I am currently duck taped to a kitchen chair, my mouth stuffed with a sock worn by Offspring #1 during a track meet from the weekend, my hair piled in the sloppy bun most favored by Offspring #2 for not bothering eyes, with directives from my various familial captors to “write a post on J-Pop or you’ll never see your J. Crew boyfriend jeans in one piece again…” Their suggestions as to a blog post on this pop culture topic have been ignored on several occasions given my disinterest in the topic of pop music thus the angry mob felt imprisonment their only recourse. Until I complete this daunting tome on Japanese pop music, I’m confined to the kitchen by this mutinous, attention seeking pirate crew, bound and gagged, unable to drink coffee or interact with anyone unless it can be accomplished via this computer. The messages in your in-box box with a subject header of “Help” are not a hoax.
J-Pop- the shortened form of “Japanese Pop” is a fascinating version- to some- of pop music in Japan. About which I was mercifully oblivious until my incarceration in the kitchen. Although inspired by the Beatles, not until the early 1990s did this genre emerge with its own name. J-Pop uses a special style of pronunciation that mimics English. Traditional Japanese music forms don’t contain sol and la (remember from fa sol la ti do fame? “Sound of Music”) however, J-Pop does. I didn’t know one could actually sing without using the major second.
All though none of us are fans of the genre, we watch with rapt attention the trappings of the show as this is part of the pop culture of Japan.
J-Pop bands are ubiquitous as the music market is the second largest in the world behind the US. Large trucks drive through Tokyo playing the latest hits.
Most quickly adopted Britney’s signature look en masse. Each girl group contains 5-20 girls, all dressed the same. CUTE is the signature look.
Some are starting to break with the traditional tried and true school girl look to show alittle leg- although a dusting of powder masks the legginess and keeps it sedate.
When viewed sideways it sounds like this:
Unfortunately for the J-Pop crew, the marketing savvy K-Pop crowd is a group of street fighters. The Korean Pop stars. These teenagers are hand-picked as kids by handlers, trained in voice and dance, and earn their stripes on tour in Korea and Japan. Once fully trained, the K-Poppers cross over to the US market where they and the male models lose the cute, some clothing, and join forces with the true titans of Pop- Disney stars and Justin Bieber.
And the guys:
Of course there are other genres emerging as well- J-Indie, J-Alternative etc….Based on traditional Japanese music- which is VERY different from Western music of all genres – it appears music in Japan has undergone quite a transformation in the last 50 years. But I’ll leave that for other bloggers- with musical expertise- to cover.
Now- if I’m not out of this chair in 15 minutes, I’m not doing any laundry or cooking for week.
I know- they really shouldn’t duck tape me up like that.
Are the Offspring aware of something much cooler than J-pop?
and the coolest band ever to emerge from that movement? X-Japan
(“we are X, yeah!)
Going to be writing a post about them sometime. Maybe after I have seen them live, because they’re coming to London in June! I am so excited, as if I have suddenly regressed to the age of 18. It could be the thought of pretty men with high cheekbones, nice hair, cool outfits and make up that’s doing it. All to do with something you may have heard of: Visual Kei
Think we talked about this once, the men and women look awesome, a cross between goths and geishas and glam rockers, a totally unique look.
I like a bit of make up on my boys, at least my rockstars, I suppose it’s because I’m an 80’s child…(oh but not on beefy masculine men, then, they just look like drag queens lol)
Anyway, hope you’re free now 🙂
I know what you mean- KISS got us all hooked on the make up. The Offspring are not in to the J-Pop- they are still in to the American and European music. I just made the whole thing up- I know you find it hard to believe that I would have imagined the whole scenario from the confines of my kitchen table…. The Visual Kei is amazing- I do also love the look. You must incorporate in to your writing somehow….
It was a good scenario, though of course I didn’t think the offspring would go that far 😉 (then again, with teenagers, you never know…hmm)
Oh my boy travels to Japan at one time, though that’s just backstory, but me thinks he needs a Japanese friend, who has that Visual Kei look. A Japanese vampire…that would be awesome 🙂
I agree- they’re very vampirish looking- I love their look and they’re happy to pose for pictures. Of course I haven’t a camera with me when I saw them- they’re actually very rare. But- now I ALWAYS have a camera with me and when I do- I’m getting a picture- with them. And of course will send it to you.
They do look unusual and exotic. 😀 But I’d like to listen to J-Pop live – just for a change.
Apparently this is all available on Itunes and Amazon- do you have those in Russia?
I haven’t heard of those. Have to find out.
