|Development phase:||Early 1960s|
|Place of origin:||Japan|
|Electronic dance music , eurodance , kayōkyoku , new wave , pop music , rock music|
J-Pop (in Japan also partly written J ポ ッ プ J-Poppu ) is an abbreviation of Japanese Pop-Music (English for Japanese pop music ) or Japan Pop and describes a broad musical genre, which was developed in Japanese in the 1990s Established the music world. The term was introduced by the Japanese media to distinguish domestic from foreign music.
In contrast to the music previously known as Kayōkyoku in Japan, J-Pop used its own form of pronunciation. Keisuke Kuwata , for example, pronounced the word "Karada" ( 体 , dt. Body, stature) with allusion to the English roots as "Kyerada". The term, which was established as a result and borrowed from the English language, today describes almost all of the popular music of Japan and thus indirectly also the second largest music market behind that of the USA .
In German-speaking countries, J-Pop is particularly popular with anime fans, as many well-known Japanese composers and groups contribute to the music of Anime TV series and numerous prominent voice actors also appear as J-Pop artists. This type of J-Pop is also often called Idol -Pop in Japan . In the mid-1980s, Onyanko Club , a band that consisted only of school girls, had a great influence .
The Japanese hits ( enka ) composed in traditional Japanese music style differ from J-pop .
J-Pop is an integral part of Japanese pop culture, found in anime, commercials, films, television shows and video games, and other forms of Japanese entertainment. In anime and TV shows, especially dramas, opening and closing songs are changed up to four times a year. Since most programs have a combination of opening and closing credits, a show can have eight pieces per season.
For the past decade, J-Pop has gained fans around the world through video games and anime. The theme songs and music of these games and anime lead to further interest in J-pop and other genres of Japanese music. There are now mainstream providers in the USA who officially sell Japanese ringtones.
With J-Pop says one Japanese-language songs nowadays (isolated) with English words. If a Japanese artist records a song entirely in English , it falls into the pop category . This explains that the term J-Pop does not refer to the origin of the artists. Not even to any particular genre, because the J , which stands for Japanese (English for Japanese ), relates to the language and not to any particular genre.
1930s to 1960s: Ryūkōka
Japanese popular music was called ryūkōka before it was divided into enka and pop ( poppusu ). This genre has its origins from the Meiji period , but some experts assign the beginning to the Taishō period , as this genre became popular throughout Japan at this time. In the Taishō period, predominantly Western music technologies and instruments that were introduced in the Meiji period were used. Influenced by Western genres such as jazz and blues , the ryūkōka genre adopted instruments such as the guitar , harmonica and violin . However, the melodies were often written for the traditional Japanese pentatonic scale. In the 1930s, Ichirō Fujiyama published popular songs with his tenor voice. Ichirō sang his songs with a deeper volume than used in opera into the microphone (the technique is sometimes called crooning ).
Jazz musician Ryōichi Hattori attempted to produce native music that incorporates an aroma of blues music. He composed the hit Wakare no Burūsu ( Japanese 別 れ の ブ ル ー ス ) by Noriko Awaya . The artist became a successful and popular singer and was dubbed the Queen of Blues in Japan . During the war , pressure from the imperial army temporarily halted the performance of jazz music. Ryōichi, who lived in Shanghai at the end of the war , produced popular songs such as Shizuko Kasagi Tokyo Boogie-Woogie and Ichirō Fujiyama the song Aoi Sanmyaku ( Japanese 青 い 山脈 ). Ryōichi later became known as the Father of Japanese Poppusu (Father of Japanese Pop). The United States soldiers employed in Japan and the Far East Network ( FEN for short ) radio station introduced a variety of new musical styles to the Japanese country. Thus the army was played songs with blues, boogie-woogie , country music and mambo . Chiemi Eri's song Tennessee Waltz (published in 1952), Hibari Misora's Omatsuri Mambo ( Japanese お 祭 り マ ン ボ ) (1952) and Izumi Yukimura's cover song Till I Waltz Again with You ( 1953 ) also became popular. Foreign musicians and musical groups, including JATP and Louis Armstrong , also visited Japan for the first time to give concerts. In the mid-1950s, the subgenre Jazz Kissa ( Japanese ジ ャ ズ 喫茶 , Jazu Kissa; Jazz Café ), which was used to describe live jazz music, became popular. Jazz had a huge impact on J-Pop, but authentic jazz did not become the mainstream of Japanese music. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, popular Japanese music polarized between urban kayō and the modern day enka.
1960s: beginning of modern style
Rokabirī Boom and Wasei Pops
During the 1950s and 1960s, many Kayōkyoku singers gained experience performing in US military bases in Japan. At that time, the yakuza boss Kazuo Taoka reorganized the concert tours and treated the artists as professional. Many of these artists later became key figures in the J-pop scene.
