With Tokyo winning the bid to host the 2020 Olympics, a newfound debate is underway centered around efforts to reform Japan’s 60-year-old fueiho laws, which impose strict regulations on dancing in social spaces. The laws are the result of a larger effort to stamp out the perceived immorality of nightclub culture, but many people in Japan’s musical community believe it is causing the vibrant scene to lose its meaning. Although Japan’s Cabinet recently agreed to lift the notorious law, club owners are still operating in a legal grey zone.
Although dance music began to recede into the shadows, it did not, nor will not, ever truly die. About thirty hip/hop artists, producers and DJ’s recently joined together to form C4, a Club & Club Culture Conference. This group has started lobbying with politicians to get these strict, and unfair laws changed. The first organization of it’s type, this has been a pivotal movement of change in Japanese culture.
With even reports of security on the dance floor stopping any attendees from dancing, United States citizens, and citizens throughout North America, would have a hard time understanding such drastic circumstances. Despite such restrictions, however, some clubs in the “grey area” still have dancing till midnight.
Still, the Olympics are soon approaching and the need for Tokyo to become a global city is becoming apparent to both citizens and politicians alike. Change is surely in the cards for the future of Japan; both as a necessity for continued economic growth and as an attraction for tourists and visitors to a highly discerning and cultured nightlife.
Check out the full documentary from Thump below; it’s quite an insight into foreign culture and how people across the globe relate to our impartial passion.