Hallucinating in print with Keiichi Tanaami

Jan 31, 2015

Hallucinating in print with Keiichi Tanaami

Prolific is a word that hardly does justice to Keiichi Tanaami. Born in Tokyo in 1936, Tanaami has worked ceaselessly, imparting a lasting legacy on the landscape of Japanese Pop Art. He has been described as “Japan’s Andy Warhol,” but unlike Warhol, Tanaami’s works ...

Documentary festival delivers an encore to Tokyo audiences

Jan 15, 2015

Documentary festival delivers an encore to Tokyo audiences

Last November, Japan Times film critic Kaori Shoji predicted that the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival’s (YIDFF) program of screenings would slant toward sociopolitical analysis, focusing on substance over style. Audiences must have welcomed this weighty exposition of the documentary format, as the success ...

Yoshitaka Amano: The World Beyond Your Imagination

Jan 10, 2015

Yoshitaka Amano: The World Beyond Your Imagination

Yoshitaka Amano, Illustrations by Yoshitaka AmanoPie Books, Nonfiction. Yoshitaka Amano has cultivated a reputation as one of Japan’s premier character designers for his work on renowned series such as “Vampire Hunter D” and “Final Fantasy.” This book presents a comprehensive retrospective of Amano’s more ...

'Kawaii' gets a landmark

Dec 25, 2014

'Kawaii' gets a landmark

While Japanese cool hunters might lament the lack of pop cultural exports in recent years — all the more conspicuous when compared to K-Pop’s successful forays westward — kawaii (cute) culture has quietly permeated into global consciousness with all the effortless grace of singer ...

Rivers

Dec 20, 2014

Rivers

Rivers, by Teru Miyamoto, Translated by Roger K. Thomas and Ralph McCarthy.Kudodahan Press, Fiction. Although relatively renowned and celebrated domestically, Teru Miyamoto hasn’t received much attention abroad as English translations of the novelist’s works are still sparse. This latest publication goes some way toward ...

Rock, J-pop and dance: Albums we liked in 2014

Dec 16, 2014

Rock, J-pop and dance: Albums we liked in 2014

The year-end album charts in Japan have a tendency to prop up the same acts year after year: Exile, anything that ends in a “48,” and almost every group from the Johnny & Associates stable of boy bands. Writers at The Japan Times, however, ...

Musician Rory Viner turns Japan's suicide statistics into a song

Aug 19, 2014

Musician Rory Viner turns Japan's suicide statistics into a song

Train delays due to jinshin jiko, which euphemistically translates to “human accident” — often a suicide on the tracks — are far from an infrequent occurrence in Tokyo. Reaction to such suicides — of people you never knew — depends on the individual, whose ...

Two weddings and a 'Funeral' at Fuji

Jul 29, 2014

Two weddings and a 'Funeral' at Fuji

It’s hard to know what the organizers at Fuji Rock Festival were thinking when they decided to have Jack Johnson headline the main stage on the event’s last day. Not the infectious cheer and endearingly kitsch theatricality of The Flaming Lips, who performed directly ...