User:Hawke/Japanese label codes 101

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This page was rescued from a cached copy of because it contains extremely useful information.


System of catalog numbers on Japanese releases is organized for all releases since June 1989. Upon RIAJ's guidance RIS502, so called 'standardized commodity code' was introduced. This code consists of 4 letters in Latin alphabet and 4-5 Roman numbers (serial number). The 4 letters consist of:

  • position 1-2 label code
  • position 3 media type
  • position 4 non-standardized code for internal purposes

So the usual example form is ABCD-10001. Hyphen is optional between the code and serial #. The label code is mandatory for all members of RIAJ, and is being assigned by the organization. The codes were being assigned to non-members as well, but since December 2005, this policy was abandoned (non-members can't get official label code, though the previously assigned exceptions were not abolished).

Further notes:

  • label codes can be shared (usually each company uses it just for one type of media, while the other one for another type)
  • one main company can have more than one code (usually used for different sub-labels)
  • there are several exceptions to ABCD-10001 form, but these are well documented
  • RIAJ non-members (indie labels, foreign labels etc) don't have to obey this standard, but they are usually asked to avoid duplicating the existing commodity codes whenever possible
  • Sources: system, code list

Media codes (3rd position)

  • A - DVD-Audio
  • B DVD-Video
  • C - 12cm CD
  • D - 8cm CD
  • E - not assigned
  • F - CD-V
  • G - SACD
  • H - HD DVD
  • I - Video CD, CD-i
  • J - LP (for all 30cm vinyls regardless of RPM), partially for UMD discs for PSP
  • K - EP(for all 17cm vinyls regardless of RPM)
  • L - 30cm LD
  • M - 20cm LD
  • N - CD-G
  • O - not assigned
  • P - Playstation games
  • Q - not assigned
  • R - CD-ROM
  • S - casette tape (singles)
  • T - casette tape (albums)
  • U - UMD video (2006~), Beta video tape (currently not used)
  • V - VHS video tape
  • W - DVD music(2004~), 8mm video tape (currently not used)
  • X - Blu-ray Disc (2006~), DCC (currently not used)
  • Y - MD
  • Z - 2 and more formats(12cmCD+8cmCD, some CD+DVD, CD+photobook etc)

Label codes formatting

When 2 or more labels are connected with a slash, it means they are related in some way. It can be a label/sub-label relation, label/distributor or eventually two different names for the same label.

The arrow mark means the label either changed the name to or merged with the following one, or ceased to exist and the entire catalog with the original label code is being maintained by the other company now.

Label codes A

AA - Records 
AB - Absord Music Japan 
AC - Asmik Ace Entertainment 
AD - Sony Music (ADCA-1 is the only release) 
AE - Geneon Entertainment (DVD only) 
    - AtMark/BounDEE Inc. (CD only) 
AF - Amuse Soft Entertainment (DVD only) 
    - Aaron Field (CD only) 
    - Animate Films 
AG - Agent Con-Sipio (until 04/2000) -> Pony Canyon 
    - Pryaid Records (from 11/2000) -> BounDEE Inc. 
AH - Artist House 
AI - Sony Music Associated Records 
AJ - Astronautes Star/Toshiba EMI -> Bonin/EMI Music Japan 
AK - Avex Marketing (distribution for Five Ace, KNS Entertainment, Purple Hills Record etc.) 
AL - Alfa Records (until 10/1998) 
    - Asmik Ace Entertainment 
AM - Moon Records 
AN - Animate 
AO - Amemura O-Town Record (until 03/1997) 
AP - Apollon International (until 2000) 
AQ - Aqua Label 
AR - Antinos Records 
AS - Amuse Soft Entertainment 
AT - Frontier Works 
AU - Augusta Records 
AV - Avex Group (4th letter indictates sub-label) 
AW - Animebank 
AX - Axec 
AY - Ayers 
AZ - Aer-born 
    - A'zip Music	

Label codes B

BA - Bad News Records/Three D System

   - 心歌レコード (not used anymore) 

BB - Beam Entertainment -> Hapinet Pictures

   - Bella Beaux Entertainment 

BC - Bandai Visual BD - B.I.C. Records BE - Bandai Visual BF - Faithful./Barrier Free/Faith Records BG - B-Gram Records/Polydor Records BH - BMG Japan (until 06/2009) -> Ariola Japan BI - Beam Entertainment -> Hapinet Pictures BJ - B-Jin/Zain Records (until 02/1993) -> B-Gram Records BL - VAP (until 08/1998) -> Pony Canyon BM - Vermillion Records/Being BN - Bad News Ongaku Shuppan BR - Broccoli BS - Be Smile BT - Tearbridge Records/Pryaid Records (not used anymore) BU - Burger Inn Records BV - BMG Victor -> BMG Funhouse -> BMG Japan -> Ariola Japan BW - Blow Wind Records BX - Bella Beaux Entertainment/Daiki Sound BZ - Bellwood Label codes C

