How virtual pop star Hatsune Miku blew up in Japan
News On Japan via wired.com -- Oct 20
Miku is not human. She is a virtual idol, a holographic star. Miku is crowdsourced, ever-evolving, famous software. Not even her fans know, or care, how to taxonomize her. ("She's rather more like a goddess: She has human parts, but she transcends human limitations. She's the great posthuman pop star," one fansite reads.)
Her bandmates are all actual people playing real instruments, but Miku is projected onto the stage, singing, if that's the word, in avian-robot trills. She was programmed to do this months before, thousands of miles away.
Not that her forecoded unreality interferes with widespread adoration. On the contrary, Miku is now one of the biggest acts in Asia-as popular in her native Japan as Sega's iconic Sonic the Hedgehog. She has devotees beyond Japan too. Last November she gave a concert in Singapore, drawing 3,000 fans-only about half of them female, not all young. They sang along in Japanese, a language many of them didn't speak. Some came dressed as Miku.
Yoko Ono says her own bitter experience in Japan during World War II inspired her to support WhyHunger's "Imagine There's No Hunger" campaign to fight childhood hunger around the world. (abcnews.go.com )
Japanese police arrested former sumo ozeki Kotomitsuki on Wednesday on suspicion of violating the immigration law by employing foreigners illegally at a barbecue restaurant he runs in Nagoya, central Japan. (Jiji Press )
A thousand days have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake struck. However, only 1.2 percent of the planned land development for collective relocation of disaster-affected communities and construction of publicly operated housing have materialized, according to a survey conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun. (Yomiuri )
There is a fairly well-documented sex doll subculture in Japan, and one of its leading manufacturers is Orient Industry. Gaga and Universal Music Group's Japanese branch recruited the company to make replicas of the pop star. (businessinsider.com.au )