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Public relations / information paper

Ota Ward Cultural Arts Information Paper "ART bee HIVE" vol.2 + bee!

Issued April 2020, 1

vol.2 winter issuePDF

The Ota Ward Cultural Arts Information Paper "ART bee HIVE" is a quarterly information paper that contains information on local culture and arts, newly published by the Ota Ward Cultural Promotion Association from the fall of 2019.
"BEE HIVE" means a beehive.
We will collect artistic information and deliver it to everyone together with the 6 ward reporters "Mitsubachi Corps" who gathered through open recruitment!
In "+ bee!", We will post information that could not be introduced on paper.

Special feature "Traditional performing arts" + bee!

"Shoko Kanazawa, a calligrapher in Ota Ward"

The second issue featuring the theme of "Tsumugu".We will deliver some of the off-shot photos that could not be posted on the paper!

With the plate given by the fan.

Shoko prays before writing the book.

Shoko who wrote one letter of this special theme "spinning".

With the book you have finished writing.

"Masahiro Kaneko" who keeps the Japanese musical instrument "Koto" alive

"Everyone has their own timbre characteristics, and there is no one that is the same."


It takes about 10 years to make a Japanese musical instrument, a koto, from a paulownia log.The life of the completed koto is about 50 years.Because of its short life, there is no such famous instrument as a violin.Aizu paulownia with good sound is used as the material for such "ephemeral" koto.Kaneko volunteers to go around elementary and junior high schools, saying, "I want you to actually touch the koto," in order to keep the culture of koto.

"The best thing is that if you forget your koto, you don't have to worry about it. Children will end their lives without seeing it. You can see and touch the real thing with only books and photos, so you can feel it. I don't have it. I want to tell you that there are such instruments in Japan, so I have to start from there. "

Kaneko, who is a volunteer and is doing educational activities with koto, how do children react when they listen to koto?

"It depends on what age you experience it. Children in the lower grades of elementary school have to touch the instrument. Even if they listen to it and ask their impressions, they have never experienced it before. It is important to touch it. It's part of the experience. Some children find it fun and some find it boring. But I don't know if I don't touch it. The actual experience is the best. "


What is the reason why Kaneko is particular about Aizu paulownia when making koto, and what is the difference from other paulownia trees?

"It takes more than 10 years to make a koto from a log. Roughly speaking, it takes about 5 years to cut paulownia first, and then to dry it. 3 years in the table, 1 or 2 years indoors, and so on. It's been 5 years. Niigata paulownia and Aizu paulownia are a little different. There are both in Chiba and Akita, but the best is Aizu. What kind of character do you write paulownia? "

It's the same as Kibia.

"Yes, paulownia is not a tree. It's a grass family. Unlike other conifers, it doesn't last for hundreds of years. It will die after 6 or 70 years at most. The life of a koto is about 50 years. . No varnish is applied to the surface. "

Is there a way for people who don't know traditional Japanese music to know Koto easily?

"YouTube. My son was a koto club at Sophia University. After my son joined, I recorded all the concerts and uploaded them to YouTube, and searched for Sophia University. It started to appear all at once, and then each university started to raise it. "

This special feature is "Tsumugu".Is there anything in the making of musical instruments that is spun from the past and that young people today do new things?

"There is. For example, there is a request to make an instrument that sounds even if you collaborate with a piano in jazz. At that time, I use the hard material of Aizu paulownia. I use soft paulownia for old songs, but modern times For the koto for performers who want to play a song, we use a hard wood material. We make an instrument that produces a sound suitable for that song. "

Thank you very much.The Koto production process is posted on the Kaneko Koto Sanxian Musical Instrument Store website. Koto's concert information and repair process are also posted on Twitter, so please check it out.

