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Author Topic: Steampunk in Japan Thread (formerly "Steampunk expands a bit more in Japan...")  (Read 37559 times)
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2013, 12:22:45 am »

It will be interesting to see how traditional Japanese culture meshes with Steampunk (IMHO it's inevitable that regional influences will show up, and in fact this is a good thing)



I've been toying around with the idea of doing a Japanese-inspired Steampunk look in the future and I'm very glad to see that the genre is gaining a foothold in Japan. For anyone else thinking about doing Japanese Steampunk, there are two fabulous books I would highly recommend for aesthetic inspiration:

Art of Armor: Samurai Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection: http://www.amazon.com/Art-Armor-Samurai-Barbier-Mueller-Collection/dp/0300176368/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359576133&sr=8-1&keywords=samurai+armor

and

Splendors of Meiji: Treasures of Imperial Japan: Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection: http://www.amazon.com/Splendors-Meiji-Treasures-Masterpieces-Collection/dp/1874780137/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359576181&sr=1-3&keywords=splendor+of+meiji

Both are enormous, high quality museum exhibition catalogues with glorious full color photographs of really exquisite Japanese arts and armor. The first book is just chocked full of mind-blowing armorial workmanship and, while a little pricy, is well worth the cost. The latter book is replete with gorgeous objects made of bronze, ivory, silver, wood, and other natural-steampunky materials, and can be had very cheaply through Amazon Marketplace. I've literally spent hours admiring these two books and feel that they provide a great example of the lost art of designing high-quality beautiful utilitarian (and decorative) objects. If you have any interest in Japanese history and multicultural steampunk design, these are must-haves. Smiley


There is so much potential for steaminess from Samurai armour, I can't begin to describe ut.  Simply put a lot of leather and brass can go together in plates.

Also think of the possible scenarios and Steampunk fantasies.  I can easily see a way to relate Western Steampunk to Japanese Steampunk within the confines of a story...  The historical Meiji period is just right for alternative timelines...


As somewhat of a samurai fan (is that a thing? I just kind of know random things about the samurai - and especially their swords and some of their strange habits), can I just say: be right back, drooling all over my keyboard. Because oh my god, dkhflsjflljdl.

I, too, have been toying with the idea of a Japanese inspired steampunk outfit, especially as I have my own yukata and kimono...if only I can find/make the right accessories. I also kind of really want a hakama. Imagine the outfits you can make with a hakama!


While touring  Nagasaki harbour, will we suddenly meet outside on a flowering terrace above the harbour?  Wink

Possible inspiration for a Steampunk fantasy based on Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly

Act I
In 1904 1889, a U.S.Naval Airship Command officer, [Admiral] Pinkerton Wilhelm, rents a house on a hill in Nagasaki, Japan for him and his soon-to-be wife, "Butterfly". Her real name is Ciocio-san...

We need a Steampunk Opera!!!   Grin
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 12:45:17 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

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« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2013, 07:31:49 am »

Breaking news:
A list of participants at the Steampunk Booth for the April 20 ARTiSM Market has been released (see previous posts above), and if I understand correctly from looking at this poster either The League of S.T.E.A.M. is going to be there or represented there.  I have asked MaRy, who is heading the Steampunk Booth to confirm if this is the case - stay tuned!~

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« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2013, 07:32:04 pm »

I have a friend who recently spent a nit of time over ther and only returned a month ago.  I'll poiny her here so she can give a bit more  personal input. 
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« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2013, 08:11:31 pm »

OFFICIAL reply from League of STEAM at my Twitter feed:

Quote
@LeagueOfSTEAM Esteemed League members: Do I hear correctly that you may be present at the ARTiSM event in Tokyo? If so please let us know!

Quote
@LincolnsBoombox We will not be there ourselves, but we have friends over there who will be representing us at that event.

Quote
@LeagueOfSTEAM I'll write about it at Brassgoggles; I'm maintaining Steampunk in Japan / Mexican Steampunk threads: http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,38619.25.html



~ ~ ~

I have a friend who recently spent a nit of time over ther and only returned a month ago.  I'll poiny her here so she can give a bit more  personal input.  



That would be awesome!

« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 08:26:45 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2013, 04:41:22 am »

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

It seems Sunday February 10 was a very busy day for Steampunk in Japan.   They are basically recovering from a long party night, but already have started posting some photos of the events. And I say events not event, because I just found out that the Japanese steampunks had split themselves in two groups (I ignore if both groups assisted both events, but it doesn't look that way):

While MaRy and Jet were heading the Steampunk Fashion show at the Alamode Night event (http://www.artism.jp/index.php?an42), The crew of the Tokyo Inventors Society (TIS) found themselves at an event referred to as "Wonder Festival" (http://wf.kaiyodo.net/).  The details are sketchy from the second event, but Alamode Night promises to bring more graphics to the forefront, and I will bring you as I find out more about it.

The first photo from Steampunk Fashion Show at the Alamode Night event; the fashion show was headed by MaRy (front bottom left) and 130Jet (holding the squid/octopus) from the band Strange Artifact


Crewmembers of the Tokyo Inventos Society (TIS) at "Wonder Festival"

« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 04:58:31 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2013, 05:08:11 am »

Hope to meet Kenny again in May for Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Leipzig.
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« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2013, 05:23:56 am »

For the reader's benefit: Kenny Creation (founder of Tokyo Steampunk Society) is in the middle photo of my last post (TIS at Wonder Festival), second from the left, I believe...

A profile is found here:
http://tokyofashion.com/kenny-creation-tokyo-steampunk-society-shibuya/

Darn!  If I had money I would also like to travel around  :'(
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 03:39:26 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2013, 03:38:49 am »

Hope to meet Kenny again in May for Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Leipzig.

You know? I just found Kenny's twitter account.  let me see if I can get a hold of him.  He may be interested in taking a look.
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« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2013, 09:42:45 pm »

Mary posted some photos of themselves (Strange Artifact) performing at the Alamode Night event (@Live Inn Rosa, Tokyo this Feb. 10):






More photos here.
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.419857028100855.99041.123494291070465&type=3&l=3d12e4de76

While the movement may be smaller than the Mexican version, it looks like Steampunk in Japan is getting very active thanks to the strategy of sharing a ride with other fashion/arts events.  The strategy seems to be working; basically there is at least one major event per month wher Steampunk makes appearance among the other subcultures besides the all-steampunk monthly Steam Garden (that's a pretty good sign usually): I'll post more photos from the events as they come out.  Communication is still an issue....

EDIT:  A ton of photos from the event have been released:
http://snap2011b.kuchinawa.com/130210/index.html

EDIT: Apparently these photos can't be embedded successfully.  Maybe it's on purpose, but the two links above should work just fine....
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 05:53:17 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #34 on: February 21, 2013, 03:16:08 am »

Not seeing any of the new photos.
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« Reply #35 on: February 21, 2013, 03:33:06 am »

Not seeing any of the new photos.


Are you able to get access to the second link in the page? http://snap2011b.kuchinawa.com/130210/index.html

I can get access to all links and the set of 5 photos above the last link appear only the first time you access this page.  After the first refresh the pictures don't load at all.

Any one else getting this problem?  I'll just use another server or maybe Mary has uploaded them to facebook.  In the meantime, just use the two links on my last post
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 05:24:47 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #36 on: February 21, 2013, 05:50:05 am »

MaRy reposted some of the photos related to her part of the show on her website; some of them are the same photos I tried to post before











« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 05:53:39 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #37 on: February 21, 2013, 08:04:17 am »


As somewhat of a samurai fan (is that a thing? I just kind of know random things about the samurai - and especially their swords and some of their strange habits), can I just say: be right back, drooling all over my keyboard. Because oh my god, dkhflsjflljdl.

I, too, have been toying with the idea of a Japanese inspired steampunk outfit, especially as I have my own yukata and kimono...if only I can find/make the right accessories. I also kind of really want a hakama. Imagine the outfits you can make with a hakama!

My Dear Ms Erased -
I am a sometime amateur student of historical Japanese clothing, and have written a few small monographs on the topic of clothing and on some of the Japanese Supernatural Spectres known as Youkai. If I recall correctly I have a web-based pattern for (I believe) 4 panel Hakama, (as opposed to the much more voluminous 6 panel) and numerous links to historical Japanese garments, armour, the making of mock armour, & etc. 

Of particular interest are the different Hakama styles such as Sashinuki (6 panel, court attire) , vs the kukuri-Sashinuki (tied) vs the Karusan-Bakama. I am also intrigued by the variations of jacket - the Hitoe, Hitatare, Kariginu, & etc.

If you are truly interested, please let me know and I will try to find and post them.

yhs
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« Reply #38 on: February 21, 2013, 08:22:24 am »

Hope to meet Kenny again in May for Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Leipzig.


