I also run Kaala which is about as perfect a definition of labor of love that you could get. Kaala is a lot of things, but at its core it’s a support system for independent musicians in Japan. That’s taken many forms over the years – data analytics, art exhibitions, travel services, and more, and for good reason. Just like akiya, independent music world-round doesn’t get it’s fair shake because it’s more niche than the lowest common denominator.
In an age where clicks = dollars, then, it makes perfect sense to pursue highly accessible content and products. And, again, to an extent, this is acceptable. But when it dominates the narrative, it ends up suffocating other cultures not because they’re objectively bad but rather because they’re simply different.
So Kaala seeks to engage with the untouchables of contemporary Japanese culture. It’s out there in droves, but severely lacking in resources, financial or otherwise. In an effort to jumpstart those cultural ecosystems, we necessarily need to eat the cost of good production and services until we can affect some kind of critical mass, if ever.