Analysing Number Girl

August 18, 2007 at 6:48 pm | Posted in Eastern Youth, Government, Indie Rock, Number Girl, Ultra-Nationalism, WWII | 1 Comment

I thought I would analyse Number Girl’s lyrics. I’m going to use the example of “Zazen Beat Kemonostyle”. I got into an argument with some Dir en Grey fans about who’s more anti-fascist. Dir en Grey puts things straight forward, but they’re blind to see what has been going on in japan for the past century which is just sad. Number Girl puts out their message in a smart way, not really putting out their sympathy for communism.

Neru ore Nishinari ka Sausuburonkusu de
Sleep, I, in Nishinari* or South Bronx
Hoeru ore Tekisasu ka Tosakouchi de
Howl, I, in Texas or Tosa/Kouchi*

Nishinari is a ward in Osaka prefecture that has a large community of day-laborers and homeless people. Tosa is the old name for Kouchi prefecture, and is where Japanese revolutionary Sakamoto Ryouma was born. He was a leading member of the Bakumatsu, influenced by the American brand of humanism from Revolutionary War times. He was assassinated at the age of 33 just before the Meiji Restoration took place. You can see that Mukai Shutoku is sympathetic towards the lower class and more liberal intellectuals (they don’t get much of a say in stuff).

Insyu, hakkyou no tsumi ni towareta ore wa
Being accused by drinking and insanity
Tokkoukeisatsu*ni syoppikare
I am arrested by the special higher police
Meitei no hate no kyosei wo kurikaesu
I am drunken and I talk tough over and over

The Tokkoukeisatsu were the special police force in pre-WWII militaristic Japan, around the 1930’s. This could be taken in different directions. Does Mukai not like the Japanese police? Or is he anti-militarist? Or could the Tokkoukeisatsu be a meaning for the uyoku who like to wear old nationalist uniforms and be the neighborhood watch?

 In “Sakura No Dance”, Inazawa (drummer) counts in the beginning, “Zou, Han, Yu, Ri!!” I heard somewhere that this was a slogan used by Mao Tse-Tung. Now can Number Girl possibly be Maoist?

 In “Mappiruma Girl”, Mukai writes this:

 Souwa yurusanu jukyou no oshie dakedomo daredemo yatteru(x3) fuu
But Confucian ethic doesn’t allow it, though everybody seems to be doing, doing, doing it.

Possibly a stab at the old Confucian ways making way for newer things? Is it taking a stand against hypocrisy?

Also, in “Num-Ami-Dabutz”, Mukai discusses the infamous Nihon Sekigun (Japanese Red Army) and a series of essays written by Buddhist monks in the 17th century that spoke out against bushido. Bushido ended up being one of the major themes of militaristic Japan back in WWII.

So Number Girl is more anti-facist than Dir en Grey.

Also, I sayw Peelander-z and Go!Go!7188 last week, but I didn’t have a camera so no photos which means no report. But it was fun. I will cacth Peelander-Z again on August 31st and will take photos and write up a live report!


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  1. calpico?? I was just randomly googling when I found this entry. Gah, if the previous sentence doesn’t make sense, ignore it please. Anyway, interesting points you got there. I don’t know if it’s just me not taking in NG lyrics too deeply, or a refusal to ponder on it in a more than casual manner, but I feel like I can never understand what Mukai means unless I learn Nihongo myself. But they’re pretty valid arguments. I think I’ll think about it in my head one of these days.

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