things i love: Asian Kung Fu Generation

thingsiloveIt’s been a long while since I did a things i love post. For those of you unfamiliar with the things i love posts, all you have to do is write about things you love and pingback to this post or the original post to let us know you’ve written one. It is my belief that we can learn a lot about each other and the world by sharing the things we love. Feel free to use the graphic if you decide to do a post.


One of my favorite J-Rock bands, and possibly band period, of all times is Asian Kung Fu Generation. (It’s a hard call between them and The Pillows). They go by Ajikan for short in Japan.

What do I love about them? Several things, the most obvious being their music. Some lyrics I’ve looked up and some I understand, but they’ve got a great beat and I love listening to them. My favorite song of theirs is called Re: Re: and it’s best in its live version.

Another thing I love about Ajikan is their cover art. It’s just got a fantastical feel to it that I love. I end up buying their actual albums (vs. mp3) because I love seeing the art so much. Check out some of my favorites.

ajikan albums

I love that they aren’t afraid to be themselves. The leadsinger of the group looks like anything but a rock star, and yet he puts on a good show and doesn’t really care about his nerdy look. I like it when people aren’t afraid to just be them despite conventions, even in an environment where you’re expected to look rebellious.


Something that always bothered me in high school was this trendy vs. anti-trendy thing. Because in the end, both parties dressed the way they did because essentially they were told to. The trendy to keep up with fashion, the anti-trendy to prove they’re not being trendy. It’s really the same reason. After realizing that I decided the only true way to be yourself was to just wear what you like because you like it. If it’s trendy, fine. If not, fine.


And of course a big reason I love these guys is because they are Japanese. I lived in Japan a few years ago, which gives all things Japanese a big place in my heart. It reminds me of the good memories I had and makes me want to go back and visit soon.

I think Ajikan is a bit fast for learning Japanese very well, but I still enjoy their music and supplement them with some other J-Rock and J-Pop bands, like Akeboshi, The Pillows, Bump of Chicken (I know, weird name), Kazoku, Orange Range, and Miwa and basically anything else that stumbles into my path.

Sometimes my friend Gloria Weber features Japanese artists (sometimes Korean) on her blog. You should check out her posts, usually on Mondays.

Do you have a favorite foreign artist or band? Love j-pop or j-rock? Who would you recommend? Let us know below!

Okay, one more Ajikan song!

21 thoughts on “things i love: Asian Kung Fu Generation

  1. Recently, I noticed that at least 10% of the J-Pop/Rock charts is Korean groups singing in Japanese. I’m thinking I’m going to put a few of those up soon. (I also want to share songs from groups I already shared on… Because I likes them lots and just one song shares are not cool!)

  2. I love J-rock! 🙂 The husband and I are trying to learn Japanese, and listening to the music helps a lot. Right now I really only know a few words. I found a lot of my favorites from watching anime actually, lol.

    My favorite J-rock bands right now:

    1) Buck-Tick – “Miss Take”

    ~~ “Romance”, “Kagerou”, and “Dress” are also awesome.

    2) Gackt – “Redemption”

    ~~ “Metamorphoze”, “Lust for Blood”, and “Returner” are also fantastic.

    3) Miyavi – “Selfish Love”

    ~~ “Moon”, “Torture”, and “What’s My Name” are also great.

    4) Suga Shikao – “Sofa”

    ~~ “19sai”, “Sanagi”, and “Nobody Knows” are also good.

    • Oooh, me likey! I’d heard of Gackt already, but I hadn’t heard that song. Miyavi sounds like Tommy Emmanuel in the beginning. I’ve got a big thing for guitars, so I’m super excited you introduced me to him. ありがとう!!!

      • That is so cool that you can type in Kanji! Lol, I haven’t studied the Kanji as much – that means ‘arigatou,’ right? Dou itashimashite! (Just in case I just said something like “I enjoy wearing underwear on my head while doing the polka” I actually meant “you’re welcome.” 😉 )

        I’d never heard of Tommy Emmanuel, but I just looked him up and he’s awesome! I’m going to have to listen to some more of his stuff. Both he and Miyavi are epic – I couldn’t be that coordinated if my life depended on it, lol. 🙂

        • Yeah, Tommy Emmanuel’s guitars generally look like they got the crap beaten out of them (likely because they have). I do wonder if Miyavi was inspired by Tommy. Wouldn’t be surprised.

          Yep, it did mean arigatou. You should learn the hiragana (Japanese phonetics). It’s pretty easy and if you ever went to Japan a lot of stuff is “spelled out” with hiragana so you can at least sound it out and figure out what it means (vs. kanji, which you just have to memorize).

      • Lol, yeah I’ve got *a lot* to learn between romaji, hiragana, and kanji – and isn’t there one more? Katakana? I’m just starting out, but I’m really enjoying learning. I’d love to go to Japan someday, but I definitely want to be able to read and understand more of the language first. 🙂

        • Not as many speak English (or are willing to speak English) as a tourist would hope. In fact, if you’re anywhere outside the major tourist areas of Japan, good luck. So I think you are wise to study up a little. At least be able to ask where things are and maybe get them to point. 😉

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