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Miyavi at Irving Plaza on October 31, 2011(cropped).jpg
Miyavi performing at Irving Plaza in 2011
Background information
Birth name Takamasa Ishihara
(貴雅 石原?)
Also known as Miyabi, , MYV, 382,[1] DJ 382,[2] MYV 382 TOKYO,[3]
Born (1981-09-14) September 14, 1981 (age 34)
Origin Konohana-ku, Osaka, Japan
  • Singer-songwriter
  • arranger
  • record producer
  • actor
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • shamisen
  • piano
Years active 1999–present
Associated acts
Website www.myv382tokyo.com

Takamasa Ishihara (石原 貴雅 Ishihara Takamasa?, born September 14, 1981),[5] better known by his stage name Miyavi, is a Japanese singer-songwriter, guitarist, record producer, and actor. He has been active since 1999, first as guitarist for the now defunct visual kei rock band Dué le Quartz and then as a solo artist starting in 2002. In 2007, he became a member of the rock supergroup S.K.I.N., and in 2009 founded his own company, J-Glam. He toured worldwide several times, with over two hundred shows. After becoming a father Miyavi toned down his on-stage attire.[6][7] He is known for his finger-slapping style of playing a guitar.[8]

Early life[edit]

Miyavi was born in the Nishikujō district in Konohana-ku ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, to a Zainichi Korean father and a Japanese mother.[9] After the first grade, he moved to Kawanishi.[9] Miyavi says that as a child he was a good student and enjoyed playing football.[9] In the second year of junior high school, a sports injury prevented him from pursuing a professional career in sports. Instead, at the age of 15, he learned to play the guitar.[10] He bought a guitar and began covering songs by Ray Charles.[11]

He was particularly fond of visual kei acts, such as X Japan and Luna Sea, but also listened to the blues, Motown, hard rock like Metallica and L.A. Guns, and industrial music like Nine Inch Nails.[10][11] In his third year of junior high school, he started playing with his first band, a visual kei group named Loop.[10]


1999–2003: Dué le Quartz and indies era[edit]

In 1999, at the age of 17, Miyavi moved to Tokyo,[12] and joined the visual kei rock band Dué le Quartz, where he went by the stage name "Miyabi". Besides being a guitarist, he wrote lyrics, composed, and arranged.[13] When the band split up in 2002, he started his solo career and changed his name to Miyavi. He signed a contract with the independent record label PS Company, and on October 31, his debut studio album Gagaku was released. Before the end of the year three more singles were released: "Shindemo Boogie-Woogie", "Pop is dead" and "Jingle Bell", of which only the third managed to enter the top forty on the Oricon charts.[14] Miyavi also starred alongside his former band mate Sakito in a movie, Ryomano Tsumato Sono Ottoto Aijin.[15][16]

In 2003, he starred as himself in the film Oresama. On April 23, his first solo concert was held at the Shibuya Public Hall.[13] Three singles were released: "Jibun Kakumei", "Tariraritarara", and "Coo quack cluck -Ku. Ku. Ru-", which charted as numbers forty, thirty and forty-two respectively on Oricon.[14] On December 2, his second studio album, Galyuu, was released; it charted forty-fourth.[17]

2004–2006: Majors and pop/acoustic era[edit]

In February 2004 he went on his first solo tour, Tokyo Dassou, and in July additional dates were added in Korea and Taiwan.[13] In June his seventh single, "Ashita, Genki Ni Naare", was released, which charted twenty-second,[14] and number one on the indies chart.[18] In August a small, free, fan-club-only event was organized in Tokyo Dome, and on the 31st he held his last indie concert at the Nippon Budokan.[13] In October, he signed a major contract with Universal Music Group, but was still co-managed by PS Company. This was followed by the release of his first major (double) single, "Rock no Gyakushuu/21sekikei Koushinkyoku", which entered the top ten on the charts.[14]

