The Commissioner for Cultural Affairs thinks that some Japanese music sucks and irritates many


Newly appointed commissioner bringing a little X factor cultural promotion.

This month Shunichi Tokura has been appointed Commissioner of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, a division of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology responsible, among other things, for promoting Japanese art and culture abroad.

Tokura’s appointment was interesting, because he is an accomplished songwriter with a career spanning decades. Her most notable work is probably the 1977 hit “UFO” by Pink Lady.

This should be good news for the many musicians in Japan who are struggling to work with the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. Shortly after taking his seat in the agency, Tokura pledged to work hard to help music recovery in Japan working closely with artists and even pushing for “the enjoyment of culture and art” to become the 18th item on the UN list of sustainable development goals.

Tokura also highlighted the importance of unity in the Japanese music industry so that it can keep up with South Korea, which the 72-year-old commissioner said overtook Japan in the blink of an eye. To that end, he says Japanese artists also need to improve their game to compete on the world stage, and that’s where the problems start.

“I will not say who”, Tokura told the media while discussing current Japanese artists, “But the songs are weakly sung, transmitted to a computer and played. What about the substance? Is there blood flowing in the music? These are the important questions.

He’s clearly not talking about our own Seiji Nakazawa, aka The Hardest Working Man not in Showbusiness.

Most people would agree that the heart has to be put into music to make it really great. But by preceding his remark with “I won’t say who,” Tokura really seems to have one or more people in mind, and his lyrics come across as more of an attack on modern music than a rallying cry.

As a result, netizens were a bit confused and largely unimpressed, and some questioned whether Tokura was really the right person for the job at hand.

“It’s your job to make sure all Japanese musicians can make money. Do not impose your personal tastes.
“I think he’s talking about bands that treat their voices like AKB or Perfume, not artists who have become famous thanks to the Internet like Kenshi Yonezu or Ado, right?
“I wouldn’t want to be an EDM artist in Japan right now. “
“Some people have said that Yasushi Akimoto broke the Japanese music industry, and I agree.”
“Height correction is nothing new and is being used all over the world. What is this guy talking about? ”
“Looks like he’s talking about Pink Lady.”
“A way to diminish all the art of record engineering, Mr. Commissioner.”

Some comments pointed to an interesting irony in Tokura’s words, referring to the fact that Japan’s biggest musical export of the past decade was exactly what he described. People who may not have singing skills themselves can still create and publish songs with vocals using computers and Vocaloid software, which was developed in Japan.

That being said, it doesn’t look like he’s attacking the concept of digital effects on wholesale music. After all, Tokura was in its prime around the same time that Yellow Magic Orchestra pioneered the art of digitally altered voices and synthesized sounds in Japanese popular music.

Rather, he is simply trying to say that if Japan ever hopes to achieve greater global fame, it must move away from the type of lazy music production that relies on computers to make up for a celebrity’s innate lack of skills in order to capitalize on their good. appearance or other marketable qualities.

I think I know the person he’s talking about, but I won’t say who.

Sources: Sports Hochi, Itai News
Photos © SoraNews24
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