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The king of Kinbaku: The erotic works of Japanese bondage artist Seiu Ito
03.28.2017
09:35 am

Topics:
Art
Sex

Tags:
Japan
bondage
Kinbaku
Seiu Ito


A painting by Seiu Ito depicting the art of erotic Japanese rope bondage, Kinbaku.
 
Tokyo-born artist Seiu Ito didn’t start his career as an artist by tying people up and painting or photographing the resulting scene, rather he excelled using other mediums to express himself such as metal, creating carvings out of ivory, painting and eventually sculpture. When he was thirteen Ito traded in his given first name of Hajime for Seiu. It was around that time that Ito started to draw images of women bound with rope known as the erotic Japanese art of Kinbaku or “tight binding.” Then, sometime in the early 1900s, perhaps 1907 when he was in his mid-20s, Ito took a job as an illustrator for a local newspaper and was quick to succeed as an in-demand artist for several different publications.

Prior to rope bondage becoming a form of erotic sex play, it was widely used during what is referred to as the last traditional period in Japan, the Edo Period (1603–1867) to bind and restrain criminals and other kinds of captives. And it was the erotic version of being tied up like an outlaw that made Ito a rich man. Although he was married several times during his life, that didn’t stop Ito from having affairs with other women, some who he kept as mistresses for long periods of time. Ito’s collection of women would become the primary subjects for his paintings and kinky photography which included erotic suspension. One of Ito’s more well-known and questionable images (and there are many) is of his then-pregnant wife (his second) Kise Sahara. Ito photographed and painted an image of a very pregnant, partially nude Sahara bound with rope, hanging from the ceiling by her feet.

Sadly by the time the 1930s arrived the Japanese government had long been busy banning artistic types and intellectuals as well as routinely censoring print media. Ito struggled to survive as an artist. Later his home and much of his work was destroyed in the Great Tokyo Air Raid. The work that survived the devastation helped solidify Ito’s dubious title as the “Father of Modern Kinbaku.” As you might imagine Ito’s work is the subject of several books as well as the 1977 film Beauty Exotic Dance: Torture! in which Ito plays himself to the hilt. Many of the photographs and paintings below are naturally NSFW. 
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Vintage Japanese comic based on ‘Jaws’
03.20.2017
11:30 am

Topics:
Art
Movies

Tags:
Japan
comic books
Jaws


The cover of a Japanese comic book based on the film ‘Jaws’ published in 1975.
 
The “gekiga” illustration style was created in 1957 by Japanese cartoonist Yoshihiro Tatsumi who coined the word to help differentiate the more serious tone of gekiga comics from the wildly popular manga comics and their “humorous pictures.” Gekiga comics or books were marketed to adults and the illustrated stories were reality-based—unlike the dreamlike realms of manga. In 1975, Herald Books published a gekiga-style comic based on the film Jaws that had just convinced everyone that the beach was no longer safe. The film was an adaptation of the 1974 novel of the same name by author Peter Benchley.

The vintage comic captures pretty much every memorable scene in the movie with the notable exception of the drunken sing-along sea-shanty sung by Brody (Roy Scheider), Matt (Richard Dreyfuss) and real-life drunk Quint memorably played by actor Robert Shaw. According to blogger Patrick Macias over at An Eternal Thought In The Mind Of Godzilla, he sold his copy of the rare comic for an undisclosed three-figure sum to a European collector. After a quick search of auction sites such as eBay, I wasn’t able to find even one copy of this fantastic comic so you’ll have to enjoy it virtually just like I did. I’ve posted all the panels from the gekiga Jaws in sequence below. Many of the illustrations are slightly NSFW.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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The strangely captivating dioramas of the Hamamatsu Diorama Factory in Japan


“Day Saka-agari,” one of the 40 fascinating dioramas made by Takuji Yamada that can be seen at the Hamamatsu Diorama Factory.
 
If you ever find yourself in Hamamatsu, Japan I’d recommend you make a bee-line for the intriguing Hamamatsu Diorama Factory, where you can see approximately 40 of master model builder Takuji Yamada’s intricate dioramas.

