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By William W. Kelly

A desirable examine lovers of various pop culture phenomena in Japan.

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Additional info for Fanning the Flames: Fans and Consumer Culture in Contemporary Japan (Japan in Transition)

Sample text

With regard to fans who attend the shows, however, the differences between underground and part y rap are undeniable. Most striking is gender. The audience for Thumpin’ Camp was roughly 80 percent male, and this ratio was reversed for the Dai LB Matsuri (Big LB Festival). In both cases, teenagers were the bulk of the audiences, ranging from junior high school to college age, with a slightly higher average age apparent for the underground show. g. f loppy Kangol or baseball caps or short brim golf hats).

Although hip-hop-inspired clothing is a leading st yle for teenage boys, only a fraction of all the people sporting the baggy pants are actually consumers of the music, at least judging from the sales of Japanese rap. Fashion magazines like Fine have been active promoters of hip-hop, but the emphasis is on kakko ii (cool st yle) rather than, as many rappers would prefer, a focus on music. On the other hand, buying music alone is often dismissed as a weak gesture of fandom, depending on the goal of buying.

But, he adds, by 1989, things had changed. “Does one go out to a Eurobeat spot, or House, or maybe not go to disco at all? ” It became an era where one didn’t feel an inferiorit y complex [for not going out] nor feel superior [for going out]. In the 1990s, this kind of tendency has B-Boys and B-Girls 29 become even more extreme in the club boom: hip-hop, reggae, new wave, hard core, jazz; or if it’s a disco, “f lashy” (parapara) st yle or rave st yle? Everything is lined up side-by-side, like dispersed “islands in space” (shima uchu).

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