Whether we are Buddhists, followers of Shintoism or atheists, the first thing many Japanese do on ganjitsu (New Year’s Day) is go to their local shrine or temple for hatsumōde, a symbolic first visit of the year. If it’s not done on Jan. 1, it will likely happen shortly after. Read the full article at […]

It’s become a bit of trivia among “Star Wars” fans that creator George Lucas allegedly took inspiration from both the term jidai geki (historical drama) when creating the word “jedi” and Akira Kurosawa’s film “The Hidden Fortress.” Those aren’t the only Japanese references in the series; from Darth Vader’syoroi-inspired helmet to Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Toshiro Mifune-esque […]

Publications such as Oricon Japan are touting a “band boom” — a term thrown around the Japanese pop culture lexicon occasionally, signifying a surging popularity of rock bands — on the horizon for a new generation, with Gesu No Kiwami Otome. as one of the premier acts. While it remains to be seen whether a […]

Indeed, it has been a very long time since we’ve had an X Japan album. But to fans, even the delays are part of the mythos — one full of hardship, success, tragedy and resurrection. This time, however, it looks certain that a comeback is going to happen. Read the full article at The Japan […]

On the other hand, the film finds the trio during their downtime at the Merlion in Singapore, ordering at In-N-Out Burger in Los Angeles and shopping at Uniqlo in New York. This overseas aspect seems overtly tailor-made for a Japanese audience — at times I wondered if the film was just a glorified kaigai(overseas) photo […]

After a week-long battle featuring 18 DJs from 17 different countries duking it out in clubs across Tokyo, the Red Bull Thre3style world final came down to six DJs competing for the title of the world’s ultimate party-rocking DJ. Read the full article at Red Bull.com.

Have you noticed there’s been a lot of comic book-based movies lately? The idea of plotting to take over the world isn’t an unusual one for a comic, so it makes sense that Marvel Studios has been slowly conquering the film industry for the past eight years. Read the full article at The Japan Times.

Kiyonobu Inoue, more commonly known as Inoran, is a very busy man. Aside from his day job, in which he plays to sold out arenas as a guitarist for rock band Luna Sea, he juggles being a producer, playing in a handful of other projects and managing a solo career. He admits life wasn’t always […]

The former Napalm Death guitarist and his companion, bassist Ben “G.C.” Green should feel right at home on a roster that includes Japanese acts Boris and Cohol. The label has been chiefly responsible for introducing them to a Japanese audience, while also introducing what metal fans in the West have known for years now; that […]

What was originally used to refer to as “urban music made by people in cities” in the pop scene, now seems to be more of a simplified indie buzzword used to induce feelings of sophistication, fashionableness and nostalgia. And while it’s easy to dismiss the term as a generalized, convenient marketing gimmick to sell records […]