Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

kanno maaya [1]

Ms. Yoko Kanno. She was my producer from debut up to 9 years. It goes without saying that she was the person who composed my songs, but really, she was also the photographer to many jacket photos of mine including the ones in “Hotchpotch”, “Nikopachi”, “Shounen Alice”, and “Mameshiba”. It can’t be that there’s no photo of me taken by her now, and this is what came of it. It’s something like a view point that’s close to me like “Is this a photo taken by your boyfriend?”, it’s something somewhat sensational, and yet something full of happiness. When we were discussing that, and we were imagining it, we all became very excited. The make-up artist, the stylist, all the staff in the photography session were girls. It was like a girls’ school club activity. With flashes of light, the theme I had in mind which was “An everyday moment that I wanted to cut out using flashes of light”, became photographs like these. Ms. Kanno said it’s been a long time since we’ve had a photo session, and it seems that she has enjoyed this collaboration very much. Saying lines just like an erotic photographer from the bubble years[2], “Whoa, that’s good, very pretty!” “That’s the best!” “Yes, yes, that look!”, she attacked me with the shutter. And then, she said about the finished photos, “Cool, I’m[3] a genius!”

[1] Source text, from the booklet of Maaya’s live Gift concert.
[2] I’m not sure what bubble years/period means to photographers, but try reading this.
[3] She uses “Ore”, a strongly informal first-person Japanese masculine pronoun, definitely as a joke.


About a couple of years back, I edited Wikipedia and added “photographer” and “columnist” in the list of Kanno’s occupations, and someone took them out, but I understood why so I didn’t pursue it. Regarding photography, she isn’t well known to be such, and secondly, her work with Maaya might not have been professional in a sense that they’re merely having fun. Did she get paid for this photo shoot? We don’t know and doubt we will. I would argue (to myself) though, that since she most likely got paid for her monthly column in Newtype which also carried some of her photos, that it is indeed professional. And that would add “columnist” to her name too. But adding those would just clutter up the page so maybe better not.

I have also been wondering if anyone is willing to go on an English translation project for Kanno’s writings and write-ups? I sure want to do some of that myself, but first to list the material that are untranslated and to find the resources would be time-consuming, and it easily disheartens me. Maybe I’ll poke some people…

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