hello matakichi

Detail of the cover of 'Nammenayo Cats' (Tsuda 1981)

A picture book entitled Namennayo! (Don’t Mess Around with Me!) and commercial goods modeled on those in the book are caricatures of bosozoku symbolism and display a crucial aspect of such symbols and the commercial exploitation of them. This work, which was published in 1981, and had a sales of about 335,000 copies by the summer of 1983, features a cat called Matakichi. Throughout the book there are numerous pictures of cats who stand upright wearing human clothes. miniature props (auch as motorcycles, cars, and buildings) are also provided. The plot concerns Matakichi’s youthful experimentation with several expressive styles including bosozoku, takenoko-zoku (bamboo-shoot tribe; a dancing tribe in Harajuku, Tokyo) and rock’n’rollers. the youthful experimentation eventually ends with Matakichi’s attainment of adulthood, and the story about the feline character, as a whole, may be taken as a parody of the bosozoku’s pilgrimage. (Sato 1991: 98-99)
    In other words, the bosozoku style, which is itself a parody, lends itself to further comic twists. (Sato 1991: 101)

SATO, IKUYA. 1991. Kamikaze biker: parody and anomy in affluent Japan. Chicago, London: The University of Chicago Press.
TSUDA, TAKESHI, 1981. Namennayo! Tokyo: Shinko Gakufu Shuppan.
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  • 風露 Sunday, 8th January 2012 at 21:07

    Reminds me of ‘Great Teacher Onizuka‘ by Tôru Fujisawa, except for the kittens. Btw, do you speak japanese?

    • zephyrin_xirdal Sunday, 8th January 2012 at 21:34

      No, I am afraid, I do not speak Japanese. Once I spoke Chinese, but that’s a long time ago. If I see a Chinese newspaper today I can sort the characters into two categories: Those I never knew, and those I know I have known … but have forgotten what they mean (with some rare exceptions).