Karaoke - Origin, curiosities and popularity

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Karaoke it is popular and highly regarded as a type of entertainment for the Japanese. In this article we will talk about the origin of karaoke, because the Japanese are so fond of karaoke and many other curiosities.

The funny thing is to think that here in the west, karaoke is not very popular. Only a small percentage of people think about this type of entertainment, even though Brazilians like to sing.

Cultural alternatives and differences make traditional Japanese karaoke practically nonexistent in the West. What cultural differences are these? In this article we will see some curiosities about karaoke in Japan and the West.

The word karaoke [カラオケ or 空オケ] appeared in Japan and has no accent. Its meaning comes from the ideogram [空] which means empty and from ookesutoru [オーケストラ] which means orchestra. It literally means empty orchestra!

How Karaoke - Origin

There are several rumors of how this entertainment equipment came about. They say it was discovered about thirty years ago in the city of Kobe. However, others claim that it was known for a long time, in the fifties and sixties.

Karaoke - origin, curiosities and popularity

It would all have started with an American television show. Television viewers followed a ball that jumped over the part of the lyrics that should be sung on your television screen.

After the appearance on American television, the Japanese would have invented the karaoke as we know it today. In the first twenty years the device only existed in Japan and after that it spread to the whole world.

However, they also say that the first karaoke, the Juke-8, was built by a Japanese musician and inventor, Daisuke Inoue in 1971. But it would have been a Filipino inventor, Roberto del Rosario, who held the patent. He developed in 1975 the Karaoke sing along system.

How did the Karaoke Box come about?

After the emergence of Karaoke for homes, many sales problems started to appear. At that time, when most Japanese houses appeared, they were built of wood, so when people sang at home at night, they disturbed the neighbors a lot.

This is the reason for the creation of “Karaoke boxes”, Soundproof rooms closed with a door. They were usually located on the side of roads, where people could sing at will without disturbing anyone.

Karaoke - origin, curiosities and popularity

The first "karaoke box”Was built in 1984 in a rice field in Okayama, east of Kansai. Over time they became more common even near cities. Nowadays anywhere you find a building full of rooms for people to sing karaoke.

Why do Japanese people like Karaoke Box so much? The explanation for this phenomenon spreading so much in Japan can be summed up in two words: “Privacy and convenience”.

What does that mean? You may be a musical talent or a shower singer, but no one outside will listen to you. Thus, it is possible to sing bad, good, rap, rock, jazz, high, low etc. Only you and whoever is accompanying you will listen.

And it's usually just your friends, family or something. People with whom you have no inhibitions. This explains the “privacy” part.

Karaoke - origin, curiosities and popularity

Briefly explaining the convenience, we can quote the phone on the wall with a direct line to the kitchen. Usually, and generally, there are these phones or similar devices. These serve you so you can order all the food and drinks you need. This without even having to get up from your seat.

These are some of the reasons why Karaoke Box is so popular!

Karaoke in the West

As we know, globalization is not exactly a carrier and spreader of culture. It often acts as a culture modifier and regulator. Explaining better, it may well change and adjust some aspects of one culture to fit another.

With karaoke, she played the role of modifier. Thus, when this entertainment was broadcast in the West, it underwent changes. As we mentioned, in Japan, from the beginning there were reserved rooms called karaoke box.

In the West, people have a tendency to be exhibitionists, so most of the time karaoke is in a public place or club. In Japan there is also a karaoke at home, as well as karaoke bars, but the Japanese prefer to go out in a small group and rent one. karaoke box.

Thus, in the West, karaoke machines left the reserved places and were placed in a public place. The Japanese, on the other hand, prefer to stay in a reserved space which generates the success of karaoke boxes.

Karaoke - origin, curiosities and popularity
Kevin's Note - I agree from experience, I felt much more comfortable singing with friends in a karaoke box than in a karaoke bar full of strangers. If I was ashamed, imagine the Japanese?


Another thing that differentiates the popularity of karaoke in Japan and the West is its cost. It is not very feasible for an establishment owner to create multiple soundproof rooms if he would make a lot more profit by putting a karaoke machine in a bar.

Not to mention that a microphone and a stage are heaven for those intoxicated who lose their shame. However, this truth only applies to people drunk and already a little uninhibited. That is why most karaoke in both Japan and the West offer drinks.

What are the benefits of singing Karaoke?

Singing releases endorphins, these are responsible for the feeling of well-being and happiness, making it a natural anti-depressant. This also helps to improve your mood.

Another factor is that when singing, the body muscles relax and release tension. This reduces the levels of the stress hormone, called cortisol, in the bloodstream. This causes that feeling of stress to be significantly reduced.

In addition to the physiological benefits, increased blood circulation enables greater oxygenation of the brain. This action increases attention, concentration and memory. It has even been established that the act of singing helps people with dementia and alzheimer's to maintain their memories.

Singing at karaoke with your friends can improve your social life. The bonds involved between everyone can be deepened by the degree of intimacy involved when singing in front of other people. Not to mention that the act of singing in public strengthens your confidence. At first, amateurs feel scared and nervous.

But as his performance improves, his relatives and friends recognizing him as a good singer, this builds confidence. When you need to make important work or academic presentations, the person will do it with more skill and confidence.

Do you like karaoke?

Many Brazilians would say that they do not like karaoke because they do not want to be ashamed or because it is a show thing. The truth is that everyone likes to sing, but do not admit it, a proof is in the success of apps like smule.

Not to mention that most Brazilians sing the songs without looking at the lyrics accompanied by a sung version. I think that most Brazilians prefer to sing with a song over singing the lyrics accompanied by an instrumental version.

Karaoke - origin, curiosities and popularity

What is your opinion, do you like to show off and show your musical talent? Or would you prefer a more reserved oriental style karaoke? Leave your comment. If you have any questions, suggestions or anything, also leave a comment.

Also, share the site on social media, it helps a lot. In addition, thanks for reading this far, until the next article. In this link there is another article where the author talks a little more about the subject. We made this article based on some statements by this author.

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