Kyoto pop icon Asachill

Some of our long-term grape Japan readers may recall model, singer, artist, Harajuku fashion leader and Kyoto pop icon Asachill. We first met her in 2017 when she led us on a tour of her native Pontocho, the charming traditional Kyoto neighborhood and its main cobblestone street studded with restaurants, taverns, and pubs which sparkle like gems in the night.

We interviewed her shortly afterward to learn about her upbringing in Kyoto, her development as a singer and the range of activities she was already involved in.

After she moved to Tokyo, she blossomed as a Harajuku fashion leader, a position symbolized by her influence as one of KAWAII MONSTER CAFE's icon girls as we saw when we introduced the popular Harajuku establishment's Halloween menu last year. She has also branched out, creating ChillArt, her own brand of illustration and mixed-media works.

Considering her creativity and growing popularity, it may be surprising to learn that Asachill didn't have a photobook to her name yet. Perhaps she was just waiting for the right occasion, but the wait has certainly paid off.


Shooting Asachill's photobook POPN MONSTER SINGER "ASACHILL" was entrusted to Masanori Kato, a veteran and highly influential photographer in the J-pop scene. Beginning with legendary rock band Boøwy's groundbreaking "silhouette" photo on their "GIGS" JUST A HERO TOUR 1986 live album, an image which they later adopted as their logo, Kato has captured countless music artists through his lens and he continues to remain active in fashion photography and other fields.

Through over 100 pages of photos, POPN MONSTER SINGER "ASACHILL" (Tatsumi Publishing Co., Ltd.) explores "the fluctuation between stillness and movement," covering a wide range of fashion styles and moods which convey Asachill's personality and interests, from stylish and retro to wild and whimsical, girly and kawaii to forward and daring, with influences of cosplay and Japanese pop culture thrown in. From urban Tokyo to rural Japan, traditional to futuristic, it's a wild ride that lets the Kyoto pop icon explore multiple facets of her personality, even including a few prints of ChillArt at the end.

You can buy POPN MONSTER SINGER "ASACHILL" on Kindle now.

Asachill: brief history

  • 2014: Moved from Kyoto to Tokyo
  • 2015: Vocalist on the eponymous theme song for Trigger's short animation "SEX and VIOLENCE with MACHSPEED"
  • 2017: First album "E.A.T."
  • 2018: Kyoto-themed second album "PONT."
  • 2018 Dec.: First solo live in Shibuya, tickets sold out
  • 2018: Exhibits original artwork at Beams Harajuku and the ZINE exhibition in Roppongi Hills
  • 2019 Sep.: "Monster girl" representative in Vogue's 20th Anniversary party in Milan, Italy
  • 2019 Dec.: First solo live in her native Kyoto



M. Kato and Tatsumi Publishing

By - Ben K.