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Jazzing up Japan

Chris Harding explores how Japanese popular music was formed by creative clashes with the US.

As Japan emerged from World War Two, American occupation forces set out to remake Japanese society in their own image. They decided that popular music would play its part - especially jazz: democratic Americana in its purest form. Join Dr Chris Harding as he goes in search of the results of America’s grand plan for Japan. From boogie woogie and Bebop through to rock, underground, idol music and J pop, he explores the forming of new musical identities - and the surprisingly subversive uses to which music was put. He interviews jazz legend Toshiko Akiyoshi, Masahiko Sato, a 93-year-old “Mobo” (modern boy) in the pre-war era plus two girl bands rocking Okinawa.

(Photo: Toshiko Akiyoshi speaks at the 2014 International Jazz Day Educational Programs at Osaka School of Music. Credit: Keith Tsuji/Getty Images)

53 minutes

Last on

Sun 25 Feb 2018 12:06GMT

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