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Racist in the West, Cool in Japan

By Mika Fukuda
Intern, CarterJMRN K.K.

From Gwen Stefani’s “Harajuku Girls” backup dancers to Katy Perry’s geisha get-up for the 2013 American Music Awards, what has been criticised in the West as racial appropriation of Japanese culture for the sake of entertainment seems to have had an entirely opposite reception in Japan.

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Karaoke – Like It Or Not, It’s Here to Stay

By Debbie Howard
Chairman, CarterJMRN K.K.

One aspect of Japanese leisure culture to which nearly every visitor to Japan is exposed is the ubiquitous practice of karaoke – the practice of singing popular songs with recorded background music – usually involving copious libations and a modicum of self-humiliation.

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Japan’s Biggest Pop Star is Not Even Human

By Debbie Howard


She has over 100,000 original songs under her name, some of which have been top karaoke picks in Japan for several years in a row. She has 1.8mn (and growing!) followers on Facebook—more than any other individual Japanese pop star or pop group. She has sold out concerts around the world and has served as the face for such top global brands as Louis Vuitton, Google, and Toyota.

But she’s not human.

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Playing Its Own Tune

Despite changes Worldwide, the music industry here is still driven by CDs

By Dominic Carter


Many a time it has been said that Japan likes to do things its own way. And nowhere is this truer than in the music business. In the past decade in Western markets we have witnessed an almost complete transformation in the landscape of the music industry.

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