An almost perfectly symmetrical snow-capped volcanic cone, it is a sacred mountain and pilgrimage site. Her very first record, made with Lucky Millinder’s band in 1946, featured a song entitled “How Big Can You Get, Little Man?” This song utilized some of the same euphemisms as “Fujiyama Mama,” asking, for example, “How big can you get, little man, before you blow your top?”17 They took it for what it was: it was a good rock and roll song.”37 The cultural conditions that allowed the defeated Japanese to appreciate “a teenage girl singing this kind of music” while the Americans did not, however, were not quite so straightforward. [Laughs.] The lyrics of “Yopparai [Drunken] Blues” (1954), for example, depict a soldier drinking sake for the express purpose of getting drunk: Saturday after pay day and my pocket feeling fineI’ve got to kill the thirst of mine with good old native wine Bring me sake, takusan [lots of] sake takusan sake. But the Japanese people have always loved this. . A standard explanation of the success of “Fujiyama Mama” in Japan is that listeners were simply excited about the Japanese references in the song and that they did not understand the rest of the lyrics. They also learned to speak what Dower describes as “a polyglot form of English, a hybrid mix of hooker’s Japanese and the GI’s native tongue that was sometimes called ‘panglish,’” which allowed them to communicate verbally with their Joes.70. He said, “boy, there must be somebody important on here!” I said “really?” And he said “yeah, you ought to see this.” People up there on the top of the airport with signs written in Japanese—we couldn’t read them. This vocal noise—even when symbolic of sexual abandon—was in and of itself a novelty element exploited on many records by male and female performers alike.22. “My record producer . Some enterprising Japanese musicians sought to make a living by performing American music for American soldiers; the GIs themselves also wrote and performed lyrics about their experiences as military men in a foreign country, and these songs offer detailed descriptions of eating Japanese food, observing Japanese culture, and courting Japanese women. Submit interesting and specific facts about something that you just found out here. One commentator calls “Fujiyama Mama” Jackson’s “most lyrically and musically daring recording,” noting that “Jackson eschewed the original . Sanjek argues, following Hazel Carby, that “the actual author of the material matters less than how the work was utilised to project an image of feminine autonomy . Even as late as 1956, some hundred thousand U.S. servicemen remained in the country. . into a rhythm and blues hit must have looked great on paper, but it doesn’t come off . My profile of “Fujiyama Mama” will also consider variations in meanings across genders and cultures, positioning the song as a nexus between several different power structures rather than as a straightforward token of empowerment or hoped-for empowerment. Clip: Izumi Yukimura, “Fujiyama Mama”, Whether Yukimura, or any unknown lyricist who provided the new verses, was deliberately evoking the panpan—even subtly—remains uncertain. This interpretation takes on new dimensions when we consider the implications of an American male fantasizing about a Japanese female. Barton, in her early thirties when she recorded “Fujiyama Mama,” was apparently struggling to recapture the success she had had in her teens and twenties. Then, if the piece of technology affected the lives of a substantial number of people, it became a metaphor.” 26 Songs from the 1940s incorporated the bomb in a more literal way, often weighing the ethical issues related to its deployment. Additionally, male record company executives and employees frequently had at least some, if not full, control over song selection, arrangements, and even nuances of performance—and if they were not pleased with the final product, it was their prerogative to prevent its release or promotion. This was unsettling.”85 In other words, every segment of Japanese society during the Occupation and its aftermath could identify at some level with the plight of the panpan.86. Beginning in 1949, the Soviet Union’s ascension to the status of nuclear-armed superpower brought about renewed atomic fears in the United States. Fujiyama Mama written by Jack Hammer English February 1955. Nice, you think. The material Allen was performing in the early fifties, like her 1953 R&B chart hit “Baby, I’m Doin’ It,” was not much cleaner. For girls, this means they are not taught to be shy and retiring in public, and their voices are not ruined for Western-style singing by the completely different requirements of Japanese singing.”79 Western styles perhaps also traversed gender lines more easily in Japan because they did not have the same associations they had in America. In any case, a comment she made to the Japanese press in 1959 indicates that the song choice may have initially been the label’s idea: “I felt that [the song’s] style fit who I am as a performer very well. How then, do we begin to understand the song’s positive reception with Japanese audiences? . And Daddy could see—Daddy was in the control room—he could see I was getting frustrated and confused. She was greeted by photographers, adoring fans with flowers, and the Japanese tour promoters, who had scheduled a press conference for her. I sing rockabilly style because that’s what people seem to want.”44  And this was no less the case in Japan. Thank you, but it wasn’t in America. This is all for you.”36. I just think the cultural changes that must have taken place for this song (or anything American), to become so popular, are pretty fascinating. Her modest demeanor, coupled with the aura of glamour around her, makes her what every Japanese girl aspires to be these days—a combination of Madame Butterfly and Betty Grable.”76 Physical descriptions of Hibari in the American press echo GI portrayals of “Baby-san,” the girl who perfected the art of substituting for American women. . Sounds better in stereo, don't you think? In any case, his intent matters little. Variety noted that “the idea of turning Eileen Barton’s 1950 hit . When I met Wanda Jackson for the first time in the summer of 2018, we talked a little bit about “Fujiyama Mama.” She didn’t recall having heard any of the covers from the fifties by Japanese women, at least not any with verses in Japanese. The oriental title reflects a current fad, but does not detract from the fact that the side is a strong country blues.”40. . It is possible, therefore, for a woman to overcome gender bias on one level while re-inscribing patriarchal structures on another. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nx9qi0E7H-I. Clubs that catered mainly to white servicemen from the American South often specialized in country and rockabilly styles.50 Japanese performers recorded covers of songs by popular American singers like Elvis Presley, often taking care to reproduce even the subtlest musical nuances of the original performance—albeit with some pronunciation difficulties (which Time magazine condescendingly referred to as “transoceanic mutilation, as in Rub Me Tender and Rittoru Dahring”).51. The story of “Fujiyama Mama” begins nearly four years before Wanda Jackson took it into the recording studio. . Now essentially deregulated, private prostitution flourished, practiced by women known as panpan in Japanese and as “Baby-san” by the GIs. Japanese artists frequently covered GI songs in much the same way that they covered other types of American music—even when the lyrics were less-than-flattering portrayals of their culture.52 This music, both in the original versions and in the Japanese covers, also featured the same kinds of stereotyped musical Orientalisms as Annisteen Allen’s recording of “Fujiyama Mama.” A comparison of the lyrics of GI songs from this period to “Fujiyama Mama” reveals a number of additional similarities; at least one scholar of Japanese popular music has mistaken the Jack Hammer’s composition for a bona fide GI song.53 While this does not appear to be the case, the influence of GI songs can help to contextualize the verses of “Fujiyama Mama” that depict drinking, smoking, and shooting. And then he [Nelson] was still wanting something. “It’s just a little song comparing a woman, well, to the atomic bomb! From such limited biographical information, it is impossible to determine whether Jack Hammer intended to create a song in “Fujiyama Mama” that would give female performers an opportunity to express the sexual desires that contemporary social mores would have them repress. Her slim body, tucked into skirt and sweater, arches to the rocking rhythm. Press J to jump to the feed. Fine box wax, altho many jocks will not spin it, due to the off-beat lyric.” 16 Though the reviewer doesn’t specify what he finds “off-beat,” there is a good chance the double entendres in the lyrics had something to do with his complaint.