Japan’s national pastime with karaoke has been suffering as a result of COVID-19, and that extends to the karoke joints themselves. Even though new, specially made karaoke masks have been created, they still only protect so much, and many people would rather just avoid big groups, as karaoke joints tend to attract crowds and parties. Of the 6,000 locations in Japan, more than 500 have already shuttered.
Karaoke joints in Japan had been shut down completely earlier this year as a precaution, but then they were allowed to open again as long as they were careful.
SoraNews24 quoted a karaoke box manager who said, “This is the most dire situation we’ve faced since karaoke first started up in the 1970s.” Numerous karaoke joints continued to have to pay rent during their shutdown, and are not receiving enough customers now to recoup their losses. And while there are ways for fans to do karaoke at home, it doesn’t help the businesses.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.