I’ll say without a doubt that Japanese record collectors are probably the most diligent collectors in the world. Not only do they have deep knowledge of what’s good, but they’ve got the good stuff in great condition:
Nothing goes “uncollected”. At least in my opinion. I still remember reading this post years ago and thinking two things:
1 Thankfully, many stores in the USA still price their rock (Led Zep, The Who, Beatles) high and the funky stuff low.
2 Record stores in Japan are nothing like America’s, with plenty of specialty shops that carry specific kinds of music. Need a specific record? The shop probably has it or knows someone who does.
I haven’t spent any significant time digging in Japan, but there are many useful blogs in Japanese about Hawaiian music. Rarities that would’ve taken me years to learn about are on these sites—albeit most without sound samples, and sometimes without extensive descriptions. Google Translate isn’t the biggest help, either. But just having titles/artist names to go by eases my search for Hawaiian-style grooves.
Needless to say, the best Hawaiian music is back in Hawaii or Japan, online or in person. Just wish I could be there right now…