J-WAVE SPARK LIVE Vol. 5 to Feature Sayaka Yamamoto and SHE’S

04.November.2021 | MUSIC

Japanese FM radio station J-WAVE (81.3 FM) has announced its fifth live event coming to Zepp DiverCity in Tokyo. The station’s popular late-night program SPARK takes place from Monday to Thursday at 24:00-25:00 each week and is the inspiration for these incredible performances. This time, Sayaka Yamamoto and SHE’S will both be taking the stage on December 9, 2021. 

 

Sayaka Yamamoto serves as SPARK’s MC each Monday. Piano-rock band SHE’S collaborated with the singer on her song oasis released in February, with vocalist and keyboard player Ryouma Inoue producing the track and SHE’S arranging and performing the music. 

 

Performer Comments

 

Sayaka Yamamoto

I’ve worked with SHE’S musically in the past, and I’m so excited to work with them again like this. It will also be the first time for me to perform against an entire band alone, so I’m also super nervous. I’ll do my best to put on a great show!

 

SHE’S
After arranging and producing the song oasis for Yamamoto, she invited us to see her solo concert. I remember getting goosebumps because she had evolved so much, and she was so incredibly cool. I can’t wait to see what kind of live show this will turn out to be, and I hope we can sing something together!

 

SHE’S Vocalist Ryouma Inoue

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    Featuring a Main Visual by Aki Akane and Theme Song by jon-YAKITORY

    The main visual for the tour was drawn by popular illustrator Aki Akane and features a futuristic and extremely dynamic portrait of Hatsune Miku herself.

     

    The event theme song, titled THUNDERBOLT, will be performed by music creator jon-YAKITORY. This will be released at a later date, so stay tuned!

     

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  • Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Concludes 10th Anniversary Tour with Spectacular Performance at Budokan

    22.October.2022 | MUSIC

    On October 19, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu celebrated her 10th anniversary as an artist in the best way possible–by holding her first Nippon Budokan concert in six years. The conclusion of her national tour, the show was mysteriously titled ‘UMA 105.’ 

     

    Kyary’s special performance was also streamed to a worldwide audience via Zaiko Connect, with the video available to stream through January 2023. The stage itself reflected Kyary’s unique style, with a UFO sporting disco ball legs on the ceiling, a brightly-lit pyramid with eyes in the center, and mushrooms and octopus legs dotting the sides of the stage.

     

    While many fans in the audience were expecting the same set list used during the rest of the tour, they were shocked to find it completely redesigned. The singer performed a whopping 82 tracks, blending full versions, short versions, and medleys, giving fans a chance to relive the past decade of her career. All five of Kyary’s full albums were represented: Pamyu Pamyu Revolution (2012), Nanda Collection (2013), Pika Pika Fantajin (2014), Japamyu (2018), and Candy Racer (2021), along with her first mini-album Moshi Moshi Harajuku (2011). The groundbreaking performance also included a cover of a CAPSULE track–the duo is also managed by ASOBISYSTEM, and due to her love of their music and her working relationship with Yasutaka Nakata, Kyary decided to sign to the same agency.

     

    During the opening video, Kyary appeared in a stunning pink dress and mask to address everyone’s question–what does ‘UMA 105’ mean? This refers to 105 unidentified organisms, or 105 songs, that have been released by the singer so far. Suddenly, it was also announced that filming was permitted, and the concert began with two of Kyary’s most popular songs, Invader Invader and PONPONPON. Utilizing the incredible power of 12 additional speakers on the Budokan floor, the sound quality was stunning.

     

    While the performance conjured memories of Kyary’s earlier days as a performer, it also showed the evolution of the pop star over the past decade. Beloved by audiences abroad, it’s no wonder that the singer was invited to perform at this year’s Coachella, one of the world’s largest music festivals. The dancers at Budokan had been active as KPP dancers since they were children, growing up with Kyary and her music. Understandably, this made the show even more emotional. 

     

    “Good evening and welcome to Nippon Budokan,” Kyary yelled during the first MC portion. “Welcome to the finale of my tour! The title of the show, UMA, means ‘unidentified organism,’ and 105 refers to the number of songs I’ve released so far. How would you like me to perform most of those songs tonight?” A number of fans at the venue were dressed in Kyary costumes from past releases and concerts, and with glowsticks in hand, the audience became a sight to behold.

     

    The music scene has undergone major changes over the past decade. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s debut signaled a huge shakeup in the industry, with the artist becoming a leader in both Harajuku and Kawaii culture upon the release of her PONPONPON music video a decade ago. The video spread like wildfire around the world, trending on YouTube and catching the attention of major stars like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Charli XCX, all of whom have been greatly influenced by Kyary’s works.

