Music As Youth Culture: Case Study in Japan

Monday, July 14, 2014: 10:45 AM
Room: F204
Oral Presentation
Jun'ichi NAGAI , Contemporary Social Studies, Kobe-Yamate University, Kobe-shi, Hyogo, Japan
The objective of this report is to discuss how Japanese young people relate to music based on “A Generational Comparison Survey on the Lifestyle of Urban Residents and Their Sense of Awareness,” a survey of young people (age 15–29) and middle-aged people (age 30–49) conducted by the Japan Youth Study Group in 2012.

Globally, circumstances surrounding music have drastically changed since the advent of the Internet, continuing to push compact disc sales down. This fact is often interpreted as young people’s trend away from enjoying music in Japan, where many people believe that music is something for young people. The survey results indeed show such a trend. However, our data indicate that this trend away from enjoying music is observed not only among young people, but that it is particularly pronounced among middle-aged people. Therefore, I suggest that as people age, they tend to enjoy music less.

Obviously, many young people are interested in music. However, it is not their level of interest in music but the length of time they spend with music that has the largest impact on their musical behavior. This is supported by the fact that Japanese young people are often willing to use music as a communication tool.

Focusing on this fact, this report discusses what music is all about for young people and how young people relate to music—how music affects their everyday lives, self-consciousness, and relationships with friends.