During May 2005 another single, "Freedom Fighters -Icecream wo Motta Hadashi no Megami to, Kikanjuu wo Motta Hadaka no Ousama-", was released, which charted tenth,[14] and on June 1, his first major album, Miyavizm, was released. It was his first album to enter the top ten in the charts.[17] It was followed by the third major single, "Kekkon Shiki Uta/Are you ready to Rock?", which is his best charting single, along with "Dear My Friend"/"Itoshii Hito", released in 2006; both reached number six.[14] In December he performed at the first Peace & Smile Carnival organized by PS Company.[13]

In late 2005 and for most of 2006, Miyavi shifted to an acoustic/pop sound reflected in his second and third major albums, MYV Pops and Miyaviuta -Dokusou-, released on August 2 and September 13 respectively. They charted at fifteenth and twenty-fifth.[17] The first album singles, "Señor Señora Señorita/Gigpig Boogie" and "Kimi ni Negao Wo", are not different in style. They charted as tenth and twenty-sixth respectively.[14] Miyavi showcased his new acoustic style for the first time in the 25 Shūnen Kinen Koen concert series held at Tokyo Geijutsu Gekijo for five days in September around his 25th birthday.[19] Miyavi left for America for the next six months to study the English language and take dance classes, and, on the weekends, went to Venice Beach and gave street performances.[11]

2007–2008: US debut, S.K.I.N., World Tour[edit]

Miyavi in Barcelona, 2008.

On February 17, Miyavi, having been invited by the break dancer Mr. Freeze,[20] performed with the local DJ and percussionist at his first solo concert in the United States, at the Tabu Ultra Lounge in the MGM Grand, Las Vegas.[21] On May 25, at the JRock Revolution concert organized by Yoshiki Hayashi at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, it was officially announced that Miyavi would be a member of a band named S.K.I.N..[22] On June 29, the band held their debut and their only concert yet at the anime expo in Long Beach, California.[23][24]

In June, Miyavi's seventh major single (and 14th overall), "Sakihokoru Hana no you ni -Neo Visualizm-/Kabuki Danshi", was released in Japan, which charted as twelfth.[14] In July, a remixed extended play, 7 Samurai Sessions -We're Kavki Boiz-, was released, which includes re-arrangements of his past songs. It charted as forty-fourth.[17] It was followed by Miyavi's nationwide tour, which started on July 16. He also performed at Animagic in Bonn, Germany, and in South Korea. In November his tenth major single was released, "Subarashikikana, Kono Sekai - What A Wonderful World", which charted as thirteenth.[14]

On January 16, 2008, his ninth major single was released, "Hi no Hikari Sae Todokanai Kono Basho De", on which he collaborated with fellow Skin guitarist Sugizo. It is his third single to enter the top ten.[14] On March 19, his fourth major studio album was released, titled, This Iz the Japanese Kabuki Rock, which charted as twenty-fifth. In May, it was followed by his very first worldwide tour, This Iz The Japanese Kabuki Rock Tour 2008, with 33 concerts in the United States, Chile, Brazil, Germany, England, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Finland, France, Taiwan, South Korea, China and Japan.[25][26][27][28][29][30][31] The tour covered a distance of approximately 48,385 miles, equivalent to almost two trips around the world, and the majority of the concerts were sold out and covered extensively by media organizations. It was the most successful international tour undertaken by a Japanese artist in history.[32] On June 27, a compilation album, Azn Pride -This Iz the Japanese Kabuki Rock-, was released in Korea and Taiwan, later also in Japan, which charted as forty-fourth.[17] In September he performed in Beijing, China.[13] On December 24, a remix album was released, Room No. 382, which failed to enter the top hundred.[17]

2009–2011: Founding J-Glam Inc.[edit]

Miyavi performing in New York, 2011.

