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Old 08-27-01, 01:15 PM   #1
Chance
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Post Japan

Japan came up in conversation the other day and I realized that it hasn't really been discussed here, even though I know several guys who work there pretty regularly.

I have never been myself, so this is a call out to Robert, David, Peter or anyone else with recent experience to tell us about the best times and places to work there, and to help open up a general discussion about such a unique venue.

For myself, I would be curious about any special considerations to keep in mind regarding social customs and language.
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Old 08-27-01, 06:36 PM   #2
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Chance,
Checkerhead is really who you need to talk to re: Nippon. I have performed there only 5 or 6 times and never for longer than 6 weeks.
One thing for sure, they don't speak English! Sounds stupid to say (especially since it is a mandatory requirement in all schools) but in fact if you are a talking act you must adapt it to Japanese ... I have a starter kit (funny sayings et al) that I am willing to share but it is too lengthy to be posted here.
They l-o-v-e skill and colorful costuming and believe it or not my ink coated head was a hit (I originally bought the toupee thinking I would be making a faux pas re: Yakusa but I never wore it once (well, once, when I met Kumi's parents).
Laughter/humor is a whole other ball game ... they love to feel superior to gajin (you, me, everyone else) so you must not be too fluent or else they will feel you are trying "to be" Japanese and you cannot ever do that (well, maybe if Brian Hulse had extensive eye surgery) ... Speaking of Brian ... HE is the MAN ... killer show / Osaka dialect /awesome skill ... and a celebrity girlfriend with big tits ... no wonder no one likes him.

Here are some contacts (although they are very dated) ... gumbatte!

Takada, Yoshiko
8F, Kasuga Bldg.
1-1-2 Koraku
Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112
011 81 3 5802 0233
fax011 81 3 5802 0288
Japan
D.C. Project
Balboa #303
5-6-1 Kawamo, Takarazuka-city
Hyogo, Japan 665
011-81-797-81-9597
Fax-011 81 797-81-9598

BCompany Ltd.
Attention: Brian Hulse
Kogame building 3F
5-6, Matsugae chou I don't think this company still works
Kita-ku, Osaka 530 but Brians # does he can help you
Japan
011 81 6 773 4173 fax
81-6-773-4172 home

Mr. Takao Hashimoto
1 - 5 - 18 Shing Harakita
Kohokuku, Yokohama 220
Japan


Japan Media Exchange
Attn: Carol or Ryo Kuji Iguchi
Paramaribostraat 97-1
1058 - VJ - Amsterdam
Amsterdam, Holland 1058 VJ
Netherlands


Kamori Kanko Co. Ltd.
Attention: Akiko Hanajiri
Kamori Bldg, #3, Kita-4, Nishi-4
Chuo-ku, Sapporo 060
Japan


Ms. Kisuk Cho
Royal Apartments #1207
Yongsan-gu, Dongbuichon-dong
Seoul, Korea


Daidogei World Cup in Shizuoka
Daidogei World Cup Executive Committee
5-1 Ote-machi
Shizuoka City 420
Japan

P.S. There is always a plethora of gigs to go around during "Golden Week" (middle of April)... getting the proper visa requirements is another matter ...but if you are already there ... (nudge nudge, wink wink, how's your father)

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Old 09-04-01, 04:49 AM   #3
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Thanks for jumping in Robert, but the information you included is geared towards paid gigs. Nothing wrong with that, but what is the scene in Japan for street shows? Does anything there compare to the scenes at (for example) Harvard Square, Santa Monica, Sydney's Circular Quay, Leidseplein... or any other pitch known to be open to all comers?
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Old 09-05-01, 05:14 PM   #4
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When I was in Tokyo in 1990-1991, circle shows were found at Shinjuku (right outside the train station, they close down the street to traffic on weekends, um, from 12-5 or so. We used to get off 5-6 shows unless the police or Yakuza chased us off, or it rained. Or we got stuck next to loud breakdancers.

I also played Ueno park, also on the weekend. I played Shibuya station weekday evenings, sometimes, but the money/focus was much less.

Yoyogi park on weekends was OK, too.

Ginza strip on weekends was GREAT if the cops didn't stop you (which they would, inevitably)

Cops fluctuated in attitude. Messing with Yakuza (mafia) was always a hassle. You can stand up to them and maybe they'll back down; maybe they'll beat you. Personally, I would just leave and pitch up somewhere else.

