Hi! I would like to write about Japanese Karaoke Culture (a little bit).
I don’t know about other countries Karaoke Culture, so there might be common habits. AND cause my poor English, there might be some sentences hard to understand… (sorry)
The way how Japanese people enjoy Karaoke is recently changing.
10 years (or more) ago , many workers go to karaoke with coworkers after they drink somewhere like “Izakaya” or Bar. They often go with like 5 ~ 20 people from young people to old as a group.
But recently, young people don’t like to go drink or karaoke with older workers, so karaoke isn’t any more the place to go with workers(some people may still do 🙂 )
Of course karaoke is not only for workers. Students in junior hight school or college enjoy karaoke too. They mainly visit on weekend with their friends. Sometime students choose all-night option (cause they are young enough to sing 5~6hours lol).
Because in Japan, we need to care about the team harmony or peace? all the time (Plz google with wa(和). However, recent young people dislike this culture), we often need to choose the song with which is familiar in most of group member(not every group, depend on the group culture). If you choose the song you really want to sing, other people may not be able to enjoy. So we choose the very popular song among Japan. Finally we often sing same song every karaoke…. 🙁
So recently Japanese some people doesn’t go with group but go alone. We call this style “Hitokara(ヒトカラ)”. The word “Hitokara” comes from “Hitori(ヒトリ, alone)” + “Karaoke(カラオケ, karaoke)”.
They really love to sing in Karaoke and don’t like the karaoke which have to sing the song they don’t want. I heard 30% of users do Hitokara. It was a little bit shame thing to go karaoke alone, because other people may think he/she doesn’t have any friend. However, it became popular to go alone, so we don’t need to feel any shame.
Another reason why Hitokara become popular is charge system. In Japan, Karaoke charge is [per person per hour] in all karaoke store. If you go with other people, you have time you have to wait until your turn. So if you go with other, you have to pay more than usual to sing same hours. For example, if you go karaoke often to sing 1hour. If you go with friend (so 2 person), you have to go 2 hour!!!!!(double price).
Actually it is so hard and may hurt your throat if you go alone, so best group number is 2 person. It will be better if the friend sing the song you know/like.
Other tiny thing
Below picture is tablet for Karaoke. It is Android Tablet 🙂 . You can choose by name or singer, by category by anime title and so on.
It is very interesting to see the history. Because there are previous users’ history, you can choose the song which you might forget. You can find the interesting user like who sing the same singer’s songs or who sing many Anime songs. There is a Scoring system on Karaoke too. It will score your singing skill.
This is old style tablet, it is heavy and not good response. By the way, this show the ranking of Anime’s song. Top is 「A cruel angel’s Thesis(Zankoku na tenshi no teze, 残酷な天使のテーゼ) 」 which come from Evangelion. This song is very popular, even those who haven’t watched Evangelion may be able to sing this song. Every time I go to karaoke, this song is in the top 10… ( don’t know why). Other songs are the song from recent anime.