Japan Blog Matsuri 9-’10: Music!

Japan Blog Matsuri

Awight! It’s the Japan Blog Matsuri for September! It’s all about MUSIC! Classic or contemporary, it continues to move us through the years. The evolution of Japanese music, like its culture in general, is particularly fascinating! I hope these articles serve to further incite your interest, as they did for me.

Last month’s host was Through Eyes from Afar, who did “Japanese Nature/Culture“! A great theme if I ever heard one.

As for this month, we have several entries, and they’re all pretty great!

Oh Enka!

If you had any misconceptions about enka, Rene lays them to rest — a short but informative entry educates us on the slightly traditional music style.

The Soulfuls

What causes great music to endure? It’s guts!! Franzi introduces us to soulful Kansai band Ulfuls.

J-Music and Me: The Little Guys

A degree of immersion in the music scene clues Blue Shoe in to the trials musicians in Japan must face in order to make a name.

Gig Going in Japan

In Japan, and perhaps everywhere, the size of the gig makes a world of difference for both fans and performers, as noted by Shaun.

Hooked on J-Pops Worked for Me!

Have you ever wondered if learning Japanese through J-Pop could actually be practical? Well, here’s Liv’s answer.

Shopping Boogie by Kasagi Shizuko

Harvey shares the history of a key song by the post-war Queen of Boogie that endures to this very day.

P5: Pizzicato Five

The early 90’s group that spearheaded the Shibuya-kei movement! Philip’s article is all about the 16-year band.

Pat Suzuki’s How High the Moon

A slower, sadder version of the classic Jazz song much sought after by Loco, sung by the American Jazz/pop singer.

Japanese Music

Tony mentions music’s ties to culture, his fondness for even national anthems, and Masayuki Suzuki.

Thanks to everyone who submitted! :D

Next month’s Matsuri can be found at Todd’s Wanderings, so be sure to shimmy on over there!

Awesome Website: Wonderwall

Wonderwall is an interior design firm established by Masamichi Katayama. And it’s AWESOME. And what’s more, its website is also AWESOME.

A wall of wonderful
I like full-screen websites when they're simple like this.
Display of designs

I do enjoy a well-presented Interior Design website, so this is excellent. What’s impressive about the site itself can be seen in motion, so go and click around. On top of all that site-ly goodness, the company also has a very nice body of work.

As an all-around design geek, I’ll be making more posts like this.

Kousuke Sugimoto Animation

How did I ever live not knowing that this man existed?




As I attempt to immerse myself in more independent short animation, things like this continually restore my love for the art. Restooore!

I can’t stop watching this now…

See also:


And Now, Dinosaurs are Real (Again)

Japan has brought one of my dreams to life!

I don't remember Triceratops looking this silly
I don't remember Triceratops looking this silly

Augmented reality dinosaurs! That’s cool as hell! I was a big ol’ dinosaur fanatic when I was younger (to the point where I wanted to go into paleontology—yeah, that big), but unfortunately I’ve never so much as seen dinosaur bones. Visiting this would at least somewhat make up for it. OR, with that camera pressed to my face, it could just feel as silly as my audio-guided Egypt museum trip (not that it wasn’t awesome).

This will be going down in Chiba, Japan in a museum exhibit including well over 200 different species. I hope the dinos render at 1:1 scale. I would have eaten it all up as a child. If you’re in Chiba, take your kids!

Mmm, Japan just can’t get enough of gigantic reptiles.


We have another life-sized robot replica on its way—the first ever Giant Robot from the early days of anime.


Tetsujin 28-go, or Gigantor, will be nearly 60 feet, standing forever in the midst of Wakamatsu Park in Kobe. Apparently it’ll be unveiled in my birth month. What an awesome present! No, actually, this is much better regarded as an awesome homage to Mitsuteru Yokoyama. I can only hope to get something so awesome after I die.


Read more about it/watch videos here.