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Although he's best-known as the founder of Japan's biggest rock band X Japan, international icon Yoshiki is also a classically trained musician with impressive chops as a multi-instrumentalist and composer. He's finally set to show off his talent in this arena with the global release of his first classical-music album on September 24.
Intrigued? We at Yahoo Music are excited to offer the full stream of Yoshiki Classical for you to hear right now! This amazing set features collaborations between Yoshiki and legendary Beatles producer Sir George Martin, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo City Philharmonic Symphony, and the Quartet San Francisco.

You can learn more about Yoshiki's endeavors into the classical world by visiting his official site: http://www.yoshiki.net/

LISTEN TO THE FULL ALBUM HERE!: http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/stop-the-presses/exclusive-hear-full-stream-first-classical-album-x-154709579.html

With a fame not limited to Asia, and a music surpassing banal genre, the rock band that inspired other talented and accomplished artists is making a comeback in a world stage. X Japan fans are sure to be both nostalgic and excited with the announcement of Yoshiki for another world tour.

“Recently I came to think I’ll start a new era of rock,” Yoshiki said at the conference held in Tokyo last month. It’d be no surprise to find discriminating fans of music approving his proposal, knowing that X Japan is peerless. “I was often told that people feel that my songs represent a fusion of the Eastern and Western worlds,” said Yoshiki, who has long been the main songwriter of X Japan. Still, the Chiba-born artist shows preference to Japanese style. “I’ve lived in the United States for a long time. But when I make a song without any constraint, my Japanese-taste melodies may come out.”

In the world of music, electronic dance music, or EDM, has been making trends. Having lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, the trend did not go unnoticed to the master multi-instrumentalist Yoshiki. “Last year, the United States also was virtually saturated with EDM. As I make EDM sounds for fun myself, I got stimulated by it,” he revealed. “But rock also has a human side, and has accidents and dramas in many senses,” Yoshiki added, showing that his love for rock music remains unwavering.

Since their reunion in 2007 and their world tour in 2011, X Japan have not yet released a new album. Although the group has already recorded and completed some new songs, the selection has not yet been finalized. “We’re living in a world of information overload, so we can’t just relax and listen to the music. It seems to me that we can’t do it for much more than about 30 minutes,” Yoshiki shared. He even admitted having no hesitation to “throw away completed songs.” The passionate musician, who was also commissioned to compose the 69th and 70th Golden Globe Awards themes, remains fastidious. “I hope you will hear only good songs.”

Referring to X Japan’s world tour, Yoshiki said, “We’ve yet to have influence overseas, but we want to go all-out for that goal. We’ll make next year’s tour thrilling.”

Source: http://japandailypress.com/x-japan-back-for-2nd-world-tour-yoshiki-to-start-a-new-era-of-rock-2631219 & http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0000324188
29 June 2013 @ 06:55 pm

GACKT will be lending his voice to the Japanese version of the movie 'Silent Hill: Revelation 3D'.

As previously reported, GACKT is already involved with the movie as his new song, "CLAYMORE", was chosen as its image song. He will further contribute by providing the voice of one of the protagonists from the 'Silent Hill' game series.

SEE ALSO: GACKT's new song chosen as image song for Japanese version of 'Silent Hill: Revelation 3D'

GACKT commented on the tie-up, saying, "Through this tie-up, which shares a magical and gothic worldview, I hope that more people will come across my song and this movie."

'Silent Hill: Revelation 3D' will open in theaters nationwide on July 12th. Those who purchase advance tickets at the theater counter will receive a "welcome file" (clear file).

Sources: http://www.tokyohive.com/article/2013/06/gackt-to-voice-act-for-japanese-version-of-silent-hill-revelation-3d & http://natalie.mu/music/news/93870

Dedicate this to my pal squallina who loves these games. XD

GACKT looks so gorgeous! The tabloid rumors just haven't deterred him at all! :D
27 June 2013 @ 10:22 pm
Despite the tabloids rumors, GACKT seems to be doing really well with his sold out tour & many tv appearances.
He recently released two new PVs form his upcoming BEST of the BEST albums, Claymore & Sakura, Chiru....

