So, you really like Japanese music and you are a fan of physical media. Well, sounds like you have the makings of a collector. If you would like to enter the world of the collector there are probably a couple of things that you should know. A lot of this is going to be pretty obvious, some won’t be. I will be breaking this down into several separate pages, because there will be a lot of information. I will also make a glossary explaining some of the terms used in the article.
Before we get into the physical aspect of collecting there are a couple of important things I would like to bring up.
First, this is not a hobby for somebody without a bit of extra money. As is true with all venues of collecting, some Japanese CDs can be quite expensive. One that comes to mind is the first release by Aldious, 「Dear Slave」. You would be hard pressed to find it for less than ¥60,000. Of course this is an extreme example but it is not uncommon to find items in the ¥10,000 to ¥20,000 range. Most collectors will not be interested in these types of releases as they can be very hard to come by since most are venue only releases or demos.
Second, this is not a hobby for those with no patience. If you go rushing in throwing around money with reckless abandon you will soon find yourself in actual financial trouble. The value of money can easily be lost when you are dealing in foreign currency. Fortunately the Japanese Yen is pretty stable, so you won’t have to deal to much with fluctuating value. Just remember to always be mindful of how much you are spending.
Third, as in any type of collecting, you should know what you want to collect. I mean this in both senses of the word “know”. Japanese music is no small subject as it covers all genres of music. You will want to narrow the scope of your collection to a certain genre or type, possibly even a singular band or group. There are groups that have been around 20 or 30 years and there is plenty to collect, you don’t have to buy every CD out there. Second, you must know your subject matter. Research is a big part of collecting and having a good background in what you are collecting will only help you. I will get into this a bit more in depth later.