:: 3:AM Asia

If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It): An Interview with Koji Shiraishi published 29/11/2009

I wanted to make something that was impressive, and then the producer said, “I want you to make something horribly violent, so violent that it almost can’t be shown”, as these were my orders, I embraced the challenge of making something stirring and emotional while portraying extreme violence. I wanted to portray people who withstood as much one-sided merciless violence as possible, who were unable to fight back, but who never entirely succumbed, not even in the end. I was also, as a director, interested in portraying the feelings of one who’d commit such crimes, so I didn’t want to abandon that angle. I thought merging these two things would be interesting.

By David F. Hoenigman.

»

Japanamerica: Hairy-faced Americans & spindly-legged Japanese published 22/11/2009

jeye2Among the displays of early encounters between the Japanese and Americans, I focused on the graphics – numerous mangalike watercolor portraits of big-nosed, hairy-faced Americans with long legs and vast heads of wild hair wandering amid lean, spindly-legged Japanese. One sequence is particularly memorable: American soldiers laughing at a display of Japanese strength, featuring two sumo wrestlers grappling on a beach, and a subsequent portrait of a sumo wrestler flipping an American soldier over his shoulder – eliciting laughter from all on hand.

Roland Kelts on America’s first Pacific president.

»

Red Leaves: Kirk Marshall published 27/10/2009

What I realised is that the most effective scheme to attract a broader readership was to appeal to overseas markets or models which are successful: people who read what I write tend to either be inhibited less by the unadventurous corporatisation of their immediate publishing circles, or be living overseas. If Australia and Japan both oppose transgressive writing, then let’s at least double my audience by tailoring a journal to the fringe communities of both societies to enhance the magazine’s capacity for success! This is where the bi-lingual focus became imperative to my concept for the journal…

An interview with Kirk Marshall by David Hoenigman.

»

3:AM Asia: Japan’s music-makers in America published 23/10/2009

jeye2There are just a handful of precedents in today’s American music business: Yoko Ono (via John Lennon), Shonen Knife, Puffy AmiYumi. And for eclectic listeners, The Boredoms. Japanese pop music hasn’t survived the flight to the United States well, despite the twin successes of anime and manga. “Today, without anime soundtracks, we’re nothing,” a New York-based Sony promoter said to me. “We need to [move beyond] anime.” Is that possible? The United States is large, much larger than most Japanese understand, and brutally diverse. Like Puffy AmiYumi did, Japanese acts need to tour – and tour hard.

By Roland Kelts.

»

Channeling Chaos – An Interview with Sion Sono published 28/07/2009

3am-sion-sonoActually, today’s criminal acts, it’s always – no reason why. Young people did it, this book (Lords of Chaos) for example, or Columbine – normal people couldn’t understand why they did it. So, the Lords of Chaos story is old, but still relevant. I hope that this film is not only nostalgic or historical (for black metal fans) but also sheds light on modern problems (for everyone). Wherever it happens – young people’s mysterious (extreme) actions.

By David F. Hoenigman.

»

Four Poems Japanese published 12/07/2009

Once just one more visible visitor
In the frantic, epicanthic broth,
It’s been four years for me now
Lost in this fold of Asia.

It swallows, you know?
It tunes you out, Tokyo,
This glittering jewel
Of people and people,
This distant dream, but…

By Matthew Peipert.

»

A Genuine Enslavement of the Attention published 08/07/2009

The fliers proudly state, “a night of pushing the envelope of music, literature and dance.” So music is a big focus. Especially experimental music. I like the term “experimental” because it has such a broad meaning. I like bands and musicians who push themselves beyond what is classifiable into areas of chaos and of-thyself type honesty. Any genre is fine as long as the artists convey a willingness to drive the school bus off a cliff. Dangerously tottering solo sets are good, massive swarms of clang are good, visual gimmickry is good, sexy is good, freak folk is good, death metal, candypop noise, costume changes, avant-garde stylings, makeshift instruments, a certain aura, uncertainty, bravery, fear, etc.

David F. Hoenigman explains PYT.

»

The Worst Of All Possible Worlds published 04/07/2009

tipThere’s no internet access and what news or history that seeps through the cracks is doctored and distorted by the country’s one propaganda channel. Everyone is watched and everyone is afraid. The slightest deviation from the national script can lead to execution or years in a labour camp. Christopher Hitchens, on his visit to North Korea, remarked: ‘[T]he state was founded actually I think the year that 1984 was published and it’s as if they sort of took the book and thought I wonder if we could make this work?’ On his schooling, Hyok Kang recalls: ‘In Lesson 8 we are told, with a straight face, that ‘one plus one equals one.”

Max Dunbar on Hyok Kang’s This is Paradise! My North Korean Childhood.

»

Random Things About Maxi Kim published 28/06/2009

mkIn Japan today there are more than a million young adults who literally shut themselves away from society, refusing to leave their bedrooms for months at a time. The so-called hikikomori phenomenon coupled with the growing number of group suicides have alarmed even the most cynical observers. Obviously there is a dimension to the problem that requires socio-economic attention, but I believe subcultures such as otaku, new zoku, and postpunk punks can play a particularly positive role in the current crises. Here I’m not just talking about manga and anime, but also the fact that there is simply a lot of nihilism in East Asia, it’s in the air one breathes and the dream one dreams – imagine a ubiquitous fog without borders or limits.

Richard Marshall interviews Semina author Maxi Kim for 3:AM.

»

Morrissey Attack published 25/06/2009

we“We’re on the 859th floor of the Tokyo Attack Towers—the hardest fucking building every built. A thousand fucking mad Muslim piloted jumbos packed with Anthrax, napalm and AIDS needles couldn’t dent this cunt!” Just then a thousand mad Morrissey fan piloted jumbos packed with Anthrax, napalm and AIDS needles and BNP election leaflets crashed into all nine sides of Attack Towers Tokyo, bouncing of harmlessly but showering thousands off innocent geishas and sexy schoolgirls and salarymen and manga artists in the street below with disease and fascist propaganda.

By the late great Steven Wells.

»