Tokyo Record Style

Miho Jonishi

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This is one of those individuals whose mere presence makes any and all molecules in her immediate vicinity, I suspect everywhere she goes, begin to vibrate with excitement, whose high-voltage smile on the street demands a double-take, whose coolness, if you’re lucky enough to be acquainted, makes YOU feel cool, who not only has aura, but who IS aura – the incredibly talented and supremely hep Jazz vocalist from Sapporo/Sydney/NewYork/Tokyo, Miho Jonishi. Beyond this firecrackin’ bang of character and charisma I mention, she is also a most soulful vocalist, with a deeply nuanced and signature voice that I highly recommend […]

Tokyo Record Style

Takeshi Shimizu

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Making a 2nd appearance (of I hope many more) DJ Takeshi Shimizu joined for another Tokyo Record Style Day. I was delighted that he managed to recruit a partner in crime for the occasion, 70’s UK Punk aficionado Kae san who somehow managed to evade my camera excepting the “grouphies” we took. Well, Shimizu san’s Smiths’ The Queen is Dead score and Marlene’s Just a Woman album (a version I couldn’t find on Discogs) didn’t meet the same fate, nor did Shimizu’s beaming smile, which I have to say, it quite contagious. We all might have that one friend that […]

Tokyo Record Style

Tokyo Record Style Day Volume 2 – Shibuya – Thank You!

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It’s indisputable! Record stores, record shopping, and general geeking out on music are more fun with friends! Thank you to all the homies who came out for a 2nd Volume of Tokyo Record Style Day, this time in Shibuya! 11 of us in total (NOICE!) joined up for some good ol’ crate-digging, treasure-hunting, wandering the back streets in style, and as Stevie puts it, “Livin’ just enough for the city…” Thank you for all the music camaraderie and record shop fellowship …and for all the great smiles you shared for my camera with your scores! Can’t wait for next time… […]

Tokyo Record Style

Nao and Ryu

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I spotted Nao and Ryu, two young buds and college classmates, coming out of HMV in Shibuya with their first records and a turntable in their hands! WOW! “How old are you guys?” “I’m 21 and he’s 22” I think I remember one of them saying. “When you can stream everything, why are you guys suddenly buying records?” I asked. “Well, I tend to listen to playlists on streaming platforms, and that’s fine, but if I listen on a record, then I’ll be forced to listen to the whole album and in the sequence the artists intended. It will be […]

Tokyo Record Style

Ed

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Photographed here is Ed, who accompanied DJ Laura Lopez from the last post, on what seems to be another trip (of many) from D.C. to Tokyo, replete with lots of record shop exploring, and with whom I shared a lively conversation on all things music. Ed might be as big of a vinyl junkie as Laura is, having scored two records Japanese pressings by Taipei Jazz/Synth-Pop 5-piece, Sunset Rollercoaster, who, myself never having heard, is just a perfect example of new interesting music that I am discovering (and I hope you are too) by way of this project. I’ve mentioned […]

Tokyo Record Style

Laura

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I met globe-trotting, vinyl-raiding, sound-selector, DJ Laura Lopez outside of HMW in Shibuya after she had just scored a smattering of City Pop 45s to add to what I might guess is a rather large collection of wax with which she regularly DJs sets of Soul, Funk, Boogie, and Disc (see her Instagram). Hailing from D.C. and having visited Tokyo (with her record-collecting partner-in-crime Ed – see next post) so many times that she’s lost count, she knew the Tokyo Wax Trax as well as anybody and had the vinyl to prove it. I loved her white jacket on all-black […]

Tokyo Record Style

Riku

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If you don’t know Tokyo Camera Style, on which Tokyo Record Style is based, run by my pal Sypal, I highly recommend again that you check it out. It’s a celebration of old-school film photography love, where when John spots you on the streets of Tokyo, rawking your film camera, he snaps a shot and adds you to the stream. As I’ve said before, in one light, it could be considered quick to dismiss as material camera porn but it is really anything but. Culture is what it is, Street fashion is what it is, individuality and expression is what […]

Tokyo Record Style

Akira and Noa

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A Tokyo Record Style FIRST! The album photographed here, Argentinian in origin, Las Grandes Creacions de Antonio Tormo, scored by this cute couple that I met outside Tower Records in Shibuya, has no Discogs listing and is nowhere to be streamed – a record that is officially off the grid, proving yet again, that if you want access (and knowledge of existence) to the full breadth of music available, record stores are still your best bet. And the fact that I can’t listen to this album, except directly from Akira and Noa’s copy pictured here, makes me want to listen […]

Tokyo Record Style

Tokyo Record Style Day – Vol. 2 – Shibuya

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Record collecting friends! Brian here, representing Tokyo Record Style!! Announcing “Tokyo Record Style Day – Volume 2 – Shibuya!!” 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!! Shibuya has over dozen record stores and […]

