lipstick lesbian post of the day
The other day, I linked to a photo gallery of jpop diva Ayumi Hamasaki (and, while I'm at it, here's another, and a profile).
Today at Destroy All Monsters, I noted a Mainichi Daily News story describing tradition-minded Japan's increasing acceptance of a certain presentation of sapphic imagery (with an emphasis on femininity and traditional beauty, of course). The story noted that Hamasaki's latest album--apparently a compendium of ballads--features images of the singer Photoshopped to appear as if she's embracing herself romantically. The story comments, "Even a few years ago, the composite photo that makes it appear as though Japan's current queen of pop Ayumi Hamasaki is kissing herself would have been a career-ending move -- now it's helping guarantee another hit."
In a comment appended to my last post on Russian pseudo-lesbian pop duo Tatu (which the MDN story mentions in passing), my friend Dodd wondered why I didn't talk more about the duo's music. (Short answer: in a much earlier post, I agreed with an assessment of them as "chirpy Europop," and I don't get paid enough to listen to them more.) However, I have a small amount of Ayumi Hamasaki music among my jpop collection, and I can say that she's pretty typical of the genre--a pleasant voice, generally upbeat, danceable songs, a few ballads, a fairly heavy reliance on synths (Japanese musical influences seem to have stopped in the 1980s).