The One about BEAMS RECORDS in Shibuya

Back in 1976, Yo Shitahara created the Japanese clothing brand, BEAMS in the Harajuku area of Tokyo. The company has since grown beyond clothing and fashion to showcase accessories, home fashion, books and also has a music label, BEAMS RECORDS. BEAMS RECORDS’ theme is “Life with Music” and they sell CD’s, vinyl, audio accessories and books. BEAMS RECORDS tends to sell music of artist that typically are not mainstream.  Music […]

The One about discovering Japanese Music: Moumoon

In 2004, singer/songwriter YUKA and musician/composer Kousuke Masaki were introduced by a mutual friend. Eventually, the two appreciated each other’s music and in 2005, the two would form the rock unit, moumoon. The group based their name from the French world “mou” and the English word “moon” which literally translates to “soft moon”. Two words that would describe the two individuals of the group. YUKA who was born on Dec. […]

The One about Discovering Japanese Music: Kashiwagi Yuki’s “Shortcake”

Originally featured in J!-ENT Feb. 2013: In Japan, AKB48 member Yuki “Yukirin” Kashiwagi is one of the more popular and highly ranked members of the group. A member of AKB48 and the side-group French Kiss, Kashiwagi has had solo songs featured on the French Kiss CD singles and also has performed solo acts, had her own concert DVD (1st Solo Live – Netemo Sametemo Yukirin World) and even has her […]


For those who love Japanese culture and are learning the language, will definitely want to check out Tokyo FM World’s “Dempa ch. ~Tokyo Dempa International~” weekly show. The show is hosted by former Seattle resident Matthew Masaru Barron along with Dempagumi Inc. members Mirin and Ayane (a.k.a. “Pinky”). For those not familiar with Dempagumi Inc., they are a Japanese female idol group from Akihabara and each have their own cool […]

The One about Amuro Namie

In Japan, there are very  few female pop stars that has not only had a long lasting music career, continually pump out chart topping hits and have a significant role in Japanese pop culture than Amuro (last name) Namie (first name). Born in Osaka and attending the Okinawa Actor’s School after being scouted, while she liked the school, her family could not afford the monthly fees.   But seeing the talent […]

The One about Discovering Japanese Music: My Little Lover’s “PRESENTS”

The album I am featuring in today’s “Discovering Japanese Music” is My Little Lover’s second album, “PRESENTS”. My Little Lover is a group that began back in 1995 with vocalist Akko, guitarist Kenji Fuji and producer/songwriter Takeshi Kobayashi (best known for producing hits for The Southern All Stars and Mr. Children). Bursting into the music scene with several hits with “Man & Woman/My Painting”, “Hello, Again ~Mukashi Kara Aru Basho~” […]

The One about Discovering Japanese Music: ZARD’s “Zard Blend ~Sun & Stone~

My review was featured on J!-ENT (2007): With the sad and depressing news of the death of Sakai Izumi, lead singer of the popular band ZARD, I pulled this album out and just listened to it over and over. With the October 2006 release of “Golden Best ~15th Anniversary~” being an ultimate album for ZARD fans wanting to catch up on ZARD music from 1991-2006, their first collection of hits […]

The One about Discovering Japanese Music: Every Little Thing’s “Every Best Single -Complete-“

I can easily remember when I first heard of Every Little Thing (ELT), then a trio which featured vocalist Kaori Mochida, guitarist Ichiro Ito and keyboardist Mitsuru Igarashi.  The song was “Feel My Heart” and discovered the group while watching CDTV (a top 40 video clip show in Japan) and immediately, I ordered the album. Since 1996, the group has released a total of 49 CD singles and here we […]