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Author Topic: Steampunk in Japan Thread (formerly "Steampunk expands a bit more in Japan...")  (Read 37567 times)
Argus Fairbrass
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« Reply #50 on: February 26, 2013, 02:19:50 am »

Oh I don't know Frances, I've often felt there's something quite inherently Steampunk about a one man (or in your case woman) band.

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« Reply #51 on: February 26, 2013, 06:24:07 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 #52 on: February 26, 2013, 07:05:58 am »

Oh I don't know Frances, I've often felt there's something quite inherently Steampunk about a one man (or in your case woman) band.

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« Reply #53 on: February 26, 2013, 09:32:45 pm »

Nice band.

The thing about strolling minstrels is that we go away!!
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« Reply #54 on: February 26, 2013, 09:52:12 pm »

I just stumbled upon the Steampunk-friendly leatherworks of Mac Nakata on Twitter ( https://twitter.com/macnakata /  http://macnakata.blog64.fc2.com/); his work is reminiscent of Haruo Suekichi's work (steampunk watches) in my opinion...

Check this out!  he is making iPhone/smartphone cases.  I'm not sure I'd make mine that busy, as they have to be practical in most situations, but his cases are visually interesting.



and watches:
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 10:07:37 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Argus Fairbrass
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« Reply #55 on: February 26, 2013, 10:37:40 pm »

It's interesting you mention the busyness actually. I'm intrigued to see what kind of designs may be forthcoming if the idea really takes hold.

I was watching yet another guitar review by some demo guys on Youtube (cos I'm dead exciting like that). There's been a trend lately towards more ornate high end designs on cheaper entry level models (mother of pearl inlays, abalone binding, fancy fret markers etc).

The American designer was saying that he felt these were details the often younger folks who buy entry level equipment kind of gravitated towards.

The English guitar shop owner was saying that in his experience, the British and European youngsters didn't so much. But of course the Asians who really appreciate that type of art form totally go for it.

Anyway I'm very intrigued to see what some of these guys come up with when they start to blend period Asian art and craft styles with Steampunk. From what I've seen so far some of it could really be bonkers (but in a good way).

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 12:40:35 am by Argus Fairbrass » Logged
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« Reply #56 on: February 27, 2013, 02:24:44 am »

There are some pitfalls to that train of thought. It depends on the cultural background as well as the level of nationalism.  Sometimes people in non English speaking parts of the world get involved into subcultures, partly out if interest in a foreign culture, for example, say a Mexican student getting involved in Steampunk out of interest in Victoriana (British culture proper), as opposed to an interest in melding his own history into the subculture.

One of the things that happened to me when I got involved in the Steampunk Mexico Forum is that I found that a vocal minority of members really were not looking at "Mexicanising" Steampunk at all.  While I was an ardent proponent of multicultural Steampunk and the founder of the forum was open to the idea, other co-founders were not that enthusiastic about it.  Not that they were hostile to the idea, but it was not their interest.

I dont think we will encounter this same type of resistance in Japan, because the Japanese people have a different history and sense of self identity, but at least for Mexico, I regard that lack of interest by some to be a sort of "cultural escapism" that is historically rooted and natural in Mexican society.  Primarily because the people in Mexico are an inhomogeneous melding of native and European peoples with a complicated socio-ethnic hierarchy that was inherited from the days of the Conquest.  The perennial question in that context is  "What are you? European or Native? Or both?" The answer is individual to each, which results in a rather convoluted sense of cultural identity depending in which parts of society you look at.  I found this affected a bit the individual Steampunk persona of forum members!   In a sense this is where things get really interesting; how does Steampunk mesh or fail to mesh inside a particular culture?

 

Cultural nationalism (in the good sense of the word) plays a role in the desire to adapt a subculture to your own culture, as opposed to just adopting a subculture to "escape" your own culture.  Does that make sense?

« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 02:30:22 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Argus Fairbrass
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« Reply #57 on: February 27, 2013, 01:04:23 pm »

Indeed it does.

