Violent Onsen Geisha 暴力温泉芸者

The other day I decided I wanted to try translating something, ended up on the Asashi Shimbun webpage, and decided to translate a review based solely on the title of the work being reviewed. I ended up doing 斉藤環's review of 中原昌也's autobiography, 死んでも何も残さない. Nakahara Masaya is a fairly popular guy, it seems. The review mentions one of his (many) projects, "Violent Onsen Geisha," which is referred to as a ノイズユニット. Noise unit? I didn't find a definition online, but looking through my handy dandy notebook Google search, I eventually decided I'd be probably mostly correct in thinking ノイズユニットmeant noise. And by noise I mean noise music. If you are more knowledgeable than me, have heard of noise music, and like it, you may find this blog interesting, if you haven't found it already. You won't find Nakahara's personal site, though, due to his apparent distrust of the internets.

Anyway, the nearest brush I've ever had with 'noise' is maybe The Mars Volta (yes, I like them, leave me alone!) and I don't think they'd really be considered noise even if they have long passages of what I would call noise. So I wondered what the nature of Nakahara's noise music was. Also the name is pretty awesome. There is an array of his music on youtube. A couple of the songs I've heard from the album "Nation of Rhythm Slaves" use found music, but you can find all kinds of genres, it seems, in noise.

There is also a music video!

Violent Onsen Geisha appears to be operating under the name Hair Stylistics, now. 

There were aspects of the review other than ノイズユニットthat I had some trouble translating, so I'll probably be looking a bit more at those later.


  1. I've never had much to do with straight up noise (though I've heard of Melt Banana and Boredoms, who are apparently some other big noise groups) but I've come across some good noise-rock which is a distant cousin.

    I particularly like Japandroids (and Sonic Youth was/is influenced by noise too), but the links above remind me of the Japanese band Supercar, who are kind of electronic with some found sound type stuff, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, which is post-rock with orchestral/noise/found sound elements.

    Really liked the book review translation! This guy sounds really interesting - turn it into a series haha.

  2. I'd heard of the Boredoms in passing, but I had no idea what genre of music they played. Thanks for the band names. I'm still tickled by MOWMOW. Recently introduced my brother to パンティ泥棒 but he doesn't know Japanese... My inability to properly translate coupled with my irrepressible ability to make anything funny become unfunny simply through my method of retelling it basically means he doesn't find it nearly as hilarious as I do.

    I'll probably re-do this translation at some point, since there were a few points that I had trouble with, but I definitely want to keep up with it. Learned a few new words and what-not! I'm liking your translations, too! 頑張りましょう~

  3. ノイズユニット means Noise Unit and 死んでも何も残さない means something like "i will leave nothing behind even in death", in a more nihilistic and selfish way than something like "i will leave no regrets behind"

  4. Hi, Anonymous! Thanks for your definitions. I translated 死んでも何も残さない as 'I won't leave anything behind, even in death', but 'nothing' sounds much more elegant. Thanks again!