As Japan’s state of emergency comes to an end, NiziU’s “Make You Happy” becomes the song of the summer.

In Episode 3 of Recultured, we discuss what happens when the government lifts Japan’s state of emergency, and the country attempts to adjust to a “new normal.” Pop group NiziU’s song “Make You Happy” provides an upbeat soundtrack for the summer, and hints at bigger changes underway.

Guests on this episode:

  • Aya Nogami, international music consultant: LinkedIn
  • Chris Broad, YouTuber and podcaster, Abroad in Japan: YouTube
  • Hannah Lee, writer for Arama Japan: Twitter:
  • James Hadfield, Japan Times culture writer: Twitter
  • Jay Kogami, writer for All Digital Music and Music Ally Japan: Twitter
  • Seimei Kawai, co-founder of Trekkie Trax: Twitter
  • Ronald Taylor, writer for Arama Japan and Japan Times contributor: Twitter

Music discussed in this episode:


Recultured is brought to you by Food-e, Tokyo’s first gourmet restaurant delivery service. Food-e delivers from some of Tokyo’s finest restaurants, such as Nobu Tokyo and The Oak Door Steakhouse, to homes, offices and parties. Premium dining — now at your fingertips and available exclusively at www.food-e.jp.


This episode was hosted by Shaun McKenna and Alyssa I. Smith. It was written by Patrick St. Michel and Oscar Boyd, with extra help from our intern Tadasu Takahashi. It was produced by Oscar Boyd. Our theme music was by LLLL, and this episode was recorded at the Temple University Japan Campus in Sangenjaya, Tokyo. Illustrations by Ming Ong.


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