Despite the trade war between Korea and Japan and restrictions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, up-and-coming K-pop acts are enjoying a strong presence in the Japanese entertainment industry, topping the local music charts.
While hit K-pop groups such as Twice and IZ*ONE have already risen to major stardom in Japan, more K-pop groups are making their way in Japan, releasing Japanese-language albums targeted to the wider public.
TXT (Big Hit Entertainment)
Big Hit Entertainment’s TXT, also known as Tomorrow X Together, topped the Oricon weekly music chart on Jan. 27 with its first full-length Japanese album “Still Dreaming,” released a week earlier. The album also topped the daily albums chart for seven consecutive days after its release.
The five-piece boy band’s debut album in 2019 topped the Japanese music charts and its first Japanese track “Magic Hour” topped the charts there in 2020, too.
Bands consisting of both Japanese and Korean members are a hit, too.
Enhyphen (Belief Lab)
Boy band Enhyphen, a seven-piece act with a Japanese member, topped the iTunes Top Album chart for Japan with its debut album “Border: Day One” and placed second on the Oricon weekly music albums chart in December.
The group, under entertainment agency Belief Lab, an affiliate of Big Hit Entertainment, is made up of seven members who were selected through cable channel Mnet‘s audition show “I-Land” last year.
Treasure (YG Entertainment)
Treasure, a 12-member act under YG Entertainment, will make its Japanese debut on March. 31 with the release of the Japanese version of its album “The First Step: Treasure Effect.” The band has four Japanese members.
YG Entertainment said the band will connect with fans virtually if the virus crisis continues through March.
NiziU (JYP Entertainment)
Girl group NiziU, an all-Japanese act co-produced by JYP Entertainment and Sony Music, is a nine-piece group whose members were elected through the survival reality TV show “Nizi Project” which aired in Japan last year.
The group‘s debut single “Step and a Step” earned platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of Japan, given to an album that sells more than 250,000 units. It is the band’s second platinum release in Japan, following the “Make You Happy” EP in June.
While all of its members are Japanese, they were trained and produced under Korea’s K-pop band management system, according to JYP Entertainment.
The band is due to release another single on April 7.
By Im Eun-byel (email@example.com