Konnichiwa!  My name is Jim Atwood.  I am originally from Seattle Washington, USA. I have been living and working in Japan now for 17+ fantastic years as a popular Professional Photographer and International Computer IT Consultant. Currently I live in Nagano City, Japan, but have also lived for 10 years in the Yokohama and Tokyo City areas. I speak Japanese and am married to a lovely Japanese fashion lady named “Yoyo”. She is a successful Entrepreneur and Hair Designer who owns two hair salon companies “Diva Salon” and “Magee Salon” in Nagano City, Japan. I also have two lovely daughters “Aily Jacklyn” and “Sasha Caroline” who are the perfect models! I love Photography, Japan, Computers, Music, and the Fashion world in Japan.

I have spent 17+ years building an extensive network in both Japan and Asia.  I am more than happy to network with any individuals with an interest in the Far East on any topic of interest.  Feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to respond as soon as possible.

Visit Jim Atwood Photography – Contact email provided at this address.

Jim Atwood Email

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, please feel free to contact at the following address here in Japan. Thank you!

Favorite Quotes to live by:

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow!! What a ride!

“Do what you love, the rest will come!”

“The Underground is always one step ahead of the ground Above!”

“I always strive to be fair in my critiques.  I never want to discourage, just give constructive advice!”

8 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Jim,
    I have a Yamaha su700 and want to put a scsi flash card reader in it but can’t find to much info about how to go about it. Could you tell me what parts ie what reader is compatible with the Yamaha series?

    All the best,


    • Hello Ian,

      I don’t own a Yamaha su700 but if I had one I would probably open it up and either remove or inspect the drive currently in it. You may have to remove the ribbon cable and power cable to determine the exact pin number for the connection. Then you can start looking for the appropriate adapter or reader that will work with it. I group to keep an eye on is the Yahoo Group for either the Rm1x or the RS7000. There are people in there currently researching which flash card readers will work. You can also check out the HxC SD card reader which likely will work perfectly provided you have the proper pin connection. This is why you’ll need to open up the su700 and inspect the current drive setup.



  2. Hey Jim in Japan,

    Great blog, merry xmas. I’m envious of you managing to find so much bargain vintage gear. I’m in Japan on the JET Program and went to my first Hard Off last week. Had such high hopes of finding a JUNO 106 at a ridiculous price. No luck. Anyway, would you mind shooting me an email? Would like to ask you some stuff bout finding vintage gear in Japan and more specifically a Juno 106 listed on Yahoo Auctions at the moment. Not sure bout my translation of the state it’s in. Cheers. luscmu(at)gmail

    • Hi there,

      To put things in perspective, I’ve been going to Hardoff since I started this blog which was July 2009. I also go to three different Hard Off stores approximately 4-5 times each week as I live quite close to them. With that sort of frequency one is bound to run into the synths that I’ve been fortunate to find and collect over the years …. laugh. The Nagano Hard Off sales staff know me REALLY WELL!!! I come from a “collecting” oriented family that pretty much hits the stores as much as necessary in order to increase the odds of finding a good deal. Sure it’s a lot of luck, but I also think if I hadn’t pounded the pavement enough I surely wouldn’t have found some of the stuff I post here on my blog. I think it took over a year apart to find both my Juno 106 synths here in Nagano. It was a combination of luck and hitting the stores almost daily to beat out other synth enthusiasts to get those synths…laugh.

      With regards to finding Juno 106 synths on Ebay or Yahoo Auctions, they will ALL have problems unless they specifically have their six voice chips serviced. There is no way around this flaw with the Juno 106. Both of my synths have been serviced by Allen at the Synth Spa. It took 2-3 months for each synth to get fully serviced, but I can say they are in top condition now and will likely not fail again at least in the voice or wave chip department. So if you are shopping around for a Juno 106 you need to either make sure that all six chips have been serviced OR understand that they will need to be serviced at some point if they haven’t been already.

      There are other issues with the Juno 106 synths too such as dead keys, Chorus effect issues, and a few other niggles but everything is either replaceable or can be fixed 100%.

      If you have any questions, feel free to send me a note anytime. Best of luck!


  3. I had fun reading your adventures in japan. I noticed your missing a few keyboards and stuff so I decided to extend your buy list.

    Roland JX-305
    Korg Karma
    Ensoniq Asr10
    Roland Pro-E Intelligent Arranger this one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Roland_Pro-E_Intelligent_Arranger.jpg

    Yamaha AN200
    Yamaha DX200
    Roland EG-101 http://www.vintagesynth.com/roland/eg101.php
    Roland D2 http://www.vintagesynth.com/roland/d2.php
    Korg N1r
    Electrix Pro Repeater

    That should round out your 90s collection …. + some items that are not from the 90s.

  4. Oh yeah …. and a Kurzweil rack sampler.
    and a Emu E6400 Ultra rack sampler.

    Lol ….. If I bring another sampler into my house my wife will spank me.

    Look forward to hearing more about you foraging for synths in Japan. Here in the US its Craigslist and ebay. The musical instrument shops are on the decline especially ones with used items. ;(

  5. Hello Jim,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog.
    I found it while searching for people who have repaired a Roland alpha Juno 2 which won’t power up.
    I actually just bought one, I did not receive it yet, but I am pretty curious to follow on your repair adventures that you wrote there:

    Did you manage to fix it?
    I hope mine won’t be totally broken.

    Thanks a lot,



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