In 1956 the Japanese rock 'n' roll wave started with the country groups Kosaka Kazuya and Wagon Masters . Her sung song Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis Presley helped rock 'n' roll become a new trend. This music was also called rockabilly ( Japanese ロ カ ビ リ ー , rokabirī ) in the Japanese media. Artists learned this genre and translated the lyrics of popular American songs. This was the birth of Cover Pops ( Japanese カ ヴ ァ ー ポ ッ プ ス , Kavā Poppusu). The rockabilly movement peaked when 45,000 people saw singers first appear in the Nichigeki Western Carnival (February 1958).
Kyū Sakamoto , a fan of Elvis, made his debut as a member of The Drifters , on the Nichigeki Western Carnival, in 1958. His song Ue wo Muite Arukō ( Japanese 上 を 向 い て 歩 こ う ), published in 1961, was featured in the known around the world as Sukiyaki was released in the United States in 1963. It is the only Japanese song to date that reached the top position in the United States and stayed in the cash box for four weeks - and on the Billboard charts for three weeks . It could also be certified with a gold record for more than a million units sold. During this period, the female duo The Peanuts also became popular. Their songs were later covered by the band Candies . Artists like Kyū Sakamoto and The Peanuts are called Wasei Pops ( Japanese 和 製 ポ ッ プ ス , Wasei Poppusu; Pop made in Japan ).
After the group members of The Drifters were frequently changed, Chosuke Ikariya reorganized the group in 1964 under the same name. At a Beatles concert in 1966, they appeared as curtain raisers . The group became popular with the publication of Zundoko-Bushi ( Japanese ズ ン ド コ 節 ) in 1969. Together with the Enka singer Keiko Fuji , they won the Award for Mass Popularity at the 12th Japan Record Awards in 1970. Keiko Fuji's 1970 album Shinjuku no Onna / "Enka no Hoshi Fuji Keiko no Subete ” ( Japanese 新宿 の 女 /「 演 歌 の 星 」藤 圭子 の す べ て ) set an all-time record in Japan when it topped the Japanese Oricon charts for 20 consecutive weeks. The Drifters later rose to prominence as television personalities and have invited idols such as Momoe Yamaguchi and Candies to their television programs.
Eleki Boom and Group Sounds
The Ventures , which are responsible for the widespread use of the electric guitar in Japan, visited Japan in 1962. This was also known as the Eleki Boom . Yūzō Kayama and Takeshi Terauchi became successful electric guitar players. After the Beatles came to Japan and sang their songs at Nippon Budōkan , they became the first rock music group to give a concert there. The public believed that they were responsible for the juvenile delinquency . The Japanese government used the police against the young rock fans at Nippon Budōkan. John Lennon felt he was not recognized in Japan, but Beatlemania never really died out there. The Beatles inspired many Japanese bands that started the group sounds genre in Japan.
Most Japanese musicians felt like they couldn't sing rock music in Japan. Thus, the popularity of Japanese rock music gradually declined. As a result, there have been debates on how should we sing rock music in Japanese? and should we sing in english? , between happy ending and Yuya Uchida , on Japanese rock music. This confrontation was called the Japanese-language rock controversy ( Japanese 日本語 ロ ッ ク 論争 , Nihongo Rokku Ronsō?). The group Happy End have proven that you can sing rock music in Japanese and there is a theory that they are one of the founders of modern J-pop. The Beatles also inspired Eikichi Yazawa , who grew up as a half- orphan in an underprivileged family. Keisuke Kuwata , who grew up in a dual-income family, was inspired by them because of his older sister, who was an avid Beatles fan. Also Yosui Inoue was a fan of the Beatles, but he explained that his style of music had no particular connection to them. After the group Hapy End broke up in 1973, Haruomi Hosono (a former group member) began a solo career and later was the founder of the Yellow Magic Orchestra .
1970s: Development of "New Music"
Fōku and New Music
In the early 1960s, Japanese musicians were inspired by the American Folk Music Revival , also known as Fōku ( Japanese フ ォ ー ク ; people), although it was mostly just covers. In the late 1960s, the Japanese band The Folk Crusaders became popular and their music was referred to as Foku. In contrast to Enka music, Fōku singers like Wataru Takada sang lyrics about social mockery.
Finally, in the early 1970s, the name of the fōkus, from the accompaniment of a guitar to several more musically complex arrangements , changed to New Music ( Japanese ニ ュ ー ミ ュ ー ジ ッ ク , Nyū Myūjikku; New Music ). Instead of delivering social messages, the focus was now on loving, more personal messages. In June 1972, the singer and songwriter Takuro Yoshida produced a hit Kekkon Shiyō yo ( Japanese 結婚 し よ う よ ). It was hardly advertised for the song and the fans of the Foku were therefore angry. The best-selling single of 1972 was Onna no Michi ( Japanese 女 の み ち ) by Shiro Miya with the Pinkara Trio with more than 3.25 million units sold. On December 1, 1973 Yōsui Inoue released the album Kōri no Sekai ( Japanese. 氷 の 世界 ), which could reach the top position in the Oricon charts and could create a currently unbeaten record of 13 consecutive weeks at number one. He was also at the top 35 times with the album and stayed in the top 10 of the Oricon charts for 113 weeks. The Japanese music legend Yumi Matsutōya (who was previously known by her maiden name Yumi Arai ) released the single Ano Hi ni Kaeritai ( Japanese あ の 日 に 帰 り た い ) in 1975 , which was her first number one single. Miyuki Nakajima , Amii Ozaki , and Junko Yagami were also popular singers and songwriters during this period. For the first time only Yumi Matsutōya was frequently referred to as a New Music artist, but the concept of Japanese fōku changed over time. At this time Chage and Aska made their debut and of course the folk band Off Course , which Kazumasa Oda had as a member. They released a hit called Sayōnara ( Japanese さ よ う な ら ).
