After five months of waiting – maybe for the hardcore Sony console fanatics – the Sony Entertainment Network (SEN) online store will finally be available in Japan starting May 29. Sony announced this on Tuesday, and the browser-based marketplace will now be available in Japan almost half a year after it launched in the United States. Almost similar to Android’s Google Play store, the system enables users to sign in with their PlayStation Network accounts and buy games, television show episodes, and full length feature films for any Sony device that they own.
Aerosmith were scheduled to perform in Japan two years ago, just after the Great East Japan Earthquake that devastated the country in 2011. But instead of cancelling the tour, the band decided that the best way to help the people of Japan was through their music. This is the subject of the documentary “Aerosmith, Rock for the Rising Sun" by filmmaker Casey Patrick Tebo.
If you’ve been following the Nikkei 225 index – that is, Japan’s stock market average, similar to the Dow Jones Industrial Average – it might be because Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s aggressive fiscal policies have been improving Japan’s economy rapidly, and maybe you’re interested in that – but surely not because it helps you decide what to wear today. But this is exactly what the new J-pop concept idol group Machikado Keiki Japan is doing – the four young girls in the teen vocal group base what they wear on how the Nikkei Index is doing. But it gets better -- or worse, depending on your perspective – than that.
Roppongi Hills, to many Tokyo urbanites, is the symbol of ultimate city living in Japan. A brainchild of real estate mogul Minori Mori, Roppongi Hills is a high-value complex right smack in the middle of Tokyo that features opulent office buildings, swanky shopping malls, parks, and trendy apartments that are now home to the well-to-do population. The district is now celebrating its 10th year in various stylish ways – the one to catch the eye of the tech-inclined would be this innovative website called Tokyo City Symphony, an interactive app where Roppongi’s style and music come together.
British rock band Muse has finally released the long-awaited music video for their new single "Panic Station", off their The 2nd Law album. Shot in Tokyo after their concert in January, the video is all Muse, from the writing, production, direction and editing. And the video does not disappoint; that is, if you love flamboyant costumes, aliens, octopi and T-Rexes in your music videos.
Psy, probably the breakout Asian artist of 2012 and the mastermind behind the global hit “Gangnam Style”, is again breaking new records with his follow-up hit “Gentleman”. But while everyone else – at least, everyone else who can access Youtube – is swaying their hips to the Korean sensation’s newest dance hit, the new single is still getting mixed reactions from the Japanese market.
Some say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But Australian band Clubfeet is definitely not flattered that Japanese indie rock act Champagne allegedly copied their music video for one of their singles. They called out the band on Twitter, posting "Japanese rip-off of our Everything You Wanted video". The video in question is for Champagne's latest single, Forever Young.
Hara, a member of the hugely popular KPop group Kara, is collaborating with famed Japanese musician Fukuyama Masaharu for the Korean version of the theme to the sequel to Galileo, the hit detective drama. Masaharu, who also stars in the drama, will be producing the track and their tandem is being called Hara+.
Former pop-star Cyndi Lauper, an icon of the 1980s in the U.S., has donated a piano that she purchased while visiting Japan last year to a hospital in the city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture. The celebrity visited Japan's still-recovering Tohoku region on the one year anniversary of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake in order to offer support and cheer up the victims. It was in Ishinomaki that she found the small piano at a musical instrument shop.