ABBA in Japan

Filmed 17-26 November
Location Tokyo, Japan
Broadcast This was NOT broadcast on TV, but shown in local halls in Japan
Released This programme was released officially on DVD in October 2009
Notes Documentary following ABBA around Japan at the press conference, radio & TV appearances, scenes at Narita Airport (where they also sing a little traditional song "Ekorren" (The Squirrel), in rehearsals for the TV special, etc.  It looks like they are filmed at the Ginza Now TV appearance and also during the ABBA Special. Specific sections:
  • ABBA arriving at New Tokyo International Airport at 17 November 1978 5.05 pm
  • Press conference and reception party held at Hilton Hotel on 20 November 1978 as featured in this newspaper article
  • Press Conference (Discomate Records) and flower presentation by official ABBA Fan Club also at Hilton Hotel, interviews with all four members; Benny, Björn and Frida trying to play the Koto (a long Japanese musical instruments with thirteen strings)
  • Making Mochi in a ceremony called  Mochitsuki where ingredients are pounded and then moulded into shape
  • Magazine interview at the Hilton Hotel, Tokyo (renamed The Capitol Tokyo Hotel since December 2006)
  • Filming of Ginza Now on 24 November 1978 on TBS television (overdubbed with "If It Wasn't For the Nights" even though they were performing "Summer Night City" on the show
  • Nippon Cultural Broadcasting: interview at Radio JOQR and interview at No2 studio in Shinjuku as featured in this newspaper article
  • Filming of TV Special at TBS Television (25 November), both before and during the filming
  • ABBA departed New Tokyo International Airport 26 November 10.30 pm

**Thanks to some Japanese fans, it's now clear WHY no-one previously had a good quality copy of this documentary on video. Here's the explanation from Japanese fan Reiko:

"During the 1970s before MTV existed, there were not many opportunities to see foreign acts. Of course, there were video tapes to buy, but they were too expensive at that time, about 4 to 5 times more expensive. So, music shops used to rent the "promotion films" (36mm format) from the record companies and then show them to fans at big local halls.  Behind-the-scenes shots during their promotional tour tour in Japan were of great interest for the Japanese fans, so it it assumed that it was made by ABBA's Japanese record company , Discomate.   I saw this film at the city hall, when I was at high school."

"During this period, the film was rented out everywhere in Japan. But, Discomate went bankrupt in the mid 1980's and since then, this film has been forgotten. So, the record company made the 36 mm form film for general use and then they also made a copy on a video tape to secure the product."  So it would appear that somewhere along the line, a video copy has found its way into the fan market and been copied and copied - hence the bad quality that most of us have - until October 2009 that is!

Duration 23:50
Watch Out For

Agnetha, Benny and Frida caught smoking

Pictures Click on image for a larger view:


Related Links Universal Music - ABBA in Japan; ABBA in Japan locations c/o Mayumi Taheri;
Credits Thanks to Alexandre Carvalho, Mayumi Taheri, Jun Seo, Jozsef and Reiko Jesperson.