24 Responses

  1. M.I.
    M.I. at |

    I like this list, I only knew two of them.
    I’ve always liked Rie Fu, but she usually sings english songs 🙂

    1. Michael Beatrix
      Michael Beatrix at |

      i seriously thought about having her in the list, since i’m a fan of hers as well.

  2. Baas
    Baas at |

    I really liked this, I’ve recently got into listening to a lot of K-Pop and I wanted to find something that wasn’t manufactured and lacked depth but was still Asian. I only knew of Hikki and a few others before this.

  3. Jpopfan
    Jpopfan at |

    Great list. Boa is actually Korean artist but she is very popular in Japan and debut there as Jpop artist. Completely agree with 1st but i might add Rie Fu and put Ayumi at 2nd place and Yui for 3rd.

  4. Claypot
    Claypot at |

    Nice list :), tho im more familiar with kpop,
    y not do a top tne list for kpop too? 🙂

    1. Michael Beatrix
      Michael Beatrix at |

      Haha, sorry I’m not familiar with Kpop. The only Asian singers/bands I really follow still are Utada and Stereopony.

  5. Jade
    Jade at |

    You have no idea how happy it makes me that people like Utada Hikaru for more than just ‘Sanctuary.’
    Everyone I know only knows her because of Kingdom Hearts, and it bothers me sometimes, I guess.

    1. Michael Beatrix
      Michael Beatrix at |

      yeah i suppose that annoys me too haha though i’m not ashamed to say that Kingdom Hearts is the reason I found out about her. Simple and Clean is still my favorite song by her. but yes i love nearly all her music (not a fan of her english stuff though-she tends to whore herself lyrically when she comes to the states, sadly).

  6. ParusMajor
    ParusMajor at |

    Thank you! I don’t know much about J-pop, but I more or less enjoyed all of these. My favourite Japanese bands are Dir en grey and Loudness. They don’t really fall into the category of J-pop. 🙂

  7. rosie
    rosie at |

    aww they didnt mention ai otsuka!

  8. Kuroi
    Kuroi at |

    sad to see no hello!project people on here 🙁
    personaly, yes i know no h!p members right their own songs, i like mano erina …or even goto maki

  9. mjb
    mjb at |

    You need Ai Otsuka and Shiina Ringo. They can be #2 and #1, respectively, and just bump off any of the other 10, objectively, subjectively, or randomly.

    1. Michael Beatrix
      Michael Beatrix at |

      I’m not really a fan of Ai Otsuka. And, frankly, I forgot about her. That’s why I didn’t include her. But she DEFINITELY wouldn’t have been #2, even if i had included her objectively.

      I am a big Shiina Ringo fan. However, she is not one of the most successful J-Pop singers around right now, and is not one of my favorites. Therefore, both subjectively and objectively it felt wrong to put her in the list. She wouldn’t have been #1, regardless. That spot goes to the queen (Utada <3)

      1. rena
        rena at |

        I don’t think Shiina Ringo belongs here, since this is a j-pop list… she’s more of a J-rock artist.

  10. Kenny
    Kenny at |

    Thank you for compiling this list. It brought back many fond memories of the days when I was truly into J-Pop.

    I went digging into my old CDs and found the group Speed’s album Memories, I had forgotten they existed haha.

    Undoubtedly, Hikki is the Queen. The day she returns, the better the it will be…

    1. tommy_gunne
      tommy_gunne at |

      who is in the studio currently from this list, anyone know?

  11. Jefferson
    Jefferson at |

    I think YUKI (Isoya) should make this list but somehow without replacing anyone because they are all exceptional artists; but YUKI is just as unique in her style as she is talented in her art. She kinda makes me think of a a Japanese contrast to Bjork. LOL. Just thought i’d drop my two cents in. LOL

  12. SonicFusion
    SonicFusion at |

    Finally a list which gets it right!! No question about Boa as she hasn’t even hit her peak yet. Add this to her Hollywood movie debut coming out later this year. In addition to being a huge role model for both Japanese & Korean artists alike. She most certainly deserved the #2 spot no question. K-pop wound not be where it is today if it weren’t for Boa. People seem to forget that fact more then not. With that said I would like to add a few honorable mentions which should be on this list as well. These artists might not be as well known but are among my favorite in addition to what you have listed here.

    1. One artist which is hugely underrated is Lecca. She is a Japanese Pop/Reggae artist which has one of the most unique voices in all of J-pop. She reminds me a lot of Shakira and has the talent to back it up. The good news is Lecca seems to finally be getting some exposure now though. She recently did a collaboration with Shaggy which was pretty epic. She might not be as well known as some of the others here. Although is one of the few artists which could transition into the US market fairly easily. Now with Utada in hiatus & Namie & Ayumi well into their 30’s. Lecca I think has the potential to fill in the void if given the chance. You really can’t go wrong with Lecca and can’t recommend her highly enough!!

