According to the publisher, Try Saying You’re Alive! is a memoir like no other, 'delivered with the incisive tongue and stubborn charm of one of Japan’s most singular living musicians.' Kazuki Tomokawa (b. 1950) is a legend of the Japanese avant-folk music scene, an artist who influenced generations of musicians since appearing in the mid-1970s when his unique sound brought him to prominence in Tokyo’s turbulent underground film and music scene.
This volume from Blank Forms charts the last six decades of the life of 'the screaming philosopher', reflecting on everything from keirin to nuclear disaster to his own itinerancy, providing an unfiltered view into the explosive cultural zeitgeist of postwar Tokyo. Originally published in 2015, this translation is the first of Tomokawa’s writings to be published in English, and was timed to accompany Blank Forms Editions’ reissue of his first three solo records.
Tomokawa, from the Akita Prefecture area of northern Japan, has been prolific since his first album release in 1975, recording more than thirty albums. A 2010 documentary about his life, La Faute des Fleurs, won the Sound & Vision award at the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival. The same year saw the Japanese release of the book Dreams Die Vigorously Day by Day, a collection of his lyrics spanning forty years. His most recent albums are Vengeance Bourbon (2014) and Gleaming Crayon (2016), both on the Modest Launch label.
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