Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Hello Japan! January: music to my ears

Hello Japan!
Hello Japan! is a monthly mini-challenge focusing on Japanese literature and culture. Each month there will be a new task which relates to some aspect of life in Japan. Anyone is welcome to join in any time. You can post about the task on your blog. Or if you don't have a blog, you can leave a comment on the Hello Japan! post for the month. Everyone who completes the task will then be included in the drawing for that month's prize. For more information, just click on the Hello Japan! button above, or if you have any questions please feel free to email me at inspringthedawn AT gmail DOT com.
December's mini-challenge was apparently a bit difficult so something hopefully much simpler this month, and a suggestion by Gnoe and Novroz. I'm always happy to hear suggestions for future Hello Japan! mini-challenges so don't hesitate to send me an email if you have an idea, or two or three.

no music no life
Image: Original source unclear, image found at Furu Anime Panikku (via Google Image search).

January's Topic

Music is pretty big business in Japan. There's J-pop, J-rock, J-rap, R&B, anime music, enka, folk music, music from Kabuki, or Noh, taiko drums, shamisen, and a whole host of other traditional Japanese music and instruments.

BBC Music in Japan Documentary (It's a few years old but still an interesting introduction to Japanese music).

January's Task

This month's task is to listen to Japanese music. What kind, and how much is completely up to you.

You might already have some favourite Japanese musicians, but regardless, you're sure to find some Japanese music simply by searching Google or YouTube. However, here are a couple of links to perhaps get you started.

List of some Japanese music artists with profile information, and for many of them you can listen to and watch a video of one of their songs.
Listen to Japan-a-Radio, Big B Radio or J-Wave Radio for free online.

January's Prize

Not a music-related prize, but since 2010, the Year of the Tiger, has just begun, one participant who takes part in the challenge this month will be chosen at random to win this Year of the Tiger hanging decoration.

Year of the Tiger

Once you have completed the task, don't forget to come back here to add your link to the Mr. Linky below. Please submit the link to the actual post, not just to your top page, and please only submit links to posts relating to the Hello Japan! task for this month. All other links will be deleted. Thank you for your understanding, and have fun!

The small print:  Links in this post to Amazon contain my Associates ID.  Purchases made via these links earn me a small commission.  For more information visit my About Page.


  1. exciting! love it! i know just the thing to share ;-D
    btw: happy new year!

  2. Ooh, I like this month's theme. Will need to put some thought into how to post about it..

  3. Thank you Tanabata :hug:

    I begin this challenge with an introduction of finding J-Rock....many will come... soon :)

  4. I'm hoping to be able to join in some of your read alongs and challenges this year but in the meantime I wanted to let you know that I have passed on an award to you over at my blog!

  5. My entry for the January mini-challenge:

    Thanks to my son, I've been listening to The Blue Hearts (they're punk music) for a year now. My son started me on them, because the Clash are one of my favorite bands and they were a major influence on The Blue Hearts. My son gave me The Blue Hearts' 5th CD (I already have the first 4) "High Kicks" for Christmas and I listened to it today for the first time. Sounds good and I look forward to listening to it (and the other CDs I have of theirs) again.

  6. When it comes to J-Pop, I love listening to Utada Hikaru and YUI!

    And that's a pretty anime picture you posted there, Tanabata :)

  7. I've just discovered Toshi. I'm going to give my post some thought but I definitely want to try and participate each month.

  8. lol this sounds like fun. lol the only problem is: So many bands/singers to choose from! OH THE DILEMMA~

    btw, are we allowed to participate even though we weren't around for the challenges from Oct? I only discovered your blog like, yesterday, so yeah... ^^;;;;

  9. Velvet - Great! I look forward to your post. And thanks! Happy New Year to you too. :)

    Michelle - I see you've already posted! I need to come over and check it out.

    Novroz - You're very welcome. I actually don't listen to that much Japanese music lately so I'm looking forward to hearing your suggestions.

    Karen - Thank you so much for thinking of me! I hope you'll be able to join some of the group reads and such this year too, we'd love to have you!

    Teresa - Thanks for joining in this month. How fun that your son introduced you to a Japanese punk band influenced by the Clash! I'm going to have to try to give them a listen.

    Mark David - I don't know where the picture is from originally, I just found it in my Googling, but I thought it suited this month's topic. :)

    Heather - I haven't heard of Toshi, will have to check him out. And I'd love to have you join in whenever you can!

    Ah Yuan - But this way it's interesting to see which bands or types of music everyone chooses.
    And yes, of course you can join in any time. There's no obligation to have participated from the beginning, or even to join each month.

  10. I went a bit crazy and compiled my favorites in late 90s-early 2000s.

    I might even put more. Thanks for bringing back memories :)

  11. I guess we're really making up for last month's 'low tide', aren't we? ;)

  12. I finally managed to post about the Japanese music I listen to! You can find my post here.
    Thanks a lot for making me listen to Japanese music again. :-)

  13. Mee - Thanks for sharing some of your favourites! :)

    gnoegnoe - Yes, thank you!

    Kathrin - You're welcome, I hope you enjoyed listening again. :P


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