Sep 242010
 



 
My third visit to a Gothic Bar Heaven event at Club Crawl this year. Like many other Artism.jp parties it was a small-scale “live house” event with several bands presenting their music and DJs performing between the shows. Again, I had been invited by my friend Nekoi from Psydoll who were scheduled to play. Other bands of the evening included Ethereal Sin, Zwecklos and Mr. Chaos.

After having missed the belly dancers, the first band I saw was a solo artist called Mr. Chaos. For someone named Mr. Chaos he gave a very tame performance…

Kaosu (かおす) is the producer and singer behind the name Mr. Chaos.
Kaosu (かおす) is the producer and singer behind the name Mr. Chaos.
Mr. Chaos performing at the Club Crawl in Shibuya.
Mr. Chaos performing at the Club Crawl in Shibuya.
Mr. Chaos solo on stage at the Gothic Bar Heaven 28 event.
Mr. Chaos solo on stage at the Gothic Bar Heaven 28 event.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 23:59
Aug 202010
 



 
The awa odori matsuri are very popular dance festivals in summertime Japan. These events are connected to the yearly obon festivities, so they a pretty much a family get-together with fun and games for the whole family. Large groups of costumed dancers march through the crowded streets dancing a deliberately silly dance, chanting songs and playing Japanese music instruments like shinobue or portable taiko drums.

The largest awa odori in Tokyo is in Kōenji in Suginami-ku, but many other neighborhoods have their own festival, because it is a popular summer pasttime and so much fun for everyone (and it’s good for business). So this weekend was a local awa odori in Shimo-Kitazawa of Setagaya-ku ward. Compared to the one in Kōenji it was a much smaller event with less dancers and less spectators. Then again, the area is also much smaller and has very narrow alleys so it was still pretty crowded. About one dozen different dance groups performed at various spots around the train station and gave me the opportunity for some low light photography.

A young girl in a traditional yukata dancing through the commercial neighborhood of Shimokita.
A young girl in a traditional yukata dancing through the commercial neighborhood of Shimokita.
Every dance and music group had their distinctively colored costume.
Every dance and music group had their distinctively colored costume.
The women dance in their summer kimonos.
The women dance in their summer kimonos.
A group of female dancers rests while the men perform a special dance.
A group of female dancers rests while the men perform a special dance.
Two girls of a dance group  sporting elaborate red costumes for the awa odori.
Two girls of a dance group sporting elaborate red costumes for the awa odori.
A young girl with her mother on her way home at the Shimokita crossing after the awa odori.
A young girl with her mother on her way home at the Shimokita crossing after the awa odori.
 Posted by at 23:28
Aug 142010
 



 
Following my recent string of goth events I attended the first day of the special Artism Festa Summer 2010 happening at Live Inn Rosa in Ikebukuro. As many Artism events it went from the afternoon to the evening, which means I didn’t have to worry about missing my last train. I was especially looking forward to the performance by the Japanese theater group 虚飾集団廻天百眼 (Kyoshoku Shūdan Kaiten Hyaku-me). Other performers were Mu☆Mu, Caramelman, 装置メガネ (Sōchi Megane), マイナス人生オーケストラ (Mainus Jinsei Ōkesutora), Zwecklos, Rose Noire and a second show group called MONT★SUCHT.

When I arrived I only saw the second part of Mu☆Mu’s gig. Fortunately, I had seen him before, so I didn’t have to shoot so many pictures. Anyway, he was a fun performer this time, too.

MuMu singing in front of the bright lights of the Live Inn Rosa stage.
MuMu singing in front of the bright lights of the Live Inn Rosa stage.
As a solo artist Mu☆Mu's live performances are supported by a guest drummer.
As a solo artist Mu☆Mu's live performances are supported by a guest drummer.
Pink-haired Japanese singer Mu☆Mu entertaining his audience.
Pink-haired Japanese singer Mu☆Mu entertaining his audience.

 
Continue reading »

 Posted by at 23:53
Aug 132010
 



 
One of Tokyo’s summer highlights is the manga and anime fair Comiket (コミケット) at Tokyo Big Sight on Odaiba. Also known as Comic Market, it is the world’s largest fair for self-published comic books (dōjinshi) with approximately 35,000 sellers and more than 500,000 attendees over the course of three days. True to its DIY roots the entrance is free, so if you can make the trip with the Yurikamome or Rinkai lines you should visit this biannual event.

Inside the large convention halls photography is forbidden, and there are only rows upon rows of tables where small publishing circles present and sell their comic books, artwork, music, accessories and other manga-related items (all surprisingly cheap). But outside there are two areas where thousands of cosplayers gather and photography is encouraged. As expected, these cosplay areas were rather crowded and you often have to “fight” with dozens of Japanese cameko (“camera boys”) to get the persons pose for you.

