Agi Jo

Ikiteru Dake No Koto Nanda (Hardly Living)


In stock

Label: Japan Blues

Format: 7”


Agi Jo, an alias of Yuzuru Agi, kayou pop singer, actor, model and Japanese electronic music pioneer (if you don’t know by now, look up Vanity Records). It’s unlikely the fan-base for his earlier pop outings would appreciate a spiky existential protest song, so Agi pressed 100 copies of the record himself. It was 1970, after he had briefly joined folk harmony pop-rock group The Happenings Four. The single was arranged by band member (now Japanese rock legend) Kuni Kawachi.

Ikiteru…, a nihilistic number, in the vein of underground singer-songwriter Mikami Kan: a pained cry of confused existence, in the darkness of a rapidly modernising world. Weekend Hippy, with a barely in-tune harmonica blasted intro, à la Dylan, we have here a comment from the sidelines, on the hippy movement that had spread even to a reasonably conservative country like Japan.

Two songs that express anger, a rejection of accepted norms, both the everyday, and the so-called alternative. A small testament to the character of a near unsung great of new music in Japan. Licensed from Agi Yuzuru’s estate, 300 only, in facsimile of original sleeve artwork.