The Woman Who Fell to Earth

May 26, 2016 2016年5月26日



Corporate-owned musicians and songs dominate the airwaves in Japan. Someone like Venus Kawamura Yuki, an independent music producer and DJ, is a rare and special presence in the Japanese music scene. This Tokyo-born music muse was known as “the runaway” in Shibuya’s club scene almost two decades ago. Her parents divorced when she was three and her father took her in; but he believed that raising a child was not “a man’s job” and sent her off to live with her aunt.


Venus’ aunt was a single woman working in the dressmaking business. She introduced Venus to her favorite fashion model, Sayoko Yamaguchi, as well as some of her favorite bands, like Yellow Magic Orchestra and Plastics. Venus was immediately hooked and got sucked into the world of fashion and electronic music. Eventually Venus’ father remarried, and she was sent back to live with her father and stepmother – but after moving back, she ended up not getting along with her stepmother. Venus ran away from home at the age of 18. Wandering through the nightscape of Tokyo, she would end up in clubs and often found herself dancing the night away. “Music really got me through these hard times,” Venus said.


It was also around this time when she got the name that has stuck with her to this day. “I was in the powder room at one of these clubs. I was about to leave and someone called out to me, ‘You’re Venus!’ It was a total stranger. A beautiful foreigner.” That story immediately spread amongst her peers, and it became her nickname. “I’m not fond of it to this day, but it is the name I go by.”


Having become a regular in the local club scene, the people she hung out with started to take notice of her good taste of music and her ability to captivate people’s attention. This led to her becoming a music promoter. “I didn’t speak a word of English, but I learned by myself and started to bring techno and dance music artists from all around the world to Japan,” she says. This career path developed into other opportunities for her, and Venus eventually became a DJ, then a music producer, then a singer and writer. Venus now writes columns, novels, and lyrics for Japanese anime series theme songs, such as Naruto and Bakuman. Venus also hosts her own weekly internet radio program on

やがて、彼女は地元のクラブシーンの常連となり、彼女の仲間達は彼女の音楽センスの良さと人々を惹きつける才能に気づき始めた。それが、彼女を音楽プロモーターにさせた切っ掛けとなる。「英語は一言も喋れなかったけど、独学で覚えて、テクノやダンスミュージックのアーティストを世界中から日本へ招聘しました。」と、彼女は言う。この進路が別のチャンスへと発展し、ヴィーナスは、DJとなり、その後、音楽プロデューサー、さらにシンガーや作家となっていった。彼女は現在、コラム、小説などを執筆する他、『Naruto -ナルト-』や『バクマン。』といった日本のアニメ番組の主題歌の作詞も手がけている。また、block.fmにて自らのインターネットラジオ番組の司会も毎週務めている。

In 2010, she opened Shibuya Oiran, a DJ bar located in her beloved city of Shibuya. Her music platform Oiran Music later launched in 2014. “Meeting these female artists led to me starting Oiran Music,” she said of her serendipitous meeting of three female artists. One of them is Sakiko Osawa, who made her debut not from Japan, but from Amsterdam. The other two artists are Mako Principal and Namacolove. Mako Principal is a painter that has worked with famous Japanese artists like Makoto Aida and has exhibited work at renowned museums such as Mori Museum. Namacolove is a visual artist that was previously known for her fascination with sea cucumbers and uniquely illustrated characters.

2010年、彼女は自身がこよなく愛する街、渋谷にDJバー『しぶや花魁』を開店した。その後2014年には音楽プラットフォームOiran Musicを開設。「女性アーティスト達との出会いがOiran Musicを始めるきっかけとなりました」と、女性アーティスト達との出会いについて語る。その中の一人、Sakiko Osawa(サキコ・オオサワ)は日本でなくアムステルダムよりデビュー。もう一組のナマコプリは、マコ・プリンシパルとナマコラブという二人のアーティストによるユニットだ。マコ・プリンシパルは、会田誠などの有名アーティストとのコラボ経験を持つ画家で、これまで森美術館といった著名な美術館で展覧会を開催している。ナマコラブは、ナマコへの愛やユニークなイラストのキャラクターで知られたビジュアルアーティストである。

After meeting Namacolove and Mako Principal at Shibuya Oiran, Venus was instantly fascinated by their voices. She proposed the idea of making a song together, and thus the “artist idol unit” Namakopuri was born. Venus brought together these two artists, both of whom have no music backgrounds, and have been creating genre-bending music ever since. Their sound is an intriguing blend of trap music, techno music, and hyper kawaii pop vocals that’s bizarrely addictive. Only time will tell what other types of genre-defying sounds will come from these talented women in the future.


Website: ~/YukiKawamura
Soundcloud: ~/Namakopuri

ウェブサイト: ~/YukiKawamura
Soundcloud: ~/Namakopuri

Contributor, Photographer & Videographer: Yasuyuki Kubota

寄稿者、カメラマン&ビデオ撮影: Yasuyuki Kubota

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