I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Japanese City Pop

Early last year, I came across this book at the Shinjuku Station Tower Records. Now, my ability to read Japanese isn't exactly up to what is required of most Japanese people...around 2,500 kanji. But I was interested enough in the contents to invest my 1,890 yen, and I haven't regretted it.
"Japanese City Pop"is a catalogue of 500 selected albums which fit the category from 1970 to 2002. So, the names are a who's who from the Japanese music industry such as Yumi Matsutoya(松任谷由実) to Mr. Children, and they also include artists who never really registered into mainstream pop. I came across a large number of names whose CDs I was able to track down, such as Yasuhiro Abe(安部恭弘), for whom I've already written one entry, and Hitomi Tohyama(当山ひとみ) (to be listed later). Provided that you can read Japanese, this is a must for not just the City Pop fans but for any J-Pop fans who want to get a bit of history and know something outside of the usual aidoru or J-Rock/J-R&B circles. And if you can't read a certain entry, you can always send me a request since I do translate Japanese-to-English on the side.

My book is the first issue from 2002, but last October, Tower Records started selling the revised edition. And of course, you can always check out


  1. Hi. Can you make a top 20 list of your favourite City Pop albums ever?

    1. I think I can probably whip up a Top 10 list of my favourite City Pop singles. I was kinda thinking of doing that for a while. By the way, are you from Canada or the UK?

    2. Ah, forgive me. I'm just going with Google Translate here but...Ciao. Piacere di conoscerti.

      When you wrote down "favourite" with that extra "u", I was wondering whether you were calling in from my own nation. :)

      But good heavens! I have had Italian commenters in the past but I'm always surprised at how far Japanese pop music can travel. How did you get interested in the genre of City Pop?

    3. thanks to Tatsuro Yamashita, like everyone else I guess :)

    4. I'll try to find this book in the 7 days I have left in Japan.

    5. Hi, Luis. Yeah, I think you'll be able to find the 2nd edition at least of the book. I got my copy at Tower Records but have a look at any of the major bookstores in town.


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