As I currently live in Japan, I was asked by a good friend, Angela (editor of Studio 240), to interview someone she followed on Instagram. This person goes by the name of @partyfishjp.
Apparently, this IG girl lived in the same city, not too far from me (actually just one stop away by train). I had never written about any kind of fashion in my life (my fashion sense sucks as well), so I had no idea how to approach this interview/blog. However, I decided to take on the challenge. For three months I have been trying to plan this interview and work out schedules. Due to my elementary level of Japanese, communicating became so difficult to a point that I considered bringing in a friend to translate, but that plan dissolved quickly due to the complexity of involving other people. Thus, with my limited Japanese, a little English, a lot of patience, and huge amounts of effort, Yuri and I managed to work it out somehow. Some information I filled in from my time having conversations with her and not the actual interview, but you’ll get a sense of her personality as you read on.
This is Party Fish Yuri,
decked in out in iHeartRaves apparel and kandi. Cute, sexy, and slightly dangerous looking, this rave babe is definitely not like other Japanese girls – who are generally thought to be, kawaii (cute) and innocent looking: Yuri is not afraid to show her rave booty (she’s currently doing the famous 30 day squat challenge).
Yuri has been featured on EDMMaxx, a Japanese EDM magazine, for her rave fashion sense, and has starred on a nation wide broadcast television show called Bazooka!!! where she shared what it means to PLUR to a Japanese audience with two of her friends (Ichika on her right and Miyu on her left). Partyfish is in her twenties and was born and raised in Osaka, Japan where she currently resides. She’s also a young entrepreneur who runs her own shop called PLURNET where she sells rave apparel and kandi. Occasionally, she gogo dances for clubs around Osaka city and is well connected in the night life scene here. On December 29th she will star in an Osaka-locally broadcasted show to again educate the Japanese people about Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect.
I would say, she’s a big deal in the EDM world here in Japan. She already obtained a few fans that cosplayed as her at this year’s UMF Tokyo 2015. Compare with her 2014 UMF Miami 2014 photo.
Somehow kandi raver fashion made it’s way to this small island country and deeply moved Yuri to embrace and live PLUR culture. You’ll easily see why.
Why Yuri Party Fish?
“Party is from Knife Party, my favorite group and fish is my nickname from 5-6 years ago”.
What were your first experiences with EDM and PLUR culture? How did you get into it?
“It was an event in Japan. I saw Zedd sometime in 2012. I was wearing normal clothing. At first I was like ‘What is THIS?!’. After the event, I searched it up and started to like it. I found rave fashion and saw things like ‘rave booty’, kandi, etc. It was so cute. I thought ‘this is me’.”
Before the adopting rave fashion, she was into cyber fashion which is a bit similar to what we see in festivals and events. I suppose this is why she closely related to rave fashion in the beginning stages of her EDM discovery.
When was your first festival?
“After that Zedd event, I saw a promotion video on YouTube about UMF Miami. It looked so fun so I told my friend, ‘Let’s go!'”
“I went! UMF 2013 was my first big festival. It was the best! Big stage, big bass, everything was BIG. I enjoyed it because everyone was so happy and kind”
“UMF 2013 was my first time to experience PLUR. I received kandi and hugs. I will never forget it. At first I said to myself “What was THAT?!”.
“After this event, I learned how to PLUR. I fell in love with PLUR culture. In Japan there is not much PLUR or kandi raver culture so after UMF I wanted to reach out to Japanese people and teach them. I wanted to share what I experienced because I was happy”.
She enjoyed her first festival so much that she continued to go to UMF 2014, UMF 2015 and other festivals in Japan. Yuri hopes to go to other festivals around the world.
Your most favorite DJs/groups?
You can probably guess due to her name as mentioned above:
“Knife party! I knew their group before they turned into Knife Party: Pendulum. I like high energy music”.
Yuri is a die-hard fan of knife party as you can see here. She even ordered a custom piece of their logo to be made as an accessory of her outfit. It’s not complete without it. She says it was expensive, but that didn’t stop her from buying it. Yuri recently attended an event in London in October 2015 for Knife Party. She was able to see them, and she explained how she cried and was not able to talk properly upon meeting them.
Yet, although she leans toward the more harder stuff, she also loves Kaskade.
“I went to see Kaskade in Tokyo in 2013. He was so good! Watching him was so moving. I cried when I heard ‘Eyes’.”
Where do you get your inspiration for your outfits?
“I get inspiration from artists and Japanese culture. I mix them together.
For example, お年玉 (Otoshi Dama) which is money you receive for new years. I also use Pokemon because everyone knows Pokemon!”.
While she skillfully creates outfits by thinking about certain themes according to the artists, Yuri adds a little twist of Japanese culture such as anime, popular culture, and a shit ton of kawaii-ness.
