14th, July (Sun.) first part

Culture and Politics: When the Music’s Over

Time
14th, July (Sun.) 10:30 – 12:30
Room No.
301
Language
Japanese, English,

Coorinator

Kyohei Miyairi (Hosei University, Japan)

Panelists

When pop music runs by the government: Critical debates on recent Taiwan popular music policies
Miao-ju Jian (National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan)

Struggle as a political exercise: lessons from the closing- down of live house ‘Underworld’ in Taiwan
Tunghung Ho (Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan)

Protest Songs in America and How Social Change Can Happen in Japan
Nelson Babin-Coy (Musician, Japan)

When the Mirror Ball Stops:Club and the Entertainment Business Law
Ryo Isobe (Music Writer, Japan)

Discussant

Andy Bennett (Griffith University, Australia)


Should culture (popular music / popular culture) be involved in politics? Kazuyoshi Saito, a Japanese rock musician, posted YouTube video of his own performance “ZUTTO USO DATTA” (“They have been telling lies”) including anti-nuke lyrics on April 7, 2011. Yoshiki Mizuno, a guitarist of IKIMONO-GAKARI (a J-POP band), tweeted a message for criticizing the practice of Saito. Mizuno strongly argues, “Pop music must not be involved in politics!”
After World-War II, popular music has continued to be consumed as commodified culture in Japan. Japanese music industry has excluded political messages from popular music in order to sell popular music as a valuable commodity. 3.11 should have been a motivator for behavior change of values of popular music scene. However, many hit songs neither harm nor help have been on the hit charts after 3.11 in Japan.
Is culture (popular music / popular culture) essential for our lives? And once again, should culture (popular music / popular culture) be involved in politics? In the name of inappropriate behavior, (popular) culture became the object of criticism in the aftermath of 3.11. The music industry had treated culture as merchandise, and sustained commodity values of music in the name of charity since March 11, 2011. Eventually, as the opinions of anti-nuclear power feeling had been heard, anti-nuclear events were held in cultural scenes. Of course, it would be natural that these actions must have been valued. Meanwhile, as these must have been temporal, it would be required to make appropriate judgments of the actions.
The power of culture (popular music / popular culture) might be too fragile to change the world.