Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Burlesque Booming in Tokyo!



In these last ten ~ twenty years, there’s been a boom in younger Japanese girls getting into Geisha. They aren’t “TRUE” geisha, of course. Long ago, many of the "true" geisha were sold like slaves into geisha agencies usually to pay off massive family debts. Today’s young geisha likes the fashion and costume and make up of old Japan and the world of the geisha. To today’s geisha it is fun and an art form more than it is a lifestyle or a life’s work as it was to traditional geisha in a feudalistic society.


Miwa Rock

But, along with the art of geisha, today’s young Japanese Tokyoite woman has fallen into love with another sort of dancing and art form that was popular in the west from the late 1890s until the late 1950s and that is Burlesque.

Burlesque has found a great comeback in the west, and now in Japan too due to recent Hollywood movies like Burlesque from 2010. Burlesque starred Cher, Christina Aguilera, Alan Cumming, Eric Dane. It was about a small-town girl who ventured to Los Angeles and finds her place in a neo-burlesque club run by a former dancer.

Movies like this, is it said, have been inspired by modern burlesque superstars like Dita Von Tease. Dita is the Michael Jackson Superstar of Burlesque dancing! Maybe some of you haven’t heard of her, but look her up. She has to be one of the most beautiful women in the entire world today! (Photos of Dita Von Teese here Va-Va-Va Voom!

Oh, and a funny note is that she was married to Marilyn Manson!

Anyway, because of Dita and the movie “Burlesque” this kind of art form has a revival boom going on in Tokyo today.

One of the Top dancers is a girl who goes by the name of Miwa Rock. Miwa tells me that there are 14 Burlesque dancers in Tokyo today but only five (and she’s one of them) who gets paid for her efforts.

I saw her dancing once and the guys and girls were going crazy and giving her 1000 yen (about $10) tips!

It really blew my mind to see younger Japanese people today mimicking these sorts of western styles and dance fashions that were so popular 70 years ago.

It just goes to show that these trends come and go in cycles and one must always keep and eye open for them to catch them while they are going and see them real time.


(Here's a video that I made with my best friend Ken Nishikawa of a Psychobilly rock band named Bobby's Bar that Miwa Rock appeared in for us. The entire atmosphere of the entire event was breath-taking.!)

Here's Miwa Rock's Facebook pagehttps://www.facebook.com/miwa.rock.5?fref=ts


Here's her blog (Japanese only): http://ameblo.jp/miwa-rock1025/

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