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Wed, Sep. 20th, 2006 07:34 am
Mukokuseki diasporans

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(Anonymous)
Mon, Sep. 25th, 2006 08:25 pm (UTC)
Audrey Quote, Tokion

Martin Webb from The Japan Times here.

That quote from Audrey should have read "when we take our daughter Liliyo to parties... and it’s full of people that look unbelievably bored," rather than "...unbelievably dull."

I was leaving for London soon after it went to press, so the piece got slapped onto the page in quite a hurry and that editing glitch ended up going to print. My bad.

Audrey is being misrepresented: I didn't catch the slightest whiff of arrogance from anything she said in the interview.

Anyway, what a fascinating few days in the Tokyo-centric blogosphere I've been missing out on whilst on the shores of Great Britain.

And oh, how monocultural Tokyo seems when compared to London - endless material for a magazine about cool immigrants there. Tokion, though, seems likely to run out of cool collaborators pretty soon.

Whether Tokyo suppresses the creativity of its denizens or whether, as supposedly is the case in Sweden, the system prevents outsiders from competing on a level playing field remains to be seen. It is certainly not an attractive environment for international creators to base themselves in, though, principally due to its marginality on the global creative scene as a result of linguistic and geographical handicaps.

In fashion, at least, you've got high-profile Tokyo-based gaijin like Sonya Park, AVGVST, Han Ahn Soon, Yab Yum, Christopher Nemeth and Patrick Stephane.

But are there any Tokion-worthy gaijin in other fields?

I hear there are a couple of decent musicians about, but there certainly aren't any cool writers, apart from Marxy, of course...

Will they feature Japanese people engaged in creative pursuits overseas? Do creators who've spent a couple of years at a foreign college count as mukokuseki?

I perceive a continued interest in things foreign, and especially Japanese bicultural, among Japanese media consumers. Look at the popularity of Anna Tsuchiya and model Jessica, for instance. Mass circulation men's fashion magazines Men's Non-no and Popeye feature almost exclusively half-Japanese models. Top-seller LEON has bilingual Italian Girolamo Panzetta on its cover every month.

As one of the diasporans at whom it is targeted, I'm very excited about the Tokion project. Let's hope that it does strike a chord with the public.


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