Citation
"Kobushi Ageroo! (=Pump Ya Fist!)"

Material Information

Title:
"Kobushi Ageroo! (=Pump Ya Fist!)" Blackness, "Race" and Politics in Japanese Hiphop
Creator:
Fischer, Dawn-Elissa Ti
Place of Publication:
[Gainesville, Fla.]
Publisher:
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Language:
english
Physical Description:
1 online resource (280 p.)

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Anthropology
Committee Chair:
Harrison, Faye V.
Committee Co-Chair:
Fikes, Kesha D.
Committee Members:
Heckenberger, Michael J.
McClaurin, Irma P.
Reid, Mark A.
Graduation Date:
12/14/2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
African American culture ( jstor )
African Americans ( jstor )
Cultural studies ( jstor )
Ethnography ( jstor )
Hip hop culture ( jstor )
Japanese culture ( jstor )
Narratives ( jstor )
Rap music ( jstor )
Social movements ( jstor )
Women ( jstor )
Anthropology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
discourse, gender, hiphop, japan, race
Genre:
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
Anthropology thesis, Ph.D.

Notes

Abstract:
This project examines how specific communities of Japanese Hiphop cultural workers translate their political identities within a black diasporic imaginary. Performances of 'blackness' through the use of African American English, Hiphop language ideology, and other related operationalizations of Hiphop aesthetics are examined in a manner that considers the intersectionality of racialized, gendered and sexualized identifications. This research analyzes narratives and representations in transnational Hiphop culture in an effort to document and elucidate social realities as described by cultural workers in a transnational Japanese Hiphop community. Using Hiphop cultural production and its purported social movement as a point of entry as well as a site of inquiry, the analysis presented contributes to understandings of how 'race,' gender, sexuality, class, and transnational location affect cultural workers in their everyday lived experiences and resistance strategies, such as efforts to build a social movement. This research is also necessarily about rethinking how engagements in aesthetic practices and language ideology that cannot be fully 'excavated' as originating from the community in question are ethnographically interpreted as inauthentic or as mimicry. In an effort to call attention to this analytic crisis in ethnography, the objective of this project is to understand the discursive qualities of 'race' 'as an organizing principle of social order' when its status cannot be reduced to 'origins' histories or biological classifications. The analysis addresses central questions such as how are current popular cultural productions in conversation with transnational social movement mobilizing and organization, and how are these popular cultural productions contesting historical governmental policy and identification practice? Are identifications such as 'race' central to modern movement building strategies that resist governmental practice which limits and fixes identity? This research project considers evidence from Japan that attends to these general global issues and theoretical inquiries. ( en )
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2007.
Local:
Adviser: Harrison, Faye V.
Local:
Co-adviser: Fikes, Kesha D.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Dawn-Elissa Ti Fischer.

Record Information

Source Institution:
UFRGP
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
Embargo Date:
2/22/2008
Resource Identifier:
663111968 ( OCLC )
Classification:
LD1780 2007 ( lcc )

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Kirk interj ects with a more stern order, and Uhura starts the revolution. Her list of

grievances include not getting a raise or job promotion despite her seniority and she alludes

to being sexualized and sexually harassed as well as taken advantage of by Kirk. She

concludes using a kinship term, "brother" toward Farrakhan, who replies in kind, "Yes

sister." Kirk then turns to Sulu for help, at which point Farrakhan intervenes and reminds

Sulu of the racialization that he has experienced. It is revealed that Sulu is not only called

racial epithets such as "Buddha head" and "pie face," but he has also been relegated to the

racial stereotypic service task of laundry--imagery that links foreign Asian racial identities

to a US-based racial trope from Asian-American history (cf., Shah 1997). Sulu's character

builds on the revelations laid down by Farrakhan to reveal an intersection of sexualization

and racialization by introducing the stereotype of the effeminized Asian-racial "other" so

prevalent in popular culture (cf., Kondo 1997; Poulson-Bryant 2005:71). The critique is

that Sulu is not allowed to express his full sexuality because he is Asian, and the

conversation that communicates this is a tirade against Kirk, along with enablement from

Farrakhan. All aspects of this dialogue take place in a manner that obj ectifies women and

accentuates the "man-to-man" aspect of political coalition building. The last person to

revolt is the Spock character who asserts he is more talented and yet underemployed

because of Kirk' s white supremacist management.

When Kirk attempts to retaliate against Farrakhan himself, he is unable to because

Farrakhan draws from an essentialist survivalist narrative in which he cannot be destroyed

because he is the descendant of people who survived slavery, apartheid, and media violence

through the production of racialized stereotypes (e.g., The Jefferson 's). Once Kirk is

conquered by Farrakhan, a changing of the guard takes place. The revolution has occurred.


199









What makes Japan a complex case in regard to studies of race is that it is a country

predominantly comprising people who were once designated as a "yellow" or "Mongoloid" race

by raciologistsl (e.g., Bigland 1816; Blumenbach 1795; Coon 1981 [1950]; US FBI papers

surveilling Takahashi Satohata under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover; Hooten 1946; Linnaeus

1735).2 Gerald Horne documents how Japanese people were further situated as such after WWII

in the peace treaty (2002). He explains this within a context of Japanese people being marked as

people of color, as there was no reference to race in the peace treaty negotiated with Germany.

Horne remarks that Japanese people were specifically punished for believing their race to be

superior to "the white race" (Horne 2002:37; see also Dower 1986). John Dower (1986, 1999)

and Mark Gallachio (2000) also document further racialism3 toward Japanese people from the

US government during WWII. FBI papers documenting US government surveillance of

solidarity movements between African Americans and Japanese nationals also mark such

racialization (cf., Allen 1994). Other scholars have continued to document current acts of

racialization of Asians from Western sources (cf., Befu et al. 2000; Cho 1993; Dover 1947;

Dower 1986; Harrison 1995; Kim 1993; Kondo 1997; Lie 2001; Okihiro 2006; Ong 1996;

Widener 2003).

An example of a virulent racist act, aimed at the racialization of Japanese people, was the

killing of Vincent Chin, a Chinese American murdered by white men in Michigan, who mistook


1 Gilroy defines raciology as "the lore that brings the virtual realities of 'race' to dismal and
destructive life" (2000: 11).

2 For an anthology of similar descriptions see Augstein (1996).

3 As in Cedric Dover' s usage (1947) referenced, racialism is a synonym for racism in that is a
British variant on the term. However, racialism also differs from racism as a term in that is also
holds a connotation of racial considerations that are based on policy, legislation or another
structural formulation of racism. "Racism" as a term is generally used throughout this text;
however, I use "racialism" twice when describing two specific instances of historic racialization
in government policy, following Dover.









LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

African American English

Black Panther Party

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against
Women

General American English

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination

Japan African-American Friendship Association

Japanese popular music

Office of Management and Budget

M~ovimento Nacional de M~eninos e M~enina~s de Rua (=National Movement
of Street Boys and Girls)

National Endowment for the Humanities

Non-Governmental Organization

National Hip Hop Political Convention

Transnational Social Movement Organization

United Nations World Conference Against Racism

Universal Zulu Nation

Worthiness, United, Numbers, Committed


AAE

BPP

CEDAW


GAE

ICERD


JAFA

J-Pop

OMB

MNMMR


NEH

NGO

NHHPC

TSMO

UNWCAR

UZN

WUNC










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workers toward more progressive practice. As Chuck D said during a collaboration with DJ

Yutaka, "The legends ain't ready to leave, cause the kids ain't ready to lead!"

In this way, let us consider that Hiphop serves as a window to studying social reality as

described by the cultural workers youth in question. Hiphop is a point of entry, a site of inquiry,

for understanding how race, gender, class, and citizenship affect cultural workers in their

everyday lived experiences. More importantly, documenting Hiphop as a trope for blackness and

its related status in relation to the state helps to illustrate how blackness is utilized as a

strategically essentialized political tool to displace and assuage the essentializing political

processes operationalized by states to categorize and control bodies that are politicized.

Therefore, I am not only providing insight into how cultural workers cope and recuperate (Butler

1997b; Hall 1996d; Hebdige 1979), but also how the state legitimizes hierchicalizing

apparatuses, and how cultural workers subsequently make sense of this and resist when able.

While Hiphop is transnational, it is also simultaneously autochthonous because we cannot

discount the agency and innovation of individuals positioned at the peripheries of its cultural and

linguistic production (outside of the "Black Atlantic"). Despite occupying disparate spatial

locations, those who identify with Hiphop cultural production are often temporally intertwined

and linked through a "common literacy" (Anderson 1991; hooks 1992) that seeks to destabilize

the status quo--whatever that may be in any given culture--and this practice seems to

encompass a goal of dehierarchizing social relations (cf., Fujita 1996; Gilroy 1993b; Morgan

2002; Prevos 2001; Urla 2001). Hence, Hiphop cultural production not only represents the

articulation of critical theory (Beebe 2002; Dyson 2001; Grossberg 1997; hooks 1992), but it

also relates to the postcolonial intellectual proj ect that Homi Bhabha described as "the

transnational as translational" (1993:172). By concomitantly signifying blackness and disrupting









and wife to US male emcee Nas] (2007:31). This newer definition demonstrates linguistic

change. For example, when I was coming of age, "bootylicious" was akin to the word wackk" or

"booty"-as in "it stank" like a "butt" (cf, Snoop Dogg 1992--dissin Tim Dog-"But fuck your

mama, I'm talking about you and me/ Toe to toe, Tim M-U-T/ Your bark was loud, but your bite

wasn't vicious/ And them rhymes you were kickin were quite bootylicious"). "Bootylicious" held

a negative connotation as an insult in a similar manner, but not as powerful, as any phrase that

disrespects one's mother. Beyonce and others have helped to catapult this AAE-rooted lexicon

into the international public sphere with a new meaning. 1

"Bayside Cruisin'" (2005) Big Ron feat. Richee, DS455 --Richee's Verse

Big Ron is a cultural worker based in the Yokosuka area of Japan, He has been active in

the "West Coast" cultural movement scene of Japan. This song is featured on his album, "Str8

Out Da Bay" and features Richee, a member of Big Ron' s Hiphop group, Ghetto INC., and

DS455, which consists of DJ PMX and rapper Kayzabro. Of note on this album cover is the

AAE phrase and orthography "Str8 Out Da Bay." Thus, two California, USA references are

combined. First, the Straight Outta Compton album by LA-based group NWA and "Da Bay,"

which refers to the San Francisco Bay Area (usually the East Bay's Oakland or Richmond, which

serve as tropes for blackness in public discourse as well as in the Ebonics dictionaries, see

Izumiyama 2005, 2007 [1997]). Second, the symbols of Big Ron' s tattooed arms simultaneously

evoke a memory of LA-based Black and Latino gang cultures as well as Japanese domestic gang

and mafia culture. The car selection also references a US West Coast Hiphop aesthetic, as

Yokohama, home to some US military-base housing, is usually presented as having more of a


SSee also Morgan (2002:76) on grammaticalization and (2008:95, 102) for more on linguistic
change in AAE and Hiphop language varieties.










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complex relations of identification and disidentification, embracing and rej ect[ing]...the West"

(Sterling 2003).

Although Dorinne Kondo' s work (1997)--which studies Asian and Asian American

identities through performances in fashion and theatre--is not explicitly about the intersection of

African-descendant and Asian cultural production, her research, like that of Sterling (2003),

draws upon theories of performativity (Butler 1993) to produce a brilliant ethnographic

methodology and political proj ect that de-essentializes, excavates, and historicizes forgotten

conceptualizations of race and racialization. She asserts that her work "problematizes the black-

white binary and essentialist notions of racial hierarchy, which create separate, bounded racial

groups and place them on a single continuum along the black-white axis" (1997:6). Kondo

builds upon Homi Bhabha' s (1994) ideation of "mimicry" as she theorizes a politics of pleasure

that has the potential to displace the dominant culture as the site of authority. This notion is

exemplified in her analysis of David Hwang' sM2 Butterfly, which is also useful in addressing

how various manifestations of Hiphop in the United States (e.g., N.W.A.'s use of the pej orative

"N-word") and Japan (e.g., Rappagariya' s donning samurai gear) are performative for political

resistance against normative processes. Moreover, Kondo concurs with John Russell (1991a) as

they both problematize and recount "racial formations shaping various Japanese responses to and

tropings of African Americans, which [Russell] argues were mediated through the West"

(1997:244; see also Chapter Six).

Other scholars who have studied aspects of Japanese Hiphop, but are not necessarily

overtly concerned in their writing with destabilizing essentialized notions of race via a critical










My advisory committee in particular, Faye Harrison, Kesha Fikes, Irma McClaurin,

Michael Heckenberger and Mark Reid, and the Founder and Director of the Hiphop Archive,

Marcyliena Morgan, deserve a special "shout out" and "bow down" for being supportive and

challenging as well as "the bomb" theorists and phenomenal educators. I sing a special spiritual

song for each of you, as you all inspire me. I am fortunate to have been mentored by these great

theorists and researchers. Finally, I express immense gratitude to Marcyliena Morgan, who not

only founded the Hiphop Archive, which serves as an important resource for scholars and

educators who study and teach Hiphop, but she has also been a pivotal mentor to a large cohort

of Hiphop generation Hiphop researchers.

I bow down in thanks and reverence for my various crews, who helped me to pull through

as we collectively figure out the Underground Railroad of life. Much props to my tight "Gator"

crew: Lonn Monroe, Tracey Graham, Theresa Adkins, Nakamura Mutsuo, Fujino Yuko, Nishant

Shahani, Sybil Dionne Rosado, Daphine Washington, Ermitte St. Jacques, Rosana Resende,

Harun Thomas and the University of Florida Hip Hop Collective!i I love all ya'll--your spirits

are what I miss about the "Swamp."

Much props to my Yay Area/ Lower Bottoms/ Club Knowledge crews: Danae Martinez,

Imani Williams, Sonni Collins, Chaka Smith, Tesa Rigaud, Miesha Hillard, Ameelah El-Amin,

Curtis "Boze" Riley, Jr. & Hairdoo, Tigi Bihon, Blu, Zotunde, Liv, Tedra, "Lower Bottoms

Mayor" Raymond from across the street, Tarus Jackson (RIP), Chaundra, Fat Rat, Makini,

Susan, Tani Nagaoka, Lisa Moon (RIP), Sato Mirei, Joel Tan, Ricky Vincent, Jeff Chang, Adam

Mansbach, Jeriel Bey and The Architektz, Dorothy Tsuruta, Nedra Ginwright, Shawn Ginwright,

Antwi Akom, Lem Lem, Anita Johnson and Davey D and the rest of the Hard Knock Radio fam,

Wade Nobles, Elnora Webb, Serie McDougall, Andreana Clay, Jon Rodriquez, Jessica Norwood,









When I met Pioneer 4, she was an industry executive. She is a relative newcomer, as the

company she works with was established in the late 1990s. As a result, she occupies a space in

the latter part of Japanese Hiphop's origins narratives. Though Pioneer 4 has been criticized by

other cultural workers for promoting Japanese Hiphop that is considered consumerist and

commercial and "not real," she says that she is not an advocate of American imperialism, and she

believes that Japanese artists who perform "American identities" are rebelling against the

exoticized image of Japanese people as samurai and geishas. Pioneer 4 is an important power

player in the intersection of "underground" Hiphop and the formal music industry. Like other

CEOs of formal economic record companies in the US (e.g., Epitaph and Stone' s Throw),

Pioneer 4 recognizes youths' tastes and preferences for "underground" Hiphop. Companies like

these are currently courting groups that critique the status quo through cultural nationalism and

communist rhetoric. Perhaps as Kyle Cleveland, sociologist and director of the Wakai Proj ect at

Temple University Japan comments, these companies are attempting to market revolution to

increasingly disgruntled social groups.

Pioneer 5 is probably one of the most knowledgeable people about Pacific Rim Hiphop

culture, and he has been extremely instrumental in scouting out talent throughout this region of

the world. A Japanese national, yet a member of a racially stigmatized ethnic group, Pioneer 5 is

keen on Hiphop's utility as political strategy for socially subjugated groups. He is the child of

one Chinese parent and one Japanese parent, and he spent his early childhood between Hong

Kong and Japan. Despite the discrimination that he experienced as an Asian-national living in a

US city as an exchange student, his most salient experience of racial subj section occurred when

he was a middle school student who was picked up by the Japanese police for not carrying his

"identification papers." Until fairly recently, like in South Africa, members of certain racial and










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Three, many of the artists with whom I worked communicated embarrassment and anger toward

Japanese singers and dancers who don blackface, and in some cases (e.g., Channels, the Hiphop

dance duo mentioned in Chapter Three; see Figure 4-3) other racist and stereotypic performances

that bring to mind Sambo and Step'n'Fetchit characters from US media (Russell 1991b).

Nevertheless, blackface performers persist in Japan in addition to other parts of the world, and

since many modern blackface performers (like Channels, see Figure 4-3) appear under the guise

of Hiphop performance, such practice remains a distraction from the productions by cultural

workers who sincerely attend to aesthetics brought forth in the Hiphop origins narrative. As a

result, performers like Channels receive the bulk of media attention (as these performances

should and must be "put on blast," critiqued, and shut down), while performances by people such

as the cultural workers I worked with are often ignored or underreported (except in the

scholarship of ethnographers such as Condry 2006; Cleveland 2006; Okumura 1998; Sterling

2003, 2006; see also Steele 2006, for similar cultural work in eastern mainland China).

Obj ect 4-1 Channels performing blackface

This chapter seeks to elucidate performances of blackness that differ from the type of

blackface performance that groups like Channels engage in. With the exception of certain

academic studies (cf Condry 2006; Cleveland 2006; Okumura 1998; Sterling 2003, 2006),

interest in black American cultures and performances of black popular culture in particular are

often misrepresented as minstrelsy. When one pays attention to the details of the performances,

for example, how AAE grammars are utilized, as well as other rhetoric and practice that

surround the performance, one finds that the Hiphop performance of Channels is quite different

from the "bboy" battle competitions at the annual festival I observed, for example. The

difference lies in intention, ideology, and respect. Understanding the details of aesthetics utilized

in addition to the language ideology that directly relate to a global Hiphop culture, AAE









non-treatments of race that, by avoidance, risk furthering raciologist6 agendas, (2) Nihonjinron

or anti-Nihonjinron literatures and other analyses of nationalist discourses, and (3) critical race

studies. Some of the literatures I examine follow more than one of the aforementioned trends in

their analytic approaches, and I attempt to reveal these intersections in my synthesis. I

characterize the first grouping of literature as studies that do not centrally situate race as an

analytical category for research and criticism (e.g., Allison 1994; Heam 1905; Takao 1992;

Varley 1984; Yoshimi 2000). The second grouping is characterized by complex (offensive-

defensive) subversive strategies of simultaneously problematizing and affirming notions of racial

purity, often without explicit discourse around the topics of race, racialization, and racism (e.g.,

Befu 2001; Creighton 2003; Dale 1986; Lie 2001; Weiner 1997, Yoshino 1992). The critical race

research that I review centrally locates race as an analytical category (e.g., Dower 1986; Kondo

1997; Koshiro 1999; Home 2004; Russell 1991b). These studies distinguish the complicated,

interlocking dynamics of race from other constructions such as citizenship, class, and gender in

research topics ranging from war to fashion in a manner that ultimately fleshes out issues

concerning identity and power. Below, I historically situate these literatures with a short

commentary, outlining maj or events and notable periods from just before the Meij i Restoration

to present times.

On July 8, 1853, under US President Millard Fillmore, Commodore Matthew Perry led

four ships loaded with guns and other artillery on a mission to force trade with Japan, which had

been characterized as having a closed shogun-run government, known as bakufu. Trade with

foreign Western countries, particularly European countries, was forbidden. Though trade with

Asia, namely Korea and China, continued with special governmental permissions, trade with

6 "Raciologist" is the term that Paul Gilroy coins for racist race theorists, particularly those form
the 18th Century (Gilroy 2000).









contemporary understanding of how youth reconceptualize concepts of race and blackness as

tropes central to movement building and social change. Gina Dent (1998), Paul Gilroy (2000),

Stuart Hall and Donald Jefferson (1976), Isaac Julien (1991), Kobena Mercer (1994, 1996), and

Marlon Riggs (1987, 1991, 1995) specifically explain how youth and their related oppositional

cultural production utilizes pleasure as a site for resistance and possibility for securing justice.

The use of tropes for creating narratives of transgression and the corresponding dialogue

that inspires a social literacy for increased rights is brought about through the strategic use of

language and performance (Butler 1997b; Freire 2002). However, the effects of such movement

building are real and reflective of the lived experiences of subaltern youth in our modern times.

For example, the storming of the Brazilian National Congress by youth led by the National

Movement of Street Boys and Girls (M~ovimento Nacional de M~eninos e M~enina~s de Rua-

MNMMR), which resulted in the Congress' s adoption of increased protections for children and

youth in the Brazilian constitution in 1989, demonstrated that even "the most marginalized

groups of young people can influence decision-makers at the highest levels of power, when give

the right kinds of support from youth workers and educators" (James and McGillicuddy 2001).

We see the further effects of youth cultural movements on larger governing bodies as well.

Consider the United Nations' move to incorporate and engage Hiphop at the World

Conference against Racism in 2001. In this case, Hiphop was identified as the most

transformative youth cultural production necessary for supporting transnational collaborative

efforts toward dismantling racism (and other injustices) while using the trope of race as one of its

unifying mechanisms. Thus, Hiphop is being utilized for global movement building and as a

strategy for redressing injustice. To further understand the implications of such phenomena, we

must continue to rise to Harrison's (2002) challenge and incorporate ethnographic analyses of









"KOBUSHIAGEROO! (=PUMP YA FIST!)":
BLACKNESS, "RACE" AND POLITICS IN JAPANESE HIPHOP























By

DAWN-ELISSA TIYE IGHOSOTU FISCHER


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2007









wasn't studying at the Japan Foundation Language Institute or doing ethnography among cultural

workers in the Kansai region, I spent my time that summer at either of my brother and his wife' s

domiciles documenting scenes in that region. I found the location of the Tokyo apartment quite

fortuitous because I was able to walk to recording studios, radio station locations, and night clubs

or lounges without having to spend train fare or having to worry about being forced to stay out

all night and catch the first train in the morning. Doing ethnography in Tokyo also placed me

close to all of the mentors I had met with my mother during her research years earlier. My

mother had made several subsequent visits to work with anti-racist NGOs, and her peer group

was quite bonded. They were extremely helpful and available to help me think through political

issues and questions that arose during my fieldwork.

My schedule at the Japan Foundation was rigorous. I spent my mornings in intensive

language study, and my afternoons doing archival, library, internet, and discipline-specific

research as it related to my topic. I studied and did language homework before and after dinner,

and just before the last train left, I would get dressed in club clothes (black pants, a sparkly tank

top, and uncomfortable heeled sandals) and go observe at a Hiphop venue. I had just completed

my first year of graduate school, and I was meticulous about recording everything I saw and

experienced. In most of the Osaka scenes that I frequented there were general trends with club

owners, promoters, and deej ays being either African-national or Afro-Caribbean-descent. Many

of these individuals "passed" as being African American in an effort to avoid anti-African racism

from some Japanese citizens, European Americans, and European visitors, but others were open

about their country of origin. Toward the end of the nights when I did language study, research,

and venue observation, I would generally settle at a corner table, fighting sleep, while I waited

for the time of the first train to arrive. I might have time for a short nap before having to get









African-descendant singers who toured with a reggae artist who was turning his genre to

Japanese Rap. As black women,2 we were elated to run into one another in an atmosphere that, at

the time, was largely nonblack, and we shared experiences that we perceived as alienating as

well as sexually and racially harassing. They invited me to come to their show, and put me on a

VIP list to visit them backstage after their show. I met a lot of Japanese national Hiphop, reggae,

ska, and soul fans at their show. The outfit that I wore, a Nigerian pant suit with a matching kufl

made from colorful pink and purple themed cloth, invited a lot of political commentary and

conversation from both the audience and performers. I spoke with the performing artist for a long

time in Japanese about his views concerning blackness, African identities, reggae music, and his

choice to switch to Hiphop. He was a kind gentleman whom I perceived as erudite and elder,

though an entertainer.

What struck me about the bilingual conversations that took place backstage was that the

Japanese national participants in that space seemed genuinely committed to blackness as an

important political category, and they found ways to tie black identities and experiences into

their own Japanese identities and experiences during our conversations. The African-descendant

entertainers who toured with the Japanese performers often buttressed their arguments when the

2 I Suppose that technically, I was a girl, since I was 17 years old.

3 This outfit was akin to a man's buba, but the shirt was cut at my hips, and the sleeves were
more "dolphin style." Cross-dressing at that time was a popular dress choice for woman-centered
Hiphop heads. Like popular artists including Bo$$, Yo Yo, Queen Latifah, and Left Eye of TLC,
I wore extra, extra large men's clothing with men's boxer shorts and white ribbed tank shirts that
are referred to in signifying yet sexist vernacular as "wife-beaters" that showed underneath a
larger outer shirt, but covered my own women's undergarments. As an avid Afrocentrist at the
time, I also wore men's clothing in African styles, in addition to women's African clothing like
dresses or skirt suits. In Japan, I could only express myself in these clothes when I went out to
clubs or met friends after school hours for food or shopping. At school and for many after-school
functions, we wore a skirt jumper and button-up shirt as part of our school uniform. I wore
printed dresses and skirt sets (a mid-1990s, Midwestern fashion staple that would be called
"church clothes") when out with my host family.









asked, "Is she [my mother] Chinese?" and I said, "No she's African-descent American." "But

you are half [haffu](=of multi-racial heritage)?" he said, and I responded, "Yes, my mother is

black and my father is white." "Me, too," was his response. He continued, "My mother is

Filipino and my father is Japanese. I am half, too." He was grinning widely and nodding

emphatically, seeming excited that we were both haffu.

At this point, a number of other artists near us began to relay similar comments. "My

mother is Chinese," said one rapper, and "My mother is Korean," said another. Someone called

out, "I heard [another artist who had left the "VIP" section to hang out in the deej ay area] was

Ainu." I was surprised by this interaction. Up until that point I had been told that people who

were haffu hid their multiple heritages to fit into to Japanese society (cf., Life 199X) but in this

space people were proudly claiming diverse heritage and drawing connections to their

perceptions of me. The artists whom I talked to that night performed as if they were secure and

proud of their identity. I asked the artist sitting closest to me who identified as having a Filipino

mother if he preferred the term haffu (=half, suggesting multiple ethnoracial heritage) or daaburu~ddd~~~~ddd~~~ddd

(=double, suggesting multiple ethnoracial heritage). He responded that nowadays it is better

(=politically correct) to say daaburu~ddd~~~~ddd~~~ddd but when he was growing up, he was picked on and called

h
successful. I replied that I understand prejudice (=sabetsu wakarima~su, meaning I went through

similar experiences), and said "In the United States and even here [in Japan] in Nagoya as a high

school student, I had problems." He said, "To struggle and be successful is the story of Hiphop.

KanpKKK~~~~~KKKKK~~~~ai (=toast)" We toasted, and the topic shifted, as someone began to ask my colleague

questions about her experiences with a famous US-based "conscious" Hiphop group.









The master origins narrative regarding Japanese Hiphop origins petitions a

counterhegemonic sentiment that abounds in black American-Japanese political relations. This

relationship dates from a pre-WWII era, and it buttresses transgressive and "underground"

claims regarding the authenticity and political nature of Hiphop in Japan. Though ethnographers

and cultural archivists (Condary 1999; Okumura 1998) place the onset of Hiphop global flow in

Japan with the Wild Style tour of 1983, certain pioneers claim to have first heard Hiphop in the

1970s from US military-base acquaintances, and one explains that he then innovated by

experimenting with cutting and mixing already popular black American blues, jazz, and soul

albums on sale in popular Japanese venues. Recall that prior to these pioneers' generation, jazz,

blues, soul, and reggae were mobilized along with resistance movements against oppressive state

policies (Asai 2005; Atkins 2001).

As more information concerning Hiphop reached American popular cultural memory, it

traveled to Japan just as it did other countries throughout the world through the assistance of

popular print media (e.g., International versions of Time, Newsweek and later, Tlhe Source),

cinema (e.g., Wild Style, Beat Street, Breakin 1,2 &3, Krush Groove, House Party 1,2, &3, Juice,

New Jack City, etc.), world famous concert tours (e.g., Public Enemy alongside U2 and Run

DMC), people-to-people contact (e.g., military bases and youth and business exchange programs,

etc.) and in the 1990s, the Internet. The more attention that Hiphop received in the US from the

formal music industry, the more opportunities the Japanese cultural workers had to penetrate the

formal Japanese music industry. Another Hiphop pioneer reports that when Hiphop was

promoted in the 1980s, it was American Hiphop that dominated the radio waves (based in both

US military and Japanese national audiences). In the 1990s, that changed and, along with the rise









understand identificatory practices of the Japanese and US states and related strategies of

disidentification (Caplan 2001). Hall explains that "Popular culture is where we discover and

play with the identifications of ourselves, where we are imagined, where we are represented, not

only to the audiences out there who do not get the message, but to ourselves for the first time...

[T]hough the terrain of the popular looks as if it is constructed with single binaries, it is not"

(Hall 1996d: 474). Referencing Freud, he reminds us that sex and representation (including race)

take place in our minds, and warns against conceptualizing popular culture as being constructed

with single binaries (1996d:474; see also Fanon 1967). Through this observation by Hall, I

connect the recuperative theories of Butler (1997b) and Cesaire (2000) that relate mental

emancipation to deliverance from political subj section, and explore the relationship between black

popular culture and decolonization. The ethnographic chapters, the fourth and fifth chapters

previously introduced, initiate a conversation between cultural workers as maj or players in the

production of popular culture, and social theory that explores mental decolonization as a political

strategy for social change as well as eradicating injustice. Like Fikes (2000), Kondo (1990),

Ulysse (2007), and Visweswaran (1994), I intertwine the narratives and ethnographic

descriptions of shared experiences and observations that have taken place over the past 13 years

among my research consultants with the story of my repeated entry and re-entry into the various

spaces that comprise our transnational Hiphop community. Our stories reveal current work to

produce alternative representations and to combat existing representations in popular culture and

global media. Like Hall (1996d) observes, our stories are told not so much to discuss Hiphop in

particular, but to express and play with identifications pertaining to race, gender, class,

citizenship, and sexuality.









2001; Spady, Alim, Meghelli 2006; Urla 2001). 12 Through the production of an origins narrative

that situates the cultural genesis in specific, struggling African-American (and immigrant

African-Caribbean) communities, the culture of Hiphop lends its political capital to anyone

seeking redress for the transnational character of political and economic injustice (Harrison

2000). This phenomenon is not new, as African Americans have been conceptualized as

trailblazers fighting against statel3 regulation of identity that is intrinsic in colonial and, as we

are witnessing, postcolonial processes, or metaphorically, a significant population that reside in

the "belly of the beast," cutting away at the intestines. 14 Therefore, as US-based racial politics

are exported abroad--specifically where US military interests persist--relational African

American resistance narratives and strategies become of particular interest as an oppositional

strategy for local populations (Gilroy 1993b, 2000; Hall 1996b; Harrison 2002; Mercer 2000).

Such narratives and strategies have historically been transmitted through popular cultural genres

(Atkins 2001; Chaney 2002: 115; Eterovic and Smith 2001; Lahusen 2001; Ramsey 2003;

Sterling 2003, 2006). In Japan since WWII, jazz, blues, reggae, dancehall, and now Hiphop have

occupied an oppositional utility to state-regulated identificatory practice--whether that practice

comes from the US military, multi-national corporations, or Japanese state policies (Davis 2000;

Lie 2001; Nakazawa 1998, 2002).




12 For instance, most Hiphop-identified participants' history and origins narratives concerning
Hiphop will begin as follows with the over-produced and over-published story of artist Kool
Herc (aka Clive Campbell): "In 1967, Kool Here emigrated from Jamaica to West Bronx.... He
extended break beats as a deej ay.... and Hiphop was born...."

13 See Philip Corrigan and Derek Sayer (1985:195) for a concise definition of the state as it is
operationalized in this study. Corrigan and Sayer (1985) are discussed in detail later in this
chapter.

14 JOse Marti coined the term "belly of the monster" and this phrase is my update of the concept.









[K Dub Shine]
this alcoholic carries a knife at around midnight and early morning,
probably some whiskey that's mixed with water
or maybe buying some really cheap stuff,
stalking, bullying, stealing that' s not worth anything
an island where people easily kill others,
parents putting life insurance on their children and abusing them
there is a lack of respect towards others,
and people starting bitching in prison when they get the death penalty
it' s no one else' s life but yours,
what I think the reason is because of the lack of knowledge and education
which causes the increase in self destruction in this society

[Zeebra]
I'm zeebra, coming from Shibuya,
There's a lot of chinpira (something like gangbangers in the states)
beating up a drunk salaryman in the alley
hating on parents and the police
but it doesn't look too tough when you seem scared
it' s better to be seen as cats who are tough
but that' s just a misunderstanding by a lot of fools
what doesn't change is the baggy jeans
and the sense of danger when I see a police car
man I don't feel good, I don't have any good memories
there' s a lot of negatives but there isn't any positives

[Yamada Man]
yeah, when you walk straight,
there's times when you hit something that blocks you
but if you give up, you're gonna regret it
the challenge in this whole lifetime is trying to eat,
trying to express how I feel
of course I'll challenge it as many times as it takes,
its journey in this game,
risking my life, I'm not playing,
my dream is big
no matter how tough it is, gotta keep my head up and fight it through
I'll keep on goin till my heart stops,
my principle is to work hard than take the way of cheating
you gotta believe in yourself when everything is going bad

[Q]
man how many times are you gonna make me say this
going straight past from left to the right? are you serious?
think a lil bit, you thinking like a kid, is your heart like ice?
one way of a death story, don't mistake it









designs that abound in Hiphop today. Despite all of his successes, Pioneer 5 still experiences

discrimination based on his state-regulated identity in Japan.

Pioneer 1 conspicuously adds to his list of friends on the website for TSMO 1, with a

particular emphasis on two world-renown Hiphop giants: a world-famous political rapper and US

Hiphop Pioneer 9, the founder of TSMO l's parent organization, TSMO. Indeed, in Japanese

Hiphop origins narratives, Pioneer 1 is the US Hiphop Pioneer 9 of Japan, the founder of thelir

TSMO 1. Like US Hiphop Pioneer 9, his life experiences inspire Japanese youth who may be

grappling with exam failure, abuse at school, job loss, ethnoracial inferiority complexes,

hikikomori6 Of Some other social injustice to "keep on, keeping on (=ganbatte)" and persevere.

Pioneer 1 claims to have experienced a great deal of race-based discrimination while living in the

United States. He says that a combination of experiences caused him to end up impoverished,

homeless, and addicted to crack-cocaine while living in a US city.

Pioneer 1 attributes his rescue to US Hiphop Pioneer 8 of the parent TSMO and relative to

US Hiphop Pioneer 9. He says that US Hiphop Pioneer 8 helped him get back on his feet, and in

this way Hiphop saved his life. In this narrative, he returned to Japan to "save" Japanese youth

with Hiphop, as he once was the recipient of such outreach. The TSMO l's (cultural nationalist)

mantra, "peace, love, unity and harmony," are strikingly similar to Japan's own version of

cultural nationalism, Nihonjinron. Therefore, it should not be surprising that many tracks

produced by Pioneer 1 reveal their own strain of culturally nationalist rhetoric that is strategically

essentialist to liberate "the Japanese race" from the Western domination that makes people feel

bad and unworthy. Pioneer 1 and his cohorts seem to use this ideological combination to


6 Literally meaning parasitic, hikikomori is a sociologically prescribed social pathology among
youth, and it is akin to agoraphobia. I actually disagree with such ascriptions, but this is one of
many newer "social problems" assigned to youth.










optimal for audience experience. Bianca made Nihon Style a beautiful and artistic piece with her

superb directing and editing.

Many people did not think that we could go and make a film on a week' s notice for under

$7,000. I would agree that in most cases, one cannot, but we had access to a network that made it

happen. Our airline tickets consumed most of the budget and our equipment needs took most of

the rest. We stayed at my brother and his wife's Tokyo apartment, and my graduate stipend paid

for our train rides and meals. My network graciously allowed us access and VIP status to most

events so we did not have to pay entrance fees, and we also had intimate access to do long

interviews with key people in the Hiphop scene. We worked approximately 20 hour days for ten

days and then left.

The j oint transcription process that ensued was a learning experience as well. As an

ethnographer, I was accustomed to having to make sense of data alone. But in this case, I not

only had Bianca to sit in as we played and replayed quotes we thought were salient, but I also

had important conversations with my brother, his wife, her mother (who is a biological

anthropologist), and my ex-husband (a US Hiphop expert), who had an extended visit with me in

Japan in 2001. My colleagues, Nakamura Mutsuo in linguistics and Fujino Yuko in sociology at

the University of Florida, were also very helpful as we mulled over the data collected. By

November 2002, we had a short edited. I showed it at the AAA annual meeting along with a

paper that I read, and for the first time, I felt that the data were beginning to make sense to

people. Hiphop, including Japanese Hiphop, entails much diversity. There is codeswitching (with

Japanese and AAE as well as GAE). It is international, multilingual, and multiracial. It is

gendered, but all genders and sexual orientations are often present in some form or another in the

cultural productions. There was so much going on in the Hiphop community we documented.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION: THE TRANSNATIONAL AS TRANSLATIONAL

"[Hiphop] is Black Power"

I mean a culture like Hiphop, which is brand new, that's bringing us together like this--
that' s amazing! That' s the power of music, I think. And not only that, the power of
Hiphop. I'll say this: it is black power. I'm not kidding. It is black power. For real!
Everybody recognizes that. I mean, don't get me wrong. I have a lot of respect for the
white people-everybody-but as far as Hiphop is concerned, it's black power.

--A Japanese-national Hiphopl cultural worker

Are these the words of a confused, "wannabe-black" victim of the "black hegemony" of

American popular culture, as some scholars suggest (Cornyetz 1994; Matory 2002; Wood 1997),

or is the cultural worker cited attempting to articulate something more significant? Could his

comments represent reflections regarding the postcolonial condition that he believes his people

have been suffering from since the United States' occupation of his country after WWII (Dower

1986, 1993, 1999)? And, could these comments provide any insight into the context of the more

recent barrage on Japanese youth by dominant images of whiteness as "humanity" and "beauty"

in the media--that is, the over-reliance on white models and actors for the maj ority of



SThe operational definition of Hiphop for the purpose of this proj ect considers Hiphop as a
culture, as it is described by the cultural workers with whom I work. Hiphop incorporates--but is
not limited to--Hyve maj or cultural "elements": knowledge, lyricism, beat production, graffiti art
or writing, and dance. Other elements such as fashion, language, and entrepreneurship also
abound in Hiphop cultural production (cf., Hebdige 1987; Kitwana 2005; KRS-ONE 2000;
Morgan 2001; Perkins 1996; Rose 1994; Smitherman 1997). The spelling of Hiphop--using a
capital H and no space or hyphen--serves to honor an artist who writes theory about Hiphop
culture (KRS-ONE); however, I do not completely agree with his views and theories. I began
writing academic papers on Hiphop as a Hiphop-generation scholar about 13 years ago, and at
that time, Hiphop cultural studies was not recognized or respected as an acceptable area of study.
In 2000, when Davey D circulated KRS-ONE's "Refinitions" (KRS-ONE 2000), I began
choosing this spelling in order to honor the people about whom I have been writing as well as to
accentuate that I am writing about Hiphop as a culture.

2 I USe the term "cultural worker" to refer to the artistic, music, media, and literary producers
who create the culture that I understand to be Hiphop. Read more about this term in the latter
part of this chapter.









This chapter began with Japan's Hiphop origins narrative and outlined how that origins

narrative influenced Japanese cultural workers to transcend political boundaries and geopolitical

identities in search of a liberation message that serves their autochthonous political agenda.

Interviews with cultural workers were analyzed for terminology and discursive practice that

situated Japanese national identities in allegiance with African-American identities as one

explanation for these cultural workers' performance of blackness through Hiphop. Japanese

cultural workers' use of Hiphop language ideology and philosophy was analyzed through an

analysis of flow and battle concepts. Instances of AAE grammatical features were identified in

an analysis of selected song lyrics and related album art that attends to both an African-American

and Hiphop cultural aesthetic. Finally, case studies were provided in addition to other stories

from the field in an effort to narrate examples of individuals who live (=ikiru) Hiphop life and

philosophy.

Hiphop was situated as following past social movements' political agendas of furthering

critical awareness of and action against racialization and related socio-economic subjugation. In

this vein, Hiphop has been a successful social movement, albeit not a new one, as it has

successfully brought antiracist ideology against a global world racial hierarchy into the

international public sphere through popular culture and related organizational building. However,

the limits of this social movement, which build on cultural nationalist discursive practice, lie in

an ideology in which issues of race and class injustice trump issues of gender and sexuality

injustice when the latter refers to the basic human rights of women and children (cf., Collins

2006, Gelb 2003, Philips 2006, McClaurin 2001, Tanaka 1987). Indeed, the liberation of the

strategically essential "black MAN" and "Japanese MAN" through Hiphop leaves much undone

in regard to political work relating to women and racialized others (e.g., Ryukyuans) who feel









movements, in that mockery and irony have always served as a weapon of political protest and

subversion" (cf., Babcock-Abrahams 1984; Lahusen 1996). This idea is comparable to the uses

of pleasure as political resistance (cf., Bhabha 1994; Dent 1998; Kondo 1997; Lorde 1984).

Lahusen continues,

Ultimately, advocacy work is submitted to entertainment formats and values, as has
happened with what has come to be called infotainment or edutainment. This
"advotainment" is part of the manifold interrelations between social movements and
popular music...it may be of interest to explore the meaning and function of
"advotainment" in regard to political mobilization and solidaristic activism. [2001:191?]33

Lahusen challenges social scientists to consider advotainment as a new repertoire of

transnational activism (2001:194). TSMOs (Transnational Social Movement Organizations) like

the International Movement Against Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) and the Universal

Zulu Nation (UZN) present primary sites for such analyses, since they participate in

"edutainment" and seek to dismantle racialization.

With bases in Japan, the aforementioned TSMOs are of particular interest. African-

American movement building around race has served as a template for relational movement

building within these organizations. Indeed, for years, scholars have acknowledged the

exportation of racist rhetoric beyond the United States and throughout the world (Bunche 1936;

Butler 1999; Dover 1947; Harrison 2002; Trouillot 2003). The global ascriptions of race to

subordinated populations provided shared activist frames when these populations began to resist

and organize against these state-induced ascribing processes. Furthermore, building on Rochon

(1988), Eterovic and Smith (2001) identify two key components in the processes of solidarity-

building: (1) interaction among participating groups that creates a common shared experience



33 See Chaney (2002: 115) for the specific role of artists and celebrities as representatives of
social movements "expected to articulate a moral vision for social and public order"; see also
Monaco et al (1978:14).










Lahusen, Christian
2001 Mobilizing for International Solidarity: Mega-Events and Moral Crusades. In Political
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Lie, John
2001 Multi-Ethnic Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Life, Regge
1995 Doubles: Japan and America's Intercultural Children. (film)

Linnaeus, Carolus
1735 Systema Naturae. Theodor Haak, Leiden (Lugdunum Batavorum).

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2001 No One Home: Brazilian Selves Remade in Japan. Stanford, CA: Stanford University
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Lipsitz, George
1994 We Know What Time It Is: Race, Class and Youth Culture in the Nineties. In
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Mackle, Vera
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Japanese Hiphop pioneers and other artists who utilize the opportunity to "borrow" the

"blackness" of Hiphop as part of a larger strategy to reshape the public gaze. Whether this

strategy, to borrow blackness as part of political praxis, is sustainable or not remains to be

seen.

Obj ect 5-5 Exile album cover featuring various African-American political marches with
signs photoshopped to reflect the names of guest artists on the album

Miss Monday toured with the Self-Destruction3 tour in 2003, spreading her message

to her sisters to be themselves and come of age with self-esteem. Her hoarse voice and

phonemic finesse cast her as a talented lyricist with a well-earned place in the history of

Japanese Hiphop. Pictured on the CD sleeve wearing locs, she now sports an afro (a tightly

curled perm) and is transitioning to a more reggae sound. The excerpts from the song

below, "Lady Meets Girl" (2003), outlines her advice to young women. She speaks about

finding her voice (line 1), using the microphone to fight (line 5), and unity among women

to build a better future and define themselves (lines 13, 19). She cautions against

materialism (line 1 1). Also of interest is the use of the phrase "back in the day" by the

cultural worker (VSOP) whose translation I decided to use for this explication. "Back in the

day" is an AAE and Hiphop linguistic phrase. Marcyliena Morgan comments, "'Back in the

day' is used by youth to refer to Hiphop eras" and it also represents nostalgia (2007).

1 +"If I can really express what I feel,
2 I would do it right now...
3 The future is in your hands
4 Just travel forward,
5 9I use the microphone to fight against this shitty daily life...
6 If I could, I would not know anything
7 Like it was back in the day yo!i Lady meets girl...
8 Too much information, so much weight that is carried on the shoulder
9 back then you weren't really like that,
10 grabbing everything that was seen from the eye.


3 See Appendix for more on this tour and a transcription of the theme song.


214










FarrakhanFF~~~FFF~~~FFF~~ 's security backupz, Islamn #1
"You like to buy some incense?"

Farrakhan 's security backupz, Islamn #2:
"Bean pie, my brother?" ((to Sulu))

Steve Park a~s the Sulu character:
"No, thank you."

Kirk:
"What do you want?"

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFar ak a :
"I've come to warn your crew."

Islamn #1+#2:
((Echoing Farrakhan)) "Warn your crew."

Farrakhan:
"Of their enslavement."

Islaml +2:
((Echoing)) "Enslavement!"

Farrakhan:~~FFF~~~FF~~~FF
"Aboard this vessel."

Kirk:
"That' s poppycock. These people are perfectly free to do anything they want."

Farrakhan :
"It is that same lie that kept Elvis the king. That made that poor child Latoya Jackson
think she could sing. It is that same lie that's got white boys rapping and the Fat Boys
acting."

Kirk:
"Hey Mister, you can't come in here and talk to me like that.
Uhuru ((pronounced "Ah-whore-a")), get me Star Fleet Command."

Uhura:
"Yes, Captain."

Farrakhan :
"Oh! My Nubian princess. How long have you placed his calls? I watch the show
every week and all I see is the back of your nappy wig." ((Uhura touches her hair))


194










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Gramsci, Antonio
1997 Selections From the Prison Notebook. Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith, trans.
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Gregory, Steven
1993 Black Corona.

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1997 Dancing In Spite of Myself: Essays on Popular Culture. Durham: Duke University Press.

Green, Lisa J.
2002 African American English: A Linguistic Introduction. New York: Cambridge
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Duke University Press.









according to Akamatsu, the alliance with African Americans was indispensable.
[2003:192]

Due to recent publications by historians such as John Dower (1999), Gerald Home (2004)

and Yukiko Koshiro (2003), more critical race research and information is reaching a broader

academic audience. Social scientists are also critiquing the aforementioned trend to promote

English-centered and economic-based studies of Japan, that often do not take into account the

intricate ways that race works across geopolitical and linguistic boundaries. Citing trends toward

English-centered, capitalist-biased, race-evaded research dominance in Japanese studies, Susan

Klein offers the following advice concerning scholars' "overcoming the traditional Eurocentrist

perspective" in the field. She writes:

Since its encounter with the West, Japan has tended to be viewed as "alien," "exotic," or
just "different." The same biased attitude has been common in studies of Japan' s foreign
policy. So far there are only very few Western studies of Japan' s international role that
have based their observations and conclusions on material written by Japanese in the
Japanese language and have dealt with how the Japanese perceive their country's
international position and role. [2002:178; see also Williams 199]

I would add that with the exception of a few scholars (Kondo 1997), much of the ethnographic

work in English concerning Japan does not seriously or adequately consider race as analytical

category--though issues of orientalism, racism, and linguicism (as part of a postcolonial

condition) are present in many of these analyses. The bulk of social science literature regarding

Japan emerged around the World Wars--particularly in the form of national character studies

from scholars in the United States (e.g., Benedict 1946; Gorer 1953). These national character

studies explicitly served government intelligence purposes and have been critiqued for being not

only at times wrongheaded, but also ethnocentric, if not racist (Neiburg and Goldman 1998;

Kelly 1991). It has been argued that these works supported the basic premise of domination in

times of war--especially wars in which racial rhetoric plays an important role (for Japan terms

like "monkey men" are of salience, see Dower 1999). The core of Japan specialists were trained









All of the aforementioned issues can be connected to a history of power that is centered in

a relationship to the West (particularly, but not limited to, the US), and they are indicative of

complicated and contradictory colonial and postcolonial policies (such as General MacAuthor's

political re-education programs). However, the question still remains: what do the comments

from the cultural worker presented mean? Do they allude to some sort of "borrowing blackness"

(Bucholtz 1997)? If so, why, or for what purpose? Why connect Hiphop, a popular cultural

genre, to blackness and power, when speaking about it from the geopolitical location of Japan?

Does making this connection aim to manage a "spoiled identity" or to petition a particular

political rhetoric? Is the process of borrowing blackness truly only about blackness, or is the

cultural worker contributing to a political conversation that is more complex and reflective about

whiteness and its relationship to the West as it is experienced in Japan? That is, does the process

of borrowing blackness reference whiteness or its contentious history with the West without

actually naming it? If so, why invoke the black/white binary in (politically constructed "yellow")

Japan (Allen 1994, Dower 1986)? What insight do utterances such as the cultural worker' s lend

to the ethnographic study of "race," and what could this discourse tell us about youth6, race,

culture, and politics in Japan?

By analyzing utterances that tie Hiphop to blackness and politics, I examine how race

works in a no race' political era. I pay special attention to rhetoric and practice that is situated


6 The research presented in this proj ect specifically focuses on cultural workers who comprise
Japan' s Hiphop generation, which following Bakari Kitwana's definition (2002) refers to people
born between the years 1965 and 1984. From surveys and participant observation, it seems that
the maj ority of the consumer audiences of the cultural workers discussed in this dissertation
consists of youth born after 1984.

SWhile it has been proven biologically that race is a social construct, ethnographic analyses and
political policies must still consider the continued uses and abuses of race in the 21st century.
The reference to a "no race" era critiques the current trend of "un-recognizing" race in research
and policy (cf., anti-affirmative action court rulings in the United States; former Prime Minister









resulted in an album called Oboreta Machi. The song, "Koko Tokyo" features fellow NMU

members S-Word and Dabo, along with another legendary Tokyo rapper, Big-O. Big-O is

currently gaining popularity in the US through his newest fashion line, Phenomenon. Their

album cover features artistic lettering in romaji in addition to the group members, who are

wearing popular Hiphop fashion.

Obj ect 4-3 Aquarius' s album cover for the "Koko Tokyo"

Line 1 of the preceding verse contains the "Ima" phrase that Morgan (2002: 127-128)

describes as part of AAE and Hiphop linguistics. Line 4 features the phrase "got my mind on my

money, money on my mind" which is a phrase that abounds in Hiphop as well as AAE historic

narrative poetry. More recently, The Notorious B.I.G.--a slain rapper who is considered as

possessing some of the most talented lyrical skills in global Hiphop--has been noted for that

phrase. The lyrical sampling here serves as a shout to the aforementioned traditions. The phrase

beginning with "got" is also consistent with Morgan's research (2002:128) concerning the higher

percentage for "got" verses "have" in subj ect case for Hiphop verses. Line 9, the final line of the

verse, is quite poetic and reminiscent of traditional Japanese poetry genres, such as tanka, with

his reference to coming to visit his sweetheart before dawn. It also petitions literary aesthetics

such as mono no aware, in that a sense of sadness along with sentimentality is communicated

with his vivid and beautiful imagery. The Hiphop aesthetic of perseverance is also

communicated in this song, and the lyrical reference to Notorious B.I.G. accentuates this

sensibility.









its association with a black body politic--rooted in an African-American imaginary that is

metonymicallyy) genealogically related to a history of resistance against state-regulated identity,

why is this aspect of Hiphop cultural production often avoided or left unanalyzed? Specifically,

what is the analytic relationship between race and Hiphop? How does race operate as a referent

within Hiphop culture? That is, how does Hiphop become racially imbued? And what becomes

of the conceptual status of race if Hiphop practitioners' racial "origins" are not publicly

recognized as black?

Following Hall (1996d), the utilization of black as a political category is evidence of

strategic essentialism; however, in order to discover why disidentificatory practice is necessary

with this particular population (the trans-Pacific Hiphop community in question), one must

understand identificatory practices of the state and related strategies of disidentification (Caplan

2001; McClaurin 2001). As Hall comments, "[popular culture] is where we discover and play

with the identifications of ourselves, where we are imagined, where we are represented, not only

to the audiences out there who do not get the message, but to ourselves for the first time...

[T]hough the terrain of the popular looks as if it is constructed with single binaries, it is not"

(Hall 1996d:474). Referencing Freud, he reminds us that sex and representation (including race)

take place in our minds and warns against conceptualizing popular culture as being constructed

with single binaries (1996:474; see also Fanon 1967). Through this observation by Hall we may

j oin the recuperative theories of Butler (1997b) and Cesaire (2000) that relate theories of mental

emancipation to deliverance from political subj section and explore the relationship between black

popular culture and decolonization.

Chapter One introduced theories of disidentification (Butler 1997; Mufioz 1999) and AAE

discursive practice and Hiphop Linguistics (Morgan 2002, 2008) in an effort to situate Japanese









Hiphop artists are performing blackness. Following the theories explained by Morgan (2008),

usage of AAE language indexes oppositional practice and resistance to alienation.

One young Japanese-national research assistant concurs as he wrote to me in an e-mail: "I

think slang words (at least in the States) that are in Hip Hop are used [to] create a language that

whites don't understand but people of color can communicate with each other. It' s words that

can't be understood by whites so in Japan, I think slang words among young people is a way of

resistance against the adults." He then listed the following Japanese Hiphop lexicon:

(1)Ma~chigainai (=fo sho / yea that' s right, used in agreements, to emphasize the
agreement)

(2) 045 (=refers to Yokohama area also known as the "Bay Area" of Japan.)
((And there are lots more numbers and city names to refer to the specific area or city in
Japan and represent where they from. 03 usually refers to Tokyo area. same as how we
here in the states represent where we from with area codes.))

(3) Ame-ko- (=a word used towards [white] Americans (usually negative connotation)

(4) Kome (=rice; putting rice on the table; has money context)

(5) Ikareteru (=crazy (I guess this isn't really a slang)

Though this young researcher explains his understanding of AAE and Hiphop language in terms

of "slang," he is obviously engaging in and describing grammatical features. Likewise, there are

several African-American "slang" and "Ebonics English" dictionaries that situate AAE and

Ebonics as a language variety, as syntax, phonology, lexicon, semantics, and pragmatics (cf.,

Izumiyama 2005, 2007 [1997]). These texts also situate the study of African-American language,

culture, and history as necessary to understanding Hiphop and R&B. Understanding basic AAE

features are key to fully elucidating the significance of the "WORD" in Hiphop language



S"813" is also used for Tokyo, which interestingly is the same area code as Tampa, Florida, and
this relation was often brought to my attention. Examples of area code significance in global
Hiphop can be seen in works ranging from David Banner to Big Ron.









that were chosen to minimize valuation, imagination, and identification (e.g., Rapper, Pioneer 3,

cultural worker, etc.). I chose this level of generality because many of the people that I worked

with live their lives in the public sphere; and I thought that if I were to use a pseudonym of

"Tanaka-san" or "MC K" for an artist, for example, there could be too much room for guessing

about who that person might be. Therefore, many of the well-known cultural workers that I

worked with are referred to in general terms and other details such as dates and specific

geographic locations are left ambiguous. I chose to use general popular names (e.g., Makoto) for

my descriptions of consumers as well as one cultural worker who also worked with me on

research proj ects because these individuals are not living publicly documented lives, and it is

unlikely that one could figure out their identities given the small amount of information shared

about them. Furthermore, in the case that a public event is analyzed, such as a public forum, a

concert, or a conference, generally pseudonyms or descriptions are still used; however, if an

official name is being used, efforts to obtain permission from persons reported on were made.

Published materials, such as albums or song lyrics, are referred to in-text and cited accordingly.

In my write up, I attempted to weave together a "story" collected from fieldnotes, transcribed

linguistic data, print media, and other Hiphop cultural productions. This story is mediated

through conversations with research consultants in an effort to collectively co-author a narrative

of race as experienced by Hiphop cultural workers in Japan.









masculinity in ways that degrade the human equality of women: "pimp" metaphors are

often utilized and celebrated, and male opponents are feminized (and in some cases

threatened with rape) as a strategy to disrespect them. Furthermore, content in "conscious"

songs referring to women often leave them absent as main topics of narrative, thus erasing

them from social struggle. In addition, women are cast into the "golddigger" category and

criticized for being complicit with materialism, consumerism, or sexualization in quite

paternalistic and patriarchal ways.

Examples of this would include song lyrics that criticize Japanese adolescent girls for

exchanging sexual services for Western brand name fashion items with older men, or song

lyrics that criticize women for shopping too much and, through their absence in their

household, allow themselves or their children to be degraded by their male partners.

Although these criticisms may come from good intentions, they do not address the larger

sociopolitical issues that underpin the behaviors and practice of the women and girls they

criticize, and general tones of the lyrical performances could be read as condescending.

Another example of sexism in Japanese Hiphop lyrics could include referents in Japanese

language that criticize by feminizing. The Hiphop vernacular Ame-ko for example is

diminutive and derogatory because the morpheme /ko/ means child and also signifies one

as feminine, as many female names end with that morpheme (e.g., Michiko, Satchiko,

Yoshiko, etc.). Borrowed words can also be utilized from English, both GAE and AAE, to

signify objectification, such as the English pej orative "bitch." Consider the verse below

from DS455 from Big Ron's "Bayside Cruisin'" introduced in Chapter Four:











3 "RACE," ETHNICITY, AND POSTCOLONIAL IDENTITIES IN CONTEMPORARY
JAPANESE STUDIES .............. ...............88....


Introduction to "Race" in Japan.................. ...............8
Negroid and Mongoloid: Race as Shared Experience ................. ...............92...
Examples of Racialization of Japanese People in US Print Media ......._.._....... ........... ....93
Treatments of "Race" and "Racism" in Japanese Studies ................ ........... ................94
From Burakumin to Blackface: The Performance of Race and Promise of
Transcendence............... .............11
NIHON-STYLE ................. ...............125__ .......

4 HIPHOP AS TRANSNATIONAL SOCIAL MOVEMENT? ................ ......................128


Making a Movement: "Building a Hiphop Foundation" ............. ..... ............... 12
Layers of Race: Samples from Hiphop............... ...............135
Codeswitching as Discourse Strategy ............ .....___ ...............143..
Hiphop Aesthetics and Language Ideology ............__......__ ....___ ............4
Examples of AAE Phonology .............. .....................149
Examples of AAE Syntax.. ....._ ....__.......___ ......__ .........__.....149
Examples of AAE Lexicon ............ ..... ._ ...............149..
Other Morpho syntacti c Prop erti e s ................ ...............149.............
Flow: Can You Feel It? ............ ...............150.....
Shinj uku Represent": A Battle ........._.._............_. ...............154..
Japanese AAE Codeswitching in Japanese Hiphop ................ ...........__ ..........__ .....16
"Luck Last" (2006) by Anarchy feat. La Bono and AK-69 --AK-69's Verse.............1 65
"Koko Tokyo" (2003) by Aquarius (DJ Yakko & Deli) feat. S-Word, Big-O, and
Dabo--BIG-O's Verse......................... ........................16
"No Pain No Gain" (2002) DJ PMX feat. Maccho (Ozrosaurus), Zeebra--
M accho' s Verse ................. ....... ........ ....... ... .. .........16
"Uh-Uh" (2003) by Suite Chic feat. Al--Suite Chic's Verse ................. .........._.._.. .169
"Bayside Cruisin'" (2005) Big Ron feat. Richee, DS455 --Richee's Verse ........._.....171
Hybridity, Identity, and Cultural Work ................... ...............173.
Case Studies: Producers, Consumers, and Distributors ................. .......... ................1 76
Distribution: "We All in the Same Game" ................ ...............176........... ..
Consumers: Beyond Blackface ................. ...............179...............
Producers: The "Keepers" of the Culture ................. ............ .. ............. ......18
Conclusion: The Politics of an International Hiphop Generation? ................ ................. .187

5 IS OPRAH RIGHT? RACE AND GENDER POLITICS INT HIPHOP .............. ................190


Ethnographer' s Eye/I-Novel or Mus/usseisu:~n Raising Critical Notions of Self and
Society through Narrative ................. ................. 190........ ....
Lessons in Uhuru from Uhura ......_._..............._. ...............192....
The W rath of Farrakhan .............. ... ....... .. ....................19
A JCdlfli ? (=What' s My Name?): Bringing Gender Back Into the Anti-Race Game .......204
Alf2~ (=Women Represent!) .............. ...............207....









racial stasis, Hiphop's significance to social movement building is transnational ("hiphop is

black power") as well as translational ("kobushi ageroo! [=pump ya fist!]"). This transnational

genre is translatable in a metonymical sense, as its liberatory message is carried from one place

to another and serves to describe the condition of our contemporary world from a specific,

formally silenced perspective.









local battles and festivals to a top-selling artist who recently announced that he would be

working with famous J-Pop star, Nagabuchi Tsuyoshi. Nagabuchi was on the main theme song

for the motion picture fi1m Otokotachi no YamYYYYYYYY~~~~~~~~~ato and Hannya had the supporting sub-theme

song, "Oretachi no Yamato." An excerpt appears below.

Our generation was born after the war, but there's still war going on
Some idiot creates the nuclear bomb and then some other idiot does the same thing
Will the top leader of your country and will the top leader of the other country, just step
down and Eight one and one because the rest of us
really wish for peace in this world

The aftermath of war brings losses of those who we love, family and friends
Forget about winning or losing, this is about life
To have feelings as a human being
If I ever have a kid, and that kid has a kid,
I would want them to live in a world where they will be able to smile more than the world
we live in today
--Hannya

Obj ect A-4 Hannya' s "Oretachi no YamYYYYYYYY~~~~~~~~~ato"

"Knowledge" Panel Translation Sample

Aspects of the following excerpt were translated by VSOP, Wesley Uenten, Fujino Yuko,

Nakamura Mustuo, and the author. This discussion took place at a "knowledge" panel during a

Hiphop festival. It is shared to exhibit the level of thought and philosophy that create the "fifth"/

"overstanding" element in the operational definition provided for Hiphop as a culture. It also

exhibits aspects of how narrative and storytelling--within Hiphop's language ideology--are

integral to the creation of Hiphop's transnational origins narrative, which includes members from

either side of the Pacific--that is, American pioneers such as DST are mentioned as well as

Japanese pioneers, whose identities are hidden.

Pioneer 1:
Hiphop is being portrayed greatly through the mass media. Yeah, it's not a bad thing, but
there is more to it in Hiphop than that is portrayed in the media. For instance, there has
been an increase in independent artists. For deej ays, maybe it' s good to listen to the
Hiphop from the 1980s? Do you guys feel the same way?









that summer, and one key consultant was recorded Hyve times. This key consultant was a Kenyan

national who had just completed his degree in civil engineering. He sold African art and goods at

an outdoor market close to the Language Institute, though he lived in an urban part of Osaka and

also promoted Hiphop events. I visited him at the market several times a week and spoke with

him regularly. Of my seven recorded interviewees, one was a Japanese-national female, two

were Japanese-national males, and four were African-descent males.

I conducted similar observations in Tokyo and adj acent cities for a cumulative total of

three weeks that summer. As stated earlier, I would spend a week in the region when I was

afforded "self-study" time at the Language Institute. In the Tokyo metropolitan area, I recorded

the same kind of data that I did in Osaka, except many of the club venues in which I observed

were too large to get accurate counts of participants and to talk with all of them about how they

identified themselves. In these venues, I would hang out in smaller settings within the larger

setting, such as the women's bathroom or the VIP lounge in an effort to get and record more

intimate data. I recorded eleven "long" conversational style interviews in Tokyo, and established

the beginning of a long friendship with many of these people. Unlike in the Osaka metropolitan

region, my general consultants in the Tokyo metropolitan region were mostly Japanese citizens,

although there were seven African-American male consultants, three of whom lived primarily in

Japan, two of whom traveled back and forth, and two of whom were US-based artists who

frequently toured in Japan. Of those whom I recorded in long interviews, seven identified as

Japanese citizens and four were African-American. The African Americans were all male, and

of the Japanese interviewees, only one was female.


SSee chart (Figure 2-2) at the end of this section and Chapter Four for more detail. Some of the
"Japanese-national"' cultural workers identified in dual ways, as both Japanese and as having
"mixed" heritage, such as having Chinese or Filipino mothers and Japanese fathers.










34. Yo, you first grade b-boy; I can't loose.

35. RThis is a battle between a man and a man. There are no rules.

36. A rap that becomes judged is already dead, stop fucking around judges, that' s a
mi stake

37. A wack fool that came up as an emcee

38. When you turn on that TV, you decide what' s right and what' s wrong.

39. I'm frustrated and I'm putting those emotions back to you in words,

40. carrying something that' s very important to me.

41. But I might be kind of weak, but I have something special,

42. I'm doing this for no one but myself.

43. This is what I chose to do for a living, right MC R?

44. 4Yea I want to fuck up [name of popular Hiphop 'boy band']

45. RI don't know what you get from TV,

46. but I'm going to die here ((I think referring to on stage in the ring))

47. That won't be too bad, I'm serious

48. MC R:

49. RI don't really care about you all JHiphop people,

50. the industry is full of wack people.

51. Yo, MC S, I don't like how the crowd and audience is looking down at us.

52. RThis ring (stage) should be set higher, about 10 meters higher.

53. Jumping over hurdles. We're gonna keep on going.

54. 4Me performing and delivering these rhymes.

55. aWe're gonna be saving Japan, and I'm just telling you this is just one way of doing










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the Tokyo metropolitan area. Afterward, some of the group went to dine. We ate chanpuru and

other Ryukyuan cuisine while listening to Ryukyuan musicians perform at a restaurant. When the

musicians were finished performing (as we "closed the spot down" that night), my mother,

Nakazawa-san, and Yoshida-san talked with the musicians and other restaurant staff about

blackness, race, and politics as well as Asian-national art and activism. Upon arriving at

Yoshida-san' s home I was struck by her beautiful photographs of members of the Black Panther

Party, particularly Huey Newton. These "elders" "broke bread" based on their perceptions of

shared experiences of subj section as well as their collective cultural identity as members of a

transnational social movement inspired by the international black power movement. It wasn't

Hiphop, but similar aesthetics and language ideologies were at play.

Citing the work of Yoshida Ruiko, who is also an internationally acclaimed Japanese

national photoj ournalist, Russell (1991a) provides a quotation from her discussing the premise of

one of her books and its relationship to her becoming aware of her own identity as it intersects

with global racial hierarchies:

Haremu no Atsui Hibi is a coming-of-age record of the maturation of one yellow-skinned
woman' s [kiiori hada no onna] life in an American black ghetto in the 1960s. At same
time, it is also a journal of one person's search for self-identity, a person who--like
blacks--is a minority in American society. [Yoshida 1979:226, quoted in Russell 1991a]

Contrary to the scholarship that questions Japanese Hiphop's "authenticity" based on the

supposed premise that African-American Hiphop "originators" and Japanese national Hiphop

cultural workers lack shared experience [of racialization and disenfranchisement] (Fink

2006:201), Russell analyzes Yoshida' s comments and historically situates the existence of shared

racial identities and, thus, shared experiences between African Americans and Japanese

nationals. Russell writes,

Yoshida' s use of terms like oshukujin (yellow person) and hada no kiiroi onna (yellow-
skinned woman) and her identification of herself a "minority" is a deliberate statement of










population, and yet another pioneer alluded to the activist utility of Hiphop, stating that Hiphop

offers an opportunity to assuage social inequality in Japan.

The youth were quick to utilize this moment to expose a common contradiction. That is,

how can Japan be without race problems, but also experience social inequality? The

contradiction of the former pioneer' s obvious Nihonjinron sentiments with the other pioneer' s

commitment to social change seemed to puzzle yet positively challenge these youth to make

sense of Hiphop and its political relevance to their generation. One pioneer responded that he

should be proud to be Korean-descent and that "some of the best Hiphop comes out of Korea."

He continued that the experiences of discrimination and its related pain contribute to "soulful"

productions of Hiphop that heal and present opportunities to bring oppositional people together.

He related the experience of anti-Korean discrimination in Japan to antiblack discrimination in

the United States, and reminded the young man of "black people's perseverance." He concluded

that it was every Hiphopper' s responsibility to address such issues in the Japanese Hiphop

community .

While the pioneer' s comments to the Korean-descent youth were meant to encourage him

and support social justice efforts, his sentiments unfortunately also situated the youth in a

derivative status to a Japanese norm. The comment concerning "some of the best Hiphop comes

out of Korea" reminded me of a statement often heard concerning US racial relations: "I'm not

racist; some of my best friends are black." Teun van Dijk (1995:27) comments on this

phenomenon:

Underlying ideologies also control communicative contexts, and hence the self-definition
and impression management of speakers, who will generally try to make a good
impression or avoid a bad impression...This is particularly clear in the strategic use of
disclaimers. Examples of such semantic strategies in our own research on the reproduction
of racism in discourse of such semantic strategies are well-known and comprise such
classical moves as the disclaimers of the apparent denial ("I have nothing against Blacks,









postcolonial discourse that seeks to bridge lived experiences of individuals in the present

moment to historical memory (cf., Baker 2001; Brown 1998, 2000; Fanon 1967; Fikes 2000;

Hall 1996b, 1996d, 1997a; Mercer 1994, 1996; Morgan 2002, 2008; J. Scott 1992; D. Scott

1999; Yasin 1999). Here language (Butler 1993a, 1993b, 1997; Mercer 1994, 1996; Morgan

1994, 2001, 2002, 2008) will be an important point of inquiry, as it marks how racializing

processes interface with the public sphere (Brown 2000; Dawson 2003; Fikes 2000).