Origin of Japanese rock and electro music
Rock music remained unpopular in Japan in the early 1970s, although the band Happy End , which fused rock with traditional Japanese music, became a mainstream hit. Many different artists started experimenting with electro or synth rock during this period . Worth mentioning is the internationally known Isao Tomita , who released the album Electric Samurai: Switched on Rock in 1972 and incorporated rock and pop into his work with an electronic synthesizer and a revision. Other examples of electronic rock music would be Yōsui Inoue , with his folk rock and pop album Ice World (1973) and Osamu Kitajima , with his mix of progressive rock and psychedelic rock album Benzaiten ( Japanese 弁 才 天 ) (1974). Both albums had contributions from Haruomi Hosono , who later formed the electronic music group Yellow Magic Band , later known as the Yellow Magic Orchestra in 1977 .
In 1978 Eikichi Yazawa's single Jikan yo Tomare ( Japanese 時間 よ 止 ま れ ) became a hit, as the single could sell up to 640,000 times. He is therefore also known as one of the pioneers of Japanese rock and because of its success moved to the United States , where he recorded the albums Yazawa ( Japanese 矢 沢 ), It's Just Rock 'n' Roll and Flash in Japan . Each of the three albums was released worldwide, among other things, but it was not a commercial success. Keisuke Kuwata founded the band Southern All Stars ( SAS for short ), which debuted in 1978. The group is very popular in Japan to this day.
In the same year Yellow Magic Orchestra ( YMO for short ) made their official debut with their album of the same name. The band, which consists of group members Haruomi Hosono , Yukihiro Takahashi and Ryūichi Sakamoto , further developed the synth pop genre. In Japan, the terms technopop and electro music are also used. Their Solid State Survivor album, released in 1979 , only reached the top of the Oricon charts in July 1980 and has sold more than two million times worldwide. Around the same time, the album stayed at the top of the charts for seven weeks with an EP from YMO called X∞Multiplies . This made them the only band in Japanese chart history to have achieved this. During this period, their young fans were also known as the YMO Generation ( Japanese: YMO 世代 , YM Sedai). YMO had a particular impact on Japanese pop music, which was beginning to be heavily influenced by electronic music. They also had a huge impact on electronic music around the world. Southern All Stars and Yellow Magic Orchestra symbolized the end of the New Music era and laid the first stones for the J-Pop genre of the 1980s. Both bands were later also voted into the list of the Top 100 Japanese Musicians of All Time by HMV Japan .
1980s: Merger with the Kayōkyoku
With the spread of car radios in the early 1980s, the term city pop ( Japanese シ テ ィ ー ポ ッ プ , Shitī Poppu; German city pop) came into the crowd to describe a type of popular music with an urban theme. Tokyo was particularly inspired by many songs of this kind, especially the Wall of Sound style , which originated from producers Phil Spector and Brian Wilson . During this time, music fanatics and artists in Japan were influenced by album-oriented rock (especially by adult contemporary ) and crossover (especially by jazz rock ). The rock band Happy End can call themselves one of the founders of city pop.
Akira Terao and Anri became famous during this period. Akira Terao's album Reflections , which was released in 1981, was the best-selling album in Japan in the 1980s with more than 1.65 million units sold.
Tatsurō Yamashita and his wife Mariya Takeuchi also became popular during this period. Tatsurō Yamashita's song Christmas Eve , which was released in 1983, reached the top of the Oricon charts on December 25, 1989. In 1989 Ryūichi Sakamoto won a Grammy for his contribution to the film The Last Emperor .
However, city pop fell in popularity when deflation hit Japan in 1992. The musical characteristics that point to the cultural background were continued by Shibuya-kei artists such as Pizzicato Five and Flipper's Guitar .
Japanese rock industry growth
During the 1980s, rock bands such as Southern All Stars , RC Succession , Anzen Chitai , The Checkers , The Alfee and The Blue Hearts became popular. The Alfee were the first artists to perform in front of 100,000 people in Japan. Some Japanese musicians, such as Boøwy , TM Network and Buck-Tick , were influenced by the New Romantic fashion wave .
The group Boøwy with singer Kyosuke Himuro and guitarist Tomoyasu Hotei became a particularly influential rock band. Their three albums peaked in 1988. This made them the first male artists to have three albums as the highest rankings in a year. Japanese rock bands later took this band as an example. The guitarist Tak Matsumoto , who promoted TM Networks concerts, formed the rock duo B'z with the singer Kōshi Inaba in 1988.
