Who, What, Why Wabi Saabisu

Like a blanket on a bed, the gospel of contemporary Japanese music is spread. Wabi Saabisu is a blog run by a 4th generation mixed Japanese Canadian, focused on sharing Japanese, Korean and other Asian music to a western audience.

Wabi Sabi is a feeling or concept that is typically evoked by imperfect and nature-esque beauty, often evoked by nature or Japanese art (Japanese gardens, tea-ceremonies etc.). A definite definition of wabi sabi does exist, rather it is something ingrained into the Japanese mindset. Good luck getting a clear answer from a Japanese person. Like the Japanese concept of wabi sabi, please see the imperfections of this blog as a form of unique artful expression.

Saabisu (サービス) is often referred to as fanservice in the west and basically represents the generous bonuses, sometimes unwanted ones, included in a transaction, piece of media, or anything really. Therefore, combining wabi sabi with saabisu is intended to represent…

This blog will focus mainly on music that has been made available to a western audience in some form (streaming services, physical releases etc.), which has actually grown drastically within the last couple of years. Due to the majority of releases discussed here having lyrical content in a foreign language, most of the praise and criticism will be based solely on music production and not lyrics. This will be the main reason why the majority of Japanese music featured here is not recognized by the mainstream. As mentioned in the recent Haru Nemuri feature in The Japan Times by the artist herself, Japanese listeners tend to focus on the lyrics rather than rhythm or melody. This is probably why some creative and atypical Japanese artists find more success overseas than their own country (see Boris, Sigh, Melt-Banana etc.).

Hopefully you as a reader will be able to open your mind to Asia’s finest and discover a new found love/respect for the east.