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James Hadfield

For James Hadfield's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Haioka wants to represent Japanese style at RBMA

Sep 16, 2014

Haioka wants to represent Japanese style at RBMA

By his own admission, Shintaro Haioka was a late bloomer. The 32-year-old producer, one of only two Japanese artists taking part in the upcoming Red Bull Music Academy Tokyo, says he was an avid music fan as a teenager — but a lousy musician. ...

More than beginner's luck for RBMA participant Albino Sound

Sep 9, 2014

More than beginner's luck for RBMA participant Albino Sound

There’s nothing like a deadline to pull things into focus. “When you’re making music on a computer, it’s hard to know when to stop — you could keep going forever,” says Hirotaka Umetani. “It helps to have a cut-off point.” For the 28-year-old Tokyo ...

Punk author Kou Machida on his offbeat samurai story

Aug 16, 2014

Punk author Kou Machida on his offbeat samurai story

You wouldn’t expect a punk musician to write decent novels, any more than you’d expect a boxer to be good at darning. The talents prized by the former vocation — restlessness, insouciance, hard-wired disregard for authority — don’t lend themselves to the rigors of ...

Akira

| May 3, 2014

Akira

“Kanedaaaa!” “Tetsuoooo!” For a generation of teenagers growing up in the 1990s (this writer included), Katsuhiro Otomo’s “Akira” was our gateway drug to the imaginative excesses of Japanese pop culture. With its immaculately rendered visions of high-tech chaos, psychokinetic battles, revolutionary sects and unfeasibly ...

'Granta' opens a window into Japanese literature

Apr 26, 2014

'Granta' opens a window into Japanese literature

With such a piddling amount of Japanese fiction finding its way into English translation each year, you learn to make the most of what you can get. So when this year's Tokyo International Literary Festival marked the launch of not one, but two compendia ...

Reinventing the wheel: the future of cycling in Tokyo

Apr 5, 2014

Reinventing the wheel: the future of cycling in Tokyo

On Jan. 24, a full-page advert appeared in the Tokyo edition of the Yomiuri Shimbun for a petition on behalf of the capital’s cyclists. “Join the new governor in making Tokyo a bicycle city,” read the headline for the ad, which reeled off a ...