Ken Tanaka (that's me) was born Ken Smith in Los Angeles California in 1973. As a very tiny baby, I was adopted by a Japanese family and taken to Shimane Prefecture where I was raised. At the age of 33 years old, I learned that I was adopted and I returned to Los Angeles to search for my birth parents Jonathan and Linda Smith.
I made YouTube videos about my search and many people all over the world have became my friends. YouTube was even kind enough to give me awards for one of my short films “I am Robot” and my Japanese song “Scream of Slacker.” While making videos I also met a lot of visual artists like James Jean and David Mack, who inspired me to start painting and drawing. I bought a jumbo size pack of crayons and today I am an artist and the author and illustrator of Everybody Dies: A Children’s Book for Grown Ups, along with my co-author David Ury.
David Ury is my very handsome, long-lost, identical twin brother. People sometimes become confused and think that I am my brother David. Actually, we met through a YouTube video when some viewers noticed that I looked similar to an American television actor named David Ury. You can see our first meeting here:
That was in 2007. More recently, I’ve been helping David to improve his accent when speaking Japanese as you can see in this video.
I am still making music, books and videos. I also have a one person theater show about my life called "Ken Tanaka One Man Show, C'mon." I currently live in Los Angeles.
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