Influence In Asia by: Noelle Savage

Elvis Presley is a musical icon that has spread his influences all over the world. Elvis’s influences reached Asia more than thirty years ago, leading to the greater development of thriving pop music industry, which has promoted local talents. Although Elvis never preformed outside of the US and Canada, and never had his music translated to different languages, he was still known throughout the world and recognized as a great music artist. His influences may have been seen more in some parts of the globe more than others, but that didn’t stop people in different cultures from knowing his name and knowing him as “the King” of rock and roll.
Even after he has passed his fames lives on throughout the world. Much as it did to Japan’s Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi who told the 5,000 strong Elvis Presley fan club in Tokyo in 2001; “I love Elvis”, “I never get tired of listening to his songs no matter how many times I hear them” (BBC News) Mr. Koizumi’s enthusiasm for Elvis dates back to his childhood, stating that the first song he ever learned was “I want you, I love you, I need you”. Junichiro’s love for Elvis is something that he shares with his younger brother Masaya former senior advisor of the Tokyo fan club. The two brother’s love for Elvis was taken to a new level in 1987 when, they both helped finance the construction of a statue of Elvis, which still stands today in central Tokyo’s Harajuku district. Along with this statue Mr. Koizumi also shared with Japan a CD he created of his twenty five favorite Elvis Presley songs, along with a computer generated photo of him and Mr. Presley, as well as commentary from himself on each song chosen for the CD.
While running for Prime Minister of Japan Mr. Koizumi shared his love for Elvis and music with the people of Japan, which possibly could have helped him with votes. It seems the Japanese liked to see that he shared some of the same interest as the rest of the population. A professor of economics at Keio University stated “it is a relief for people to know that the prime minister is a fan of music, like the public people; it creates a perception that he is close to the people on the street, unlike usual prime ministers who talk about tax and interest rates”. (Haruo Shimada)
The popularity Koizumi gained for his love of Elvis Presley from the people of Japan truly shows his impact on Asia. It is such a great accomplishment to be known as such a huge musical icon in your own country, but to also be recognized as an icon and “the King” of rock and roll in other countries, shows an even greater achievement. The fact that Elvis is gone but his music is still not forgotten, shows what an amazing artist he really is and how his music has influenced people all around the world including those in Asia.

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