**( "Pray" is slated to be released in late 2011, with assistance of many actors and musicians. No date confirmed. )
Honda lives alone in a condo in Hollywood where he has lived since joining Meraviglie in 2009. He stated before that he is expecting a roommate from friend Im Yong Soo sometime. He is single, though he is frequently photographed in public with women he's acquainted with, however stating that they are only friends and he currently has no love interest. This is challenged by paparazzi who have abundant photographs of him with friend Divinita Vargas. Both have confirmed to numerous sources that they are "just friends, and nothing more". Honda has no family in the United States; his parents and extended family live in Kyoto, Japan and other parts of Asia. Wang Yao has stated to reporters that he is Honda's "brother", while the claim is denied outright by Honda, who states they have "no relation" and will not further explain. It has also been said that he shares a brotherly bond with Im Yong Soo and considers Chau Hoang his sister. The only relationship of these he has confirmed is that he considers Hoang to be a sister, affectionately referring to her as "Chau-chan". He has yet to confirm his age to the paparazzi, though it is evident he is younger than Yao, but older than Chau and Yong Soo.
Honda is very glad to sign autographs but seems to be a bit camera-shy, turning his face away. While he is perfectly glad to answer questions about current events, he generally doesn't answer questions about the past or his life. He also seems to be romantic – romanticizing things and outcomes of things, quite dreamy in general. He's very calm and composed, though he can on occasions get flustered. He doesn't get angry except on the rarest of occasions. He gets flustered when people are vulgar towards him or touch him in a way deemed inappropriate by him – he has some quite traditional values, mixed with his love of the modern society. He also doesn't like people to get close to him, generally keeping them at an emotional arms'-length.
Though it's unknown how exactly Honda's career started, he has stated that he simply "began to teach himself instruments, and loved it", and that was how it began. He states that did not take music classes nor did he ever have private lessons, though some speculate Wang Yaomight have been the one to teach him. He had always written poetry in his early years and eventually these poems grew, spanning different styles and written in Chinese, Japanese or English. Eventually he took these poems and created songs, and music to go with them for the instrument he had chosen to learn to play; guitar. He had a natural talent for singing that he only exercised in private, and alongside the guitar, he began to impress those around him with his music.
He moved to the United States in 2007 as an unknown but gained a small amount of recognition with his first album, Tsuki no Kakera or Fragment of the Moon. American critics stated that the vocals were too understated and suggested he "over-exaggerate his confidence in singing". Others said that the style just didn't match; his gentle singing alongside the electronic or new wave accompaniment did not work well. Despite these reviews, his two singles were popular in Japan.
Upon the release of his second album, Kiku Honda, Honda had grown quite a bit as a musician. He had decided to play his own accompaniment with only what extra accompaniment was absolutely necessary. His sound had gone from this strange mix of style to a solidified genre – alternative rock. Critics were much more welcoming to this new sound, comparing him to popular, well-known artists and applauding his musical growth.
The switch to Meraviglie had been an easy decision for Honda; he had been stressed at his initial company to work at a fast pace and Meraviglie Productions's slower pace and easygoing nature had been welcoming. He happily produced his third album, Me & You & the World to critical acclaim. They stated that it was "by far, his best work". His genre had slipped into soft rock and alternative, and on some songs he had gotten rid of other additions altogether, singing acoustic and unedited. These songs were extremely popular and the album had climbed high. His fourth album is called Pray and is rumored to feature other celebrities, such as Divinita Vargas and actress Camille Peralta i Marques. It is a tribute to the current state of his home country, Japan, and is detailed later in the article. Alongside his albums he is featured with many other bands in live performances, working with them in collaborations.
While he is a musician, he at one time expressed an interest in acting. However, since then he has declared that he changed his mind. His reasons for this are expressed in the following quote:
- "I have the best job in the world. I sing for myself, write songs for myself. Choose what I want to sing. I love everything about it. When I lived in Nara and Beijing I dreamed about that kind of thing; I live on my own, I make my own decisions. It is a little childish, wanting that kind of freedom from authority. I used to consider acting for several reasons. Now I realized, I'm not an actor. I'd be terrible at it! [Honda laughs] Music is my life, it has bee
- n since I was little. I wouldn't have it any other way." -Honda at an interview in 2010 shortly after a concert.