     

    The nineteenth track to be performed was the popular Tsukematsukeru. Created with producer Yasutaka Nakata, the song is known by many as the heart of Kyary’s identity, with her colorful outfit and over-the-top dance moves. Goosebumps appeared on my skin when the intro rang out, and the show continued with a medley from the Nanda Collection album. Kirakira Killer, Mondai Girl, and Crazy Party Night ~Pumpkin no Gyakushu~ rang out in perfect succession, and the audience was enthralled.

     

    The dancers were dressed as four different types of monsters, each with unique characteristics. Kyary decided to use four dancers all from different dance backgrounds: Okapi, playing Flat Woods Monster, performed an amazingly technical ballet; SHO→TA, playing the Yeti, utilized his height to put on a powerful hip-hop show; Randy, playing the Mothman, dazzled the audience with his stylish voguing; and brown, playing the Chupacabra, showed off his House moves. 

     

    During the intermission, the dancers were given the stage to show off their unique styles and personalities while performing to Kyary’s songs. Kanzen Keitai was paired with ballet, Kimi no Mikata was paired with hip-hop, Slow-mo was paired with voguing, and Jumping Up was paired with House in rapid succession. 

     

    To start the second half, the show moved into EDM mode with DE.BA.YA.SHI. 2021 and Candy Racer. The GASH Crew, comprised of three dancers chosen as winners in the Adobe DANCE VIDEO FES dance video contest in August, performed during Dodonpa, and fans couldn’t help but move along.

    Fashion Monster, a song loved by audiences around the world, continued to lead the charge, and fans were impressed by the variety of tunes being played in such quick succession. The track was followed by the Pamyu Pamyu Revolution section, paying homage to the legendary album that made Kyary famous. This blended into a unique medley of CAPSULE cover songs. 

    If one were to look back on Kyary’s success over the past decade, it was largely due to her gaining popularity in the West. Over the past year, PONPONPON and Cherry Bonbon have seen a resurgence in popularity due to TikTok users in Thailand, Korea, and other countries. 

     

    The venue exploded with excitement as the EDM track Harajuku Iyahoi began before flowing in the mellow pop track Kamaitachi. In colorful style, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu gave a full–and very danceable–performance of Gum Gum Girl, and another medley began, this time from Japamyu. Things felt like a 24-hour TV marathon, with the energy starting to reach a fever pitch and the audience in a complete frenzy. Even as Ninja Re Bang Bang and Sai & Co rang out, fans were already begging for an encore.

     

    As the seemingly endless applause continued on and on, Kyary changed into a new outfit. Of course, her signature ribbon was in place on top of her head. 

    Her emotional MC segment began, with fans giving their undivided attention. 

     

    “My voice is worn out…I think I really might have sung too much,” Kyary began with a strained laugh. “Thank you for coming out to the finale of my 10th-anniversary tour. I fell in love with fashion when I was in high school, and at the time, people would giggle at me when I walked down the street. They’d look at me like I was just some weirdo. I was just some odd girl with a big ribbon on her head. But for me, it felt normal. Soon after, I started my career as Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. That was a spur-of-the-moment name, and I really didn’t think I’d still be using it a decade later. It’s all thanks to the staff members and fans who have supported me. You’re why I’m standing on stage at Nippon Budokan today.”

     

    Through tears, Kyary continued. “Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I never thought I’d be able to perform at Budokan, let alone three times. I want to keep going, and I want to do my best for another 10 years. I want to become someone who can change nothing into something in this world. Thank you, I’m so happy,” the artist said with a flourish. 

     

    “I wanted to push the envelope for my Budokan show. There are things that might seem impossible, but you might be surprised by what you can achieve if you just try. That’s what I wanted to embody with my dancing today. I’m happy that I sang so much that I’m losing my voice! I don’t think I’ll be able to wake up tomorrow, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to talk either, so I’m just going to take a break,” Kyary said with another laugh. Striking a pose, it seemed like the unidentified creature was Kyary Pamyu Pamyu herself. 

     

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    In November, Kyary will appear at True Color Festival THE CONCERT 2022, the world’s largest music festival focusing on diversity and inclusion. This will mark Kyary’s first collaboration with Katy Perry, who helped make the artist popular worldwide. We wish Kyary success over the next decade.