I hear there might be some places outside of Tokyo that are used to us by now, but I don't have specific info. It helps to study some Japanese for a few weeks before arriving, esp. a hat line.

Their sense of humor is different from ours, but just remember that they laugh at us "obnoxious, rude foreigners" and also wish they had the balls to be obnoxious and rude like us. Learn the taboos. They'll take you far.

From Mr. Nelson's account, I understand anal sex is popular there, but don't quote me on that.

--Rich

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Old 09-19-01, 03:51 AM   #5
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Rich Potter. The info you gave on Tokyo was accurate when you were here in the early '90's, but I can tell you for a fact that things have changed radically since then.
Ueno coen was shut down about five years ago after some Iranians stabbed a local cop to death.After that, everyone started to hit the Ginza really hard and it was good for a while, but got burned out because it got out of control. They now have large "A frame" signs which are placed all up and down the street while it's closed. Shinjuku dori is the same story. Things were pretty good here in those days but the last few years it's just become almost impossible. Add to that the fact that the economy has taken a huge dive, and people don't fork out the money the way they used to. The only way I survive here these days is by doing event type gigs and it takes a year or two to work your way into that scene, and most of the gigs are a real pain in the ass
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Old 09-19-01, 01:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2"> and most of the gigs are a real pain in the ass
Nice to know not *everything* has changed since the early '90s!

--Rich
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Old 02-08-02, 01:48 AM   #7
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Has anyone any current info on pitches in Japan?
I saidPitches,guys...so put that thing away.
I'm flying to Japan in late September, my girlfriend is teaching english there. I'm learning Japanese now, I just need some vague idea of what cities to target.I need a city where the idle rich hang out,where the cops won't bug me, and the yakusa won't make me wear my nutz on my chin.
Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-12-02, 09:58 PM   #8
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Don't take this the wrong way mate, but Japan needs another juggler like you need three or four new holes in your bum.The place is overrun with jugglers, most of them locals, and most of them are pretty good. If you're have to come for other reasons, you might as well give it a go while you are here. But if you want some good advice, don't come with work as your prime reason, thinking you're gonna make a fortune.Take it for what it's worth.
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Old 03-12-02, 10:53 PM   #9
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Ya, don't go to Japan.

Don't go to Victoria (especially if you are a one man band, there are allready more freakin' musicians there than Nimbin has hippies.)

For that matter don't come to Vancouver either it's way over-run with performers, there are NO pitches at all and the police will convicate your props at random and the Hells Angels will squeeze you for protection monies.

Don't go to Sydney, or anywhere in Australia if you want to work 'cause therare waaaaaaaaay to many shows there.

Don't go the the USA, they will stick you in a dention camp for trying to get over the border with a unicycle-besides there are already tons and tons of local jugglers there(who are good)

Don't go to Mexico-you will have to compete with hordes empoverished kids who spit fire-balls at intersections, not only that the curency is worthless.

Don't get me started on Europe.

Fuck it, I quit, there's nowhere to work.
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Old 03-13-02, 12:54 AM   #10
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Europe is not too bad, Scott, but it depends where you go.

Paris has a few good buskers, but they all do the same thing: 2 diabolos, lots of club tricks, three torches on a giraffe... wait a minute, that sounds like my act... Those dirty bastards stole my act!!!

e t i e n n e
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Old 03-13-02, 01:20 AM   #11
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-----so Scott where DO you perform?????-----

As for places that are up and coming I might recomend Kelowna and Vernon in the Okanagan here in BC. As of last summer Kelowna started a busking program in hopes of snagging a few buskers from Nelson on their way there or back. I do know that you have to audition and must pay like $15 or something for a buskers license. The area is pretty cool as there are few pitches along the waterfront. Genral traffic is pretty good too. Lots of tourists and University students. Vernon could use a few good buskers in my opinion and I DON'T think you need a license----there hasn't really been a need for it I guess. Unfortunately I didn't stick around last summer to see how Kelowna made out with their new busker program.
If you need more info for Kelowna contact me and I'll let ya know.

Cheers
Flo

p.s. Not about Japan, oops
[img]tongue.gif[/img]

[ 03-13-2002: Message edited by: Flo ]</p>
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Old 03-13-02, 01:53 AM   #12
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Again I STRESS:
DO NOT COME TO VANCOUVER!!!!!!