Takuji’s works depict a wide range of Japanese culture and history, including some thought-provoking images of what life was like in Japan during WWII. There are also many whimsical dioramas featuring pop culture references—specifically from the long line of Japanese monster movies such as Ultraman and his monstrous nemesis Neronga, as well as a strange homage to President John F. Kennedy who helped save the crumbling relationship between the U.S. and Japan during his short time as our 35th president. Admission to the curious Hamamatsu Diorama Factory is a real bargain—less than three U.S. dollars gets an adult in the door and kids are free. I’ve included a number of images of Yamada’s impeccably detailed dioramas that I think you will enjoy looking at below. Yamada’s work is also the subject a couple of books, the most comprehensive being the 2000 publication, Takuji Yamada’s Diorama Works.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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They Live by Night: Photos of gangsters, prostitutes & drag queens from Tokyo’s red light district

001gangskab.jpg
 
Kabukichō is the red light district in Shinjuku, a commercial and administrative ward in central Tokyo. Apparently Kabukichō took its name from plans to build a kabuki theater in the district sometime in 1940s. This never happened. Instead the area became a busy red light world of nightclubs, hostess clubs and love hotels. It’s estimated there are some 3,000 such enterprises operating in Kabukichō today. At night, the busy neon-lit streets thrive with the curious and the criminal—around a thousand yakuza are said to operate in the area. All this relentless activity gave Kabukichō its nickname as the “Sleepless Town” (眠らない街).

Among the curious drawn to Kabukichō was photographer Watanabe Katsumi (1941-2006). During the 1960s and 1970s, this seemingly quiet and unassuming character prowled the streets camera in hand offering to take pictures of the sharp-suited yakuza, the pimps, the prostitutes and the drag queens who lived and worked in and among this red light district’s narrow streets. Watanabe thought of Kabukichō as his theater and the men and women who posed for him as his actors.

He approached each of his subjects and offered to take their picture.  He took the pictures quickly. But whatever he said to make each individual sufficiently relaxed worked. His photographs captured something unguarded and utterly spontaneous about his subjects. The next night he would return, deliver three prints of each photograph for 200 yen—roughly around a dollar back then. This was how he made his living.

In 1973, the first volume of Watanabe Katsumi’s photographs The Gangs of Kabukichō was published. This book was reissued in 2006, details here.
 
002gangskab.jpg
 
005gangskab.jpg
 
More after the jump…

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The photographs of pioneering Japanese surrealist Kansuke Yamamoto
01.23.2017
01:01 pm

Topics:
Art
Heroes

Tags:
Japan
Surrealism
1900s
Kansuke Yamamoto


A photograph by Kansuke Yamamoto, 1950.
 
Future photographer Kansuke Yamamoto’s father, Goro Yamamoto, was a talented photographer himself. The elder Yamamoto had an affinity for “Pictorialism,” or the artistic practice of distorting or manipulating a photograph in perhaps a painterly manner. Yamamoto didn’t initially follow in his father’s footsteps when it came to photography, and preferred to spend his young years writing poetry. At the age of seventeen Kansuke relocated from his birthplace of Nagoya to bustling Tokyo to pursue studies in French Literature at Meiji University. Already a huge fan of surrealist-style poetry, at this time it is very likely that the young artist first saw the various surrealist works of art that had just started to make their way to museums and galleries in Japan. Inspired by what was happening around him he would quickly become the co-founder of the Dokuritsu Shashin Kenkyukai or “Independent Photography Research Association.” The organization was formed due to the disdain many Japanese-based photographers had for the limitations of Pictorialism. The group’s magazine Dokuritsu (or “Independent”) would be the first publication to showcase the young Yamamoto’s photographic works.

It is important to note that the artists who produced surrealist-style work during this time were routinely persecuted by the Japanese government and ran the risk of jail and imprisonment if they were deemed annoying enough by the authorities. Despite this, Yamamoto had already fallen under the spell of surrealism and it would become his artistic calling card for the rest of his life. When Japan removed itself from the League of Nations in 1933, harsh rules such as the “Peace Preservation” laws were put in place. If you’ve ever heard the term “Thought Police” used before, its origins can be traced back to this time in Japan as this moniker was used to describe the law enforcement, or the “Tokko,” whose members worked tirelessly to remove freedom of the press, free speech, and free assembly. Undaunted and unafraid of the consequences, Yamamoto and others would carry on.

Until his death in 1987 at the age of 73, Yamamoto would form many more surrealist-based groups and became a mentor and inspiration to aspiring artists who were members of the Chubu Photography Federation of Students. Much of Yamamoto’s work is included in the 2013 book Japan’s Modern Divide: The Photographs of Hiroshi Hamaya and Kansuke Yamamoto. I’ve included examples from Yamamoto’s vast body of work dating from 1932 to 1970 below. Some are gorgeously NSFW.
 

