Despite preparing a summer tour, just barely finishing up the RRII DVD, and spending 5 hours every day practicing for the Nemuri Kyoushirou performance that will begin this summer, GACKT still finds time to endorse coffee. He recently endorsed WONDA COFFEE~Wonderful Coffee~, and given that the three guys are sitting around in suits talking about how manly they all are, if I was in Japan, I would certainly start drinking this. I am something of a devotee when it comes to Japanese coffee– pair it with vending machines and I’m gone. Although I’m more familiar with the popular BOSS brand (which is also very manly), it would be hard for anyone -man, woman, animal- to resist anything endorsed by GACKT.

All three guys are very amusing– as heavily emphasized by the poor reporter girl totally losing it by the end of the interview.

Embedding for this video has been disabled. Please watch on Youtube!

girugamesh Stays at Home Summer ’10

+Updated 5/31+

Dates for girugamesh‘s summer tour 2010 were published this morning. For everyone who expected their winter/spring Japan tour to be followed up with something a little more international…sorry. I mourn with you.

However, the good news is (depending on how you felt about NOW, that is…) that a new single has been confirmed for Summer. The details have yet to be announced, but the teaser confirmation is out!

girugamesh SUMMER TOUR 2010 Dates

2010.7.2(fri) SOLD OUT

OPEN 18:00 / START 19:00

2010.7.6(tue) SOLD OUT

OPEN 18:00 / START 19:00

2010.7.8(thu) SOLD OUT
Nishikujo BRAND NEW

OPEN 18:00 / START 19:00

2010.7.10(sat) SOLD OUT

OPEN 17:00 / START 18:00

Hiroshima Bad Lands

OPEN 17:00 / START 18:00

Fukuoka DRUM SON

OPEN 18:00 / START 19:00

2010.7.15(thu) SOLD OUT

OPEN 18:00 / START 19:00

Tokushima club GRINDHOUSE

OPEN 17:00 / START 18:00

Kanazawa VanVan V4

OPEN 18:00 / START 19:00

Nigata CLUB JUNK BOX mini

OPEN 18:00 / START 19:00


OPEN 17:00 / START 18:00

Sapporo COLONY

OPEN 18:00 / START 19:00

2010.8.11(wed) SOLD OUT
Shibuya O-WEST

OPEN 18:00 / START 19:00

2010.8.12(thu) SOLD OUT
Shibuya O-WEST

OPEN 18:00 / START 19:00

Japan Gender-Bending Is a Drag?

 In the past few years particularly, the Japanese gender-bending scene has become more and more tolerated. Japanese guys have always been renowned as being meterosexual, but this is different. Statistics were drawn up sometime last year, where people were interviewed about the recent occurence of more and more guys going girl, so to speak. The results showed a surprising tolerance of drag among the Japanese. They said, collectively, “As long as the guy looks good in it, who cares?”

 However, not everybody agrees with this. For example, some of the nation’s higher-ups have the society as a greater whole to think of. The opposing opinion is that there’s a balance in society– feminism was bad enough, what do you really think will happen if guys do anti-patriarchism?

 However, what with idols such as Mana and Kaya running around charming the female population at large and inspiring those suppressed urges in young men to emerge and take form– is there really much anyone can do?

 Well, someone is trying. For beauty-king and scene leader GACKT, apparently guys going girl is a drag. Although reputed as one of the leaders of the androgyny movement in Japanese fashion, GACKT has been careful to always uphold his macho-factor and manliness, often remarking on his traditional values concerning male and female relations.

 According to this morning’s post at Japan Zone, GACKT is actively working to support manliness and gender-definition in Japan:

“Well, here’s an interesting way to hype a rock concert. Gackt (36) announced yesterday that his show at Club Citta in Kawasaki on Sunday will be a guys-only affair. That means no female crew or staff and no female members of the audience. Organizers have reportedly set up an examination room to deal with any suspicious ticket holders. Gackt says the move is his attempt to reverse the recent trend among Japanese guys to shun traditional male stereotypes and get in touch with their feminine side. The trend is encapsulated in the phrase “soushokukei danshi, nikushokukei joshi” which translates as “grass-eating guys, meat-eating girls,” and with his origins being in the visual-kei rock scene, Gackt himself has been a style leader for that scene.”

