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.
Oh yes, J-Pop that we know today is a general term that contains many types (genres) of Japanese music such as pop, rock, dance, rap and soul. In Japan, the term J-Pop is used to distinguish modern musical styles from Japanese classical music called Enka or the form of traditional Japanese ballads. We also often hear terms like J-Rock, Visual Kei and J-Rap, but all of these terms are in J-Pop shade.
The term J-Pop itself is not really known in the music scene in Japan, until finally the term J-pop is echoed by a radio station called “J-WAVE” to show a different type of music from folk music. Whether we realize it or not, J-Pop is more or less influenced by American-style which is the strongest influence on the development of music in Japan.
The most popular example is the famous North Japanese singer Hikaru. This girl singer became popular in urban hip-hop style with thick American influences. His style is different in Japan because it is more similar or almost the same as American hip-hop. That was also because Utada Hikaru was born and raised in New York. Although the Japanese color that is highlighted, it still feels thick.
J-Pop music is part of Japanese popular culture. And it has been used everywhere such as anime, advertisements, films, radio and television shows, and video games. Even some news programs on television use J-pop songs as the closing ceremony.
J-Pop’s growth rate is extremely high. In other anime and television shows, especially dramas, J-pop songs used as soundtracks tend to change every season (season) to four times a year. When counted the opening song (OP) and closing (ED) and the event lasts for one year, then at least have eight songs as part of the event.
In Indonesia, J-Pop fever began when the Ko Ko Ro No Tomo song exploded in the 80s. Quite unique actually, when sappy pop songs are so rampant, Mayumi Itsuwa suddenly enters and makes a difference. At that time, all pop music fans suddenly could speak Japanese.
Starting from J-pop which was influenced by outside music, and the results were hit with expansion to outside of Japan. J-Pop artists began performing outside Japan starting from around countries in Asia, then expanding to Australia, America and even Europe. Even J-pop began to be used as musical inspiration in several countries such as Indonesia with groups inspired by the most marketable Japanese artists in Indonesia, L`arc en Ciel. Then followed their imitated fashion style.
J-ROCK IS BREAKING
Not only the pop genre, J-Rock also became one of the outbreaks in Asian countries. Many Japanese style rock styles are copied and become a trend