In an effort to reclaim the streets from the dirty panhandelers and french squegee kids, The Provincial Government just instituted a program to sweep the streets of anyone who is soliciting $ in any way. I just spent a week in prison with 2 Krishnas, a baloon twister, and a blind guy with a harmonica who could only play "Stairway to Heavan". Before they let me out they made me promise to get a job and to spread the word that any forign "buskers" who come to Vancouver will be shot on sight.

So please, for your own safety, I implore you,

DO NOT COME TO VANCOUVER.

[ 03-13-2002: Message edited by: Scot Free ]</p>
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Old 03-13-02, 06:33 AM   #13
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Gerry,

Thanks for telling us where not to go in Japan, but how about trying the reverse tack and telling us where, in your opinion, are the best places? Be as specific as you can.

Anyone else with recent street experience there is asked to chip in as well.

(Take the negative stuff to another thread...)
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Old 03-13-02, 10:39 AM   #14
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I could always use another hole in my bum, as it would streamline the whole bathroom thing.(on the other hand I'd hafta spend thrice as much on TP, or I guess I could just keep on using my han...um.. never mind./ I know a mime who makes $$fat stax$$ doing street in Japan, so I know it's possible right now. Le Pire, je m'en fou par-ce-que vous avez perdu MON act!!C'est notre petite secret,oui?

I'm planning to go in September so I think that limits me to the south of Japan, temperature-wise.
Scotfree softens the blow isn't lyin, I've been under house-arrest
for 3 months now. They say I was distracting consumers from purchasing at the GAP store on Robson. I pleaded the 5th but unfortunately Canada don't have no constitution. Mike started popping balloons full auto and they scattered, I ran but my fricken 40 pound walking globe slowed me down and they took me down hard from behind at Granville and Robson. They electrically shocked my bits with cattle prods until I had 3 walking globes, thogh 2 of em hurt to walk on.I'm taking large risk to get this message out: COME TO VANCOUVER AT YOUR OWN PERIL!!
If you must enter, do so only in heavily armed groups of 60 or more.

Vive les buskers!
Red Wolf AKA Jonny Flash


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Old 03-28-02, 08:55 AM   #15
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Chance , I can't believe you're serious!
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Old 03-28-02, 11:46 AM   #16
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Come on Gerry, tell Chance all your favourite pitches. You could be his warm up act or you might consider doing a show together! I love how the busking world is one big happy community! The love and compassion between performers is a beautiful thing.

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Old 03-28-02, 10:55 PM   #17
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[quote]Originally posted by le pire:
<strong>Those dirty bastards stole my act!!!
</strong><hr></blockquote>

Well, Steve, turnabout is fair play. . . [img]tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 04-03-02, 07:33 AM   #18
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So far this thread has twice as many replies as the next busiest thread in this section. And from all the replies this is what I have learned (in successive order):

...Robert Nelson has a tattooed head, and occasionally wears a toupee.

...Robert Nelson has a long list of outdated Japanese management contacts gathering dust in his address book.

...Rich Potter worked Japan 12 years ago but has not been back since.

...Gerry Nelson is a One Man Band now working in Japan.

...Gerry Nelson hates jugglers.

...Gerry Nelson is anal-retentive when it comes to sharing current information regarding the workability of the street in Japan.

...Jonnyflash is not gay, and hopes to visit Japan soon.

...When he finally does visit Japan this September, Jonnyflash is going to locate Gerry Nelson's favorite pitch and juggle to Gerry's funky beat.

...Flo loves Canada and has posted no less than 29 messages at performers.net.

...Scott Free has been gang raped by the Canuck branch of the Hells Angels.

...Dan, also a One Man Band, thinks the world is not big enough for both he and Gerry to occupy at the same time.

...And finally, Chance, the OP, (that's me) while laughing his ass off at all the antics, is still looking for current info on Japan.
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Old 04-04-02, 03:09 AM   #19
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Chance, I have no personal knowledge of present setup. but I do know of 2 different performers who both tend to work the smaller family type garden parks. Both are rather more "arty" than "circusy" acts.
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Old 04-04-02, 11:51 PM   #20
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Chance, thanks mate. I was having a really shitty day 'till I dropped in here. Now I've had a good laugh. Seriously though, everything I've said on this page is the absolute truth. I'll admit I don't give much away, but I don't tell lies either. And I don't hate jugglers except for when they happen to be doing it IN MY FACE.
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