Changing adult learning in Japan: the shift from traditional singing to karaoke
Lifelong learning in Japan involves various cultural and/or sporting activities for personal enjoyment rather than for individual or national economic benefit. Currently the study of karaoke at a variety of public and private organizations is very popular among older Japanese and housewives. This article explores the emergence of karaoke as a newer form of adult learning, discussing students' learning objectives and the consequences thereof. It also explores how karaoke differs from traditional forms of singing and why students are more interested in the newer form of learning. Fifteen months of fieldwork included participant observation, interviews and a quantitative survey. Karaoke learning offers freedom and simplicity and is less expensive than traditional singing. The structure of karaoke is flexible, generative and egalitarian. These characteristics perfectly match current Japanese adult interests and make the learning of it popular.
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