On Live in Japan, subtitled "The Guitars on the Table Approach", Frith continued his pioneering guitar work he began on his landmark  1974 album Guitar Solos. Comprising eight improvised pieces taken from four concerts in Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka and Maebashi in 1981, Frith used an old 1961 solid body Burns guitar, built by British craftsman Jim Burns, a homemade six- and eight-string double-neck guitar created by a friend Charles Fletcher, and a battered violin. The guitars were laid flat on a table and "played" by plucking, scraping and beating the strings with a variety of found objects. Frith also wore a WW II pilot's throat microphone to amplify his periodic vocal utterances. The same microphone had been used by Frith during some of the Massacre concerts held earlier in 1981.
Live in Japan was reissued on CD on Fred Records in October 2010. None of the original booklets, posters or artwork from the two LP box were included. It was remastered and restored from a virgin vinyl copy by Tom Dimuzio. The original master tapes were unobtainable.