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Prewar Japanese Jazz music 2004/5/8 02:26
I am a fan of Jazz music from the '40's, '30's and '20's, listening to artists such as Artie Shaw, Bix Beiderbecke, Jimmie Noone etc. I have been looking all on the internet on Asian Jazz from the prewar, wartime and early postwar period, but I can't find much about artists, bands etc. except that Shanghai attracted many Japanese jazz artists. I would like to know more about Asian jazz in general and Japanese jazz in particular from that period. I'll be much obliged if anyone could help me out, with names of artists and bands, books, cd's, places (on the internet or else) where I might get some info.

by Max  

Crazy Cats 2004/5/9 01:13
Japan has had a great jazz scene for a long time, but I couldn't find good info in English.

From the 20s, Jimmy Harada (Dr.), Dick Mine (Vo.), Noriko Awaya ("Queen of Blues") were among the popular cats that lived long to tell the tale. The fiction movie "Shanhai bansukingu" discribes the Japanese jazz scene of the 20s, but I'm not sure if the movie is available in English. Please refer to the following details.

During the late 30s to the end of WW2, jazz was banned due to war circumstances. On the other hand, western music flourished right after WW2 starting from jazz. Many Japanese people who survived the war claims that they were fascinated by American culture in particular jazz, and that it encouraged them to struggle there way up the ladder from the war ruins to achieve a new life. Female singers like Izumi Yukimura, Chiemi Eri, Peggy Hayama, male bandmen like George Kawaguchi, Franky Sakai, Sadao Watanabe are well-known to this day.

The following site thoroughly explains the most early Japanese jazz scene, but it's written in Japanese.
However they do have a BBS you can try writing questions in English.

Also if you can read Japanese, there are a lot of records available on Amazon Japan. Perhaps you can try your nearest Japanese community for more details. I'm sure Japanese immigrants can't live without the music.

Lastly, please excuse me for any mis-spelling of names, because I only know their Japanese versions (for example, Franky can be Frankie).

Oh, btw, Crazy Cats is the name of one of the most popular comical jazz bands of the 60s.
by Uco rate this post as useful

thanks 2004/5/10 23:44

That's already much more than I could find! There's quite some intersting information to be found when you follow your directions. It's given me some good sources with which i can browse the internet with a lot more security as to where and how I can find the info. I can read a little Japanese too, so, the Japanese language sites are helpful to me. Thanks a lot!
by Max rate this post as useful

a great japanese jazz lp 2004/5/23 18:29

i bought a lp from the saba/mps serie "jazz meets the world", called - "Sakura Sakura" from the Hideo Shiraki Quintet + 3 Koto girls.
it was recorded in 1965, so its a not really a post war record, but it is a great one.
trust me and check it out.

by Chris rate this post as useful

japanese jazz 2004/5/23 18:35
me again,

since i heard the sakura sakura lp, i am very interested in japanese jazz.
i would like to know, where i can find free, avantgard, traditional, japanese folklore or a combination of theese styles on record.
my most prevered time would be from 1958 - 1975.
please help me.

thanxs a lot, chris
by chris rate this post as useful

Fujiko Heming? 2004/5/25 23:47
That's a kind of a vast question, Chris. I suppose you know that you can search keywords like "japanese jazz" and follow the link until you can find something that Amazon.com has. How about starting from pianists like Fujiko Heming?
by Uco rate this post as useful

re 2004/5/27 01:06
hi, thanx for the pianist.
its hard to find records on vinyl on amazon.com
i would like to know some important musicians of the 60ies or early 70ies, or some good albums. then i will find them somehow on vinyl.
now i start with your tip.

thanx a lot, chris
by chris rate this post as useful

Pre War Japan Jazz/Avant-Garde 2004/8/26 14:25
Hello,Max and Chris. Max here are some more Japanese pre war names: Kami Kyosuke"Japanese Paul Whiteman" "Shanghai" Yamaguchi-drummer(1905-1970)Nanri Fumio and Saito Hiroyoshi trumpeters(1920s-'30s) Chris If you looking for Avant-Garde--hard to find on vinyl. But I have probably what your looking for... Can you leave an email address?
by Ron rate this post as useful

interested in japanese jazz 2004/10/17 17:44
could you please introduce me about some of the japanese jazz band as i just start and interested in it so i just want to try some, thanks
by Lisa rate this post as useful

Jazz Corner, Shinziku 2006/6/16 10:27
In 1956 to 1958 I spent some great evenings listening to music at Jazz Corner,a bar in Shinziku. Is it still there?
by Don rate this post as useful

japanese jazz 2007/7/16 19:26
hello there,

i am still interested in japanese jazz. espacially hideo shiraki, masahiko togashi, hozan yamamoto,...

if somebody knows something about them or other japanese jazz, please contact me by email:

best regards, chris
by Chris rate this post as useful

Jazz in PreWar Japan 2009/7/20 01:52
There was quite a following of American Jazz in pre-war Japan. There is a book in the Sacramento Calif Library by an author named, I believe, Yoshida, that describes jazz scene and how many Black musicians were able to tour in Japan. I know the influence back from Japan were heard in the Japanese American bands of the 50's.
by Tom (guest) rate this post as useful

Pre-War Jazz 2009/7/20 02:23
I found a book describing this period written by George Yoshida (1997), Reminiscing in swingtime : Japanese Americans in American popular music: 1925-1960.
by Tom (guest) rate this post as useful

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