Japan was an English new wave band that released five albums between 1978 and 1981. They formed in 1974 when brothers David Sylvian and Steve Jansen teamed with their school friend Mick Karn, whose fretless basslines dominate the band’s later releases. Musically, Japan’s output falls into three distinct phases: the subterranean buzz of their guitar-based […]


Casiopea are a Japanese jazz-funk band that released approximately two albums per year on Alfa between 1979 and 1987. Further albums have appeared at a yearly rate in the decades since, mostly on Pioneer and Pony Canyon. The band was formed in 1976 by guitarist/composer Issei Noro (b. Jan. 1, 1957), the one constant member […]

Japan ‎– Adolescent Sex (1978)

Adolescent Sex is the debut album by English funk-rock/art-rock quintet Japan. Released on Ariola in April 1978, the album fuses the subterranean buzz of London’s underground haunts with the rhythmic chic of New York’s strobe-laden nightclubs. The songs Wedding the sonics of Eno and concurrent Ultravox to the precision of Kool & the Gang and […]

Japan ‎– Tin Drum (1981)

Tin Drum is the fifth album by English art-rock/New Wave band Japan, released in 1981 on Virgin. Tracklist: A1. “The Art of Parties” (4:09)* A2. “Talking Drum” (3:34) A3. “Ghosts” (4:33) A4. “Canton” (5:30) B1. “Still Life in Mobile Homes” (5:32) B2. “Visions of China” (3:37) B3. “Sons of Pioneers” (7:07) B4. “Cantonese Boy” (3:44) […]

Japan ‎– Quiet Life (1979)

Quiet Life is the third album by English art-rock/New Wave band Japan, released in December 1979 on Hansa. Tracklist: A1. “Quiet Life” (4:53) A2. “Fall in Love with Me” (4:31) A3. “Despair” (5:56) A4. “In Vogue” (6:30) B1. “Halloween” (4:24) B2. “All Tomorrow’s Parties” (5:43) B3. “Alien” (5:01) B4. “The Other Side of Life” (7:26) […]

Japan ‎– Obscure Alternatives (1978)

Obscure Alternatives is the second album by English funk-rock/art-rock band Japan, released in October 1978 on Hansa. Tracklist: A1. “Automatic Gun” (4:07) A2. “…Rhodesia” (6:48) A3. “Love Is Infectious” (4:10) A4. “Sometimes I Feel So Low” (3:46) B1. “Obscure Alternatives” (6:50) B2. “Deviation” (3:23) B3. “Suburban Berlin” (4:59) B4. “The Tenant” (7:14) Credits: David Sylvian […]

Teru’s Symphonia

Teru’s Symphonia were a Japanese symphonic-rock band that debuted with an album on Nexus in 1985, followed by two discs on the Crime label during the late 1980s and another pair of titles on Made in Japan in the early ’90s. Later in that second decade, a final pair of discs appeared on Musea, which […]


Yutaka Yotakura — 横倉裕 (born June 26, 1956) — is a Japanese-born keyboardist, kotoist, and composer who released the jazz-funk album Love Light on Alfa in 1978. Discography: Love Light (1978) Yutaka (1988) Brazasia (1990)

Yumi Matsutoya

Yumi Matsutoya — 松任谷由実 (born Jan. 19, 1954) — is a Japanese art-pop singer/songwriter who released 30 albums on Express between 1973 and 2004. Her first two albums were issued under her birth name Yumi Arai (荒井由実), after which she adopted the moniker Yuming (ユーミン) for a pair of albums. Most of her albums since […]

Yukihiro Takahashi

Yukihiro Takahashi — 高橋幸宏 (June 6, 1952 — January 11, 2023) — was a Japanese drummer, percussionist, vocalist, and songwriter who played in the Sadistic Mika Band/Sadistics during the mid-to-late 1970s. In 1978, he co-founded the electro-pop super-trio Yellow Magic Orchestra with veteran musician Haruomi Hosono and rising star Ryuichi Sakamoto. He concurrently launched a […]

Yuji Toriyama

Yuji Toriyama — 鳥山雄司 (Dec. 5, 1959) — is a Japanese guitarist, keyboardist, and songwriter who released four albums on Agharta/Canyon between 1981 and 1985. Discography: Take a Break (1981) Silver Shoes (1982) Aerobics (1982 • Yuji Toriyama & Ken Morimura) 鳥山雄司 (1983) A Taste of Paradise (1985) Transfusion (1988)

