Here is my translation of the blog enty by mini246 – this is just a casual and rough translation, and forgive me for my gramatical errors etc. But I hope you could see what mini246 wants to introduce, based on her own experience of growing up in Japan. And she introduces us so many youtube links!
The class on Japanese culture at the University of Chicago was something! So I will try to add my personal take on the history of postwar Japanese pop music
I saw Popular Culture In/Out of Japan blog, of a class taught by Tomomi Yamaguchi at the University of Chicago, via the April 14 entry of her blog. I initially thought that the class focuses on manga and anime, because Phoenix and Genshiken were introduced as required readings. When I saw the content, however, it wasn’t limited to only manga and anime. I was surprised to see how deep the content related to music was. Rather than deep, the content was filled with love (for music), and especially, I wonder where they could research so much on Shinbuya-kei. I had so much fun reading this entry. Bravo!
At the same time, I now have desire to add what is not written here..
So, centering around Sean’s entry, “Artists from the Presentation,” I will write things that I feel “I would like to include this trend,” ” I would like to refer to this artist,” etc. (including my personal expriences.) Please keep in mind that my knowledge is far from being perfect, and my views are limited.
First, 1970s. In the “New Music” part, I would personally like to include Miyuki Nakajima and Yumi Matsutoya. Besides these two, there were so many great female sing and song writers debuted in this period, and many of them are still active musicians.
Some of the sing and song writers who debuted during this period.
On the 80’s female idol singers, I have an impression that Seiko Matsuda and Akina Nakamori were the two most popular stars. In my memory as an elementary school student in the early 80s, I think Seiko was a “burikko,” (someone who tries to act cute) while Akina was a bad girl type.
Seiko Matsuda, “Sweet Memories, “Hitomi wa Diamond” (Your eyes are diamonds)”
Akina Nakamori, “Kinku” (prohibited area)
Among the idols from the mid to the late 80s, “onyanko club” is important. The TV show that featured them, “Yuuyake Nyan-Nyan” was a popular show among junior-high and high school students. I was a junior-high student then, but I always watch the show in the late afternoon when I didn’t have any club activities. I think most of my classmates must have been watching the show. There were folks who imitated the choreography of “Sailor Fuku wo Nugasa Naide” (Don’t strip off my sailor-style school uniform).
An important trend of the late 80s is the so-called band boom, such as the TV show, “Ikasu Band Tengoku (Ikaten)” (audition show for bands) etc. I was only listening to Euro-American musics then, and occasionally went to Tokyo from Shizuoka to see the live performances of bands. At the time, there were bands that were performing in “Hokoten” (“pedestrian’s paradise” – in some urban areas in Japan, some public streets prohibit cars and motorcycles and pedestrians can walk freely on weekends and holidays). I saw many girls with two-sided buns, wearing rubber-sole shoes. In my class of my highschool, there was a typical structure of “boys who play in bands, and girls who surround them.” I hated it, so I got along with “otaku” girls. But in other areas, there were girls playing in bands.
I think the bands who received spotlights in the “band boom” tended to be punk bands in terms of genres, but there were also bands with strong influence from metal, new wave and techno, so actually I remember there were many kinds. Among the artists who appeared in this period, Tamio Okuda of Unicorn, for example, later debuted as solo, had wide range of notable activities such as collaboratively working with Yosui Inoue, and working as a producer Puffy (Ami Yumi) to have big hit songs.
Now the 90s. I don’t think there is a need to add anything to Shibuya-kei.
Pizzicato Five, “Tokyo wa Yoru no Shichiji”
Flipper’s Guitar, “Groove Tube”
Cornelius, “Theme from First Question Award”
Kahimi Karie, “Good Morning World”
Kenji Ozawa featurig Scha Dara Parr “Konya wa Boogie Back”
Just a little big on Scha Dara Parr that Ian Condry refers to in his website. I used to listen to Scha Dara Parr from the early to mid 90s, and I had a strong impression that they were “people who use daily language and rap in a relaxed manner.” They don’t try too hard, not too eager, and down to earth. At the same time, they were very sarcastic toward pretentious critics and weird people who pretend like “insiders” in the business.
Scha Dara Parr, “Game Boys”
(to be cont’d…)