Trash Picking For A Foreign Language!

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Nujabes spelled backwards is “Hip-Hop-Legend”.







The music of Nujabes, more than any other subject matter, exemplifies what this blog is about.  Now that you mention it, what is this blog about?  Anything or any thing?  I’ll be honest, I’m not trying to use this as some philosophical-psychoanalytical-character-study of myself or the world.  There are already plenty of poorly written blogs, books, and Harpo-Winbag-recommended-pieces-of-firewood-kindling that do that.  All I want to do is show people some cool stuff I think they may like, which they may not have found on their own.

And really; what’s cooler than a Nujabes Hip Hop beat?

A.  Nothing   X  A blog post on Nujabes Hip Hop beats.

B.  Nothing   X   Goku doing a kamehameha while wearing a Nujabes T-shirt

C.  Nothing   X   Goku doing a kamehamhea while wearing a Nujabes T-shirt while listening to the Nujabes Pandora station

D.  Nothing   X   Goku doing a kamehameha while wearing a Nujabes T-shirt while listening to the Nujabes Pandora station while doing a 360 flip over a 20 foot gap on a skateboard that has a Nujabes deck design.

E.  All of the above.

That was a trick question.  A Nujabes Hip Hop beat is like a parabolic equation that is always approaching infinity.  “There is none higher. He sets the microphone on fire.”

The reason his music exemplifies this blog is because of it’s incredible ability to bring together elements of different cultures.  Most people will probably recognize his music from, the similarly-ultra-cool, Samurai Champloo.  The anime, like Nujabe’s music, combines elements of art, storytelling, jazz, hip-hop, and both modern and ancient Japanese culture.

Samurai Gang Sign

As some may know Nujabes is simply Jun Seba spelled in reverse.  Jun Seba is the birth name of the incredible Hip-Hop legend that was born and raised in Tokyo Japan.  In addition to his prolific contributions to Samurai Champloo, Jun Seba was actively engaged with the Japanese and international underground Hip-Hop scene. He collaborated with artists such a Uyama Hiroto, Shingo2, Minmi, Cise Starr, Fat Jon, Terry Calier and Funky DL.  Sadly, and unfortunately for lovers of Hip-Hop,  Jun Seba died in a tragic car accident on February 27, 2010 at the age of 36.  His impact and influence on not only hip-hop, but also artistic expression in general, will forever be felt and remembered.

As a piano player I’ve come to love Nujabes for his signature incorporation of Jazz into his samples.  There is something about pianos, martial arts, and Hip-Hop that hits all the right places in my higher primate brain.  Wu-Tang certainly understood this well.  Below is the full album Nujabes- Modal Soul.  At just over 1 hour the album is a mind blowing masterpiece that takes a strange journey through dreamy-anthem-disco-Gil Scott Heron-like samples.  (There is some coarse language at times but over all it’s a very accessible album.  Fans of any type of music could easily be engaged and given a new-found love of Hip-Hop.)

00:00- 02:51 – Feather (feat. Cise Starr & Akin)
02:52 – 07:49 – Ordinary Joe (feat. Terry Callier)
07:50 – 11:54 – Reflection Eternal
11:55 – 17:24 – Luv (Part 3 featuring Shing02)
17:25 – 21:33 – Music is Mine
21:34 – 24:57 – Eclipse (feat. Substantial)
24:58 – 29:41 – The Sign (feat. Pase Rock)
29:42 – 33:46 – Thank You (feat. Apani B)
33:47 – 39:25 – World’s End Rhapsody
39:26 – 44:06 – Modal Soul (feat. Uyama Hiroto)
44:07 – 48:03 – Flowers
48:04 – 51:02 – Sea of Cloud
51:03 – 54:52 – Light on the Land
54:53 – Horizon

Below is a playlist of some of his top tracks.  I especially like the Spanish guitar sample on the 4th Track: Lady Brown (ft. Cise Starr).  I’ve had this on repeat for pretty much a week.  I’ve actually been using this to test a new way to study Japanese.  When I get bored of doing SRS repetitions I put on the instrumental beats and try to Rap the sentences over the mix.  (In the safety and privacy of my room with the lights off and the blinds down and the door locked of course.)   Something else I recommend doing is finding cool surfing or skateboard videos, mute them, and then play the Nujabes’ beats instead.