Tokyo Big Sight on Odaiba where the Comiket was happening.
Tokyo Big Sight on Odaiba where the Comiket was happening.
Engrish warning: 'Don't use a color sprayer and a moose.'
Engrish warning: 'Don't use a color sprayer and a moose.'
Inside Tokyo Big Sight the movement of the crowds was very orderly. Also lots of huge posters were present.
Inside Tokyo Big Sight the movement of the crowds was very orderly. Also lots of huge posters were present.
A large group of Touhou Project (東方Project) cosplayers (including Youmu Konpaku, Yuyuko Saigyouji and Mima) being photographed by an even larger crowd of photographers.
A large group of Touhou Project (東方Project) cosplayers (including Youmu Konpaku, Yuyuko Saigyouji and Mima) being photographed by an even larger crowd of photographers.
A group of Kamen Rider Den-O (仮面ライダー電王) cosplayers (including Yuriko Shiratori, Ryōtarō Nogami and Urataros)
A group of Kamen Rider Den-O (仮面ライダー電王) cosplayers (including Yuriko Shiratori, Ryōtarō Nogami and Urataros)
Two cosplayers dressed up as Burn and Gazelle from the Inazuma Eleven (イナズマイレブン) video game series.
Two cosplayers dressed up as Burn and Gazelle from the Inazuma Eleven (イナズマイレブン) video game series.
Two cosplayers dressed up as Maria and Hoshi from the Arakawa Under the Bridge (荒川アンダー ザ ブリッジ) manga.
Two cosplayers dressed up as Maria and Hoshi from the Arakawa Under the Bridge (荒川アンダー ザ ブリッジ) manga.
Two female cosplayers dressed up as Mari Illustrious Makinami and Asuka Langley Soryu from the Neon Genesis Evangelion (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン) anime.
Two female cosplayers dressed up as Mari Illustrious Makinami and Asuka Langley Soryu from the Neon Genesis Evangelion (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン) anime.
A male cosplayer dressed up as Chin Gentsai (鎮 元斎) from The King of Fighters (ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ) video game series.
A male cosplayer dressed up as Chin Gentsai (鎮 元斎) from The King of Fighters (ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ) video game series.

See more of the cosplays »

 Posted by at 20:01
Aug 062010
 



 
Tokyo’s electro crowd is one of the most dynamic and fashion-conscious party scenes I know of. Pretty much every event is under the unofficial motto “see and be seen” — the people often dress up in their most extravagant and stylish clothes to party. So I was quite happy to attend such an event after having missed so many this year. It was the Kawaii Tokyo party’s 2nd anniversary held at the Trump Room in Shibuya. I arrived rather late, so I did not manage to document all of the best unique styles the party-goers were wearing.

A Japanese girl striking a kissing pose.
A Japanese girl striking a kissing pose.
Japanese guy with a fancy dress amidst the strobe light.
Japanese guy with a fancy dress amidst the strobe light.
Two Japanese girls making v-signs.
Two Japanese girls making v-signs.
Japanese dude with a plain white t-shirt.
Japanese dude with a plain white t-shirt.
Guy with dark glasses and blonde hair on the dancefloor.
Guy with dark glasses and blonde hair on the dancefloor.
An excited Japanese girl at the Kawaii Tokyo party.
An excited Japanese girl at the Kawaii Tokyo party.
A bunch of good-looking Japanese girls at the Trump Room club.
A bunch of good-looking Japanese girls at the Trump Room club.
A couple of party-goers standing close to the dance floor.
A couple of party-goers standing close to the dance floor.
Japanese guy with a big top hat and a colorful t-shirt.
Japanese guy with a big top hat and a colorful t-shirt.

See more party pics »

 Posted by at 23:59
Jul 232010
 



 
After Gantai Alice #3 and Machine Magic I went to an another Tokyo goth party, this time Gothic Bar Heaven 26, again at Club Crawl in Shibuya. As many other Artism events it is a live event with shows instead of just partying and dancing. The two music bands Zwecklos and Custom Mary plus two performance groups (Neo&MiN and 虚飾集団廻天百眼) were scheduled for this late night event.

The evening was kicked off by Neo and MiN and their Gothic Fusion Belly Dance performance to Middle Eastern-inspired goth/industrial music. I had seen them the month before at Gothic Bar Heaven 25 where they had supported Ray Trak. This time they were alone on the stage.

