34-year-old Yohei Miyake is an highly popular and acclaimed reggae-rock musician in Japan. He's running for a seat in the Upper House of the National Diet for the Green party in the proportional representation part of the election.
Along with Taro Yamamoto, who is running from Tokyo, Miyake seems to be winning young voters and not-so-young voters who have never bothered with elections with the message he delivers with his guitar.
He speaks as he plays guitar, and occasionally breaks into singing - in the centuries-old Japanese tradition of emotive story-telling with a string instrument.
I've heard about him, but I never bothered to view his election appearances until one of my Twitter followers sent me a video with English subtitle. (Like, just now.)
I was shocked to see a nice-looking man who looks to have actually grown into adulthood, instead of simply getting old with the wrinkled face of an elementary school boy (like so many of politicians and so many of so-called elite bureaucrats and corporate executives in Japan).
I was shocked again when I saw a huge audience at the end of the video. You don't see that kind of crowd at campaign speeches by established parties.
From Miyake's appearance in Kichijoji, Tokyo on the first day of the election campaign on July 4, 2013, with English subtitle:
The large crowd doesn't necessarily translate into votes, but I sense the audience is feeling empowered by him, which is rare in Japan.
His official slogan at his official site says, "Turn all weapons into musical instruments." Being a musician myself, I'm all for that. I do not agree with many of his policies, but that doesn't really matter.
(In fact, I quite disagree with some of his policies, particularly one about consumption tax. He proposes tax on financial assets instead of consumption tax. That's Cyprus, and that's unfair double-taxation on people who saved their earnings post-tax, just because these people have bank accounts and investment accounts that are big enough for the government to plunder. I don't know what rate he is thinking of.)
Official blog (Japanese only): http://ameblo.jp/miyake-yohei/
Like Yamamoto's, Miyake's campaign organization is made up of all volunteers.