Japan is a wonderful place for MIR research. There is a very strong community, they got good funding, and they are moving fast.
The largest Japanese society related to MIR is SIGMUS (special interest group on music and computers). It has got over 400 members interested in topics related to music processing. They organize 5 meetings a year. Around 50-80 participants usually attend these meetings which are held at different cities in Japan.
[Demonstration session at a SIGMUS meeting]
The best known Japanese MIR researcher is Masataka Goto. In the last 10 years Masataka has published on various topics such as beat tracking, chorus detection, and new user interfaces to discover music and organize playlists.
|One of the largest MIR related projects in Japan is the CrestMuse project which brings together universities and research labs all over Japan. CrestMuse is funded by the Japanese government (about 2.5 million Euro). It's a 5 year project and started October 2005. CrestMuse is headed by Haruhiro Katayose.|
If you want to do MIR research in Japan check out the JSPS fellowships. It's a lot of money, it's flexible, and it's not impossible :-)
European MIR researchers currently working in Japan include Jean-Julien Aucouturier, Bee Suan Ong, Sebastian Streich, and myself. Arthur Flexer just left a few days ago. From the Americas Douglas Turnbull worked two months in Japan last summer. J. Stephen Downie and George Tzanetakis will be stopping by soon.