     

    Text: Fukuryuu (Music Concierge)

    Photo: Aki Ishii

     

    [Archived Stream]

    10th ANNIVERSARY JAPAN TOUR 2022 -TOUR FINAL- UMA 105

    Available to stream worldwide on Zaiko Connect

    Stream Available: October 19, 2022 – January 9, 2023

    URL: https://connect.zaiko.io/e/kpp10

     

    [Concert Information]

    [True Colors Festival THE CONCERT 2022]

    November 19, 2022 – Doors open 16:00 / Show starts 18:00

    November 20, 2022 – Doors open 15:00 / Show starts 17:00

    Venue: Tokyo Garden Theater

     

    Contact: 

    True Colors Festival THE CONCERT 2022 Office

    Phone: 050-5541-8600 (9:00~20:00 daily)

     

    [Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Special Live 2022 ~Back to Coachella~]

    Date: December 20, 2022

    Venue: Nanba Hatch (Osaka)

     

    Date: December 21 and 22, 2022

    Venue: EX THEATER ROPPONGI (Tokyo)

  • Interview: Shakuhachi Player Yoshimi Tsujimoto Discusses Her Craft and the Upcoming Concert at Kumano-Nachi Taisha

    20.October.2022 | MUSIC / SPOT

    Each year, an incredible event is held at Kumano-Nachi Taisha, a Shinto shrine and World Heritage Site located in the Kii Mountain Range of Wakayama Prefecture.

     

    To kick off the ‘diamond celebration,’ a special concert will mark the 1,250th anniversary of the birth of Kobo Daishi, the Japanese Buddhist monk who founded the Shingon school of Buddhism. Yoshimi Tsujimoto, a shakuhachi player from Hashimoto, will perform in the concert scheduled to begin on October 22 at 13:30. 

     

    Moshi Moshi Nippon sat down with Yoshimi Tsujimoto to discuss her music and, most importantly, her interest in sharing the sound of the shakuhachi with the world.

     

     

    −How did you become interested in the shakuhachi? 

    My father loved the shakuhachi, and because of that, I grew up surrounded by the sound of it. That’s how it all began!

     

    −What attracts you to playing the shakuhachi?

    I love the timbre of the shakuhachi. 

    Those who play the shakuhachi often say that a single note has the power to bring someone to enlightenment. 

    Curiously, individual differences in tone are more easily discernible with the shakuhachi than with other instruments. That means that a person can express themselves in more unique ways.

     

     −You’ve performed in many different countries. Do you get different reactions to the shakuhachi in other countries when compared to Japanese audiences?

    I have a vivid memory of a time I performed a classical shakuhachi piece solo. This particular type of classical music is called ‘wabi-sabi,’ and it isn’t very loud or lively. 

    In Japan, when I finish a performance, people usually clap. But when I performed in South America, as soon as the piece concluded, there was a standing ovation with people shouting “Bravo!” That would never happen in Japan, and it left such a lasting impression on me.

     

    −Are there any countries that have left a lasting impression on you, or that you would like to visit in the future?

    I have good memories of every country I’ve visited, but I think that Cuba left the biggest impression. I just made me think about how incredible music can be.

    I’d love to visit Bulgaria, Morocco, Armenia, Uganda…it’s tough, because I want to visit every country I haven’t been to yet. (laughs)

     

    −You’re from Hashimoto City, near Mount Koya. How did you feel when you heard that this concert would be held so close to your hometown?

    What I felt was pure joy.

    Personally, I’ve always loved Mount Koya, and I went there many times as a child. It’s such a pleasure to be able to perform there.

     

    −Tell us some of your favorite memories involving Mount Koya.

    I go to Mount Koya at least three or four times a year. It’s not a particular memory per se, but every time I go, I love to eat vegetarian food, explore, and buy wheat buns and sesame tofu as gifts to take home.

     

    −Are there any local foods or places that you’d recommend?

    The fruit is delicious in Wakayama, and my hometown is famous for persimmons.They are so yummy, and I just want everyone to try them!

    Mount Koya and Kumano Kodo are both World Heritage sites, and they are both absolutely breathtaking. Other than those, I’d recommend Adventure World! It has adorable pandas roaming around freely and the most wonderful dolphin shows. Everyone from around the country should visit!

     

    −Finally, do you have a message for Moshi Moshi Nippon readers?

    Japan is filled with incredible places and culture. The shakuhachi, a beloved traditional Japanese instrument, is one piece of that culture.

    I want audiences around the world to hear the sound of the shakuhachi and to make it more familiar. If you have a chance to hear it, I hope you will.

    Be sure to follow Yoshimi Tsujimoto’s activities going forward as she shares the beauty and culture of shakuhachi with the world.

  • AFTERSHOCK FESTIVAL 2022 Filled to Capacity! BAND-MAID’s Solo U.S. Tour Begins with 20,000 Fans

    13.October.2022 | MUSIC

    BAND-MAID, one of the most popular Japanese bands abroad, recently performed at AFTERSHOCK FESTIVAL 2022 in Sacramento, California. On October 9, the last day of the massive 4-day rock festival, the band performed their first U.S. show in three years. We’re taking a look at the group’s successful performance, which has audiences anxious for BAND-MAID to arrive in their city.

