Kanye Video a Homage to ‘Enter the Void’?

Epileptics beware. So Kanye West’s video for “All of the Lights” has more than a passing resemblance to the opening credits of Gaspar Noe’s “Enter the Void,” which was filmed in Japan with several Japanese people in the crew. Check them out for yourself.’v=HAfFfqiYLp0’v=dL0lNGXoP8E& Also, check out an earlier Kanye video that is […]

Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto to celebrate 50 years playing koto March 20 in Oakland

OAKLAND — Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto will celebrate 50 years of playing koto music (Japanese 13-stringed zither) on Sunday, March 20 at 4 p.m. at the Lakeside Theater (in Kaiser Center, near Lake Merritt), 300 Lakeside Drive in Oakland, Calif. Among the artists who will join in the celebration are: Shigeo Tachibana, shakuhachi master from Chiba, Japan, […]

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Kodo readies tour for Bay Area

Forty-five kilometers (28 miles) off the coast of Honshu in the Sea of Japan lies an island the size of New York City. Mountainous and sparsely populated, Sado-ga-shima preserves a rural lifestyle nearly gone from the urban mainland. Drawn by this setting, a group of idealistic students moved here in the 1970s to found a […]

Haley Kiyoko, star of Disney’s new high school musical (not High School Musical)

More hapas on (kids) TV! So apparently Disney is putting together a high school musical TV movie (not a High School Musical© TV movie, mind you) called “Lemonade Mouth.” The star is Nikkei, and Disgrasian has the rundown. Here’s an excerpt: Hayley Kiyoko (pictured, center), who plays one of the lead misfits. Because the 19 […]

Ryoko Moriyama, daughter of Nisei jazz legend, performs in SF

Acclaimed Japanese singer Ryoko Moriyama, daughter of a San Francisco-born Nisei jazz musician, performed at the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California’s annual New Year’s party on Jan. 8. Her first visit to the city in several years, Moriyama, whose hits include “Kinjirareta Koi,” “Nada Sōsō,” “Anata ga Sukide,” and “Satokibi Batake,” sang for […]

Far East Movement stays ‘fly like a G6’

To say that Far East Movement has been keeping busy these days is an understatement. Their single “Like a G6” soared to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at the end of October and remained in the top 10 until mid-December. Earlier this year, they toured with Lady Gaga, N*E*R*D and Mike Posner, and […]

Ryuichi Sakamoto x Michael Jackson

Given the cash-in nature of posthumously assembled albums, I’m a little surprised by the restraint in terms of celebrity guests featured on the tracklist for “Michael,” the new MJ album. Akon, 50-Cent and Lenny Kravitz, all of whom he had been working with before his death were not big surprises (Kanye West and, who […]

Michael Jackson and the invisible line

It’s been about a year and a half since Michael Jackson’s death and a little longer since I wrote a column about it for the Nichi Bei Times. (I’m putting it at the end of this post for anyone interested). In a matter of hours, MJ went from being one of the media’s favorite punching […]

ENTERTAINMENT RE-ORIENTED: A Kung Fu Christmas and the Impact of A-Pop

Just found out that a “Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special” recently aired and will air again this Saturday Nov. 27. Fortunately, it looks like more than a quick cash-in. Dustin Hoffman and Jack Black reprise their roles and, according to the Onion A.V. Club (one of the very few sites whose reviews I almost always […]

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 […]