As I was walking into Greatest Hits Records in Nagoya, a customer, Yukinari, from the previous post was walking out. I approached him for a photo and after he agreed we got off to taking some photos. As I was walking backward so as to able to fit Yukinari into the frame, I backed into a gentle looking giant wearing a mono-tone spring linen Japanese Jinbei, a light and airy kimono-style top and loose pants, wooden geta raised sandals with tabi-style socks, a long goatee, a matching terrycloth towel and beanie, smoking tobacco from a thin traditional smoking pipe called a kiseru, that looked like could have told a few edo-era opium den stories. This was Jun san, and he was an enigma, looking both sophisticated and yet bedraggled in the same moment, menacing and yet genial, bruteish and yet elegant, like the Muppet Sweetums or a calm and stoic buddah-esque Santa. I didn’t know whether to apologize profusely for backing into him, or to simply run. But when he gave a wink of his eye, and a twist of his head, a chuckle and a smile, I knew I had nothing to dread.

It turned out that Jun is just about as sweet, kind, friendly, and friendly as a human can be, and after I photographed Yukinari, he invited me back into Greatest Hits, which is when I realized he worked there! He insisted I meet the owner, Takashima san, upstairs, but not before making his photos, which he posted with Japanese girl-rockers, “Hitsuji Bungaku” who I was listening to non-stop for 3 days after he introduced them to me.

Jun told me that he loves all the kinds of music that makes him feel good, adding that he is a vocalist and started singing in clubs long ago, so he particularly loves vocal works and works that emphasize lyrics. “My favourites are Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions, Chiaki Naomi’s works in general, and more recently “Hitsuji Bungaku”, which again is the record he’s photographed with. (FYI “Hitsuji Bungaku” means ‘Sheep Literature’ in Japanese and is an all-girl, alt/indie band that got their start in high school. They are composed of Moeka Shiotsuka, Yurika Kasai and Hiroa Fukuda, and they really rip and are worth checking out. And this album cover was photographed by a friend of mine, Nico Perez.

Nice meeting you Jun! Thank you for your warm kindness, gently spirit, and gregarious smile and laugh as we chatted upstairs! See you on the next trip to Nagoya!

More Record Style on the way!

羊文学 – 12 Hugs (Like Butterflies)
Label: F.C.L.S. – KSJL-6223~4
Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, 180g
Country: Japan
Released: Jan 31, 2024
Genre: Rock, Pop
Style: J-pop, Alternative Rock

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