Japanese Artists Band Together to Help; Slash Cancels Shows
Japanese Artists Band Together to Help; Slash Cancels Shows

In the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the northeast of Japan and the resultant radiation leaks, many Japanese artists are reaching out to offer help.

Yoshiki from the legendary rock band X Japan has offered his favorite piano for auction with the money going to help victims of the disaster. It was reported in the Japanese media that Yoshiki said he was struck by the scale of the devastation and immediately sent out a Twitter message asking his fans if they were OK.

Yoshiki is drummer, sometime pianist and main composer for X Japan, who are considered to be a pioneer the 'visual-kei' or visual rock movement in Japan. The piano is a unique crystal clear Kawai grand piano that is closely associated with Yoshiki.

Members of the massive girl band AKB48, and the entire idol franchise which consists of girl bands AKB48, SKE48, NMB48, and SDN48, has pledged 500 million yen ($6.2 mil) towards ongoing relief efforts. The band also asked their fans to donate to the Japanese Red Cross, and said they would collect the money. AKB48 further announced that they will delay the release of their album "Koko ni Ita Koto" which was scheduled to drop April 6. AKB48 dominated the charts for much of 2010 and received the Billboard Japan Award for one of the Top Pop Artists of 2010.

The extremely popular indie rocker Gakt announced that he would organize a charity benefit called "Show Your Heart" at which he and other well-known musicians would perform. The money raised will be donated to disaster relief funds. Gakt included a bank account in which to donate money for the effort on the official website.

In touring news the legendary guitarist Slash canceled shows on Wednesday and Thursday at Studio Coast in Tokyo and Friday at Yokohama Bay Hall.

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