Tokyo Record Style

Bemsha

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DJ bemsha in d’house …of Tokyo Record Style again! Our deal pal bemsha joined up for another edition of Tokyo Record Style Day last weekend when we went to Tohto Records and Disc Union Ochanomizu Eki Mae. Bemsha has about 6 or 7 years on me I guess in terms of age, but about 6 or 7 decades on me in terms of deep musical knowledge. He’ll dismiss that comment as an overstatement cuz he’s that kinda guy, but it’s true. But this was precisely the reason, compounded by the fact that he is a voracious reader, that I was […]

Tokyo Record Style

The Omnia Burger T-shirt! I love it!

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This month, just for fun, I entered turntable cartridge maker @jico_international‘s T-Shirt Sweepstakes – “OMNIA BURGER” launched to commemorate their killer OMNIA Package and Cartridge Line. The T-shirt featured a tasty-looking hamburger replete with a record and turntable tonearm (with JICO cartridge) toppings. This design by renowned illustrator AIMI Odawara (), known for her remarkable artistic legacy in Japan, jumped off the T-shirt for me because: 1.) My record-loving pals and I often go out for burgers after a record store visit, like we did just last weekend for Tokyo Record Style Day Vol. 5 to Tohto Records & Books, […]

Tokyo Record Style

Yusya

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The Indonesian Force is strong in this photo. Yusya, pictured here, though from rural Illinois, USA, Jakarta, Indonesia, and now Tokyo, Japan, and despite being a lover of Jazz, Rock, Pop, Ska, Reggae, Psych (see previous Tokyo Records Style post in which Yusya is showing off a monster record by Patto), and apparently an expert on Ween (my brother in Boognish), went full roots Indonesian for this photo, scoring not one, but TWO classic “Dangdut” albums, one by Elvy Sukaesih and another by Hetty Koes Endang, two legends of the Dangdut genre, I’m told.  Yusya explained to me that Dangdut […]

Tokyo Record Style

Michael Warren

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Well, hello there, my good buddy, my good ‘ol pal, THE Michael Warren with your recently scored Walter Wanderley Rain Forest in such a lovely green, that was featured by our mutual friend and Top 5 Records co-host DJ bemsha in our last installment of the live talk-show series on the theme “Summertime.” As we shared at Tohto Records, that record also caught my attention, bemsha’s as well, as we were sifting through the Brazil section together right before you arrived. I was slightly on the fence about taking it home myself. While I know it to be a killer […]

Tokyo Record Style

Tokyo Record Style Day – Thank you!

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If “New York is the city that never sleeps” then “Tokyo is the city that never ends.”  It’s just so vast, so colossal, so limitless. There are neighborhoods inside of neighborhoods inside of neighborhoods. Even if you lived here your whole life, maybe even 2 or 3 whole lives, you’d be hard-pressed to know it all. And always is the case that just if or when that fleeting feeling comes when you sense you’re getting close to knowing it, it either sheds a layer, generates another, or on a whim, presents a completely new pocket of itself that simply couldn’t […]

Tokyo Record Style

Tokyo Record Style Day – Miro Blue Identity Giveaway!

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I’m convinced! Nothing beats Tokyo Record Style Day! As Tina Turner says, “Simply the best!” In my next post, I’m gonna recap the fun time we had but for now, I want to spread the message of “Blue Identity” by Tokyo artist, Miro who recently styled me with an amazing work of Bob Marley art and a pack of stickers of some amazing heroes, both literal and figurative in blue. Miro’s “Blue Identity” is a beautiful notion that challenges racism and injustice. While we’re capable of discriminating against black, red, brown yellow, and white and of believing wrongly that our […]

Tokyo Record Style

Izzie (and Abbas)

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I primarily make photos of people. This includes lots of portraiture, editorial, events and parties, studio time, and just hanging out with a camera around my neck. The art of making a good portrait really lies in making the subjects comfortable. The faster you can do that, the more natural the photo will generally be. The way I do this is to diffuse the tension with humor, a light heart, taking interest and having curiosity, carrying the moment with an effortlessness to put the subject at ease, making them feel comfortable and confident. This is my natural state of flow […]

Tokyo Record Style

Hazel

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Hi, friendly and smiley, Hazel, who was the 3rd and final part of the “Tremendous Trio” I met on the streets of Shibuya last week. I just love the word/name “Hazel” – I think it’s the letter “Z” inside it, and the plant from which the hazelnut comes, believed by the Celts to give one wisdom and inspiration (look up the story of the sacred Druid salmon who ate a hazelnut, then the Druid boy who cooked the salmon and gained all its fishy wisdom – good story), and of course the color Hazel, and the fact that it’s just […]

Tokyo Record Style

Brandon

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It happens again. I’ve photographed an album neither on Discogs nor on streaming, the first EP (released just 10 days ago) “人類滅亡ワンダーランド” or “Human Destruction Wonderland”, by 3-piece indie-rockers “Brandy Senki”, and goddamn, they’re good. They have some fun videos on YouTube you can check out, one with 3M views, (and one that features a Fuji Instax Wide Camera! COOOL!”) I owe this musical discovery to Brandon, photographed here, who was part of the trio of friends I met under Miyashita Park last week. Brandon is a student at the University of Oregon in Eugene which is a sorta long […]

Tokyo Record Style

Cass

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Hello Cool Cass from Dalian, China, visiting her pals Hazel and Brandon (who’ll I’ll feature in the following posts), on her 3rd or 4th trip to Japan and who had scored a sweet and recent repress of an, until recently, out-of-print “Heaven Beach”, the fourth studio album by highly-successful Citypop rocker, Anri, whose long-beloved tunes are, with the renewed popularity of City Pop, being sampled by many new artists of the Vaporwave and Future Funk genres. I’d guess that of the nearly 200 people I’ve photographed, some sizable 20% are young people in their early or mid-20’s not-at-all-necessarily-from-Japan, like this […]

Tokyo Record Style

Tokyo Record Style Day Vol. 5 – Yushima/Ochanomizu

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Record collecting friends! Brian here, representing Tokyo Record Style!! Announcing “Tokyo Record Style Day – Volume 5 – Yushima/Ochanomizu!!” Join us for another afternoon of crate-digging with homies in local Tokyo neighborhoods, where gems and grails await us in clusters of awesome record shops! Score LPs, EPs, 10”s or CDs! Tapes? Reel-to-reels? 8-Tracks? We don’t judge! Just come celebrate your love for physical media and good ‘ol record shop culture! Pose for a photograph in your styley-est digs and with your Record Store scores, and make your mark on Tokyo Record Style!! The Yushima/Ochanomizu area has a couple of great […]

Tokyo Record Style

Top 5 Records – Volume 14 – That’s a wrap!

