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 Robert Michael Poole

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Robert Michael Poole
Robert Michael Poole is a specialist on the Japanese music and entertainment scene and has been contributing to The Japan Times since 2008. He has also written for Newsweek, CNN, The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal.
For Robert Michael Poole's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
May 25, 2018
Yap, the Pacific island Japan has almost forgotten
Ancient traditional culture, imperial Japanese influence and modern tourism blend together in the Pacific island of Yap.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Nov 12, 2016
A new luxury hotel — in Fukushima?
On March 11, 2011, the residents of Fukushima Prefecture felt the earth shake as a massive quake struck off the northeastern coast of Japan. But few could have predicted the explosions that would later follow or that the reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant would go in to meltdown. The region has been physically changed, tainted by radiation, but also altered in other ways: The government's investigation and ensuing media attention has ensured the words "Fukushima" and "radiation" are forever linked.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Sep 20, 2012
'It' girl Rola welcomes Jepsen to Japan
It's a meeting of the memes. Inside one of Shibuya's biggest clubs, Japan's happy-go-luckiest talent perches eagerly and wide-eyed on her high stool awaiting the arrival of Canada's most cheerful pop star.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jun 14, 2012
Rocker Hotei hears London calling
Queen Elizabeth's Jubilee celebrations are never complete without a rock star wielding an axe to inaugurate proceedings. For the Golden Jubilee in 2002 it was Queen's Brian May atop Buckingham Palace. And for The British Embassy in Japan's Diamond Jubilee party this month, the sword fell on the broad shoulders of Anglophile Tomoyasu Hotei. Not without good cause either.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Dec 9, 2011
Jackson brothers to visit Michael's 'second home'
"Immortal," the new Michael Jackson-themed Cirque du Soleil show touring North America may sound grandiose but the self-proclaimed "King of Pop" was undoubtedly a larger-than-life character. While immortality was out of Jackson's reach, the singer's family are doing their best to keep his memory alive with musical extravaganzas.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Nov 22, 2011
Rock star starts a new 'circle of life' with Yoyogi Village
Squeezed between the two central Tokyo hubs of Shinjuku and Harajuku, Yoyogi is rarely a destination for tourists — more of a two-minute halt that breaks up the journey to somewhere else. But this month, ecological troubadour Takeshi Kobayashi, producer of multi-million-selling rock-band Mr. Children, opens the gates to Yoyogi Village, a multi-purpose melange of environmentally friendly stores, organic restaurants, coffee shops and event spaces he hopes will regenerate the overlooked district.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
May 5, 2011
Verbal wants to hit the reset button on pop
In the middle of her recent Japan tour, pop superstar Kylie Minogue surprised her fans by announcing a new song on YouTube. The song, written by Japanese rapper and producer Verbal, is called "We Are One" and is the pair's effort to try to raise donations for Unicef following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jun 4, 2010
Meisa gets high fives all round
Halfway through the first-ever Girls Award fashion show at Tokyo's Yoyogi National Stadium last month, 22-year-old Meisa Kuroki strides down the catwalk, glistening in a sleeveless gold dress and black stockings while delivering her pulsing dance tune "Shock."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
May 28, 2010
Rising star set to shine
In September 1984 — three years after MTV: Music Television had kicked into life with British electro-pop duo The Buggles' appropriately titled 1979 classic "Video Killed the Radio Star" — Madonna strode onto a New York stage for the fledgling channel's first Music Video Awards.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Apr 30, 2010
Only got 4Minutes to take the world
T he five young members of 4Minute sit dressed in tight, black leather outfits at a luxury hotel in Ebisu, Tokyo. It's one day before their Japanese debut, but they show no signs of nerves.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Apr 16, 2010
Jazz singer Meyer raps up second album, 'Passport'
"There's a whole bigger world out there than what we are doing," says jazz pianist and vocalist Emi Meyer. "Studying roots music and ethnomusicology always kept me open-minded."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Feb 12, 2010
Chatmonchy go south by southwest
"We want to establish our reputation as a rock band rather than a 'female' rock band. But I've noticed there are big differences in feeling between men and women, and it seems to be easier to convey how we feel and get into the rhythm as girls."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jan 15, 2010
Abingdon Boys School of rock is now in session
"Songs these days have become a lot shorter because people don't seem to have time to listen to whole songs anymore," laments Takanori Nishikawa, vocalist of Abingdon Boys School. "They just (listen to) their favorite part and then skip to another song."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Dec 25, 2009
The decade's most influential
Last week, The Japan Times picked Hikaru Utada as the most influential artist of the past decade. This week, our writers ask various figures in Japan's music scene who they thought were the most influential artists of the noughties. We asked them to choose one Japanese artist and one non-Japanese artist, a task that proved to be difficult for some. Meanwhile, other musicians thought movements such as the Internet were the star of the decade rather than an actual performer. Here's what they said: CRYSTAL KAY Singer
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Nov 20, 2009
Tibet to Tokyo: alan takes flight
"First of all, I am a Tibetan, 100 percent," says singer Alan Dawa Zhuoma, more commonly known by her stage name alan. "I'll never forget the many Chinese teachers and friends who gave me knowledge and encouraged me while I studied in Chengdu and Beijing, but wherever I go, I am Tibetan and I always remember it."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Oct 30, 2009
m-flo's Verbal spreads the love
"It's like a meteorite flow" says Verbal of his group's name. "I spelled it 'mediarite' because I thought we would hit with a big impact in the media and surprise the unsuspecting masses with some good music. I think it worked better than I anticipated."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Oct 16, 2009
Crystal Kay is having a ball
"There is still some racial thing going on," claims a mild-mannered Crystal Kay. "Some people can't accept there are a lot of foreigners out there, even in the industry.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Aug 7, 2009
Anna Tsuchiya's classic new world
"I find beauty in the dark side or in people's anger!" confesses a boisterous Anna Tsuchiya. Surprisingly, Japan's choice wild-child actress, model and singer did not talk about herself egotistically, but merely justified her love of Chopin over Mozart: "When I (first) listened to Chopin's 'The Revolution,' I thought classical music is rock music," she says. "It was beautiful and I wanted to go into rock!"
CULTURE / Music
Jul 3, 2009
The world of J-pop pays tribute to the King of Pop
Michael Jackson's musical influence reached all corners of the globe — and Japan too. Artists across genres and generations have all spoken about the loss of one of the music industry's all-time greats:
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jun 26, 2009
Misia changes with charity
I think that you can convey a fact by words, but you can not convey the truth only with those words," says Misia, taking a break from recording sessions in Tokyo's Shibuya district. "And I believe music is what can fill it out."

Longform

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