’s split made them the second band arguably at the peak of their popularity to confirm they were breaking up in the autumn of 1982, along with The Jam
. Whereas The Jam’s demise came out of the blue for fans, there had been rumours all year that Japan’s days were numbered. Rob Dean had already quit and the remaining members were all involved in projects outside the band. We looked at Mick Karn’s post-Japan projects in the 1980s
earlier in the month, as he was the first member to get a solo record in the shops, but how did the others spend the rest of the decade?
Rob Dean joined Illustrated Man who produced an album in 1984.
Steve Jansen and Richard Barbieri continued as a duo, recording an album in 1985 before recruiting others to form a band The Dolphin Brothers for their next.
David Sylvian’s first single without Japan came while the group was still a going concern. Bamboo Houses was a collaboration with experimental musician Ryuichi Sakamoto, who had just completed some work with Japan; it was the first of several collaborations between them. The most prolific of all the former Japan members, Sylvian produced four LPs of his own plus two with Holger Czukay.
At the end of the decade, Japan (still without Rob Dean) re-formed in all but name: Sylvian insisted the name Japan be consigned to the past, and when a new album appeared a couple of years later, it was credited to Rain Tree Crow.
NEW SINGLES on sale from Jul. 30
SYLVIAN SAKOMOTO (David Sylvian) Bamboo Houses (Virgin VS510)