Patrick St. Michel, The Japan Times

Patrick St. Michel

The Japan Times


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Past articles by Patrick:

'Aggretsuko' swansong urges youth to rage

The Netflix show's fifth and final season turns its attention from workday dilemmas to death-metal outbursts aimed at the political state of modern Japan. → Read More

Math rock act Jyocho provides a cheerfully chilling soundtrack to new Junji Ito series

The quartet brings its unique blend of frenzy and sweetness to horror artist Junji Ito's new macabre Netflix series. → Read More

Minami Minegishi: AKB48’s tear-stained pioneer

One J-pop idol’s shocking show of penance in 2013 foreshadowed the price of fame on the internet. → Read More

Why Kyoto's 8-bit music artists call this humble cafe 'home'

It may look like any other retro arcade bar, but Cafe La Siesta means so much more to the artists who got their starts there. → Read More

J-pop vocalist Chara is ready to bloom again

Taking her cue from an ancient blossom, the singer returns with her new single, “A·O·U.” → Read More

Kizuna AI's departure marked a new era for virtual stars in 2022

Fans were shocked when the pioneering digital character stepped down in February, but virtual YouTubers are still proving to be one of Japan's strongest pop culture exports. → Read More

The big J-pop hits of 2022? They came from TikTok and anime.

Acts such as Kaze Fujii and Sekai No Owari found success via viral trends, while artists like Ado and Aimer topped the charts thanks to anime collaborations. → Read More

YouTubers eye online success with renewed Japan travels

As incoming influencers revisit tried and true topics now that the government has eased border restrictions, some are taking this inclination to cater to viewers to extremes. → Read More

'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