Rock Music


Rock music in Japan began in the 1960s. With influences from bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Japanese kayoukyoku evolved into rock. Although rock music has been in Japan for long time, during the post-bubble recession, its popularity suddenly skyrocketed. On top of that, during this period music in general made its way into various other media. For instance, music appeared as theme songs for anime and drama. Because of this, much of Japanese entertainment culture is affected by music.

To young people, music is a reflection of one’s own self. Thus, music is a part of many subcultures. For example, anime otaku listen to the theme songs of their favorite anime. Naturally, idol otaku will listen to their idol’s songs, and imitate their idol’s style. From migrant workers to hikikomori, everyone listens to music, thus making music so important to culture as a whole.

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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 – Public Company Oricon 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.

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About the Fuji Rock Festival (Translation)

In order to traverse the premises one must walk. There are no cleanly maintained and paved roads. In fact, most sites are built on dirt or gravel. Naturally, if rain falls, the premises will be muddy. There are also no locations for everyone to take shelter from rain. Further, the throngs of guidance and information clerks that one may normally expect at concerts and events will not be present, nor will such guidance services. Many of the multiple stages will hold performances simultaneously, making it impossible to see everything. Furthermore, due to this and stage entrance regulation, sometimes one may not be able to see a preferred artist. There will be times when long lines for the portable toilets persist, and sometimes there will be no toilet paper. During congestion, going from the entrance gate to the Orange Court at the deepest part of the premises may take upwards of 30 minutes.

Naturally, live events are living things, so each stage may face its own speed-ups and delays, causing peoples’ schedules to collapse at times. Since over 200 artists are to perform in a period of 3 days, please consider that an anticipated performer may hurriedly cancel. Also, when the executive office comes upon difficulties in management and judgment, management rules may be revised regardless of announcement time and method. Of course we will exhaust the best of our efforts in order to prevent such messes as rule changes and cancellations, however should they occur, there will be no compensations such as ticket refunding.

For this festival we discard the notion of coming with the ideas of “Selfish Convenience” or “Leave it to Others” and instead hold together the ideas of “Do It Yourself”, “Cooperation”, and “Respect for Nature.”

Although this festival is far removed from the city lifestyle, in the middle of nature, away from everyday life, is a place where one can freely enjoy music in one’s own style. A riveting atmosphere and passion is here: one that can only be experienced by coming, and cannot be expressed by mere words.

Despite the minimal rules, during the festival we offer a place where everyone can enjoy the festival in whatever style they please. By combining everyone’s powers, let’s greatly enjoy the festival. Naturally, we of the staff have created and now offer this to you with all our belief in the power of music.

Oricon Style Homepage

  • Japanese entertainment news, including rankings of CD albums and singles

X Japan Homepage

  • Famous speed metal band

2009 Fuji Rock Festival Homepage

  • This year’s Fuji Rock Festival

This Entry Contributed by: William He