Japanese Pop






These export/tourist albums should not be mistaken for pop records made for Japanese consumers. The first popular lps of Japanese music (in America) were marketed as mementos for U.S. servicemen who had been stationed in Japan at the end of World War Two. Interest in Japanese music also gained when Hawai'i became a state. There are Japanese entries in the two chief, exotic lp series, Columbia's Adventures in Sound and [Capitol's] Capitol of the World. Dozens of labels issued Japanese koto and samisen albums, from classical to jazz hybrids. And airlines issued travelogues: "Come to Japan -- your stewardess is a geisha!"

Hawai'ian and exotica artists, such as Gene Rains, Arthur Lyman, and Martin Denny, hired Japanese musicians (some playing samisen and other traditional instruments), covered Japanese standards, and composed their own impressions. Progressive records from Japan offered amazing glimpses into the rapid transformation of Japan into a modern, more global society. And Latin music had an enormous impact on Japanese music, as in the U.S.

The classic, smash hit exported from Japan, not counting Godzilla soundtracks, is comedian-actor-singer Kyu Sakamoto's "Sukiyaki" (or, "I Look Up When I Walk"). Even today the great influence of this song is acknowledged by Japanese pop recyclers, The Pizzicato Five. But it was the ultra-cute Peanuts who brought everything together: Latin and American hybrid pop, exotica ("Yellow Bird"), and even Godzilla soundtracks. From the ashes of all this embarassing cheesiness, the noisier, hipper Japanese [punk, metal, grunge, bossa nova...] bands of today lumber forth, like resurrected, fire-breathing monsters thrashing up the next wave. "Eeeeeaaah!" screams Godzilla. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Buying: Snap up any Peanuts. The several LPs on Hawaii's 49th State label are authentic and mostly very worthwhile. Some of the Capitol and Lyrichord LPs are fantastic, and the ritual/temple music and chants of Japan are "out there."



