Yoyogi Park, (Yoyogi Koen, in Japanese) especially on a Sunday, is one place in Tokyo where the city lets its hair way down. Suits and ties seem to be banned, yet it almost seems, too, that a degree of lunacy is somehow required for entry (which is free).
I was in the youth fashion Harajuku area of Tokyo today, not far from Yoyogi Park, so I decided to take a short break in the form of a stroll through Yoyogi Park.
One act that caught my ear, whether I liked it or not, was the self-styled "Jimmy Hipster." What first got my attention was a sound that reminded me immediately of a store's metal roller shutter being lowered at closing time. They do not oil them in Japan, and the sound as it slowly unwinds is of tortured banshees. This was almost as bad, but coming from a speaker.
Jimmy Hipster did what he did - between adjusting his CD player, swigging on a drink, hitching his pants, turning around, having a swagger, walking back to where he'd been standing before - and rapped. It was a mixture of English and Japanese, even the Japanese delivered in a kind of "rappy" accent, much, I guess, like non-American singers the world over very often feel obliged to put on an American accent when they sing - for the cred.
Cred or not, Jimmy Hipster believes in himself. Check out the YouTube video "Jimmy 'Feedback' Hipster of Tokyo" and see if you're a fan.
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Monday, June 20, 2011