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The influence of Heavy Metal on Japanese culture Research Paper

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Updated: Apr 23rd, 2019


Heavy metal music, frequently called metal, signifies a field of rock music. A heavy metal singer cannot make it all by himself or herself: s/he has to be a part of a group. The band (group) is a representation of both society and a useful requirement to create the heavy metal reverberation (Weinstein, 2000, pp. 43-45).

Teenage friends form numerous rock and heavy metal bands. As these members advance their abilities and hone their personal and shared talents, they might start attempting to spread out and turn into victorious professionals. In Japan, there are many heavy metal bands, which include X-Japan, Yellow Machinegun, and Visual Kei just to mention but a few (Global Metal Japanese Metal, 2010, Part 1).

Numerous kinds of music prevail internationally and remarkably, from the middle-19th century, several types of Western music from Europe and the US elicited spread of different music forms in Japan. As Japan went through a transformation course, the Japanese populace received, admitted, incorporated, changed, and reserved Western music.

In Japan, heavy metal music carries out a particularly significant function in both social and individual lives of adolescents and youths in general. Young people characteristically prefer popular music, and constitute the chief buyers of popular music in Japan. Nevertheless, a minimal number of teenagers love classical music. Heavy metal music plays a key role in influencing the culture of the Japanese.

In this research paper, the concentration will be on the influence of heavy metal on dichotomous thinking culture as a feature of personal dissimilarities.

Aspects of daily life, which are considered significant by dichotomous thinkers, comprise mobile phones, fashion, films, music, and music players. This assertion signifies that dichotomous thinkers have a greater concern in new merchandise that they deem stylish as compared to non-dichotomous thinkers. Heavy metal music can play a key role in reinforcing the character and self-view of a person.

Dichotomous thinking culture signifies the tendency to evaluate with respect to dual resistance, for instance, white or black, high quality or poor quality, and/or everything or nothing. Even though dichotomous thinking culture is valuable for quick conception and judgment making, it has been linked to negative emotional results like mediocre character disorder, self-love, and perfectionism (Global Metal Japanese Metal, 2010, Part 2).

The desire of dichotomous thinkers is more inclined to easy rather than difficult conditions, and this propensity might be reflected in their selection of music genres. Dichotomous thinking culture prefers simple and Pollyannaish beats in music (like rock, heavy metal), instead of more intricate beats (like classical music).

Literature Review

Heavy metal music came up at around 1960s and 1970s, mainly from the UK and the US. With their origin in rock music, “heavy metal bands extended a thick and enormous sound typified by extremely amplified transmittance, lengthened solo guitars, vigorous beats, and general high volume. Heavy metal libretto and performance ways are usually linked to maleness and machismo” (Global Metal Japanese Metal, 2010, part 2).

Ever since its origin, critics have constantly disregarded heavy metal music and have brought it to a close that heavy metal music is a form that is thematically ruled by hostility and violent behavior, raping and killing. Heavy metal music has thus turned out to be a melodic form, which has long been identified as a basis of social dreads with its evident encouragement of aggression, social harm, killings, drug-use, and nihilistic delusions.

Moreover, heavy metal has constantly been interpreted as a stronghold of chauvinism and patriarchal domination with respect to expressive content, album pictures, and video presentation. Heavy metal music is a converse that openly reveals patriarchate standards.

With respect to heavy metal bands like Poison, WASP, Guns ‘N’ Roses, and Whitesnake, for a great deal of its account heavy metal has been welcomed and sustained mainly by young male fans and constantly articulates ‘exscription’ as the rebuff of every gender anxiety via the expression of wonderful worlds with no women (Global Metal Japanese Metal, 2010, part 1).

The male-centeredness attribute of heavy metal following and the subject of the eccentricity of women in its views, its supporters, or its actors have continued to be noteworthy and constant aspects. On the other hand, there is no illustrated appealing link involving heavy metal and the culture of pornography, which proves that both have a tendency of shunning depictions of sexual aggression owing to the requirements and forces of patriarchal domination.

Therefore, gender aggression in pornography (and heavy metal) music could function as a disorderly compulsion, destroying the patriarchal principles that send out the artlessness of sexual affairs and their establishments in affection. Research holds that, due to regulation of patriarchal models, pornography along with heavy metal rarely associate sex with aggression (Pamela, 2006, pp. 23-26). Nevertheless, with respect to intense heavy metal subgroups, this assertion does not apply.

