Music

Where BTS Visited in Tokyo: Must Visit Restaurants and Attractions for ARMY

2018-06-06 05:16

BTS recently celebrated the anniversary of their debut in Japan. Since that time four years ago, the world’s favourite K-pop group have been in and out the country doing various concerts and promotional activities. The members are known for their frequent social media updates (it even won them Top Social Artist at the Billboard Music Awards), so when they’re in Japan you can be sure there will be a few cheeky snaps of their sightseeing activities. Eagle-eyed ARMYs (the collective name for BTS fans) are quick to analyse the photos and attempt to work out exactly where the boys went. Visiting the same spots as your idols isn’t just for…


The Chill and Retro Pixel Art of Motocross Saito

2018-05-31 01:49

Pixel artist, designer, DJ and track maker Motocross Saito creates memorable GIF animations in a retro style, channeling ’80s and ’90s culture and music, with a focus on hip hop. Although he has been introduced internationally as the “loneliness GIF” artist, as Motocross Saito explains in this interview with CNN Japan, what he is really aiming for in his animated GIF pixel art is to “express a feeling that can soothe your mind, create a calming effect.” Many of his animated GIF scenes feature a common character, perhaps his alter ego, a school girl with blue hair who seems to like hip hop, flips through LPs at record shops, makes…


David Bowie Immortalized As Awesome Japanese Ukiyo-e Artwork

2018-05-30 10:55

David Bowie lives on as traditional Japanese artwork. UKIYO-E PROJECT was started by Yuka Mitsui, CEO of Mitsui Agency International, to preserve the traditional art of Japanese woodblock paintings and revitalize interest in one of Japan’s most iconic art forms by merging ukiyo-e style artwork with characterizations of legendary musical artists. In the past, the project has produced gorgeous and striking Japanese woodblock prints of celebrated artists such as KISS, as well as a metal and ukiyo-e mashup of Iron Maiden that turned mascot Eddie into a blood-soaked demon. Now the project will turn its spotlight to legendary musical artist David Bowie, showcasing the prints from June 23rd to July…


Bruno Mars Throws Towel at Model Who Won’t Stop Recording Him, Japanese Fans Supportive

2018-04-18 06:29

Japanese fans angry after two models filmed themselves dancing and recorded part of a Bruno Mars concert, upsetting the singer and causing him to throw a towel at them. Fans in Japan of Grammy-award winning superstar Bruno Mars are none too pleased with an incident at the recent leg of the “Bruno Mars 24K MAGIC WORLD TOUR 2018” performances that occurred at the Saitama Super Arena. Several women, at least five believed to be fashion models Moueka Nozaki, Nanaka, Satoumi, Mao Miyashita, and Maria Tani, have been seen in several self-recorded videos dancing along to an ongoing part of the performance, which is also recorded in the video. At the…


Final Fantasy 7 Music Played Traditional Japanese Style on Shamisen Wows Nostalgic Gamers

2018-04-13 01:37

Although you’re most likely to see Japanese instruments such as the shamisen at a festival or traditional performance, their potential for adding a whole new dimension to modern day tunes shouldn’t be underestimated. Every so often, a clip involving a talented player taking on a well loved track with their traditional instrument will go viral, bringing the beauty and versatility of these instruments to the fore. For example, this trio giving a fresh take on Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson gave a whole new generation a reason to dust off the old koto. A Shamisen Final Fantasy Battle Theme Cover In this latest viral hit, a skilled player of the…


The Amazing and Hypnotic Sounds of the Chopstick Piano

2018-04-03 12:36

If you look outside the realm of “common” instruments, you might just find yourself floored by what seems like out-of-this world sounds, as can be observed with Yukiko Koshimoto “spacedrum” and a curious drum inspired by a inspired by a Japanese musical garden ornament. If anything defines a departure from the common instrument, it might just be Sami Elu’s Chopstick Piano. The Tokyo-based musician and performer’s 29-string homemade instrument uses disposable chopsticks to create music that’ll put you in a trance. The Chopstick Piano uses disposable chopsticks, or waribashi, to hit piano strings as Sami uses his other hand to individually pluck away with a pick while his feet are…


Japanese Buddhist Monk DJ Combines Sick Beats with Religious Chants for Rave-like Services in the Temple

2018-03-20 04:54

This video from Great Big Story on YouTube introduces Gyosen Asakura, a monk and chief priest of a Buddhist temple. Initially he rejected the expectation that he would carry on the family tradition of heading the temple and pursued his interest in music, becoming a DJ and lighting technician. As he progressed, he realized that his passion for music wasn’t as at odds with the Buddhist religion as he originally thought. If you think you can’t make it to Fukui to bear witness to one of his trancey sets, you can dance your way to enlightenment while browsing Gyosen Asakura’s YouTube channel. Because of dwindling numbers of worshippers at temples…


Japanese Band Send Up Trump with New Robot Dance Video Called ‘Let’s Start WW3’

2018-03-15 06:19

You may have seen WORLD ORDER’s signature salary-man suits and robotic dance before when the video for their song ‘Have a Nice Day’ became a viral hit. The band is the brainchild of ex-mixed martial artist Genki Sudo. The members’ suits and perfectly in sync choreography is intended to play on the popular image that non-Japanese people have of the Japanese business man as very serious. Their videos show them dancing in highly populated public areas, while passersby react with laughter, stares or by taking photos on their phones. シアトルに来ています。スタバの一号店前でニルバーナになりきりました。Smells Like Teen Spirit! pic.twitter.com/OnnYHkiYrW — 須藤元気 #sudo genki (@genki_sudo) 28 February 2018 Their music, which has a very Pet Shop…


