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Patrick St. Michel
Patrick St. Michel is a Tokyo-based writer with a focus on Japanese music. He runs the blog Make Believe Melodies, which has focused on Japanese independent music since 2009. Besides The Japan Times, he also contributes to MTV 81 and The Atlantic.
For Patrick St. Michel's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music / 2022 in Review
Dec 23, 2022
The big J-pop hits of 2022? They came from TikTok and anime.
Acts such as Kaze Fujii and Sekai No Owari found success via viral trends, while artists like Ado and Aimer topped the charts thanks to anime collaborations.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Dec 15, 2022
Phung Khanh Linh and artists abroad get creative with city pop palette
In 2022, the world tuned in to the glitzy sounds of Japan's bubble era more than ever before. For musicians outside of Japan, their appreciation of the genre goes beyond nostalgia.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital
Dec 10, 2022
YouTubers eye online success with renewed Japan travels
As incoming influencers revisit tried and true topics now that the government has eased border restrictions, some are taking this inclination to cater to viewers to extremes.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Dec 5, 2022
Forget 'Cool Japan,' just make it your Japan
'Cool Japan' ambassador and critic Benjamin Boas reimagines efforts to promote the nation's brand abroad in his new book, u201cFrom u2018Cool Japanu2019 to u2018Your Japan.u2019u201d
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital
Nov 28, 2022
Chuhai Labs takes a democratic approach to running its game studio
A former Nintendo employee takes what he learned from the gaming behemoth and aims to improve upon it at his own game studio.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital
Nov 18, 2022
Celebrities give a needed boost to Japan’s podcast industry
Companies are putting in greater efforts to make the podcast medium mainstream by teaming up with high-profile names such as Hideo Kojima to drive a shift in listener interest.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Entertainment news
Nov 16, 2022
The return of K-pop and a cartoon cameo dot this year's 'Kohaku' lineup
The 73rd edition of NHK's annual musical extravaganza will see domestic acts such as Ryokuoushoku Shakai, Aimer, Be:First and JO1, as well as South Korean groups, take the stage.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music / Sound Off
Nov 13, 2022
Johnny's departures signal growing pains
Though netizens speculated wildly after Johnny & Associates announced the departure of notable figures, the likely explanation is simply that the talent agency is in a moment of transition.
Japan Times
PODCAST / deep dive
Oct 26, 2022
Japanese pop culture in China: It’s complicated.
Japan and China recently celebrated 50 years of relations and, since then, Japanese art, film and music has had a major impact on Chinese society. Recently, however, the Chinese market has become increasingly difficult to navigate.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Oct 6, 2022
Pop pioneer 'Yuming' reflects the spirit of the times
Yumi Matsutoya's arrival in the 1970s ushered in a new era of Japanese music. The singer-songwriter is now celebrating 50 years with a collection of hits titled, 'Yuming Banzai!'
Japan Times
CULTURE / Longform
Sep 26, 2022
Big in China, but can the party last for Japan’s artists?
Overseas artists can make a splash in China u2014 provided they abide by the rules.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Sep 23, 2022
Tenka finds a deeper connection with the wilderness on 'Hydration'
Producer Daisuke Fujita's new project with the moniker "Tenka" offers a sensory experience steeped in the beauty of nature.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital
Sep 17, 2022
'Konbini Confessions' captures the late-night antics of city dwellers
Rapper Miyachi's YouTube channel taps into local nightlife with humor and humanity, revealing a side of Japan not often seen in uploads centered on the country.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital
Sep 10, 2022
YouTubers Daidus and Emirichu follow their dreams to Japan
The illustrators, who moved to Tokyo earlier this year and are among the biggest names in the world of u201cstorytime animators,u201d credit anime as a major influence on their style.
Japan Times
LIFE
Aug 28, 2022
Foraging vegetables and fending off roosters: Daily life on Shikoku's zero-waste frontier
Kana Lauren Chan has let her desires for direct action guide her across the globe u2014 including to her latest stop in Japan's most eco-friendly town.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music / Sound Off
Aug 27, 2022
Online discourse sends netizens into a tizzy over Summer Sonic controversies
Two Japanese groups came under criticism online for seemingly mocking foreign acts during the music festival, even though many of the commentators were nowhere near the real-life scene.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Aug 27, 2022
Overseas acts make a joyous return to Summer Sonic
The future of live concerts seems much firmer after this year's edition of the two-day music festival, which featured acts such as The 1975, Post Malone, Megan Thee Stallion and Maneskin.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Aug 20, 2022
Ado stays in the shadows to let her music shine at live arena performance
The J-pop artist, who keeps her real identity concealed, recently held her second live show ever, during which she offered an alternative to how pop stars of her status usually have to be.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Aug 18, 2022
Nanako Sato brings back the groove of a bygone era
The singer-songwriter's latest release, u201cRadio Moon and Roses 1979Hz,u201d captures the creative freedom of 1970s Japan.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Aug 13, 2022
Expect a spectacle at this year's Summer Sonic
The summer music festival held concurrently in Tokyo and Osaka will roll out a roster loaded with overseas acts and a strong showing of rock and K-pop.

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