2.22.2012

A Blasian Music Video from the 90s

For the past week, I've been chatting with a Japanese friend, let's call him Taichiro, via Facebook. We have been talking about our mutual admiration for B'z. I was introduced to B'z by this lady who recommended the drama Buzzer Beat to me along with the drama's opening song by B'z "イチブトゼンブ".

Anyway, Taichiro being the big B'z fan he is, decided to send me videos of his favourite "super cool" group. One of the videos was this



So here we have an old school example of a Japanese music video with Blasian themes. This video was made in 1990.

Taichiro says this song, "Easy Come Easy Go" is his favourite B'z song and while I was watching the video I kept on wondering if he knew what he had sent me. I'll be honest, I had a lot of feelings watching this video, especially with the current mess that is the Hallyu wave trying to expand into the West. This video was shot in the 90s, the song is in Japanese and B'z is a legend in Japan if I am to believe what my friends have told me.

Back in the 90s B'z had no problem travelling to the USA and making this music video. They also had no problem featuring a Black woman as the main person in this music video. I have to wonder,  did B'z go through a USAmerican agency to find the Black woman in this video? Or did they do the scouting themselves? Did B'z insist that they wanted a Black woman to be the main person in this music video? Or was it the situation where any woman would have done but they were more impressed with this Black woman's talents?

So many questions. A few minutes before writing this, I read that there are white people working hand in hand with the Kpop industry to aid the Western spread of the Hallyu wave. Suddenly things make more sense. That doesn't stop the whole get-up from being stupid, at the very least.

I feel that there is a lot to be learnt from this video. First of all, who on earth knew that there is a Japanese music video with Blasian themes that was released in 1990? Another thing to be considered is this; B'z did their own thing and they are still relevant more than 20 years after this video was made.

Please note that this post is NOT about Kpop or the Hallyu wave. I sincerely meant it when I said I'm not participating in any discussion involving either topic any more. This post is in celebration of this Japanese music video from the 90s that mainly centres on a Black woman and a Japanese man.


15 comments:

  1. Your amazing at finding things like this Eccentricyoruba! This is one of the main reasons why I love the narrative!

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  2. Also no love loss here with Kpop.

    I regret not knowing more of these J music groups back in the day ( though I would listen to a Japanese American group during that time)but the ones that I've heard on Shasha's blog and the one you put on here are impressive. The ones that I've listened to( including this one) are quality singers who can be taken seriously in more ways than one. In spite of the blackface incidents ( They really need to work on getting rid of it), I've always supported them in some way and will continue to do so.If any country who could probably be taken seriously as an international music power, it should be them.

    I could be wrong,but I believe that it was them that wanted the woman to be in it. Unless it is Robin Thicke or a person like him, I just do not think that a White person would have done that. Most times when an Asian( and other races of men for that matter) man is involved in an mixed situation, a White woman is considered for the role.

    I hate what Japan went through with the tsunami and the nuclear meltdown,but you just don't know how much I want for them to rise from the ashes and come back strong.

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    1. @M,
      I hate what Japan went through with the tsunami and the nuclear meltdown, but you just don't know how much I want for them to rise from the ashes and come back strong.

      It's nearing the one-year anniversary, so I'll add your message to all of the boards I see -- signed M in America. The people of Tohoku will truly appreciate you thinking of them.

      Delete
  3. The same woman also appears on B'z video "Hot Fashion."

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    1. Oh this is cool and just furthers Hateya's point that the group must have known her in some way.

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  4. @EccentricYoruba
    First of all, who on earth knew that there is a Japanese music video with Blasian themes that was released in 1990? Another thing to be considered is this; B'z did their own thing and they are still relevant more than 20 years after this video was made.

    **raises hand** I knew and I've seen it a few times on shows where B'z was a topic or guest. The Japanese love flashbacks. In addition to the one Wendy mentioned, there should be at least one more.

    While most comments centered around Inaba's youth or how much they loved this song/group, a few mentioned the woman. Your mileage may vary with the translations. ;)

    通行人がw
    PVに出る女はどうなったのかな。有名なダンサーか俳優になった­のかな。
    I wonder what ever happened to the woman in the video? (translated by commenter himself). I wonder if this woman was a famous dancer or actress (mine).