Tokyo Record Style

Erika

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Needing a current photo of Hachiko (Japan’s famous faithful dog) for an upcoming project, I zipped down to Shibuya with my camera to snap the landmark statue. After I got the shot of the beloved pup, and with a little time to kill before an engagement at Mac Jacob’s “Bookmarc” where one of Tokyo’s most enigmatic street photographers and my dear photohomie, John Sypal (also of TokyoCameraStyle fame, read: this project’s inspiration) would be signing his sublime new book, Nebraska, I decided to stake out the intersection of… “Inokashira Street and Organ Slope.” Now, if the intersection of “Inokashira Street […]

Tokyo Record Style

Tatsuya

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On my way home from work in Ebisu, depending on which way I take, all basically en route, I can pass 15 record stores in Shibuya, 4 in Harajuku, 18 in Shinjuku, another 15 in Shimokitazawa, and 3 or 4 more scattered along the way. These are just along my 30 min drive home, alone! The city is littered with dozens and dozens more, probably easily exceeding 100 shops, and maybe multiple hundreds if you add in all the Book Offs, and recycle shops that also sell records among their goods. It’s nuts, I know. So I only choose a […]

Tokyo Record Style

Kelsey and Joseph

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I was born in 1976. Not long after I bought my very first few LPs to play on the family turntable, I probably got the dream birthday or Christmas present of every MTV-watching pre-teen adolescent in ‘86 or ‘87 suburbia America, a Ghetto Blaster Boom Box, replete with double tape-deck for dubbing, am/fm radio and antennae, and probably a button for “Turbo Bass”. The Boom Box did several things for me. It gave me the ability to listen to music by myself, to tune into and to record to cassette Casey Kasem’s Top 40 every Sunday morning, listening to which […]

Tokyo Record Style

Hiro

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While killing some time to pick up my son from cram school, I spotted Hiro, pictured here, wearing a cool bandana-pattern jacked and carrying a Disk Union bag, that 12” size that is all too easily recognizable for holding recently scored records. With little time before needing to dash off on Dad-duty, I chatted up Hiro san who upon my explanation of Tokyo Record Style, shared with me a big friendly smile and the record he just scored – Todd Rundgren, T. Rex, and The Three Degrees. Like most who people I ask, Hiro was eager to have a chat […]

Tokyo Record Style

Kieron

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I spotted Kieron in the corner of my eye digging around the 90’s Alternative/Grunge/Shoegazer at Coconuts in Kichijoji. I noticed he had some interesting range-finder form-factor camera slung around his neck which should have been more than enough reason to chat him up, but I must have been too preoccupied with the concentration required to dig through 7” singles while looking for a perfect, within-budget ¥300 score. Regrettably, I didn’t say hello or approach him for a photo. But about half an hour later, he caught my eye when I spotted him AGAIN at Disk Union in Parco, packing a […]

Tokyo Record Style

Unknown Treasure Music

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I recently heard a story told by Dave Grohl, of him as a kid, driving around with his mom in the 70’s listening to the radio, singing along to Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain”. He shared how his mom was singing Carly’s high melody, and how he stumbled into singing Mick Jagger’s lower backing vocal, and how the combination of his voice and his mother’s together made harmony, and it blowing his young impressionable mind, and how it was from then that he started listening to all the parts of music, the symphony of instruments and voices, all the colors […]

Tokyo Record Style

Shin, Hatsu, XiaoXiao

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As I was walking out of Rare Records this weekend with a George Harrison “What is Life” / Apple Scruffs” 7”, walking in were three of the most colorful record shoppers I’ve ever seen. I immediately called my 3:30 rendezvous and said I’d be late, and that three fur-coated, kinky-booted, and Vivienne Westwood-ed, could-be-models had just walked into Rare, and if they wanted to come to potentially see some Tokyo Record Style in action, to rush my way. Then, admittedly, I waited outside the shop, spying to see if these three attention-arresting-fashioned women would walk out with any records. One […]

Tokyo Record Style

Mariko Lilly / DJ Lily

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Perhaps the most charming record store in all of Tokyo, Ella is home to some very carefully curated vinyl. It’s not because all the wax is premium, rare, or obscure records, it’s just that it’s all solidly selected, all killer, no filler. Located in a quaint and quiet little pocket surrounded by busy Tokyo, it’s situated ever so slightly just off in the buzzing shadow and neon glow of Shinjuku. It’s actually the neighborhood where I spent my first 5 years in Tokyo, called Hatagaya, so its backstreets are my old familiar stomping grounds. Ella opened in 2016 at the […]

Tokyo Record Style

Keiichiro Fukuzumi, Akitake Yamato, and Kosuke Awane

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I had 20 minutes to kill last weekend while waiting for my son’s backflip class (yes, backflip class) to end and spotted a record store on the map just a stone-throw away, one I had never been to before, called “OM Physical Store” (OM for Organic Music). DEEP in the backstreets of Shimoigusa, far off the beaten path, I did NOT expect to find such an extremely hip store, just recently opened last September by author of the holy grail guide, “Obscure Sound”, Mr. Chee Shimizu, known for compiling the comprehensive discography of some of the best rare records from […]

