How virtual pop star Hatsune Miku blew up in Japan
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.
Internal information regarding JR Kyoto Station was made publicly accessible online when the station floor plans, revealing the locations of inactive gas fire extinguishing equipment, were posted on the Google Groups bulletin board service, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. (The Japan News )
Japan will go ahead with research whaling in the northwestern Pacific for fiscal 2014, but by reducing catches following an International Court of Justice ruling that ordered the country to stop whaling in the Antarctic Ocean, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry said Friday. (The Japan News )
Hatsune Miku, a computer-generated Japanese pop star who performs as a hologram, is to support some of Lady Gaga's tour of North America next month, the U.S. songstress has announced on Twitter. (Japan Today )
Tochigi prefectural police said Thursday that they are questioning a man in his 30s over the murder of a 7-year-old girl in December 2005. Japanese media quoted police as saying that the man, who was arrested for dealing in fake brand-name goods, has hinted at his involvement in the murder. (Japan Today )