Japanese Music Timeline

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  • 1960s – Inspired by Western acts such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Group Sounds represented a confluence of genres, evolving Japanese kayoukyoku pop of the 50s into Japan’s first rock genre.
  • 1967 – Kabushiki-gaisha Orikon formed.  Oricon provides information on the Japanese music industry, and its charts are a definitive measure of popularity.
  • 1970s – Progressive rock movement moves away from original psychadelic rock movement.
  • 1978 – Yellow Magic Orchestra formed, pioneering the electropop genre in Japanese that will later heavily influence modern Japanese pop and dance.
  • 1980s – Japanese alternative and noise rock genres flourish.  Japanese rock diverges into a myriad of styles including underground, punk, metal, and hardcore.
  • 1982 – X Japan founded, pioneering visual kei and popularizing power metal.
  • 1990s – Popular music sees rising use in other media such as film, anime, TV, drama, games, etc.  Some bands that took root in the 80s achieve wild commercial success.
  • 1997 – The first Fuji Rock Festival held.  It is followed by the openings of several other rock festivals.
  • 1999 – Glay holds a concert with 200,000 people in attendance: the largest ever in Japan.