Japan has given the world plenty of lessons in art and music from anime to Jpop and will likely continue to do so for many more years to come. Japanese pop is a musical genre that emerged in the 1990s and is a sort of local bubblegum popular music tradition that features good looking young singers and musicians performing upbeat and catchy industrially derived tunes meant to cater to the needs of discos and nightclubs.
Originally, Japanese music showed large influences from traditional Japanese music of which sparse rhythm is said to be a defining feature. But the introduction of western music in the 1960s in the form of the Beatles and the Beach Boys resulted in indigenous rock bands such as Happy End attempt a fusion between tradition and modernity.
In the 1970s, innovative bands such as the electronic synth Yellow Magic Orchestra and the pop rock Southern All Stars came to dominate the music scene in the country.
Finally, in the 90s, Japanese pop or Jpop music as it is popularly known, replaced lyrical music with heavily dance based commercial rhythms. Jpop has influenced and been influenced by Kpop among others and can be traced as the originator of similar popular music in the neighboring countries of South East Asia and the Pacific.
It has been said that Jpop first referred to music inspired by Eurobeat or instrumental dance club music but eventually came to refer to all music in Japan excepting traditional music.
Modern dance traditions such as hip hop and break beats have also helped Jpop change for the better.
Some early successful Jpop artists that you can buy from CD stores include Kazumasa Oda, Chage and Aska, Kome Kome Club and Globe.
Japanese pop is staple to anime themes and Japanese film music. Current hits on Billboard.com include ‘Hikari No Shizuku’, Sekai Ni Hetotsu Dake No Hana and Sakkaku Crossroads as of February 6, 2016.
It has lately been lamented that Jpop has fallen far behind Korean pop or Kpop but if the popularity of preparations for the annually held Jpop Summit 2016 at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco is anything to go by, then there could be a resurgence in the popularity of this very unique and iconic character of the economic powerhouse of Asia.