SHORT TAKES : Tokyo Fans Cheer Janet Jackson

From Times Wire Services

Japan became a “Rhythm Nation” as Janet Jackson opened her tour at the Tokyo Dome, cascading thunderous waves of funk and choreography over 50,000 people.

Teen-agers in miniskirts, families with children and men in business suits rose as one Thursday night when the pop star, silhouetted in colored smoke, was lifted to the massive stage on a platform and launched into “Control.”

“Want to get nasty?” she yelled as she strutted and rapped her way through “Nasty.” Fans roared their approval but kept their decorum.


It was the opening for Jackson’s five-night appearance in Japan on her first world tour. She travels next to the Japanese cities of Osaka and Yokohama, back to the United States and then on to Europe in September.

The energy and enthusiasm of Jackson and her 15-member troupe managed to punch through the cavernous expanse of Tokyo Dome, an indoor baseball stadium nicknamed the Big Egg.

She donned a paramilitary uniform with medals and billed hat--a getup mimicked by many of her fans--to close the show with “Rhythm Nation,” a song popularized by its use since January in Japan Airlines commercials.

The choreography, a cross between break-dancing and military maneuvers, sent some spectators dancing into the aisles.