In the late 1980s, the girl group Princess Princess was founded , a very successful pop-rock band. Her singles Diamonds and Sekai de Ichiban Atsui Natsu ( Japanese 世界 で い ち ば ん 熱 い 夏 ) reached number one and number two in the Oricon Yearly Singles Chart for 1989.
The new trend also followed in the late 1980s, visual kei , a movement by many male bands wearing makeup , extravagant hairstyles, and androgynous costumes. The most successful group of this movement is X Japan , which was then only called X , and the band Buck-Tick celebrated the same success. X Japan released their debut album Vanishing Vision on indie label Extasy Records in 1988. The album Blue Blood was then released a year later on CBS Sony . The album Blue Blood sold more than 712,000 copies and the Jealousy album, which was released in 1991, sold more than 1.11 million copies. X Japan is actually a heavy metal band, but guitarist Hide came under the influence of alternative rock and later, in 1994, released his first solo album Hide Your Face , which gave him a successful solo career.
The Golden age
In the 1970s, idol singers including Mari Amachi , Saori Minami , Momoe Yamaguchi, and Candies rose in popularity . Momoe Yamaguchi was one of the first Kayōkyoku singers to use a distinctive J-pop pronunciation. Hiromi Go made her debut in 1972 with the song Otokonoko Onnanoko ( Japanese オ ト コ の コ オ ン ナ の コ ), originally from Johnny & Associates .
The female duo Pink Lady debuted in 1976 when they released their single Pepper Keibu ( Japanese ペ ッ パ ー 警 部 ). They held the first record with nine number-one hits in a row. The third single from Seiko Matsuda , which she released in 1980, was called Kaze wa Aki Iro ( Japanese 風 は 秋色 ) and thus reached the top position in the Oricon charts. Now Haruomi Hosono also produced for Seiko Matsuda. She was also the first artist to have 24 number one hits in a row on the Oricon charts, breaking Pink Lady's record.
Other idol singers who were significant for the 1980s are Akina Nakamori , Yukiko Okada , Kyōko Koizumi , Yōko Minamino , Momoko Kikuchi , Yōko Oginome , Miho Nakayama , Minako Honda and Chisato Moritaka . Yukiko Okada received the title for Best Newcomer or Best New Artist at the Japan Record Awards in 1984 . Akina Nakamori won the Grand Prix Award in two subsequent years (1985 and 1986), as well as a Japan Record Award.
The Japanese idol group Onyanko Club debuted in 1985 and was produced by popular producer and singer Shizuka Kudo . They changed the image of the Japanese idols. Around 1985, however, people distanced themselves from the idols' creation system. A year later, Yukiko Okada published her song Kuchibiru Network ( Japanese く ち び る Network), which was written by Seiko Matsuda and composed by Ryūichi Sakamoto . The song became a hit, but she immediately committed suicide.
Hikaru Genji , a band from Johnny & Associates, made their debut in 1987. They became very influential because of their roller-skating theme, and some of the group members later went on to successful solo careers. Her song Paradise Ginga , written by Aska , won the Grand Prix Award at the 30th Japan Record Awards in 1988. Some of the background dancers later joined the band SMAP . The female duo Wink was also able to gain popularity in the late 1980s . They didn't laugh like the other Japanese idols from past eras did. They debuted in 1988 and surpassed the popularity of the most popular duo, BaBe . Wink released the song Samishii Nettaigyo ( Japanese 淋 し い 熱 帯 魚 ) and received the Grand Prix Award at the 31st Japan Record Awards in 1989.
After the popular singer Hibari Misora died in 1989, many Kayōkyoku programs closed, including the popular program The Best Ten .
Another idol group CoCo made their debut in 1989 with the single Equal Romance , which was chosen as the theme song for the anime series Ranma ½ . Tetsuya Komuro , then a member of TM Network, broke Seiko Matsuda's record of scoring 25 top singles in November 1989 by taking his single Gravity of Love to number one on the Oricon charts on the same sales day as Seiko Matsuda.
1990s: Coining of the term "J-Pop"
1990 to 1997: Growing market
In the 1990s, all songs identified with the title J-Pop , excluding the songs of Enka music.
During this period the Japanese music industry sought the effectiveness of this new era of music. Notable examples are advertisements for the music that was paid for by agencies and Tetsuya Komuro's disco music.
In the period from 1990 to 1993, artists who had signed contracts with agencies dominated. These include B'z , Tube , BBQueens , T-Bolan , ZARD , Wands , Maki Ohguro , Deen and Field of View . These artists were also called Being System ( Japanese ビ ー イ ン グ 系 ; Bīingu kei; dt. Essential System). It should be added that Group B'z had set a new record and overtook Seiko Matsuda's record for number one singles in a row. B'z is also the most successful music group in Japan and is currently number one of the best-selling artists in Japan, with more than 80 million CDs sold, making them one of the world's best-selling artists. On the other hand, the music group Wands was considered to be the pioneer of the J-pop boom of the 1990s. However, they got into an argument because group member Show Wesugi preferred to play alternative rock or grunge.