It is up to them of course, and I'm really not educated enough about Mexico to be able to speak on it. But in the case of Japan, from examples I've seen, which in the case of movies, games, music and art at least is quite a lot. I do tend to feel an inherent Japaneseness seems to bleed through into just about everything they produce. Even when it's the case that they are trying to emulate aspects of Western culture, and that's probably the main thing that keeps me so fascinated.
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Clym Angus
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« Reply #58 on: March 04, 2013, 01:09:02 pm »

I must say this conversation is sailing into very interesting conversational waters.....

The nature of difference and the reasoning behind it's application is always going to be a personal affair. Many cultures were doing many different things around the turn of the century, I see these as a palette to draw from, not a manual to subscribe to.

Although I find it heartening and highly flattering that people like to embrace British style. It is not necessary. Nor should anyone think that British style is the ONLY way to do things "properly". This restrictive idea is of course poppycock.

The freedom to choose and not necessarily the results of that choice, is the most important thing to keep in mind here.

As for "meshing" well, that would be something of a historical issue wouldn't it? I doubt you'd find many Steam-punks that hailed from certain areas of Indian or Pakistan wearing Bright Red British military tunics.  The clothing has a cultural payload that is very much in the eye of the beholder. Adversely, some cultures who don't really want to be reminded about what they were doing at the time, might shy away from reference to historical national dress or certain symbols of the period.

I see steam-punk as a cultural chelating agent, binding to the heavy metals of culture in some what unpredictable ways.  You never really know what else is dissolved in the water. In a very real sense, it gets thrown in and you see what it does "on the fly".

This said, I feel Japan has culture quite adept at cherry picking from many parts of its own rich history.  I for one look forward to see what wonders are accomplished.
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« Reply #59 on: March 05, 2013, 10:26:38 am »

Just to point something out: in the Steampunk Mexico example I quoted above, it's not really escapism from oppressors or history. what I'm referring to, but rather a predilection by some circles to regard European culture to be higher than their own native culture.  This is a phenomenon that I regard unique to Latin America, but admittedly it probably is not unique to this hemisphere.

I should say there were many other members (the majority) who were in fact enthusiastic about creating a nationalised Steampunk - there simply is too much historical material to draw from to ignore (refer to this thread http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,26636.0.html) .  But when I joined that forum remotely (as I live in the  US),. I had already forgotten about this social phenomenon that I encountered more than 30 years ago when I was raised in that country.  They even have named that phenomenon of foreign culture idolatry after a famous native woman Mailintzin or "La Malinche," who served as translator and guide for Hernan Cortes during the Conquest, as she is universally reviled as a traitor by Mexicans...

But I digress....  I also look forward to the cultural melding of Japanese culture and Steampunk... Right now it all seems rather murky, but at a quick pace of at least one major event per month, I'd say the the Tokyo Steampunk Society  (aka Tokyo Inventor's Society) is keeping rather busy.  MaRy and 130Jet are the ones attending the more general alternative culture events to inject Steampunk into the events...

Coming up next is the Steampunk booth at ARTiSM on the 10th of this month, I believe. Also the Alamode Night events are rather frequent, so there is plenty of chance for Steampunk fashion to filter in.
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Alfaya
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« Reply #60 on: March 05, 2013, 08:23:34 pm »

The current issue of BCM (A bi-monthly Belgian J-Culture magazine) has a feature and article on Steampunk fashion, and some nice interviews in addition. You will probably find it interesting.

Disclaimer: I am not involved in this project, I just thought it may throw some light regarding the Japanese Steampunk scene Smiley
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« Reply #61 on: March 08, 2013, 01:59:28 am »

...a predilection by some circles to regard European culture to be higher than their own native culture.  This is a phenomenon that I regard unique to Latin America, but admittedly it probably is not unique to this hemisphere.
For what it's worth, I think you'll find this in every Colonial culture, from Roman Britain to Nazi-occupied France, and beyond in both directions.
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« Reply #62 on: March 09, 2013, 12:28:00 am »

So... the Tokyo Steampunk Society's  "Celtic Fantasy" Steam Garden event will occur in 2 days on the 10th.  I'm looking forward to pictures from the event, although to be honest I may be busy in my own City of Austin, while I try to percolate myself into the now very very large South by Southwest Music/Film/Tech festival starting this weekend (March 8-17).  Usually I wear my setampunk paraphernalia and carry by Victorian Boombox to good effect...
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 12:29:41 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #63 on: March 11, 2013, 08:47:11 am »