    Appearing on the Coors Light Stage, the group began with the instrumental track from now on. Miku Kobato (Gt.&Vo), KANAMI (Gt.), MISA (Ba.), and AKANE (Dr.) immediately attracted the audience’s attention, still riding the high of their newest EP release, Unleash, on September 21. BAND-MAID, whose intense music is something you’d never expect from a group of girls in maid outfits, showed off their performance ability from the beginning. As the impressive guitar riff of DOMINATION continued along with the cheers of 10,000 fans in the audience, SAIKI (Vo.) made her appearance. Raising both hands to spur the audience on, fans began yelling out the member’s name as Choose me, a very popular song overseas, began. As the momentum continued, BAND-MAID began playing songs from the new Unleash EP, including influencer and, of course, Unleash!!!! The final song, NO GOD, began with an incredible intro arrangement, and the crowd continued to grow–so much so that security guards had to step in to keep the peace. A total of seven songs were performed during the 30-minute show, and audiences were more than thrilled.

    After the performance, the group attracted a large number of requests for interviews from international media outlets. Other performers, such as the Mexican trio The Warning and The Pretty Reckless, immediately came to mingle with the BAND-MAID members.

     

    The U.S. tour will begin on October 12, and the first solo concert is expected to bring in over 20,000 fans. 12 of the 13 stops on the U.S. tour have sold out, proving the group’s international popularity.

     

    In addition to their appearance at MERRY ROCK PARADE 2022 on December 18, the band will hold its largest-ever solo concert at the Tokyo Garden Theater on January 9, 2023. Tickets are now on sale by official lottery, so don’t miss your chance to watch these girls continue down their path of world domination!

     

  • Concert to be Held at World Heritage Site Kumano-Nachi Taisha in Wakayama

    25.August.2022 | MUSIC / SPOT

    Each year, an incredible event is held at Kumano-Nachi Taisha, a Shinto shrine and World Heritage Site located in the Kii Mountain Range of Wakayama Prefecture.

     

    To kick off the ‘diamond celebration,’ a special concert will mark the 1,250th anniversary of the birth of Kobo Daishi, the Japanese Buddhist monk who founded the Shingon school of Buddhism. Yoshimi Tsujimoto, a shakuhachi player from Hashimoto, will perform, while the event also hopes to bring tourism to the area by sharing more information about Wakayama with the masses. 

     

    Date: October 22, 2022, 13:30
    Venue: Danjo-garan Buddhist Temple

    Program:

    [Part 1] Chorus of local elementary school students, etc.

    [Part 2] Talk Session

    Participants:

    Hougen Yabu (Director of Head Temple Kongobu-ji on Mount Koya)

    Yoshimi Tsujimoto (Shakuhachi player)

    [Part 3] Concert

    Performer: Yoshimi Tsujimoto (Shakuhachi player)

    *Will include a percussion, guitar, and keyboard session

     

    <About the Call for Visitors>

    350 Guests are Invited!

    *If there are too many applicants, a drawing will be held.

    *Livestreaming of the event will also be available online.

     

    Application Period: August 23 – September 26, 2022

     *Postcards must be postmarked by September 26. Those applying n the website must do so by 23:59 on September 26.

     

    How to Apply:

    1. By postcard

    Address: Yamabutai Concert Section
    Wakayama Broadcasting Co.
    3-3 Minatohonmachi
    Wakayama, 〒640-8577

    What to Include: Zip Code, Address, Name, Age, Phone Number, Admission
    *Can include up to 2 guests.

     

         2. On the special website

    Please apply using the application form on the special website.

    URL: https://yume.wbs.co.jp/

     

    Keep in Mind:

    1. Incomplete entries will be considered invalid.

    2. Only one application per person is allowed.

    3. If there are too many applicants, a drawing will be held. Winners will be announced when numbered tickets are sent out.

    4. Personal information provided in each application will not be used for any purpose.

     

    (For Reference) Past Performers

    2015 – Hitomi Shimatani (Danjo-garan Buddhist Temple)

    2016 – Chitose Hajime (Kumano-Nachi Taisha)

    2017 – *Canceled due to typhoon.

    2018 – Kumiko (Oyunohara)

    2019 – May J. (Kumano-Nachi Taisha)

    2020 – *Canceled due to the ongoing pandemic.

    2021 – Yuki Koyanagi (Kumano-Nachi Taisha)

     

    ■Cast Profiles

    ◆ Hougen Yabu / Director of Head Temple Kongobu-ji on Mount Koya

    ・1993 – Graduates from Koyasan University

    ・In 2011, he became the chief priest of Kirihata Temple, where he remains to this day.

            *Kirihata Temple [Fukuoka Prefecture] / Sasaguri 88 Sacred Sites, #10

    ・In 2021, he became the Director of Head Temple Kongobu-ji on Mount Koya and was also appointed as the director of the 1,250th birthday celebration for Kobo Daishi, the founder of the Buddhist sect.