Although she has many areas of inspiration, she also shows her very own style with her unique ideas. This outfit for example:
“I wanted to create an outfit that said ‘Close your eyes, open your mind’”.
She also gets her inspiration from Lady Casa. “She’s so f*cking kawaii!” (she said this in English). “I want to meet her!”
What do you think of rave fashion in America?
“It’s the best! American rave fashion is sexy. Big rave booty, big boobs, big everything!” (She told me not to write this and I told her I wouldn’t)
Compare and contrast American and Japanese PLUR culture.
“Japan needs more PLUR culture! Japan needs more PLUR feelings”.
There wasn’t really anything to compare because she stated America there are a lot of people who do it, and in Japan there isn’t. She says that Japan needs more festivals and events.
While there may be many EDM fans out here in Japan, through our conversations, we talked about how Japan lacks a strong connected EDM community which shows through her lack of friends in Osaka. Yuri often finds it hard to find a close kandi raver friends which is why she is considering moving to Tokyo next year, where many of her friends are at. She also says that people here can’t really differentiate between the genres of EDM. Many people think of it as only club music.
From my own experience, I went to a music festival called Music Circus here in Osaka back in October. The attire for this event ranged from sexy leopard Halloween costumes to clubbing suit attire; barely any rave fashion or kandi. This made me believe that there’s no consensus on the image of EDM here. However, when there are moments of people revealing themselves as kandi ravers, there are fine distinctions between Japan and American rave fashion. This is due to the influences of each culture and the uniqueness of the individual. And we all know Japan; always making things better than the original. The Japanese know how to do things right as they take one thing from another culture, and make it entirely their own. Especially rave culture.
However, as rave culture isn’t as popular in Japan as other places in the world she wants to teach everyone about rave culture, and again, about the feelings that she had felt from PLUR at that UMF in 2013.
While rave fashion flourishes in places like America, in a society where they value conformity and being normal, her strong enthusiasm of PLUR and rave fashion sets people back here. Many people would consider this as deviant and over-sexualized behavior, even more than people would in America.
This doesn’t stop her from doing what she loves and believes in. Yuri wants to teach the people of Japan what EDM is all about.
What is your dream?
“I want to become a goddess”.
When I first heard her say this, in my head I was like “what…the f?”. But as I started asking her more questions, it came clear to me why she wanted to.
“I want to connect people. I want to connect the world”.
This comment wasn’t of a psycho, but was of someone with a big heart. It all goes back to the way she wants to teach people in Japan the virtues of EDM.
Japan from what I know and what she has told me, is a detached society where people are not able to show emotion openly. Many people are uncomfortable when receiving a gesture, which is normal to us, like a hug – depending on the person of course.
“Japanese people are shy”, she says.
That is to say, possibly she loves it because it gives her freedom? – A freedom to show emotion and be herself through music? Maybe this is what she wants to teach her people: The ability to show peace, love, unity, and respect.
“I changed through music. I became more kind and friendly. It’s not just by EDM, but all music. I can’t live without it”.
Okay, last question. Do you have anything you want to say to the world?
“People of the world! Hello, I’m Party Fish Yuri! I was happy to be able to do this interview because I love iHeartRaves. I’m a lucky girl! I have a lot of places that I haven’t been to, but I want to meet a lot of kandi ravers from different countries. I want to give everyone my happiness! I want to be able to meet all of you who are reading this! Thank you!”
The one thing that does bother me, is the time it took me to write this. However, I realized that the delay of the actual interview was all in good time. Through those three months and every time Yuri and I met for takoyaki, sushi, or a few beers, I got to genuinely understand Yuri as a person, not just an image that people often see on IG or social media. Not just as a sexy PLUR goddess (with an amazing rave booty), but as girl with a big heart, and dream to change the world through rave fashion, and sharing PLUR. Needless to say, she’s charmed me with her daily persona.
Towards the end our interview, she told me how she “must” teach PLUR to Japan, so she has decided to focus on her dream of becoming a goddess to do so. She hopes to gain more attention of the public in order to reach out to other people, starting from Japan. Yuri is already having great success by showing on the public media. You can help her by following her on Instagram, reading her blog (if you know Japanese), or just being a fan of hers.
Interviewing Yuri was quite an interesting experience. Other than having the chance to talk to an amazing woman for hours, I was able to learn a little more about Japanese culture and reaffirm my beliefs about EDM and just music in general. These feelings Yuri explained to me about EDM and PLUR are things that we all can personally relate to due to our experience of festivals and raves. Our love for the music broke down cultural and language barriers that are previously thought are things that separate us. It all goes to show how EDM is connecting the world.
The bottom line is that music connects us all and Party Fish Yuri is on a mission to spread this message.
Some dude born in Hawaii, and now living in Osaka, Japan. Seeking ways to live more profoundly by chasing experiences rather than things. Luckily, I have found myself in a community which allows me to do that.