Many artists hit the two million mark in the 1990s. Kazumasa Odas released the single Oh! Yeah! / Love Story wa Totsuzen ni ( Japanese ラ ブ ・ ス ト ー リ ー は 突然 に ), Chage and Askas , in the same year, released single Say Yes and the single Yah Yah Yah from 1993, Kome Kome Clubs 1992 released single Kimi ga Iru Dake de ( jap. 君 が い る だ け で / 愛 し て る ), Mr. Childrens single Tomorrow Never Knows released in 1994 and Namonaki Uta from 1995 ( jap. 名 も な き 詩 ) as well as the single Departures by Globe are important examples of the singles. The album The Swinging Star of Dreams Come True was the first album in Japan that more than three million copies sold. This record was surpassed the following year with the album Atomic Heart by Mr. Children, as this album was able to sell more than 3.43 million times.
The duo Chage and Aska, who started their careers in late 1979, only became popular during this period. They released a loop of consecutive hits in the early 1990s. In 1996 they were a part of MTV Unplugged , this made them the first Asians to achieve that.
After TM Network disbanded in 1994, Tetsuya Komuro became a serious music producer. The period from 1994 to 1997 was dominated in Japan by the dance and techno genre, which emerged from the Komuro Family ( Japanese 小 室 フ ァ ミ リ ー ; Komuro Famirī; German Komuro family). These include TRF , Ryoko Shinohara , Yuki Uchida , Namie Amuro , Hitomi , Globe, Tomomi Kahala and Ami Suzuki . At that time, Tetsuya Komuro was responsible for 20 hits, each of these 20 singles sold over a million times. In 1996, Globe raised the bar for the best-selling album in Japan with their album Globe, which sold more than 4.13 million copies. The following year, 1997, Namie Amuro was able to celebrate with her single Can You Celebrate? Selling 2.29 million records. The single is to date the best-selling single by a female artist in Japan. If you summarize Tetsuya Komuro's produced records, he has sold more than 170 million records as a producer. However, from 1998 onwards, his songs became less popular. In the middle of the first decade of the 21st century, his debts led him to attempt to sell his song catalog, which in fact does not belong to him, to an investor. When the investor found out that Tetsuya Komuro did not own the rights, Komuro tried to sell the catalog to another investor. However, he got a court ruling to pay 600,000,000 Japanese yen (nearly € 5 million) for lying to the first investor.
Namie Amuro , probably the most popular solo artist of this period, came from the Okinawa Actors School , where successful bands like Max and Speed were trained. Namie initially belonged to the Komuro Family , but slowly she turned away from the dance genre and went more towards R&B . She also ended her friendship with Tetsuya Komuro.
Tetsuya Komuro's band Globe changed genre in 2001 and became a trance band and released the album Outernet .
1997 to 1999: commercial high point
From 1997 to 1999 the sales figures rose to record highs. In October 1997 the band Glay released their compilation Review: The Best of Glay , which sold nearly five million copies. This broke the record of the group Globe and Glay thus led the record for the best-selling album in Japan. However, this record was broken by B'z a year later . They released their compilation B'z the Best "Pleasure" , which sold more than 5.12 million copies. The year 1998 was the peak in terms of sales in Japan, in the same year the singer Hikaru Utada made her debut and in March 1999 released her debut album First Love , which sold more than 7.65 million times in Japan, making it the top-selling album in Japan and Asia. The album sold more than ten million times in Asia.
In the late 1990s, rock groups such as Glay, Luna Sea and L'Arc-en-Ciel were popular in Japan. Most of them belong to the visual kei movement, so the groups changed their image over the course of their careers. At that time, Japanese rock musicians were forgetting the kayōkyoku genre. Among other things, this led to the band Glay being shown in the media on a massive scale and thus becoming successful, comparable to the success of the singer and Japan's most popular music producer, Tetsuya Komuro . In July 1998, Glay gave a concert in front of a record audience of 200,000 people in the Makuhari Messe. This was named the largest solo concert in Japan by the Guinness World Records . That same month, Glay also released two albums in one day. Both albums together sold more than three million times in the first week.
The band X Japan announced their breakup in September 1997 and the guitarist Hide died in May 1998. More than 50,000 people, mostly fans, attended his funeral, which broke the record of the Japanese culture icon Hibari Misora , who counted 42,000 people at the funeral . After Hide's death, his single Pink Spider and his studio album Ja, Zoo were certified with a million (Japanese name for diamond status) by the Recording Industry Association of Japan .
The company Johnny & Associates produced many successful male boy bands such as SMAP , Tokio , V6 , Kinki Kids and Arashi . The group SMAP debuted in their own way in 1990, promoting themselves with talent shows and singles. One of the singers, Takuya Kimura , eventually became a popular actor, changing his stage name to Kimutaku .