Japanese [Pop] LPs

Rating
->49th State
7Shofu Abe w/Heizan Shibata: Spirit of Shanghai-Japanese Chant; Lyrichord LLST-7346 (formerly 7164)
7Yukiji Asaoka: Songs by Japan's Yukiji Asaoka; Capitol [of the World] T-10242
6Harold Courlander (editor): Folk Music of Japan; Folkways FE-4429; 1951/1950
7The Dark Ducks S(w)ing Japanese Folk Songs; Monitor MFS-458 (w/Leon Symphoniette cond. K. Hattori)
Kimio Eto: Japanese Koto Music; World Pacific ST-1423
Kimio Eto & Bud Shank: Koto and Flute; World Pacific ST-1424
Kimio Eto: Koto Master; World Pacific ST-1428
5Hanako Fukado: Favorite Songs of Japanese Children; Bowmar B-123; 1964 (Japanese/kids/instruction; Fukado is the editor; others sing, perform, narrate)
6Douglas G. Haring (rec.): Japanese Buddhist Ritual; Folkways FE-4449; 1954
Ikuta-Ryu, Master Musicians of: Japanese Koto Music with Shamisan & Shakuhachi; Lyrichord LL-7131
6Bob Kojima & his Orchestra: Moshi-Moshi; ABC-Paramount ABCS-328; 1960
7Yotsuo Koyama & his Tokyo Mandolins: [Romantic] Japanese Mandolins; Capitol [of the World] ST-10376 (Yotsuo Koyama's Cherry Blossom Ensemble; w/electronic organ)
8Frank Kumagai, E. Straus: Authentic Folk Songs of Japan; Standard LP-421 (accomplished tenor and actor)
Kyoto Imperial Court Orchestra: Gagaku--The Imperial Court Music of Japan; Lyrichord LL-7126
Kyoto Kabuki Orchestra: Japanese Kabuki Nagauta Music; Lyrichord LL-7134
Kyoto Nohgaku Kai: Japanese Noh Music; Lyrichord LL-7137
7Paul Mark: East to West; Imperial LP-9120
8Mamoru Miyagi & the Graduates of Tokyo's University of Arts: Japan Revisited; Capitol [of the World] T-10195
7Miko Live at Riviera; Denon JDX-99 (Japan; covers "Theme from Shaft")
6Hachidai Nakamura: Rainy Night in Tokyo; Capitol [of the World] ST-10287
8Kinichi Nakanoshima: Koto and Flute; Liberty/World Pacific WPS-21443 (originally on Victor of Japan)
Rose Okugawa [narr.]: Japan--Its Sounds & People; Capitol [of the World] ST-10230
8Chiyo Okumura; Capitol International Series SP-10546 (hip, funky/funky rock)
5The Peanuts DeLuxe; King SKD-39 (Japan)
7The Peanuts (w/Six Jones & Tokyo Latin Boys); London TW-91362
9Die Peanuts: Souvenirs Aus Tokio; EMI/Odeon SMC-74-106
8Kyu Sakamoto: Sukiyaki & Other Japanese Hits; Capitol [D]T-10349
8Tony Scott: Music for Zen Meditation & Other Joys; Verve V6-8634; 1965/1964
4The Shin Ensemble of Tokyo: Japanese Sketches; Capitol [of the World] T-10123
6Takarazuka Dance Theatre; Columbia Adventures in Sound WL-163
7Katsumasa Takasago: Sounds of Japan; Elektra EKS-7297/EKL-297; 1965 ("34 authentic sound effects recorded in their actual locale")
9Takeshi Terauchi: Nippon Guitars; Ace/Big Beat WIKD-297; 2011/1966-74 (Japan/guitar/surf/space rock; compilation of Takeshi Terauchi & the Bunnys/Takeshi Terauchi & Blue Jeans on Japanese King)
The Toshiba Singing Angels; Capitol [of the World] ST-10252
6George Wright: Flight to Tokyo; HIFI R-717 (pipe organ)
6The Yokohama Knights; GRT-10002 (mod)
7Shinichi Yuize: The Japanese Koto; Cook 1132
Uncredited: Buddhist Chant--A Recorded Survey of Actual Temple Rituals; Lyrichord LL-118 (2-LP box drawn from LL-116 & LL-117)
8Uncredited/Various: Japanese Folk Songs 10"; RCA Victor Japan LV-25
6Uncredited: Buddhist Drums, Bells, & Chants; Lyrichord LLST-7200
7Uncredited: Japan Song 10"; [no label] J-102 ("'A Night of China' & other G.I. Favorite Songs"
8Uncredited: Japanese Temple Music--Zen, Nembutsu, & Yamabushi Chants; Lyrichord LL-117
Uncredited: Zen, Goeika, & Shomyo Chants; Lyrichord LL-116
8Various: Rockin' Tokyo; Capitol T-10342 (The Three Funkies, Beni Sisters, Yuki Asaoka, Keijiro Yamashita, Kayoko Moriyama, Shigeru Katsumi)
6Various: The Streets of Tokyo; Capitol T-10250
7Various: Unesco Collection: A Musical Anthology of the Orient--The Music of Japan (Japan I); B'a'renreiter Musicaphon BM-30-L-2012
7Various: Unesco Collection: Musical Sources--Shomyo-Buddhist Ritual from Japan Dai Hannya Ceremony-Shingon Sect; Philips 6586-021; 1974
7Various: Unesco Collection: Musical Sources--O-Suwa-Daiko Japanese Drums; Grem G-1029; 1984 (France)
7Various: The Way of Eiheiji Zen-Buddhist Ceremony; Folkways FR-8980; 1959 (2-LP)


