Indeed, when listening to historical facts and data scattered in some literature, modern music that entered Japan was brought by Americans. Those Americans – initially introduced jazz. Reportedly, jazz is the root of J-Pop that we know today.
The roots of J-Pop originated from Jazz music which was popular at the beginning of the Showa era. The beginning of the Showa Era began in 1926 by Emperor Hirohito until the time of World War II 1945. Jazz introduced various types of musical instruments which were previously only used for classical music and in the military, in various bars and clubs such as “Ongaku Kissa” which is one the famous Jazz performance venue.
But during World War II, jazz music was stopped due to pressure from the Japanese royal army. After the war ended, the United States Army introduced to Japan the types of typical American music such as boogie-woogie, mambo, blues and country. The types of music are performed by Japanese musicians to American troops who occupy the US headquarters in Japan. Songs like “Tokyo Boogie-Woogie” sung by Sizuko Kasaoki (1948), “Tennesse Waltz” by Eri Chiemi (1951), “Omatsuri Mambo” by Misora Hibari and “Omoide no Waltz” by Izumi Yukimura became popular in Japan.
Even outside musicians such as Jazz At The Philharmonic and Louis Armstrong once visited Japan to perform. 1952 was the year when Jazz music was booming. However, Jazz is not a type of music that is easy to learn so most Japanese amateur musicians learn country music which is considered the easiest to learn.
Rock and Roll fever began to hit Japan in 1956 by a country music group, Kosaka Kazuya and Wagon Masters who released the album “Heartbreak Hotel”, which was originally delivered by the king Elvis Presley. This rock and roll outbreak reached its peak in 1959 with the emergence of a film that focused on performing Japanese rock and roll groups. The fall of rock and roll in the United States was followed by Japan along with the many groups in Japan who were nothing but imitating American Rock and Roll.