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.

Actor and Singer Genki Hirakata

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Actor and Singer Genki Hirakata

Young Actor Takes on Old Role as the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland

Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked with singer and actor Genki Hirakata, who starred as the White Rabbit in the HoriPro musical production of Alice in Wonderland in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya in November and December 2014.

Mitsuki Takahata

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Mitsuki Takahata

Japanese Actress and Singer Makes International Debut in Award-Winning Film

2014 proved to be a busy year for 23-year-old actress and singer Mitsuki Takahata who starred as Helen Keller in the stage play The Miracle Worker and appeared in the TV drama Cheering Beat for Tomorrow, Gunshi Kanbei, the made-for-TV movie Tokyo Sentimental, the domestic film Jossy's and in the international film The Vancouver Asahi. The Vancouver Asahi, based on the legendary Japanese-Canadian baseball team, was featured at the Hawaii International Film Festival as well as the Vancouver International Film Festival where it scored the top audience award–the Rogers People’s Choice Award. Her past work includes the title role in a five-year run of the stage play Peter Pan and a two-year role in the TV drama Kinpachi Sensei, one of Japan’s most beloved TV dramas with a three-decade history. The singer has also released two albums and three singles. She shows no signs of slowing down by performing in the stage play Iyaounashini in January and February 2015 as well as the TV drama Restaurant with Something Wrong in January 2015. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with Mitsuki about her recent projects.

Shonen Knife

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Shonen Knife

Pop Punk Trio Rock With 1,000+ Shows and 20 Albums Over 30 Years

The late Nirvana singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain was one of their biggest fans, saying, “When I finally got to see them live, I was transformed into a hysterical nine-year-old girl at a Beatles concert.” Formed in 1981, the Osaka-based all-female band Shonen Knife influenced ‘90s alternative acts like Sonic Youth and Redd Kross with driving beats, catchy melodies and simplistic lyrics about food and animals like “Banana Chips,” “I Am A Cat,” “Ramen Rock” and “Cannibal Papaya.” Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie carried out a backstage interview with singer/guitarist/founder Naoko Yamano, bassist Ritsuko Taneda and drummer Emi Morimoto prior to their October 2014 gig at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles.

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