Kanon Mori, Yuki Sakura, Hinako Kuroki and Jun Amaki comprise the J Pop girl group Machikado Keiki Japan, the latest singing sensation in the land of the Rising Sun but this time with a twist – their songs and music videos draw inspiration from the ups and downs of Japan’s stock market, the Nikkei.
The girls range in ages from 16 to 23 and none have any intention of studying economics or entering that industry. Rather, they base their lyrics and costume themes on the rise and fall of Japan’s benchmark index – or as they put it, the higher the stocks rise, the shorter their skirts get. This hearkens back to the 1960s economic boom period that saw the rise of the miniskirt as a fashion item among Japanese women. This was accompanied in the 1980s bubble economy period by tube tops and a proliferation of dance clubs in Tokyo as the stock market broke records and Japan’s economy showed no sign of slowing down. The group’s fans range in ages from teenagers to people in their fifties but most are exclusively male. These fans have developed a number of slogans to employ while the group performs such as: Shinzo Abe! Monetary policy! and, best of all, Quantitative easing!
If anyone thought Japan had lost its unique flavor during the economic lag that was the last decade, Machikado Keiki Japan proves that it not only lives on, but continues to birth quirky incarnations that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.