Traveling Texts and the Work of Afro-Japanese Cultural Production: Two Haiku and a Microphone

Posted in Africa, Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2015-09-19 01:26Z by Steven

Traveling Texts and the Work of Afro-Japanese Cultural Production: Two Haiku and a Microphone

Lexington Books (an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield)
June 2015
302 pages
6 1/2 x 9 1/4
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-4985-0547-5
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4985-0548-2

Edited by:

William H. Bridges IV, Assistant Professor of Japanese Studies
University of California, Irvine

Nina Cornyetz, Associate Professor
Gallatin School of Individualized Study
New York University

Traveling Texts and the Work of Afro-Japanese Cultural Production analyzes the complex conversations taking place in texts of all sorts traveling between Africans, African Diasporas, and Japanese across disciplinary, geographic, racial, ethnic, linguistic, and cultural borders. Be it focused on the make-up of the blackface ganguro or the haiku of Richard Wright, Rastafari communities in Japan or the black enka singer Jero, the volume turns its attention away from questions of representation to ones concerning the generative aspects of transcultural production. The contributors are interested primarily in texts in motion—the contradictory motion within texts, the traveling of texts, and the action that such kinetic energy inspires in readers, viewers, listeners, and travelers. As our texts travel and travail, the originary nodal points that anchor them to set significations loosen and are transformed; the essays trace how, in the process of traveling, the bodies and subjectivities of those working to reimagine the text(s) in new sites moderate, accommodate, and transfigure both the texts and themselves.

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Nihon NY – Episode 30 – JERO

Posted in Arts, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Videos on 2013-04-07 18:09Z by Steven

Nihon NY – Episode 30 – JERO

Japan Society NYC

Pittsburgh-native, Tokyo-based enka superstar JERO made his New York debut at Japan Society earlier this month. With his smooth voice and hip-hop stylings, JERO has breathed new life into this sentimental Japanese music genre often associated with themes of one’s hometown, lost loves and sake. Often referred to as the Japanese blues or Japanese country music, enka’s melodies and required vocal techniques make it a quintessentially Japanese musical style. Since releasing his debut single Umiyuki (Ocean Snow) in 2008, JERO has received the Japan Record Awards Best New Artist award and has appeared on Japan’s most prestigious New Year’s music spectacular Kohaku Uta Gassen. In this intimate evening, JERO will talk with the incomparable Japan expert and Japan Society’s former Executive Vice President John Wheeler, about his relationship with the Japanese world of enka and serenade audiences with his own original songs as well as enka classics including those of Misora Hibari (美空 ひばり) and Itsuki Hiroshi (五木ひろし) among others.

On this episode of Nihon NY, we feature snippets of his performance at our venue, as well as an interview about his origins and his career as an enka singer.

The song names in order of appearance:
1. Umiyuki (海雪)
2. Harebutai (晴れ舞台)
3. Yuki Guni (雪国)
4. Tsugaru Heiya (津軽平野)
5. Suki Yaki (上を向いて歩こう)

Interview begins at 00:11:29.

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