I guess what we all thought about Music Station conspiracy was true :/
S-San (one of the Japanese staff members of Tohoshinki) made a recent post in his blog confirming the rumours about Music Station's refusal to invite DBSK into their program.
Many fans have been speculating for quite some time the reason why DBSK never appeared on the show, especially with the recent #1 on weekly Oricon (their third one, which broke a record as foreign artist with three #1s). DBSK has been consistently in the top 10 weekly in Japanese Oricon charts with their singles and last album. Music Station usually invites singers in top 10 in Oricon atleast once to perform. However, this has not been the case with DBSK, as S-San points out even with the insistence of the company to let them on fairly.
Their lack of promotions in such a major show as Music Station (it is one of the most watched shows in the country on a prime time slot) has become jarringly apparent and discussion spring up everytime they release a single as to why they are still not invited. Majority say that its because of Johnny's Entertainment stronghold on Music Station, pointing out that no bands/artists that posed a threat to that agency have ever been invited.
S-San never expicitly states the show's name, however he mentions that Tohoshinki was on the show's #1 list this week, yet still weren't given the chance to perform.
The post also explains the lack of sales of the group, owing to the fact that they are still placed in Foreign Artist category in music stores even though they should be under Jpop. Fans who recently visited Japan confirmed this. They all found it quite hard to find Tohoshinki's CDs in stores, sometimes they were not there at all. Many times, they were put under a hidden K-pop or foriegn artists section. So this really explains why sales get poor after promotions stop ... their CDs aren't in visible places where someone just browsing the jpop section can pick up and give a try listening to.
I was wondering how S-San posted about this sticky topic, knowing how hush-hush Japan usually is about these matters. He sounds frustrated, and is probably making his last desperate attempt to try to change the situation - by letting fans know what we all sort of feared existed behind the scenes (of the group not exactly getting equal oppotunity), isn't going away anytime soon. But he urges fan to do something and says that "...the store's customers will have the most impact". The fans in Japan must speak up to store managers about DBSK's CDs being put under "Foreign Artist" section instead of where they rightfully should be - under JPOP.
Brief summary/translation of his post:
He hasn't written in a while. It's been really hot in Japan and he's been thinking about various things when working.
The boys wonderfully reached #1 in the weekly singles chart with the fans' strong support.
Also the members are really happy, and their self-confidence has been boosted.
The TV-promotion continues busy this week. They're being in more shows than ever before this time, they're for the first time in 「THE M」 and 「CDTV」
T/N: I translated this part sentence-for-sentence because I think this is what interests people:
There's a certain really popular program where the boys haven't been able to appear since they've [the program] been rejecting any interest the [Avex] promotion-team's been showing that way.
The promoter in charge has been fighting hard and will keep trying. The boys have reached #1 in this program's ranking, but when it comes to the offer about guesting in the show and a performance...Even after three weekly #1s, there's nothing from that direction.
There hasn't really been any kind of an explanation offered about the issue either, but the team will keep working hard for an appearance in that show!
But if it continues like this and the inquiries keep coming from the viewers as well, how can a music program explain this kind of behaviour?
T/N: Here we go for the record store-issue:
Of course the promotion-team is striving for the best possible set-up in the stores (but obviously, so are all of the other artists' promotors as well).
It depends on every store (chain) where they put the releases; and some of the stores have the Tohoshinki in the "Foreign acts" -section instead of "Jpop".
The store's bought the CDs so naturally they can advertise it how they want to and how they think it will sell the best.
They've been trying to have some type of an agreement on this, but especially now when they changed the release date for "Kimisuki" in such a short notice, it became even harder to get the majority of the shops to put the single in the Jpop-section instead of Foreign acts.
It's better when you have time to talk to the stores way before the release and assure things, because all the things are mostly decided abour 6 months before the release already. So a date-change doesn't make things easier at all.
So they had to cancel the space reserved for the CDs in the stores for the original release week, and ask for another setting for the new week.
Of course that messes up the stores' plans and they have to be quick and get a Plan B up. And most of them decided to give the maximum exposure by putting Kimisuki in the foreign-shelves.
-more stuff about the Jpop- and world-corners in the shops-
Tohoshinki will continue releasing Jpop (with good results).
They hope that the fans will understand the managing team and the stores' policies. The team will keep working and he believes that the sales will do well during the next few weeks.
He apologizes for the long entry, but thinks that it will be useful for the people interested in the music industry in general.
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Source: S-Diary - http://ameblo.jp/s-diary/entry-10119576243.html
Blog entry dated: July 24, 2008 12:41:30
Translation Credits: aleyna @ JpopMusic Forums
There really are many questions that keep popping up on the net. For example, if they really are a threat to Johnny's like many suppose, why are groups such as WaT allowed to appear on the show? Moreover, they don't promote themselves as an idol group so why should they be barred from Music Station when their target audience is quite different?
Seeing them work so extremely hard (including their staff) in a foreign industry, trying to improve their fluency and singing, travelling back and forth one city/country to another literally day after day, bascially doing all they can...yet still be treated as the underdogs when they clearly have so much VOCAL TALENT (yes - aside looks - they are actually TALENTED) and great personalities. Now I know why they felt so disheartened earlier when they mentioned they almost gave up on Japan in their Korean interview (Star Show). But they didn't give up and are still working hard, and we should all support them. At the end of the road, they will really grow and become even better as people and artists ♥ FIGHTING~
--> If you would like to read more commentary from an outside source, read the following article from Neojapanoism, by W. David Marx: Tohoshinki Rages Against the Machine.