The belly dancer Neo at the Gothic Bar Heaven 26 event.
The belly dancer Neo at the Gothic Bar Heaven 26 event.
The belly dancer Neo with MiN behind her.
The belly dancer Neo with MiN behind her.
Gothic Fusion Belly Dancer Neo with her long, flowing fans.
Gothic Fusion Belly Dancer Neo with her long, flowing fans.
Neo and MiN waving their fans while dancing.
Neo and MiN waving their fans while dancing.
Gothic Fusion Belly Dance at Club Crawl by performer MiN.
Gothic Fusion Belly Dance at Club Crawl by performer MiN.
Another shot of belly dancer Neo during her dance performance in Tokyo.
Another shot of belly dancer Neo during her dance performance in Tokyo.

 
The first music act of Gothic Bar Heaven 26 was the Japanese industrial band Zwecklos. And it was actually their very first live performance — Zwecklos was formed in June 2010 by Takuya and Ageha.

Bass player and programmer Takuya of Zwecklos doing his thing.
Bass player and programmer Takuya of Zwecklos doing his thing.
Singer Ageha of the Japanese dark electro band Zwecklos.
Singer Ageha of the Japanese dark electro band Zwecklos.
For their very first time Zwecklos delivered a quite powerful performance.
For their very first time Zwecklos delivered a quite powerful performance.
Zwecklos' singer Ageha dancing at Club Crawl.
Zwecklos' singer Ageha dancing at Club Crawl.
Another picture of the impressive show by Ageha of Zwecklos.
Another picture of the impressive show by Ageha of Zwecklos.
The singer Ageha was also singing some songs in German.
The singer Ageha was also singing some songs in German.

 
The second band was Custom Mary (カスタム・マリー). They played only electronic music with no live lyrics. Their performance largely relied on the dancer Mari, who delivered a stunning performance while wearing a cat mask.

Custom Mary's Mari ringing a small bell while composer and programmer Akira works in the back.
Custom Mary's Mari ringing a small bell while composer and programmer Akira works in the back.
Mari is a pretty well-known dancer at goth events in Tokyo.
Mari is a pretty well-known dancer at goth events in Tokyo.
Mari dancing on bright backlight.
Mari dancing on bright backlight.
Custom Mary live on stage at Club Crawl.
Custom Mary live on stage at Club Crawl.
Mari gave one audience member a cat toy and was playing with it.
Mari gave one audience member a cat toy and was playing with it.
Dancer Mari of Custom Mary performing at the Gothic Bar Heaven 26 event.
Dancer Mari of Custom Mary performing at the Gothic Bar Heaven 26 event.

 
The last performer of the event was the show group 虚飾集団廻天百眼 (Kyoshoku Shūdan Kaiten Hyaku-me). They are a troupe of young theater actors and presented the play 「私は私として生まれ、私のまま死ぬんだ!!」 (“In the condition I was born I will die as well!”).

The performers of the 「私は私として生まれ、私のまま死ぬんだ!!」 play start their act.
The performers of the 「私は私として生まれ、私のまま死ぬんだ!!」 play start their act.
A female member of the Japanese theater group Kaiten Hyakume.
A female member of the Japanese theater group Kaiten Hyakume.
Actress Tomoe Ōshima (大島朋恵) awakes from her transformation scene.
Actress Tomoe Ōshima (大島朋恵) awakes from her transformation scene.
Note the demon blade and the monster's arm.
Note the demon blade and the monster's arm.
Actress Tomoe Ōshima (大島朋恵) suffering.
Actress Tomoe Ōshima (大島朋恵) suffering.
Fast and furious action dominated the later half of the show.
Fast and furious action dominated the later half of the show.
A short pause in a fight scene of 虚飾集団廻天百眼's performance.
A short pause in a fight scene of 虚飾集団廻天百眼's performance.
Epilog of the story with all actors present on the stage.
Epilog of the story with all actors present on the stage.
After the play birthday boy Tetra was presented a watermelon with his portrait by his friends.
After the play birthday boy Tetra was presented a watermelon with his portrait by his friends.

 
As always I also tried to document the Japanese goth scene a little bit, shooting party-goers, DJs and performers. These are the results, depicting the guys and gals of Tokyo’s dark underground…