Hope everyone is inspired.  I love doing anything artistic to this music.  Writing Kanji becomes like meditation.  Just another piece of JPgomi.


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Masako Yasumoto – Contemporary dance –










I started this blog off with a link to South Park and now I’m on the topic of contemporary dance.  Weird huh?  What can I say?  I’m into everything.  The real idea behind this blog was to illustrate that you never know where you can learn something.  As the Japanese say, “Everyone is your master.”  This means you can learn from everyone and everything.  As I rummage through wifi-ethernet-garbage I come across things of interest that I hope others might enjoy as well.  So here we are.

If your like me the first time you came across a piece of work like Masako Yasumoto’s, was in a video like this –

I’m 90% sure that’s not her.  I think that’s just a dance enthusiast with a similar style.  One of the best examples of this beautiful art is a video I found of Masako Yasumoto dancing to Shiina Ringo’s (椎名 裕美子) song Poltergeist.  The song is from the album “karuki zamen kuri no hana.”  The reason this video is so great is because every form of art used in its construction is masterfully executed.  As you’ll see the video is enthralling because of not only the music and dancing, but also the film work.  Although I’ve always been a lover of the arts; writing, drawing, and playing music.  I was never that big into dance outside of my typical wedding-crasher-behavior.  That’s not to say I had any less respect for the medium, I was simply never significantly engaged.  However, I know what I like and I like this.

Just another piece of JP gomi.

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Bloodthirsty Butchers

I love this band.  But I also hate them because they came up with an awesome band name that I wish I had thought of myself.  The alliteration, the imagery; even the way your mouth moves when you say the words “Bloodthirsty Butchers.” It’s incredible!  With such a great name the music has some big shoes to fill.  Luckily the tunes are up to the challenge.  This style of Japanese rock is hard to even describe.  In my limited writing capacity I could never do the music justice.  But I’ll try to give my 2 cents.  At times you can hear hints of Shonen Knife, Sonic Youth, Pearl Jam, Cat Power, The Breeders, and a spectrum of other bands that blend into an emotionally powerful sound.  I have no basis for saying this but I feel not many people know of this group.  If that’s true, I hope I can introduce this awesome band to a few people.







This last one is the play list I usually just put on and let it ride.

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N・H・Kにようこそ! Ep. 01









Do you love anime?  Whats that, I can’t hear you?  I said do you love anime?  “Private Piles your a#* looks like about 3oo lbs of ……”  Well any way if you do like anime I’ve got something for you.  One major problem I have with watching anime is the lack of reality and the never-ending high pitched idiot nature of characters I’d like to perform a swirly on.  The next person that says ピカピカ or かわいい is getting pistol-whipped.  I actually do like those archetype characters and the overarching themes of anime, but a little goes a long way.  The things I find annoying in anime are also the same things that make the genre great and unique.  It’s analogous to the slap stick routine and daffy ducks lisp getting old when watching Looney Tunes.  After a while I need a Ren and Stimpy to come along and blast the genre apart.  But more importantly, steering away from mainstream anime gives learners a chance to explore new styles of Japanese Language.

When i got tired of all the other kinds of anime I found “NHK ni yokoso!” literally (welcome to the NHK).  NHKにようこそ! is definitely an adult oriented anime.  From what i remember there is nothing to graphic but the subject matter explores complex issues of culture and social isolation.  That’s not to say the show is always dead serious and sit-in-a-bubble-bath-and-eat-haagen-dazs-depressing.  It simply means its more thought provoking and revealing than your typical power-up-boss-battle-anime.  If your a fan of anime and have any interest in modern Japanese society, I suggest giving NHKによこそ!a look.

Here’s the link to the first episode.

欢迎加入NHK 01_在线视频观看_土豆网视频 欢迎加入NHK 佐藤达广 中原岬 山崎薫 柏瞳.


Now that I think about it there are probably more high pitched annoying characters in this anime than most.  However, they are using these characters to satirically look at Japanese society.  So I put up with it.

Just another piece of JP gomi.