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Title: Japanoise  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Noise music, Industrial music, Onkyokei, Music of Japan, Boredoms
Collection: Japanese Styles of Music, Noise Music
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Japanoise (ジャパノイズ Japanoizu) is a portmanteau of the words "Japanese" and "noise": a term applied to the diverse, prolific, and influential noise music scene of Japan.[1][2] Primarily popular and active in the 1980s and 1990s but still alive today, the Japanoise scene is defined by a remarkable sense of musical freedom. Some of the most popular groups range from the high-energy free improv stylings of Hijokaidan, the punk demolition of Hanatarash and its subsequent psychedelic Boredoms evolutions, to the tabletop electronics of Incapacitants and Merzbow. Aside from artists often releasing tapes and records in extremely limited quantities, countless side-projects, and collaborations exist within and outside the scene, making the pursuit of Japanoise media an intimidating quest for collectors. Japanoise, and particularly harsh noise, as opposed to some other post-industrial related styles, is often much less aggressively "serious" image-based, being focused more on the sole act of "jamming" as hard, loud or ridiculously as possible.

Nick Cain of The Wire identifies the "primacy of Japanese Noise artists like Merzbow, Hijokaidan and Incapacitants" as one of the major developments in noise music since 1990.[3]

Certain Japanese noise artists themselves feel uncomfortable being categorized under the umbrella of "Japanese noise", arguing that use of the term is a way of ignoring the differences between musicians who don't necessarily follow the same approach or even know each other at all.[4]

See also


  1. ^ David Novak, Japanoise: Music at the Edge of Circulation, Duke University Press. 2013
  2. ^ Nancy Kilpatrick, The Goth Bible: A Compendium for the Darkly Inclined, New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 2004, chapter 5, "Music of the Macabre," p. 86.
  3. ^ Nick Cain, "Noise," The Wire Primers: A Guide to Modern Music, Rob Young, ed., London: Verso, 2009, p. 29.
  4. ^ Toshiji Mikawa, "日本のノイズを語る", G-Modern, 1994.

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