Japanese DJ Mikan in the DJ booth at Club Crawl.
Japanese DJ Mikan in the DJ booth at Club Crawl.
Japanese goth guy Itsuki relaxing between the performances.
Japanese goth guy Itsuki relaxing between the performances.
A Japanese girl in white gothic lolita fashion.
A Japanese girl in white gothic lolita fashion.
Two male and one female guest of the goth party at Club Crawl.
Two male and one female guest of the goth party at Club Crawl.
Japanese goth DJ Tetra wearing an anarchy t-shirt while deejaying.
Japanese goth DJ Tetra wearing an anarchy t-shirt while deejaying.
Ageha and another patron of the Gothic Bar Heaven 26 party.
Ageha and another patron of the Gothic Bar Heaven 26 party.
The Japanese DJ Manik (HimemaniK) who invited me to this event.
The Japanese DJ Manik (HimemaniK) who invited me to this event.
Actress Mariko Akahi (紅日毬子) with red contact lenses.
Actress Mariko Akahi (紅日毬子) with red contact lenses.
Mariko and a friend posing early in the morning outside of Club Crawl in Shibuya.
Mariko and a friend posing early in the morning outside of Club Crawl in Shibuya.
Tomoe eating a watermelon.
Tomoe eating a watermelon.
Another Japanese friend of Tetra holding a plastic spoon.
Another Japanese friend of Tetra holding a plastic spoon.
Eren dancing at the Gothic Bar Heaven 26 event.
Eren dancing at the Gothic Bar Heaven 26 event.
 Posted by at 23:59
Jul 182010
 



 
Again I had been invited by my friend Nekoi-san of Psydoll to see them live and shoot pictures of their performance. Surprisingly, like the last time they were performing at Urga in Shinjuku. The event was called “Machine Magic” (機械魔術) and besides the headlining Psydoll the bands Sredni Vashtar and Shingguapoura were scheduled.

Shingguapoura was just the singer Schizkkha (世都熾壟) singing to recorded gothic rock music. She used a scary plastic doll with bloody entrails as a puppet between her songs and gave a beautiful performance with singing and dancing.

Schizkkha of Shingguapoura was dressed in black latex clothing.
Schizkkha of Shingguapoura was dressed in black latex clothing.
Singer Schizkkha of Shingguapoura during her performance.
Singer Schizkkha of Shingguapoura during her performance.
Schizkkha of Shingguapoura playing with a rubber doll with trailing entrails.
Schizkkha of Shingguapoura playing with a rubber doll with trailing entrails.
Gothic singer Schizkkha of Shingguapoura live at Urga.
Gothic singer Schizkkha of Shingguapoura live at Urga.
Shingguapoura's Schizkkha holding her hand-made rubber doll.
Shingguapoura's Schizkkha holding her hand-made rubber doll.
Schizkkha's rubber doll was hanging from a chain during her performance.
Schizkkha's rubber doll was hanging from a chain during her performance.

 

The next band was called Sredni Vashtar (スレドニ・ヴァシュター). They are a Japanese duo making powerful synthie/electro music with female lyrics. The performance of singer Haruki (華季) and musician Laddie M (螺泥M) was quite popular among the crowd and fun to watch.

The beginning of Sredni Vashtar's live gig at Urga.
The beginning of Sredni Vashtar's live gig at Urga.
Singer Haruki (ハルキ) of Sredni Vashtar with programmer Laddie M at the synthesizer.
Singer Haruki (ハルキ) of Sredni Vashtar with programmer Laddie M at the synthesizer.
Laddie M (螺泥M) of Sredni Vashtar was dancing most of the time when he was not working with his computer.
Laddie M (螺泥M) of Sredni Vashtar was dancing most of the time when he was not working with his computer.
A close-up shot of Sredni Vashtar's singer Haruki (華季).
A close-up shot of Sredni Vashtar's singer Haruki (華季).
Haruki of Sredni Vashtar during their performance in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
Haruki of Sredni Vashtar during their performance in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
Another portrait of Haruki singing.
Another portrait of Haruki singing.

 
The final music group for the evening was the cyber gothic rock band Psydoll. As always, Nekoi, Ucchi and Uenoyama/Loveless delivered a tight performance, only hampered by the fact that Nekoi was still getting used to her new keyboard guitar (since her old one broke).

The Japanese cyberpunk band Psydoll performing at the Machine Magic event at Urga.
The Japanese cyberpunk band Psydoll performing at the Machine Magic event at Urga.
Guitarist Ucchi of Psydoll playing his instrument.
Guitarist Ucchi of Psydoll playing his instrument.
Singer Nekoi of Psydoll bathed in red light.
Singer Nekoi of Psydoll bathed in red light.
Psydoll's singer Nekoi wearing her signature cyberpunk fashion.
Psydoll's singer Nekoi wearing her signature cyberpunk fashion.
Nekoi of Psydoll singing.
Nekoi of Psydoll singing.
Percussionist Uenoyama/Loveless of Psydoll with Nekoi in the back.
Percussionist Uenoyama/Loveless of Psydoll with Nekoi in the back.
A wide angle view of the Japanese industrial band Psydoll performing.
A wide angle view of the Japanese industrial band Psydoll performing.
Nekoi and Ucchi of Psydoll on stage.
Nekoi and Ucchi of Psydoll on stage.
A last picture of Nekoi of Psydoll performing live at Urga.
A last picture of Nekoi of Psydoll performing live at Urga.
 Posted by at 23:22
Jul 162010
 