Yuji Ohno

Yuji Ohno — 大野雄二 (May 30, 1941) — is a Japanese jazz pianist who played on albums by Kimiko Kasai and Terumasa Hino during the early 1970s. In 1974, Ohno collaborated with Brazilian samba-jazz vocalist Sônia Rosa on the CBS/Sony release Spiced With Brazil. The following year, he partook in the Columbia Records jazz-funk one-off […]

Yosuke Yamashita

Yosuke Yamashita — 山下洋輔 (Feb. 26, 1942) — is a Japanese pianist and bandleader who released numerous albums with his namesake free-jazz trio on Victor World Group, Crown, and other labels between 1969 and 1980. In 1976, he collaborate with sci-fi author Yasutaka Tsutsui (筒井康隆) on the post-minimalist Frasco release 家. Discography: Mina’s Second Theme […]

Yoshitaka Azuma

Yoshitaka Azuma — 東祥高 (1948 — Oct. 11, 2012) — was a Japanese keyboardist and composer who released three electronic albums on Columbia during 1981 and 1982. Later in the decade, he issued a pair of albums under his surname on Private Music. Discography: Moonlight of Asia (1981) Asian Wind ‎(1981) Far From Asia (1982) […]

Yoshiko Sai

Yoshiko Sai — 佐井好子 (born June 22, 1953) — is a Japanese singer/songwriter who released two albums on Black in 1975 and 1976, followed by a second pair of titles on Blow Up in 1977 and 1978. Discography: 萬花鏡 (Mangekyō) (1975) 密航 (Mikkō) (1976) 胎児の夢 (Taiji no Yume) (1977) 蝶のすむ部屋 (Chō no Sumu Heya) (1978) […]


Yonin-Bayashi (四人囃子) were a Japanese folk-psych band that released two albums on Tam in 1973 and 1974, followed by the album Golden Picnics on CBS/Sony in 1976. A further trio of titles appeared on Viento/See・Saw over the subsequent three-year period. Members: 森園勝敏 [Katsutoshi Morizono] (guitar, vocals), 中村真一 [Shin’ichi Nakamura] (bass), 岡井大二 [Daiji Okai] (drums), 坂下秀実 […]

Yellow Magic Orchestra

Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) was a Japanese electro/art-pop trio that released six proper albums and a live disc between 1978 and 1983 on Alfa. They were formed by veteran multi-instrumentalist Haruomi Hosono (ex-Apryl Fool, Happy End) and featured drummer Yukihiro Takahashi (ex-Sadistic Mika Band). During YMO’s initial run, singer and keyboardist Ryuichi Sakamoto launched a […]

Yasuo Inada & The Bemi Family

Yasuo Inada & the Bemi Family were a Japanese classical/rock collective that released the album 感覚思考 (Kankaku Shikō) on Tam in 1976. Members: Inada Yasuo [稲田保雄] (keyboards, vocals), Fujii Shōji [藤井章司] (drums), Shimura Shōzō [志村昭三] (guitar), Fukuda Ikutarō [福田幾太郎] (guitar), Fukuda Ikujirō [福田幾次郎] (guitar) Discography: 感覚思考 (Kankaku Shikō) (1976)

Yasuaki Shimizu

Yasuaki Shimizu — 清水靖晃 (Aug. 9, 1954) — is a Japanese jazz-funk saxophonist who debuted as a solo artist with the album Get You! on Yupiteru Records in 1978, followed by albums on Electric Bird, Better Days, and Invitation over the following 12-year period. As a session player, he backed numerous jazz and pop artists […]


Wha-Ha-Ha were a Japanese avant-pop band that released two albums on Better Days in 1981. Members: 小川美潮 [Mishio Ogawa] (vocals), 神谷重徳 [Shigenori Kamiya] (guitar), 坂田明 [Akira Sakata] (saxophone, vocals), 千野秀一 [Shuichi Chino] (keyboards), 仙波清彦 [Kiyohiko Senba] (percussion), 村上秀一 [Ponta Murakami] (drums), Takafumi Fuse (computer) Discography: 死ぬ時は別 (Shinutokiwa Betsu) (1981) 下駄はいてこなくちゃ (Getahaitekonakucha) (1981)


