When Black Tears Fall: image-making and cultural identity in a case study of Japan's hip-hop/enka singer Jero

Brunt, S 2009, 'When Black Tears Fall: image-making and cultural identity in a case study of Japan's hip-hop/enka singer Jero', in Strong, Catherine; Phillipov, Michelle (ed.) Stuck in the Middle: the Mainstream and its Discontents: Selected Proceedings of the 2008 IASPM-ANZ Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, 2008, pp. 58-67.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title When Black Tears Fall: image-making and cultural identity in a case study of Japan's hip-hop/enka singer Jero
Author(s) Brunt, S
Year 2009
Conference name International Association for the Study of Popular Music Australia-New Zealand (IASPM-ANZ)
Conference location Auckland, New Zealand
Conference dates 2008
Proceedings title Stuck in the Middle: the Mainstream and its Discontents: Selected Proceedings of the 2008 IASPM-ANZ Conference
Editor(s) Strong, Catherine; Phillipov, Michelle
Publisher UTAS
Place of publication Auckland, New Zealand
Start page 58
End page 67
Total pages 10
Abstract The shedding of tears over lost love is a common lyrical theme in enka, a genre from Japan that depicts a world of emotion where 'Japanese are at their teariest - and according to some, at their most Japanese' (Yano, 2000: 72). It is sobering, however, to note that beneath the tears, the palpable ties to Japanese cultural identity, and the grand idea that enka represents 'the soul of the Japanese' (nihonjin no kokoro) (Wilson, 1993: 238), enka songs and enka stars are products of a commercialised popular music industry and rely on rigidly formulaic patterns to appeal to the conservative tastes of a predominately middle-aged audience. With this in mind, this paper`s broad aim is to examine the making of a star`s image in enka during the late 2000s.
Subjects Asian Cultural Studies
Musicology and Ethnomusicology
Copyright notice © 2009 UTAS
ISBN 9780958149716
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