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When I made the decision to embark on a largely bicycle-based tour of every prefecture in Japan to investigate music scenes outside the industry mother-brain of Tokyo, I made a point of not having any expectations.

Once on the road, however, the theme that quickly jumped to the fore was the relationship between the gravitational pull of “home” and the need to escape and look beyond. In the music scene, the tension between those two forces often manifests itself in the balance between bringing in new, exciting music from elsewhere and the need to foster the development of local musicians.

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