Self-portrait, 1950.
 

‘Stapled Flesh,’ 1949.
 
More after the jump…

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Political ‘propaganda kimonos’ from pre-World War II Japan
11.16.2016
12:46 pm

Topics:
Design
Fashion
History

Tags:
Japan
World War II
kimonos


 
There’s something very alluring about secret codes intended to transmit a message of solidarity to a select few. Just recently in the wake of the presidential election, a significant number of people have adopted the practice of wearing a safety pin as a sign of resistance to President-Elect Trump and as a message of support to groups likely to be marginalized under a Trump administration such as African-Americans, Muslims, and women. Gee thanks, white people.

One example of this that I learned about recently was the Japanese practice of wearing militaristic propaganda in a way that only close friends and family would be in a position to notice—on ornate, specially designed kimonos. They were mainly reserved for inside the home or at private parties. Since the designs were often on undergarments or linings, a host would show them off to small groups of family or friends. These “propaganda kimonos” are called omoshirogara—denoting “interesting” or “amusing” designs—and were popular from 1900 to 1945, and for the first half of that period they had little to do with warfare.

For instance, in the 1920s and 1930s, many omoshirogara featured a bright consumerist future with gleaming art deco cityscapes and chugging locomotives and ocean liners. In the late 1920s, however, conservative and ultra-nationalist forces in the military and government started to assert themselves. In 1931 Japan invaded Manchuria and installed a puppet regime there, marking the start of a period of extreme militaristic nationalism and aggression as well as isolation from the West.

Norman Brosterman is one of the world’s foremost collectors of propaganda kimonos, and his website is a trove of arresting imagery. All of the kimonos depicted on this page come from his collection. He writes:
 

The Japanese tradition of pictures on garments took an insidious turn in 1895 and 1905 with the Sino-Japanese, and Russo-Japanese Wars, when kimono were first made with images of troops, cannon, and battleships. In the 20th century, kimono with a plethora of themes were produced – travel, sports, politics, fashion, and in the 1930’s, an outpouring of imagery of war. From 1931 and the Japanese annexation of Manchuria, until Pearl Harbor and the complete war footing it necessitated, Japanese propaganda in the form of clothing for men, boys, and more rarely, women, was produced and worn in Japan in support of the efforts overseas.

 
Here are some excellent specimens of the form:
 

This boy’s kimono with an image of a streamlined car.
 

This detail from a kimono from 1933 depicts the popular figures of “the Three Brave Bombers,” real-life soldiers who perished while laying explosives to clear out the enemy’s barbed wire defenses.
 
Many more remarkable kimonos after the jump…......

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Bleak paintings that portray the daily challenges of being ‘human’
11.15.2016
09:43 am

Topics:
Art
Economy

Tags:
Japan
Tetsuya Ishida


‘A Desk’ by Tetsuya Ishida, 1996.
 
Though Japanese painter Tetsuya Ishida left this world at the over a decade ago—a mere month before his 32st birthday—he left us with a large collection of his surreal paintings to ponder that some speculate support the claim that Ishida’s death was a suicide and not an unfortunate accident.

On May 23rd 2005 Ishida was killed after being run over by a train. The vast majority of Ishida’s paintings reflect the harsh reality of life in Japan that Ishida experienced while growing up—the relentless pressure to reach impossibly high academics standards, the lack of jobs and the fact that Japan during his lifetime held the dubious title of having the highest suicide rates in the world (though Japanese suicide rates have declined in recent years). While Ishida’s story perhaps ended like many of his peers his legacy does provide keen insight into his perception of what life is like in Japan through the eyes of someone who lived through it for a short time. Themes such as isolation and the loss of hope for what the future holds. Often Ishida will incorporate his dead-eyed human subjects into a mechanical apparatus or other tangible everyday objects in an effort to convey the brutal erosion of quality of life in the capitalist system.

Ishida’s work possess the ability to silently and effortlessly express what so many lie sleeplessly thinking about. His paintings are accomplished and hauntingly mesmerizing, reinforcing their importance to be seen. Ishida’s work is the subject of at least two books Tetsuya Ishida Complete and Tetsuya Ishida Posthumous Best Practices. A number of the paintings below are probably NSFW.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Stray Cat Beat Girl: Meet the electrifying ‘Aretha Franklin’ of Japan, Akiko Wada
10.25.2016
10:40 am

Topics:
Feminism
Movies
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
Japan
Akiko Wada


Akiko Wada.
 
