W. David Marx
Japan Times
PODCAST / deep dive
Aug 28, 2019
Episode 21: The death of Johnny Kitagawa, J-pop's puppet master
On this week's episode we discuss the life and recent death of Johnny Kitagawa, the secretive mega mogul behind some of Japan's biggest music acts.
Nov 23, 2007
Various Artists "Unicorn Tribute"
Like the tributes to powerful kings of old, the two-disc compilation "Unicorn Tribute" brings together 17 lesser parties to pay their respects to the Japanese rock band Unicorn. Formed in Hiroshima in 1986, Unicorn rose to fame in the "Band Boom" of the late 1980s that redirected Japanese pop music away...
Japan Times
Oct 19, 2006
Shibuya-kei leaves a warm afterglow
Although the artists once grouped under the Shibuya-kei umbrella -- Cornelius, Kahimi Karie and Fantastic Plastic Machine, to name a few -- have moved away from their old musical styles and want distance from the genre, Shibuya-kei remains a convenient expression to identify that loose assembly of 1990s...
LIFE / Language
Feb 28, 2006
To learn the Japanese language, get pod-agogical
With Internet blogs beginning to challenge traditional print media, it was only a matter of time before a new medium broke radio's traditional choke hold on free audio programming. Enter podcasts, the downloadable MP3 audio files that feature mixes of music and chatter created by amateurs worldwide....
Japan Times
Dec 16, 2005
YMCK: "Family Racing"
The world over, nostalgia for 1980s video games is rife. But it is only fitting that the absolute kings, nay, gods of Famicon Pop are a group hailing from Japan -- YMCK.
Nov 25, 2005
Teriyaki Boyz: "Beef or Chicken"
Diamond teeth alone cannot bequeath the title "hip-hop mogul," so now A Bathing Ape owner Nigo has become a pop Svengali with the creation of "super group" Teriyaki Boyz. Ignore the silly album title; the Ape General called up a cadre of famous producers such as Daft Punk, DJ Shadow and Adrock to provide...


Traditional folk rituals like Mizudome-no-mai (dance to stop the rain) provide a sense of agency to a population that feels largely powerless in the face of the climate crisis.
As climate extremes intensify, Japan embraces ancient weather rituals