Kaneko Koto Sanxian Musical Instrument Store

  • 3-18-3 Chidori, Ota-ku
  • Business hours: 10: 00-20: 00
  • TEL: 03-3759-0557

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"Yasutomo Tanaka" who retains traditional sounds with technology

"I worked for Y company's agency and for many years based in Malaysia, I traveled to neighboring countries, China, etc. to support production factories. Among them, there is a musical instrument factory, where I learned how to tune and make musical instruments. The knowledge I have learned is now in my possession. "


It has been three years since the bamboo (female bamboo), which is the material of Shinobue, is harvested and dried.In the meantime, two-thirds will crack.Bent bamboo is heated (corrected) with fire. Mr. Tanaka's specialty is to adjust the whistle, which will be completed in about three and a half years, to a different tone for each festival in each neighborhood, and to scientifically customize it according to the blower. "Don't choose a Kobo brush" is an old tale.

"There are as many whistles as there are festivals all over Japan. There is local music, and there are sounds there. Therefore, I have to make the sounds necessary for that music."

It means that there are as many sounds as there are towns and villages.Do you decide the tone after listening to the local music?

"Check all the pitches with the tuner. The Hz and pitch are completely different depending on the land. Sound waves are generated in the tube, but the tube is distorted because it is natural. The sound waves are also distorted. Sound waves come out. If it sounds like a pleasant tone or noise, or if it is the latter, the shape of the tube is shaking. Correct it with a screwdriver to make a sound. Go "


It looks like a life form given by nature.

"That's right. That's why making sounds is quite physical, and the area and shape inside are related. Hardness. When I was a kid, I went to Asakusa and bought a flute made by a flute master, but at that time, I don't mess with the inside of the tube. When I blow it, there is no sound. Then my teacher told me that training is a stepping stone. But that is the origin of my whistle making. I used to make flutes as a hobby, but after all I realized that there was a problem with the shape inside. Learning to make musical instruments at the company has been very useful for my current job. "

I would like to ask you about the process of making Shinobue.

"The bamboo I picked up can't be used as it is, so I have to dry it for three years. Two-thirds are broken and the remaining one-third becomes a whistle, but it's bent a little. When it becomes a little soft, straighten it with a shaving wood. That makes one material, but it will be stressful when straightened, so if you make a hole immediately, it will crack. Also, dry it until it becomes familiar for about half a year. It takes a lot of nerves from the stage of making the material. If you make the material loosely, it will become a loose whistle. "

This special feature is "Tsumugu".What does it mean to spin tradition for Mr. Tanaka?

"Isn't it a" fusion "that keeps the old and puts in new ones?The old-fashioned structure will be maintained with the old-fashioned structure.Doremi's flute is very interesting now.I want to play contemporary music, I also want to play jazz.Until now, there was no whistle that could be played together on the piano scale, but Shinobue has caught up with Western equal temperament.It's evolving. "

Thank you very much.Kazuyasu Flute Studio is also accepting consultations for those who want to start flute but do not know how to choose one.Please check the homepage as well.

Whistle studio Kazuyasu

  • 7-14-2 Central, Ota-ku
  • Hours: 10: 00 ~ 19: 00
  • TEL: 080-2045-8150

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Art person + bee!

"Living National Treasure" that connects traditional culture to posterity "Fumiko Yonekawa II"

"Art" is fear and weight--
That's why I'm active all my life, I just keep devoting myself to performing arts

The stage is still scary
Strictly pursue entertainment for both myself and others


Fumiko Yonekawa, the second generation, has been active as a performer of Jiuta and Jiuta (* 80) for over 1 years. Even though it was certified as a Living National Treasure (Important Intangible Cultural Property) of Koto in 2008, it is impressive that it continues to pursue the path of art.