Vienna were a Japanese symphonic-rock band that released three albums on the Crime label in 1988 and 1989 plus a fourth on Protect in the late 1990s. Members: Yukihiro “Chachamaru” Fujimura (guitar, vocals), Shusei Tsukamoto (keyboards), Toshimi Nagai (fretless bass), 菅沼孝三 [Kozo Suganuma] (drums, percussion), Ryuichi Nishida (drums, percussion, 1987-89) Discography: Overture (1988) Step Into… […]


Tranzam (トランザム) were a Japanese jazz-funk/pop band that released a self-titled album on Express and the sophomoric Funky Steps on Columbia, both in 1974. Over the next two years, the band released a string of native-text titles on Teichiku-subsidiary Black, as well as Funky Steps Two on Columbia in 1976. Four further titles appeared on […]

Toshiyuki Miyama & The New Herd

The New Herd were a Japanese avant-jazz big band headed by conductor Toshiyuki Miyama (born Oct. 31, 1921). The band was active as a recording unit between 1965 and 1982, releasing albums on Columbia, Teichiku, Three Blind Mice, and other labels. Members: Toshiyuki Miyama (conductor), Kozaburo Yamaki (arranger, guitar), Kiyoshi Takano (piano), Yasushi Fukushima (bass), […]

Toshiyuki Honda

Toshiyuki Honda — 本多俊之 (born April 9, 1957) — is a Japanese saxophonist and composer who released five albums on Electric Bird between 1978 and 1981, including two co-credited to his jazz-funk backing band Burning Wave, named after his first album. Between 1982 and 1988, he released nine further albums on Eastworld. Discography: Burnin’ Waves […]

Toshiki Kadomatsu

Toshiki Kadomatsu — 角松敏生 (born Aug. 12, 1960) — is a Japanese soul-pop musician and songwriter who released two albums on RCA in 1981 and 1982, followed by five titles on Air Records between 1983 and 1987. Since the late 1980s, he has issued more than 20 discs on Om, Ideak/BGM, and Ariola. Discography: Sea […]

Toru Hatano

Toru Hatano — aka Toya Hatano (畑野亨: born 1953) — is a Japanese keyboardist who released five albums on Mu Land/Columbia between 1977 and 1979.  Discography: Love For You [Yoko] (OST, 1977) Space Adventure – Electronically Created by Toru Hatano (1978) Bee Gees Fever ‎(1978) Vivaldi – The Four Seasons ‎(1978) スペース・メッセージ -キャッチ!! 宇宙電波音ー ‎(1979) […]

Too Much

Too Much were a Japanese hard-rock/psych band that released a self-titled album on Atlantic in 1971. Members: Juni Lush (vocals), Tsutomu Ogawa [aka Junio Nakahara] (guitar), Masayuki Aoki (bass), Hideya/Shuye Kobayashi (drums) Discography: Too Much (1971)

Tomo Akikawabaya

Tomo Akikawabaya — aka Tomoyasu Hayakawa (とも あきかわばや) — is a Japanese coldwave producer who issued a string of shortplayers on self-press Castle Records between 1983 and 1986, including the popular 1984 double-12″ The Castle. The sleeves for several of his titles feature the likeness of model Rena Anju. Discography: “Mars” / “Dizziness” (1983) The Castle […]


Tolerance were a Japanese coldwave duo that released two albums and a one-sided blue flexidisc on Vanity Records between 1979 and 1981. Members: Junko Tange (keyboards, vocals), Masami Yoshikawa (guitars) Discography: Anonym (1979) “Today’s Thrill” (7″, 1980) Divin (1981)

Sadao Watanabe

Sadao Watanabe — 渡辺貞夫 (born Feb. 1, 1933) — is a Japanese saxophonist and flutist who emerged as a bandleader in the early 1960s, releasing his first album in 1961 on King Records. During the 1970s, he released more than 25 albums in solo and collaborative form on CBS, East Wind, and other labels. Watanabe […]

Teruo Nakamura

Teruo Nakamura — 中村照夫 (born March 3, 1942) — is a Japanese jazz bassist who released three albums between 1973 and 1977 on Three Blind Mice and Kitty, followed by a trio of titles on Agharta at the turn of the 1980s. Most of his post-1976 releases feature backing by the Rising Sun Band. Discography: […]

Terumasa Hino

Terumasa Hino — 日野皓正 (Oct. 25, 1942) — is a Japanese jazz trumpeter who emerged as a bandleader during the late 1960s, releasing albums on East Wind, Flying Disk, Philips, and numerous other labels over the ensuing quarter century. Discography: Alone, Alone and Alone (1967) Feelin’ Good (1968 • Terumasa Hino & His Group) La […]

