Cyndi Lauper: Friend of the LGBT community, friend of Japan

“The Japanese fans and companies were great people and really stuck by me,” she recalls. “When the Americans made me feel like I should crawl and fall off the edge of the earth, these people would come to me and say, ‘Please make music—we love your music.’ And these are the same people that are suffering and you think I’m going to walk away? I don’t forget easily, and I was having nightmares about the Japanese.”

Metropolis, Jul 18, 2013

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Gaijin Evolution: From seekers and slackers to strivers and thrivers

Rewind two decades to the first issue of Metropolis in 1993. Japan was a juggernaut—about to roll to Number One on an unstoppable export machine. My time here tracks this magazine’s existence, so for the 1000th issue let me hazard a few thoughts about the changes in the Western population that constitutes our readership…

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Metropolis “Last Word,” May 23, 2013

Patti Smith: Don’t Call Her a Survivor

“I was deeply concerned about the people and their morale,” Smith says by phone from Amsterdam, where she’s set to play the city’s famous Paradiso. “Lenny [guitarist Lenny Kaye] and I wanted to write a song but we didn’t want to write specifically about the disaster. Lenny was working on some chords and the words just came to me. It’s a simple song based on 16th-17th century Japanese literature. It’s a prayer to the mountain to shelter the people.”

Metropolis, Aug 17, 2012

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Drama in the Wake of Disaster

‘‘There won’t be a simple yes or no vote on nuclear power. But I want to ask, ‘From where should the discussion begin?’’’ says the director Akira Takayama.

The New York Times, December 1, 2011

Japan’s New Wave of Protest Songs

A small group of Japanese songwriters takes an unusually political stand on the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The New York Times, June 30, 2011

Cool Japan Is Out of Breath

Is Japan losing its cool? (Japanese version)

Newsweek Japan cover storyJune 13, 2012