Patrick St. Michel, The Japan Times

Patrick St. Michel

The Japan Times


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Recent articles by Patrick:

'Konbini Confessions' captures the late-night antics of city dwellers

Rapper Miyachi's YouTube channel taps into local nightlife with humor and humanity, revealing a side of Japan not often seen in uploads centered on the country. → Read More

Foraging vegetables and fending off roosters: Daily life on Shikoku's zero-waste frontier

Kana Lauren Chan has let her desires for direct action guide her across the globe — including to her latest stop in Japan's most eco-friendly town. → Read More

Nanako Sato brings back the groove of a bygone era

The singer-songwriter's latest release, “Radio Moon and Roses 1979Hz,” captures the creative freedom of 1970s Japan. → Read More

Fuji Rock offers escapism once again

The summer music festival's 2022 edition marks a return to an event resembling 'normal.' → Read More

'Sailor-Moon'-inspired group SG5 shows how anime can lift up J-pop

As the music industry opens up to digital realities, the Sailor-Scout-themed pop group and other nascent acts are utilizing anime's popularity to leapfrog into greater consciousness. → Read More

Fuji Rock Festival eyes a return to form

Overseas acts are back on the lineup but local artists will make the most of those sultry nights at one of Japan’s marquee summer music festivals. → Read More

Kamasami Kong gives voice to city pop's resurgence on 'FM Station 8090'

The radio DJ and personality brings his distinct narration style to the soundtrack of Japan's bubble era. → Read More

'Softly': Tatsuro Yamashita looks to the future with timeless optimism

Two Tatsuro Yamashitas exist in 2022. There’s Tatsuro Yamashita, the patron saint of city pop and a musical symbol for all things bubble-era Japan. As a yo → Read More

Sakanaction, tofubeats and Tohji reimagine the album format in 2022

Six months into 2022, artists are putting listeners more in control of how they experience new releases. → Read More

Kamiwaza trio takes aim at YouTube fame

The channel's pivot from trick shots to elaborate Nerf toy battles hits the mark with online audiences. → Read More

Eve's hourlong music video sums up J-pop in 2022

Billed as a 'live in animation,' 'Adam by Eve' reflects a trend among young artists using animation filled with references and in-jokes to enhance their music. → Read More

The Eurobeat boom, boom, boom, boom means the '90s are back

Dust off your best para para dance moves, the sound of hi-NRG Heisei has returned. → Read More

Sky-Hi: Taking up the fight for artistic freedom

The artist-turned-talent agency CEO says Japan’s music industry needs a major modern makeover. → Read More

Ado brings a flair for the dramatic to ‘Kyogen’

The rebellious teenage J-pop singer brings the sonic palette of the Japanese Vocaloid community to the mainstream and shows off her vocal versatility on her debut album, “Kyogen.” → Read More

The Tokyo club scene's 'temple' may be gone, but the faith remains

As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, the artists in Tokyo's club scene are turning to downsizing as a way to survive. → Read More

‘Bad Mode’ delivers some of the best songs of Hikaru Utada’s career

Hikaru Utada’s eighth full-length album is full of introspection, with the artist working on their personal growth and coming away with a better sense of self. → Read More

What can we expect from J-pop in 2022?

Ditch the downer sounds of 2021 for brighter bops, Shibuya-kei and breakout hits via TikTok. → Read More

‘Aggretsuko’ digs into toxic work culture and self-worth

The newly released fourth season of "Aggretsuko" digs into some truly bleak storylines about the realities of work, but still finds a way to humanize even its most unlikeable characters. → Read More

New Year's TV sees us spoiled for choice

Japanese broadcast television’s slate of new year programming features star-studded blowouts that offer the perfect dose of moderately entertaining content as we head into 2022. → Read More

Fairy tale fantasies meet reality on ‘The Future Diary’ and ‘The Bachelor Japan’

Whether you're in the mood for a love story with a melodramatic touch or some messier romantic competition, streaming services have you covered. → Read More