As Japan repeals controversial anti-dancing law, we take a look at the best Japanese DJs and Producers.

With Japan set to repeal their controversial anti-dancing law, we take a look at the best Japanese DJs and Producers

As unbelievable as it may sound it, for the past four years it has been illegal to dance in pretty much any public venue in Japan. The few bars and clubs that managed to obtain rare 'dancing licenses' had to close their doors by 1AM and many of those who didn't would totally remove anything that could be considered a dancefloor, lest they be charged for facilitating the crime of dancing.

But after a sustained campaign from a coalition of various clubs, bars, DJs and music journalists, 150,000 signatures and pressure from the impending 2020 Toyoko Olympics, Japan's cabinet have agreed to lift the ban on dancing.

It's not all sorted yet - the lift will still need to be ratified by parliament and a strange caveat has been added saying venues that allow dancing all night must be brighter than 10lux inside. This is about the brightness of a cinema before the film starts and is probably viewed as a safeguard against any illegal activity occurring in the darkness.

With Japan set to become an all-night clubbers paradise once again, here's a quick look at some of the most exciting players in their dance music scene.

Shinichi Osawa

He's remixed everyone from Digitalism to Chemical Brothers and features regularly in Japan's Top 100 artist polls. His productions and mixes combine electronica and acid house and he's even scored various computer game soundtracks.

Boys Get Hurt

Toyoko producer Boys Get Hurt, makes blissed out house music with just a little touch of sadness. 2014 has been his breakout year with his productions being featured by a who's who of tastemaker blogs. He releases quarterly mixes based around the seasons and is sure to blow up in 2015.

Jaxx Da Fishworks

Jaxx is our Asian Tours DJ, he came to our attention after releases his dancefloor hit "That Fish" and we caught him do a whirlwind show at ADE in 2011. A regular in the Beatport Remix chart with releases on Hotfingers and Hed Kandi. We got him behind the decks back in May this year when he mixed Disc 1 of our massive Ministry of Sound Live: Japan compilation.


The constantly evolving production outfit has been referred to as the Asian answer to Simian Mobile Disco. They've left the early days of lounge music behind and in their current form are a Daft Punk-esque electro monster. Their album More! More! More!  was a state of the union for Japanese electronic music and has led to member Yasutaka Nakata becoming involved in Japan's biggest girl group, Perfume. 

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

Probably the biggest thing to ever happen to Japanese electronic music. Pamyu Pamyu is a singer, model and media personality. Her work has found popularity far outside of Japan and she regularly sells out European and US tours. She's also got a wardrobe that puts Lady Gaga to shame and is rumoured to be working with French electro-pop outfit Yelle and cutting edge British producer SOPHIE.

Check out more sounds of Japan, with Ministry of Sound Live: Japan.

Written by Matthew Francey

29 Oct 2014