Bibliography of Resources about Music in Japan

Bibliography of Resources about Music in Japan

 Photo: Afrirampo in Tzadik Music Label Series IV: Power of the New Japanese Woman © William Irwin

Bibliography compiled by E. Taylor Atkins, Associate Professor & Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of History, Northern Illinois University for the Japan Society 30-Hour Professional Development Course for Grades K-12 Educators, From Anime to Pokemon: Using Pop Culture to Teach About Japan.

Aoyagi, Hiroshi. Island of Eight Million Smiles: Idol Performance and Symbolic Production in Contemporary Japan (Harvard University Asia Center, 2005).

Atkins, E. Taylor. Blue Nippon: Authenticating Jazz in Japan (Duke UP, 2001).

---. "The Dual Career of 'Arirang': The Korean Resistance Anthem That Became a Japanese Pop Hit." Journal of Asian Studies 66.3 (August 2007): 645-87.

Bender, Shawn. “Drumming Between Tradition and Modernity: Taiko and Neo-Folk Performance in Japan.” Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. of California-San Diego, 2003.

Condry, Ian. Hip-Hop Japan: Rap and the Paths of Cultural Globalization (Duke UP, 2006). See also companion web site:

de Ferranti, Hugh. “‘Japanese Music’ Can Be Popular.” Popular Music 21.2: 195-208.

---. Japanese Musical Instruments (Oxford UP, 2000).

Eppstein, Ury. The Beginnings of Western Music in Meiji Era Japan (Mellen, 1994).

Galliano, Luciana. Yōgaku: Japanese Music in the Twentieth Century (Scarecrow, 2002).

Hattori, Koh-ichi. 36,000 Days of Japanese Music: The Culture of Japan Through a Look at Its Music (Pacific Vision, 1996).

Herd, Judith Ann. “The Neonationalist Movement: Origins of Japanese Contemporary Music.” Perspectives of New Music 27.2 (1989): 118-63.

Hosokawa, Shūhei. “‘Salsa no tiene frontera’: Orquesta de la Luz and the Globalization of Popular Music.” Cultural Studies 13.3 (1999): 509-34.

Keister, Jay. Shaped by Japanese Music: Kikuoka Hiroaki and Nagauta Shamisen in Tokyo (Routledge, 2004).

Lewis, Michael. A Life Adrift: Soeda Azembo, Popular Song and Modern Mass Culture in Japan (Kegan Paul/Routledge, 2008).

Malm, William. Six Hidden Views of Japanese Music (Univ. of California Press, 1986).

---. Traditional Japanese Music and Musical Instruments (Kōdansha, 2001).

Manabe, Noriko. “Globalization and Japanese Creativity: Adaptations of Japanese Language to Rap.” Ethnomusicology 50.1 (Winter 2006): 1-36.

Martin, Harris I. “Popular Music and Social Change in Prewar Japan.” Japan Interpreter 7.3-4 (1972): 332-52.

Mathews, Gordon. “Fence, Flavour and Phantasm: Japanese Musicians and the Meanings of ‘Japaneseness.’” Japanese Studies 24.3 (2004): 335-50.

Matsue, Jennifer. Making Music in Japan’s Underground: The Tokyo Hardcore Scene (Routledge, 2008).

McClure, Steve. Nippon Pop: Sounds from the Land of the Rising Sun (Tuttle, 1998).

Minor, William. Jazz Journeys to Japan: The Heart Within (Univ. of Michigan Press, 2004).

Mitsui, Tōru, and Shūhei Hosokawa, eds. Karaoke Around the World (Routledge, 2001).

Oba, Junko. “To Fight the Losing War, to Remember the Lost War: The Changing Role of Gunka, Japanese War Songs.” In Timothy J. Craig and Richard King, eds., Global Goes Local: Popular Culture in Asia (Univ. of British Columbia Press, 2002).

Provine, Robert C., ed. East Asia: China, Japan, and Korea. Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Vol. 7 (Routledge, 2001).

Schilling, Mark. The Encyclopedia of Japanese Pop Culture (Weatherhill, 1997).

Stevens, Carolyn. Japanese Popular Music: Culture, Authenticity and Power (Routledge, 2007).

Tokita, Alison McQueen, and David W. Hughes, eds. The Ashgate Research Companion to Japanese Music. SOAS Musicology Series (Ashgate, 2008).

---. Japanese Music: History, Performance, Research (Cambridge UP, 2006).

Wade, Bonnie C. Music in Japan: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture (Oxford UP, 2004).

Yano, Christine R. Tears of Longing: Nostalgia and the Nation in Japanese Popular Song (Harvard University Asia Center, 2003).

Zhou, Xun, and Francesca Tarocco. Karaoke: The Global Phenomenon (Reaktion, 2007).

AV and Internet Resources
Anime and video game soundtracks:


J-WAVE: (includes radio streaming).

The Japanese Music Series (VHS). Dir. Eugene Enrico. University of Oklahoma Center for Music Television.
1. Gagaku: The Court Music of Japan (1989).
2. Music of Bunraku (1991).
3. Shintō Festival Music (1993).
4. Nagauta: The Heart of Kabuki Music (1993).
5. Music of Noh Drama (1997).
6. Jazz in Japan (2000).

Japanese Traditional Music (10 CDs). King Records, 1991.
1. Gagaku (KICH 2001).
2. Nōgaku (KICH 2002).
3. Kabuki (KICH 2003).
4. Biwa (KICH 2004).
5. Shakuhachi (KICH 2005).
6. Sō (KICH 2006).
7. Sankyoku [shamisen, koto, and shakuhachi] (KICH 2007).
8. Shamisen I (KICH 2008).
9. Shamisen II (KICH 2009).
10. Percussion (KICH 2010).

Jazz is My Native Language: A Portrait of Toshiko Akiyoshi (VHS). Prod. Renée Cho. Rhapsody Films, 1983.

Kodō, One Earth Tour Special (DVD). Red Ink, 2005. See also

Music of Japanese People (10 CDs). King Records, 1991.
1. Japanese Dance Music (KICH 2021).
2. Harmony of Japanese People (KICH 2022).
3. Jam Session of Tsugaru Shamisen (KICH 2023).
4. Japanese Work Songs (KICH 2024).
5. A Collection of Unique Musical Instruments (KICH 2025).
6. Soundscape of Japan (KICH 2026).
7. Music of Japanese Festivals (KICH 2027).
8. Music of Okinawa (KICH 2028).
9. Music of Yaeyama and Miyako (KICH 2029).
10. Music of Amami (KICH 2030).

Nippop: (English-language web site covering J-Pop).

The Rough Guide to the Music of Japan (CD + CD-ROM bonus material). RGNET1211, 2008. Information at World Music Network:

Sukiyaki and Chips: The Japanese Sounds of Music
(DVD). Shanachie, 2003.

Tokyo Blues: Jazz and Blues in Japan (VHS). Prod. Craig McTurk, 1999.


Type,Article; Type,Bibliography; Theme,Culture; Topic,Popular Culture; Theme,Postwar Japan; Theme,Using Pop Culture to Teach About Japan;
music, gagaku, hip hop, bibliography, discography, Japanese music, musicians, Atkins, jazz, classical, enka,bibliography, music