Passing on Japanese culture to the next generation

by Taishi Nagasaka June 12, 2019
Passing on Japanese culture to the next generation

When it comes to Japanese music of all kinds, Taishi Nagasaka is very well known in Berlin’s scene as DJ ONONiiONIONIION. In this part of his series he writes about festivals, touring and how he unexpectedly was on American TV.

The weather has been nice, but maybe too nice for people working at home or in the studio. It is a hard season for bars, too. Anyway, summer is here! I’ve put my table next to a window in the area of the dirtiest air in Germany and it is the hottest around 5pm. However, I recently dj-ed at the Kashiwaren Bon-Odori event on June 1st in the yard of the Mion Record Store. It was great also for the kids, especially the Japanese who miss the normal local festivals in Japan. I went with my son, we played some Japanese festival games and ate Kaki-Gori (basically crushed ice with sweet syrup). He was not into dancing, but he was into dj-ing Superhero vinyls – nowadays different types of Ultraman).

It was great as I could see this Japanese local festival stuff, but I do not know how to dance properly, as I was not really involved in the local festival community. I wish I was with them though! Anyway, I realised I was quite drunk when I got home.

Last weekend, Kashiwaren participated also in Karneval der Kulturen with their Miskoshi and I hope you guys saw them. I guess it was remarkable and interesting there, but I couldn’t go because of the amount of people and the weather – uhm I guess I am very musician.

Let’s meet at Fusion Festival!

I am pretty happy that I can announce that Jaguar No Me will be able to release a full album on vinyl and digital! My old friend from London, who is in Lisbon, Portugal now, Liza (he is part of a DJ team, Invisible City) really liked our tracks and yeah decided to play them! Check their mixes as well, they always find something interesting!

Also, who will be at Fusion Festival? Around 2 weeks ago, I suddenly received an email from the organizers and, yeah, they offered us a show! I will also be playing Kayo-Kyoku (Showa Era J Pop) as DJ ONONiiONIONIION. Here is the schedule:

Thur 27, 21:00-24:00 DJ ONONiiONIONIION at Dubstation
Fri 28, 21:00-22:00 Jaguar No Me at Weidendom

I have never been to the festival, so I do not know where the stages are, but maybe see you there? Let’s have a party together with lots lots lots of Old J-Pop and the day after at our show!

What’s on with Fat Whites now?

This British band Fat White Family is very amazing. It was formed in 2011 and I met them one year later. Between 2015 and 2017 I even played the bass! I still remember how I joined, haha: I was chatting with Saul from the band because I found out they were touring the EU so I asked him if I could jump in their van as a DJ. In the end I was DJing and also doing some noise for their set. Unfortunately the bassist left the band, so they asked me to step in for the rest of the tour – only 2 or 3 more shows though. On that day, we arrived at Dijon, France, early in the morning and I only had around 9 hours to learn the songs via YouTube live set recordings to be able to play them on stage in the evening. Maybe I am too careful – I was trying so hard that the others said it was too much. It was a funny experience though, haha, no rehearsal and then suddenly playing in front of about 500 people. It was a great show and I even found the video:

The bass lines are simple, but yeah I am pretty glad I did it! Then, a month later, we actually were on the David Letterman show.

As a person who grew up in a Japanese middle class family, I had never heard of it, so my 1st time to see it, was in the green room. This was a pretty big thing! Anyway, this was how I started a tour life. (But I am not in the band anymore and I now sing psych Japanese Schlager.)

I was doing more experimental music before the Fat White Family, but they made me become a musician and I guess it is connected to my start of J-Pop DJ somehow.

They had a 2 year long break and are back now with an album called Surf Up!. Have a listen! I am pretty happy with the result and the show! This month, they played at Binuu. It felt a bit strange as I am an ex-member. But I was so happy and It was a blast! So good with new people and new materials!

The face of 70-80’s Japanese Pop Scene: Pink Lady!

I am surprised that I haven’t introduced Pink Lady yet! It is a female idol duo from the late 70’s. They are Mie and Kei, wearing quite open costumes, showing a lot of skin, dancing to groovy beats and lovely lyrics. In the beginning, they were not as well acknowledged as the other good bands of that style, but when people, including kids, started to dance to Pink Lady’s music, they were finally accepted and became famous idols in Japan. They are still top and I often play their tunes during my DJ sets! So I show you their most famous track which is called U.F.O/ユーフォー

Upcoming Shows

12th June with Sundays & Cybel at Monarch on 21:00
13th June DJ ONONiiONIONIION at Humboldthain on 24:00-02:00
(it is free but only with the ticket, maybe you can message me on facebook for the ticket. Gonna be a big party!!)
14th June Jaguar No Me at Hünermanhattan, Halle on 21:00-21:40, then I DJ for 1 hour at some point
22nd June Japanese “Summer” Meal with 70’s J-Pop – Last before the Break! at Oblomov


Header picture by Kashiwaren. Thank you <3

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