I’m joined this episode by Marc Halatsis and Tina Parte to discuss Japan, media and fandom, in a chat that ranges from Western Japanophiles’ love for (an often grotesquely lopsided and reductive version of) the country’s pop culture to C19th vogues for accesorising kimono with European batwing umbrellas to Japanese girls’ love for the ephebic fantasy boys of bishōnen or ’beautiful boy love’ manga.
We audibly eat chestnuts, talk about how nebulous ‘Japaneseness’ as a concept is and trace some of the fascinating loops and involutions chains of East/West cultural exchange are subject to. We also play some music – expect Pan-Pacific improv, Japanese reworkings of the Stones and Street Fighter II-sampling ‘ardcore homages. There’s more East/West musical love-ins on the playlist, too: post-dubstep bass musics <3 Japanese beat ‘em ups, hip hop <3 taiko percussion and Bjork <3 her vaseline-happy artist hubby Matthew Barney – it’s from her soundtrack to his Drawing Restraint 9 that the first track comes.
Incidentally the entire movie - wherein Barney metaphorises postwar US/Japanese relations by having he and Ms. Guðmundsdóttir conduct an arcane nuptial ceremony then hack each other’s limbs off and turn cetaceous – is on the other end of the hyperlink, which’ll be handy for anyone with a thing for Japanese kids vomiting squid…
Oh, and enjoy my new kitchen’s horrible acoustics!
Spotify Playlist [link to spotify]
- Bjork and Bonny Prince Billy – Gratitude
- Zeena Parkins and Ikue Mori – Ghostlake
- Zomby – You Are My Fantasy (Street Fighter II Theme)
- Ricardo Villalobos and Andrew Gillings – Andruic & Japan
- Yuzo Koshiro – Shinobi Reverse
- Missy Elliott – Get Ur Freak On
- Boris – Woman on the Screen