Text and photo by Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi
As you might know before moving to New York in 2008 I had lived for about two years in Tokyo’s old city called Asakusa. Once a while I would go for a beer to a bar called Ginmaku Rock in Asakusa, which is owned by the vocalist. bassist and leader of the band ASAKUSA JINTA, and became friends with him and the bar’s customers. In the past Asakusa was the entertainment district of Tokyo where jintas (roving Japanese street bands) once filled the streets.
Today I would like to introduce you to one of my Tokyo favorite bands which is located in Asakusa: ASAKUSA JINTA, the six-piece band and calling themselves the “Asianican Hard Marching Band”. Their music style is a mixture of rockabilly, up tempo country, ska, punk, polka and Japanese Enka and Kayokyoku from the 1930′s.
The band was formed in 1999. Eventually the band became very popular in Asakusa playing in the streets and shopping malls of Asakusa. Their music is about joy, sorrow, love, friendship in evryday life and about “giri – ninjo”.
They have been touring Europe and the US for a couple of years. In 2007 they performed at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, as part of the festival’s Japan Nite showcase. And I believe they played in New York in 2008. They have also appeared at European international festivals, such as Lowlands, Stockholm’s “Kulturfestival” and Finland’s “Helsinki Festival”, as well as Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival. In 2009 they toured the UK. In 2011 they released their 4th album Yamiyo de Danse (literally, ‘dance in the dark night’).
Enjoy this band and here is more information about the band.