CMs for BEST of the BEST albums & the Double Viewing of MOON SAGA play & BEST of the BEST tour.

Please check the sources if videos aren't working.

Sources: http://www.yinyuetai.com/video/692637, http://www.yinyuetai.com/video/692645, http://avex.jp/gackt/index.html, http://www.gackt.com/
An 80-year old Japanese mountaineer has reached the summit of Mount Everest, making him the oldest man to scale the world's highest peak.

Yuichiro Miura, who climbed Everest when he was 70 and then again at 75, reached the peak early on Thursday morning, his support team said.

He replaces Nepal's Min Bahadur Sherchan, who was 76 when he conquered Everest in 2008, as the record holder.

But Mr Sherchan, now 81, is set to tackle the mountain again next week.

Mr Miura began his final charge for the 29,035-foot (8,850-meter) peak around 02:00 on Thursday, Japanese media reported, and arrived at the summit some seven hours later.

"I made it!'' Mr Miura said, speaking to his family and supporters via satellite phone from the summit.

"I never imagined I could make it to the top of Mt Everest at age 80. This is the world's best feeling, although I'm totally exhausted. Even at 80, I can still do quite well.''

A Nepalese mountaineering official also confirmed to the Associated Press news agency that Mr Miura had made it to the summit.

Mr Miura made the climb with three other Japanese climbers, including his son, and six Nepali Sherpas, Reuters news agency reported.

An extreme skier who once held a world speed-skiing record, Mr Miura broke his pelvis and left thigh in 2009 and has also had a number of operations on his heart.

Ahead of his climb, he said scaling Everest was about challenging his limits and honouring "the great Mother Nature".

"If the limit of age 80 is at the summit of Mt. Everest, the highest place on earth, one can never be happier," he wrote on his expedition website.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22634683
24 May 2013 @ 06:30 pm
Again I got busy & never got around posting these:

http://io9.com/the-search-for-kusanagi-no-tsurugi-the-lost-imperial-s-500171708 | The Search for Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, the Lost Imperial Sword of Japan
http://gizmodo.com/elevators-of-tokyo-a-visual-encyclopedia-of-a-citys-m-506681531 | Escalators of Tokyo: a Visual Encyclopedia of a City's Moving Staircases
http://io9.com/spirit-foxes-and-raunchy-demons-in-japanese-netsuke-ar-505023670 | Spirit Foxes and Raunchy Demons in Japanese Netsuke Art
http://io9.com/yuko-shimizus-art-is-like-a-cooler-version-of-your-wil-507011286 | Yuko Shimizu's art is like a cooler version of your wildest dreams
http://www.jpopasia.com/news/yoshiki-x-stan-lee-blood-red-trailer-revealed::14013.html | Yoshiki x Stan Lee Blood Red Trailer Revealed
http://jrockrevolution.com/2013/05/news/jrock-news/dir-en-greys-kyo-hospitalized-3389 | Dir en grey’s Kyo hospitalized | Jrockrevolution
http://gizmodo.com/tokyo-has-never-sounded-this-incredible-508939001 | Tokyo Has Never Sounded This Incredible
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2013/05/21/entertainment-news/x-japan-wax-lyrical-at-madame-tussauds-debut/ | X Japan waxes lyrical at Madame Tussauds debut
A prominent Japanese politician has described as "necessary" the system by which women were forced to become prostitutes for World War II troops.

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto said on Monday that the "comfort women" gave Japanese soldiers a chance "to rest".

On Tuesday, Japanese ministers tried to distance themselves from his remarks.

Some 200,000 women in territories occupied by Japan during WWII are estimated to have been forced to become sex slaves for troops.

Many of the women came from China and South Korea, but also from the Philippines, Indonesia and Taiwan.

Japan's treatment of its wartime role has been a frequent source of tension with its neighbours, and South Korea expressed "deep disappointment" at Mr Hashimoto's words.