Emily, thank you very much for the post, here is the link: http://olgaselfexpression.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/hey-from-japan-notes-on-moving/
Olga- Thanks so much for giving the opportunity to guest blog on your wonderful site!
I know nothing about music, as I am as a am a peri-menopausal, American old maid with graying hair and a paint brush.
But I’m glad to know you’re finally free.
I wouldn’t know either if it weren’t for the trucks and the Offspring as I am also peri-menopausal, aging and gray haired- but spray painted black for the time being….
Hahahaha, your kids are great. Maybe they’ll tie you up again and force you to write a karaoke post. 😉
P.S. I find J-Pop kind of frightening…
I can see the offspring planning your demise. My kids are not ready for jpop yet, but if you can get your hands on any pokemon stuffed animals for my offspring #2, I would be your bff. Oh wait, I already am. I think the one she likes is Celabie, not sure if that is how you spell. The last few nights we have had “family night” watching the Pokemon movies. Actually it has been offspring #2 while me(kindly referred to as the tourist, Tdiddy(husband), and offspring no. 1 play on our iphones/itouch. Maybe you can fill us in how pokemon got started in Japan and if they are still popular with the kids over there.?
LOLreminds me of driving the 12 hours tonsee the Nose in the crew cab duelly with nothing playing but Pokemon which I erroneously referred to as Pokeman- that was a mistake. offspring #1’s best friend has red hair and a bad temper so his nick name is Charazard- the red fire breathing which makes me laugh every time I hear it. I think there’s a Pokemon museum or something here that sells all that stuff.
Yea! Mission accomplished and hope you have gained a little freedom until the next demands!
Don’t worry- I always exact my revenge!
Love how they come to the U.S. and get trashy makeovers. I think that one boy has a dweave or maybe a J-Dweave (Dude Weave) to add volume to his swooshy bangs! 😦 Way to represent, America 😦
Hahahah! A dude weave- hilarious!!!! how’s the bloggy weedy planning coming? Are you going to publish the song list some can re set out work out lists on our Ipods?
i just read your post on Olga’s blogsite. Your pictures are stunning!! I got to know your blog when you were FP for the first time and now I am hooked on “you”
thanks Pearl’s twirl! I appreciate your reading! And always providing comments! Poor Olga had to wait so long for that post- I have to go take a look. I cheated- only a few of those are my pics- to make it a good one I bought some pics….
@amblerangel: Yes, please would love to see pics of any that you come across in your travels 🙂
Well… I have to admit that your children have a kind of monstrous plan and going to mix your brain with fruit salad. But why?? What have you done that they are so cruel :D?
I understand that there are people that like J-pop but I just can’t stand it. J-rock is much better and here you can find something worth atention.
You shouldn’t have put this tape here in your post.. my EARS!
Haha! That tape played over and over at the food court of the mountain where we snowboarding. I wanted to beat the tv with my board after sitting for 15 minutes hearing that song replayed o er and over again! Truthfully none of us are JPop fans but we all do find the whole thing entertaining to watch – from afar!
Mmmm, J-Rock is awesome. So much better than J-Pop. I would recommend some old school T.M. Revolution and Access (Both are still going strong in J-Rock). New, but like them in sound, are Abingdon Boys School.
Of course, there is Gackt- I’m sure you’ve heard about him, but if I’m making a list people would kill me if I left him off.
Want something a little more American sounding? Try Porno Graffiti. (Eek name, but awesome music.) UVERworld is also a bit more American sounding to me, but then again, I don’t listen to American music that much. XD
Want some ladies in your rock? Two-Mix is old school amazing. Lisa Komine is awesome and High and Mighty Color has a few good ones when they don’t do the ‘scream rock/rap’ bits. A bit younger female rock sound would be Stereopony- they’re kind of hopping between pop and rock to me though… Rina Aiuchi is also good with a dance beat style.
My suggested soundtrack (complete with youtube links):
Doubt & Trust 〜ダウト&トラスト〜 by Access
Resonance by T.M. Revolution
Innocent Sorrow by Abingdon Boys School
Vanilla by Gackt
D-tecnoLife by UVERworld
Music Hour by Porno Graffiti (Or anything really, they’re very good.)
Truth ~ A Great Detective of Love~ by Two-Mix
Hot Limit by High and Mighty Color (It’s a remake of a T.M.Revolution song)
Resuscitated Hope by Lisa Komine
Namida no Mukou by Stereopony
Love is a Thrill, Shock, Suspense by Rina Aiuchi
Hey Lisa- Just found this in my Span cue- love the links! You’re always good for some great comments! THANKS!
I have a hunch you’re going to like Gackt the best- as that’s the one who everyone I introduce J-Rock to picks. XD