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Happy Summer from Tokyo Record Style!  There’s no denying it’s summer out there. With intermittent heat waves, blazing sunshine only occasionally interrupted by cream puff clouds or scattered late monsoon rains (now I sound like the weatherman), we decided we needed to lean into it all and celebrate the music of summer in another edition of Top 5 Records, on the theme: “Summertime!” Back at Talking Gorilla (THANK YOU!) in Shimokitazawa Station, who hosted the 3rd edition of our official 2nd season, Episode 13 (now I sound like a math teacher), usual suspects Michael Warren, Tatsuo Fukutomi AKA “bemsha” and […]

Tokyo Record Style

Blue is Free, Blue is Nobel, Blue never racial discrimination – Thank you, Miro

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Blue is Free, Blue is Nobel, Blue never racial discrimination – Thank you, Miro More Life One Love View this post on Instagram A post shared by Tokyo Record Style (@tokyorecordstyle) Update: Music is Life I found a temporary home for my beautiful blue Bob Marley on my record shelf, and a spot on my 7″ case for a blue Jimi Hendrix. These beautiful artworks are by the talented Miro, whose message is “Blue is Free, Blue is Nobe. Blue never discrimination. Please be encouraged to visit Miro’s Instagram and give him a follow.

Tokyo Record Style

Ji Eun and Homin

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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 […]

Tokyo Record Style

Michael Warren

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Of all the things that influenced my early love and appreciation of music, from memories of smooth 70’s yacht-rock classics heard while riding around in the “way-back” of the station wagon, to the bombastic Dr. Teeth and Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show, from early synth-, metal- hip-hip-driven bands on MTV to all the original soundtracks of all the coming-of-age movies of the time, I’d say, rather embarrassingly the one source that had the most influence on me was eagerly waiting each week to listen to Casey Kasem’s (AKA Shaggy on Scooby Doo) Classic American Top 40 Countdown. I’m not […]

Tokyo Record Style

Teo

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Going out on a limb here to explain a feeling that I had when I saw Teo from Sweden for a 2nd time during his short stay in Japan.  So… I’ve already mentioned a number of times of another photography project I run called Photohoku, making photos for people in need, basically using photography as a means to do goodwill projects. The project started in response to the big earthquake here in Japan, and when my pal Yuko and I started it, we really had no idea what we were getting into. It became a huge project that took us […]

Tokyo Record Style

TOP 5 RECORDS – SummerTime

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Welcome to Season 2 of “Top 5 Records” where music-loving pals and DJs Michael Warren, “bemsha” (Tatsuo Fukutomi), and “Zebrio” Brian Scott Peterson (yours truly), invite their friends to an afternoon and evening of playing records and counting down their Top 5 Records on various themes! The Season 2 – Episode 3 theme is “Summertime” – songs and albums that are made for summer! It will be up to our DJs to share how they interpret Summertime, whether that be “Hits of the Summer”, “Surf-Rockers/Beach-life classics” “Scorching Hot Solo-ridden jams”, “Albums for Convertibles”, and so on. This will be our […]

Tokyo Record Style

Tokyo Record Style Day, Vol. 4 – THANK YOU!

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Record-loving homies! Brian here. I want to give an update on this weekend’s Top 5 Records event but with a busy summer family schedule, I’m still catching up on past activities, including our last “Tokyo Record Style Day” which was our 4th edition of visiting and celebrating cool record stores with out homies. For this edition, we visited Coconuts Disk in Kichijoji run by the gentle soul Yajima san, and a cast of laid-back music experts, the kind that keeps great tunes on the house system and knows all the degrees of separation from one artist to the next.  We […]

Tokyo Record Style

Ayse and Gunter

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Hello, Ayse and Gunter from Cologne, Germany. Ayse is living in Tokyo and currently a student Musashino Art University, or Musabi, and Gunter is visiting her from their hometown. When I spotted them in Coconuts Disk shopping around the bins, the stack of records they were holding was getting bigger and bigger and I thought to myself, “Whoa! Look at that stack! These guys are ballers! Def gonna chase them outside for a Tokyo Record Style photo!” And then when I spied them checking out I followed them out. I chatted Ayse and Gunter just outside in Coconuts has a […]

Tokyo Record Style

Igor

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While photographing PechaKucha Night Tokyo, I met a fan of Tokyo Record Style, Igor. During the beer break, a mutual friend who happened to be presenting that night about motorcycles, another hobby of mine, and who makes a cameo in the 3rd photo of this series – notice the surprised face (Hi Xuan!) – introduced us, mentioning that Igor was following and enjoying the project. That’s nice! On the job, I only had a few minutes to chat with Igor but he told me a story that, now two weeks later, I’m a little fuzzy on, but about an album […]

Tokyo Record Style

Scooter

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“Scooter” (there is something muppety about him, perhaps more Gonzo than Scooter) told me his name but I seemed not to have written it down anywhere. It was probably because when I asked to make his photo for Tokyo Record Style, he said he was in a hurry to get somewhere… and after already having another such interaction (see previous post) suddenly I felt like I needed to get somewhere in a hurry too …perhaps shooting that cool looking girl walking out of Coconuts, right behind Scooter who maybe I would have had the time, and lord knows we need […]

Tokyo Record Style

Makabe

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I was listening to Pink Floyd’s heartstring-pulling tribute to their founder and lost-to-the-60’s friend, Syd Barret, “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” this morning in the car, wondering around my brain, thinking, “How many times have I heard this song? How many more times will I hear it in my life? How many songs are there to hear? Should I listen to this again? Could I be using this time more wisely to listen to a song that I haven’t already heard a thousand times? How many more hours do I have in my life to listen to music? 20 more […]

