“Under the Sky of Legacy”: YOSHIKI’s Imprints Unveiled at the TCL Chinese Theatre

J-Rock Reviews

YOSHIKI Handprint and Footprint Unveiling Ceremony at TCL Chinese Theatre
January 9, 2024
Event report and Photos by Christan Copeland

Yoshiki TCL Chinese Theatre 2024

Faithful X Japan and YOSHIKI fans gathered on a chilly Tuesday morning to witness the official unveiling of the legendary musician’s hand and footprint at the TCL Chinese Theatre. In September 2023, YOSHIKI was honored as “one of the most influential musicians and composers in Japanese history” and participated as one of the first Japanese-born honorees to receive the “hand and footprint” ceremony. While the initial ceremony catered to honored guests and the press, the subsequent unveiling of YOSHIKI’s enshrined imprints also included beloved fans. Large black curtains ensured the safety and orderly flow of LA traffic by barricading the courtyard from view.

Following a recount of YOSHIKI’s achievements and indelible influence, he approached the podium beaming. Reflecting on the triumphs of a fast-paced year – a successful directorial debut and a classical world tour – a somber tone took hold of YOSHIKI. The celebrations of his ventures as a musician and budding director were entwined with mournful remembrance. On the heels of the finale of YOSHIKI’s successful “The Requiem Tour,” heartbreaking news followed of the passing of Heath, a fellow X Japan band member and dear friend.

Yoshiki TCL Chinese Theatre 2024

YOSHIKI: “I still don’t know how to deal with these kinds of feelings or how to deal with this loss, as the son of my parents, and as the leader of the band X Japan, especially thinking about my fans. I don’t know how to deal with this pain.”

The New Year brought more devastating news, as an earthquake left over 1900 citizens of Japan stranded without power, food, or medicine. For YOSHIKI, the ceremony at the TCL served a dual purpose.

YOSHIKI: “Today I decided to donate my crystal piano and put it up for auction, with all proceeds going to the victims of the earthquake, as I have donated and supported several times over the past decades.”

The emotional tremble in YOSHIKI’s voice gave way to resolve.

YOSHIKI: “Let me talk one more time about my film YOSHIKI: Under the Sky. The title of the film means…even though the people closest to my heart went up to the sky, I am still here…we are still here…still living here, under the sky …”I’m telling myself, we should live as much as we can. We should live for them.”

As cheers erupted from the fans, YOSHIKI took a deep, grateful bow and proceeded to the happy unveiling of his imprint, enshrined among other legends of entertainment.

Yoshiki TCL Chinese Theatre 2024 Japan House

The Reception: A Melodic Farewell to YOSHIKI’s KAWAI Crystal Piano

After photos and interviews concluded in the courtyard, guests were directed to an intimate reception held at Japan House LA, which also hosted the reception of YOSHIKI’s Under the Sky movie premiere. YOSHIKI also serves as the Japan House Los Angeles advisor. Guests mingled and chattered excitedly as clips of YOSHIKI’s multi-faceted musicianship, fashion, and artistic endeavors played on a wall. In front of the YOSHIKI highlight reel, the crystalline YOSHIKI KAWAI piano sat, looking regal and illustrious under the accent lights.

Heartfelt congratulations and celebratory speeches transitioned into tearful testaments to YOSHIKI’s triumphs and trials. The sincerity of emotions shared by friends and industry peers, who remained champions of YOSHIKI’s work over the decades, could be felt deeply as they huddled and held YOSHIKI in warm embraces.

Yoshiki TCL Chinese Theatre 2024 Japan House

As the Japan House president and hosts announced a final mini performance on the legendary crystal piano, contemplative looks on YOSHIKI’s face washed with many emotions as he touched the crystal panel of his piano.

“What song should I play?” YOSHIKI asked. “Maybe I’m saying goodbye to this piano…is this piano tuned?” YOSHIKI asked as bubbles of laughter erupted from the audience. Before settling behind the keys, YOSHIKI made a dedication to the victims of the earthquake but also “to everyone around the world, I want to dedicate in love.” The somber yet hopeful notes of “Forever Love” punctuated the quiet hall followed by the classic X Japan masterpiece “Endless Rain”.

Yoshiki TCL Chinese Theatre 2024 Japan House

Imprinting Hope through Charity

YOSHIKI “I’m a little sad to say goodbye to my crystal piano, which is like family to me, but I think some people will be saved by this. Please cherish it.”

In the following days, the 4-day auction of YOSHIKI’s beloved crystal piano reached a bid of 40 million yen (over $270,000). One hundred percent of the proceeds from the auction were added onto the 13-million-yen donations YOSHIKI contributed, totaling 50 million yen (Over $340,000) for the victims of the Noto Peninsula earthquake.

While the cycles of joy and sorrow roll determinedly on, YOSHIKI gives more to his art, to charity, and to the fans who encourage YOSHIKI to carry on with love. For decades YOSHIKI’s humanitarian work has supplied aid and support across humanitarian issues around the world. This spring, fans will have plenty to look forward to, as YOSHIKI was recently chosen by entertainment giant Sanrio to create the worldwide theme song for Hello Kitty’s 50th anniversary celebration this year.

As of January 9th, the official unveiling of his imprint is now accessible to fans to view and touch at the TCL Chinese Theatre. Fans can find YOSHIKI’s honored prints directly next to Kobe Bryant and Jennifer Aniston, keeping company in the courtyard with legendary artists Johnny Depp, Robert De Niro, and Al Pacino, just to name a few.

YOSHIKI: “When you come here, place your hands on my handprints.” YOSHIKI splayed out his hands in reference. “You may notice they may not be that big. But small hands can do big things, make somebody’s dreams come true, and help to lift up people’s spirits in need.”

YOSHIKI: “I hope that anyone who comes here can look down at these prints of all these amazing stars – and then look up to the sky – to find hope and inspiration, and your loved ones watching you from the sky.”

Donations can be sent to the Japanese Red Cross through Yoshiki Foundation America’s website.