    女が日本人じゃなくてよかったと当時思った
    I thought it was wonderful the woman wasn't Japanese.

    この女の人がすごいうらやましく思えたの覚えてる
    I remember being so envious of this amazing woman.

    B'z are not only legends, they're also real musicians, which ranks them much higher than the indentured servants we know as Ikemen. Groups like B'z, Mr. Children and BreakerZ (they're real despite Daigo appearing on variety shows) aren't governed by the same agency rules as the "J-Pop" stars (Hey!Say!Jump, Araashi, even SMAP). Who controls an artist, a real artist? No one. In this country, real musicians don't need to consider the race of the women in their videos. The more variety they have, the better.

    One guy said Inaba was 18 in this PV. That pretty much assures me that B'z was not making a "statement" by using a Black female dancer. You've gotta trust me on this one. More than likely, one of them knew her or someone close to a band member introduced her to the group. Nepotism rules this nation. If they held an audition, then they would have chosen her for facial features, her physique and her dance skills. Her skin color would not have been a deterrent.

    We should rejoice and I'm not being a smart-ass either.

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    1. I got a glimpse of the flashback love in the comments but as I'm always too lazy when reading stuff in another language I didn't stray too far from those 懐かしい comments.

      I've really come to see that when agencies control the 'idols', the idols can only be that. They can't be real artists, and in most cases they don't last long in people's minds, idols can never become legends.

      In this country, real musicians don't need to consider the race of the women in their videos. The more variety they have, the better.

      This is exactly what I was thinking when I wrote this. That to them, it wasn't a matter of 'we want international appeal so let's get a white woman's face', it was more of 'let's just make a music video and do what we want to'. I don't believe her skin colour would have been a deterrent either.

      And I'm totally rejoicing :D

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    2. I really enjoyed the video your friend sent you, @eccentricyoruba. The group is truly talented and there was so much passion in the singing and dancing. It was (is) nice when music was just about artistic expression rather than what will sell more records.

      Also, @Wendy thanks for the other video. I will be looking at that soon.

      @Hateya, thank you for your insight. I have never heard of this group and I do appreciate your honest assessment of the video and the group.

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  5. Feel free to slap me around because in the 13 years I've been listening to J-music, I've never actually listened to B'z. >_< I've know about them for years but never really checked them out. As for the video...

    Despite the flashbacks of terrible 90s fashion, this is a good example of using blacks in a video by Asians in a way that doesn't feel forced. We don't just see the main black female dancer, but other blacks in the background, on the streets, etc. There isn't all that much interaction between the singer and the dancer, but there is chemistry.

    It's also interesting that B'z--who isn't an R&B group--decided to make a video like this. There were plenty of R&B artist in the 90s--Kubota Toshi, Hirai Ken, Skoop on Somebody, etc.--but I don't think any of them used blacks in the their videos then. I wonder if there's an interview with B'z about this video.

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    1. Haha! I can totally understand, like I said in the post I wouldn't have listened to B'z if my friends didn't recommend it.

      90s fashion was terrible wasn't it...yes! Yes! Yes! Nothing was forced and there was chemistry and it wasn't in a white-washing version of the USA.

      I'm not sure if there's an interview with B'z about this video. And yeah, you'd expect R&B groups to have more videos like "Easy Come Easy Go"

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  6. I've never heard of the B'z but then again, I've always listened to more Jrock/Jpop-ish music. I really find this amazing and a bit nostalgic (to me). I love the mellow feeling to it, like you guys said, it's not rushed or forced. It's a natural thang and it's refreshing. Thanks to your friend, he shared some good music with us! :D

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  7. I've never heard of B'z before, so I thank you for introducing me to new music. To be truthfully honest, this Hallyu wave has gotten insanely crazy. I have always been a Jrock/Jpop fan, so I find it interesting lately to read something on Japanese music instead of hearing about Kpop 24/7. This is not to say that I have anything against kpop, I've just never been into it before like I am with Japanese music, so I'm very much in the dark about a lot of popular kpop stars ^^;

    Regardless, I'd like to thank you for posting this. I definitely have to look more into B'z. :)

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  8. B'z reminds me of Chage and Aska. Love his videos and his music. Nothing like the 90's haha.

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  9. Ooh I love B'z. I don't know why I didn't thought about telling you about this video. At the time I saw it there wasn't a good version on youtube

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