Tokyo Record Style

Teo

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Maybe it’s not strange to admit that the first thing I generally do when I enter a record store is to scan the place for other record shoppers and, without trying to judge, which I guess is actually what I am doing, size everybody up. It’s not really an exercise in assuming things about people as much as it is a pure curiosity of what fingers are on what pulses for this particular group of people, because when all is said and done, you no matter what your style, or taste, or preferences in music are, you at least know […]

Tokyo Record Style

Jasper

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As I was coming over the hill from Miyashita Park where I’d ridden past Face Records at Miyashita Park and Tower Records behind it, with no luck on my side in spotting a record-collecting and record-store-bag-carrying Tokyo denize, as just and I rounded the top of Organ Slope and zooming down towards, HMV and Manhattan Records, up the street was walking Jasper from Hong Kong, who had just scored from Disc Union Parco a peculiar US Pressing of John Coltrane’s Blue Trane, but with a …”Hype Obi” – not quite an obi, or a hype sticker, and again, a US […]

Tokyo Record Style

Kazuki – Coco Isle

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With 300+ record stores in the Tokyo Metropolitan area, it seems impossible to know them all. When you think you know every shop in a particular area, when you have visited, say 36 different shops in Shibuya alone, and you’re certain there couldn’t POSSIBLY be another one, along on your radar comes the 37th. Welcome to Coco Isle Music Market, up past the fire station and en route to Kenzo Tange’s Yoyogi National Gymnasium, run for 20 years by the ever-so-kind Kazuki san. This is a ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, dancehall, roots rock island paradise. While it impresses at every […]

Tokyo Record Style

George

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About a month back, I had mentioned being in Union Vinyl, Disk Union’s flagship store in Shinjuku on a Saturday afternoon. As is usually the case, the shop was filled to the brim with vinyl junkies of various non-descriptions. Meandering around the bins, about a foot above the rest was a curiously-looking, curly-blonde-headed-big-haired western gal whose overall look I thought might make for a great photo. When I saw her leaving from the corner of my eye, I paused my perusing, followed her out, and approached her, catching that her Sultan, a traveler to Japan from Turkey. I pitched her […]

Tokyo Record Style

Mermaid (and Manabu)

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I had a hunch when I saw these characters walking down the street, one carrying a Pianola Record Store Bag, Pianola being the famously avante-guarde shop beloved by the most curious music listener (and the only place I have ever seen a Moondog pressing that I so regret not buying), that “mermaid” and Manabu might be a fun chat. And if I’m not mistaken, it turns out to be a Tokyo Record Style first, a subject photographed with their OWN record. “mermaid” is a musician and producer and I’ve since found out is a member of “DDM.” “What’s DDM”, you […]

Tokyo Record Style

Outside to Inside

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View this post on Instagram A post shared by Tokyo Record Style (@tokyorecordstyle) Just to stipulate, this is the light de-dusting method that I use. For records that haven’t been cleaned in years or are covered on fingerprints etc., I have a deep cleaning wet method that sometimes even involves attaching a label protector and going to the kitchen sink and blasting them with wanted me. Maybe I’ll do a deeper clean video sometime. On Instagram

Tokyo Record Style

Miori, Ayaka, and Uta

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Tokyo Record Style started as a confluence of several things. The first and foremost is an amalgamation of the past several decades of working as a writer and a photographer, primarily portraiture, and all the experiences that have come along with that. The 2nd inspiration, which can’t be understated, is my dear and talented friend John Sypal’s brilliant project, Tokyo Camera Style, where he essentially documents (read: celebrates) the state of photography in Tokyo (and really around the world considering how Tokyo is a sorta Mecca for photography lovers) by way of photographing the cameras of people he meets on […]

Tokyo Record Style

Onigiri and Nao

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“TOOOKKKYYYOOORRRKKKKRRRRDDS!!!” (inaudible) “Honey, I think that gaijin over there on the motorcycle with the crooked smile and camera around his neck is motioning to us” “I don’t think so. Just ignore him, he must be mistaken, and something is not quite right about that disheveled beard, those sunglasses, and that ratty bike. I’m sure he’s motioning to somebody else.” “No, I think he’s definitely pointing us, it seems he’s interested in your record bag” “RRRKKKKRRRRDDDSSSSHLOOOOOWAAAIIII” (inaudible) “Oh my goodness, Dear, he’s quite animated. There is something rather harmless about him. Should we check to make sure he’s not lost or […]

Tokyo Record Style

George

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Hey Tokyo Record Style Friends! I doubt anybody has noticed, but I had to pause TRS for a bit (seems about 20 days since my last post) to work on other priorities, some of which I’ll be excited to share with you very soon. Though I couldn’t seem to carve out the time to write much, I did not stop meeting record-loving people, jotting down their stories in my notebook, and photographing their smiling faces with their recent record store scores. Something that maybe is coming to light to me as a …beat(?) writer, as it were, is that the […]

Tokyo Record Style

Gokky

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“Never judge a record by its cover.” An adage updated for the modern age. As I came around the corner past the famous Suzunari Gekijo Theatre, made famous for being about as far off Broadway as you can get, and over the old tracks of the now-underground Odakuyu line, where we Shimokitazawans used to wait for sometimes 15 minutes at a time for all the local, semi-express, commuter, and double-decker Romance Car train to pass, and then through the once-iconic-but-now-a-bit-sterilized gate of “Ichi-Ban-Gai”, the “#1 Street”, right in front of Jet Set Records, I spotted a pair of full-sleeve tattoos […]

Tokyo Record Style

Ray

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“Hey, there! Did you score some records?” “Yeah, I did. What’s up?”  (Mom and Dad [read: “Mama Bear” and “Papa Bear”] spot a furry foreigner talking to their 14-year-old son, and circle in, along with 13-year-old daughter [read: “Sister Bear”] to suss out the situation with me and Ray, pictured here [read: “Brother Bear”].) “Oh! It’s a family affair I see! At the record store! Quite rare, but not completely unheard of! Hi, everyone! I’m harmless [read: Friendly Bear of the Strange Woods]. The name is Brian,” and “Yes” (I can say confidently), “Though I may not look like the […]

