now this one might be offensive. anyway, i want to beat the iron while it's hot. do my minuscule part in ridding the world of ignorance and confusion - should the world care to read my blog. how are things japanese different from things chinese? i'll let music do the work: japaneseness is better left unsaid and speaks louder than words. [and yes, i'm embedding lots of videos because i can.]
j-pop cuteness: utada hikaru - keep tryin'. you see how it sounds like pop but with a twist? why do you think it's called j-pop? japanese pop, try as it might, will never sound like britney. yet i was shocked out of my skull to learn that this was a singular, big time effort on utada's part as opposed to what she does. you gotta hate her early stuff. but you gotta love her exodus record gone electro.
jazz & enka grooviness: tokyo jihen [shiina ringo] - kurumaya-san. this one is the closest to lee hom's endeavour in that it mixes occidental modern with japanese traditional, only in a more pretentious way. japs are pretentious like that. and a bit conceited. still, she's better like this than in her j-rock days. still, whatever genre she's tackling, the woman truly has the gift of melody.
experimental dreaminess: tujiko noriko & tyme - mata, rainen. now this is how i love my japanese music. in the flowery field of avant-garde, you cannot dare say they're copying someone else's culture. to some extent, they invented this [haco anyone?]. it upsets me that people liken tujiko noriko to bjork just 'cause she loops samples. icelandic weather is a tropical breeze to the stone cold perdition of 21st century japan.
fun fact: utada and shiina are actually their last names but they let us believe otherwise. tujiko noriko? no bloody idea.