"Thanks to you, there are various concerts in front of me, so I practice until I'm satisfied. That's what makes me feel uncomfortable. Depending on the song, the content and expression It's different, so it's very difficult to show it in timbre. I think it's always in my head that I want everyone to hear it in an easy-to-understand manner. "

Jiuta and koto songs that were handed down by a school inspection (blind musician) during the Edo period and have been handed down to the present day.Deepen your understanding of the song, including the individuality and taste of each school, and show them to the audience in front of you instead of the tone-to reach that level, the song is so body that you can play it even if you close your eyes. Even if I'm used to it, I never stop and just continue to practice and devote myself.Behind the gentle expression, you can feel the spirit and determination as an investigator who masters such art.

"After all, the stage is still scary. Even if you practice enough, if you can put out 8% on the stage, you can not put out half."

One of the clues to know the rigor of pursuing art is the training method that was practiced until the early Showa period.By pushing yourself to the limit, such as "cold training" where you keep playing the koto and the three strings (shamisen) until you lose your senses while being exposed to the cold winter wind, and "hundred playing" where you keep playing the same song over and over again. It is a training method to train the body and hone the skill.

"Education has changed in modern times, so I don't think it's easy to receive such teachings even if you want to. However, the lessons are very important and are the basis of all training. I think. "

Mr. Yonekawa says that he is "strict to himself and others" when it comes to art.

"Otherwise, you won't be able to pay attention to people. I'm thinking about it myself."


In the guidance that Mr. Yonekawa gives directly to his disciples, there are other things that are important besides showing the interpretation of each song in timbre.It is a heart-to-heart contact.

"Every song has its own" heart ". Depending on how the disciples' arts are accumulated, some people may understand it and others may not. That's why it's great while taking into account the feelings of each other I try to explain my interpretation of the song in an easy-to-understand manner. Everyone enjoys playing it. As I gradually understand it over the years, I understand what I said. Please take in and take lessons. "

It is said that the way of dealing with this resolute art is largely due to the teaching of the first Fumiko Yonekawa.

"Because the spirit of art from the predecessor has been struck. We are incorporating that teaching as a lifelong treasure."

Follow the teachings of the previous generation and move on to the next generation
Pour your heart into the development of traditional culture


In the first place, Mr. Yonekawa (real name: Mr. Misao) and his predecessor have a relationship of "aunt and niece".He spent his childhood in Kobe, and when his mother, who was a blind and koto master, passed away in the year he graduated from elementary school, his father, who was thinking about his daughter's future, died in 1939 (Showa 14). I went to Tokyo on a night train to study with my sister.After that, he lived with his aunt, and the relationship between the two changed to "teacher and disciple" and in 1954 (Showa 29) to "mother and adopted daughter".

"I went to my aunt's house without knowing anything. There were a lot of uchideshi. At first, I thought I was a scary aunt. But I said "Auntie". I was just playing the koto. Then it was a simple idea that there were rewards and good things from time to time. It was childish. "

Under the strict guidance of his predecessor, the girl gradually emerged and eventually emerged.Fumi Katsuyuki(Fumikatsu Widely used in the name of.The predecessor always tells himself and others that he should study only art, and he is an uchideshi of the predecessor for work such as office work and diplomacy, and his sister on the family register who was adopted at the same time.・ Mr. Fumishizu Yonekawa (deceased) is in charge.As if to respond to the thoughts of his teacher and sister, Mr. Yonekawa will continue to push forward with the arts.
In 1995 (Heisei 7), the first generation passed away, and four years later, he was named "the second generation Fumiko Yonekawa".He describes his feelings at that time as "I made a big decision as to whether I would really work for myself."

"Once upon a time, my mother told me that art helps me, but when I was young, I didn't quite understand it. He brought it up. I don't know the office work, I can't do anything about my family. I managed to get out into the world by just playing the koto while being supported by the people around me. My predecessor was my mother, a teacher of art, and a parent who raised everything. He was a strict person for art, but once he went out of art, he was really kind. It was also loved by his disciples. The power of the first generation is great. "

