We will hold Art X Entertainment exhibition “Scandal itself is fantasy” by Daiki Suzuki featuring Nayu Kakeya

blog, Japanese music culture, World music, 未分類


If you want to gaze at Japanese art history or typical Japanese art, you can enjoy these.

If you want to listen to the classic concert or detective stories in the art exhibition, you can also enjoy them.

Main art creator; Daiki Suzuki

Born in 1990. 2015, University of Amsterdam, ACTL winter European Tax Law Course. Now, MBA student of Hosei University. Specialist of data science, cartoon painter, installation and art curation. He is an entrepreneur as a fonder of Glover Transship Co., Ltd.

Artist and creator; Nayu Kakeya

Graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts. Specialities; Modern art. She is called as an item creator of RPG games.

Produced by Glover Transship.

Glover Transship

Supported by Artivive.



Hottest Bands Now – umbrella (Japan)

Japanese music culture

Hottest Bands Now – umbrella (Japan)

Now that you have some idea of what the Visual-kei scene is from the previous issue here, you’re probably wondering which bands to check out first. Since it wouldn’t be too hard to find out more on the more popular bands, let us introduce you to the upcoming bands that need the most support now.


umbrella is a four-piece band based in the Kansai region, formed in March 2010. Members are Hal (bass), Yui (vocals/guitar), Sho (drums), and Shu (guitar) from left to right, and the music they make are sentimental but not just melancholic, as if it is sympathizing with those unexplainable feelings, matching their catchphrase “an umbrella over your heart”. Yet, this does not mean that all of their songs are ballads; they also have upbeat music with more punk-like lyrics, that make you want to bang your head to.


As a big fan of this band, there are a lot of songs I would recommend you to listen to if not all of them, but if I had to pick just one, it would be “Kuda”, from their sixth single of the same name. Like almost all of their songs, this was written by Yui, but he mentions this song as one of his most favourites. The word “Kuda” literally means “tube” or “pipe” in Japanese, which he uses to symbolize the vital connections in life, which is the theme of the lyrics of this song. I usually favour the more upbeat songs, but the steady, heartbeat-like rhythms of Hal and Sho’s bass and drums, Shu’s weeping guitar sounds, and Yui’s warm and soothing voice and lyrics made me fall in love with it. It’s like it is giving you the kind and gentle hug when you need it the most, and it becomes even more emotional when you listen it live at their gigs.


They released their first full album “Darwin” in May this year, and have successfully ended their tour around Japan in July and also played in Canada for the J-Music Festival held in August. They still have many shows coming up later this year, so check out their website for more information.


Website: https://xxumbrellaxx.com/


Nothing But Thieves is going on third year from their debut.

blog, Japanese music culture, World music

Nothing But Thieves is going on third year from their debut.


It will be 3 years since they releaced their debut album “Nothing But Thirves” October, 2015. The album appered on the Official UK chart at No. 7, hit a peak at No. 3 on iTunes and was No.1 on the vinyl album charts. Especially their single “Trip Switch” got a number one spot on Billboard’s Alternative Songs Chart, and gathered more than 26 million plays on Spotify. Also their “Ban All The Music” tour of the UK in October, 2015 was sold-out.

In September, 2017, their second alubum “Broken Machine” was releced with high anticipation. “Amsterdam” and “sorry” were particurally recommended.
Amsterdam: It is a frustrating song. The song starts with high tempo and from bridge to chorus, you can feel your heart beating. You will never forget when you listen this song once. Amsterdam is a place which they can be relaxed and when they want relief, they come back to it.
Sorry: In contract, “Sorry” is dark and hopeless. The song is about dealing with the problems and flaws for getting older. At the biginning of the song, there are only voice and guiter’s sound. Then to the end of it, the song gets melodic climax added drum sound.

World Tour will start soon

Free-Photos / Pixabay

In addition, there is no end to their popularity.
They are going off on world tour in August 2018. First place is to be in Brazil. Subsequently they are goig to travel in South America, United States, Canada and Europe.

