How to Understand Your Child if She/He Is a Jrock Fan
A niche interest doesn’t have to be frightening. Is your child a J-Rock (Japanese Rock) fan or Visual Kei fan? If you’re curious and think someone you know might be a Jrocker (or riot grrrl, or just anything niche) here’s a guide on how to understand them.
Key Facts about Jrock fans still living at home
The pictures hanging next to their beds are not girls. It is a 99.99% chance that the “girls” in the pictures are guys. They may look like girls but they’re GUYS. The ONLY exception is the bands Danger Gang and Exist Trace. They are the only well-known all-girl visual kei bands there. When your child shows you a picture of their favorite JRock singer, don’t instantly assume it’s a girl – it probably isn’t. (Many JRockers and Visual Kei people are quite feminine, in order to attract attention. It’s quite natural – think how many male birds in the avian kingdom are the ones with all the glossy uber-hued plumage).
Steps to living with the J-rock fan in your family
1.When you walk into their room and they instantly minimize the window on the computer they are on, it’s for your own good and eyesight. Fear ye not. It’s not pawn.
2.Don’t insult their favourite JRocker. Many parents have crossed this important line which does strip a J-rocker of their dignity. Hurt feelings ruin real communication, so don’t insult their favourite J-rocker. It’s crossing the line!
3.Don’t be surprised when you can no longer talk about anything but Japan.
4.Be prepared to learn about something you never wanted to learn about.
5.To the J-rock fan in your life, a man in a dress is sexy no matter what, and you can’t say or do much about it. This has no impact on their orientation. This applies to J-rock fans of all genders.
6.It doesn’t matter if your child doesn’t know what the singer is saying. J-rock isn’t about the lyrics. Save your energy – don’t argue with them about it.
7.If you listen through your kid’s door (which you shouldn’t, but we’re all nosy by nature) and you hear a mix of sounds that evoke Russian and Ancient Greek, don’t worry – it’s just a JRocker singing in English. It’s actually called Engrish (yes, that is the spelling).
8.Your kid may start speaking oddly like this: Kawaii (cute), lie (no), hai (yes) kyaaa (emotional positive outburst), nyappy (a term meaning anything positive, such as “yay”, “happy”, or I love you” etc.) and nyan (meow.) These are all Japanese terms used within the international Japan fanbase. Don’t worry – it may get annoying but you will get used to it. You may even find yourself picking up the lingo. Who doesn’t want to squeak out a little nyan now and then?
9.When you see your child watching two males (such as JRockers) kissing, it’s called fanservice. The J-rockers aren’t gay. They usually do this to get the fans excited. This does NOT indicate that your child is gay, nor does it indicate that the Jrockers are. If it’s an anime or manga, it’s just yaoi. It’s a niche subcultural thing. Calm down.
10.For their birthdays, get the J-rock fan in your life some visual kei/JRock stuff from Ebay. It will work wonders. Try searching RTBU on Ebay. The cheapest place to buy it is on the website: Bodyline Yokoso. Most of their inventory is under $20.
11.If you want your child to worship you, buy them a plane ticket to Japan or buy them some concert tickets. (They have to be Jrock concerts though, of course). The child will understand if you can’t afford it, of course. But will build a shinto shrine to you if you do.
12.Don’t be flustered if the J-rock fan in your life wears heavy eyeliner, sky-high gravity-defying hair and chains or restriction-looking items. They’re just trying to look Visual Kei. If they come out looking like a 12-year-old Victorian doll, then they’re dressing in Lolita. Both of these styles also apply to guys.
Tips on surviving J-rock fixation in your household
- This may be a stage in your child’s life and they may grow out of it. Then again, they may not. Best not get emotional about it.
- JRockers are not bad people. They may look tough but they are gentle people and they are human like you and me.
- Let your child enjoy it while they can. Life’s short!
- In J-rock, the more feminine the guy is the more attractive he is. It’s best to just accept it as a cultural thing and save yourself from painful arguments that resolve nothing.
- Don’t call Japanese ‘Japs’. It’s offensive, and may make you feel better for one brief moment if you’re feeling stressed, but resolves nothing. Even if you are cross about J-rock, there is no need to be cross about Japan.
- Tokio Hotel is not Japanese just because it says ‘Tokio’ in it. It does not count.
- J-rockers are all mostly boys! The chances are, your child is listening to a boy band. Presume they are male.
- Don’t get an English CD in an attempt to musically re-educate your child. Embrace the J-rock in your child’s life. Buy them a j-rock CD of The GazettE or Kra.