Japan has a huge chokehold on the video games industry and animation industry. Two massive parts of entertainment. How did music slip from under their grasp and fall to Korea? Imagine if Japan had all 3; video games, anime and mainstream jpop.

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  • Japan never had music dominance as Japanese groups and songs were hardly ever properly available outside Japan. Jpop wasnt and isn't heavily featured on YouTube and copyright laws are really strict so takedowns are regular to the point where reuploading Japanese video game music or anime openings used to get taken down quick.

  • Japan dominates with manga too, although webtoons from Korea are really starting to get noticed.

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  • Japan was much slower to embrace streaming. They have always been a physical heavy market across multiple entertainment fields. For years it was incredibly difficult for international fans to get access to Japanese music without buying it or illegally downloading it.

  • All the reasons listed above, but I will add an additional reason that a lot of people have left:


    Japan is one of the world's largest economies and has historically always been one of the most populous (their population has historically ranged between 1% to 5% of the global population). They never considered the possibility that their music could ever really leave Japan and their population and economic size never warranted the need to appeal to international fans combined with strict copyright and licensing laws ensured that J-Pop stayed inside Japan with the exception of a few Japanese artists.

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  • All the reasons listed above, but I will add an additional reason that a lot of people have left:


    Japan is one of the world's largest economies and has historically always been one of the most populous (their population has historically ranged between 1% to 5% of the global population). They never considered the possibility that their music could ever really leave Japan and their population and economic size never warranted the need to appeal to international fans combined with strict copyright and licensing laws ensured that J-Pop stayed inside Japan with the exception of a few Japanese artists.

    Whoever created the harsh copyright laws in Japan REALLY fucked up, they basically gave music to Korea on a silver platter. Now look, BTS alone generates 5 billion a year. Japan really let that go. Because of anime and gaming people would have crossed the bridge to Jpop a lot easier than it is with Kpop. Jpop could have been much bigger than Kpop is now.

  • Their hold of video game industry is done and dusted outside of Nintendo. Even Sony is more Western-centric than focus in Japan.


    But nintendo is huge. They have MULTIPLE billion dollar franchises. Pikachus left ass cheek is probably worth more than the entire Kpop industry combined.

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    All the reasons listed above, but I will add an additional reason that a lot of people have left:


    Japan is one of the world's largest economies and has historically always been one of the most populous (their population has historically ranged between 1% to 5% of the global population). They never considered the possibility that their music could ever really leave Japan and their population and economic size never warranted the need to appeal to international fans combined with strict copyright and licensing laws ensured that J-Pop stayed inside Japan with the exception of a few Japanese artists.

    This has a actual title it's called island syndrome, this is what Japan suffered the most, basically its overwhelming focus on the domestic market and despite seeing how popular their music was overseas, pure ignorance and arrogance prevented them from capitalizing on it. They invented the idol system kpop uses down to the letter including how agencies are made and do everything. Fan meets fansigns high touches etc all from jpop, even the fashion trend. Hell even the variety shows, and music charts. If Japan had paid attention jpop would have taken the world by Storm, jpop was the first to include forgieners, you had forgien members or entire groups that were forgien, songs with forgien lines = English . Agencies that hired, contracted and leased professionals from forgien countries a large majority of black artists were brought to Japan by Johnny entertainment and other agencies for dance instructors, music and lyricists even many of them for back up dancers and extras or actors in the various music videos.

    Practically every music video concept you have seen in kpop has been done by a jpop group. Various big jpop groups did mostly tuors in Asia some did world tuors with very good success. Kat-tun was one of them had very good success in the USA and Europe. They even like kpop have satellite agencies in other countries and scout global talent. But Japan's island syndrome screwed them. Despite knowing the crazy appeal of jpop they barely did anything related to translation services, had draconian rules that prevented forgien fans from engaging with the fandoms and idols. Would never translate a damn thing, would copyright strike everything from fan art to the fan videos, also they would never pursue social media or live streaming services despite knowing the growing popularity. Even now today barely any jpop idol has a social media account. Had these idiots in charge stared a trend to use vlive or something similar etc back then plus embracing fans and the fan generated content like how kpop does jpop would be number one and a group like kattun would be the BTS you know today.


    Our country saw all these failings and pulled the rug right from under Japan and that's why our kpop rules the world.

  • Japan has a very insular mindset when it comes to their cultural content. Anime becoming popular in the West was more of an accident than a deliberate attempt.

    Nintendo are anomalous in their global mindset. Sony's videogame business isn't even Japanese anymore. I think it says a lot that Sony didn't seem to believe it could run an international videogame company in Japan, with Japanese staff. But they believe that Japanese staff can create internationally purchased cameras and televisions and whatever.


    I mean, maybe the reason anime became so big is once again because Nintendo are an atypical Japanese company and therefore Pokรฉmon happened. Idk.

