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click opera - Koenji renaissance
February 2010
 
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Sun, Jun. 7th, 2009 09:57 am
Koenji renaissance

As yesterday's entry on our Greek Orthodox pajama party made clear, I'm definitely interested in "stranger regions of fun" (to recycle an old Fischerspooner headline). An actual physical region where fun is currently interestingly strange might be Koenji in north-west Tokyo, where a group of young ostranenie fun-gineers are clustered around a club night and magazine called Asoko. The word means "over there", and the best sort of strange fun always happens "over there" -- just out of our ken, and slightly beyond the pale.



You can certainly feel an admiring distance in Think Gaikotsu (skull) act Lefebvre, an account of the "Koenji renaissance" by a Tokyo observer called Intellipunk. He identifies someone called Fukuyu as the central figure, but locates himself as a mere smitten voyeur of the hijinks.



But, as the Asoko blog Sajonpork shows, the Koenji crew are exhibitionists, so the symbiosis is perfect. Even if you don't catch their blog, their space, their Saturday night party, or their magazine, you may well see the Asoko people streaking by on a narrow Koenji street astride a skateboard, dressed only in a taped-up cardboard box.



Family ties link the Asoko gang to Emerald Clitorix and Peniffiko, two blogs we learned about in Hisae's Top 10 Blog Picks earlier this year (Hisae is, of course, supplying much of the information and research this time around, too). The Kansai chapter represented by Peniffiko have seen their underground hiking magazine Meris joined by a new publication called IN/SECTS, which has Oorutaichi ("the future of music") writing for it, and focuses on Mount Ikoma near Nara, where it encourages local rappers -- or Ryuichi Sakamoto -- to trek around the temples and lodges then write about their experiences.



Back in Koenji, the Asoko party people brush shoulders with Shiroto No Ran, the "amateur revolution" who run various secondhand stores, with the mysterious "usagi circle", the Koenji Reading Group, Pachika Village, and with vegan cafes like Sepia and Seesaa. I like how they're dressing in the Koenji renaissance.

14CommentReplyShare


imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Jun. 7th, 2009 11:25 am (UTC)

No, never!


ReplyThread Parent



eveninginmadrid
eveninginmadrid
two or three vowels
Fri, Oct. 9th, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC)

http://samehat.blogspot.com/2009/04/taking-taco-che-by-strategy.html


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silkytooth.blogspot.com
silkytooth.blogspot.com
Sun, Jun. 7th, 2009 11:13 am (UTC)

this is right up my street!
joe


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Jun. 7th, 2009 11:27 am (UTC)

Something about their dress sense immediately made me think of Gay v. You!


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Jun. 7th, 2009 11:17 am (UTC)

you held this post back till after you had your "spontaneous" Greek Orthodox pajama party.....didn't ya


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Jun. 7th, 2009 11:26 am (UTC)

No, never!


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Sun, Jun. 7th, 2009 12:37 pm (UTC)

Do you still keep in contact with Kahimi Karie? Is it safe to say she is a genuine one-hit-wonder? Love to know what she's doing musically these times.

Thank you Momus.


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Jun. 7th, 2009 12:58 pm (UTC)

No, never!


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Jun. 7th, 2009 02:04 pm (UTC)

So, 1998, what are you up to?


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milky_eyes
milky_eyes
milky_eyes
Sun, Jun. 7th, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC)
lots is lots



hey now this is ALL very interesting. I'll have to dig through all the links etc.
Momus, when you are good, you are very good.

Right away, the question struck me, how to engage with strange fun, more, throughout the day, or, have more fun crazy nights.
Most people most of the time, settle for the same old day after day.
Only a few creative people manage to squeeze past the formitable barrier, to 'more crazy fun' zone.... I will think about it abit, and meet you there.

reseach "PRANKS" is something that comes to mind, and influenced me a lot, at least in suble ways...
in Pranks they interview a couple people that have incorporated 'more strange fun' into their lives.
Harmony Korin of course is a bit of a prankster, not to highlight his name too much, just sort of brainstorming for insperation...

momus... whats your next step with this stuff? any plans?

toca che, is AMAZING... when I was in tokyo a few years ago, it was heaven, but the old lady owner, seemed to not like me, either too white, or maybe something else (I am too sexy for her?). WHATEVER> probably the best (per square ft) and smallest strange and amazing resource place in the world.

just have to add: Oorutaichi is strange and amazing glad you mentioned him!!!


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Jun. 7th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
Veggie Shokudo


I was in Tokyo for three months not too long ago, and would go to the veggie canteen you mention almost every wednesday, run by veggie-activists Yoyo-san and Yuka (I believe Seesaa is their blog provider, by the way. The cafe is known as Veggie Shokudo). On any other day of the week, the place it's a bar, but since it's closed on wednesdays it turns into Veggie Shokudo. The food is so fresh, cheap and amazing that we decided to do an interview with her. Here's the link for the downloadable pdf:

http://mejunjeando.blogspot.com/2009/04/cantero-n-2.html

The Shiroto no Ran guys have a very interesting scene going on there, indeed. We're all rooting for the amateur revolution.

best,
julian.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Jun. 7th, 2009 07:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Veggie Shokudo

Nice interview! I knew Yoyo very well in the 90s, when she was living in Paris.


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Jun. 7th, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Veggie Shokudo

Thanks! (And for the hyperlink, too!)
Wow, Yoyo really knows everyone. I don't know back then, but she has become an amazing vegan chef. Go say hi to her next time you visit Tokyo, and get one of those zapatista cakes for us!

julian.


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intergalactim
intergalactim
intergalactim
Mon, Jun. 8th, 2009 12:39 am (UTC)
Re: Veggie Shokudo

yoyo's is totally amazing! the Wednesday cafe was really the highlight of my trip to tokyo - great cheap dinner/cakes/coffee, and also being allowed to use their tiny venue/community centre across the road for a gig ... so inspiring. she also cooks a few days a week at Nagi Shokudo in shibuya.

cakes:
http://photos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-sf2p/v297/178/33/619966168/n619966168_844186_9426.jpg

http://photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-sf2p/v297/178/33/619966168/n619966168_844185_9090.jpg


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