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While traveling in the northeastern part of Japan last month, I was struck by the way quirky, alternative and avant-garde music carves out a space for itself in parts of the country that are isolated from the major cultural centers.

Since moving on into the areas of the Kanto region that surround Tokyo, however, it has become clear that the challenges local musical communities must deal with here are in many ways the reverse of those facing more isolated areas such as Tohoku.

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