  • From a personal perspective, I went from Jpop to Kpop for a few reasons. One is the music was better. Two was that Korean to me sounds more melodic when sung compared to Japanese which comes across as a bit choppy(?). Kpop is just easier to listen to.


    Also the professionalism is different. Kpop is just so so polished. There really is a big gap in the skill levels. May have changed since I stopped following Jpop of course.

  • Japan has a chokehold on the video game industry? Do you live in the 80's? All they have left is Nintendo and a few smaller developers, as Sony abandoned them for that American $$$. And Kpop, while popular, isn't the most successful music industry by a long shot. Japan is still missing out by comparison, and that's because Korea noticed foreigners taking an interest and decided to actually care, unlike the inward-looking Japanese. Still, the Japanese have the 2nd largest domestic music market (behind the US), so they can afford to be that way.

    Edited 5 times, last by jt3000 ().

  • Whoever created the harsh copyright laws in Japan REALLY fucked up, they basically gave music to Korea on a silver platter. Now look, BTS alone generates 5 billion a year. Japan really let that go. Because of anime and gaming people would have crossed the bridge to Jpop a lot easier than it is with Kpop. Jpop could have been much bigger than Kpop is now.

    still jpop doesn't have the same appeal as kpop

    I'm talking about groups because seriously their soloists are on another level (Korean soloists can't hold a candle to them)

    I mean ofc there are some good groups that can appeal to foreign fans but still, I remember myself being super young and getting weirded out whenever I see the doll-like idols

    kpop managed to get all the success, not because of fewer copyrights alone. everything about kpop, the music genre, the language, the colors, the idols themselves, the dancing etc etc etc. it's a package

  • Iโ€™ve been told jpop was actually way more popular than kpop back in the day, but all of the gatekeeping, strict copyright system etc prevented a large portion of fans from accessing it.


    Making them move onto kpop insteadโ€ฆ Honestly serves Japan right for being so petty about distribution of content.


    Should also be noted that idols arenโ€™t really a big thing in Japan, itโ€™s a very small niche (even though they basically invented the idol system that Korea copied or was heavily inspired by.)


    Japan mainstream music has more focus on soloists and bands than anything else.

    Edited 2 times, last by anti-hero ().

  • Should also be noted that idols arenโ€™t really a big thing in Japan, itโ€™s a very small niche (even though they basically invented the idol system that Korea copied or was heavily inspired by.)


    Japan mainstream music has more focus on soloists and bands than anything else.

    South Koreans say the same thing about Kpop. International fans tend to forget they are just latching onto a particular scene and not Korean music as a whole.

  • Based on the one Japan music show I watched in 2020 ( I think it was FNS), the stages are not so appealing to international audiences, ignoring the music and focusing on the camerawork, the outfits, the mics, it felt like not a lot of money was spent on the stages...

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  • still jpop doesn't have the same appeal as kpop

    I'm talking about groups because seriously their soloists are on another level (Korean soloists can't hold a candle to them)

    I mean ofc there are some good groups that can appeal to foreign fans but still, I remember myself being super young and getting weirded out whenever I see the doll-like idols

    kpop managed to get all the success, not because of fewer copyrights alone. everything about kpop, the music genre, the language, the colors, the idols themselves, the dancing etc etc etc. it's a package

    Very interesting. As someone who hasn't heard of Jpop outside of anime ops, what would you say Kpops appeal is that Jpop doesn't have?

  • Japan has a chokehold on the video game industry? Do you live in the 80's? All they have left is Nintendo and a few smaller developers, as Sony abandoned them for that American $$$. And Kpop, while popular, isn't the most successful music industry by a long shot. Japan is still missing out by comparison, and that's because Korea noticed foreigners taking an interest and decided to actually care, unlike the inward-looking Japanese. Still, the Japanese have the 2nd largest domestic music market (behind the US), so they can afford to be that way.

    But ningningtendo have the mario and looigi

  • Well, getting famous with music seems to happen solwly. A lot of the artists, mainly newer debuted tend to have way more foreign fans and some of their songs got a crap ton of views from people outside Japan and Fujii Kaze is curently so popular internationaly that he is (acording to someone who seems to knows the stats) right now allready in the top500 for "most monthly listeners" on Spotify with over 11 million (which even tops Japan's most famous singer Kenshi Yonezu who has 7 million monthly listeners)

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  • Jpop is consumed globally since the 80โ€™s annd some may argue earlier especially since the 90โ€™s but it is true that it was always a niche among international music fans. In Asia especially, we were listening to Jpop long before KPOP especially popular in the 90โ€™s etc. Jrock bands (several can tour globally) and soloists e.g., Fukuyama Masaharu, Amuro Namie, Hamasaki Ayumi, Utada Hikaru are all known among international music fans (esp. in Asia) that spent time checking out Jpop.