"There is a worldwide recognition... that the issue of comfort women amounts to a war-time rape committed by Japan during its past imperial period in a serious breach of human rights," a South Korean foreign ministry spokesman told news agency AFP.

Mr Hashimoto is the co-founder of the nationalist Japanese Restoration Party, which has a small presence in parliament and is not part of the government.

He was the youngest governor in Japanese history before becoming mayor of Osaka, and last year said Japan needed "a dictatorship".

In his latest comments, quoted by Japanese media, he said: "In the circumstances in which bullets are flying like rain and wind, the soldiers are running around at the risk of losing their lives,"

"If you want them to have a rest in such a situation, a comfort women system is necessary. Anyone can understand that."

He acknowledged that the women had been acting "against their will". He also claimed that Japan was not the only country to use the system, though it was responsible for its actions.

He said he backed a 1995 statement by Japan's then-PM Tomiichi Murayama, in which he apologised for war-time actions in Asia.

"It is a result of the tragedy of the war that they became comfort women against their will. The responsibility for the war also lies with Japan. We have to politely offer kind words to [former] comfort women."

'Historic given'

On Tuesday Japan's Cabinet Minister Yoshihide Suga declined to comment directly on Mr Hashimoto's remarks but reiterated the government's existing stance on comfort women.

He said the government felt "pains towards people who experienced hardships that are beyond description".

In 1993, Japan issued an apology for the "immeasurable pain and suffering" inflicted on comfort women. In 1995, it also apologised for its war-time aggression.

Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura also expressed concerns over Mr Hashimoto's remarks.

"A series of remarks related to our interpretation of (wartime) history have been already misunderstood," he told reporters. "In that sense, Mr Hashimoto's remark came at a bad time."

Last month, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe angered China and South Korea when he suggested he may no longer stand by the wording of Japan's 1995 apology, saying the definition of "aggression" was hard to establish.

Japanese ministers later sought to play down his remarks, amid anger across the region.

Japan's neighbours also objected to visits in April by several cabinet members and 170 MPs to Japan's Yasukuni shrine, which honours Japan's war dead, including war criminals.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22519384

This bitch. X(
14 May 2013 @ 05:09 pm
I was gonna post these but got busy for the past two week so I'll just post links here:

http://gizmodo.com/how-to-embrace-anime-and-never-look-back-485944115 | How to Embrace Anime and Never Look Back

http://kotaku.com/you-are-looking-at-a-ramen-burger-495560271 | You Are Looking at a Ramen...Burger

http://kotaku.com/geeky-caffe-latte-art-goes-3d-continues-to-blow-minds-493085996 | Geeky Caffè Latte Art Goes 3D, Continues To Blow Minds

http://en.rocketnews24.com/2013/05/04/quality-over-quantity-foreign-girls-praise-their-japanese-boyfriends-for-satisfying-sex/ | Quality Over Quantity; Foreign Girls Praise their Japanese Boyfriends for Satisfying Sex | RocketNews24

http://en.rocketnews24.com/2013/05/03/how-to-behave-at-a-sushi-restaurant-tips-from-japanese-etiquette-guides/ | How to Behave at a Sushi Restaurant: Tips from Japanese Etiquette Guides | RocketNews24

http://io9.com/japan-is-making-mecha-for-kids-what-could-possibly-go-486389368 | Japan is making mecha for kids; what could possibly go wrong?

