The past year in Japanese pop has felt like one big musical revue devoted to the Heisei Era (1989-2019), with TV shows reflecting on the biggest hits of that period. Now that Reiwa has finally started, the cultural discourse can turn to figuring out how this new period’s sound will come together.
Well, not quite yet. There are still a lot of lessons to be learned from the preceding period of music history that the young creators fated to define the future can turn to. What follows are the four big ones coming from this writer’s head.