The arrival of the “beat girl” archetype in Japanese culture back in the 60s came with numerous girl rockers taking the helm of bands, cranking out garage rock sounds and pop-inspired hits some of which would go on to sell more than a million copies (such as the 1965 smash sung in English by Emy Jackson “Crying in a Storm”). Of the many that were a part of this movement, one of the most notable was a woman often referred to as the “Japanese Aretha Franklin,” Akiko Wada.

Born Akiko Iizuka (according to her website) to Korean parents, she soon adopted her maternal uncle’s name (Wada) and started skipping school (before dropping out of high school entierly) to enjoy the nightlife of Osaka. At the age of seventeen she had added “runaway” to her growing rebellious teenage resume after a trip to Tokyo. Wada’s “look” was perceived as “unconventional” even during her childhood. In elementary school Wada was already over five-feet tall and by the time she stopped growing she stood approximately 5’9. Not only did Wada sound more like a man she was also taller than most of her male counterparts on the hit parade. Due to her unique looks and vocal style she was often referred to as being “butch.

It’s important to note here that being labeled as “butch” is a distinct inference of homosexuality. And being gay in Japan isn’t merely frowned upon, it is also considered an “unacceptable” lifestyle (though there has been some progress over the last two decades). Despite assumptions regarding her sexuality Wada has been married to a man (photographer Koji Iizuka) for the past 35 years.

Wada would embark on her recording career in 1968, singing on an astronomical number of records (somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 singles) since the release of her first single “Hoshizora no Kodoku” (“The Solitude of the Starry Sky”). Fast-forward to 2016 and the unstoppable Wada shows no signs of slowing down. Her latest release “All Right!!!” came out in July of this year—three months after her 66th birthday.

Wada also appeared in a few memorable films, a few which audiences outside of Japan may be familiar with such as the 1970 Japanese chick biker-flick (the first of the long-running franchise) Alleycat Rock: Female Boss where Akiko gets to play the cycle-riding biker girl “Ako.” Wada would reprise the role of “Ako” in the follow-up film, Stray Cat Rock: Wild Jumbo. Wada has also hosted her own TV show, Akko ni Omakase (“Leave It To Akko”), as well as a radio show DJ Akko No Panic Studio. I’ve included a number of cool tracks from Wada’s vast catalog for you to listen to below and the groovy trailer for Stray Cat Rock: Wild Jumbo (which was lovingly remastered back in 2014 by Arrow Films) that features Wada looking larger than life, rocking out in a sweet brown pantsuit.
 

The trailer for the 1970 film ‘Stray Cat Rock: Wild Jumbo’ featuring Akiko Wada.
 
More Akiko Wada after the jump…

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John Deacon of Queen gets his palm read by a Japanese fortune-teller in 1977


Getting to know John Deacon with the help of Japanese fortune-teller Kiyoshibo Yasou in Music Life magazine (Japan), 1977. Larger resolution can be seen here.
 

“Since the left hand of the index finger is longer than the ring finger, will be successful and to work standing on top of the people.”

—Japanese fortune-teller Kiyoshibo Yasuo deciphering the hidden messages of John Deacon’s palm

 
A couple of weeks ago I posted about Japanese magazine Music Life and since that time I’ve continued to uncover some cool artifacts from the wildly popular vintage magazine such as this curious bit of strangeness—a somewhat clinical sounding dissection of Queen bassist John Deacon’s palm by a person the publication notes to be Japanese fortune-teller Kiyoshibo Yasou. A mysterious individual that I can find no reference for anywhere on the Internet outside of this odd little article from 1977.
 

 
Yasuo breaks down Deacon using an Astrological analysis, the process of Physiognomy (in which the evaluation of a person’s facial features is used to determine their personality type), a handwriting analysis and finally a deep-dive into Deacon’s palm to reveal his most innermost secrets. Of course when the excerpt from the magazine was translated into English using Google it produced a number of amusing, poorly translated revelations about the notoriously private Deacon that were strangely not terribly far from the truth. Such as this part of Deacon’s (a Leo by the way) astrological analysis:

Early success in life, is a lifetime of happiness. Romantic relationship too because it is (of his) masculine personality. Mote to women.

