After spending several weeks of apparently minimizing the seriousness of the COVID-19 crisis, on April 16 the Japanese government applied a state of emergency at the national level that included an order for citizens to stay home. Workers who could do the same were encouraged to work at home, and throughout the archipelago the public was asked not to congregate, with mixed results.
With the cancellation of their tours and concerts, various Japanese pop stars decided to help raise the spirits of fans who have been homebound for a long time, and published free concerts and music videos on YouTube.
B'z is the best musical performance in Japan of all time and one of the best in the world. It is made up of the duo Inaba Koshi and Tak Matsumoto. With a rock blues style heavily influenced by Aerosmith and similar American bands from the 1970s and 1980s, B'z is famous for his dynamic live performances.
To help their Japanese fans cope with the stress of the coronavirus, the band has released several “LIVE GYM” videos from their YouTube channel, including their new release “LIVE GYM 2019 NEW LOVE“, which covers their 2019 concert series. .
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52b-46YzX8A (/ embed)
Mr. Children, another major Japanese music group since its formation in 1989, has had 30 consecutive hits in first place on the Japanese charts. With a Beatle-like pop style, the group tends to fill gigantic stadiums in Japan, but without touring at the moment due to COVID-19, the band has released 20 music videos on YouTube and a two-part concert.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOySfMfNMSA (/ embed)
Relatively unknown outside of Japan, veteran singer-songwriter Okuda Tamio's reputation as a musician has resulted in replicas of his classic Gibson guitar. Although he is best known for blues and pop-rock, Okuda has posted “Simple Virtual” (カ ン タ ン バ ー チ ャ ビ レ) on YouTube. The series of acoustic ensembles on YouTube incorporates a backdrop that imitates Zoom.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XO1e-4iV5Jg (/ embed)
This popular but pre-made boy band, created and directed by talent agency Johnny's & Associates, Arashi (嵐, which means “storm”) is due to retire in late 2020. The band has posted videos of various concerts on YouTube. To help combat COVID-19, the band also recorded a video to teach hand washing.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzMT7btiwwI (/ embed)
Hikawa Kiyoshi, one of the most popular singers of enka from Japan, has released a list of 21 songs on the occasion of his 21 years in music, and to support his followers during the COVID-19 pandemic. His most characteristic song is “Tokimeki Rumba” (flapping Rumba) from 2009.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioWqtSbicHs (/ embed)
Like Arashi, NMB48 (“N.M.B. Forty-Eight”) is another popular pre-made pop group. The group's main audience is in Namba, Osaka, western Japan. The group was planning to publish a new topic in May, but COVID-19 forced it to postpone its plans. Instead, NMB48 is encouraging its fans to “stay home” and released several charts that include dozens of music videos, including “Why, Why, Why” (だ っ て だ っ て だ っ て).
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwtcrX5AyiE (/ embed)
Although it disappeared in 2007 after the death of charismatic singer Izumi Sakai, pop band ZARD has sold at least 37 million albums. The band's brand has released 17 songs, including the feature “Don't Give Up!” (負 け な い で) on YouTube to support followers through the COVID-19 pandemic.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCPH9JUFESA (/ embed)