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Number 1 Shimbun

Connections: David Bowie and Japan

 

The instrumental “Moss Garden” features Bowie playing the koto
On “Heroes,” 1977, and inspired by a visit to Saihoji in Kyoto

 

No1-2016-02Bowie2

“I don’t know why he was so attracted to things Japanese, but perhaps it wasn’t so much
Japan or Japanese-ness itself. He knew when he looked good in something.”

Kansai Yamamoto, clothes designer,
BBC News website, Jan. 12, 2016

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He also sometimes wore a kimono-inspired cape with traditional Japanese characters
on it which spell out his name phonetically, but also translate to

“FIERY VOMITING AND VENTING IN A MENACING MANNER”

BBC News website, Jan. 12, 2016

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About

10,200,000

Google search results for “David Bowie Japan”

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“A world in which David is not living still feels totally unreal.”

Miu Sakamoto, daughter of Ryuichi Sakamoto, Twitter, Jan. 11, 2016. Miu meets Bowie in the photo she tweeted, left.

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俺の頭に弾
を打ち込めば

新聞は書き
立てる

“Put a bullet in my brain and it makes all the papers”

Lyric spoken in Japanese, “It’s No Game, Pt 1,” Scary Monsters and Super Creeps, 1980

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“I wanted to break down a particular type of sexist attitude … the ‘Japanese girl’ typifies it, where everyone pictures them as … very sweet, demure and non-thinking, when in fact that’s the absolute opposite of what women are like. … I wanted to caricature that attitude by having a very forceful Japanese voice on it. So I had [actress Michi Hirota] come out with a very samurai kind of thing.” David Bowie about “It’s No Game, Pt 1,” quoted in The Man Who Changed
the World,
by Wim Hendrikse

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The two of us were sitting at the bar by the beach … when an attractive young woman passed by [and] exclaimed, “OH MY GOD, I DON’T BELIEVE IT. IT’S ROGER PULVERS!” I was the one who couldn’t believe it, and Bowie . . . gave out a hearty laugh. . . . “That was wonderful,” Bowie said, turning to me and smiling generously. “JUST ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL.”

Roger Pulvers remembering a break with David Bowie during the filming of Nagisa Oshima’s Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, the Japan Times, Jan. 14, 2016

 

Published in: February 2016

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