So because I’m deeply fascinated by this piece of rock and roll ephemera and a huge fan of the musical genius that is John Deacon I can tell you that Yasuo’s big reveal wasn’t that far off from reality. Deacon joined Queen when he was only nineteen-years-old which clearly equals “early success in life” by any reasonable standards. By the time he was 24 in 1975 he was already married to Veronica Tetzlaff and about to become a father for the first time after the devout Catholic become pregnant shortly after meeting Deacon at a disco. The couple has been married for 41 years have six children together which to many would be reflective of a “lifetime of happiness.”

I must say that overall I found Deacon’s amusing palm reading revealing as well as silly at times. Especially when it comes to the state of his gastrointestinal health and the skill of “standing on top of people” (included in the assessment of “Figure A” at the top of this post). Stay with me because here we go!

Figure B: the index finger and intelligence lines between the middle finger has stretched. This sweeping is the proof of good head.

Figure C: The horizontal line often is the lonely shop.

Figure D: Emotion line is divided for many present, one of them has been elongated. This is the person who sweeping have easy element becomes emotional. *(Analysis had been resting on another issue) * It does not have much thickness of the overall hand. Internal organs, care must be taken so easy especially break the gastrointestinal. It is not fatally bad phase, but as many fortune of something to struggling unfortunately.


More after the jump…

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The hallucinogenic Pop artwork of Japanese master Keiichi Tanaami
09.15.2016
12:28 pm

Topics:
Art
History
Music
Sex

Tags:
Japan
psychedelic
Keiichi Tanaami


Album artwork for The Monkees by Keiichi Tanaami.
 
Keiichi Tanaami was a part of the Neo-Dada movement that was born in Tokyo, a force in art spurned forward by the vitriolic anger that was postwar Japan at the beginning of the 1960s. The goal of the painters and other creative artists that were a part of the Neo-Dada Organization (as they were called) was to create works that were “suspended between art and guerrilla warfare.” Tanaami himself was a survivor of the U.S air raids during WWII that targeted Tokyo starting in 1942 which took the lives of more than 100,000 civilians (although some estimates place the number closer to 200,000) and had been deeply affected by the war. One of the horrors that Tanaami recalls during the air raids is the vision of his father’s pet goldfish deformed body still swimming around it its bowl when his family returned from a bomb shelter after his neighborhood had been destroyed. It was this and other unspeakable sights that according to Tanaami robbed him of his childhood.
 

‘No More War,’ 1967.
 
Thankfully Tanaami would find a way to channel his grief, anger and loss into a remarkable career as one of the Japan’s most loved “pop” artists despite the fact that his own mother and the vast majority of his family were emphatically opposed to his choice of professions after discovering his passion for art during high school. Tanaami quickly found work as an artist in print media and doing commissions while still in college which would lead to a gig with the pioneering group JAAC (Japan Advertising Artists Club). The pop art influence in Tanaami’s work is vividly aparent and much of his early work centers around pop-flavored eroticism. In 1975 he got another big break after becoming the first art director for the Japanese version of Playboy magazine, called Monthly Playboy. During a trip to Playboy’s New York offices (and according to Tanaami’s extensive bio on his website) the magazine’s editor (or Hugh Hefner I’m assuming) took Tanaami to Andy Warhol’s mythical studio, the Factory. As if this wasn’t transformative enough for Tanaami his path would also cross with underground comix icon R. Crumb along the way, yet another event that helped shape Tanaami’s ever evolving visionary style.

By the time the 80s rolled around Tanaami, though still working, had developed a penchant for boozing around the clock. A lifestyle that landed the artist in a hospital bed for four months where the combination of medication used to help aid his recovery caused intense hallucinations from which he recovered, armed with an arsenal of boundary-pushing subject matter on which to draw from.

Now a triumphant eighty years old, Tanaami’s compelling work is routinely shown at museums across the world and has been the subject of a few books that celebrate various eras in his life that have included collage work and impressive sculptural interpetations of his paintings such as Keiichi Tanaami: Spiral and Keiichi Tanaami: Killer Joe’s Early Times 1965-73. Some of our more astute, artistically-inclined Dangerous Minds readers may also recognize Tanaami’s artwork from the covers of albums by Super Furry Animals and Jefferson Airplane. I’ve included Tanaami’s album art as well as a large selection of his hyper-colorful psychedelic works some of which are slightly NSFW. 
 