http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2013/05/01/video-watch-ukiyo-e-heroes-make-traditional-wood-block-print-of-metroid | Crunchyroll - VIDEO: Watch Ukiyo-e Heroes Make Traditional Wood Block Print of "Metroid"
BEIJING — China's top newspaper on Wednesday published a call for a review of Japan's sovereignty over the island of Okinawa -- home to major US bases -- with the Asian powers already embroiled in a territorial row.
The lengthy article in the People's Daily, China's most-circulated newspaper and the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist party, argued that the country may have rights to the Ryukyu chain, which includes Okinawa.
The island is home to major US air force and marine bases as well as 1.3 million people, who are considered more closely related to Japan in ethnic and linguistic terms than to China.
The authors of the article, two scholars at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, considered China's top state-run think-tank, said the Ryukyus were a "vassal state" of China before Japan annexed the islands in the late 1800s.
"Unresolved problems relating to the Ryukyu Islands have reached the time for reconsideration," wrote Zhang Haipeng and Li Guoqiang, citing post-World War II declarations that required Japan to return Chinese territory.
The article also repeated Chinese government arguments for China's historical claims over a set of tiny uninhabited islets in the East China Sea known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese.
The two nations have stepped up a war of words over the dispute in recent months, with Beijing's vessels regularly entering the waters around the Tokyo-controlled islands, stoking fears of armed conflict.
Questions over Japan's right to Okinawa were probably aimed at raising the stakes in the East China Sea dispute, said Willy Lam, an expert on Chinese politics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
"I think this is psychological warfare," he said, adding: "The major point is to put pressure on Japan so that the Japanese administration will be forced to make concessions over the Senkaku islands."
Okinawa is the biggest of the Ryukyu islands, which stretch for about 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) from Japan's mainland, and were the centre of the Ryukyuan kingdom that paid tribute to Chinese emperors until it was absorbed by Japan in 1879.
But some Chinese see historical ties as a basis for sovereignty and dismiss Japan's possession of the islands as a legacy of its aggressive expansionism that ended in defeat at the end of World War II.
China's government does not make such claims, but state media have from time to time carried articles and commentaries questioning Japan's authority.
China is also in dispute with southeast Asian neighbours over huge swathes of the South China Sea, which it claims based on a map published in the 1940s.
Analysts have said that Beijing is growing increasingly assertive in pressing its territorial claims, while nations across Asia have invested massively in upgrading their naval capacity.

Source: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jCY3O8i3psWQdbYng8B1uMcdf3AQ?docId=CNG.0be8351c0e8939807be108f523748530.6b1

China, What are you doing? CHINA, STOP!
01 May 2013 @ 02:02 pm

That is not wasabi. You are looking at green tea ice cream...sushi. No, really.

That's vinegared sushi rice (aka "sumeshi" or 酢飯), dried seaweed ("nori" or 海苔), and ice cream. The ice cream sushi is served "gunkan maki" (軍艦巻) or "battleship roll sushi" style.

This week on Twitter via Byoukan Sunday, photos of ice cream sushi appeared online. It seems a sushi chain in Kyushu called Uokura offers vanilla and green tea ice cream sushi for 160 yen (about $1.60) a plate.

On the menu, it's even located between traditional sushi like "uni" (sea urchin roe) and "negitoro" (tuna and green onions). Most people online could not believe that ice cream sushi actually exists. It's somewhat baffling!

Ice cream is traditionally served at conveyor belt sushi restaurants. Those chain restaurants are relatively inexpensive and frequented by families. Little kids often want ice cream for desert—thus, frozen treats. However, the ice cream is usually served in bowls (see above) and not as sushi. This is highly peculiar for Japanese people, too.

The odd thing is that ice cream sushi isn't exactly brand new. It seems to have exists for the past few years. There is at least one example of a small, local restaurant in Mie Prefecture serving it, too. You can see an image of that below:

That being said, this is still rather uncommon!

So how does ice cream sushi taste? The reaction seems to vary from "pretty bad" to "better than you'd think".

Nintendo fan site Segment Games recently sampled the ice cream sushi, writing, "When I timidly tried ice cream sushi, surprisingly, it was perhaps not so bad." The site added that the green tea ice cream flavor was followed by the taste of vinegared rice and that you couldn't really taste the nori. Oh.

If Japan has seen chocolate banana sushi, then why not ice cream sushi?

You certainly won't be able to order this at most sushi restaurants in Japan, but if you are feeling adventurous, you can always make your own.

