Tag Archives: Joe Iron

West LA Native Craig Iwamoto Making it Big in Japan as Joe Iron

October 12, 2015

Joe Iron (photo courtesy of Craig Iwamoto)

Craig Iwamoto aka Joe Iron (photo courtesy of Craig Iwamoto)

Sawtelle Japantown has become known as a street of delicious eateries, but there is an entire community of people who call Sawtelle Japantown home.  One member of the Sawtelle Japantown community is successful music producer and songwriter Joe Iron, whose real name is Craig Iwamoto.  Craig is a fourth generation Japanese American who was born and raised in the Venice/ Palms area of West LA and grew up in the Sawtelle community.

Craig was recruited by talent Minoru Ujita to work as a music producer in Japan and in eight years, Craig has become one of the top music producers in Japan.  His mixtape series “Banzai Boy” is a big hit in the Japanese hip hop scene.  In addition to working with several artists within different genres of music all over Asia, Craig produces music for AK-69, the number one selling hip hop artist in Japan.

Craig on the Streets on Tokyo (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Craig on the Streets of Tokyo (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

“I am as West LA as you can get” says Craig, as we met over lunch in Tokyo.

Before the war, Craig’s grandfather owned real estate on Sawtelle, including the site formerly occupied by the Safe and Save market.  As a child, Craig went to Japanese school at the Japanese Institute of Sawtelle and participated in boy scouts and aikido at that location.
Craig and his family are members of the West LA Buddhist church and active within the Japanese American community. Growing up, Craig knew every store manager or owner on Sawtelle. Craig often entered through the back door at Yamaguchi general store when he played hooky from Japanese school.

Craig hasn’t had time to return to the Sawtelle Japantown area in recent years but when he does, he will certainly be surprised to see all the changes to the area.

Photo by SawtelleJapantown.com

Photo by SawtelleJapantown.com

ジョー アイロン




最近クレッグはソーテルジャパンタウンへは戻ってないが 次回戻った時にはその変化に驚くだろくだろう。。