Born in Hokkaido Japan, YOYOKA a 13-year-old drummer has been playing the drums since she was one. She gained international attention at the tender age of 8, when she entered the 2018 Hit Like a Girl drum contest with a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times” and became the youngest weekly champion. She is the youngest drummer in history to be selected as one of the “World’s Top 500 Drummers” and has since performed with world renowned drummers and artists including Fall Out Boy and Cyndi Lauper and appeared on the Ellen Show twice. In September 2022, YOYOKA moved to the US to pursue her passion for performing on the world stage. Her dreams are to play a session with Led Zeppelin, and perform at the Super Bowl half time show.
YOYOKA is striving to bring energy and courage to people around the world through her drumming as well as becoming an artist who composes songs and plays a wide variety of instruments.
Announcer, News Anchor
Born in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture in 1967, Mr. Miyanaga graduated from Waseda University’s School of Political Science and Economics.
In 1990, he joined Sapporo Television Broadcasting Co., Ltd. as an announcer and has since been involved in a wide range of roles, including hosting information programs, sports commentary, narration, and news reporting on both television and radio.
Since the fall of 2012, he serves as the news anchor and a commentator for STV’s “どさんこワイド179” (Dosanko Wide 179) TV program within the news department.
Additionally, he holds the role of a Japanese language teacher (certified), and is also known as “Gotei Miya,” a rakugo (traditional Japanese comedic storyteller) performer affiliated with the Sapporo Rakushokai.
Under the pen name “Miyanaganatari,” actively engages in writing poetry, essays, and novels, frequently participates in recitation events also other related activities.
Community Social Worker, Activist for People with Disabilities
Born in Asahikawa City, Hokkaido in 1972, Ms. Shikano graduated from the Shool of Social Welfare at Doto University.
Born as a low-birth-weight baby, she had developed quadriplegic cerebral palsy and was raised in a prefectural children’s welfare facility’s dormitory until the age of 12. During that time, she attended regular school and enjoyed activities such as skiing and swimming alongside children with disabilities.
After joining the Hokkaido Social Welfare Council, she worked in formal welfare roles. Upon consultation with a doctor, she began volunteering to support children with disabilities (pediatric cancer) in sports.
Currently, she has established a committee for informal citizen activities fror the disabled individuals. They engage in leisure activities, sports, fashion, disaster prevention, and more for people with disabilities and others.
They are active in various roles, including being a disaster prevention officer, intermediate-level sports instructor for people with disabilities, Japan Institute of Physical Chemistry Kit Pass Instructor, welfare library staff member, and registered facilitator for disability equality training.
Composer, Sound Artist
Born in 1981 in Hokkaido. KAGEI is a composer who creates abstract sonic spaces with “light” at the core. Fascinated by the starry skies during his childhood, he believed in the ability to communicate with the stars through sound. He developed a musical interest by observing the birds and insects that sing in nature. He explores the expansion of realms of beauty that can only be reached through music by combining multiple performances of various ethnic and self-made instruments, as well as computer-generated sounds.
In 2021, he was responsible for the music production of the TOKYO 2020 Olympic Opening Ceremony. In 2022, he served as the art director for the Hokkaido Shimamaki Village Project under the Ministry of the Environment’s LBOV promotion project. He devised and created an ocean plastic speaker utilizing plastic waste collected from the coastline. He is affiliated with the dance company OrganWorks, led by Shintaro Hirahara, where he composes and supervises music for major works. He has composed music for numerous contemporary dance productions and presented stage works in Japan, South Korea, Israel, Spain, Belgium, and France. He actively collaborates with artists and companies from various fields, including choreographers, directors, Japanese Noh performers, visual artists, and filmmakers, both in Japan and abroad.
IWAYA Inc., CEO, Inventor, Entrepreneur
Born in 1986 in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture. While studying at Hokkaido University, his passion for invention led him to start developing balloons. After graduation, he turned this project into a business. He used balloons to fly payloads to high altitudes, conducting numerous space photography and space experiments. Currently, he has invented large balloons and spacecraft, advancing a venture that allows people to board and personally observe space and the Earth. He continues to invent and commercialize based on his own curiosity.
GANON FLORIST, CEO, Flower Artist
Born in Sapporo, Hokkaido in 1987, the multidisciplinary artist, Hikaru Seino is based in Tokyo and LA, and encompasses the roles of a flower artist, composer, photographer, architectural designer, and brand owner. During childhood, despite struggling academically and being labeled an underachiever in school, he began his musical journey in his teens. Hikaru achieved an indie debut as a punk rocker. However, while expressing discontent with society, he felt a contradiction within and decided to disband the group, retreating into solitude.
After the Great East Japan Earthquake, at the age of 22, Hikaru discovered the world of flowers. With a deep love for flowers and a strong appreciation for nature, he became convinced that a society with many adults who cherish flowers and nature could be a kind and peaceful one. Thus, he embarked on the path of a flower artist to convey the importance of nature.
His advocacy for peace has garnered attention from top brands and celebrities. His activities have spanned a wide range, including a New Year’s entrance display at Roppongi Hills, parties hosted by Kate Moss, collaborations with Gaudi’s architecture in Spain, and lectures as a maestro in Europe. Furthermore, his “HANANINGEN” project, initiated to create a new relationship between flowers and people, has sprouted in over 50,000 individuals both domestically and internationally. Hikaru’s works advocating for social peace are widely recognized.
Hokkaido Novice Teacher Supervisor, Aomori Prefecture Education Reform Expert Panel Member
Born in 1962 in Hokkaido. She majored in fine art (oil painting) at Hokkaido University of Education and pursued a career as an art teacher. She taught art at public junior high schools in Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture, and Otaru City, Hokkaido, and later went on to become a vice principal and principal. Since her teaching days, she has been engaged in challenging activities such as connecting schools and society, and utilizing guest teachers, with a focus on career education. After becoming a principal, she aimed to create a “school where children are the subjects of an enjoyable education” and implemented a non-managerial approach with the “pasture school” concept, where both children and adults can learn and live with peace of mind.
Her special skills include breaking with precedents, ignoring conforming pressure, and energizing people. She is nicknamed “Bulldozer Makiko.” In her local Otaru media, she writes essays under the pen name “Nekoyama Tabiko.” She enjoys traveling to retro towns, loves cats, stationery, and books, and has an interest in local handicrafts. In 2023, she was selected for the Forbes Japan 2023 Innovative Education 30.
Freestyle Kendama Player, Freelance videographer
Born in Kutchan Town, Niseko Hirafu.
In 2015, while deeply immersed in freestyle skiing, Soma discovered the joy of “kendama” that a friend was playing with. Practicing at the restaurant his parents run in Niseko, he met an intrigued foreigner who he lent his “kendama” to. Surprisingly, they successfully performed the tricks Soma had been practicing on their very first try. They even linked plate tricks and eventually balanced the ball on their little finger. This event marked the beginning of an eight-year journey of enjoying “Freestyle Kendama.”
Soma has achieved notable titles, including 2nd place in the 2020 Catch & Flow (Freestyle Kendama Championship) and 2nd place in the 2023 EKC (European Kendama Championship).