Upon close examination, one can uncover oppositional performative strategies within

Hiphop rhetoric. The subj ect utilizes subj section as a resource to resignify something about power

(Butler 1997b). However, while Hiphop in America is occasionally acknowledged as an

"authentic" cultural production, Hiphop in Japan is often relegated to "copycat" practice at best

and "blackface" at worst, and thus, its political significance gets lost.30 I pOsit that Japanese

Hiphop is not mere mimicry31, for Hiphop culture is simultaneously transnational and

autochthonous; it represents a common literacy and identity across the globe as well as local

nuances and cultural relevancy (Fischer and White 2002).32 The transnationality in this cultural

form (Hiphop) that is often dismissed as mere "entertainment" has intriguing promise for

solidarity building that aids its constitution and utility as a potential transnational social

movement. As Lahusen (2001:191) observes, "entertainment isn't necessarily alien to social


30 These are actual utterances from certain Hiphop artists, journalists and scholars. That is, if
when black people perform black culture it is "authentic," then what about when nonblack, yet
racially marked bodies operationalize black cultural production?

31 See the work of lan Condary (2000) and Kozo Okumura (1998) for more discussion.

32 In the case of Japan, the political rhetoric of proletariat tanka, the "vulgarity" of certain haikai,
the collective composition of renga, or the performative innovation of lyrical word play such as
honkadori,~~kkk~~~~kkk~~~ yoojo, and kakekotoba are salient. Of equal importance is the parallel and strikingly
similar aspects of these literary aesthetics to cultural aesthetics that abound in oral performance
from the African Diaspora--Hiphop included (cf., Ueda 1999). Indeed, Hiphop occurring on
either side of the Pacific is simultaneously transnational and autochthonous.










air," I also think that elucidating how power is sustained and managed is key to a complete

comprehension of how people experience power (Corrigan and Sayer 1985: 5). Corrigan and

Sayer assert in their conclusion that studying up is as important as representing critique and

agitation fr~om below. They comment:

What we have been dealing with, in this book, is the immensely long, complicated,
laborious micro-construction and reconstruction of appropriate forms of power; forms
fitted to ways in which a particular class, gender, race imposes its 'standards of life' as 'the
national interest' and seeks their internalization as 'national character'. The capacity of
such groups to rule rests neither on some supposedly 'prior' economic power--it is, on the
contrary, above all through state forms and their cultural revolution that such power is
made, consolidated, legitimate and normalized--nor simply on their control of some
neutral set of state instruments. Their political power resides rather in the routine
regulative functioning of state forms themselves, in their day-to-day enforcing, as much by
what they are as in any particular policies they carry out, of a particular social order as
'normality', the boundaries of the possible.[Corrigan and Sayer 1985: 203; emphasis mine]

Such an idea of the state--one that considers its regulatory processes--that is, an

understanding of the state that demystifies how control is reserved (in that there are people--

bodies--that produce and reproduce power through strategic reconfigurations, rituals,

regulations, deregulation and discourse on forms) allows one to consider theories of states'

intersection with social movement theory,20 which documents the dissents that Corrigan and

Sayer describe.

State formation is something that has ever been contested by those whom it seeks to
regulate and rule. It is first and foremost their resistance that makes visible the conditions
and limits of bourgeois civilization, the particularity and fragility of its seemingly neutral
and timeless social forms.....It is also, profoundly, a moral critique: what such struggles
show again and again is the exact ways in which the regulated social forms of bourgeois
civilization effect real, painful, harmful restrictions on human capacities. Such 'general
knowledge' -disarmed by legitimate disciplines, denied by curricular forms, diluted in its
being refused the accolade of scholarship, dissipated as 'empirical examples' in a thousand
doctoral dissertations--is the 'classic ground' for an understanding of bourgeois
civilization that does not simply parrot its 'encouraged' self-images, as well as for any
feasible or desirable social transformation. [Corrigan and Sayer 1985:8]

20 COnsider June Nash (2005) and Edelman (2001) for anthropological analysis of social
movements .









The message is brought home with Lil' Ai's final verse. Her presence in the song

takes Hiphop from the Bronx and Los Angeles to the colonized Pacific Islands of Ryukyu,

Japan. Codeswitching with some English, AAE, and Japanese, she raps about Hiphop as a

revolution. Like Rappagariya and other political lyricists in Japan, she raps about Hiphop

as a virus that spreads and has vibes to resonate or make people feel "good." The sense

from her lyrics translated below is that the Hiphop foundation that Rapper 1 (in Chapter

Four) mentioned is built solid, and it protects us from false popular culture. Lil' Ai situates

Hiphop as not being bound by geopolitical space (it is transnational culture) with the line:

"Hiphop defies the limit from the west to the east, from the left to the right, destroying

borders that creates lines in between." Like the male rappers described in Chapter Four,

she, too, positions herself in the role of guardian, savior, and "god" that can protect

Hiphop. In this way, her rhetoric is indicative of what some scholars are saying is the

opportunity for women to "flip" gendered scripts with Hiphop, as the role of savior or

superhero is thought to be stereotypically ascribed to men. However, one must be careful in

this analysis as we have learned from Uhura' s character, as well as from Joan Morgan

(2000), Ntozaki Shange (1977), Yukiko Tanaka (1987), and Michelle Wallace (1979): the

trope of savior/superhero/godess applied to women is not on equal footing with trope of

savior/superhero/god applied to men, in that the former could end up exploited,

unacknowledged, erased, or martyred. A transcription of the song lyrics follow.

Obj ect 5-7 Beef Soundtrack' s album art for "Let' s Go (It' s a Movement)"

The Beef soundtracks, documentaries, and related television series exemplify

Hiphop's cultural aesthetic concerning the "battle," which was described in Chapter Four.

It presents the "battle" as a discourse strategy to communicate value systems associated

with Hiphop culture. At times the value systems are progressive and in line with a


216









Given that parts of Hiphop, even that which is purported to be underground, intersect

with formal economies such as the popular music industry, the treatment of women is not

always much different. Nevertheless, all the cultural workers with whom I work say that

despite its inability to completely transcend sexism and domestic racialization within

Japanese society, Hiphop presents a forum for intercultural and transnational

communication that creates a safe space to begin discussion about these important topics.

Many think that the discussion is only the beginning for great problem-solving possibilities

concerning these matters and they cite relational examples of how Hiphop has been used to

address these problems in the US as models for what their organizations and artistic

productions can accomplish (cf., Ice Cube and Yo Yo's artistic dialogue, Russell

Simmons' s Hip Hop Summits and the ongoing, pioneering work of the Universal Zulu

Nation).

AfZ;tl i! (=Women Represent!)

Contrary to popular discourse, black social movement members do not have a

monopoly on sexism, heterosexism, and other forms of gendered subjugation. Countless

feminist writers have documented and attended to issues of sexism and hetereosexism in

practices that support and maintain white supremacy and global capitalism (cf., Sassen

1999; E. Wood 1997). Concerning sexism in the Japanese Hiphop movement, lan Condry

concludes:

In terms of women' s empowerment, the recent examples of female hip-hoppers Ai,
Hime, and Miss Monday show that gender is finally gaining wider treatment within a
Japanese rap scene largely dominated by men. If some of these straight-talking
women achieve mainstream success, it may be possible to point to hip-hop as a
vehicle for gender equality in Japan. Their influence up until 2005, however, seems
largely confined to their fans, a substantial, but not widespread, effect. [2006:214]









monograph is exposed to be not as seamless as it appears. Rather, it is various pieces held
together by all sorts of stitches, as a quilt. Reflexivity allows me to unmask the political
content of my encounter. [2007: 6]

She introduces an innovative theoretical frame of the alter(ed)native perspective in

anthropology. Ulysse writes:

This ethnography is a counternarrative articulated from what I call an alter(ed)native
perspective to the conventionalities of the dominant discourse within anthropology. It is
alter as in other and native as I was born in the region and am ascribed that identity. It is
altered) because of how my approach to this proj ect has been modified both by my
training and by my encounter with ICIs [her research consultants]. The term connotes an
anti- and postcolonial stance, with a conscious understanding that the continuities of
history mean that there is no clean break with the past. With that in mind, alter(ed)native
proj ects do not offer a new riposte or alternative view; rather they engage existing ones,
though these have been altered. Alter(ed)native perspectives are those in which tools of
domination are co-opted and manipulated to serve particular anti- and postcolonial goals.
[Ulysse 2007:7]

The goals of an alter(ed)native proj ect in anthropology relate to the disidentificatory practice of

Hiphop cultural workers introduced in Chapter One. Both engage a political agenda that works

simultaneously within and against the grain by invoking performativity and "flippin the script"

on traditional and dominant cultural narratives that position non-white male ethnographers as

peripheral to canons of art and ethnographic theory. As part of my contribution to Ulysse's

alter(ed)native theoretical framework, I utilize autoethnography, what McClaurin deems an

"innovative strategy of knowledge production" (2001:71) to contextualize how and why the

research collected and presented in this dissertation differ from and yet contribute to previous

ethnographies of Hiphop in Japan.

Reporting Process

Throughout the entire research, writing, and related data collection processes, all ethical

considerations were made in accord with the American Anthropological Association's Code of

Ethics (see http://www.aaanet. org/committees/ethics/ethics. htm). Research consultants' names

and associated identifiers are withheld in this write up through the use of generic pseudonyms










increasing and global warming is going on. The 'gangsters' that Pioneer 2 mentioned, is
not a bad gangster but a good gangster. I think Hiphop is a gangster' s culture, I mean,
that' s how it got started in the Bronx. After the violence that erupted in the area.
So, I want people here to embrace the positive aspects of Hiphop and spread positive
Hiphop.

Pioneer 14:
I want to talk about the fashion, and I go to the U.S. a lot too but I do say that kids over
there have to do a lot harder to buy, say a pair of Forces [Air Force Ones].
Kids over there [U.S.] really take care of their shoes a lot. You guys might be able to buy a
lot of Forces but kids over there, it might be really hard to buy Jordans [Air Jordans]. They
buy Reeboks and keep them white and manage to work the ways to show their pride. Even
in dance and graffiti, I want each one of them to have their own pride. Everybody here,
don't be like 'just because it got dirty in the rain, I'm not gonna wear it' but take care of
them ...









consequently, though perhaps unconsciously, essentializes and fixes blackness in his analysis of

Japanese Hiphop.

Like Atkins (2001), Condry (1999) is concerned with authenticating "indigenous"

Japanese Hiphop. Through rigorous ethnographic descriptions, he explains why Hiphop by

Japanese artists is not imitation, but an authentic art form in its own right. In his work, Condry

(1999, 2006) translates Japanese lyrics and contextualizes the genre within discourses relevant to

economic anthropology, globalization studies, and more recently, racialization of Japanese

nationals. Condry's ethnographic contribution is extremely useful to those interested in the topic

area. He provides an erudite and compelling argument concerning how Japanese rappers are able

to utilize Hiphop as a voice against societal constructs, and thus, rebel. More research pertaining

to how these rebellions intersect with popular constructions of race, sex, and citizenship among

Hiphop participants in Japan, and how these performative acts intersect with AAE and Hiphop

language ideologies would buttress his argument.27 Overall, his research is a much needed

addition to the contemporary ethnography of popular culture and race as well as Japanese

studies. In regard to Hiphop cultural studies, Condry critiques existing scholarship (Rose 1994;

Lipstiz 1994; Fernando 1994) that limits descriptions and definitions of Hiphop to black urban

(American) youth expression. While his critique is not entirely accurate, as African-diasporic

roots of the genre are referenced in the work that he critiques (e.g., Rose 1994), analyses of

Hiphop are perhaps best elucidated if they are not limited to or described in terms of a "black

urban youth" norm, as obviously, it is not only black urban youth who practice Hiphop.

Condry is not alone in such a critique, as Tony Mitchell (1998, 2001) and Paul Gilroy

(2000) have been quite vocal in echoing these sentiments. However, unlike Gilroy (1993a,


27 See also Nina Cornyetz' s call for more research addressing these aspects (1994: 133)










Of particular interest is Morgan' s unique and groundbreaking research (2002) which

catalogues the number of instances certain features are realized specifically within Hiphop. She

demonstrates particular trends within Hiphop linguistic features of using got(s) ta, got, and gotta

rather than have, have to, or has to in Hiphop verses. For example, US cultural worker Ice Cube

used some form of "got" 92% of the time verses "have" 2% of the time in lyrical productions

(Morgan 2002:128). Among other Hiphop linguistic features that she outlines is "Ima" rather

than "I'm going to" or "I'm gonna." Morgan explains it is "written Ima reflecting the deletion of

/g/. However, Ima does not only refer to future action, but also implies intention and agency of

speaker" (2002:127). How these linguistic features intersect with Japanese Hiphop is outlined

below in conjunction with other basic concepts of Hiphop language ideology and cultural

practice such as the idea of "flow" and the concept of "battle" (cf., Morgan 2005, 2008).

Flow: Can You Feel It?

As Hiphop encompasses many elements, including five fundamental ones emceeingg,

deejaying, graffiti art, dance, and knowledge and philosophy), artists' experiences with flow

have varied, depending on the specific genre within Hiphop in which one practices. 9 For emcees

in Japan, the history of use and innovation concerning flow has been interesting. In the early

1980s, because much of the Hiphop that emcees were consuming was coming from African-

American speech communities where AAE abounds, many artists began by interpreting a style

that was quite reflective of, if not imitating, African American English rhyming styles. Verses

were constructed in ways that either actually used multiple AAE and Hiphop language phrases,

or African American English sentences were translated into Japanese and then performed over

beats. Condry (1999: 106) writes that Japanese is a difficult language to construct simple English-

9 This section is inspired by the work of Marcyliena Morgan (2001, 2005, 2008) on the subj ect,
and I thank her for encouraging me to write about "flow" in Japanese Hiphop.









and the need for the exchange of bodies across Korean and Japanese borders (Lie 2001). 12 At

this time, the official nationalizing discourse not only situated Japan as the superior leader of its

Asian "siblings" (e.g., the East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere), but it also secured Japan as playing

an active role in "dismantling white supremacy" by uniting the "darker races" of the world

(Allen 1994; Dower 1986, 1993; Gallachio 2000; Horne 2002, 2004; Koshiro 1999, 2003; Lie

2001).

Such nationalizing discourse uses imported notions of race from the West to

simultaneously legitimize imperial control of neighboring Asian nations as well as to stave off

impending imperial control from the United States and other European nations (Dower 1993,

Horne 2004). Researching and cataloging information on other colonized peoples of the world in

research documents such as An Investigation of Global Policy 0I ith YamYYYYYYYY~~~~~~~~~ato Race as Nucleus was

part of this project (Dower 1986, 1993). Therefore, the national discourse not only challenged

the stasis of the Western construction of yellownesss," but it also sought to displace other color

stratifications on the racial hierarchy (including "other Asians" and "Negroes"), all the while

reproducing the supremacy of "whiteness" as "not-quite whiteness" as the goal (Kondo 1997).

Thus, the nationalizing discourse seems to allude to a sort of conscious and not-so-conscious

conversation between the Japan and Western imperial nations. That is, the rhetoric regarding

race in Japan was clearly marked at specific moments in time in reaction to interaction with the

West, and it continues to echo aspects of this highly racialized relationship in current times.

As a result of colonial pursuits, US-occupation, Western European buyouts of maj or

companies, and increased immigrant labor due to increases in labor shortages, the Japanese

12 This sentiment is almost identical to the American government' s ambivalence regarding
Japanese during occupation. As Dower succinctly outlines the changing Japanese national
discourse toward Korean identity, Japanese people went from "yellow peril" and "monkey men"
to "little misbehaving brothers" in need of guidance and control (Dower 1999: 185).










proj ect turned out to be regularly played artists on video channels, and they were on covers of

popular music and Hiphop magazines while I was there. It was at times difficult to explain and

justify how this was academic, social-science research. Once a well-known author and friend of

my mother' s had to call the Institute to explain the academic rigor of my proj ect when it was

suggested by staff that I was not doing research but instead using research money to "hang out

with stars."

During this summer I began to appreciate Japanese Hiphop as autochthonous. I began to

discern different aesthetic trends in cultural work being done in Japan versus the US. I recorded

and analyzed countless music videos. I sat through hours of emcee, deej ay, and bboy4 battles. I

spent hours watching people in clubs and attempting to initiate interviews about their

experiences. I found that interviewing women in bathrooms was a useful tool to get more candid

reactions about gender politics in the club and Hiphop scene. I gained a better comprehension of

African-descendants' roles in Japan's Hiphop cultural work. Finally, I began to build my long

relationship with a key recording studio and transnational social movement organization--as

well as all the artists associated with it--during that summer.

Phase Three: Filmmaking

No matter how hard I tried to paint an ethnographic picture of the multiple worlds that I

experienced in 2001, not many people seemed to agree with my perspective or experience. Other

ethnographers of Japanese Hiphop seemed not to see the many African-nationals I had

shadowed. Fellow doctoral students who had lived in Japan for personal reasons or work didn't

buy that there was some huge underground Japanese Hiphop scene where blackness was

privileged or valued. Teachers seemed confused about what exactly I was trying to study: blacks

4 "(Bboy" is a generic masculine term that is used to refer to dance competitions in Hiphop that
do not exclusively include male participants. This term is explored more in Chapter Five.









monitor ICERD (the United Nations' International Convention on the Elimination of Racism and

Discrimination) enforcement in Japan (Yamanaka 2002, for an example and more discussion)

and publish literature that documents racialization and discrimination (e.g., IMADR 2003;

Buraku Kaiho Kenkyusho 1994; see Davis 2000 for more discussion in English).

Negroid and Mongoloid: Race as Shared Experience

Just as scholars such as Edward Said (1979) have written about the creation of the Orient

in the European imagination, scholars such as V. Y. Mudimbe (1988) have written in a similar

manner (elucidating genealogies of knowledge) about the invention of Africa in the Western

imaginary. Likewise, the same raciologists who invented the fixed Mongoloid category also

invented the static Negroid conception (e.g., Bigland 1816; Blumenbach 1795; Coon 1981

[1950]; Hooten 1946; Linnaeus 1735). Countless scholars have documented the effects of

racialization and colonization as well as trans-Atlantic slavery and legacies of apartheid. 4 Some

scholars' have considered the significance of studying the intersection of the African and Asian

racialization over time. In an effort to differentiate and celebrate African and Asian peoples

against European peoples, some of these studies have reified notions of race and essentialized

difference (e.g., Rashidi and Van Sertima 1987; Smythe 1953). Some of these studies seek to

raise awareness of some Japanese peoples' ideations that reify Western constructions of black

races (e.g., Cornyetz 1994; Russell 1991a, 1991b; Yamashita 1996; J. Wood 1997). Some studies


4 See, for example, Brown 2000; Dover 1947; Drake 1980, 1981, 1990; Du Bois 1990 [1903];
Fanon 1967; Fikes 2002; Foucault 1970; Gilroy 1993a, 1993b, 2000; Gregory 1993; Harrison
1995, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007; Mbembe 2002; Mercer 1994, 1996; Mudimbe 1988; Pratt
1992; Smedley 1993; Stoler 1996, 2002; Hamilton 1995; Willis 1969, 1971; Wright 1956.

SSee, for example, Aoki 1997; Cho 1993; Cornyetz 1994; Dover 1947; Du Bois 1903; Field
1991; Fujino 1997; Hellwig 1977; Honda 1993;Horne 2002; Hughes 2003; Kearney 1998;
Kelsky 1994;Kim 1993; Kochiyama 1997; Kondo 1997; Koshiro 2003; Life 1995; Nakazawa
1998; Ogbar 2001; Okihiro 2006; Russell 1991; Sertima 1985; Sterling 2003; Smythe 1953; J.
Wood 1997; Yamashita 1996; Yoshida 1979 [1967].









within a particularly racialized discourse that is inextricably linked to a narrative concerning

Hiphop. I execute the former in a manner that considers the unspoken complex historical

significance of Japan as simultaneous colonizer and colonized as well as the transnational space

in which Hiphop discourse and practice are produced. Therefore, the research I conducted is

largely concerned with how Hiphop cultural workers in Japan are interpreting the significance of

race. That is, if Hiphop is a trope for blackness, i.e., bodies and things perceived to be marginal,

in resistance and in association with Africa, what does the public and voluntary practice of this

cultural form by non-blacks cultural workers reveal about the production of race as a discourse?

Specifically, what is meaningful about the relationship between the signifying potential of

blackness and the subj activities of such Hiphop practitioners whose racial "origins" are not

publicly recognized as black? And finally, in what ways does blackness operate to signify a

contentious relationship with the West and associated discourses on whiteness?

This proj ect, in conversation with the research of cultural and linguistic social scientists

who consider identity a form of lived and situated practice (cf., Bucholtz 1997; Codrington 2003;

Condry 1999, 2001; Dimitriadis 2001; Goffman 1959; Greenhouse 2002; Hall 1998, 1996a;


Nakasone Yasuhiro and former Minister of Justice Kajiyama Seiroku' s comments in 1986 and
1990 respectively that not only reproduced colonial models of racial hierarchies abroad, but also
reinforced notions--and policy--of Japan as a racially homogenous or "pure" nation-state, see
Russell 1992).

SI define "non-blacks" as people who are not politically or historically recognized according to
gl obal rec ogniti on s of "rac e" and "'de scent"' as "'black"' or a s an "'Afri can- de scendant"' (cf., the
United Nations High Commission on Human Rights Declarations). I recognize that there are
non-"African-descendant" populations who have been historically situated and identified by
governing states as well as societies as "black" such as Asian-nationals (e.g., people from India,
Pakistan, Bangladesh) in England, Tongans in the Pacific Islands, Roma in Eastern European
states and Maori in Australia. However, this project focused on African-descendants who have
been historically marked as "Negroid" and Japanese nationals who have historically been marked
as "Mongoloid" by raciologists/ 18th Century race theorists.









CHAPTER 6
CONCLUSION: KOBUSHIAGEROO! (=PUMP YA FIST!)

Blackness, "Race," and Politics in Ethnographic Projects

The rhetoric of race is embedded in discursive practice that petitions a biological

classification system. The validity of such a system was ultimately empirically falsified in

anthropological literature in the 1990s. At this juncture, anthropologists remain amidst a

methodological crisis concerning to treatment of the live effects of racialization in ethnographic

data. For a while "ethnicity" became the trope for race; however, such studies denied the

historical significance of racial constructions and the material disparities that they have

produced. Specifically, ethnographers face the challenge of successfully analyzing and writing

about race without reifying it (Harrison 2002; Trouillot 2003). Inspecting instances of

disidentifieation among cultural workers in transnational Hiphop could lead to more developed

understandings of changing conceptualizations and strategies regarding race and raciology (cf.,

Butler 1993, 1997b; Hall 1996d; Gilroy 1993b, 2000). Perhaps studying disidentification can

help ethnographers better understand identification practices, such as those carried out by states'

governing bodies. Though race is but one of many intersecting identifications, examining how

race and its correlated disidentification takes place in Hiphop holds specific analytic interest.

Ethnographers and cultural critics have posited that popular culture stands for certain

discursive strategies (Dent 1998; Fabian 1998; Gilroy 1991; Hall 1996d; Hebdige 1987; hooks

1992) that encompass critical voices interested in reformulating outmoded notions of identity.

However, those writing specifically about such subj ects who identify with Hiphop communities

outside of the United States (cf., Condry 1999; Mitchell 2001) have yet to adequately address

how these participants in Hiphop culture are interpreting the significance of race and racialized

discourse, and representations of blackness in particular. If the political utility of Hiphop lies in









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

A Hiphop-generation anthropologist, filmmaker and educator, Dawn-Elissa Fischer is

concerned with the ways youth around the world use Hiphop as a tool for political

empowerment. She is currently the research design & education manager for the Hiphop Archive

at Stanford University. Fischer is a co-founder of the National Hip-Hop Political Convention and

she serves on the Advisory Board for HOTGIRLS (Helping Our Teen Girls In Real Life

Situations), a non-profit organization dedicated to educating African American girls about sexual

and mental health issues. Fischer also serves as Co-Director of Edutainment4Life, a collective of

consultants dedicated to the creation of entertaining education for life skills and self-help for

underserved youth.










protest, the government extended the exemption to the non-Western ones as well; however, the

media coverage surrounding these events afforded cultural workers and others the opportunity to

learn about gross disparities between ethnic minority schools and other Japanese public schools

as well as the lack of much-needed funding to keep these schools running and to extend much-

needed social welfare programs to their constituents. Furthermore, there are countless stories of

young children and adolescents experiencing persistent harassment and instances of physical

brutality during integrative efforts into Japanese schools or society from Japanese-citizen

schoolmates and other persons in their communities. Some of the people I have worked with

remain scarred, both emotionally and physically, from such egregious and often unpunished

attacks.

When I asked Rapper 1 about these topics, he gave a nod of agreement, then there was

silence. He agreed that these were things that needed to be worked on, and explained that a lot of

people feel that they do not have the correct information to speak out about these issues. In

general, when interviewing cultural workers in Japan, there seemed to be discomfort when we

were talking about ethnoracial issues at home. There was courage to talk about racial inequity

abroad and even on a global level with one's whole country, but not within the country. In many

of my interviews with rappers, a domestic conversation on race went no further than an

acknowledgement of official antiblack racism from the government, certain corporations, and

government-run media. Such racism is shunned by those who identify with Hiphop. The

subcultures of people who alter their bodies through tanning, lip collagen inj sections, and

adopting kinky hair styles as well as the entertainers who actually apply blackface and body

makeup as they perform music associated with African-American culture (usually soul or gospel)

are criticized by the cultural workers whom I interviewed. Indeed, as mentioned in Chapter










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2001 Postcolonial Popular Music in France: Rap Music and Hip-Hop Culture in the 1980s and
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56. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.









ethnic groups did not enjoy full citizenship rights, and the adolescent Pioneer 5 was therefore

required to carry identification attesting to his state-regulated identity. In protest of this

oppressive policy, he refused to comply. As a result, he was punished by being arrested, abused

and detained. His mother learned of his arrest through neighborhood rumor and immediately

went to rescue him, but not without first reprimanding and shaming the police for their behavior.

Pioneer 5 was then sent to the US for high school. The program in which he enrolled turned out

to be a scam, and he soon found himself across the Pacific with no money and no way to contact

his family. He reports that an African-American woman who owned a hair salon offered to take

him in on two conditions: (1) that he sweep the shop after school and (2) attend church every

week.

Pioneer 5 ended up attending high school with an African-American entertainment

industry mogul's son and through this network, after high school he enjoyed a number of jobs in

both the Hiphop and fashion industry. Pioneer 5 says that he has never forgotten his roots, and he

continues to work for social justice. He is particularly committed to Hiphop, among other forms

of black cultural music forms because those are the melodies that helped him to cope with trying

times as a young person. An example of Pioneer 5's social consciousness would be his resigning

from a very lucrative designer j ob for an American (non-Hiphop) fashion mogul, because the

fabrics the designers used were produced in sweatshops in Southeast China. He remarks that he

could have relatives there and he cannot be complicit with policies that exploit "his people." At

one point Pioneer 5 said he prefers to work in the fashion world of Hiphop, where he claims to

experience less discrimination, and he thinks that there is less global exploitative practice in

those companies versus the non-Hiphop alternatives. He has innovated many popular items and









world in this regard. However, I posit that it will be Hiphop's emerging gender politics that

make or break it as a new social movement. Eduardo Canel writes that a new social

movement "perspective emphasizes the cultural nature of the new movements and views

them as struggles for control over the production of meaning and the constitution of new

collective identities" (2004:1; emphasis added). Hiphop's struggle is to combine gender

and sexuality equality with ant-racist and anti-classist work already in progress, our legacy

from past social movements.

Hiphop's potential is that its cultural and political workers have the opportunity to

transcend the limitations of past social movements and build something new, but that

would also entail letting go of the rhetoric and practice that has kept us locked into

collective identity politics that do not make room for gendered critiques. Stuart Hall

reminds us that although past social movements were predicated on collective identity

politics that are "always underpinned by a particular sexual economy" and "a particular

masculinity," social justice and equality for all "can be won... theree is a politics there to

be struggled for" (1996d:474). This new political struggle is for a collective identity that

encompasses all state regulated identifications, from gender to race to sexuality. This is a

worthy cause; it can be accomplished. A first step is to begin to conceptualize women not

as the mules or secretaries of social movements, but as theorists and architects integral to

constructing new collective identities. Indeed, we can start by learning the names4 of

"church secretaries" (female cultural workers) and stop "gazing at the backs" of our "nappy

wigs" as if we aren't there.


4 Because this is ethnography, I do not share the real names of the women I have worked
with in Japan. Instead I offer narratives of their experiences, and I make sure that their
names, and more importantly, political agendas, are known in other spheres of my work.









so much corruption that I'm getting tired of saying
pushing the limit
dumb muthafuckas should sleep for 10,000 years,
trying to get to the bottom of this
ayo!
watch out because its burning and hot,
this is a gamble, risking the life

[Utamaru]
what' s scary isn't the dumb comment but the pretty excuses
the actions taken by the political authorities that are distorted
before we start disciplining the kids, we need to discipline the adults
seriously,
the persistent and stubborn, Japanese stock businesses need to calm down
stop trippin because someday you'll die

[Kohei Japan]
thinking that there will be equality tomorrow,
but one accident will change the peaceful balance,
wandering into suicide,
if there is no way out, you need a back up plan
make sure you know how to work your way out,
but if you ready to die, then follow me!

[Mummy-D]
bullying, threats, breakdowns, poor health,
falling, downgrading, escaping, disappearing
people giving up their lives,
jealousy, greed, despair, poor,
but you gotta keep on living
you need to show your will to keep on going

[Utamaru]
stop pulling my legs

[Kohei Japan]
don't listen to the noise (the bullshit)

[Mummy-D]
don't make a mistake on your path, the junction of life


[Utamaru]
@lets keep on doing rap music to survive

[Kohei Japan]









to foreigners--and black people in particularlo-"othernesses" inside Japan seem invisible to

some researchers (aside from a "shout out" here and there). This could be because many

racialized bodies in Japan "pass" (cf., Butler 1993; Mufioz 1999), obscure, or hide their state-

regulated identities (Lie 2001). However, like Paul Varley (1984), the language of reportage

appears fixed and thus, it undermines the few critiques within the texts that attend to the "myths"

of Japanese racial purity. Japan, as a singular geopolitical entity (Kondo 1997), was the Other in

question, what Harumi Befu (1992) calls Japonica Exotica, the intellectual explorer' s final

frontier, and homogenizing its state-served Western imperial efforts in a specific Cold War era.

Perhaps by identifying other "Others" within the Other, the Other ceases to exist--as it can no

longer be homogenized and fixed into being. The construction and perpetuation of a unified

Other serves particular political purposes that benefit a global economy built on exploitation.

Despite the multiple claims from official representatives of the Japanese state as well as

various scholars who specialize in Japanese studies and even some of the cultural workers cited

in later chapters, Japan does not constitute a "monoethnic" or "homogenous" society. Like most

former colonies and colonizers, the state is quite diverse, marked with cultural, economic,

geopolitical, sexual, and socially constructed racial differences that are situated in an explicit,

though not always "official," hierarchical manner. Some scholars attempt to substantiate their

claims for Japan's quintessential monolithic society by pointing to fixed tropes such as "the

salaryman" (=sarariman) image promoted in popular media or highlighting the pre-Meiji sakoku~~~~sssss~~~~ssss

(closed government) policy (Reischauer 1989), while others maintain that the construction of

Japan as a homogenous society is a 20th century phenomenon (Dower 1993; Honda 1993; Lie

2001; Weiner 1997). The latter perspective posits that narratives of homogeneity were

1o This premise assumes, for example, that there are not 'black' (UN-defined African-
descendant) Japanese citizens, for that matter.











hooks, bell
1992 Black Looks: Race and Representation. Boston: South End Press.

Hooten, Ernest
1946 Up form the Ape. New York: the Macmillan Company.

Honda, Katsuichi
1993 The Impoverished Spirit in Contemporary Japan: Selected Essays of Honda Katsuichi.
John Lie, ed. and trans. New York: Monthly Review Press.

Horne, Gerald
2002 The Asiatic Black Man? Japan and the 'Colored Races' Challenge White Supremacy. Dr
Renaissance Noire. Pp. 26-39. Spring
2004 Race War: White Supremacy and the Japanese Attack on the British Empire. New
York: New York University Press.

Hurston, Zora
1990 [1935] Mules and Men. New York: Harper and Row.

Hughes, Sherick
2003 The Convenient Scapegoating of Blacks in Post War Japan: Shaping the Black
Experience Abroad. Journal of Black Studies, 33(3):335-353.

IMADR
2003 Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent. Paper presented at the 2nd
Session, 3rd-7th February.

Izumiyama, Manami
2007 [1997] 7 7 9 '/7 7 / 9 '/ 7 7 '/ 9 ~a, (Dictionary of African-American
Slang). AM : WRf~~t (Tokyo: Kenkyusha).
2005 rj5f = 9 O7 'C--- C-'- (Eois nlsh. : WER~l~t (Tokyo: Kenkyusha).

Jackson, Damien Ty
2003 The Hip Hop Tree. iUniverse, Inc.

Jackson, John L.
2001 Harlem World: Doing Race and Class in Contemporary Black America. Chicago: The
University of Chicago Press.

Jackson, Lafura and Yoshiko Jackson
n.d. Lafura Jackson a.k.a."A-Twice":The Life of a Rap Artist. Unpublished MS.

James, T. and K. McGillicuddy
2001 Building Youth Movements for Community Change. hz Non-Profit Quarterly 8(4):16-19.










still camera. In 2005, I interviewed six Japanese-national female cultural workers, four Japanese-

national male cultural workers, and two African-American male cultural workers. Since then, my

relationships with many of the people that I have traditionally recorded have changed in a way

that there hasn't been the need for me to record them like before (Fikes 2000; Mwaria 2001). We

exchange e-mail, message each other at social networking sites, call each other on the telephone,

and visit with one another in a way that marks our relationship as less research, but more a joint

Hiphop political and cultural work endeavor. At the Hiphop Archive, I have been working with

undergraduate and graduate researchers who are interested in collecting this type of data. These

are the people whom I usually connect with my research friends to document or record data now

for archiving and other academic proj ect purposes.

Table 2-1 Numbers of long recorded interviews described in the Data Collection Process
2001 2003 2004 2005
Total # of recorded "long interviews" 18 9 15 12
Total # of women interviewed 2 0 2 6
Total # of men interviewed 16 9 13 6
# of Japanese-national women 2 0 2 6
# of Japanese-national men 6 3 6 3
# of African-descendant men 8 4 4 2
# of Chinese-Japanese nationals 1 1 1 1
# of Filipino-Japanese nationals 1 0 1 0
# of 'Persian'-Puerto Rican-Japanese nationals 0 1 1 0
The year of 2002 is not included because almost the entire time was spent recording various aspects of Hiphop
cultural work. The chart is organized according to demographic constructions of gender identification as well as
self-reported ethnic/racial and national identifications.

Data Analysis Process

I described earlier how and with whom I collected data from 2001 to 2005. The types of

data that I collected over the years include conversations from interviews, music, art, and other

cultural products such as compact disc covers, promotional flyers, videos of live performances,

music videos played in television, magazine articles, and website postings. The pictures and

notes that I took during venue observations were very useful as well. As I organized the types of










political intervention when the numbers of people conanitted to Hiphop as an international

movement do not recognize or know the names and issues of the women within the purported

movement?" While the Hiphop movement builders should and must celebrate our success

regarding race and class awareness using international Hiphop cultural work, we must also ask if

our cause is still worthy if we do not attend to growing historical disparities along lines of gender

and sexuality. My assessment is that the Hiphop movement building efforts situated on the

periphery (e.g., the B-Girl Be Conference, the Homo Hop movement, and the cultural work of

Medusa, Rosa Clemente, Yo Yo, Danae Martinez, Hanifah Walidah, Carla Stokes, Georgia

Roberts, Stephany Spaulding, Retta Morris, Jessica LaShawn, Dereca Blackmon, Chasity

Johnson, Rachel Raimist, Aya de Leon, and numerous unnamed, undervalued, and unrecognized

others) constitute the criteria of a new social movement with a worthy cause (see also the

emerging canon of Hiphop feminist/womanist literature, such as Clay 2003; Cole and Guy-

Sheftall 2003; Collins 2006; Hopkinson and Moore 2006; J. Morgan 2000; M. Morgan 2008; M.

Morgan and Bennett 2007; J. Morgan and Neal 2007; Neal 2006; Rose 1994; Pough 2004; Pough

and Richardson 2007; Sharpley-Whiting 2007; Souljah 1996; Stokes 2007).

Although those on the periphery currently lack the numbers of the "core" Hiphop social

movement that is based on masculine centered, black nationalist frameworks, all is not lost. Like

past social movements (e.g., the black power movement) ultimately subjugated subj ects within

the United States (African-descendants in "the belly of the beast") tend to set the political agenda

on the world stage of black popular culture. Within a Hiphop cultural framework, "elders,"

founders, and pioneers reserve the right to critique. Therefore, we can urge increased attendance

to gender and sexual politics and create a new social movement that reaches greater heights of

social change. When cultural workers criticize Hiphop as not being a "new" social movement,









NIHON- STY LE

Over the past decade, there has been an increasing move by cultural workers who are

community-ascribed pioneers in varying aspects of Hiphop culture, to acquiesce to a dominant

Hiphop origins narrative and operational definition of Hiphop culture for the purpose of creating

a common literacy that is useful in making the transition from a cultural movement to a political

one. This move--to allow Afrika Bambaataa' s Universal Zulu Nation (UZN) the authority to

dictate history and KRS-ONE' s Temple of Hiphop to police the parameters of the culture's

definitionn" (=definition), for example, is indicative of a strategy by other pioneers (e.g., DJ

Yutaka and Crazy A or Kool Here and Crazy Legs) to invent a united front in a protracted

struggle for socio-economic change. Indeed, theorists have argued that a common literacy and

invented homogeneity can spark public identification with nationalist political rhetoric, and that

is precisely what Hiphop's cultural workers, its pivotal pioneers, have constructed across the

world (Anderson 1991; hooks 1992). Whether it was conscious or not, whether it reveals truth or

not, the interviews and public narratives reproduced in various print and visual media have

served as the building blocks for a dominant cultural narrative regarding Hiphop as a particular

resource for potential social movement building. The pioneers' world travels spread knowledge,

inspirational life histories, and organizational structures in key areas around the globe that

perhaps now demonstrate worthiness, unity, numbers and committed people--what Charles Tilly

calls WUNC-the characteristics of a social movement (2002:88). Many scholars have

documented the pioneers' narratives and key activities initiated by cultural workers that illustrate

how Hiphop politics have continued to raise awareness about issues (e.g., race and class) that

former movements brought into public discourse (Bynoe 2004; Chang 2005; Chuck D 1997;

Fujita 1996; Goto 1997; Jinno 2003; Keyes 2002; Kitwana 2002; Morgan 2008; Pipitone 2006;

Shomari 1995; Urla 2001; Wimsatt 2008).










acquaintances and friends who are "famous," he emphasized his transnational authority on

Hiphop cultural and political work. Although the bulk of this particular interaction was in

English, we still generally adhered to Hiphop linguistic codes and Japanese cultural practices.

My body language was submissive, as I bowed low and was positioned below him on the floor,

looking up at him as he spoke for more than an hour. I codeswitched a lot with him, using both

AAE as well as distal and honorific Japanese in addition to regular direct speech styles. My

speech octave was higher than normal in an additional effort to show submission and politeness.

He dominated most of this time speaking, and with the exception of a few explanations or

comments, most of my interaction could be categorized as aizuchi, nodding sounds and words of

agreement (without being bonded to bona fide agreement) to indicate that I am paying attention,

interested, and understanding him (e.g., "mmm," "ahhh," "wow," "uh-huh," "yeah," "for real?

(=really?/ hontoo?)," etc; see also Kita and Ide 2007 for more on aizuchi and ideology).

Rapper 1 used kinship terms that indicated his conceptualizing us as in-group members of

(1) people of color or nonwhite people and (2) a transnational Hiphop community. Words like

"brothers" refer to African-American men in general and African-American male rappers in

particular, as well as "sister" to refer to me, his interlocutor, indicated his linguistic participation

in an imagined African-diasporic identity that is made possible through our collaboration in the

name of Hiphop. I did not expect Rapper 1 to actually use words like "white supremacy,"

"Americanized," and "brainwash program." He explicitly places Japanese-nationals' post-WWII

experience as parallel to African Americans' post-slavery experience. He speaks of his

commitment to building a Hiphop foundation, a foundation that follows the philosophy of the

origins narrative that attends to social justice. His language choices reveal a familiarity with both

Hiphop language ideology (Morgan 2001) and black liberation ideology (cf., Dawson 2003). His










Hiphop philosophies, one of perseverance and the other to "wild style" or artistic and unfettered

creative aesthetics.

Original:
CRUISIN' WW@E~ STREET AND Translation:
HITTIN' #T-ti & LT 6 SWITCHIN' 1 ACruisin' around the city street and
WOW I4'774-A 6 CHROME hitting switchin'
CANDY PAINT i$4 --&(2l GOLD 2 wow, the chrome bumper shining
DAYTON WIRE (240 9- 4 V I- 3 +Candy paint, the wheels are gold
LOWRIDE STYLE tChil DESIRE 4 Adayton wire, with the stuck out tires
HOT i& GIRLS MY HEART IS ON FIRE 5 Glowride style is what it desire
6 some hot girls, my heart is on fire
Ofa tj-jA6 Q ~t GONNA GET HIGH
7 +gonna get high till the early morning
ta STYLE t letat~i WILD -
8 +this style is always wild
/v 3 L*iS RA 9 I cant tell ya all day long, this is our trial
BIG RON & KAY-DOUBLE "O" & 10 Big Ron and Kay-double "o" and
SHOUT shout to PMX, DJ that rocks the crowd
PMX, DJ THAT ROCKS THE CROWD 11 if you've come this far, you know the

5 i t R L i :'. \116 SHOW If 12 +the path is long so keep on movin'
j(lfW- \f KEEP ON MOVIN' 13 the never-ending bayside cruisin'
;0 ;h 0 oih BAY SIDE CRUISIN'

Obj ect 4-6 Big Ron' s album cover for the "Bayside Cruisin'"

Hybridity, Identity, and Cultural Work

I had been to the "VIP" section of a particularly large, Shibuya-based Hiphop club several

times, but I had not been there when there were so many (over a dozen) recording artists in the

section at once. The area we were in was very small, and it made my experience in the area seem

extra crowded and tight. I found a space next to an artist whom I recognized from popular press

and a brief meeting and interview a year earlier. I asked him if he was who I thought he was, and

responded that he was. He asked me how my work was going and I, surprised that he

remembered me from a brief meeting from the year before, replied that it was going well. At

some point while we were talking (in Japanese), he abruptly asked if I was half Japanese. When I

told him that I was not half Japanese, he asked how I learned to speak Japanese, and I told him

that I originally learned it from my mother, who used to teach Chinese and Japanese. He then










"No Pain No Gain" (2002) DJ PMX feat. Maccho (Ozrosaurus), Zeebra--Maccho's Verse


Original :
IR (1tr Cz e L 2 i~ &~ Of 9f 4T~ ~ J`~
At a11% Li hi3a

~a W E L -cCi$ NW 2






39 Met MURDERER C 1 4 i3 a> b0

78 SK CHECK DA NUMBER r\4 7
3 7L&'l::..D BAY STAR ft# (YO!)

jS7L 0 SMOKING' BOOGIE
-4 9- WPr (18 h-C6 & H ROLLIN'
Wh3 > b PEACE TO DA Mil yA- -~ -


2Ji~~ ~ 6 ;.t RRATIi tW~~~DJ PMX
9 4s b 7 2MC


Translation:
1 & This is all I have, this skill of rhymin
that I been doin
2 You better keep in mind that this ain't
easy, this is a tough path full of back
alleys
3 Crazy bass line with a punch lime, no
newcomer can get any respect
4 Seems irresponsible but I'm not but let
it look like it and I stay straight with my
swagger
5 My roots come from route 16, I'm a
murderer with a microphone, since the
age of 14, nonstop drama
6 4Gotta '78, check da number, speaks
like a ballad, reppin' the bay Yo!i
7 Just cruisin' straight on the road,
smoking' boogie
8 OI stay rollin' as the ballad plays in the
back, I give ma peace to ma Tokyo

9 I gamble with my talent and risk it with
my pride,
10 I only need those who know to
understand me till the end, DJ PMX and 2
tight MCs


Legendary producer DJ PMX is from the city of Yokohama and is known for his smooth

(US) West Coast style tracks. PMX is the deej ay and producer for the two-man crew, DS455.

The song "No Pain No Gain" features Maccho from Ozrosaurus and Zeebra. Maccho, like DJ

PMX, represents the Yokohama area. Zeebra is from Tokyo and was part of the legendary

Japanese Hiphop group, King Giddra. The font on the cover of the album brings to mind the

block lettering associated with the "bling" aesthetic that was new and yet popular at the time of

this album's debut. The expensive car and expensive fashion buttress this notion. The bandana

represents street culture of Japan as well as street culture of the US, and the squatted, leaned pose

is a classic "bboy" stance; both symbols represent masculinity.









shares a similar perspective in her analysis of the autobiographies of Elaine Brown, Angela

Davis, and Assata Shakur. Perkins contends that these women's narratives are pedagogical as

they introduce readers to injustice in the United States that altered their lives and ultimately

influenced their decisions toward political engagement. My understanding of autoethnography

takes this tradition of "autobiography as activism" a step further as a methodological

consideration by including not only personal reflection and acknowledgement of how one' s body

and critical memory impacts field encounters and research agendas, but also it allows for the

inclusion of community-based, co-constructed descriptions and analysis concerning shared

experiences from a range of people who undergo similar identifications as well as life

trajectories. Autoethnography is simultaneously reflexive and dialogic, and therefore buttresses a

"meta-ethnographic"' agenda through the narration and analysis of multiple stories (Noblit and

Hare 1988).

In "Feminist Methodology as a Tool for Ethnographic Inquiry on Globalization," Faye

Harrison further elucidates the "intellectual and sociopolitical value of women' s stories and

practices" (Harrison In press:26). Whereas interpretive and qualitative research methods have

been dismissed as less accurate or useful for policy than numerical data and statistical

calculations, Faye Harrison observes that socioculturall anthropologists understand that stories

can be a rich and' invaheable source of Imowledge and' theory" (Harrison In press:26, emphasis

added). She explains:

For example, in accessible non-elitist language, Ann Kingsolver has written that "theory
can be viewed as 'the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of life and to determine
where we are as we navigate social space" (Kingsolver 2001:4). All human beings, from
social science and policy experts to ordinary folk, narrate socially situated yet differentially
empowered (2001:24) stories. Anthropologists are "ethnographic listeners] and
storyteller[s]" who weave together larger patterns of stories to develop social analyses,
often those that link complex macrostructural forces to the intricate micropolitics of
everyday lived experiences (2001:25). [Harrison In press:267]









if one is speaking Japanese). Following these operational definitions, Russell Simmons, a

Hiphop impresario and entrepreneur, could be considered a cultural worker just as Queen

Latifah, a performing artist, actor and entrepreneur, would. People who use and produce Hiphop

at a grassroots level for a non-profit or educational organization could also be considered cultural

workers, as I am not limiting my definition to those who perform and sell music at an industry

level. A description of the type of cultural work that each featured research consultant conducts

is detailed in Chapters Four and Five.

If Hiphop cultural production is written about in accordance to "counter" politics, what

exactly is its political movement "countering"? What is it that cultural workers are working for

or against; what is the significance of "cultural forms" to cultural workers? Namely, what is

problematic about the state, public sphere, and society so that cultural workers are finding useful

dissent in the practice of Hiphop? I contend that the state regulates race (e.g., the U. S.A.'s OMB

Directive 15, Japan's Nihonjinron-influenced policy)19 and other identifications as part of its

authoritative process to procure and maintain power (Foucault 1972; Tilly 2002; Greenhouse

2002; Harrison 2002). This occurs through bureaucratic processes (Chalfin 2006; Ong 1996;

Herzfeld 1997; Weber 1968) and representational negotiations (Baker 1998; Dover 1947; Du

Bois 1986; Hall 1997b; Harrison 2002; Mbembe 2002). That is, from the moment bodies are

born, state-related paperwork is generated to catalogue and categorize bodies according to

hierarchically situated values and socially constructed norms, such as those related to race (or

color or heritage), sex, language use of parents, and national origin of parents, et cetera. Births,


19 See Trouillot (2003) or http://www.aaanet. orn/nvt/omb draft.htm for more information on
OMB Directive 15. See Lie (2001) or Befu et al (2000) for more anthropological information
concerning Nihonjinron as social science theory and public policy. See http://www.imadr.org for
articles concerning how conceptions of a "racially pure Japanese people" discriminate against
other Japanese residents in the areas of education and criminal justice.









While I do not believe that my collaboration with the cultural workers and research assistants

remove all cultural bias, I do believe that the synthesis of our perspectives and analysis produces

a richer ethnographic account, in which all participants had a chance to co-construct our

representation at some point in the ethnographic experience.

Another way that I attempt to balance the power dynamic between ethnographer and

research consultant is through the utilization of autoethnographic reflection. The longevity and

the intimacy that I experienced in the field mandates that I analyze data collected through a

conspicuous ethnographic lens that situates the politics that my black, female, and at times

underage body brought to the research inquiry process. As mentioned earlier, at times my

blackness was read as immediate membership within a transnational Hiphop community. In

addition, at other times my pigmentation, hair texture, perceived class or education, perceived

age (assumptions that I was older), and marital status hindered immediate entry, and raised

questions about my presence, in the very same community (see also Harrison 1991 and Ulysse

2007 on their similar experiences of "continual negotiation of role expectations"). People' s

willingness to work with me, immediate and extensive types of access (e.g., VIP privilege to

cultural workers' events), and the forms of speech and topics of communication that ensued (e.g.,

black nationalism or Nihonjinron) require an analysis that references the effect my body's

political reading and interpretation from my various interlocutors as well as the international

community as a whole had on our daily lived experiences (cf., Ulysse 2007). The added

dimensions of my family members being present and interacting with me in the field as well as

the length of time that I have known certain people in this Hiphop community also require

autobiographical contextualization. Finally, my public and sustained participation in US-based

Hiphop industry and community activist work, which has been chronicled in popular media and









States. Many state that what they experience in Japan is more benign or less psychically violent,

and they have chosen to become permanent residents of Japan based on this idea. These

individuals generally state that the experiences of discrimination that they have experienced are

minimal and that their overall experiences in Japan have been welcoming and affirming enough

for them to move their homes permanently. This view is an important one that is often left out of

the "Japan is racist" narrative.

My own experiences have been a mix of those recounted. As I age, perform different

classes, and obtain more degrees, my treatment by those outside of the Hiphop community has

changed. When I first arrived in Japan in 1994, I immediately noticed a difference from my

home community, which was then located in the Ozarks region of Missouri in the United States,

in that black popular music was playing everywhere. I heard it in shopping malls, coffee shops,

restaurants and even from stores that one passes by as one walks down the street. Black popular

culture was banned from much of the public sphere where I grew up in the US. Radio stations

rarely played anything other than white country, rock, and Christian music. There was even a law

that banned my agemates and me from driving down the streets playing rap music too loudly.

We were not harassed if we played country music, but we were pulled over immediately if we

played rap music.

Despite the obvious popularity of black popular music, my everyday experience was

marked with a substantial amount of racial and sexual harassment in Japan. As I commuted to

school, I experienced verbal and physical sexual harassment. When I asked elders in my

community why I was experiencing such horrible things, I was told that there was a large

number of sex workers from the Philippines, Brazil, and Dominican Republic who look like me,

and that the culprits must be mistaking me for one of them because of my skin tone and the fact









translation assistance. The speech from the Japanese cultural workers whom I recorded was often

not only direct style, but it included many vernacular and masculine-specific communicative

styles as well. There also was often substantial US English Hiphop lexicon and syntax used as

well. Any understanding of US Hiphop language requires knowledge of African American

English linguistics. Therefore, my research assistants who, except for one, were not

communicatively competent in African American English or US Hiphop language, had to work

closely with me to transcribe and translate linguistic data that often included a lot of

codeswitching.

Once transcripts were produced, I abstracted utterances of significance according to the

five analytic categories described. I discussed these utterances of interest with my research

assistants (who helped to transcribe and translate data), and I also discussed the utterances with

the cultural workers who produced them. I did the latter for multiple reasons. One reason was to

afford the cultural workers agency in how I was interpreting and representing their speech in my

research. Together we discussed and co-constructed meaning from our conversations in an effort

to avoid and reproduce unequal power dynamics that could occur in ethnographic relationships

in which the ethnography holds the ultimate power of how one's research subj ects are finally

represented. Our conversations helped me to feel secure that I was documenting them and

interpreting them in the manner in which they also saw themselves. As long as we were

discussing race we were often in agreement. However, when I began to inquire about ideas

concerning gender politics, this particular ethnographic strategy created discomfort because of a

general sentiment that conscious or political Hiphop is nonsexist, or not misogynistic, so it is

often considered rude or unnecessary to inquire about sexism in this transnational Hiphop

cultural space (cf., Collins 2006; Russ 1984). I explore this situation in detail in Chapter Five.










I posit that there is a nascent "11newI women's movement budding that is built on the past

women's movement building processes that have existed in Japan for decades, some would

say centuries (cf., Tanaka 1987). Conversations recorded document a rise in critical

awareness of women's issues among many of my Japanese peers. Our mother' s and

grandmother' s generations have been agitating for legislative changes and equal protection

under Japanese law, often operationalizing CEDAW and ICERD (transnational

conventions concerning human equality) to "get the j ob done." My agemates have taken

charge in leading NGOs and other community based organizations and networks in Japan

that protect and support women and girls grappling with multiple forms of sexual and

gender-based violence. Such activism lends a transnational element to current women' s

movement building efforts. But what is the status of women within the transnational

Hiphop movement?

Gender issues are gaining more attention in the government as well as on the streets.

Over the past 13 years I have seen an increase in laws protecting the rights of women, and I

have also seen an increased discourse concerning the abuses of women and the children

they support among the people I know. I disagree that there is a scarcity of female cultural

workers, or even artists, in Japanese Hiphop. They may not dominate in the public sphere,

but they exist and they represent on local levels. If I could, I'd say their names, but ethical

considerations preclude me doing so in this project. Below are the stories of four women

that lan Condry studied.

In his chapter that discusses women in Japanese Hiphop, Condry (2006) provides a

brief narrative of women' s roles in Japanese popular music, beginning with pop and ending

with R&B. He uses the stories of Sakurai Riko (former executive of record label Def Jam











LIST OF OBJECTS


Object page
3-1 M ap of Japan ............ ...... ._ ...............91...

3-2 Japanese people as "brutal," "savage," and not human .............. ...............93....

3-3 Japanese people as "apes" or "savages" in need of "civilizing" ..........._.._ ..........._..__..94

3-4 Japanese people as not human and akin to lice............... ...............94..

4-1 Channels performing blackface .............. ...............142....

4-2 Anarchy's album cover for "Luck Last" ....__. ...._.._.._ ......._._. .........16

4-3 Aquarius' s album cover for the "Koko Tokyo" ...._.._.._ ........... ........__. .....16

4-4 DJ PMX' s album art for the "'No Pain No Gain"'....._.._.._ ........... ..............6

4-5 Suite Chic's album cover for the "Uh-Uh" ................ ...._.._ ...................7

4-6 Big Ron's album cover for the "Bayside Cruisin"'"........... ...............173.....

5-1 View the skit "The Wrath of Farrakhan" ...._. ......_._._ ......_.. .........19

5-2 Nichelle Nichols as Uhura in a secretarial role in the original Star Trek series .............197

5-3 George Takei as Hikaru Sulu, in the original Star Trek series .............. ....................19

5-4 One of Ai's album covers for "Watch Out!" ............... ....___ ......._........1

5-2 Ai's "W atch Out!" ........... ...............212.....

5-5 Exile album cover featuring various African-American political marches with signs
photoshopped to reflect the names of guest artists on the album ........._.._... ........._......214

5-6 Miss Monday's "Lady Meets Girl" album cover............... ...............215.

5-7 Beef Soundtrack' s album art for "Let' s Go (It' s a Movement)"............ ..._.........__...2 16

5-8 Lil' Ai's album art for "Let' s Go (It' s a Movement)" .......__. ......... ___ ...............21

A-1 DJ Yutaka's album cover for "Kobushi" ............. ...............242....

A-2 "Self Destruction" album art............... ...............245..

A-3 K Dub Shine's "Save the Children"............. ...............24

A-4 Hannya's "Oretachi no YamYYYYYYYY~~~~~~~~~ato" ............. ...............246....





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their psychic pain. Therefore, their voluntary performance of blackness through identification

with Hiphop is not necessarily an imitation of a hegemonic American identity; they say it is

about claiming race, especially race that is conspicuously positioned in opposition to whiteness.

The following lyrics from a Japanese Hiphop group, Rappagariya, reveal more about the

claiming of race in Hiphop. The song debuted on DJ Yutaka's United Nations album. The album

art for this album4 references Hiphop philosophy and origins narratives associated with space as

a place where humans transcend inequality suffered on Earth. Such references draw connections

with US Hiphop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa's Universal Zulu Nation as well as funk legends in

Parliament Funkadelic' s "Mothership Connection" performance and j azz innovator Sun Ra' s

"Space is the Place." There is also the reference to "peace" and graffiti-inspired art in the

planetary sphere pictured on the album. The title of Rappagariya' s song is "Kobushi" which

could translate to "Fist," and the song's chorus (pump ya fist, pump ya fist/open up your ears,

jump up [=S lf 6, S lf 6/ 4811% T <'6i .1~ f)' It 3, ~FllWk~ 3 5]) references another


famous Hiphop compilation album from the United States, Pump Ya Fist (Hip Hop inspired by

the Black Panthers) (1995).5 Note not only the claiming of a "yellow" race, but also the

references to Hiphop, being Japanese and overall identity:

We are the yellow race with the deadly poisonous shit that will raise the level of the hip
hop virus in your blood/ We represent Japan yo! We gonna tell the issues like they are/



4 A link to view the album art of DJ Yutaka' s United Nations (2000) is provided in the
Appendix.

S"Raise Your Fist" is a more literal translation, whereas, "Pump Ya Fist" is more in accordance
with AAE and other common Hiphop rhetoric that was published around this time. It petitions a
double reference of putting one' s hands in the air to party as well as the "power to the people" or
"black power" signal (the fist). The translations in this section are mine, and more literal, the
Appendix features selected translations by me as well as a younger research assistant and cultural
worker who is more entrenched in the current Japanese Hiphop speech community.









Hannerz 1987; Harrison 2002; Hebdige 1979, 1987; Herzfeld 1997; Kondo 1990, 1997; Mercer

1994, 1996, 2000; Morgan 2001, 2002, forthcoming; Rickford and Rickford 2000), examines

how cultural workers in Japan translate their political worlds within a black diasporic imaginary,

specifically the practice of Hiphop culture and identity. As such, this proj ect is also necessarily

about rethinking how engagement in aesthetic practices that cannot be fully excavated as

originating from the community in question are likely to be ethnographically interpreted as forms

of mimicry or displays of inauthenticity. In the effort to call attention to this analytic crisis,

within a fashion that can consider the performative role of race as lived experience, the obj ective

of this research is to understand the discursive qualities (or potential) of race--as an organizing

principle of social order--when its status can not be ontologically reduced to diasporic scattering

or biology.

Hiphop can be associated with blackness precisely because of its origins narrativeS9, which

situate its cultural genesis in African-American speech communities (Baker 1993; Chuck D

1997; Hebdige 1987; Jackson 2003; Kitwana 2002; KRS-ONE 2000; Morgan 2008; Neal 2003;

Potter 1995; Ramsey 2003; Rose 1994; Smitherman 1997; Toop 2000; Washington and Shaver

1997; Yasin 1999). Anthropologists, linguists and cultural studies scholars alike have

documented aspects of African American English'o (AAE) language varieties in the lyricism of


9 The term "origins narrative" in this chapter is akin to what professional Hiphop cultural
archivists call Hiphop "history" (Chang 2005;, Fricke and Ahearn 2002; Kitwana 2005). I refrain
from fixing narratives collected from the ascribed pioneers as a static history, since they rely on
memory and consensus to remain in being. I theorize about the uses of a dominant origins
narrative in this paper. I use "origins" rather than "foundation" (Pratt 1992) because Hiphop is
often spoken about by the pioneers who police this narrative in terms of "origins," "originators,"
and "originality."

10 African American English (AAE) has also been referred to as Ebonics, African American
Vernacular English (AAVE), Black English Vernacular (BEV), Black English (BE) and Negro
English, among other terms over time. AAE is often defined as a language variety by linguists
and the difference in reference term could possibly but not always signify ideological differences









white male supremacy. In addition to Uhura, two members of the crew are situated as

"black": Spock (who plays the sign of ambiguously ethnic, racial "other" by virtue of being

"mixed" with Vulcan and Homo sapiens sapiens) and Sulu (who plays the sign of

homogenous Asian-racial other). They are identified as "nonwhite others" through kinship

terms used by Farrakhan and his security. Spock marks Kirk as not being the same as he is

by using the word "Caucasoid" and Sulu is referred to as "brother" by Islam #2.

Obj ect 5-3 George Takei as Hikaru Sulu, in the original Star Trek series

Uhura' s character is the one who makes the change of guard occur. Although it is her

character who Birst warns Kirk of Farrakhan's approach, it is also her character that sets the

stage for the change of guard by being the first to revolt against Kirk' s control. Farrakhan,

using call and response with his security backup, claims he is there to "warn" Kirk's

"crew" of their enslavement aboard the vessel. Kirk counters that his crew is free and not

enslaved. Farrakhan then signifies on stereotypes, lies, and identifications in popular

culture (which is humorous because the skit in which he is performing also relies on

stereotypes and identifications). Kirk then orders Uhura (which he pronounces "Ah-whore-

a" signifying that she is a "whore") to get Star Fleet Command (I suppose for backup

assistance against Farrakhan). At first, it seems as though Uhura is about to comply, and

she replies, "Yes, Captain," but then Farrakhan intervenes using words that signify kinship

as well as shared racial experience, "Oh My Nubian Princess." He attacks her compliance

with Kirk' s agenda, and like Don Imus, calls her hair "nappy," though the assumption is

that his intent is to suggest that she should be much more than a secretary given her talents.

This implication is important as it suggests that Uhura' s liberation is linked to his agenda

and that by helping him she, too, will benefit.










Hiphop community conceptualize themselves as distinct cultural workers who are part of an

imagined community of transnational Hiphop practice that is internationally located in a US-

based "black aesthetic."

Such an identity, to view oneself as part of a transnational community that is inextricably

linked to African-American identity, does not necessitate that one is entangled in a neocolonial

relationship with the West or US hegemony. Identifying with blackness in the US is not

automatically an admission of submission to US hegemony, as "Americanized" identity is often

defined as whiteness and in terms of white racial norms (Lie 2001; Russell 1991a). Analysis of

the words people use to describe the US in terms of whiteness and African Americans as

derivational to an "American" (=white) norm reveal (1) that raciology or Western-centered

understandings of race have indeed been internalized and operationalized by the people who

speak in these terms, and (2) that identification with blackness or African-American cultural

narratives of resistance are not necessarily in alignment with a US imperial identity. Russell

explains,

Western hegemony and Japan's subordinate relation to the West has had a profound effect
on the Japanese self-image as well as their image of the nonwhite Other. The West has
played a pivotal role not only in introducing Japan to the black Other but in defining the
parameters of culture and civilization in general. Given Western hegemony and cultural
authority and its lavish display of modernity and material power in Japan and elsewhere, it
is not surprising that in its attempt to catch up with the West, Japan began to identify with
it and peripheralize cultural links with its Asian neighbors whose influence on Japan
waned with expansion of Euro-American power in the Pacific. [Russell 1991a: 15]

Consequently, I do not think that by identifying "acts of blackness" in Japan that I am

situating my research community in an identity that is somehow inauthentic or unoriginal.

Chapters Four and Five demonstrate how certain "acts of blackness," through performative

symbol or through speech act, are not necessarily about blackness per se, but about expressions

of disidentifieatory practice against grains of normalizing racial and gendered ascriptions in both









Condry contrasts this identity with those of female Hiphoppers who he says rej ect images

of feminine vulnerability (2006: 166). Below are two songs and more information about the

first two emcees that Condry briefly introduces.

"Watch Out!" by Ai, Afra, and Tucker (2004)

I have always conceptualized Ai as an emcee as well as a singer, dancer, and overall

performer. Her single, "Watch Out!" demonstrates her prowess as a fierce lyricist and

disciple of Hiphop. Ai raps alongside internationally known beatboxer, Afra, while Tucker

plays the keyboards in this song. Her lyrics feature codeswitching with AAE as well as

English. Phrases such as, "Doki, Doki ((Japanese word for heartbeat)) is getting louder

(=faster)" and "kick the leash and be free in da beat! (=kick the leash $U C/t~jiyu ni/ in da

beat!)" establish her great talent as an emcee, who not only rhymes in one or two languages,

but also delivers skillful and appealing codeswitched verses that situate her as unique and

chari smati c.

The video to "Watch Out!" is equally engaging. Its basic premise is to promote the

Hiphop philosophy of keepingn it real." The first part of the video showcases Ai, Afra, and

Tucker in J-Pop-like gear. Tucker has on an afro wig and a Run DMC-circa Addidas-brand

jumpsuit and Run DMC-style hat. Afra is wearing a large floppy hat, sports (swish) pants,

and an oversized T-shirt. Ai is wearing a short-haired wig and puffy pink shirt, ripped j ean

shorts, and boots with "bling" on them. The video editing entails classic "wipes" in

bubbled star shapes, and other significations on J-Pop. Then pioneer rapper K Dub Shine

enters wearing a white T-shirt with an outline of the continent of Africa airbrushed on it

that is colored in red, black, and green with the words "Zulu." K Dub Shine admonishes Ai,

Afra, and Tucker, and pulls off Ai's wig and shames Tucker into taking off his own wig.


210










The caption to Obj ect 3-3 reads: "Cartoonist unidentified. Cartoon in the April 1943 New York

Times, captioned 'Let the punishment fit the crime' (a quote from Gilbert and Sullivan's The

M~ikado)kk~~~~~kkkkk~~~~ in response to the execution of captured American fliers."


Obj ect 3-3 Japanese people as "apes" or "savages" in need of "civilizing"

The caption to Obj ect 3-4 reads: "Cartoonist unidentified. Cartoon in the U. S. Marine monthly

Leatherneck from March 1945."

Obj ect 3-4 Japanese people as not human and akin to lice

All of these images situate Japanese people as a unitary, Eixed subj ect that is not only violent and

dangerous, but also savage and not human. The imagery and language that associates the

Japanese soldiers as apes is interestingly similar to imagery that was used to racialize African-

descendants in historical as well as modern popular media. The image of the lice character with

large front "buck" teeth is similar to racialization of other Asian nationals, such as Chinese

nationals, by US popular media. These images are provided as an example of how race can be

constructed as shared experience across categorizations of racial identities. Though "Asians" and

"Blacks/Negroes/Africans" are racialized into different categories by raciologists, the experience

of being homogenized and situated as not human can be similar (e.g., being depicted as an ape).

Thus, these images, a function of nationalist discourse as well as WWII combat strategy, may

help to explain why methods to resist racialization, that is, the use of black popular culture, are

shared and utilized across these constructed boundaries.


Treatments of "Race" and "Racism" in Japanese Studies

There are myriad approaches to the concepts of race and racism in Japanese studies. This

chapter discusses dominant trends regarding race research in Japan that are characterized by: (1)












My name is L-I-L AI, I'm Lil' AI, vo
a & 22 0 1 M 3# 6~ VIBES
RA, 13 6 f VIRUS
US to JAPAN, As~ El ?$4 A i
Warren G i3 I; T 5~ BEAT,
KRS ONE Eit-il 'RM$


LI LI LI LA, LI LI LI LA LI LE
HIPHOP Ei It 6:l RS It i 34

;6R~ L3~13 ~. ~r '':i';' PAN

~~ ~ ~~~PHIPHOP &






Whatchu tellin me,
LIL AI n da the LBC


[Lil' Ai's translation]
My name is L-I-L AI, I'm Lil' AI, vo
connecting with this Hip Hop,
the vibes that vibrate, blowing some
new winds, kicking out the virus/ US
to Japan, like a cyclone, leading a
revolution
with the beat that Warren G plays
and we keep on going forward with
KRS ONE/ I will not give up this seat,
I'm like a clap of thunder in a blue sky
LI, LI, LI, LA, LI, LI, LI, LA, LI, LE,
HIP HOP defies the limit from the
west to the east, from the left to the
right,
destroying borders that creates limes mn
between/ the Hip Hop spirit is built
solid to withstand the false popular
culture,
through the use of words, spreading
freedom/ call me the guardian spirit
who uses fine wordplay one after
another,
who understands reality and music,
Watchu tellin me,
LIL AI n da LBC


At present there is no published ethnographic study that critically engages issues of

gender and sexuality in Japanese Hiphop ; even though Hiphop-studies scholars have

mentioned Japan as an example of a geopolitical space in which women cultural workers

and consumers have allegedly been able to use Hiphop as a tool to "flip the script" on

societal gender norms and other fixed identities for Japanese women such as the trope of

the good wife and wise mother, et cetera. Halifu Osumare comments that "in Japan, female

Hip-Hopers use the genre to defy gender restrictions for women" (2000:3). Ian Condry

(2006) concurs, noting that "the more recent female hip-hoppers discussed here [in his





SHowever, the excellent ethnographer of Japanese Hiphop and reggae, Marvin Sterling,
has a highly anticipated research proj ect in progress that attends to some of these issues.










Kitwana, Bakari
1994 The Rap on Gangsta Rap. Chicago. Third World Press.
2002 The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African- American Culture.
New York: Basic Civitas Books.
2005 Why White Kids Love Hip Hop: Wangtas, Wiggers, Wannabes and the New Reality of
Race in America. New York: Basic Books.

Klein, Susanne
2002 Rethinking Japan's Identity and International Role: An Intercultural Perspective. New
York: Routledge.