Female music groups were also popular in the late 1990s. The Speed group was very successful, but the breakup was announced in 1999, by then they had sold 20 million records and in 2008 they made their comeback . Another girl group called Morning Musume was also popular. The band was created by Tsunku produced, the band leader of Sharam Q . Due to the rapid success, the popular Hello! Project .
Solo artists in the late 1990s and early 21st century also gave evidence of huge successes. Female artists like Hikaru Utada , Ayumi Hamasaki , Misia , Mai Kuraki and Ringo Shiina became the chart toppers of their time. What was special about this was that these artists wrote most of their songs themselves. The artist Hikaru Utada is the daughter of Keiko Fuji , a popular singer from the 1970s. The media turned Ayumi Hamasaki and Hikaru Utada into timely rivals, and a competition-like bout, mostly from their record labels, was staged.
The artist Zeebra brought the hip-hop genre into mainstream Japanese music (J-Pop). In 1999, Zeebra collaborated with Dragon Ash and with the theme song Grateful Days they reached the top of the Oricon charts.
→ Further information: Avex Group
Ayumi Hamasaki won the Grand Prix Award for three consecutive years, from 2001 to 2003. So far, nobody has achieved this. Although Ayumi Hamasaki became very successful, its then chairman, Tom Yoda , argued that her tactics are very risky as Avex disregards modern portfolio theory . However, this concern disappeared after more successful artists were hired. These include, for example, Ai Ōtsuka , Kumi Kōda and Exile , who were able to build on success under Tom Yoda's management policy. BoA , a popular South Korean singer, also joined as an Avex member. As a South Korean she achieved a very high level of success because she could sell millions of CDs. However, their songs were sung in Japanese, hence J-Pop . This was a very big humanitarian step because of the uptight relationship between the two states Japan and South Korea at the time. It also opened the door to Hallyu in Japan.
In December 2002, the download market for songs started, which is also called Chaku-Uta ( Japanese 着 う た ). This market was founded by the cell phone group au , a subsidiary of KDDI . The download music market grew rapidly and Hikaru Utada's song Flavor of Life , which was released in 2007, was downloaded over seven million times in Japan alone and was the best-selling download single in the world at the time. In October 2007, EMI Music Japan announced that Hikaru Utada is the first female artist in the world to have more than ten million legal downloads in one year. According to a report from 2009 by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry , the Japanese singer Thelma Aoyama achieved more than 8.2 million downloads with her download single Soba ni Iru ne ( Japanese そ ば に い る ね ) , which was released in 2008 . This has since been the most successful download single in Japan and is featured in the list of the world's most downloaded songs. In the same year, the music group GReeeeN was able to generate more than 6.2 million downloads with their single Kiseki ( Japanese 奇跡 ).
Japanese hip-hop and urban pop
In the first decade of the 21st century, the influence of hip-hop and R&B grew into the J-pop genre. In November 2001, the R&B duo Chemistry released their debut album The Way We Are , which sold more than 1.14 million times in the first week and secured the top of the Oricon charts. Hip-hop groups like Rip Slyme and Ketsumeishi also made it to the top of the Oricon charts.
The rock group Orange Range allowed some hip-hop elements to flow into their music over time. Their partly hip-hop influenced album Musiq sold over 2.6 million copies and was the best-selling album in Japan in 2005. Pop and R&B singer Ken Hirai topped the annual Oricon album charts the following year, 2006, as his compilation 10th Anniversary Complete Single Collection '95 -'05 Utabaka sold more than two million CDs.
The pop and hip-hop duo Halcali had the honor of being the first female Japanese hip-hop artist to enter the Oricon Top 10 charts. You have already given two concerts overseas in 2008, one at Anime Central Fest in Chicago and one in Central Park on Japan Day in New York City . The male dance and music group with R&B influences, Exile , who are under contract with the Avex sub-label Rhythm Zone , have several million sales and have therefore received several million awards. Her album Exile Love topped the Oricon Yearly Album Chart in 2008.
One of the first successful rappers in Japan, Dohzi-T , collaborated with many J-Pop artists such as Shota Shimizu , Hiromi Go , Miliyah Katō and Thelma Aoyama for his successful album 12 Love Stories , which he released in 2008.
While there were only 132 new artists in Japan in 2001, the number of newcomers rose to 512 in 2008. In the same year, 14 newcomers, including Thelma Aoyama, were allowed to take part in the NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen ceremony for the first time .
Popularity of performances and senior musicians
→ See also: Fuji Rock Festival
Rock musicians like Mr. Children, B'z, Southern All Stars and Glay continued to be the most successful artists of the first decade of the 21st century. The song Sign by Mr. Children won the Grand Prix Award at the 46th Japan Record Awards in 2004. When the group released their album Home in 2007, it was confirmed that they had sold more than 50 million records in their careers positioned them at number two of the best-selling artists in Japan. In first place is B'z, who sold more than 75 million records at the time and currently has more than 80 million. The album Home was also the best-selling album in Japan in 2007.
