The 1980s is an important decade for visual kei and for Japan. Like the United States, Japan became major consumers in the 1980s. Technology and access to a wide variety of new music, fashion, art, and entertainment exploded amongst the populous. There are pages and pages one could write on the smallest and the largest aspects of pop culture during this time period. While researching 1980s Japan one will become overwhelmed by the massive size of this decade. I found myself traveling down hundreds of different roads from interesting fashion crazes to the Japanese punk rock generation to porn magazines sold in vending machines.
If you could for a second imagine yourself as a young person in Tokyo during the 1980s you will find there are many worlds held in this one city. Car stereos became a common thing so you’d hear the sounds of “city pop” which was becoming popular then, a mixture of jazz, pop, and electro pop. You’d probably dream you could get your hands on the first ever CD player as well, the SONY CDP-101 which back then cost as much as 900 dollars. If you were a fan of adult entertainment you’d find a wide variety of ways to get off as the sex industry was booming. You could get your hands on adult videos now and watch them at home and you could also play pornographic games on your nintendo system as well. Dōjinshi was becoming popular so you could also pick up the new yaoi mangas that were being produced if you were of the kinkier sort. If you liked idols you’d notice that newer forms of idols were coming around, featuring young girl groups verses the more mature female vocalists.
And If you wanted rock and roll…. Well you had to visit the more underground scenes of Tokyo.
This installment will be featuring the bands:
- THE STALIN (1980 -1993)
- BOOWY (1981- 1988)
- LOUNDNESS (1981 – present)
- X JAPAN (1982 – 1997, 2007 – present)
- D’ERLANGER (1983 – 1990, 2007 – present)
- DER ZIBET (1984 – 1996, 2007 – present)
- BUCK TICK (1984 –present)
- DEAD END (1984 – 1990, 2009 – present)
THE BLUE HEARTS (1985 – 1995)