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Bone Up on Your Japanese Constitutional History with New Rap

posted on by Eric Stimson
Shing02's new piece tops 22 minutes

Shing02 has released a new rap, "Nihonkoku Kenpō" ("The Japanese Constitution"), and as you can probably tell, the subject matter is somewhat different from most hip-hop compositions. It's a 22-minute, 22-second overview of Japanese constitutional history, beginning in 1215 with the Magna Carta, the document that first restricted royal power in England, and continuing all the way to the modern Japanese constitution, which was ratified under American occupation in 1947.

Along the way, he discusses the birth of modern liberal political theory in England, the spread of Western imperialism, and the circumstances that drove Japan to war in 1937; he name-drops everything from the Treaty of Portsmouth to Kunta Kinte, the lead character of Roots.

The Japanese constitution is a topic of fierce debate currently, since the government of Shinzō Abe has reinterpreted it to allow Japan to come to the aid of other countries under attack. Shing02 makes his thoughts on the issue clear: "Article 13 means 'Countries have the right not to be attacked,' not 'We have the right to protect other countries from threats.'"

Meanwhile, Abe's party, the Liberal Democrats, has produced a manga explaining the constitutional revisions it seeks in a gentle tone.

"Nihonkoku Kenpō" is now available for free download here. Shing02 previously wrote the lyrics for Samurai Champloo's "Battlecry" opening theme.

Source: Music Natalie


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