Zig-Zagging home through the streets of Shibuya, Chaz’s Supreme Jersey, White Polo bucket hat and record bag caught my eye. Then I noticed that the tote bag his wife, Nana, was carrying was one of those heavy canvas incognito Disk Union bags.

“Sumimasen? Disuku Yunion no baggu desu ka? Naka ni rekōdo haitemasu ka? Watashi mo rekōdo daisuki. Rekōdo o katta bakari no hito-tachi no shashin wo toru kameraman desu. `Tokyo Record Style’ to iu boku no insutaguramu desu. Shashin totte mo īdesu ka?”

“We’re Korean.”



“…that’s about all the Korean I know …and Gamsahabnida (Thank You). Is English better?”

“Only little English… Only little Japanese.”

“Ok Ok… well, let’s try…”

And then we did that amazing dance of simple exchange, jumping around words until we landed on one we know, some Japanese, some English, some sign language mixed in, and lots of smiles, and ultimately, communication. Our shared passion for music willed us to connect.

Chaz and Nana told me that the vinyl culture in Seoul where they live in similar to Tokyo but with fewer shops, but that they have the flagships, like Tower Records, and smaller indie shops as well. But Chaz said that vinyl, especially used vinyl, is much cheaper in Japan than in Korea (Guilherme from a few posts back said the same thing about Brazil, which is a little troubling, I hope not an indicator that prices will go up in Japan.)

After a nice chat, Chaz and Nana gave me a couple of Korean music recommendations: Korean hip-hop OG MC Meta, of the group Garion, pioneers of Korea’s underground Hip-Hop scene, and Korean-American rapper and producer, Tiger JK, founding member of Korean Hip-Hop group Drunken Tiger.

AWESOME! Thanks Chaz and Nana! Enjoy that Nas record! Thank you for your kindness and for inviting me to Korea! Hope I can make it some day!!

More Tokyo Record Style on the way!

Nas – Illmatic
Label: Columbia – C 57684
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: Apr 19, 1994
Genre: Hip Hop
Style: Conscious, Boom Bap

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