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Asia Minute: Japan’s A Big Hit on Record Store Day

Jumilla / Flickr
Jumilla / Flickr


Tomorrow is Earth Day. There will be various activities around the islands as part of the celebration. Tomorrow also marks a different kind of observance: Record Store Day. And this one is especially popular in Japan. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.


If you’re looking for record stores, Japan is a pretty good starting place.

The Recording Industry Association of Japan says the number of brick and mortar music stores in the country tops 6,000.

That’s not only more than any other country in the world, it’s more than triple the number in the United States—which comes in number two on the global count.

Some stores are crammed into back alleys…but there are also bigger players.

Tower Records lives on in Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood—also been home to an HMV music store for the last three years.

Late last year, HMV opened a new Tokyo location—stocking 20, 000 CD’s and more than 70,000 records—even some cassette tapes.

But it’s the vinyl that gets the attention on Record Store Day, and in Japan that includes a day of new record releases.

The entertainment website Arama Japan counts at least 5 dozen new vinyl releases coming tomorrow in honor of Record Store Day.

Internationally known band Shonen Knife has one…so do lesser known groups like Count Buffalo and His Rock Band or Mary and the Frying Bowties.

All part of Japan’s recorded music industry—estimated by the industry association at nearly 2.5 billion dollars.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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