He Said ~ She Said -The A to Z of Japanese Music – The Letter G ! ! !

I think Gs are cool ! ! !

I think Gs are cool ! ! !



faye-80She Says:

Welcome to the letter G ! ! !  This week we have expand the educational part of our series to include a new culture section to supplement the music sections.  We have a great variety of music this week.  We have avant guard, punk, visual kei, and a track from the most charming and entertaining musical workers collective in world ! ! !

2024611-spike_spiegel_by_desertora001He Says

“G”- say it loud and it’s an exclamation , say it soft and it’s …er…a letter ..or something. Anyway, here is our take on the letter “G” and all things relating to it.

Meet The Faculty ! ! !

P sensei continues his world famous fun and easy Japanese course and this week we learn the Japanese word for gal ! ! !   This week P sensei is joined by S sensei who is the Faculty Adviser to the He said –  She Said Culture Club.  This week the culture club explores the mysterious and secret life of Japanese gals ! ! !

mss3She Says – G is for Goosehouse

Goose house are really one of our favorite bands ! ! !  Well actually they are more like a workers collective than a band ! ! !  Goosehouse have not adopted a traditional approach to how they make music and how they promote it.  They perform in endlessly varying combinations of the eight

Goosehouse

Goosehouse

members and also as a full group.  They have released two full albums, two mini albums and four singles of their original works  but they are also known for their Youtube Videos of  covers versions.  They have 750,000 subscribers to their Youtube channel and have 255 million views of their videos.  They also do a live streaming concert on their USTREAM channel every month.  But the for me their success is not based on  clever marketing and mastering social media, it is quite simply the Goosehouse are fun ! ! !  They love music and really enjoy making music together and you can really see this in their performances.  Being able to share the sense of fun is what makes Goosehouse the worlds most popular unknown band ! ! !

Goosehouse  – Koi Suru Fortune Cookie

 

2024611-spike_spiegel_by_desertora001He says:

I too love Goosehouse as much for the way they do things as the music. They seem to thoroughly enjoy what they do and the results are infectious and charming. Their cover versions offer a different slant to the originals each time and are well worth hearing for their own merits.

~ ♥  ~ ♪ ~  ♫ ~  ♪ ~  ♥ ~

 

mrp3He Says – G is for Guernica

It’s no secret that I love Jun Togawa and regard here as, perhaps, the most innovative Japanese artist of recent times. Here, as Sakura says, is her “Cabaret” inspired band Guernica whose albums are orchestral and sweeping in a very interesting way. Being Jun , of course, they were also very visual, very much a theatrical as well as musical act.

 

Guernica – Martial Law

 

faye-80She Says:

Guernica were formed in 1981 in Tokyo by  Jun Togawa and Koji Ueno.  Guernica were a part of the avante guarde movement in Japanese performing arts at the time and there music was based on European cabaret music of the 1930 period.  At frist the music was created using synthesizers but later they used a full orchestra.  Although the was officially only ever  Jun Togawa and Koji Ueno in the group they were joined by Makigami Koichi and Hajime Tachibana for stage perfomrances and Keiichi Ohta the classical violinist and composer collaborated with lyrics and stage and costume design as well as the music.  In 2012 there was a release of a box set to commemorate the 30th Anniversary which has the second and third album and rare live recording of the first album.  They were very influential group and and influenced both Visual Kei and Shibuya Kei.

~ ♥  ~ ♪ ~  ♫ ~  ♪ ~  ♥ ~

 

 He Said – She Said  – School Time ! ! !

 

teacher 2

Learn Japanese the fun and easy way with P Senei’s One Word a Week Japanese Course ! ! !

P  Sansei Says – G is for Gyaru

One of the most interesting “Japanese” words. You might think, on the face of it, that it’s an odd thing to get “Gyaru” from “Girl” but….just analyse it from a point of view of someone who doesn’t know English too well. Gee- aye- are-and, as you can’t end a Japanese word with a consonant ( Carol) the nearest to an “l”- the “u” sound., Stick them all together and you get Gyaru. Clever, eh ?

Aoi-shiro-girl-teacher-chalk-glasses-school-board1-485x728The He Said She Said Culture Club with Faculty Advisor S  Sensei

The Culture Club Report on The Secret Life of Gals ! ! !

