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Episode 08


In the last weeks I have felt signals from somewhere saying 'Go and visit Japan'. The discovery began with some psychedelic weird-ness I immediately fell in love with.

This week I take you to Japan.


Musical History and Styles


The music of Japan includes a wide array of performers in distinct styles, both traditional and modern. The word for "music" in Japanese is 音楽 (ongaku), combining the kanji 音 on (sound) with the kanji 楽 gaku (enjoy).[1] Japan is the largest physical music market in the world, worth US$2 billion in sales in physical formats in 2014, and the second-largest overall music market, worth a total retail value of 2.6 billion dollars in 2014[2] – dominated by Japanese artists, with 37 of the top 50 best-selling albums[3] and 49 of the top 50 best-selling singles in 2014.[4]

Local music often appears at karaoke venues, which is on lease from the record labels. Traditional Japanese music differs markedly from Western music, as it is often[quantify] based on the intervals of human breathing rather than on mathematical timing.

Traditional musical styles


Biwa hōshi, Heike biwa, mōsō and goze
Min'yō folk music
Okinawan folk music


Modern musical styles



Game music



Hip Hoop

Traditional instruments

* Biwa (琵琶)
* Fue (笛)
* Hichiriki (篳篥) 
* Hocchiku (法竹)
* Hyōshigi (拍子木)
* Kane (鐘)
* Kakko (鞨鼓)
* Kokyū (胡弓)
* Koto (琴)
* Niko (二胡)
* Okawa (AKA Ōtsuzumi) (大鼓)
* Ryūteki (竜笛)
* Sanshin (三線)
* Shakuhachi (bamboo flute) (尺八)
* Shamisen (三味線)
* Shime-Daiko (締太鼓)
* Shinobue (篠笛)
* Shō (笙)
* Suikinkutsu (water zither) (水琴窟)
* Taiko (i.e. Wadaiko) 太鼓~和太鼓
* Tsuzumi (鼓) (AKA Kotsuzumi)


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