Kluckhohn, Clyde
1949 Mirror for Man. New York: McGraw Hill.
1951 Values and Value-orientations in the Theory of Action: An Exploration in Definition and
Classification. In T. Parsons & E. Shils, eds. Toward a General Theory of Action.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Kochiyama, Yuri
1997 Trailblazing in a White World: A Brief History of Asian/Pacific American Women. In
Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire. Sonia Shah, ed. South End
Press.

Kondo, Dorinne K
1990 Crafting Selves: Power, Gender, and Discourses of Identity in a Japanese Workplace.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
1997 About Face: Performing Race in Fashion and Theater. New York: Routledge.

Koshiro, Yukiko
1999 Trans-Pacific Racisms and the U. S. Occupation of Japan. New York:Columbia
University Press.
2003 Beyond an Alliance of Color: The African American Impact on Modern Japan.
Positions. 11:1. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

KRS-ONE
2000 The First Overstanding 'The Refinitions'. Davey D's [electronic] FNV Newsletter.
December 11. http://www.daveyd.com/fnvdecl 12000.html. Accessed June 1, 2007.

Kumar, Amitava
2000 Passport Photos. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Labov, William
1972 The Logic of Nonstandard English. In Language in the Inner City. Pp. 201-240.
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.










European nations was confined to a small island off the coast of Nagasaki (Dejima), and then

only with a few Dutch merchants. This trade was supposedly characterized by strong bakufu

control, as the merchants were entertained and interrogated by the shogunate once a year, signs

of settling were reversed and all academic studies of the Dutch closely monitored. This closed

government is often reported as the result of governmental fear of colonization by a European

nation, as was occurring in many Asian national neighbors (cf., the Philippines, Macao).

In 1603, the bakufu expelled European missionaries and foreign traders, and the

government forbade native peoples to leave the country. All contact with foreigners was

monitored and a sort of panopticism took effect (Befu 2000; Cullen 2003). Furthermore,

academic studies of foreign peoples and lands were taken up for strategic purposes. It is argued

that the threat of colonization by Europeans, coupled with information concerning early race

theories from Europe (i.e., Mongoloid, Negroid, Caucasoid, Wild Man and Monstroid

distinction; see Augstein 1996) influenced the manner in which the Meiji period government

"remade" Japan in a conceptually "western" national image (cf., Dower 1993). This marks a

transition in the ways that race was documented. That is, prior to this period there were folk

theories of peoples, native and nonnative, but the emergence of three maj or races, and their

hierarchical assignments, develops in literatures that emerge alongside or against the threat of

colonization. For example, Lafciado Hearn documents folk theories of whiteness as threatening

barbarism (Hearn 1905; Lie 2001). Likewise, John Dower observes that white Westerners were

conceived as devils in different ways. He writes:

"Devilish Anglo-Americans" (kichiku Ei-Bei) was the most familiar epithet for the white
foe. In graphic arts the most common depiction of Americans or British was a horned
Roosevelt or Churchill, drawn exactly like the demons (oni, akuma) found in Japanese
folklore and folk religion. As a metaphor for dehumanization, the demonic white man was
the counterpart of the Japanese monkeyman in Western thinking, but the parallel was by no









international stereotypes like chan2oyu (tea ceremony), ikebana (flower arranging), and haiku

(poetry). Varley's text is considered part of the canon, at least in Japanese studies at American

universities, as it is usually required reading for introductory classes. Thus, without mentioning

racial world orders, or even orientalisms, scholars are free to perpetuate culturally political,

racially imbued notions by not attending to these very subj ects.

Some scholars (Allison 1994; Condry 1999; Yoshimi 2000) critique nationalist discourses,

policies, and practices regarding homogeneity, but they do not directly report on issues of race

and ethnicity in their ethnography and, therefore, their reportage, though theoretically useful

(e.g., Allison' s 1994 Lacanian analysis of the construction of gender in hostess clubs), seems to

take for granted the idea of Japan as a homogenous society or as a realistic and viable norm. For

example, when I have come into contact with nonnative Japanese ethnographers, I am often

asked how I am able to do fieldwork in Japan, since "Japan is racist."s In defense of this

generalization, people cite the racist statements fTOm Prime Minister Nakasone or the

Congressional Black Caucus's activism following similar racist comments from a number of

state officials in the 1990s. Outside of identifications that position Japanese people in opposition






SI now have a witty soundbite or response from Chuck D that is on par with Erving Goffman's
observation (1963:136) regarding society and spoiled identities, which is, "Somebody says Japan
is racist? That' s like saying Africa is backward. You gotta consider the source" (Chuck D,
Interview 9/2003).

9 For example, on September 21, 1990, Mr. Kajiyama made the following declaration after
visiting a district in Tokyo mainly populated by Japanese sex workers: "It is like a bad currency
driving out a good currency...It is like in America when neighborhoods become mixed because
blacks move in and whites are forced out....they ruin the neighborhood in the same way."
(Russell 1992:230-231). During a speech in 1986, Mr. Nakasone remarked, "in America, there
are many blacks, Puerto Ricans and Mexicans, and on average America' s level (of intelligence)
is still extremely low" (Ivy 1989:22).









on" or agreeing with the ideas that Rapper 1 communicated to me. The other reason is that this

rapper is often referred to as the "KRS-ONE"3 Of Japanese Hiphop by Japanese national

consumers and upcoming artists. In that role, he has the power to shape Hiphop philosophy. He

appears in videos that are not his own, wearing clothing that gives respect to African-diasporic

symbols (e.g., a red, black, and green outline of a continent of Africa or an ankh symbol akin to

the picture to the left--however it was not this exact j ewelry) and a particular transnational

Hiphop social movement organization. In these videos he preaches and guides popular Hiphop

performers to "keep it real" and stay true to the original tenets of the origins narrative.














Figure 4-1 An ankh symbol on a necklace; photograph taken by the author in 2005 at a Japanese
recording studio

The transcription excerpt previously presented between Ethnographer and Rapper 1 took

place in a recording studio located in the Tokyo metropolitan area in the spring of 2005. In all

interviews, cultural workers were invited to speak in Japanese and English, and this cultural

worker chose to respond primarily in English. I think part of his choice to do so was to

demonstrate to other artists in the studio at the same time as us just how "dope" or talented he is

as a Hiphop cultural worker. By using English and publicly referencing our common

3 Recall that KRS-ONE is a leading lyrical pioneer of Hiphop culture, and a self-identified
philosopher who regularly writes and lectures about Hiphop culture and philosophy. The
operational definition of Hiphop used for this research as well as the spelling of Hiphop is
derived from his Refinitions (2000).









CHAPTER 4
HIPHOP AS TRANSNATIONAL SOCIAL MOVEMENT?

Hiphop has saved a lot of people, even me.

-"Pioneer 3" a Japanese national cultural worker

Performing and delivering these rhymes, we're gonna be saving Japan, and I'm just telling
you this is just one way of doing it

-"MC R" a Japanese national cultural worker

Making a Movement: "Building a Hiphop Foundation"

The productions by the cultural workers whom I consulted offer an important site of

inquiry regarding the possibility of political movement building using Hiphop. While the basic

framework of the Japanese Hiphop aesthetic follows that which was invented in specific African-

American speech communities (see the five elements' operational definition in Chapter One), the

lyrics are often sung in Japanese with instances of codeswitching using African American

English as well as occasional General American English language varieties. In addition, the

artistic production of lyricism and beat production can follow sensibilities of what is considered

and labeled as "more traditional" Japanese literary aesthetics (see Ueda 1991 for more on literary

and art theories in Japan), and most importantly, the topics and issues introduced in the songs

and performances are relevant to national consumer audiences. Furthermore, once cultural

workers ascend from the underground Hiphop scene into the more commercial formal music

industry, they are at some level dealing with entities that all musicians interface with all over the

world, as most music companies are branches from three main multinational corporations.

Therefore, Hiphop culture in Japan is like Hiphop culture all over the globe; while its expression

is often localized, there are conspicuous ties that are globalized at the levels of distribution,

consumption, and production.









My entire family except for my eldest brother and his wife and newborn came to visit that

summer, and upon learning what I was doing, they got into the experience of "spotting

whiteness." Once they opened their eyes to look for it, they saw it was everywhere, even to the

point where one week into the exercise I tired and concluded that I had enough white images to

take back to the United States. I caught up with my research friends and I continued to go to the

same Hiphop venues and document our experiences.'

This trip was significant in that I noticed what mainstream Hiphop had become in the ten

years since my initial contact with the community. The underground scene seemed integrated

with more commercial art and the older cultural nationalist ideas that were so prevalent in 1994

had been replaced with the ideology of "bling, bling" or conspicuous consumption and

materialism. However the underground had not disappeared. It just had company: commercial

company. This could obscure one' s view of Hiphop in Japan if background knowledge is

missing. With this shift, I saw some of my old friends leave the underground scene for the more

lucrative and "fast" lifestyle of commercial Hiphop, and this included working harder to promote

more African-American Hiphop artists in Japan.

Phase Six: The Gender Mission

When I returned to the Tokyo metropolitan area in 2005, I began to notice the effects of

my earlier visits on the local Hiphop scenes. Papers and memos that I had written and shared

earlier were now circulated in certain circles, and much of the time I allotted to do research,

SI recently had a similar experience while visiting with a research assistant and friend. My friend
was showing me pictures from a visit to Japan in July 2007. He took random pictures of
buildings, billboards, traffic crossings, and other signs of urban life on a popular street in the
Harajuku shopping district of Tokyo. Before he opened up his electronic file of pictures to show
me, I j okingly asked, "Are there still large images of white women everywhere in
advertisements, or has that changed?" By the time I made my utterance, the file opened, and to
both of our surprise, he had unintentionally captured several images of whiteness in advertising,
as almost every building hosted an advertisement that featured a white model.










Japanese public schools as well as the lack of much-needed funding to keep these schools

running and to extend much-needed social welfare programs to their constituents. Furthermore,

there are countless stories of young children and adolescents experiencing persistent harassment

and instances of physical brutality during integrative efforts into Japanese schools or society

from Japanese-citizen schoolmates and other persons in their communities. Some of the people I

have worked with remain scarred, both emotionally and physically, from such egregious and

often unpunished attacks. When discussing my research topic with a fellow activist and agemate

who is of Korean descent yet born in Japan, I was told that although some of the people I work

with who share her heritage may call themselves "Korean-Japanese," she maintains that she is

"Korean" despite being born in Japan. She recounted several instances of abuse she endured

growing up Korean and showed me several scars from wounds that she received as well.

Another popular print media topic concerning race and racism in Japan is the reportage

covering the subcultures of people who alter their bodies through tanning, lip collagen inj sections

and adopting kinky hair styles and the entertainers who actually apply blackface and body make-

up as they perform music or dance associated with African-American culture (usually soul or

gospel). These people, the gan2guro (the former) and blackface performers (the latter), are often

read as not necessarily mocking blackness, but also not fully understanding and respecting black

diasporic experiences, a prerequisite for full participation in authentic or real Hiphop culture,

according to dominant origins narratives. Those who are considered mocking blackness (such as

news anchors or talk show hosts in government-run television from the 1980s and 1990s who

donned blackface), are shunned and described as racists who are common enemies to Japanese

national Hiphop artists. Ganguro subculture and the entertainers who wear blackface do not

receive a uniform response from the cultural workers I interviewed, however. Some artists










[chorus]

[verse 3]
for the men and women who have pride and big spirit, listen to the lyrics
got the info that will shock your mind
packed with good news, challenging various dojos and bringing new teachings
delivering crazy out of this world rhymes to your mind
I'm not following no trend, you don't have tell me that shit
we coming into you with me and DJ Yutaka's beat
male spirit and intelligence, putting muthafuckas to rest

popular culture changes as time changes,
fighting another day against society that gives false information
Yamadaman & Q, we are the big stars that has animal instincts to fight
eating 'hino maru bento-' with DJ Yutaka,
inheriting the culture and the values
rapping what I have to say,
this is the best skill to have to live
at times, something soft be stronger than a metal

[chorus]
--DJ Yutaka featuring Rappagariya

Obj ect A-1 DJ Yutaka' s album cover for "Kobushi"

"Self Destruction," Japanese Style

"Self Destruction" was also the title of a popular and pivotal song in the US by various

popular artists, including heavy hitter pioneers MC Lyte, KRS-ONE, Chuck D, Flava Flay, Just

Ice, Kool Moe Dee, Doug E. Fresh and Daddy O. The topics of each artist' s verse addressed

salient issues that were considered to be part of African-Americans' "state of emergency" at the

time. The song attended to a recuperative analysis in a similar vein to Negritude as expressed by

Aime Cesaire, Frantz Fanon and others. Indeed, self-destruction brings to mind Fanon's concept

of auto-destruction (Fanon 1967). Here is how the concept is operationalized by Japanese

cultural workers. Note the themes of nationalist discourse, survival and transcendence that are

prevalent throughout transnational Hiphop language ideology and cultural aesthetics.









candor and direct speech style, as well as his confidence in his ability to "teach" me the great

utility of Hiphop for self-actualization and community liberation revealed interesting themes in

regard to how he was thinking about race and politics.

Similar to John Dower' s (1993) ob servation regarding Japanese nationalist discourse,

Rapper l's rhetoric recasts Japanese nationals as victims along with their similarly oppressed

African-American "cousins"--as both have been subjugated and mentally occupied through

"brainwashing" and silencing in the national educational system. Dower documents popular

media cartoons and commentary that highlight how the nation has been "dissed" via racialization

by the Westemn "powers that be," using examples that range from the League of Nations'

dismissal of Japan's Racial Equality Clause at the 1919 meeting to Japan' s being characterized

as "Yellow Peril" and sava e aes during WWII to the more recent ima es of "The Ja anese" as

a singular, homogenous people, who imitate rather than innovate in the areas of culture and

technology, and who also pose a threat to the US's economic security (Dower 1993:292-298).

Rapper 1 explains:

It' s called, like, brainwash program, that kind of thing, right after World War II that the
U.S. government had on us. And they changed our constitution, they changed our
textbooks, they changed our history books. So we lost our essence. We lost our roots. We
lost our originality. I don't even have to explain [to Ethnographer, who is politically
marked as black]. It' s like black people during the last 60 years or 160 years. Even 300
years of history. You didn't know your roots. That' s what you've been trying to do with
the Roots movies, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Hiphop. That' s what you did to be
real, to be where you're coming from. But we forget. I didn't have to forget because I was
in the United States, being Hiphop, learning for myself. But all the people here watching
TV forget where they've come from. They thought the Americans are better than us. We
had to be like Americans.

The preceding commentary illuminates further how Rapper 1 is thinking about race. He eagerly

acknowledges Japan's racialized status in the world order, and he supplies a theory of how this

racialization takes place in his country. After all, by his accounts, the Japanese government,

which formulates policy and runs national media is the culprit guilty of promoting these images









in Japanese Hiphop or Japanese in Japanese Hiphop. To be frank, I was unclear. I had

experienced so much in time-limited slots, and I didn't know how to express it. I thought that if I

went back and filmed it, people would get a better idea of what I was trying to explain. An

opportunity arose when Professor Marcyliena Morgan graciously contributed an initial $6,700 to

make a film about Hiphop in Japan for the Hiphop Archive that she directs, which was then at

Harvard University. The prior spring semester, I had taken a course in Theoretical Approaches to

Black Cultural Studies from Professor Mark Reid. This was a special and intimate course in

which many of the participants, all but two of whom were people of color, debated multiple

sensitive issues in black cultural studies. One of my colleagues, Bianca White, held a unique and

critical analysis ofHiphop culture and Japan as a country. She had significant experience

through professional work with world famous Hiphop cultural workers and she had an informed

perspective of the "industry" aspects of Hiphop. She also had lived in Japan as an adolescent

with her mother who was teaching English as a second language. Bianca is my African-

American sister, and despite all of our debating and disagreement concerning my topic, we were

very close friends. She is an amazing critical theorist and an award-winning filmmaker, so when

Professor Morgan released funds to do a film on Japanese Hiphop, I chose her as my sister

warrior, my colleague, to document the scene.

I knew how to conduct ethnographic documentation using digital media, but I did not

know filmmaking, so Bianca was indispensable. As an ethnographer, not a visual ethnographer

but as a traditional ethnographer, I was not concerned about potential audience experience or

clear and steady shots. I was into recording by any means necessary, even if the image was not in

the camera and we just got the dialogue (because we could transcribe it and analyze it later).

Through Bianca I learned important technical skills as well as how to produce a product that is




Full Text

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1 KOBUSHI AGEROO! (=PUMP YA FIST!): BLACKNESS, RACE AND POLITICS IN JAPANESE HIPHOP By DAWN-ELISSA TIYE IGHOSOTU FISCHER A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2007

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2 2007 Dawn-Elissa Tiye Ighosotu Fischer

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3 For my son, Xola Dessalines Amilcar Fischer, and my mother, Cheryl Fischer, with love, respect and eternal admiration

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Anything productive that comes of this work is because it is multi-vocal and made possible by much support and guidance from a number of people, programs and institutions. Any mistakes are the sole fault of the author and so, in advance, I say, mea culpa as this project was initially inspired by and conti nually driven by only good intenti ons as well as dreams of hope, healing and human equality. I am most grateful to the many people whose work, presence and support made this document possible. Writing to express my gratitude has been such an emotional process that I have actually in th e spirit of Hiphopproduced an underground and commercial version of Acknowledgements! What follows is the concise and commercial version. However, I still hope that re aders will enjoy this part in th e true spirit of a mixtape, and play your favorite instrumental sample while re ading this academic version of the Hiphop shout out. In a final mixtape move, I send sincere apologi es to all I may have fo rgotten to thank. I got you next time! One love; lets get free. I am eternally thankful to all of the in stitutions, foundations, programs and people who financially supported my development and this research: the Mellon Mays Fellowship Program and the Social Science Research Council, the Un iversity of Florida Alumni Fellowship, the Japan Foundation, the Hiphop Archive, Stephen Fisc her, Donald Fischer and Cheryl Fischer. I am eternally grateful for all my mentors, t eachers, motivators, leaders, theorists and other folk who helped me make a way in the spirit a nd likeness of how I imagine Harriet Tubman led members of my ancestral community to the ri ver Jordan: Marcyliena Morgan, Faye Harrison, Kesha Fikes, Irma McClaurin, Gina Ulysse, Ma rk Reid, Michael Heckenberger, Jon Yasin, Marvin Sterling, Raymond Codrington, Dionne Bennett, Jon Jackson, Jeff Johnson, Maria Grosz-Ngate, Enoch H. Page, Don Matthews, Chuck D, Bakari Kitwana, Nakazawa Mayumi, Mark Anthony Neal, Theresa Adkins, Carla Stok es, Scott Heath and Stephany Rose Spaulding.

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5 My advisory committee in particular, Fa ye Harrison, Kesha Fikes, Irma McClaurin, Michael Heckenberger and Mark Reid, and th e Founder and Director of the Hiphop Archive, Marcyliena Morgan, deserve a special shout out and bow dow n for being supportive and challenging as well as the bomb theorists and phenomenal educators. I sing a special spiritual song for each of you, as you all inspire me I am fortunate to have be en mentored by these great theorists and researchers. Finally, I express im mense gratitude to Marcyliena Morgan, who not only founded the Hiphop Archive, which serves as an important resource for scholars and educators who study and teach Hiphop, but she has al so been a pivotal mentor to a large cohort of Hiphop generation Hiphop researchers. I bow down in thanks and reverence for my va rious crews, who helped me to pull through as we collectively figure out the Underground Railr oad of life. Much props to my tight Gator crew: Lonn Monroe, Tracey Graham, Theresa Adkins, Nakamura Mutsuo, Fujino Yuko, Nishant Shahani, Sybil Dionne Rosado, Daphine Washi ngton, Ermitte St. Jacques, Rosana Resende, Harun Thomas and the University of Florida Hip Hop Collective! I love all yallyour spirits are what I miss about the Swamp. Much props to my Yay Area/ Lower Bottoms / Club Knowledge crews: Danae Martinez, Imani Williams, Sonni Collins, Chaka Smith, Te sa Rigaud, Miesha Hillard, Ameelah El-Amin, Curtis Boze Riley, Jr. & Hairdoo, Tigi Bihon, Blu, Zotunde, Liv, Tedra, Lower Bottoms Mayor Raymond from across the street, Tarus J ackson (RIP), Chaundra, Fat Rat, Makini, Susan, Tani Nagaoka, Lisa Moon (RIP), Sato Mire i, Joel Tan, Ricky Vincent, Jeff Chang, Adam Mansbach, Jeriel Bey and The Architektz, Doro thy Tsuruta, Nedra Ginwright, Shawn Ginwright, Antwi Akom, Lem Lem, Anita Johnson and Davey D and the rest of the Hard Knock Radio fam, Wade Nobles, Elnora Webb, Seri e McDougall, Andreana Clay, J on Rodriquez, Jessica Norwood,

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6 Victor Thompson, Daniel Zarazu a, Melanie, Shawntae, Joyce, Pamela, Kevin Washington, Ken Monteiro, Johnetta Richards and the rest of th e SF State Africana Studi es & College of Ethnic Studies family, and finally all the Hiphop Archiv e staff and crew from Stanford University!!! To my right thurr (STL throwback and Mi dwest) crew: Amoretta Itunde Morris, Donica England, Chandra Williams, Jessica LaShawn, Ms. Chasity, Michelle Purdy, Stephanie Baker, Lanetta Greer, Phyllis Broussard, Tony St ephenson, Jude Bordeaux, Cameron White, TJ Crawford, Robin Terry, Jamilla Upchurch and Julia-Feliz Sessoms, and all the other activists, educators and organizers that I worked with back in da day! Nuff respect and eternal gratit ude to my family, friends, coll eagues and inspirational folk in Japan: King Zulu Tone, Seiko, DJ Yutaka, Ma yumi, DJ Kaori, K Dub Shine, Astuko, Ai, Kyle, Keiko, Satchiko, Ricky, Curtis, Spanky, Mast er Key, Shingo, J-Roc, Bobby, Tony, Mayuko and everyone with much humble, grateful love and respect. I must give an extra special thanks to my fo rmal research consultants and the people I lived and worked with in Japan. Mad props and sincer e gratitude to the tran slation teams over the years: Fujino Yuko, Nakamura Mutsuo, King Zulu Tone, Wesley Uenten, VSOP, and Cheryl Fischer. These folks also engaged me in dialogue and analysis that gave birth to the final product that follows. Other specific and valuable re search assistance and analysis was graciously supplied by Rakaa Taylor, Daniel Dan Zarazu a and VSOP. Rakaa was extremely patient and efficient as he helped me to navigate formal music industry challenges and perspectives; his insight and philosophical contribut ions were most helpful. Daniel and VSOP were especially supportive with data collec tion in the latter parts of this proj ect. Daniel has done so much, its easier just to say, Dan, you da man! Thanks bei ng a great research partner and comrade. VSOP

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7 also lent his ill skillz as a mast er artist/ activist and was a key researcher in this project. I am humbly indebted to all yall! I received wonderful editorial assistance fr om Anna Otieno, Pat Barker and AC Racette. They were most gracious with their mad editorial skills; I am grateful for their help editing the final document. I am extremely indebted to the kindness of Jon Rodriquez. He is a dissertation angel who supported me in amazing ways during th e final weeks of this project. For real, Jon, Harriet Tubman style. Much love and gratitude! Jon held me down like family. I thank ALL my ancestors, especially the African-descent women who completed undergraduate work despite the hostile and vi olent environment that followed slavery in American history. These women began my family le gacy in the profession of teaching at least four generations back, beginning with Rachel Mc Coy Sanders and her daughter, Mildred Sanders Glover, continuing through my mo ther, Cheryl Glover Fischer, a nd her sister, Catherine Glover, and now through me. I give thanks to my brave ancestors who brought us through the tough trials of slavery, segregation and other structural violence. Special tha nks to Free Bob Vernon. I also thank my determined ancestors who tilled land in Oklahoma, labored for family, and began my paternal lineage of university professors with my grandfathe r, John Fischer, followed by my father, Donald Fischer, and now continuing through me. My Grandpa Fischers advice throughout my trajectory as a student of anthro pology has been especially motivational, and he continues to teach me the importance of ethi cs, research and teaching in everyday life. I give major shouts out to my exceptionally supp ortive family and especially my immediate family members. I have all love, respec t and gratitude for my mother, Cheryl Fischer, who is the central inspiration fo r this project and who supported me intellectually and physically, not only by being my first Japanese teacher, but also with endless help caring for my son so that I

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8 could write and work. I give thanks and love to my father, Donald Fischer, who kept it real as a university professor, read and ed ited drafts of my work and de bated with me about everything from gender theory to field methods. I give specia l loving thanks to my three elder brothers who also helped to raise and support me throughout th is project. Douglass, you taught me to follow my dreams and be healthy. Stephen, you challenged me to always do better and you funded much of this research. Scott, you found my lost bibliography file, helped me with editing and served as a general sounding board, and it has meant so much. Shout out to my brothers partners: Nina and Cali, who have listened to me drone on about this project and have helped me with my child. I give much love to one of our future leaders, my niece, Josephine Fischer, and her younger sibling who is on her or his way to join us now. And most especially, I give eternal love to my son, Xola, my greatest blessing to date. Xola, thank you for choosing me to parent you: you inspire a peace in me that your name signi fies, and it is my hope that our world knows a similar peace and joy, as we work collectivel y toward human equality and social justice.

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9 NOTE ON LANGUAGE When last or family names are provided for Japanese nationals, I follow Japanese practice with last name first followed by given na mes. Japanese American names follow common practice in the United States. Exceptions exist wh en I contacted the person whose name I am using and she or he requested that the name was presented ot herwise. I often use Japanese characters for Japanese words for two main reason s. One is to show how the author of the text utilized codeswitching in print (e.g., song lyri cs published). The other case is for emphasis, particularly when I am making points about language use. When I utilize Romanization, I follow a variant of the modified Hepburn style. All tran slations are the authors unless otherwise noted.

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10 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 NOTE ON LANGUAGE............................................................................................................... ..9 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ........13 LIST OF FIGURES................................................................................................................ .......14 LIST OF OBJECTS................................................................................................................ .......15 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS........................................................................................................16 ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... ............17 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION: THE TRANSNAT IONAL AS TR ANSLATIONAL.............................19 [Hiphop] is Black Power.....................................................................................................19 The Importance of Memory....................................................................................................29 Global Races and Black Popular Culture...............................................................................37 Race as Political Imaginary and Social Strategy....................................................................46 Ethnographic Significance...............................................................................................48 Transnational as Translational.........................................................................................52 2 AUTOETHNOGRAPHIC REFLECTION: EN TRY POINTS, METHODOLOGIES, AND BLACK BODY POLITICS..........................................................................................54 Racing Research, Researching Race...................................................................................54 Significance of Focusing on Linguistic Data..................................................................55 Attending to an Analytic Conundrum.............................................................................56 Context and Experience Entering a L ongitudinal Ethnographic Relationship.......................57 Phase One: First Contact.................................................................................................57 Phase Two: Back Again..................................................................................................59 Phase Three: Filmmaking................................................................................................62 Phase Four: Winter in Tokyo..........................................................................................65 Phase Five: Substantiating Postcolonial Identities..........................................................66 Phase Six: The Gender Mission......................................................................................67 Phase Seven: The Ethnographic Present......................................................................69 Data Collection Process........................................................................................................ ..70 Background..................................................................................................................... .71 Doctoral Research...........................................................................................................72 Data Analysis Process.......................................................................................................... ...75 Reporting Process.............................................................................................................. .....86

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11 3 RACE, ETHNICITY, AND POSTCOLONIAL IDENTITIES IN CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE STUDIES...........................................................................................................88 Introduction to Race in Japan..............................................................................................88 Negroid and Mongoloid: Race as Shared Experience............................................................92 Examples of Racialization of Japa nese People in US Print Media........................................93 Treatments of Race and Racism in Japanese Studies......................................................94 From Burakumin to Blackface: The Pe rformance of Race and Promise of Transcendence.................................................................................................................. .111 NIHON -STYLE....................................................................................................................125 4 HIPHOP AS TRANSNATIONA L SOCIAL MOVEMENT?..............................................128 Making a Movement: Building a Hiphop Foundation......................................................128 Layers of Race: Samples from Hiphop.................................................................................135 Codeswitching as Discourse Strategy...................................................................................143 Hiphop Aesthetics and Language Ideology..........................................................................146 Examples of AAE Phonology.......................................................................................149 Examples of AAE Syntax..............................................................................................149 Examples of AAE Lexicon............................................................................................149 Other Morphosyntactic Properties.................................................................................149 Flow: Can You Feel It?.................................................................................................150 Shinjuku Represent: A Battle.....................................................................................154 Japanese AAE Codeswitching in Japanese Hiphop..............................................................162 Luck Last (2006) by Anarchy feat. La Bono and AK-69 AK-69s Verse.............165 Koko Tokyo (2003) by Aquarius (DJ Yakko & Deli) feat. S-Word, Big-O, and DaboBIG-Os Verse...............................................................................................166 No Pain No Gain (2002) DJ PMX feat. Maccho (Ozrosaurus), Zeebra Macchos Verse.........................................................................................................168 Uh-Uh (2003) by Suite Chic feat. AISuite Chics Verse.......................................169 Bayside Cruisin (2005) Big Ron feat. Richee, DS455 Richees Verse................171 Hybridity, Identity, and Cultural Work................................................................................173 Case Studies: Producers, Cons umers, and Distributors........................................................176 Distribution: We All in the Same Game....................................................................176 Consumers: Beyond Blackface......................................................................................179 Producers: The Keepers of the Culture......................................................................181 Conclusion: The Politics of an In ternational Hiphop Generation?.......................................187 5 IS OPRAH RIGHT? RACE AND GE NDER POLITICS IN HIPHOP...............................190 Ethnographers Eye/I-Novel or Shishosetsu : Raising Critical No tions of Self and Society through Narrative.................................................................................................190 Lessons in Uhuru from Uhura.......................................................................................192 The Wrath of Farrakhan................................................................................................193 (=Whats My Name?): Bringing Gender Back Into the Anti-Race Game.......204 (=Women Represent!)..........................................................................................207

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12 Watch Out! by Ai, Afra, and Tucker (2004)..............................................................210 Lady Meets Girl by Miss Monday (2002).................................................................213 Let's Go (It's a Movement) (2003).............................................................................215 Theres No Place Like Home: Queen s and Bitches and Hos, Oh My!!............................219 6 CONCLUSION: KOBUSHI AGEROO! (=PUMP YA FIST!).............................................224 Blackness, Race, and Politics in Ethnographic Projects...................................................224 Revoking Hiphops Ghetto Pass.......................................................................................227 Legacy to Liberation?.......................................................................................................... .232 Final Reflection............................................................................................................... .....235 APPENDIX SAMPLES FROM DATA REFERENCED...........................................................240 Summary of Analysis from RIAJ Yearbook 2006 Charts....................................................240 / Kobushi Ageroo / Pump Ya Fist...............................................................241 Self Destruction, Japanese Style.......................................................................................242 K-Dub Shines Save The Children....................................................................................245 Hannyas Oretachi no Yamato ..........................................................................................245 Knowledge Panel Translation Sample..............................................................................246 Sample Survey from 2001....................................................................................................250 LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................252 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................280

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13 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2-1 Numbers of long recorded interviews described in th e Data Collection Process..............75 3-1 Population chart of registered foreigners in Japan from 1996 to 2005............................127 4-1 Transcription conventions used.......................................................................................189

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14 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 Advertisements along a stroll down one small city block (less than 100 feet in length) in Kamakura, Japan in 2004..................................................................................66 4-1 An ankh symbol on a necklace; photogra ph taken by the author in 2005 at a Japanese recording studio...............................................................................................................132

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15 LIST OF OBJECTS Object page 3-1 Map of Japan.............................................................................................................. ........91 3-2 Japanese people as bruta l, savage, and not human.....................................................93 3-3 Japanese people as apes or savages in need of civilizing........................................94 3-4 Japanese people as not human and akin to lice..................................................................94 4-1 Channels performing blackface.......................................................................................142 4-2 Anarchys album cover for Luck Last..........................................................................165 4-3 Aquariuss album cover for the Koko Tokyo...............................................................167 4-4 DJ PMXs album art for the No Pain No Gain.............................................................169 4-5 Suite Chics album cover for the Uh-Uh......................................................................170 4-6 Big Rons album cover fo r the Bayside Cruisin.........................................................173 5-1 View the skit The Wrath of Farrakhan.........................................................................197 5-2 Nichelle Nichols as Uhura in a secretarial role in the original Star Trek series..............197 5-3 George Takei as Hika ru Sulu, in the original Star Trek series........................................198 5-4 One of Ais album covers for Watch Out!...................................................................212 5-2 Ais Watch Out!......................................................................................................... ..212 5-5 Exile album cover featuring various Af rican-American political marches with signs photoshopped to reflect the names of guest artists on the album....................................214 5-6 Miss Mondays Lady M eets Girl album cover.............................................................215 5-7 Beef Soundtracks album art fo r Lets Go (Its a Movement).....................................216 5-8 Lil Ais album art for Lets Go (Its a Movement).....................................................219 A-1 DJ Yutakas album cover for Kobushi .........................................................................242 A-2 Self Destruction album art............................................................................................245 A-3 K Dub Shines Save the Children.................................................................................245 A-4 Hannyas Oretachi no Yamato .....................................................................................246

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16 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AAE African American English BPP Black Panther Party CEDAW Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women GAE General American English ICERD International Convention on the E limination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination JAFA Japan African-Ameri can Friendship Association J-Pop Japanese popular music OMB Office of Management and Budget MNMMR Movimento Nacional de Me ninos e Meninas de Rua (=National Movement of Street Boys and Girls) NEH National Endowment for the Humanities NGO Non-Governmental Organization NHHPC National Hip Hop Political Convention TSMO Transnational Social Movement Organization UNWCAR United Nations World Conference Against Racism UZN Universal Zulu Nation WUNC Worthiness, United, Numbers, Committed

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17 Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy KOBUSHI AGEROO! (=PUMP YA FIST!): BLACKNESS, RACE AND POLITICS IN JAPANESE HIPHOP By Dawn-Elissa Tiye Ighosotu Fischer December 2007 Chair: Faye V. Harrison Cochair: Kesha D. Fikes Major: Anthropology This project examines how specific commun ities of Japanese Hiphop cultural workers translate their political iden tities within a black diasporic imaginary. Performances of blackness through the use of African American English, Hiphop language ideology, and other related operationalizat ions of Hiphop aesthetics are examined in a manner that considers the intersectionality of racialized, gendered and sexualized identifications. This research analyzes narratives and representations in transnationa l Hiphop culture in an effort to document and elucidate social realities as described by cultural workers in a transnational Japanese Hiphop community. Using Hiphop cultural production and its purported social movement as a point of entry as well as a site of i nquiry, the analysis presented cont ributes to understandings of how race, gender, sexuality, class, and transnati onal location affect cultural workers in their everyday lived experiences and resistance strategies, such as efforts to build a social movement. This research is also necessarily about reth inking how engagements in aesthetic practices and language ideology that cannot be fully excava ted as originating from the community in question are ethnographically interpreted as inauth entic or as mimicry. In an effort to call attention to this analytic cris is in ethnography, the objective of this project is to understand the

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18 discursive qualities of raceas an organizing principle of social orderwhen its status cannot be reduced to origins historie s or biological classi fications. The analysis addresses central questions such as how are curren t popular cultural produc tions in conversation with transnational social movement mobilizing and organization, and how are these popular cultural productions contesting historical governmental policy and identification practice? Are identifications such as race central to modern movement building stra tegies that resist governmental practice which limits and fixes identity? This research project considers evidence from Japan that attends to these general global issues and theoretical inquiries.

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19 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION: THE TRANSNAT IONAL AS TRANSLATIONAL [Hiphop] is Black Power I mean a culture like Hiphop, which is brand ne w, thats bringing us together like this thats amazing! Thats the power of music, I think. And not only that, the power of Hiphop. Ill say this: it is black power Im not kidding. It is black power. For real! Everybody recognizes that. I mean, dont get me wrong. I have a lot of respect for the white peopleeverybodybut as far as Hi phop is concerned, its black power. --A Japanese-national Hiphop1 cultural worker2 Are these the words of a conf used, wannabe-black victim of the black hegemony of American popular culture, as some scholars suggest (Cornyetz 1994; Matory 2002; Wood 1997), or is the cultural worker cited attempting to ar ticulate something more significant? Could his comments represent reflections re garding the postcoloni al condition that he believes his people have been suffering from since the United States occupation of his count ry after WWII (Dower 1986, 1993, 1999)? And, could these comments provide a ny insight into the context of the more recent barrage on Japanese youth by dominant images of whiteness as humanity and beauty in the mediathat is, the over-reliance on wh ite models and actors for the majority of 1 The operational definition of Hiphop for the pur pose of this project considers Hiphop as a culture, as it is described by the cultural work ers with whom I work. Hi phop incorporates--but is not limited to--five major cultural elements: knowledge, lyricism, beat production, graffiti art or writing, and dance. Other elements such as fashion, language, and en trepreneurship also abound in Hiphop cultural production (cf., He bdige 1987; Kitwana 2005; KRS-ONE 2000; Morgan 2001; Perkins 1996; Rose 1994; Smith erman 1997). The spelling of Hiphopusing a capital H and no space or hyphen--serves to hono r an artist who write s theory about Hiphop culture (KRS-ONE); however, I do not completely agree with his views and theories. I began writing academic papers on Hiphop as a Hiphop-gene ration scholar about 13 years ago, and at that time, Hiphop cultural studies wa s not recognized or respected as an acceptable area of study. In 2000, when Davey D circulated KRS-ONE s Refinitions (KRS-ONE 2000), I began choosing this spelling in order to honor the people about whom I have been writing as well as to accentuate that I am writing about Hiphop as a culture. 2 I use the term cultural worker to refer to th e artistic, music, media, and literary producers who create the culture that I understand to be Hiphop. Read more about this term in the latter part of this chapter.

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20 commercial and marketing material (Honda 1993; Kondo 1997)? Japan, which is often considered a world economic power and key play er in Pacific hegemony (Tamanoi 2003) is a complex site for documenting the every day li ved experiences of youth, who are increasingly dissatisfied with the alienating effects of state-regulated identity.3Youth report that they are grappling with spoiled identities (Goffman 19 63) as a result of (1) increased employment uncertainty and related social st ructural insecurity due to the countrys most recent economic recession, (2) continued cross-cultural misunders tandings and perceived social violations concerning US-military occupation, (3) non-reflectiv e and non-affirming images of whiteness in the media and marketingparticularly those th at are youth-centered, such as cartoons and fashion billboards, and (4) official public policy that is simultane ously homogenizing and hierarchical, such as Nihonjinron4, which exacerbates disparities between socially constructed pure Japanese nationals and o thers (Fischer and White 2002).5 3 I define state-regulated ident ities as the identifications that are assigned to human bodies by the governing institutions in th e locations in which they resi de. These identifications are regulated by governments in that there are a fi xed number of identity categories and these identity categories are hierarchically situated in social practice, despite laws that recommend otherwise (cf., Article 14 in Japan; Civil Rights Acts in US legislation). 4 Nihonjinron reflects theories of Japanese uniquene ss and national identity; it is generally critiqued as being culturally ch auvinist and culturally nationalist. See Lie (2001) or Befu et al. (2000) for more anthropological information concerning Nihonjinron as social science theory and public policy. See http://www.imadr.org for articles concerni ng how conceptions of a racially pure Japanese people discriminate agai nst other Japanese residents in the areas of education and criminal justice. 5 In accordance with American Anthropological Association citation style guides, quotation marks are used not only used to capture spoken wo rds and citations, but they are also used to designate problematized terms. Furthermore, quotation marks are utili zed when introducing discipline specific concepts or vernacular vocabulary. To optimi ze readability, once a term has been established as problematic through the in itial use of quotation marks (e.g., race), it appears throughout the text wit hout quotation marks, unless they are invoked for emphasis or ironic effect.

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21 All of the aforementioned issues can be connected to a history of power that is centered in a relationship to the West (particularly, but not limited to, the US), and they are indicative of complicated and contradictory colonial and postc olonial policies (such as General MacAuthors political re-education programs). However, th e question still remains: what do the comments from the cultural worker presented mean? Do they allude to some sort of borrowing blackness (Bucholtz 1997)? If so, why, or for what purpose? Why connect Hiphop, a popular cultural genre, to blackness and power, when speaking ab out it from the geopolitical location of Japan? Does making this connection aim to manage a s poiled identity or to petition a particular political rhetoric? Is the pro cess of borrowing blackness truly onl y about blackness, or is the cultural worker contributing to a political conversation that is mo re complex and reflective about whiteness and its relationship to the West as it is experienced in Japan? Th at is, does the process of borrowing blackness reference whiteness or its contentious history with the West without actually naming it? If so, why invoke the black/white binary in (pol itically constructed yellow) Japan (Allen 1994, Dower 1986)? What insight do utte rances such as the cultural workers lend to the ethnographic study of race, and what could this discourse tell us about youth6, race, culture, and politics in Japan? By analyzing utterances that tie Hiphop to blackness and pol itics, I examine how race works in a no race7 political era. I pay special attention to rhetoric and practice that is situated 6 The research presented in this project specifically focuses on cultural workers who comprise Japans Hiphop generation, which following Bakari Kitwanas definition (2002) refers to people born between the years 1965 and 1984. From survey s and participant obser vation, it seems that the majority of the consumer audiences of the cultural workers discussed in this dissertation consists of youth born after 1984. 7 While it has been proven biologica lly that race is a social constr uct, ethnographic analyses and political policies must still consider the continue d uses and abuses of race in the 21st century. The reference to a no race era cr itiques the current trend of un-recognizing race in research and policy (cf., anti-affirmative action court rulings in the United States; former Prime Minister

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22 within a particularly racialized discourse that is inextricably linked to a narrative concerning Hiphop. I execute the former in a manner that considers the unspoken complex historical significance of Japan as simultane ous colonizer and colonized as well as the transnational space in which Hiphop discourse and practice are produ ced. Therefore, the research I conducted is largely concerned with how Hiphop cultural workers in Japan are interpreti ng the significance of race. That is, if Hiphop is a trope for blackness, i. e., bodies and things perceived to be marginal, in resistance and in association with Africa, what does the public and voluntary practice of this cultural form by non-black8 cultural workers reveal about th e production of race as a discourse? Specifically, what is meaningful about the re lationship between the signifying potential of blackness and the subjectivities of such Hiphop practitioners w hose racial origins are not publicly recognized as black? A nd finally, in what ways does blackness operate to signify a contentious relationship with the West and associated disc ourses on whiteness? This project, in conversation w ith the research of cultural a nd linguistic social scientists who consider identity a form of lived and situat ed practice (cf., Bucholtz 1997; Codrington 2003; Condry 1999, 2001; Dimitriadis 2001; Goff man 1959; Greenhouse 2002; Hall 1998, 1996a; Nakasone Yasuhiro and former Minister of Justice Kajiyama Seirokus comments in 1986 and 1990 respectively that not only reproduced colonial models of racial hierarchies abroad, but also reinforced notionsand policyof Japan as a racially homogenous or pure nation-state, see Russell 1992). 8 I define non-blacks as people who are not pol itically or historically recognized according to global recognitions of race and descent as bl ack or as an African-descendant (cf., the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights D eclarations). I recognize that there are non-African-descendant populations who have been historically situated and identified by governing states as well as societies as black such as Asian-nationals (e.g., people from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) in England, Tongans in th e Pacific Islands, Roma in Eastern European states and Maori in Australia. However, this pr oject focused on African-descendants who have been historically marked as Negroid and Japane se nationals who have hi storically been marked as Mongoloid by raciologists/ 18th Century race theorists.

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23 Hannerz 1987; Harrison 2002; Hebdige 1979, 19 87; Herzfeld 1997; Kondo 1990, 1997; Mercer 1994, 1996, 2000; Morgan 2001, 2002, forthcoming; Rickford and Rickford 2000), examines how cultural workers in Japan tran slate their political worlds with in a black diasporic imaginary, specifically the practice of Hiphop cu lture and identity. As such, this project is also necessarily about rethinking how engagement in aesthetic practices that cannot be fully excavated as originating from the community in question are likely to be ethnogr aphically interpreted as forms of mimicry or displays of inauthenticity. In the effort to call attention to this analytic crisis, within a fashion that can consider the performativ e role of race as lived experience, the objective of this research is to understa nd the discursive quali ties (or potential) of raceas an organizing principle of social orderwhen its status can not be ontologically reduced to diasporic scattering or biology. Hiphop can be associated with blackness pr ecisely because of its origins narratives9, which situate its cultural genesis in African-Ameri can speech communities (Baker 1993; Chuck D 1997; Hebdige 1987; Jackson 2003; Kitwana 2002; KRS-ONE 2000; Morgan 2008; Neal 2003; Potter 1995; Ramsey 2003; Rose 1994; Smither man 1997; Toop 2000; Washington and Shaver 1997; Yasin 1999). Anthropologists, linguists and cultural stud ies scholars alike have documented aspects of African American English10 (AAE) language varieties in the lyricism of 9 The term origins narrative in this chapte r is akin to what professional Hiphop cultural archivists call Hiphop history (Chang 2005;, Fricke and Ahear n 2002; Kitwana 2005). I refrain from fixing narratives collected from the ascribed pioneers as a static hist ory, since they rely on memory and consensus to remain in being. I th eorize about the uses of a dominant origins narrative in this paper. I use origins rather than foundation (Pratt 1992) because Hiphop is often spoken about by the pioneers who police this na rrative in terms of origins, originators, and originality. 10 African American English (AAE) has also b een referred to as Ebonics, African American Vernacular English (AAVE), Black English Vern acular (BEV), Black English (BE) and Negro English, among other terms over time AAE is often defined as a language variety by linguists and the difference in reference term could possibl y but not always signify ideological differences

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24 Hiphop cultural workers. Furthermore, Hiphops origin s narratives s ituate the cultural genesis in particular black, urban spaces in New York City. Wh ether these narratives reflect reality or not is insignificant, considering the fact that these stor ies have been reproduced in manifold ways in popular literature (e.g., The Source Magazine Viacoms music video industries such as MTV, BET, and VH-1), and consumed by youth as well as cultural workers who identify with Hiphop all over the world. The consumption of these na rratives has facilitated the emergence of an imagined community of Hiphoppers through a common literacy and common struggle against controlling mechanisms of the state, i.e., the man/hegemony/white power11 (Anderson 1991; Beebe 2002; Dyson 2001; Grossberg 1997; H eath 2006; Hall 1996b; hooks 1992). This common literacy and language socialization can be demonstrated by the fact that any youth (from Italy to Japan) identified with this global culture can us ually recount a narrative that generally begins with Kool Hercs technologica l innovation and climaxes with the global popularity of Run DMC (Fujita 1996; Gilroy 1993b; Hebdi ge 1987; Kitwana 2005; Morgan 2008; Pipitone 2006; Prevos in how one is defining the specificities and phe nomenologies of the langu age variety. See, for example, Gates (1989), Green (2002), Morgan (2002), Mufwene et al (1998), Rickford and Rickford (2000), Smitherman (1986), Yasin (1999) For examples of AAE use in non-US-based Hiphop, see Spady, Alim, Meghelli (2006). 11 Terms such as the man, the establishm ent, hegemony, white power, and white supremacy, are reminiscent of particular political rhetoric utilized for social movement building with anti-establishment efforts such as the Black Panther Party, the Weather Underground, the Womens Liberation Movement, and the Red Guar d. Early Hiphop artists came of age and began the production of their art in this at mosphere, so it is common to se e remnants of this rhetoric in the lyricism of Hiphop. Recall that the Vietnam War, the Black Power Movement, Watergate, the Cold War, and a plethora of other politically volatile situati ons were occurring in the United States and abroad during the late 1960s and early 1970s when the onset of Hiphop culture is claimed to have occurred. The global political cl imate in conjunction with changes in domestic social policy (e.g., the Moynihan re port) left subalternized urban poor and minority youth at a particular disadvantage with little or no redress. It should be no surprise that they incorporated the oppositional political rhetoric (e.g., black is beautiful and power to the people) of the time to voice their predicament and cope with harsh realities (cf., Wild Style and Style Wars ). Here, the term the state refers to governments or nation/states that determine legislature that affect the peoples discussed.

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25 2001; Spady, Alim, Meghelli 2006; Urla 2001).12 Through the production of an origins narrative that situates the cultural genesis in specifi c, struggling African-American (and immigrant African-Caribbean) communities, the culture of Hiphop lends its political capital to anyone seeking redress for the transnat ional character of political an d economic injustice (Harrison 2000). This phenomenon is not new, as African Americans have been conceptualized as trailblazers fighting against state13 regulation of identity that is in trinsic in colonial and, as we are witnessing, postcolonial processes, or metaphor ically, a significant popul ation that reside in the belly of the beast, cutt ing away at the intestines.14 Therefore, as US-based racial politics are exported abroadspecifically where US military interests persistrelational African American resistance narratives and strategies b ecome of particular interest as an oppositional strategy for local populations (Gilroy 1993b, 2000; Hall 1996b; Harrison 2002; Mercer 2000). Such narratives and strategies have historically been transmitted through popular cultural genres (Atkins 2001; Chaney 2002:115; Eterovic and Smith 2001; Lahusen 2001; Ramsey 2003; Sterling 2003, 2006). In Japan since WWII, jazz, bl ues, reggae, dancehall, and now Hiphop have occupied an oppositional utility to state-regulated identificatory practicewhether that practice comes from the US military, multinational corporations, or Japane se state policies (Davis 2000; Lie 2001; Nakazawa 1998, 2002). 12 For instance, most Hiphop-identified particip ants history and origin s narratives concerning Hiphop will begin as follows with the over-produ ced and over-published story of artist Kool Herc (aka Clive Campbell): In 1967, Kool Herc emigrated from Jamaica to West Bronx. He extended break beats as a deejay. and Hiphop was born. 13 See Philip Corrigan and Derek Sayer (1985:195) fo r a concise definition of the state as it is operationalized in this study. Corrigan and Sayer ( 1985) are discussed in detail later in this chapter. 14 Jos Mart coined the term belly of the monster and this phrase is my update of the concept.

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26 Hiphops relation to AAE language varieties also situates its political rhetoric within a counter-language framework (Halliday 1976; Mo rgan 2002; T. Butler 1995). Likewise, its origins narratives, which position it in African -diasporic, specifically African-American, communities, associate it with a counterpub lic sphere (Fraser 1992; Hauser 2001; Pough 2004). It is counterpublic because its pa rticipants do not have access to the public sphere (cf., contexts of slavery, Jim Crow segregati on, prison industrial complex system s). This idea is not new for black bodies in the United States, and any succes sful overthrow of regimes that regulate these black bodies can be considered significant for democratizing efforts worldwide. The basic statement concerning the US as a false democr acy, that is, the ethnogr aphic realitiesthat humans are not treated equallyc onveyed in the lyrics of A frican-American musical genres (such as blues, jazz, funk, soul, and Hiphop) is threatening to US imperialist efforts abroad since the political re-education of c onquered countries like Japan an d Iraq requires the US to be accepted as a democratic safeguard, where all pe ople are treated equall y, and race and class conflicts are downplayed (Tsuchiya 2002). Therefore, Hiphops political ut ility is precisely its association with a black body politic, and its popular cultural presence allows it to be accessed and appropriated through performative measures. As Judith Butler comments, any mobilization against subjection will take subjection as its resource, and that attachment to an injurious interpellation, by way of a necessarily alienated narcissism, become the condition under which resignifying that interpellation becomes possible (Butler 1997b:104). The psychic process of identifying with th e ultimate subjected body in the racialization proce ss (i.e., Negroid, black, African -descendant) as a means of displaying ambivalence and displacing fixities that bind and limit personal freedom could be the utility of Hiphop cultural production, especially in a crosscultural global process. As one

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27 Japanese national cultural worker put it, I use black power to fight white power. These political strategies of ever-cra fting and re-creating selves as a method of decolonizing minds are echoed in the works of Aim Csaire (2000)15, Dorinne Kondo (1990, 1997), and Frantz Fanon (1967), as well as Judith Butler (1993) and Jose Muoz (1999). Perhaps what has previously been read as Japanese racism ag ainst African Americans (i.e., all Japanese Hiphop as a performance of blackface and minstrelsy) a nd African-American hegemony over Japanese nationals (i.e., the conspicuous presence of Af rican Americans in Japanese Hiphop) is in actuality a critique of racial ization and the post-colonial experience (see also Dower 1986, Kondo 1997, and Lie 2001 on how race works in Japan). As more scholarship is produced on the hi story of racialization and postcolonial experiences in Japan (c.f., Davis 2000; Do wer 1993; Horne 2004; Kondo 1997; Koshiro 2003; Lie 2001), studies such as this one, which rev eal how contemporary cultural workerssuch as those who produce Hiphop musicare interpreting those racialized and postcolonial experiences to their consumer audience, comprise a useful contribution to critical race research. Hence, conceptualizing Hiphop as a trope for blackness is key to its political usefulness in Japan; the second it ceases to exist as suc h, it loses its relevan ce and utility for social movement building, a question I will explore in greater detail as I proceed. Although St uart Hall (1996d: 471) explains this idea as black cultural repertoires constitute d from two directions at once, over fifty years ago, anthropologist Cedric Dover (1947:25) a lluded to a similar subversive strategy, as he advised agents aiming to dismantle global racism to be racial and anti-raci al at the same time. Such strategiesto be racial a nd anti-racial at the same time (Dover 1947), to use black power to fight white power (Fischer fieldnotes), to mobilize against subjecti on using subjection as a 15 Aime Cesaire was a teacher of Frantz Fanon an d he was a leading deco lonization theorist who also theorized Negritude. His work predates the other theorists listed in this section.

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28 resource (Butler 1997b)are all phenomena in which Judith Butlers concept of disidentification becomes central when analyzing their political significance. Butler writes that altho ugh the political discourses that mobilize identity categories tend to cultivate identifications in the service of a political goal, it may be that the persistence of disidentification is equally crucial to the rear ticulation of democratic contestation (Butler 1993:23). Likewise, Jose Muoz introduces a disi dentificatory subject who tactically and simultaneously works on, with, and against a cultu ral form such as the statewhich regulates and ritualizes identificator y practice (Muoz 1999:12). Disi dentification abounds in Hiphop discourse as racial, gendered, economic, linguistic, and nationa l categories are constantly disrupted, re-staged, and re-signified (Gat es 1990; Hall 1996b, 1997b; Jackson 2001; MitchellKernan 1972; Morgan 2001). Whether in the Unit ed States or Japan, one can collect countless examples of artists who negotiate the instability of categories such as race through performative acts that displace the dominant culture as the site of authority, thus exposing the fallibility of fixing subjects against definitions of other subjects.16 Butler comments on the political significance of such practices, as she explains that since subjects are brought into being through discourse, it is not enough to simply publicly iden tify acts of racializing di scourse (for example), but perhaps it might be more sustaining to cons ider how we think about those particular rituals and how we exploit their ritual func tion in order to undermine it (1999:166). Similar 16 Since Chapters Four and Five document examples from Japan, the following are samples from US Hiphop lyrics that exemplify this phenomen on. Cee-Lo from Goodie Mob (1998) raps, I thought you said you was the G-O-D/ sound like a nother nigger to me, shit/ What a nigger do, what a nigger does/and a nigger is what a nigger was/ and a nigge r done read history but yet his eyes didn't see/ the only reason you a nigger is because somebody else wants you to be. Mos Def (1999) raps, Now, who is cat riding out on the town/ State trooper wanna stop him in his ride, pat him down/ Mr Nigga, Ni gga Nigga/ He got the speakers in the trunk with the bass on crunk/ Now, who is the cat with the hundred dollar bill/ They gotta send it to the back to make sure the shit is real/ Mr Ni gga, Nigga Nigga/ Nigga Nigga Nigga See Perry (2004:142-144) for commentary on use of pejorative N-word in public space.

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29 explorations of mimicry or performativity as an oppositional strategy of post-colonial, poststructural resistance are also explored in the work of Homi Bhabha (1994), Carol Greenhouse (2002), Michael Herzfeld (1997), Dorinne Kondo (1997), Marcyliena Morgan (2008), and David Scott (1999). Scholarship that explores disi dentification in popular culture (Muoz 1999; Sterling 2003, 2006) could help to provide insight into the tr ansformative promise in global Hiphop culture as it is produced by racially marked bodies. The Importance of Memory John Henrik Clarke (1995) provides an overv iew of numerous revolts, revolutions and uprisings that led to the founda tion of several black social movements in the United States. Beginning with a description of a major enslav ed African uprising in what is now Santo Domingo in 1522 (1995:74) and concluding with Haitis securing nati onhood through revolution, he lays a foundation for understa nding how modern black social movements came into being. He reminds his readers to remember the effect that slavery has on societie s today. Clarke writes, Slavery was a war. A war against African culture, especially against the structure of the African family. This war has not ended (Clarke 1995:73). In short, humans create culture to cope. African-descendants created a cultu re of resistance. This resist ance was about humanity; it was about people. Subjugated people representing dive rse nations, cultures and languages needed to be able to communicate and cr eate collective identities by cr eating common cultures. Language and music (especially percussion) were integral to creating a culture of re sistance. Percussion is important because one does not need extra t ools to create beats w ith body parts and breath control. Clarke comments, African culture, rebo rn on the alien soil, became the cohesive force and the communication system that helped to set in motion more than 300 slave revolts in the American and the Caribbean (1995:73) He then cites several examples.

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30 There was a major enslaved African uprisi ng in what is now Santo Domingo in 1522 and another one in Cuba in 1550 (Clarke 1995:74). In 1529 enslaved African mutineers destroyed Santa Marta, and the Negro Republic of Palmar es in Pernamuco spanned almost the entire 17th century; between 1672 and 1692 it withstood, on average, one Portuguese expedition every 15 months (Clarke 1995:79). The best known enslav ed African revolts agai nst the Dutch are the revolts of Surinam Maroons, 1715-1763, and th e Berbice revolt in 1763, and these revolts threatened the very foundation of an econom y based on slavery (Clarke 1995:80). Clarke continues that Maroons in Jamaica, who bega n to revolt in 1655, were never completely conquered (1995:81). He cites ni ne revolts in Bahia between 1807 and 1835 (Clarke 1995:79). He contends that different systems of slaver y resulted in different types of revolts. The aforementioned revolts collectively helped to create the condition a nd attitude that went into the making of the most successful enslaved African revolt in history, better known as the Haitian Revolution. The revolts leadership is accredited through narrative to Toussaint LOuverture, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, and Henri Christophe. The distinguishing f eature of this revolution is that it achieved what the others were not able to achievenationhood (Clarke 1995:81). The success of these African-des cendants served as internatio nal inspiration. The Haitian Revolution invigorated increasingl y oppressed enslaved Africans in the US. The back-to-Africa movement, the repatriation movement, the Am erican Colonization Society, the abolition movement, and the African church establishment we re inspired by news of movements abroad as well as research and writing (e.g., David Walkers Appeal published in 1 829) from the US. Some of these movements were concerned with the just ice of African-descenda nts as well as other colonized and economically and politically opp ressed people from all over the world (e.g., Asians). Such concern continued with the Af rican Baptist and AME churches Ethiopianism,

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31 with W.E.B. Du Boiss cohorts Niagara move ment (which spawned the NAACP in 1909), with Marcus Garveys U.N.I.A. (1921-1936), with th e post-WWII civil rights movement and postIndependence pan-Africanism movements, as well as the eventually global Black Power Movement, which, some say, Hiphop is supposed to follow (Kitwana 2005). Charles Tilly writes that a social move ment involves WUNCWorthiness, Unity, Numbers, and Commitment. That is, if a cause is worthy, people are united, ther e are a large number of them and they are committed, then a social movement can occur. John McCarthy and Mayer Zald contend that a soci al movement is a set of opinions and beliefs in a population representing preferences for changing some elements of a soci al structure or reward distribution, or both, of a society. A counter-movement is a set of opinions and beliefs in a population opposed to a social movement (1977:1217-1218). Counter-movements should not be confused with countercultures or counterpub lics or counterlanguages. Social movements often require the creation of a collective identity and allies or affinity groups for resource mobilization and political inspiration; culture along with cultural history, music, and narrative are often invoked to achieve these goals. The cultures cr eated or excavated often are in opposition to the state or the dominant culture, public sphere or language of power (e.g., Ge neral American English/GAE). Hiphop is said to be created in the spirit of such opposition, as its founding philosophers posit that its goal is to achieve hu man rights by teaching the truth about race and related material inequality that divides and destroys indi viduals, families, and communities (e.g., Afrika Bambaataa of the Universal Zulu Nati on; see Chang 2005; Kitwana 2002).

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32 Therefore, following Charles Tillys definition (2002:88), this project explores Hiphop as a potential social movement that is part of th e counterpublic sphere (Dawson 1995; Fraser 1992).17 This assignment is not new, as Hiphop has be en described as counterhegemonic (Yasin 1999), in accordance with M. K. Hallidays (1976, 1978) conception of counterlanguages cf., Morgan 2002, 2008). In addition, Hiphops cultural workers ar e often referred to in cultural studies literature as organic intellectuals in this counterpublic sphere (T Butler 1995; Neal 2003; Gilroy 1993a; Keyes 2002; Potte r 1995; Rose 1994; Washington and Shaver 1997). Borrowing from Antonio Gramscis description of The Intellectuals (1997), I in clude not only cultural producers, but also their deputies to whom th ey designate the act of organizing (political work), using the culture and art that is produced. Henry Giroux (1994, 1997) writes about cultural workers as those who analyze the produc tions and representation s of meaning within a culture, and they, along with teachers and student s, are considered key for critical pedagogical practice as well as social change. Transnational Hiphop pioneer Chuck D describes himself in these terms when he says, As a co-founder of Public Enemy I've used that plat form to transcend beyond what a rapper and a musician can do, taking a forward stance in turni ng great words into global community action. He continues, The critical and commercial succ ess of Public Enemy opened the doors for me to deliver a message through a number of different mediums, extending a reach to all segments of the population18 Additionally, many other rappers and people who use Hiphop to conduct social organizing in transnational spheres ha ve used the term cultural worker to describe themselves; they also call them selves Hiphoppers or hiphoppas (using the katakana version 17 Like Fraser, I also critique Habermas (1996) for dichotomizing the state and the public sphere, which situates the latter as derivational. I mainta in that state and societ y (including publicity and counterpublicity) are mutually reinforcing. 18 Read more from Chuck D at http://www.myspace.com/chuckdpublicenemy

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33 if one is speaking Japanese). Following these operational definitions, Russell Simmons, a Hiphop impresario and entrepreneur, could be co nsidered a cultural worker just as Queen Latifah, a performing artist, ac tor and entrepreneur would. People who use and produce Hiphop at a grassroots level for a non-profit or educationa l organization could also be considered cultural workers, as I am not limiting my definition to those who perform and sell music at an industry level. A description of the type of cultural work that each featured res earch consultant conducts is detailed in Chapters Four and Five. If Hiphop cultural production is written about in accordance to counter politics, what exactly is its political movement countering? What is it that cultural workers are working for or against; what is the significance of cultural forms to cultural workers? Namely, what is problematic about the state, public sphere, and society so that cu ltural workers are finding useful dissent in the practice of Hiphop? I contend that the state regulates race (e.g., the U.S.A.s OMB Directive 15, Japans Nihonjinron -influenced policy)19 and other identificati ons as part of its authoritative process to procure and mainta in power (Foucault 1972; Tilly 2002; Greenhouse 2002; Harrison 2002). This occurs through burea ucratic processes (Chalfin 2006; Ong 1996; Herzfeld 1997; Weber 1968) and representationa l negotiations (Baker 1998; Dover 1947; Du Bois 1986; Hall 1997b; Harrison 2002; Mbembe 2002) That is, from the moment bodies are born, state-related paperwork is generated to catalogue and categorize bodies according to hierarchically situated values and socially cons tructed norms, such as those related to race (or color or heritage), sex, language use of parents, a nd national origin of parents, et cetera. Births, 19 See Trouillot (2003) or http: //www.aaanet.org/gvt/ombdraft.htm for more information on OMB Directive 15. See Lie (2001) or Befu et al (2000) for more anthropological information concerning Nihonjinron as social science theory and public policy. See http://www.imadr.org for articles concerning how concepti ons of a racially pure Japanese people discriminate against other Japanese residents in the areas of education and criminal justice.

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34 whether in hospitals or homes, are thus atte nded to and monitored by state officials. Human beings ascribe these markings to one anothers bodies by law in nations across the globe throughout each individuals life, from birth to death. One way this is executed in the United States is government law concer ning Directive OMB 15, which is realized through a series of identity category boxes that one mu st mark in either a self-identification process or third-party identification process on various government fo rms including employer eligibility (I-9) forms that require a copy of an id entification card with a photograp h and applications for food stamps that require applicants to self-iden tify with Directive OMB 15 categories by checking boxes according to race, ethnicity, gender, marital st atus, etc. Most nations/ states have similar identity documentation processes (cf., Caplan and Torpey, eds ; Kumar 2000).These ascriptions are made based on socializati on, perception and imagination, among other influences (cf., Simmons 2001). The conception of the state and related identif icatory practice in this project is influenced by Philip Corrigan and Derek Sayers work (1985) concerning state formation of the English state and others modeled after its image, name ly Japan and the United States, to an extent. Though Corrigan and Sayer do not incorporate a cr itical race theoretical perspective, their synthesis of Marxist, feminist and poststruc turalist ideations of nations, states, civilizations, capitalis t economies and societies provides a useful foundation for those interested in taking the analysis further in research that considers racialization as an identificatory practice that is part of state forma tion and strategies to maintain power for certain social groups. Of particular inte rest is their discussion of the st ate as a regulator of cultural forms and their call for research that studies these rituals by which regulation takes place. While I recognize that the state is not an invisible regulator of representations pulled out of thin

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35 air, I also think that elucidating how power is sustained and managed is key to a complete comprehension of how people experience power (Corrigan and Sayer 198 5: 5). Corrigan and Sayer assert in their conclusion that studying up is as important as re presenting critique and agitation from below They comment: What we have been dealing with, in th is book, is the immensely long, complicated, laborious micro-construction and reconstruc tion of appropriate fo rms of power; forms fitted to ways in which a particular class, gende r, race imposes its stand ards of life as the national interest and seeks their internaliza tion as national character. The capacity of such groups to rule rests ne ither on some supposedly prior economic powerit is, on the contrary, above all through st ate forms and their cultural re volution that such power is made, consolidated, legitimated and normali zednor simply on their control of some neutral set of state instruments. Their political power resides rather in the routine regulative functioning of state forms themselves, in their day-to-day enforcing, as much by what they are as in any particular policies th ey carry out, of a partic ular social order as normality, the boundaries of the possible.[C orrigan and Sayer 1985: 203; emphasis mine] Such an idea of the state one that considers its regulat ory processesthat is, an understanding of the state that demystifies how control is reserved (in that there are people bodiesthat produce and reproduce power throu gh strategic reconfi gurations, rituals, regulations, deregulations and discourse on forms) allows one to consider theories of states intersection with soci al movement theory,20 which documents the dissents that Corrigan and Sayer describe. State formation is something that has ever been contested by those whom it seeks to regulate and rule. It is first and foremost th eir resistance that make s visible the conditions and limits of bourgeois civilization, the particul arity and fragility of its seemingly neutral and timeless social forms..It is also, prof oundly, a moral critique: what such struggles show again and again is the ex act ways in which the regula ted social forms of bourgeois civilization effect real, painful, harmful rest rictions on human capacities. Such general knowledge disarmed by legitimate disciplines, de nied by curricular forms, diluted in its being refused the accolade of scholarship, dissi pated as empirical examples in a thousand doctoral dissertationsis the classic ground for an understanding of bourgeois civilization that does not simply parrot its encouraged self -images, as well as for any feasible or desirable social tran sformation. [Corrigan and Sayer 1985:8] 20 Consider June Nash (2005) and Edelman ( 2001) for anthropological analysis of social movements.

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36 Defining states identificatory practice as c onnected to disidentificatory practice by those who occupy the states counterpublics, is relational to the goa ls of critical race research. It allows ethnographers to consider subversiv e strategies of those who have historically been outside of the power circle, such as Africanand Asiannationals and descendants (and their oppositional cultures and cultural critiques pr oduced over time). This intersec tion clarifies how ethnographers analyze the utility of cultural forms produced by those who feel the pain of state forms that underdevelop human capacity (C orrigan and Sayer 1985: 8).21 I posit that it is precisely the constructe d, conflicted situation of state-regulated identification practices and the re lated history of how such practi ces come into being and are continually reified in curren t timesthat allow them to be de-stabilized through counterhierarchical practices of disidentification.22 Therefore, the significance of disidentification is its promise to transform dominant cultural constraints through performance in an effort to renegotiate more equitable concep tualizations of selves that e xploit the instability of state categorization and control of bodies (Caplan 200 1; Kondo 1990). That is, such renegotiation is central to a contemporary understanding of how s ubalternized state subjec ts can reconceptualize state-imposed concepts of, for example, race and blackness or sex and queerness as tropes central to movement building and social cha nge. By documenting Hiphops movement-building process and related conversations that constitute as well as deconstruct race, one can glean more 21 Michel-Rolph Trouillot produces an exemplary theory and desc ription that attends to the weaknesses of Corrigan and Sayers critique of race in th eir analysis, as he elucidates the USs Directive OMB 15. Trouillots analysis is cited more in the following chapters. 22 Gina Ulysses research collaborators crea tively termed this finding the cracks in the foundation (2007).