Worldwide Auditions for New Anime Looking for English Speaking Singers

2018-03-09 05:25

Is it your dream to star in a Japanese anime but thought you would never get the chance due to your language? An amazing opportunity has arisen for English speaking anime lovers with a sturdy set of pipes. A new animation called Carol & Tuesday which is set to air April 2019 is holding worldwide auditions for singers. A promotional video for the anime is below. The supervising director of the show is Shinichiro Watanabe, famous for Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. He also directed two shorts for the Animatrix. They are looking for female singers to sing the dubbed version for the two main characters, Carol and Tuesday. The…


The Geishas of Kyoto’s Gion District Gather For A Flamboyant New Year Ceremony [Video]

2018-01-17 12:40

Geishas and maikos (apprentice geishas) in the hanamachi entertainment quarters of Gion and Pontocho gathered on January 7 to participate in a yearly ceremony to kick off the beginning of business after the New Year’s holiday season. One of the largest gatherings occurred in Yasaka Hall in the compound of Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Hall in Higashiyama Ward. More than 110 geishas and maikos assembled in the hall, decked out in formal black kimonos and wearing kanzashi hair ornaments with rice-stalk motifs as well as dogs to celebrate the Year of the Dog. Source: (C) Sankei Shimbun Co., Ltd. Source: (C) Sankei Shimbun Co., Ltd. The geishas and maikos assembled in…


All of Japan’s Traditional Festivals and Regional Delicacies Under One Roof: Furusato Matsuri at Tokyo Dome

2018-01-15 12:53

Not many people have the time or money to travel all around, to sample all the food and see all the festivals Japan has to offer. So what if you could do it all in one day, under one roof? grape Japan The Furusato Matsuri is currently running at Tokyo Dome and this year is its 10th anniversary. The best food, and festival performances from Hokkaido to Okinawa have been selected to attend the event. grape Japan The rows of food stalls allow you to hop from prefecture to prefecture, snapping up the local delicacies that take your fancy. Dishes range from the classic (think Hokkaido crab) to the more…


From Grandpas to Virtual Currency: 5 Weirdly Themed Japanese Idol Groups

2018-01-12 05:20

You may have heard of famous idol groups from Japan such as AKB48 and Morning Musume, but aside from these standard cute J-pop girls, there’s a whole wealth of idol units out there representing all manner of surprising themes… Virtual Currency Girls (Virtual Currency) Are you confused about all this talk of bitcoin and crypto-currencies? Perhaps Virtual Currency Girls can help! (If you can understand Japanese) Source: PR Times Kaso Tsuka Shojo (Virtual Currency Girls) are an 8 member idol group with the aim of educating the public about various virtual currencies. The stage personas are inspired by different currencies, one member is called BCH, standing for Bitcoin Cash and…


Kyoto Night Club LAB.TRIBE : An Entertainment Space Transcending All Genres

2018-01-05 08:30

There are a few good night clubs in Kyoto, such as World Peace Love which we saw in our coverage of the Pontocho area last month. However, one club stands out as a space open to all genres of music and a place where music, fashion and art come together in Kyoto, and that’s LAB.TRIBE. Situated near the Sanjo station and the Kyoto City Hall, a bit at a distance from the lively scene in Pontocho and Kamiyamachi, the building where LAB.TRIBE is housed on the basement level doesn’t give away too much. Grape Japan And yet, once you go down the steps and join the party, you’ll soon understand…


The Most Ridiculous Song For Learning Japanese English

2017-12-15 05:13

With the approach of the 2020 Olympic Games and an uptick in foreign tourism, Japan has started a campaign to make traveling in the country a more “foreigner-friendly” experience, even going as far as to change longstanding signage in the country. But when actually traveling in Japan, it’s inevitable that one will need to rely on verbal communication to reach their goal, regardless of how well-versed they are in the native tongue. What might surprise those that haven’t spent a lot of time in Japan, however, is that a good deal of understanding can be achieved by simply speaking English…in Japanese. The video, titled Tokyo Bon 2020 (Makudonarudo), is a…


Shibuya 109 Collaborate with BTS for Pop-up Store and Christmas Campaign

2017-12-05 05:26

The legendary purveyors of Tokyo trends, Shibuya 109 have made so-hot-right-now South Korean boy band BTS the faces of their Christmas campaign, which is succinctly named ‘BTS 109 Xmas’. The pop-up store is located on the 8th floor of the intimidating tower of fashion and will run until Christmas Day (that’s 25th in Japan). 109’s other branches in Fukuoka, Abeno and Kagoshima will also get a limited run of the pop-up shop. 🔥BTS 109 XMAS情報🔥 みんな知ってた?🙈SHIBUYA109では館内BGMがBTSの曲でジャックされてるんだよ✨更に12月6日発売される「Crystal Snow」のショートバージョンの曲も流れてるとか🙊✨BGMの順番をチェックして、流れてたら聴いてみてね💞 ここから⏬https://t.co/Ki1MuEYgTv#BTS_109 pic.twitter.com/tBoU6rJLcK — SHIBUYA109 (@SHIBUYA109NET) 1 December 2017 Exclusive BTS merchandise can be bought including stickers, magnets, key chains and notebooks. If you’ve ever wanted rest your face on all seven members’ faces…


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