[Partly] Japanese-Latin LPs

Rating
-see also 49th State
7Eddie Cano: Here is the Fabulous; Reprise R-6055; 1961 ("Sakura")
7Ihilani & her South Pacific-aires: Ihilani [Voice of the South Pacific]; Tiki #1 ("Sayonara"; exotica/Hawaii/Japan/lounge act; Miami label)
7Quincy Jones: Around the World; Mercury PPS-6014 ("Hot Sake")
4Virginia Lopez: Exitos de Oriente y Occidente; RCA Victor MKL-1606 ("Konichiwa Akachan")
4Edmundo Ros: Dancing with Ros; London LL-3183 ("Toku")
7Axel Stordahl & Orchestra: Guitars Around the World; Decca DL-74337 ("Sayonara"; with Joe Maphis, Howard Roberts, Laurindo Almeida, Fred Tavares, Allan Reuss)
7The Tokyo Boys (Tokyo Cuban Boys): Midnight in Tokyo; MGM SE-4126
7Uncredited: Japan Song 10"; [no label] J-102 ("Japanese Rhumba"; "'A Night of China' & other G.I. Favorite Songs"
6Various: The Streets of Tokyo; Capitol T-10250 ("Quizas")


Other Partly Japanese LPs

Rating
7Arnie & Chise: The Arnie & Chise Show; (jacket: "Rotsa Ruck" from Arnie & Chise)
5Webley Edwards & Hawaii Calls: Exotic Instrumentals: Favorite Instrumentals of the Islands Vol.4; Capitol ST-1409
4The Hawaiian Surfers: Coral Reef; Decca DL-74700 ("Sayonara")
6Heino: Die schoensten Volkslieder der Welt; Gema/Horzu SHZE-349; 1972 (EMI 1C-062-29-703)
5Quincy Jones: Around the World; Mercury ("Hot Sake"; Wing SRW-16398)
->Arthur Lyman (Japanese cuts on The Colorful Percussions, At the Port of Los Angeles--"One Night in Nagoya")
7Joe Maize & his Cordsmen: Isle of Dreams; Decca DL-74555 ("Lotus")
3The Magic Organ; Ranwood R-8108; 1973 ("Tokyo Butterfly")
6John Malo: Blue's Hawaii; Jeree NR-13268; 1981 ("Sakura")
4Henry Mancini: The Hawaiians ST; United Artists UAS-5210; 1970
7The Markko Polo Adventurers: Orienta; RCA Victor LSP-1919; 1959/1958
5Rene Paulo Plays in Person; Mahalo M-3004 (live; "Sakura")
7Tak Shindo: Far East Goes Western; Mercury PPS-6031
6Leopoldo Silos: Toragee--The Romantic Music of Asia; CBS/Epic LF-18042; 1966 (exotica/Japan/Korea/Philippines/China/Thailand/Malaysia/strings)
8Rod McKuen/Julie Meredith/Tak Shindo: The Yellow Unicorn; Liberty/Imperial LP-9092 (Tak Shindo)
7Various: Exotic Dances; Folkways FOLL-52; 1950
7Various: Far West/Far East; Berry/Conroy BMLP-155; 1976 (production; Western/Japanese-exotica)
7Various: Hi-Fi in an Oriental Garden; ABCS-224; 1958
7Various: National Music--Far East Vol. 1; Chappell Index Series CIS-5032; 1960-69 (production/SE Asia; compilation; Robert Farnon, John Leach, Nino Nardini, Roger Roger..)
5Various: Songs & Sounds of the Orient; Japan Air Lines JAL-5581-666; 1966


Japanese EPs & 45s

Rating
6Columbia Tokyo Orchestra: Gomen-Nasai/Tokyo Boogie Woogie; Columbia
8Ken Noyle/Carl Hansen: Sounds of Tokyo After Dark--compact 33; Asian Film International (photo album w/4 "Sono Sheet" flexi discs of typical sounds; presented by The Asia Magazine as a tourist souvenir)
8Pinky & Killers: TBS-TV/ABC; King BS-1010; 1969 (picture sleeve; vocal bossa)
Kyu Sakamoto: China Nights/Benkyo No Cha Cha Cha; Capitol 5016
7Kyu Sakamoto: Sukiyaki/Tankobushi; Capitol Starline 6152 (non-LP B-side)
8The Yeaworths: The Ballad of the Christmas Donkey/Oky-Doky-Tokyo; RCA Victor 47-8480


Hyp Records is a 3-part guide:

Shop Hip Wax

Some items above may be available at
Hip Wax

Hyp Records Guide © 1996 Hip Wax