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37 information as to how this movement-buildi ng process works in opposition to race, while simultaneously using it (Hall 1996d, 1997b; and Muoz 1999).23 Global Races and Black Popular Culture E. Taylor Atkins (2000, 2001) and Marvin St erling (2003) consider popular cultural art forms associated with black cultural production24 that are negotiated across transnational terrain among African-descendants and Japanese nationals. Atkins examines the possibility of jazz, deterritorialized in regard to Western racial c onfigurations, in Japan. He problematizes questions of authenticity regarding Japanese jazz artists and documents essent ialist notions of black culture among some of these artists, noting the releva nce of Japanese jazz ar tists and aficionados association with black culture as a tool for definitions of nati on and self. Atkins remarks that contrary to the image of Japanese as unrepentant racists, many are acutely sensitive to racial strife in America and sympathe tic to the economic and social plights of black Americans (2000:35).25 Studying dancehall in Jamaica and Japa n, Sterling does not focus primarily on questions of authenticity as Atkins does. Inst ead, he utilizes an extr eme version of Judith Butlers theory regarding how the normative and th e abject fully constitute each other in his effort to understand tensions a nd instabilities regarding races nationalities and sexualities among other aspectsin Jamaican and Japanese dancehall. Sterling, considering jazz, Hiphop, roots reggae, and dancehall, contends that such black cultural productions similarly constitute 23 While this project focuses on elucidating disc ourse strategies, specifi cally codeswitching, as part of a potential transnati onal movement, it does not discount the equal importance of corporeality bodies that matter that produce the language and thinking and practice that frames our realities. 24 See Gina Dent, ed. (1998) for more discussion regarding this concept. 25 See also John Lie (2001:174).

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38 complex relations of identification and diside ntification, embracing and reject[ing]the West (Sterling 2003). Although Dorinne Kondos work (1997)whi ch studies Asian and Asian American identities through performances in fashion and th eatreis not explicitly a bout the intersection of African-descendant and Asian cultural productio n, her research, like th at of Sterling (2003), draws upon theories of performativity (Butle r 1993) to produce a brilliant ethnographic methodology and political project that de-essentializes, excavates and historicizes forgotten conceptualizations of race and racialization. She asserts that her work p roblematizes the black white binary and essentia list notions of racial hierarchy, wh ich create separate, bounded racial groups and place them on a single continuum along the blackwhite axis (1997:6). Kondo builds upon Homi Bhabhas (1994) ideation of mim icry as she theorizes a politics of pleasure that has the potential to displa ce the dominant culture as the s ite of authority. This notion is exemplified in her analysis of David Hwangs M. Butterfly which is also useful in addressing how various manifestations of Hiphop in the United States (e.g., N. W.A.s use of the pejorative N-word) and Japan (e.g., Rappa gariyas donning samurai gear) are performative for political resistance against normative processes. More over, Kondo concurs with John Russell (1991a) as they both problematize and recount racial formati ons shaping various Japanese responses to and tropings of African Americans, which [Russe ll] argues were mediated through the West (1997:244; see also Chapter Six). Other scholars who have studied aspects of Japanese Hiphop, but are not necessarily overtly concerned in their writi ng with destabilizing essentialized notions of race via a critical

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39 race research perspective include Ian Condry (1999, 2000)26, Tadashi Fujita (1996), Akio Goto (1997), Kozo Okumura (1998), and James Spady (1999). Fujita (1996) and Goto (1997) are journalists who published personal narratives (in Japanese) of pi oneering Japanese Hiphop artists in an effort to historically situate the autoch thonous manifestations of the genre. They both provide information regarding ar tists life experiences as well as album reviews. In these descriptions, the artists at times refer to subalterni zed aspects of their lives and the lives of others in Japan (such as K Dub Shines growing up in an impoverished single-parent household or You the Rocks raising awareness of anti-Burakumin disc rimination). In these texts, artists relate their experiences of cultural, national, racial, and linguistic discrimination in the United States. For example, DJ Yutaka, the founder of the Japan Ch apter of the Universal Zulu Nation, has taken into account his experience with police harassment in Los Angeles as well as being cut out of entertainment business opportunities because he did not fit a white norm. Ja panese artists relate their own experiences with di scrimination to their percepti ons of African Americans experiences of subordination and political alienation. Spady (1999) presents an interview with DJ Yutaka in which they briefly discuss perpetuati ons of racial stereotypes in the United States and Japan. Okumura (1998) examines the populari ty of Hiphop dance in Japan. He presents a history of Hiphop in Japan and accompanies his work with a documentary film presenting dancers Hiphop cultural productions. However, in his attempt to account for why Hiphop culture is popular among Japanese youth, he draw s on theories regarding black expressiveness (Okumura 1998:18; Pasterur and Tolson 1982:45) in African-American studies and, 26 Condrys more recent work, especially Hip-Hop Japan (2006), focuses more on race than his previous publications and dissert ation research. He co mments that he is attempting to shift attention away from questions of how American understandings of race are interpreted in Japan to focus instead on how Japanese conceptu alize and embody ideas of hip-hop and race (2006:25). Condrys newest work is discu ssed more in Chapters Five and Six.

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40 consequently, though perhaps unconsciously, essentia lizes and fixes blackness in his analysis of Japanese Hiphop. Like Atkins (2001), Condry (1999) is concerned with authenticating indigenous Japanese Hiphop. Through rigorous ethnographic descriptions, he explains why Hiphop by Japanese artists is not imitation, but an authentic art form in its own right. In his work, Condry (1999, 2006) translates Japanese lyri cs and contextualizes the genre within discourses relevant to economic anthropology, globalization studies, and more recently, racialization of Japanese nationals. Condrys ethnographic cont ribution is extremely useful to those interested in the topic area. He provides an erudite and compelling argu ment concerning how Japa nese rappers are able to utilize Hiphop as a voice agains t societal constructs, and thus, rebel. More research pertaining to how these rebellions intersect with popular constructions of race, sex, and citizenship among Hiphop participants in Japan, and how these pe rformative acts intersect with AAE and Hiphop language ideologies woul d buttress his argument.27 Overall, his research is a much needed addition to the contemporary ethnography of popul ar culture and race as well as Japanese studies. In regard to Hiphop cultural studies, Co ndry critiques existing scholarship (Rose 1994; Lipstiz 1994; Fernando 1994) that limits descrip tions and definitions of Hiphop to black urban (American) youth expression. While his critique is not entirely accurate, as African-diasporic roots of the genre are referenced in the work that he critiques (e.g., Rose 1994), analyses of Hiphop are perhaps best elucidated if they are no t limited to or described in terms of a black urban youth norm, as obviously, it is not only black urban youth who practice Hiphop. Condry is not alone in such a critique, as Tony Mitchell (1998, 2001) and Paul Gilroy (2000) have been quite vocal in echoing thes e sentiments. However, unlike Gilroy (1993a, 27 See also Nina Cornyetzs call for more research addressing these aspects (1994:133)

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41 1993b, 2000), Mitchell (1998, 2001) has not adequa tely acknowledged or addressed the significance and influence of Hi phops African-diasporic roots on Hiphop outside of the United States. The failure to analyze Hiphops associat ion with blackness only un dermines its political relevance to nonblack performance and understandi ng of the culture. In addition, Mitchells work misses an important opportunity to critically engage the possibility of Hiphops disruption of static racial categories ab road by not analyzing how participants conceptualize race and racialization.28 Furthermore, Mitchells critique of US-based scholars of Hiphop has at times reified fixed identities, such as racial categor ies. Mitchells primary premise, to de-localize Hiphop analyses, has at times disregarded the hist oric agency of important pion eers and practitioners of global Hiphop, such as Afrika Bambaataa, the founder of the Universal Zulu Nation. In his scholarship, Mitchell makes comments such as: I find I have a growing dislike of ra p music that comes out of the USA and a growing fascination with rap from other parts of the world (1998:2) in addition to and in musicological terms, rap can be traced back to the recitativo in 17th century Italian opera (1998:8). In an effo rt to de-essentialize what he perceives to be essentialized origin-narratives of Hiphop culture, he misint erprets Afrika Bambaataa as implying that Hiphops roots are a multicultura l hybrid rather than an e xpression of African-American monoculture because there were also a few white ki ds around, too (1998:4).29 This 28 For an excellent example of the type of engagement that I am proposing, see Gilroys discussion concerning scholars analysis and lack of analysis regarding Luther Campbell (2000:180-181). 29 I asked Afrika Bambaataa about this and show ed him the reference at the Hiphop Archives Hiphop Education and Community Activism Roundt able at Harvard University on September 28, 2002, and Bambaataa maintains that he wa s misquoted and is often misquoted by academicians who have their own political in terests when writing about Hiphop. Bambaataa celebrates Hiphop as springing from a dialogue that is rooted in the African diaspora, a culture

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42 conclusion restricts the political possibilitie s that the origin-narratives surrounding Hiphop provide for the very youth he describes. Most distur bing of Mitchells analys is is his situating of African Americans as deri vational to a (white?) American norm, as he differentiates between US-based and African-American sc holars (1998:1). For example, M itchell writes, A number of US and African-American academics have argue d (Mitchell 1998). The previous statement reveals thinking that racially mark s African-American Hiphop scholars as other compared to a perceived European American norm. His preoccupa tion with racial identities of Hiphop scholars in conjunction with his research agenda that seek s to disconnect Hiphop from its cultural genesis among African Americans weaken his contri bution to studying Hi phop cultural production outside of the United States (see also Basu and Lemelle 2006, for similar critique of Mitchell). Given the existing problematics c oncerning Hiphop scholarship of nonblack populations previously outlined, it is clear why there is a crisis regarding ethnographic description that attends to race and its intersecti onalities with other state regulat ed identities (Harrison 1995:65). Hence, it is important that current studies illumina te how our fields of inquiry are inscribed with diasporic memories and racialized hierarchies that are wrought with pow er inequities and are, therefore, politically constituted ethnoscapes (Appadurai 1996; see also racialscapes in Harrison 1995:49). Such a task is not easy, for as Steven Gregory remarks, racial meanings are implicated in discourses, institutional power arra ngements, and social practices that may or may not be marked as explicitly racial (Gregor y 1993:25). In addition, as Kesha Fikes observes, history-centered race studies th at globally situate identity hi erarchies, in relation to the possibilities of movementwith in and after colonial govern ancehave yet to emerge (2000:38). In response to this cr isis in ethnographic l iterature, Fikes reco mmends drawing from born in the Bronx; it is not limited to any r acenot even the human race, for like Gilroy (2000:2) he contends that the Universal Zulu Nation is yearning for a planetary humanism.

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43 postcolonial discourse that seek s to bridge lived experiences of individuals in the present moment to historical memory (cf., Ba ker 2001; Brown 1998, 2000; Fanon 1967; Fikes 2000; Hall 1996b, 1996d, 1997a; Mercer 1994, 1996; Morgan 2002, 2008; J. Scott 1992; D. Scott 1999; Yasin 1999). Here language (Butle r 1993a, 1993b,1997; Mercer 1994, 1996; Morgan 1994, 2001, 2002, 2008) will be an important point of inquiry, as it marks how racializing processes interface with the public sphe re (Brown 2000; Dawson 2003; Fikes 2000). Upon close examination, one can uncover oppos itional performative strategies within Hiphop rhetoric. The subject utiliz es subjection as a resource to resignify something about power (Butler 1997b). However, while Hiphop in Am erica is occasionally acknowledged as an authentic cultural produc tion, Hiphop in Japan is often relega ted to copycat practice at best and blackface at worst, and thus, its political significance gets lost.30 I posit that Japanese Hiphop is not mere mimicry31, for Hiphop culture is simultaneously transnational and autochthonous; it represents a common literacy an d identity across the globe as well as local nuances and cultural relevancy (Fischer and White 2002).32 The transnationality in this cultural form (Hiphop) that is often dismissed as me re entertainment has intriguing promise for solidarity building that aids its constitution a nd utility as a potential transnational social movement. As Lahusen (2001:191) observes, entert ainment isnt necessarily alien to social 30 These are actual utterances fr om certain Hiphop artists, journalis ts and scholars. That is, if when black people perform black culture it is authentic, then what about when nonblack, yet racially marked bodies operati onalize black cultural production? 31 See the work of Ian Condary (2000) and Kozo Okumura (1998) for more discussion. 32 In the case of Japan, the polit ical rhetoric of proletariat tanka the vulgarity of certain haikai the collective composition of renga or the performative innovation of lyrical word play such as honkadori, yoojo, and kakekotoba are salient. Of equal importan ce is the parallel and strikingly similar aspects of these literary aesthetics to cu ltural aesthetics that aboun d in oral performance from the African Diaspora Hiphop included (cf., Ueda 1999). Indeed, Hiphop occurring on either side of the Pacific is simulta neously transnationa l and autochthonous.

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44 movements, in that mockery and irony have alwa ys served as a weapon of political protest and subversion (cf., Babcock-Abrahams 1984; Lahusen 1996). This idea is comparable to the uses of pleasure as political resistance (cf., Bh abha 1994; Dent 1998; Kondo 1997; Lorde 1984). Lahusen continues, Ultimately, advocacy work is submitted to en tertainment formats and values, as has happened with what has come to be calle d infotainment or edutainment. This advotainment is part of the manifold in terrelations between social movements and popular musicit may be of interest to explore the meaning and function of advotainment in regard to political mob ilization and solidaristic activism. [2001:191?]33 Lahusen challenges social scie ntists to consider advotainm ent as a new repertoire of transnational activism (2001:194). TSMOs (Transna tional Social Movement Organizations) like the International Movement Against Discrimi nation and Racism (IMADR) and the Universal Zulu Nation (UZN) present primary sites for such analyses, since they participate in edutainment and seek to dismantle racialization. With bases in Japan, the aforementioned TS MOs are of particular interest. AfricanAmerican movement building around race has serv ed as a template for relational movement building within these organizations. Indeed, for years, scholars have acknowledged the exportation of racist rhetoric beyond the United States and th roughout the world (Bunche 1936; Butler 1999; Dover 1947; Harrison 2002; Trouillot 2003). The globa l ascriptions of race to subordinated populations provided sh ared activist frames when thes e populations began to resist and organize against these state-induced ascrib ing processes. Furthermore, building on Rochon (1988), Eterovic and Smith (2001) identify two key components in the processes of solidaritybuilding: (1) interaction among pa rticipating groups that create s a common shared experience 33 See Chaney (2002:115) for the specific role of artists and celebrities as representatives of social movements expected to ar ticulate a moral vision for social and public order; see also Monaco et al (1978:14).

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45 and (2) unified frames that allow for shared interpretation of events (2001:200). As people experiencing injustices associate their disenfranc hisement with the American experience of being blackened (Ong 1996), the concepts of blackness and related racialized categories and tropes realize new meanings in social justice progr ams of action. The shared experience of being subalternized or blackened holds important implications for unde rstanding movement strategies, and it offers interesting insight into the consciou s choice of nonblack cultur al workers to utilize Hiphop rhetoric that is rooted in African-American discourse styl es in their ar ticulations of various social-movement building processes. Here we find expressions of autochthonous experiences interwoven into transnational narratives concerning social change. Analyzing utterances like Hiphop is black power can illuminate the uses of knowledge about black experiencesthough conceptualized through Hip hopto nonblack cultural workers who, like many others all over the globe, are gr appling with postcolon ial residue concerning race, class, gender, and citizenship. Thus, the opportunity to participate in and perform Hiphop, that is, to borrow blackness (Bucholtz 1997a ) could possibly present one example of how postcolonial subjects can resist within and against the cultural forms that oppress them. Eterovic and Smith comment that: As the worlds political and ec onomic institutions become in creasingly integrated globally, shared activist frames are crucial for addr essing the underlying in justices that are perpetuated or exacerbated by globalizing proces ses. But this requires ideological work to overcome both inertia as well as the prevalence of what in some cases may be competing nationalist framing of glob al problems. [2001:214] Could the homogenized identities produced by Hiphop origins narratives and the activities organized by Hiphop artists as orga nic intellectuals provide the very ideological work needed for the social groups in question (Anderson 1991; Gramsci 1997; Hall and Donald 1986; Hall and Jefferson1976)? And if so, what is the counterhege monic promise of the shared activist frames facilitated by a common literacy of Hiphop origins narratives and the practice and activity they

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46 inspire? As Hauser observes, rhe torical resistance in a subterrane an arena can foster a level of consensus so great that that this counterpublic sphere may eventually displace the official arena as the locus of legitimation ( 2001:37). Though optimistic, if Hauser is correct, utterances like the following from a Japanese Hiphop pioneer ad dressing an audience of hundreds of youth at an outdoor Hiphop festival speak to the promise of such work: I want you all to do more activism as Hiphoppers, to raise a revolution. Ill be looking out [with pr otective and supportive intentions, believing in your success/ mimoru ]. Thats how I feel. Race as Political Imaginary and Social Strategy The political imaginaries presented in Hi phop have often been ignored due to its association with another marginalized world group: youth (UN Report on Youth)34. Though at a cursory glance, youth cultural produ ction is often viewed as nih ilistic, worthy of moral panic (Dimitriadis, Weaver and Daspit 2001) or f iled as debauchery (West 1993; hooks 1992), some studies of youth subculture have revealed that this production can indeed effect positive social change. Dick Hebdige (1979) calls this recupe ration, and Henry Giroux (1994), Stuart Hall (Hall and Donald 1986; Hall and Jefferson 1976, Hall 1997b), Isaac Julien (1991), Marcyliena Morgan (2001, 2002, 2008), David Scott (1999), a nd Jon Yasin (1999) have documented how this occurs with youth (sub)cu ltural production. In each of th e aforementioned studies, youth transform dominant cultural constr aints through performance in an effort to renegotiate more equitable conceptualizations of selves. Such renegotiation is relational to the concept of disidentification (Butle r 1993; Muoz 1999; see also Seshadri -Crooks 2000:33), and central to a 34 As stated earlier in this chapter, the ma in consumer audience of the cultural workers researched for this project are post-Hiphop generation youth, and the cultural workers are Hiphop generation or older. Despite the age of the cultural workers produ cing the art, Hiphop is still considered a youth-centered cultural prod uction because of the bulk of its topic matter and also because of its origins narrative (Chuck D personal comm unication; Chang 2005; Kitwana 2005; Morgan 2008).

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47 contemporary understanding of how youth reconcep tualize concepts of race and blackness as tropes central to movement building and social change. Gina Dent (1998) Paul Gilroy (2000), Stuart Hall and Donald Jefferson (1976), Isaac Julien (1991), Kobena Me rcer (1994, 1996), and Marlon Riggs (1987, 1991, 1995) specifically explain how youth and their related oppositional cultural production utilizes pleasure as a site for resistance and possibility for securing justice. The use of tropes for creating narratives of transg ression and the corresponding dialogue that inspires a social literacy for increased rights is brought about through the strategic use of language and performance (Butler 1997b; Freire 2002). However, th e effects of such movement building are real and reflective of the lived experiences of subaltern youth in our modern times. For example, the storming of the Brazilian National Congress by youth led by the National Movement of Street Boys and Girls ( Movimento Nacional de Me ninos e Meninas de Rua MNMMR), which resulted in the Congresss adopti on of increased protections for children and youth in the Brazilian constitution in 1989, demonstr ated that even the most marginalized groups of young people can influence decision-makers at the highest levels of power, when give the right kinds of support from youth workers and educators (James and McGillicuddy 2001). We see the further effects of youth cultural m ovements on larger governing bodies as well. Consider the United Nations move to in corporate and engage Hiphop at the World Conference against Racism in 2001. In this case, Hiphop was identified as the most transformative youth cultural production necessa ry for supporting transn ational collaborative efforts toward dismantling racism (and other injustic es) while using the trope of race as one of its unifying mechanisms. Thus, Hiphop is being utili zed for global movement building and as a strategy for redressing injustice. To further understand the implicat ions of such phenomena, we must continue to rise to Harrisons (2002) chal lenge and incorporate et hnographic analyses of

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48 race and racism as an effort to transgress global apartheidthe deepening disparities of wealth, health, life expectancy, et ceter a, that are developing on a global scale. Researching the intersection of race and Hiphop as a movement strategy can offe r important insight regarding global racial hierarchies as well as the uses of race in solida rity building for social change. Therefore, the ultimate goal is, as Gilroy a sserts, to confront rather than evade the comprehensive manner in which previous incarnations of exclusionary humanity were tailored to racializing codes and qualified by the operation of coloni al and imperial power in the hopes that we might arrive at an alternative version of humanism (2000:30). The opportunity to engage the futureyouth who identify w ith Hiphops cultural workers as part of their political and intellectual project, which attends to their generations human rights agenda35pushes scholarship toward the utopian alternative pr oposed by Gilroy (2000) a nd Harrison (2002). In summary, the research presented here builds on the foundations laid by anthropologists applying critical theory to issues surrounding social in equality in our postcolonial era (Fikes 2000; Heckenberger 2004; Harrison 2002; Kondo 1997; McClaurin 1995, 2001; Morgan 2008) by offering linguistic and cultural evidence from transnationally positioned Hiphop cultural workers. Ethnographic Significance Following Hall (1996d), the utilizat ion of black as a political category is evident of strategic essentialism; however, in order to elucidate why disident ificatory practice is necessary with this particular populati on (the trans-Pacific Hiphop comm unity in question), one must 35 Recall the South African National NGO Coa litions (SANGOCO) appeal to global Hiphop artists to mobilize intellectualism and activ ism among youth at the UN WCAR 2001 as well as Bakari Kitwana and Jeff Changs scholarship on this matter for UNESCO along with Kitwanas organization of Hiphop Generation voting bl ocks for the 2004, 2006, and 2008 US elections; see also http://www.hiphopconvention.org or http://www.2006hiphopconvention.org

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49 understand identificatory practices of the Japanese and US states and related strategies of disidentification (Caplan 2001). Ha ll explains that Popular culture is where we discover and play with the identifications of ourselves, where we are imagined, where we are represented, not only to the audiences out there w ho do not get the message, but to ourselves for the first time. [T]hough the terrain of the popular l ooks as if it is constructed with single binaries, it is not (Hall 1996d: 474). Referencing Freud, he reminds us that sex and represen tation (including race) take place in our minds, and warns against concep tualizing popular culture as being constructed with single binaries (1996d:474; see also Fanon 1967). Through this observation by Hall, I connect the recuperative theori es of Butler (1997b) and Csair e (2000) that relate mental emancipation to deliverance from political subjec tion, and explore the relationship between black popular culture and decolonizati on. The ethnographic chapters, the fourth and fifth chapters previously introduced, initiate a conversation betw een cultural workers as major players in the production of popular culture, and so cial theory that explores ment al decolonization as a political strategy for social change as well as eradicat ing injustice. Like Fikes (2000), Kondo (1990), Ulysse (2007), and Visweswaran (1994), I in tertwine the narratives and ethnographic descriptions of shared experiences and observati ons that have taken place over the past 13 years among my research consultants with the story of my repeated entry and re-e ntry into the various spaces that comprise our transnational Hiphop co mmunity. Our stories reve al current work to produce alternative representations and to combat existing repres entations in popular culture and global media. Like Hall (1996d) obs erves, our stories are told not so much to discuss Hiphop in particular, but to express and play with identifications pertai ning to race, gender, class, citizenship, and sexuality.

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50 In this vein, consider Hiphop as a window to studying social reality as described by the cultural workers (re)presented. Hiphop is a point of entry, a site of inquiry, for understanding how race, gender, class, and citizenship affect these cultural workers in their everyday lived experiences. More importantly, documenting Hi phop as a trope for blackness and its related status to the US and Japanese stat es helps to illustrate how blackne ss is utilized as a strategically essentialized political tool to displace and assuage the essentializing political processes operationalized by states to categor ize and control bodies that are pol iticized. Therefore, I am not only gleaning insight into how cultural worker s cope and recuperate (Butler 1997b; Hall 1996d; Hebdige 1979), but also how the state legitimates hierarchicalizing apparatuses, and how these cultural workers subsequently make sens e of this and resist when able. The reporting strategy of this proj ect is to organize ideas and data in a manner that clarify contemporary productions and performances of racialized scripts among Japanese Hiphop cultural workers. The present chapter outlines a theoretical argument that centrally positions discursive practice, particularly the use of AAE, among Hiphops cultural workers as a unit of analysis for understanding race as lived experien ce as well as an organizing principle. It elucidates Hiphops historical connection to blackness, black vernacu lar language, and black popular culture. Its purpose is to emphasize Hip hop cultural practice as a racialized discoursea point which has been contested in Hiphop journali sm and scholarship. Ther efore, this chapter explains Hiphop culture within a framework of disi dentificatory practice in an effort to illustrate how Hiphop, as part of popular culture, interact s with governmental id entificatory practice (Corrigan and Sayer 1985). Defining Hiphop in terms of disidentification and identification helps to reveal how Hiphop cultural practice can be in some instances read as utilizing racialized scripts for the purpose of being anti-racial.

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51 The following chapters focus on contextualiz ing the data presented in the ethnographic chapters. The second chapter builds on th is argument by introducing methodological considerations and fieldwork e xperiences as explanation for th e context under which I collected data. The implications and impact of my identity on collecting information about identifications and disidentifications are illuminated. Autoethn ographic reflections narrate my multiple entries into the community, which informs the perspectiv es that I report on in the ethnographic chapters. The types of data collected and the process unde r which I analyzed the data are described. The third chapter situates Japans relationship to the West and the United States, in particular, within a racialized and postcolonial context. It explor es Japan as a geopolitical entity that has been simultaneously racialized by the West as well as a racializer within an East Asian geopolitical sphere. This chapter uncovers Japans domestic raci al policy and historical racial theories in order to historically situate the racialized contexts that the successive chapters ethnographic descriptions take place. The next three chapters consid er cultural workers asserti ons that Hiphop constitutes a transnational social movement. Here cultural pro ducts, discourse and practice are analyzed in an effort to untangle how discourse surrounding Hi phop as a social movement intersects with nationalist discourse from the Japanese governme nt in the transnational space of a popular cultural genre. The fourth chap ter explores whether Hiphop is i ndeed a transnational social movement or not through the pr esentation of ethnographic descri ptions and data collected in interaction with Hiphop cultural wo rkers and Hiphop organizations. By decoding song lyrics, excerpts from conve rsations, public performances, and personal experiences when interacting with cultural worker s and their relational or ganizations, the fourth chapter describes the pol itical rhetoric and practices that the cultural workers employ as they

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52 create and maintain a Hiphop movement and pr esence in Japan (cf., Hall 1993 on decoding). Likewise, the fifth chapter entails a critical anal ysis of gender politics within the movement that Hiphop cultural workers purport to build. While the fourth chapter analyzes cultural productions within a framework that emphasizes critiques of race and class, the fifth chapter revisits the political practice and rhetoric of Japans Hiphop cultural workers as well as their international allies, and outlines shortcomings in terms of ge nder and sexual equality. Ethnographic reflections drawn from interviews and e xperiences with women and men who work in and around Hiphop politics are emphasized. Popular cultural narratives in conj unction with the authors autoethnographic reflections from doing ge nder equality work in Hiphops purported transnational social movement are illuminated. The concluding chapter explores Hiphop and hum an equality further. It synthesizes the data collected and discusses the implications fo r new directions in Hi phop cultural research and practice. This final discussion is framed in a manner that connects the three main research and theoretical themes of this project: (1) the state/ governmental practice, (2) transnational social movements and (3) interna tional black popular culture. Transnational as Translational While Hiphop is transnational, it is also si multaneously autochthonous because we cannot discount the agency and innovation of individuals positioned at the peripheries of its cultural and linguistic production (outside of the Black Atlantic). Despit e occupying disparate spatial locations, those who identify with Hiphop cultural production are often temporally intertwined and linked through a common literacy (Anderson 1991; hooks 1992) that seeks to destabilize the status quowhatever that may be in any given cultureand this practice seems to encompass a goal of dehierarchicalizing social relations (Fujita 1996; Gilroy 1993b; Morgan 2002; Prevos 2001; Urla 2001). Hence, Hiphop cu ltural production not only repr esents the articulation of

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53 critical theory (Beebe 2002; Dyson 2001; Grossb erg 1997; hooks 1992), but it also relates to the postcolonial intellectual project that Homi Bh abha described as the transnational as translational (1993:172). By concomitantly si gnifying blackness and disr upting racial stasis, Hiphops significance to potential social-movement building is transnational (hiphop is black power) as well as translational ( kobushi agero [=raise your fist!]). That is, this transnational genre is translatable in a metony mical sense, as its liberatory message is carried from one place to another and serves to desc ribe the condition of our contem porary world from a specific, formally silenced perspective.

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54 CHAPTER 2 AUTOETHNOGRAPHIC REFLECTION: EN TRY POINTS, METHODOLOGIES, AND BLACK BODY POLITICS Racing Research, Researching Race If race is a social construct constituted thr ough biological origins narratives and related discursive practices, how can ethno graphers discuss race without re ifying it as a biological, fixed entity? Moreover, how do ethnographers record the us es of race for political identity and social movement building that seek to disrupt the goals of racism and racialization?1 In the 1990s, anthropologists blazed trails in the social sciences, as the fi nal biological investments in race were dismantled with evidence from genetics (Gould 1996; Templeton 2002). However, cultural anthropology then found itself amidst an anal ytical crisis (Harri son 1998, 1995). Ethnographic reporting on race as a research variable began to decline, and discussions of ethnicities served as a poor proxy. Cultural phenomena mu st be analyzed in all of th eir realizations by agents who produce it: that means race in addition to gender or sex, ethnicity, citizenship, class, and other interlocking identifications must be inspected (Harrison 2002). Though race has no biological basis, institutions have been built over history based on the contrary belief (Mbembe 2002; Mudimbe 1988; Prat t 1992). In response, humans have innovated cultural adaptations to cope with racializing as criptions as well as othe r colonizing experiences (Bhabha 1994; Fanon 1967; Hall 1997c; Mercer 2000; D. Scott 1999). Therefore, ethnographers witness subaltern populations utiliz ing subaltern ascripti ons as a strategy for redressing social injustice and inequity (e.g., Brown 2000; Harrison 2002; Herzfeld 1997; Fikes 2000; Kondo 1997; Morgan 2002; Ulysse 2007). Such cultural and narrative performances (Bauman 1992:41) include stereotypes and other homoge nizing identifications such as ra ce; hence, race is used as a 1 The subheading title is taken from F. Winddan ce Twine and J. Warrens (2000) edited volume, which also attends to this particular research question.

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55 strategy to build movements against the very esse ntializing agencies that ascribe race according to hierarchy. Significance of Focusing on Linguistic Data Race is brought into being through speech acts and partially maintained through discursive practice. If race is a lived discourse and that discourse is being expl oited in particular contexts to constitute a political identity through an Afri can-diasporic imaginary, certain words, phrases, metonyms and narratives are of specific an alytical interest (Bhabha 1994; Kondo 1997; Hall 1996d; Mercer 2000; Morgan 2008). If interna tional Hiphop language is based on standards associated with African-American language varieties (Labov 1972; Mitchell-Kernan 1972; Morgan 2001; Rickford and Rickford 2000; Sm itherman 1997; Yasin 1999), what does it mean when Japanese nationals consciously choose to pr ivilege African-American speech styles over standard English language varieties? What does it mean when artists r outinely codeswitch using African American English (AAE) linguistic features in Japanese Hiphop narrative performances? Speech choices in addition to conspicuous cult ural performances add important layers of meaning to heteroglossic interventions concerning race and Hiphop (Bakhtin 1981:288-300). Following Butler (1997b:17), the doc umentation of the strategies described contributes to understandings of how subjects might take an oppos itional relation to power that is rooted in the very power one is attempting to oppose. Using critical discourse analysis, I uncover Japanese cultural workers connections to Hiphop language ideology, which is linked to AAE language id eology, history, and culture (Morgan 2002, 2008). The analysis of this ideology through critical discourse analysis (van Dijk 1995, 2001) explores implications of Japanese Hiphop cultural workers use of AfricanAmerican language and culture in defense of their own indigenous identities and lifestyles that are generally not supported by Japanese dominan t societal values or government practice.

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56 Similarly, referencing Gottlob Frege (1977) and J. L. Austin (1962) and also drawing from her own research concerning youth and Hiphop lang uage ideology (Morgan 2001, 2005), Marcyliena Morgan offers the following summary: In many respects, hiphops language ideol ogy addresses attempts to resolve how individuals interpret utteran ces, referents and meanings wh ile simultaneously recognizing that there are different senses and therefore possible interpretations of referents. But it goes even further. Youth recognize that their voices are routinely marginalized, and thus their language ideology is one that assumes agency and power reside in the ability to produce this discourse as proof of hiphops ex istence and its ability to infiltrate and interfere with dominant cultu re. Youth are not concerned w ith sustaining a system hidden from dominant culture but one that is a strategic in-your-face anti-language. [Morgan 2008:94-95] Attending to an Analytic Conundrum The ethnographic challenge is to capture the experience of how cultural workers utilize race without inadvertently re-inscribing racializ ed categories on such agents. I recorded and analyzed data collected from my participa tion and observations with a trans-Pacific Hiphop community primarily located in major metropolitan areas of Japan. I entere d this community as a teenager in 1994, and I have worked with various cultural workers in this community for the past 13 years. I have had the opportunity to interact w ith some of them in both the US and Japan for industry-related business or political work. The primary data collected for analysis include linguistic materials that were recorded during convers ations, interviews, surveys, and postings found in online fora. I enlisted research consultant s to assist with the r ecording and interpreting of such data, particularly in in stances where identifications such as my sex and citizenship might affect the rhetoric asso ciated with discussion topics. In addition, archival materials, policy papers, and popular political publications were collected and coded according to relevance for references that attend to the re search agenda: ascertaining the uses of race in Hiphop cultural discursive practices in Japan. My fieldwork and previous co mmunity entry experiences are described below in phases.

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57 Context and Experience Entering a Lo ngitudinal Ethnographic Relationship Phase One: First Contact In 1994, I spent my summer in Nagoya as pa rt of a youth exchange program. My mother had also received a National Endowment for th e Humanities (NEH) grant that year to study ethnic minority dances and cultures in China and Japan. Therefore, the latter part of my summer included trips to the To kyo metropolitan area, incl uding adjacent cities such as Kawasaki, to accompany my mother. I observed her conducting inte rviews, videotaping and other interactions with minority activists and artists, as well as non-minority Japanese activist artists, photographers, and writers who did cultural work re lated to my mothers subject of inquiry. The community that my mother introduc ed me to turned out to be a vanguard of progressive Japanese cultural workers and many have served as mentors during my repeat visits back to the island of Honshu. These elders, being my mothers generation, al so comprise a relational group to the USs civil rights and black-power move ment brokers, as they have done their share of agitation in Japan and East Asia, and they have also done intersectional work orga nizing across geopolitical boundaries with historic agents from the US civ il rights, black power, labor, and Asian-American social movements. Mostly women, these cultur al workers present a women-centered ideology and practice that, for well documented political re asons, was often left out of US-based womens movement building efforts. This aspect of past social movements is one of many elements that these Japanese cultural workers had in common with my mother and he r generation of AfricanAmerican social movement cultur al workers. That is, women of color and also women of lower socioeconomic status were often marginali zed in womens social movement building. During this period, I also had my first c ontact with Japanese Hiphop pioneers, and I entered an aspect of the transnational Hiphop comm unity that I later return ed to study. I met two

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58 African-descendant singers who toured with a reggae artist w ho was turning his genre to Japanese Rap. As black women,2 we were elated to run into one another in an atmosphere that, at the time, was largely nonblack, and we shared e xperiences that we perceived as alienating as well as sexually and racially ha rassing. They invited me to come to their show, and put me on a VIP list to visit them backstage after their show I met a lot of Japanese national Hiphop, reggae, ska, and soul fans at their show. The outfit that I wore, a Nigerian pant suit with a matching kufi made from colorful pink and purple themed cloth3, invited a lot of political commentary and conversation from both the audience and performe rs. I spoke with the pe rforming artist for a long time in Japanese about his views concerning blac kness, African identities, reggae music, and his choice to switch to Hiphop. He was a kind gentle man whom I perceived as erudite and elder, though an entertainer. What struck me about the bilingual conversat ions that took place backstage was that the Japanese national participants in that space seemed genuinely committed to blackness as an important political category, and they found ways to tie black identities and experiences into their own Japanese identities and experiences during our conversations. The African-descendant entertainers who toured with th e Japanese performers often buttr essed their arguments when the 2 I suppose that technically, I was a girl, since I was 17 years old. 3 This outfit was akin to a mans buba, but the shirt was cut at my hips, and the sleeves were more dolphin style. Cross-dre ssing at that time was a popular dress choice for woman-centered Hiphop heads. Like popular arti sts including Bo$$, Yo Yo, Queen Latifah, and Left Eye of TLC, I wore extra, extra large mens clothing with mens boxer shorts a nd white ribbed tank shirts that are referred to in signifying yet sexist vernacu lar as wife-beaters that showed underneath a larger outer shirt, but covered my own womens undergarments. As an avid Afrocentrist at the time, I also wore mens clothing in African styles, in addition to womens African clothing like dresses or skirt suits. In Japan, I could only expre ss myself in these clothes when I went out to clubs or met friends after school hours for food or shopping. At school and for many after-school functions, we wore a skirt jumper and button-up shirt as part of our school uniform. I wore printed dresses and skirt sets (a mid-1990s, Midw estern fashion staple that would be called church clothes) when out with my host family.

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59 conversation was in English. That one night affect ed my entire summer because it introduced me to a community of other adolescents whom I ha d met at the concert a nd who, unlike many of my other age-mates I had met prior to this evening at my high sc hool or at shopping malls, were interested and committed to learning about blac k cultural practice in a ddition to notions of traditional Japanese culture. Looking back, I would categorize our thinking as coinciding with cultural nationalist thought. Cultural nationalism, a nd black nationalism in particular, marked an important aspect of how we rebelled against control, identification, and dominant cultural society. Individual nationalist not ions of purity and general excellence when compared to whiteness marked shared aesthetic s and common appreciati on of music and ot her related cultural productions (cf., Afrocentricity in Hiphop, Rastafari ideology in roots reggae). This was a community that was key to helping me fully understand complicated relationships between African Americans and Japanese nationals that are often under-reported in popular media and academic press. Phase Two: Back Again During the summer of 2001, I benefited fr om a Japan Foundation summer program that was geared toward assisting postg raduates in the social sciences with language study and social science research in Japan. We were housed outsi de of Osaka in a suburban community adjacent to an outlet mall town and very close to the Kans ai Airport. My brother and his wife were also living in Japan at the time. They split th eir time between three major cities: Yokosuka, Yokohama, and Tokyo. My brother is a medical doc tor and naval officer who was practicing at the Yokosuka naval base hospital, and his wife was a lawyer who worked for a multinational corporation with offices in Tokyo. They ha d a naval-base townhouse in Yokohama, and a splendid apartment in the middle of Tokyo, w ithin walking distance of Tokyo Tower and Roppongis club district as well as countless other famous hotels, museums, and shrines. When I

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60 wasnt studying at the Japan Foundation Language Institute or doing ethnography among cultural workers in the Kansai region, I spent my time that summer at either of my brother and his wifes domiciles documenting scenes in that region. I found the location of the Tokyo apartment quite fortuitous because I was able to walk to record ing studios, radio station locations, and night clubs or lounges without having to spend train fare or having to worry a bout being forced to stay out all night and catch the first train in the mo rning. Doing ethnography in Tokyo also placed me close to all of the mentors I had met with my mother during her research years earlier. My mother had made several subsequent visits to work with anti-racist NGOs, and her peer group was quite bonded. They were extremely helpful and available to help me think through political issues and questions that arose during my fieldwork. My schedule at the Japan Foundation was rigor ous. I spent my mornings in intensive language study, and my afternoons doing archival library, internet, and discipline-specific research as it related to my t opic. I studied and did language ho mework before and after dinner, and just before the last train le ft, I would get dressed in club clot hes (black pants, a sparkly tank top, and uncomfortable heeled sandals) and go observe at a Hiphop venue. I had just completed my first year of graduate school, and I was meticulous about recordi ng everything I saw and experienced. In most of the Osaka scenes that I frequented there were ge neral trends with club owners, promoters, and deejays being either Af rican-national or Afro-C aribbean-descent. Many of these individuals passed as being African American in an effo rt to avoid anti-African racism from some Japanese citizens, European American s, and European visitors but others were open about their country of origin. Toward the end of the nights when I did language study, research, and venue observation, I would gene rally settle at a corner tabl e, fighting sleep, while I waited for the time of the first train to arrive. I might have time for a short nap before having to get

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61 ready to go to language class the next day. Even when I began to do observations only on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, there wa s a set schedule for the Language Institute participants, and even if I didnt have to get up for class, I would have to get up and be prepared for some form of Japanese cultural tour or w eekend culture class. This aspect of the program frustrated many of the graduate students, who were anxious to spend free time delving into their subjects of interest rather than practicing th e tea ceremony, with which mo st of us by that time had at least some familiarity because we all had previously studied Japanese language and culture. The Language Institute allowed for scheduled trips to do self-guided study, and I took these opportunities to go to Tokyo and follow up on interview leads. A US-based Hiphop pioneer made necessary introductions for me to meet and study with Japans Hiphop pioneers who were part of his transnational organization. The US pioneer was worried when one of my academic mentors and coincidently his good friend menti oned that I was going to do club ethnography observing nightclubs by myself in Japan. The US pioneer thought this was dangerous (and in retrospect, despite the many claims that Japan is safer than the US, he was right). It wasnt until a few years later that I found out that certain pione ers were asked to chaperone me and make sure that I was safe during my interv iews. I spent that summer in T okyo developing relationships with these people, friends with whom I continue to work. A key aspect of that visit would be salvaging lost language abilities, as it had been many years since I was immersed in a Japanese spee ch community. I learned key social-science terms that were helpful to my study, and I had help from Institute staff formulating surveys in Japanese and researching Japanese library databases (see Appendix for a c opy of a survey created during this period). My project was am using to them to say the least. The people I interviewed for my

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62 project turned out to be regularly played artists on video channe ls, and they were on covers of popular music and Hiphop magazines while I was ther e. It was at times difficult to explain and justify how this was academic, social-science research. Once a well-known author and friend of my mothers had to call the Institute to explai n the academic rigor of my project when it was suggested by staff that I was not doing research but instead usi ng research money to hang out with stars. During this summer I began to appreciate Ja panese Hiphop as autochthonous. I began to discern different aesthetic trends in cultural work being done in Japan versus the US. I recorded and analyzed countless music videos. I sa t through hours of emcee, deejay, and bboy4 battles. I spent hours watching people in clubs and attemp ting to initiate interviews about their experiences. I found that interviewing women in ba throoms was a useful tool to get more candid reactions about gender politics in the club and Hi phop scene. I gained a better comprehension of African-descendants roles in Japans Hiphop cult ural work. Finally, I be gan to build my long relationship with a key recording studio and transnational social movement organizationas well as all the artist s associated with it during that summer. Phase Three: Filmmaking No matter how hard I tried to paint an ethnographic picture of the multiple worlds that I experienced in 2001, not many people seemed to agr ee with my perspective or experience. Other ethnographers of Japanese Hiphop seemed not to see the many African-nationals I had shadowed. Fellow doctoral students who had lived in Japan for pe rsonal reasons or work didnt buy that there was some huge underground Ja panese Hiphop scene where blackness was privileged or valued. Teachers seemed confused a bout what exactly I was tr ying to study: blacks 4 Bboy is a generic masculine term that is used to refer to dance competitions in Hiphop that do not exclusively include male participants. Th is term is explored more in Chapter Five.

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63 in Japanese Hiphop or Japane se in Japanese Hiphop. To be frank, I was unclear. I had experienced so much in time-limited slots, and I didnt know how to express it. I thought that if I went back and filmed it, people would get a bett er idea of what I was trying to explain. An opportunity arose when Professor Marcyliena Morg an graciously contributed an initial $6,700 to make a film about Hiphop in Japan for the Hiphop Archive that she directs, which was then at Harvard University. The prior spri ng semester, I had taken a course in Theoretical Approaches to Black Cultural Studies from Professor Mark Rei d. This was a special and intimate course in which many of the participants, all but two of whom were people of color, debated multiple sensitive issues in black cultural studies. One of my colleagues, Bianca White, held a unique and critical analysis of Hiphop culture and Japan as a country. She had significant experience through professional work with world famous Hi phop cultural workers and she had an informed perspective of the industry aspects of Hiphop. Sh e also had lived in Japan as an adolescent with her mother who was teaching English as a second language. Bianca is my AfricanAmerican sister, and despite all of our debating and disagreement concerning my topic, we were very close friends. She is an amazing critical theo rist and an award-winning filmmaker, so when Professor Morgan released funds to do a film on Japanese Hiphop, I chose her as my sister warrior, my colleague, to document the scene. I knew how to conduct ethnographic documentati on using digital media, but I did not know filmmaking, so Bianca was indispensable. As an ethnographer, not a visual ethnographer but as a traditional ethnographer, I was not c oncerned about potential audience experience or clear and steady shots. I was into recording by an y means necessary, even if the image was not in the camera and we just got the dialogue (because we could transcribe it and analyze it later). Through Bianca I learned important technical skills as well as how to produce a product that is

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64 optimal for audience experience. Bianca made Nihon Style a beautiful and artistic piece with her superb directing and editing. Many people did not think that we could go a nd make a film on a weeks notice for under $7,000. I would agree that in most cases, one cannot, but we had ac cess to a network that made it happen. Our airline tickets consumed most of th e budget and our equipment needs took most of the rest. We stayed at my brot her and his wifes Tokyo apartment, and my graduate stipend paid for our train rides and meals. My network graci ously allowed us access and VIP status to most events so we did not have to pay entrance f ees, and we also had intimate access to do long interviews with key people in the Hiphop scene. We worked appr oximately 20 hour days for ten days and then left. The joint transcription process that ensued was a learning experience as well. As an ethnographer, I was accustomed to having to make sense of data alone. But in this case, I not only had Bianca to sit in as we played and repl ayed quotes we thought were salient, but I also had important conversations with my brother, his wife, her mother (who is a biological anthropologist), and my ex-husband (a US Hiphop e xpert), who had an exte nded visit with me in Japan in 2001. My colleagues, Nakamura Mutsuo in linguistics and Fujino Yuko in sociology at the University of Florida, were also very he lpful as we mulled over the data collected. By November 2002, we had a short edited. I show ed it at the AAA annual meeting along with a paper that I read, and for the first time, I felt that the data were beginning to make sense to people. Hiphop, including Japanese Hiphop, entails much diversity. There is codeswitching (with Japanese and AAE as well as GAE). It is inte rnational, multilingual, and multiracial. It is gendered, but all genders and sexual orientations are often present in some form or another in the cultural productions. There was so much goi ng on in the Hiphop community we documented.

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65 Capturing it on film helped me to finally begin to organize my thoughts, my experiences, and my other data. Copies of the film and the footage are housed at the Hiphop Archive. Phase Four: Winter in Tokyo I spent my first winter in Tokyo in Ja nuary 2003. I was splitting my time between negotiating family (this time my mo ther was there, too, as she and my father had just come back from visiting China with my brother and his wife ), obligatory meetings with family friends, and meetings with my ethnographic consultants and fr iends. This visit exposed me to the conundrum of balancing everyday life with re search pursuits. My mothers cl ose friend didnt care if it was Friday night or that there was a big event I felt compelled to document at a club; she cooked and I better be on a train at 8 p.m. sharp to the re mote suburbs and her subsidized housing complex to spend a freezing night with her and her cats, talking about blac k political movements and Alice Walkers recent visit. This was an emotionally difficult visit because I had just finalized my divorce with my husband who everyone in my Hiphop community knew. Therefore, my ethnographic agenda was often shaped by comments like, Now what happened? You two were so good together! He really love d Hiphop! I realized that my ethnographic consultants werent research participants or subjects. They were fr iends and fictive kin, as some of them had known me since I was seventeen, and just as I follo wed them around intimate scenes with annoying handheld mini-cassette recorders (which I thought at the time were inconspicuous), they had the right to get in my business a nd assess whether I had made the righ t decision at 24 years of age. Looking back, this experience furthere d my understanding of Japans Hiphops generations ideas concerning traditional gender roles. Though my marriage was considered to be young and early by many of my friends and family in the United States, I was on time in Japan. The stigma of divorce is harsh, however, and I learned a great deal about cultural

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66 attitudes concerning divorce, and my friends con cern about me being branded with that stigma was heart-warming to say the least. Phase Five: Substantiating Postcolonial Identities I was scheduled to go back during the summer of 2003, and I did a great deal of organizing with Japanese Hiphop cultural workers in the US and, over the internet, with Japanese cultural workers in Japan for a 2003 annual Hiphop festival However, my mother suffered a stroke in early June and I decided not to return until things were more stable at home. I did not return until the summer of 2004. Having just completed the wr itten portion of my qua lification exam, I was committed to obtaining data for which I felt there were gaps in the literature: I was looking for evidence of whiteness in Japan. I al so had the opportunity to trav el to China that summer and document the post-colonial complexity of whitene ss and neo-colonial relationships from that vantage point as well. Below is a collage of pi ctures I took during one in nocent walk down an unassuming street in Kamakura that summer. Figure 2-1 Advertisements along a stroll down one small city block (less than 100 feet in length) in Kamakura, Japan in 2004

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67 My entire family except for my eldest brothe r and his wife and newborn came to visit that summer, and upon learning what I was doing, they got into the experience of spotting whiteness. Once they opened their eyes to look fo r it, they saw it was everywhere, even to the point where one week into the exercise I tired and concluded that I had enough white images to take back to the United States. I caught up with my research friends and I continued to go to the same Hiphop venues and document our experiences.5 This trip was significant in that I noticed what mainstream Hiphop had become in the ten years since my initial contact with the comm unity. The underground scene seemed integrated with more commercial art and th e older cultural nationalist ideas that were so prevalent in 1994 had been replaced with the ideology of bli ng, bling or conspicuous consumption and materialism. However the underground had not di sappeared. It just had company: commercial company. This could obscure ones view of Hiphop in Japan if background knowledge is missing. With this shift, I saw so me of my old friends leave th e underground scene for the more lucrative and fast lifestyle of commercial Hiphop, and this included working harder to promote more African-American Hiphop artists in Japan. Phase Six: The Gender Mission When I returned to the Tokyo metropolitan ar ea in 2005, I began to notice the effects of my earlier visits on the local Hi phop scenes. Papers and memos th at I had written and shared earlier were now circulated in certain circles, and much of the time I allotted to do research, 5 I recently had a similar experience while visiting with a research assistant and friend. My friend was showing me pictures from a visit to Ja pan in July 2007. He took random pictures of buildings, billboards, traffic crossings, and othe r signs of urban life on a popular street in the Harajuku shopping district of Tokyo. Before he opene d up his electronic file of pictures to show me, I jokingly asked, Are there still larg e images of white women everywhere in advertisements, or has that changed? By the tim e I made my utterance, the file opened, and to both of our surprise, he had unintentionally captur ed several images of whiteness in advertising, as almost every building hosted an advert isement that featured a white model.

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68 additional interviews, and examine material cultur e was battling new requests from my research friends to talk and work with them on reproducing some of the work that they had seen me doing in the US. By this time, I was known as a cofounder for the National Hip Hop Political Convention, I had been on a few Hiphop and po litics shows on BET, and I was living and working in a well-known recording studio in the US. I also had been sure to put all of my USbased Hiphop cultural worker friends in touch with their Japanese counterp arts, so unconsciously we had all created a transnational Hiphop political community6, made up of specific players who supported a particular social-jus tice agenda. I no longer only hear d from people through my own contact, but artists who I worked with in the US who were formerly not part of the aforementioned Japanese Hiphop scene would now pass on messages from their recent trips and tours to the country. Likewise, people with whom I worked in Japan frequented areas where I lived and worked in the US and it now seemed th at anyone in this community could be in any specific spot in the world at any given time. The more closely I worked with cultural work ers, the more I began to identify what my feminist colleagues were trying to tell me y ears earlier concerning the touring culture of entertainers in general. I began to gain a bett er understanding of critiques of sexism in Hiphop culture, as I found myself in situations where I was seeing more and more violation of women, even among self-proclaimed socially conscious and nonsexist Hiphop cultural workers. By this time I had done more reading and more personal work to better understand earlier experiences that I had in Japan, and I was able to analyze these experiences th rough a critical gender lens as well as a critical race lens. Being olderI was now 28 and no longer a 17-year-old adolescent the prevalence of child pornography on the streets of Tokyo became more apparent to me than it 6 The new community that I refer to here include s those of us who worked with a transnational social movement organization that uses Hiphop.

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69 had been before. As an adolescent I viewed this as general pornographic ma terial but as I aged, I began to see that many of these images were not just subjugated wome n, they were subjugated girls. Thus, when I returned in 2005, I became more aggressive than before in my agenda to speak with women cultural workers. I also spent significant time speaking to female consumers. I remember being asked to give a talk about ra ce and Hiphop at a college, and I talked instead about the intersection of racial ization and sexualization that I experienced. Though I was told several times that publicly ta lking about that topic in some circles was taboo, many young women came and spoke to me privately after my talk, all open to sharing their stories of being sexually harassed while riding public transportation as well as stor ies concerning sexual abuse in general. Seeing the urgency of this issue all over the world, not just in the US and Japan, I began to question where this urgency was in Hiphop, wh ich purported to be building a social-justice agenda at the time. The ethnography I collect ed during this time reflects these issues. Phase Seven: The Ethnographic Present At present I continue to work with my research friends on the various political agendas that we have initiated over the years. Some of these individuals have known me for 13 years now, and vice versa. I have seen people get married, get divorced, have childr en, experience the loss of loved ones, and change careers. Likewise, th ey have seen me go through similar changes. I feel confident about the quality of the data that I have collected over the years and analyzed with my research friends. However, it has been hard to write our stories because the research is so personal. I assume this is a discomfort most ethnographers experience, fo r, as Cheryl Mwaria (2001) says, we live our anthropology.

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70 Data Collection Process In accordance with critical discourse analys is (cf., Goffman 1974; Morgan 2002; van Dijk 2001), I recorded the narratives of diverse Hipho p cultural workers in Japan. Following Charles Briggs (1986), I at times conducted social scienc e interviews in order to collect information from key actors who produce Hiphop culture in Ja pan and (when relevant ) the United States. I refer to two types of interviews in my data co llection. One type consists of short interviews which lasted three to fifteen minutes. These interviews were impromptu data collected on the street at a venue with workers and patrons. The long interview follows Grant McCrackens definition (1988) and refers to inte rviews that lasted anywhere from over thirty minutes to three hours. Samples of interview questions are similar to the survey queries pr esented in the in the Appendix, but as one will see from dialogues presented in Chapters Four and Five, the interviews were quite informal and similar to conversational analysis (Psathas 1995). Examples of early interview questions w ould be How do you define Hiphop? or Describe some of the projects that [your tr ansnational social movement organi zation] is currently working on? I mainly followed the natural flow of conversation during recording periods. The fieldnotes from the conversa tions and participant-observation7 periods provide sufficient data to offer insight regarding current practices related to how race is conceptualized through language and performance. Participant ob servation allowed me to focus on documenting daily rituals and cultural practi ce in interpersonal conversation, professional experiences, popular media, and other cultural productions (e.g., Hiphop songs) that frame race and racialization in Japan. 7 Participant observation could be de fined as gaining insight into a way of life by taking part as fully as [one] can in a groups social activit ies, as well as observing those activities as outsiders (Lavenda and Schultz 2000:5).

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71 The pictures that I took while doing observations, the album ar t that I collected and the many other cultural products that I felt were salie nt to this research project comprise a third category of data collection. The processes under which I collected these data are outlined below. Finally, the people to whom I refer as resear ch consultants, friends, and cultural workers are the people who shared information about their way of life with me. The research consultants differ from the research assist ants, who were the people who collaborated and assisted me with transcription or translation and interpretation of data. Some of these research assistants were paid, and others were cl ose friends with whom I traded services. Background I previously described seven phases, with each phase having a different entry purpose or experience that informs the perspective from whic h I now write. I alluded to the many interviews and observations I experienced during each trip in my descriptions of each entry phase. Although my first phase did not entail formal intervie ws, I accompanied my mother to many, listening and at times participating in her formal interviews with her research participants and friends. I accompanied my mother during four formal interv iews that each lasted from 30 minutes to an hour each. Although she interviewed most interviewees more than once, I accompanied her on only four of these. After interviewing each par ticipant, she videotaped them or their dancers performing. While I was with her, I witnessed my mother interviewing a Korean civil rights leader, a Korean dance teacher, a Ryukyuan dance t eacher, and an Ainu visual and craft artist. In addition, she engaged in several in terview-like conversations with her Japanese artist and activist friends who deal with the subj ect matter of ethnic minority righ ts in Japan. I would call her method very similar to discourse analysis, ex cept that these interviews were not taped. Nonetheless, I learned a great deal of information from observing in this setting.

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72 Doctoral Research In 2001, during my second entry phase, I began recording my own data, as a graduate student with approval from the University of Fl orida Institutional Review Board. As explained earlier in Phase Two, I observed Hiphop venues (cl ubs, lounges, parties, a nd performances) three to six nights a week for a six-week period in the Osaka metropolitan area during the summer of 2001. There, I interviewed mainly African-national and Caribbean descent Hiphop promoters, venue organizers, and artists. I also interviewed Japanese-national and African-American artists. I took pictures at the venues. I usually took pict ures of deejay booths and dance floor set ups. I counted the numbers of people present and attemp ted to identify them according to Japanese demographic categories. This process would us ually involve asking people how they identify themselves. I wrote notes about playlists, and noted which songs were most popular among venue patrons. I judged the latte r by how many people got on the da nce floor to dance, and also by peoples commentary about songs popularity. While at the venues, I conducted at least one to three short taped interviews (i.e., 3 to 15 minutes) with venue owners and promoters, but because they were working, these were not the most focused interviews. I carried a digital camer a, a minicassette recorder, and consent forms in a small purse at all times, so that at any mome nt, I could record a moment or conversation that seemed relevant to my topic of interest. So me research respondents found this behavior eccentric, but not entirely unexpected from a fore igner whos expected to be eccentric. Others told me that they did not find my behavior odd, but that they a ssumed I really wanted to be a journalist or singer, thus my av id interest in their work. Even though I explained to everyone I was a graduate student studying Hiphop and race, the general assumption seemed to be that no one cares that much or is so organized about ones work unless they want to be in the industry. I recorded seven long conversational interviews with participants in the Osaka metropolitan area

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73 that summer, and one key consulta nt was recorded five times. Th is key consultant was a Kenyan national who had just completed hi s degree in civil engineering. He sold African art and goods at an outdoor market close to the Language Institute though he lived in an urban part of Osaka and also promoted Hiphop events. I visited him at th e market several times a week and spoke with him regularly. Of my seven reco rded interviewees, one was a Japanese-national female, two were Japanese-national males, and four were African-descent males. I conducted similar observations in Tokyo and adjacent cities for a cumulative total of three weeks that summer. As stated earlier, I would spend a week in the region when I was afforded self-study time at the Language Instit ute. In the Tokyo metropo litan area, I recorded the same kind of data that I did in Osaka, ex cept many of the club venues in which I observed were too large to get accurate count s of participants and to talk w ith all of them about how they identified themselves. In these venues, I would hang out in smaller settings within the larger setting, such as the womens bathroom or the VI P lounge in an effort to get and record more intimate data. I recorded eleven long conversational style inte rviews in Tokyo, and established the beginning of a long friendship with many of these people. Unlike in the Osaka metropolitan region, my general consultants in the Tokyo metropolitan region were mostly Japanese citizens, although there were seven African-American male c onsultants, three of whom lived primarily in Japan, two of whom traveled back and forth, and two of whom were US-based artists who frequently toured in Japan. Of those whom I r ecorded in long intervie ws, seven identified as Japanese citizens8 and four were African-American. The African Americans were all male, and of the Japanese interviewees, only one was female. 8 See chart (Figure 2-2) at the end of this secti on and Chapter Four for mo re detail. Some of the Japanese-national cultural workers identified in dual ways, as both Japanese and as having mixed heritage, such as having Chinese or Filipino mothers and Japanese fathers.

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74 The male dominance in the Japanese Hiphop communities that I documented that summer was a marked difference from my experience seve n years earlier. As a high school student, I frequented mostly all-female peer groups, and w ith the exception of the visiting artists and one other African-American female exchange student in my sate (Aichi-ken), all of my interlocutors in Nagoya were Japanese nationals. Thus, most of my conversations about Hiphop in 1994 were bilingual, with fellow adolescent Japanese females, who were not necessarily cultural workers, but consumers. The exception would be the conve rsations that I had w ith elder artists and activists who were my mothers friends duri ng my visits to Tokyo. When I returned for subsequent visits, focused on interviewing cultura l workers, many of my respondents were male. That is, like in the United States, many of the people with the money and structural support to own the means of production in cu ltural workas in owning the ve nue, the label, or the studio are males. As Marcyliena Morgan notes in he r ethnography on Project Blowed (2008), that does not mean that only men are doing the work. Many females, who were not available to me for interviews until I forced the issue in 2005, were indeed the primary workers holding the artistic production and organizationa l structure together. As stated earlier, in 2002, about 20 hours of each day were spent documenting Japanese Hiphop culture through film, camera, or minicassette In 2003, I recorded se ven interviews (five Japanese citizens and two African-American ma les) with people whom I had begun working with in 2001. I also recorded two new African-American male cultural workers who were promoters during that year, but who have since left the scene. In 2004, I interviewed 17 cultural workers with whom I had previously worke d. These people included two Japanese-national females, eleven Japanese-national males and four African-American males. As mentioned earlier, I spent a lot of my time documenting white images in the public sphere using a digital

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75 still camera. In 2005, I interviewed six Japanese-na tional female cultural workers, four Japanesenational male cultural workers, and two African-American male cultural workers. Since then, my relationships with many of the people that I have traditionally recorded have changed in a way that there hasnt been the need for me to reco rd them like before (Fikes 2000; Mwaria 2001). We exchange e-mail, message each other at social networking sites, call each other on the telephone, and visit with one another in a way that marks our relationship as less research, but more a joint Hiphop political and cultural work endeavor. At the Hiphop Archive, I have been working with undergraduate and graduate research ers who are interested in collecting this type of data. These are the people whom I usually c onnect with my research friends to document or record data now for archiving and other academic project purposes. Table 2-1 Numbers of long recorded interviews described in the Data Collection Process 2001 2003 2004 2005 Total # of recorded long interviews 18 9 15 12 Total # of women interviewed 2 0 2 6 Total # of men interviewed 16 9 13 6 # of Japanese-national women 2 0 2 6 # of Japanese-national men 6 3 6 3 # of African-descendant men 8 4 4 2 # of Chinese-Japanese nationals 1 1 1 1 # of Filipino-Japanese nationals 1 0 1 0 # of Persian-Puerto Rican-Ja panese nationals 0 1 1 0 The year of 2002 is not included beca use almost the entire time was spent recording various aspects of Hiphop cultural work. The chart is organized according to demographic constructions of gender identification as well as self-reported ethnic/racial and national identifications. Data Analysis Process I described earlier how and with whom I co llected data from 2001 to 2005. The types of data that I collected over the ye ars include conversations from in terviews, music, art, and other cultural products such as compact disc covers, promotional flyers, videos of live performances, music videos played in televi sion, magazine articles and website postings. The pictures and notes that I took during venue obser vations were very usef ul as well. As I organized the types of

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76 data (e.g., interviews, album art, video-taped perf ormances, etc.), I created five major categories for analysis. These categories are: (1) how Japane se national identity is referenced, represented, or manifested in the utterance or cultural pr oduct, (2) how blackness is referenced, represented, or manifested in the utterance or cultural pr oduct, (3) how whiteness is referenced, represented, or manifested in the utterance or cultural pr oduct, (4) how gender identity is referenced, represented, or manifested in the utterance or cultural produ ct, and (5) how Hiphop cultural aesthetics are referenced, represented, or mani fested in the utterance or cultural product. When transcribing (and in some cases transla ting) recorded conversations or Hiphop lyrics, I often enlisted the assistance of a secondary research assistant, w ho was usually a male fluent in vernacular and speech style of masculine adol escent popular speech. I did this for several reasons. One reason was to increase researcher tr anslation reliability. Th e other translator or transcriptionist and I would meet several times to talk about the significance of the data in question. Another reason was that, during my most communicatively competent times in Japanese speech communities, I engaged in intimate and vernacular conversations with females in my same age group, or females in my mothe rs age group, but rarely did I speak with men using non-distal styles of speec h. I am therefore not communicat ively competent in adolescent male speech varieties. An example of how this works in Hiphop research in English would be that a researcher who is born in Oakland, California, and part of an Oakland-specific AAE speech community, might have trouble understanding the accent, lexicon, and even grammar of a Hiphop artists production who uses a speech vari ety that is native to a rural Alabama AAE speech community. It would not be the case that the researcher does not know General English or even African-American Englis h, but the speech communitys specific phonetic and syntactic difference may be beyond ones capabilities to adequately analyze linguistic data without

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77 translation assistance. The speech from the Japanese cultural workers whom I recorded was often not only direct style, but it included many vernacular and masc uline-specific communicative styles as well. There also was often substantial US English Hi phop lexicon and syntax used as well. Any understanding of US Hiphop language requires knowle dge of African American English linguistics. Therefore, my resear ch assistants who, except for one, were not communicatively competent in African American English or US Hiphop language, had to work closely with me to transcribe and translate linguistic data that often included a lot of codeswitching. Once transcripts were produced, I abstracted u tterances of signifi cance according to the five analytic categories describe d. I discussed these utterances of interest with my research assistants (who helped to transcri be and translate data), and I also discussed the utterances with the cultural workers who produced them. I did th e latter for multiple reasons. One reason was to afford the cultural workers agency in how I was interpreting and representing their speech in my research. Together we discussed and co-constructed meaning from our conversations in an effort to avoid and reproduce unequal power dynamics th at could occur in ethno graphic relationships in which the ethnography holds the ultimate power of how ones research subjects are finally represented. Our conversations helped me to feel secure that I wa s documenting them and interpreting them in the manner in which they also saw themselves. As long as we were discussing race we were often in agreement. Ho wever, when I began to inquire about ideas concerning gender politics, this particular ethnographic strategy cr eated discomfort because of a general sentiment that conscious or political Hi phop is nonsexist, or not misogynistic, so it is often considered rude or unnece ssary to inquire about sexism in this transnational Hiphop cultural space (cf., Collins 2006; Russ 1984). I explor e this situation in detail in Chapter Five.

