Anonymous asked: Hello! Thanks for your tumblr! It's the best (and only?) english source about the angura scene! I became a fan of underground culture, even if it is hard (and risky? xD) to find infos. I'd like to ask you why is nazi imagery so proeminent, especially in bands like Strawberry Song Orchestra? Is this linked to punk (not really talking about the Taisho/Showa uniforms)? Also, I'd love some more "cultural" info on angura, such as litterature, theater, even if it was already covered on Pop Kakumei :)
Like you probably noticed, angura artists especially like to exploit Japan’s history and traditional culture in their works. Although there was never any Nazis in Japan, it is still linked somehow to a part of their past. World War Two is something greatly impregnated in Japan’s collective memory and imaginary, so references to Germany and Europe form that period is frequent. Also, I just believe that the aesthetics fit well with the kind of atmosphere they try to convey and that they, for sure, like to shock their audience.
I don’t think there really is that much relation to the punk movement since people in the angura scene aren’t politically involved most of the time, in the contrary they kind of live outside Japan’s society and use the imperialist imagery and such as inspiration, while not associating with any political views.
As for cultural elements, movies are a good way to start. Try movies by directors such as Terayama Shuji. In my opinion, he is iconic in the angura genre, and he has inspired many artists after him. Try also Seijun Suzuki, Sogo Ishii, Shozin Fukui, Matsumoto Shinya, Oshima Nagisa, Matsumoto Toshio and the more actual Sono Sion.
Check out Edogawa Rampo’s novels, try Maruo Suehiro and Furuya Usamaru’s mangas.
Listen to bands like YBO2, Sodome, Auto-Mod or The Stalin.
Learning about mid- 20th century theatrical groups is also really interesting and helps understand the development of angura and ero-guro culture in Japan. Important ones are the Tenjou Sajiki, the Tokyo Grand Guignol and the actual Kaiten Hyakume.
Also, authors and artists in the early angura period often used foreign authors as reference, such as Franz Kafka and George Bataille.
All in all, it’s just a good thing, if you’re interested in further understanding how this community works and how it evolved, to learn about Japan’s history in general, about the important events in their past, perhaps the more recent ones like the sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway, the student activism in the 60’s-70’s, or Yukio Mishima’s life? These are particular events that are often referenced in angura works.
For the modern angura scene, look at qhoto.org’s photos to have an idea of the people and events that are held recently. Check out Lucio Maekawa’s work, also. Anyway, I think these are good paths to start from, and from there you can broaden your researches in the way you’ll like. If you have more specific questions on an artist or an art piece like a book or a movie, don’t hesitate to ask us!
*Admin Mochi@4 days ago with 13 notes