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african-american influence on japanese artists

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  • african-american influence on japanese artists

    Hello
    I'm writing a seminar about the mutual influence between african-american culture (especially the hip-hop scene) and the japanese culture. I found few african-american artists who inspired by the japanese culture (such as Sanford Biggers and Iona Rozeal Brown) but it's quite hard for me to find japanese artists who does the same (except for Mao Ishikaka and anime such as the masterpiece “Samurai Champloo” and the average “Afro-Samurai”.)
    do you know of japanese artists who inspired by african-american culture, or japanese who document and creats inside the hip hop scene in Japan?

    I will appreciate every answer you can give
    Mor

  • #2
    Originally posted by shanana View Post
    I will appreciate every answer you can give
    Mor
    Only people I can think of are Japanese with some African American blood in them. (Hip hop is associated with black culture but not all blacks are associated with hip hop). Have you ever heard hip hop being sung in Japanese?

    How about people like Jero and Chrystal Kaye?

    Comment


    • #3
      Why just '*-American'?

      Why not 'Black' ... to include African or Caribbean influences? The US isn't the center of the black world.

      Are you limiting yourself to just music ... how far back do you want to go?

      The first blacks arrived, and became accepted in Japan, about 400 + years ago. Jazz had a strong influence from the 1920s and became popular Post-War. Rock and Roll (rockabilly style), Boogie-woogie, Swing and soul from the 50s/60s. If you open yourself up to all black influences, there are plenty of dub, reggae and Rasta action going on. In most cities you will find a shop selling Bob Marley and green, black and gold t-shirts. There is even some great Kawachi Ondo reggae but that is Jamaican (think, Kukusuimaru Kawachiya). If you open yourself to Black-Brazillian influences you can go even further with stuff like Samba which is, in essence, West African. Check out the J-Rock topic I started for Ska references.

      The origins of urban modernism within Japan, the social mores, gender relations, and consumer practices can be related back to the Japanese Jazz Age. Even during WWII, jazz had such a hold on the people that even the Japanese nationalists were unable to bring about a 'jazz ban' that some sought. Any modern B-Boy influences sit on top of all those that and the 'jazu kissa'. You had Japanese jazz artists playing in the US way back to the 1930s.

      I do not think you should underestimated the influence of someone like Ron Van Cleif during the Blaxploitation Period of the 1970s and he found himself thanks to Goju-ryu (he studied Shoryn-Ryu, Isshinryu and Kobudu). (The trailer below is very badly misnamed, Ron studied Karate which is Japanese not Kung Fu which is Chinese). Moses Powell, George Cofield, Peter Urban. Through Ron and Moses you connect right through to Malcolm X and the likes of Jimi Hendrix. I'd underline how big an influence the martial arts were on the black power movement.

      BTW, elsewhere I was attacked at stating how racial divided the USA is ... this clip is a good reminder of how recent such deep racist sentiments were.



      (The most important lesson in being a student is to become good at asking good questions.)

      Comment


      • #4
        At the Japanese end, I'd say a group like The Boom (Tropicalism) would have to be thought of as pretty influential taking a Black vibe into Modern Japan, e.g. ザ・ブーム 星のラブレター

        You can hear the samba breaks here ... Great, great band, absolutely unheard of in the West as usual.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by beentheredonethat View Post
          Why just '*-American'?

          BTW, elsewhere I was attacked at stating how racial divided the USA is ... this clip is a good reminder of how recent such deep racist sentiments were.

          (The most important lesson in being a student is to become good at asking good questions.)
          The rhetoric from the US is about equality.. but it is really only the white straight males there who are treated as everyone should be.

          And you don't even need to leave this forum to prove your point about the racism.. loads of it right here on Agropot.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you.

            I could find any really good example of Kawachiya Kikusuimaru reggae cross over (Kakin Ondo) but you sort of hear in Happy. See also 'Shang Shang Typhoon' who have sort of Okinawa/reggae meeting points (of course, it should be pointed out Okinawan culture is separate from "Japanese culture" which usual just means Edo).