Gals as a news subject really began with Ganguro a very extreme look that was popular in the 1990 and 2000 decade, but now this look is out of style and actually this month the last edition of Egg which was the most famous magazine for this style will close.  But being a Gyaru is not in decline at all and there are many new  Gyaru styles.  But actually being a Gyaru is not at all about any particular fashion it is actually about how Japanese girls move from the world of teenagers and school to the world work and adulthood.

Of course a high number of Japanese girls go to university and so the last phase of growing up can be in an environment where there is room to experiment and make mistakes before going out to the world.

However for those girls that do not have the opportunity  to attend university, the time after leaving school can be difficult.

Often girls will have part time and low paid jobs and live with their parents.  They will usually be the youngest in the business where they work and sometimes will be victims of work place bullying and sexual harassment.  With no structures like school or university to support them it can be a really difficult time.

Nail Art Is atypical Gyaru Passtime

Nail Art Is atypical Gyaru Passtime

Japan is a traditional society and anything that girls do on their own and excluding boys is often portrayed in a negative light.  Consequently Gyaru are criticized a lot in the media in Japan for being materialistic and superficial, and in the western press they are just another “Weird Japan” story based on long past fashions and urban myths.  In movies Gyaru are often characterized as being obsessed with designer labels and money, but actually nothing could be further from the truth ! ! !

The Culture Club will now reveal the secret life of gals ! ! !

Being a Gyaru actually gives girls a support network to help them in this difficult time.  Gyaru Sa or Gals Circles are informal groups

Hime Kajii Style - modeled by a modern practical feminist ! ! !

Hime Kajii Style – modeled by a modern practical feminist ! ! !

of gals that share a common interest in fashion and they meet regularly so gals can enjoy hanging out together, going shopping together, working together on making and modifying cloths, doing nail art and make up or practice dancing.  They may co-operate with local stores to organize fashion shows and the largest Gyaru Sa organize events at nightclubs.   Usually a Gyaru Sa will only charge a very small fee to pay for the hire of a community room for the meetings and tea and cakes.

Being able to be in the company of other Gyaru and share experiences and give and receive advice on all the everyday issues the Gyaru face is a really important source of support for the gals.

Gals are often in low paid employment, and so of course most of their clothes are not bought from the fancy designer stores, but are bought from local market stalls and modified.

Some clothes are totally home made and the standard can be really very high.  The best home made clothes can be seen with the hime kajii style Gyarus who uses rococo style motifs with embroidery and lace to create beautiful designs and really skillfully executed dresses – Gyaru is street fashion in the true sense ! ! !

The truth is that Gals are creative, socially active, supportive and kind and through Gyaru  Sa many girls find support and friendship in a difficult time in their lives.  Maybe – even though they would be horrified at the thought – they are actually an example of practical feminism, but in a very Japanese way ! ! !

 

 ~ ♥  ~ ♪ ~  ♫ ~  ♪ ~  ♥ ~

mss3She Says – G is for Gackt

Gackt is one of the most influential Visual Kei artists.  He was one of the founders of the movement actually and with  his first  band ( Malice Mizer ) he combined the theatrical elements from artists like Jun Togawa and Guernica

Super cool and hot Gackt !  ! !

Super Cool and Totally Hot Gackt ! ! !

with rock music.  He is a very interesting guy as well as being totally hot ! ! ! He also has  successful parallel careers as an author and actor.  He is from Okinawa and is actually distantly related to the old Ryukyu Royal Family.  When he was a child he nearly drowned and as a result of this near death experience he has been able to see and communicate with ghosts ever since then.  He music career has been really incredible.  He has been active in the music business since 1994 and has had 9 albums and 43 singles released and he holds the record for the most number of consecutive top ten singles by a male artist.

This track is one of my favorite by him and is very typical of the Visual Kei style.

Gackt – Redemption

mrp2He Says

Major star in Japan and a bit of a “bad boy” too ( so it is rumored). Just don’t ask what he does in the back of his limo ! I like some of his stuff, some I find a little strident. This one is O.K but I wouldn’t buy it.

