World Arbiter

VA - Japanese Traditional Music: Gagaku, Buddhist Chant...

"...Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai,1941. 2022 restock. First in a series of 78 restorations, this one focuses on gagaku & Buddhist chant. Beautiful, lost-in-time recordings -- produced to perfection from one of the world's greats. An extensive anthology of traditional Japanese music was recorded around 1941-1942 by Kokusai Bunka Shinkô-kai: International Organization for the Promotion of Culture. KBS was established under the Ministries of Education and Foreign Affairs in 1934 for cultural exchange between Japan and foreign countries. In 1972 it became the Japan Foundation, under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. KBS activities ranged from lectures, concerts, artistic and academic exchange, publishing books, photos, to producing films and records, establishing libraries and related cultural facilities abroad, among them this record set of traditional Japanese music. Gagaku ("elegant music") is the oldest surviving musical tradition, with a history of more than 1,300 years. It has been developed and passed down, strongly associated with imperial court cultures. Gagaku in current practice may be divided into three categories, by origin and style; 1) indigenous vocal and dance repertoires, primarily performed in the Shinto ceremonies accompanied by several Japanese indigenous and foreign instruments; 2) foreign instrumental music and dances, tôgaku (music of Chinese origin) and komagaku (music of Korean origin) used in various court, Buddhist, and Shinto ceremonies, which consist of various instruments brought from the Asian continent; and 3) vocalized Japanese or Chinese poetry, saibara and rôei established in 9th century Japan, mainly enjoyed by high-ranking noblemen in rather informal court ceremonies. In the words of World Arbiter's Allan Evans: "Current gagaku sounds brittle, easily cracked, very delicate. And in 1941 they used fewer performers but have a solidity, a weight. They were carrying on a tradition that was part of an immortal empire, a vision of permanence. Four years later it was over."In 1942, a set of sixty 78 rpm discs documenting the most authentic traditions in Japanese music was privately issued. Due to the war and neglect, few copies survive. This disc marks the beginning of its restoration."- World Arbiter.

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  • Regular price $14.00

After nearly a decade of false starts, multiple game plans veering off the rails, and a handful of shattered hopes and/or dreams, the odyssey is finally complete—the new Fusetron site is here.

This is the first phase of a multipart rollout that will span the next few months: the currently browsable stock includes miscellaneous new releases from the past 8+ months (we have a lot of catching up to do), plus approximately a third of our backstock. Note that we’ve reduced/slashed prices on many titles and will continue to do so in order to make room for new stock. We’ll also be expanding / tweaking / improving / debugging the site itself (for example, we still have work to do on the automated international postage system, not to mention the inevitable inventory discrepancies that come with transferring an ancient and massive database to a new system).

Over the next few months, as we take inventory, clean house, and delve into our storage, we will be uploading thousands of additional items, gradually, on a near-daily basis. This will include the majority of the LPs, as well as many titles, in all formats, once thought long-gone. Many currently “sold out” items are likely to resurface.

Finally, once our general backstock is up (probably in the next two or three months) we’ll begin making our extensive stockpile of rarities available online for the first time: tons of random out-of-print titles, "deadstock," warehouse finds, secondhand collectibles, etc., accumulated over the past few decades.

Frequent/returning customers will be getting early access to these items. Details to follow on how this will work (a priority mailing list? a 'frequent flyer'-like program?), but it will not be based on dollars spent. We want to reward those who consistently support us, especially in the discogs marketplace era (to those who show up trying to poach five copies of a one-off rarity, and nothing else, ever… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).

So—we suggest you take some time to dig through the site—even we’ve been surprised by what’s been turning up, and there’s much more to come.
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