 

 

‘Two Twiggy’s.’
 
More after the jump…

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Stunning images & footage of Queen’s first visit to Japan in 1975 & their triumphant return in 1976
09.09.2016
10:28 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music

Tags:
Japan
1970s
Queen


 
In the spring of 1975 Queen set foot as a band for the first time in Japan much to the delight of their legions of fans there. The band played their first of many gigs at Budokan after the release of 1974’s Sheer Heart Attack and the footage from the show is truly something to behold as are the images of the then 29-year-old Mercury sitting along with his bandmates and a few lovely geishas at a formal ceremony on the grass in front of the Tokyo Tower.

Queen would return the very next year to Tokyo in support of their 1976 album A Day at the Races and were photographed hanging out with Sumo wrestlers, drinking sake and greeting a group of fascinated Japanese children who likely had no idea what to make of Freddie Mercury dressed in a multi-colored knit coat sporting long hair and dark sunglasses. The photos are as charming as they are gorgeous to look at. I’ve also included fantastic footage from Queen’s very first press conference in Tokyo (that includes lots of other footage such as their arrival at the airport and the ceremony in front of the Tokyo Tower) as well as a stellar performance of the single from Sheer Heart Attack “Now I’m Here” from the band’s debut show at Budokan that is going to blow your socks off.

Queen’s inaugural performance at Budokan was of course bootlegged and can be tracked down on various Internet sites but as a huge fan I remain hopeful that the performance will get a proper official release as did Queen’s legendary show at the Odeon in London on Christmas Eve in 1975 Queen- A Night At the Odeon (which just so happens to include a bit of footage from Queen’s Budokan gig—three songs specifically “Now I’m Here,” “Killer Queen,” and “In The Lap Of The Gods… Revisited”). On September 5th—or what would have been Freddie’s 70th birthday this past Monday—guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May announced that an asteroid formerly known as “Asteroid 17473” had been re-named “Freddiemercury” in Mercury’s honor. May had his own asteroid named after him, “Brianmay” (formerly “Asteroid 52665”) back in 2008. Awww.
 

Queen hanging out on the grass in front of the Tokyo Tower during their first visit to Japan in 1975.
 

1975.
 

Mercury greeting a group of Japanese children in 1976.
 
More Queen in Japan after the jump…

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Rare photos of David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Frank Zappa & more from Japanese magazine ‘Music Life’


A beaming Hoshika Rumiko with The Beatles on the cover of issue number eight of ‘Music Life,’ 1965.
 
According to fans the Japanese magazine Music Life (published by Shinko Music Entertainment) is considered the greatest music publication in Japan. The magazine got its real start sometime in 1951 after a failed launch five-years earlier in 1946. When a former member of the magazine’s editorial staff, Hoshika Rumiko, took over as the magazine’s editor in 1964, she also became the first Japanese journalist to interview The Beatles in London and then once again when the band came to Japan in 1966. Rumiko even appeared on the cover of Music Life in 1965 along with John, Paul, George and Ringo dressed in traditional Japanese attire. When her interview with the Fab Four was published the magazine sold 250,000 copies—a far cry from their usual distribution of 50,000-70,000 copies per issue.

Known for its high-quality photographs printed on thick glossy paper Music Life was reportedly one of Japan’s best selling magazines during the 60’s and 70s and featured photos and interviews with EVERYONE that was anyone especially musical acts that were “big in Japan” like David Sylvian (of the band Japan), Queen, The Runways, David Bowie, Debbie Harry, Frank Zappa, and of course KISS. Most of the images I’ve included here I’ve never laid eyes on myself, like one of an eighteen-year-old Peter Frampton with a brown Beatle-esque haircut from 1968 and another of Iron Maiden posing the cover of Music Life in 1981 with a heavy metal-looking Kabuki entertainer instead of their faithful mascot Eddie.

The magazine called it a day in 1998 and Rumiko is currently working to complete her biography detailing her life as a pioneering female journalist in Japan (something I will absolutely be reading when it comes out in English) sometime late this year. As I know many of our Dangerous Minds readers enjoy collecting vintage music magazines, copies of Music Life are fairly easy to come by and will run you anywhere from $20 to about $75 bucks an issue on eBay. If you dig what you see in this post, you can also see more of the magazine’s cool covers that date back to 1968 at this archival site.