            Last edited by beentheredonethat; 2012-02-09, 10:41 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm pretty sure it influenced Suzuki Papaya's hairstyle.

              Comment


              • #8
                One of the interesting things about Post-War Black experience in Asia, Japan included, was that it was notably lacking in the kind of racism that existed in America ... except for example when clashes with White GIs would happen. For example, White GIs tend to refuse to have sex with prostitutes that served Black GIs and so the two need separate 'hospitality' industries. But Black GIs did not meet that same kind of racism from the Asians, for whom they were just more foreigners. There was none of the intense Black-White cultural baggage.

                There are loads of Reggae festivals (One Love Tokyo) and band in Japan but that, again, is really Jamaican rather than American influence. Many young Japanese go to Jamaica (hardly any to Barbados etc, so I am being specific). You even hear them speaking in Patios ... they do lessons.

                Corn Head is definitely Dancehall rather than Hip-hop. What is interesting is that if you listen to the inflections in the Japanese they refer back to working class Japanese as well.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Andun View Post
                  I'm pretty sure it influenced Suzuki Papaya's hairstyle.
                  Ja, plenty of corn rails and Afros in Japan (see below) which I don't mind. However, I do wish they would lose most of the Djembis though.

                  Soul Train made it (albeit as a parody) but the music has been here since it happened.

                  Last edited by beentheredonethat; 2012-02-09, 11:02 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Look at the influences Japan has had on Black America and Hip hip, you should take into consideration Yellow Magic Orchestra who played 'Soul Train' in 1980.



                    Have I done your homework for you yet?
                    Last edited by beentheredonethat; 2012-02-09, 11:09 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Is this a joke?

                      Let's see here. 2/3 of female singers in past 20 years emulate black R&B singers.

                      2/3 of pop albums produced in Japan include a token rapper.

                      Slam Dunk is the most popular manga of all time.

                      And none of the above are actually "African American Culture".

                      Sheesh.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Trichophyton-in-my-pants View Post
                        a) Is this a joke? ...

                        b) And none of the above are actually "African American Culture".
                        a) No, if they are looking at it as an academic assignment, even just a school project, they need to get to the roots and order to the fusion not just say, "there are loads of rappers". We know ... OK, who did it first and where did it start?

                        b) Yes, I know, I specifically asked them if they want to widen it to 'Black' influences rather than 'Black American'.

                        But you are a cr*p head if you just come on and blurt "none". Why not help the poster and make an intelligent contribution rather than vomiting a broad insult?


                        Then ... there is this from 2000 which I assure you has not a bone of racism but is affection and 'self-parody'.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by beentheredonethat View Post
                          But you are a cr*p head if you just come on and blurt "none". Why not help the poster and make an intelligent contribution rather than vomiting a broad insult?
                          My apologies. I was totally out of line.

                          Hope you accept this as a compensation.


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Very cool.

                            For Soul references, there was a TV show called Soul Tunes in 1991. Check out the video uploaded by Soulupmen on Youtube.

                            Please accept this as an apology back for my strong language ... J-Girls do Motown. I am just trying to put into context that the two way exchange is widespread and nothing new. It could even be a shock for those that like their Japanese White on the inside.

                            I am guessing the OP was probably not even born when most of the above happened and am still gloating with pride over the Yellow Magic Orchestra reference. Who'd ever thought that would come in useful?

                            Yes, it is true folks, hip hop was invented by the marriage of some quirky Japanese and some Aryan krautrockers called Kraftwerk.

                            Last edited by beentheredonethat; 2012-02-10, 12:38 AM.

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                            • #15
                              70s Jazz ...?

                              Isao Suzuki played with Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk, 
Charles Mingus, Ella Fitzgerald and others. Japan has even got its own Satchimo!

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