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J-Pop vs. Kanto-Pop


15 Apr 2002
When I stayed in Japan, I listened to J-Pop round the clock. But then I moved to Hong Kong and switched to Kanto-Pop. Right, that probably isnt something astonishing. But now I am neither in Japan nor in Hong Kong and pretty confused, what I should prefer. Isnt there a contradiction between J-Pop and Kanto-Pop? I mean, if you see it politically, this question could be even handled as a moral issue, right? Or should I make a decision just based on flavour? Well, but that is quite difficult too. What do you like more: J-Pop or Kanto-Pop?

Hmmm, I think the first Asian-pop I listened to was Canto-pop, then J-pop, then recently Thai-pop, Tagalog-pop and K-pop (Korean-pop). Music is subjective and my preference is leaning towards J-pop, but mainly because the bands I like maintain the cultural aspect of Japan but have a more mainstream sound to which I am familiar. Most modern bands from Japan (post-1995) have a really nice fresh rock/pop sound that I like.

Since I like rock based music, I couldn't get into Canto-rock because of the sound they use for distortion in their instruments. They're years behind Japan. The majority of Canto-pop is dance music and anything you can dance the para para to. I prefer something that is more acoustic in sound and a lot of Canto-pop doesn't try to do that. Hence, to answer your question, I like J-Pop. It sounds more modern, and it helps me with my Japanese :)
Heh, it's a bit obvious that most people will answer "JPop" to this question, since this is a JPop-forum.

But seriously, i don't think it should matter where the music is coming from, as long as the music moves you emotionally.
Just keep in mind there are only two kinds of music. Good music and bad music. Where the threshold is between the two is up to your own good taste.

That said, i think JPop is more accesible, because the Japanese language doesn't sound as strange to Western ears then Cantonese vocals would.

Of course, my personal focus is on Japanese music. It was the first Asian music i got my "ears" on.
It's hard enough to keep up with the Japanese music-industry, because there are such a lot of releases every week. I physically couldn't handle following a second industry. :D

Just on a side-note: we really don't have to restrict this forum on J-Pop. We can expand the forum title to J-pop, K-Pop, C-Pop or whatever. ;)

Given the fact that the J-Pop forum seems to be relatively popular, we could also establish a seperate section only dedicated to Asian pop music and brake it down to J-Pop and other subfora (subforums?). Give me some feedback.
Well, maybe that's a nice idea for future implementation. There aren't that many posters in the JPop-forum yet. Breaking it up into subfora (yes, i believe fora is the right word...) will scatter the posters even more.
I think it's better to concentrate every posting into one forum for now. Postings about other Pop then JPop are allowed and when a certain Pop-category starts to grow more dominant, then it would be a good idea to create a seperate forum for it.

Actually, come to think of it, what i do miss in this board is a Manga & Animテゥ forum, which has the potential to draw quite a crowd to this board.

Perhaps the following structure should be made:

- JPop (or asian music in general)
- Manga
- Animテゥ
- Movies (live action)
- TV-Series
- General Entertainment News

Anybody else have any ideas about this?

Yeah, this is a really good idea!

It'll help spread more of the common daily life of Japan!
Ohayo! Hello, Where can I download J-pop and-or Kanto-pop on to my computer so I can listen to and compare them !!!

Koji !!!
Hi Koji, why don't you try Win MX or any other popular music-sharing platform? Oooopppsss, yeah, you are right. As someone who lives from copyright, I shouldn't make such recommendations. Because in most cases, the trading of these files violates the rights of the artists. However...

...back to our topic:

Twisted, of course, you are right: In the end, it doesn't matter, where the music comes from. But, as TomAsInfinity mentioned, there are impressive differences between J-Pop and Kanto-Pop. I think, he is right: Contemporary J-Pop is far rockier (yeah, sounds strange, but I just don't know any other term, which describes Rock-Music) or maybe even sometimes comes closer to the British "Easy-Listing"-Style than Kanto-Pop. Because the latter is usually Pop/Dance-Music, as we have heard in Europe in the late 80s and early 90s, but this is my humble opinion exactly the "moral question": Do you prefer the modern (Japanese) way of singing "Join the Love Republic" (as was the theme of the Love Parade in 2001) or the "much earlier" (theme of the Love Parade in 1990), South Chinese way of singing "The future is ours"??? Due to my age, I feel much closer to the Cantonese Popstar Andy Lau than Japanese Youngsters. But should this be the only reason for deciding such an important question?


P.S. For those guys, who have never heard of Kanto-Pop, get "The best sound on Earth" anywhere. This is surely not the best Kanto-Pop-Song, but it is performed by Andy Lau, Emil Chau, Gigi Leung, Sammi Cheng, Aaron Kwok and Jacky Cheung - so all-important music and movie star Hong Kong has to offer and therefore quite representative.

@Tom: You mentioned Tagalog-Pop. Wow, sounds cool. But although I have started to learn Tagalog a while ago, I still have never really listened to it and also didn't know any pop stars from the Philippines (although it is said, that Filipinos are are great musicians). Do you have any recommendations???
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Alex, aren't you generalizing a bit too much here.
It's true that there's a difference in general taste in each country, which makes a certain genre stand out. But isn't it so that you can find all the different genres of music in every country. Whether it's pop, rock, dance or even jazz (and all subgenres as well).

Yeah, they might use different production-standards or older production-tools which results in Tom's distortion-dilemma, but like i said before: all the genres are represented.

halloalex: sorry, I don't know any artists. I happened to just hear some tagalog-pop. The person who told me it was so could have been fibbing for all I know, but it was alright. Hard to explain what it is like. A little like Thai-pop and Canto-pop actually

All genres are indeed represented. Differences in sound all around though. It would take something really good to ween me off J-pop. I have at least one artist from each style of rock/pop music to keep me enthused ^_^
hmmm, any news about SMAP's Kusanagi and his adventures in S. Korea as Chonan Kan? Ever since the World Cup he's been trying to sell his alter-ego through Tsunku (lead singer of Sha-Ran-Q now idol builder). Interesting though that a Korean based song (no matter how boring) is actually getting air-time.

I asked my students about C/K pop but they were like, eh? what's that. Too bad that more interest in music from other countries besides the US isn't popular.
whoever said Canton Rock is years behind Japan
listen more to Canton Rock please,
listen to BlackWine,Circle,great guitar skills.
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