Ladies and gentlemen:

Photos taken at the "Steam Garden: Celtic Fantasy" event  event this Sunday have begun to emerge.  Here are some of the first:

Photos posted by Jab Jabu at the Tokyo Steampunk Society's Facebook page (subjects are unidentified)(http://www.facebook.com/events/564548550241931/)






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« Last Edit: March 11, 2013, 10:30:32 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #64 on: March 26, 2013, 07:41:01 pm »

I saw these Japanese Steampunk pens on twitter today.  It looks like without being labelled as such, these people have been making them for a very long time now...  Well worth a look!

http://www.rogma6.info/
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« Reply #65 on: March 28, 2013, 04:02:14 pm »

The designs may be nice and intriguing,but at the size that they are it wouldn't really be ideal to keep them in your pocket. Unless,you want others to think you're really excited Wink.

IMO-the IPhone cases and such,again,they look interesting at first,but I still prefer something that looks the part. All the stuff on there,what does it do? It becomes alittle too 'glued-on-gears' to me.

And then try to fit that in your pocket...then try to get it out!

I like looks and function.
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« Reply #66 on: March 30, 2013, 09:39:58 am »

The designs may be nice and intriguing,but at the size that they are it wouldn't really be ideal to keep them in your pocket. Unless,you want others to think you're really excited Wink.

IMO-the IPhone cases and such,again,they look interesting at first,but I still prefer something that looks the part. All the stuff on there,what does it do? It becomes alittle too 'glued-on-gears' to me.

And then try to fit that in your pocket...then try to get it out!

I like looks and function.


It is a tad busy for me too and less than practical - and trust me I know a thing or two about iPhone cases, as that is my business.  I will try to post some of the earlier work by Haruo Suekichi - then you may see where this aesthetic originally came from...  A lot of people copied his style, but note that Suekichi's watches were actually born straight out of utilitarianism; a one-armed man originally asked Haruo to design a watch he could put on and take on and operate with his one hand, and that is how the Suekichi watch line got started...

An article on Suekichi:
http://watchismo.blogspot.com/2007/07/watchismo-times_13.html


~~~~~

In other news (quite literally), Steampunk is making waves in Tokyo and the media are taking attention.

A new free print/web publication just hit the streets of Tokyo featuring Steampunk and the MaRy / 130Jet band in the front cover.  The Metropolis magazine is a free publication written in English, and it is a city guide. including the current news, list of entertainment venues and night-life, as well as classifieds.

So here it is, the big news in Tokyo: "Industrial Re-Revolution: Steampunk takes Tokyo back to the Victorian future,"

The article is also online:

http://metropolis.co.jp/features/feature/industrial-re-revolution/




EDIT:  Oh yes.  Metropolis takes the time to discuss some Steampunk rubrics such as kraken, goggles, and tea-dueling...

Quote
Last Halloween, ten Tokyoites showed up at the Kawasaki parade dressed like something out of Victorian H. G. Wells’ vision of a sci-fi future. They caused a stir in the media, appearing on Nippon TV’s morning show Zip! among others. Representing a style known as “steampunk,” they were accompanied by a small wave washing up on the Tokyo shores: TV coverage, scene bibles like Steampunk Oriental Laboratory (in two volumes), the appearance of UK brand Corset’s steampunk series in select stores, and a few other creakings that this massive global trend was starting to flex its retro-machined muscles.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 10:18:10 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #67 on: March 30, 2013, 09:59:41 am »

Thanks to the introduction to Metropolis, I can also bring you a tad more news that had escaped me on interesting cultural melding between Japan and Steampunk. Cherry blossom (sakura) watching is a definite Japanese tradition and it is interesting to see the melding of it with Steampunk:

Sakura Steampunk is a party in the park where Steampunk aficionados will partake of free food and are encouraged to bring their paraphernalia and best attire ( rule not enforced).  They will have photo shoots as well ... Yoyogi Park, Sun Apr 7, 11am at JR Harajuku Station (Omotesando Exit)


"Join us for the second-annual Steampunk cherry-blossom viewing party in Tokyo... that may not have that many sakura!"
(ref: apparently the cherry trees bloomed much earlier, in March instead of April this year... global warming?)

(staff@strangeartifact.jp) or post to the Facebook group page: http://meturl.com/steampunksakura2013
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 10:49:49 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #68 on: March 31, 2013, 06:42:31 pm »

Happy Easter Everyone!

Japan meets Steampunk meets Easter:

Presumably the Easter-inspired creation of a Japanese Steampunk, by the handle name of "Rodemu" (@rodemu6) on Twitter


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« Reply #69 on: May 22, 2013, 11:20:46 am »

Well Ladies and Gentlemen, it looks like the Japanese Steampunk movement is picking up steam as it has been noted and reported by Canadian and Japanese-alternative/Goth culture personality, reporter and connoisseur extraordinaire, La Carmina (aka Carmen Yuan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Carmina).

La Carmina was interviewed for the occasion, did a photo shoot, was featured in the cover of the last issue of Ladies of Steampunk, and she has reported on the Steam Garden 4 event last March in her own Blog; I had already included some photos from Steam Garden 4: Celtic Fantasy (see pictures above), but in the article you can read La Carmina's account as an attendee to the event...

The blog article on Steam Garden 4 (plenty of photos):
http://www.lacarmina.com/blog/2013/05/steampunk-japan-club-steam-garden-meetup-victorian-fashion/

The May issue of Ladies of Steampunk
http://www.lacarmina.com/blog/2013/05/steampunk-model-magazine-modeling-japanese-corset-hair-extensions/

That event of Steam Garden, as I had written previously, was organised by the Steampunk Tokyo Society (aka the Tokyo Inventors' Society or TIS);  As it happens, April 13 marks the first anniversary of Steam Garden, and the next Steam Garden is already slated for July 28; for those colonial Steampunk members it will be of interest that the central topic of Steam Garden 5 is 1890's United States.  I feel a bit threatened... where is this airship marked "7/28"? Should Admiral Wilhelm's crew be placed on high alert and have him command the USAS Orca to patrol the California Barbary Coast?

Or perhaps a bit of Bioshock Infinite influence here folks,... eh?  Should I expect to see lovely Ms. Elizabeth somewhere?
(Our thread on Bio Shock Infinite: http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,31617.0.html)



