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Demonic Revamp

I went to a show called Pure Rock Japan, held at Club Citta, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa, today on May 26, 2019. Four heavy metal (HM) bands participated in the show, and one of them named Unlucky Morpheus is my most favorite band.

I’ve known and listened to all of the other three bands.
The band named GALNERYUS must be one of the most famous HM bands in Japan. SYU, a Japanese guitar hero, is the leader of the band.
Ohmura Takayoshi, another Japanese guitar hero, leads Ohmura Band. He is known as the kami of guitar who has supported BABYMETAL, the world-famous metal dance unit.
The last one, Mary’s Blood, is a female band and may be less famous, but they will play as a head liner with Unlucky Morpheus at a metal music festival named Metal Matsuri held in London in October.

I really enjoyed the show, and I’m sure Pure Rock Japan 2019 was the best show in my life. Moreover, I found dozens of Westerners at Club Citta, but I don’t know whether they came to Japan for the show or they live in Japan.

You wonder why they went to the show in spite of the lack of HM bands from Western countries.

HM and Hard Rock (HR) don’t gain the status of music in Western countries any longer. Of course, they didn’t originate in Japan but were imported from Western countries in the late 20th century. They have developed in our country independently from their original style.

J-Rock and J-Metal are a kind of ma-kaizo (魔改造), meaning “demonic revamp” in Japanese, in a good sense. Japan is an island country, so we have shown a longing for and our sense of curiosity in foreign cultures for a long time. But we have not copied them simply but tried to assimilate them into our tastes.

For example, you can find the syncretism of two major religions in Japan: Shinto and Buddhism. Shinto is the nation’s indigenous religion which dates back to more than 3000 years. On the other hand, Buddhism was imported through China from India in the 6th century.

You can also find some examples of ma-kaizo in Japanese food easily. Japanese style curry and rice have become popular overseas. But they were imported through Great Britain from India. There are many ramen restaurants in foreign countries, and many visitors to Japan look forward to eating authentic ramen. But ramen actually came from China.

Neither curry and rice nor ramen is from Japan. But both of the dishes have gone through unique development in Japan, and they are now accepted as Japanese food.

J-Metal has also been acknowledged as ma-kaizo. It has gathered attentions of overseas metal heads in recent years who have been bored with the traditional style of HM music. They can much more easily get information on J-Metal and J-Rock bands thanks to the Internet, especially through non-Japanese YouTubers who have responded to them. The majority of comments on the Japanese bands such as GALNERYUS, Unlucky Morpheus and Mary’s Blood, is posted by oversea rock and metal music fans. If you are interested in HR and HM, I strongly recommend you will check J-Rock and J-Metal bands on YouTube.

HM has not been the center of music in Japan, either, so it may not difficult for you to get a ticket for a show of HM bands or a rock music festival. You should also enjoy eating ma-kaizo food such as ramen and curry and rice during your stay in Japan. Stay metal🤘🤘‼️

YUKI Takano, a member of iTWS japan LLP
e-mail: yuki.takano@i3ws.co.jp

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