s in store for X Japan? The following is a series of interviews carried out by Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie with X Japan, including a pre-Madison Square Garden New York interview with the entire band and pre- and post-MSG interviews with the individual band members. These interviews with bandleader Yoshiki (drums and piano), Toshi (vocals), PATA (guitar), HEATH (bass), and SUGIZO (guitar and violin) took place while the band members were in Los Angeles, New York and Tokyo.

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