Listen Listen Licensing

The song, “Shiroi Kuchibiruno Izanai” by Mew, a Danish indie rock band, quite clearly epitomizes Japanophilia. While clear motives behind the band’s decision to write and sing a song in Japanese are merely speculative, many things can be said about the overall gesture. First, Mew translates the song title as “White Lips Kissed,” suggesting a mere translation of their English-language song of the same name. However, the lyrics themselves do not correspond, and the Japanese “version” becomes a separate song with the same melody. Secondly, the decision to write and sing in Japanese is interesting in itself. The band obviously holds a great affection for Japanese culture, at least enough to welcome the challenge of creating a song in the singer’s non-native language. Even more unconventional and fascinating is the kind of role reversal of music and language in Japan and Western nations. That is to say, while many indie rock bands in Japan often incorporate English in varying degrees in their songs, it is in this uncommon example that an English-speaking music group is incorporating Japanese. Because of this, Japan is infused with both beauty (in the lyrics and style of the song) and “coolness” (in the nod of approval from a “hip” rock band).


dotdotdot — Atualizado em Mar 30 2011 8:01 p.m.

Login or register
to contribute to the Nikkei Album

Welcome to the NEW Nikkei Album!

We've launched Nikkei Album in beta, so everyone can now start uploading and creating their own albums. There may be things that don't work quite right yet. Please email us to report any errors.

Browse the Nikkei Album

Receba novidades

Cadastre-se para novidades por e-mail

Journal feed
Events feed
Comments feed

Apoie o projeto

Descubra Nikkei

O site Descubra Nikkei é um lugar once você pode se conectar com outras pessoas e assim participar nas experiências dos nikkeis. Para continuar a manter e expandir este projeto, nós precisamos da sua ajuda!

Maneiras de ajudar >>

Projeto do Japanese American National Museum

Patrocinador principal: The Nippon Foundation