Inheriting the aspirations of the predecessor, who is such a big existence, Mr. Yonekawa has been energetically working on the tradition of performing arts to the next generation.While the number of professional Japanese musicians and enthusiasts is declining, we are focusing on popularizing music education using Japanese musical instruments, especially in elementary and junior high schools.Currently, "Japanese musical instrument practice" is included in the compulsory course in the learning guidance guidelines for elementary and junior high schools, but the Japan Sankyoku Association (* 2), of which Mr. Yonekawa is the honorary chairman, is nationwide to help. In addition to donating many koto to elementary and junior high schools, we dispatch young performers mainly to elementary and junior high schools in Tokyo to demonstrate performances and provide hands-on guidance on playing musical instruments.At the Iemoto Sochokai, Mr. Yonekawa is also working on dissemination activities at elementary and junior high schools in Ota Ward, and sometimes Mr. Yonekawa himself goes to school to provide opportunities for children to come into direct contact with the koto.

"I play nursery rhymes and school songs in front of the children, but they sing along with me and it's exciting. I really enjoyed the time when I actually put my nails on my fingers and touched the koto. Japanese music For the future of culture, it is important to raise children first. Even the children who come to our school will take good care of them and play the koto. "

In terms of handing down to the next generation, in recent years, manga and anime based on traditional Japanese performing arts and culture have appeared one after another, and are gaining popularity mainly among the younger generation.Through them, they become familiar with, interested in, and interested in traditional performing arts and culture.Such a movement is also occurring in the koto, and in fact, a tour of the culture center where the disciples of the Sochokai are instructors, admiring the original koto performed by the characters during the play of the work. There is no end to the applicants.It seems that some of the students want to play, too, and it shows the great impact they have on society.Mr. Yonekawa, who has been walking with classical songs, says that he has a stance of "do more and more" for such hope.

"It's only natural that there will be something that is in line with the times as an entrance of interest. I'm grateful that the population of Japanese music will increase. Besides, if it's a good song, it will naturally remain. Over time, it will become a "classic". However, I hope that those who entered from contemporary songs will eventually learn the classics and acquire the basics properly. Does that mean that it is difficult to connect to the development of traditional Japanese culture? It is very important, isn't it? "

"Otawa Festival"State of March 2018, 3

At the end of the interview, when I asked again, "What is" art "for Mr. Yonekawa?", After a few seconds of silence, he picked up the words one by one so as to carefully scoop up his heart.

"For me, art is scary and weighty, and it's hard to come up with words. That's how sacred and solemn it was given to me by my predecessor. Above all, You can live while playing the koto. I still want to continue working in the arts for the rest of my life. "

* 1 Art music derived from the inseparable connection between Jiuta (shamisen music) and koto songs handed down by a school inspection (blind musician) during the Edo period."Song" is an important element in the music of each instrument, and the same performer is in charge of playing the koto, playing the shamisen, and singing.
* 2 Various projects will be implemented with the aim of contributing to the development of Japanese music culture by promoting the spread of traditional music, koto, sankyoku, and shakuhachi, and exchanging each school of the three songs.


Jiuta / Ikuta style musician.Presided over by Sochokai (Ota Ward).Honorary Chairman of the Japan Sankyoku Association. Born in 1926.His real name is Misao Yonekawa.Former name is Fumikatsu. Moved to Tokyo in 1939 and became the first uchideshi. In 1954, he was adopted by his first disciple, Bunshizu. Received the Medal with Purple Ribbon in 1994. In 1999, the second generation Fumiko Yonekawa was named. In 2000, received the Order of the Precious Crown. In 2008, certified as an important intangible cultural property holder (living national treasure). Received the Japan Art Academy Prize and Gift Award in 2013.

References: "Fumiko Yonekawa People and Arts" Eishi Kikkawa, edited by Sochokai (1996)


Public Relations and Public Hearing Section, Culture and Arts Promotion Division, Ota Ward Cultural Promotion Association
146-0092-3 Shimomaruko, Ota-ku, Tokyo 1-3 Ota-kumin Plaza
TEL: 03-3750-1611 / FAX: 03-3750-1150