For some reason, in the 1950s and 1960s the USA had a morbid fascination with the nations it conquered and exploited. Witness the number of Hawaiian-themed records, souvenirs, and decorations. Native Americans became a popular image to emulate as well, with Tonto and the stereotypical indian Brave. After World War II, Japan was likewise unspared. Or, as the album’s liner notes puts it, “After humiliating surrender, the Japanese people found they had a friend in their conquerer.”
This album (appropriately enough put out by Honolulu Records) boasts the best in rejecting Japanese music’s traditional past. Again, citing the liner notes, “no longer is music tightly compartmentalized, rejecting change and adulteration.” In honor of this, they got women with names like Aiko Bingo and Sparky Iwamoto to sing big band-style songs–in Japanese!
The music itself is super catchy. I have “Tokyo Boogie Woogie” stuck in my head, which to me sounds like “a tokyo boogie oogie a a ookie ookie a zookie zookie wahoo wahooooooo.” I’m not sure what this means, but I’m hoping maybe it’s scat-like nonsense so I don’t sound like a *complete* idiot walking around the house singing it!
So anyway, let this be a lesson to future conquered nations– not only can we colonize your country, but we will assimilate your music as well!