Honda was born in Nara, Japan on February 11th. Though born there, he lived in Kyoto, the birthplace of his father. He was always raised with Chinese and traditionally Japanese influence. His surroundings inspired a love of nature alongside a love of city life, even despite his being too young to fully remember such things. His parents were caring though he preferred to be solitary and, when going to school, he did not particularly care to make any friends – this is not to say that he was unfriendly, simply that he was not outgoing, did not speak unless spoken to. Because of this strange social behavior, his parents initially thought something was wrong with him, though his teachers assured the distressed parents that he was perfectly normal in other rites.
When Honda was still quite young ( presumably around five or six years old ), his parents began to travel quite often; he visited many other countries and in visiting appeared to blossom at each change of scenery. Because the child Honda did not have any real friends or attachments, the constant moving was easy on him, and his father reasoned to his mother that a change of scenery would be good for the child. While, of course, they frequently were in Japan, after Kyoto his first long-lasting home was Beijing, China, which had presented an excellent job opportunity for his father which had caused them to have to stay there. He was near 11 and still fairly socially outcast, though he had gained a few friends.
He did, in fact, seem to enjoy Beijing, and one day made friends with an older boy – one about ten years older than him. Encouraged by this one friend, his parents believed Honda was making progress and happily pushed him to spend quite a bit of time with this friend; Wang Yao. In fact, he dropped out of school for a time and was home-schooled with him, living with him, alongside the rest of the "family" Wang had taken in, including Chau Hoang and Im Yong Soo. He has commented on occasions about this life he lived, separate from his parents' life, with warm words, appearing to look back on it fondly as a good time in his life.
Events past that point are unknown. Honda will not elaborate more than, "something changed" or "we were both hurt", regarding what happened. What is known is that he left this "family" early and returned to his parents. He was sharp and reclusive, drawing within himself and rarely showing himself. To view the nature he loved so much, he would simply look through the windows. His parents, alarmed at the sudden shift in his personality, returned to Kyoto and lived with the family, hoping the scenery from his childhood would help return him to normal. It appeared to work, as, though he did not "return to normal" immediately, he did begin to go out more and talk more. He later returned to school and found it easier to communicate in a more extroverted way, and made friends.
Honda still enjoyed traveling; he loved Tokyo and all its modernness especially and visited. He loved the beautiful shrines and mountains. He had begun to play music to himself but it was heard by his parents, who approved highly of it. He even brought it into his school, playing his guitar in the school yard for his peers. He suggested to his parents, then, that once he was a legal "adult" by the United States's standards, he should move to California to attempt to make a name for himself in the big music industry there. His parents, knowing how changes in scenery had good effects on the boy, agreed, though it was not at this exact age that he did move to Hollywood. He moved in 2007.
Trauma in JapanEdit
Honda, being a Japanese citizen and celebrity, was very affected by the events in Japan. He was horrified at it and fussed endlessly to hear back from his family. When he did, he was alerted initially by his uncle that his mother was with him in China, and his father was searching for his aunt in Japan. His father flew out to China after finding that his aunt had been killed. The rest of his family was spared, otherwise, aside from a friend or two he had had.
To help out the other Japanese people, his fourth album Pray is dedicated to the country and relief efforts. Profits from the album are going to a charity he is working closely with. To show support, he is having other celebrities join him in working on the album. It is said to be released approximately April 9th, though no date has been officially confirmed.
- Kiku has a dog that he has had since he was young. His name is Pochi, and he is a Shiba Inu and Pomeranian mix.
- He is in secret an extreme otaku. He watches anime all the time, collects manga, has a separate closet from his own filled only with cosplay.
- Kiku is a great artist; he paints in the traditional style as well as doing incredible anime art, both digital and traditional.
- He writes poetry on his free time, mostly haiku and song-style.
- Kiku's favorite artists are J-Pop, Vocaloid or soft rock.
- Kiku's favorite Vocaloid is Megurine Luka.
- He has a collection of plushies littering his bed.
- He adores technology, having only the latest and greatest.
- Kiku practices Shinto and Buddhist rituals.