Ji Eun and Homin

I met this smiley young couple on the back slope of Organ Zaka under the Miyashita Park and Yamanote Line underpass. They were just around the corner from Tower Records carrying that iconic red/orange/yellow bag and I immediately pulled over and chatted them up. I often pull this maneuver, spotting somebody walking down the street, safely but suddenly hitting the brakes and start chatting them up in Japanese with my sunglasses and helmet still on. Maybe they should cringe, feel accosted, and run the other direction, but the reaction is usually to freeze, stunned perhaps by the whole onslaught of unexpected counter-intuition, compounded sensory overload, like a flying saucer landing in their cornfield. Add onto that another layer of disorientation that comes with visiting a foreign country, particularly Japan, which Ji Eun and Homin were doing,

Happy to be visiting Tokyo for a short jaunt from Seoul, Korea, Ji Eun and Homin who are in fashion design and the vintage clothing market, had grabbed a couple of classic albums from Tower, where I am told records are generally cheaper than in Seoul. Homin scored Tatsuro Yamashita’s 1980 CityPop classic Ride on Time, one of about 6 or more albums that, after years of being out of print, have all been recently repressed. It seems like for the last year, so many record shop displays have, for every other week, had huge window or in-store displays of any of the various Yamashita re-releases. Considering that until recently, these records might be in the ¥6000-¥10,000, I’m sure young collectors are happy to have represses at a better price point.

Speaking of re-releases and in-store displays, another series that has been dominating the shops recently is the new collection of all the Studio Ghibli soundtracks, such as Kiki’s Delivery Service, which Ji Eun had scored. I’d love to have this soundtrack but I do already have the Yumi Arai song, Hiko-ki Gumo on the great album of the same name, that features the hit song from the movie. Ji Eun was keen to learn more about Yumi so I was happy to share what little I knew!

Nice meeting you two! Enjoy Tokyo!


Tatsu Yamashita [山下達郎] – Ride On Time [ライドオン・タイム]
Label: Air Records – BVJL 91, Ariola – BVJL 91
Series: Tatsuro Yamashita RCA / Air Years Vinyl Collection
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, Reissue, Remastered, 180g
Country: Japan
Released: Jun 7, 2023
Genre: Funk / Soul, Pop
Style: City Pop, Disco, Funk, Soul

久石 譲 [Joe Hisaishi] – 魔女の宅急便 サントラ音楽集 [Kiki’s Delivery Service Soundtrack Music Collection]
Label: Studio Ghibli Records – TJJA-10021C
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered, Stereo, Yellow Translucent
Country: Japan
Released: Jun 14, 2023
Genre: Stage & Screen
Style: Soundtrack, Anison

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