Tee & Company

Tee & Company were a Japanese avant-jazz/funk supergroup assembled by saxophonist Kenji Mori in 1977 for a series of concerts that were released in three installments on Three Blind Mice. Members: 森剣治 [Kenji Mori] (saxophone, flute, bass clarinet), Takao Uametsu (saxophone, bass clarinet), 今田勝 [Masaru Imada] (piano), 高柳昌行 [Masayuki Takayanagi] (guitar), Hideto Kanai (bass, maracas), […]

Tatsuya Takahashi & Tokyo Union

Tokyo Union were a Japanese jazz-funk big band headed by saxophonist Tatsuya Takahashi (Dec. 27, 1931 — Feb. 29, 2008). Members: Katsunori Fukai, Keiji Hori, Koichi Suzuki, Tatsuya Takahashi Discography: The Rock Seasons (1972) Got the Spirit (1976) Scandinavian Suite (1977) September Steps (1978 • 久保田紹 [Sho Kubota] & Tatsuya Takahashi & Tokyo Union) Black […]

Tatsuro Yamashita

Tatsuro Yamashita — 山下達郎 (born Feb. 4, 1953) — is a Japanese art-pop musician and songwriter who self-released the album Add Some Music to Your Day at age 19 in 1972. Following brief stints with the bands Sugar Babe and Niagara Triangle during the mid-1970s, he released three albums and a live disc on RCA […]

Takehiro Honda

Takehiro Honda — 本田竹曠 (Aug. 21, 1945 — Jan. 12, 2006) — was a Japanese keyboardist who headed a string of jazz albums on Trio Records during the early 1970s. In 1974, his popular three-track live set Salaam Salaam was issued on East Wind. During the late 70s, he released a further round of titles […]

Takayuki Inoue

Takayuki Inoue — 井上堯之 (March 15, 1941 — May 2, 2018) — was a Japanese guitarist who recorded numerous jazz-funk soundtracks for Polydor with his namesake band during the 1970s. Discography: Sunrise (1976) Water Mind (1976) Don’t Drink the Water (1977) On The Boat (1979) It’s Never Too Late (1980) Water Band Wagon (1981)


Takami (多加美) were a Japanese avant-folk duo that issued the cassette-only release Y. de Noir on Marquee Moon in 1982, followed by two albums on LLE Label between 1983 and 1985. Members: Takami (vocals), Pneuma (guitar, ocarina, violin, shahi baaja, tabla, synthesizer, sequencer, percussion) Discography: Y. de Noir (cassette, 1982) ー天使行ー Y. de noir II […]

Taeko Ohnuki

Taeko Ohnuki — 大貫妙子 (Nov. 28, 1953) — is a Japanese art-pop vocalist and songwriter who fronted the band Sugar Babe during the mid 1970s. As a solo artist, she released two albums on Panama in 1976 and 1977, followed by four albums on RCA between 1978 and 1982. In 1983, she released her first […]

Sugar Babe

Sugar Babe (シュガー・ベイブ) were a Japanese art-pop combo that released the album Songs on Niagara/Elec in 1975. Members: Tatsuro Yamashita (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Taeko Ohnuki (vocals), Ginji Ito, Jiro Terao, Kunio Muramatsu, Yutaka Uehara Discography: Songs (1975)


Spectrum (スペクトラム) were a Japanese jazz-rock band that released five albums on Victor between 1979 and 1981. Members: 岡本郭男 [Atsuo Okamoto], 新田一郎 [Ichiro Nitta], 兼崎順一 [Junichi Kanezaki], 奥慶一 [Kei’ichi Oku], 渡辺直樹 [Naoki Watanabe], Takuro Konno, Toshiyuki Yoshida Discography: Spectrum (1979) Optical Sunrise (1980) Time Break (1980) 4 – Second Navigation (1981) 5 – Spectrum Brass […]

Shunzo Ohno

Shunzo Ohno — 大野俊三 (born March 22, 1949) — is a Japanese jazz-rock trumpeter who released a pair of albums on East Wind in 1975 and 1976, followed by two further albums on Electric Bird at the turn of the 1980s. Discography: Falter Out (1973 • Shunzo Ohno Quartet) Something’s Comming (1975) Bubbles (1976) Quarter […]


