Brutality, Blood & Dread [2012-10-16]Female Harakiri is a Japanese HNW project, and it's one of the more elusive, mysterious, and erratic release wise to appear on the world wide wall noise scene. The projects been releasing work since 2007/2008, putting out a hand full of releases on various labels, and pretty much everything they've put out has been of a very high standard. I managed to track down the man behind the project Saigo I, for a rare interview by email.
m[m]: How did you first get into noise & is there any one particular release that made you want to start making HNW?
Saigo I think noise was unavoidable for me. Even Hakodate can not hold back noise. My encounter with noise was virgin, not like many people.. I did not find noise by extreme metal or industrial, I do not like these types of sound. Before I heard noise I appreciate Japanese pop music most of all. But as music fan I can not escape notion of different music and one day I encounter notion of 'noise'. In music store I listened to Incapacitants, "Feedback of N.M.S.", this album changed my life. This is where journey into pain began. I think Incapacitants have always offered up great wallfs of harsh noise, especially with release such as " Asset Without Liability" which is blueprint for the modern sound of HNW. So Incapacitants have always been major inspiration on me. But for HNW specific, I think "Total Slitting Of Throats" was prime motivation, because of itfs expression of intent.
m[m]: Tell us a little bit about how Female Harakiri project came about & is it your first project?
Saigo Encountering harsh noise wall and extreme oversaturation of sound was for me logical conclusion of monotone harsh noise [I do not know how to express in English what I mean, Ifm trying to put into words harsh noise with continuous sound, full assault, & already extreme saturation]. I did not construct noise at that time because I knew I could not contribute anything more to sound perfection of Incapacitants,Hijokaidan, Macronympha. In HNW I found the challenge of making valuable contribution. This is why attempted to construct harsh noise walls. So also yes it is my first project.
m[m]: I first became aware of Female Harakiri in 2010, when you released Chainsaw Majini on Hoarse Records. The release was themed around Resident Evil 5, so are you a big gaming fan & how did this release come about?
Saigo I am big fan of games, especially the so called ehorror survivalf games, like "Resident Evil" (in Japan is "Biohazard"), "Silent Hill", & "Siren". Ifve played them for a long time already and many times over, haha! I created "Chainsaw Majini" because Sven of Hoarse Record requested it from me. I think idea suited Female Harakiri although it was not estandardf theme for the project. For " Chainsaw Majini " I used soundtrack of "Resident Evil 5" as the tracks source. Also of course the Chainsaw Majini character is from " Resident Evil 5", thank you!
m[m]:Most of your releases seem to centre around female based supernatural cases & legends, or female based suicide cases- what attracts you to these subjects?
Saigo I think main inspiration for my project is female suicide, is also why given the name. Name of Female Harakiri came from movie series made by Japanese company FUJI KIKAKU. They make many fetish movies. But only the movies based around female suicide attract me. My first encounter with concept of female suicide is through story of Mishima Yukio called
"Shiro-shôzoku: harakiri". It is story where army lieutenant and his wife committing suicide. For me, story revealed beauty of suicide committed by female through writing of Mishima Yukio. I do not see female suicide as subject that is negative, grim, depressing. I think choice to end life is glorious and indicates of strong character. I admire strong will in person who can choose death over life.
m[m]: On the subject of your themes one of my favourite releases by Female Harakiri in theme/sound is "Death Of Chizuko Mifune". The release is themed around the suicide of self proclaimed Japanese clairvoyant/psychic. How did you come across this case?
Saigo I read much about subjects of suicide and also super natural and "clairvoyance" history. I read both in the library and on internet. Mifune Chizuko I think is 'unavoidable' as a subject, as it is a well known case. It is case that intrigued me from start. It is also case of interest because film like The Ring takes very much inspiration from it. The movie deals with clairvoyance and the important female suicide of clairvoyant. This also was inspiration because I think "modern retelling" provides new viewpoint to consider case. It brings Mifune Chizuko close and new audience can learn to appreciate decision of suicide.
m[m]: Have you ever had any paranormal/ supernatural experiences yourself?
Saigo To say true "paranormal" I think no. But in Japan I think to encounter "spirits" is unavoidable. Japan has great emphasis on tradition and to maintain old ideas, customs, so they exist within modern society. Japan can with difficulty only let go of past. Like this, spirits, ghosts, they are simple acceptable element of life.
m[m]: What kind of set-up do you have, and often do you create noise?
Saigo I use various ways but most common is from tape as source and then through pedals. I have use many different set-upfs, so I think this is also the reason for variety of sound on the different releases. Also I often try combination of analog and digital process, so to record analog work and manipulate digital, or record digital work and manipulate analog. There is many possibilities in both ways.
I construct walls in "fits of noise". Sometimes noise hunger strikes me and I record a lot of walls. I use some walls and I destroy others in construction of new walls. It is process of noise I like. Destruction is creation.
m[m]: Has the project ever played live & if not is this something youfd like to do in the future?
Saigo No. Female Harakiri is somewhat of a eanonymousf project, and also I think I can not achieve 'perfection' in a live setting. Construction of wall is for me an intense process. I think live would harm my attempts at perfection. It seem perhaps something that may change with time. Mikawa Toshi also ever disliked live for Incapacitants ,but he has changed his views and they are now not only studio perfection but also live perfection. But of course Mikawa is God so to compare myself to him is a little unfair!
m[m]: Youfve recently set up a bandcamp for the project, with your releases offered to play for free. Looking back over your back catalogue thus far what are some of your favourite releases & are there any of your release youfd like to see reissued?
Saigo The releases I think I am proud of most is gChizuko Mifuneh, which also already received a re-issue of course. It is one of first walls I construct. It is special for that reason but it also is a particular sound 'statement'. I pursue this slow crackle for a time. Now I focus on construction of truely harsh wall, is not necessary of crackle but full monotone sound. gChainsaw Majinih was first attempt, but the new works are more perfection of these style. For re-issue also perhaps I would like Barefoot release, which was small issue. Ultimate I dream of Female Harakiri gBox Is Stupidh haha!
m[m]: Whatfs the noise scene like in your area of Japan?. And are there any other Japanese HNW your aware of?
Saigo HNW in Japan exists but there are not many acts. Important act is Forced Orgasm who of course no longer exists. Related is Slaughterhouse Fetish. Other artistfs are Cracked Mirrror, which is HNW project of Kazuma Kubota, and also some work of Jah Excretion and Cracksteel. But the scene is small. HNW does not seem popular for Japanese noise artists.
m[m]: Whatfs next for the project?
Saigo For future release I will have one release on Bored Bear Records. I will have one split with Panic and Opaque. And I will have one release for Nascitari label. After then I can not say but I am always glad to accept invite for split or release from good projects.
m[m]: what are the themes of your up-coming releases on Bored Bear Recordings & Claustrophilia (Nascitari label)?
Saigo The Release on Bored Bear will be about Kaneko Misuzu. She was gifted poet for children. She committed suicide after dispute over custody of her child. Choosing death from love and protest and to give child good life is admirable and inspiring. Release for Claustrophilia, I don't know. I only receive request to release. For next recording session I will need to find a theme.
Thanks to Saigo for his time & efforts with the interview. The first menu picture is taken from an old print of Chizuko Mifune, the two pictures of Saigo were supplied & altered by him, and the cover artwork is from the up-coming Nascitari release. Female Harakiri's bandcamp page can be found here