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Alisa Yamasaki

For Alisa Yamasaki's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

The changing face (and bodies) of fitness

Aug 4, 2016

The changing face (and bodies) of fitness

There has been a recent trend among Japanese comedians to go big — with their workouts. Toshiaki Kasuga, Nakayama Kinnikun and Yoshio Kojima all incorporate flexing into their routines, playing up macho stereotypes for laughs. However, Shun Kaneko isn’t laughing. “On Japanese TV, when ...

Domestic content rules at Waradise Garage's 'wamono' events

Mar 20, 2016

Domestic content rules at Waradise Garage's 'wamono' events

Japan’s club scene continues to divide itself into smaller niche events like cells undergoing mitosis. Each new party differs slightly from the others and together they cater to almost every genre and micro-genre imaginable; if it has been blogged about, then there’s a night ...

Sapphire Slows looks to build on her past lo-fi success

Oct 11, 2015

Sapphire Slows looks to build on her past lo-fi success

‘I get asked, ‘How can you make it as a musician?’ and I really think it’s all about mental strength,” says Kinuko Hiramatsu, who produces music under the name Sapphire Slows. In the past two years the 25-year-old electronic-music artist has released a full-length ...

Sparrows to step up to the studio sound board

Oct 11, 2015

Sparrows to step up to the studio sound board

‘It’s embarrassing to be flashy,” says Ryota Miyake, explaining why he chose the sparrow, one of the plainest, most ubiquitous birds in Japan as his moniker. The 34-year-old musician and bird lover is one of Japan’s two Red Bull Music Academy participants in Paris ...

Akiko Kiyama's twisted techno turns to new kind of sound

Jun 19, 2015

Akiko Kiyama's twisted techno turns to new kind of sound

Akiko Kiyama has made a name for herself as one of the most prominent female Japanese techno artists. Since returning to Tokyo this past December after living in Berlin for several years, she has already launched her own label, Kebko Music, with two releases ...

Shokuhin Matsuri aka Foodman cooks up footwork on 'oiss'

Jul 1, 2014

Shokuhin Matsuri aka Foodman cooks up footwork on 'oiss'

“I used to be a video-game nerd,” says Takahide Higuchi, the experimental footwork producer also known as Shokuhin Matsuri in Japanese and Foodman in English. “I thought that guys who were popular with girls made music, but I was sort of stubborn and didn’t ...

Drink responsibly when you're out with friends this summer

Jun 26, 2014

Drink responsibly when you're out with friends this summer

Now that we’re well out of cherry-blossom season, the next round of outdoor drinking parties will take us out into the beer garden. The muggy heat may seem tolerable only with an ice-cold ale in hand, but clinical psychologist Jim McRae says drinking shouldn’t ...

The electronic remains of Ursula Bogner

Jun 24, 2014

The electronic remains of Ursula Bogner

Ursula Bogner (1946-94) was a German pharmacist, wife and mother with a passion for the unfamiliar, which included electronic music. At her home studio, she layered sonic textures and her own voice to create explorative, playful pieces that have a slight outer-space feel. She ...

Imany makes peace with her voice on debut album

Sep 18, 2013

Imany makes peace with her voice on debut album

As a model, Nadia Mladjao would have seen all there is in the world of luxury and excess. But the 27-year-old singer, better known as Imany, keeps it simple with her guitar on her debut album, “The Shape of a Broken Heart.” “What I ...

When Crossfaith tells you to rock: you listen

Aug 28, 2013

When Crossfaith tells you to rock: you listen

Vocalist Kenta Koie looks at me square in the eye and says, “We want to be the biggest band in the world.” That band is Crossfaith, a metalcore band who will release its new album, “Apocalyze,” in Japan on Sept. 4. At a time ...