For those who dislike J-Pop in general or Amuro Namie in particular--no need to torture yourself. You needn't watch if you don't like it:-)) This post, though, isn't exactly about J-Pop, or Amuro Namie (yes--I like some J-Pop...I have *very* eclectic musical taste. I like classical and jazz because I play flute; I like pop and hip hop because I like to dance:-))
What I noticed while watching this video ("Queen of Hip Pop" from the 2005 Space of Hip Pop tour), was Japanese Cool layered over Japanese Cute. I came to Japan in 1997--the year Amuro's "Can You Celebrate?" came out (listened to that song in *every* conbini I went into for months), the song that rocketed her to super pop-stardom. She is still arguably Japan's number one pop singer (though Koda Kumi is giving her a run for her money these days).
So why did this strike me as particularly cool? Three things to watch for:
1) look how hard her back dancers are working it, and how Amuro manages to look twice as cool with far less movement or just a look at the audience,
2) she *rocks* that hat, and...
3) the boots. Look at the spike heels on her boots (several centimeters higher than the boots her back dancers are wearing)...and watch the video, paying careful attention to what she does at 1:14
Did you see that? She skips down nine (I counted them) steps in front of a live audience wearing the highest spike-heeled boots I've ever seen...without falling down.
...and that concert was in 2005--after she had her baby. That gets Cool props in my book;-))
(p.s.--I keep trying to get the opening body roll right, and it ain't happening...)
(p.p.s.--I wonder how she goes to onsen with that tattoo on her arm? Maybe she can pay to clear the place out for her own personal use...;-))