CA - Canary Productions/Nippon Columbia CC - cocoronetworks (not used anymore) CE - Century Records CF - Culture of Asia CH - Chapter One CJ - Suleputer (DVD only) CK - BounDEE Inc. CL - Azumaya Oomei Kensetsu CM - Cosmos Records CO - Nippon Columbia CP - Culture Publishers/Project-T CR - Nippon Crown CS - CBS / Sony Records -> SME Records (currently using MH/SR codes) CT - Cutting Edge/Avex Trax CV - Hot On Records CX - Happinet Corporation (DVD only)

   - Nippon Columbia (CD only, currently using CO code) 

CY - Cyclone (split up) Label codes D

DA - Kadokawa Daiei Movies (DVD only) DC - Danger Crue Records DD - BounDEE Inc. DE - Dex Entertainment DF - DefSTAR Records DG - labels distributed by Avex Trax (see Exceptions) DH - DJ Honda Recordings DI - Digital MediaLab (not used anymore) DJ - Dream Robot DK - Music Wagon DL - Ratspack Records DM - Nippon Crown (currently fused under CR) DN - Double Neck Records/Pryaid Records DO - Dream One (not used anymore) DP - Datam Polystar DQ - Sony Music Direct DR - Dream21 DS - DEARS DT - Daytripper DU - Digital Ultra Project DX - Daipro-X DZ - Shochiku Label codes E, F, G

EI - Epic International EP - Zetima/Mediterranean Label (ex-One Up Music) EQ - Maxell ES - Epic / Sony Records/Epic Records Japan EU - Dex Entertainment

FA - Fifth Avenue FB - Free Board Records/King Records FC - Frontier Works FD - Sony Family Club FH - Fun House -> Ariola Japan FK - Fives Entertainment FL - For Life Records -> For Life Music Entertainment FM - Forte Music Entertainment -> Nippon Columbia/Animex FO - factoryorumok

   - Fontec 

FR - FOA Records/U-Can Entertainment

GA - Hapinet Pictures (DVD only, not used anymore)

   - Gauss Entertainment  (merged into TK code) 

GB - Beam Entertainment/Happinet Corporation -> Konami Digital Entertainment/King Records GF - Konami Digital Entertainment/Sony Music Distribution GN - Geneon Universal Entertainment Japan (ex-Pioneer LDC/Geneon Entertainment) GR - Gauss Entertainment (merged into TK code) GZ - GIZA Studio Label codes H, I, J

HA - Polydor Records (only 'ARCH' CDs until 1999)

   - Pryaid Records (since 2000) -> BounDEE Inc. 

HB - Mycal Hummingbird -> Warner Music Japan


HC - Sohbi Kikaku -> Happinet Corporation HG - Pryaid Records/Polystar HK - Hachama Records/UpFront Works HU - Hats

IK - Pryaid Records/Polystar IO - Avex io (formerly under Prime Direction)

JA - J Storm JB - Pure Infinity (since 03/1995) JD - JSDSS/Softgarage JE - Johnny's Entertainment JS - Nippon Soft System -> JSDSS JV - Japan Audio Visual Network -> Victor [JPN] Label codes K

KA - Kadokawa Shoten KC - KSR KD - Scitron Digital Content -> Happinet Corporation KE - Koei/Universal Music Japan KF - 573 Records KG - Nippon Crown (merged into CR code) KH - Sol Blade (releases distr. by EMI Music Japan) KI - King Records KJ - Octavia Records (currently using OV code) KK - King International KL - KSS Records/Geneon Entertainment KM - Konami Music Entertainment/King Records KO - Konami Music Entertainment/Sony Music Distribution KS - Key Sounds Label

   - Ki/oon Records 
   - KSS Records (currently merged with JSDSS) 

KT - Kitty Records -> Universal Music Japan KU - Pryaid Records KW - Imagica/Hapinet Pictures KX - Knocker/Sony Music Distribution KY - Key Sounds Label

   - Kuraray Video Soft 

KZ - BounDEE Inc. Label codes L, M

LA - Lantis

 LAC - Lantis (main label, distro by King Records (~2008)/Bandai Visual (2009~) 
 LAS - Lantis (GloryHeaven sublabel/Sony Music Distribution) 

LH - On The Run (Lantis/Geneon Entertainment joint) LK - Japan Home Video LO - Love&Love Records LS - Toei

MA - Movic MD - MIDI ME - Meldac -> Tokuma Japan Communications MG - Media Rings (split up) MH - Sony Music Direct/Sony Music House MJ - Marvelous Entertainment Inc. ML - Magic Island MM - Marine Entertainment MQ - Maxell MR - Media Rings (split up)

