Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Talia's Contribution

Engrish has integrated itself into all aspects of Japanese pop culture, and music is no exception. Engrish can frequently be seen worked into what are otherwise completely Japanese lyrics. These lyrics seldom hold meaning, and serve, for the most part, simply as fashion. Engrish in music has grown in popularity as it has made its way into mainstream pop culture throughout Japan. Engrish found in advertisements, on product packaging, and on clothing has provided the groundwork for its popularity in the entertainment sector. Many of Japan’s top musical acts utilize Engrish in their lyrics and song titles. One of Japan’s leading female vocal groups, Perfume, frequently use Engrish in their music. With titles such as, “Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow”, “ポリリズム”(Polyrhythm), and “Kiss and Music”, their songs epitomize the use of Engrish in Japan’s music industry. These songs are prime examples of fashionable use of Engrish in entertainment. The addition of Engrish to the music industry has followed Westernization and modernization across Asia. It is representative of all things modern and new and the growth of their popularity in Japan.

My challenge to Team Engrish – to branch out beyond the visual and explore the music scene of Japan and its use of Engrish. Music has the ability to reach the people, and because of this, its influence its broad. Music played at concerts; shows; in shops & boutiques; and on the street all reach a unique demographic. Investigate the various locations in which music containing Engrish can be found. To what audience is this music being played? Do you believe that it is target-specific? Check out’s section on Engrish in music. There you can find all sorts of amusing photos of artist album covers with great Engrish. It is my belief that the majority of the Engrish used in today’s new music is representative of the new generation of increasingly Westernized young adults in Japan. I believe it draws on the desire of Japan’s youth to stay up-to-date and in fashion. So go out and explore Japan’s music scene and attempt to uncover Engrish use within it. Maybe a TORA/Team Engrish collaborative field trip would be of interest!

By Talia Wells 

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