Tokyo Record Style

Tokyo Record Style Day – Volume 4 – Kichijoji

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Announcing “Tokyo Record Style Day – Volume 4 – Kichijoji!!” Saturday, July 22nd at 3pm! Join us for another afternoon of crate-digging with homies in local Tokyo neighborhoods, where gems and grails await us in clusters of awesome record shops! Score LPs, EPs, 10”s or CDs! Tapes? Reel-to-reels? 8-Tracks? We don’t judge! Just come celebrate your love for physical media and good ‘ol record shop culture! Pose for a photograph in your styley-est digs and with your Record Store scores, and make your mark on Tokyo Record Style!! The Kichijoji area has a couple of great record stores, including Coconuts […]

Tokyo Record Style

Michael

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Just like the postal service’s motto, “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds”, we record collectors won’t let a little Tokyo drizzle keep us from the record store, or in this case, with my ace bud and Tokyo Record Style super repeater, Michael Warren, from an actual Record Fair, especially when you can find Edmundo Ros and his Orchestra’s “Hollywood Cha Cha Cha”, replete with percussive “Shekere” of West African (i.e. gourd dressed in woven beads, painted lightning bolt?), a fish-sonified “Güiro” etched wash-board-gourd from Cuba, Puerto Rico, or from Brazil […]

Tokyo Record Style

Makoto

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Despite having lived here for 19 years, Tokyo is just too vast of a city to know very well. People are constantly saying to me “You don’t know ? How can you not know ?” Well, the answer simply is “There’s just too damn much to know.” Upstairs Records, run by the infamous Makato, previously of Broolyn’s similarly infamous “Weekend Records” opened around 2017, fairly long after my many years of Shimokita nighthawk life, and it was one of those places everyone seemed to know except for me. Those ~6 years go when it opened, my kids were kindergartners, and […]

Tokyo Record Style

All Japan Records & CD Summer Carnival

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I dropped by the Metropolitan Industry and Trade Center Taito Building this weekend for the “All Japan Records & CD Summer Carnival” where 31 record shops from around Japan all came together for a big trade/swap fair which according to their website (https://alljapan-records.com/) is the biggest 2nd hand record fair of its kind in Japan. I’m not totally sure, but I think this is a rather new event, having hosted just 4 other carnivals in years past with a big 3-year pause with the pandemic. The general vibe I picked up was that everybody was really happy to be back […]

Tokyo Record Style

Marcus Atennsio 

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For those who might not know, among other things, I founded a now long-running volunteer project with my friend, biz partner, and long-time collaborator, Yuko Yoshikawa. The effort is called Photohoku, and over the years, it has broadened in scope but at its essence, it uses photography as a means to do goodwill projects. Many of the techniques that I have learned and used in Photohoku efforts are proving very useful for Tokyo Record Style. Last summer we hosted a single-day photowalk and gallery hop through Shinjuku’s photo gallery cluster and it brought together over 100 photographers for Peace including […]

Tokyo Record Style

Tsunehito Eda

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The paradox of finding a new way to discover music that involves the city’s denizens at large means that I, more often than not, have to admit, either to them or to you, just how little music I actually know. With every person I photograph whose records I don’t recognize (even for the ones I do), I usually go home and fire up Google, Wiki, Steaming, and Discogs, and find myself in a rabbit hole of discovery. You’d think such an interest would level up your knowledge, but the more you come to know, the less you seem to know…the […]

Tokyo Record Style

Bobb

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I caught up with Bobb from Singapore in the backstreets of Udagawa-cho, in that cluster of record stores on Cosmic Zaka that include Next Records, Face Records, Manhattan Records, and Mother Records, four shops that are a stone’s throw away from 4 more shops – Perfect Circle, Jammers, HMV, and Rock and Roll Music Garden, which are a stone throw away from 4 more… In fact, I got a fairly definitive count on record stores in Shibuya. Care to take a guess? 37 Record shops in SHIBUYA ALONE! Insane! Back to Bobb and the record he scored, Nujabes, the beloved […]

Tokyo Record Style

Sasagu

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Sasagu, pictured here, was Natsuki’s pal from the previous post who I photographed right after Natsuki just outside of Coconuts Disk in Kichijoji. I just can’t tell you how heartwarming it is to see two buddies… (both record store clerks, I failed to mention before, Sasugu at Face Records in Miyashita, and Natsuki just started Ella Records – say hi to them when you meet them next) …hitting the bins together on a Saturday afternoon. I can’t think of many more chilled-out things to do, besides maybe some happy hour time afterward where you could listen to purchased records (Thinks […]

Tokyo Record Style

Natsuki

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I’ve just stepped into an alternate reality time machine where I’m looking in a mirror and seeing a 20-something Japanese version of myself, surviving on cup noodles, party beer, cheap rent in a house full of like-minded hippies, spending every last cent on records and concerts, and having just blown through my entire week’s paycheck at the record store in one go, with absolutely no concern or worry that I now have no funds for food. Don’t worry, I’ll subsist on music… Meet Natsuki, who I caught up with outside Coconuts a couple of weeks ago, who in a way […]

Tokyo Record Style

Rina

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ALERT: Cute young woman, wearing holy jeans, 70’s green top, black boots, gold watch, bleached blonde, walking down the streets of Shimokitazawa, carrying a matchingly cute and sticker’d 45 case, loaded with deep cut Soul 45’s and a brown paper Disc Union sack full of equally soulful 33’s, en route to local DJ gig. Uh… Can you get any cooler? Um. No… No, you can’t. Well if you could, Shimokita would be the place, Tokyo’s Bohemian enclave, where I’ve mostly called home for my decades here, despite moving a little down the road. One of the things that I feel […]