Who They Are

The band “Nothing But Thieves” was formed in 2012 by five pieces of Southend-on-Sea in Essex. The band consists of singer Conor Mason, guitarists Joe Langridge-Brown and Dominic Craik, drummer James Price, and bass player Philip Blake.
Their songs are writen by Conor (singer) and Joe (guitarist) basically. It takes a few hours to weeks to write one song which is influenced by eange of music such as Twin Alantic, Led Zep and Foo Fighters. And also Jazz singers which conor loves.

The Story for the Band Name

Before having this name, they came up with other metal name. For example, Number One Elephant, Hammer Gods, Maggot Death… However the story of this unique band name “Nothing But Thieves” is not ovious. In Japanese interview, they told “Long time ago, Joe had worked at the pizza delivery with a friend and his friend thrieved toppings from pizza! Then Conor said ‘he was Nothing but thieves!!’”. Actually this is one of their stories and not true. They have some more. Their unique character is probably a reason why they are popular and attract a lot of fans as well.

Sourced by


Written by Haruka Momose

Hottest Scenes Now – Visual-kei

blog, Japanese music culture, World music

Hottest Scenes Now – Visual-kei

If you have some knowledge about Japanese subcultures you might have heard about Visual-kei before. This is a movement in the Japanese rock music scene, known for the colorful hairstyles, flamboyant costumes, and wearing a lot of makeup. It is important to know that this is not a music genre because many of the bands and their music don’t have so much in common, but they still are all part of the Visual-kei movement.


27707 / Pixabay

The term “Visual-kei” comes from the catchphrase “Psychedelic Violence-Crime of Visual Shock”, written on the album Blue Blood released in 1989 by X, formed in 1982 and currently known as X JAPAN. Since they were heavily influenced by glam rock and heavy metal, many bands that came after them also had these elements, but newer bands also show influences from bands that came before them in the Visual-kei scene, creating a lot of subgenres, such as Osare (fashionable)-kei, Tanbi (aesthetic)-kei, and Misshitsu (locked room)-kei.


It is quite easy to find your favorite band in this scene because there are so many bands making music of so many different genres, such as death metal, symphonic metal, techno, pop, punk, and shoegazing. It is not rare to find people avoiding listening to Visual-kei music because of how they look or for some other reasons, but judging their music without even listening to it is not the greatest idea. You will be missing out all the fun.


source : http://damy-official.com/media.php

Checking out their music is not hard these days and some bands even tour overseas as well, so if you like their music, make sure you also see them play live. Since most of the bands are all male, the majority of the fans are female, but that shouldn’t be stopping you to enjoy the atmosphere of the band and their gigs. Upcoming issues will introduce you to the bands you must keep an eye.

written by Mika Uchibori

9VI -Part 1-

blog, Japanese music culture, World music

Today we interviewed to a Boyholic style host club in Nakano, Tokyo. They looks like visual rock band members. Why do they choose the style? We will try to chase the truth this Boyholic aims.

What is Boyholic style?

Boyholic style means ladies behave as cool boys, wearing boy clothes and wicks. It is just a kind of style. Not so deep problem they have. They want to be looks of boys, only. So, they like both boys and girls. The boyish style is seen as wired, sometimes, in Japan. The conservertive people do not admit the progressive and expell us to pretend as ordinary. It is usual. However, “why aren’t we prohibit trying something, wearing boyish style all day long?” This club vice owner said. “We will provide the place of wearing boyish style all day long with the staffs and found this place.”

Why does the style similar to the visual rock bands?

“The Boyholic is demanded by young ladies and some boys. However, now most of our clients are composed of young ladies (most of 20s). The most of the guests like the style of visual rock band.” The owner “Nano” said. It is something relationship between Boyholic style template and visual rock bands. The two segment of guest are exactly piled, it seems.

Why does the style similar to the visual rock bands?

“We will aim for the Japanese image. One of the recommended menu is Matcha. We will intend to mix the images up, between Japanese and Boyholic.” When we headed the reply, we asked them if they intended to invite foreigners or not. However, the answer is “No”. “We can’t speak English. This place is talkative place. So, if foreigners come to our club, we would be upset.”

Daiki Suzuki

The Language of Music

blog, Japanese music culture, World music

The Significance of Listening to Music in Another Language

Nietjuh / Pixabay

Music can be found all around the world with lyrics in many different languages.  Many people tend to polarise towards songs with lyrics that are presented in a language that they understand.  However, does it really matter whether the lyrics are understood or not?