You know? I just found Kenny's twitter account.  let me see if I can get a hold of him.  He may be interested in taking a look.

Just looking for photos of him as he attended Wave-Gotik-Treffen 2011. Found this one, but that's Sisen, a Japanese DJ and all round artist living in Berlin for the time being.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Ah, there's Kenny. Victorian picnic at Wave-Gotik-Treffen, Leipzig, Germany. They get around.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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« Reply #39 on: February 22, 2013, 01:36:31 am »

Steampunk has been around for a little while in Japanese anime too. Anyone seen Studio Ghibli's Howl's Moving Castle? It's pretty damn steampunk and Japanese (though the novel it's based on was written by a nice British lady called Diana Wynne Jones). Little link between British and Japanese steampunk there.  Also there's Steamboy, an anime directed by Katsuhiro Otomo (the guy who directed Akira)
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« Reply #40 on: February 24, 2013, 07:01:15 pm »

Oh dear...
http://newschoolkaidan.com/steam-girls-the-steampunk-revolution-is-coming/
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« Reply #41 on: February 24, 2013, 07:35:11 pm »

They look like a high school dancing group don't they.
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« Reply #42 on: February 24, 2013, 10:28:26 pm »



They look like a high school dancing group don't they.


"Oh Dear" is right... Maybe American style cheerleaders for the Airship Academy ROTC Rugby team...

In all fairness, Steampunk in Japan faces a daunting challenge, trying to emerge from under a sea of other popular currents.  And it's inevitable that people will jump into the bandwagon, as it were.  I think that Japan in terms of Steampunk is still in "discovery mode," and the really serious efforts at Steampunk really are not older than a couple of years under the banner of groups like the Tokyo Steampunk Society.  I remember hearing for some time now about the Alice project (quite a while actually), but had no exposure to it.

The problem of "emerging from the pile" and more importantly in music, is compounded by the fact there is no such thing as a proper Steampunk genre, which we have discussed many times.  To be a complete snob about it, I will say that we have Steampunks who make a living as musicians playing various types of music, but not various types of musicians playing Steampunk music, does that make sense?  So the genre is completely open to interpretation by anyone!  J-Pop, Synth, Hard-Metal, Techno, Ambient, Carnival are all genres that can make sudden appearance in Steampunk without warning.  The only thing I haven't heard is actual 19th. Century music!  Or better yet a Neo-Victiorian/Steampunk version of it (a "Neo-Romantic style" to use proper conservatory terminology). In that sense Steampunk music is completely undeveloped anywhere in the world, IMHO.  A subject for debate.
  
Yet, Steampunk is flat out infiltrating the media in general, and often combined with older (in Japan) currents like Lolita Goth and Goth proper, all wrapped in a sugary pop music envelope, which is what people are accustomed to in the Land of the Rising Sun.  For example, consider this video originally posted by our own Mr. Marco from the Netherlands right here at Brassgoggles


きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ - ファッションモンスター,Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Fashion Monster


There are other Steampunk-unrelated currents that do exploit ancient music genres and reinterpret them, sometimes under the banner of "Neo-Classic"  or "Neo Rennaisance" like for example this Visual Kei (Japanese Glam-Rock) / Lolita Goth oriented duo called "Rose Noire" from Japan (see vdeo below).  The interesting thing about this group is that they are indeed taking old genres and combining them with current musical types.  It's interesting because it's an approach I would like to see in Steampunk music as a revival of 18th/19th/20th. century music...

www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=11cjrs9GlPM


Rose Noire - Ave Maria


« Last Edit: February 24, 2013, 11:17:59 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Drew P
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« Reply #43 on: February 24, 2013, 11:23:26 pm »

"Oh dear..."  *erp*,*shakes head*

I know,I know,shouldn't have said that aloud. *open up wider Mind,open wider*
« Last Edit: February 24, 2013, 11:27:16 pm by Drew P » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: February 24, 2013, 11:51:50 pm »

Don't feel too bad. Personally the Japanese have been flat out terrifying me with their strange crossovers for years. Partly because I have to admit they are pretty good at it. Although I doubt the device has been invented that can measure this level of wrongness, I really do think it's often the case that only they can get away with it because they're Japanese!  Cheesy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2Tu-g-_rEE
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« Reply #45 on: February 25, 2013, 12:14:38 am »

So guys, did I get your attention?  I'm pretty good ain't I?  Grin Ha, ha, ha...

