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Japanese popular culture has been steadily increasing in visibility both in Asia and beyond in recent years. This book examines Japanese popular music, exploring its historical development, technology, business and production aspects, audiences, and language and culture. Based both on extensive textual and aural analysis, and on anthropological fieldwork, it provides a wealth of detail, finding differences as well as similarities between the Japanese and Western pop music scenes. Carolyn Stevens shows how Japanese popular music has responded over time to Japan's relationship to the West in the post-war era, gradually growing in independence from the political and cultural hegemonic presence of America. Similarly, the volume explores the ways in which the Japanese artist has grown in independence vis-a-vis his/her role in the production process, and examines in detail the increasingly important role of the jimusho, or the entertainment management agency, where many individual artists and music industry professionals make decisions about how the product is delivered to the public. It also discusses the connections to Japanese television, film, print and internet, thereby providing through pop music a key to understanding much of Japanese popular culture more widely.