 (Quoted from Japan Zone)

Takanori Makes New Single

It’s an inside-joke.

I want to move to Shiga prefecture when I move to Japan. Shiga, located a little north of Kyoto, is where amazing rock artists come from. Including, but not limited to, GACKT, Tetsuya (of L’arc~En~Ciel), and T.M.Revolution (Nishikawa Takanori). That’s a busy area for talentos in general, as Kyoto is also a regular outlet for major stars and idols. In any case, it’s T.M. we’re talking about today.

Being the biggest, most internationally renowned star to come out of Shiga (Tetsuya fans don’t hurt me– it’s true), last year Nishikawa was named the Cultural Ambassador of Shiga. In any case,  on March 3rd T.M. will release a new single, available only as digital download. The song, titled “Lakers” was performed live several times last year, and will also be used as the image-song for the 65th Biwako Marathon. Lyrics were written by Nishikawa’s personal friend, Inoue Akio, and the production was taken care of by Asakura Diasuke.

Biwako, (Biwa Lake) is a beautiful regional lake located in Shiga, and the new song, LAKERS, is dedicated to this regional natural monument. Nishikawa comments:

[Last year in September I was able to take a look at the landscape around Biwako during the Inazuma Rock Fes. During that time, the impressions of the Taiko-Drums and the sound of the wind have influenced the making of the song. I think the greatness of Shiga-Prefecture, including all the players, and its landscape can be felt, while the tempo is a little more daring. With the tempo of a lake without waves, the song is completely influenced by Biwako and its surroundings.](1)

On March 24th T.M. will also release the song Imaginary Ark, which will round off his collaboration for the T.M.R.×GUNDAM SEED SPECIAL PROJECT [X42S-REVOLUTION] for the 30 Anniversary of the GUNDAM Series.

(1) From MusicJapan+

“Arigatou, ne”

Well, it’s New Year’s Eve. I don’t know what you lot are doing, but thisVisualist is sitting up to wait for dawn and my New Year’s wish!

The New Year is always a bit of a mixed time. On one hand, there is a depth of reflection and thinking back on the year we are now leaving behind. Hopefully you’re looking back and taking stock of your successes, achievements, and gained experiences. If there is anything you’re regretting, hopefully there’s a chance of making up for it, or achieving it, in the next year. On the other hand, there is a chance to look forward with positive expectation for everything that is to come in the new year. For example, a.b.s.’ Abingdon Road album. I hope your piggy-banks got fat this holiday season!

I, at least, feel like 2009 has been a fantastic year.

In April I spent one month in Kyoto, Japan, where I spent many hours at karaoke joints with some wonderful people; scoured used (and new) CD shops for just about anything and everything I could get my hands on (and stood for the first time in a real-live VISUAL KEI section); and brought back 60 CDs, including brand-new GACKT singles, and a stack of Visual Kei and Jrock magazines.

In November, I went to the UK to see one of my favorite bands, abingdon boys school, perform live. This was a monumental, life-changing experience worth all of the hard-work and effort I put in to achieving it. The live was unbelievable, as well as being my first ever Jrock concert. (And my first visit to London.)

Tower Bridge, London, UK

I was also able to complete some long-standing writing projects….One of the most fun out of these, however, which will probably never be “completed”, is the work I have put into SECRET GARDEN. I feel like I was really able to dive much deeper into Jrock and Visual Kei, and that has been a priceless experience.

On that note, I wanted to take a moment to say that it has almost been a year since I moved Secret Garden to WordPress. I would like to sincerely thank everyone who reads Secret Garden; everyone who left comments, emailed me, linked me, or shared and spread the word about this blog in any way! I am looking forward to another fun year full of Jrock, and I am very much looking forward to connecting with more of you in 2010. Arigatou ne…

I would also like to extend a Special Thanks to a few particular people:

Otousan, Roukku-Star, 日本におねいさんへどうもありがとう、スターさんへガクトのものをどうもありがとうございます、ブレイスレットさんやおじさんの社べたことありがとうございました;and everyone whose media appears on SG!

明けましておめでとうございます!Photo credit:

Japanese lanterns – Shutterstock

Fushimi-Inari shrine, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto –  Gacktpause

Tower Bridge, London, UK – Gacktpause

Fireworks- mypetjawa