Thu, Apr 13, 2017 - Page 5 News List

Eighty-two-year-old DJ thrills crowds in Tokyo

Reuters, TOKYO

By day, Sumiko Iwamuro runs a Chinese restaurant, where she has worked for six decades making gyoza dumplings, while by night, she spins records at Tokyo clubs under the moniker DJ Sumirock.

However, the juggling of long days and frenzied nights is not the most inspiring thing about Iwamuro.

She is also 82 years old.

Japan is known for its aging demographic, with people aged 65 and above making up 26.6 percent of the population in 2015.


A prime example of an active senior, Iwamuro plays to crowds mostly 60 years younger than she is at the DecaBarZ nightclub in the heart of Tokyo’s Shinjuku District.

Taking up the turntables in her 70s, Iwamuro then spent a year learning the tricks of the trade at a school for disc jockeys.

Once on the dance floor, she stole the hearts of clubgoers.

“She’s got this energy that goes beyond age, and that can equal any young person’s here,” 25-year-old clubber Fuminari Fujii said.

Iwamuro said her sound is fundamentally techno music with jazz, French chanson and classical music mixed in.


Ever curious and never one to give up her dreams, she hopes one day to debut on the New York club scene.

“When I spin the tables, I just want to match the beat, choose the right music,” she said, when asked what kept her practicing her tunes and returning to spin records.

“But the best thing is for my audience to enjoy themselves,” she said.

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