By Bruce Rutledge
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will open a Japan branch, the museum revealed this week. The Japan hall will start with an exhibition in Tokyo this September. A permanent space will be opened sometime after that.
“Japan is the second largest music market in the world, making it the perfect place for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s first international expansion,” said Greg Harris, president and CEO of the hall.
In fact, Japan has more CD and vinyl shops than anywhere in the world. The Recording Industry Association of Japan estimates that the country is home to
6,000 CD and vinyl shops, compared with less than 2,000 in the US. Germany, the third biggest market, has about 700 shops.
While much of the West has turned to digital music, Japan still favors the CD. Less than 40% of all music sales are records and CDs these days, but in Japan, the percentage is closer to 80.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, based in Cleveland, Ohio, features traveling exhibits that explore different musical themes. Since opening in 1995, it has hosted more than 10 million visitors. To date, no Japanese musician has been inducted into the hall.