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Ukulele master dedicated to narrowing Japan-U.S. culture gap

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If any barriers are hindering Japan and the United States from achieving ultimate social harmony, Jake Shimabukuro hopes that his music can break the ice. Born and raised in Hawaii, the fifth-generation Japanese-American ukulele virtuoso gets the best of both worlds with a ‘Wa’ on the outside and ‘Aloha’ on ...

Afrirampo leads 'Zero Generation' into adulthood

Jun 26, 2016

Afrirampo leads 'Zero Generation' into adulthood

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Anarchic, anything-goes garage-punk band Afrirampo is defined first and foremost by feelings: The feelings that drive the duo as artists and the feelings they evoke in audiences. As the band returns to the live circuit after a six-year absence, guitarist Mayumi “Oni” Saeki is ...

Yuya Uchida on music, media and Madonna

Jun 19, 2016

Yuya Uchida on music, media and Madonna

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Strolling in late for our meeting, his shoulder-length white hair lightly flowing, trademark cane in hand and sunglasses on, Yuya Uchida may now be in his mid-70s, but he still carries himself with the air of a rock star. Uchida has been a colorful ...

Nogizaka46 'Sorezore no Isu' (N46Div.)

| Jun 19, 2016

Nogizaka46 "Sorezore no Isu" (N46Div.)

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You could say Nogizaka46 was born to fight. Created by Yasushi Akimoto and billed as the “official rivals” to his breadwinning AKB48 outfit, the group overcame an adultery scandal in 2014 and made its debut on NHK’s yearend “Kohaku Uta Gassen” music extravaganza in ...

Jun 16, 2016

Summer Sonic unveils domestic collaborative acts

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Summer Sonic on Thursday unveiled nine new domestic acts and a solo artist from China for its upcoming 2016 edition, including indie trio Cero and singer-songwriter Kazumi Nikaido, who is performing with the Gentle Forest Jazz Band. Chinese solo artist Leah Dou has also ...

Review: Sugizo and Inoran at Zepp DiverCity

Jun 15, 2016

Review: Sugizo and Inoran at Zepp DiverCity

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From superheroes to presidential elections, 2016 seems to be a year of infighting and rivalries. It has even trickled down into Japanese rock, as Sugizo and Inoran, the two guitarists from renowned rock act Luna Sea, went toe to toe with their respective solo ...