Originally music was played without lyrics.  The tune would invoke feelings simply through the sound of the instruments.  Eventually lyrics were added to music, and in places like churches the lyrics used were in Latin.  Latin, a language which few people understood at the time, was the language used in many songs.  Therefore, despite people not knowing the meaning of the words they could still enjoy the song.

China gives another good example of this.  Chinese is a language base on tones.  Therefore, Chinese spoken without tones or with tones changed to fit a song can be very obscure even to native speakers.  Despite this many people listen to and enjoy Chinese music in China.

Of course there are also situations in non tonal languages where a native speaker can misinterpret the spoken lyrics to the point of ambiguity.  For example, in English, there are “commonly misheard lyrics” in many songs.  But despite misinterpreting the lyrics of a song a person can still enjoy it. 

Many people listen to songs, but without realising it they segregate songs through the language of the lyrics.  I think it would be good for more people to be willing to enjoy songs regardless of lyrics.

written by Eric Lundberg

Don’t sleep on these underrated Japanese film music.

Japanese music culture, World music, 未分類

Music plays an essential role in films

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A soundtrack has the power to dramatize the film and it significantly affects how a scene is perceived, and the emotional reaction of the audience. So it is easy to think that much thought is brought into the soundtrack in filmmaking.

When it comes to soundtracks of Japanese films, the main theme of Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence is noteworthy. The film is a joint production among Japan, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, and the famous main theme is created by Ryuichi Sakamoto, one of the most internationally accredited Japanese musician. The melancholic and beautiful sound has become iconic, but what other music do the Japanese film industry offer?

Generally speaking, it is common for blockbusters in Japan to have a main theme composed and performed by popular J-pop and J-rock artists. The main theme of Your Name. by Makoto Shinkawa, a film that ranks fourth in the revenue rankings of Japanese films, was created by RADWIMPS, a popular Japanese indie rock band. The Moon and a Cabbage, a film by Tetsuo Shinohara has Masayoshi Yamazaki, a successful singer songwriter as the actor olaying the role of the protagonist and the singer/composer of the main theme. It is also common for idol groups like Arashi (a popular boy band that performs the main theme of Boys over Flowers) to perform the main theme of films. Many Studio Ghibli films have main themes created by acknowledged artists like Yumi Matsutoya and Ayaka Hirahara. However, Joe Hisaishi, the beloved composer of Studio Ghibli is behind most of the main themes of Ghibli films.

It might come to you as a surprise that the films that have main themes that become successful as individual songs, and appeal to the young audience are rarely awarded in the Japan Academy Awards. Some of the artists that have receive this award numerous times are Suo Yoshikazu, Shinichiro Ikebe, Keiichi Suzuki, Masaru Sato, Toru Takemitsu, and Joe Hisaishi. Although their works are highly praised, they are not necessarily phenomenons of the pop culture, so it’s easy for the general audience to miss these masterminds in charge of the soundtracks.


SplitShire / Pixabay

Furthermore, there are plenty of other underappreciated film music makers that do not catch the light. One notable underrated artist I recommend is Tenmon, who is a musician that often creates soundtracks for video games and anime. He has worked with Makoto Shinkawa, the rising director of anime films, and I believe that the soundtracks that Tenmon created for his earlier works, should be appreciated more considering the success of Your Name. and its soundtrack by RADWIMPS that took over Japanese pop culture. The profound soundtracks that Tenmon creates are very silent but powerful, and Shinkwa’s earlier films are not complete without them.

There are hidden gems in the deep ocean of Japanese film soundtracks. You might get caught up with the plot of the film, but remember that the film music is what guides you into the world that unfolds in the film.

SplitShire / Pixabay

Written by Sion Lee

Music is music.

Japanese music culture, World music

Who cares for criticizes?

Sometimes we see the situation people fail in performing and playing instruments of music.

At that time, the persons can feel disappointed at themselves.

Some may give up playing music forever.

However, Can you understand that truly?

It is natural people make mistook.

Sometimes persons may criticize with you.

But…Who cares?

Please carry on chasing your dream until you are satisfied.

Music is music.

It is not important for Good or Bad.

If you like music, please enjoy music with your confident.


Daiki Suzuki