Japan has had a unique connection to dancehall culture for a while now that goes beyond mere consumption. Between legendary soundsystem Mighty Crown (winners of the 2004 World Clash, and now 23 years in the business) and Junko Kudo (the first non-Jamaican to win a Dancehall Queen competition in JA), it’sproduced some dynamic figures who’ve added to the culture. Perhaps, as our own Eddie Stats once wrote, this is because Japan and Jamaica “are always put next to each other in the J-A row of the “Island Nations” section in the United Nations’ seating chart.”
Whatever the reason, the alliance shows no signs of slowing down, as is beautifully shown in this new mini-documentary for Bose, from directorial team D.A.R.Y.L. The roughly 6-minute film puts you in the midst of Tokyo bashment culture, with clips of Mighty Crown performing, dancehall style on the city’s streets, and aspiring Queen Junkos around Japan brukking it down with the best of them, amidst stunning shots of the city and its nightlife. As one of the dancers says in the film, the goal is “not just copying what [Jamaican dancers] do, but trying to put in our style.”
Whether you’re a Japanese dancehall expert, or just learning about this phenomenon, you’re sure to find the clip fascinating. Watch it below.