Other artists, such as Namie Amuro, also continued their long career with successful publications during this period. Her tour Namie Amuro Best Fiction Tour 2008–2009 became the largest tour by a female artist in Japan with more than 450,000 fans. She also gave concerts in Taiwan and Shanghai , where she had a total of more than 50,000 fans. After the artist Kazumasa Oda released his album Sōkana: Soutaisei no Kanata ( Japanese そ う か な 相 対 性 の 彼方 ), he broke the record of the oldest artist at the top of the Oricon. The oldest artist with the highest ranking was Mariya Takeuchi with her compilation Expressions (2008), which also became the artist with the longest active career.
Johnny & Associates
→ Further information: Johnny & Associates
The boy groups at Johnny & Associates are well known. In 2001 their band SMAP released the compilation SMAP Vest , which sold more than a million times in the first week. In November of the same year, the music label established J Storm with their band Arashi . The single Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana ( Japanese 世界 に 一 つ だ け の 花 ), by SMAP, sold more than two million copies and became the best-selling single in 2003 in Japan. In 2007, the Kinki Kids music group was recognized by the Guinness World Records with the world record for 25 number-one hits in a row since their debut. Male artists have also won four consecutive Kōhaku Uta Alleys. In addition, Arashi was with the compilation All the Best! 1999–2009 topped the annual Oricon charts in 2009. The compilation has sold nearly two million copies since then.
Of course, other boy groups were also produced by Johnny & Associates, including Tackey & Tsubasa , NEWS , Kanjani Eight , KAT-TUN and Hey! Say! Jump . Kat-Tun's debut single, which was called Real Face and composed by Tak Matsumoto , topped the annual Oricon charts in 2006, with sales exceeding one million. The following year, Hey! Say! 7 , a group under the Johnny's Jr. sub-label , set the record for the youngest boys to top the Oricon charts. The group members had an average age of 14.8 years at the time. On the 2008 Oricon charts, only one female artist was in the top 30 best-selling singles in Japan. This was Namie Amuro with her single 60s 70s 80s , in addition to the mixed-gender music groups, mostly men (especially boy groups) were in the charts.
Cover versions and classical music
The rock group Ulfus released their cover version of Ashita Ga Arusa ( Japanese 明日 が あ る さ ) by Kyū Sakamoto in February 2001 , which was originally released in 1963. In March of the same year, Yoshimoto Kogyo's band Re: Japan released a cover version of the same song. While the version by Ulfus fell to number eight, the version by Re: Japan rose to the top of the Oricon Singles Chart.
Artist Man Arai released his single Sen no Kaze ni Natte ( Japanese 千 の 風 に な っ て ) in 2003 , which refers to the Western poem Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep . In Japan the poem was known from a lecture by Rokusuke Ei in 1985. The Japanese tenor Masafumi Akikawa covered the song in 2006. The version by Masafumi Akikawa is considered the first classic single to be positioned at the top of the Oricon charts, and this single has sold more than a million copies. The following year, 2007, it even became the best-selling CD single in Japan, surpassing Hikaru Utada's Flavor of Life , who was positioned at number two with her song. Oricon claims, however, that Sen no Kaze ni Natte by Masafumi Arikawa should not be classified in the J-Pop category. In contrast, Zen-On Music Company Ltd classified the song in the J-Pop category.
Hideaki Tokunaga has covered many songs by female artists in a number of cover albums. The series was called Vocalist and he released the albums Vocalist (2005), Vocalist 2 (2006), Vocalist 3 (2007), Vocalist 4 (2010) and Vocalist Vintage (2012), which was also called Vocalist 5 . In August 2007 the cover album Vocalist 3 stayed at number one on the Oricon charts for two weeks in a row. With Vocalist 4 , which was released in May 2010, Hideaki Tokunaga was the first artist to enter the monthly Oricon charts with a cover album.
Many different artists released cover albums in 2010. Including the successful cover album Request by the jazz- influenced singer Juju and Kumi Kōdas Eternity: Love & Songs . The band Superfly released a cover album of western rock songs.
The singer Beni was able to build on the success of this with her cover album Covers , released in 2012 . The not so popular artist was able to sell the album more than 200,000 times and landed a top ranking of second place. What is special about this release is that it stayed in the charts for more than 50 weeks with the album and the songs are all self-written English cover versions by popular Japanese male artists. The album was also nominated for Best Concept Album at the World Music Awards .
Influence of Neo Fōku and Neo Shibuya-kei
Bands like 19 , Yuzu and Kobukuro only became popular during this period. Their music is also called Neo Fōku . In October 2007 the band Kobukuro released their compilation All Singles Best and the compilation sold more than three million copies. This is the first album by male artists to break the three million mark in the 21st century. In January 2008 they released their album 5296 and pushed the album Guilty by J-Pop legend Ayumi Hamasaki , which had the same release date, to number two on the weekly Oricon charts. This was Ayumi Hamasaki's first studio album that didn't land at # 1 (she had eight number-one studio albums in a row).