Don't feel too bad. Personally the Japanese have been flat out terrifying me with their strange crossovers for years. Partly because I have to admit they are pretty good at it. Although I doubt the device has been invented that can measure this level of wrongness, I really do think it's often the case that only they can get away with it because they're Japanese!  Cheesy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2Tu-g-_rEE

Holy cow!  "Baby [death] Metal" is right! They have other videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDqaTXqCN-Q
« Last Edit: February 25, 2013, 12:20:13 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #46 on: February 25, 2013, 12:45:55 am »

18th/19th/20th. century music revival wanted?  I started reviving that many years ago.  But re-enactment style, not steampunk.  How would I add steampunk vibes on the pipe and tabor?  *scratches head and heads off to bed to see if some interesting ideas make themselves known to me during the hours of darkness*
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« Reply #47 on: February 25, 2013, 03:32:40 am »

18th/19th/20th. century music revival wanted?  I started reviving that many years ago.  But re-enactment style, not steampunk.  How would I add steampunk vibes on the pipe and tabor?  *scratches head and heads off to bed to see if some interesting ideas make themselves known to me during the hours of darkness*


Precisely, that is the challenge.  So far in the West as Steampunks, we've only managed to make contemporary music with mostly ambiental features (Carnival, Gypsy, all sorts of cinematic type background effects), but it's really difficult for Steampunks to pay the same amount of attention to period music as they pay to Victorian history or fictional works.

If Steampunk literature is based on an alternative timeline that parts from or borrows style from the 19th. Century, then Neo-Romantic/Neo-Classical/Neo-Baroque music should borrow from the corresponding music genre (e.g. inspiration from say, Beethoven for Romantic, Mozart for Classical, and Bach for Baroque).  The trick is to add the technological or stylistic twist to make it anachronistic.

The piece "Ave Maria" by Rose Noir (see third video above in my last post) is based on Charles Gounod's 1859 Ave Maria, and the "harmony and texture" (as explained in wiki) itself comes from JS Bach's Prelude No.1 in C Major, so depending on how you see it their Ave Maria could be Neo-Romantic or Neo-Baroque.  Most likely their classical music background permeates their approach to music, as Louie (Vocal) and Jill (Violin), originally met at Tokyo National University of Fine arts and Music.

Gounod's Ave Maria:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:JOHN_MICHEL_CELLO-BACH_AVE_MARIA.ogg

~~~~

Edit:

In other news I just found out that MaRy and various people present at the Alamode Night fashion event were present at the Live Inn Rosa venue for the bi-monthly event called GANTAI Alice SHOKOGUN (眼帯アリス症候群) ''Eyepatch Alice Syndrome.'  Basically this is an underground culture showcase featuring many performers of various types, so what happens is that the Steampunks basically move among the other subcultures...

http://photozou.jp/photo/show/2941404/170079774
http://photozou.jp/photo/show/2036935/170106241

This is a giant meting pot of subcultures, so I imagine that is very challenging to be able to stand out among the crowd, and at the same time, if you want Steampunk to be known you have to show yourself into the events!
« Last Edit: February 25, 2013, 11:00:33 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #48 on: February 25, 2013, 10:18:55 am »

Hmm, well I'm not disagreeing exactly but I could debate at great length about all the potential problems and pitfalls the whole concept of Steampunk music presents. Largely because everything you've said is true, but all these types of music have indeed turned up in previously established contemporary genres. Making them specifically Steampunk will certainly involve that illusive fifth element. And most people will probably rely on lyrical content and window dressing to achieve it.

Still all I was going to say was very occasionally, something or someone originating from the J-pop stable of oddness will come along and truly impress me. This was the last person who did, I genuinely love this song and it certainly isn't J-pop. Apparently Makino Yui, (voice actress singer composer and pianist) actually made up her own language especially for it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZxrLF2sxBQ

« Last Edit: February 25, 2013, 10:30:08 am by Argus Fairbrass » Logged
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« Reply #49 on: February 25, 2013, 08:07:35 pm »

Oh no, I'm not talking about classical music (the pop music of the day) but the music that folk actually played and danced to.  That is what I play. The joke was that I play the pipe and tabor at the same time, like a one-man/woman band.  So I do not have a hand or mouth free to add sound effects.  I do have bells and a wood block (donk!), and all sorts of other percussion instruments that are alternatives to the tabor (drum).  Adding a steampunk element would be challenging.  I would have to join a band again.
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