Shingetsu were a Japanese symphonic-rock band that released a self-titled album — alternately known as New Moon — on Zen in 1979. Members: Makoto Kitayama (vocals), Haruhiko Tsuda (guitar), Akira Hanamoto (keyboards), Shizuo Suzuki (bass), Naoya Takahashi (drums) Discography: Shingetsu (新月) (1979)

Shigeru Suzuki

Shigeru Suzuki — 鈴木茂 (born Dec. 20, 1951) — is a Japanese musician and songwriter who played in the bands Happy End and Tin Pan Alley during the 1970s. Between 1975 and 1979, he released five albums on Panam. Discography: Band Wagon (1975) Lagoon (1976) Caution! (1978) Pacific (1978 • Haruomi Hosono / Shigeru Suzuki […]

Shigeharu Mukai

Shigeharu Mukai — 向井滋春 (born Jan. 21, 1949) — is a Japanese jazz trombonist who emerged as a backing player for Hiroshi Fukumura and Terumasa Hino during the early 1970s. Mukai debuted as a solo artist with the album Favorite Time on Teichiku Records in 1976, followed by six albums on Better Days between 1978 […]

Seikatsu Kojyo Iinkai

Seikatsu Kojyo Iinkai (生活向上委員会大管弦楽団) were a Japanese avant-jazz big band that self-released an eponymous album in 1975, followed by a live recording on Aketa’s Disk and two titles on Union Records between 1978 and 1980. Members: 梅津和時 [Kazutoki Umezu], 原田依幸 [Yoriyuki Harada], Koichi Matsukaze, Koichi Yamazaki, Masami Shinoda Discography: Seikatsu Kojyo Iinkai (1975) Live in […]

Sadistic Mika Band

Sadistic Mika Band was a Japanese art-pop/funk sextet that released three albums on Doughnut between 1973 and 1975. Their second and third albums — Black Ship (1974) and Hot! Menu (1975) — also got pressed on Harvest (UK/US). After the departure of singer Mika Kato and guitarist/singer Kazuhiko Kato, the remaining band shorted the name […]

The Mystery Kindaichi Band

The Mystery Kindaichi Band (ミステリー金田一バンド) were a Japanese jazz-funk band of anonymous studio players who recorded the soundtrack to the fictional detective series Kohsuke Kindaichi. The music was released on vinyl by King Records in 1977. Members: ? Discography: 横溝正史MM(ミュージック・ミステリー)の世界 金田一耕助の冒険 (The Adventure of Kohsuke Kindaichi) (1977)

Sabu Toyozumi

Sabu Toyozumi (born July 11, 1943) is a Japanese free-jazz drummer who released albums on Nadja and Trio during the mid-1970s. Discography: Sabu: Message to Chicago (1974 • Yoshisaburoh Sabu Toyozumi) 藻 [Water Weed] (1975) The Masterpiece (1981 • Toyozumi Unit) What Are You Talking About? (1983 • Tristan Honsinger, Toshinori Kondo, Peter Kowald & […]


Sab is a Japanese electronic musician who released the album Crystallization on Vanity Records in 1978. Discography: Crystallization (1978)

Ryuichi Sakamoto

Ryuichi Sakamoto — 坂本龍一 (Jan. 17, 1952–March 28, 2023) — was a Japanese musician and composer who rose to international prominence in the electro-pop trio Yellow Magic Orchestra, which was initially active between 1978 and 1983. Concurrent to the band’s activities, he launched his solo career with two albums on Better Days and CBS in […]

Ryo Kawasaki

Ryo Kawasaki — 川崎燎 (Feb. 25, 1947) — is a Japanese jazz-rock guitarist who released the album Juice on RCA in 1976, followed by a pair of titles on East Wind and a further round of discs on assorted labels over the ensuing seven-year period. His emergence as a solo artist coincided with a two-album […]

Ryo Fukui

Ryo Fukui — 福居良 (June 1, 1948 — March 15, 2016) — was a Japanese hard-bop pianist who released the album Scenery on Nadja in 1976, followed by Mellow Dream on Trio Records in 1977. Discography: Scenery (1976) Mellow Dream (1977)

Real Fish

Real Fish were a Japanese art-pop band that released three albums on Invitation between 1984 and 1987. Members: Hirono Mio, Hiroyasu Yaguchi, Hitoshi Watanabe, Mari Fukuhara, Seiji Toda, Shingo Tomoda Discography: A Very Big Band in Heaven (1984) Tenon (1985) 4: When the World Was Young (1987)


