A Japanese professor of English was lamenting to me that Japanese young people these days are not interested in going abroad to study English. (He thinks this presages the end of Japanese civilization.)

Today, I read a post that I think goes some way to explaining this phenomenon.  For better or worse, I think  the days of “admiration” for the West “akogare” (longing and admiration) are over.  Mike Rogers’ main point is “You might think that major Japanese artists all suck and I might well agree. But I will add that they suck no more or less than most big western (especially Top 40) artists! But no one can sneeze at Japanese bands that can sell out an entire week at the Tokyo Dome. And the list of bands that do is long.”

For many years, Japan and Japanese rock stars have had an inferiority complex towards western artists as they deservedly should have. But nowadays, things have changed in Japan. And, when they can make this kind of money playing in Japan – and never make near that amount in the west – all the while western artists come here to make big money – why bother going to play in the USA?

Sure, the big name artists still dream of becoming big in the west too, but the west doesn’t hold the allure it once did for people. And that’s not just people in Japan, but, I think for people all over the world.

Sure, some dream of Hollywood and New York, but when it comes to the big name Japanese artists (who don’t sing in English anyway) it’s no longer practical to even consider trying to break into the USA market… Most certainly isn’t profitable.

These big name Japanese artists can stay at home, in their comfy chairs, and copy the western artists that they are inspired by and make those musicians’ music their own.

The domestic audience doesn’t know the difference.

via Marketing Japan: Lady Gaga, Coldplay and Other Western Artists are Minor in Japan.


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