Japan Rockology is a blog about Japanese Rock discourse.

I am using three Japanese-language reference works to try to understand what “rock” means  in a Japanese cultural historical context. The works are: 1) a special issue (1992) of the magazine, Takarajima, dedicated to Japanese rock history. It presents a “Top 20” list of albums based on the “top 5” lists of 59 respondents; 2) Japanese Rock/Folk 1968-1978 Complete Album Guide [日本ロック&フォックアルバム大全], published by Ongaku no tomo sha. It identifies 100 albums of note from that era; 3) A two volume CD Journal Mook published by Ongaku Shuppan Sha titled Rock Chronicles Japan. The first volume covers the years 1968-1980, the second 1981-1999, and it presents about a thousand albums organized by year for special consideration.

I am particularly interested in the individuals selecting and reviewing these works so I have made a special effort to identify them by name and in some cases provide information about them. This is to some extent a response to English-language Japanese rock histories (the often excellent and often depressingly ill-informed, Japrocksampler, for example) that ignore the fact that there has been an active and sophisticated discussion of rock in Japanese for decades.

Disclaimer:  I am neither a native speaker of Japanese (still not weaned from Jim Breen), nor a certified “expert” (in an academic sense) on Japanese rock history. I am trying to learn more and I hope this is as helpful to you as it is for me.


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