How rock 'n' roll brought erotic photography to Japan

Far Out -- Nov 20

Kenji Endo is slumbering in his student room, casually listening to the sound of American rock 'n' roll, which has now become commonplace on Japanese radio since the days of post-World War II occupation.

Only this time, the half an ear he is lending it is suddenly perked up by the sound of Bob Dylan’s counterculture masterpiece, 'Like a Rolling Stone'. It rudely snaps him out of his slumber, and he wonders to himself whether this tripe can even be considered music at all. He attempts to turn off the radio.

By the time of Endo’s third listen, he is rushing off to inform his friends of Dylan’s brilliance. “This guy is creating something that has never been created before,” he proclaims to his roommate, but it could’ve just as well been a stranger in the street had his college buddy not been more conveniently placed to hear of Enzo’s good tidings. You see, for so long, Japan had been a country where doing something that had never been done before was culturally out of place. Suddenly, that was changing.

Endo would go on to form bands of his own, re-interpreting Japanese through a fresh lens in the same manner that Dylan’s shocking drawl was transmuting the folk stylings of America through the Judas defilement of charged particles. Students all over the country, still reconciling the nuclear destruction of their cities, were stirred into daring cultural action. The sound of the US military's country-wide radio broadcast was forming the crackly backbeat of a revolution. ...continue reading