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78 Similar approachesextensive consultation with cultural workers from whom cultural products were collected in an at tempt to co-construct meaningwer e applied to th e analysis of the nonlinguistic material documented. As I orga nized significant album art, videos of live performances, song lyrics, music videos, pictur es of venues, and peoples fashion aesthetic within those venues according to the five afor ementioned analytic categories, I consulted whenever possible with the cu ltural workers who produced th em. Significant cultural products, utterances, and observations that I recorded in the field are presen ted in Chapters Four and Five. I present a synthesis of my own an alysis of these products and conve rsations as well as those of my research assistants and the cultural worker s themselves. This proce ss is presented in the ethnographic chapters to avoid the imposition of exogenous meaning. In Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes Emerson, Fretz and Shaw caution ethnogra phers from presenting accounts that obscure or suppress members meanings by imposing outside understandings of events (Emerson et al 1995:109). The authors call on ethnographers to focus on how members construct meaning through inte ractions with other members of the group, how they actually interpret and organize their own and others actio ns (1995:140). On one hand, I provide an emic perspectiv e on Hiphop cultural practic e that was readily recognized and welcomed from the research c onsultants who worked with me. I grew up a Hiphop cultural native, though I am in no way an artist. I pract iced major elements of Hiphop culture in my daily life from early childhood. My family supported this cultural development. I used Hiphop to teach, to organize, and as therapy. I worked with various Hiphop artists in the US and abroad in these endeavors. The artists with whom I worked ranged from unknown street performers to world-famous entertainers and pioneers. Because some of my Japanese Hiphop network had its introduction to me through these pioneers, our leve l of conversation began at an

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79 in-group status. Other cultural workers whom I met by happenstance embraced a level of intimacy based upon an assumption of my blackness and their ideas about Hiphop. Some cultural workers, however, did not r ead my body as black, or black-American enough, and those people initially categorized me as having an etic perspective until they got to know me intimately. Because I do have an emic perspective, or native anthropological knowledge of at least US Hiphop, I was already fa miliar with and using some of the terms the people in the Hiphop community that I studied we re using. Our joint venture of analyzing and interpreting recorded interactions in the analysis process further inserted emic perspectives and members interpretations of culturally recorded ph enomena. My etic, or outsiders perspective of masculine vernacular speech varieties and cult ural practice was mediated not only through constant consultation with the cultural worker s, but also by working with the transcription research assistants who self -identified as being in-group. The collection of data from (1) particip ant-observation fieldnotes, (2) recorded conversations (interviews), (3) cultural products of th e cultural workers (e.g., album art, lyrics, venue pictures, or performances), and (4) foot age from an ethnographic film project represent methodological triangulation, as I ut ilize a research design that dr aws from a variety of methods to collect and interpret data (Arksey and Knight 1999:23). Sp ecifically, I employ betweenmethod triangulation (cf., Denzin 1970), by draw ing from my fieldnotes the products, and the interviews. I also consider my analysis process w ith the cultural workers and research assistants investigator triangulation. Hilary Ar ksey and Peter Knight explain: Investigator triangulation is wh ere different researchers, inte rviewers or observers with a shared interest in the focus of study are em ployed. This strategy is deemed advantageous on various grounds. For instance, team member s are likely to have intellectual and methodological backgrounds in different discip linary areas, and can bring a diversity of expertise to bear on the resear ch problem. At the same time investigator triangulation can remove any potential bias genera ted by a single researcher. [1999:23]

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80 While I do not believe that my collaboration with the cultural workers and research assistants remove all cultural bias, I do believe that the synt hesis of our perspectives and analysis produces a richer ethnographic account, in which all part icipants had a chance to co-construct our representation at some point in the ethnographic experience. Another way that I attempt to balance the power dynami c between ethnographer and research consultant is through the utilization of autoethnographic reflection. The longevity and the intimacy that I experienced in the field ma ndates that I analyze data collected through a conspicuous ethnographic lens that situates the politics that my black, female, and at times underage body brought to the research inquiry pr ocess. As mentioned earlier, at times my blackness was read as immediate membership within a transnational Hiphop community. In addition, at other times my pigm entation, hair texture, perceive d class or education, perceived age (assumptions that I was older), and marita l status hindered immediate entry, and raised questions about my presence, in the very sa me community (see also Harrison 1991 and Ulysse 2007 on their similar experiences of continual ne gotiation of role expectations). Peoples willingness to work with me, immediate and ex tensive types of access (e.g., VIP privilege to cultural workers events), and the forms of speech and topics of communi cation that ensued (e.g., black nationalism or Nihonjinron ) require an analysis that re ferences the effect my bodys political reading and interpretation from my vari ous interlocutors as well as the international community as a whole had on our daily lived experiences (cf., Ulysse 2007). The added dimensions of my family member s being present and interacting w ith me in the field as well as the length of time that I have known certain people in this Hiphop community also require autobiographical contextualizat ion. Finally, my public and sustai ned participation in US-based Hiphop industry and community activist work, whic h has been chronicled in popular media and

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81 easily accessed by the people I work with in Japan, also informs how we interpreted and dealt with each other. Even when conversing in spec ific bounded Japanese geopolitical spaces, this history requires that I reference my memory and experience working with Hiphop movement buildingactivities that now affect all transnationa l spaces within a specific transnational social movement agenda. Synthesizing all of this and injecting it into the data analysis and report constitutes an autoethnographic methodology. Irma McClaurin desc ribes autoethnography as the layering and use of experience as a critical point of depart ure for both the production of the text and the interpretation of ethnographic data (2001:68). An exemplary instance of this methodology can be found in Faye Harrisons Ethnography as Po litics (1991). McClaurin concurs, citing how Harrisons experience growing up in the midst of the civil rights movement as well as her student activism around freeing political prisoners like A ngela Davis informed her ethnographic work in Jamaicas specific political climate: Harrisons autobiographical memory authenticate s an autoethnographic research rationale. I would assert then that all autoethnography, which I view as not simply a highly reflexive form but as a particular kind of reflexive form, is simultaneously autobiographical and communal, as the Self encounter s the Collective. Further, the legitimation of data (or its validation) resides not in c onventional scholarly requirement s and standards but in selfreferencing. [2001:69; see al so Caldwell 2006; Simmons 2001; Slocum 2001; Twine 2000] Indeed, Harrison reworked conventional wisdom by inflecting personal and communal politics in her methodological framework. Autoethnography as pa rt of a feminist me thodological repertoire builds on traditional uses of autobiography as ac tivism by women seeking to elucidate social inequality in both the public and private spheres (Tanaka 1987; Perkins 2000). Yukiko Tanaka (1987) discusses this in terms of shishosetsu (=I-novel, or autobiogr aphical fiction), which allowed women writers throughout history in Ja pan to safely critique gender equality by speaking candidly about injustice under the shelter of fiction or art. Margo Perkins (2000)

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82 shares a similar perspective in her analysis of the autobiographies of Elaine Brown, Angela Davis, and Assata Shakur. Perkin s contends that these womens narratives are pedagogical as they introduce readers to injustice in the United States that altered their lives and ultimately influenced their decisions toward political engagement. My understanding of autoethnography takes this tradition of aut obiography as activism a step further as a methodological consideration by including not only personal reflection and ac knowledgement of how ones body and critical memory impacts fiel d encounters and research agendas, but also it allows for the inclusion of community-based, co -constructed descriptions and analysis concerning shared experiences from a range of people who under go similar identifications as well as life trajectories. Autoethnography is si multaneously reflexive and dialog ic, and therefore buttresses a meta-ethnographic agenda through the narratio n and analysis of multiple stories (Noblit and Hare 1988). In Feminist Methodology as a Tool for Ethnographic Inquiry on Globalization, Faye Harrison further elucidates the intellectual and sociopolitical value of womens stories and practices (Harrison In press:26). Whereas interpretive and quali tative research methods have been dismissed as less accurate or useful fo r policy than numerical data and statistical calculations, Faye Harrison obs erves that sociocultural an thropologists understand that stories can be a rich and invaluable source of knowledge and theory (Harrison In press:26, emphasis added). She explains: For example, in accessible non-elitist language Ann Kingsolver has written that theory can be viewed as the stories we tell ourselv es to make sense of life and to determine where we are as we navigate social space (Kingsolver 2001:4). All human beings, from social science and policy experts to ordinary folk, narrate socia lly situated yet differentially empowered (2001:24) stories. Anthropologi sts are ethnographic listener[s] and storyteller[s] who weave togeth er larger patterns of stories to develop social analyses, often those that link complex macrostructural forces to the intricate micropolitics of everyday lived experiences (2001: 25). [Harrison In press:267]

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83 Harrisons explanation of ethnography as being conceptualized and deployed as a feminist methodology (2007:26) in addition to her recognition of the democratizing effects of storytelling and autochthonous a ssertions of self as well as communally constructed sensemaking coincides with Hiphop language ideology and philosophy that situates its cultural workers in an organic intellectual framework. Ra ppers stories seek to comment on and make sense of social structures as well as individual experience. What might seem to be a simple narrative of ones experience in life is usually a commentary on shared knowledge of how social st ructures impact individual lives. For example, Mia Xs Mommies Angels (1997) is not just a personal reflec tion on her plight as a single mother and struggling rap artist, but it also shares insight abou t a common situation of single mothers worldwide and particularly black wome n in America who are marked as welfare queens, whores, and other der ogatory identifications that de grade their humanity and ignore their struggles to provide for their families. Mos Defs Mr. Nigga (1999) is not just about his own experiences with racial profiling in the US a nd abroad as well as everyday racist encounters; he also connects his experiences to people in the public sphere (e.g., Michael Jackson) as well as unknown individuals. Following th is narrative tradition of both Hiphop and AAE language ideology, K Dub Shine flexes his cultural critique through storytelling in Save The Children as he adopts the trope of rapper as savior (Chapter Four for mo re details) and builds from knowledge he collected growing up, observing in co mmunities, to call out issues of rampant domestic abuse and child abuse in Japanese soci ety. This particular st yle of storytelling in Hiphop (as well as other AAE narrative performan ces) reveals yet another way that globalized black popular culture is operationali zed to address social inequality outside of the United States.

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84 This narrative strategy, to connect ones life to the shared experien ces of ones imagined community as a strategy to politically enga ge and theorize about the intersections of macrostructural forces and micropolitics of everyday lived experiences, (cf., Harrison In press:267) is relational to St. Clair Drakes discussion of vindication in Anthropology and the Black Experience (1980). In this vein, like Gramsc is organic intellectuals, the pioneers that I work with seem to be building theory, or l iberation ideology. John Gwaltney (1980) offers similar remarks on the narratives that he collected in the field, doing work identified as native anthropology among even his own family members at times. He says: From these narrativesthese analyses of the heavens, nature and humanityit is evident that black people are building th eory on every conceivable level.These people not only know the troubles theyve seen, but have profound insight into the meaning of those vicissitudes. [1980: xxvi] Gwaltney goes on to state that the core black culture he documents is more than ad hoc synchronic adaptive survival and he critiques the expectations and canons of core black culture for confining conceptions of blackness to walking that wa lk, talking that talk (c.f., Labov 1972); he maintains that these people live, m ove and have their bei ng in their particular variation on the human theme (1980:xxvi-xxvii). Like Drake, he asserts th at beyond the black experience lies the human experience (Drake 19 80: 31). Both scholars seem to want to move beyond the essential black subjec t and they seem to recogni ze the analytic importance of naming experience through narra tive. Perhaps the task of Hi phop-generation ethnographers is to move the ethnographic reporting language to ma tch the political agenda of the methodological framework, as we strive to crea te reports that simultaneously an alyze and critici ze racialization processes. Thus, my use of autoethnography in this text is not only one aspect of triangulating my research, but it also complements emic persp ectives of knowledge c onstruction within Hiphop,

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85 feminist ethnography, as well as native et hnography. Like Gwaltney (1980) my ethnographic work at times included both fictive and biol ogical kin. In addition, li ke Gina Ulysse (2003, 2007), I occupy a peculiar status as a na tive anthropologist in that I am Hiphop9a native who cut her teeth in a golde n age of raptivism, edutainm ent, and Hiphop politics. I can also at times be an outsider to the indigenous Japanese Hiphop community, as I am a citizen of the United States. My skin color and other phenotypic expressions mark me as different from a white American norm and my gender marginal izes me in the global world order. The intersection of my race, gender, and pigmentatio n sexualizes my identity in specific historical ways (e.g., the oversexualized black female or mulatta; see Chapter Three for more). The political marking of my body as black actually thrusts me into an imagined community with Japanese Hiphop artists, though I maintain an etic perspective on the Japanese aspect of Japanese Hiphop. However, because Hiphop occupies a sh ared internationalist frame based on international language ideology a nd socialization processes that are based in African-American speech communities as well as cultural practi ce and performance, my Japanese Hiphop interlocutors share a simultaneous emic perspective with me as we are all participants in a transnational social movement and imagined community. These ideas are akin to reflexivity in ethnogr aphic projects. Gina Ulysse (2007) theorizes reflexivity as becoming a new mode of academic activism, which seek s to interrupt the problem of ethnographic authority that arises when the focus is on the subject only Put another way, by choosing to tell how the ethnographer comes to know what she knows, th e tailored suit or 9 See Morgan (2008) for more. I am Hiphop is a phrase popularized by KRS-ONE that petitions Fred Hampton, Sr. and Jesse Jackson, Sr.s phrase I am somebodyan assertion of existence and humanity. As Hiphop struggles agai nst the fate of black popular musical genres such as rock and jazz to remain connected to black identities, the asse rtion of I am Hiphop references a particular political agenda w ithin Hiphop activism as well as Hiphop philosophy that commands its cultural work ers keep it [Hiphop] real.

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86 monograph is exposed to be not as seamless as it appears. Rather, it is various pieces held together by all sorts of stitches, as a quilt. Reflexivity allows me to unmask the political content of my encounter. [2007: 6] She introduces an innovative theoretical frame of the alter(ed)native perspective in anthropology. Ulysse writes: This ethnography is a count ernarrative articulated from what I call an alter(ed)native perspective to the conventiona lities of the dominant discours e within anthropology. It is alter as in other and native as I was born in the region and am ascribed that identity. It is alter(ed) because of how my approach to this project has been modified both by my training and by my encounter with ICIs [her research consultants]. The term connotes an antiand postcolonial stance, with a consci ous understanding that the continuities of history mean that there is no clean break with the past. With that in mind, alter(ed)native projects do not offer a new riposte or alterna tive view; rather they engage existing ones, though these have been altered. Alter(ed)native perspectives are those in which tools of domination are co-opted and mani pulated to serve part icular antiand postcolonial goals. [Ulysse 2007:7] The goals of an alter(ed)native project in anthro pology relate to the disi dentificatory practice of Hiphop cultural workers introduced in Chapter One. Both engage a political agenda that works simultaneously within and agai nst the grain by invoki ng performativity and flippin the script on traditional and dominant cultural narratives that position non-white male ethnographers as peripheral to canons of art and ethnographic theory. As part of my contribution to Ulysses alter(ed)native theoretical framework, I uti lize autoethnography, what McClaurin deems an innovative strategy of knowledge production (2001:71) to cont extualize how and why the research collected and presented in this disserta tion differ from and yet contribute to previous ethnographies of Hiphop in Japan. Reporting Process Throughout the entire research, writing, and related data colle ction processes, all ethical considerations were made in accord with the American Anthropological Associations Code of Ethics (see http://www.aaanet.org/comm ittees/ethics/ethics.htm ). Research consultants names and associated identifiers are withheld in this write up through the use of generic pseudonyms

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87 that were chosen to minimize valuation, imagin ation, and identification (e.g., Rapper, Pioneer 3, cultural worker, etc.). I chose this level of gene rality because many of th e people that I worked with live their lives in the public sphere; and I thought that if I were to use a pseudonym of Tanaka-san or MC K for an artist, for exam ple, there could be too much room for guessing about who that person might be. Therefore, ma ny of the well-known cultural workers that I worked with are referred to in general terms and other details such as dates and specific geographic locations are left ambiguous. I chose to use general popular names (e.g., Makoto) for my descriptions of consumers as well as one cultural worker who also worked with me on research projects because these individuals are not living publicly documented lives, and it is unlikely that one could figure out their identities given the sma ll amount of information shared about them. Furthermore, in the case that a public event is analyzed, such as a public forum, a concert, or a conference, gene rally pseudonyms or descriptions are still used; however, if an official name is being used, efforts to obtain permission from persons reported on were made. Published materials, such as albums or song lyri cs, are referred to in-t ext and cited accordingly. In my write up, I attempted to weave together a story collected from fieldnotes, transcribed linguistic data, print media, and other Hiphop cu ltural productions. This story is mediated through conversations with research consultants in an effort to collectively co-aut hor a narrative of race as experienced by Hiphop cultural workers in Japan.

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88 CHAPTER 3 RACE, ETHNICITY, AND POSTCOLONIAL IDENTITIES IN CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE STUDIES If we have penetrated the question of race, we must deny the very existence of human races and the concomitant hotchpotch of theo ries about racially inherited qualities, susceptibilities and memories. We must combat racialism, and its attendant inhumanity and degeneration, wherever we meet it, whet her it comes from the Great Race or ourselves.That is to say we must be racial and antiracial at the same time. --Cedric Dover (1947:25; emphasis added) Racism must be understood to be a nexus of material relations with in which social and discursive practices perpetua te oppressive power relations between populations presumed to be essentially different.[Therefore, r]ace still matters in the world today because the contradictory realities of raci sm are being reproduced in the disjunctures of the late twentieth-century world. --Faye Harrison (1995:65) Introduction to Race in Japan Race remains an important site of inquiry fo r social scientists and educators who are interested in effecting social change toward a more equitable global society. The introductory observations from two anthropologiststhough sepa rated by almost fifty yearsattend to an analytic crisis that was also fervently engage d by Franz Boas earlier in the 20th century (Boas 1906, 1911; Trouillot 2003; Willis 1974). As a large part of earths population still believes in the myth of race that was constructed long a go (cf., Foucault 1970; Mudimbe 1988; Pratt 1992; Smedley 1993; Trouillot 2003), there is a great amount of educational and documentary work that needs to be done in order to eradicate outmoded notions that perpetuate divisions of power and subsequent social subordination. Documen ting and analyzing efforts against race that simultaneously use raceas called for by Cedric Dover and Faye Harrisonmarks an important trend in activist scholarship. Th e relationship between Hiphop and race is not outside of this research agenda. Though fairly divided in their theoretical frames, a number of scholars of anthropology, cultural studies, a nd linguistics have studied the si gnificance of Hiphop in regard

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89 to its participants efforts to dismantle globa l racialization (Dimitria dis 2001; Forman 2002; Gilroy 1993a, 1993b, 2000; Kelley 1997; Keye s 2002; Kitwana 2005; Morgan 1998, 2001, 2002, forthcoming; Potter 1995; Prevos 2001; Urla 200 1). However, the signif icance of these efforts has not been studied among nonbl ack populations outside of th e United States. In studies regarding nonblack Hiphop communities outside of the United States, the concepts of race and racialization have largely been evaded in pref erence of privileging analyses that focus on the interface of economics, US hegemony, and gl obalization (e.g., Condry 1999; Mitchell 1998, 2001). Such studies are incomplete without overt and detailed atten tion to the historical situation of race and racialization, and th ey do a disservice to the social science of Hiphop, which as many scholars have noted, seeks to disrupt racism as it currently exists ar ound the globe (cf., Chang 2005; Kitwana 2002; Urla 2001). When specifically addressing race in regard to Japan, analyses become more complex as Japan represents a site of inquiry that has multilayered racializing and colonizing histories when analyzed in a global context. As John G. Ru ssell (1991a, 1991b), Nina Cornyetz (1994), John Davis (2000), and Yasuko Takezawa (2006) conte nd, analyses regarding race and racialization, especially racialization in popul ar culture, are long overdue in Japanese studies. Russell (1991b) documents racist stereotyping of blackened images presented in Japanese mass culture; Cornyetz (1994) problematizes what she perceives to be the fetishization of blackness among Japanese Hiphop aficionados; Davis (2000) st udies the racialization of et hnic minorities in Japan; and Takezawa (2006) theorizes about origins of race th eories in Japan. In much of the remaining literature there is little social scientific atten tion paid to the specific ways in which race and racialization become realized through the dail y practices of people living in Japan and by the Japanese state.

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90 What makes Japan a complex case in regard to studies of race is th at it is a country predominantly comprising people who were once designated as a yellow or Mongoloid race by raciologists1 (e.g., Bigland 1816; Blumenbach 1795; Coon 1981 [1950]; US FBI papers surveilling Takahashi Satohata under the direc tion of J. Edgar Hoover; Hooten 1946; Linnaeus 1735).2 Gerald Horne documents how Japanese people were further situated as such after WWII in the peace treaty (2002). He expl ains this within a context of Japanese people being marked as people of color, as there was no reference to race in the peace treaty negotiated with Germany. Horne remarks that Japanese people were specif ically punished for believing their race to be superior to the white race (Horne 2002:37; see also Dower 1986). John Dower (1986, 1999) and Mark Gallachio (2000) al so document further racialism3 toward Japanese people from the US government during WWII. FBI papers doc umenting US government surveillance of solidarity movements between African American s and Japanese nationals also mark such racialization (cf., Allen 1994). Other scholars have continued to document current acts of racialization of Asians from Western sources (cf., Befu et al. 2000; Cho 1993; Dover 1947; Dower 1986; Harrison 1995; Kim 1993; Kondo 1997; Lie 2001; Okihiro 2006; Ong 1996; Widener 2003). An example of a virulent racist act, aimed at the racialization of Ja panese people, was the killing of Vincent Chin, a Chinese American murdered by white men in Michigan, who mistook 1 Gilroy defines raciology as the lore that bri ngs the virtual realities of race to dismal and destructive life (2000:11). 2 For an anthology of similar de scriptions see Augstein (1996). 3 As in Cedric Dovers usage (1947) referenced, racialism is a synonym for racism in that is a British variant on the term. However, racialism also di ffers from racism as a term in that is also holds a connotation of racial considerations that are based on policy, legislation or another structural formulation of racism. Racism as a term is generally used throughout this text; however, I use racialism twice when describing two specific instances of historic racialization in government policy, following Dover.

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91 Mr. Chin for a Japanese person, and hence represen tative of the threat of Japanese automobile businesses to American automobile business in terests (Choy and Tajima 1989; Kim 1993). Even today, Japanese Hiphop artists can recall similar threats and racializing speech acts targeted toward them during their tenure in the United States. For example, two different Japanese Hiphop cultural workers recall trying out for commercials while livi ng in Los Angeles and hearing those in charge of selecting actresses and actors te lling everyone who is not blonde haired and blue-e yed to go home. Object 3-1 Map of Japan To further complicate racialism in a global context, recall that Japan has a complex colonial history in that it is a former colonize r (of parts of China, Korea, and Indonesia, for example)with (depending on whose perspective one is sympathetic towardsIslanders or Mainlanders) psuedo-colonial rela tionships with islands that ar e now incorporated into its national territory, such as the Ryukyu Islands, or Okinawa (see Figure 3-1). The nation has also experienced periods of occupation in the distant past (e.g., with Ch ina) as well as more recently with the United States. This physical occupa tion coupled with questionable (white) Western over-representation in popular me dia is seen to some as a p seudo-neo-colonial relationship with the West (Fischer and White 2002; Life 2004) Finally, any discussion of Japanese culture should acknowledge the rise of soci al science litera ture regarding Nihonjinron (Japanese uniqueness theory), a discourse purporting a pure and unchanging Japanese culture, which was utilized by the state to legitimize and justify th e regulation of power relations (cf., Herzfeld 1997; Weber 1968). In response, scholars (B efu 2001; Dale 1986; Goodman 1990; Lie 2001; Ryang 2004) have critiqued assumptions that Japa n is composed of a socially and culturally homogenous people. In addition, there are NGOs such as IMADR-JC (International Movement Against Discrimination and RacismJapan Committ ee) and the Buraku Liberation League that

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92 monitor ICERD (the United Nations Internationa l Convention on the Elimination of Racism and Discrimination) enforcement in Japan (Yaman aka 2002, for an example and more discussion) and publish literature that documents raciali zation and discriminati on (e.g., IMADR 2003; Buraku Kaiho Kenkyusho 1994; see Davis 2000 for more discussion in English). Negroid and Mongoloid: Race as Shared Experience Just as scholars such as Edward Said (1979) have written about the creation of the Orient in the European imagination, scholars such as V. Y. Mudimbe (1988) have written in a similar manner (elucidating genealogies of knowledge) a bout the invention of Africa in the Western imaginary. Likewise, the same raciologists who invented the fixed M ongoloid category also invented the static Negr oid conception (e.g., Bigland 1816; Blumenbach 1795; Coon 1981 [1950]; Hooten 1946; Linnaeus 1735). Countless scholars have documented the effects of racialization and colonization as well as tran s-Atlantic slavery and legacies of apartheid.4 Some scholars5 have considered the signif icance of studying th e intersection of th e African and Asian racialization over time. In an effort to differe ntiate and celebrate African and Asian peoples against European peoples, some of these studies have reified notions of race and essentialized difference (e.g., Rashidi and Van Sertima 1987; Sm ythe 1953). Some of these studies seek to raise awareness of some Japanese peoples ideations that reify Western constructions of black races (e.g., Cornyetz 1994; Russell 1991a, 1991b; Yamashita 1996; J. Wood 1997). Some studies 4 See, for example, Brown 2000; Dover 1947; Drake 1980, 1981, 1990; Du Bois 1990 [1903]; Fanon 1967; Fikes 2002; Foucault 1970; Gilr oy 1993a, 1993b, 2000; Gregory 1993; Harrison 1995, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007; Mbembe 2002; Merc er 1994, 1996; Mudimbe 1988; Pratt 1992; Smedley 1993; Stoler 1996, 2002; Hamilton 1995; Willis 1969, 1971; Wright 1956. 5 See, for example, Aoki 1997; Cho 1993; Co rnyetz 1994; Dover 1947; Du Bois 1903; Field 1991; Fujino 1997; Hellwig 1977; Honda 1993; Horne 2002; Hughes 2003; Kearney 1998; Kelsky 1994;Kim 1993; Kochiyama 1997; Kondo 1997; Koshiro 2003; Life 1995; Nakazawa 1998; Ogbar 2001; Okihiro 2006; Russell 1991; Sert ima 1985; Sterling 2003; Smythe 1953; J. Wood 1997; Yamashita 1996; Yoshida 1979 [1967].

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93 problematize inter-racial relationships that seem to be situ ated around Western constructions of racial stereotypesof both African-descendants and Asians (e.g., Kelsky 2001); others seek to unproblematize interracial relationships, while do cumenting the problem of racialization along the lines of Western constructions of race for ch ildren who are born of interracial relationships (e.g., Life 1995). Other studies attempt to focus on the promise of political solidarity and transcendence of subordinating raciology by documenti ng various political alliances between Japanese nationals, Japanese Americans and African-descendants in the United States against white supremacy over time (Allen 1944; Dover 1947; Dower 1986; Du Bois 1990 [1903]; Fujino 1997; Horne 2002; Koshiro 2003; Nakazawa 1998; Ogbar 2001; Sm ythe 1953; Yoshida 1979 [1967]). Moreover, there are other studies problematizing black-white binaries that serve to perpetuate white supremacy by dividing potential po litical allies who are racially marked in America (Aoki 1997; Cho 1993; Dover 1947; Dower 1986; Hellwig 1977; Kim 1993; Kondo 1997). Finally, there are scholars who study popular culture as a way of gaining insight regardin g processes of destabilizing raciali zation and raising cri tical cultural awaren ess (Atkins 2000, 2001; Kondo 1990, 1997; Sterling 2003). Examples of Racialization of Japanese People in US Print Media The following images were collected by John Dower and can be found in his book War without Mercy (1986:185, 187; see also Dower 1993). Th e links provided (Objects 3-2, 3-3 and 3-4) below are adapted from http://w00.middlebury.edu/ ID085A/film/gallery2.html The caption to Object 3-2 reads: C artoonist unidentified. British cartoon reprinted in a mid-1923 issue of the New York Times Magazine. Object 3-2 Japanese people as brutal, savage, and not human

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94 The caption to Object 3-3 read s: Cartoonist unidentified. Ca rtoon in the April 1943 New York Times, captioned Let the punishment fit the cr ime (a quote from Gilbert and Sullivans The Mikado ) in response to the execution of captured American fliers. Object 3-3 Japanese people as apes or savages in need of civilizing The caption to Object 3-4 reads: Cartoonist unidentif ied. Cartoon in the U.S. Marine monthly Leatherneck from March 1945. Object 3-4 Japanese people as not human and akin to lice All of these images situate Japane se people as a unitary, fixed subjec t that is not only violent and dangerous, but also savage and not human. Th e imagery and language that associates the Japanese soldiers as apes is in terestingly similar to imagery that was used to racialize Africandescendants in historical as we ll as modern popular media. The im age of the lice character with large front buck teeth is similar to racializ ation of other Asian nationals, such as Chinese nationals, by US popular media. These images are provided as an example of how race can be constructed as shared experience across categorizations of racial identities. Though Asians and Blacks/Negroes/Africans are racialized into di fferent categories by raciol ogists, the experience of being homogenized and situated as not human can be similar (e.g., being depicted as an ape). Thus, these images, a function of nationalist disc ourse as well as WWII combat strategy, may help to explain why methods to resist racializa tion, that is, the use of black popular culture, are shared and utilized across these constructed boundaries. Treatments of Race and Racism in Japanese Studies There are myriad approaches to the concepts of race and racism in Japanese studies. This chapter discusses dominant trends regarding race research in Japa n that are characterized by: (1)

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95 non-treatments of race that, by avoida nce, risk furthering raciologist6 agendas, (2) Nihonjinron or anti-Nihonjinron literatures and other analyses of nationalist discourses, and (3) critical race studies. Some of the literatures I examine follow more than one of the aforementioned trends in their analytic approaches, and I attempt to re veal these intersections in my synthesis. I characterize the first grouping of literature as st udies that do not centrally situate race as an analytical category for research and critic ism (e.g., Allison 1994; Hearn 1905; Takao 1992; Varley 1984; Yoshimi 2000). The second grouping is characterized by complex (offensive defensive) subversive strategies of simultaneously problematizing and affirming notions of racial purity, often without explicit discourse around the t opics of race, racializ ation, and racism (e.g., Befu 2001; Creighton 2003; Dale 1986; Lie 2001; Weiner 1997, Yoshino 1992). The critical race research that I review centrally locates race as an analytical category (e.g., Dower 1986; Kondo 1997; Koshiro 1999; Horne 2004; Russell 1991b). Th ese studies distinguish the complicated, interlocking dynamics of race from other constructi ons such as citizenship, class, and gender in research topics ranging from war to fashion in a manner that ultimately fleshes out issues concerning identity and power. Below, I historic ally situate these literatures with a short commentary, outlining major events and notable peri ods from just before the Meiji Restoration to present times. On July 8, 1853, under US President Millar d Fillmore, Commodore Matthew Perry led four ships loaded with guns a nd other artillery on a mission to force trade with Japan, which had been characterized as having a cl osed shogun-run government, known as bakufu Trade with foreign Western countries, particularly Europ ean countries, was forbidden. Though trade with Asia, namely Korea and China, continued with special governmental pe rmissions, trade with 6 Raciologist is the term that Paul Gilroy coins for racist race theorists, particularly those form the 18th Century (Gilroy 2000).

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96 European nations was confined to a small island off the coast of Nagasaki (Dejima), and then only with a few Dutch merchants. This tr ade was supposedly characterized by strong bakufu control, as the merchants were entertained a nd interrogated by the s hogunate once a year, signs of settling were reversed and all academic studies of the Dutch closely monitored. This closed government is often reported as the result of governmental fear of colonization by a European nation, as was occurring in many Asian nationa l neighbors (cf., the Philippines, Macao). In 1603, the bakufu expelled European missionaries and foreign traders, and the government forbade native peoples to leave th e country. All contact with foreigners was monitored and a sort of panopticism took e ffect (Befu 2000; Cullen 2003). Furthermore, academic studies of foreign peoples and lands were taken up for strategic purposes. It is argued that the threat of colonizati on by Europeans, coupled with information concerning early race theories from Europe (i.e., Mongoloid, Ne groid, Caucasoid, Wild Man and Monstroid distinction; see Augstein 1996) influenced th e manner in which the Meiji period government remade Japan in a conceptually western national image (cf., Dower 1993). This marks a transition in the ways that race was documented. That is, prior to this period there were folk theories of peoples, native and nonnative, but th e emergence of three major races, and their hierarchical assignments, develops in literatures that emerge al ongside or against the threat of colonization. For example, Lafciado Hearn documen ts folk theories of whiteness as threatening barbarism (Hearn 1905; Lie 2001). Likewise, John Do wer observes that white Westerners were conceived as devils in di fferent ways. He writes: Devilish Anglo-Americans ( kichiku Ei Bei ) was the most familiar epithet for the white foe. In graphic arts the most common depi ction of Americans or British was a horned Roosevelt or Churchill, draw n exactly like the demons ( oni akuma ) found in Japanese folklore and folk religion. As a metaphor for dehumanization, the demonic white man was the counterpart of the Japanese monkeyman in Western thinking, but the parallel was by no

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97 means exact..Not all demons had to be killed; indeed, some could be won over and turned from menaces to guardians. [Dower 1993:275] Dower continues to explain that the image of dev ils as well as blue-eyed barbarians from across the sea, threatening societal well-being linked with earlier co nceptions of race concerning whiteness, and an essentialized notion of Yam ato-race was invoked f rom the Heavens to fight for the eternal peace of the world (Dow er 1993:276). These ideas were supported by stateled research, the construction of cultural aesthetic s, and manipulations of spiritualities (namely the state-sponsored Shinto religi on) with a little help from th e West, in the form of German raciologist Karl Haushofers theories (Dower 1993:278). State-regulated identity in Japan is very much influenced by European imperialist inventions of race that, according to Japane se historians and state documents, were communicated to government officials by at least the 17th century (Koshiro 2003). Some scholars write that missionaries brought with them the threat of colonization by European countries as early as the 16th cen tury (cf., Befu 2000). Other sc holars have produced testimonies and survey results that suggest that members of Japanese society conceptualize race in a way that is homologous to the notorious theories of thr ee races (Augstein 1996) that evolved along with the need to industrialize and co lonize (cf., Honda 1993; Koshiro 2003; Lie 2001). Therefore, one might assume that race in Japan is popularly understood through the lens of Western conventions (i.e., Mongoloid, Negroid, Caucasoid), with few discursive variations. Ethnicity is a different matter, and it seems to be constructed by the states historically strategic alienation, isol ation, and differentiation of particul ar groups of people for particular political purposes. Certain ethnic gr oups are at times considered to be a part of Japanese society and at other times their existence is completely ignored or denied by th e Japanese state. For example, Korean identities have ranged from being ostensibly raci ally disparate from Japanese to

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98 being genetically similar cousins to Yamato purity in times when Korean labor was needed for development during conspicuous colonizatio n of Korea by Japan. Such fluctuations in nationalist discourse occur at varying moments in Japanese history, and they are usually linked to a national agenda regarding colonial policy an d political expansion or seclusion. These ethnic groupings will be discussed along with race in my research, because it has been argued that ethnic groups are racialized in Japan (B efu 2000; Davis 2000; Dower 1993; Honda 1993; Koshiro 1999; Lie 2001), and my research consulta nts who self-identify as being part of these groups report their life experiences in r acialized terms and use race metaphors. Some scholars write that Ja pans racial and ethnic groups were identified by the government at different periods in history for the purpose of increasing legitimacy and efficacy of citizen control (Dower 1993; Koshiro 2003; Horne 2004). In modern times, the people identified as ethnic or different from normal Japanese citizens are ascribed as such in a similar manner to other former colonized pe oples living in a country where their (former) colonizer is in power. For example, identity papers were not only ut ilized for non-whites in South Africa and the United States, but also fo r those identified as non-Japanese Japanese citizens in Japan (Lee 1994).7 Investigating how traditional Western (particularly US-based) Japanese studies have eschewed race issues in research, exploring offici al national discourses on race, i.e., Nihonjinshugi and Nihonjinron as well as reviewing scholarship that deciphers these national discourses complicated connections to colonization, citizenship and socio-economic class uncovers the multilayered narratives of s ubjection according to ascriptions of race and racialized ethnicity. 7 Research consultant Pioneer 5 speaks in detail about his experiences with identity papers in Chapter Four.

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99 The studies that elide race through discourse that privileges nationa lity, religion, ideology, and gender seem to describe hier archically situated difference in a manner that naturalizes power or in a way that takes social constructions of hi story for granted. In thes e studies, aberrations to norms are invisible or footnotes to other analyses. The general id ea was that Japanese Others or non-Japanese Japanese people constituted such a minority that analysis of their experience would be unsustainable with data (cf., Plath and Smith 1992). In some cases euphemisms such as ethnicity, caste, immigrant, or social deviant are evoked in these evasions of racializing inter-state and intra-st ate identity regulation processes (cf., Plath and Smith 1992; Allison 1994; Condry 1999). David Plath (Plath and Smith 1992) pr ides himself on his sensitivity to diversity issues as he insisted on briefly mentioning the Burakumin in a documentary film for which he was a consultant. In many of these cases, the existence of non-Japanes e Japanese are briefly mentioned in a page or two that critiques essent ialism and often personal reactions to experiences of perceived xenophobia, then discussions of dive rsity are forgone in an effort to (perhaps unwittingly) homogenize ones field site or cultural topic through the unmentioning of difference, except as it exists between the reporter and her or his unitary subject. The general tone of these studi es contributes to a fixed Ja panese culture. Comments like the Japanese seek beauty in nature not in what is enduring or permanent, but in the fragile, the fleeting, and the perishable. Above all, their feeli ngs about nature have from earliest times been absorbed by the changes brought by seasons, by Pa ul Varley (1984:43) re ify singular nationalist identities without explicitly identifyi ng with nationalist ( Nihonjinron antiNihonjinron ) discourse (see also Kondos crit ique of ethnographers use of t he Japanese 1990:46). Indeed, Varleys text evades all discussions concerning the controversial topic, preferring instead to focus on a construction of a pre-modern modern Japanese cultural aesthetic that privileges

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100 international stereotypes like chanoyu (tea ceremony), ikebana (flower arranging), and haiku (poetry). Varleys text is consid ered part of the canon, at least in Japanese studies at American universities, as it is usually re quired reading for introductory cl asses. Thus, without mentioning racial world orders, or even or ientalisms, scholars are free to perpetuate culturally political, racially imbued notions by not atte nding to these very subjects. Some scholars (Allison 1994; Condry 1999; Yosh imi 2000) critique nationalist discourses, policies, and practices regarding homogeneity, but they do not direc tly report on issues of race and ethnicity in their ethnography and, therefore, their reportage, though theoretically useful (e.g., Allisons 1994 Lacanian analysis of the construction of gender in hostess clubs), seems to take for granted the idea of Japan as a homogenous society or as a realisti c and viable norm. For example, when I have come into contact w ith nonnative Japanese et hnographers, I am often asked how I am able to do fieldwork in Japan, since Japan is racist.8 In defense of this generalization, people cite the racist statements9 from Prime Minister Nakasone or the Congressional Black Caucuss activism following similar racist comments from a number of state officials in the 1990s. Outs ide of identifications that position Japane se people in opposition 8 I now have a witty soundbite or response from Chuck D that is on par with Erving Goffmans observation (1963:136) regarding so ciety and spoiled identities, which is, Somebody says Japan is racist? Thats like saying Africa is backwa rd. You gotta consider the source (Chuck D, Interview 9/2003). 9 For example, on September 21, 1990, Mr. Kajiya ma made the following declaration after visiting a district in Tokyo main ly populated by Japanese sex work ers: It is like a bad currency driving out a good currencyIt is like in Amer ica when neighborhoods become mixed because blacks move in and whites are forced out.t hey ruin the neighborhood in the same way. (Russell 1992:230-231). During a spe ech in 1986, Mr. Nakasone remarked, in America, there are many blacks, Puerto Ricans and Mexicans, a nd on average Americas level (of intelligence) is still extremely low (Ivy 1989:22).

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101 to foreignersand black people in particular10othernesses inside Ja pan seem invisible to some researchers (aside from a shout out he re and there). This could be because many racialized bodies in Japan pa ss (cf., Butler 1993; Muoz 1999) obscure, or hide their stateregulated identities (Lie 2001). Ho wever, like Paul Varley (1984) the language of reportage appears fixed and thus, it undermines the few criti ques within the texts that attend to the myths of Japanese racial purity. Japan, as a singular geopolitical entity (Kondo 1997), was the Other in question, what Harumi Befu (1992) calls Japonica Exotica the intellectual explorers final frontier, and homogenizing its stat e-served Western imperial efforts in a specific Cold War era. Perhaps by identifying other Others within the Other, the Other ceases to existas it can no longer be homogenized and fixed into being. Th e construction and perpetuation of a unified Other serves particular political purposes th at benefit a global econom y built on exploitation. Despite the multiple claims from official repr esentatives of the Japanese state as well as various scholars who specialize in Japanese stud ies and even some of the cultural workers cited in later chapters, Japan does not constitute a monoethnic or homogeno us society. Like most former colonies and colonizers, the state is qu ite diverse, marked with cultural, economic, geopolitical, sexual, and socially co nstructed racial differences that are situated in an explicit, though not always official, hierar chical manner. Some scholars attempt to substantiate their claims for Japans quintessential monolithic society by pointing to fixed tropes such as the salaryman (= sarariman ) image promoted in popular medi a or highlighting the pre-Meiji sakoku (closed government) policy (Reischauer 1989), while others maintain that the construction of Japan as a homogenous society is a 20th cen tury phenomenon (Dower 1993; Honda 1993; Lie 2001; Weiner 1997). The latter perspective posits that narratives of homogeneity were 10 This premise assumes, for example, that there are not black (UN-defined Africandescendant) Japanese citizens, for that matter.

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102 constructed to serve the nation-build ing efforts and to address the stat e-identity crisis that ensued after the people of Japan survived two atomic bomb attacks (=near geno cide?), a confusing postWWII war crimes trial, governmental restruct uring, and US occupation (Dower 1999; Lie 2001). While there were official polic ies in place to assimilate diverse interests into one dominant perspective that particularly supported the welf are and state leadership of a dominant groupthe so-called Yamato clanthis was done in an effort to build a unified na tion during the Tokugawa era as well as to build an empire during the Meiji Restoration (cf., Anderson 1991). Despite an official closed government (= sakoku ) policy during the Tokugawa era, the ruling class engaged in active trade with ne ighboring nations such as Taiw an, Ryukyu, et cetera (Lie 2001). Because of strict hierarchic social class st rata and regional variety, linguistic and cultural diversity abounded and difference was interprete d through an imported lens of race (Koshiro 2003:203-204) for the purpose of legitimizing contro l. European theorists ideas of purity and national identity were translated through discursive turns that excavated ancient texts that told Japans national genealogy through poetry and prose (cf., the Kojiki 712 AD and Nihonshiki 720 AD). Most notable is the story of the sun goddess, Amaterasu, from whom the imperial family is purportedly descended. By rallying unity around nostalgic entertainment (cf., waka tanka and haiku ) we see the conjunction of co nstructed cultural aesthetics, domestic citizen control, and colonial expansionist efforts. 11 The pre-World War version of this discourse is termed Nihonshugi and the highly performative rebirth of the Em peror Matsuhito and the re-cente ring of Shinto (as opposed to Buddhism) as an almost singular nationalist religion emerges to support this ideology (Lie 2001). 11 I found it noteworthy that discour se utilized by the Japanese gove rnment for citizen control, raciology, and colonial pursuits is the same discourse introdu ced as authentic Japan in introductory undergraduate Japanese studies texts (c.f., Varley 1984).

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103 The later version of constructed cultural aestheticism to partner with nationalist discourse in a post WWII era, Nihonjinron can be observed in the novels of Junichiro Tanizaki (e.g., In Praise of Shadows ) and Yukio Mishima (e.g., Mediocrity ). The proletarian womens journal Seito was constructed during the Taisho period in an effort to voice dissent to nationalizing efforts that seemed to be premised on the subjugation of Asian neighbors via invasion and occupation (Tanaka 1987). According to Harumi Befus view of this history: As soon as Japan began to acquire colonies Taiwan in the Sino-Japanese war of 1894-95, Sakhalin Island as a result of the Russo-J apanese war of 1904-1905, and Korea in 1905 through a rather dubious treatythese co lonies began to be peopled by the Japanese.Japanese dispersal also took place in areas occupied by the Japanese army, including Manchuria, where they establishe d a puppet government, coastal China, and insular and continental Southeast Asia. Some we nt as farmers, as in Manchuria, recruited from eastern and northern Japan through the en ticement of the Japanese government, only to be betrayed and to suffer unimaginable ha rdship at the end of the War [WWII]. By 1945, millions of Japanese were residing over a vast expanse of Asia. Even the coastal cities of Siberia had Japanese communities with thousands of residents.Resource-poor Japan felt that it needed to secure territori es rich in resources in order for its own capitalism to flourish. [2000:23-24] It should be noted that this cap italist, colonial expansion and occupation spanned to the Malay Peninsula, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam (Befu 2000). In times of intense colonial pursuits, national discour se was ambivalent toward notions of homogeneity in that multi-nationalism in the spirit of nationalist empire-building was considered for the good of the people of Japan. The Japanese government at these times also boasted ethnic diversity and increased efforts to incorporate racial others under its state control through ac tive colonization of Korea, Taiwan, Manchuria, Ezoku (now Hokkai do, the northern most island in the Japanese archipelago), and Ryukyu Islands (namely Okinaw a) during the Meiji Restoration (Dower 1986). For example, the state identifica tion that once dehumanized Koreans switched to an idea that the two nationalities were not so diffe rent after all (the lore was that long ago they were descended from the same bloodline). This was done throug h market-driven policy based on labor shortages

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104 and the need for the exchange of bodies acr oss Korean and Japanese borders (Lie 2001).12 At this time, the official nationalizi ng discourse not only situated Japan as the superior leader of its Asian siblings (e.g., the East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere), but it also se cured Japan as playing an active role in dismantling white suprem acy by uniting the darke r races of the world (Allen 1994; Dower 1986, 1993; Gallachio 2000; Horne 2002, 2004; Koshiro 1999, 2003; Lie 2001). Such nationalizing discourse uses importe d notions of race from the West to simultaneously legitimize imperial control of ne ighboring Asian nations as well as to stave off impending imperial control from the United St ates and other European nations (Dower 1993, Horne 2004). Researching and cataloging informati on on other colonized peoples of the world in research documents such as An Investigation of Global Policy with Yamato Race as Nucleus was part of this project (Dower 1986, 1993). Theref ore, the national discourse not only challenged the stasis of the Western construction of yello wness, but it also sought to displace other color stratifications on the racial hi erarchy (including other Asians and Negroes), all the while reproducing the supremacy of w hiteness as not-quite whit eness as the goal (Kondo 1997). Thus, the nationalizing discourse seems to allude to a sort of conscious and not-so-conscious conversation between the Japan and Western imperi al nations. That is, the rhetoric regarding race in Japan was clearly marked at specific moments in time in re action to interaction with the West, and it continues to echo aspe cts of this highly racialized re lationship in current times. As a result of colonial pursuits, US-o ccupation, Western European buyouts of major companies, and increased immigrant labor due to increases in labor shortages, the Japanese 12 This sentiment is almost identical to th e American governments ambivalence regarding Japanese during occupation. As Dower succinct ly outlines the changing Japanese national discourse toward Korean identity, Japanese peop le went from yellow peril and monkey men to little misbehaving brot hers in need of guidance and control (Dower 1999:185).

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105 government has very recently (2003) moved to identify more national minoritieswho are discussed by many scholars via ethnicity or cl ass though these people live a very racialized experience (Davis 2000; Honda 1993; Lie 2001). Th e government identifies Chinese, Korean, Nikkei (specifically, Japanese Peruvians or Japanese Brazilians), Burakumin, Filipinos, Okinawans, and Ainu (Kashiwazaki 2002; Linge r 2001; Tsuda 2003; Weiner 1997). According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in 2000, approximately 1,686,444 foreigners resided in Japan. This means that 2% of the population of Japan was foreigner (see Figure 35 at the end of this chapter). This does not include numbers of Ja panese people who do not enjoy full citizenship rights (e.g., Buraku Japanese, Chinese Japa nese, Korean Japanese, Ainu Japanese, Okinawan/Ryukyuan Japanese, etc.).13 Though recently legally secu red, those who enforce the law are slow to respond (see Pioneer 5s story in the next chapter). However, activists who fight against racial discrimination in Japan have been innovative in securing rights for those who reside in Japans counterpublic sphere. The r ecent triumph of the law suit filed by Brazilian journalist and legal resident of Japan, Ana Bortz, regarding ethnic discrimination based on the United Nations ICERD14 declaration that Japan signed in 1995, presents much promise for the future of educational and social equity for ra cialized peoples in Japa n (Yamanaka 2002). This case demonstrates that people may not have to rely solely on the Japanese government for change.15 13 The use of Japanese as part of a compound word with these ethnic identifications (e.g., Korean Japanese) is contested. In general, younger people (under 19 years of age in 2007) I have worked with refer to themselves using ethnic id entifications with and wi thout Japanese tacked on the end. My age mates and older who do not pass tend not to attach Japanese. 14 (International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination) 15 Article 14 of the Japanese Cons titution states a premise simila r to ICERD, All of the people are equal under the law and ther e shall be no discrimination in political, economic, or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social st atus, or family origin (quoted in Koshiro

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106 John Lie (2001) regards Japanese categoriz ations of people as Japanese people ( Nihonjin ) and foreign people ( gaijin ). He differentiates Japanese racia lized thinking from his understanding of Western racialized thinking in that everyone is some sort of jin [=people] (2001:145), but he also notes that this premise is not always re peated in practice by the Japanese state, by not allowing citizenship, not guaranteeing full civil ri ghts in areas such as law and education, nor recognizing historical relati onships. Not all citizens ar e linguistically marked as jin in Japanese (e.g., Ainu Okinawa no hito Burakumin ), and they are therefore not really conceptualized as some sort of jin perhaps because they are considered a le sser part of the greater Japanese race. Lie cites racial thinking collected from his sociological surveys that echo raciological premises: Blacks ( kokujin ) are distinguished from Americans b ecause Amerikajin are taken to be white. Although many people are aw are that blacks in Japan ar e often African Americans, the dominant ethnoracial classification cons igns them to a different category of peoplehood. The same confusion occurs at tim es for Jewish Americans, who are often referred to as yudayajin (Jews). Some Japanese divide the world into three major races white ( hakujin ), black ( kokujin ) and yellow ( ooshokujin ), but they are often not very consistent in applying this racial scheme. Although they may be comfortable about dividing foreigners into these three races, they are reluctant to cast Japanese people into any of them. [2001:147] Indeed, John G. Russell not only emphasizes a similar lack of serious racial critique in Japanese Studies, but he also catalogue s the correspondence between gove rnmental officials and civil rights activists who protested su ch comments by these Japanese governmental officials (Russell 1991a, 1991b). Though most likely for propagandist effort s, this has not always been the case in historical narratives. Indeed, sc holars note how state-regulated di scourses have also represented victimized national ident ities (e.g., after denial of the racial equality proposal by the League of 1999:106). However, like similar laws in the Unite d States that posit human equality, Article 14 is routinely ignored and not practiced, thus the experiences of discrimination described in this research project.

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107 Nations, in the Hiroshima aftermath, etc.; s ee Dower 1993; Koshiro 2003; Iida 2002; Shimazu 1998). Naoko Shimazu comments: Prime Minister Hara, who came into power in September 1918, was determined that Japan should adopt a pro-Western ( obei kyocho ) foreign policy at the forthcoming peace conference. This was due to the fact that the previous wartime governments under Prime Ministers Okuma and Terauchi had followed expa nsionist policies, which had the effect of alienating Japan from the United States and Br itain. In order to steer Japan back to the West, Hara was determined to support the crea tion of the League of Nations at the peace conference in spite of the not insignificant degree of skepticism expressed towards it domestically.In light of the situation, it can be reasonably construc ted that the racial equality proposal had the ro le of appeasing these opponents by making Japans acceptance of the League conditional on having a racial equa lity clause inserted into the covenant of the League. [1998:38-39] Yukiko Koshiro (1999, 2003) is confident that not al l of Japans international moves for racial equality and solidarity are without substance, and she echoes modern sentiments concerning globalization-from-below. Regarding coalitions for movement building, she cites transnational Marxist movements, and critiques the subversio n of these literatures, which document such movement-building processes, by pro-capitalist governments, like the US State Department. For example, consider the near erasure of E.H. Normans oeuvre in Japanese studies. With the exception of a few anthologies (e.g., Bowen 1987; Dower 1975) and we bsites (e.g., University of Victoria E. H. Norman Digital Archive http://web.uvic.ca/ehnorman /index.html) dedicated to excavating Normans scholastic and diplomatic c ontributions, Norman was generally reduced to a discussion of his politics, exile, and eventual suicide (1957), wh ich was attributed to stress he was under after seven years of being target ed by McCarthyismhe was accused of being communist and a spy (cf., Harootunian 1988; Pl ath and Smith 1992). While more information concerning Normans scholarship is available fo r students of Japanese studies in more recent years, the trend to emphasize pro-capitalist polit ical economic studies of Japan over alternative viewsbe they through academic funding or fre quent appearances on syllabistill prevails. Koshiro (1999, 2003) considers whet her some of the absence of re ports and literature concerning

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108 Japanese national and African-American solidarity movement building could be due to the anticapitalist sentiments of the organizers a nd spokespeople involved. Indeed, during many interviews with Japanese national activists from salient social movements in Japan (such as the peace movement and Ryukyu/Okinawa anti-base so cial movements), I asked where I can find literature to cite that tells their stories, and most replied that th ere wasnt any or that they dont exist yet (= nai ). One commented that one could receive social and economic discrimination from writing about such topics because they often coinci de with other anti-capitalist movements of the time (the 1960s and 1970s). An exception to thes e reports is the Burakamin social movement which has published a lot of literature documenting their discrimination and movement building processes (cf., Buraku Liberati on Research Institute 1994). Many of activists who cut their political teeth in the 1960s and 1970s in various studentand other social movements said that they were inspired to build social movements in Japan that were in solidarity with their understanding of pre-existing bl ack social movements in the Americas, specifically the US. Many state that they were inspired not only by na rratives regarding enslaved African revolts, but also the work and rhetoric of groups like the Black Panther Party. A few elder activists that I interviewed remembered reading about African-American leaders ranging from Elijah Muhammad to W. E. B. Du Bois, and they expr essed a shared experience of tyranny from the US as well as promises of success securing soci al equality if Japanese nationals and African Americans were to organize together politically. Regarding this imagined promise of AfricanAmerican and Japanese national solid arity, Koshiro states the following: In 1923, critic Akamatsu Katsumaro predicted in Kaizo [Reconstruction], Japans leading intellectual journal, that African Americans would eventually help overthrow Japans PanAsianism as part of their racial-proletari an movement. Nationalistic struggles in the contemporary world were by nature racial, he argued. Because Japans Pan-Asianism was a mere disguise for Japans dogma of its own racial supremacy, he claimed, it was time for Asia to wage its true raci al fightone both anti-imperia l and proletarian. To do so,

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109 according to Akamatsu, the alliance with African Americans was indispensable. [2003:192] Due to recent publications by historians such as John Dower (1999), Gerald Horne (2004) and Yukiko Koshiro (2003), more critical race re search and information is reaching a broader academic audience. Social scientists are also critiquing the aforementioned trend to promote English-centered and economic-based studies of Japan, that often do not take into account the intricate ways that race works across geopolitical and linguistic boundaries. Citing trends toward English-centered, capitalist-biased, race-evaded re search dominance in Japanese studies, Susan Klein offers the following advice concerning scho lars overcoming the traditional Eurocentrist perspective in the field. She writes: Since its encounter with the West, Japan has te nded to be viewed as alien, exotic, or just different. The same biased attitude has been common in studies of Japans foreign policy. So far there are only very few Western studies of Japans international role that have based their observations and conclusions on material written by Japanese in the Japanese language and have dealt with how the Japanese percei ve their countrys international position and role. [ 2002:178; see also Williams 199] I would add that with the exception of a few scholars (Kondo 1997), much of the ethnographic work in English concerning Japan does not seriou sly or adequately consider race as analytical categorythough issues of orientalism, racism, and linguicism (as part of a postcolonial condition) are present in many of these analyses. The bulk of social science literature regarding Japan emerged around the World Warsparticularly in the form of national character studies from scholars in the United States (e.g., Bene dict 1946; Gorer 1953). Th ese national character studies explicitly served government intelligence purposes and have been critiqued for being not only at times wrongheaded, but al so ethnocentric, if not raci st (Neiburg and Goldman 1998; Kelly 1991). It has been argued that these work s supported the basic premise of domination in times of warespecially wars in which racial rh etoric plays an important role (for Japan terms like monkey men are of salience, see Dower 1999). The core of Japan specialists were trained

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110 during the post-WWII occupation era, and their st udies were largely influenced by pro-capitalist ideologies and evolutionary ideas of culture. Studies that did not fit this tre nd were marginalized, as Dower points out in his intr oduction to E. H. Normans wo rk (Dower 1975) explaining how this particular scholar was the target of McCarthyism and his workwhich was not necessarily capitalist-centeredwas ignored and almo st erased from Japanese studies. Western research concerning Japa n is often divided into two categories, Japanese studies of the United States, Canada, and Britain, and Japanology of continental Europe (Befu 1992). It is argued that scholars from non-We stern countries (e.g., Korea, I ndia, Kenya, Brazil) are often trained by elite Western-centered institutions in their native count ries or they study Japan from departments abroad (Befu 1992).16 Japanology is differentiated from Japanese studies in that the former is considered more philological in fr ame. The Japanese studies category has been criticized for having a political economic (and thus strategic) approach to even the most banal topics of study (Befu 1992; Williams 1996). Furthe rmore, the bulk of these studies has been problematized due to lack of linguistic and cu ltural knowledge of fiel dworkers to collect sufficient data that supports proposed paradi gms (Befu 1992; Lie 2001). Moreover, how is it possible to engage in one social construction, i. e., gender or citizenshi p, without investigating how this concept intersects with overarching identif ications such as race? That is, Japan, fixed as a geo-political entity in dominant Western imaginaries, is racialized just as it is feminized in the global world order and in public, policy, and academic discourse: it was penetrated by the West; the Yellow Peril is out of control, et cetera. With many of these factors (post-War conqueror-dominated relationship, lack of linguistic and cultural relevancy, political-economic bias) affecting the bulk of mode rn Western scholarship on Japan, it should be no surprise that 16 This has not been my experience, but I suppos e I represent a different generation of scholars than those discussed in such syntheses (cf., Befu 1992).

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111 nationalist discourses of racial, ethnic, and lingu istic homogeneity, tropes of Japan as an exotic Other, and Japan as late-deve loper or NIC are reproduced mani fold in Western treatments of Japan, even when the authors of such research intend or purport to avoid such subjects. From Burakumin to Blackface: The Performa nce of Race and Promise of Transcendence Japans domestic practice concerning racializa tion has historically been an underreported phenomenon; however, recent scholarship attend s to these issues (Davis 2000; Horne 2004; Kondo 1997; Koshiro 1999; Lie 2001; Weiner 1997). As mentioned before, underneath the layer of Japans racialization as a ge opolitical entity, lies its own domes tic racial policy concerning the construction of alienated groups that range from former col onial subjects (e.g., Koreans, Chinese, Ryukyuans, Filipinos, and Ainu people) to historically disenfranchised people (e.g., Burakumin ) and racially mixed individuals or forei gners (e.g., Japanese-Brazilians, JapanesePeruvians, daaburu individuals [people with multiple ethnoracial heritages], as well as other Asianand African-nationals). The current e ducational debates surr ounding Japanese as a Second Language curriculum for Nikkei and the fo rmer unequal treatment of Korean high-school graduates wishing to take college entrance exam s without first taking a high-school equivalency exam ( daiken ) are just a few of the social just ice issues that reach print media. The aforementioned alienated groups experience discrimina tion that ranges from the structural to the personal. Th e Korean schools previously mentioned were some of many schools affected by the Japanese governments decision to exempt Western non-J apanese schools from taking a high school equivalency examination ( daiken ) before taking college entrance examinations, whereas non-Western (Asian) et hnic minority schools did not enjoy the same exemption. After much protest, the government extended the exemption to the non-Western ones as well; however, the media coverage surrounding these events afforded cultural workers and others the opportunity to lear n about gross disparities betwee n ethnic minority schools and other

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112 Japanese public schools as well as the lack of much-needed funding to keep these schools running and to extend much-needed social welfar e programs to their constituents. Furthermore, there are countless stories of young children and adolescents experi encing persistent harassment and instances of physical brutality during integr ative efforts into Japanese schools or society from Japanese-citizen schoolmates and other pers ons in their communities. Some of the people I have worked with remain scarred, both emotionally and physically, from such egregious and often unpunished attacks. When di scussing my research topic with a fellow activist and agemate who is of Korean descent yet born in Japan, I wa s told that although some of the people I work with who share her heritage may call themselves Korean-Japanese, she maintains that she is Korean despite being born in Japan. She rec ounted several instances of abuse she endured growing up Korean and showed me several scar s from wounds that she received as well. Another popular print media to pic concerning race and racism in Japan is the reportage covering the subcultures of peopl e who alter their bodies through ta nning, lip collagen injections and adopting kinky hair styles and the entertai ners who actually apply blackface and body makeup as they perform music or dance associated wi th African-American culture (usually soul or gospel). These people, the ganguro (the former) and blackface perfor mers (the latter), are often read as not necessarily mocki ng blackness, but also not fully understanding and respecting black diasporic experiences, a prerequi site for full participation in authentic or real Hiphop culture, according to dominant origins narratives. Those who are considered mocking blackness (such as news anchors or talk show hosts in govern ment-run television from the 1980s and 1990s who donned blackface), are shunned and de scribed as racists who are common enemies to Japanese national Hiphop artists. Ganguro subculture and the entertai ners who wear blackface do not receive a uniform response from the cultural workers I interviewed, however. Some artists

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113 described the trends as racist, and others explained that while these subcultural choices do not appeal to their personal aesthetics, they think that the people who participat e in it actually respect black culturethat ganguro and entertainers attempts to embody what they perceive as black culture is indicative of their rejection of white culture. One African-American cultural worker who lives in Japan described ganguro as follows: I think its kind of fading away a little bit. And its not even focused toward trying to be black anymore as much. I mean, theyre not ev en from this planet anymore. They just likethey got the dark skin, they got like so me kind of fluorescent, kind of like, make-up on, you know the little sparkles or stuff like th at.So its not even so much about them trying to be black anymore. It s just about them trying to be different. You know? Yeah, thats whats its all about. At first, it might have been because they wanted to try to be black, but now, because Hiphop has grown so much in Japan and that has become a subculture, in and of itself, they dont want to as sociate with that, if th eyre not part of that. They just wanna have their own thing, so the ganguro have taken it to a new level. Another resident African-American cultural work er asked why people in the US were very interested in ganguro but were not questioning the persiste nt presence of white characters in anime (=cartoons) and manga (=comics). Indeed, it seems that in popular print media in the US, ganguro have not been differentiated from the perfor mers who actually don black paint, either on television or in live entert ainment. In addition, the ganguro phenomenon is discussed in problematic terms, while the pervasive white images in cartoons are left unmarked and unproblematized. There are others who are not exactly fully with in either subgroup of racist popular cultural figures performi ng minstrelsy on television, ganguro or the entertainers who wear blackface. These individua ls might wear a hairstyle borrowed from African-American style, such as locs, afros, or braids, or they may wear certain clothing associated with AfricanAmerican style and these individuals are us ually described as honor ing African-American culture, trying to be different from dominant Japanese culture, or performing fashion in a strategic attempt to rej ect whiteness (e.g., wearing braids to pr otest a popular tre nd that situates blond hair as optimal).

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114 While cultural workers whom I have worked with claim to fight against the performance of blackface, some of them have been loosely aff iliated with Hiphop dance groups that at one point in their careers have donned blackface and perfor med slowed or slurred Japanese speech, which I understood to be similar to US representations of Sambo and Stepin Fetchit among other negative stereotypes (Russell 1991b). Such affiliati ons have been difficult to uncover during this research. While, to my knowledge, no one whom Ive ever worked with actually put on blackface, it seems that certain peoples crews were affiliated with those who did at least 15 years ago. Recently, I was appalled to find that two Hiphop dancers/choreographers whose crew is down or on positive acquainta nce terms with a pioneers dance crew that I interviewed were on Japanese national television in the early 1990s performing Hiphop dance styles with dark brown makeup on their face and usin g explicitly slow and slurred Japanese speech, as if they were Japanese language performances of Stepn Fetchit characters. I ha d explicitly asked the pioneer about blackface when we spoke, and he ne ver mentioned any affiliation with this group. This particular pioneer spoke against such pe rformances, but also explained that not everybody who did them understood the historical racist im plications of what it was that they were doing. Instead of a hate crime, he said these people view ed themselves as comedic, and they needed to be taught or reeducated not to do such things. It is disheartening to learn of a possible affiliation between these groups rather than to be told upfront but it also seems that these performances are the source of deep shame and embarrassment. This recent discovery reminds me of when European American US Hiphop artist Eminems a dolescent recordings of him referring to black people as niggers and black women as bitches in a rap were discovered and disseminated by The Source magazine with commentary from Nikki Giovanni and Bob Law in February 2004.17 17 The exact quotes from Eminem are that he had an aversion to girls with large behinds

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115 It took so many by surprise because Eminem had stated so many times to the press that he doesnt use the pejorative N word and that he would never use the pejorative N word in a song lyric. Like Eminem, many artis ts that I worked with reject blackface performance and other disrespectful actions toward black people, so it wa s surprising to find that someone that I talked to about it has at least a crew affiliation with people who have performed in this manner in the past. Alternatively, this discovery also reminds me of the fi rst rapper I met in 1994 who absolutely did not condone this form of mi nstrelsy, and was upfront about the continued presence of such occurrences on television during my stay that year. Th is artist recommended that I read the work of John G. Russell (1991b ) that discussed this phenomenon. This artists verbal commitment to academic and activist work against this phenomenon (via his reference to Russells book and his organization, JAFAJapan African-American Friends Association) further helped me to not homogenize all perf ormances of blackness as denigrating Africandescent identities. Nevertheless, while more recent (2006-2007) manifestations of blackface have occurred among gospel and soul step performers, I can attest that this wa s part of the practice among some self-identified Hiphop ar tists as late as the 1990s. Blackface and other symbols of minstrel sy on television, consumer products and advertisement are not the only forms of racism against African Americans in Japan. Honda Katsuichi comments, Whether it is a stereotype about blacks or whites, the Japanese people have been brainwashed by the perspective of th e white world (1993:103). He explains, When a white GI gets drunk and makes a scene, the Japa nese people say, The GI is getting drunk! But because thats some nigger shit. He also says the following lines referring to black women: black girls only want your mone y cause theyre dumb chicks, b lack girls and white girls just dont mix because black girls are dumb and white girls are good shit, and get straight to the point, black girls are bitches.

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116 if it is a black GI, they th ink, The black is getting dr unk!! (1993:102). Though Hondas own language tends to homogenize and totalize Japanese people as all being r acist, his criticism is astute in that the racial marki ng through language that he reveals in his story also abounds in the US and other parts of the world. Honda shares another narrative to bring home how the racialization of Koreans in Japan is relational to antiblack racism: At one time, the white female student was teaching English to office workers in a bank. Once, she introduced her roommate to one of the male office workers. Confused after finding out that her roommate was a black wo man, he asked the white woman, How am I supposed to treat her? Should I treat her like a servant, or should I treat her in the same way a Japanese would treat a Korean? In th is way, the white stude nt inadvertently found out that this office worker also harbored ex treme racial prejudice against Koreans. [Honda 1993] Honda published this account in 1971, and there are probably individuals and even government officials who exist in various coun tries that share the sentiments of the racist office worker. The stories presented in Chapters F our and Five serve to offer alte rnative perspectives than those generally reported on in the media. There are numerous accounts of se lf-hate as well as hatred of others recorded in popular media, but stories of solidarity building among racialized others does not seem to be as popular (cf. Bandung). The story of Hiphop is at times a story of solidarity and social movement-building among raci alized others or t hose who are articulating an opposition to worldwide racism and other forms of injustice (such as classism and xenophobia). Before continuing with the often untold stories of unity, I summarize below accounts concerning racism experienced by myself as well as other African-descendants that I have interviewed over the years. Thus, the bulk of the research presented through this project is not shared in an effort to evade anti-African-d escendant sentiments by some Japanese people or even structural laws that do not uphold so cial equality for African-descendants. I have recorded stories of struggles from both African Americans as well as Africandescendants as they strive to obtain work visas or immigrat e to Japan for entrepreneurial

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117 purposes. Understanding that Japans immigrati on policy is closed in general, my white American and Canadian colleagues and artisans have not experienced the same difficulties that my African and African-American coll eagues have. Many African-American Hiphop professionals have described the grueling experi ence of having to leave and come back every 90 days in order to do their work as choreographe rs or teachers because of difficulties obtaining work visas. Many have described experiences of being harassed at Narita Airport about their business in Japan. One African-American Hiphop professional explained that his experience became more friendly when he cut off his long locs (=hairstyle) and began to don a more conservative look. This Hiphop professional talked about coded rhetoric against blackened peoples in the media that was similar to what we experience in the United States, in that when a black person does a crime, they also mention that the person was blac k, but if the person is Japanese or white they dont mark them like th at. I have noticed si milar practices toward Koreans and other racialized others in Japa n. African-American corporate professionals have recounted hearing insulting speech from colleague s that seems to question their humanity (e.g., Do you bruise?) as well as difficulty receiving help from governmental officials such as the police when crimes have been committed against them or their family members living in Japan. Another account of everyday racism from a Hiphop professional was his observation of peoples unwillingness to sit next to him even when trains were crowded (in non metropolitan areas), and people, usually childre n, pointing at him and saying kowai (=scary). Finally, everyone complains about the taxis in metropolitan area s. It can be very difficult to get a taxi if one is dressed in nonconservative attire. Do any of the experiences previously e xplained sound familiar? Africans-nationals explained that they had difficu lty immigrating to Japan. African-descendants shared that they

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118 experienced (1) lack of assist ance from police, (2) difficulty catching taxis, (3) difficulty receiving work permits or government assistance on entrepreneurial efforts, (4) harassment at airports, (5) character as sassination and racial ma rking through language in the media, (6) public epithets, and (7) fear of black bodies, especia lly touching black bodies. Academicians such as Gerald Early and actors such as Danny Glover have written about experiencing these same things in the United States. Early writes about bei ng harassed by police in Fr ontenac shopping mall, and Danny Glover was unable to hail a taxi. Both situat e their experience as antiblack racism. Rapper Mos Def says that airport harassment is so comm on that he gives the process a name: world nigga law. He raps: They stay on nigga patrol on American roads And when you travel abroad they got world nigga law Some folks get on a plane go as they please But I go over seas and I get overseized London, Heathrow, me and my people They think that illegal's a synonym for Negro Far away places, customs agents flagrant They think the dark face is smugglin weight in they cases Bags inspected, now we arrested Attention directed to cont ents of our intestines Urinalysis followed by X-rays Interrogated and detained til damn near the next day No evidence, no apology and no regard Even for the big American rap star For us especially, us most especially A Mr Nigga VIP jail cell just for me If I knew you were coming I'd have baked a cake [Instead] Just got some shoe-polish and painted my face" They say they want you successful, but then they make it stressful You start keepin pace, they start changin up the tempo [Mos Def 1999; emphasis added] Indeed, though the African-nationa ls and African Americans that I interviewed in Japan admit that they have experienced racism, most state that it is not different from what they generally experience in other parts of the world, especia lly the United States. Interestingly, many compare the accounts of racism they experience in Japa n to racism that they experience in the United

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119 States. Many state that what they experience in Japan is more benign or less psychically violent, and they have chosen to become permanent residents of Japan base d on this idea. These individuals generally state that the experiences of discrimination that they have experienced are minimal and that their overall experiences in Japan have been welcoming and affirming enough for them to move their homes permanently. This view is an important one that is often left out of the Japan is racist narrative. My own experiences have been a mix of t hose recounted. As I age, perform different classes, and obtain more degrees, my treatmen t by those outside of the Hiphop community has changed. When I first arrived in Japan in 1994, I immediately noticed a difference from my home community, which was then located in the Ozarks region of Missour i in the United States, in that black popular music was playing everywhe re. I heard it in shopp ing malls, coffee shops, restaurants and even from stor es that one passes by as one wa lks down the street. Black popular culture was banned from much of the public sphe re where I grew up in the US. Radio stations rarely played anything other than white country, rock, and Christian music. There was even a law that banned my agemates and me from drivi ng down the streets playing rap music too loudly. We were not harassed if we played country musi c, but we were pulled over immediately if we played rap music. Despite the obvious popularity of black popular music, my everyday experience was marked with a substantial amount of racial and sexual harassment in Japan. As I commuted to school, I experienced verbal a nd physical sexual harassment. Wh en I asked elders in my community why I was experiencing such horrible things, I was told that there was a large number of sex workers from the Philippines, Brazil, and Dominican Republic who look like me, and that the culprits must be mi staking me for one of them because of my skin tone and the fact

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120 that my uniform was extremely tight and shor t, ill-fitting on my body. I was appalled and unsatisfied with this explanation. However, my identification as a possible sex worker rather than an exchange student did not dissolve unt il about eight years late r. When I was conducting fieldwork at clubs, it would be difficult to get taxis in certain areas. My colleague Bianca White experienced this with me as well when we were filming, and it was very frustrating. In addition, many taxi drivers refused to believe that I was staying where I was staying because my brother and his wife lived in a very affluent area of Minato-ku, Toky o. Taxi drivers would waste my money driving around, ignoring my instructions in Japanese because they didnt believe that I could possibly live where I said I did. One taxi dr iver insinuated that I wa s a sex worker going to visit a client and thats why I wanted to go to this certain neighborhood. Because of these numerous experiences, I began ente ring taxis with a pre-prepared speech in Japanese about my purpose for being in Japan and why I stay where I st ay. When I was too tired or irritated to give this speech, I would simply perfor m the eccentric foreign tourist script and ask to be taken to the shrine next door to my residenc e, even if it was afterhours. Oddly, subsequent visits did not include such experiences. I attribute some of this to my aging, and changes in fashion choices (slacks and button up shirts rather than jeans and casual or club shirts). Rather than being su spiciously grilled about my line of work, taxi drivers began to ask in friendly tones if I was a model or a busin ess executive. As I have aged, my perceived class has changed. I also spend less time outside of my Hiphop enclave, which has always served as a safezone from racial and sexual harassment. Indeed, the reason I sought out and found this community in the first place was in an effort to seek shelter from experiences of racism and sexism in Japan in 1994. However, it is importa nt to note that my expe riences of racism and sexism have diminished in Japan over time, and at no point were they any more egregious than

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121 the violations that I experience in the United St ates as well as in many countries in Europe and even parts of the Caribbean, such as Cuba. I share the stories of the peopl e Ive worked with to offer an alternative narrative to those we hear in the public sphere. I wish to share insights from a Hiphop community that are different from Nakasones comments or even the performe rs of blackface that occupy media attention so often. I hope to resist th e totalizing trope of Japan as racist or even Japan as sexist. My experiences in Japan reflect many of those told to me by African-nationa l and African Americans living in Japan. While these experiences involve encounters of racism that are very painful and upsetting, our experiences are generally no different from encounters of racism and sexism in other parts of the world, including the United Stat es. Moreover, our collective experiences in the Hiphop community have been positive and solid. Ind eed, often the very racism and sexism that I have experienced as a black woman in Japan, Eur ope, or the United States attacks my Japanese interlocutors in similar ways. Cultural workers whom I have interviewed explain racism through claims that many members of the Japanese government as well as it s citizenry are brainwashed by the West (the US in particular) to hate their gl obal racial identity that is read as yellowness, and love US and certain European racial identities read as w hiteness. These cultural workers posit that the Japanese government and citizenry therefore de nigrate blackness in an effort to elevate yellowness. That is, it is argued that other gl obal racial identities that are positioned in a hierarchical manner below their own racial id entity (e.g., blackness) are hyperracialized in media and policy to draw attention away from Japans own racialization as non-White. The cultural workers I interviewed eschew this as a viab le antiracist strategy. Th ey argue that the love of whiteness and hatred of blackness is exac tly what their Hiphop is resisting. They desire

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122 a love for yellowness (who they are) w ithout having to put dow n blackness or elevate whiteness. Therefore, these artists often critici ze such public attacks of racism against black people (such as Channels, a Hiphop dance duo). On e Japanese national cultural worker purported that he used to wait outside the stations to beat up the blackface pe rformers who embarrassed them and their culture (meaning Hiphop as well as Japanese national identity). The performance of blackness in their case serves to resist whiteness. The performa nce of blackness is also part of a transition to a performance of yellowness, which unfortunately leads us back to our homogenized Japanese national charact er that reinforces notions of Nihonjinron that could be considered psychologically vi olent to the multi-ethnic consumers of Japanese Hiphop. For example, at an annual Hiphop festival in a major metropolitan area of Japan in 2002, hundreds of youth gathered around a stage usually util ized for musical performances in order to see some of their favorite Hiphop pioneers as we ll as currently popular ar tists and journalists present at a panel dedicated to the knowledge element of Hiphop. After over an hour of origins narratives and related discussion regarding the social and histor ical significance of Hiphop as a revolutionary art form, a panelist opened up the floor for questioning. Youth eagerly lined up to a microphone seeking further elucidation of contradictions c oncerning authenticity18 and the uses of Hiphop (as a strategy) in everyday resistan ce. Among the inquisitive was a self-identified Korean-Japanese youth who asked the panel wh at their thoughts we re on anti-Korean discrimination in Japan, and what heas a Hiph oppercould do to redress this social problem. This posed an interesting intervention because earlier a pioneer had boasted that Japan did not have the same racialized politics that plag ue the US due to its (purported) homogenous 18 See Morgan (2001) on keeping it real; s ee also Smitherman (1997) and Yasin (1999) on authenticity in general Hiphop discourse. See Condry (2001) for specifi c discussion concerning imitation vs. authenticity in Japan.