思わず二度見した [@kamo_kab via Byoukan Sunday)

(Top photo: Ciaoragazzi/ちょっと食い意地/shinshinshin1/蒼天狗の道草ブログ)

Source: http://kotaku.com/in-japan-ice-cream-sushi-exists-486191695

Good Lord...

Mount Fuji will be added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites next month after an influential advisory panel to the U.N. cultural body made a recommendation, officials said Wednesday.

The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), a consultative body to UNESCO, told the Japanese government that the almost perfectly conical Fuji is appropriate for registering as a World Heritage site, the agency for cultural affairs said in a statement.

Mt Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776 meters, is expected to be formally listed in June when the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO meets in Cambodia, said an official at the foreign ministry.

Following the recommendation, the mayor of Fujinomiya City, Hidetada Sudo, expressed hope the expected listing would be a boost to tourism.

“I expect many people will visit us. This is a huge step for our city’s development,” he said.

In its request for registration, the agency for cultural affairs said Mt Fuji covers roughly 70,000 hectares in Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures, including five major lakes and the Shiraito Falls, as well as eight Shinto shrines.

It is being considered as a “cultural” heritage site, rather than a “natural” heritage site.

The mountain “has nurtured Japan’s unique art and culture” as it has been depicted in “ukiyoe” woodblock prints and represents the tradition of mountain worship in Japan, the agency said.

Fuji, a volcano that last erupted around 300 years ago, is one of Japan’s most instantly recognizable sights. Images of its snow-capped peak adorn tourism literature published at home and abroad.

UNESCO’s World Heritage program is governed by an international treaty intended to “encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity,” its mission statement says.

Other World Heritage cultural sites include the Sydney Opera House, the temples at Angkor in Cambodia, The Great Wall of China and the pyramid fields in Egypt.

Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs last year also proposed that the collection of cultural assets at Kamakura be awarded World Heritage Site status, but the UNESCO panel turned the request down.

Source: http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/fuji-to-get-world-heritage-site-status-kamakura-misses-out

Naoki Inose, governor of Japanese capital Tokyo and head for the city’s bid to host the 2020 summer Olympics, apologized to the whole Muslim world on Tuesday after making comments about Turkey capital city Istanbul and its Islamic population in an article published on Friday. The negative comments were seen as a slight to Istanbul, also bidding to host the summer sports spectacle in 2020 and in so doing become the first predominantly Muslim city to host the Games. Inose had been quoted as saying that Islamic countries have nothing in common but Allah and are always “fighting with each other”.

Inose now finds himself forced into the apology after the New York Times published the story with his comments made through an interpreter. “Islamic countries, the only thing they have in common is Allah and they are fighting with each other, and they have classes,” the governor was quoted as saying. Inose initially defended his remarks after arriving from New York, saying the article did not reflect his true opinions. “The story made it seem as if Tokyo was criticizing the other bid cities, but my intention was not delivered correctly,” the politician expressed on his official Facebook page. “I had no intention of criticizing the other candidate cities at all,” Inose said. “It was extremely regrettable that such an article whose context differs from that of the interview was published.”

On Tuesday though, the governor faced television cameras and delivered a full-on apology. “There were remarks that can lead to misunderstandings among Islamic people,” he said. “So now I clearly apologize. If there are remarks that can be misunderstood, it is the inadequacy of my expression. I said (people) are fighting in some Islamic countries, but I think it was inappropriate. I want to correct it,” Inose concluded. Tokyo’s Olympic bid committee has already moved to minimize at the very least the impact of the error, as some have feared that the Tokyo Olympic bid might have been fatally hampered by Inose’s mistake. Tokyo 2020 officially said they had been taken by surprise by the article. “Tokyo 2020 fully respects and adheres to the IOC guidelines for the candidate cities. We have the utmost respect for all candidate cities and have always taken pride in bidding in a spirit based on the Olympic values of excellence, respect and friendship,” it said.

