When it comes to music journalism in Japan, monthly magazine Rockin’On is an institution. The man behind the mag, 64-year-old Yoichi Shibuya, has expanded it from a print publication to two massive festivals to a multimedia force that covers everything from music to food and art.
It has survived during a difficult time, too. Magazines have seen a general decline in sales in Japan, competitors like Snoozer and Crossbeat have had to downsize or bow out altogether. Rockin’On’s early diversification has helped it immensely. When I meet Shibuya on the 19th floor of a building in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, the space is clean, well-organized and quiet with about 65 employees. Many of them are going over final preparations for Rock in Japan Festival, which will take place over the course of two weekends at the beginning of August.