I walked around Okachimachi and Ueno yesterday for most of the day (in an effort to go to new places), and then met up with Ben and his friend Jacob to hang out in Shibuya. .
All thanks to Ben, we decided at this point to sit on the street railing and people watch (he wanted McDonald’s ice cream). We had been discussing おしゃれ, or oshare – a term that means something like cool or fashionable (my dictionary says “fashion-conscious”), and dubbed such people “oshares.” We were talking about how these oshares are always just sitting on the side of the street looking cool (particularly in Harajuku). Are they people watching? Or are they just sitting there to be seen? Seriously sometimes its just agonizing. Its like walking past the fashion spreads of urban style magazines – and I want to stop and take a picture of every person because their style is so creative, so effortless looking, so individual. Alas – I rarely do. ANYWAYS, we decided to sit down and play oshare..
After a while of this, commenting on this and that, we saw these two guys come linger around where we were sitting too. Real oshares. Cool style and a slight air of importance. As we were watching them this woman walked up to them and asked if she could take their picture with her cell phone. “What? Are they 有名人？”(yuumeijin, famous people) “No wonder they look so cool!” So we start watching them even more (well, probably more like blatant staring on my part). They walk over to an elevator on the outside of the building facing us, and then one of them (the one the woman recognized) walks over to us , introduces himself (“Anis”) and asks if we want to come see their show downstairs. “Uhh..right now?” “Yeah, this is the back entrance, which we gotta go down, but this guy (points to long haired guy next to him) will come back and get you and bring you to the main entrance.” “Uhh..ok.” “Great, maybe I’ll see you guys after the show?” So we follow this long haired guy around the building and exchange fearful whispers about getting drugged and sold on the underground Japanese sex trade while walking down 3 flights of stairs to this lounge space – Plug, right as the show begins.
Well, it was a sold out show ($40 per ticket) of this guy Anis doing a special performance night of covers for his fans since they request so many. It was pretty interesting – he did covers of everything from Pearl Jam to Umbrella by Rihanna – acoustic but with a decidedly “rock” sound. He also spoke English and apparently French too, and did a song in French. The space was full so they put us on the podium in the back with the sound and light guys (and some other mysterious women).
At the end of the show the lights came on and all these Japanese girls turned to look at us, obviously wondering who we were, and we got to laugh and soak up the feeling of potentially being famous. Hahaha. The Long hair guy came back and asked us if we would like to 会いに行く, to go meet Anis, so we followed him around the streets for like ten minutes, repeating our earlier fearful conversation as we followed him into a parking lot (“Just stay together guys” “Yeah…this is PRETTY sketchy”)..
But yeah, we were fine and nothing happened of course. We just met the guy by his car. He was super nice – he’s half Morrocan, half Japanese, born in Morocco and raised in France, so English and Japanese are second languages for him. Said he is part of this band, Monoral, and if we email him we can come to bigger shows in the future. I of course know nothing about the band, having never really listened to Japanese rock, but it was pretty cool nonetheless.
After that we just went home! Interesting night, yeah? I guess looking foreign pays off now and then…haha. OH! And the best part: he told us he invited us because we were just sitting there looking bored! Puahaha…we failed at being oshare, I guess.
*thanks for reading/viewing : )
**as always, click images for full view!