Tokyo Record Style

Tatsuo Fukutomi (bemsha)

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Bemsha (AKA Tatsuo Fukutomi) left me with less than 100 characters. So I’ll just say, “One Love, Jah Rastafari!” Tat: “Here’s my answer to your question, ‘Why do you love records when you can stream it all?’” “I guess it’s because vinyl records appeal not only to our sense of sound, but to three others as well. One of my favourite genres of music is ambient. It’s supposed to be played at a volume so low that you can hear it only when you want to. It is music that becomes part of the environment – as a matter of […]

Tokyo Record Style

Yusya

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I just listened to “Patto”, the album pictured here, and I have to say, never have I better understood the smile of one of the people I’ve photographed with their recent record-shop score. This album just melted my face right off my head. Dare I say that I probably looked a lot like the illustrated face on the cover here, while listening to the whole album as amazing guitar heavy guitar, wild changing chord progressions, and some outer-space avant-guarde free jazz interludes washed over me. What an absolutely killer album! Where has this been my whole life? Jeez, I’m a […]

Tokyo Record Style

Takeshi Shimizu

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The artists that compel me the most are the ones who, themselves, are compelled to create. It’s often the compulsion that is more interesting and admirable to me than whatever art they create. My favorite artist John Baldessari said great art cannot be willed into creation, the artist must be possessed to make it. All the time, I so badly WISH that I was possessed to create, that I couldn’t help but make art, a need to create like a need to breathe, like my photographer friend John Sypal, whose project Tokyo Camera Style inspired this one, seems to be […]

Tokyo Record Style

Daniel

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I met Daniel for the first time at Tokyo Record Style Day. A certain aura about him caught my attention. It could have been his blueish-gradient tinted shades, or the hypnotizing patterns on his sweater or pants. It might also have been the statement kicks, the faux-fur hooded-mink (that I admittedly wanted to touch), or even the fingerless gloves, but more likely than not, it was the polka-dotted mask, which would, ironically as it were, later reveal something about Daniel the more I got to know him. In the first record shop we hit, a mutual pal, pointed out to […]

Tokyo Record Style

James Banbury

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Little did I know when I met James Banbury that I was speaking to a renowned music arranger, writer, and musician. We met at an exhibition opening through mutual friends a couple weeks back and I found out then that he had only recently moved to Tokyo after a decade+ in Hong Kong. Our mutual friend had mentioned he was a musician, and we talked about tons of music, shared interest in artists, rapped about club music and DJ days, beloved but now defunct record labels, and about how he was making a spontaneous trip back to Hong Kong for […]

Tokyo Record Style

Jason Garcia

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There are two sports that, despite being a student of neither, command my respect more than any others: Boxing and Skateboarding. Both demand enduring enormous physical pain, psychological distress, and emotional failure. No athletes get knocked down harder than these two. Yet, in the instances when defeat can be overcome when punches and landings are stuck square, it’s never the adrenaline, the force, the strategy, or the athleticism that impresses me, but rather the dogged determination, the unwillingness to fail, even if outmatched, the mental fortitude of facing fear. There’s a virtue, grace, and majesty to that that captivates me […]

Tokyo Record Style

Mijonu

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As the years have gone by, Mijonju has become one of my oldest pals in Tokyo. We’ve been bouncing around and crossing paths in this city for well over a decade and probably soon a decade and a half! In a city that sheds its sometimes transient residents as frequently as it sheds its own skin, it’s just nice to have some familiar faces, and Mijo is certainly that. He famously “loves cameras like a fat boy loves chocolate cake” (the jingle from his legendary Mijonju Show on YouTube) and for that reason, we’ve always been close buds, but he’s […]

Tokyo Record Style

Shouu Tanaka

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I met the artist Shouu Tanaka on the streets of Mitaka yesterday. I spotted her and a friend (who turns out to be the bass player of Fuji Rockers, Neconemuru) shopping at Parada Records. After she purchased this cool-looking CD-LongBox Set of “The Ultimate Sparks Collection” (and after I picked up a Mamas and Papas single), I dashed out of Parade to see if I could catch up with her, and lucky for me, I did. Shouu san agreed to join this Tokyo Record Style project after I introduced myself. She told me her real name (not mentioned here), and […]

Tokyo Record Style

Yuto

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I met 22-year-old Yuto outside Coconuts as I was rolling up on the motorcycle and he was heading out, holding in his hand a recent score. I killed the engine and grabbed his attention before he could dash away. As I began to explain to him that I was a photographer and wanted to make his portrait, rather than initial suspicion, he was nothing but good vibes and warm smiles. A can badge on his jean jacket caught my eye – “Have you hugged a mutant today?” Then I noticed one untied Chuck Taylor, then a flannel layer, a sorta […]

