Welcome to Jazz of Japan!

This website is dedicated to showcasing modern jazz albums from Japan and Japanese musicians.

On Jazz of Japan, my motivation is to provide straightforward descriptions of jazz recordings from Japanese musicians with photos, audio clips, and links to more information. Rather than a music critic’s album reviews, these are simple introductions of new music to enjoy related to Japanese jazz.

In addition to albums, some articles also explore the world of Japanese jazz in real jazz bars, clubs, and live spots in Japan.

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About this site

There are two basic modes for Jazz of Japan:

  1. a newsletter subscription

  2. a website archive of the newsletters and extra resources

You can view, browse, and search all the albums on the website without an account. And, if this topic appeals to you then you can also sign up for the free newsletter and get updates in your email.

This site has been on the web in various forms since 2018, as “J Jazz: Modern Jazz From Japan” (on WordPress at jjazzist.com since Jan 2018), “J Jazz Substack” (on Substack at jjazz.substack.com since May 2021), and “Jazz of Japan” (on GitHub since Jan 2022, then on Substack since May 2023, at jazzofjapan.com).

About the Albums

This site relates to jazz albums from Japan and is free and readable by anyone. Subscribers to the newsletter will get also an email when a new article is published.

The archive currently has over 200 articles published that I have written since 2018, and new articles are being added on an ongoing basis. I strive to make each article brief but descriptive: a straightforward overview of the album and the musicians, photos, and links to music or videos where available. The focus is on the music itself with the goal of sharing it with a wider audience.

To view and search for albums and musicians, browse the Albums or Archive pages. You can also use the search function (a magnifying glass icon) built into this site. In addition, I’ve added a Musicians Index with links to musicians’ websites and related albums.

About the Clubs

In addition to the album articles, I also write articles about jazz clubs in Japan.

The club articles are extra information for interested readers, with guides about Japanese jazz and specific jazz clubs in Japan with extra photos, links, and maps.

Reach out

Future features and updates are always possible, so please don’t hesitate to reach out with your suggestions or comments. An easy way to contact me is by replying to the newsletter email.

A note on names

In most cases, names on this website are shown in “first name last name” order when written in English (given name first), and “last name first name” order in Japanese (family name first). For example:

  • Akane Matsumoto is 松本茜, where Akane is 茜 and Matsumoto is 松本, typically read in Japanese in the order 松本 (MATSUMOTO)(AKANE).

  • Fumio Karashima is 辛島文雄, where Fumio is 文雄 and Karashima is 辛島, typically read in Japanese in the order 辛島 (KARASHIMA) 文雄 (FUMIO).

Since 2019, some official organizations and media have decided to use the traditional Japanese name order as standard use: family name followed by given name. Yet, in many cases, Japanese musicians’ names displayed in English still follow the English order on albums and music catalogs.

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Introducing modern-day jazz of Japan through albums, musicians, and clubs