Marc Bolan of T.Rex on the cover of issue number twelve of ‘Music Life,’ 1972.
 

Adam Ant, 1981.
 

Frank Zappa, 1969.

Much more ‘Music Life’ after the jump…

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Goes great with ACID: Behold the completely f*cked up giant wearable cat head


The creepy as fuck ‘Real Cat Head’ band.
 
If you hang out on the Internet long enough you’ll see some stuff that you can never unsee. Such is the case with Housetu Sato’s frighteningly realistic looking and wearable “Real Cat Heads.” Made out of felt, Sato’s freakishly large cat heads became so famous after making their debut on Sato’s Facebook page that they were displayed at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art museum.
 

 
Since then Sato (a professor at the Japanese School of Wool Art) has apparently received loads of requests from folks wanting to buy his Real Cat Heads and due to that response he obliged and the bizarro feline head gear can now be purchased by those willing to shell out nearly ¥600,000 yen (roughly $5706.14 USD) and they only go up in price from there depending on the design. Each cat head is made to order, stands approximately five feet high (and wide) and the entire process takes about three months to complete. Though it’s noted on Dwango (the site that is selling the heads) that the “Real Cat Heads” are only available to buyers in Japan, apparently if you ask Sato nicely over on his blog he might make an exception for an interested buyer not located in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Images of folks who appear to have purchased their own giant cat heads as well as examples of Sato’s incredibly realistic handiwork follow. 
 

 

 
More of this insanity after the jump…

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When Can met Japan: David Sylvian and Holger Czukay’s wonderful ambient collaborations
06.30.2016
09:18 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Japan
Can
Holger Czukay
David Sylvian


 
The UK glam band Japan had a singularly interesting career—though influenced by the usual glam touchstones Bowie, Dolls, et al, their visual presentation directly predicted the New Romantic movement, and to this day the band is still somewhat incorrectly associated with that flamboyant scene, largely on the basis of similar haircuts. But Japan were more directly from the art-rock mold, experimenting with funk, electronics, and (surprise surprise) Asian musics. By 1982, as new-ro peaked, and the band was starting to climb from cult success to chart success, personal tensions broke them up. But the band’s singer, David Sylvian, continued as a solo artist in the avant-rock mold, collaborating with Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Ryuichi Sakamoto, and releasing adventurous sophisto-pop albums inspired by jazz, prog, and contemporary classical.
 

 
On his 1984 solo debut Brilliant Trees, Sylvian was the beneficiary of vocal, brass and guitar contributions from Czukay, bassist of the long-running and influential Krautrock band Can. Though Czukay was a hired backup player on those sessions with no songwriting credits on the LP, the pair evidently found common creative ground. They’d record together in 1986, 1987, and 1988, those sessions ultimately becoming two wonderfully lush but little-known ambient LPs. Plight and Premonition, released in 1988, is a spooky and beautiful suite of two side-length songs (no points awarded for guessing that their titles are “Plight” and “Premonition”) in the Klaus Schultze vein, made with a combination of traditional instruments and manipulated radio sounds. Additionally, Czukay’s Can co-conspirator Jaki Liebezeit is credited with “Infra-sound,” which is science for “shit you can’t actually hear.”
 
More after the jump…

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The unhappiest places on earth: Nightmarish playground structures from around the world
06.16.2016
09:59 am

Topics:
Amusing
Stupid or Evil?

Tags:
Japan
Russia
China
playgrounds


A strange reverse “human centipede” style playground sculpture.
 
Many of the images in this nightmare-fueled post were taken in playgrounds around Russia, and they are about as bleak as a vodka shortage in Moscow in the middle of winter.
 

The “peeing rainbow kids” of Kiev, Ukraine.
 
Some of the other perplexing playground structures that you’ll see, such as a rock climbing “thing” that looks like a giant dick, and the reverse human centipede sculpture (pictured at the top of this post) were photographed in China, Tokyo and some European locations. Each of them has one thing in common: they appear to have been created by people who don’t like children at all. Of course there are plenty of demented looking clowns as well as depressed looking bears (because, Russia), and other odd animal-themed slides and such that are just too inexplicably odd for words. Unless those words consist of the triple-threat known as “WTF.”

If you need me, I’ll be under the bed.
 

Moscow.
 

Tokyo.
 

‘Goblin’ merry-go-round.

More images of strange playground structures that need to be put out of their misery, after the jump…

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