Japanese pop group SMAP pledge to continue as group

TOKYO — SMAP, one of the most popular and longest-lived Japanese pop groups, pledged to continue as a group Jan. 18, days after media reports that they were on the verge of breaking up, as grieving fans in Japan and other Asian countries apparently moved them. At the outset of their TV variety show “SMAP […]

Moving to the international rhythm of Jin Akanishi

Jin Akanishi, well known in Japan as a former member of boy band KAT-TUN and as a solo artist, set foot in America in 2010 for the “Yellow Gold 3010 Tour.” He returns this month for a five-city tour across the United States following the success of his singles, “Test Drive” and “Sun Burns Down.” […]

Punk glam rock fashion with all the thrills

Following a successful prelude of fashion shows and a temporary pop-up store during the J-Pop Summit Festival 2011, which was held in August, the h.Naoto store opened at the New People building in San Francisco’s Japantown on Oct. 7. Naoto Hirooka, better known as h.Naoto, attended the grand opening of his boutique, his first store […]

SOU SOU: Turning traditional kimono into cool contemporary clothing

Kyoto is often known for its high-end traditional arts and culture, and as a city, is proud of its heritage as Japan’s ancient capital. Normally, the products from Kyoto are high quality and ornate — kimono that sell for thousands of dollars and austere traditional tea ceremonies that remain preserved from hundreds of years ago. […]

J-Pop a draw for crowds

Two years after the opening of the New People building in San Francisco’s Japantown, the third annual J-Pop Summit Festival took place over the weekend of Aug. 27 and 28. The festival expanded to two days for the first time, thanks to fans who raised money through Kickstarter, a platform that funds creative projects. The […]

Management of San Francisco Japantown theater changes hands

The San Francisco Film Society (SFFS) announced on June 22 that the New People Cinema, located in San Francisco Japantown’s New People building, will become a permanent home to the film society. The SFFS has been searching for a permanent home for its yearlong showings as well as its two-week long San Francisco International Film […]

TokyoPop’s closure a tale of destiny

I’m not a fan of TokyoPop, and this entry may be read as just one blogger’s loud-mouthed harangues on the grave, but this end is a lesson to be learned and the closing act of a tragedy. I will not deny where credit is due. TokyoPop is one of the most influential presences in the […]

Akanishi’s ‘Yellow Gold’ tour rolls through San Francisco

A packed auditorium of fans at The Warfield welcomed Jin Akanishi, whose Nov. 10 San Francisco performance was part of his “Yellow Gold 3010 Tour.” Akanishi is the Japanese talent company Johnny and Associates’ first solo act and is actively reaching out to his fans in the U.S. This visit was Akanishi’s second time performing […]

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