Noriko Manabe

Noriko Manabe is an Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at Princeton University. Her publications on Japanese rap, ringtones, and Cuban music have appeared in Ethnomusicology, Asian Music, and Latin American Music Review. She has forthcoming articles on Japanese DJs in Popular Music and on online radio in the Oxford Handbook of Mobile Music.



"Music and Musicians in the Post-Fukushima Era"

The historic earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 in Japan has provided inspiration for Japanese musicians in two ways. Many artists have held charity concerts, volunteered for relief efforts, and recorded ouen (encouragement) songs to the people of the stricken region (and the Japanese at large). These songs, several of which topped the charts in 2011, have supported the need for comfort and feelings of national unity after the devastating events.

On the other hand, a small minority of artists has written antinuclear songs in response to the meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant and their frustrations with the perceived lack of information flow on radiation in the mainstream media. Neither these artists, who are largely unsigned, nor the massive antinuclear protests in which they have participated, have received much coverage in the Japanese mainstream media.

Drawing from interviews, this paper examines the reception of these two types of musical responses in the Japanese media. I examine the historical coverage of the nuclear power industry in the Japanese media; the historical and recent applications of music in protest in Japan; the messages of recent songs by J-Pop singers, rappers, dancehall DJs, and alternative artists; and the recent experiences of these artists.

My Speakers Sessions

Sunday, March 25

2:15pm EDT