Dawn of the Shibuya-kei Dead

Thoughts on Shibuya, as Momus spends his last day in Tokyo.

Now, my first reference to Shibuya-kei on my website came in September 1998, when I declared Shibuya-kei dead. Well, I may have been a bit premature. I come today to tell you that Shibuya-kei is no longer dead. Perhaps it never was, or perhaps it’s walking undead. It’s back, like a Pucci Lolita, like a snapshot in a cherished copy of FRUiTS magazine. For five years the spirit of Gap and Uniqlo has banished all but beige, grey, cream, black and white from Japanese streets. But pinks, yellows, oranges and reds are back, synthetic fabrics are back, a bold sort of sensuality is evident again. Not only in this Braniff exhibition, but in the second show I saw today, an impressive display, designed by Groovisions, of Guy Peellaert’s Pravda action girl comics (last seen in a book published by Shoichi Kajino, my A&R man at Nippon Columbia at the height of Shibuya-kei and now designer of fashion magazine Ryuko Tsushin — a true dandy of vintage Shibuya-kei).

Read the full post here.

Update: There’s a very interesting discussion going on in the comments section of the Momus post.