 
The Laforet Grand Bazar is one of the summer highlights for shoppers in Harajuku. For five days the trendsetting fashion department store/mall Laforet Harajuku has pretty much a fire sale — everything is being sold at considerably reduced prices (50-70% bargains are common). The word of the day is taimusēru (タイムサール) — bargains for a limited time. All the small shops inside Laforet are specially decorated and the young salespeople go to great lengths to advertise their merchandise.

And this is what I like best: the cacophony of all the people shouting and making noise to get the attention of crowds of shoppers is breathtaking. No problem for me to sneak through the thirteen floors of the department store, snapping pictures of people hard at work or shopping. So even if you do not plan to buy new clothes, check out this very exciting shopping experience when the Laforet building truly turns into a loud and bustling vertical bazaar with many dozens of individual stalls.

Young saleswoman holding a sign in front of her store.
Young saleswoman holding a sign in front of her store.
Another woman advertising half-price bargains.
Another woman advertising half-price bargains.
Blonde girl hawking purple shoes in Laforet.
Blonde girl hawking purple shoes in Laforet.
A female shopper busy among the crowd in a clothing store.
A female shopper busy among the crowd in a clothing store.
Like this girl, many of the salespeople used simple megaphones to advertise their stuff.
Like this girl, many of the salespeople used simple megaphones to advertise their stuff.
Girl making the v-sign despite holding a sign.
Girl making the v-sign despite holding a sign.
Another girl using a plastic megaphone to get the attention of visitors.
Another girl using a plastic megaphone to get the attention of visitors.
Another store employee trying her best to lure customers to a shop.
Another store employee trying her best to lure customers to a shop.
A young saleswoman having fun doing her job in Laforet
A young saleswoman having fun doing her job in Laforet
Bargains rule at the Laforet Grand Bazar.
Bargains rule at the Laforet Grand Bazar.
Two shopgirls shouting and making noise to attract costumers.
Two shopgirls shouting and making noise to attract costumers.
A Japanese guy with an oversized and sequined bow-tie using a megaphone to advertise bargains.
A Japanese guy with an oversized and sequined bow-tie using a megaphone to advertise bargains.
A snapshot from the Laforet Grand Bazar sale in Harajuku
A snapshot from the Laforet Grand Bazar sale in Harajuku
Real airhead mannequins at the Grand Bazar.
Real airhead mannequins at the Grand Bazar.
Girl sporting a flower chain headdress selling clothes.
Girl sporting a flower chain headdress selling clothes.
Two guys holding signs inviting shoppers to their store.
Two guys holding signs inviting shoppers to their store.
A fashionable female shopper examining some accessories.
A fashionable female shopper examining some accessories.
One last shot of a shopgirl hollering in the Laforet Harajuku summer sale.
One last shot of a shopgirl hollering in the Laforet Harajuku summer sale.
 Posted by at 23:36
Jul 112010
 

After attending Gothic Bar Heaven 25 I decided to go to more Artism events in Tokyo. So I visited Gantai Alice 3 (眼帯アリス) at Live Inn Rosa in Ikebukuro this Sunday. As expected, it was mainly an event with several bands playing for about half an hour each, with some DJing thrown in in-between. However, the headliner of the evening was the popular Japanese comedian Minoru Torihada (鳥肌実) who gave one of his famous spoken-word performances. The bands consisted of サンドイッチで120分? (Sandoitchi de Hyakunijūpun?), GPKISM, 桃尻東京テレビジョン (Momoziri Tōkyō Terebijon), 遺伝子組換こども会 (Idenshi Kumikae Kodomokai) and Mu☆Mu.

The first performer was “Maria“. Unfortunately, I missed most of his gig, so I got only few photos. Overall, it was a kinda weird a cappella performance with singing, screaming and talking.

The singer "Maria" performing at the Gantai Alice 3 event.
The singer "Maria" performing at the Gantai Alice 3 event.
Although his stage persona came on as pretty weird, "Maria" was actually a pretty nice guy.
Although his stage persona came on as pretty weird, "Maria" was actually a pretty nice guy.
Part of "Maria's" performance was playing with an improvised flame­thrower made from a spraycan and a lighter.
Part of "Maria's" performance was playing with an improvised flame­thrower made from a spraycan and a lighter.