Electro music groups like Plus-Tech Squeeze Box and Capsule are called Neo Shibuya-kei . Yasutaka Nakata , a member of the Capsule group, became the song producer for the techno-pop band Perfume . In April 2008, the group Perfume made it to the top of the Oricon charts for the first time with their album Game , which the techno-pop band Yellow Magic Orchestra had achieved 25 years earlier with the album Naughty Boys . In July of the same year Perfume released the single Love the World , it debuted at number one and is the first electro-pop single to be documented at number one in Oricon history. Several electro-pop artists such as Aira Mitsuki , Immi , Masami Mitsuoka , Sawa , Saori @ Destiny and Sweet Vacation followed later .
Anime Music, Image Song and Vocaloid
During the late 2010s, the anime music industry incorporated en masse into Japanese music as seiyu and image songs . While anime music used to be dominated by J-Pop and visual kei songs, the 2006 FanimeCon also made indie music a part of the music. After the voice of Saki Fujita was sampled in 2007 in order to develop it further, the vocaloid Miku Hatsune was created and many of her songs were shown on the video platform Nico Nico Douga . Some of the musicians who used Hatsune Miku as a singer in their band even got record deals from major record companies in Japan. Examples are Livetune ( Victor Entertainment ) and Supercell ( Sony Music ). The band Supercell released albums like Re: Package and Supercell , which were not registered under the copyright protection of the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers ( JASRAC for short ), and thus the tradition of musicians who were under contract with the major record companies stood, broke because they had no connection to the system.
The voice actress Nana Mizuki , released her album Ultimate Diamond in June 2009 , becoming the first voice actress in Japan to have an album at number one on the Oricon charts. The fictional female band Hōkago Tea Time , from the anime series K-On! , released an EP titled Hōka-go Tea Time on July 22, 2009. The EP debuted at number one on the Oricon charts, becoming the first number one album of anime characters in Japan. In May 2010 the duet album Exit Tunes Presents Vocalogenesis feat. Hatsune Miku released and was the first vocaloid duet album to reach the highest position in the Oricon charts. The album replaced the cover album Vocalist 4 , by Hideaki Tokunaga, from the top, which was number one on the Oricon charts for four weeks in sequence.
Since 2010: Idols dominate J-Pop
At the end of the 2000s, many other idol groups made their debut, due to the diverse selection of idol groups, the time of the idol groups is also called Idol Sengoku Jidai ( ア イ ド ル 戦 国 時代 ), which in German means as much as idol battle age . The most successful groups of the 2010s, for example AKB48 , Arashi , Kanjani8 , Morning Musume and Momoiro Clover Z .
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu , a model inspired by Harajuku culture, made her debut in 2011 and achieved international fame after releasing her first single Ponponpon , which was featured by artists such as Katy Perry and Ariana Grande . It was produced by Yasutaka Nakata, who is also responsible for the music group Perfume .
Impact and international awareness
J-Pop is an integral part of Japanese pop culture and can be found in anime, advertising, films, TV shows, computer games, and other categories in Japanese culture. Some Japanese news channels even play a J-pop song at the end of the credits. In anime and TV shows, especially in dramas, J-pop songs appear in the introduction and credits, and these change up to four times a year.
Over the past decade, J-Pop has gained fans worldwide, largely through computer games and anime. Many computer game fans imported games published in Japan before they were published worldwide. The theme songs and music of the games opened the door to J-pop and other genres from Japan. The Kingdom Hearts series is worth mentioning as an example , because here the J-Pop singer Hikaru Utada sang the theme songs. Their single Easy Breezy was also used as a theme song for the Nintendo DS . Due to the changing music trends in Bangladesh and India , J-Pop has also received some attention there.
The duo Puffy AmiYumi have also given several releases for the United States . They also had their own animated series there on Cartoon Network called Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi , which has run for three seasons since 2004.
→ Main article: List of J-Pop musicians
Some J-Pop artists are extremely popular in Japan and have some fans in other countries, especially in Asia, but also in Western countries. Not only are they an influence on music, but also on fashion. When Oricon published the list of the best-selling artists in Oricon history in 2007, artists such as (in alphabetical order) Ayumi Hamasaki , B'z , Dreams Come True , Mr. Children, and Southern All Stars topped the list. Ayumi Hamasaki is the only solo artist among the five.
J-Pop and the Western Music Industry
Western and Japanese artists have been collaborating for a long time, examples with famous people:
- Toshinobu Kubota with Naomi Campbell (1996)
- Chemistry with Usher (2001)
- Double with De La Soul (2002)
- Ai with Trey Songz (2006)
- Yuna Itō with Celine Dion (2008)
- Kumi Kōda with Fergie (2008)
- Beni with Tynisha Keli (2009)
- Hikaru Utada with Ne-Yo (2009)
- Ai with Snoop Dogg (2010)
- Verbal and Namie Amuro with Lil Wayne (2011)
- Jin Akanishi with Jason Derulo (2011)
- Kumi Kōda with Omarion (2012)
- Crystal Kay with Lionel Richie (2012)
- May J. with Flo Rida (2013)
- Hikaru Utada with Skrillex (2019)
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