Tokyo Record Style

Klein

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This is barely-20-something-year-old “Klein” from Peking, China on her third trip to Tokyo, and en route after this summer to study at Virginia Commonwealth University which, sidenote: …is the Alma Mater of one of my personal heroes, doctor, activist, and clown Patch Adams! Even though I’m big, furry, and brutish, and accosting strangers for unsolicited street portraits, Klein wasn’t at all intimidated, in fact, quite the opposite, overflowing with congeniality and willingness to share, so much that it even caught me a little off guard, matching my own enthusiasm to meet her, not a common occurrence. She shared with me […]

Tokyo Record Style

Michael Dada

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This is DJ Ozone, AKA, Michael, who I met at Uptown Records in Koenji. Uptown had posted an event flyer with digital art-deco dreamscape graphics that really grabbed my attention, not to mention the words “Ozone” and “DADA”. The post mentioned that Michael was originally from San Francisco and had lived in China for 20 years, since 2003 (I’ve been in Tokyo since 2004, so that was an immediate parallel to me), going on to say that he’d been a Radio DJ (another parallel – I had been a pirate radio DJ), and that he started an event music series […]

Tokyo Record Style

Suda Yuichiro

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A rather frequent interaction that occurs in the process of pitching people on the idea of photographing them with their records is them acknowledging the concept “Oh, that’s actually pretty cool” but then them politely declining, “Sorry, but I’m just not…”…PAUSE… Now, reader, it’s in this moment that the brain immediately says “Ok, Brian, this one is going to require winning over. What’s gonna be our approach here?” And I really just have a couple of plays. Now there is a lot of nuance to these approaches, but I basically have the  “Go-For-It-Brian-What-Have-You-Got-To-Lose” Way (AKA “Brian Tsunami” / “Bunami”), which […]

Tokyo Record Style

Ryosuke Kimura

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I came to Japan, completely on a whim, in 2004, with very little knowledge of what I would find. It was 3 years before the iPhone came out, the same year Lost in Translation debuted, which, aside from fleeting images and stereotypes that I might have gained from 80’s American TV/Cartoons, besides images conjured by brands like Sony, Nikon, Toyota, or Nintendo, or even the little glimpses that I had gathered from snowboarding magazines that would sometimes feature the Japan Alps, Lost in Translation was really my only current cultural reference at the time. To be honest, I really didn’t […]

Tokyo Record Style

Top 5 Records Volume 12 – Heroes Just for One Day

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One week ago my music-loving pals and I hosted a 12th episode of our Top 5 Records, which has evolved into a Live Podcast, DJ Event, and Talk Show. The event pays homage to Nick Hornby’s novel “High Fidelity” and the cult classic movie by the same name, in which the 3 music aficionados anti-heroes, the clan of misfit record store clerks from “Championship Vinyl”, list their “Top 5” records on various themes throughout the book and movie. Not unlike the three protagonists, my pals Michael Warren, Tatsuo Fukutomi (bemsha), and myself pick an agreed topic of interest, and essentially […]

Tokyo Record Style

Tatsuo Fukutomi (bemsha)

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We interrupt your normal programming to bring you this special announcement. Well… This is not really an announcement, but I’m not going to call this normal Tokyo Record Style programming. This is just for those who might be interested hip to the fact that Tokyo Record Style is one of several Instagram threads I run. There are embarrassingly too many to list but the ones to point out here are @brianscottpeterson which is my personal account, which sadly starts and stops (and is a stop at the moment), and which often absorbs one of my other projects, Photohoku, an ongoing […]

Tokyo Record Style

Ricky K Tanimoto 

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Last weekend’s Top 5 Record Event (which I hope to recap this weekend) lead me to Ricky, pictured here, and his cool Shinjuku Shop, Anchor Records. I was on a hunt for a particular record at a particular price, that I wanted to add to my Top 5 List, and was scouring the web when I finally found the record at the price on Anchor’s website. I had never heard of Anchor but knew exactly where it was, next to a camera shop I used to visit all the time, like multiple times a week, on the northwest side of […]

Tokyo Record Style

Kurumi

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Did you see that study a while back saying that 50% of vinyl buyers in the US don’t own a record player? The study found that 50% of consumers who have bought vinyl in the past 12 months own a record player, compared to 15% among all music listeners. What the media latched onto was that if 50% of vinyl consumers have record players, then that of course implies 50% not. That was the headline. To deduce from the fact that half of vinyl buyers own record players, that half don’t is perfectly logical, but it made me suspicious of […]

Tokyo Record Style

Michael Warren

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Michael pictured here is a brother-in-music-appreciation to me. We only came to know each other 4 or 5 years but considering how we both can go on and on, and on and on, about music, as we do on our 1-to-1 logs pretty much every day, it feels like we’ve already shared a whole lifetime, or even two, of musical and philosophical discussion. Yes, that’s right, we have been maintaining a collaborative 2-person idea and discussion log, a sorta oral diary, almost every day for these last 4-5 years that we affectionately coined “The Dog Log” (which has been mentioned […]

Tokyo Record Style

Mack

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Say hello to Mack! He was the person that Massimo from the previous post who was searching for Japanese Promos w/ obi’s, trusted to help him find and identify them. And without trying to judge a book by its cover, it’s not hard to look at Mack, with his effortlessly cool rock-and-roller bed-head and understated goatee, his rusty dog-tags and thought-provoking leather-covered guitar pick pendant, his concert festival style bracelet, his funky colored, but sensibly comfortable city-style Asics, and finally his mustard-brown Credence Clearwater Revival Raglan T-shirt, and know that he was the right man for the job. But there […]

Tokyo Record Style

Massimo

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Primo and Promo! Mega score by Massimo from Italy is pictured here (and in my behind-the-scenes photos from the previous post). I connected with Massimo and his pal Mack outside of Disk Union in Shinjuku last weekend when I was hanging out with my buddy Michael. Massimo and Mack had just scored a huge haul of premium copies of some great titles, and ALL PROMO copies, i.e. early pressings intended for Radio DJs, Promoters, Record Stores and so, copies meant to promote the album.} For those who don’t know, a very over-simplified version of the record creation process. Artists record […]