Tokyo Record Style

Asa and Hitomi

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“Who are these two interesting and colorful characters browsing around in Shimokita’s Disk Union? Are they together? They must be. Oh, look! Dare I say he’s going to buy that record, wait, another! Maybe if I just look a little longer in the 45s, keep an eye on them, and then time the purchase of these outer sleeves right as they’re walking to the register, then I can conveniently walk out at the same time as them. Oh, good, Auld Lang Syne has been queued for the shop’s closing. Just wait a little longer, Brian. Wait a sec… could this […]

Tokyo Record Style

Jeff Sato

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Goodness, gracious. Jeff Sato is one of the coolest, most friendly, and interesting characters you can meet in the Tokyo Record shop scene. He’s a veteran rock&roller, with his own records, CD’s, and books, dozens of producer credits, pals and A&R guy for Jeff Beck, David Lindley, Ry Cooder, Jackson Brown, X Japan, and a bunch of others. He has heaps of stories, like the time he interviewed Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, or seeing Clapton 100 times, or the very first time he heard the Stones or Dylan on FEN, Far East Network AM Radio, the American armed forces […]

Tokyo Record Style

Aurelien

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For those who might not know, I have a volunteer photography project called “Photohoku” where I gift photographs to people in need. It would take a while to share all about it, but I just encourage you to check it out. But one of technical the aspects of it, not completely unlike Tokyo Record Style, is approaching (read: accosting) strangers, trying to diffuse their immediate apprehension with some welcoming, unthreatening charm and an honest smile (which, in a world filled with nefariously-intended people requires a certain finesse), and in a very, very short amount of time, seconds really, sell them […]

Tokyo Record Style

Naoki

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Jet Set Records in Shimokitazawa is known for stocking a pretty eclectic, alternative selection in music (They’re also known for this easily recognizable borrowed Pan-Am logo on their bags that somehow always spots my eye, and which I just found out was called “The Blue Meatball” back in the day.) Apparently Jet Set has a bigger shop in Kyoto, maybe the original, I’m not sure. I spotted the Jet Set logo the other night on a smaller-sized bag being carried by the fella pictured here. Initially, I couldn’t tell if it was a CD that he had purchased or a […]

Tokyo Record Style

Tokyo Record Style Day Vol. 1 – Shimokitazawa

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Record collecting friends!!! I’m starting a new project called “Tokyo Record Style Day” where I am going to try to gather some pals together on a Sunday afternoon once a month and hit a small cluster of record stores in one local neighborhood of Tokyo, and photograph you all with your records, starting with a dig through Shimokitazawa! Shimokita has over dozen record stores and I can suggest a path to visit a few of my favorites, or we can choose our own. Let’s meet at the legendary Flash Disk Ranch, and end at Disk Union, and maybe hit General, […]

Tokyo Record Style

Taketora

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I spotted Taketora san coming out of Record Union in Shinjuku in full head-to-toe punk regalia, holding not only a black and red Union bag but also a bright yellow Record Store Base bag. Such an intriguing character, I had to chat him up and see if he’d pose for a Tokyo Record Style portrait. He instantly obliged me and showed me the records he scored, two hardcore records I was seeing and hearing of for the first time. I’ve since gone home and looked both of them up, finding neither of the albums nor artists on Spotify, proving the […]

Tokyo Record Style

Yamazaki

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A Tokyo Record Style First! Traversing central Tokyo with just a bit more of Sunday morning to kill, and with a Disk Union that I rarely visit right on my route, how could I not at least pop by and see if anybody was walking around the adjacent plaza with recently purchased records? So I took the right Yushima Seido, the black 17th century Confucian Temple, crossed Kanda River, spotted the green copper roof of the Holy Resurrection Cathedral, and there coming down the stairs of the 2nd floor Disk Union was Yamazaki san carrying a 12×12” vinyl record store […]

Tokyo Record Style

Tetsuya Hoki

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A late Sunday morning with kids off tied up in a school activity afforded me a visit to RECOfan, a record shop in Akihabara with a rather huge inventory. Despite digging through nearly everything there, nothing quite jumped out of the crates at me, so I left empty-handed, even without a ¥100 7inch. With a ride clear across Tokyo to get back home, a “Records shops around me” Google search lead me to Tohto Records & Books in Yushima where I discovered a quaint shop run by the friendly Tetsuya san, who as it turns out, prior to opening Tohto, […]

Tokyo Record Style

Miyu

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This is Miyu. She was one of the very first people born in the new millennium, and she just turned 23 in the year 2023, and for her birthday, her sister gave her a record player. Here, on the sad day of the passing of one of the most influential music innovators of our lifetime, Yukihiro Takahashi of legendary YMO and Sadistic Mika band, Miyu buys her 10th record, YMO’s seminal Soul State Survior. I can’t help but think about how YMO music was one of the first things to pique a deeper interest in me about potentially staying longer […]

