Influences

I wanted to discuss the phenomenon where shortly after the Okinawan performers came onto the Japanese music scene, the Japanese musicians began to incorporate Okinawan elements into their own music. In 1911, Sonoyama Tamihei, a Japenese composer, published “a set of piano variations on the Okinawan song ‘Nubui Kuduchi’, which he had heard during a two-year teaching assignment in Okinawa,” (Mishima 2008 a and b). This ethnoscape of multiple cultures and peoples interacting with each other is just as interesting as the influence of R and B on dub and reggae, which we studied earlier in the term.

I am interested in the Okinawan influence on Japanese music because of the folksiness to it- folk music is inherently about a peoples’ past and thus it is interesting that a different group of people would inherit that past and make it their own. Two themes, the exotic nature of southern islands and American influence on the cultures, are prevalent in both types of music which tie the two together. I think its interesting that different cultures had similar impacts on both the Japanese and Okinawan people.

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