Japanese Language Blog

“Candy” Pop Music Posted by on Aug 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

As many of you already know, the Japanese pop music scene is rather… eccentric. The variety is huge:

Rock pop bands like: Tokio

Solo pop singers like: 浜崎 あゆみ (はまさき あゆみ/Hamasaki Ayumi)  or 宇多田 ヒカル (うただ ひかる) Utada Hikaru (not the most recent I know, but I don’t know the names of anyone more current)

A huge number of boy groups (think Backstreet Boys) from various eras like: SMAP (hitting their 40’s now), 嵐 (あらし) Arashi (hitting their 30’s now) and young groups like Hey Say Jump (a play on the word 平成 (へいせい) Heisei, meaning everyone was born after 1988, the start of the current Emperor’s reign, named the Heisei Period).

Smaller in number, but still popular are the girl groups like: Perfume (even I like them) or the new comic (satiric?) girl group ももいろクローバーZ (Momoiro Clover Z).

Perhaps the most popular among young girls are the “team” girl groups like: AKB48 and all their spinoffs, each consisting of 48 members (NMB48, HKT48, JKT48, and more).

All of these styles and bands have culminated with きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (officially きゃろらいんちゃろんぷろっぷきゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ Caroline Charonplop Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, according to Wikipedia), and her style that I’m going to call Candy Pop. Or maybe Silly Pop. Cutesy Pop? (there’s probably a popular term for her style, but I personally don’t know it)

She’s only 19, but she has already become famous as a fashion blogger based out of 原宿 (はらじゅく/Harajuku), in 東京 (とうきょう/Tokyo) which is considered the fashion capital of 日本 (にっぽん/Japan). Her quirky/cute style made her popularity rise very quickly. She soon started modeling her unique outfits for 雑誌 (ざっし/magazines) and has become a fashion leader (unbelievably, in my mind) and is now co-hosting an evening variety show. As is common with popular テレント (literally “talent”, but means “celebrity”), she started making pop music.

Why am I talking about this now? Well, one of her singles, つけまつける (Tsukema Tsukeru), which as far as I can tell is not real Japanese, but is referring to つけまつげ (tsuke matsuge/fake eyelashes), has been getting a lot of airplay on TV recently and it’s stuck in my head. I can’t get it out and it’s driving me nuts! Now, it can be stuck in your head too, courtesy of the video below! Note the style which is apparently popular among the 原宿 (はらじゅく/Harajuku) crowd.

Perhaps a better example of her very unique style is “Pon Pon Pon”, featuring popular comedienne/dancer Naomi Watanabe:

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