In 2009, on January 3, Miyavi performed at the 10th Anniversary Commemorative concert by PS Company at the Nippon Budokan.[33] On April 5, Miyavi left the PS Company because their ten-year contract expired, and on April 8 launched his own company, J-Glam inc., of which he is the president. On April 22, a compilation album was released, Victory Road to the King of Neo Visual Rock, which includes all his major singles with Universal Group. On June 1, "Super Hero," a new song, was released through his official Myspace,[34] and in September his International Fanclub was opened.[35] On September 19, Miyavi started his second worldwide tour, Neo Tokyo Samurai Black 2009/2010, in Moscow, Russia.[36] He held 17 concerts in Europe, visiting Austria, Hungary and Italy for the first time.[36][37] The tour immediately continued in South America, with concerts in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Mexico. The United States leg was canceled due to illness and an injury,[38] but Miyavi managed to perform in November at Anime Matsuri, Texas.[39] On December 31, he signed a new contract with EMI Music Japan.[38]

Miyavi on stage in Kentish Town, London, 2011.

On March 10, 2010, his first single with EMI was released, "Survive", via iTunes. The worldwide tour was continued on March 28, with the concert at Human Stage, Okinawa, and nationwide. In June and early July he toured throughout the United States and Canada, and in October for the first time in Australia.[40] On September 15, his eleventh major single was released, "Torture". On October 13, his fifth studio album was released, What's My Name?, which charted as twenty-sixth.[17] On November 6, he performed at the EMI Rocks 50th anniversary event at the Saitama Super Arena.[41]

In March 2011, a live album, Live in London 2011, was released, and a new world tour, titled What's My Name?, began in Europe, with his first visit to Belgium. In April the tour continued in Japan, while in July Miyavi performed in France, and in September at the Mount Taishan MAO Rock Festival in China. On October 5, his twelfth major single, "Strong", was released, in collaboration with Japanese rapper Kreva. It was followed by the North American leg of the tour. Miyavi performed in South America at the Maquinaria festival in Chile,[42] and visited Venezuela, Peru and Colombia for the first time.

2012–present: Miyavi, The Others and the beginning of his international acting career[edit]

In 2012, Miyavi performed on February 19 at the second EMI Rocks event in Saitama Super Arena. On June 29, he performed at the EHZ Festival in Helette, while on June 30, he was the only Asian representative at the Main Square Festival in Arras, France. On July 11, his thirteenth major single, "Day 1," was released in collaboration with the French electronic producer and DJ, Yuksek. On September 8, Miyavi performed at the 908 Festival, organized by Kreva, in Saitama Super Arena. In October two concerts were held in Indonesia. On November 14, Samurai Sessions vol.1, his sixth studio album, was released, which featured collaboration with various artists, and it was followed by a short nationwide tour. It reached 21 on the Oricon charts.[17]

On February 28, 2013, "Ahead of the Light", Miyavi's fourteenth single, was released; a promotional tour of the same name followed. On June 19, his seventh studio album, Miyavi, was released in Japan. It is his best-selling album so far, reaching number eight on the Oricon charts.[17] In the same month two more singles, "Horizon" and "Secret", were released.

Miyavi with Angelina Jolie in 2014.

On October 12, 2013, it was announced that Miyavi would venture into professional acting with his international debut in the film Unbroken. He played the role of Imperial Japanese Army sergeant Mutsuhiro Watanabe, nicknamed "The Bird", in what was Angelina Jolie's second feature film as director.[43] It was released in December 2014.[44] Miyavi commented that as the movie was somewhat sensitive to the Japanese people, he had hesitated as to whether he should take this role. However, after meeting with Jolie, and given that the underlying theme of this story is forgiveness, he wholeheartedly decided to accept it.[45] Miyavi was featured in the same month's edition of Vogue Italia.[46]

In 2013 Miyavi was nominated for the MTV Europe Music Award for Best Japanese Act, and at the MTV Video Music Awards Japan he won the Best Collaboration category with Yuksek. In 2014, the music video of "Horizon" was nominated for the Best Male Video at the MTV Video Music Awards Japan.