PYG were a Japanese hard-rock/psych band that released two albums with accompanying shortplayers on Polydor in 1971 and 1972. Members: Kenji “Julie” Sawada (vocals), Takayuki Inoue (guitar), Osami “Sally” Kishibe (bass), Katsuo Ohno (keyboards, steel guitar), Hiroshi Oguchi (drums) Discography: PYG! (Original First Album) (1971) Free With PYG (1972)


Rajie — aka Sōma Junko (相馬淳子: born July 9, 1956) — is a Japanese pop vocalist who released five albums on CBS/Sony between 1977 and 1981, followed by a pair of titles on Eastworld during the mid-1980s. Discography: Heart to Heart (1977) ラヴ・ハート (Love Heart) (1978) キャトル (Quatre) (1979) 真昼の舗道 (Le trottoir d’après midi) (1980) […]


Prism (プリズム) are a Japanese jazz-rock band that released four albums on Polydor between 1977 and 1979, followed by a trio of titles on Warner Bros. during the early 1980s. Members: Akira Wada (guitar), Ken Watanabe (bass, 1975-97), Rika Suzuki (drums, 1975-79), Koki Ito (keyboards, 1975-79), 森園勝敏 [Katsutoshi Morizono] (guitar, 1975-78), 久米大作 [Daisaku Kume] (keyboards, […]


Parachute were a Japanese sophisti-pop band that released four albums between 1980 and 1982 on Agharta. Members: 今剛 [Tsuyoshi Kon] (guitar), 松原正樹 [Masaki Matsubara] (guitar), Mike Dunn (bass), 安藤芳彦 [Yoshihiko Ando] (keyboards), 斎藤ノブ [Nobu Saito] (percussion), 林立夫 [Tatsuo Hayashi] (drums), Izumi Kobayashi (1979-80), 井上鑑 [Akira Inoue] (keyboards, 1980-present) Discography: From Asian Port (1980) 6 Kinds […]

Paradigm Shift

Paradigm Shift were a Japanese art-pop band that released two albums on Better Days in 1985 and 1986, followed by a self-issued third album at decade’s end. Members: Makoto Matsushita (vocals, guitar, synthesizer), 富倉安生 [Yasuo Tomikura] (bass, synthesizer), 松田真人 [Masato Matsuda] (keyboards), 宮崎まさひろ [Masahiro Miyazaki] (drums, percussion, synthesizer), Chris Mosdell Discography: Paradigm Shift (1985) The […]

Pale Acute Moon

Pale Acute Moon were a Japanese symphonic-rock band that released the album Newtopia on Monolith Communications in 1985. Members: Motoi Semba (keyboards), Masahiro Imamura (guitar), Ryoichi Terashita (drums), Katsunori Hamada (bass), Shinji Akahori (vocals) Discography: Newtopia (1985)


Pageant were a Japanese symphonic-rock band that released three albums during the late 1980s on Made In Japan Records. Members: Hiroko Nagai (vocals, keyboards), Hideaki Indou (drums), Ikkou Nakajima (vocals, guitar, 1981-87), Nobuyuki Nagashima (bass, 1981-87), Kazuhiro Miyatake (flute, acoustic guitar, 1985-89), Kazuhiko Yamada (bass, 1987-89), Hiroyuki Maeno (guitar, 1989), Yuzo Kashima (keyboards, 1989) Discography: […]


P-Model (P-モデル) were a Japanese New Wave/art-pop band that released four albums on Warner Bros. between 1979 and 1981, followed by a trio of titles on Japan Record over the subsequent three years. The mid-1980s witnessed a pair of releases on Edge Records, followed by a decade-ending disc on Captain. Members: 平沢進 [Susumu Hirasawa] (vocals, […]

Outer Limits

Outer Limits were a Japanese symphonic-rock band that released three albums and a live disc on Made In Japan Records between 1985 and 1989. Members: Shusei Tsukamoto (keyboards), Nobuyuki Sakurai (drums), Takashi Kawaguchi (violin), Tomoki Ueno (vocals, keyboards), Takashi Aramaki (guitar, bass, backing vocals), Tadashi Ishikawa (bass) Discography: Misty Moon (1985) A Boy Playing the […]

