Skip to content

Podthoughts: It Came from Japan

Vital stats:
Format: modern Japanese rock and modern Japanese rock talk
Episode duration: 35m-2h
Frequency: monthly

My friends who taught English in Japan in the nineties insist that the glory days have gone. They describe having stood in the blast radius of the last and most exciting flowering of Japanese popular culture, that which burnt out with the twentieth century. Of course, older Japanese scholars I meet insist that, on the contrary, the country stopped generating exciting works of art around the end of the sixties. I’ve never met him, but somewhere, a supercentenarian Japanophile surely insists that nothing of note has come out of Japan since before the Second World War. Each of these laments applies to a different facet of the culture: the music twenty years ago, the film and literature fifty years ago, and eighty years ago… oh, I don’t know, netsuke?

None of this rearguard action for the mind or minds behind It Came from Japan [iTunes], the music podcast of the eponymous music agency. It Came from Japan itself has the unusual and highly geographically specific mission of, and I quote, “bring the freshest, creamiest Japanese bands to the UK.” Rock bands, specifically. And yes, the UK, specifically. An unusual pairing, you might think, but upon reflection the countries have much in common: small, islands, bound by a vast and often tacit superstructure of position and obligation, valuing politeness yet incubating youth cultures of studied rudeness. In both lands over the past half-century, these last have tended to execute their rebellion in one form especially: rock music.

Read the whole thing at Maximum Fun.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *