Don’t Apply Politics To Music

Music is closely related to politics. Music is used for both regime and anti-system. This is historically clear. Nevertheless, why has the relationship between music and politics become such a problem in modern Japan?

It is thought that there are special circumstances in postwar Japan. Even in Japan, people were aware of the connection between music and politics until around 1970, when there was security for 70 years. Revolutionary songs and work songs, as well as old-fashioned military and patriotic songs, were also relatively well known.

However, with the rapid progress of consumer society since then, many people have become able to lead a prosperous and stable life without thinking deeply about politics. Along with that, bringing politics into music was regarded as “dumb” and “obsolete,” and the politics of songs, pops, and anime songs disappeared.

Should the artist express a political stance?
Since the Corona shock overwhelmed the country, many “political statements” have been made, including criticisms of inadequate government measures and opposition to the revision of the Public Prosecutor’s Office bill, which was about to be passed under a state of emergency. It originated from various people. Sometimes referred to as “hashtag activism”, they include not only those who have been sending “political remarks” on the Internet for some time, but also ordinary people who call themselves “moderate” and entertainers. Involving celebrities was visualized as an online “exercise” rarely seen in recent years.

In such a situation, some discourses such as “I’m sorry you make a political statement” or more directly “Don’t make a political statement” are thrown and refuted, especially to entertainers. It has been often observed that skirmishes are occurring frequently among those who agree with what they do. On the other hand, as a reverse development of this situation, “musicians and other expressors should express their political stance,” and in turn, expressions that escape from politics from beginning to end with everyday-oriented expressions.” There are some claims that “I should be despised.”

The purpose of this article is to add a critical review to it. Naturally, as experts have already argued in various places, I contribute to the idea that “everyone, entertainer or anyone, has the same right and freedom to speak and act politically.” However, I don’t think that “everyday-oriented expressions are an escape from politics and should be despised.” Looking back, even before the recent corona storm, there was a tendency to ridicule “personal life” and the attitude of sublimating it into expression, along with words such as “careful living” and “life maintenance”. I think.

However, many of these expressions must have a critical perspective on society, which cannot be simply dismissed as an “escape from politics and society.” That is why the discourse that “expressors should express a political stance” has a sense of crisis in trying to “summary” various expressions in a transcendental manner. I would like to discuss while thinking about what the criticism of excellent expressions rooted in “personal life” and “every day” is. What is the modern dawn of “every day” and “personal” expressions in the music culture of this country? To think about it, we must, after all, consider the folk movement that emerged from the late 1960s and its development.