He Said – She Said ~ Single Girls

Mr P ! ! ! We coming here to make a report for He Said - She Said - Not for a dating event ! ! !

She Says:

In this post we want to share some of the great things that Japanese women are doing in the music industry.  This time we are concentrating on solo artists and we hope to show you some of the variety and creativity of Japanese women in what is still a male dominated industry.

He Says:

I suppose it’s no surprise, really, that  I’m fond of the ladies. Musically speaking, of course. I first really became interested in Japanese music via Shonen Knife and their Myspace links were very helpful in finding new bands. From there, of course, I have become aware of a whole host of wonderful Asian ladies and here are some of  our favourite tracks by some of our favourite gals. Hope you enjoy.
Sakura - Anna Tsuchiya – No Way

She Says:

Anne Tsuchiya is a really interesting person and quite eccentric in a nice way.  Most people in the west  know her as an actress because for her performance in the movie Kamikazi Girls which had some international success.  But before that she was a very successful model.  She was always a wild girl and once had a really big and bloody fist fight with another model Eriko Sato, who fractured her cheek bone when she hit Anna with a folding chair.  The fight was officially declared a draw and the girls are now good friends.  She also once said her deep voice (for a Japanese girl) is the result of smoking and drinking from an early age and she said that now she is much calmer since she stopped drinking in the afternoon ! ! ! She actually started in the music business in a punk duo when she was sixteen but stopped when her modelling and acting career took off.  But she has been dedicated to music since 2005 and really making some great tracks these days and does a great live show ! ! !

He Says:

I love Kamikaze Girls almost to distraction. It’s my second favourite film of all time ( first is Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, I’m sophisticated like that) and, consequently, anything Anna does is fine by me. This , like most of her tracks ( and , indeed, herself) “kicks ass”.

Pairubu - Inomoto – Dawn Star

He Says:

Lovely. Just lovely. What more can I say. An accidental discovery, I knew nothing of her or her music but, luckily, stumbled across this track. Her voice is heart meltingly lovely. Just…lovely

She Says:

I really love Inomoto.  She comes from Fukuoka which is the same home town as YUI so something must be in the water there makes great musicians.  She often plays a ukulele also the guitar which I like very much.  She actually started in music as a jazz singer in cabaret bars but since 1998 she has concentrated as a singer songwriter.  She has very nice and positive lyrics and I simply adore her voice ! ! !

Sakura – YUI – Never Say Die

She Says:

Having a post about Japanese solo female musicians and not having a YUI track would be like talking about the evolution of human history and forgetting to mention the wheel or fire ! ! !  Her achievements are really quite fantastic.  She came from a very modest single parent family and learnt to perform by playing in the street by the railway station in her home town.  At 17 she signed with Sony Records since then she has had three platinum albums, one double platinum album and one triple platinum album, and eight number one singles including five consecutive number ones and she is still only 24 years old ! ! !  Her songs are usually very direct and simple and talk a lot about the issues that girls face but her songs are always positive and never accepts to be  victim.  Of course she makes a lot of fun tracks also and this is one of my favourites.  Actually I think she is a really great role model for girls because of her strength and determination and she is always natural and never arrogant or proud and never losing her femininity ! ! !

He Says:

Ha ! Who would have imagined that Sakura would chose a Yui track ! It’s  a cracker though, isn’t it. I really, really like this one , probably my fave Yui track that I’ve heard so far. Drives along nicely and the video that goes with it is funny too ! Brill.
Pairubu - Kimura Kaela- Inventor

He Says:

I chose this one for two reasons, firstly because it illustrates, I think, one of the “problems” with some J-pop. It’s really brash, loud and busy. There’s very little “space” here and, frankly, this can become wearying over time. However, the last minute or so of this song , for me, lift it out of bog standard territory into something special. It only takes a melody or a riff sometimes to make a song stand out and this is what happens here.

She Says:

Kaela Kimura is half British and half Japanese and I think she is super beautiful and also a great singer ! ! !   Of course with her beauty she has been a successful model and TV presenter while being a successful pop rock singer.  I think she has a great voice for this style of music and she makes these types of tracks better than anyone I think.  She has a great delivery and phrasing.  She has also been the vocalist in the long established rock band the Sadistic Mika Band which was formed in 1972 and is quite legendary actually and she was great in it ! ! !  I really enjoyed this track ! ! !

