The sound and sentiments of punk rock flashed around the world, and in those years after 1977, punk bands appeared in many different countries. Girl-fronted bands became more commonplace, and all-girl groups or female bassists and drummers were in demand.
This blog post is driven mainly by one Youtube mixtape ‘Japanese Female Punk’ posted by ‘Coffee’. We’re going to try and find out more about ‘Coffee’ and some of the bands on this glorious compilation that lasts nearly an hour. We’re mostly interested in the recordings from 1978 – 80, although there are goth-style and later punk bands from the 1990s in the mix.
The first band in the collection is called ‘Boys Boys’, and they apparently released one 7″ single in 1980 on the Pass Record Label (PAS-201) with the songs ‘Monkey Monkey’ and ‘Control Tower’
As far as we can ascertain, the early Japanese punk movement evolved from an existing underground scene influenced by glam-rock and David Bowie. In 1976, a new club opened in a red light district of Tokyo. Called The Shinjuku Loft, it later opened as a larger venue in a better part of the city, providing space for artists and musicians and anyone into an alternative lifestyle.
The first bands to play The Loft were Japanese glam rock acts, but from about 1978, punk bands began to form, influenced by The Ramones, The Sex Pistols and The Clash. One of the first female-fronted bands was Mr Kite, but there is very little information about the band, or lead singer Emiko online.
It seems that Mr. Kite released only one 7″ single – 共犯者 / Exit B9 [Vinyl, 7″] in October 1978 [300 copies] on Gozira Records. An on-line translation reads – “The legendary Godzilla Records 2nd bullet is Mr. Kite’s only single, both sides are masterpieces in the masterpieces of NY punk fragrance as representative songs of the band. Ultra Rare!”
There’s a classic documentary film -Tokyo Rockers – which I don’t have the Japanese to understand but it does feature great music, and it includes the singer of Mr Kite -Emiko ‘Jean’ Misaka at about 16 minutes in. Maybe one of our Japanese readers could translate what she’s saying – but even with no comprehension, Jean comes across every bit as stylish, cool and driven as Debbie Harry or Chrissie Hynde.
Here’s the Youtube posting that started this whole Japanese punkgirl obsession off, and we look forward to having comments from anyone who can help us find out more.
This is an excellent 2013 article on Japanese punk record collecting by Greg McWhorter http://recordcollectornews.com/2012/10/japanese-punk/