It wasn’t until I watched Pink Wota’s fabulous acceptance speech that I realized my own blog had been nominated for an International Wota Award under the category “Best Single Entry” for the essay “The Trouble with J-pop: Revolutionizing the Western Community of Criticism.” I feel extremely flattered to have been nominated at all, and honored to have tied for second.
I’m writing this post to thank everybody who read and took the time to comment or send an E-mail regarding that rather long, very un-blog-like essay, and everyone who subsequently took the time to vote. You have fulfilled some of my wildest hopes with your thoughtful responses, criticisms, and support.
Congratulations to all the winners, particularly Vee of Pink Wota, and a thank you to everyone over at Gaijin Kanpai! who took the time to discuss some of the essay’s issues with me. I really do believe that all East Asian pop blogs, podcasts, and news outlets are forming something of an East Asian music criticism base. Without their professional equivalents in Rolling Stone or Pitchfork, we at least have this: a community of writers who tackle everything from visceral reactions to Kusumi Koharu’s graduation from Morning Musume to the hilarity that is KAT-TUN’s PVs to critical analysis of Ayumi Hamasaki’s ever-fluctuating vocals, and who prove there is a very large, very interested audience for East Asian music. Whatever your topic of choice, I encourage you all to keep writing about and discussing this music that is so important to you, to draw larger cultural connections, and always, to remain critical of even your most emotional subjects.