Mistrust Zine Celebrates Japan’s Underground Music Scene in This Strange New Decade

Created by members of the scene, the fanzine documents musical events and projects brought to life by a new generation of independent creators.
Mistrust Zine (@mistrust_zine) 20-21, the first issue of this new music fanzine. Cover photos: Yui Nogiwa (@yuinogiwa_).

Mistrust Zine (@mistrust_zine) had to exist. Japan’s underground music scene has managed to stay creatively vibrant, active, and united despite the great obstacles of the pandemic. Between 2020 and the current year 2021, many artists have continued creating and releasing material. There have also been musical events that were memorable, both in real life and streaming.

If something defines Mistrust Zine, it is that it is made by members of the scene. Back cover photo: Yui Nogiwa (@yuinogiwa_).

That has to be told, and there is no better way to talk about independent creators than with an independent publishing project. If something defines Mistrust Zine, it is that it is made by members of the scene who can explain it from within.

Yui Tsuda (@fanfare_and) is the editor of Mistrust Zine, and she is constantly present in the Tokyo music underground. Since Chorareii and Mistrust Zine share a similar vision, I wanted Yui to tell me more about her project.

Mistrust Zine is an independent editorial project initiated by Yui Tsuda (@fanfare_and). Photo: Yui Nogiwa (@yuinogiwa_).

Chorareii: Who is the team behind Mistrust Zine?

Yui Tsuda: we are NordOst Matsushima (@no_nord_ost), a freelance writer who was in the same circle as me at the university; Akihiro Yamamoto (@XXXX) from FNMNL; Yukinoise (@yukinoise), who writes for AVYSS and ele-king; Lisa (@alien.melissa), who writes a blog on Tumblr, and me. 

My name is Yui Tsuda, I’m part of the OTOTOY editorial department. I have been connected to the Tokyo punk, hardcore, and emo scenes, but I think that what led to creating a zine was my longing for Riot Grrrl.

«I wanted to remember the beginning of this decade,» explains Yui Tsuda (@fanfare_and), the editor or Mistrust Zine (@mistrust_zine).

Why did you decide to start this project?

I had the feeling that I couldn’t trust the world in 2020. It was a year when I even thought that music couldn’t have enough value to influence this terrible society.

However, after the rave PURE2000, I started going to live concerts. I asked myself a simple question, “Why was that?” I also wanted to remember the beginning of this decade.

What is Mistrust Zine?

I don’t really know what it is, and if I keep going, it could be completely different! I’m picking up the pure part of youth culture and at the same time not separating it from society.

The cover of Mistrust Zine (@mistrust_zine) shows snaps of PURE2000 rave, one of the events that inspired Yui Tsuda (@fanfare_and) to create this fanzine. Cover photos: Yui Nogiwa (@yuinogiwa_).

How do you decide which artists will be featured in the magazine?

“Love and Dance” is the theme behind this zine. Even under a big theme, I called out to artists who seemed to overturn the theme itself with their individual powers. Among the many young artists, I was particularly interested in those who have a solid creative core.

«I had the spirit of recording 2020 through a music filter,» says Yui Tsuda (@fanfare_and).

What is the content of the zine?

An impressive compilation of party snaps from 2020, interviews with artists whose activities and works were interesting, party reports from different perspectives, and a summary of released works and events of artists who were active in 2020 independently. 

I had the spirit of recording 2020 through a music filter, so the content is based on that aspiration.

«I’m picking up the pure part of youth culture and at the same time not separating it from society,» explains Yui Tsuda (@fanfare_and).

When you were shaping Mistrust Zine, what other publications did you have in mind that influenced you? What is your inspiration?

Regarding publications, there was no one in particular that influenced me. As for inspiration, it came from last year’s events such as PURE2000, MAX SPEED, Waifu, and Kato Massacre.

Chorareii and Mistrust have a lot in common. We should do something together in the future! What do you think?

It was a magazine that I was interested in because the people I interviewed appeared in Chorareii, and the people I was interested in were interviewed there first. I would be happy if we could do something together!

«Love and Dance» is the theme behind Mistrust Zine (@mistrust_zine). Photo: Toshimura (@toshimu_rar on TwitterInstagramFacebook).

What are your future plans for Mistrust?

In today’s society, there is oppression due to capitalism, patriarchy, and all kinds of systems. I made this zine because I thought that the underground scene might be a starting point to get out of that negative side of society.

However, at first glance, only the glittering parts may have caught my eye. I think there is room for improvement. That’s why in the next issue, I’d like to steadily investigate how is it possible to work independently and make a publication about the work itself. For me, it makes sense to keep creating these personal publications. I think the next issue of Mistrust will be different from this one, but in any case, I would like to continue with the project.

«We Want Future» banner seen at the Protest Rave (@protest_rave) in 2020. Photo: Yui Nogiwa (@yuinogiwa_).

 You can buy the first issue of Mistrust Zine online in their online store.  

There is also a PDF version o Mistrust Zine available.

Follow Mistrust Zine (@mistrust_zine) on Instagram and Twitter.


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