Takamasa Ishihara, better known as Miyavi is the unrivaled Japanese rockstar with a signature style of guitar slapping. This unique playing style was inspired by a Japanese instrument, called a shamisen shows his desire of displaying Japanese culture through such an emotional instrument and earned him the nickname “Samurai Guitarist”.
Originally hailing from Osaka, Miyavi had an early love for soccer, playing on a local team in Osaka until an injury forced him to put his energy elsewhere. That is where music came into his teenage life, grabbing a guitar and leading him down a long and still ongoing musical path.
Miyavi, went through a myriad of aesthetics over the years in spotlight. The once heavily visual kei stylistically driven guitarist, has toned down his appearance and performances over the years possibly due to his marriage to famous Japanese-American singer Melody and their two young children.
There is almost no realm left untouched by Miyavi, having been in a successful band to then leading an even more successful solo career. Miyavi has also started his own company J-glam that gives musicians support in all areas from artist development, global tour production, and of course music publishing (J-glam.net). While recently, Miyavi has had a star acting role in the Hollywood movie “Unbroken” and also featured in “Kong Skull Island”.
Miyavi is currently on a world tour titled “Day 2” where he is playing shows in major cities across Asia, Europe, US, and of course Japan. The tour is coming off recent album release “Samurai Sessions” and ep “Long Nights (World Mix)” with word that a new ep will be released monthly during the tour.
Since 2013 Miyavi has volunteered for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) where he would visit refugee camps bringing joy to refugees through his musical talent. In 2017 he was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, a cause that is near and dear to his heart.
Miyavi, a naturally positive person loves to create bridges between people. Something he does through his time and energy spent with refugees and also bridging Japanese culture with other countries. With his Japanese tattoos all over his body and his Korean name on his back paying respect to his Korean heritage, Miyavi truly is a bridge to Japanese culture through his unique music and effervescent positive energy.
Photo Gallery: AramaJapan, Narod.ru, Jpopasia.com, j-rock.narod.ru
By Reuven Havive