Review of “Fuji Rock”

News review by Sebastian Sim


Fuji Rock: Japan’s clean, green and safe 16-year spectacle by Danielle Demetriou

In her article, Demetriou writes about Fuji Rock, the largest annual music festival in Japan held in Naeba in Niigata prefecture. She describes it as a “quintessentially Japanese event, renowned as one of the cleanest, greenest and safest music festivals in the world.” These features entice performing artistes, both local and international, and revellers all over the world to participate in the festival each year.

According to a director of Smash, the music promotion company responsible for Fuji Rock, the festival is “possibly the cleanest festival in the world”, and its ‘green concept” is a central theme. Various “green” initiatives include:

  1. A zero-rubbish policy, where rubbish created is sorted into five categories before being recycled;
  2. Other recycling efforts, including toilet paper made from cups and cigarette packaging and jackets worn by staff made from recycled plastic bottles, among others; and
  3. Minimal corporate intervention and prohibition of sponsorship banners near performing stages, in a bid to present an “untouched countryside”.

The director interviewed in the article mentioned that “being a Japanese festival, the event is not typical of Western festival style”, and if we recall Demetriou’s statement about Fuji Rock being “quintessentially Japan…”, there is a sense that both of them view Japan as a nation actively involved in ecologically-friendly practices and protective of its environment. In other words, there is a suggestion of Japan being a “green” nation.

It seems, therefore, that the article, despite focusing on Fuji Rock, makes a certain representation of Japan and the environment. It is essentially presenting to the reader a Japanese nation which is clean, “green” and unique compared to its Western counterparts. Such implicit representation, in my view, may well construct an inaccurate perception of Japan in the mind of a reader who possesses limited and uncritical knowledge of Japan.


Demetriou, D., 2013. Fuji Rock: Japan’s clean, green and safe 16-year spectacle [online]. The National. Available from: [Accessed 18 August 2013].

Green News

Welcome to the NUS blog for the module “Japan, the green nation?” from the Department of Japanese Studies.

This blog features posts related to the module, including “green” news reported by students. These are news stories that present Japan or a Japanese institution, person, company, etc. as particularly eco-friendly. Student search for relevant news items, summarize the news, and provide a critical analysis of the news through concepts discussed in class.

We hope that by collecting these news items in one place we can provide an overview of “green” news about Japan. Look for weekly posts!