Did you (collectively) call the band Japan because you had a strong interest in Japan, or did your links with and interest in Japan grow after you named the band? If you had called the band ‘Persia’ then would you now be collaborating with Iranian musicians etc?

The latter. The name simply evoked an exoticism and an enticing escape from the harsh realities of dull suburbia. There were no expectations of appealing to another culture, we were an average age of 16 and couldn’t even appeal to a pub crowd on the Old Kent Road because in fact, in 1974 we could barely even play. The mid seventies was not known for promoting Japanese culture so it was an imagined world. As it turned out we went the androgynous route and by chance that appealed to Japanese girls in the late seventies which came as a surprise to us all. I doubt Iranians would have been quite so good at dealing in a favourable way with guys messing with gender identity.

3 thoughts on “Did you (collectively) call the band Japan because you had a strong interest in Japan, or did your links with and interest in Japan grow after you named the band? If you had called the band ‘Persia’ then would you now be collaborating with Iranian musicians etc?

  1. I assume when you mention the Old Kent Road it’s a metaphor, i.e. You didn’t actually play the Old Kent Road? There were some rough old pubs there back in the day.

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