H Magazine January 1996
Earlier this week I posted a bunch of scans from Rockin’ On so I thought now would be a good time to follow up with their fashion subsidiary called H Magazine. It’s been pretty difficult to track down issues from this magazine, I think due to its simple name not translating well from Japanese, but I’ve managed to get three from the late 90’s over time. It is easily one of my favorite Japanese fashion publications as it seems to have the best content regarding early Undercover collections as well as interesting fashion editorials. As some of you know I already did a pretty in depth write up on the early collections from Undercover including this one from S/S 1996 entitled “Under The Cover”, so I’ll just be briefly covering it again but definitely go check out my other write up in case you missed it.
This is a fun editorial which features an inside look at the collection and features two cool models; Tadanobu Asano and Eihi Shiina. Asano is a musician and actor known best for his lead role in Takashi Miike’s “Ichi The Killer” from 2001 in which he plays a sadomasochistic rogue yakuza enforcer. One of my favorite films from Takashi Miike, but it is definitely not for the faint of heart.
Eihi Shiina is another model and actress from Japan that also starred in Takashi Miike’s 1999 film “Audition” which has been deemed the scariest horror movie of all time to some. Shiina’s audition for the role was unorthodox which was not uncommon for Miike’s castings. She desrcibed the experience ears later in an iterview with Asian Movie Pulse: "I heard that Miike wanted to see me, so I thought to myself that I want to meet him. When we met and talked, it was nothing like the experience of the audition. He asked me what I think about love between men and women. It was, in a way, a philosophical conversation. I simply spoke my mind, without really paying any attention to any of what I said. Before I realized it, a few hours had passed. Suddenly, the person in charge of the audition interrupted our conversation and said that we ran out of time. I concluded that the audition seems to be a lot of fun and I went back home without even thinking that I would end up in the film. The next day, I received a message from the director, saying that he wants me to play Asami. I did not even think that it was possible. I was really surprised." With only one other acting role under her belt previously, “Audition” pushed Shiina’s acting career into an international spotlight.
I wasn’t able to uncover much information regarding this article unfortunately due to translation issues. What I can tell you is the women in the images is yet another Japanese actress, Tamaki Ogawa, who played Koharu Mizaguchi in Hiroyuki Nakano’s 1998 film “Samurai Fiction”. I can’t figure out who the guy is in these photos but he looks so familiar. From what I could dissect through the translations they call him “Bikke-San” and I think he is a writer or poet. I’ve tried to do some digging but can’t figure it out, if anyone recognizes this handsome fella, let me know! Wasn’t able to get much info on what clothing they are both wearing either, but they both look super cozy, I love the dress Ogawa is wearing.
Up next we have another interesting feature on the alternative singer-songwriter Beck who is joined in conversation with Lou Barlow of Sebadoh and Dinosaur Jr. as well as Japanese indie-rock artist Masaya Nakahara. With word of a new Beck album to be released soon, the three sat down to discuss Beck’s inspirations and influences for his music. He name drops a number of interesting things including X-LARGE, Larry Clark’s film “Kids”, R&B music, and Star Wars.
Another highlight from this issue of H Magazine is the feature on Quentin Tarantino which gives us an in depth look at his troubling childhood. The Knoxville Tennessee born director soon moved to California as a young child where he primarily grew up. Tarantino’s childhood was puzzling and troubled to say the least. His mother, Connie Zastoupil, was just 16 years old at his birth and his father, Tony Tarantino, was an Italian-American actor. Tarantino’s relationship with his mother was up and down as she was very stern with him as a young child and discouraged him from a career in writing and acting. In Tarantino’s first novel that he wrote at the mere age of 9 recounting his childhood, he writes “I was really sorry that my mother died.” in the final scenes. Later this same year, Tarantino was placed in the care of his grandmother who was a severe alcoholic and was physically abusive to him for 5 months. As Tarantino grew older and eventually found success in his writing, he left this troubled childhood behind.
Finally we have a cool editorial that mixes music and fashion. Actress Maiko Yamada stars in this editorial and is outfitted in the style of a handful of different albums. This first look was inspired by the “Las Vegas Grind” compilation album which featured iconic cabaret dance music from the 1950’s and 60’s.
The second look is inspired by a the album “Romantique 96” from Japanese pop group Pizzicato Five. This album was heavily inspired by French music and cinema of the 1960’s and the dress from LAD Musician compliments this look perfectly. The final look is inspired by another compilation album, “Gang Stage”, this time of classic songs from the British mod era of the 50’s and 60’s.
Whew, that was a lot of translating and research for this one but I hope you guys find it interesting. As usual I’ll be including the full scans of this issue of H Magazine below to paid members!