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Author Topic: 裸のラリーズ "needs water wings" ???? ....should they be left or right ????  (Read 4791 times)

Coquille

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Has someone who has read the interviews (btw: all submitted by fax?)
with Mizutani during the "final era", explain something?


Did he say what  their purpose was in displaying the swastika,
visible in photography from 1980....?


One assumes that given the pose or  approach to
other aspects of the 'project' and the political component
à la gauche of their origins, it may lie in intended
ambivalence and ambiguity....



We were going to see Haino a few years ago when he came to
town. However, upon reading his views on preserving the integrity
of his nation's gene pool, ie. disdain for inter-racial breeding, we chose
to spend an evening at home in the quiet practice of non-assimilation....

« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 10:34:25 PM by Coquille »

alancummings

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I thought all those articles used to be available on the unofficial Japanese site, but I see that that last faxed interview has vanished. I remember reading it at one point, but can't recall what it said, unfortunately.

A lot of people, I think, misread that Haino quote (The Wire, issue 221, July 2002). Perhaps they were misled by the explicitly anti-American foreign policy statements that occur earlier in the piece. But he doesn't say anything at all about interracial relationships. Rather he talks about physical changes that have been caused by diets higher in diary, fats and protein, an 'invasion' conducted through cultural, linguistic and dietary imperialism. I think he probably has a point - music is surely created out of specific physical/body cultures as much as it is out of social or political ones - certainly in terms of how modern Japanese bodies interact with traditional instruments, or how for example GS bands insistence on singing on English prevented them from discovering rock rhythms that actually work with the linguistic rhythms of the Japanese language. Still today so many mainstream Japanese rock bands seem to sing in forced accents. Though I guess that's the same for the UK too...

And, if anything, Haino's own music surely stands as the ultimate plea on behalf of musical miscegenation.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 01:31:28 AM by alancummings »

BzL

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I read that Wire article too - I ordered this issue a few months ago. I must say I don't really get what Haino is thinking when he actually says this.
I mean, as a non-native English speaker, there is something quite difficult to understand. I'm afraid that even with your explanation, Alan, it's not that clearer. I understood right all that was said about singing in English, or the hamburger diet changing the shape of your body.
But still, when I told this to a friend of mine, he looked at me and said : "Ok now that's sure, Haino is definitely xenophobic". I don't think it is Haino's purpose when he says this that way, but isn't it somehow justified to wonder about an idea of keeping a culture "clean", like in the "good old days"?

Hem, and sorry for asking this, but I don't understand your final sentence : "the ultimate plea on behalf of musical miscegenation." Would you mind to be a little bit more specific? This vocabulary - I don't know how to translate it.

Thanks, it's one of the "dark" spots about Haino I'd like to light on.

alancummings

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Sorry, I wasn't as clear as I could be. I don't want to be guilty of over-interpreting Haino's words, and you're correct in as much that many Japanese do still have a deeply ingrained sense of their own cultural uniqueness (and often a belief that this uniqueness is somehow rooted in something biological/physiological). So, perhaps this is just another example of what gets referred to as 'nihonjinron' discourse. Which, given Haino's age, is entirely conceivable. But still I have difficulty in seeing how you could read Haino's music itself as xenophobic - does it really sound 'purely' Japanese?

Anyway, I also have a feeling that Haino is talking about how culture and the physical body have a close relationship to each other. If the physical body changes, even in terms of height and weight, then there must surely be a change in how that body now 'fits' into its environment, how it relates to, say, the fixed physical dimensions of traditional Japanese houses. Music must surely be created out of a physical environment as much as out of a mental and social one. The weightlessness you feel with much Japanese traditional koto and shamisen music, or the rhythms of taiko playing or noh music - I have a sense that some of that is related to diet and the physical form of Japanese bodies, as much as it is to social environment. Certainly, young Japanese people no longer understand this music or feel a need for it, but to what extent is this estrangement purely mental and to what extent is it due to the development of different bodies? You seem the same sort of argument put forward by avant garde theatre and dance people like Hijikata or Suzuki Tadashi - the idea that modern Japanese bodies have become estranged from postures and movements that originally informed traditional forms of dance, noh theatre, kabuki, and so on.

As for my statement about miscegenation, I guess that what I meant was that Haino's music often sounds to me like a fusion of many, many different things. Maybe in the same way as a blending of every conceivable colour would eventually become just black... I think in that interview he says something similar about his DJ experiments.

I honestly don't believe that Haino is a raving xenophobe or cultural nationalist. His interest in music is all consuming and certainly seems to have no cultural boundaries. The last time we spoke he was raving about Congolese pop, the Grateful Dead, Lebanese oud players, Sandy Denny, gypsy music. And often what he seems most interested is the areas of change, when an established traditional music is disturbed by the forces of history and cultural/technological change, or else utter mavericks within a tradition (Captain Beefheart, Thelonious Monk, Syd Barrett, Hossein Alizadeh, etc etc).

BzL

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Thanks a lot for this explanation Alan. It's much easier to understand for me now so I can say  I share your take on this. I never saw Haino Keiji as being xenophobic, but only entirely dedicated to his art. And I believe entire commitment always needs strong ideas and long perseverance.