Tokyo Record Style

Makayla Bearpaw

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Working at a record shop would be a dream job for a certain sect of people in life. You’d have to have a wide breadth of musical knowledge and appreciation. You’d have to constantly keep up with trends and new music and artists, and yet also know the sources of such trends and the influences of said artists. You’d have to have a mental file cabinet deep enough to know if this particular pressing of Led Zepplin II was the Robert Ludwig “Hot Mix” or not, and whether that rare Otis Redding “Hard to Handle” single that you buried in […]

Tokyo Record Style

Miles and Cameron

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I caught up with Miles and Cameron in the alley outside of Josey’s Records after they had just scored rapper Freddie Gibbs and producer Madlib’s 2014 collaboration, “Piñata”. Something about them reminded me of myself when I started collecting records in my early 20s and I asked them if they were new to vinyl. Miles responded a resounding no, in that he had grown up with a house full of records, and that his mother, if I remember correctly, recently had given him her Prince collection, including Purple Rain and 1999. That must be something! That jogged my memory that […]

Tokyo Record Style

Aaron Hamby

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While visiting family back in my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, Tokyo Record Style will only temporarily be recognized as “Tulsa Record Style” 🙂 Exploring the Tulsa Record stores has been interesting and enlightening. Busy with family activities, I haven’t had time to visit them all but I did manage to spend half a day running around to various locations. At Josey Records, on Historic Route 66, I spotted Aaron having just wrapped up a dig in a giant pile of 45s that I was coming upon. “They’re all yours,” he said with a friendly smile, having no doubt painstakingly […]

Tokyo Record Style

Koyabashi

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I spotted Kobayashi san walking down the street carrying a Disk Union bag. When I asked him if he’d pose for Tokyo Record Style, I realized I was interrupting a live stream he was either hosting or participating in on his phone. Not wishing to derail his stream I told him not to worry about a photo but then he agreed so long as he could continue livestreaming while I photographed him, to which I of course was happy to oblige. Kobayashi san produced a “not for sale” promo copy of Hard Reversal by Amore Hirosuke & Love Machine which […]

Tokyo Record Style

Turistan, Tiger, Keita

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At 17 years old, Turistan (@trippin_tree3) is the youngest person that I’ve photographed so far for Tokyo Record Style. I caught up with Turistan seminal classic “Enter The Wu-Tang” from ‘93, that’s 30 years ago. That would be the equivalent of a 17-year-old me in 1993 buying “With the Beatles” (which I probably did). Thats give me great encouragement to not only see youngsters (Oh, my god do I sound old) interested in records, but interested in GREAT records. Turistan was with his skating bros, Tiger and Keita, (Fellas, Turistan is our-cooling you! Time to score some wax!) They were […]

Tokyo Record Style

Mizuyu

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“Everything’s too easy. Just one stroke of the ring finger, middle finger, one little click, that’s all it takes. We’ve dropped the coin right into the slot. We’re pill poppers, cube heads and day trippers, hanging in, hanging out, gobbling blue devils, black mollies, anything we can get our hands on. Not to mention the nose candy and ganga grass. It’s all too easy, too democratic. You need a solar X-ray detector just to find somebody’s heart, see if they still have one.” – Bob Dylan Dylan offered this social commentary in a recent WSJ article specifically about streaming music, […]

Tokyo Record Style

Aratame

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I agreed to meet Aratame a few years ago at our mutual friend, Tomoko’s adamant insistence. Tomoko, having worked with us both, had reason to believe we’d get on like a house on fire, and when she arranged a dinner for us to meet, and as soon we started talking about obscure cameras, Polaroid film, iconic typewriter design, vinyl records, our favorite 80’s gadgets, toys, movies, and cars, all manner of sophomoric comedic pranks or borderline juvenile fashion trends that neither of us seemed to outgrow, music, books, baseball cards and so on, trading stories of adolescent antics and subversive […]

Tokyo Record Style

Natsumi

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I met with Natsumi near the iconic Suzunari Theater in Shimokitaza, carrying a Disk Union bag. I stopped her for a chat and she very kindly agreed to be photographed for Tokyo Record Style. She had just scored the debut CD “Cavemen’s Law” by her friend’s new psychedelic pop band band, “Paddy Isle”. It’s not listed on Discogs yet, but I already listened to a few tracks from it on YouTube and it RIPS (Check the links in the comments.) Natsumi was super friendly and kind and shared with me that she is a ballerina and a ballet teacher. I […]

Tokyo Record Style

Koichi

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This project is proving to be an interesting little vehicle for the perfect conversation with a stranger, particularly from one music lover to another. It seems that with nearly everybody I’ve met, spoken to, and photographed, we’ve come to learn something that we have in common beyond just a love for music. And it’s kinda remarkable how it starts. Just the sentence “Excuse me, are those records?” seems to simultaneously cause curious antennas to raise while initiating the diffusion of any tension or suspicion as if it’s some kind of secret password buried in subconscious that overrides all external perceived […]