Sexual aggression prevails in death heavy metal, which is the defining attribute of porn grind; which is a heavy metal type that constantly associates sex with aggression.

Even if the persistent basis of images and expressive motivation in tremendous articulations of metal music have a tendency of getting stimulation from horror creation, and particularly the horror movie, porn grind receives its motivation from pornographic images and precisely the opinion of pornography that drives a feminist opposed to pornography situation (Mudrian, 2004, pp. 67-72).

Porn grind hinges on the declaration that every sort of pornographic image is identical to aggression, sexual coercion, feminine dehumanization, degradation, rape, and killing. In a study, the leading subject of pornography is based in maleness, since the sexuality of the male is naturally associated with a command, which involves turning women to objects and hostility.

Consequently, pornography depicts the degree to which the gratification of the male is inseparably associated with victimizing, harming, and using, which underscores the notion that sexual pleasure and sexual zeal in the confidentiality of the male vision are firmly associated with the violence of male account.

Therefore, male supremacy as represented in metal music is reliant on the ability of men to recognize women as merely sexual objects (Yano, & Hosokawa, 2008, pp. 97-102). Definitely, the association involving pornography and feminine humiliation is based on its history. In addition, little has changed in connection with heavy metal in modern culture, and its propagation consisting of pictures and views where actual women are tied an engaged in pornographic acts.

In Japan, the association involving the realm of heavy metal music and personal distinctions has been surveyed in a number of studies. In Japan, a number of studies on the role of metal music in connection with mood administration illustrated that sad metal music had the possibility of assuaging the sadness of people who were saddened. As people were taking part in the use of musical instruments, persons scoring high on psychoneurosis had a tendency of playing music having a slow rhythm (Krenshe, & McKay, 2000, pp. 287-304).

When informed that they would begin playing once they desired, individuals with elevated impulsiveness started playing metal music earlier than the ones in the music rehabilitation groupings, and thus extra extroverted individuals had a tendency of varying musical instruments quite frequently.

People with high extroversion preferred heavy metal and new age melodies from all genres, while neuroticism was associated with preferring classical music. Nevertheless, due to a few participants in the study sample, the association involving music tastes and personal distinctions amid Japanese still continues to be unclear.

Hip-hop music in Japan

A lot of Japanese hip-hop music is similar with respect to composition, expressive themes, and image presentation. In terms of lyrics, the recognizable themes of expressive affection, sexual affiliations, and gender pleasure as well exist in Japanese hip-hop music. Singers of Japanese hip-hop music dress in a comparable fashion like the Anglophonic hip-hop singers.

In snaps, performances, and videos, Japanese hip-hop performers put on identical type of attire and dance in an identical manner like their equals from the West. For instance, the Japanese hip-hop music by Namie Amuro by the title “Space of Hip-hop” has Amuro dressing in a similar way like the artist Pink in the “Lady Marmalade”, and the hat like the one of Alicia Keys (Selfhout, Delsing, Bogt, & Meeus, 2008, pp. 435-442). Additionally, the dancers adorn in Anglophonic hip-hop apparels.

In ‘‘Queen of Hip-Pop’’, there is a hip-hop rhythm at the very beginning as Amuro and the dancers show a composition created of pelvic turns, identical to hip-hop composition in the Anglophonic way. Amuro afterward starts singing a verse that puts English and Japanese lyrics side-by-side. It is no doubt that Japanese hip-hop music has much in common with Anglophonic hip-hop; visually, dressing, and dancing.

On the other hand, it would be unfair to blame Japanese hip-hop with copying Anglophonic hip-hop, since hip-hop, being a melodic variety, is as well a subculture. The hip-hop subculture, taking into consideration advancements in information and communication expertise, has been used internationally and accordingly hip-hop fans and artists in different sections of the globe have conjointly approved the subculture style of hip-hop music (Selfhout, Delsing, Bogt, & Meeus, 2008, pp. 443-452).

If hip-hop music of the Japanese were a contemptible copy of Anglophonic hip-hop, it could as well be adjudged as French hip-hop. In fact, musicians should be evaluated on the value of their personal prowess, as opposed to striking a generality on the field all together.



In total, 176 undergraduates in Japan comprising of 111 gents and 65 girls took part in the study. The average number of years of age of the participants was 20 years. Every one of the participants filled in a couple of instruments to evaluate personal dissimilarities in dichotomous judgment and music tastes. This study was carried out in a lecture hall at a university that is in central Japan.