Osamu Shoji

Osamu Shoji — 東海林修 (Sept. 6, 1932 — April 30, 2018) — was a Japanese composer and electronic musician who released a slew of albums on Columbia, Philips, Warner Bros., and other labels between 1978 and 1987. Discography: Welcome to the SF World (1978) 闍多迦 Jataka (1978) Night Flight (1979)

Osamu Kitajima

Osamu Kitajima — 喜多嶋修 (Feb. 3, 1949) — is a Japanese folk-psych multi-instrumentalist and composer who released two albums on Island in 1976 and 1977, followed by a string of albums on Alfa, Arista, CBS, and Epic/Sony over the following decade. Discography: 新中国 – Shin Chugoku (Far Out) (1972 • フミオ* & オサム) Benzaiten (1976) […]


Orissa were a Japanese jazz-funk band that released a self-titled album on Better Days in 1982. Members: 高橋ゲタ夫 〈Getao Takahashi〉 (bass), Hiromichi Tsugaki (keyboards), Tony Koba (percussion, marimba, voice), Shigeharu Mukai (trombone, flute), Masahito Hashida (drums) Discography: Orissa (1982)


Novela (ノヴェラ) were a Japanese symphonic-rock band that released six albums on Nexus between 1980 and 1986, plus two installments of soundtrack music for the Harmagedon Story anime series, issued on Starchild in 1983. Members: Terutsugu Hirayama (guitar, vocals), Toshio Egawa (keyboards), Hisakatsu Igarashi (lead vocals), Ryuichi Nishida (drums), Ryuji Sasai (bass, vocals) Discography: 魅惑劇 […]

Noriko Miyamoto

Noriko Miyamoto (宮本典子) is a Japanese jazz-funk vocalist who debuted in 1978 with the album Push on Yupiteru Records, recorded with bassist Isao Suzuki. Between 1979 and 1982, she released a pair of albums on Trio Records and a trilogy of titles on Polystar/Casablanca. During the mid-1980s, she appeared on recordings by Toshiki Kadomatsu and […]

Native Son

Native Son were a Japanese jazz-funk band that released five albums on JVC between 1979 and 1983, followed by a half-dozen further titles on Polydor up to 1987. Members: Tamio Kawabata (electric bass), Motonobu Ohde (electric guitar), 本田竹曠 [Takehiro Honda] (electric piano, Rhodes, Clavinet, Solina, celesta, percussion), Hiroshi Murakami (drums), Kohsuke Mine (tenor saxophone, soprano […]


Lily (りりィ) — 鎌田小恵子 (Feb. 1952 — Nov. 11, 2016) — was a Japanese singer/songwriter who released 10 albums on Express between 1972 and 1980, followed by two further ’80s-era titles on Invitation. Discography: たまねぎ (1972) Dulcimer (1973) タエコ (Taeko) (1974) りりィ・ライヴ ‎(1974) Love Letter – From West Coast To Mysterious East = ラヴ・レター ‎(1975)  […]


Murasaki were a Japanese hard-rock band that released two albums and a live disc on Bourbon Records between 1975 and 1977, followed by a further round of live recordings during the early 1980s. Members: George Murasaki (keyboards), Eiichi Miyanaga (drums), Masao Jouma (vocals), Ikuo Shimoji (guitar), Kiyomasa Hika (guitar), Toshio Jouma (bass) Discography: Murasaki (1975) […]


Moondancer were a Japanese symphonic-rock band that released a self-titled album on Alfa in 1979. The album features string arrangements by Jun Fukamachi and Mini-Moog programming by Cosmos Factory‘s Tsutomu Izumi. Members: Rey Azmi (Organ [Hammond C3], Piano [Acoustic], Vocals, Synthesizer [Solina, Micro Moog, Korg Synthesizer 800DV, Korg Polyphonic Ensemble, Mini-Moog]), Tac Sawamura (Electric Guitar, […]

Mkwaju Ensemble

Mkwaju Ensemble were a Japanese post-minimalist project that yielded two albums on Better Days in 1981. Members: 高田みどり [Midori Takada] (percussion, vibraphone, gong, marimba, tom tom), Yoji Sadanari (percussion, vibraphone, gong, marimba, tom tom), 久石譲 [Joe Hisaishi] (producer, keyboards), 松武秀樹 [Hideki Matsutake] (programming), Junko Arase (marimba), Pecker (percussion), 千野秀一 [Shuichi Chino] (synthesizer), Shuichi “Ponta” Murakami […]