J-pop and K-pop Style

Japanese and Korean Pop Music

The Japanese music movement, J-Pop (or Jpop), Korean music movement, K-pop (or Kpop), also called New Musi,c has its roots in Jazz and American Pop Music. During the occupation of Japan after World War II, Jazz became popular and as time progressed Rock n Roll and Blues left its mark on the Japanese music scene. People were drawn to the upbeat tempo and innovative styles of Jazz and Rock. Soon Japanese artists were translating and performing cover songs. “Ongaku Kissa”, translated Music Café, became popular hangouts for Jazz musicians and music enthusiasts looking for a new sound. In 1956 Kosaka Kazuya and the Wagon Masters ushered in a new age of Country music popularity to Japan and soon many new Country music bands were popping up. As Country lost popularity in the United States, it began to lose fans in Japan as well since the Japanese music scene is heavily influenced by the United States.

SNSD concept Genie
Image by Protocol Snow via Flickr

In the late 20th Century bands like Takuro Yoshida and Yosui Inoue became popular with their new style of more complex instrumentals and lyrics centering around love and emotions. It is during this time that New Music, or J-Pop began to come into its own. The group Chage and Aska become the most popular group in Asia by the 1990’s and their concerts sold out in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan the first day that tickets were for sale. Female pop singers that include Hamasaki Ayumi, Kuraki Mai and Ami Suzuki along with all girl groups such as SPEED and Morning Musume gained popularity in the late 1990’s. Today the J-Pop scene is dominated by male singers and all male groups such as ORANGE RANGE and Ketsumeishi, but there are some female groups that have die hard fans.

K-Pop (also called Kayo or Gayo music) grew up in parallel with J-pop, as part of Korean Wave:

Groups such as TVXQ, Super Junior, Wonder Girls, SS501, Girls’ Generation and Big Bang continue to be top sellers in K-pop, and artists like Ahyoomee and LPG have released novelty songs, to varying degrees of success. However, the 2000s has seen the rise of R&B vocal groups, such as SG Wannabe, Davichi and SeeYa having success with their albums. Ballads are also very popular, as 2006 has seen the release of ballad singles by non-ballad artists, including Shinhwa and Baek Ji Young. In addition, trot music has made a comeback in mainstream K-pop as well, mostly due to the success of Jang Yoon Jung and Park Hyun Bin. The beginning of 2008 saw the rise of electronica dominance in the K-pop scene,[14][15] influenced by the release of Big Bang’s mini-album Always, which heavily featured the genre.[16] Other artists also followed the trend, such as Jewelry for their song “One More Time” and Brown Eyed Girls for “L.O.V.E.”[17][18] Even artists that release music in other genres have released electronica-influenced albums to suit the current trends, including Epik High, Gummy, Clazziquai, and Lee Seung-cheol. – Wikipedia

J-Pop Hair and K-Pop Hair

J-Pop’s and K-Pop’s influence on the beauty industry is apparent with the new styles that young Americans and Asian youth are wearing. Not exactly anime, but more of a mix of anime, emo and punk; J-Pop hairstyles are as personal as the individual wearing them. One uniting factor about J-Pop hairstyles and K-Pop hairstyles for both men and women is that they are not fussy or overdone. Yes, the color can get bright but the styles themselves are relaxed. J-Pop hair is not normally outrageous or drastic, but more of a mix of styles that reflect the music that has captured the youth of Japan and Asia.

SNSD concept Girls' Generation
Image by Protocol Snow via Flickr

Men wear their hair from very short to just below the chin with long side bangs. Layers give the hair movement and colors range from natural to bleach blonde. Short styles get lift with product and faux hawks are very popular. Longer hair on men can have medium length fringe that sweeps to one side or is brushed forward to frame the face. J-Pop styles for women range from just below the chin to long. Layers are also popular with women so that the hair has movement and body. Long face framing bangs and fringe that have an anime influence are seen in many J-Pop styles for women. Short bobs with longer length toward the face and highlights of pink, blue and other bright colors are popular.

J-Pop has become popular with youth around the globe and the hairstyles are a mix of edgy style and relaxed attitude that reflect the youth culture in Japan and the United States.