Japanese pop, or J-Pop, is still largely unheard of in the United States, yet it reminds me of another time and place in my life. When I turn it on, I am whisked away to a Lawson’s, Family Mart, 7-11 (which many people don’t realize is now a Japanese company) or any one of the many convenience stores that I used to frequent while living in Japan. Utada Hikaru, Hamasaki Ayumi, M-Flo, Suzuki Ami, Dragon Ash, Morning Musume, Spitz, Glay, and of course Speed, just to name a few of the many J-Pop artists that Japanophiles may be familiar with. Japan is one of the few countries outside of North America and Western Europe that produces massive amounts of pop-culture for export to the world. While many Americans are unfamiliar with much of Japanese pop-culture, Asia has been living with it for decades. Only recently has the the East Asian pop-culture center shifted somewhat to countries such as South Korea and Taiwan, although Japan still plays a large role in greater East Asia. Just look at how well anime has done throughout the world.

I have found it difficult to keep up with the J-Pop scene while living in the U.S. (maybe because I don’t feel that strong of a need to), but I do still listen to the J-Pop that I own quite frequently. In fact, one of my all-time favorite albums is the debut album of Bird. She has a great voice, unique style and is a far cry in terms of talent when compared to groups like Speed. Even if I don’t discover new Japanese artists I enjoy, I will always have my Bird.    

In other news, my daughter Hanna is four weeks old today. One month down, just like that. She is definately growing bigger and stronger. Here is a more recent picture of her.


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