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123 population, and yet another pioneer alluded to th e activist utility of Hiphop, stating that Hiphop offers an opportunity to assuage social inequality in Japan. The youth were quick to utilize this moment to expose a common contradiction. That is, how can Japan be without race problems, but also experience social inequality? The contradiction of the former pioneers obvious Nihonjinron sentiments with the other pioneers commitment to social change seemed to puzzl e yet positively challenge these youth to make sense of Hiphop and its political relevance to their generation. One pioneer responded that he should be proud to be Korean-descent and that some of the best Hiphop comes out of Korea. He continued that the experiences of discrimination and its relate d pain contribute to soulful productions of Hiphop that heal and present opportunities to br ing oppositional people together. He related the experience of anti-Korean discri mination in Japan to antiblack discrimination in the United States, and reminded the young man of black peoples perseverance. He concluded that it was every Hiphoppers res ponsibility to address such is sues in the Japanese Hiphop community. While the pioneers comments to the Korean -descent youth were mean t to encourage him and support social justice efforts, his sentimen ts unfortunately also situated the youth in a derivative status to a Japanese norm. The comme nt concerning some of the best Hiphop comes out of Korea reminded me of a statement often heard concerning US raci al relations: Im not racist; some of my best fri ends are black. Teun van Dijk (1995:27) comments on this phenomenon: Underlying ideologies also c ontrol communicative contexts, and hence the self-definition and impression management of speakers who will generally try to make a good impression or avoid a bad impression...This is particularly clear in the strategic use of disclaimers. Examples of such semantic stra tegies in our own research on the reproduction of racism in discourse of such semantic st rategies are well-known and comprise such classical moves as the disclaimers of the apparent denial (I have nothing against Blacks,

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124 but Refugees will always be able to count on our hospitality, but ), the apparent concession (There are of course a few small raci st groups in the Netherlands, but on the whole ) or blame transfer (I have no problem with minorities in the shop, but my customers ). The irony of the comment is that if one is not racist, one would not politically mark ones friends with state-regulated identities. In addition, the comment elides any inspection of how one might participate in racism and racial izing processes. I interpreted th e exchange between the youth and the pioneer in a similar manner. I think that the youth was being marked as Korean, though he was marked in a flattering, cultura lly chauvinist way. However, in th is instance his being racially marked actually brought him closer to being auth entically tied to Hiphop, as his predicament was related to the experience of those accredited with originati ng Hiphop: African Americans. What makes this exchange important in regard to public discourse about race within Japan is not the details of the exchange between the pion eer and the youth. It is the very idea of Korean racialization being acknowledged and discussed in a public interg enerational dialogue that was striking to me. The pioneer obviously showed shor tcomings in the manner that he handled this youths question, but his remarks ar e far beyond what one could find in mainstream media at that time: and thus, it is no wonder that Hiphop was attracting so many youth as well as cultural workers who are politically marked as other in Japan at that time. In this case, Hiphop was offering something that they couldnt find in go vernment policy, national media, or other popular culture. Hiphop offered them a starting point fo r a conversation about acceptance, humanity, harmony, and unity. Indeed, throughout the entire panel, another pi oneer repeated this mantra learned from Afrika Bambaataa; he said, Hipho p is about peace, love, unity, harmony. After the event, this pioneer turned to me and said, Thats what Bam taught me; thats what we must do. Thats our work: peace, love, unity, harmony. His sentiments reflect what the youth were looking for when they attended the panel.

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125 NIHON -STYLE Over the past decade, there has been an increasing move by cultural workers who are community-ascribed pioneers in varying aspects of Hiphop culture, to acquiesce to a dominant Hiphop origins narrative and operational definition of Hiphop culture for the purpose of creating a common literacy that is useful in making the transition from a cultural movement to a political one. This moveto allow Afrika Bambaataas Un iversal Zulu Nation (UZN) the authority to dictate history and KRS-ONEs Temple of Hiphop to police the parameters of the cultures refinition (=definition), for example, is indi cative of a strategy by other pioneers (e.g., DJ Yutaka and Crazy A or Kool Herc and Crazy Le gs) to invent a united front in a protracted struggle for socio-economic change. Indeed, theo rists have argued that a common literacy and invented homogeneity can spark pub lic identification with nationalist political rhetoric, and that is precisely what Hiphops cultur al workers, its pivotal pioneer s, have constructed across the world (Anderson 1991; hooks 1992). Wh ether it was conscious or not, whether it reveals truth or not, the interviews and public narratives reproduced in various print and visual media have served as the building blocks for a dominant cultural narrative regardi ng Hiphop as a particular resource for potential social movement buildi ng. The pioneers world tr avels spread knowledge, inspirational life histories, and organizational structures in key areas around the globe that perhaps now demonstrate w orthiness, u nity, n umbers and c ommitted peoplewhat Charles Tilly calls WUNCthe characteristics of a social movement (2002:88). Many scholars have documented the pioneers narratives and key activiti es initiated by cultural workers that illustrate how Hiphop politics have continued to raise awar eness about issues (e.g., race and class) that former movements brought into public disc ourse (Bynoe 2004; Chang 2005; Chuck D 1997; Fujita 1996; Goto 1997; Jinno 2003; Keyes 2002; Kitwana 2002; Morgan 2008; Pipitone 2006; Shomari 1995; Urla 2001; Wimsatt 2008).

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126 This chapter summarized recent Japanese historical narratives and dominant theories concerning scholarships relationshi p to racialization and colonizat ion. The research presented in this project positions Japan as a geopolitical entity that is part of a global racialized order in a post-war and post-colonial conditio n. Japans post-colonial condition is multiphrenic in that it is both colonizer and, as I argued, it has in eff ect been colonized. Race and gender identities (among others) are forged from both national sent iments and internationa l sensibilities. The popularity (cf., RIAJ charts summary in Appendi x) and performance of Hiphop in Japan brings this multidirectional aspect of racialized and ge ndered identity formation into popular cultural memory. The United States policies of social in equality are stirred into the public sphere through African-American resistan ce narratives in US Hiphop th at is popularly consumed. Japans own contentious re lationship with US social inequality is brought back into question and the agency to assert oneself as equal or worthy is presented and enjoyed in Japanese performances of Hiphop. Finally, Hiphop in Japan offers the space to dialogue about other injustices (e.g., domestic raci alization, gender discrimination, child abuse), as Hiphop aesthetics feature ideas of peace, harmony, social equa lity, and saviors (cf., Morgan 2008). Thus understanding the US-based narrative of Hiphops or igins is imperative, as key players in US Hiphop history are de facto pivotal figures in Ja panese Hiphop history, an d their interfacing with Japanese Hiphop cultural workers assigns these ar tists the right to control and authenticate Japanese popular discourse on the subject as it relates to race and other identificatory practice. The next chapter explains this phenomenon in detail.

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127 Table 3-1 Population chart of registered foreigners in Japan from 1996 to 2005 Registered Foreigners Source: Japans Ministry of Justice, http://www.moj.go.jp/PRESS/060530-1/060530-1.html (English translations of nationalities/ethnic groups inserted by author). This chart does not take into account nonr egistered or undocumented foreigners, US military persons stationed in Ja pan, or racialized ethnic minorities such as Burakumin Ainu or Ryukyuan/Okinawan people, who are Japanese citizens but still do not have full citizenship rights or access to citizenship privileges.

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128 CHAPTER 4 HIPHOP AS TRANSNATIONAL SOCIAL MOVEMENT? Hiphop has saved a lot of people, even me. Pioneer 3 a Japanese national cultural worker Performing and delivering these rhymes, were gonna be saving Japan, and Im just telling you this is just one way of doing it MC R a Japanese national cultural worker Making a Movement: Building a Hiphop Foundation The productions by the cultural workers whom I consulted offer an important site of inquiry regarding the po ssibility of political movement building using Hiphop. While the basic framework of the Japanese Hiphop aesthetic follow s that which was invent ed in specific AfricanAmerican speech communities (see the five elements operational definition in Chapter One), the lyrics are often sung in Japanese with inst ances of codeswitching us ing African American English as well as occasional General American English language varieties. In addition, the artistic production of lyricism and beat production can follow sensibilities of what is considered and labeled as more traditional Japanese litera ry aesthetics (see Ueda 1 991 for more on literary and art theories in Japan), and most importantl y, the topics and issues introduced in the songs and performances are relevant to national c onsumer audiences. Furthermore, once cultural workers ascend from the underground Hiphop scene into the more commercial formal music industry, they are at some level dealing with entiti es that all musicians in terface with all over the world, as most music companies are branches from three main multinational corporations. Therefore, Hiphop culture in Japa n is like Hiphop culture all over the globe; wh ile its expression is often localized, there are cons picuous ties that are globalized at the levels of distribution, consumption, and production.

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129 The master origins narrative regardin g Japanese Hiphop or igins petitions a counterhegemonic sentiment that abounds in blac k American-Japanese polit ical relations. This relationship dates from a pre-WWII era, and it buttresses transgressive and underground claims regarding the authenticity and political nature of Hiphop in Japan. Though ethnographers and cultural archivists (Condary 1999; Okumura 1998) place the onset of Hiphop global flow in Japan with the Wild Style tour of 1983, certain pioneers claim to have first heard Hiphop in the 1970s from US military-base acquaintances, an d one explains that he then innovated by experimenting with cutting and mixing already p opular black American blues, jazz, and soul albums on sale in popular Japanese venues. Recall that prior to these pioneers generation, jazz, blues, soul, and reggae were mobilized along with resistance movements against oppressive state policies (Asai 2005; Atkins 2001). As more information concerning Hiphop reach ed American popular cultural memory, it traveled to Japan just as it did other countries th roughout the world throu gh the assistance of popular print media (e.g., Inte rnational versions of Time Newsweek and later, The Source ), cinema (e.g., Wild Style, Beat Street, Breakin 1,2 & 3, Krush Groove, House Party 1,2, & 3, Juice, New Jack City, etc ), world famous concert tours (e.g., Public Enemy alongside U2 and Run DMC), people-to-people contact (e.g., military ba ses and youth and business exchange programs, etc.) and in the 1990s, the Internet. The more atte ntion that Hiphop received in the US from the formal music industry, the more opportunities the Japanese cultural workers had to penetrate the formal Japanese music industry. Another Hi phop pioneer reports that when Hiphop was promoted in the 1980s, it was American Hiphop that dominated the radio waves (based in both US military and Japanese national audiences). In the 1990s, that changed and, along with the rise

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130 of Nihonjinron -influenced1 literature, localized Hiphop culture also increa sed. He observes that in the new millennium, we see Japanese Hiphop cultural producers and consumers who were born and raised on Japanese Hiphop. That is, presently there are popular artists who not only grew up listening to US-based Hi phop artists (like Wu Tang Clan, for example), but they also grew up hearing their own domestic artists like Nah-ki, King Giddra and Rappagariya. Many Japanese cultural workers express their initial attraction to Hiphop because of how it was rooted in black culture. Specifically, many artists report that Hiphops significance to them stems from their positive feelings derived from what they believe to be Hiphops connection to general black popular cultural genres (e.g., TV shows like Chappelles Show or Good Times ), styles (e.g., clothing and jewelry aesthetics), and other imagin ed black cultural practices (e.g., dances and food preferences), as well as Hiphops reference to black hist orical narratives and people (e.g., Malcolm X and the Bl ack Panther Party). US Hiphop, wh ile directed to and focused on issues relevant to African-American speech communities (e.g., racial profiling, class conflict, etc.), is purported to speak to a common opposit ion for these artists. Therefore, this black cultural product (Hiphop) constructed for local audiences (US region-specific African-American speech communities) holds global significance, as other local cultural workers (Japanese Hiphop artists) were inspired by the oppositional message s in US Hiphop to construct some of their own oppositional messages in their local products (Japan ese Hiphop) for their social networks and audiences in Japan. One such artist whom younger Hiphop consumer s grew up listening to and are influenced by is a top-selling, widely-respected Japanese-nat ional Hiphop artist who hails from an urban, non-affluent (relatively impoveri shed) metropolitan area, and wa s raised in a single-parent 1 Nihonjinron reflects theories of Japanese uniquene ss and national identity; it is generally critiqued as being cultura lly chauvinist and cultura lly nationalist (Lie 2001).

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131 household. Ill call this man Rapper 1, and the follo wing excerpts from one of our conversations is instructive as to how the political rhetoric from African-American social movements found in US-based Hiphop also inspired Japanese artists to draw connections with domestic issues.2 Rapper 1 : .when I went to the States, black peopl e (.2) they were treated unfairly, it wasnt because of how you are but who you are, right? Ethnographer : Right. Rapper 1 : So I got mad; I was angry about that. Ca use before I went to the United States (.) the United States was all about the Amer ican dream, equality, fairness, freedom, right? When I went there, it was all lies. So it opened my eyes, and I got with Hiphop. All the people in Hiphop taught me a lot of stuff that I could not learn from schools. Ethnographer : Wow. Rapper 1 : That was my first stage of being in Hiphop in America. Then I came back to Japan, and I saw Japanese. In Japan, it was economically growing at that time and people were chasing money. I thought (.) back then (.) the Hiphop in the United States was teaching brothers [African-Americans] where they came from, not theyre from slaves, you know like, real history, real pride and stuff, right? Ethnographer : Uh-huh. Rapper 1 : And that taught a lot of br others to be really not afraid of saying stuff and not afraid of being indepe ndent. And I thought we needed that. But when I came back to Japan(.) Since we lost World War II, we lost our history. We were driven by Americans. We had to be Americanized. It was, like, fifty years of that. So I got really angry. I thought the minorities in the United States and Ja pan were parallel. You know like being the victims of the so-called powers that be, you know like white supremacy (.4) Ethnographer : ((shocked)) I-Im feelin you (.) becau se I feel the same thing and Im trippin that youre sayin it. Rapper 1 : Then I decided that I had to build a foundationa Hiphop foundation over here so that we could learn ourselves, we could build our own foundation. The sentiments communicated by Rapper 1 were repeated by many of the cultural workers with whom I worked. However, I am choosing to share this particular conversation for two reasons. The first reason is that there were other cultural workers present in the studio cosigning 2 There is a chart of transcription conven tions used at the end of this chapter.

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132 on or agreeing with the ideas that Rapper 1 comm unicated to me. The other reason is that this rapper is often referred to as the KRS-ONE3 of Japanese Hiphop by Japanese national consumers and upcoming artists. In that role he has the power to shape Hiphop philosophy. He appears in videos that are not his own, wearing clothing that gi ves respect to African-diasporic symbols (e.g., a red, black, and green outline of a c ontinent of Africa or an ankh symbol akin to the picture to the lefthowever it was not this exact jewelry) and a particular transnational Hiphop social movement organization. In these videos he preaches and guides popular Hiphop performers to keep it real and stay true to the original tenets of the origins narrative. Figure 4-1 An ankh symbol on a necklace; photogr aph taken by the author in 2005 at a Japanese recording studio The transcription excerpt previously pres ented between Ethnogra pher and Rapper 1 took place in a recording studio located in the T okyo metropolitan area in the spring of 2005. In all interviews, cultural workers were invited to speak in Japanese and Englis h, and this cultural worker chose to respond primarily in English. I think part of his choice to do so was to demonstrate to other artists in the studio at the sa me time as us just how dope or talented he is as a Hiphop cultural worker. By using Eng lish and publicly referencing our common 3 Recall that KRS-ONE is a l eading lyrical pioneer of Hiphop culture, and a self-identified philosopher who regularly writes and lectur es about Hiphop culture and philosophy. The operational definition of Hiphop used for this re search as well as the spelling of Hiphop is derived from his Refinitions (2000).

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133 acquaintances and friends who are famous, he emphasized his transnational authority on Hiphop cultural and political wo rk. Although the bulk of this pa rticular interaction was in English, we still generally adhered to Hiphop lingu istic codes and Japanese cultural practices. My body language was submissive, as I bowed low and was positioned below him on the floor, looking up at him as he spoke for more than an hour. I codeswitched a lo t with him, using both AAE as well as distal and honorific Japanese in addition to regular direct speech styles. My speech octave was higher than normal in an addi tional effort to show submission and politeness. He dominated most of this time speaking, and w ith the exception of a few explanations or comments, most of my interac tion could be categorized as aizuchi nodding sounds and words of agreement (without being bonded to bona fide agreement) to indicate that I am paying attention, interested, and understanding him (e.g., mmm, a hhh, wow, uh-huh, yeah, for real? (=really?/ hontoo ?), etc; see also Kita and Ide 2007 for more on aizuchi and ideology). Rapper 1 used kinship terms that indicated hi s conceptualizing us as in-group members of (1) people of color or nonwhite people and (2) a transnational Hi phop community. Words like brothers refer to African-American men in general and African-American male rappers in particular, as well as sister to refer to me, hi s interlocutor, indicated hi s linguistic participation in an imagined African-diasporic identity that is made possible through our collaboration in the name of Hiphop. I did not expect Rapper 1 to actually use words like white supremacy, Americanized, and brainwash program. He explicitly places Japanese-nationals post-WWII experience as parallel to African Americans post-slavery experience. He speaks of his commitment to building a Hiphop foundation, a f oundation that follows th e philosophy of the origins narrative that attends to social justice. His language choices reveal a familiarity with both Hiphop language ideology (Morga n 2001) and black lib eration ideology (cf., Dawson 2003). His

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134 candor and direct speech style, as well as his confidence in his ability to teach me the great utility of Hiphop for self-actuali zation and community liberation re vealed interesting themes in regard to how he was thinking about race and politics. Similar to John Dowers (1993) observation re garding Japanese nationalist discourse, Rapper 1s rhetoric recasts Japa nese nationals as victims along with their similarly oppressed African-American cousinsas both have been subjugated and mentally occupied through brainwashing and silencing in the national educational sy stem. Dower documents popular media cartoons and commentary that highlight how the nation has been dissed via racialization by the Western powers that be, using exampl es that range from the League of Nations dismissal of Japans Racial Equality Clause at the 1919 meeting to Japa ns being characterized as Yellow Peril and savage apes during WWII to the more recent images of The Japanese as a singular, homogenous people, who imitate rather than innovate in the areas of culture and technology, and who also pose a threat to the USs economic security (Dower 1993:292-298). Rapper 1 explains: Its called, like, brainwash program, that kind of thing, right after World War II that the U.S. government had on us. And they changed our constitution, they changed our textbooks, they changed our histor y books. So we lost our essence. We lost our roots. We lost our originality. I dont even have to explain [to Ethnographer, who is politically marked as black]. Its like black people dur ing the last 60 years or 160 years. Even 300 years of history. You didnt know your roots. Th ats what youve been trying to do with the Roots movies, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Hiphop. Thats what you did to be real, to be where youre coming from. But we fo rget. I didnt have to forget because I was in the United States, being Hiphop, learning fo r myself. But all the people here watching TV forget where theyve come from. They t hought the Americans are better than us. We had to be like Americans. The preceding commentary illuminates further how Rapper 1 is thinking about race. He eagerly acknowledges Japans racialized st atus in the world order, and he supplies a theory of how this racialization takes place in hi s country. After all, by his accounts, the Japanese government, which formulates policy and runs national media is the culprit guilty of promoting these images

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135 that cause people to feel alienated. This fuels hi s fight against the Japanese state as well as his inspiration to use Hiphop to liberate the minds of his people. Even though this rapper and others often charge that it was through the exportation of US governmental policy and ideology concerning race that originated the brainwa sh programs (e.g., educational programs) that encourage people to think of themselves in more racialized terms, they argue that it is the Japanese government and media that carry out an d maintain such programs and ideologies today. Note that there is a common cr iticism that Japanese Hiphop arti sts are sharing with US Hiphop artists. They criticize the US governments role in exporting racialized id entifications worldwide, and they also call for reform and re volution with each domestic government. Layers of Race: Samples from Hiphop Rapper 1s designation of difference between black people living in America and general (=white, not black) Americans reveals more a bout how people in Japan are taught to think about race in a global setting. John Lie (2001: 147) suggests that like Rapper 1, Japanese nationals whom he surveyed distinguished between Blacks ( kokujin ) and Amerikajin (who were taken to be white). Lie continue s that his survey resu lts supported a racial ideology akin to the theory of three races (Negroid/black, Mongoloid/ yellow, Caucasoid/white), and that Japanesenationals were reluctant to pl ace themselves in any of the af orementioned categories (black, yellow, or white). Rapper 1 and many other Japanese-national Hiphop artists are somewhat unique in that they are consci ously claiming their yellowness as part of their political discourse. Indeed, many Japanese artists who have had the luxury of traveling to the US for music business or a cultural p ilgrimage often share stories of anti-Japanese or anti-Asian discrimination that they have su ffered at the hands of white Americans, such as police brutality or being the targets of epithets in public. Sharing and analyzing th e effects of such experiences allows them to place themselves along with bl ackness against whiteness, the purported cause of

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136 their psychic pain. Therefore, their voluntary performance of blackness through identification with Hiphop is not necessarily an imitation of a hegemonic American identity; they say it is about claiming race especially race that is conspicuously positioned in opposition to whiteness. The following lyrics from a Japanese Hiphop group, Rappagariya, reveal more about the claiming of race in Hiphop. The song debuted on DJ Yutakas United Nations album. The album art for this album4 references Hiphop philosophy and origins narratives associated with space as a place where humans transcend inequality suffered on Earth. Such references draw connections with US Hiphop pioneer Afrika Bambaataas Univ ersal Zulu Nation as well as funk legends in Parliament Funkadelics Mothership Connecti on performance and jazz innovator Sun Ras Space is the Place. There is also the refere nce to peace and graffiti-inspired art in the planetary sphere pictured on the album. The title of Rappagariyas song is Kobushi which could translate to Fist, and the songs chorus (pump ya fist, pump ya fist/open up your ears, jump up [= / ]) references another famous Hiphop compilation album from the United St ates, Pump Ya Fist (Hip Hop inspired by the Black Panthers) (1995).5 Note not only the claiming of a yellow race, but also the references to Hiphop, being Japanese and overall identity: We are the yellow race with the deadly poisonous shit that will raise the level of the hip hop virus in your blood/ We repr esent Japan yo! We gonna tell the issues like they are/ 4 A link to view the album art of DJ Yutaka s United Nations (2000) is provided in the Appendix. 5 Raise Your Fist is a more literal translation, whereas, Pump Ya Fist is more in accordance with AAE and other common Hiphop rhetoric that was published around this time. It petitions a double reference of putting ones hands in the air to party as well as the power to the people or black power signal (the fist). The translations in this section are mine and more literal, the Appendix features selected transl ations by me as well as a younger research assist ant and cultural worker who is more entrenched in the current Japanese Hiphop speech community.

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137 Were here to make these unacceptable conditio ns right / Our identity is dope Japanese shit/Until we answer all your needs Kobushi is one of many examples of song and pe rformance that contains rhetoric that is reflective of black nationalist rap from the US of the 1980s, 1990s, and beyond. It contains a thread of cultural chauvinism, which uses positiv e racialized stereotypes to elevate damaged selfidentifications. Rappagariya, for example, may c hoose to dress up as samurai or perform martial arts moves or spit verses like the following (also from Kobushi): Were like Japanese soldiers in the war/We come at you with a death wish on the microphone/Were gonna carve facts into hist ory/There aint no termination in this culture/Hip hop is the surest way/If you know what we talking about pump ya fist In this verse, the artists reference controversial images of Japanese masculine savagery6 by invoking the stereotype of Japanese military culture (e.g., kamikaze ) to demonstrate the venom and vigor with which they defend knowle dge of self through Hiphop. While the lyrics reference unity via nationalist discourse, th is same rhetoric coul d be interpreted as Nihonjinron (one yellow race), in which cultural chauvi nism and cultural nationalism undermine antiracist efforts on a domestic level by reintroducing a singular, homogenous Ja panese identity or national character. The song includes references to nati onal icons such as hi no maru bento (=lunchbox of rice with pickled plum, ume ), baseball (=Tsuyoshi Shin jo, the renowned baseball player), as well as spirits and swords (= my spirit is real lik e a Japanese sword) that could further reference Yamato identity rather th an a shared Asian national experience. The hi no maru bento is often interpreted as a reference to the contemporary Japanese national flag, with the reddish plum representing the rising sun and th e rice being the white background. It also could 6 John Dower (1993), Yukiko Koshiro (1999), and Gerald Horne (2004) outline instances of how Japanese people have been racialized by the West The designation of Ja panese people as lessthan-human (i.e., Yellow Peril) and popular imagery and words re ferring to Japanese people as savage apes is strikingly similar to the manner in which African-descent populations were racialized by these same geopolitical entities.

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138 reference other traditional sentimen ts that support nationalist disc ourse, such as the narrative that suggests soldiers ate these lunches in tim es of war as well as the idea of ume (=plum) being commonly referenced in waka (=type or style of poetry th at dates as far back as the Manyoshu, an anthology of Japanese poetry collected from 686 A.D. to 784 A.D.) that is oft-cited in descriptions of cultura l and literary aesthetics (cf. Carter 1993; Varley 1984). However, some consumers do not interpret these references wi thin nationalist framewor ks that isolate nonYamato Japanese residents. Instead these cons umers refer to Rappagariyas use of yellow race as uniting Japanese identity with a shar ed Asian identification and thus, racialized experience. Rappagariyas refere nces do, however, coincide with a World War II agenda that acknowledged shared raci alization with other Asians whil e also situating the Yamato as nucleus in this identification as justificati on for colonization of other Asian nationals (cf., Dower 1993). The artists intentions seem noble: they want to utilize Hiphop to fight misinformation and oppression that could cause peopl e to feel low self-esteem. But the particular rhetoric used might not be sustai nable for such a political goal, as it was not for their US cultural nationalist Hiphop artist c ounterparts (e.g., X-clan, Brand Nubian, etc.). The performance of ultra-masculinity plus the reliance on national stereotypes for power does not allow for much interventi on in regard to sexism and raci sm on a domestic level, thus thwarting their sentiments for a more just reality. Borrowing from this school of political thought allows the artist to insert brilliant social anal ysis concerning race and cl ass ascriptions as they describe conditions and emotions experienced by their consumer audience. However, just as the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Movement in the United States as well as the Anti-War and Peace Movements in Japan were not without cr iticism in regard to raising public awareness around issues of sexuality and gender (e.g., Br own 1993; Honda 1993), cultural products that

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139 build on the political rhetoric of those movement s without critique to address the shortcomings of these past movement-building strategies will al so fall short of the purported agenda to secure a more just social reality. In su mmary, by not interrogating the sexism and heterosexism as well as other rhetoric that homogenizes subaltern populati ons and simply leave out struggles organized along lines of gender and sexuality, the use of Hi phop as an organizational tool, whether in Japan or the US, is not offering anything new to soci al movement building e fforts; rather it is furthering a past political agenda using similar political tools of past political movements. Though the absence of issues pertaining to ge nder and sexuality limits the scope of the uses of Hiphop as a political tool, the artists rhetorical allegiance to political reform via the use of cultural chauvinism to fight global racializ ation at least allows the opportunity for public discourse to address and interrogate problems of Nihonjinron as well as sexist constructions of masculinity in Japan. That is, the lyrics of songs like Kobushi furt her the tradition of resistance to global apartheid which situates humans in a hierarchical racial order (e.g., Negroid, Mongoloid, Caucazoid; see Augstein 1996) by si multaneously claiming and countering the racialization of Japan by foreign geopolitical en tities. Lyrics and comment aries from artists like Rappagariya and Rapper 1 could raise their consumer audiences awareness of issues that affect them, by drawing connections between cartoons and advertising that emphasizes whiteness and historical programs such as the Occupation Force s political re-education for Japanesenationals, which entailed committing Japanese people to a ppreciate and protect the free and democratic world under American hegemony (Tsuchiya 2002: 196). In this way, these artists build on cultural criticism from past domestic and global po litical movements. The strategic essentialism employed here, however, like past political rhet oric, reinforces a homogenized Japanese male trope. At this point, it is up to both analysts and activists to buttress the political momentum built

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140 from the antiglobal apartheid stance in Japa nese Hiphop by redirecti ng consumer audiences attentions to domestic aparth eid that is organized along gende red and ethnoracial lines (e.g., sexual harassment and domestic violence agai nst women or anti-Korean discrimination and violence). Upon studying rhetoric such as that used in th e verse previously cite d, cultural analysts can continue to identify the political promise in Hiphop cultural production. Recall the commentary from Rapper 1. He generally and sincerely seems concerned about the problem of racialization worldwide. However, his argument might seem more relevant if he included some of the current educational debate surroundi ng Japanese as a Second Language curriculum for Nikkei and the former unequal treatment of Korean high-school graduates wishing to take college entrance exams without first taking a hi gh school equivalency exam ( daiken ). Addressing such issues could allude to the domestic practice concer ning racialization among non-Western Japanese residents. Underneath the layer of Japa ns racialization as a geopol itical entity lies its own domestic racial policy concerni ng the construction of alienated groups who range from former colonial subjects (e.g., Koreans, Chinese, Okinawan s, Filipinos, and Ainu people) to historically disenfranchised people (e.g., Burakumin ) and racially mixed indivi duals or foreigners (e.g., Japanese-Brazilians, Japanese-Peruvians, daaburu or people of multiple ethnoracial heritage, and African-nationals). The aforementioned alienated groups experience discrimina tion that ranges from the structural to the personal. Th e Korean schools mentioned were some of many schools affected by the Japanese governments decision to exempt We stern non-Japanese schools from taking a highschool equivalency examination ( daiken ) before taking college entrance examinations, whereas non-Western, Asian ethnic minority schools did not enjoy the same exemption. After much

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141 protest, the government extended the exemption to the non-Western ones as well; however, the media coverage surrounding these events afforded cultural workers and othe rs the opportunity to learn about gross disparities between ethnic minority schools a nd other Japanese public schools as well as the lack of much-needed funding to keep these schools runni ng and to extend muchneeded social welfare programs to their constituen ts. Furthermore, there ar e countless stories of young children and adolescents experiencing persiste nt harassment and instances of physical brutality during integrative efforts into Japane se schools or society from Japanese-citizen schoolmates and other persons in their communities. Some of the people I have worked with remain scarred, both emotionally and physically from such egregious and often unpunished attacks. When I asked Rapper 1 about these topics, he gave a nod of agreement, then there was silence. He agreed that these were things that needed to be work ed on, and explained that a lot of people feel that they do not have the correct information to speak out about these issues. In general, when interviewing cultural workers in Ja pan, there seemed to be discomfort when we were talking about ethnoracial issues at home. Th ere was courage to talk about racial inequity abroad and even on a global level with ones w hole country, but not within the country. In many of my interviews with rappers, a domestic conversation on race went no further than an acknowledgement of official antiblack racism from the government, certain corporations, and government-run media. Such racism is shunned by those who identify with Hiphop. The subcultures of people who alter their bodies through tanning, lip collagen injections, and adopting kinky hair styles as well as the en tertainers who actually apply blackface and body makeup as they perform music associated with Af rican-American culture (usu ally soul or gospel) are criticized by the cultural workers whom I interviewed. Indeed, as mentioned in Chapter

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142 Three, many of the artists with whom I work ed communicated embarrassment and anger toward Japanese singers and dancers who don blackface, and in some cases (e.g., Channels, the Hiphop dance duo mentioned in Chapter Thr ee; see Figure 4-3) other racist and stereotypic performances that bring to mind Sambo and StepnFetch it characters from US media (Russell 1991b). Nevertheless, blackface performers persist in Japa n in addition to other parts of the world, and since many modern blackface performers (like Ch annels, see Figure 4-3) appear under the guise of Hiphop performance, such practice remains a distraction from the productions by cultural workers who sincerely attend to aesthetics brought fort h in the Hiphop origins narrative. As a result, performers like Channels receive the bu lk of media attention (as these performances should and must be put on blast, critiqued, and shut down), while performances by people such as the cultural workers I worked with are of ten ignored or underrepo rted (except in the scholarship of ethnographers such as Condr y 2006; Cleveland 2006; Okumura 1998; Sterling 2003, 2006; see also Steele 2006, for similar cult ural work in eastern mainland China). Object 4-1 Channels performing blackface This chapter seeks to elucidate performances of blackness that differ from the type of blackface performance that groups like Channels engage in. With the exception of certain academic studies (cf. Condry 2006; Clevel and 2006; Okumura 1998; Sterling 2003, 2006), interest in black American cultu res and performances of black popul ar culture in particular are often misrepresented as minstrelsy. When one pays attention to the details of the performances, for example, how AAE grammars are utilized, as well as other rhetoric and practice that surround the performance, one finds that the Hip hop performance of Channels is quite different from the bboy battle competitions at the annual festival I observed, for example. The difference lies in intention, ideology, and respect. Understanding the detail s of aesthetics utilized in addition to the language ideology that dire ctly relate to a gl obal Hiphop culture, AAE

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143 narrative traditions and black cultu ral practices also help to di fferentiate the Hiphop community that I worked with from mainst ream performances of blackface. Below, the details of Japanese Hiphops cultural aesthetics are described through a description of the concepts of flow and battle, and also through the de scriptions of sample cultural workers and consumers of Hiphop in Japan. However, understanding how the Hiphop aesthetics and language ideology are manifested within Japanese Hiphop culture requires an analysis of how codeswitching works as a discourse strategy among the artists th at are communicating these ideas. Codeswitching as Discourse Strategy In 2001, Morgan theorized Hiphops language in terms of language socialization drawing from Bambi Schieffelin and Eli nor Ochs (1986). She wrote that: Participants in Hip Hop must learn the appropriate language fo r particular social contexts. In a sense, Hip Hop is constructed around th e exploitation and subversion of the following tenets of language philosophy and theory: 1. all sounds and objects have sp ecific meanings in culture; 2. all languages have system; 3. all leaks in grammar can be exploited; 4. a society's reference system or indexicality is often political; and 5. meaning is co-constructed a nd co-authored. [Morgan 2001:190] Japanese Hiphop artists lyrical prowess demonstrat e multiple levels of la nguage socialization in that these cultural workers are simultaneously socialized into tran snational Hiphop language ideology, which is based on AAE grammatical featur es. They are also soci alized into their own indigenous Hiphop language, which in Japan at least includes re invented meanings for words (e.g., kome see explanation below) as well as a gram matical style that su pports and encourages codeswitching. Susan Romaine defines c odeswitching in the following way: I will use the term code-switching in the se nse in which Gumperz (1982:59) has defined it as the juxtaposition with in the same speech exchange of passages of speech belonging to two [or more] different grammatical sy stems or subsystems. In code-switched discourse, the items in question form part of the same speech act. They are tied together prosodically as well as by semantic and syntac tic relations equivalent to those that join passages in a single speech act. I use the term code there in a general sense to refer not

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144 only to different languages, but also to varieties of the same language as well as styles within a language. This means that on a pragma tic level, all linguistic choices can be seen as indexical of a variety of social relations, rights and ob ligations which exist and are created between participants in a conversation.An importa nt factor in the present situation is the use of code-mixing and code -switching as a discourse strategy. [Romaine 1995:121] Of key interest in Romaines explanation is her identifying codeswitching as a discourse strategy. The research pres ented in this project details differe nt strategies of codeswitching to index relationships within domestic and in ternational Hiphop commun ities. The types of codeswitching that one utilizes could situate one within different international Hiphop genres (e.g., gangsta versus conscious ). The intricacies of the co deswitching within Japanese Hiphop also demonstrate multiple levels of cultu ral and communicative competence. The emcees are presenting multiple layers of understanding as well as presentation of information through the production of diverse gr ammatical knowledge in thei r lyrical performances. Codeswitching could include borrowed words in katakana form (e.g., borrowing; such as Hippuhoppu / (=Hiphop)). Or, as in many of the examples provided below, it could entail complex syntactic risk-taking and mixing to produce beautiful multilingual utterances (see in da beat below). In any case, analyz ing lyrical codeswitchi ng and excavating the grammatical features of inte rnational Hiphop language featur es that are based in AAE grammatical knowledge within thes e codeswitched performances he lp to further identify how Hiphop is utilized as a discourse strategy. Finally, wh ile I critique the gender politics of some of the utterances analyzed below, I enthusiastically celebrate the li nguistic genius of the Japanese Hiphop cultural workers. Biand multilingualism c ontinue to be stigmatized in many Western epistemes, and as a result codeswitching has been theorized as situating biand multilingual individuals as cognitively defici ent and delayed. Multiple language users have been taught that codeswitching, and intrasentential codeswitching in particular, si gnifies less fluency in both

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145 languages rather than a greater knowledge of bot h languages, as the la tter involves greater syntactic risk and thus greater levels of creativity and inge nuity to make the codeswitch intelligible. Just as children of multiple ethnoracial heritages were taught to feel bad about themselves because they might not fit unitary and fixe d collective identities, the same arguments have been used with multiple language users, and it is indicative of communicative hegemony when multiple language use is stigmatized rather than honored (cf. Briggs 1986; Romaine 1995). The codeswitching that occurs in Japa nese Hiphop could entail tag-switching, intersentential codeswitching or intrasente ntial codeswitching (Popl ack 1980; Romaine 1995). Hiphops Yo! is often inse rted as a tag (e.g., Yo! ). Though yo is also often utilized as pun be cause it has meaning in Japanese as well as Hiphop language, and the meaning is relational in that it represents emphasis. Another common tag is Na Mean or any othe r representation of You know what I mean? in AAE following a completely Japanese utterance. Intersentential codeswitching i nvolves a switch at a clause or sentence boundary, where the clause is in one la nguage or another (R omaine 1995:122). In the following sentence the clause is marked by particle / / which also marks the language shift: Its da mutherfuckin L A The conjunction/ / in L A also marks a codeswitch in the phrase L and A. The utterance translates to I ts da muthafuckin got the L and the A on lock in AAE. The GAE gloss coul d be something like My car is so wonderful; it is a classic, and [because of that] I am the master of the city I live in [Los Angeles]. Intrasentential codeswitching i nvolves switching language types with in the clause or sentence boundary. It allows for not only the mixing of wo rds but also grammars (e.g, kick the leash in da beat). In the latter example, could be glossed as f ree in or free inside using the word and the grammatical marker that is blended with the GAE phrase

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146 that has AAE phonological features (e.g., da, beat [=music]), in da beat, to make a full sentence that could be glossed as, Im free in the beat. The codeswitched sentence that could be glossed as, Im free in the beat is mixed w ith the AAE sentence that comes before it, kick the leash, which could be glossed as, I got rid of my constraints to form the final utterance, which could be glossed as, I got rid of my constraint s; Im free in the music. Another example is: dope Japanese shit Which could be glossed as, Our identity, deliver ing dope Japanese shit till everybody hears it, or Our identity is dope Japanese shit, until we answer all your needs. The Hiphop language phrase, dope Japanese shit, does not neatly fit within clauses or sentence boundaries. Hiphop Aesthetics and Language Ideology Leading Hiphop linguistic scholar and anthr opologist Marcyliena Morgan elucidates Hiphops linguistic relationship with AAE gram maticalization (2001, 2002, 2008; see also Alim 2006; Rickford and Rickford 2000; Smitherman 1997; Yasin 1999). Morgan explains that AAE speakers: respond to societys attempt to stigmatize a nd marginalize AAE usage by their continued innovations within the norms of both dialects7 Consequently, discour se styles, verbal genres, and dialect and language contrasts become tools to not only represent African American culture, but also youth alienation, de fiance, and injustice in general. [2008:95] Building on her seminal work on modern spee ch communities, Morgan defines the Hiphop speech community and its relationship centered around the concept of the WORD, which she describes as the core of th e hiphop nation, the power, trope, me ssage and market all in one (2008:94). She continues: The hiphop speech community is not necessarily linguistically and physically located, but bound by this shared language ideology as part of politics, culture, social condition and 7 Here GAE and AAE are referenced in Morgans work, whereas the cultural workers I reference codeswitch using Japanese and AAE as well as GAE at times.

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147 norms, values and attitude. For hiphop, ever yday language creativity requires knowledge of a linguistic system as well as how language is used to repr esent power. It uses language rules to mediate and construct a present, wh ich considers the social and historicized moment as both a transitory and stable place. In this respect, hiphop represents the height of fruition of discursive and symbolic theories of identity and representation. It produces a frenetic dialectic by interspersing and juxtaposing conventions and norms It incorporates symbols and refe rences based on shared local knowledge. It then introduces contention and contrast by crea ting ambiguity and a constant shift between knowledge of practices and symbols. Thus, while the hi phop nation is constructe d around an ideology that representations and refe rences (signs and symbols) are indexical and create institutional practices, what th e signs and symbols index remain fluid and prismatic rather than fixed. Such is the case in my experience studyi ng Japanese Hiphop. Whereas some ethnographers (e.g., Condry 2006) interpret Japanese lyricists as using GAE (General American English) or a generic American slang, I inte rpret the codeswitching that I have participated in and observed over the past 13 years as utilizing a combinati on of Japanese direct grammatical style and vernacular lexicon with AAE lingui stic features that are now be ing theorized as Hiphop language (Alim 2006; Morgan 2008). Discussion with cultural workers concerning th eir use of AAE in discursive practice has buttressed my commitment to interpreting these ac ts as such. Moreover, wh en Japanese cultural workers were employed to translate lyrics for the purpose of comparing them to my own and other academicians translations, AAE linguistic st yles were selected over literal transcription that could have used more of a GAE-related grammar (i.e., compare my translations of Kobushi to those that appear in the Appendix by research assi stant and cultural worker VSOP and to his translations of popular artists that follow). Furthermor e, when different translations were presented to Japanese cultural workers whos e work was being translat ed, they preferred the translations that utilized the most AAE linguistic features. Thes e instances mark an important aspect of my analysis, because they further contribute to an understanding of how Japanese

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148 Hiphop artists are performing blackness. Followi ng the theories explained by Morgan (2008), usage of AAE language indexes oppositional practice and resistance to alienation. One young Japanese-national research assistant concurs as he wrote to me in an e-mail: I think slang words (at least in the States) that are in Hip Hop are us ed [to] create a language that whites dont understand but people of color can co mmunicate with each other. Its words that cant be understood by whites so in Japan, I th ink slang words among young people is a way of resistance against the adults. He then listed the following Japanese Hiphop lexicon: (1) Machigainai (=fo sho / yea thats right, used in agreements, to emphasize the agreement) (2) 045 (=refers to Yokohama area also known as the Bay Area of Japan.) ((And there are lots more numbers and city name s to refer to the specific area or city in Japan and represent where they from. 038 usually refers to Tokyo area. same as how we here in the states represent wh ere we from with area codes.)) (3) Ame-ko (=a word used towards [white] Amer icans (usually negative connotation) (4) Kome (=rice; putting rice on the ta ble; has money context) (5) Ikareteru (=crazy (I guess this isnt really a slang) Though this young researcher expl ains his understanding of AAE and Hiphop language in terms of slang, he is obviously engaging in and desc ribing grammatical featur es. Likewise, there are several African-American slang and Ebonics English dicti onaries that situate AAE and Ebonics as a language variety, as syntax, phonol ogy, lexicon, semantics, and pragmatics (cf., Izumiyama 2005, 2007 [1997]). These texts also situ ate the study of Afri can-American language, culture, and history as necessa ry to understanding Hiphop and R&B. Understanding basic AAE features are key to fully elucidating the significance of the WORD in Hiphop language 8 is also used for Tokyo, which interestingly is the same area code as Tampa, Florida, and this relation was often brought to my attention. Examples of area code significance in global Hiphop can be seen in works ranging from David Banner to Big Ron.

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149 ideology. Some rules are summarized below drawi ng from Morgan (2002:77) as well as Green (2002) when noted, with some of my own examples. Most of the examples below appear with a listing of the AAE grammatical rule (e.g., absenc e of copula), the general American English (GAE) equivalent (e.g., Dawn is late. Note th e use of is, or the presence of copula), and finally the example of the AAE gram matical rule (e.g., Dawn late.). Examples of AAE Phonology Final ng as n: laughing laughin Deletion or vocalizatio n of r after a vowel: store sto Realization of ing as ang: sing sang (e.g., She can sang! ) Examples of AAE Syntax Absence of copula: Dawn is late/ Dawn late. (=Dawn is late in the present only.) Use of invariant / be / for habitual action: Dawn is always late Dawn be late. (=Dawn was late yesterday, today, and everyday in general.) Use of invariant / be / for future: Dawn will be here soonDawn be here soon Use of invariant / bin /: They made up a long time ago (and continue to be friendly). They been made up Use of done to emphasize the completive nature of a task: She done divorced him. Use of had to mark the simple past: They had went to the store. Use of steady as a verbal marker that precedes a V-(ing): He steady mobbin Multiple negation: Dawn dont want no man telling her what to do / Aint no brothas goin there Examples of AAE Lexicon Saditty (=conceited) Scrilla (=money) Other Morphosyntactic Properties Postvocalic s deletion or genitive marking: That my mama bed./ He my baby daddy./ That they business. [S ee also Green 2002:102]

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150 Of particular interest is Morgans un ique and groundbreaking research (2002) which catalogues the number of instances certain featur es are realized specifically within Hiphop. She demonstrates particular trends with in Hiphop linguistic features of using got(s)/ta got, and gotta rather than have have to, or has to in Hiphop verses. For example, US cultural worker Ice Cube used some form of got 92% of the time verses have 2% of the time in lyrical productions (Morgan 2002:128). Among other Hiphop linguistic features that sh e outlines is Ima rather than Im going to or Im gonna. Morgan explains it is written Ima reflecting the deletion of / g /. However, Ima does not only refer to future action, but also implies intent ion and agency of speaker (2002:127). How these linguistic featur es intersect with Japanese Hiphop is outlined below in conjunction with other basic concep ts of Hiphop language ideology and cultural practice such as the idea of flow and the concept of battle (cf., Morgan 2005, 2008). Flow: Can You Feel It? As Hiphop encompasses many elements, including five fundamental ones (emceeing, deejaying, graffiti art, dance, and knowledge a nd philosophy), artists experiences with flow have varied, depending on the specific ge nre within Hiphop in which one practices. 9 For emcees in Japan, the history of use and innovation con cerning flow has been in teresting. In the early 1980s, because much of the Hiphop that emcees were consuming was coming from AfricanAmerican speech communities where AAE abounds many artists began by interpreting a style that was quite reflective of, if not imitating, African Americ an English rhyming styles. Verses were constructed in ways that either actually used multiple AAE and Hiphop language phrases, or African American English sentences were tran slated into Japanese and then performed over beats. Condry (1999:106) writes that Japanese is a difficult language to construct simple English9 This section is inspired by the work of Marcyliena Morgan (2001, 2005, 2008) on the subject, and I thank her for encouraging me to write about flow in Japanese Hiphop.

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151 centered rhymes because of its multisyllabic na ture. As one Japanese Hiphop pundit put it, It doesnt sound good: the practice of short and simp le rhyme schemes in generic and standard 16bar rhyming formats. This pundit was signifying that the flow of the AAE-centered rhymes that so many Japanese Hiphop fans were enjoying from abroad was missing from these Japanese translations. Local Japanese Hiphop pundits and impresarios we re not the only critics of this imitation or translation style of verse composition. Afri can-American and Africa n national residents and visitors in Japan in addition to visiting Hiphop artists from the United States (who usually represented the African Diaspora) also criticized the aesthetics of this ly rical practice. Those fluent in African-diasporic oral performance st yles, from the oft-cited griot to the AfricanAmerican preaching styles that feature phonemic variation and whooping noted that the flow, the product of the word performa nce of these early Japanese artists, created dissonance, according to their cultural aesthetics (Harmon n.d.). The difference in production between African-d iasporic emcees and Japanese emcees does not mean that there are no indige nous cultural aesthetic s that have flow, in Japanese poetic and oral performance (cf., renga senryu etc,). To my knowledge, the early emcees did not seem to draw on this tradition. When they did, flow dram atically changed for Ja panese emcees. In the 1990s, emcees like K Dub Shine and producers like DJ Yutaka brought cultural and linguistic knowledge of African-American speech communities to Hiphop crews in metropolitan areas like Tokyo. An important aspect of this knowledge wa s to keep it real and attend to autochthonous concerns. Another aspect of this knowledge was the phenomenon of being socialized into a transnational Hiphop cultural and speech communit y. Cultural national tenets that buttress pride in ones heritage and fixed ideas of traditional cultural aesthetics influenced the artists cultural

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152 exchanges. Others built bridges with African Am ericans in the military and other visitors to tweak styles as they became introduced to Hiphop knowledge and philosophy. Emcees, in line with the Hiphop mantra of keep ing it real began to incorporat e dialects and oral traditions (such as Osakaben and Osaka comedy) from their regions into emcee battles and performances. The rich tradition of Japanese poetry wa s built upon with modern Hiphop innovations. Battles have dramatically improved these i nnovations and creations. There are striking differences between battles that I observed in 1994 and those I observed postmillennium (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005). I have seen emcees go from uneven breath control and disjointed spitting of phonemes to the production of a flow th at melts in ones ears akin to the revered verses of Hiphop lyrical guru Pharoah Monche (A lim 2006). An example of such lyrical prowess would be the flows of MC Ka n, a signed artist who was also the First Place winner of the 2002 BBoy Park Emcee Battle. MC Kan produced a lyrici sm that would be akin to African-American preaching styles of whooping in which one goes in to a rhythm and performative mode that is simultaneously visceral and mental. The difference between the early lyrical producer s and the latter emcees described is one of confidence and comfort with oral performance, which could also be described in terms of spirit. The latter artists are feeling their ow n flow; they produce morphemes with passion and faith that convincingly reflect th eir purported life experience. Th e skill is undeniable. Topic and content continue to be of concern to Japanese Hiphop pioneers, who feel responsible for much of the cultural brokerage between African-dias poric emcees and Japanese national emcees. Too much braggadocio as well as focus on a gangsta lif estyle that is simply unrealistic for what one would commonly find in Japan can mar oral perfo rmance and interfere with ones flow, as it disrespects the basic tenet of k eeping it real or at least realis tic. (Not that there arent

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153 gangstas (= chinpira ) in Japanthere certainl y arebut they are not a carbon copy of a South Central, Los Angeles video; they have their ow n version of street gangs and mafia, along with their own rituals and cultural codes and ornament.) Thus, just as in the US and other parts of the world, there is a philosophical battle taking pl ace between pioneers a nd popular Hiphop artists concerning content, performance, and aesthe tics (see Knowledge Pane l transcription in Appendix, for example). Marcyliena Morgan describes the struggle between pioneers and popular artists as: Each hiphop era is marked by philosophical ba ttles over the nature of representing and identity, the notion of recogni zing and truth, sense and refere nce, the notion of comin correct, intentionality and power. Similarly, the hiphop mantra keepin it real represents the quest for the coalescence and interface of ever-shifting art, politics, representation, performance and individual accountability th at reflects all aspect s of youth experience. [2005: 8] Morgan further elucidates the relationship betwee n flow and the concept of the battle in the following passage: Once the real and socially critical cont ext is established, artists may enter what Csikszentmihalyi refers to as flow state as th ey reach contentment and are fully absorbed in the activity. It is in this se nse that Hiphops ritual of resp ect and collabora tion undermines and mines the status quo by not only exposing hegemony, but recklessly teasing it as well. On the surface, artists appear to stalk, boast and deride. In reality, they are arguing for inclusion on their term s. Hiphop, and its often-epic quest for what is real, is part of Foucaults technology of power and a battlefield where symbols, histories, politics, art, life and all aspects of the social system are contes ted. It is not an endl ess Nietzschean search for truth, but a determination to expose it and creatively repres ent all of its manifestation. When an MC flows s/he is creating the hi ghest level of a battle with honor. [2005:5] Finally, in the past few years, emcees or artists who are racially mixed have been thrust into the public sphere in both Hiphop, rap a nd R&B genres. These artists who may have experienced severe social discrimination in mainst ream Japanese society in earlier years (if not living on a military base or a place where such youth were not the minority), are now able to procure capital based on their bi-c ultural knowledge and ability to flow between cultures and languages. Perhaps the future champions of the flow and the battle will be those who are flexible

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154 and fluid in not only their lyrica l delivery, but also their ability to maneuver among and between such linguistic and cultural knowledges. Shinjuku Represent: A Battle The following battle, recorded on the occasi on of a special anniversary of an annual Hiphop festival, signifies many of the features of aesthetics an d ideology concerning flow in Hiphop culture previously described These emcees were competing for the championship of an emcee battle that had been taking place over the c ourse of three days. Hundreds of contenders had battled before them, and now each battler wa s facing the other in this final showdown. The two emcees, MC S and MC R, both represented the neighborhood of Shinjuku. They both were known among their largely middleand high-school-age fan base for performing rebellious attitudes and presenting a bad boy image in the public sphere. For example, a few days earlier at the first big battle site, I saw MC R stal king through the backstage crowd with power and influence, his male age-mates configured clos e as an entourage. Collectively they heckled emcees with poor lyrical skills, and some member s of the group boasted about their access to large quantities of high-grade marijuana, one of whom pulled a bag out and slammed it onto the table in front of another hopeful emcee as part of his boastful performance. Just before the final battle on the third day, I had a similar experience with MC S, as I was almost run down by him as he blazed passed me on his motorbike in reckless haste toward the arena in which the final battle fo r champion of the festival would ta ke place. As he blazed past, he called out his own emcee name in a rugged, ra spy, and yet nasal voice. Others, especially young women, who seemed to admire and support this emcees budding career, screamed his name in response. MC S performed his bad boy image through other performative antics in forthcoming battles before the final one. He would strike poses that signified simultaneous disinterest and hardness, and dur ing one battle he climbed onto the ropes of the battlers ring

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155 (similar to a boxing ring) and hung upside down as if he were bored while his opponent struggled to battle against him. MC Ss expensive Hiphop-based fa shion choices and his passionate performatives of arrogance and rebel liousness positioned him in a place of pride and even envy for most of the battle onlookers, my self included. Although I felt he could benefit from the exercise of some discip line (perhaps this is an ageist perspective), I found his behaviors engaging and charismatic. MC Rs performance was equally charismatic though different. When I engaged him oneon-one, he differed from MC S who kept up his b ad boy image as though I were media and not an elder or researcher, whereas MC R codeswitc hed and was almost shy and quite respectful, using distal speech styles. When I praised his lyrical skills (that continue to mesmerize me to this day), he replied in a humble and reserved ma nner. Among his peers, and even some industry elders (all of whom were male), he was not so humble, but he remained reserved. He had a hard and cold stance, and a critic al look in his eyes that signifie d that he was capable of serious physical defense. I perceived MC R as carryi ng a hood sensibility about him. He seemed serious and about business, but he also seemed to repres ent a distinct Hiphop aesthetic associated with those who come of age in st ruggling and marginalized communities where crime and injustice abound; these communities are sometimes referred to as hoods. Both emcees represented Shinjuku, and bot h expressed an authentically menacing capability through body language and other performa tives. Interestingly, their respective hoods in Shinjuku also hold a symbolic reference to the world in addition to Japan as being especially hybrid, diverse, and therefore dangerous. In deed, former Prime Minister Nakasones and Justice Minister Kajiyamas infamous racist comments were initially targeted toward the area of Shinjuku, an area known for sex workers, gangste rs, mafia, and foreign vendors (Africans,

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156 Middle-Easterners and other Asia n nationals who are routinely stigmatized and racially marked by the Japanese government). The diversity of the area is read as criminal, and there are indeed bona fide criminal activities that occur there; however, I would guess that the criminal ascription is more due to polic y and policing rather than div ersity as Kajiyama suggested. Perhaps hailing from such an area carried cultura l currency in the tradit ional Hiphop aesthetic in that it signified that one was a survivor, one could keep it real (or not be ashamed of ones roots), and not give up as many Hiphop mantras advise. This battle was significant to me for many different reasons. One is that it signified great lyrical skills, and the emotion and interpersonal drama behind the battle made it interesting for many of the audience participants. An other reason it has remained of interest to me is that these two artists have gone on to enjoy commercially successful careers in Hiphop, and they have worked with Japanese-national artists who are both nationally and internationally iconic in Hiphop as well as J-Pop (=Japanese popular music genre akin to Billboards pop category). Finally, the rhetoric and topics of choice during the battle reinfo rced my premise that Hiphop is simultaneously transnational and autochthonous in ways that continue to amaze me. Three main themes in this battle were (1) the notion of saving Japan through Hiphop and talented lyrical skills, (2) the assertion and prot ection of masculinity as an identity, and (3) the assertion of Japanese national identity and prid e. Those topics coupled with emcees boasting of ways in which they are (1) lyrically talent ed, (2) keeping it real ,(3) not giving up and surviving, (4) willing to fight to death, (5) have pride in their background, community, and identity, positioned their lyrical performance well within transna tional Hiphop lyrical aesthetics, content, and context. I am not alone in my interest in this particular battle. Excerpts of the battle that appear in my film always elicit pos itive responses from younger USand Japan-based

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157 Hiphop consumers. Even when viewers do not un derstand Japanese, they remain excited and impressed with MC Rs ability to flow by rhyt hmically uttering phonemes as well as his smooth body movements and sincere passion about his freestyle performance. Likewise this battle is one of the few battles to-date to be posted on YouTube, and it is more popular than many popular recording artists videos on the Internet. At the time of this writing, it had received 103,491 views on YouTube, and approximately 8,000 during the previous week. Many of the fans commenting on their performance seem to be fairly familiar with these emcees, global Hiphop, and Japanese Hiphop. Below is a rough transla tion of the emcees in terchange. Lines of ethnographic interest are marked with an arrow ( ) and explicated below. 1. MC S: 2. This is a stage that I dreamt about standing on since 17 3. and Ill do this (freestyle) as much as you want. 4. Following my own values. Right [MC R] ? This is how I do it. For real. ( yo / ) 5. MC R: 6. =For real ( yo / ) 7. MC S: 8. This is how I really do it, my battle my way, my values, Im climbing up the stairs. 9. My hood is also Shinjuku. Me too, Im going to come up. 10. You are empty, dont even try to come up, this battle doesnt have any meaning. 11. Im not gonna let you make it. 12. Mayday, mayday, this is the day that the wa r ended, you havent re ally even stepped foot 13. in the battle.

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158 14. Peace to the hardcore (?) (= real heads). [Name of MC Ss crew] da bakayaro (=Name of 15. MC Ss crew] muthafuckas!)10 16. They all know, chinpira and all the yakuzas .11 17. Im gonna tell you whats on my mind, 18. How I do it. Im a Nippon danji ((signifies pride as a Japanese male)) 19. MC R: 20. Im coming to respond to you, my way. 21. When I was smoking Ganja, I was thinking about the same thing. 22. If this is what I really want to do. 23. Whos real? Whats real. Dont matter just do it from 24. little by little and work your way up. 25. Check, check one two, anybody can say that. 26. MC S and MC R, the decision is up to you all. 27. Doing pachinko12 when you 20, 30, Im not gonna be like that, maybe you will. 28. Making a living off of (?) ((unintelligible)) 29. I just wanted to rap, I put together a group, 30. maybe I couldnt have made it all the way here by myself. 31. This is where Im gonna s how you (?)((unintelligible)) 32. MC S: 33. You dont really get what I said huh? 10 This is both an AAE narrative style and common Hiphop utterance that uses of a certain explicative to emphasize pride in ones crew (perhaps by putting down others mothers?). 11 Chinpira and yakuza are street or petty gangs ters and mafia respectively. 12 Pachinko is often referred to as a national adult pastime. It is a gaming device and its reference is used to petition images of gaming parlors a nd the illicit lifestyles th at often surround them, including drug use, depression, and gambling.

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159 34. Yo, you first grade b-boy; I cant loose. 35. This is a battle between a man and a man. There are no rules. 36. A rap that becomes judged is already dead, stop fucking around judges, thats a mistake 37. A wack fool that came up as an emcee 38. When you turn on that TV, you deci de whats right and whats wrong. 39. Im frustrated and Im putting those emotions back to you in words, 40. carrying something thats very important to me. 41. But I might be kind of weak, but I have something special, 42. Im doing this for no one but myself. 43. This is what I chose to do for a living, right MC R? 44. Yea I want to fuck up [name of popular Hiphop boy band] 45. I dont know what you get from TV, 46. but Im going to die here ((I think referring to on stage in the ring)) 47. That wont be too bad, Im serious 48. MC R: 49. I dont really care about you all JHiphop people, 50. the industry is full of wack people. 51. Yo, MC S, I dont like how the crow d and audience is looking down at us. 52. This ring (stage) should be set higher, about 10 meters higher. 53. Jumping over hurdles. Were gonna keep on going. 54. Me performing and delivering these rhymes. 55. Were gonna be saving Japan, and Im just te lling you this is just one way of doing

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160 56. it. Since the senpais13 did not lay down the solid foundation for us, 57. were coming up from th e bottom to the top. 58. ((unintelligible)) SHINJUKU REPRESENT Hiphop cultural aesthetics are referenced, re presented and manifested in utterances performed during the battle. MC R eventually won this close battle. Upon viewing the translation below, one will see that while MC S had more substantive content, it was MC Rs mesmerizing flowhis ability to freak phonemesthat ma de him the champ. The following analysis outlines the grammatical and cultural dynamics of this particular battle. Lines 4 and 5 ( MC R(=YO/for real/yo) contain a feature of AAE verbal combat as well as Hiphop battle aesthetic in which one interloc utor says the final word of a phrase that their battler is saying in an attempt to signify that their opponents freestyle is weak or untalented because the opponent was able to guess the next wo rd of the emcee she or he is battling. MC Rs use of this technique was interesting and unexpected for me, because it is the only time he does it in the battle, and he does it with a sentence partic le, yo which is an emphasis signifier that has a similar translational meaning in AAE. Other Hiphop ideology-based themes that abound in this battle are (1) the idea of artist as superhero or savior (cf., Morgan 2008), (2) the assertion of nationalist and gendered identities, (2) es pousing philosophy about components of Hiphop, including the aesthetics of battling, the underg round versus the industry, and (3) rites of passage in Hiphop socialization processes (Morgan 2001:190). Assertions of nationalist and gendered iden tities are located in lines 9, 12, 14, 15, 25, 33, 34, 43, 55, and 58. In lines 9 and 58 respectivel y, MC S and MC R recognize their home 13 Senpai is an honorific assignment representing an age-based status relationship. A senpai teaches the kohai for example, in that the senpai are advanced in age, skill, and knowledge, and are expected to teach, lead, and guide.

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161 community of Shinjuku with pr ide and strength. Representing Shinjuku demonstrates their experience with an urban lifestyle and it also positio ns their identity as Japa nese national. In lines 14-15, MC S follows traditional Hiphop aesthetic as well as (perhaps unconsciously) Japanese spoken poetry aesthetics, e.g., renga or senryu of giving respects to ones imagined community or artistic crew (= Peace to the hardcore, [nam e of MC S crew], muthaf uckas!). MC S and MC R further situate their urban lif estyle and authenticity by ch aracterizing their neighborhood as being dangerous through references to gangsters and mafia (line 16), as well as references to engaging in the illegal activity of smoking marijuana (line 21). Line 18 features a term that, prior to my participation in Japanese Hiphop speech communities, I had only known older males and often those who were sympathetic to the politics of WWII, to use: Nippon danji This term could translate to, Im a JAPANESE MAN! and it is relational to blac k nationalist Hiphop (cf., X-Clan, Public Enemy) that asserted emcees id entities as BLACK and MALE (cf, Brotha J of X-Clan, I do the great pimp strut, cuz Ima BLACK MAN!14). The emphasis is on pride associated with ones state-regulated identit y, and the practice of this utterance resembles strategic essentialism as well as disidentification. Lines 12 and 25 are mocking and marking whit eness by signifying white speech acts heard in WWII movies and other media, Mayday, mayda y (=a distress signa l, call for help) in conjunction with a recognition and reverence for the day the that WWII ended (which was also the day these two young men were battling) in lin e 12. Line 25 is MC Rs attempt to undercut 14 To get the full extent of how th is phrase is nationalist, review more of Brotha J of X-Clans verse (1990) for context: And while I'm boomin th is, I'm not a humanist/ I'm just a pro-black nigga and I'm doin this/ And don't you try to pr ove, that you can make a move/ Because I'm outraged, devil; it's a different groove/ And if you co me again, this shit'll never end/ And we will fight through time through the very end/ You get my point son? You get my point dad?/ I'm goin back to your caves and I'm quite bad/ I do a war dance, and cause a avalanche/ And do the great pimp strut cuz Ima black man

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162 MC Ss talented diss (the use of a pun through signifying white war speech and referencing WWII, which was in the minds of everyone because of the media surrounding the commemorations at that time) that simultaneously and brilliantly dissed white American identity, uplifted and showed reverence to Japanese (mal e) identity through his reference to the date, while dissing MC R, who he is saying should send a distress signal akin to Mayday, Mayday because he is about to lose the battle. MC R responds through an attempt to unpack this diss by uttering, Check, check on two, anybody can say that implying that MC Ss line 12 should not be read as deep as MC S intends, because the r hythm of his utterance is reminiscent of early Japanese Hiphop and even earlier US Hiphop flow styles. Other references to masculinity are in lin e 35 (this is between MAN and MAN), line 34 (first grade b-boy [=low status young person, wet behind the ears implication]), and line 44 (which predicates masculinity on his willingness to annihilate other popular male Hiphop artists who are read as commercial, soft, and weak ; thus, they are damaging the already delicate image of Japanese masculinity according to the global world order that feminizes Asian male identity). Finally, line 55 echoes a stakes is high mentality in Hiphop philosophy, which further situates the dominant keep it real a nd dont give up mantras with the emcees as gods or saviors who save disaffected peop le as well as Hiphop through the practice of Hiphop. Further, MC R critiques elders (= senpais ) for not laying a solid foundation, and accentuates that he among others is buildi ng a Hiphop foundation (cf., Rapper 1s comments ) from the bottom to the top. Japanese AAE Codeswitching in Japanese Hiphop AAE is used by people I know, my friends; th ats how we talk. AAE, used by people of color, is different from language that white people use (.2) so its (I dont know) special. --A 19 year old, Japanese national cultural worker who works in Japan and the US

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163 In the popular and widely consumed Dicti onary of African-American Slang, Izumiyama Izumiyama (2007 [1997]) begins with a Hip-H op Map that designates whos representin where. A map of the continental United States is drawn with Hiphop hot spot cities denoted along with lists of famous African-American rapp ers (with the lone exception of Eminem) who represent those areas. These ci ties and artists are set according the authors sense of saliency towards Hiphop and African-American culture and history. The dict ionary continues to give a linguistic introduction to African American English as well as other information about popular and literary history and culture The book features words that re present all aspects of African American English, from phonological manifestati ons such as da for the to lexicon like steelo (=style). Samples of how to use the word in context in addition to definitions and emoticons indicating whether the vernacular in ques tion is gender-based or st ill relevant are part of each dictionary entry. Popular magazines such as BMR ( Black Music Review ), which prominently features Hiphop, have monthly columns that elucidate the word in AAE much in the manner of how Morgan (2008) theorizes. BMRs column is titled, Word is Yours! The June 2007 issue of BMR s Word is Yours! column featured the word, nappy as Lesson 14 in the series. The descriptions elucidate the s ubject matter in a similar manner to Izumiyama (2007). Izumiyamas book features brief biographies of salient African-American leaders, mostly male, ranging from politicians and human rights activists to prominent sports figures. It says that these leaders are included because they are commonly referenced in Hiphop lyrics. The book also presents timelines and essays answeri ng the question, where did Hiphop come from? Interestingly, African-American roots are design ated, and African-American narrative styles are discussed in detail. The time line features Langston Hughes Not without Laughter in reference to

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164 dirty dozens and other writers, including Zora Neale Hurstons Their Eyes Were Watching God with excerpts, explanation and tr anslation, along with reference to other dance and music styles from the 1930s through the 1960s. The year 1969 re ferences Kool Hercs immigration to the Bronx in addition to H. Raps Browns Die Nigger Die and Iceberg Slims PimpThe Story of My Life It continues on through the pr esent with African-American hi story and cultural roles in Hiphops origins narrative. Why would a dictionary of African-American slang feature so much information on Hiphop, from roots to linguistic features to geography? I posit that the existence and popularity of this book and many others (cf., Izumiyama 2005) further situates Hiphop in Japan as part of imagined black cultural practice, with Hiphop serv ing as a trope for blackness. This is partially maintained through specific speech acts that refl ect African American English. I present lyrics from popular songs initially translated by a 19-yea r-old cultural worker who also works with me as a research assistant and co-constructive analys t. These songs were selected because they are popular among diverse sets of Hiphop heads, and they represent a cross-sect ion of artists in the public sphere. As a bilingual, bicultural producer of Hiphop culture, VSOPs translations were much more artistic and to the liking of the cultura l workers I worked with than some of the other translations presented in this research (such as those by th e author), because they were considered more authentic and less literal or even square. I present both the codeswitching found in the orig inal artists lyrics published by the artists themselves in their CD sleeves or on online fora as well as the translations produced by VSOP. Note that both the originals and the translations feature grammatical features of AAE. As stated earlier, cultural workers reported that it was precisel y the aspects of translations that maintained the AAE linguistic features that reflected the in tention and feeling of the original composition.

