Ryotaro Aoki

For Ryotaro Aoki's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Noise outfit Endon takes a hard look at itself in the mirror

Mar 12, 2017

Noise outfit Endon takes a hard look at itself in the mirror

The term “noise music” has come to define a variety of artists and sounds, from guitar feedback to drones to white noise. Japan is certainly no stranger to the concept, birthing formidable pioneers of the genre such as Merzbow, Hijokaidan and Incapacitants over the ...

Yoshiki: 'We had to make our own world'

Mar 5, 2017

Yoshiki: 'We had to make our own world'

Yoshiki Hayashi hardly sleeps. The drummer, pianist, songwriter and leader of rock band X Japan has been in and out of the country constantly these past few months, promoting his band’s new documentary film, “We Are X.” At the same time he has been ...

What's in a name? Just ask Cairophenomenons

Feb 26, 2017

What's in a name? Just ask Cairophenomenons

When a band changes its name, it sometimes signifies a switch in artistic direction. For indie band Cairophenomenons — previously known as Cairo — the decision was far more practical, even if the new moniker is a bit of a mouthful. “Our band didn’t ...

Review: Yoshiki at Tokyo International Forum

Dec 9, 2016

Review: Yoshiki at Tokyo International Forum

Despite being billed as a solo tour, X Japan’s Yoshiki Hayashi’s “Yoshiki Classical” tour is undoubtedly deeply rooted in the lore of one of the biggest rock acts of the country. The concert at Tokyo International Forum on Dec. 6 was packed with tear-jearkers, ...

Tokyo Comic Con calls on Hollywood's big guns for star power

Dec 1, 2016

Tokyo Comic Con calls on Hollywood's big guns for star power

As we sit down for an interview, Tokyo Comic Convention Committee Chairman Mitsuaki Munegumi casually points to a glass case in the center of the room. “There’s actually a real ‘Star Wars’ lightsaber in there,” he says, and reaches over. He pulls out a ...

Ogre You Asshole flirts with tension on latest album

Nov 20, 2016

Ogre You Asshole flirts with tension on latest album

The members of Ogre You Asshole are bracing for something. At least, that’s what the title of their seventh album, “Handoru o Hanasu Mae Ni” (“Before Letting Go of the Handle”) suggests. (The album’s official English title is the less tense “Everythingsomethingnothing.”) “It’s not ...