Week 6: Moving Forward

In light of last week’s worrying conundrum in deciding the mode of interaction with my digital artefact I am happy to have found an article which has confirmed a starting point for the community. Yoshitaka Mōri (2009) provides an interesting look at the evolution of J-Pop, it it is through his discussion of the “genre” that it is made apparent that J-Pop is not a genre but a signifier of a process of it’s evolution. Mōri summarises this in the quote “the success of J-Pop, it’s petty nationalist tendency and hybrid quality of music are definitely an effect of, and a response to, globalization and it’s consequent anxiety” (2009, p.485). On reflection on this point it seems as if I have somehow subconsciously been drawn back to my interests as discussed in my very first post. J-Pop ultimately serves as a response to an Imagined Asia, a response to fears of the diluting effects of western content. J-Pop is described by Mōri as a descriptor of appropriations of western music first encouraged as a response to forcing the popular radio station J-WAVE to play Japanese music as it was initially a western music only station (2009). They didn’t want to play more traditional Japanese songs but instead sought out songs that sounded like they had been made in Europe and the US but had been made in Japan, ”J-pop was the genre that filled the gap between Japanese popular music and western music at that moment“ (Mōri 2009, p. 476)


By looking at the idea of J-Pop more widely as opposed to what I feel was too intense a specificity, a community has the opportunity to be developed. What I am proposing is simply turning the ideas I had last week on their head. Instead of there being a single producer everyone is, which will further promote an open engagement. As J-Pop was an appropriation we can replicate this process by going back to an original idea of making simple sound packs maybe one instrument or texture for the community to use in the creation of new songs, using as many or as few as they want whilst retaining the freedom to mix in new sounds that they feel compliment. It will be interesting to see if a new genre or sound is perpetuated by this free interaction, though it might be slightly ambitious considering the time frame of the project.


Mōri, Y 2009, “J-pop: from the ideology of creativity to DiY music culture”, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, vol. 10, no. 4 pp 474-488


  1. Hi James,

    Am I understanding you correctly in saying that for your digital artefact, you will be producing a J-Pop song? If so, I am highly impressed and can’t wait to hear it! If not, what is it exactly you will be producing with your digital artefact?

    I do not know a lot about J-pop, but of what I have read so far in people’s posts is that this music type began as a specifically Japanese style of music production, strictly produced by Japanese people. This seems slightly ludicrous in the grand scheme of things, because it is a style which can be remade by anyone. If someone is to remake the style of music, such as yourself, an Australian, is it not technically J-Pop?

    As you stated, in the article you read, Mōri describes J-Pop as a signifier of a process of it’s evolution. This makes more sense to me rather than to label the music as a genre, as it is merely a name describing how the music has progressed over time.

    Can’t wait to hear your song!!


  2. It is interesting to hear about the real evolution of J-Pop. I don’t have much knowledge of J-Pop, and I don’t think I have ever really heard any J-Pop songs, (although, I may have and just not realised) but your idea for the digital artefact is a good one!


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