World Arbiter

VA - Japanese Traditional Music: Shamisen and Songs - Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai 1941

"2017 repress. This is the fourth volume in World Arbiter's Japanese Traditional Music series. The World Arbiter label presents 1941 recordings of the Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai -- masters of the shamisen. An extensive anthology of traditional Japanese music was created sometime around 1941-1942 by the Kokusai Bunka Shinkôkai (KBS), International Organization for the Promotion of Culture. KBS was established under the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1934 for cultural exchange between Japan and foreign countries, representing genres such as gagaku (court music), shômyô (Buddhist chants), nô (Noh medieval theater play), heikyoku (biwa-lute narratives of battles), shakuhachi (bamboo flute music), koto (long zither music), shamisen (three-stringed lute music), sairei bayashi (instrumental music for folk festivals), komori-uta (cradle songs, lullabies), warabe-uta (children songs), and riyou (min'you) (folk songs). Considering that 1941-1942 was a most daunting time for Japan's economy and international relationships with Asian and Western countries, it is remarkable that this excellent anthology of Japanese music was ever completed and published, as it contains judiciously selected pieces from various genres performed by top-level artists at that time. The KBS' recording project is of unique historical importance and culturally valuable as a document of musical practices in traditional Japanese genres during the wartime. Few copies of this collection exist in Japan. This CD restoration is taken from a set originally belonging to Donald Richie, a writer and scholar on Japanese culture (particularly on Japanese cinema), who had given it to Ms. Beate Sirota Gordon, known for her great contribution to the establishment of Japan's Constitution during the period of U.S. occupation after WWII. Gordon's father, Leo Sirota, a piano pupil of Busoni's, fostered many excellent Japanese pianists at the Tokyo Ongaku Gakko (Academy of Music, forerunner of present-day Music Department of Tokyo National University of The Arts) during 1928-1945. Shamisen, a three stringed lute, is said to have been imported from China through Okinawa into mainland Japan (Sakai, Osaka) in the latter half of the 16th century. It began to accompany popular songs and contributed in bringing about a variety of genres of shamisen music in the early 17th century. In the late Edo period (early 19th century), small-scale shamisen vocal genres such as ogie-bushi, hauta, utazawa, and kouta were performed by geisha in ozashiki chambers. This disc includes the shamisen music enjoyed in ozashiki. Jiuta music is mainly performed in houses or ozashiki chamber in the Kansai area and said to be the oldest shamisen music genre, born soon after the instrument's arrival in Japan. Kumiuta (combined pre-existent songs) music is also heard on this disc. Full descriptions are included in a 36-page booklet in English and Japanese."- World Arbiter.

  • Sale
  • 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.
I understand these terms



Sold Out