Shikama Totsuji: Chinese Classics and Western Music

Shikama Totsuji: Chinese Classics and Western Music

  • 24th February 2017

Even after finishing Not by Love Alone, I still wonder at the rapid spread of Western music in 19th– and early 20th-century Japan. Like others writing about the history of Western music in Japan, I made much of the Japanese pioneers who studied in the West or had Western teachers….

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The kokyû – the Violin’s Forgotten Cousin

The kokyû – the Violin’s Forgotten Cousin

  • 12th November 2016

In Not by Love Alone I wrote about “the violin’s forgotten cousin” and Japan’s very own bowed instrument; the kokyû 胡弓 (or 日本胡弓). Its origins are disputed. According to the most plausible theory, it was developed in Japan in the late sixteenth century from the shamisen 三味線, a three-stringed plucked…

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