The July issue of Tokyo Weekender magazine is now on the shelves around Tokyo – we hope you can pick your copy up soon, or at least look forward to reading our features as we post them online over the next week or so. You can also get the full magazine through the Apple Newsstand, which will bring a native reading experience to the iPad, or through Magzster.
July 2013 Editor’s Letter
The Army of Otaku, as we’re calling them on page 10 of the latest issue of Tokyo Weekender magazine, grew from a team of 15 men working in a six-tatami room, “saved” from life as social misfits by one man. Eiichi Miyazawa was motivated to set up his own company in the main by a desire to “give geeks a chance,” having himself risen from a family with a bankrupt background – he’d held off bailiffs at the door as an elementary school kid. Against the advice of the people closest to him he threw away everything, “except for a fax machine,” and started on the road to what we find is quite a success story.
“A microcosm of Japan” is how the governor of Kanagawa proudly described his prefecture to us. Yuji Kuroiwa used to be a journalist and TV news anchor, but now he’s tasked with giving life to the prefecture not only in the halls and corridors of his office in Yokohama but also by traveling abroad to spread the word, and of course speaking to us. We were quite impressed with a man who obviously feels comfortable chatting to expats like ourselves and felt our exchange would nicely introduce a section that includes much of what Kanagawa has to offer, including as diverse a day trip as you might find: are you in to temples or more of a factory spotter? Either way we have you covered…
Compared to a Korean who can win man of the match without even playing, Shinji Kagawa may not yet be the god-like figure many expected him to become when he joined Manchester United, though to the bank managers and sponsors he’s certainly proving his worth. But is that a little cynical? Maybe United’s tour of Japan this month isn’t all about the money? We look at some of the issues on pages 14 and 15 and also spoke with the youngster who looks set to be the next Japanese megastar.
A lot of us will be on the way to a weekend at Fuji Rock before too long, and we’re pleased to have an interview with Kevin Parker of Tame Impala, the Aussie band who will headline the Red Marquee on the festival’s Friday night. He talks of a perfectionist approach to the recording process and the “crucifying” nature of self-deprecation during that process, but also of coming out the other side, maturing, and looking forward to a summer of live shows.
Sticking with entertainment, we also spoke with some of the people behind one of the most hyped dance shows of recent years – if you know modern dance, you’ll know Matthew Bourne; if you don’t, his Dorian Gray is we think well worth checking out.
Image of Shinji Kagawa © Manchester United. Used with permission, courtesy of Kagome – to learn more about the company’s involvement with United visit kagome-cp.jp/manutd