 

The next performer was Mu☆Mu. They played minimalistic electro pop-rock filled with chiptune-like digital samples. MuMu also had good crowd participation as the audience was invited to dance along — which the people did, so it was a quite fun performance.

Mu☆Mu is the solo project of the singer and musician MuMu. Here he is playing guitar.
Mu☆Mu is the solo project of the singer and musician MuMu. Here he is playing guitar.
MuMu was supported by a guest drummer wearing a top hat.
MuMu was supported by a guest drummer wearing a top hat.
MuMu's style was a combination of decora and fairy tale fashion.
MuMu's style was a combination of decora and fairy tale fashion.
MuMu invited the crowd to dance along with him, which the people did.
MuMu invited the crowd to dance along with him, which the people did.
MuMu's performance was quite entertaining.
MuMu's performance was quite entertaining.
The singer of the one man band Mu☆Mu singing at the Gantai Alice 3 event in Ikebukuro.
The singer of the one man band Mu☆Mu singing at the Gantai Alice 3 event in Ikebukuro.

 

The 3rd band of the evening was 遺伝子組換こども会 (Idenshi Kumikae Kodomokai), whose name could be best translated as “club of genetically-engineered children”. They were pretty unique insofar they did short Doraemon-inspired sketches before each of their songs, which was really fun to watch. Their music was fast and powerful pop-punk rock which was loved by the audience, who danced along to the instructions of the band.

Singer Nobita of 遺伝子組換こども会 giving a powerful performance at Live Inn Rosa.
Singer Nobita of 遺伝子組換こども会 giving a powerful performance at Live Inn Rosa.
The female bass player Ura (裏) of 遺伝子組換こども会 performing next to the singer Nobita.
The female bass player Ura (裏) of 遺伝子組換こども会 performing next to the singer Nobita.
The guitarist Kojirō of 遺伝子組換こども会 wearing his Doraemon cosplay while playing.
The guitarist Kojirō of 遺伝子組換こども会 wearing his Doraemon cosplay while playing.
Nobita (ノビ太), Kojirō (コジロー) and Ura (裏) doing a Doraemon sketch between their songs.
Nobita (ノビ太), Kojirō (コジロー) and Ura (裏) doing a Doraemon sketch between their songs.
The Japanese punk rock band 遺伝子組換こども会 (The Club of Genetically-engineered Children) giving dance instructions to the audience.
The Japanese punk rock band 遺伝子組換こども会 (The Club of Genetically-engineered Children) giving dance instructions to the audience.
The singer Nobita of 遺伝子組換こども会 in one of his quieter moments.
The singer Nobita of 遺伝子組換こども会 in one of his quieter moments.

 

The fourth music group was +桃尻東京テレビジョン+ (Momoziri Tōkyō Terebijon), which means Peach-bottom Tokyo Television. They were pretty popular, too, and their punk rock music was supported by the audience moshing and waving fans. Overall it was another great performance by a energetic and well-rehearsed band.

The orange-haired bass player Yogore (ヨゴレ) of 桃尻東京テレビジョン performing.
The orange-haired bass player Yogore (ヨゴレ) of 桃尻東京テレビジョン performing.
The singer Alps (アルプス) of Momoziri Tōkyō Terebijon singing at the Gantai Alice 3 event.
The singer Alps (アルプス) of Momoziri Tōkyō Terebijon singing at the Gantai Alice 3 event.
桃尻東京テレビジョン's guitarist Masashi (マサシ) in his polka dot suit.
桃尻東京テレビジョン's guitarist Masashi (マサシ) in his polka dot suit.
The green-haired singer Alps of 桃尻東京テレビジョン was wearing gloves with glow-in-the-dark fingertips.
The green-haired singer Alps of 桃尻東京テレビジョン was wearing gloves with glow-in-the-dark fingertips.
The line-up of 桃尻東京テレビジョン (Peach-bottom Tokyo Television) on stage at the Gantai Alice 3 event.
The line-up of 桃尻東京テレビジョン (Peach-bottom Tokyo Television) on stage at the Gantai Alice 3 event.
MGR-G100 of 桃尻東京テレビジョン playing keyboards and background singing.
MGR-G100 of 桃尻東京テレビジョン playing keyboards and background singing.

 

GPKISM from Australia was the fifth musical performer. Their loud and gloomy gothic rock was quite different from music of the other bands, so the audience was less interested in their performance. I think they missed out on an up-and-coming Visual Kei band.

