Music is often characterized over-simplistically as a battle between rock and pop, seriousness and fun, but the two are always in an ever-shifting balance. With this column coming to the end of its six-year run, it feels timely to cast a look back — and perhaps also a hopeful eye forward — over the changing state of music in Japan.

Fashion in both the mainstream and indie music scenes rarely moves in sync, but a common feature of both is that they ebb and flow according to tidal patterns of their own.

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