Tokyo Record Style

Tokyo Record Style Behind the Scenes

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Last weekend I rendezvous’d with my good pal and fellow Top 5 Records co-host, Michael Warren for some record digging at Shinjuku’s main Disk Union Shop (among the 4 (or is it 5) other Disk Unions within a stone-throw away, each one dedicated entirely to specific genres). Anyway the main shop, also known as “Vinyl Union” is the almighty of them with, believe it or not, 8 floors of music and that’s where we met Having blown through my record store budget at Coconuts while waiting to meet Michael (on an uncharacteristically cheap copy of Beastie Boys Ill Communication, which […]

Tokyo Record Style

Brian and Michael at Coffee L’ambre

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My buddy Michael and I rendezvoused Saturday for a short record store hang. Afterwards, we had a couple of iced Vienna Lattes at a Shinjuku institution, Coffee L’ambre 新宿 らんぶる which I have been looking for ever since I had been taken there once about 19 years ago. My brain had remembered it being in a completely nother corner of Shinjuku and I thought must have closed down not long after my one visit. So great to see it’s still there! Will be back now that I’ve rediscovered it! Yes! Thanks for the hang and the photo, @themichaelwarren. Now I’m […]

Tokyo Record Style

Kazuyoshi Yajima

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Record shops come in every shape, size, specialty, scale, sort, stock selection, spaciousness, sophistication, sound system, staff service standard, scene, style, and spirit. The “Seventeen S’s”, as I call them. Naw, I just made that up. But it’s kinda true. Sometimes you just choose a record shop based on one of these, or maybe just the one that’s closest, sometimes you choose one cuz you’re looking for something specific. Sometimes, any records store will do, and other times, you’re in the mood for a particular flavor. Record stores are a little like pizza, they’re always good, but some are better […]

Tokyo Record Style

TOP 5 RECORDS – Heroes Just for One Day

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Announcement: 1 Week Countdown to “TOP 5 RECORDS – Heroes Just for One Day” – Live DJ Event and Talkshow. Music-loving pals and DJs Michael Warren, “bemsha” (Tatsuo Fukutomi), and yours truly invite our friends to an afternoon and evening of playing records and counting down our Top 5 Records on various themes! JOIN US on Saturday, June 17the, 4pm-9pm at Talking Gorilla in Shimokitazawa Station! Link here! TOP 5 RECORDS – Heroes Just for One Dayhttps://fb.me/e/RxRbYLKl On Instagram

Tokyo Record Style

Tanno

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I’m truly a massive forever-fan of Slacker-Style and have been for as long as I can remember. Now I’m not gonna waste this whole post talking about the iconoclastic nature of a Kurt Cobain cardigan or the sheer fun and fuck-you-ness of some Dee-Lite sunglasses, nor will I talk about the perfect level of sneaker tattered-ness that provides a Sk8-Hi wearer with credibility, nor any discussion of Dickies or Carhartts, nor the irony of a trucker hat or oversized glasses from 2 or 3 decades ago, nor talk of any the countless nuances of a vintage flannel, self-shredded denim, or […]

Tokyo Record Style

Nana

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I met friendly Nana (and Tanno who will be featured in the next post) on the streets of Shibuya last week. Both carrying records, I presumed they were a couple, but turns out they’re colleagues in a small creative company making 3-D Computer Graphics, working in commercials, advertising, events, concerts, and more. When I commented on Nana’s cool Lunar Lander T-shirt, she informed me it was, in fact, her own design and shared her online store @neko_kayo where I could get one! Cool! Not immediately recognizing the pink vinyl record bag that Nana carried, I assumed it was from a […]

Tokyo Record Style

Saqip

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With the pandemic having more-or-less ended, and travelers having postponed their Japan trips for a couple of years now , Tokyo is brimming with tourists. “Over-tourism” is a buzzword being floated around on TV and in conversations, which comes with a plethora of contradictions and complexities. On one hand, it’s great to see business booming, and restaurants and bars full, record stores too, but on the other hand, the streets and train stations are crowded with lost people standing in your way, and every once in a while, you yourself get slightly overwhelmed with a bit of that entitled New […]

Tokyo Record Style

Nobuhiko

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In this project, as you’d expect, you often catch people off guard. Well, technically I guess nobody is ever really expecting such an interaction like this after a recent purchase, to be approached by a random foreigner and to be asked to pose for a portrait. As I’ve often described in these posts, the overwhelming majority of people are initially slightly suspicious but willing to hear my pitch. Once they grasp the nature of the project, they essentially come around in this gradual way: “Ok, Ok… I get it… I see what you’re doing. It’s actually kinda cool. Yeah, I’ll […]

Tokyo Record Style

Sophia

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I’ve read that there are over 100 record shops in the 23 wards of Tokyo. If you add all the recycle and books shops that have decent record offerings, add another 100 shops. If you add in record stores and recyclable shops of the surrounding sprawl of Tokyo Megalopolis, in which 37 million people live, there are another 100 shops. That’s about 300 in total. Pretty insane, huh? Count Uptown Records in Koenji among them, and one that certainly stands out among the others. Located right in the middle of Koeji’s famous Koshin-dori Shotengai shopping street, its cool DIY-made sandwich-board […]

Tokyo Record Style

Kerry and Yuki

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Meet lovely Kerry and (and Yuki) whom I caught up with on the streets of Shibuya for a friendly chat and some Tokyo Record Style. As is always the case, they were a little suspicious at first, just as I would be on the chaotic streets of Shibuya, but a genuine shared interest in music broke the ice and we got a off to smashing start. Kerry had just scored some records from Tower Records down the road. (Side note: In case you don’t know, a few months back Tower moved its giant ~7th-floor vinyl section in Shinjuku all over […]

Tokyo Record Style

Okubo

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“This album got me through a difficult time in my life.” Thank you to Okubo san, pictured here, for sharing those personal sentiments with me as he showed me his recent score of independent singer-songwriter and poet, Satoko Shibata’s highly awaited re-release debut album from 2012, “しばたさとこ島 [Shibata Satako Island]” I was unfamiliar with Shibata’s work, and even her name, however, I have seen this album’s cover and others by her, including her 2022 release “Bochi Bochi Galaxy” appearing over and over as featured recent scores by music lovers of a certain age, becoming beloved lost treasures in their collections. […]