The Australian Visual Kei band GPKISM on stage at the Live In Rosa.
The Australian Visual Kei band GPKISM on stage at the Live In Rosa.
The guitar player Kiwamu (究) of GPKISM in his baroque fantasy uniform.
The guitar player Kiwamu (究) of GPKISM in his baroque fantasy uniform.
GPKISM was supported by a guest bass player dressed in black.
GPKISM was supported by a guest bass player dressed in black.
The male singer-songwriter GPK (Gothique Prince Ken) of GPKISM was singing both in Japanese and English.
The male singer-songwriter GPK (Gothique Prince Ken) of GPKISM was singing both in Japanese and English.
GPK is the singer of the EBM/gothic rock band GPKISM.
GPK is the singer of the EBM/gothic rock band GPKISM.
Another wide-angle shot of GPKISM playing live in Tokyo.
Another wide-angle shot of GPKISM playing live in Tokyo.

 

The last band of Gantai Alice 03 was サンドイッチで120分? (Sandoitchi de Hyakunijūpun?) = “120 Minutes for a Sandwich?”. They played hard, loud and fast punk rock which turned many of the cute and harmless-looking Japanese girls in the audience into headbanging fiends.

A shot of the wild and powerful performance of the Japanese pop punk band サンドイッチで120分?.
A shot of the wild and powerful performance of the Japanese pop punk band サンドイッチで120分?.
Bassist Tsuna Morikawa (森川ツナ) of サンドイッチで120分? headbanging.
Bassist Tsuna Morikawa (森川ツナ) of サンドイッチで120分? headbanging.
Bass player Tsuna Morikawa (森川ツナ) of サンドイッチで120分? when he was not playing.
Bass player Tsuna Morikawa (森川ツナ) of サンドイッチで120分? when he was not playing.
Sandoitchi de Hyakunijūpun?'s guitarist Hamu Takemura (竹村ハム) dressed in a red jumpsuit.
Sandoitchi de Hyakunijūpun?'s guitarist Hamu Takemura (竹村ハム) dressed in a red jumpsuit.
The singer and bandleader Retasu Matsuoka (松岡レタス) of サンドイッチで120分? singing.
The singer and bandleader Retasu Matsuoka (松岡レタス) of サンドイッチで120分? singing.
Again the concert goers were dancing and waving their arms according to the instructions of the band.
Again the concert goers were dancing and waving their arms according to the instructions of the band.

 

The final performer was Minoru Torihada (鳥肌実). He is an underground comedian, satirist and actor who uses an extreme right-wing persona to make fun of imperialists, the uyoku right-wing groups and current events (like the 2010 FIFA world cup). He gets taken way too seriously by the general public, but he has garnered a cult following among the more open-minded young people looking for shockingly absurd parodies of humorless Japanese realities.

Minoru Torihada (鳥肌実) dressed in a serious suit covered with outrageous patriotic slogans.
Minoru Torihada (鳥肌実) dressed in a serious suit covered with outrageous patriotic slogans.
Part of his performance is the impersonation and ridiculing of far-right activists.
Part of his performance is the impersonation and ridiculing of far-right activists.
Minoru Torihada (鳥肌実) talking very seriously and earnestly about the ills affecting Japanese society today.
Minoru Torihada (鳥肌実) talking very seriously and earnestly about the ills affecting Japanese society today.
Many consider Minoru Torihada the most brilliant and sarcastic stand-up comedian of Japan.
Many consider Minoru Torihada the most brilliant and sarcastic stand-up comedian of Japan.
Behind him was an oversized Japanese national flag and a banner reading Torihada support meeting (鳥肌翼賛会).
Behind him was an oversized Japanese national flag and a banner reading Torihada support meeting (鳥肌翼賛会).
At one point of his performance Minoru Torihada undressed and continued with his parodies.
At one point of his performance Minoru Torihada undressed and continued with his parodies.

 

The Gantai Alice 03 event was surprisingly well attended and not just by the regular Tokyo goth. Although it was far from sold out, each of the bands had their faithful followers who made every performance exciting and entertaining. Many members of the audience were dressed up in cosplays or other elaborate fashions, so I found many interesting subjects to document the personal styles of Japanese party people.