In 2014, Miyavi went on his fourth world tour, "Slap the World", which started on February 22 in Malaysia. He continued throughout Europe, followed by the European release of his latest studio album, and visited Mexico City and Los Angeles, with United States release of the album, before returning to Japan for his longest nationwide tour so far.[47] Miyavi composed the music for the single "Top Of The World" by SMAP, which topped the Oricon singles charts.[48] On August 25, he performed for the first time at Fuji Rock Festival.[48] On September 9, his new single "Real?" was released, on which Miyavi collaborated with Jam and Lewis and Jeff Blue, and also the live video recording from the world tour.[49][50]

Personal life[edit]

On March 14, 2009, Miyavi married Japanese American singer Miyuki Ishikawa (known as Melody).[51] The couple have two daughters, Lovelie Miyavi (July 29, 2009) and Jewelie Aoi (October 20, 2010).[52]


Studio albums:
Live albums:
Remix albums:
Compilation albums:
Extended plays:
  • "Shindemo Boogie-Woogie" (November 30, 2002)
  • "Pop Is Dead" (November 30, 2002)
  • "Jingle Bell" (December 18, 2002) #40[14]
  • "Jibun Kakumei -2003-" (April 16, 2003) #30[14]
  • "Tariraritarara" (June 25, 2003) #42[14]
  • "Coo quack cluck -Ku. Ku. Ru-" (September 3, 2003) #43[14]
  • "Ashita, Genki ni Naare" (June 23, 2004) #22[14]
  • "Rock no Gyakushuu -Super Star no Jouken-/21 Seikigata Koushinkyoku" (October 20, 2004) #10[14]
  • "Freedom Fighters -Icecream wo Motta Hadashi no Megami to, Kikanjuu wo Motta Hadaka no Ousama-" (May 4, 2005) #10[14]
  • "Kekkonshiki no Uta -Kisetsu Hazure no Wedding March-/Are You Ready to Rock?" (October 12, 2005) #6[14]
  • "Señor Señora Señorita/Gigpig Boogie" (January 18, 2006) #10[14]
  • "Dear My Friend/Itoshii Hito" (April 12, 2006) #6[14]
  • "Kimi ni Negai Wo" (July 5, 2006) #26[14]
  • "Sakihokoru Hana no You Ni -Neo Visualizm-/Kabuki Boiz" (June 20, 2007) #12[14]
  • "Subarashikikana, Kono Sekai -What a Wonderful World-" (November 14, 2007) #13[14]
  • "Hi no Hikari Sae Todokanai Kono Basho De" (January 16, 2008) #10[14]
  • "Survive" (March 10, 2010) (Japan), (March 12/15 2010) (Europe), (March 16, 2010 (Mexico/Spain), (March 23, 2010) (Canada/USA)
  • "Torture" (September 15, 2010) #26[14]
  • "What's My Name?" (February 2, 2011) #57[14]
  • "Strong" (October 5, 2011)
  • "Day 1" (July 11, 2012)
  • "Ahead of the Light" (February 20, 2013) #21[14]
  • "Horizon" (June 27, 2013)
  • "Secret" (June 28, 2013)
  • "Real?" (September 9, 2014) #23[14]
Charitable works:
  • A Piece of Water - Christmas is... (iTunes Store)
  • Nippon Shiyouzi Noriko Rock Selection - Fankimonkibaibureshon ~Solo~ (January 1, 2007)


  • Shibuya Kokadi (Live concert)
  • Gekokujou (Live concert, July 23, 2003)
  • Oresama (おれさま) (Film, February 25, 2004)
  • Hitorigei (Music video compilation, August 21, 2004)
  • Indies Last Live in Nihon Budokan (Live concert, December 1, 2004)
  • Noriko no Ichi (Live documentary, January 12, 2005)
  • Hitorigei 2 (Music video compilation, December 7, 2005)
  • Hitorigei 3 (Music video compilation, December 20, 2006)
  • 25 Shunen Kinen Koen Tokyo Geijutsu Gekijo 5 Days -Dokuso- (Live concert, May 2, 2007)
  • The Beginning of Neo Visualizm Tour 2007 (Live concert, May 7, 2008)
  • Official Bootleg Live at Shinkiba Coast (Live concert, May 7, 2008)
  • This Iz The Original Samurai Style (Music video compilation, December 24, 2008)
  • Neo Tokyo Samurai Black World Tour vol.1 (Tour Documentary, March 24, 2010)


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External links[edit]