Tokyo Record Style

Nolan

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I’m not sure how comfortable I am comparing Nolan, pictured here, to… a… well, a french fry, but… the comedian Jim Gaffigan has a bit about how good McDonald’s fries are, and how there are never quite enough of them, and that moment you realize that you’ve nearly eaten them all, followed by the sad reality they’re all gone. He says in that moment that sometimes the universe smiles upon you, and that gods in heaven recognize your accumulated good deeds, and graciously grant you, at the bottom of the paper sack, one more bonus fry. Simply the best. And […]

Tokyo Record Style

Tatsuo Fukutomi (bemsha)

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One can never really have enough of our good pal TRS and TRSD repeater, Top 5 Co-Host, resident PK toaster, photographyphile, devourer of books, “Delinquent” (a person who displays anti-social behavior or challenges authority as a result of listening to Bob Dylan) and DJ extraordinaire, Tatsuo Fukutomi AKA “bemsha” in our lives. Bemsha makes his 3rd or 4th (or 5th?) appearance on the stream, but always a welcomed guest (…truth be told, I started Tokyo Record Style Day just to hang out more with him.) What more can I write about the ol’ bemshmeister that I haven’t written already? I’ve […]

Tokyo Record Style

Morgan Fisher

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The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Tina Turner lived her days in Switzerland. The Queen of Queen, Freddie Mercury, lived his early days in Zanzibar. The Dude of All the Young Dudes, Morgan Fisher, lives in Japan and has since 1984! Keyboard wizard and maestro composer, Morgan is a bit of a Tokyo institution, and an actual living urban legend, having a long-lasting music career that has spanned the decades. He started with The Soul Survivors, who became Love Affair for their 1968 number-one hit single “Everlasting Love”. Soon thereafter he founded his own prog-rock outfit Morgan with members of […]

Tokyo Record Style

Tokyo Record Style Day Volume 3 – Hatagaya – Thank You!

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Hatagaya has a special place in my heart. It was the first place I lived in Tokyo, two stops from Shinjuku on the microscopic 2-station Keio-Shinsen Line. Little did I know when my pal Taku and I traded places, him leaving Japan on a sojourn of a lifetime, and me ending mine, that when he handed me the keys to his little apartment in Yashiro Mansion, and the keys to his motorcycle, that I would become forever rooted to Japan and that Shimokita/Shibuya/Shinjuku triangle would more-or-less remain my stomping grounds all these nearly 20 years later. Back then Hatagaya was […]

Tokyo Record Style

Shinkawa san and Meika

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I met my old pals Jim and Shana early Saturday Morning in Ginza where there were staying. Because our old weekend-coffee-beers-photography-brunch haunt around the corner, “Aux Bacchanales” didn’t open till 11, the three of us landed on some really lovely Eggs Benedict at METoa Cafe and Kitchen around the corner (which I can highly recommend), and right in eyesight of Leica Ginza. After brunch and having some time still to kill before needing to get back to weekend Dad duties, we took a leisurely stroll over to always-impressive Tokyo Kokusai International Forum, where we snapped a few nice shots before […]

Tokyo Record Style

Jim O’Connell

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Somebody with many interests and creative pursuits is called a “Multipotentialite”. Somebody with knowledge that spans a substantial number of subjects is called a “Polymath”. Somebody who has wide interests and is an expert in several areas is called a “Renaissance Man.” Somebody who is competent in many endeavors, but excels in none of them is called a “Pantologist” or a “Jack of All Trades.” Jim is all of these things but also more than all of them. I’ve been searching for a way to describe one of my oldest, dearest, closest friends, the godfather of my first kid, my […]

Tokyo Record Style

Temuge

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They say Shibuya Scramble is the busiest intersection in the world. Is it true? Could be. Two things are for sure. 1.) It still manages to impress, no matter how many hundreds (or thousands) of times you’ve crossed it, and 2.) It’s where I spotted Temuge crossing in the sea of people with his pal, both with ice-pops on a Saturday Night. I chatted Temuge there on the corner in a mix of Japanese and English and I began to wonder if Japanese was both our second languages. I asked Temugu where he was from and I thought I heard […]

Tokyo Record Style

Michael

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Making an official second appearance on Tokyo Record Style is my dear homie, fellow vinyl junkie, daily Dog-Logger, Top 5 Records co-host, and musician extraordinaire, Michael Warren. Michael’s paths and my own had intersected a couple of times over both our long tenures in Japan but we weren’t really connected in earnest until one unsuspectingly auspicious post I had made about the band Phish. I happen to own a very rare copy of their 2nd release “Lawnboy” which I just serendipitously found in the “P’s” at Amoeba Records in San Franciscos’s Haight-Ashbury about 25 years ago. (Sidenote/Tangent Warning: I happen […]

Tokyo Record Style

Johnny and Bora

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I just keep meeting the absolutely coolest and nicest people in the world on this project. What a brilliant little way to interact with the world that I seem to have just stumbled into. Though every person I meet is unique with totally different taste in music, it kinda feels like I keep meeting members of a sorta Secret Society, “The Illuminadio”, “Knights of the Turntable”, “Order of the Black Circle”, “The Fellowship of the Ringwear”, the “Fraternal Order of Record Collectors” and these two knew the secret handshake. As soon as I started speaking Japanese, I could sense that […]

Tokyo Record Style

Euna

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t bears worth mentioning again, the word “Style” in “Tokyo Record Style (TRS)” has significance. Like in my pal John Sypal’s project “Tokyo Camera Style (TCS)” on which TRS is based, this feed is not just about music in the same way that TCS is not just about cameras, but it’s also about expressing individuality, attitudes, and fashion sense through music taste (like with cameras in TCS). Now you needn’t at all be “fashionable” to catch my eye, you simply need to be holding a record store bag. HAVING SAID THAT, I know you’re not supposed to judge a book […]

Tokyo Record Style

Milan

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I’m on a boat. I guess you gotta call this one “Hiroshima Bay Record Style”. During the Golden Week Holiday in Japan, after Osaka, we took the family down to Hiroshima and the Seto Island Sea area, with a stop at Itsukushima Island to visit the famous Miyajima Shrine with the giant red Torii gate in the middle of the shallow sea, that when the tide is out, you could walk through, and when is in, you can boat through. I’d visited once before in my very early Japan days but the family had never been. So we took the […]

