The Hiroshima Music Scene

ByJustin Hanus
Dec 27, 2023

The Hiroshima Music Scene

Japan has a vibrant and diverse music culture and has provided the world with top-selling exports over the years such as Yellow Magic Orchestra and Babymetal. Tokyo and Osaka are the two cities with the most developed music scenes but there are many other cities with a simmering underground of bands and artists, some of whom have achieved national and international success. Hiroshima is one such city. Its handful of quality music venues have thrown up acts from pop to jazz. If you’re living in the prefecture and fancy getting a handle on some of the local talent, here’s where to start.


It may not be that well-known outside of the city, but Hiroshima is a hotbed of punk music. We’re talking punk of the sweaty old-skool hardcore type with multicolour mohicans and studded leather jackets. Perhaps unsurprising that a city with such a tragic history should produce music known for its anger and energy.

One of the best venues for this style of music is Club Quattro in the downtown area. Origin of M is one of the pioneers of the Hiroshima punk movement. Formed in 2002, they kickstarted an anti-war, anti-nuclear weapons scene and organise annual gigs to commemorate the Hiroshima bombing.

Another popular band, formed around the same time in Hiroshima but now based in Tokyo, is The Erections who are inspired by the Oi! Punk movement and look the most traditionally punk with their fantastically bright spiky hair. Also worth checking out are underground hardcore stalwarts Never Again who returned in 2020 with a new 7” single “Walk By Myself” after a break of several years.


If your tastes are a little more mainstream, fear not. Club Quattro also hosts many rock bands that don’t assault the senses quite as harshly. Hiroshima has given birth to two rock acts that have achieved commercial success and are still active, occasionally dropping by their home city to treat the fans.

The first is Porno Graffiti, an alternative pop-rock band from Onomichi formed in 1994 and named after the early 90s album by Extreme (remember them?). This music duo is best-known for providing soundtracks for anime series and movies but has released 12 albums since 2000.

The second is Unicorn, an 80s rock band with a somewhat quirky sound who became one of the biggest names in Japanese music before splitting in 1993. They reformed in 2009 and still tour today.


One of Japan’s biggest pop successes of this century comes from Hiroshima. Perfume, although predominantly Tokyo-based, has been at the forefront of the J-Pop scene for two decades and was formed at the Actors School Hiroshima back in 2000. The band has had over twenty top 10 singles to date, including number one hits “Love The World” and “One Room Disco” and has achieved some success in Europe and the US, although not on par with fame achieved in Japan.

Another pop hit from the prefecture is female solo artist Juju, an RnB-influenced performer from Shobara who had her biggest hit with Jay’ed in 2009 with “Ashita ga Kuru Nara” (When Tomorrow Comes).

TKS08, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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