4th Gagaku and International Cultural Exchange

“How Language and Music are correlated”

Supporter : the American-Japan Society

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  On July 21st this year, the 4th Gagaku and International Cultural Exchange Event, supported by the American-Japan Society and Japan Foundation, was held at Kioi Sho Hall in Tokyo. The Hall was filled with people from various circles and was the perfect venue for the audience to watch closely the movements and expressions of the performers and to feel an affinity with them as well.
  Mr. Yoichiro Iguchi, president of the Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble, made a few opening statements and then introduced Dr. Seiichi Makino, today’s guest speaker, Mr. Shogo Anzai, former chief court musician of Music Department at Imperial Household Agency and the musicians from Jyuni-on-kai.
  Mr. Eisuke Mori, member of the House of Representatives, also spoke and requested the understanding and support to the Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble which has been promoting Japanese traditional arts and culture in and out of Japan.

  The event began with a lecture by Dr. Seiichi Makino, Emeritus Professor at Princeton University where many Noble Prize winners were produced. Dr. Makino was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon by Japanese government this May for his long dedication to the promotion of Japanese language in abroad.
  The lecture was titled “How Language and Music are correlated”. Some of the listener’s comments were: “Analysis from a fresh point of view”, “It was especially impressive when he talked about the relationship between the words through the medium of water and music” and “It was very interesting and challenging lecture.”
  It was an epochal talk about words, culture, arts and nature. It brought broader understanding of gagaku, created by Japanese culture and the relationship between Japanese language and gagaku.
  The second part was commenced by Mr. Anzai’s introduction of gagaku instruments followed by the performance of Jyuni-on-kai.
  Some of the comments by the participants were: “Mr. Anzai’s talk was very easy to understand even for a beginner and described very well about how gagaku came into being from nature.” “Mr. Anzai nurtured us very well with an explanation about the importance of a breathing when playing the instruments and how different a sound of gagaku from that of western music.” ”Gagaku is like a kaleidoscope of Japanese culture.” “By listening to the tranquility yet powerfulness of gagaku’s music and dance, despite the heat and humidity, we felt a moment of coolness.” “The dance and performance by Jyuni-on-kai was fabulous. Their performance gave us a clam, bulge yet imperious feeling.” and “Jyuni-on-kai is a gagaku version of Berlin Philharmonic. The dance which was lively with refined moves was also fantastic. This was the essence of oriental music.”
  Furthermore, there were also comments praising the Kitanodai Gagaku Ensembl’s efforts for the succession and diffusion of gagaku and the promotion of international culture exchange through gagaku, traditional arts of Japan. A lot of people showed their interest in the next event.
  As a part of an international exchange program, the Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble will host lectures on various subjects by inviting a well-known professional from various circles who are successfully active overseas as well as in Japan. The following two lectures will be held together with the performance of Jyuni-on-kai.


The 5th Gagaku and International Cultural Exchange Event
Date: April 11, 2015 (Sat)
Venue: Kioi Sho Hall, Tokyo
Lecturer: Mr. Jun Yokota, Former Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Belgium
Gagaku by: Jyuni-on-kai

The 6th Gagaku and International Cultural Exchange Event
Date: November 8, 2016 (Sun)
Venue: Ginza Yamaha Hall, Tokyo
Lecturer: Prof. Tiger Ohkoshi, Berklee College of Music
(2014 Recipient of the Foreign Minister’s Award)
Gagaku by: Jyuni-on-kai

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