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Reconstruction and revitalization of Japanese folk music through utilizing the Toyo Ongaku Gakkai Sound Archives preserved in the National Museum of Ethnology

Research period:2021.10-2024.3



folk music ,sound archives ,cultural resources


The National Museum of Ethnology (“Minpaku”) has in its holdings both audio materials and accompanying materials such as notes and photographs from a survey of Japanese folk music that was conducted in the 1960s and 1970s by the Toyo Ongaku Gakkai (The Society for Research in Asiatic Music). Some of these materials were collected in collaboration with the Kyugakkai Rengo (The Association of Nine Academic Societies). These materials—which added up to more than 1,000 tapes—were donated to Minpaku in 1995. They have been digitalized, and a database has been created with information about the musical selections. I, however, have seen no evidence of them having been used as research materials since the survey was completed. Accordingly, the objective of the present research is to bring to light the contemporary significance and future potential of the Toyo Ongaku Gakkai materials in the following three ways. (1) Use these materials to identify the changes and continuities in Japanese folk music since the mid-20th century and attempt to recreate events and repertory; (2) through the materials, trace tendencies, results, and questions in Japanese folk music research in the latter half of the 20th century; and (3) use these materials—which should function as a cultural resource to be shared among scholars and popular transmitters of folk music—to create an information platform among interested parties that would be of use for reviving traditions and reawakening awareness of local culture.