Tokyo Record Style

Icksun

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I’m hijacking this post, after spotlighting Icksun, pictured here, who I met on the backstreets of Ame-Mura in Ōsaka, nearly equidistant from my home in Tokyo, and his home in Seoul, Korea. Icksun was carrying a decent-sized stack of recently-scored 12”s down the street, while I was drinking a “0-Beer” (is what I like to call them), on the curb watching people pass by, while my son chewed on some gummies sitting next to me. The three of us had a friendly chat, Apollo dropped an “Annyeonghaseyo” and 1: 일 (il), 2: 이 (i), 3: 삼 (sam), 4: 사 (sa), […]

Tokyo Record Style

Kenji

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The second stop on the short Ōsaka record shop whirlwind was Timebomb Records, recommended by Yasushi from the previous post, where, after I explained being mostly a Roc&Roll head, he promised I’d find endless records to fiend over. He was right. A short walk from Groovenut, I found Timebomb in a downtown underground passage of sorts, and was getting a sense just from the shop signage, which mentioned “R&R, Oldies, R&B, Soul, Beatles, Stones, Garage, Psych, Punk New Wave, Alt., Indie/Pop” (in a seemingly perfect sequential order), and all the concert posters, a few pin-up girls, a font that reminded […]

Tokyo Record Style

DJ Yasushi (Sushi)

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“I can’t believe I just signed an original pressing of 3 Feet High and Rising… History” – Vincent Lamont Mason Jr., AKA Maseo, P.A. Pasemaster Mase, and Plug Three, of the one and only, you guessed it, De La Soul “White Label Test Pressing bought for $2.99 from a random bookstore in Pennsylvania decades ago”, according to whom the signature is addressed, DJ Yasushi of Groovenut Records in Ame-Mura (American Village) in Ōsaka. Good grief! Test Press of one of the most important and influential albums in Hip Hop history, personally signed no less. Talk about treasure… …For the Golden […]

Tokyo Record Style

Maj

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As the sun was setting on my crosstown traffic home, serendipity shone one last beam upon me, illuminating this crazy diamond, whose name I’d eventually learn was “Mai”, but spelled “Maj”, wandering back streets of Shimokita far, far away from her home in The Hauge. Her crimson clothes and fair hair starkly contrasted the muted neighbor tones of Tokyo, and the evident inquisitiveness of her stride and gaze, and the proximity of the encounter to curiously-curated Pianola Records, all of which I was synthesizing in a matter of seconds, gave me no doubt that she was very likely a little […]

Tokyo Record Style

Ryodai 

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Having been a photographer for nearly 3 decades, I’ve come in and out of hundreds of spells of inspiration or slumps of creative blocks, too many episodes to count. Sometimes I’ll go weeks without even picking up a camera, and other times I won’t dare make a 10-minute run to the supermarket without. Inasmuch, I juggle several other Instagram accounts that are in various states of activeness or hibernation, I have @BrianScottPeterson which I’d say is my main feed, which has inadvertently also become the default catchall feed for another project, Photohoku, but I try to make it about me […]

Tokyo Record Style

Sachie

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Sachie and her friend were at the edge of Shibuya when I spotted that distinctive yellow-orange Tower Records bag from the corner of my eye. As I got closer, I could see that, although it was a 12” records-style bag, it seemed to be filled with something other than records. Tower Records is a popular place to buy not just records, but CDs, books, posters, and all manner of music goods, and judging by the blocky shape of the contents in her bag, I guessed it wasn’t a poster or a book, but perhaps a CD box-set of sorts. Despite […]

Tokyo Record Style

Taiki

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Hey, Taiki! Nice to meet you! You’re Tokyo Record Style’s 100th post! Thanks so much for chatting me up and being such a friendly face. And thanks for sharing your time and your M.O.P. score with me. I was totally unfamiliar with M.O.P. (Mash Out Posse), American hip-hop duo comprised of rappers Billy Danze and Lil’ Fame but after listening to a few tracks off the Warriors record, I’m taken back to a time in my life, a couple summers in the mid to late 80’s where I listened to nothing but gangsta rap, hardcore hip-hop, the artists that found […]

Tokyo Record Style

Hideaki

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Just as I was about to turn the last corner out of Shimokitazawa, right at the end of Ichibangai, I saw Hideaki rounding the corner carrying a Disk Union bag and I flipped on the Tokyo Record Style switch again. “Hi there! (Huge smile/non-threatenings stance) Are those records?” “Ummm, yeah?…” (slight suspicion) “Niiice, I collect records too! I’m also a cameraman” (point to camera bag) ”I do this project called Tokyo Record Style” (bust out on-the-ready phone) “where I make photos of people with their recently scored records” (scroll past a couple dozen portraits) “and your record bag caught my […]

Tokyo Record Style

Tokyo Record Style Day – Volume 3 – Hatagaya

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Record collecting friends! Brian here, representing Tokyo Record Style!! Announcing “Tokyo Record Style Day – Volume 3 – Hatagaya!!” Join us for another Sunday afternoon of crate-digging with homies in local Tokyo neighborhoods, where gems and grails await us in clusters of awesome record shops! Score LPs, EPs, 10”s or CDs! Tapes? Reel-to-reels? 8-Tracks? We don’t judge! Just come celebrate your love for physical media and good ‘ol record shop culture! Pose for a photograph in your styley-est digs and with your Record Store scores, and make your mark on Tokyo Record Style!! The Hatagya area has a couple of […]

Tokyo Record Style

Mikuna

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Never has the style of the person so perfectly matched the records scored. This is Mikuna who I spotted with Takumi in Shimokitazawa. These two were nothing but smiles, and when I asked their ages, they confirmed what I keep suspecting, and that is that for every middle-aged collector who never stopped collecting records (I guess me, am I middle-aged?) or every made-of-money Boomer now re-collecting, for ridiculous prices at that, all the records from their youth, there are twice as many 20-something gen Zer’s out there buying vinyl. “Why?” I keep asking them? None of their answers are wrong […]