Good Craft, Bad Craft: Music, Leisure and Labour in Japan
The post-war ‘economic miracle’ saw the birth of a plethora of new markets and consumer items. This economic prosperity enabled many families to afford new leisure possibilities and to provide leisure opportunities for their children, such as sports, new as well as traditional forms of arts and crafts and of course, music lessons. This paper examines what happens when economic affluence and taking a craft seriously, the otherwise positive indicators for the accumulation and maintenance of cultural capital, combine to produce socially an ‘undesirable’ result: the rock musician.
Through the analysis of narratives of what it means to choose to prosume subculturally categorized (or relegated) genres of rock music as labour or as a form of serious leisure, I will attempt to highlight some of the contradictions and points of contention over the role of leisure in contemporary Japan.