Two patrons of the Gantai Alice 3 event wearing Ronald McDonald cosplays and holding various signs.
Two patrons of the Gantai Alice 3 event wearing Ronald McDonald cosplays and holding various signs.
The Japanese goth guy Eren wearing a jester-like outfit with horns and white hair.
The Japanese goth guy Eren wearing a jester-like outfit with horns and white hair.
A shot of the crowd (mostly) enjoying the performance of Mu☆Mu.
A shot of the crowd (mostly) enjoying the performance of Mu☆Mu.
The Japanese DJ Manik (HimemaniK) and the girl named Chokomelo (チョコメロ) on the dancefloor.
The Japanese DJ Manik (HimemaniK) and the girl named Chokomelo (チョコメロ) on the dancefloor.
DJ Manik (HimemaniK) with Chokomelo and Mochi posing for the camera.
DJ Manik (HimemaniK) with Chokomelo and Mochi posing for the camera.
Two Japanese goth girls dressed up for the Gantai Alice 3 event.
Two Japanese goth girls dressed up for the Gantai Alice 3 event.
Japanese girl dressed in a sailor suit and wearing a blue wig with colorful decora accessories.
Japanese girl dressed in a sailor suit and wearing a blue wig with colorful decora accessories.
Goth girl Kurau with white facepaint and Japanese cyber fashion.
Goth girl Kurau with white facepaint and Japanese cyber fashion.
Artist and singer Naoki Tamamushi (玉虫ナヲキ) with a My Little Pony in her hair.
Artist and singer Naoki Tamamushi (玉虫ナヲキ) with a My Little Pony in her hair.
Kei dancing to electro music.
Kei dancing to electro music.
Yogore of 桃尻東京テレビジョン portraited with a cuddly toy after his performance.
Yogore of 桃尻東京テレビジョン portraited with a cuddly toy after his performance.
Yogore and a female admirer posing together.
Yogore and a female admirer posing together.
Two Japanese girls dressed as some scary nurses with huge syringes.
Two Japanese girls dressed as some scary nurses with huge syringes.
Alps of 桃尻東京テレビジョン enjoying a cold beer in private.
Alps of 桃尻東京テレビジョン enjoying a cold beer in private.
"Maguru-san" making the peace sign.
"Maguru-san" making the peace sign.
This blue-haired girl was holding a sign with "7 o'clock" written on it for another photographer and I grabbed a shot while he was chimping.
This blue-haired girl was holding a sign with "7 o'clock" written on it for another photographer and I grabbed a shot while he was chimping.
A very beautiful young Japanese lady at the Gantai Alice 3 event.
A very beautiful young Japanese lady at the Gantai Alice 3 event.
Another good-looking Japanese girl with a unique style.
Another good-looking Japanese girl with a unique style.
DJ Sumata-Q (素股Q) behind the turntables.
DJ Sumata-Q (素股Q) behind the turntables.
A Japanese guy with dyed hair and colorful facepaint including the kanji "heroic self-sacrifice" (玉砕).
A Japanese guy with dyed hair and colorful facepaint including the kanji "heroic self-sacrifice" (玉砕).
Chokomelo and a female friend wearing summerly fashion at the Live Inn Rosa.
Chokomelo and a female friend wearing summerly fashion at the Live Inn Rosa.
 Posted by at 23:59
Jul 042010
 



 
This Sunday I visited the Shōnan Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa outside of Tokyo. Tanabata is a Japanese star festival that celebrates the stars Vega and Altair which are two lovers in Japanese folklore. The Tanabata in Hiratsuka is actually the largest of its kind in the Kantō region with about 4 million visitors from across Japan. It is a multi-day event with tons of food stalls, several stages, parades and lots and lots of decorations in the downtown area, which is closed for traffic while the festival lasts.

All said, it was a typical large-scale matsuri with entertainment for everyone. Parents (especially dads) spent times with their kids, young people met with friends or went on dates, children played with the decorations and had a fun day. For me it provided lots of photographic opportunities shooting pictures of Japanese dressed traditional summer clothing (like yukata).

Japanese girls in yukatas petting a bunny rabbit.
Japanese girls in yukatas petting a bunny rabbit.
Young girl in yukata under red streamers.
Young girl in yukata under red streamers.
Young boy holding a part of a mobile-like decoration.
Young boy holding a part of a mobile-like decoration.
The decorations were a big hit with the young children who liked playing with them.
The decorations were a big hit with the young children who liked playing with them.
Young girl wearing a yukata and a blow-up anime bear.
Young girl wearing a yukata and a blow-up anime bear.
There were tons of sweets and candy for kids.
There were tons of sweets and candy for kids.
Another Japanese child mesmerized by the hand-made decorations.
Another Japanese child mesmerized by the hand-made decorations.
A very intense performance of Japanese drummers on one of the stages.
A very intense performance of Japanese drummers on one of the stages.
The mobile of stars really captivated many young kids like the boy in a blue yukata.
The mobile of stars really captivated many young kids like the boy in a blue yukata.
A young girl on her father's shoulders checking out colorful decorations made from plastic bottles.
A young girl on her father's shoulders checking out colorful decorations made from plastic bottles.
A young girl and her plastic toys.
A young girl and her plastic toys.
A popular pasttime on festivals: Boy fishing for goldfishes.
A popular pasttime on festivals: Boy fishing for goldfishes.
 Posted by at 22:51