   - Media Remoras -> Pony Canyon 

MS - Media Station MV - MCA Victor -> Universal Victor -> Universal Music Japan Label codes N, O, P

NA - NEC Avenue -> NEC Interchannel NE - NEC Interchannel -> I.C. Avenue -> Index Music -> T.Y. Entertainment

   - Nest -> Onkyo Entertainment Technologies 

NK - King Records NM - Nose Japan Records NR - C.Moon/Bandai Visual

OE - Moer ON - B-Vision OM - Omagatoki OO - Double O Records (split-up) OV - Octavia Records

PA - Panasonic PC - Pony Canyon PH - Nippon Phonogram -> Mercury Music Entertainment -> Universal Music Japan PI - Pioneer LDC -> Geneon Entertainment PK - Rice Music/Piccolo Town/UpFront Works PL - Platz/Gakken (split-up) PN - eXPulse PO - Universal Gear/Polydor Records -> Universal Music Japan PQ - HiBoom/Avex Trax PS - Polystar PT - Project-T PY - Muture Communications (ex-Platea, split-up) Label codes Q, R

QA - Nippon Columbia QC - Universal Music Japan QK - Universal Music Japan QQ - Palm Beach Inc. (split up) QT - Quattro/Parco/Nippon Columbia QW - labels distributed by Pony Canyon (see Exceptions)

RB - Rambling Records RC - Rock Records/Nippon Columbia RD - BounDEE Inc. (ex-Pryaid Records) RE - Rentrak Japan RK - BounDEE Inc. (ex-Pryaid Records) RO - Pioneer LDC -> Geneon Entertainment RR - Roadrunner Japan RS - BounDEE Inc. (ex-Pryaid Records) RT - BounDEE Inc. (ex-Pryaid Records) RU - BounDEE Inc. (ex-Pryaid Records) RV - Riv Star (split-up) RW - Re-Wind Recordings/Victor [JPN] RX - Rhythmedia Tribe/Ariola Japan (using BV now) RY - WEA Japan/Warner Music Japan (using WM now) RZ - Rhythm Zone/Avex Trax Label codes S, T

SA - Sanrio SB - Mycal Hummingbird SC - Scitron Digital Content -> Happinet Corporation SD - Strange Days Records SE - SME Records SH - Sohbi Kikaku -> Happinet Corporation (not used anymore)

   - Shochiku (SHBR-XXXX exception for BluRay discs after 2010) 

SI - Sony Music Japan International SK - Sohbi Kikaku -> Happinet Corporation SR - Sony Music Records/gr8! Records SV - Spac/Nippon Enkaphon

TA - New Taurus -> Universal Music Japan TC - Tricle/Teichiku Records (merged with TE)

   - TC Entertainment (DVD only, 3rd&4th letter have exceptional media codes BD/ED) 

TD - TDK Core TE - Teichiku Records TF - Toy's Factory TG - T Grand Music -> Teichiku Records

   - also used for some indie labels, initally for Sony Music Manufacturing custom-made CDs 

TJ - Holiday Japan TK - Tokuma Japan Communications TL - Toho TM - Teichiku Music Corporation (merged with TE code) TN - Tricycle/Universal Music Japan TO - Toshiba-EMI -> EMI Music Japan TP - BounDEE Inc. (ex-Pryaid Records) TQ - BounDEE Inc. TR - Traffic

   - Two Five 

TT - Toshiba-EMI -> EMI Music Japan TV - Toshiba Eizo Soft (split up) TY - Futureland/Youmex Label codes U,V, W

UC - Universal Classic&Jazz UI - Universal International (foreign production of Universal Sigma, Island, Def Jam Japan) UM - Universal Sigma (Kitty Mercury/Kitty MME, foreign production of A&M) UP - Universal J/Nayutawave Records (ex-Polydor, ex-Universal Victor) US - Usen UU - Universal J (ex-Universal Victor, merged into UP code since 07/2002)

VA - Videoarts Music VD - Victor [JPN] VG - 5pb. Records/Geneon Entertainment VI - Victor [JPN] VJ - Virgin Records VL - Toshiba Eizo Soft (split up) VN - Northern Music VO - Visual Ook VP - VAP VT - JVC Entertainment/Flying Dog VZ - Nippon Dento Bunka Shinko Zaidan V2 - V2 Records

WD - Wonder Entertainment (split-up) WG - Wing Songs WL - Wonder Kids (split-up) WM - WEA Japan/Warner Music Japan WP - Warner Music Japan (ex-Warner Pioneer) Label codes X, Y, Z

XA - MCJP XB - BounDEE Inc. XE - BounDEE Inc. XJ - Dawn Entertainment Japan XL - Xtra Large/Marvelous Entertainment Inc. XM - Christmas Records (not used anymore) XN - labels distributed by Avex Trax XQ - labels distributed by Universal Music Japan (see Exceptions) XS - Sony Music Entertainment XT - Nitro Records/Avex Trax XY - Soundasia EX/Horipro XZ - King Records

