The “Bono of Japan” Visits L.A.

Meet the first human to have a Hello Kitty character named after him – or at least see a replica of his crystal grand piano


In his native Japan, he’s as famous as Bono. Like the U2 frontman, classical pianist Yoshiki has a worldwide fanbase—even if he’s hardly a household name in the United States. Last Wednesday night, 300 adoring fans turned out as the musician paid a rare visit to Los Angeles. He was at the Grammy Museum to unveil a life-size replica of his magnificent crystal grand piano, which will remain on display in the lobby. 

After being introduced by Stan Lee, who created a character based on Yoshiki for the comic book Blood Red Dragon, the pianist sat down (at the real crystal piano he tours with) to play a few tunes from his most recent release, Yoshiki Classical. When it came out in 2013, the album, which was co-produced and arranged by famed Beatles producer Sir George Martin, debuted in at #1 on the iTunes Classical chart in 10 countries. Yoshiki also announced a world tour, which will come to Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa on April 25.

Known for his feathered locks and flamboyant costumes (part of the “visual kei” look he helped popularize), the 48-year-old Yoshiki is also the first human to have a Hello Kitty line named after him. Can Bono say that? 

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  • Katrina

    Yoshiki Bono really does not exist. Yoshiki is greater than Bono. Yoshiki is a composer, plays many instruments, is a producer of a record label owner worldwide. symphony conductor, pianist-he’s a very bad taste, water and oil is disrespectful, of course Bono should feel honored to compare it with a god. Someday Bono may have the talent Yoshiki ited.

  • Kira

    Raquel Peña ‘re an ignorant , not your name journalist , inform yourself first . Bono is insignificant next to the figure, the charisma , prestige , having talent Yoshiki . The worst is that I must say as a woman you do not know anything about rock . No offense to the god Yoshiki many would like to have one thousandth of his talent. Be informed and you know that no artist can compare it with Yoshiki , though he says ” the Japanese Mozart ” for a work of that level.

  • katrina this really is a short summary of his life, read and learn

  • GOD

    Yoshiki is cool, but evil for the music industry. Either he sold his soul to the devil, or he is actually Satan himself. I admire him for building an empire by exploiting other and keeping his money laundering ways secret. Good for you Yoshiki!!

    • Katrina

      GOD-We notice that you are a born ignorant. Shame Yoshiki is a god for all the talent he has. Search for information to educate and not spending as a whole illiterate. Do not worry envy is a sin and Yoshiki is accustomed to everybody and envy as he is people do not understand