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165 Below I outline and analyze examples of AAE lin guistic features as well as Hiphop language ideology in the Japanese compositions presented. Luck Last (2006) by Anarchy feat La Bono and AK-69 AK-69s Verse Original: Shining ganxta rap hey yo hey yo wack Its da mutherfuckin L A Tubi fuckin stylez microphone Luck last put your sets up, blah put your sets up right now blah Translation: 1 Shining, let the gangsta rap bump, you might get burned so you better watchout 2 Hey yo hey yo wack, its da muthafuckin 69 3 Got the L and the A on lock, tubi fuckin stylez 4 When I walked around the town, didnt want to lose to anyone, so dont start shit 5 You need to know me to talk about me 6 Even when I was broke and livin a hard life, even when I was sellin and living a ballin life, 7 Even when I was doin dirt, I never let the microphone, even for no women 8 Luck last put your sets up, all that matters is if you reach your goal, 9 If you lovin right now put your sets up, livin a crazy past Anarchy is based in the Kyoto area of Japan. He is a rapper on the R-Rated Records label managed by Ryuzo for Maguma MCs. The song, Luc k Last, features appearances by La Bono (R-Rated Records) and AK-69, a rapper based in Na goya. His album art (see Fi gure 4-1) features himself in a striking pose behind letters that follo w the aesthetics and rules of commercial graffiti writing, as it looks as if it were written with a marker and extra lines and marks accentuate and frame the wording. The tattoo on his hand suppor ts his bad boy, hardened, and masculine image. Object 4-2 Anarchys album cover for Luck Last Though morphemes such as the and they bei ng linguistically realized as /da/ and /dey/ are indicative of social class, linguists have also situated the occurrence within an AAE phonological framework (cf., Green 2002; Morgan 2001). Lines 2-3 include AAE phonological

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166 style of the appearing as da, and there is also lexical innovation co nsidering L and A (=LA) with on lock lexicon, a verbal phrase meaning that the object/subject in reference is under control. The numbers refer to a car and t ubi refers to car part s, specifically exhaust systems hand-crafted by artisans in Italy. The term fuckin follows the rule of post-vocalic /g/ deletion, and stylez follows innovation in orthogra phy, with the final /s/ being written /z/. Line 6 not only begins a reference to a Hiphop philosophy tenet of perseverance, but it also features three words that follow postvocalic /g/ deletion: l ivin, sellin, and lov in. Put your sets up in line 8 means to represent ones identity, hood, or gang affiliation, with sets referring to hand symbols or gestures that signify ones aff iliation or region, and it co mpletes the narrative of perseverance. Koko Tokyo (2003) by Aquarius (DJ Yakko & Deli) feat. S-Word, Big-O, and Dabo BIG-Os Verse Original: ROCK ON BIG-O RECORD GOT MY MIMDON MY MONEY MONEY ON MY MIND BEAT AQUARIUS WAR-ZONE Translation: 1 Rock on, in a second Ill grab your heart, Ima throw to you Big-Os rhyme 2 Movin and actin to haul your ears, physical evidence, its on the record 3 This sick city, the magic doesnt disappear, time passes, losing sight of the value 4 Got my mind on my money, money on my mind, money falls between the valleys of the between the valleys of the building building 6 Communication on the streets is serious, slowly changes from dream to reality 7 Sittin on the beat, chasin tomorrow, hearin Aquarius from the headphones 8 I choose to live in this city, running through the war zone 9 Ill come and visit you before the neon on the Tokyo tower disappearsThe Hiphop group Aquarius is made up of the two-man crew of DJ and producer, Yakko a.k.a. Jhett, and rapper Deli fr om Nitro Microphone Undergr ound (NMU). The collaboration

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167 resulted in an album called Oboreta Mach i. The song, Koko Tokyo features fellow NMU members S-Word and Dabo, along with another legendary Tokyo rapper, Big-O. Big-O is currently gaining popularity in the US through his newest fashion line, Phenomenon. Their album cover features artistic lettering in ro maji in addition to the group members, who are wearing popular Hiphop fashion. Object 4-3 Aquariuss album cover for the Koko Tokyo Line 1 of the preceding verse contains th e Ima phrase that Morgan (2002:127-128) describes as part of AAE and Hi phop linguistics. Line 4 features the phrase got my mind on my money, money on my mind which is a phrase th at abounds in Hiphop as well as AAE historic narrative poetry. More recently, The Notorious B. I.G.a slain rapper who is considered as possessing some of the most talented lyrical sk ills in global Hiphophas been noted for that phrase. The lyrical sampling here serves as a shout to the aforementioned traditions. The phrase beginning with got is also consistent with Mo rgans research (2002:128) concerning the higher percentage for got verses have in subject cas e for Hiphop verses. Line 9, the final line of the verse, is quite poetic and reminiscent of traditiona l Japanese poetry genres, such as tanka, with his reference to coming to visit his sweetheart be fore dawn. It also petitions literary aesthetics such as mono no aware, in that a sense of sa dness along with sentimen tality is communicated with his vivid and beautiful imagery. The Hiphop aesthetic of perseverance is also communicated in this song, and the lyrical refe rence to Notorious B.I.G. accentuates this sensibility.

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168 No Pain No Gain (2002) DJ PMX feat. Ma ccho (Ozrosaurus), ZeebraMacchos Verse Original: 16 MURDERER 78 CHECK DA NUMBER BAY STAR YO! SMOKIN' BOOGIE ROLLIN' PEACE TO DA DJ PMX 2MC Translation: 1 This is all I have, this skill of rhymin that I been doin 2 You better keep in mind that this aint easy, this is a tough path full of back alleys 3 Crazy bass line with a punch line, no newcomer can get any respect 4 Seems irresponsible but Im not but let it look like it and I stay straight with my swagger 5 My roots come from route 16, Im a murderer with a microphone, since the age of 14, nonstop drama 6 Gotta check da number, speaks like a ballad, reppin the bay Yo! 7 Just cruisin straight on the road, smoking boogie 8 I stay rollin as the ballad plays in the back, I give ma peace to ma Tokyo homies 9 I gamble with my talent and risk it with my pride, 10 I only need those who know to understand me till the end, DJ PMX and 2 tight MCs Legendary producer DJ PMX is from the c ity of Yokohama and is known for his smooth (US) West Coast style tracks. PMX is the d eejay and producer for the two-man crew, DS455. The song No Pain No Gain features Maccho from Ozrosaurus and Zeebra. Maccho, like DJ PMX, represents the Yokohama area. Zeebra is from Tokyo and was part of the legendary Japanese Hiphop group, King Giddra. The font on th e cover of the album brings to mind the block lettering associated with the bling aesthe tic that was new and yet popular at the time of this albums debut. The expensive car and expe nsive fashion buttress this notion. The bandana represents street culture of Japan as well as str eet culture of the US, and the squatted, leaned pose is a classic bboy stance; both symbols represent masculinity.

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169Object 4-4 DJ PMXs album art for the No Pain No Gain Line 1 communicates a sense of despair or de privation in this verse that attends to Hiphops dominant dont give up narrative. Line 1 also features postvoc alic /g/ deletion. Line 6 contains phonological feature d a in place of the and go tta in subject position (Morgan 2002:128). Line 8 presents the syntax feature or stay which is ak in to steady, but differs in that it means to engage in activity frequently (Green 2002:23). When ly ricist Maccho says he stay rollin as the ballad plays in the back, he could intend a double meaning given the context of the rest of the verse: he is always rolling ma rijuana cigarettes and he is always riding in his car. Line 8 could be glossed as I am always engaged in rol ling marijuana for the purpose of smoking, while I habitually ride in my car and listen to music fr om loudspeakers located in the back of my car. Line 8 also includes the Hiphop and AAE word homies meaning friends. Uh-Uh (2003) by Suite Chic feat. AISuite Chics Verse Original: make me be sick why don't you stop playin' me out game damn! what? but, bootylicious to the end Translation: 1 Falling in to disord er, getting choked 2 This relationship thats full of scratches, make me be sick 3 Even as we talk, I feel like collapsing 4 Why don't you stop playin' me out 5 I want to stop this 6 This is a game that I dont wanna lose but I'm at a disadvantage 7 So what? Im gonna be aggressive but 8 One more time, fall for my body thats bootylicious 9 I love the way that you see me with your eyes till the end

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170 Suite Chic, a.k.a. Amuro Namie, is a fam ous pop singer in Japan who has shown her staying power in the industry. She has recorded under the name Suite Chic as a Hiphop emcee and singer, and has collaborated with various Hiphop artists such as Dabo, Zeebra, Verbal from M-Flo, and XBS on her first Hiphop style album, When Pop Hits the Fan. The song Uh-Uh is produced by Yakko a.k.a. Jhett from the group Aqua rius and features another major Japanese emcee, AI. This J-Pop turned Hiphop star featur es a blaxploitation-influenced cover for the compilation pictured (Object 4-5). Of note are 1970s-inspired font st yles of Suite Chic written on the album cover. Also of note is her choice of the afro hair style and perhaps slightly browner skin for the front cover illustrati on of herself. This illustration does not reflect her usual image. She is rumored to have mixed or multiple he ritages and is from Ryukyu Islands. She is touted as being one of the best R&B and Hiphop ar tists in the world by her consumers. Object 4-5 Suite Chics album cover for the Uh-Uh This translation features aspects of AAE phonology (postvocalic /g/ deletion), syntax (invariant /be/), and lexicon (boot ylicious). Line 2 suggests an a ttempt at the use of invariant (aspectual or habitual) /be/, meaning the male character that she sings about keeps her in a continual sense of heartbreak, not that he is only making her upset in this particular moment. Line 4 contains the phrase pla yin me out; /playin/ is a resu lt of post-vocalic /g/ deletion, and the overall phrase is common in Hiphop meaning th at one has been duped, tricked, or humiliated. Line 8 contains a lyrical sample from Beyonce, who is part of an African-American female singing group called Destinys Child (my body th ats bootylicious). In Hiphop, lyrical samples serve as a shout out, props, or respectful intentions towa rd others who influence ones artistic production and persona. Furthermore, bootylicious is part of Hiphop lexicon. Currently in the public sphere it means beautiful, or as Izumiyama (20 07) defines it booty (=body) + delicious, and an example of it in use is I wa nna be bootylicious like Kelis [US female emcee

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171 and wife to US male emcee Nas] (2007:31). Th is newer definition demonstrates linguistic change. For example, when I was coming of age, bootylicious was akin to the word wack or bootyas in it stank like a butt (c f, Snoop Dogg 1992dissin Tim DogBut fuck your mama, I'm talkin about you and me/ Toe to toe, Tim M-U-T/ Your bark was loud, but your bite wasn't vicious/ And them rhymes you were kickin were quite bootylicious ). Bootylicious held a negative connotation as an insult in a similar manner, but not as powerful, as any phrase that disrespects ones mother. Beyonce and others have helped to catapult th is AAE-rooted lexicon into the international public sphere with a new meaning.1 Bayside Cruisin (2005) Big Ron feat. Richee, DS455 Richees Verse Big Ron is a cultural worker based in the Y okosuka area of Japan, He has been active in the West Coast cultural movement scene of Japa n. This song is featured on his album, Str8 Out Da Bay and features Richee, a member of Big Rons Hiphop group, Ghetto INC., and DS455, which consists of DJ PMX and rapper Ka yzabro. Of note on this album cover is the AAE phrase and orthography Str8 Out Da Bay. Thus, two California, USA references are combined. First, the Straight Outta Compton album by LA-based group NWA and Da Bay, which refers to the San Francisco Bay Area (usu ally the East Bays Oakland or Richmond, which serve as tropes for blackness in public discourse as well as in the E bonics dictionaries; see Izumiyama 2005, 2007 [1997]). Second, the symbols of Big Rons tattooed arms simultaneously evoke a memory of LA-based Black and Latino gang cultures as well as Japanese domestic gang and mafia culture. The car selection also refe rences a US West Coast Hiphop aesthetic, as Yokohama, home to some US military-base housi ng, is usually presented as having more of a 1 See also Morgan (2002:76) on grammaticaliz ation and (2008:95, 102) for more on linguistic change in AAE and Hiphop language varieties.

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172 West Coast style than Tokyo, a nearby city. Bi g Ron is also rumored to have mixed or multiple heritages. I have heard a number of rumors, one of which positions him as being of white (US, American?) and Japanese-national heri tage. Big Rons work has been criticized for its misogynistic references that objectify wo men, and Latina/o research consultants have problematized his performance of LA style and culture as Y okohama style and culture that reifies stereotypes of Mexican people in the me dia. Despite these critiques, Big Ron enjoys popularity, sold-out shows, and high sales of his productions, both CDs and DVDs, which could hint toward changing attit udes concerning performances of race among current Hiphop consumers. Whereas in the 1990s, trends in Japanese Hiphop seemed to be more sensitive about performing negative stereotypes of racialized people (e.g., Africandescendants) and there was a lot of rhetoric about respecting the roots and history of the culture, Big Rons performances were not read as such by some of my Latino-id entified research assistan ts. His performance was read as offensive to one assistant. Other research assistants viewed his work as performative and not much different from other manifestations of the so-called gangsta genre of Hiphop, and therefore, not offensive in terms of race, but in deed offensive or at least problematic in terms of gender representation. In any case, Big Ron presents interesting in stances of codeswitching, and represents novel asp ects of hybridity in Japanese Hiphop genres. Line 1 below contains postvoc alic /g/ deletion with cruising, hittin, and switchin. Lines 3-5 contain lexicon that is indicative of specific US West Coast aesthetics including so called cholo culture with lowride, dayton, and candy paint, referring to car maintenance and artistic rendering (paint, wheel s, and stylization). Line 7 feat ures a future tense auxiliary, gonna. Lisa Green comments that, future is also marked with gonna or gon, which does not occur with first person singular (Ima) (Gr een 2002:40). Lines 8 and 12 refer to dominant

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173 Hiphop philosophies, one of perseverance and the othe r to wild style or artistic and unfettered creative aesthetics. Original: CRUISIN' STREET AND HITTIN' SWITCHIN' WOW CHROME CANDY PAINT GOLD DAYTON WIRE LOWRIDE STYLE DESIRE HOT GIRLS MY HEART IS ON FIRE GONNA GET HIGH STYLE WILD TRIAL BIG RON & KAY-DOUBLE "O" SHOUT PMX, DJ THAT ROCKS THE CROWD SHOW KEEP ON MOVIN' BAYSIDE CRUISIN' Translation: 1 Cruisin' around the city street and hittin', switchin' 2 wow, the chrome bumper shining 3 Candy paint, the wheels are gold 4 dayton wire, with the stuck out tires 5 lowride style is what it desire 6 some hot girls, my heart is on fire 7 gonna get high till the early morning 8 this style is always wild 9 I cant tell ya all day long, this is our trial 10 Big Ron and Kay-double o and shout to PMX, DJ that rocks the crowd 11 if you've come this far, you know the rest 12 the path is long so keep on movin' 13 the never-ending bayside cruisin' Object 4-6 Big Rons album cove r for the Bayside Cruisin Hybridity, Identity, and Cultural Work I had been to the VIP secti on of a particularly large, Shibuya-based Hiphop club several times, but I had not been there wh en there were so many (over a dozen) recording artists in the section at once. The area we were in was very sm all, and it made my experience in the area seem extra crowded and tight. I found a space next to an artist whom I recognized from popular press and a brief meeting and interview a year earlier. I asked him if he was who I thought he was, and responded that he was. He asked me how my work was going and I, surprised that he remembered me from a brief meeting from the year before, replied that it was going well. At some point while we were talking (in Japanese), he abruptly asked if I was half Japanese. When I told him that I was not half Japanese, he asked how I learned to speak Japanese, and I told him that I originally learned it from my mother, w ho used to teach Chinese and Japanese. He then

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174 asked, Is she [my mother] Chinese? and I sai d, No shes African-descent American. But you are half [ haffu ](=of multi-racial heritage)? he said, and I responded, Yes, my mother is black and my father is white. Me, too, wa s his response. He continued, My mother is Filipino and my father is Japanese. I am ha lf, too. He was grinning widely and nodding emphatically, seeming excited that we were both haffu At this point, a number of other artists n ear us began to relay similar comments. My mother is Chinese, said one rapper, and My mo ther is Korean, said another. Someone called out, I heard [another artist who had left the VIP section to ha ng out in the deejay area] was Ainu. I was surprised by this interaction. Up un til that point I had been told that people who were haffu hid their multiple heritages to fit into to Ja panese society (cf., Life 199X) but in this space people were proudly claiming diverse he ritage and drawing connections to their perceptions of me. The artists whom I talked to th at night performed as if they were secure and proud of their identity. I asked the artist sitting closest to me who identified as having a Filipino mother if he pr eferred the term haffu (=half, suggesting multiple ethnoracial heritage) or daaburu (=double, suggesting multiple ethnoracial heritage). He responded that nowadays it is better (=politically correct) to say daaburu but when he was growing up, he was picked on and called haffu and now that he is rich and famous he delights in proclaiming that he is haffu and successful. I replied that I understand prejudice (= sabetsu wakarimasu meaning I went through similar experiences), and said I n the United States and even here [in Japan] in Nagoya as a high school student, I had problems. He said, To struggle and be successful is the story of Hiphop. Kanpai (=toast) We toasted, and the topic shifte d, as someone began to ask my colleague questions about her experiences with a famous US-based conscious Hiphop group.

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175 My main interlocutors (the artist with the Filipino mother) mindful usage of haffu reminded me of the generational use of the pejorative N word in the US among African Americans. His practice in this instance seemed indicative of disidentification, as he purposely identified with a negative identity term in an effo rt to raise awareness about social inequality and abuse that he experienced growing up with that identification. His recognition of his success in spite of this identification seemed to be a politi cal act to reveal the c onstructed nature of the identification in the first place. Finally, his associ ation with hyrbidity (having multiple heritage), suffering (coping with racialized ascriptions), and success through Hiphop (overcoming societal adversity), supports the transnational Hiphop aesthe tic, which holds an idea of the artist as superhero and artist as pr oviding an imperative dont give up narrative (Muoz 1999; Morgan 2008). As time passed, I had more and more expe riences like the aforementioned. In 2005, the atmosphere of certain clubs in Tokyo was mo re welcoming of multicultural and multilingual knowledge than I had ever experienced before. Wher eas my earlier experien ce was confined to a group conversation in the seclud ed VIP section of a club, I no w saw open mic battles that welcomed emcees and other artists from local military bases and other club goers who all displayed skill in multiple languages and cultures. Indeed, these particular spaces privileged political marking of daaburu or more. The extremely young club visitors seem to be coming up in a different social space than my own agemates who were marked with multiple heritages in Japan, or at least this club. The hot spot of Roppongi was a safe zone for them that night. In this atmosphere, I wished that Lafura Jacks on, aka A-Twice, was w ith me to witness our shared childhood fantasy: a space that welcomed and encouraged Africanand Asiandescent cultural and political collaboration.

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176 Lafura Jackson was the son of a Japanese mother and African-American father, and his name A-Twice signified that he was of both Af ricanand Asian-descent. An interview with a close friend who assists his mother with managing the cultural and academic materials that focus on Jackson revealed that Jackson was interest ed in uncovered, under-reported research and practice concerning collaborations between Asian-descendents and African-descendants, with a focus on African Americans and Japanese nationals We even share a similar tattoo attesting to this wish: the kanji character for black ( ) rests on my back and it re sted on Jacksons arm. The increasing evidence of open hybrid identities in Japanese Hiphop scenes marks a difference from the eras in which Jackson and I grew up, where blackness as well as being marked as racially mixed or haffu was stigmatized. Jackson, among others, saw Hiphop as a safe space for bringing diverse cultures and language ideologies together (Jackson n.d.). It seems to be happening in the distinct spaces that I just described. Case Studies: Producers, Consumers, and Distributors You better be serious if you wanna be serious/ No question: we pass on the sentiment of our great teachers/ We are missionaries from Japan/ Today again we go to the battlefield.We put our inten tions in rap/ We live this extreme performance/ softness overcomes hardness --Rappagariyas lyrics, K obushi (DJ Yutaka produced United Nations (2000) Distribution: We All in the Same Game The story of distribution in Hi phop is indicative of the universa lization of capitalism, and it cannot be rooted in one country s soil. Hiphop emerged in undocumented markets, outside of the formal economy in its genesis in the United St ates. Arguably, all Hiphop continues to begin in this manner, with the exception of corporate in vented performing groups, which generally do not have the lasting marketability that those that cu t their entrepreneurial teeth in street markets do. Indeed, many if not all Hiphop artists who are now part of a larger Multi-national Corporate

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177 (MNC) family usually gained notoriety in their home communities, demonstrating the ability to sell large numbers of units befo re being offered formal economic contracts with corporate entities. While there have been some notable Hi phop acts that were create d for the direct purpose of profit and not necessarily art (e.g., Suga r Hill Gang by Sylvia Robinson and The Band by Sean Combs), these creations have not proven to be profitable in the long term without constant communication with and input from local comm unity artists (e.g., Grandmaster Caz wrote many of the lyrics for Sugar Hill Gang). This formula is not unique to the United States, as most record labels and distributors are actua lly engaged with larger MNCs that run this aspect of the entertainment market all over the world. Despite the fact that various small inde pendent recording companies initiated the production, publishing, and marketi ng of Hiphop music, larger re cord companies that can be traced to parent companies1 quickly realized the profit poten tial and by the late 1980s bought or became the distributors for virtually all of the independent labels. At this moment, corporate control over distribution (i.e., what the public ha s access to consume in formal markets) is at once solidified and obscured. Even if an MNC do es not have control ove r the artistic production of a product, the corporation does retain control over its proliferation in the formal economy. This is a cultural contradiction with the authenticity aesthetic in Hiphop origins narratives that posit connections to communities and local knowledge for success. MNCs partially redress this through subsidiaries. For example, reggae music by a Japanese or Jamaican artist on Island Records can eventually be tra ced to its parent company, SO NY. Likewise, Hiphop music by an artist in Japan or the United States may be on th e Def Jam or Virgin labe l, but it can eventually 1 In the late 1980s these companies were MCA, Warner, Capitol-EMI, Polygram, SONY, CBS, and BMG. At the beginning of my research thes e companies were the following: Warner, EMI, SONY/BMG and Universal. Warner and EMI merged during the tenure of my research, leaving three major media conglomerates: Wa rner-EMI, SONY-BMG, and Universal.

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178 be traced to SONY-BMG and EMI respectively. Even the notor iously independent ADA is now owned by Warner. In the mid-1990s, scholars interested in thes e global economic flows thought the country base and ownership of these MNCs could be veri fied. For example, we thought that we could say that SONY was a Japan-based and owned comp any, and that Warner was a USA-based and owned company, but most of this has shifted wi th changing laws and economic practice. With the severe economic recession that hit Japan in 1994, many of its leading companies have changed national hands so quickly that it has been difficult for this ethnographer to keep up. I know from those inside these industries that th ere has been a trend for Western and Northern European countries as well as the United States to procure ownership of these companies, but keep them based in Japan fo r market and legal reasons.2 This has created massive restructuring with Japanese Hiphop companies, as it has with American Hiphop companies. Among the artists whom I work with, there is a resistance not only to having ones political and artistic agenda controlled by a corporation, but also to having on es political and artistic agenda controlled by a foreign corporation that is conspicuously situated outside of the traditional Hiphop cultural aesthetic, including pride and comm itment to autochthonous production. 2 An economist in the Mitsubishi companies explained it to me lik e this, If the trend is to buy Japanese then it is best for the American comp any to keep its product Japanese (Fieldnotes 2001). I suppose this complies with meeting the needs of perceive d tastes and preferences. An African-American MNC-affiliated artist who practices globally comments, That shit changes every year: companies switching hands. Its hard to keep up. I mean thats the way the music industry works; whatever is hot, different investors jumpin in, jumpin outThats the way that shit works; its real fluid (Fieldnotes 2004).

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179 Consumers: Beyond Blackface The consumers3 that I have engaged are so different that I will just give a few examples from my field experiences in an effort to provide a sample of the variance. In addition, it is my hope that these individuals narr atives will reveal the spurious claim of a fixed, carbon copy Japanese national consumer, who is often presente d as artificially tanned with darkening makeup, African-derived hairstyles (e .g., braided extensions or locs), and wearing clothing that is associated with a Hiphop fashion industry. Such im ages have spawned a number of articles from American scholars and journalist s arguing that this phenomenon repr esents more evidence of (1) the lack of authenticity in Japanese Hiphop,4 and (2) antiblack, raci st attitudes of the (=homogenous) Japanese society. Yuri and Makoto have never left the island of Honshu in Japan. Makoto has never left his region, which is located in the southern part of the island. He is from a self-described lower middle class family and he cannot afford to travel Yuri, who lives near th e capital city, visited the southern region once on an extracurricular activ ity field trip. Makoto is an airplane custodian in his middle twenties who specifically cleans re strooms. He consumes mainstream, top-selling commercial Hiphop and reggae artists that are featured on popular radio stations and on video channels such as MTV Japan and Space Shower TV He reports that his love of Hiphop has led him to have an increased pride in himself as a Ja panese man. He is an avid reader of works that are mentioned in his favorite Hiphop songs. He mentioned that the Autobiography of Malcolm X in translation was a pivotal text in his self-realization process. 3 These consumers are presented using pseudonyms that I have arbitrarily chosen. They are presented in femalemale groups, and categorized by access to travel. 4 This particular sentiment is indicative of the age-old alwa ys imitators, never innovators racialized rhetoric from WWII and the 1980s. See John Dower (1993:291) or Dorinne Kondo (1997) for more explanation.

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180 Yuri was in her early twenties when I met her, and she had the unique experience of interning as a promoter and organizer for underground Hiphop events in the Tokyo-KawasakiYokohama metropolitan area. Yuri consumes comme rcial Japanese Hiphop artists who have an underground aesthetic as well as some popular American Hiphop groups that are marketed as underground in America. The Japanese artists that Yuri likes best are usually unsigned, internet-based groups who represent the local culture of her home ar ea, located just outside of the metropolitan area that she works. Her favorite gr oups tend to sing about things like ecology and peace. Yuri likes similar environmentalist-mi nded Hiphop artists from the United States. Both Makoto and Yuri self-identif y as Japanese nationals. Mayuko and Bunwon are open with their ethnic mi nority identity in Japan. Both of them were born in Japan and currently live in the Kantoo region on the island of Honshu. When I met them, Mayuko was in her early thirties and Bunw on was in his middle thirties. Mayuko is a Korean-descent Japanese resident. Her family ha s lived in Japan for ma ny decades. She is an office worker at an NGO where she does educa tional research. Mayuko attended college, and as a Christian, she recalls always listening to b lack music in her household. She thinks that Hiphop is the music for her generation. She likes the melodies and beats. She also likes the messages of equality in some (Japanese) ra ppers music. She enjoys all Hiphop, but she only purchases Japanese Hiphop. Bunwon was originally from the southern region but moved to the north in the hopes of pursuing an art career. He is from a si ngle-parent, low socioeconomic household, and he is also daaburu (=of mixed racial and ethnic heritage), as his mother is Filipino. Bunwon now lives a comfortable, middle-cl ass lifestyle in a city location, working as a visual artist. Bunwon consum es and purchases both underground and commercial Hiphop from both Japan and the United States. He believes that the Hiphop lyricists narra te their life struggles

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181 through their art, and he is influenced to do the same in his own artistic expression. Both Mayuko and Bunwon have only traveled briefly to other Asian countries for the purpose of visiting distant family or explor ing notions of cultural heritage. Michiko and Seichi are self-ide ntified TCKs or Third Cult ure Kids, whose fathers are very wealthy businessmen who often lived abroad with their families for business purposes. When I met them, Michiko was in her late twentie s and Seichi was in his early thirties. They attended private schools as well as college. Wh ereas Michiko went to a prestigious Japanese university, Seichi attended a well-known American university. Both Michiko and Seichi are avid Hiphop fans, and they frequent concerts, clubs, and album debuts or in-store visits to record shops from Hiphop artists. They consume and purc hase Hiphop from Japan as well as the United States. They have a preference for oppositional, nonconsumerist, anticapitalist music such as music by K Dub Shine or dead prez. They both have dreams of joining their social activism with what they believe to be an emerging interna tional Hiphop political move ment. Seichi, who was once seriously considering a career as a bilingual lyricist, is now a fairly well known artist who raps mainly in Japanese, despit e his bilingual skills a nd is increasingly concerned with what he understands to be traditional Japanese lyrical and cultural aesthetics in his music. Producers: The Keepers of the Culture Japanese pioneers such as Pion eer 1, Pioneer 2, and Pioneer 35 are able to police Japanese origins narratives as well as what should be c onstituted as real Hiphop because they are elders and they were there. Other pioneers, such as Pioneer 4 and Pioneer 5, present interesting intersections with the formal music industry. Thes e artists have not only spent time in the United 5 The US-based pioneers are marked as US Hi phop Pioneer # and the Japanese Hiphop pioneers are labeled without reference to geopolitical entity, Pioneer #.

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182 States experiencing black culture firsthand, but th ey also purport fictive kinships with key US Hiphop pioneers. Pioneer 2 is famed for his over-twenty-y ears friendship with US Hiphop Pioneer 7. According to the Japanese origins narrative, Pi oneer 2 met US Hiphop Pioneer 7 when a certain tour hit Tokyo, Japan in the ea rly 1980s. US Hiphop Pioneer 7, who was a teenager at the time and was traveling as a live performer alongside a documentary film that features him and many artists from US Hiphops origins narrative. Pione er 2 was a fellow adolescent who befriended US Hiphop Pioneer 7, learned dance styles from him, and later started a Japan Chapter of US Hiphop Pioneer 7s transnational social moveme nt organization 2 (TSMO 2). For over twenty years Pioneer 2 was known for holding bgirl and bboy dance circles on weekends in an outdoor area. Pioneer 2 is considered the father of Japa ns largest underground Hiphop festival, which is cohosted by Pioneer 1 and his transnational so cial movement organization 1 (TSMO 1) as well as many other organizations and corporations. Pioneer 2 is best known around th e world for his dancing, but he also engages in other elements of Hiphop such as emceeing and graffi ti. At a Knowledge Panel at an annual Hiphop festival, Pioneer 2 and Pioneer 1 engaged in philosophical discussion and cultural critique of Japanese Hiphop practice. They e xpressed origins narrativ es and policed current practices with all elements of Hiphop that they perceive to be deviating from its origin al goal (peace, love, unity and harmony and social change). They pr oblematized graffiti as practiced in Japan, and petitioned US Hiphop Pioneer 7 to participate in a multilingual dialogue about the topic. Social commentary was linked to artistic and cultural aes thetics in this conversation. Pioneer 1 pleaded with the young crowd to read more and to study the origins by watching films like Wild Style and Pioneer 2 asked the crowd to raise a revol ution as Hiphoppers. Th eir age and their life

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183 experiences in addition to thei r relationship with another elde r from across the Pacific, US Hiphop Pioneer 7, hierarchically situ ated their edicts, as they repe ated their old ages, bragged about their small children (=patern al privilege) and threatened to have their ancestral spirits haunt those who disrespected th e international culture of Hiphop. When I met Pioneer 3, he enjoyed the rare pl easure of checking publ ic discourse on the origins and current cultural pr actice of Hiphop on the air of hi s radio show. A self-identified elder in Japanese Hiphop, Pion eer 3s extensive and conspicuous experience working in a US city with Hiphop-affiliated industries situates him as one of the few Japanese Hiphop pioneers whose career has traced both the formal and inform al sides of the economy as well as both the artistic and journalistic sides of the culture. As an elder, Pioneer 3 is positioned as one who knows and one who was there at Hiphops earlie st phases. He has been called upon to judge or moderate emcee or deejay battles, and as a prom inent personality in public discourse, he is an accessible public authority on Hiphop culture. His role in the community as a radio personality provides him with the opportunity to converse w ith and reach out to troubled individuals on a nightly basis by answering faxes, e-mails, and pho ne calls while on air. He advocates social change and is critical of white supremacy with his bilingual, binationa l (of black America and Japan) mildly cultural nationalist political rhet oric. He contends that although he holds no disrespect for white people, the raced peoples of the world ar e in a similar struggle against subjugation. Pioneer 3 remembers being discrimina ted against by white people during his stay in the US. While he finds US black culture politica lly useful, he encourages young Japanese people to be themselves and to be proud they are Japanese while vigilant not to fall into racist strains of Nihonjinron that are antiblack or anti other ethnic peoples.

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184 When I met Pioneer 4, she was an industry executive. She is a relative newcomer, as the company she works with was established in the la te 1990s. As a result, sh e occupies a space in the latter part of Japanese Hiphops origins narr atives. Though Pioneer 4 has been criticized by other cultural workers for promoting Japanese Hiphop that is considered consumerist and commercial and not real, she says that she is not an advocate of American imperialism, and she believes that Japanese artists who perform A merican identities are rebelling against the exoticized image of Japanese people as samura i and geishas. Pioneer 4 is an important power player in the intersection of underground Hi phop and the formal music industry. Like other CEOs of formal economic record companies in the US (e.g., Epitaph and Stones Throw), Pioneer 4 recognizes youths tastes and pref erences for underground Hiphop. Companies like these are currently courting groups that critique the status quo through cultural nationalism and communist rhetoric. Perhaps as Ky le Cleveland, sociologist and dire ctor of the Wakai Project at Temple University Japan comments, these companies are attempting to market revolution to increasingly disgrunt led social groups. Pioneer 5 is probably one of the most know ledgeable people about Pacific Rim Hiphop culture, and he has been extremel y instrumental in scouting out talent throughout this region of the world. A Japanese national, yet a member of a racially stigmatized ethnic group, Pioneer 5 is keen on Hiphops utility as political strategy for socially subjugated groups. He is the child of one Chinese parent and one Ja panese parent, and he spent his early childhood between Hong Kong and Japan. Despite the discrimination that he experienced as an Asian-national living in a US city as an exchange student his most salient experience of racial subjection occurred when he was a middle school student who was picked up by the Japanese police for not carrying his identification papers. Until fair ly recently, like in South Africa, members of certain racial and

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185 ethnic groups did not enjoy full citizenship righ ts, and the adolescent Pioneer 5 was therefore required to carry identification at testing to his state-regulated identity. In protest of this oppressive policy, he refused to comply. As a resu lt, he was punished by being arrested, abused and detained. His mother learned of his ar rest through neighborhood rumor and immediately went to rescue him, but not w ithout first reprimanding and shami ng the police for their behavior. Pioneer 5 was then sent to the US for high school. The program in which he enrolled turned out to be a scam, and he soon found himself across the Pacific with no money and no way to contact his family. He reports that an African-American woman who owned a hair salon offered to take him in on two conditions: (1) that he sweep the shop after school and (2 ) attend church every week. Pioneer 5 ended up attending high school w ith an African-American entertainment industry moguls son and through th is network, after high school he enjoyed a number of jobs in both the Hiphop and fashion industry. Pioneer 5 says that he has never forgotten his roots, and he continues to work for social justice. He is particularly committed to Hiphop, among other forms of black cultural music forms because those are th e melodies that helped him to cope with trying times as a young person. An example of Pioneer 5 s social consciousness would be his resigning from a very lucrative designer job for an Am erican (non-Hiphop) fashion mogul, because the fabrics the designers used were produced in swea tshops in Southeast China. He remarks that he could have relatives there and he cannot be complic it with policies that ex ploit his people. At one point Pioneer 5 said he pref ers to work in the fashion worl d of Hiphop, where he claims to experience less discrimination, and he thinks that there is less global exploitative practice in those companies versus the non-Hiphop alternat ives. He has innovated many popular items and

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186 designs that abound in Hiphop today. Despite all of his successes, Pioneer 5 still experiences discrimination based on his state -regulated identity in Japan. Pioneer 1 conspicuously adds to his list of friends on the website for TSMO 1, with a particular emphasis on two world-renown Hiphop gian ts: a world-famous political rapper and US Hiphop Pioneer 9, the founder of TSMO 1s parent organization, TSMO. Indeed, in Japanese Hiphop origins narratives, Pioneer 1 is the US Hiphop Pioneer 9 of Japan, the founder of their TSMO 1. Like US Hiphop Pioneer 9, his life ex periences inspire Japanese youth who may be grappling with exam failure, abuse at school, job loss, ethnoracial in feriority complexes, hikikomori6 or some other social injustice to keep on, keeping on (= ganbatte ) and persevere. Pioneer 1 claims to have experienced a great deal of race-based discrimi nation while living in the United States. He says that a combination of experiences caused him to end up impoverished, homeless, and addicted to crack-co caine while living in a US city. Pioneer 1 attributes his rescue to US Hiphop Pioneer 8 of the parent TSMO and relative to US Hiphop Pioneer 9. He says that US Hiphop Pioneer 8 helped him get back on his feet, and in this way Hiphop saved his life. In this narrative, he returned to Japan to save Japanese youth with Hiphop, as he once was the recipient of such outreach. The TSMO 1s (cultural nationalist) mantra, peace, love, unity and harmony, are st rikingly similar to Japans own version of cultural nationalism, Nihonjinron Therefore, it should not be surprising that many tracks produced by Pioneer 1 reveal their own strain of culturally nationalist rhetoric that is strategically essentialist to liberate the Ja panese race from the Western do mination that makes people feel bad and unworthy. Pioneer 1 and his cohorts seem to use this ideological combination to 6 Literally meaning parasitic, hikikomori is a sociologically prescr ibed social pathology among youth, and it is akin to agoraphobia. I actually disagree with such ascriptions, but this is one of many newer social problems assigned to youth.

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187 dialogue with like-minded US-based Hiphop artists to create an internatio nal criticism of stateregulated identities such as race and class. In these lyrical dialogue s, the essentialist notions of state-based ascriptions seem to be used in an effort to unfix these fixed identities and to promote a counterhegemonic cultural pluralism. Conclusion: The Politics of an International Hiphop Generation? The use of a borrowed blackness by Japa nese Hiphop producers and consumers that is facilitated through MNC distribut ion as well as underground transnational networks is reminiscent of Mark Re ids explanation of negotiation in a post-Negritude, postcolonial activist project in which social change is sought that simultaneously works within and against the grain of the status quo. Reid comments that in disc ussions of global racialism it would be more productive to view it as a sociopsychic problem that is generally aided by patriarchal conventions and values which sustain a multinational corpor ate economy (1997:22). He concedes that any economic solution to racist and sexist processe s of cultural production mu st negotiate with the capitalist needs of multi national corporations (1997:22). This trend to reinvent oneself through transcultural dialogues that incl ude narratives that are strate gically oppositional to formal economies, while simultaneously wo rking within them, seems to be characteristic with the utility of critical memory as discussed by Houston Bake r, Jr. (1994). The power of this narrative lies in the publics willingness to co mply with the pioneers lead. I believe this because in many cases the liberation ideologies were not co mmunicated primarily through the dominant media conglomerates, but through genuine people-to-pe ople contact that ironica lly was usually made possible by neo-imperialist endeavors such as co rporate mergers and military occupation. In this vein, the inspirational narrative spun by Hi phops American pioneers and guarded by their international counterparts shows particular promise for what Homi Bhabha calls the transnational as translati onal in the postcolonial in tellectual project (1994:172).

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188 This chapter began with Japans Hiphop orig ins narrative and outlined how that origins narrative influenced Japanese cultural workers to transcend political bou ndaries and geopolitical identities in search of a liberation message th at serves their autoch thonous political agenda. Interviews with cultural workers were analy zed for terminology and discursive practice that situated Japanese national identities in allegian ce with African-Ameri can identities as one explanation for these cultural workers pe rformance of blackness through Hiphop. Japanese cultural workers use of Hiphop language id eology and philosophy was analyzed through an analysis of flow and battle c oncepts. Instances of AAE grammati cal features were identified in an analysis of selected song lyri cs and related album art that atte nds to both an African-American and Hiphop cultural aesthetic. Finally, case studies were provided in addition to other stories from the field in an effort to narra te examples of individuals who live (= ikiru ) Hiphop life and philosophy. Hiphop was situated as following past social movements political agendas of furthering critical awareness of and action against racialization and relate d socio-economic subjugation. In this vein, Hiphop has been a successful social movement, albeit not a new one, as it has successfully brought antiracist ideology against a global world racial hierarchy into the international public sphere thr ough popular culture and related organizational building. However, the limits of this social movement, which build on cultural nationalist discursive practice, lie in an ideology in which issues of race and class injustice trump issues of gender and sexuality injustice when the latter refers to the basi c human rights of women and children (cf., Collins 2006, Gelb 2003, Philips 2006, McClaurin 2001, Tanaka 1987). Indeed, the liberation of the strategically essentia l black MAN and Japanese MAN through Hiphop leaves much undone in regard to political work relating to women and racialized others (e.g., Ryukyuans) who feel

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189 alienated by the discourses (e.g., Yamato purity) based on performances of unified national identities (e.g., Rappagariyas lyrics referencing national icons such as hi no maru bento ). The next chapter further inve stigates this situation. Table 4-1 Transcription conventions used Symbol Description ( ) Words spoken, not quite audible (( )) transcribers description [ overlapping utterances use open-ended bracket for each overlapping utterance [Hiphop] Words enclosed in brackets repres ent transcribers interpretation of preceding words or phrases = no interval between turns ? interrogative intonation (2.0) pause timed in seconds (.) small untimed pause th:::en prolonged sound why emphasis YES (=fo sho) Louder sound to surrounding talk utterance or line number of interest to ethnographer for analysis translations or elucidations of words used in either Japanese, AAE, or GAE

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190 CHAPTER 5 IS OPRAH RIGHT? RACE AND GE NDER POLITICS IN HIPHOP You don't have to bitch and ho me down in order to make music Oprah Winfrey1 Ethnographers Eye/I-Novel or Shishosetsu : Raising Critical Notions of Self and Society through Narrative In Crafting Selves (1990), Dorinne Kondo theorizes about the ethnographers eye/I in the final reportage of research experiences She comments, So I te ll the story of how I came to center my project on notions of iden tity and self-hood, through an experiential first person narrative I deploy in order to make se veral theoretical points, one of which is that any account, mine included, is partial a nd located, screened through the narrators eye/I (1990:8). Kondo continues to critique ethnographic writing stra tegies that promote fixed identifications by not in cluding particularities of power relations in the ethnographic field experience. She also notes the difficulty of using standard ethnographic language and writing techniques to communicate in a manner that does not reif y static conceptualizations of identities. For example, she, as I do in this write-up, avoids the use of the collective noun the Japanese as well as generalized statemen ts using abstract individuals such as the Japanese woman is (1990:46). These and other instances of attention paid to problematizing rhetorical strate gies that essentialize identit ies are important ethnographic steps towards an ethnography th at critically anal yzes identificator y practice without 1 The quote from Oprah Winfrey is from CNN. coms Transcripts and can be accessed at http://transcripts.cnn.com/ TRANSCRIPTS/0606/22/sbt.01.html (Accessed November 15, 2007). The entire quote from Winfrey is, My point is you don`t have to bitch and ho me down in order to make music. This utterance followed her assertion that she likes/ listens to some Hiphop, but not that which marginali zes women. Her comments are a response to accusations from many rappers, including Ludacr is and Ice Cube that Ms. Winfrey got a problem with Hiphop.

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191 reinscribing such identificatio ns on the people whose lives we report. She concludes that she aims to make issues of power central to our discussions of the self, and second, to experiment with rhetorical strategies that might be more compatible with theoretical emphases on multiplicity, contextuality, complexity, power, irony, and resistance (1990:43). My text employs alternative re porting styles that attend to the political project that Kondo (1990, 1997) explains regarding cr itical race research. By employing autoethnography in a manner similar to the Japanese lite rary genre of shishosetsu I narrate a story of complicated and contra dictory discursive practice. The shishosetsu which is often translated as an I-novel or ficti on that is based on conf ession or autobiography, investigates and reveals critic al notions of self and societ y through narrative and specific rhetoric. Mary Layoun summari zes Edward Fowlers work on the genre in the following way: Fowlers analysis of the rhe toric of confession in the shishosetsu as a reformulation of self-expression for society in which the self is rigorously contained is brilliantly to the point and directly confronts the ready assumptions of some critical schools that would simply equate the notion of self in the shishosetsu in particular or Japanese society in general with the Western notion of the indivi dual self. [1989:159] The autoethnographic reflections o ffered in this work are meant to be read as an expression of mediated identities and so cietal commentary as part of a collective voice offered through the collaborative analysis of collected mate rials. The use of autobiographical form as fiction or narrative has been a key tool for women writing agains t the grain throughout Japanese literary hi story. Classics like The Gossamer Journal and The Confessions of Lady Niijo allowed women writers to reveal the intimate details of social inequality in the spirit of prose or art and Yukiko Tanaka (1987) comments on leftist women writers in the

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192 1920s who also employed shishosetsu in their work to reveal and criticize injustice. Tanaka comments: They introduced a womans point of view into leftist literature by defining themselves as doubly oppressed under the pa triarchal systemin the family and in society. These writers, many of whom came from impoverished families in rural regions, showed a tenacity and honesty ra rely seen among male writers; they observed and wrote about a society run by me n and recorded their personal battles against traditional mores with unprecedented candor. [1987:ix] Thus it is in the spirit of shishosetsu as well as autoethnography that I engaged research participants, consultants, friends, and family in my analysis that is represented in this narrative concerning my researc h. I attempt to illuminate ho w our talks and performances constructed moments of recupera tion, while illustrating salient aspects of social inequality. This section draws on popular cu ltural narrativ e to buttress stories recounted by female cultural workers in a movement building process. Namely, the concepts of uhuru and Uhura2 are utilized for signification concerning th e role(s) of women in social movements that have historically utilized black popular cu lture as part of their politicization process. Lessons in Uhuru from Uhura At the end of an essay examining the bl ack in black popular culture, Stuart Hall reminds his readers that popular culture is where we discover and play with the identifications of ourselves, where we are imag ined, where we are represented, not only to the audiences out there who do not get the me ssage, but to ourselves for the first time (1996d:474). International Hiphop, as part of blac k popular culture, fits Halls description concerning how we discover and play with our identifications, though popular culture is 2 Uhuru is Swahili for liberation. Swahili is a favored language of revolutionary gangsters (Black Guerilla Family), cultural nationalists (Simba Wachanga), and AfricanAmerican Hiphoppers (dead prez, X-Clan). Uhur a is the name of the lone regularly cast black female character on the original Star Trek series.

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193 often commodified and stereotype d. The dialogue performed in the In Living Color skit (first aired April 1992) below serves as a humorous metaphor for my international organizing experience with Hiphop. The skit also helps me to understand, through a disheartening but sadly common performance, how black women in addition to all women are often used and yet excluded from the out comes of many social justice agendas (cf., Collins 2006). Although the performance provided below did not take place in Japan, and it may not be obvious how it is rela ted to transnational Hiphop, I outline in my analysis how it demonstrates the experiences of women in historic social movements, including the movement we call Hiphop. The Wrath of Farrakhan Jim Carrey as the Captain Kirk character: Captain's log stardate fourteen, were being pulled toward a hostile planet, I'm hoping that Scotty will be able to ac tivate the back up control systems. God, I feel so vulnerable. Kim Wayans as the Uhura character: Captain, I'm picking up some strange signals. Something about intergalactic oppressors, sir. David Alan Grier as the Spock character: Captain, intruders are appr oaching the bridge, sir. ((Three men step into the scene)) Kirk: Who are you? Damon Wayans as the Farrakhan character: I am the Minister Louis Farrakhan. Kirk : Spock!?! Spock, who is he? Spock : A former Calypso singer, Captain. Who later became leader of a 20th century African American religious sect known as the Nation of Islam.

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194 Farrakhans security backup, Islam #1 You like to buy some incense? Farrakhans security backup, Islam #2: Bean pie, my brother? ((to Sulu)) Steve Park as the Sulu character: No, thank you. Kirk: What do you want? Farrakhan : Ive come to warn your crew. Islam #1+#2: ((Echoing Farrakhan)) Warn your crew. Farrakhan: Of their enslavement. Islam1+2 : ((Echoing)) Enslavement! Farrakhan: Aboard this vessel. Kirk: Thats poppycock. These people are perfect ly free to do anything they want. Farrakhan : It is that same lie that kept Elvis the ki ng. That made that poor child Latoya Jackson think she could sing. It is that same lie th ats got white boys rapping and the Fat Boys acting. Kirk : Hey Mister, you cant come in he re and talk to me like that. Uhuru ((pronounced Ah-whore-a)), get me Star Fleet Command. Uhura: Yes, Captain. Farrakhan : Oh! My Nubian princess. How long have you placed his calls? I watch the show every week and all I see is the back of your nappy wig. ((Uhura touches her hair))

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195 Kirk: Uhura. Star Fleet. Now! Uhura: Well, wait a second. Hes right. Ive been sitting here for fifteen years with this damn thing in my ear and aint got one rais e yet. Is that all Im good for? To be your little secretary, or your occasional chocolat e fantasy. You get up off your flat butt and get Star Fleet your damn self cuz I aint budging. Preach on, brother Farrakhan : Yes, sister. Kirk: Mr. Sulu, call Scotty. Tell him to get this man out of here. Farrakhan: Wait a minute, Mr. Sulu. Before you touch th at dial. Answer me this question: Who does the laundry around here? Sulu: I do. Kirk : Mr. Sulu ((imploring)) Sulu : Well, you call me Buddha head and p ie face in front of everybody. Kirk: Well. Sulu: Ive been in space all this time and I have nt had one woman yet. You even take the ugly ones Captain. My loins are about to explode. I want to do the nasty! Farrakhan: Thats right. Rise up from the oppressor! Islam #1+#2: ((Echoing)) Rise up! Kirk : Mr. Spock, my friend, weve got to do something. Spock :

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196 Why do you say we Caucasoid? Its obvious Captain that Mini ster Farrakhan is right. Kirk : Spock, are you out of your Vulcan mind? Spock: Well, logically speaking Captain. ((Grabs Kirk by the shoulder, hurting him)) I am the strongest and most intelligent person on this vessel and yet I am only second in command. Uhura : Mm-hmmm Spock: I should be Captain and Im also a better director than you Farrakhan: Cant you see its discrimination? Kirk: You get off my ship buddy! ((Blast s Farrakhan with laser gun)) Farrakhan: Put your puny weapon down Captain. Y ou cannot harm me. My people have survived four hundred years of slavery! Islam 1+2: ((Echoing)) Slavery! Farrakhan: Three hundred years of Apartheid! Islam1+2 : ((Echoing)) Apartheid! Farrakhan: And 25 years of The Jeffersons in syndication. Kirk: ((Yelling in aguish)) Farrakhan!!! Farrakhan : Go to you room ((Kirk runs out of room crying)) Farrakhan :

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197 Oh, I love it when I do that to them. ((F arrakhan sits down in the Captains chair)) Nubian Princess. Call Sylvias Soul Food Shack. Make reservations. I got a taste for some blackened white fish. Mr. Sulu, what are you gonna have? Sulu : ((smiles broadly)) Sylvia. Farrakhan : Well alright then my horny Asian brothe r. Warp factor five. Were goin home. Destination: 125th Street. ((Shot pulls out to shot of exterior of ship. Ship is now labeled USS Farrakhan with Nati on of Islam flags on either side. Ship on strings flies away. Full screen of title : Wrath of Farrakhan)) Object 5-1 View the skit The Wrath of Farrakhan What is striking about this skit is how id entity politics are gr ossly exaggerated and essentialized to candidly communi cate trends of criticism concerning social movements. Of key interest are Uhuras charac ter and Sulus character. Both performances elucidate the intersection of sexualized, gende red, and racialized identiti es. Though both characters have their intersectional identifications illuminate d, only one character emerges in the end to have experienced a social change: Sulu; U hura sits down, right back where she started, playing the role of secretary. Object 5-2 Nichelle Nichols as Uhura in a secretarial role in the original Star Trek series Lets examine the script. Kirks character, the sign for white male power, routinely orders his crew around, and it is re vealed later, that he does so in racist and sexist ways. Farrakhans character, backed up by two secu rity characters that double as yes men, boards Kirks ship armed with charisma and lyrical talent. Using hi s lyrical talent, he engages in truth-telling, cr iticizing Kirks treatment of each crewmember. The three visitors, with Farrakhan at the forefront, repr esent the strength and valorization of black masculinity within a black nationalist fram ework. These men are also positioned as saviors who have come to liberate the subj ugated crew members fr om Kirks reign of

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198 white male supremacy. In addition to Uhura, two members of the crew are situated as black: Spock (who plays the sign of ambiguously ethnic, racial other by virtue of being mixed with Vulcan and Homo sapiens sapiens ) and Sulu (who plays the sign of homogenous Asian-racial other). They are id entified as nonwhite others through kinship terms used by Farrakhan and his security. Spock ma rks Kirk as not being the same as he is by using the word Caucasoid and Sulu is referred to as brother by Islam #2. Object 5-3 George Takei as Hi karu Sulu, in the original Star Trek series Uhuras character is the one who makes the change of guard occu r. Although it is her character who first warns Kirk of Farrakhans appr oach, it is also her character that sets the stage for the change of guard by being the firs t to revolt against Kirks control. Farrakhan, using call and response with his security backup, claims he is there to warn Kirks crew of their enslavement aboard the vessel. Kirk counters that his crew is free and not enslaved. Farrakhan then signifi es on stereotypes, lies, a nd identifications in popular culture (which is humorous because the skit in which he is performing also relies on stereotypes and identifications). Kirk then orders Uhura (w hich he pronounces Ah-whorea signifying that she is a whore) to get Star Fleet Command (I suppose for backup assistance against Farrakhan). At first, it s eems as though Uhura is about to comply, and she replies, Yes, Captain, but then Farrakhan intervenes using words that signify kinship as well as shared racial experience, Oh My Nubian Princess. He attacks her compliance with Kirks agenda, and like Don Imus, calls her hair nappy, though the assumption is that his intent is to suggest th at she should be much more than a secretary given her talents. This implication is important as it suggests th at Uhuras liberation is linked to his agenda and that by helping him she, too, will benefit.

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199 Kirk interjects with a more stern order, and Uhura starts the revolution. Her list of grievances include not getting a raise or job promotion despite her seniority and she alludes to being sexualized and sexually harassed as well as taken advantage of by Kirk. She concludes using a kinship term, brother toward Farrakhan, who replies in kind, Yes sister. Kirk then turns to Sulu for help, at which point Farrakhan intervenes and reminds Sulu of the racialization that he has experienced. It is reveal ed that Sulu is not only called racial epithets such as Buddha head and pie face, but he has also been relegated to the racial stereotypic service task of laundryimagery that links foreign Asian racial identities to a US-based racial trope from Asian-Ameri can history (cf., Shah 1997). Sulus character builds on the revelations laid down by Farrakhan to reveal an intersection of sexualization and racialization by introducing the stereotype of the effemini zed Asian-racial other so prevalent in popular culture (cf., Kondo 1997; Poulson-Bryant 2005:71). The critique is that Sulu is not allowed to express his full sexuality because he is Asian, and the conversation that communicates this is a tira de against Kirk, along with enablement from Farrakhan. All aspects of this dialogue take place in a manner that objectifies women and accentuates the man-to-man aspect of politic al coalition building. The last person to revolt is the Spock character who asserts he is more talented and yet underemployed because of Kirks white supremacist management. When Kirk attempts to retaliate against Fa rrakhan himself, he is unable to because Farrakhan draws from an essentialist survival ist narrative in which he cannot be destroyed because he is the descendant of people who su rvived slavery, apartheid, and media violence through the production of raci alized stereotypes (e.g., The Jeffersons ). Once Kirk is conquered by Farrakhan, a changing of the guard takes place. The revolution has occurred.

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200 There is a new Captain: Farrakhan. Sulus charac ter is uplifted in that he is no longer sexually oppressed, though it is at the cost of objectifying another woman, Sylvia. When Farrakhan asked him what he is going to have at Sylvias Soul Food Shack, Sulu responds, Sylvia. Uhura goes back to her old position as secretary, this tim e for Farrakhan, and no social change has taken place, as she conti nues to be sexually harassed as well as place calls at the command of the captain. This is obviously not reality; it is a skit from a popular televisi on show that aired in the 1990s. However, when I watch it, I cannot get over how much it mirrors the experiences of the women with whom I ha ve organized in the transnational Hiphop movement. Although we represent different countr ies, different languag es, different classes and different ascriptions of race, we all seem to be stuck in the same script as Uhura. We are the people who make thi ngs happen. We get things done. We are like the church secretary. We get everything ready for wors hip on Sunday and then, when everyone is congregated, the minister gets up to preach a nd receives all of the credit (financial and otherwise) for making it all happen. When I sp eak at Hiphop political ev ents, I call this the church secretary syndrome. In social move ments, not only black social movements, we have had spokespeople, usually men, who act as saviors armed with charisma and rhetoric, like Farrakhans character It is generally other people, usually women, who execute the grunt work of political moveme nt building (copying the fliers, typing the memos, making the phone calls, walking door-t o-door), while men r eceive the credit and increased privileges. When one watches doc umentaries concerning the Civil Rights Movement, for example, there are all these women in the background, and yet we dont know their names. But we know Martin, Andrew, Je sse, and Ralph well enough not to

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201 need a last name. There have been numerous published critiques of how this played out in the Black Power Movement, the Yellow Power Movement and beyond, many of which utilize autobiography and reflex ivity to break silence on these matters (cf., Brown 1993; Davis 1983; Collins 2006; Gelb 2003; Mackie 2003; J. Morgan 2000; Moraga and Anzaldua 1983; Nakazawa 1998; hooks 1992; Lorde 1984; Perkins 2000; Shah 1997; Shakur 2001; Tanaka 1987). The Hiphop generation has inherited this ge nder politics as we have built upon and borrowed from these past social movement strategies. As detailed in the preceding chapters, through musical and hist orical sampling via rhetoric in lyrics, beats, film clips, speech clips, and other performances (such as fashion), Hiphops cultur al workers furthered the agenda of cultural nationalism and revol utionary internationalism (as well as other leftover legacies from past social movements) by raising levels of global awareness about race and class injustic e. Introducing shared frames of oppression through a liberatory assertion of masculinity is a key trend in thes e political agendas. This occurs all over the world. In Japanese Hiphop, we hear rappers assert, Nippon danji In US Hiphop, rappers let us know, Ima Black man! Women cultural wo rkers labor in a similar role to Uhura: we are the office ladies (O. L. in Japan), secretaries, booking agents, road managers, promoters, event organizers, budget managers, po litical organizers, rese arch assistants, et cetera, and nobody knows our names.3 Stuart Hall comments: The way in which a transgressive politics in one domain is constantly sutured and stabilized by reactiona ry or unexamined politics in anot her is only to be explained by this continuous cross-disloca tion of one identity by anothe r, one structure by another. 3 Marcyliena Morgan (2008) has a chapter outlining this aspect of hidden women in Hiphop, and she also explains how men ha ve supported womens movement building. Rachel Raimist is conducting her doctoral rese arch on exactly that subject (how women are erased in Hiphop), and she has a film titled, Nobody Knows My Name.

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202 Dominant ethnicities are always underpi nned by a particular sexual economy, a particular figured masculinity, a particular class identity. There is no guarantee in reaching for an essentialized ra cial identity of which we th ink we can be certain, that it will always turn out to be mutually liberating. [1996d:473-474] Indeed, thus far, as Hall explains, political ag endas that pertain to liberation along lines of race and class have trumped any agenda that considers equality am ong identifications of sexuality and gender. That is, women like U hura in social movements from global labor movements to global antiwhite supremacy movements, including the so-called global Hiphop movement in the US, Japan, or some othe r geopolitical space, have been asked to fight and labor for the liberation of men unde r the pretext that we experience a shared frame of oppression due to commonalitie s in our state-regul ated identities. And many of us have enjoyed our roles. Af ter all, behind the s cenes, we know it is the church secretary who makes it [i.e., soci al change] happen: just like Uhura, the first to dissent, in the skit It is meaningful work to labor toward equal access and liberation for our brothers, men. Because we are al so racially marked, the assertion, Nippon danji / Ima Black man, or pride in being marked yellow, black, Japanese or Afrikan, makes many of us feel good or at least validate d. Often while observing emcee battles in Japan, I was excited for the young men who asserted thei r identity in angry and rebellious ways. Their performance reminded me of my own angry and rebellious adolescent years, some of which were spent in Japan. I identified with thei r pain, and I still to a large extent am in solidarity with their movement: to raise levels of social justice among the identifications of race and class through disidentification or a ny other means necessaryunless it continues to be on the backs of women and the children they support. That is, Hiphop has potential. It has furthe red the goals of past social movements by dovetailing efforts of race and class justice work, and it has been successful all over the

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203 world in this regard. However, I posit that it will be Hiphop s emerging gender politics that make or break it as a new social movement. Eduardo Ca nel writes that a new social movement perspective emphasizes the cultural nature of the new movements and views them as struggles for control over the production of meaning and the constitution of new collective identities (2004:1; emphasis added). Hiphops struggle is to combine gender and sexuality equality with ant-racist and anti -classist work already in progress, our legacy from past social movements. Hiphops potential is that its cultural and political work ers have the opportunity to transcend the limitations of past so cial movements and build something new but that would also entail letting go of the rhetoric and practice that has kept us locked into collective identity politics that do not make room for gendered critiques. Stuart Hall reminds us that although past social moveme nts were predicated on collective identity politics that are always underp inned by a particular sexual economy and a particular masculinity, social justice and equality for al l can be won[t]here is a politics there to be struggled for (1996d:474). This new political strugg le is for a collective identity that encompasses all state regulated identifications, from gender to race to sexuality. This is a worthy cause; it can be accomplished. A first step is to begin to conceptualize women not as the mules or secretaries of social movement s, but as theorists and architects integral to constructing new collective identities. I ndeed, we can start by learning the names4 of church secretaries (female cu ltural workers) and stop gazing at the backs of our nappy wigs as if we arent there. 4 Because this is ethnography, I do not share th e real names of the women I have worked with in Japan. Instead I offer narratives of th eir experiences, and I make sure that their names, and more importantly, political agenda s, are known in other spheres of my work.

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204 (=Whats My Name?): Bringing Gend er Back Into the Anti-Race Game The relative scarcity of women rappers in Japan presents an analytical puzzle. Ian Condry (2006:164) Understanding gender in Japanese Hiphop is complicated, yet unavoidable, as racialization is always inextr icably linked to social constr uctions of gender and sexuality. The male cultural workers whom I worked w ith represent a feminized population (Sassen 1999) and an emasculated stereotype with in the global racial order (Kondo 1997). Identification with Hiphop not only allowed them to perform black masculinities, but also hypermasculine culture that is uniquely Japanese That is, artists woul d use speech patterns and vocabulary that were associated with ma le vernacular, and aggressive body language and other communicative u tterances were selected and exag gerated. These performances of gender went against the grain of the dominant racialized ster eotype of emasculated Asian males. Even the racialized tropes of kamikaze referenced in the Ra ppagariya song described in Chapter Four ( Kobushi ) serve a hypermasculine agenda to fight both racialized and gendered identities. By performing blackness, fe male performers can break stereotypes of Japanese women as obedient and subservient, and speak out with venom and vigor like their male counterparts. However, some of the artists I interviewed also performed the script of cute (Condry 2006) for females, wh ich maintained the status quo in Japanese mainstream society. The female cultural workers with whom I work in Japan have historically been managers of artists, assistants to artists, receptionists at recording studios, businesswomen in the industry, journalists, promoters, or or ganizers of events. A few years ago, I began aggressively interviewing female artists. Se xism was often a difficult subject to discuss during my interviews, as we were often not alone (there were male coworkers around

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205 whose presence made it uncomfortable to be can did), and there was also often a sense of hopelessness in regard to fighting sexism in the larger Japanese society, so focusing on sexism in Japanese Hiphop seemed to be a m oot point for many of my interviewees. That is, they acknowledged that sexism is a wo rldwide problem, and Japan is no different. Some criticized Japans government practi ce for being behind other countries in establishing laws that protect womens bodies and womens ri ghts. Other cultural workers cited the pressure to marry and have children as another way in which they encounter sexism. Many criticized what they perceived to be Japanese males sexual obsessions with youth or young girls. They reported that th e sexualization of girls made them feel undesirable at ages that woul d still be considered young in other cultural settings, for example 24 years of age. Most interviewees also acknowledged that it was hard to be a female artist among males and that one has to fi ght to ensure equal billing and equal pay in the industry. But then they also felt that it w ouldnt be much different in any other Japanese corporate job. Most spoke about their experi ence within Hiphop co mmunities as being more positive in regard to sexism in larger society in that Hiphop cu lture allowed space for each to speak her mind on topics and the perf ormativity involved in its cultural product afforded women the opportunity to play w ith their identities and transgress normative boundaries concerning what was acceptable or not compared to mainstream Japanese society. A few female artists who have had the oppor tunity to travel to the United States shared experiences of being se xually stereotyped along racial lin es of being an East Asian woman, in that these women were expected to act according to stereotypes of East Asian women working as prostitutes or in massage parlors, and it was assumed that these women

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206 would want to perform fellatio and otherwis e service males who were supposed to be colleagues in professional music industry spheres. Such stereotypes of women as sexualized objects, particularly along historical racial lines abound in Hiphop as they do in other aspects of popular culture in the United States a nd abroad. While African-American women are most often objectified in US Hiphop and Japanese wo men are most often objectified in Japanese Hiphop, one can find exam ples of cross-cultur al exploitation in music videos, lyrical content, and popular ar tist interviews (e.g., a multiplatinum AfricanAmerican artist has referred to Tokyo as Blo wasakia reference to fellatio and a sexual stereotype concerning Japanese women). The experiences of sexualization and se xual harassment are by no means limited to the US. I conducted several interv iews in offices and other officially professional spaces in which the walls were covered with pornogr aphic posters, pictures, and calendars of Japanese women. In a mainstream culture wh ere not only is pornogr aphy widespread, but child pornography is also rampant, these as pects of female degradation and violence against girl children also s eeps into the Hiphop world. For the most part, however, the cultural workers whom I worked with (both female and male) did not endorse such degrading objectification. One female cultural worker comments: Some people, they dont take serious women, you know, like thats womens opinion, but its changing. Hiphop is kind of hard. In R&B, [women] can do reviews and writing, but Hiphopsome people think its just for men. Numbers of women artists, business women, and writers commented that in general, society women are expected to work twice as hard as men to prove themselves in the formal business and art worlds.