    Plz donโ€™t start the KPOP is better than Jpop and vice versa. Both countries have great music and I feel as if many here havenโ€™t really even explored Jpop properly to be judging. Listening to a few anime songs or a few group isnโ€™t representative of the wide range of genre and type of music available in Jpn. Your preferences are not an indicator of quality.


    It is true that their strict copyright laws holds them back but music from Japan has always has foreign listeners for many decades.

  • Jpop/Jrock has always been popular, dare I say the Visual Kei wave in the mid to late 2000's was as big if not bigger than Kpop is today, you have bands like Tokio Hotel, Cinema Bizarre etc. who have been heavily inspired by it.

    In general I think they have a completely different target audience, as someone who listens to far more japanese music than kpop, I can see why one wouldn't appeal to the other and vice versa.

  • Cinema Bizarre

    Are you perhaps from Europe? And are you perhaps also 25 and older?


    That there are still people remembering them, and I was so close to forget that they even existed. I remember as I first ever heard about them and there was a music program where a MC talked to an artist with like 20 people sitting in the background and since I was like 11-12 at that time was quit confused and a bit scared of them (they just did not fit into the room, this is like when you would buy 20 red roses and put 1 yellow rose in there)

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  • Very interesting. As someone who hasn't heard of Jpop outside of anime ops, what would you say Kpops appeal is that Jpop doesn't have?

    Sometimes I feel like I can't relate to jpop groups. They can be too childish for me sometimes.

  • Are you perhaps from Europe? And are you perhaps also 25 and older?


    That there are still people remembering them, and I was so close to forget that they even existed. I remember as I first ever heard about them and there was a music program where a MC talked to an artist with like 20 people sitting in the background and since I was like 11-12 at that time was quit confused and a bit scared of them (they just did not fit into the room, this is like when you would buy 20 red roses and put 1 yellow rose in there)

    Yes, I'm from Europe and in my late 20's ^^. I remember seeing them in lots of music magazines, I probably had enough posters of them to cover an entire house.

  • Yes, I'm from Europe and in my late 20's ^^. I remember seeing them in lots of music magazines, I probably had enough posters of them to cover an entire house.

    lol I didn't cared much for their existence, but around the year as they had disbanded one girl I met online was like straight forward saying in a chat that she was releated to a member where I was like "why do you tell me about that, we don't even know eachother". All she had to say was her family found her, apparently cousin, weird since being in a band would've apparently made him trow some attitude and everyone hated him for that or something, blah and I was "em ok?"


    And I met that girl on a website similiar to roblox back than xD


    IDK I found it quit strange at the end how Lady Gaga said she found them and wanted to make them famous worldwide and in like 2009 she even said that musicians like them had inspired her for her 2nd album


    god, when I remember back at this time how different music was to what music is now. European music was played all across the globe and since the songs were in English you allways asumed they were from America or England since you had no internet as kid to check wikipedia lol and you didn't even knew Wikipedia even existed back than, everyone wore low fitting jeans, glitter eyeshadows, people had super thin eyebrows and tiny handbags and played with Nintedo DS and smartphones might existed but nobody knew about them till 4-5 years after the 1st one everyone started to only wanting to have smartphones. (it's crazy to realise that the first iphone is from 15 years ago)


    times changed so much over the years

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  • There are a lot of reasons mentioned, but I didn't read yet one of my hardships (or I am blind and I skipped someone): group names and song titles were hardly ever easily accessible from my point of view. I do understand that it's a different language and culture, but I have no way to adapt to their writing system in a short time period so I couldn't search or find easily songs and bands that I liked, not speaking about the times I forgot and was without tools to search for them. I don't know if that changed, I am not really interested anymore.

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  • If you think like this, than you most likly didn't saw enough different artists

    I'm not talking about the soloists. They are something else and I've been listening to Japanese music for more than a decade

    I'm talking about jpop groups . Not all of them ofc

  • Although Japan is still the second largest music market in the world thanks to physical single/album and DVD sales, unfortunately it could not be opened to the world due to a very strict copyright system and inaccessibility. Also, the cute Jpop didn't really have a chance to open up to the world anyway. Only solo artists and Jrock artists had a better chance of succeeding. And that's why bands like X Japan, Baby Metal, ONE OK ROCK or KAT-TUN have been so successful and able to expand into US and Europe. As someone else mentioned, Johnny's, who had wasted a huge potential group like KAT-TUN, is now trying their luck by sending their new groups to shows like AGT this year lol

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  • the japanese gatekeeping is truly next level but it makes every discovery of japanese artists that I actually like so much more rewarding. but no matter what the genre, real fans know that there is usually a japanese artist that are excellent at that genre


    this was my SOTY 2 years ago


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  • Didn't listen to them much either, the music was nice but the lyrics were a cringe fest, I'm low-key glad my english wasn't the best back then ^^ .

    I miss those times too, having to buy magazines to keep up with your favorite artists, that's how I actually discovered jpop/jrock, the internet was just for games and yahoo messenger.

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