Tokyo Record Style

Takashi

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Takashi’s striped sweater had something Charlie Brown about it, his chain wallet and oversized rims had something Elvis Costello about them, and I have always wanted a pair of leather Chuck Taylors. Carrying a Union Record Bag, naturally, I had to spark up a conversation with him. I told him about Tokyo Record Style but he was expectedly hesitant to just pose for a stranger with a camera. That’s understandable, but since we were already talking, I asked what records he just scored and he pulled out the Ronettes! That very day, I had spotted Phil Spectors’s Christmas Album on […]

Tokyo Record Style

Shimpei

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I met Shimpei on the streets of Shinjuku with his new vinyl scores from Disk Union: Peter Tosh’s Bush Doctor and Tom Browne’s Magic. I asked Shimpei why he collects records and he mentioned being a DJ, and when I looked at his Instagram, I can see he’s spinning music every few nights. Shimpei was super friendly as you can see by his warm smile – Looking forward to listening to these records and keeping tabs on Shimpei so I can catch one of his DJ sets.   Peter Tosh – Bush DoctorLabel: Rolling Stones Records – CUN 39109Format: Vinyl, […]

Tokyo Record Style

Yuta

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Yuta was hanging out with a couple of pals on the streets of Shinjuku holding a recent score from Disc Union. I told him about Tokyo Record Style and asked him to pose for a photo. From his Disk Union Bag, he produced 2 records, neither of which I knew, a repeating occurrence I’m finding. One record was Sweat by the System, Electro Synth-pop which Yuta described basically as Disco. The 2nd record was Teddy Mike’s instrumental funk record, On Point. Looking forward to listening to both these records. Thanks, Yuko for posing for these shots and looking so effortlessly […]

Tokyo Record Style

Anthony

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First Tower Records spotting, at Shibuya Crossing! I caught up with Anthony and his wife walking along after what looked like a nice little shopping spree! I initiated a conversation in Japanese, wrongly assuming Anthony was Japanese but when we looked at me a little sideways, not completely understanding, he pulled back his mask revealing a giant and friendly smile, me having been to the “Land of Smiles” instantly suspected Anthony might be… “Where are you from?” “Thailand!” Bingo. Anthony scored Bruno Mars’ XXIVK Magic and told me he was debating between this and one other record, but I’m failing […]

Tokyo Record Style

DJ Bow

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DJ Bow’s 12” x 12” square bag caught my eye on the back streets of Shibuya. I could see some friendly eyes behind his mask when I explained why I stopped him, but when I suggested we make a photo right here in the middle of busy Shibuya, he was much more keen to keep a low profile, so we ditched down a back alley and made this image. DJ Bow spins techno and house and asked me not to reveal his identity nor to photograph his face, nor mention the quite famous location he would be DJing the following […]

Tokyo Record Style

DJ Nishiyama

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Spotted Nishiyama san on the streets of Shibuya. He was a bit taken aback by me suddenly accosting him with an interest in his records and a request for a photo, but we got some nice music talk going and he showed me his scores, an Akiko Wada double LP and a Hiromi Miyano 7”. Then he produced another curious looking 7” saying “I have no idea what this is, but I got it anyway” – I LOVE THIS, this notion of taking a risk on music, not entirely sure what you’re going to get. When I look back on […]

Tokyo Record Style

Saeka Shimida

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A fellow photographer – Saeka! I caught up with her and a pal with a nice stash of records just scored from Jet Set which, a little like Big Love Records, keeps a highly curated inventory of mostly new-ish records, finds that for the more discerning listener. Maybe I’m imagining things, but walking around with records in a Jet Set bag says to the more basic (in that modern dismissive sense) listeners like me, “That gay/gal didn’t just score some records from Jet Set …that person IS A JETSETTER!” That could actually be true because when Saeka produced the records […]

Tokyo Record Style

Joshua and Madeline

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I met Joshua and Madeline near General Record Store, and they were quite the photogenic characters. They had just picked up copies of The Ataris – Blue Skies, Broken Hearts… Next 12 Exits (a guilty pleasure admitted Joshua), and Adventures In Stereo / The American Analog Set – After Hours Issue #2, two more records whose bands I only really know by name. Madeline mentioned that she works in translation and Joshua that he works in fashion. They both were very hip and we had a nice chat on the stoops of General. A couple other things to mention is […]

Tokyo Record Style

Koji

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I spotted Koji (and his GF, Yoshimi who battles the Pink Robots) on the streets of Shimokita. He had just scored this 1980 New Wave classic of Channel Good by Sheena & the Rokkets from Disc Union. I didn’t know the album but it looked really intriguing and just quite good. After photographing Koji I went home and immediately listened to this record, for the first time (follow link in bio), and as I had expected, it absolutely slays (with a killer version of Creedence’s Suzie Q). While listening to it, I learned about the Mentai Rock scene, the name […]

Tokyo Record Style

Yujiro

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I met Yujiro coming out of Disk Union Shimokita as I was walking in. He was on his way to play a gigi with his band, “Blue Damp”, but stopped to pick up a copy of George Smith’s – Oopin’ Doopin’ Blues Harp before heading there. I wasn’t familiar with George Smith (I have a feeling I’m gonna not be familiar with 90% or more of what I photograph here on Tokyo Record Style) but I did mention owning a handful of harmonicas including a chromatic one, the kind with the button on the side that seems to make playing […]

Tokyo Record Style

Eric Jacobsen

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Little did I know when I was chatting up Itaru (from the previous post) about Leon Russel, there was Tokyo Institution standing right behind me patiently waiting for me to finish rambling to say hello. If you have had kids in the last 30 years, you probably are familiar with the very famous TV show Eigo de Asobo – Let’s Play English, which like Sesame Street has a bit of a rotating cast of characters with a few major mainstays, and the person featured here has been THE mainstay of this series, and beyond, for a long as I’ve known […]

Tokyo Record Style

Itaru

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What are the odds! I caught up with Itaru coming up the street pushing a bicycle and a tote bag on his shoulder and asked him if he might want to pose for Tokyo Record Style. With a warm smile he agrees, reaches into his bag and pulls out, much to my amazement, lo-and-behold, Tulsa hometown hero, Leon Russel, who, as legend has it (according to my parents) had a girlfriend who lived across from my first childhood home, and who used to come around and play with me when I was just a wee kid. I only became aware […]

Tokyo Record Style

Naohiro

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Anyway, I had no clue what records Naohiro was showing me, but I’ll check them out and give them a listen in the coming days (All the records photographed are listed on Discogs with info – link in bio). Despite not knowing industrial/goth/metal music well (nor the -waves / -cores), I mentioned that my neighbor (and father of my son’s best pal) is part of legendary industrial outfit, Skinny Puppy, and Naohiro was quite impressed to hear that. We also discussed The Cure’s (one of his favorite bands) recent re-release of “Wish”, which was one of the first CDs I […]

Tokyo Record Style

Yukiko

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I take my kids back and forth everyday to Japanese cram school and I pass right by Coconuts Record Shop. I’ve mentioned it here a few times already and will probably be mentioning it a bunch more. Since starting this project, I can’t seem to drive past it without starting to scan the area for people who maybe have just scored some records. Though the vinyl bags are quite cool, they’re quite subtle but I can still easily spot from across the street, which was the case for the one Yukiko was carrying. I stopped her and chatted her up. […]

Tokyo Record Style

Yuji

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Stopped by a Tokyo institution the other night, Big Love Records, an independent record shop located in a nondescript apartment building in the backstreets of très chic Harajuku. Big Love Records is more than a record shop, it’s a gallery, an underground label, it’s a fashion brand, a cafe and bar that serves premium coffee and beer-on-tap to patrons and provides Tokyo not only with an amazing curation of new music but with events, art, fashion, pop-ups and tie-ups, and just cool lifestyle. It’s beyond a central cultural resource for Tokyo, but also for the world. So it’s no surprise […]

Tokyo Record Style

Sota

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After I walked back to my bike after meeting Tets in the car park under the tracks, I bumped into Sota who had just scored 3 soul and funk records from HMV (where I had spotted him earlier) and Coconuts in Kichijoji. He asked me where I was from and told me the records would have probably been 1/10th of the price or less if he could score them in the American. He told me he got his taste for Soul and Funk from his father who used to bring them back from the States. Sota told me he is […]

Tokyo Record Style

Tets Igeta

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I met Tets on the streets of Kichijoji with Matty Fresh (from the previous post). He hadn’t any records with him in that moment so I didn’t really think to make his photo. But it was nice to meet him. It was even nicer to run into him again about 15 minutes later at HMV digging through the jazz records, and chat him up a bit more. He mentioned knowing Matty from his days in Brisbane and we got to talking about DJing and he pulls out an image from his phone of 2 face-to-face dueling DJ decks, 4 turntables […]

Tokyo Record Style

Matty Fresh

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I spotted a woman in a plaid jacket carrying a record store bag, walking along the opposite side of the street. If I could dash ahead and catch the green light, I could possibly intercept her at the crosswalk for a photo. I locked in on the plaid jacket, rounded the corner, bustled through the malaise of people crossing, got tripped up by a couple wheeling along a pair of suitcases. Wait, where’d plaid-jacket girl go? Search around. I lost her. Poof! Vanished. Dammit. Momentarily defeated, I leaned again the street rail to lament, when out from the shop right […]

Tokyo Record Style

Saki and Haruko

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I hesitate to make a comment that could be so easily misconstrued as naive or chauvinistic …but throwing caution to the wind: record-collecting girls are just the coolest. I don’t know exactly why, but they just are. A girl with a record bag, in my eyes, is infinitely more stylish than one with a designer bag. I met these two lovely ladies, Saki and Tomoka outside Coconuts Records in Kichijoji, which has become one of my favorite record stores in Tokyo. I’ve lived just down the street from Coconuts for more than a decade but only discovered it in the […]

