Karaoke Culture


What is the origin of a word, “Karaoke”?

In Japanese, “kara, 空” means empty, and “oke” is the abbreviation of “オーケストラ, orchestra,” and karaoke does not mean “live music” performed by an orchestra or a band, but substitute it with an LP record or a tape. Singers can sing along this.

Karaoke originated in Japan. It is said that karaoke was invented by Daisuke Inoue, a bandman. It was early 1970’s that karaoke became more of a business.

Let’s see the transformation of karaoke culture.

↓The beginning of karaoke:

In early times, the medium called “8 track (please see the below)” appeared at Izakaya. “8 track karaoke” was the prerecorded background music tape, 1 tape had 4 songs, and to order 1 song needed 100 yen. It was very popular among office workers.


↓Laser Disc Karaoke:

Laser Disc Karaoke appeared in approximately 1982. 1 piece of LD had 28 songs, and the price was 20,000 yen, a bit expensive.

Later on, “Auto-Changer” was made, and it was a revolutionary invention which enabled us to choose the songs by a remote controller.


↓Karaoke box:

“Auto Changer” is the prototype of karaoke box. Users can control it by themselves, and thus the young and the old all can use it very easily and have a fun. It can be said that this mechanical improvement contributes to the big hit of karaoke box.

↓Year of 1992~

“karaoke network system” showed up. “karaoke network system” is composed of a central station for serving a plurality of song data pieces, and a karaoke terminal connected to the central station through a communication network having multiple channels for selectively receiving therefrom one song data piece so as to locally present a desired karaoke song in response to a request. Thanks to this invention, the charge of karaoke could be lower to under a half, and thus karaoke has been spread rapidly.

The ways of enjoying karaoke: the difference between Europe, US, and Asia

It is said that Japanese Karaoke became spread worldwide in 1980’s. Karaoke, first got popularity in Japan, next went to Taiwan, and then went to all over Asia by the Japanese residents abroad as well as the Chinese residents in Japan, and then gradually spread over in the North America and Europe.

Karaoke, has been enjoyed all over the world now, continuously developed into the various forms in each country and region.

For example, in Europe and US, it is very common to sing a song at a bar or a restaurant, in front of audience. On the other hand, in China, there are a single person’s karaoke boxes equipped in a shopping mall, and people are enjoying karaoke during their shopping time.

In addition, in China or Vietnam, karaoke app which you can sing a song by your smart phone, has become very popular.

The effects of karaoke

How come so many people are attracted to karaoke?

This is because karaoke, this activity lets you interact with your friends or enables you to sing your favorite songs regardless your voice is beautiful or not. Furthermore, you can release stress by singing, and there are many good effects on your lives.

Do you like karaoke? ^^

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