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Yoshiki Hayashi Q&A

JUN 6 11 

Above is Yoshiki Hayashi. Also known just as "Yoshiki". He is a Legendary Japanese rock star, and lives infamously as the most popular member of one of Japan's most popular rock groups of all time, X JAPAN. I wanted to start our FanimeCon 2011 coverage off with not only something big, but something I am really excited about sharing with you. Above is a cropped photo I took of him so you can see him close up. Unfortunately the rest of the photos I have are from his panel that took place during FanimeCon. It was difficult to obtain photos of him, since he was there for a short time- the majority was spent talking with a handful of folks who barely made it to see him.


First, for those who don't know who Yoshiki is, I'll fill you in quickly: He was a very influential part of one of Japan's most influential bands in the Japanese Rock music movement for the last 29 years, X JAPAN. He recently founded the "Yoshiki Foundation of America" which is a huge charity organization. Yoshiki has been known to raise funds for charity to help some of the worst disasters that Japan has faced in the last 2 decades. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California. At Anime Expo in 2007 he combined forces with Gackt, Miyavi, and Sugizo to create the band, S.K.I.N. and held a legendary concert. He has also produced other bands like Dir en Grey, and even GLAY. Yoshiki is a very charismatic, strong individual, and cares deeply for orphans and charity since he lost his father at a young age. Learn more here. 


I have admired Yoshiki since I first learned of X JAPAN 6 years ago. I feel incredibly fortunate to have been one of the select few out of 22,000 FanimeCon attendees that was able to sit in this room and be able to listen to, and converse with him. His plane was actually late, and the woman on the left, a representative for Yoshiki, showed us some footage that Yoshiki himself stayed up late with a cold to edit for us. We were able to see some exclusive footage of his recent work with Stan Lee (spiderman creator) and other recent projects of his. -When he arrived, the room exploded as the others in the room burst out in applause. I took the liberty of writing down as much as I could on my iPhone 3GS of some of our conversations, so I could bring this experience back for you to enjoy! 

  Q&A with Yoshiki 

Question: "Will there be another X JAPAN tour soon? Or are there any events you plan on attending?" 

Yoshiki: "At this time, I can say we will be going to London, Paris, Germany, Tokyo, South America, South East Asia- which hasn't been announced yet, and then...North America! I really don't mind coming to FanimeCon or other events around California...I live in L.A. so its not far." 

Question: "Will you be doing any more Radio appearances?" 

Yoshiki: "Perhaps. You know, I always wanted to be on the radio. One day, I finally got on the radio and I couldn't bring myself to speak! I was so quiet on there, people who listened wondered if I was even there. *laughs* When X debuted about 20 years ago we thought it would be great to be on the radio. Wasn't sure how we would turn out." 

Question: "Are there any other conventions that you would attend in the near future?" 

Yoshiki: "San Diego Comic Con. I live in L.A. so its not far." 

Question: "I noticed that Toshi (a member of X JAPAN) sometimes or usually wears glasses while he performs. Why?" 

Yoshiki: "..................I don't know!...................Good question!" 

Question: "What is your favorite scary movie?" 

Yoshiki: ".......hmm, that would be the SAW series. It has a positive message. *laughs* I met Zigzag in Tokyo once. He's a very normal guy. Lives in Malibu." 

Question: "Being who you are, you must travel frequently. What's it like to travel or be on tour a lot?" 

Yoshiki: "I always find it very interesting to see lots of different cultures and foods wherever I go. However, it is difficult. You go through a lot of energy traveling and then performing a concert. After our shows, we are half-dead. Actually, make that just dead...*laughs* When you do this, you must find a way to rejuvenate yourself, and the best way is to party and get really drunk!!! *laughs* I'm kidding. I'm kidding! *laughs more* I really enjoy touring, the best part of it all is to see the fans." 

Question: "I noticed that at times, you have thrown in English lyrics into your songs. Is there any deeper meaning there?" 

Yoshiki: "........hmmm.....I don't know.....some of the words just seemed to come into my mind." 

Question: "How does it feel to have started such a huge movement?" 

Yoshiki: "In the beginning, we were like the black sheep. We didn't belong anywhere. We played the heavy stuff and also ballads. At that time no one did that, and everyone hated us when X JAPAN was first starting out. We were different and didn't fit into the, we said, f*ck it! We make our own genre! *laughs* To answer your question, it feels f*cking cool!" 

Yoshiki: "I just want to say, believe in yourself. Nothing is truly impossible, you will make it if you don't give up. If something bad happens, try to be positive and you'll come back big time. I thank you all for supporting me and my band." 

Near the back, many folks were taking the opportunity to take pictures of this rare session with Yoshiki. His rep mentioned he had a cold, and that he needed to get going, but he wanted to stay for some autographs and to embrace the fans. It was truly an honor to be a part of a great Q&A with Yoshiki. It was just a few years ago that I began dreaming of the day I'd somehow get to meet him. Not just at a panel or concert meet&greet, but to actually meet and talk with him. After his panel and his little time with our small group, he left the convention center. I will never forget his uplifting words, "...believe in yourself. Nothing is truly impossible, you will make it if you don't give up. If something bad happens, try to be positive and you'll come back big time." Those words are very true, and if you can find your passion and believe in it and never give up, good things will fall into place. I'm a firm believer in this. Thank you for reading this very special article, and the beginning of our FanimeCon 2011 coverage! There's a lot to look forward to, and a lot lined up from coverage of members of GAINAX, to more Momoi Haruko, maids, cosplay, and so much more.

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