I'm in First Place in the 6th Annual Guitar Center Singer/Song Writer Contest.

I've made a determination in front of my gohonzon that I'm going to finally end my 12-plus years in self-imposed exile on the backside of Japan, near Sado Island (I can see Sado Island on clear days and it reminds me of my younger days living in Huntington Beach, California, looking at Catalina Island) and come back to the US, to fight for kosen rufu with my bodhisattva SGI-USA friends.

If you don't remember me (or you've never heard of me), I went by the name Tim VanCampen (my step dad's last name) when I was an area leader and vice regional leader in Orange County, California, but at Soka University of America from 2001 to 2005 I used the name Tim Gianakos, which is my birth name.  You may remember my reporting in the World Tribune from Soka University of America during the protest marches I led from SUA to the Aliso Viejo Federal Building against Bush's Wars on Iraq and other countries (they also appeared in 8 newspapers throughout Southern California).

Or you may remember me from my World Tribune experience when I graduated with honors in the first class of SUA in 2005 and decided to move to Japan.

I would like to ask you a little favor to help me make this move back to the US possible.  I have teamed up with an amazing SGI music producer in Italy, Gabor Lesko. And we are almost done with my 4th music CD (tentatively titled “The 13 Secret Teaching of the Dragon King’s Daughter,” which will have 13 songs (we are almost done with song 10 now). We have made 5 professional music videos from the songs from this CD and my last CD, “the Beginning is Here,” which I released on 12/21/2012 (all shot in Japan) and we put these 5 videos in a contest in California with Guitar Center, to win a record deal, win a good chunk of money for our world tour and win a treasure trove of musical equipment from Guitar Center to supply the band that will do a world music tour with us (we’re going to try to put together an all SGI members band for the tour-think Super Sounds 2.0).

The songs are all very related to Buddhist philosophy and Soka Spirit (especially the 2nd one “It’s All Up to You.”)
The contest will go until the finals, which will have 5 people perform solo in Los Angles in March of next year. http://songwriter.amplifiertv.com/channel/Tim+Janakos

I've so far been in 1st place in the ranking for the first 2 weeks of the 10 week competition, so I think I have a great chance to win.

How a person gets in the finals is by having many people watch their 5 videos, sign up and follow them and comment on and share their videos. You can say it's just a popularity contest, but the judges will choose among the most popular on the site, which 5 they think will not only do the best solo live performances at the finals, but which one will be best for getting a professional record deal to promote out of Los Angeles.  I know I can do a great solo live performance, because I won a songwriting competition in Japan, which was based on the live solo performance as well, and I did a few other TV contests in Japan where I won audience choice for my live solo performances (all on my youtube channel www.youtube.com/timjanakos).  But they won't know that, unless I have many people watching my videos, following them, sharing them and commenting on them, so they will stay toward the top of the contest.

If you can also send daimoku, so I can represent the SGI in the finals in my Gakkai hometown of Southern California (where I marched for many years in the brash band and Royal Prince) with songs for Kosen Rufu, I would really appreciate it.

If you are interested in knowing what else I have been doing in my 12 years of self-imposed exile (I only planned to come to Japan for 1 year and then do a music tour of the world, but some how got stuck here trying to get my music career off the ground), you can check out my twice-a-week radio show www.blogtalkradio.com/majortimtogroundcontrol

Or you can read some of the books I've published since leaving the US: A semi-auto-biographic Buddhist discovery novel “Myth Shattering”  http://www.lulu.com/shop/tim-janakos/myth-shattering/paperback/product-14414445.html and my writings from my 4 years at Soka University of America http://www.lulu.com/shop/tim-janakos/collected-writings-from-soka-university-of-america/ebook/product-18332177.html

Or go to my website: www.tjmusic.org

Or my facebook pages www.facebook.com/timothyjanakos www.facebook.com/tvc.16

Thank you for all your support and I look forward to doing kosen rufu again with you and all my SGI comrades in the US very soon and performing in Los Angeles in March.

Peace, Love and Light, Tim Janakos

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