 ~ ♥  ~ ♪ ~  ♫ ~  ♪ ~  ♥ ~

mrp3He Says – G is for Gito Gito Hustler 

Covering Green Day here, this is one of my favorite J-Punk tracks of all time, it’s better, I think , than the original and so full of “spunk” ( can you say that in respect of ladies ?). Great band, great track.

 

 faye1She Says:

Go Gals ! ! !  Gito Gito Hustler are an all girl punk outfit who were formed in 1995 in Kyoto and have been active ever since.  They are more well known for their live performances than their recorded work and even after all these years and several line up changes they are still performing regualrly.  I have seen them in live house events several times and they always do a great show ! ! ! They have also toured in Europe and the USA and are populat and win fans wherever they go ! ! !  Although the music is very different in many  ways they are like Goosehouse – they follow their own ideas and they have the devine ability to transmit the sense of fun the have when playing music to their audience  – at the end of the day – that is as good as it gets ! ! !

 ~ ♥  ~ ♪ ~  ♫ ~  ♪ ~  ♥ ~

faye and spikeHe says:

So there you have it. A very interesting article from Sakura, I think. I just KNEW they had a secret girls club, quite sinister really, all those girls ganging up against us poor, innocent guys and plotting our downfall. Japanese ladies are scary !
Next time “H”, I don’t know why Sakura is blushing but I have a horrible hunch.

She Says:

We hope ou enjoyed the post and that you found some music you liked.  I think we had a great variety this week.  We hope you liked the expanded educational supplement and please leave comments as we would love to answer any questions you may have.   Ummm . . . .next episode . . . . .H ! ! !   (to find out why I am blushing read next time ! ! ! )

 

 

 ~ ♥  ~ ♪ ~  ♫ ~  ♪ ~  ♥ ~

Gosh men are so insensitive - Next week is H and Mr P does not even realize ! ! !

Gosh ! ! ! men are so insensitive – Next week is H and Mr P does not even realize ! ! !

 

 

11 thoughts on “He Said ~ She Said -The A to Z of Japanese Music – The Letter G ! ! !

  1. Lovely,lovely,read. The section on Gyaru was fascinating and really quite moving. I would have liked the lyric for ‘Martial Law’, which I thought a very interesting listen (I’ll need one or two more) and one that could happily be juxtaposed with the equally martial song that Beltway Bandit contributed to last week’s earworms. But my heart was taken totally by Goosehouse who I watched with a non-stop grin; just totally captivating. Thanks for a cup of morning pleasure both of you.

  2. Once again you’ve both put together a thoroughly enjoyable and very interesting article. thank you.

    Goosehouse are brilliant, great fun to watch, very catchy tune and so love what they are doing, great enthusiasm.

    Not so sure about Guernica though.

    Gackt was more my style and also liked the guitars in Gito Gito Hustler.

    Very interesting piece on the Gyaru and I recognise the fashion styling you’ve described, which seems similar to the ‘boho’ trend over here, though i suspect that some of our female posters may have a different view; as Mrs. Leavey would say I know nothing about fashion

    • Thanks for popping by. I thought Sakura’s Gyaru post was most interesting. Japan is a very conservative country in some ways and it’s difficult for girls ( and boys) to “break the mould” Fashion and style can be liberating, in the same way, say, as punk style was in Britain. It sets them out against the norms of society.

      The “cute” Kawaii look, for example, actually started out as a rebellious thing. Every bit as confrontational and “out there” as punk. They were saying, I think, “Stuff you, mate, I’m not growing up in the way you want me to, so there , nah ! ” ( or words to that effect).

    • Hi Leaveitallbehind

      Thank you for reading and listening and taking the time to comment. Boho is more like hippy chic – but you are very good – it does have some of the same feel. So well done for spotting that ! ! !

      Goosehouse are wonderful – There is lots of videos on youtube so I hope you can find the time to listen to more ! ! !

  3. Very interesting and informative. Gito Gito Hustler and Goosehouse for me. I was hoping you’d do something about Going Underground, my favourite Japanese power popsters, but this was great. Cheers.

    • Hi Fuel ! ! !

      Thank you for stopping by and listening and taking them time to comment. I am saving Going Underground for later – so you will see them in maybe two weeks or so.

      I am really happy you enjoyed the post ! ! !

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