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207 Given that parts of Hiphop, even that whic h is purported to be underground, intersect with formal economies such as the popular mu sic industry, the treatment of women is not always much different. Nevertheless, all the cu ltural workers with whom I work say that despite its inability to comple tely transcend sexism and domestic racialization within Japanese society, Hiphop presents a foru m for intercultural and transnational communication that creates a safe space to be gin discussion about these important topics. Many think that the discussion is only the be ginning for great problem-solving possibilities concerning these matters and they cite relatio nal examples of how Hiphop has been used to address these problems in the US as models for what their organizations and artistic productions can accomplish (cf., Ice Cube and Yo Yos artistic dialogue, Russell Simmonss Hip Hop Summits and the ongoing, pi oneering work of the Universal Zulu Nation). (=Women Represent!) Contrary to popular discour se, black social movement members do not have a monopoly on sexism, heterosexism, and other forms of gendered subjugation. Countless feminist writers have documented and attended to issues of sexism and hetereosexism in practices that support and maintain white supremacy and global capitalism (cf., Sassen 1999; E. Wood 1997). Concerning sexism in th e Japanese Hiphop movement, Ian Condry concludes: In terms of womens empowerment, the recen t examples of female hip-hoppers Ai, Hime, and Miss Monday show that gender is finally gaining wider treatment within a Japanese rap scene largely dominated by men. If some of these straight-talking women achieve mainstream success, it may be possible to point to hip-hop as a vehicle for gender equality in Japan. Th eir influence up until 2005, however, seems largely confined to their fans, a substan tial, but not widespread, effect. [2006:214]

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208 I posit that there is a nascent new womens movement budding that is built on the past womens movement building proces ses that have existed in Japan for decades, some would say centuries (cf., Tanaka 1987). Conversations recorded document a rise in critical awareness of womens issues among many of my Japanese peers. Our mothers and grandmothers generations have been agitating for legislative changes and equal protection under Japanese law, often operationaliz ing CEDAW and ICERD (transnational conventions concerning human equality) to get the job done. My agemates have taken charge in leading NGOs and other community based organizations and networks in Japan that protect and support wome n and girls grappling with multiple forms of sexual and gender-based violence. Such activism lends a transnational element to current womens movement building efforts. But what is the status of women within the transnational Hiphop movement? Gender issues are gaining more attention in the government as well as on the streets. Over the past 13 years I have seen an increase in laws protecting th e rights of women, and I have also seen an increased discourse concer ning the abuses of women and the children they support among the people I know. I disagree th at there is a scarcity of female cultural workers, or even artists, in Japanese Hiphop. They may not dominate in the public sphere, but they exist and they repres ent on local levels. If I could, Id say their names, but ethical considerations preclude me doing so in this project. Belo w are the stories of four women that Ian Condry studied. In his chapter that discusses women in Japanese Hiphop, Condr y (2006) provides a brief narrative of womens roles in Japanese popular music, beginning with pop and ending with R&B. He uses the stories of Sakurai Ri ko (former executive of record label Def Jam

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209 Japan) to transition to his bi ographical sketch of Ai, whom he does not designate as an emcee, but more so a singer that Sakurai discovered. He moves on to discuss Miss Monday whom he considers a bona fide emcee, who represents women and who does not petition cutismo. He cites her as saying, What I want to say is, Even if youre a girl, do what you want to do. It doesnt have to be hip-hop. You can be a mechanic or a truck driver. My attitude is, together as women lets change ourselves to do what we want (Condry 2006:177). After providing a brief biogr aphical sketch of Miss M onday, he describes a third female emcee, Hime, as utilizing Japanese clichs or more aptly fixed identities and negative stereotypes (such as yellow cabs, women who are stigmatized for pursuing erotic relationships with foreign men, who are usually African American, cf. Kelsky 2001) to communicate oppositional messages to Japanese mainstream society. Condry also describes Himes use of imagery that attends to Nihonjinron notions of language ( kotodama ) and traditional literary aesthetic s in her verse cons truction (e.g., tanka, haiku). Moreover her name can be glossed as Princess and she uses the kanji for women and giant together to represent her name. Hime utilizes a variety of traditional Japanese cultural images to buttress her message s to her fan base, including sampling taiko drums, and referring to herself as a female samura i and Japanese doll. Condry introduces each of the three artists in this chapter through their affiliation to well know n male artists or their relationship to major record labels and corpor ations. He describes a fixed gendered identity of Japanese women artists as cutismo, which he defines as being parallel to a kind of machismo common among male rappers [w here] women singers in Japans pop music world are expected to confor m to a particular type of feminine cute-ness (2006:165).

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210 Condry contrasts this identity wi th those of female Hiphoppers who he says reject images of feminine vulnerability (2006:166). Below ar e two songs and more information about the first two emcees that Condry briefly introduces. Watch Out! by Ai, Afra, and Tucker (2004) I have always conceptualized Ai as an emcee as well as a singer, dancer, and overall performer. Her single, Watch Out! demonstrat es her prowess as a fierce lyricist and disciple of Hiphop. Ai raps al ongside internationally known beatboxer, Afra, while Tucker plays the keyboards in this song. Her lyrics feature codeswitching with AAE as well as English. Phrases such as, Doki, Doki ((Japan ese word for heartbea t)) is getting louder (=faster) and kick the leash and be free in da beat! (=kick the leash / jiyu ni / in da beat!) establish her great talent as an emcee, who not only rhymes in one or two languages, but also delivers skillful a nd appealing codeswitched verses that situate her as unique and charismatic. The video to Watch Out! is equally enga ging. Its basic premise is to promote the Hiphop philosophy of keepin it real. The first part of the video showcases Ai, Afra, and Tucker in J-Pop-like gear. Tucker has on an afro wig and a Run DMC-circa Addidas-brand jumpsuit and Run DMC-style hat. Afra is wear ing a large floppy hat, sports (swish) pants, and an oversized T-shirt. Ai is wearing a short-haired wig and puffy pink shirt, ripped jean shorts, and boots with bling on them. The video editing entails classic wipes in bubbled star shapes, and other significations on J-Pop. Then pioneer rapper K Dub Shine enters wearing a white T-shirt with an outline of the continent of Africa airbrushed on it that is colored in red, black, and green with the words Zulu. K Dub Shine admonishes Ai, Afra, and Tucker, and pulls off Ais wig and shames Tucker into taking off his own wig.

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211 The words, Gotta Be Real in Japanese and English appear in white with black background on the screen, and the scene switches to an a cappella performance of the song. Tucker and Afra are wearing baseball hats and oversized shirt and sweatshirts. Ai is wearing her longer, natural hair and she is wearing a common club outfit of jeans and a stylish fitted shirt. Tucker is skillfully play ing the same brand of keyboard that Sly of Sly and the Family Stone played, which further situates their performance as embedded in authentic talent. Herein lies a key point in transnational Hiphop aesthetics: the difference between the concepts of real and authentic. The concept of real is often confused w ith authenticity in Hiphop journalism and scholarship. Real has the connotat ion of being true or affirmi ng of oneself. It is deeply rooted in self-esteem, self love and self empowerment that is connected to the good of ones community in many Hiphop philosophi cal manifestos (cf., KRS-ONE 2000). Authenticity is related to real, but it tends to have less to do with introspection and more to do with knowledge acquired. Monthly magazines like BMR Woofin and Blast often feature articles to educate one wishing to study and learn more about a cultu re. Such tutorials are centered on an ideology of authenticity rather than real Ai, Afra and Tucker are situated as real in the latter, a cappella portion of the video because they are relaxed doing their art, being themselves. Signs and symbols such as the vintage keyboard as well as their connection to the ultimate trope of knowle dge keeper in Japane se Hiphop, K Dub Shine adds the notion of them being authentic as we ll. The video displays key signs and symbols to boast of Ai and her colleagues skills as artists and cultural workers within Hiphop. The songs translation and a link to view the album ar t (Object 5-4) are provided in an effort to illustrate Ais great abilities as an em cee as well as a masterful codeswitcher.

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212Object 5-4 One of Ais album covers for Watch Out! [Original] [verse1] Are you gonna stop me? How? Yo! .... Cant stop me now!! Bomb ass DANCE I wanna be a big star I mean, gonna be! a big star Watch! [chorus] 1,2,3 live in da beat I cant stop myself... WA, WA, WA, WA, WA, WA! WATCH OUT! [verse2] Im so close 2 u now, what am I supposed 2 do! I mean meet da beat! kick the leash in da beat! everybody meet my team!! AFRA TUCKER, Come show what you got! Do what cha gotta do!! come on [chorus] [Translation] [verse1] Im feelin' really good with this tension so high, I really need to do something, the morning is coming are you gonna stop me? how? yo, no one can....stop me now! together lets dance a bomb ass dance thats like a roller coaster what do you say? I wanna be a big star I mean, gonna be! a big star watch! some day ill grab it! [chorus] 1,2,3 Im going to grab your heart with this beat 'doki doki' is getting louder (my heart rate is getting faster) what should I do? I cant stop myself wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa! watch out! [verse2] really really close Im so close 2 u now with this state of mind what am I supposed 2 do! I mean, Im going to show you a part of me that no ones seen lets let them listen to it! meet da beat! kick the leash and be free in da beat! so I think its time for everybody to meet my team!! afra and tucker, come show what you got! do what cha gotta do! come on! [chorus] Object 5-2 Ais Watch Out!

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213 Lady Meets Girl by Miss Monday (2002) Miss Monday personifies what Hiphop sc holar Gwendolyn Pough calls wreck. Pough defines wreck as a Hip Hop term that connotes fighting, recreation, skill, boasting or violence (2004:17). She situates wreck as an example of Hiphop philosophy that contributes to self-empowerment by encour aging self-respect, self-defense, and selfdetermination.1 Pough explains: The Hiphop concept of wreck sheds new light on the things Blacks had to do in order to obtain and maintain a presence in the la rger public sphere, namely fight hard and bring attention to their skill and right to be in the public sphere. Bringing wreck, for Black participants in the public sphere hi storically, has meant reshaping the public gaze in such a way as to be recognized as human beingsas functioning and worthwhile members of societyand not to be shut out of or pushed away from the public sphere. [2004:17] Though Pough is referring to ideology and prac tice for African-descent Americans, the concepts of self-making and self-belief as well as black power (which entails selfrespect, self-defense, and se lf-determination) are also pa rt of Japanese Hiphop and routinely referred to by many Japanese Hiphop pi oneers. DJ Yutaka, for example, produced a song entitled, Self-belief featuring boy band EXILE2 (formerly J Soul Brothers) and Rather Unique. This song maintains the ba sic premise of global Hiphop philosophy, which is based on US Hiphop philosophy, namely that created by the Universal Zulu Nation, of which Yutaka is the founder of the Japan chap ter. Therefore, the idea of bringing wreck in Hiphop for black people (as explained by Pough) holds transnational significance to 1 These latter three concepts are what Ron Maul ana Karenga terms the three ends of black power. 2 Note the EXILE album cover features Black Panthers marching with signs and flags that have been photoshopped to display the names of the rappers and other artists who appear as guests on their album. Area codes such as 813 and other Hiphop referents abound in the photoshopped banners.

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214 Japanese Hiphop pioneers and othe r artists who utilize the op portunity to borrow the blackness of Hiphop as part of a larger stra tegy to reshape the public gaze. Whether this strategy, to borrow blackness as pa rt of political praxis, is sust ainable or not remains to be seen. Object 5-5 Exile album cover featuring vari ous African-American pol itical marches with signs photoshopped to reflect the name s of guest artists on the album Miss Monday toured with the Self-Destruction3 tour in 2003, spreading her message to her sisters to be themselves and come of age with self-esteem. Her hoarse voice and phonemic finesse cast her as a talented lyricist with a well-earned place in the history of Japanese Hiphop. Pictured on the CD sleeve weari ng locs, she now sports an afro (a tightly curled perm) and is transitioning to a more reggae sound. The excerpts from the song below, Lady Meets Girl (2003), outlines her advice to young women. She speaks about finding her voice (line 1), using the microphone to fight (line 5), and unity among women to build a better future a nd define themselves (lines 13, 19). She cautions against materialism (line 11). Also of interest is th e use of the phrase back in the day by the cultural worker (VSOP) whose tr anslation I decided to use for this explication. Back in the day is an AAE and Hiphop linguistic phrase. Ma rcyliena Morgan comments, Back in the day is used by youth to refer to Hiphop er as and it also repres ents nostalgia (2007). 1 If I can really express what I feel, 2 I would do it right now. 3 The future is in your hands 4 Just travel forward, 5 I use the microphone to fight against this shitty daily life. 6 If I could, I would not know anything 7 like it was back in the day yo! Lady meets girl. 8 Too much information, so much weight that is carried on the shoulder 9 back then you weren't really like that, 10 grabbing everything that was seen from the eye. 3 See Appendix for more on this tour and a transcription of the theme song.

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21511 Was it good? Motivation was greed and time started slipping; 12 you were almost lost, too. 13 Again, we will climb together to the heavens 14 The conversation that might get you thinking. 15 Grab the passion that is in front of you! 16 Even if you cant see what's in front of you, jump on to it! 17 Yo! Wow wow wow wow wow wow wow, Hey!. 18 Take back the sky that recklessly went. 19 Take apart the chains that you chained upon yourself! 20 Yo! Wow wow wow wow wow wow wow, Hey!.... Object 5-6 Miss Mondays La dy Meets Girl album cover Let's Go (It's a Movement) (2003) The following text is from the song entitle d Let's Go (It's a Movement) by Long Beach, California rapper Warren G, featuri ng Hiphop legend and pioneer KRS-ONE and Ryukyu Islands, Japan rapper Lil' Ai. This song appeared on Beef The Soundtrack, an album designed to accompany one of the Beef documentaries, which were Hiphop documentaries explicating the history and prac tice of the battle con cept in Hiphop culture. This song signifies the transnational signifi cance of Hiphop as well as the work put into making its political agenda salient in the globa l sphere. The rappers selected for this song represent disparate spaces. KRS-ONE hails from the Bronx, Warren G from Long Beach, and Ai is from the Ryukyu Islands. The album cover features imagery that positions Hiphop as spanning across the United States as it displays palm trees signifying California and the West Coast, then the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri signifying the Midwest, and then the New York City skyline signifying the East Coast. The song Lets Go (Its a Movement) presents a Hiphop that transcends the national boundaries of the album cover. Like the origins narrative of Hiphop, the first verse begins in the Br onx with KRS-ONE. It then moves to the West Coast in a peaceful microphone pass to Warren G, despite the stereotype of East CoastWest Coast conflict.

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216 The message is brought home with Lil Ais final verse. Her presence in the song takes Hiphop from the Bronx and Los Angeles to the colonized Pacific Islands of Ryukyu, Japan. Codeswitching with some English, AAE, and Japanese, she raps about Hiphop as a revolution. Like Rappagariya a nd other political lyricists in Japan, she raps about Hiphop as a virus that spreads and has vibes to res onate or make people feel good. The sense from her lyrics translated below is that the Hiphop foundation that Rapper 1 (in Chapter Four) mentioned is built solid, a nd it protects us from false popul ar culture. Lil Ai situates Hiphop as not being bound by geopolitical space (it is transnational culture) with the line: Hiphop defies the limit from the west to the east, from the le ft to the right, destroying borders that creates lines in between. Like the male rappers described in Chapter Four, she, too, positions herself in the role of guardian, savior, and god that can protect Hiphop. In this way, her rhetoric is indicativ e of what some scholars are saying is the opportunity for women to flip gendered scri pts with Hiphop, as the role of savior or superhero is thought to be stereo typically ascribed to men. Howe ver, one must be careful in this analysis as we have l earned from Uhuras character, as well as from Joan Morgan (2000), Ntozaki Shange (1977), Yukiko Tanaka (1987), and Michelle Wallace (1979): the trope of savior/superhero/godess applied to wo men is not on equal f ooting with trope of savior/superhero/god applied to men, in that the former could end up exploited, unacknowledged, erased, or martyred. A tran scription of the song lyrics follow. Object 5-7 Beef Soundtracks album ar t for Lets Go (Its a Movement) The Beef soundtracks, documentaries, a nd related television series exemplify Hiphops cultural aesthetic concer ning the battle, which was described in Chapter Four. It presents the battle as a discourse stra tegy to communicate value systems associated with Hiphop culture. At times the value systems are progressive and in line with a

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217 womanist agenda, and at other times they ar e indicative of Hiphops classic gender politics that degrade women and children. The series acknowledges that it was a female emcee that popularized the battle aestheti c in Hiphop: Roxanne Shante. Sh ante criticized and engaged in verbal play with several popular lyricist s in the early 1980s. She made a song entitled Brothas Aint Shit, which is accredited as th e inspiration for the answer song Bitches Aint Shit by Dr. Dre featur ing Snoop Dogg. The uneven venom with which these rappers attacked Shante, 13 years later, is revealing. Nevertheless, Lil Ai invokes Shantes lyrical ingenuity in the verse below. Consider the song, Lets Go (Its a Movement): Chorus 2X: It's a movement/ (Let's go, here we go!)/ Ima prove it/ (Let's go, here we go!)/ KRS-One/ (Let's go, here we go!)/ Warre n G, Lil' AI/ (Let's go, here we go!) [KRS-One] Radio waves makin you behave like a slave So many ways to enhance what you crave Microchips and optic clips have you lickin your lips With your eyes fixed on tits and fast whips It's funny how we call cars whips We slave for it How many times were you beaten by they tricks You lookin at an eclipse Faded dark spot in front of the light Shut your eyes quick International KRS passin through When you spell Hip-Hop the H is always capital Here's what we have to do It ain't hard to see KRS, Lil' AI, Warren G That's the power Ain't no calmin me An open hour They see the god in me Pardon me In hip-hop, your heart is free What you tellin me, KRS, LBC? Chorus (2x) [Warren G] South Bronx, South Side Bronx Boogie Down to my G-Funk Productions Mic check, one two Move a little somethin Somethin with my peeps Hip-hop declaration of peace Street movement (let's go, here we go!) Let's keep it music (let's go, here we go!) Ima prove it (let's go, here we go!) If you've got beef with Hip-Hop (let's go, here we go!) International incomes so we're in the suite Watchin Ichiro hittin runs life is sweet I take it back where I'm from Knowledge rules supreme over nearly everyone hmph It's a shame how we caught up in the material lifestyle And our next generation livin wild It's time for discipline time for listening To this declaration of Hip-Hop christening Chorus (2x)

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218[Lil' Ai] My name is L-I-L AI, I'm Lil' AI, yo HIPHOP VIBES VIRUS US to JAPAN, Warren G BEAT KRS ONE LI LI LI LA, LI LI LI LA LI LE HIPHOP PAN HIPHOP Whatchu tellin me, LIL AI n da the LBC [Lil Ais translation] My name is L-I-L AI, I'm Lil' AI, yo connecting with this Hip Hop, the vibes that vibrate, blowing some new winds, kicking out the virus/ US to Japan, like a cyclone, leading a revolution with the beat that Warren G plays and we keep on going forward with KRS ONE/ I will not give up this seat, Im like a clap of thunder in a blue sky LI, LI, LI, LA, LI, LI, LI, LA, LI, LE, HIP HOP defies the limit from the west to the east, from the left to the right, destroying borders that creates lines in between/ the Hip Hop spirit is built solid to withstand the false popular culture, through the use of words, spreading freedom/ call me the guardian spirit who uses fine wordplay one after another, who understands reality and music, Watchu tellin me, LIL AI n da LBC At present there is no published ethnographi c study that critically engages issues of gender and sexuality in Japanese Hiphop1; even though Hiphop-studies scholars have mentioned Japan as an example of a geopoli tical space in which women cultural workers and consumers have allegedly been able to use Hiphop as a tool to flip the script on societal gender norms and other fixed identiti es for Japanese women such as the trope of the good wife and wise mother, et cetera. Ha lifu Osumare comments that in Japan, female Hip-Hopers use the genre to defy gender re strictions for women (2000:3). Ian Condry (2006) concurs, noting that the more recen t female hip-hoppers discussed here [in his 1 However, the excellent ethnographer of Ja panese Hiphop and reggae, Marvin Sterling, has a highly anticipated research project in progress that atte nds to some of these issues.

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219 work] represent for women ( onna daihyoo ) in a way that rejects images of feminine vulnerability (2006:166). Object 5-8 Lil Ais album art fo r Lets Go (Its a Movement) In general, Hiphop scholarship also te nds to take for granted that Hiphops stereotypic misogynistic and heterosexist lyrics and performance are mediated and mitigated by token female emcees that are perceived to be performing oppositional identities that complicate sta ndard practices of sexism. Most notable examples of such performances would constitute Hime from Japan and Lil Kim from the United States. These emcees are known for owning sexualized a nd fixed gendered identities and utilizing norms associated with nationalist discourse to shock and unlock their identities from dominant cultural standards and stigma. However, the need to create a more just social reality requires more than script flippin a nd occasional access to performances in order to achieve relational critical awareness of race a nd class analysis in the public sphere that Hiphop has been able to secure worldwide thus far. While emerging Hiphop feminist scholarship details how Hiphop has in some cas es supported issues of gender equality (cf., Morgan 2008; Morgan and Bennett 2007; Pough 2004), the general claims of most scholarsthat there is a golden age of global Hiphop that did not include sexist and heterosexist rhetoric, or that Hiphops cultural practice is not sexist or he terosexist because women and those in same-sex relationships have been able to mobilize the arts and aesthetics of Hiphop for their own oppositional political agendasneed to be better qualified and illuminated if a more equitable real ity within global Hiphop is to be achieved. Theres No Place Like Home: Queens and Bitches and Hos, Oh My!! Much of the research and public discour se regarding women in Hiphop in general reflects the discursive practice that has mark ed African-American women. There have been

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220 constructed categories that fix female ident ities into a dominant binary opposition: queens and hos. The queens are the virtuous virgins, the good wife and wise mother who do as they are told, like Uhura following Farrakhans demands in the skit presented Queens are the cherished church secretaries who mule a nd martyr for the liberation of their people. On the other hand, to quote Luther Campbell of Two Live Crew, [h]os fuck a lot. They are reduced to inhuman qualities as they are an imalistic in behavior and cannot be trusted. Hos bring down movements; they dont build them in popular cultural scripts. However, hos can be managed by pimps in popular Hiphop rhetoric. There are also manifestations of other cate gories that mark womens identities as not so binary, yet just as fixed. Some of these contemporary categories (w hich have historical and tropological significance) are: sister, bitch, baby mama, and golddigger. Bitches, baby mamas, and golddiggers usually follow the more dehumanized definition as hos, while sisters are more in line with the definition of queens. Some aspects of these identifications occur in most Hiphop cultural production around the world, despite academic scholarship that says it does not (cf., Mitchell 2001) Tony Mitchell (2001) maintains that Hiphop in the United States is more sexist and devian t than Hiphop in other countries. Often those defending Hiphops political potent ial will argue that it is just commercial Hiphop or Rap that subjugates women; however, simple lyri cal analysis of conscious Hiphop song lyrics will reveal otherwise. Not only do some conscious rappers assign women according to these categories, but some conscious rappers also will utilize pimpho metaphors to describe their political cause. Even underg round or conscious groups are guilty of objectifying and degrading women in lyri cs and lifestyle choices and onstage performances. In many cases both conscious and gangsta cultural workers assert

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221 masculinity in ways that degrade the huma n equality of women: pimp metaphors are often utilized and celebrated, and male opponents are feminized (and in some cases threatened with rape) as a strategy to disres pect them. Furthermore, content in conscious songs referring to women often leave them absent as main topics of narrative, thus erasing them from social struggle. In addition, women are cast into the golddigger category and criticized for being complicit with materialis m, consumerism, or sexualization in quite paternalistic and patriarchal ways. Examples of this would include song lyrics that criticize Japanese adolescent girls for exchanging sexual services for Western brand name fashion items with older men, or song lyrics that criticize women for shopping too much and, through thei r absence in their household, allow themselves or their children to be degraded by their male partners. Although these criticisms may co me from good intentions, they do not address the larger sociopolitical issues that underp in the behaviors and practice of the women and girls they criticize, and general tones of the lyrical pe rformances could be read as condescending. Another example of sexism in Japanese Hiphop lyrics could include referents in Japanese language that criticize by feminizing. The Hiphop vernacular Ame-ko for example is diminutive and derogatory because the morpheme / ko / means child and also signifies one as feminine, as many female names end w ith that morpheme (e.g., Michiko, Satchiko, Yoshiko, etc.). Borrowed words can also be utilized from English, both GAE and AAE, to signify objectification, such as the English pe jorative bitch. Consider the verse below from DS455 from Big Rons Bayside Cruisin introduced in Chapter Four:

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222 KAYZABRO (DS455): LADIDADI MAC DADDY IS COMIN' HONEY PARTY I GOT IT '64 STILL ROLLIN' SMOKIN' ON AND ON DOUBLE R BAYSIDE CRUISIN' BIG RON, RICHEE CRUISIN' WIT' ME HOW MANY BITCHES PLEASE GIVE ME YEA STICKY EVERYDAY HA HIGH IT'S LIKE THAT BIG RON KAYZABRO (DS455): ladidadi mac daddy is comin' honey come over here, the party is about to begin I got it '64, Im coming through still rollin', smoki n', we going on and on double R, to ma brothers hows it going, this is our hood, we doing what we want we Bayside cruisin' so yall better watchout Big Ron, Richee, cruisin' wit me how many bitches plea se give me yea I got the sticky maryjane, seeing crazy things in ma head smoked out, getting high everyday ha high, get high like I am its like that, sing it Big Ron Hiphops genesis in struggling, disenfranchise d communities situates the culture as a salient political force among todays emerging leader ship in Japan as well as the United States. Both countries origin narratives speak of organizing in the face of oppression for the purpose of peace and harmony as well as its multiple references to Japanese nationalist discourse, black power rhetoric, and liberation id eologies that attract youth worl dwide to utilize this art and culture for a variety of political campaigns and strategic agendas. Hiphops key leaders, authors, and documentarians (cf., Kitwana 1994, 2002, 2005) ha ve rightly predicted its transcendence from a cultural movement such as jazz to a po litical one such as the Black Power movement. However, is Hiphop a new social movement or is it merely an extension of past social movements? Chapter Four and the present chap ter examined how Hiphops cultural workers and political organizers have dealt with key issues in political movement building: race, class, gender, and sexuality. I posit that it will be Hi phops emerging gender politics that will foretell whether or not it can forge a new social movement. My tools of analysis in this chapter included

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223 evidence from my experiences of political or ganizing within the Hiphop culture in various countries, including Japan, as well as ex amples from popular cultural discourse.

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224 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION: KOBUSHI AGEROO! (=PUMP YA FIST!) Blackness, Race, and Politic s in Ethnographic Projects The rhetoric of race is embedded in discur sive practice that petitions a biological classification system. The validity of such a sy stem was ultimately empirically falsified in anthropological literatu re in the 1990s. At this juncture anthropologists remain amidst a methodological crisis concerning to treatment of the live effects of racialization in ethnographic data. For a while ethnicity became the trope for race; however, such studies denied the historical significance of racial constructions and th e material disparities that they have produced. Specifically, ethnographers face the cha llenge of successfully analyzing and writing about race without reifying it (Harrison 2002; Trouillot 2003). Inspecting instances of disidentification among cultural wo rkers in transnational Hiphop c ould lead to more developed understandings of changing conceptualizations a nd strategies regarding race and raciology (cf., Butler 1993, 1997b; Hall 1996d; Gilroy 1993b, 2000). Perhaps studying disidentification can help ethnographers better understand identification practices, such as those carried out by states governing bodies. Though race is but one of many intersecting identifications, examining how race and its correlated disidentifi cation takes place in Hiphop holds specific analytic interest. Ethnographers and cultural critics have posit ed that popular culture stands for certain discursive strategies (Den t 1998; Fabian 1998; Gilroy 1991; Hall 1996d; Hebdige 1987; hooks 1992) that encompass critical voi ces interested in reformulati ng outmoded notions of identity. However, those writing specifically about su ch subjects who identify with Hiphop communities outside of the United States (cf., Condry 1999; Mitchell 2001) have yet to adequately address how these participants in Hiphop culture are inte rpreting the significance of race and racialized discourse, and representations of blackness in part icular. If the political utility of Hiphop lies in

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225 its association with a black body politicrooted in an AfricanAmerican imaginary that is (metonymically) genealogically related to a history of resistan ce against state-regulated identity, why is this aspect of Hiphop cultural production of ten avoided or left unanalyzed? Specifically, what is the analytic relationship between race and Hiphop? How does race operate as a referent within Hiphop culture? That is, how does Hiphop become racially imbued? And what becomes of the conceptual status of race if Hiphop pr actitioners racial origins are not publicly recognized as black? Following Hall (1996d), the utilizat ion of black as a political category is evidence of strategic essentialism; however, in order to disc over why disidentificator y practice is necessary with this particular populati on (the trans-Pacific Hiphop comm unity in question), one must understand identificatory practices of the state and related strategies of di sidentification (Caplan 2001; McClaurin 2001). As Hall comments, [popular culture] is where we discover and play with the identifications of ourselves, where we are imagined, where we are represented, not only to the audiences out there who do not get the message, but to ourselves for the first time. [T]hough the terrain of the popular l ooks as if it is constructed with single binaries, it is not (Hall 1996d:474). Referencing Freud, he reminds us that sex and representation (including race) take place in our minds and warns against concep tualizing popular culture as being constructed with single binaries (1996:474; see also Fanon 1967). Through this observation by Hall we may join the recuperative theories of Butler (1997b) and Csaire (2000) th at relate theories of mental emancipation to deliverance from political subjec tion and explore the relationship between black popular culture and decolonization. Chapter One introduced theories of disident ification (Butler 1997; Muoz 1999) and AAE discursive practice and Hiphop Lingui stics (Morgan 2002, 2008) in an effort to situate Japanese

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226 Hiphops cultural work within a theoretical fr ame that considers Hiphop as part of an internationally practiced black popul ar culture. It offered a liter ature review of work on the construction of race, social movement theory, an d black popular cultural music genres in Japan (e.g., blues, jazz, reggae, gospel, soul, step, and Hiphop). Chapter Two described methodological considerations, includin g autoethnographic reflections conc erning how I entered the field and how my identifications affected fieldwork. I described my data collection and data analysis processes as well as my reporting process. Chapte r Three historically situated race in Japan and sought to clarify Japans geopolitic al identity within a postcolonia l framework. In this chapter, I provided a literature review of race analysis in Japan, and examined Japanese studies as a discipline, especially its relationship to critical race theory and studies of otherness in social science. This chapter also sought to elucid ate why race matters in Japan and why I am conceptualizing current govern mental practice and popular cu ltural reactions within a postcolonial framework. Chapter Four posed th e question, Is Hiphop a tr ansnational social movement? I explained how blackness is operati onalized around the globe for political practice and how African-American narrativ e style and liberation ideologi es inform this practice. I demonstrated how language, beats, dance, art, an d philosophy fit into this framework. I offered an origins narrative for Japanese Hiphop and de scribed its cultural aest hetics from flows to battles and verse styles. This chapter posited that Hiphops contribution as a transnational social movement was that it furthered the goals of pa st international social movements by dovetailing race and class analyses. Chapter Five critiqued Hiphop as not bei ng a new transnational social movement because, like past moveme nts, concepts of race and class have been allowed to trump gender and sexuality as salient political issues. Explication of popular di scourse regarding this theme and autoethnographic reflections from move ment building processes with which I have

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227 participated in Japan and the US were the tools of analysis employed in this chapter. I explored discussions concerning intersectionality in past and present political agendas, and I placed an emphasis on questioning the political sustai nability of these political agendas. Revoking Hiphops Ghetto Pass Race is a socially constructe d distinction, material relation, and dimension of social stratification that intersects with and is mu tually constituted by class, gender, ethnicity, nation, and increasingly transnational loca tion and identity. [Faye V. Harrison 2002] A ghetto pass is approval from members of a community for individuals who did not originate in that community or for individuals who originated from a community, but no longer keep it real through community connections and sincerity. As a co founder of the National Hiphop Political Convention (NHHPC), I wonder if it is time to revoke Hiphops ghetto passas metaphor for its social movement passand hopefully, only temporarily, until we can reassess whether our cause is still worthy, given Hiphops cores gender politics. Indeed, what has made the language with which I write about Hiphop in regard to its relevance as a contemporary social movement difficult, and at times confusing or contradict ory, is the fact that my analysis of its position has changed througho ut the tenure of this research. Within a Hiphop cultural framework, I am constantly reevaluating as to whether our cause is still worthy (cf. Morgan 2008). Moreover, many of the female cu ltural workers that I organize with in the international Hiphop community are becoming incr easingly careful about uncritically praising Hiphops political utility, as we are finding ourselves in the position of the Uhura character (right back where we started at the beginning of th e movement). While writing Chapter Five, I polled every international female Hiphop activist that I could think of as to whether Hiphop still had a worthy cause, given its apparent gender polit ics and values concerning children and family support. Everyone I talked to was exhausted from her secretarial role and skeptical concerning Hiphops political utility While we recognize Hiphops antiraci st and anticlassist workwork

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228 that was achieved through the muling of peopl e gendered in the same identification as uswe also realize that contemporary definitions of race are intersectional with other identifications such as gender and sexuality (cf., Harrisons pr eviously cited definition of race, 2002; Hurston 1990 [1935]). Therefore, how successful can Hiphop c ontinue to be if its international gender politics are not immediately addressed? The original Hip Hop Political Agenda document drafted in 2003 for the US National Hip Hop Political Convention (NHHPC) listed three items that were eliminated from the final document in 2004. Those three agenda items were gender equality, sexuality equality, and media justice. At the 2006 NHHPC meetings in Chicago much debate ensued to put at least two of those items back on the agenda: gender equality and media justice (which is seen as intersecting with gender equality given the prevalent degrad ing images of women in Hiphop media). After a lot of discussion, the gender equality item was supposed to be added back; however, a press release distributed after the De mocrats won back the US Senate in November 2006 omitted this agenda item. When a fellow female cofounder of the NHHPC criticized this, she was met with sexist rhetoric (e.g., it was insinuat ed that she was frustrated, as in sexually frustrated) and was asked if she wanted to be removed from the listserv where the group had its discussions. In addition, during the summer of 2007, the national ch air of the NHHPC, which would be held in Las Vegas in 2008, posted a picture of female orga nizers at the World Social Forum in Atlanta (June 2007) on his MySpace (social networking site ) page with the caption, flavors of the NHHPC. When criticized for sexua lly objectifying fellow organizers by referring to them using a popular ice cream slogan, he responded, I dont [s ic] see a problem with recognizing the ethnic diversity of our comrades... my definition of having flavor is a good thing (ellipsis in original). By saying ethnic di versity he was referencing va ried skin pigmentation, which

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229 further shows that he was typologically casti ng these females as objects. He attempted to backpedal by signifying that he was saying th at these women had flavor. However the grammar of his original caption re veals his response as a lie, b ecause his original use situated flavor as a noun (object), wherea s his defense of the use of f lavor refers to its use as modifier to a noun. The cultural workers with whom I work in other countries includi ng Japan were closely watching and participating in the movement-buildi ng process of the NHHPC as part of a shared vision and eventual agenda to cr eate allied Hip Hop Conventions in various countries. If the prototype of the pilot is flawed in terms of gender politics, what does the future hold for subsequent organizations? This doe s not mean that our internati onal allies do not have agency, and will just blindly accept the NHHP Cs political agenda, but it is to say that given this sort of treatment of women abounds in all international spaces, includi ng Japan and the US, the outlook of social change in regard to gender politics is not positive. While some cultural studies of Japanese Hiphop have situated the genre as not be ing sexist in comparison to US Hiphop that has not been my understanding of the culture. Fo r example, Rhiannon Fink writes, The lack of misogyny and violence in Japanese hip hop is appreciated by US fans who oppose these facets of contemporary commercial hip hop in America (2006: 205). I have read similar arguments from Tony Mitchell (1998) and also Ian Condry (1999), a nd I remain unsure of how that assessment is made (see lyrics analysis in Chapters Four and Five). That is, the cultural workers that I worked with reiterated the national stereotypes that Japan is sexist in a fixed wa y and criticized rampant sexism in society and government policy that predates Hiphop in Japan. I, too, have observed and experienced much sexism, sexual violation, sexual harassment, and subjugation ba sed on sexualized and gendered identifications

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230 in Japan (see Chapter Three). However, I can also contend that my female colleagues and I have undergone equally racist and sexist experiences in every country th at I have visited and lived in, including the United States and Japan. Mos Def cal ls this world nigga law and Faye Harrison (2002) terms this global aparthei d. The global hierarchical orde r generally places those marked as female, racialized other or nonwhite, and those in same sex relationships as lowest priority concerning access to basic human rights a nd quality of life (food, w ealth, health, shelter, civic engagement, etc.). Ellen Meiksins Wood (1 997) attributes growing global disparities along lines of race, gender, sexuality, class, and citi zenship to the universalization of capitalisman extension of previous imperialist agendas. The contrast between todays global economy and earlier forms of colonial imperialism should suffice to illustrate the point: colonies were what they were precisely because they presented no effective geopolitical barrier to imperial power. The movement of capital across colonial boundaries was, of course, not ju st a matter of paper tr ansfers or electronic transmissions but the bodily movement of coer cive force. Geopolitical borders, in other words, were not only notionally but physically permeable. Today, transnational capital is even more effective than was the old-military imperialism in penetrating every corner of the world; but it tends to accomplish this through the medium of local political jurisdictions to maintain th e conditions of economic stabili ty and labour discipline. [E. Wood 1997:553-554] Given this historical situation, that there is a global world or der that subjugates women and nonwhite people, it is important not to bl ame Hiphopor its global cultural pr oductionfor how global racism and sexism came into being. As stated earlier, Hiphop has inherited a gender and sexual politics from past social movements as well as mainstream society. The global world order concerning gender, sexuality, and racial identity predate Hiphops genesis. However, if Hiphop cultural workers claim to be attending to all forms of global injustice, it is important to evaluate whether Hiphop rhetoric and practice are oppositional enough to the global hierarchical situation concerning gender and sexuality. At this juncture, Hiphops international cultural workers must ask ourselves, Are flippin th e script and other performatives enough of a

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231 political intervention when the number s of people committed to Hiphop as an international movement do not recognize or know the names a nd issues of the women within the purported movement? While the Hiphop movement build ers should and must celebrate our success regarding race and class awareness using internati onal Hiphop cultural work, we must also ask if our cause is still worthy if we do not attend to growing historical dispar ities along lines of gender and sexuality. My assessment is that the Hi phop movement building efforts situated on the periphery (e.g., the B-Girl Be Conference, the Homo Hop movement, and the cultural work of Medusa, Rosa Clemente, Yo Yo, Danae Martin ez, Hanifah Walidah, Ca rla Stokes, Georgia Roberts, Stephany Spaulding, Retta Morris, Jessica LaShawn, Dereca Blackmon, Chasity Johnson, Rachel Raimist, Aya de Leon, and numerous unnamed, undervalued, and unrecognized others) constitute the criteria of a new social movement with a worthy cause (see also the emerging canon of Hiphop feminist/womanist lite rature, such as Clay 2003; Cole and GuySheftall 2003; Collins 2006; Hopkinson and Moore 2006; J. Morgan 2000; M. Morgan 2008; M. Morgan and Bennett 2007; J. Morgan and Neal 2007; Neal 2006; Rose 1994; Pough 2004; Pough and Richardson 2007; Sharpley-Whiti ng 2007; Souljah 1996; Stokes 2007). Although those on the periphery currently lack the numbers of the core Hiphop social movement that is based on masculine centered, black nationalist frameworks, all is not lost. Like past social movements (e.g., the black power move ment) ultimately subjugated subjects within the United States (African-descendants in the bell y of the beast) tend to set the political agenda on the world stage of black popular culture Within a Hiphop cultural framework, elders, founders, and pioneers reserve the ri ght to critique. Therefore, we can urge increased attendance to gender and sexual politics and create a new social movement that reaches greater heights of social change. When cultural workers critici ze Hiphop as not being a new social movement,

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232 we are not denying its existence as a social m ovement, but we are criticizing its gender and sexual politics (the worthiness of its cause) for no t being new, and instead stuck in ideology of the past. Recall the satirical skit presented in Ch apter Five, The Wrath of Farrakhan. A social change took place that could be the metaphor of a social movement in that Sulu experienced new freedom. Likewise, men all over the world have benefited from Hiphop activis m. The jury is out as to whether women will remain in the position of Uhura, participating in movements that do not end in much social change for ourselves. Just as the emergence of womanism and black feminism served as a catalyst for the revamping and revolutio nizing of traditional white woman-centered feminist movement-building, hopefu lly a similar strain of criticism will spur a relational change for renewed social change within Hiphop (cf., Philips 2006). Legacy to Liberation? Building on other ethnographic a nd social scientific studies of Hiphop in Japan (cf., Cleveland 2006; Condry 2006; Cornyetz 1994; Ster ling 2003, 2006), the research presented here specifically attends to linguistic features and cultural practices of a particular Japanese Hiphop community. The data I have collected over the pa st 13 years appear to support the hypothesis of many scholars that Hiphops signific ance to agents within this co mmunity is its conspicuous and purposeful connection to African -American discursive practices (cf., Alim 2006; Basu and Lemelle 2006; Forman 2002; Kitwana 2005; Mo rgan 2008; Neal 1998; Osumare 2007; Ramsey 2004; Rose 1994; Smitherman 1997,; Watkins 2006; Yasin 1999). Many Japanese cultural workers view their artistic productions as part of their political work against white supremacy. Moreover, their participation in Hiphop is conceptualized as sav ing themselves, their listeners and especially Japan as a nation. The emcee battle a nd the song lyrics analyzed in Chapters Four and Five highlighted the use of such rhetoric as part of a discursive st rategy to connect with African-American identities thr ough Hiphop. That is, the agents I work with in the Japanese

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233 Hiphop community conceptualize themselves as di stinct cultural workers who are part of an imagined community of transna tional Hiphop practice that is inte rnationally located in a USbased black aesthetic. Such an identity, to view oneself as part of a transnational community that is inextricably linked to African-American identity, does not necessi tate that one is entangled in a neocolonial relationship with the West or US hegemony. Identifying with blackne ss in the US is not automatically an admission of submission to US hegemony, as Americanized identity is often defined as whiteness and in term s of white racial norms (Lie 2001; Russell 1991a). Analysis of the words people use to describe the US in terms of whiteness and African Americans as derivational to an American (= white) norm reveal (1) that raciology or West ern-centered understandings of race have indeed been intern alized and operationalized by the people who speak in these terms, and (2) that identifica tion with blackness or Af rican-American cultural narratives of resistance are not necessarily in alignment with a US im perial identity. Russell explains, Western hegemony and Japans subordinate rela tion to the West has had a profound effect on the Japanese self-image as well as their image of the nonwhite Other. The West has played a pivotal role not only in introducing Japan to the bl ack Other but in defining the parameters of culture and ci vilization in general. Given Western hegemony and cultural authority and its lavish display of modernity a nd material power in Japan and elsewhere, it is not surprising that in its attempt to catch up with the West, Japan began to identify with it and peripheralize cu ltural links with its Asian ne ighbors whose influence on Japan waned with expansion of Euro-American pow er in the Pacific. [Russell 1991a:15] Consequently, I do not think that by identifyi ng acts of blackness in Japan that I am situating my research community in an ident ity that is somehow inauthentic or unoriginal. Chapters Four and Five demonstrate how cer tain acts of blackness, through performative symbol or through speech act, are not necessarily about blackness per se, but about expressions of disidentificatory practice agai nst grains of normalizing racial and gendered ascriptions in both

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234 national and international settings It is not my intention to pr oject American ways of thinking about race onto the people with whom I work (cf. Condry 2006:25; Takezawa 2006), rather I hope to share linguistic data th at they agree reveals how they are thinking about race as a contribution to pre-existing research and writ ing that documents communities and cultural workers conceptualizing racial oppression in shared ways, and borrowing as well as building upon narratives of resistance in th ese ways (see, for example, At kins 2001; Asai 2005; Koshiro 2003; Horne 2004). As Russell (1991a), Koshiro ( 1999), and Mishima (2000) explain, members of Japans intelligentsia and governmental po licy writers had access to and were informed by Western theories of race and racial suprem acy. Acknowledging this historical fact within analysis of contemporary cultural practice need no t be totalizing of Japans geopolitical identity nor a US imperialist reading of indigenous cultur al practice. Drawing on hi storical documents as well as the work of historians like Dower ( 1986), Horne (2004), and Koshiro (1999) as well as the critical race research of Kondo (1997), Russell (1991b), and Cleveland (2006), scholars can better historically situate contem porary articulations of race and r acialization within a Japanese Hiphop context. Moreover, documenting changi ng trends in multicultural club venues, multiethnic artists, and multilingual cultural produc tions and using discourse analysis to uncover ideological constructions may reveal even more insight to how contem porary popular culture relates and does not relate to older versions of nationalist di scourse and racial hierarchies. This critical race research project pushes the discipline of anthropology to reconsider traditional methodologies and social theories th at do not fully extricate the significance of postcolonial performances, like the perfor mance of blackness among Japanese Hiphop community cultural workers who are not bound to a particular identity, le t alone a particular geopolitical space in our specific modern times. An important part of my perspective in this

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235 research is informed by my longitudinal and fa milial relationshipsboth biological and fictive that were forged over time duri ng the tenure of my part icipation in this community. The political markings that my body and my family bring to th e ethnographic project nece ssitate reflexivity in writing, as the ethnographic relation ship was at all times multivocal heteroglossic, and dialogic (Bakhtin 1981; Page 1988; Ulysse 2007). My bo dy, my memory, my family experiences inform the perspective from which I now write. This methodological perspectiv e is a necessary and integral influence that carries w ith it a particular po litical agenda to this already politically charged intellectual project. I will conclude with one such autoethnographic reflection. Final Reflection The Hiphop cultural community that I reported on in this work is a contemporary manifestation of a historical rela tionship between activists and arti sts across the Pacific. As such, the Hiphop community was not the only home that I found when navigating the cultural, politic, and linguistic terrain in Japan. My parents and grandparents agemates that I affectionately and respectfully call elders in this project al so provided an intellectual and emotional shelter for me over the past 13 year s. These elders were the trailblazers for international social movement building that sought open alliances according to their identification as being part of the worlds darker races (cf. Du Bois 1990 [1903]; Prashad 2007). This vanguard openly sought allegiances with their Afri can-American counterparts and other oppressed peoples all over the world. One such elder is Yoshida Ruiko, who graciously hosted my mother and me in her home after a long night of research in 1994. Watching my mother build with Yoshida-san on strategies for eliminating inequality worldw ide at various moments over time has been an incredible experience. On one particular ev ening, Yoshida-san, Nakazawa Mayumi, Chikappu Mieko, and my mother went to see a multicultura l and multinational performance at a temple in

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236 the Tokyo metropolitan area. Afterward, some of the group went to dine. We ate chanpuru and other Ryukyuan cuisine while list ening to Ryukyuan musicians perform at a restaurant. When the musicians were finished performing (as we clos ed the spot down that night), my mother, Nakazawa-san, and Yoshida-san talked with the musicians and other restaurant staff about blackness, race, and politics as well as Asiannational art and activism. Upon arriving at Yoshida-sans home I was struck by her beautiful photographs of members of the Black Panther Party, particularly Huey Newton. These elders broke bread based on their perceptions of shared experiences of subjection as well as thei r collective cultural identity as members of a transnational social movement inspired by the international black power movement. It wasnt Hiphop, but similar aesthetics and lan guage ideologies were at play. Citing the work of Yoshida Ruiko, who is al so an internationally acclaimed Japanese national photojournalist, Russell ( 1991a) provides a quotation from her discussing the premise of one of her books and its relationshi p to her becoming aware of her ow n identity as it intersects with global racial hierarchies: Haremu no Atsui Hibi is a coming-of-age record of th e maturation of one yellow-skinned womans [ kiiori hada no onna ] life in an American black ghetto in the 1960s. At same time, it is also a journal of one persons search for self-identity, a person wholike blacksis a minority in American society. [Yoshida 1979:226, quoted in Russell 1991a] Contrary to the scholarship that questions Japanese Hiphops authenticity based on the supposed premise that African-American Hiphop originators and Japanese national Hiphop cultural workers lack shared experience [of racialization and dise nfranchisement] (Fink 2006:201), Russell analyzes Yoshidas comments and hi storically situates th e existence of shared racial identities and, thus, shared experien ces between African Americans and Japanese nationals. Russell writes, Yoshidas use of terms like oshukujin (yellow person) and hada no kiiroi onna (yellowskinned woman) and her identification of hers elf a minority is a deliberate statement of

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237 her solidarity with other peopl e of color; a consciousness, sh e tells the reader, she did not possess until her experiences in America. In this and subsequent works, Yoshida rejects Western racial hierarchies, while criticizing her compatriots, partic ularly the Japanese intelligentsia, for their uncritical embrace of them and oppression of minorities at home. [Russell 1991a:15] Not all, but many of the Japanese national cultural workers that I interviewed had the chance like Yoshida to travel to the US and experience anti -Asian racism firsthand, which perhaps helped to formulate their identities in so lidarity with African-American e xperiences. Those that had never left Japan or East Asia and the South Pacific also shared Yoshidas conceptualization of self. It could be because this generation of cultural work ers grew up reading or hearing about the work of Yoshida as well as Honda Katsuichi and Nakazawa Mayumi who write about race and Japanese identity in similar ways to Yoshida. Also because of changes in technology that contribute to time-space compression, consuming Hi phop cultural productions, such as movies that elucidate social disparities and creative stra tegies of resistance against such structural programs, further contributes to awakening Japanese Hiphop cultural workers to shared experiences of racialization a nd related social inequality. Indeed, whether it was an unknown Hiphop fan who worked a custodial position at the Kansai Airport whos never left his city, let alone the country, or a famous deejay whose videos frequent MTV Japan and who, at the time enjoye d a residency at Japa ns then-largest Hiphop club, I have rarely had a conversa tion about Hiphop that did not end in an articulation of social disparities and what we, the interlocutors, could do to help assuage this worldwide problem that we both endure on a daily basis. I do think that pe rceptions of political connectivity within my transnational Hiphop community are becoming in creasingly generational, as younger consumers and cultural workers seem less committed to Hi phops political promise; however, as Hiphops cultural and philosophical practice predicates, it is up to usme, the famous deejay, and the Kansai Airport custodianto criti cize Hiphops political potential and to guide its future cultural

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238 workers toward more progressive practice. As Chuck D said during a collaboration with DJ Yutaka, The legends aint ready to leave, cause the kids aint ready to lead! In this way, let us consider that Hiphop serv es as a window to studyi ng social reality as described by the cultural workers youth in ques tion. Hiphop is a point of entry, a site of inquiry, for understanding how race, gender, class, and ci tizenship affect cultural workers in their everyday lived experiences. More importantly, documenting Hiphop as a trope for blackness and its related status in relation to the state help s to illustrate how blackness is utilized as a strategically essentialized politic al tool to displace and assu age the essentializing political processes operationalized by states to categ orize and control bodies that are politicized. Therefore, I am not only providing insight into how cultural worker s cope and recuperate (Butler 1997b; Hall 1996d; Hebdige 1979), but also how the state legitimizes hierchicalizing apparatuses, and how cultural workers subsequently make sense of this and resist when able. While Hiphop is transnational, it is also si multaneously autochthonous because we cannot discount the agency and innovation of individuals positioned at the peripheries of its cultural and linguistic production (outside of the Black Atlantic). Despit e occupying disparate spatial locations, those who identify with Hiphop cultural production are often temporally intertwined and linked through a common literacy (Anderson 1991; hooks 1992) that seeks to destabilize the status quowhatever that may be in a ny given cultureand this practice seems to encompass a goal of dehierarchizing social re lations (cf., Fujita 1996; Gilroy 1993b; Morgan 2002; Prevos 2001; Urla 2001). Hence, Hiphop cultu ral production not only represents the articulation of critical theo ry (Beebe 2002; Dyson 2001; Grossberg 1997; hooks 1992), but it also relates to the postcolonial intellectual pr oject that Homi Bhabha described as the transnational as translational (1993:172). By concomitantly signifying blackness and disrupting

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239 racial stasis, Hiphops significance to social movement building is transnational (hiphop is black power) as well as translational ( kobushi ageroo [=pump ya fist!]). This transnational genre is translatable in a metony mical sense, as its liberatory message is carried from one place to another and serves to desc ribe the condition of our contem porary world from a specific, formally silenced perspective.

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240 APPENDIX SAMPLES FROM DATA REFERENCED Summary of Analysis from RIAJ Yearbook 2006 Charts The Recording Industry Associ ation of Japan (RIAJ) Year book 2006 lists various charts including one showing how distri bution works in Japan and also top selling artists/groups of artists. Whereas the Recording Industry Asso ciation of America (RIAA) categorizes Hiphop sales, the RIAJ places these sales mostly under the category of Pop and also in some cases a subcategory of New Music. EX ILE (formerly J Soul Brothers), is a J-Pop band, which could also be described as a Hiphop-influenced Japane se soul (or New Jack Swing) band as is referenced in Chapter Five. EXILE was listed as having sold in the millions for 2005. It also won Gold Discs and Rock and Pop Album of the Year for its Single Best and Perfect Best albums. This is the same group that featured the Black Panther Party political march on its album cover and the CD booklet contains different famous photographs from Afri can-American political struggles and demonstrations. In the past, EX ILE has borrowed imagery from Public Enemys It Takes a Nation of Millions album cover for EXILE ENTERTAINMENT s album art. Object A-1 EXILEs EXILE ENTERTAINMENT The song lyrics featured in this research project generally sold high numbers, and the albums were ranked in the top 25 under the Japa nese Hiphop category for Cisco Records, which is a different entity from RIAJ (see http://www.cisco-records.co.jp ). Furthermore, Suite Chic/ Amuro Namie, won Artsist of the Year in 1997 according to the RIAJ. Finally, most of my research assistants communicated that the sa mples used were respresentative of heavilyconsumed art in Japanese Hiphop.

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241 / Kobushi Ageroo / Pump Ya Fist This translation was ranked the highest by research consultants for the song Kobushi, which is explicated in Chapter F our. This song also inspired part of the title for this project. [chorus] put your fist up, put your fist up open up your ears, jump up put your fist up, put your fist up open up your ears, jump up [verse1] this hip hop virus has in vaded your blood like poison, representing Japan, the yellow race yo! Im tellin it to you straight up, tryin to fi x this situation that I dont agree with our identity, delivering dope Japanese shit till everybody hears it I hit every single ball thrown like Shinjorhyming, luck is part of skills Im showin you how I do it, Im like a Japanese soldier during a war, putting my life on the line fighting with this microphone carving the truth into the history and its culture Hiphop is something that got this lock down the most those who feel the same way, put your fist up [chorus] [verse2] trying to find something di fferent in this cityscape outlaws that go out and smoke weed got the hachimaki tied to my head, injectin the dope into the world, seeing all of the problems in the world especially at night greed cannot measure my battling schemes during a live performance, I use th e mic to fight against my fear no need to pray, risk your life, never backing down my spirit is real like a Japanese sword, put into the sheath thats gentle the battle might be a li ttle tough be we coming up using Japanese that I learned since I was young making songs that even a yakuza would be surprised those who came to just watch will get tipsy from listening if you gonna do it, do it I got the spirit from those who came before Im a missionary from Japan, going to war today too

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242 [chorus] [verse 3] for the men and women who have pride a nd big spirit, listen to the lyrics got the info that will shock your mind packed with good news, challenging various dojos and bringing new teachings delivering crazy out of this world rhymes to your mind Im not following no trend, you don t have tell me that shit we coming into you with me and DJ Yutaka's beat male spirit and intelligence, putting muthafuckas to rest popular culture changes as time changes, fighting another day against societ y that gives false information Yamadaman & Q, we are the big stars that has animal instincts to fight eating 'hino maru bento-' with DJ Yutaka, inheriting the culture and the values rapping what I have to say, this is the best skill to have to live at times, something soft be stronger than a metal [chorus] --DJ Yutaka featuring Rappagariya Object A-1 DJ Yutakas album cover for Kobushi Self Destruction, Japanese Style Self Destruction was also the title of a popular and pivot al song in the US by various popular artists, including heavy hitter pioneers MC Lyte, KRS-ONE Chuck D, Flava Flav, Just Ice, Kool Moe Dee, Doug E. Fresh and Daddy O. The topics of each artists verse addressed salient issues that were consider ed to be part of African-America ns state of emergency at the time. The song attended to a rec uperative analysis in a similar ve in to Negritude as expressed by Aime Cesaire, Frantz Fanon and others. Indeed, self-destruction brings to mind Fanons concept of auto-destruction (Fanon 1967). Here is how the concept is operationalized by Japanese cultural workers. Note the themes of nationalist discourse, survival and transcendence that are prevalent throughout transna tional Hiphop language ideology and cultural aesthetics.

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243 [K Dub Shine] this alcoholic carries a knife at around midnight and early morning, probably some whiskey thats mixed with water or maybe buying some really cheap stuff, stalking, bullying, stealing thats not worth anything an island where people easily kill others, parents putting life insurance on th eir children and abusing them there is a lack of respect towards others, and people starting bitching in prison when they get the death penalty its no one elses life but yours, what I think the reason is because of the lack of knowledge and education which causes the increase in self destruction in this society [Zeebra] Im zeebra, coming from Shibuya, Theres a lot of chinpira (somethi ng like gangbangers in the states) beating up a drunk salaryman in the alley hating on parents and the police but it doesn't look too tough when you seem scared its better to be seen as cats who are tough but thats just a misunders tanding by a lot of fools what doesnt change is the baggy jeans and the sense of danger when I see a police car man I dont feel good, I dont have any good memories theres a lot of negatives but there isnt any positives [Yamada Man] yeah, when you walk straight, theres times when you hit something that blocks you but if you give up, you're gonna regret it the challenge in this whole lifetime is trying to eat, trying to express how I feel of course Ill challenge it as many times as it takes, its journey in this game, risking my life, Im not playing, my dream is big no matter how tough it is, gotta keep my head up and fight it through Ill keep on goin till my heart stops, my principle is to work hard than take the way of cheating you gotta believe in yourself when everything is going bad [Q] man how many times are you gonna make me say this going straight past from left to the right? ar e you serious? think a lil bit, you thinking like a kid, is your heart like ice? one way of a death story, dont mistake it

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244 so much corruption that Im getting tired of saying pushing the limit dumb muthafuckas should sleep for 10,000 years, trying to get to the bottom of this ayo! watch out because its burning and hot, this is a gamble, risking the life [Utamaru] whats scary isnt the dumb co mment but the pretty excuses the actions taken by the political authorities that are distorted before we start disciplining the kids we need to discipline the adults seriously, the persistent and stubborn, Japanese stock businesses need to calm down stop trippin because someday you'll die [Kohei Japan] thinking that there will be equality tomorrow, but one accident will change the peaceful balance, wandering into suicide, if there is no way out, you need a back up plan make sure you know how to work your way out, but if you ready to die, then follow me! [Mummy-D] bullying, threats, breakdowns, poor health, falling, downgrading, escaping, disappearing people giving up their lives, jealousy, greed, despair, poor, but you gotta keep on living you need to show your will to keep on going [Utamaru] stop pulling my legs [Kohei Japan] dont listen to the noise (the bullshit) [Mummy-D] dont make a mistake on your path, the junction of life [Utamaru] lets keep on doing rap music to survive [Kohei Japan]

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245 Rhymster, Kohei, bumping that sound jiko ho-kai (self destruction) self destruction -DJ Yutaka, featuring K-Dub Shine, Rhym ester, Kohei Japan, Rappagariya, Zeebra Object A-2 Self Dest ruction album art K-Dub Shines Save The Children This song is referenced throughout, but especial ly in Chapter Two beca use of its specific autoethnographic features. [verse3] I dont want to see anymore tears from children child abuse is something that cannot be forgiven people abuse kids like its a daily / usual / conventional practice thing language and violence, watch how you use them the fear becomes plante d in these kids' minds always being scared, like a nightmare always pressing on the child all alone wondering around in their mind and memories their hearts will always remained scarred they cant find a way out of the path they lose hope on all people and close their hearts this is fatal for a young child's life do you want me to do the same thing to you? I wont be able to hear you cr y even when you're on your knees I dont think I can keep my temper down this is the only way that you will understand the child's pain [chorus] if there is a kid that looks like he / she was beaten, let me know if there is a house that s eems suspicious, let me know if there is someone who needs help, let me know if you hear someone crying, let me know --K Dub Shine Object A-3 K Dub Shines Save the Children Hannyas Oretachi no Yamato This song is an excellent example of how nationalist discourse, cultural nationalism, resistance, assertions of masculinity and soci al commentary coalesce as cultural criticism. Hannya is a member of the Mo-so-zoku ( ) crew. He has ascended from a battle emcee in

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246 local battles and festivals to a top-selling ar tist who recently announced that he would be working with famous J-Pop star, Nagabuchi Ts uyoshi. Nagabuchi was on the main theme song for the motion picture film Otokotachi no Yamato and Hannya had the supporting sub-theme song, Oretachi no Yamato. An excerpt appears below. Our generation was born after the wa r, but there's still war going on Some idiot creates the nuclear bomb and th en some other idiot does the same thing Will the top leader of your count ry and will the top leader of the other country, just step down and fight one and one because the rest of us really wish for peace in this world The aftermath of war brings losses of those who we love, family and friends Forget about winning or lo sing, this is about life To have feelings as a human being If I ever have a kid, and that kid has a kid, I would want them to live in a world where they will be able to smile more than the world we live in today --Hannya Object A-4 Hannyas Oretachi no Yamato Knowledge Panel Translation Sample Aspects of the following excerpt were tr anslated by VSOP, Wesl ey Uenten, Fujino Yuko, Nakamura Mustuo, and the author. This discussi on took place at a knowledge panel during a Hiphop festival. It is shared to exhibit the level of thought and philosophy that create the fifth/ overstanding element in the operational defini tion provided for Hiphop as a culture. It also exhibits aspects of how na rrative and storytellin gwithin Hiphops language ideologyare integral to the creation of Hiphop s transnational origins narrativ e, which includes members from either side of the Pacificthat is, American pioneers such as DST are mentioned as well as Japanese pioneers, whose identities are hidden. Pioneer 1: Hiphop is being portrayed greatly through the ma ss media. Yeah, its not a bad thing, but there is more to it in Hiphop than that is portrayed in the media. For instance, there has been an increase in independent artists. Fo r deejays, maybe its good to listen to the Hiphop from the 1980s? Do you guys feel the same way?

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247 Grand Wizard Theodore was the first to bring the technique of scratching. Today, there are artists such as Jay-Z, Ja Rule, Puff Daddy, Def Jam, Ruff Ryders. But Eric B, DST, Diamond D, Battlecat were th e first people to be making tracks back in the day. A deejays job is to make sure peopl e are having fun and to uplift peoples spirits. I dont know how many deej ays there are in the cr owd but I want everyone to listen to all kinds of artists, and listen to and give the au dience the music from back in day, not back in the day but the true, real originators of Hiphop because that will open up peoples perspective and they will learn. I want the de ejays to listen to th e old school Hiphop again. Yeah, vinyl is expensive, but there are CDs so you can use CDs to spread the music. Its better if every deejay is different and has thei r own style or else its boring. So, for the deejays, I want this message to mean some thing for you and have pride as a deejay and spin. Pioneer 2: Is talking about deejay good? Pioneer 1 was the first d eejay to scratch in Japan. Back in those days, I was a b-boy and there was only disco at the time. I was wearing a jersey and some sneakers and couldnt get in, and that was the era / time when we joined the Hiphop movement. We were treated really bad and been through a lot but weve been keeping on doing it. Today, there are a lot of deejay s but a Hiphop deejay is not some who spins Hiphop, but I want you guys to know that a Hiphop deejay is someone who knows about Hiphop. Pioneer 1: Even though this is what Im wearing, even a guy in a suit, or in sneakers, or a salary man who likes Hiphop is Hiphop. It doesnt matter what you wear. This is a culture and its about how you express yourself. Im not sayi ng magazines are wrong or the TV is wrong. I was an outlaw back in the day. Without Hiphop, I wouldnt be here today. It saved me. When I met Hiphop, I felt like this was what I wa nted to do, this is my life. And I went to the U.S. and lived there for 12 years. I have a wife and kids, and I need to protec t them, and I do think th at God has protected me, but if I didnt have Hiphop I would be ag ainst myself. I love Hiphop, so I dont want to say I dont like Hiphop right now, but Hiphop is about peace love, unity, and to have fun. I want everyone to share the knowledge deejaying, dancing, music, and have fun. Theres gangsta rap, I mean its not bad, but if the whole world accepts it, its gonna be crazy. So, for those who like Hiphop, there are the good parts and bad parts. Same with us humans, but there are also the good and the bad in cultures, because humans made it. I want everybody who does Hiphop to understand the good and the bad. Its not about your appearance, I want everyone to enjoy Hiphop and use it as like a battery to live life. Theres magazines like Blast and Woofin there are good articles but there are also bad articles. Sorry for saying this, but it is up to you to decide. Just because he or she is wearing a chain and has vinyl, doesnt mean he or she is Hiphop. Someone who has been long forgotten doesnt mean he or she wa snt Hiphop. I know what Im saying is kinda hard to understand but I know those who get wh at Im saying gets it. I want you guys to understand this and spread Hiphop and support it in Japan. We will be happy that we were able to help grow positive and good Hiphop and we can comfortably be able to die and go to the sky and watch you guys from above.

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248 I am 42 this year, and I am a pretty old guy. But, you know, I am wearing stuff like this but I believe that life is fo r you to decide on your own and if you make your own decisions and do something, it doesnt really matter wh at you wear. I am looking forward to the future. Pioneer 16: It doesnt really matter about your appearance or what you wear. A salary man who likes Hiphop is Hiphop and thats okay. I am a salary man myself. I am a writer. Pioneer 2: You were a dancer back in the day, right? Pioneer 16: You dont have to bring that up. Haha. I dont think nobody would know. When I was a student, I met Hiphop and became a writer after I graduated. I think Hiphop is about your heart / mindset. It doesnt matter what you w ear. Hiphop is not just fashion. Its more about values. Its not a gangsters music a nd you dont have to be a gangster. I have nothing to do with gangsters but I like Hiphop. I think there is a false image that Hiphop equals gangster image and I dont really like that. But young people are maybe seeing too much of this image. Whatever, if you wear re d or blue, or somethi ng like that, is not all Hiphop. Its about values and I dont want those values to be destroyed. To use these values in life is important. Even when you read magazines, there are things that you cannot learn and grab from just magazines. So that s what I want to tell you guys. Hiphop is more about the heart and mind. Yeah, fashion might be how you start but theres more to it. Pioneer 1: Me too. Fashion was how I first got started. When I was 18,19. Those superstars from Run DMC. I own all the colors. I wore those without laces and it was hard to walk in them. Haha. How many of yall are deejays? Be honest Back in the day, I was real poor. I didnt have money to buy vinyl. Applause for the s ponsors. Today, there ar e good mentors, good mixers, good turntables. We live in a time where deejays should be really grateful. I used to scratch on belt-drives. During that time, there hasnt been too many great turntables invented yet. But now, theres deejay schools and you can learn about the skills. But just cuz you got the skills, doesnt mean you know Hip Hop / are Hip Hop. I was really hungry back in the day and I am really straight up w ith things. And because I had that feeling, I am still here. deejaying is not about following tren ds and hopping on the mainstream train. I think there should be more of those who want to do it for the love. Theres a lot of street bands around Shibuya. Where the deejays at? Its tough to be a club deejay, you need skills and its tough to make a living as a club deej ay. I understand if you got into it from fashion, but if you want to get out from it, dont leave from the entrance but go to the exit. Theres been a lot of violence in th is country. Last year, I di d a United Nations tour with everybody. It was a charity event to save the children. We thought about this with Pioneer 2 and we want to do something for all the ch ildren in this country and we want to use Hiphop to help these kids. So, for everybody out th ere, we need to really help these kids and the future of this country and spread Hiphop in a positive way. You know, violence is

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249 increasing and global warming is going on. The g angsters that Pioneer 2 mentioned, is not a bad gangster but a good gangster. I th ink Hiphop is a gangsters culture, I mean, thats how it got started in the Bronx. Af ter the violence that erupted in the area. So, I want people here to embrace the posit ive aspects of Hiphop and spread positive Hiphop. Pioneer 14: I want to talk about the fashion, and I go to the U.S. a lot too but I do say that kids over there have to do a lot harder to buy, say a pair of Forces [Air Force Ones]. Kids over there [U.S.] really ta ke care of their shoes a lot. You guys might be able to buy a lot of Forces but kids over there, it might be really hard to buy Jordans [Air Jordans]. They buy Reeboks and keep them white and manage to work the ways to show their pride. Even in dance and graffiti, I want each one of them to have their own pride. Everybody here, dont be like just because it got dirty in the rain, Im not gonna wear it but take care of them.

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252 LIST OF REFERENCES Alim, H. Samy, ed. 2001 Hip Hop Culture: Language, Literature, Literacy and the Lives of Black Youth. Special issue of The Black Arts Quarterly 6(2), St anford, CA: Stanford University/Committee on Black Performing Arts. 2002 Street-conscious Copula Variation in th e Hip Hop Nation. American Speech 77(3): 288304. 2006 Roc the Mic Right: The Language of Hip Hop Culture. New York: Routledge. Allen Jr, Ernest 1994 When Japan Was 'Champion of the Da rker Races': Satokata Takahashi and the Flowering of Black Messianic Nationalism. In Black Scholar 24 (Winter 1994): 23-46. 1996 Making the strong survive: the contours an d contradictions of me ssage rap. In Droppin' Science: Critical Essays on Rap Music and Hip Hop Culture, edited by W. E. Perkins. Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press. Allison, Anne 1994 Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure, and Corporate Masculinity in a Tokyo Hostess Club. Chicago: University of Chicago. Allison, Juliann Emmons, Ed. 1998 Technology, Development, and Democracy: International Conflic t and Cooperation in the Information Age. New York: State University of New York Press Anderson, Benedict 1991 Imagined Communities: Reflections on th e Origin and Spread of Nationalism. New York: Verso. Aoki, Keith 1996 Foreign-ness and Asian American Identi ties: Yellowface, World War II Propaganda, and Bifurcated Racial Stereotypes. As ian Pacific American Law Journal, 4(1). 1997 Critical Legal Studies, Asian Americans in U.S. Law and Culture, Neil Gotanda, and Me. Asian Law Journal 4:19. Appadurai, Arjun 1996 Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimens ions of Globalizatio n. Minneapolis, Minn.: University of Minnesota Press. Arksey, Hilary.and Peter Knight 1999 Interviewing for Social Scientists: an Introductory Resource with Examples. London: Sage Asai, Susan 2005 Cultural Politics: The African American Connection in Asian American Jazz-based Music. In Project Muse. Austin: University of Texas Press.

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280 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH A Hiphop-generation anthropologis t, filmmaker and educator Dawn-Elissa Fischer is concerned with the ways youth around the world use Hiphop as a tool for political empowerment. She is currently the research design & education manager for the Hiphop Archive at Stanford University. Fischer is a co-founder of the National Hip-Hop Political Convention and she serves on the Advisory Board for HOTGI RLS (Helping Our Teen Girls In Real Life Situations), a non-profit organiza tion dedicated to educating Afri can American girls about sexual and mental health issues. Fische r also serves as Co-Director of Edutainment4Life, a collective of consultants dedicated to the creat ion of entertaining education fo r life skills and self-help for underserved youth.