The coming influx of an idol workforce

| Nov 29, 2012

The coming influx of an idol workforce

by Ian Martin

Much has been made in the media over the problem of Japan’s aging population and shrinking workforce. But there is another demographic time bomb, at the heart of Japan’s most militantly youthful sector of society, just waiting to explode. I’m talking, of course, about ...

| Oct 25, 2012

Western stereotypes may explain Japan's Psy-lence

by Ian Martin

Amid all the excitement, analysis and general horse-dancing hoo-haa over Korean musician Psy’s smash hit “Gangnam Style,” one story that has provoked a certain amount of head-scratching among fans is the song’s relative lack of success in Japan. Brian Ashcraft produced a good summary ...

A tale of two paths to indie success

| Mar 29, 2012

A tale of two paths to indie success

by Ian Martin

Tokyo postpunk quartet Otori is an archetypal product of the city’s underground live-music scene. The band’s sets feature a machine-gun rattle of drums, slashes of guitar that explode in fierce climaxes, and bursts of scattershot vocals that teeter on the brink of hysteria — ...