Sakura - Superfly – Beep!! 

She Says:

Superfly started as a group, then became a duo and now is a solo girl  - but what a girl  ! ! !   Shiho Ochi in my opinion is the greatest girl rock singer since Janis Joplin ! ! !   She actually appeared with Big Brother And The Holding Company in the Legends Of Woodstock tour coving Janis Joplin’s greatest hits ! ! !  This track is actually the current single and was released on 9th March this year, so we are really up to date ! ! ! I think it really shows her powerful but relaxed and wonderful delivery.  She is also totally electric live ! ! !   I just love her voice ! ! !

He Says:

Cripes ! This is good ! Especially love the guitar playing on this one, a real rocker and that’s for sure.I can see that she would be a great live act when backed with a rocking band. Spiffy !

Pairubu - Jun Togawa- Pupation Woman

He Says:

Eagle eared listeners will recognize this tune from a couple of weeks ago when I posted the “punk” version. This is a far more restrained, almost “baroque” take and, in all honesty, could equally have been sent in as an Earworm. I love Jun, she’s totally unique and, though troubled, a real inspiration ,I think.

She Says:

Jun Togawa is a total legend in the experimental movement in Japanese music and I really admire her very much.  This track is quite restrained for her and I think it is a style that suites her well and not just the punk and avant guard stuff she is more well known for.  I really enjoyed this track very much indeed ! ! !

♪    ♫    ♪    ♫    ♪

She Says:

We hope you have enjoyed reading the post and listening to the tracks ! ! !   As always we had a lot of fun making it.  I hope we have shown you some of the variety in music that Japanese  female solo artists have these days.  Japanese female solo acts are being really creative and successful just now and I hope that the success will continue.

He Says:

So there you go. I think the role of women in the Far East is changing rapidly. I sense a far greater confidence and willingness to “stand alone” that was true in the past. Fine by me and , as I hope we have shown, with music as good as they are making now the future looks bright.

♪    ♫    ♪    ♫    ♪

Has Mr P really fallen in love with Anna Tsuchiya ? ? ?

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18 thoughts on “He Said – She Said ~ Single Girls

  1. An enjoyable and varied set here. I have to say that I knew most of the names, but not all of the music, but liked it all. The standout and the only new-to-me singer was Inomoto. Simple lyrics and a lovely sound – great!

    I saw Kimura Kaela live a few years ago as part of a ‘British Anthems’ event. I got on the guestlist as a mate’s band were playing and I had to endure The Enemy at the end, but Kimura Kaela played a good set and was well received by the indie kids. In fact, she, along with bands like Perfume, seem to have made the crossover as J-pop-it’s-ok-for-indie-kids-to-like. Which is a good thing in my book!

    • Hi Panthersan ! ! !

      I am really happy you liked the post ! ! !

      I really like Perfume also ! ! ! I forgot about their track Chocolate disco – I should have nominated it for last week ! ! !

      I agree about Kimura Kaela. She is actually really talented I think and I would love to see her with some better material, her record label could support her more I think ! ! !

  2. This is great, thank you!

    Is Aikawa Nanase still releasing records, by the way? She was always one of my favourite Japanese pop-rock solo artists.

  3. Ni SV80

    She is married and has a child now and is concentrating on that, but has really nice “hobby type” project called Rockstar Steady which is nice and they released their first album last year and a dvd also.

  4. That was an interesting selection; and thanks Sakura and Pairubu for the post. I have to say that Inomoto was just gorgeous and so was Jun Togawa. Both songs were just lovely. I’m afraid that YUI doesn’t float my kayak at all, Sakura, sorry :-(.
    The others were fine, but I thought Superfly was a lot more reminiscent of Ann Wilson (of Heart) than the second coming of Janis, but I do want that pair of jeans she was wearing!

    Great job as usual, and thanks.

    • Hi SR ! ! !

      I like Shiho Ochi jeans also ! ! ! I they are really easy to make by changing some jeans you already have. I did this and it is very easy. I bought some hippy type fabric patches from a shop in Shimokitazawa which is a student and hippy neighbourhood near Shibuya and then sewed them myself. It is much cheaper than buying them and you can just sew the corners and then look if you like them in that position and move them until the look right and then sew them properly.

