American Country Music is not just for Americans

Experts say it is characteristically, a “Japanese thing” to pick up style or fashion, and then they adopt and recreate them in a “Nippon way”. That is what happened to American country music in Japan during the wake of the World War II, back by the time American GIs played Hank Williams on the radio and started to popularize it in the land of the sun. Added to the appeal of America’s open-wide West and lonely cowboys in a nation of crowded cities, that is why it is not hard to understand how American country music had secured and custom-tailored, a memorable place in Japan’s heart.

American country music has a surprisingly large number of fans in Japan, but the subculture surrounding it has received a very little attention from historians of Japanese pop culture. From Jimmie Rodgers of the early 20th century and still known as the “The Father of Country Music” to the most recent country singer Justin Moore, American country music still prevails up to this time.

In Japan, American country music is a “shumi,” it means a hobby or a “taste” like for Americans (skiing or tennis), and for Japanese (tea ceremony or calligraphy) that can go a long journey towards the definition of the enthusiast’s circle of friends and lifestyle. An irrational sample of cowgirls attending Country Gold (Annual International Country Music Festival that takes place every September in Kumamoto) just tells a story that every one of them became acquainted with country music through recreational horseback riding. The majority of the old folks are bluegrass fans.

Speaking of Justin Cole Moore, he is popularly known as Justin Moore. He is born on March 30, 1984 and is the most recent American country music singer and songwriter of our age. He has released 3 albums for Valory Music Group: First is Justin Moore in 2009, second is Outlaws Like Me in 2011, and lately Off the Beaten Path in 2013.

Off the Beaten Path is the 3rd studio album by Justin Moore. It was released on September 17, 2013. And it included Justin’s duets with Charlie Daniels and Miranda Lambert. The album has reportedly sold 224 thousand copies in the United States as of January 2014.It included the singles “Lettin’ the Night Roll” and “Point at you.”

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