Original article via Tokyo HivePUFFY to release best album to celebrate their 15th anniversary.

I’m really excited that PUFFY will be celebrating their 15 year anniversary (& I’m a bit stunned that it’s been 15 years already).  I’ve been a long time fan of the band & I have already been to 3 of their concerts in the U.S. (as well as collecting as many of their CDs as I can).

I must say that these 2 ladies are an amazing pair.  Being able to balance work & family life is not an easy task, but Ami Onuki & Yumi Yoshimura are able to make it look so effortless, & I applaud these strong women.

You know what else?  This is a little-known fact about myself: PUFFY was one of my “gateway” / “bait” bands into the Japanese Pop music scene.  Around the time I had just learned about Japanese Pop music (a.k.a. JPop), Japanese anime was just becoming hugely popular in America.  I had previously known about anime & such, but I had no clue what Japanese Pop music was like.  I had no idea that Japanese Pop music was so modern & popular all around the world.  I first learned about this amazing music genre when I was given some Japanese Pop CDs from my older cousin who resides in Japan as a gift.  He had given me one CD by Morning Musume & one by BoA.  I really had no idea what was going on or what the lyrics meant, but I had immediately fallen in love.

After that first experience, I dove head first into the world of Japanese Pop music & pop-culture.  I spent many weekends at the one music shop in the local Japantown, browsing all the aisles, marveling at all of the beautiful & shiny CD covers.  I was lucky that I had a friend that knew about Japanese Pop music long before I had even heard of it, & she recommended a few artists for me to listen to…one of which was PUFFY!  This friend was great.  Not only did she know a few things about Japanese music, but she could also read some Japanese text, so she was able to translate a few CD names for me at the time.  (Thanks friend!)

Once I had immersed myself into the Japanese Pop music scene, I was utterly obsessed!  To this very day, I am still crazy about Japanese Pop music…probably more now than I ever have before… But now I have branched out my musical ears into other genres of Japanese music…also listening to: JRock (i.e.: LUNA SEA, Judy And MaryOrange Range, the Pillows, etc.), JSoul a.k.a. R&B (i.e.: Ken Hirai, Namie Amuro, Emi Hinouchi, Kato Miliyah, etc.), JRap (i.e.: m-flo, Teriyaki Boyz, Rip Slyme, Rhymester, etc.), & JSka/JJazz (i.e.: orange pekoe, Crazy Ken Band, Jazztronik, OreSkaBand, etc.) among many others.  If you browse through my iTunes music folder, you’d probably notice that 80% of my music is Japanese,  10% Western Top 40/Pop, 8% Jazz/Bossa Nova, & 2% World/International.

Overall, I’d definitely say that PUFFY has influenced me in exploring other genres & (languages) of music.  Thank you PUFFY & Congratulations on celebrating 15 years & many more!

Ame Warashi approved!