162—The Osaka Ramones: The All-Girl Punk Band - Shonen Knife

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The impact of Shonen Knife, the 1980s all-girl punk band from Osaka—a story of cultural exchange through the cassette tape.

Shonen Knife, the three-woman band from Japan, formed in 1981—a time just before the internet drastically changed the way we consume and discover music. A time when a cassette tape, alongside fanzines and college radio created an environment that made possible the seemingly improbable circumstance of an all girl-band from Osaka opening for Nirvana, one of the biggest musical acts of the 90s.

“Shonen means boy in Japanese and it’s a very old brand name of a pencil knife,” says Naoko Yamano. “And the word ‘shonen’ has very cute feeling and the knife has a little dangerous feeling, so when cute and dangerous combined together, it’s just like our band. So I put that name.”

Featuring interviews with Shonen Knife—Naoko Yamano, Atsuko Yamano, Risa Kawano; Karen Schoemer, former music critic of the New York Times; and Brooke McCorkle Okazaki, Assistant Professor of Music at Carleton College and author of Shonen Knife’s Happy Hour: Food, Gender, Rock and Roll.

The Osaka Ramones was produced by Brandi Howell.

The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters, Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva, with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell. We’re part of PRX’s Radiotopia a curated network of independent producers creating some of the finest podcasts around.

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