Dichotomous thinking Inventory

It comprised of three different subscales. The first subscale is Dichotomous Belief (DB) and it signifies a judgment manner that every group of physical entities or conceptual thoughts can be broken down into two sets, which are different, diverse from one another, and generally mutually exclusive.

The 2nd subscale, viz. Preference for Dichotomy (PD) defines a clear and intelligible way of making judgment. The third subscale is Profit and Loss (PL) and it denotes a manner of judgment that entails concentrating on the way things could profit oneself and the prevention of causing a failure to oneself. The scales used for Dichotomous Thinking Inventory were arranged on a range of six points (1 representing “strongly differ” and 6 representing “strongly concur”).

Short Test of Metal Preferences

The heavy metal music inclinations were evaluated with the use of a Short Test of Metal Preferences (STOMP), consisting of 14 entries. The inclination for every music genre is placed on a scale with seven points arraying from 1, which represents “never”, up to 7 that represents “very much”.

Results and Analysis

A resolution with four factors appeared to be suitable. The first factor (Factor 1) comprised country music, classical music, and jazz among others. In addition, Factor 1 comprised of a grouping of the deep and multifaceted together with cheery and conservative factors, except for pop and Factor 1 was termed complex.

The second factor (Factor 2) comprised of rock and heavy metal and was named extreme and rebellious. The third factor (Factor 3) comprised hip-hop and soul and was named vigorous and rhythmic. The fourth factor (Factor 4) comprised pop and rock, while sacred music loaded unconstructively on Factor 4. This factor was named rapid and modern.

Following the examination of the factors, the computation of scores of preferences followed. Entire score of Dichotomous thinking Inventory (DTI) had a considerably negative association with Factor 1. Factor 1 as well had inconsiderable and negative correlations on the DTI scale. Factor 2 (comprising the heavy metal) had a positive correlation with an inclination for dichotomous thinking culture. Factor 3 had a considerably positive association with dichotomous conviction, while Factor 4 was positively associated with PL and PD.


From the history of popular music in Japan, the Japanese have accepted numerous kinds of music from the west and recomposed a popular music design. The factor constitution in this study might reveal the illustrations of music both outside and inside Japan, since popular music of the Japanese is characteristically a combination of pop and rock music.

The analysis disclosed that amid the four factors of music, dichotomous judgment culture prevailed in heavy metal and rock. The outcomes put forward that thinking culture is influenced by the music inclinations of the Japanese. An inclination for the hip-hop indicated the potential projecting of troubles amid the Japanese youth (Weinstein, 2000, pp. 46-48).

On the other hand, an inclination for heavy metal indicated subsequent troubles amid youthful boys like bullying, violence, and other social evils. These outcomes imply that music inclinations influence daily actions amid young adults. In this study, there was a generalization of the STOMP analysis giving the study particular limitations since popular music in Japan includes a broad diversity of music; therefore, it was hard to distinguish between lesser groups.


Music bands represent both culture and a useful requirement to generate the heavy metal reverberation. There is a great influence of heavy metal on dichotomous thinking culture. In addition, an inclination for heavy metal indicated subsequent social troubles amid its fans like pornography, bullying, violence, and other social evils.

In this research, there was generality of the analysis, which gave the study particular limitations in view of the fact that popular music in Japan includes a broad diversity of music, and thus it was not easy to distinguish between lesser groups. Therefore, further research should be done based on this point of view.


Global Metal Japanese Metal (Part 1). (2010). Web.

Global Metal Japanese Metal (Part 2). (2010). Web.

Krenshe, L., & McKay, J. (2000). Hard and Heavy: Gender and Power in a Heavy Metal Music Subculture. Gender, Place and Culture, 7(3), 287–304.

Mudrian, A. (2004). Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal and Grindcore. Los Angeles, LA: Feral House.

Pamela, P. (2006). Pornified: How Pornography is damaging our Lives, our Relationships, and our Families. London, UK: Times Books.

Selfhout, M., Delsing, M., Bogt, T., & Meeus, W. (2008). Heavy metal and hip-hop style preferences and externalizing problem behavior. Youth & Society, 39, 435-452.

Weinstein, D. (2000). Heavy Metal: The Music and its Culture. New York, NY: Da Capo Press.

Yano, C., & Hosokawa, S. (2008). Popular music in modern Japan. In A. McQueen Tokita & D. W. Hughes (Eds.), The Ashgate research companion to Japanese music (pp. 345-362). Hampshire, UK: Ashgate.

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