Monthly Archives: September 2020

DUNE – With a Japan Zone Twist

Dune - Timothee Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson

If, like me, you’re old enough to remember the original 1984 movie adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic novel, you’ll likely have an opinion about the upcoming remake of Dune. In my case, it’s a sense of optimism that the new movie –due for a December 2020 release if Covid-19 permits – will be a much more solid and faithful telling of a really compelling story.

The cast looks impressive (no Sting!), with a mixture of veteran and youthful stars. Timothee Chalamet may be Hollywood “flavor of the month” but he’s a very solid and versatile actor, and director Denis Villeneuve has already proven his chops by pulling off what nobody though possible – a really strong Blade Runner sequel that some claim even surpasses Ridley Scott’s original.

So what’s the Japan Zone angle? Glad you asked.

One of the movie’s locations was Budapest, Hungary. And it was to the Origo Film Studios in Budapest that we shipped a large order of jikatabi footwear in the spring of 2019. As was the case after we provided footwear for previous Hollywood blockbusters (47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves, Wolverine with Hugh Jackman, and the most recent Star Wars reboot) we looked and looked to see if the jikatabi were actually used, but given that feet are usually either out of shot or in the distance, it’s remarkably difficult to spot them.

So, it was with a sense of excitement that I checked out the recently released trailer and promo photos for Dune. Boots are in view, but as yet no definitive jikatabi shots. Still, it looks like a movie definitely worth checking out. And they’ve even included a bit of classic Pink Floyd in the soundtrack!

HodoBuzz – Sticking it to Japanese Media

HodoBuzz stars Maho Honda

HodoBuzz is a new “Japanese political mini-series” that started streaming in the U.S. and the U.K. last month following its controversial debut in Japan. It tells the story of a Japanese female journalist and her fight for the truth in reporting. It stars NYC-based actors Maho Honda as reporter Asuka Wada and Yuki Matsuzaki (Pirates of the Caribbean, Letters from Iwo Jima) as her new boss in the U.S.

The official press release describes the story as follows: “tired of sexism in Japan’s TV industry, reporter Asuka Wada quits her job in Tokyo as a game show host to move to New York City to work for a digital news company, HodoBuzz. With a new-found confidence, she speaks openly about the Japanese media industry’s false reporting, unethical business practice, and other industry taboos. Immediately, she becomes a target of intense online harassment.

HodoBuzz, a new Japanese political mini-series set in NYC

The series was produced by Derrrruq!!!, a group of independent filmmakers with two women and one openly gay man, who grew up in Japan and later immigrated into the United States. Honda, whose previous credits include Maniac (2018) and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015), is also credited as a producer of the series, while Masu Hiroshi Masuyama (In This Corner of the World, winner of the 40th Japan Academy Prize) is an executive producer.

The series is now available to stream on Amazon in the U.S. and U.K. (free for members of Amazon Prime) as well as several services in Japan.

HodoBuzz Official Trailer (US/UK) from Derrrrruq!!! //デルック on Vimeo.

RHYME SO Creates Virtual Nightclub for HOT Video


RHYME SO – formed by Japanese producer Shinichi Osawa, a.k.a MONDO GROSSO, and RHYME, an Australian artist/poet – has released their new single “HOT” visualized as a 360° VR music video.

Set in a virtual nightclub in your mind, “HOT” was directed by Jordan Freda, who has worked on several projects with some of the world’s top artists including Katy Perry. The music video was created in collaboration with Strangeloop Studios, an up-and-coming LA-based creative company that produces cutting-edge “music & tech” such as live visuals for The Weeknd and Flying Lotus.

RHYME SO – “HOT” (Official 360° VR Music Video)

Combining an addictive, fresh dance beat by Shinichi Osawa with lyrics by RHYME that sharply and humorously capture modern society, the “HOT” 360° virtual nightclub can be enjoyed with a VR headset or on a mobile phone.

The visual movies playing on the monitors in the “HOT” 360°club (the RHYME version, the SO version, and RHYME&SO version) are now available with lyrics on the RHYME SO YouTube Channel.

RHYME SO was formed in Tokyo in 2017, and their first track, “Just Used Music Again”, was included in 2019 on the Head in the Clouds II label compilation supervised by 88rising’s JOJI. The song was also cut as a single and made an impressive debut, jumping to the top of numerous Spotify playlists in more than 25 countries around the world, including New Music Friday, with over 2.2 million streams.

88rising & RHYME SO – Just Used Music Again

Released in March 2020, the single “Fashion Blogger” cynically and uniquely mirrors modern society’s addiction to the internet. The music video is set in a figure skating competition and features MILK (RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6 / All Star Season 3), a world-renowned drag queen and former figure skater.

The epic and avant-garde music video, which features MILK and RHYME skating on ice, has been featured in many media outlets and has been viewed more than 2.7 million times on YouTube. The video is currently nominated for “Best Music Award “, “Best Actress/ Model Award”, and “Best Major Brand Production Award” at the London Fashion Film Festival and in the “Best Music Video” category of the Berlin Commercial festival.

Fashion Blogger


RHYME moved to Japan in 2017 soon after she met Osawa – the pair quickly formed a close collaboration and began writing together as RHYME SO; they’ve also performed together for DIOR in Tokyo. Their two cultures collide harmoniously as their distinctively rich musical abilities create exciting, relatable bops. RHYME SO’s music was picked up by Japanese/Australian artist JOJI and the duo’s debut single dance hit “Just Used Music Again” was released on 88 Rising’s 2019 album Head In The Clouds II, which gained accolades from Hypebeast, Highsnobiety, Billboard, Complex, Hypebae, Mixmag, The Line Of Best Fit, and more.

RHYME SO brings a refreshing sound and style that they’ve created on their own terms. Blending their infectious pop hooks, tongue twisters, and witty lyrics while pioneering a new era sound – which they call “Blank Post Genre” – the duo are set to hit the ground running with more new music to come soon.


Rising alt-pop artist RHYME encompasses an eclectic but curated genre for herself as a word performer. As a DJ, she’s travelled the world playing rock’n’roll to experimental hip-hop to house to disco in front of large crowds. Born to Australian rock legend Richard Lara (The Screaming Jets) and stylist and make-up artist Michelle Michaleson (Chrissy Amphlett), the Sydney-born singer started playing classical saxophone at age 10 and also took up figure skating. At 18 years old, RHYME decided to stop figure skating full-time due to financial pressures and focused on modelling and music. For a few years she volunteered at Mardi Gras Pride Parade Festival and curated music at Sydney’s well-known club, Frankie’s Pizza. RHYME released solo projects including her latest EP INTERNET GIRL which received support from NYLON Japan. As a model she has appeared in global fashion magazines including CAKE Magazine and Re-Quest/QJ.


Shinichi Osawa’s career began as MONDO GROSSO in the early 90s. Osawa then became a successful music producer and composer for TV advertisements and film scores. He went on to produce some of the most stylish acid jazz, house, Nu-wave and R&B music in Japan. He also produced many of Japan’s top artists like Namie Amuro and bird. Shinichi Osawa then succeeded in the 2000s as an electro music pioneer. He released his first album, The One, via FatBoy Slim’s Label. His remix of Digitalism’s “POGO” was an epic of the electro era. His unique style has been influential in the music industry in Japan and beyond. In 2017, he released his first album in 14 years as MONDO GROSSO – soon after the release, the album ranked #1 on Japan’s iTunes album chart, and the music video “Labyrinth” from the album has since accumulated over 26 million views, receiving support from Mixmag Asia.


Official Website

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