That may sound childish - or at least very caricatural and occidental, but well - I usually refer to him as a sort of modern samuraï. That sounds stupid, doesn't it? However, I do see him as a sort of Musashi Miyamoto, following the way of sound, the art of music. Please tell me if I'm wrong, but along with a respectful spirit for tradition and a will to improve techniques with different "weapons" (here instruments if you got the analogy), isn't there also an idea of repent from Lost Aaraaf's sacrifice? To become vegetarian seems like an overreaction, but still, I find this fairly up to be compared with the cathartic change in Musashi's behaviour when he becomes adult. About the relationship with women though, I won't talk about it - but I can't part from feeling there is also an idea of refusal (although this is definitely private), and on the top of it, Haino transmits the idea of being lonely. His ideas about "curse" and "prayer" are once more difficult to understand fully (as it's been translated only in English) but still, you have this general background of both a need and a fate to be alone. And ironically, even if he doesn't believe to a specific God, Fushitsusha was written on a Buddhist sutra.

That's why I think Haino is no xenophobe... maybe this portrait can be read as very laudative - putting him on a status of legend is not the purpose here - but I found this comparison quite interesting. In some way that underlines there are different visions about it : inner and outer. If anybody disagree, please, a penny for your thoughts, I am likely to enjoy being corrected in my statements.  :)
« Last Edit: May 15, 2008, 05:53:32 PM by BzL »

Coquille

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Thanks to AC and Bzl for a level-headed response to my histrionically tempered assertions.

So, it would be stretching it a bit to call Haino’s concern with ethnic musical diversity tokenism….
….perhaps he was just making a passing reference,  but such attitudes give one cause to reflect on the revisionism and  ensuing ignorance of the country’s war past.

In terms of the censorship it is interesting, ironic, to compare the economic rise of their neighbour and the impact on this issue…
I’m not informed enough to somehow consolidate this with a comment on the newly uncovered sino-noise scene…
the noise of Japan is often remarked in terms of reaction during the 80’s economic boom?


Anyhow, as for the fylfot-flashing Rallizes, the “Mars Studio” (Loewe Disk, 3CD)
artwork features a modified “Do the right thing” campaign logo depicting the offending ‘item’ being despatched in its rightful place!

To despell rumours of  an imperialist leaning, Haino could also deploy such a symbol, being monochrome, it may integrate seamlessly with the proper of his CD sleeve art design…..? ;)

alancummings

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I'd never call his interest in ethnic music tokenism either.

The issue of revisionism is an interesting one - particularly since in Aihiyo Haino seems bent on revising the post-war history of Japanese music. Of course, since he was born in 1952, Haino would have grown up both before and during the economic miracle of the 60s. He would also have gone to school at the beginning of the period of textbook revisionism. The historian Ienaga Saburo's lawsuit against the Ministry of Education didn't begin until 1965, so Haino would have been 13 - certainly old enough to be aware of this case, which was a major cause celebre in Japan at the time.
He says very little in interviews about contemporary politics or about the Pacific War (though he has been more voluble about the two Gulf Wars). But, early in his career he did appear at events that were markedly anti-state and anti-imperialist - namely the Sanrizuka festival, and the Gunrakutai event in 1974 where his trio with Abe Kaoru and Takada Ken'ichi apparently played to the sound of a pitched battle outside with rightists.

I didn't quite understand your comment about the fylfot/swastika/manji. It is of course a very commonly seen symbol (in its left rolling form) at Buddhist temples in Japan. But the symbol has little meaning or resonance in terms of Japanese imperialism, since it was not used by the Japanese imperial army. For something similar, you'd probably having to go for the naval ensign - the one with rays emerging from the rising sun. I suppose you could perhaps read the grey penumbra-ed circles on each of the disks in the Soul's True Love boxset as a reference to the Japanese national hinomaru (Rising Sun) flag. Some Japanese, particularly in the teachers unions and readers of the Asahi and Mainichi newspapers, do view this flag (and the national anthem) as an imperialist symbol.

Coquille

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Nazi emblem, here, http://www.yk.rim.or.jp/~ubud/rg/ra_he02.html, in 1980, it is….
just belated aping of punk motif?     (image used on some Univive CDs).

Any punk groups in Japan with some pretence to political comment (as in England)… ?
ザ・スターリン  http://www.thestalin.com/  ? 

I can only think of:  「昭和」 http://www.discogs.com/release/599369
by ザ・ゲロゲリゲゲゲ (GERO)  in which 山之内純太郎 (Juntaro Yamanouchi) commemorated the terminal illness of Hirohito….. in his special way...

As for the revisionism, the Allied powers and modern economic partners aren't going make Japan account for their past...  As one can see the Australian prime-minister shall tread very lightly (especially since addressing (in immaculate Mandarin, notwithstanding) the Peking University students  firmly putting  his foot in his mouth with [however, state-run media blackouted] comment on Tibet) he surely won't venture further to cause loss-of-face by passing judgements on such matters as whaling (in non-immaculate Japanese, notwithstanding delivered in address at Kyoto University today) let alone chiding them for MPs 's tribute paying at Yasukuni.....etc.
Perhaps, he had ought to have gone there himself, instead of Hiroshima, to express his worth in convincing them to relinquish some of their sovereignty in joining the plan for yet another Asia-Pacific conglomerate... >:(

« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 03:25:13 AM by Coquille »