~~~

And last but not least:  I have been told that last summer's Steam Garden 2 event (remember this is the 1st anniversary) actually centred around the Meiji period (it was called "Meiji Steam World").  I will write on it later, but for the moment here are some pictures in their Book of Faces page:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.368873596563757.1073741825.188910044560114&type=3

Stay tuned dear ladies and gentlemen.

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Adm. J. Wilhelm
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« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 06:40:11 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #70 on: June 10, 2013, 11:32:13 pm »

A bit more on the coming Steam Garden Event. They have coined a name and have a theme for it.  The event will be held at the Christon Cafe in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, this July 28 (https://www.facebook.com/events/195959680560950/?ref=22)


Steam Garden 5: Future Western, which is based around 1890's America.

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« Reply #71 on: June 11, 2013, 02:56:19 pm »

It warms the heart to see people enjoying themselves.
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« Reply #72 on: June 12, 2013, 12:29:45 am »

alot of cool stuff happened in japan during the 1800's it was basicly a complete turnaround for them

it would be cool to see japanese history buffs draw insparation from that stuff
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« Reply #73 on: June 12, 2013, 01:14:50 am »

alot of cool stuff happened in japan during the 1800's it was basicly a complete turnaround for them

it would be cool to see japanese history buffs draw insparation from that stuff


I think the TIS / Tokyo Steampunk Society's first Steam Garden was actually based on the Meiji Period
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meiji_period

I've posted on the delayed industrialisation around various countries several times in various threads, and the cultural and technological transition during the Meiji Period is always one of three main examples I can think off the top of my head.
http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,38639.msg828803.html#msg828803
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« Reply #74 on: June 20, 2013, 06:38:11 am »

Say what you will about the Tokyo Steampunk Society.  They have good production values and a flair for the dramatic. We need to bring Quentin Tarantino to make a steampunk film....  We already have the actors, the props and the special effects ready.

Here is the last promo video for the Steam Garden 5: Future Western this July:

Tokyo Steampunk: Steam Garden ep.5 スチームパンク イベント

« Last Edit: July 17, 2013, 06:55:55 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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