    2. Consisting of sisters Yoshika and Tsugumi SoulHead is the second group on my list which deserves honorable mention. They are a hip Hop R&B Soul/funk duo which is are also largely underrated!! Part of the reason for that I believe was due to Sony, their previous label which they are no longer with. SoulHead are not only great artists but very gifted songwriters who have worked with the likes of Sowelu, Ken Hirai, Crystal Kay, Koda Kumi, Soul’d Out & Yoshika among others. The good news now though is they have signed with Avex which I believe is a much better fit for them which will utilize their talents much better I think. They recently came out with a new album “Jump Up The Wall” which is among my favorite at present. If anyone deserves some credit it’s these two which has been long overdue.

    3. Speaking of Crystal Kay she is my third pick and regardless of what her heritage might be deserves a lot more credit then she gets. Crystal is half black/Japanese which in and of itself has put her in a negative light unrightfully so. Crystal is right up there with the best but seems to get the shaft more then not due to her mixed heritage. Crystal is another artists which could transition well and could be pretty big here in the US if they promoted her properly.

    In closing one thing that does bother me though is how a mostly talentless group like AKB48 is taking away exposure from more deserving artists. If it weren’t for Utada, Koda, Namie Boa & Ayumi holding them back. That is all you would ever hear about lol. Japan at present is the second largest music producer in the world outside the US. South Korea is making some inroads but it has a ways to go before matching Japan. Although I do like 2NE1, BEG & Miss A which are are rare exception.

    In retrospect though it does somewhat concern me if and when the day comes Ayumi finally decides to retire? She is already deaf in one ear and Avex is foolish putting all it’s eggs in one basket. Expecting her to hold up an entire industry is not fair to Ayumi as well as many other deserving J-Artists. I agree with all of what has been said here and hope more effort is put into promoting all the great talent Japan has to offer. 🙂

    1. SonicFusion
      SonicFusion at |

      Correction Crystal Is half Black half Korean. Sorry about that mistype!! Since I am replying on this I may as well add a couple others I should have mentioned as well.

      1. HeartsDales – These two are also sisters consisting of Yumi Sugiyama and Emi Sugiyama or better known as Rum & Jewels respectfully. HeartsDales are fluent in both Japanese & English as they grew up in NYC mostly before returning to Japan to pursue their music career. I would say they are primarily more urban hip-hop then anything but are some extremely talented ladies as well. These two are some of the most on point rappers I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. Although they are equally gifted with some major pipes to back that us as well. Unfortunately though they are no longer performing as of now. Although continue to pop up from time to time collaborating with various artists. I continue to hope they will return one day as are sorely missed.

      2. Origa – Origa is a Russian Japanese artist which you can’t miss by her stunning appearance and angelic voice. She most closely reminds me of Enya and has the voice to match!! If there was any doubt at the level of talent Japan brings to the table. Origa puts that to rest pretty quick. Chances are you have heard her before if you are a fan of Ghost in the Shell SAC. She did both the title tracks which are epic!! It is a true shame though that most people are only familiar with her through this. Just one of many gifted J-artists which slip under most peoples radar. Ok I think I am done now haha. :b

  13. Tanner
    Tanner at |

    BOA isnt japanese but a kpop star that is debuting in japan lol

    1. HeartNSoul
      HeartNSoul at |

      With all do respect Tanner. I am sure the author was well aware Boa is Korean. She was the first successful crossover artists from Korea to make it in Japan. In fact she is the current record holder for a Korean artists in digital sales in Japan at present. Secondly she is one of only two non-Japanese Asian artists who have had million-selling albums in Japan As well as is one of only two artists to have six consecutive number-one albums on the Oricon charts. She has been as much an influence on Japanese artists as she has Korean. So she deserves to be on this list.

      I also agree with Sonic and thanks for those suggestions. I will be sure to check them out. I also have a big problem how a no talent group like AKB48 gets so popular! I just about fell over when i heard they would be representing Japan during the 50th NYC Cherry Blossom Festival this year. Of all the outstanding artists Japan has to offer. It had to be AKB48 who the Japanese government selected as representives lol. Anyways i agree with this list mostly as well. Good Job mate!!

  14. Nik
    Nik at |

    Sorry to break it to you, but most of these ladies are as mainstream as it gets. I myself i’m a HUGE Namie fan, but she’s not really a songstress… She doesn’t write any lyrics anymore, nor she doesn’t play any instruments now. But she probably has more control over her music/image/promoting that any other artist on the list.

    You guys should check Ms Yuki Kajiura, she’s not a singer anymore, she’s a composer and also writes lyrics and plays intruments. She’s well known for her soundtracks and aswell for being the overall producer of Kalafina. Yuki Kajiura is SO damn talented, she even made up her OWN LANGUAGE!

  15. lymli
    lymli at |

    this list is sooooooooooo lame, ayumi hamasaki is like madonna there with 400 neth worth LOL

  16. Springphoenix
    Springphoenix at |

    Where the hell is MISIA’s name on the list?!!! ;((


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