      Of course I would love it if you like YUI but of course I do not mind at all that you do not ! ! !

      I am really pleased you liked the post, we had a lot of fun and we have a great one for next week which will be a lot of fun also (we hope)

      Thank you for listening and commenting ! ! !

      • As a teenager I was able to sew triangles of fabric into my jeans to make them more flared and did sew patches on, but I don’t think I could do it now. My eyes couldn’t see well enough!

  5. I did that too, with the triangles of fabric and patches, when I was a student. I went off to college with drainpipe jeans that I immediately found were decidedly unhip. Eventually, my prize possession was a pair of said Levis that were more patches than jeans. Mind you, I seemed to spend more time re-stitching them than wearing them by the time 1976 came along and I tossed them out, needing to revert to the drainpipes again as fashion dictated. What a fop!!

  6. The Inomoto – Dawn Star track is really beautiful. Thanks for that.

    Sakura, a couple of topics ago you nommed a gorgeous YUI track and linked to a vimeo vidéo (made in Sweden I think). Do you remember the name of the song because I can’t ? lr

    • Hi LIttleriver ! ! !

      The YUI track is Your Heaven. It was the “other A side” to “It’s My Life” but “It’s My Life” was the track that had the most promotion. But it is really lovely ! ! !

      It was a number one single and a gold record also and released in January 2011 to mark the end of the six month break from the music business that YUI had in 2010. The video was shot in Sweden and was the first time she had visited Europe but she did not play any concerts there.

      I really love this track very much, it is a simple and lovely love song.

      This is the translation the last part of the song:

      A miracle
      In a far-off place
      The city full of red roofs
      Near the sea
      Was filled with children’s dreams
      And sparkled

      My voice
      Changes into wind
      Because I no longer need any words
      You can hear me, can’t you?

      When I remember
      Your song
      I can pass through the painful nights

      We lived in the same era
      I won’t forget that
      I’m glad I came

      Farewell
      Thank you for the power of love
      Your Heaven

      Here is the link:

      http://vimeo.com/19220737

  7. Sakura, I was thinking of buying one of her albums to gift to a friend and wanted that track to be on it. I’ve had a quick run through her discography but haven’t been able to find it. Was it only released as a b side single? lr

  8. For Suzi – Thank You My Teens

    English Lyrics

    When I peer into a memory of a day long ago
    A secret letter
    Hidden in an empty box

    The last day of my teens is getting closer
    And it seems like there are things I’ve forgotten to do, and it makes me panic

    I thought I didn’t want to grow up
    But I’m grateful
    Thank you my teens

    Just singing
    Turning any pain into a new song right away
    Just by doing that, I was able to turn it into strength

    I want my friends to think well of me, even just a little
    I didn’t think I cared, but I’m actually a showoff

    Meeting someone new gave me support for my dreams
    So I’m grateful
    Thank you my friends

    I thought I didn’t want to grow up
    But now I’m 20
    Thank you my teens

    Japanese

    Himitsu no tegami wo
    Akibako ni kakushite iru basho
    Tooi hi no kioku wo nozoitara

    Chikadzuiteru juudai saigo no hi made ni
    Yarinokoshita koto ga mada arisou de aseru

    Otona ni wa naritakunai to omotteta
    Dakedo kansha shiteru
    Thank you my teens

    Utau koto bakari
    Kuyashisa mo mata sugu uta ni shita
    Sore dake de chikara ni kaerareta

    Tomodachi ni wa sukoshi demo yoku omowaretai
    Ki ni shite nai tsumori na noni mieppari da

    Atarashii deai ga yume wo sasaeta
    Dakara kansha shiteru
    Thank you my friends

    Otona ni wa naritakunai to omotteta
    Dakedo hatachi ni naru
    Thank you my teens

  9. Wow! This is truly a great source of ideas on creating amazing headlines and good content! This will surely help me a lot in writing my own posts in the future.

    • I am really happy you liked the post ! ! !

      We have made a few He Said – Said Said posts on different topics and we will post a new one on Thursday – I hope you can check it out on Thursday and maybe some of the others also – just search The Spill for He Said – She Said and you will find them ! ! !

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