Tokyo Record Style

Yasu san

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Garageville Records Have I mentioned the “Goldilocks Zone” of Tokyo Record Stores yet? Stores that are located outside of the city center where they have a totally unique flavor, are never particularly crowded, not picked over and even slightly less expensive, but close enough to Tokyo to have all the good stuff and then some. Garageville is indeed one such shop in the Goldilocks Zone. It’s a bar and record shop, with a premium and tasty-looking bottle beer selection, pringles to snack on, heaps of great records, two Thorens TD 124s behind the bar with those big beautiful Ortofon SPU […]

Tokyo Record Style

Akio

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I met Akio san outside of Disk Union in Shimokitazawa. His scooter was parked next to my bike and when I saw him about to stash some records under the scooter, I sparked a chat with him. He’s an acupuncturist caregiver with many patients around Shimokita. He said the kinda care he offers provides great relief to patients in pain but is quite exhausting and stressful work for him and that picking up new music every day provides him with his relief. I said, “That’s great work but, every day?” He said, yes, that he comes every day, without fail […]

Tokyo Record Style

Masuyama

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Ever see video game soundtracks in the record store crates? Ever wonder who buys them? Well, I met one on the way home last night – Masuyama! I stopped Masuyama out in front of Disk Union in Shimokita and asked him what he scored and he pulled out this intriguing gem which I had no idea about. Masuyama explained it was released by Nintendo for a game …OK, interesting. We had a nice chat and he did a cool pose for me. Thanks, Masa for the photo and for sharing your record with me! But wait, there is more… I […]

Tokyo Record Style

Sue

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I live about 20 min from my office by motorcycle and no matter which route I take back, there must be at least 20 records shops (if not more) that I drive right past. Being a photographer for these nearly 20 years here, I’ve always been attuned to the notion that Tokyo is a kind of photography mecca. There are so many (read: TOO many) photography galleries, camera shops, amazing scenic spots, photo-loving people and culture that it’s hard to keep up with it all. It’s everywhere, all the time. I’ve always known about Tokyo’s record store scene, and hi-fi […]

Tokyo Record Style

Yoshiki, Dani, Arita, and Jay

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Good early morning from Tokyo Record Style. Thanks for all the follows, shares, and comments! This is gonna be a lot of fun 🙂 Next up is this 4-member squad (Yoshiki, Dani, Arita, and Jay) I also ran into at @flashdiscranch in Shimokita last weekend. They were cool and scored some pretty interesting looking records (see comments for titles and links). I’ll have to keep thinking of the best way of doing this, maybe a link in bio or a Spotify playlist. A lot came to mind in the last few days, the mental checklist the project needs. Anyway, more […]

Tokyo Record Style

Haruko

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I met a cool record collector and saxophonist, Haruko at Flash Disc Ranch yesterday who scored Stanley Turrentine’s West Side Highway from ‘78 and No ‘Count by fellow saxophonist Frank Foster recorded in ‘56 on the Savoy label, both I think she mentioned being recommended to her by Flash’s aficionado, Tsubaki san. I want to point out that this project is called Tokyo Record STYLE for a reason. It’s not just about records, or music – it’s also about style (not fashion per se, cuz I couldn’t really tell ya, but style, yes). Haruko was rawkin’ a sweet gray leather […]

Tokyo Record Style

Masao Tsubaki

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Flash Disk RanchHands down, the absolutely coolest record shop in all of Tokyo is, without a doubt, Flash Disc Ranch in Shimokitazawa, run by a consummate record store cult hero, Masao Tsubaki. I think Shimokita has been my stomping grounds for so long, since before iPhone days, that I actually witnessed the mp3/digital revolution, tragically wipe out a handful of awesome local independent record stores that had struggled to stay afloat (with no help from giants like Disk Union, Tower, and HMV). I remember lamenting almost decades now ago “There goes another one…” “…and another” and at one point I […]

Tokyo Record Style

Michael Warren

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Tokyo Record Style’s first official victim! My dear pal, musician extraordinaire (check out one of his many bands including Honest People), fellow Top 5 Records Podcast co-host (links eventually is bio), Michael Warren, in town from beautiful Aomori. Michael and I came to know each other through record-collecting 4 or 5 years ago and have pretty much connected nearly every day since sharing musical musing on our imaginary radio show: “The Dog Log” (upon which we have logged thousands of hours). Love hitting the record stores with Michael when he’s in town, which is quite often. He always takes cool […]

Tokyo Record Style

Brian Scott Peterson

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Hey! Welcome to my new Instagram where I am going to be documenting record-collecting, record shops, music-loving in Tokyo, and all the freaks, weirdos, and hipsters whose passion for music knows no bounds! I’m Brian, 20-year Tokyo resident and life-long record-collector and music lover! Follow me for a glimpse into this supremely cool subculture and share your passion for music with me! Pose for my camera and show me the records you just scored! See you out there, Tokyo! Look out for the guy with the records and the camera! Santo & Johnny – Sleep WalkLabel: Canadian American Records, Ltd. […]