The timing of the gaffe may prove awkward as well for Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is traveling as of the moment. He is currently in Moscow for diplomatic and trade talks and will soon travel to the Middle East, swinging by Turkey on an official visit. Abe is looking to meet with the Turkish head-of-state in Ankara on Friday, and there is speculation that a Japanese-French group is nearing an agreement with the country to start a multi-billion dollar project to build Turkey’s first nuclear power plant.

Source: http://japandailypress.com/tokyo-governor-inose-apologizes-over-islam-gaffe-3028002

Visual-kei “air” band, Golden Bomber’s album “The Past Masters vol.1” (released on April 24th) sold 114,000 copies in the first week, and topped Oricon weekly album ranking. This marked their first-ever chart topping album since their debut back in May 2008. It seems like Golden Bomber continues to advance as they also topped weekly single ranking with “Dance My Generation” (released on January 1st 2013) for the first time.

With this album, Golden Bomber became the second artist from an indie label to top both weekly single and album rankings, since it has only previously been achieved by MONGOL800 (with album “MESSAGE” in September 2001, and single “Yorokobi no Uta” in December 2003).

The vocalist Kiryuin Sho left a comment saying, “Thank you everyone who purchased the CD. Continuing after our single in January, our album also topped in the first week…we are trembling at how powerful our agency is! We will continue doing our best. Ah, this time we topped without having a handshake event…(weeping for joy).”

Source: http://www.tokyohive.com/2013/04/golden-bomber-tops-oricon-weekly-album-chart-for-the-first-time/

Congrats to them! :D

Meet Little Witch Academia, the newest anime to pick up fans at lightning speed, both abroad and in Japan. Released on the Internet only a few days ago, on Friday, April 19, this 26-minute gem has already stacked up thousands of views and received an enormous amount of praise, particularly from fans outside Japan. The storyline is captivating (it’s about the school-life of a group of young witches-”magic girls”-studying at the Little Witch Academy), and the characters are so likeable that fans are already calling out for merchandise.

We’re predicting big things for the animation studio behind this work, so get on board before all the cool kids do and check out the entire clip, complete with English subtitles, after the jump.

This short animated film is one of a few select films that were screened in theatres last month as part of the “Anime Mirai” project. This project is an initiative, funded by the Japanese government, which encourages animation studios to train young animators. Now, Trigger, the animation studio behind Little Witch Academia, has done the unthinkable and released the entire episode for free on the net, complete with English subtitles!

Quite naturally, the English-speaking world has come out and given a deep, 90-degree bow of gratitude. But it seems this 26-minute taster has fans in such a state that there have been offers of money, tearful pleas and passionate demands to get more of Little Witch Academia. Take a look at some of the comments, from many corners of the world:

“I’m dying to see a second episode! My friends and I are already planning to cosplay as these characters.” (USA)

“More of this, or I will cry.” (UK)

“This one episode is better better than seven movies of Harry Potter.” (Malaysia)

“Breathtaking. Magical. Fantastic. And incredibly cute!” (Finland)

“Every single second of this is one of the most visually amazing seconds of my life.” (Canada)

“This is the coolest thing since Summer Wars.” (Thailand)

“Please! Please! Please! Please turn this into a series!” (Australia)

“So when will the TV series start?” (Mexico)

“If you put up a donation link, I’ll donate $10 just for this episode. I really want to see more!” (Poland)

“Trigger, make this a series! You can be sure all of us will eat it up.” (New Zealand)

“We need merchandising of this.” (Argentina)

“I think this studio could easily rival Studio Ghibli.” (UK)

“Accomplishes in 26 minutes what many anime fail to do in 26 episodes.” (USA)

Studio Trigger is still a fairly new company, only set up in 2011. To get such accolades and produce a global hit like this in such a short amount of time truly is something. We hope they continue to make great strides in the future!

Now sit back, relax, and enjoy Little Witch Academia.

Source: http://en.rocketnews24.com/2013/04/23/little-witch-academia-the-new-anime-taking-the-world-by-storm-video-with-english-subs/#more-51619