13 September 2009
Japanese English pop 1 - Tokyo Jihen
I have just come across Carolyn Stevens' great book on Japanese Popular Music. The last chapter is on singing in English and translated English covers, a subject dear to our hearts, and so I have been tracking down some of the artists she mentions that I didn't know about. Let's start with Shiina Ringo and Tokyo Jihen, a band she formed in 2004. In a sea of songs with English titles that turn out to have Japanese, Cantonese, Korean, etc lyrics, Genjitsu wo Warau (meaning 'laugh at reality') is a bit of surprise - an English song with a Japanese title. The only one I know of, in fact. It was recorded on Tokyo Jihen's first album, Kyouiku (education) in 2004. We spent a frustrating hour looking for this album in Mongkok this afternoon and didn't find it.