A Few Things From Japan – Rediscovering Traditions (1969-2000)

After World War II, the Japanese lifestyle became heavily influenced by Western technology and culture. Fascinated by what came along from an exotic outside, many musicians were simply reproducing what was new to them.

During the seventies, however, artists are rediscovering Japanese music traditions. By blending aspects of those with their own preferences, something truly new evolves. 48-minute program with works by Akio Suzuki, Haruomi Hosono, Jun Togawa Unit, Toshi Ichiyanagi, and more.

Featured cover art: Osamu Kitajima – Benzaiten

A slightly extended version of this program for Laura Not‘s series Sounds Unsaid on dublab radio was 38th in Mixcloud‘s global folk chart, 42nd in the global experimental chart and 84th in the global ambient chart.

Akio Suzuki – Taka No

cosmic eternity as background for traditional Japanese flute sounds (2000, and/OAR)

Toshi Ichiyanagi – Electric Chant

electronic sounds as backdrop for praising the Tenno (1969, Bridge)

Eitetsu Hayashi – Cosmos

Japan’s national instrument Koto being played along with the Korean gayageum and a piano (1983, Victor)

Geinoh Yamashirogumi – Doll’s Polyphony

from the soundtrack to the animated post-apocalyptic cyberpunk film Akira (1988, Invitation)

Osamu Kitajima – Benzaiten: God Of Music And Water (Reprise)

melding ancient Japanese instruments with 70s prog (1976, Island)

Haruomi Hosono – Down To The Earth

music for ballet, putting traditional Japanese drums into an electronic context (1984, Monad Records)

Hanadensha – Spiritual

soundtrack for an imaginary movie (1995, WEA Japan)

Jun Togawa Unit – Umi Yakara

Okinawan folk song (1985, Yen Records)

Noizunzuri – Figure & Ground

traditional folk song, avant-rock style (1985, Telegraph Records)

Ryuichi Sakamoto – Das neue japanische elektronische Volkslied

the new Japanese electronic folk song (1978, Better Days)

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