Modern day Japan is in a state of constant technological revolution where appearance and market appeal are major factors in deciding what "sells" and what "doesn't sell." As a relatively conformist society, if something "sells" and is approved by a few, it will soon be approved by the masses. Likewise, rejection by a few will turn into rejection by the masses. If you are interested in successfully getting into the Japanese music scene, whether selling music or touring, you must understand what makes this culture so unique. (video about black culture in Japan). Many things are different here, not wrong or backwards, just different... but why?
Japan is a very mountainous country with 126 million people living on less than 15% of the land. Living space is tight so most people prefer to listen to music on mobile devices. For business laptops are more common than desktops.
Also, Japan has had a long history of self-imposed isolation, and despite numerous global economic influences, many aspects of that feeling are still strong. With a population that is about 97% Japanese, westerners are seldom seen in most parts of the country and are usually perceived as "special" or "intriguing." Commercially, back in the 70's & 80's, anything western was "big in Japan," but that has since worn off and the attraction is not the same as it used to be.
A few years ago, J-Pop style took a back seat to a giant K-Pop (Korean pop) fad which has since subsided.
Currently, many music fans have turned away from western music to embrace more Japanese artists.
Language is also a factor. Many Japanese speak English, but few speak it with confidence. People study and have conversation classes but with scant opportunities to use their skills in real situations, their confidence is not developed. Some people use western music as a means to learn English, often times with impressive results but in general, fewer people are listening to music by anyone other than big name artists.
Finally, Japan is a top down culture where societal pressure to conform is very strong and those who don't conform are shunned or heavily pressured until they do. For example, mobile phone companies were very slow to embrace the smartphone until they understood how they could market them to consumers. For many people, smartphones were first used as a toy or extra device and remained secondary to the standard issue Japanese mobile phones. However, now everyone uses a smartphone and anyone with an old type of mobile phone is seen as "old fashioned."
If you are interested in getting exposure in Japan, it is best to find out how your music can best fit into the Japanese music scene. We are based in Osaka, so we can give you that insight plus an opportunity to experience the scene for yourself.