YOSHIKI’s First Classical World Tour in 9 Years: What the Music He Has Created While Continually Facing Grief Shows Us

YOSHIKI is a composer, pianist, rock drummer, and the leader of Japanese rock bands X JAPAN and THE LAST ROCKSTARS. Consequence calls YOSHIKI “one of the most influential musicians and composers in Japanese history,” and Billboard says he is “a musical innovator.”

In this interview, we asked him how he continues to take on challenges at a time when hope is hard to see.


I LIVE IN JAPAN / Sophia Appelbaum / Writer

Which places in Japan do you recommend that foreigners see?

Maybe Nagano! I know it’s a popular prefecture among Japanese vacationers, but it tends to be an afterthought for anyone coming from overseas, and I think it deserves to be better appreciated. Matsumoto Castle has one of the oldest original castle keeps in Japan, and it even has the cool nickname “Crow Castle”! Nagano’s onsen-loving snow monkeys are also adorable, and the wasabi farms in Azumino are fun to visit. Plus, basically everywhere you look is green and gorgeous.

I LIVE IN JAPAN / Nicholas Gardiner / Senior Wine Ambassador

What do you do in Japan? Can you talk about your job in Japan?

I first came to Japan to do Karate! I was lucky to have a Japanese instructor at my university and he recommended that I train in Japan. I trained with 2 of the most famous masters and have a 3rd-degree black belt. I studied Japanese very hard and got a very good job working for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry promoting Japanese crafts and culture overseas as well as helping with press releases and media communications. I studied wine with the Japan Sommelier Association and the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and changed my career to working with wine. I now teach WSET courses at a famous wine school in Tokyo and am a Senior Wine Ambassador for Pernod-Ricard. I do training for staff, educate consumers and sommeliers, do wine-tasting events, and promote wine in general. My dream is to become a Master of Wine (Japan only has 1 MW at the moment).


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Beautiful Islands of Setouchi

Let’s Visit Them All!
“Setouchi Triennale” is a big festival that is held once every three years on the islands of Setouchi. Serving as a venue, each island has lots to see not only during the festival but also other times. Here we will introduce attractive aspects of the ten islands.