YB - Yume Kukan YC - Yamaha Music Communications YE - Suns Entertainment (ex-Yellow Cab) YF - Sol Blade (releases distr. by King Records) YI - J-More/Avex Marketing YK - BounDEE Inc. YM - Yamaha Music&Business YN - Avex Trax YR - R and C Ltd. YS - BounDEE Inc. YZ - labels distributed by Crown/Tokuma Japan Communications (see Exceptions)

ZA - Zain Records/Being ZC - Ozawa Music Office ZJ - Zomba Records Japan ZM - Media Factory (uses exceptional media type codes - B for DVD, S for BluRay) ZO - Avex Trax ZP - Universal Music Japan ZQ - labels distributed by Universal Music Japan (see Exceptions) ZS - BounDEE Inc. ZW - Avex Trax (DVD only) ZZ - Aozora Records Exceptions part I (more or less than 2 letters for label code)

P - Blues Interactions/P-Vine Records (PCD-XXXX) T - Teichiku Records (some karaoke DVDs, TBK-XXXX)

ANS, ANZ - Aniplex Inc. (DVD only) FAB - Media Factory (12cm CD only, 4th letter is media type) HID - Datam Polystar ICD - I've Sound/Visual Art's (I've's indies labels, no 4th letter) RAD - Media Factory (4th letter is media type - C for CDs, V for DVDs) SVW - SPE Visual Works -> Aniplex Inc./Sony Music Distribution TCA - Takarazuka Creative Arts (4th letter is media type - C for CD, D for DVD, P for CD single) TFC - Teichiku Records/Daiki Sound (TFC-XXX) VAL - Victor [JPN]/Daiki Sound (VAL-XXX) VTS - Toshiba Eizo Soft (split up) WAC - Walkers Company (split-up) YTR - Ritz Music/Sony Music Distribution (4th letter is media type - C for CD, D for DVD)

TRAK - Tsubasa Records (CD only) TRDL - Tsubasa Records (DVD only) TRUE - Universal J/Daiki Sound ZTTL - Zuntata/Sony Music Records Exceptions part II (Distributor codes 1)

DG (Avex Trax distributed)

 DG** - 3rd and 4th are usually identifiers (there are exceptions) 
         - Dwango Music Entertainment (4th letter on DVDs is D) 
 DGBD - Avex Trax (DVD only) 
 DGGA - AdMedia (DVD only) 

QW (Pony Canyon distributed), 3rd letter is media type, 4th is sub-label code

 QW*B - Blue Music Entertainment 
 QW*D - Boot-Up Records 
 QW*E - Exit Tunes 
 QW*F - Formula Recordings 
 QW*H - Hudson Music Entertainment 
 QW*T - TN Mix 
 QW*X - Excel Q 

XQ (Universal Music Japan distributed)

 XQ** - BounDEE Inc. (identifiers are serial #s - CDs are in 1000's, DVDs are in 2000 range)	

Exceptions part II (Distributor codes 2)

YZ (Crown/Tokuma Japan Communications distributed)

 YZAB - Absolute Records 
 YZAE - Asu-One Entertainment 
 YZAM - Ihatove Winds 
 YZAS - A-String 
 YZBB - BB Network (DVD only) 
 YZBL - Belta Recordss 
 YZCM - Cross M Records 
 YZCV - Kamtec (DVD only) 
 YZFD - Crown/Tokuma Japan Communications (main label) 
 YZFE - Treasure of Music 
 YZGB - Gambit 
 YZGF - Green Field 
 YZGT - Brave 
 YZIM - International Music 
 YZKZ - Arashi 
 YZNE - Nippon Enkaphon 
 YZOC - Octet Records 
 YZPS - Peace&Smile music 
 YZSH - Soundholic 
 YZSO - CRS Songs 
 YZSS - Singer&Songer Records 
 YZTN - Oxy Records 
 YZWG - A-Force Entertainment (Wing Entertainment Group before 07/2010) 
 YZXL - Exellex	

Exceptions part II (Distributor codes 3)

ZQ (Universal Music Japan distributed)

 ZQBG - Blue In Green 
 ZQCC - Cucumber Records 
 ZQCS - Silent 
 ZQLK - Link.ID Records 
 ZQME - Mother Earth/PryAid 
 ZQML - Magnum Records 
 ZQMS - Marsa 
 ZQNE - Next Entertainment 
 ZQNR - Nakanoshima Records 
 ZQPR - UM Korea/Pryaid Records 
 ZQPT - Palmtree 
 ZQSF - Sky Factory 
 ZQTB - Tsubasa Records 
 ZQTK - Take Seven 
 ZQTR - Top Run X 
 ZQVT - Torture Ride/Tao Records