Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

Note that this thread has not been updated in a long time, and its content might not be up-to-date anymore.

Japanese music 2009/10/22 10:38
Hello! I am a music student in America and I would love to know where I could find an abundance of Japanese traditional and Enka music.

Is there a major city that has a strong influence for this type of music? Any suggestions for performance halls etc? I would assume Kyoto?
by Jesen  

? 2009/10/22 16:49
"Traditional" Japanese music and enka are two different things. Enka is a relatively new genre that is said to have been born in the end of the 19th century. What enka is to Japan is quite similar to what country music is to the U.S.

When we say "traditional Japanese music" it usually means more classical things such as gagaku (ancient court music), min-yo (folk music) or the like. Needless to say, there is an original type of folk music for every region throughout Japan.

Kyoto is the old capitol, so I suppose it's a good place to seek gagaku. But of course, you can't find much Tohoku folk music or Okinawan folk music there, and both of these are very popular among the min-yo genre.

Do you have a specific musician or a piece of music that you like? If so, post them and someone may be able to post a better suggestion.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/10/22 22:04
Thanks for your response. I know the differences. I just want to know a city or venue that I can experience all of this music and get an overall feel or understanding of pre-WWII music. From traditional all the way up to Enka.
by Jesen rate this post as useful

Enka and Minyo 2009/10/23 09:01
Uco has it covered well. Wikipedia on the internet has a very good article on Enka. Enka is popular in Korea also but is called Trot.

TV Japan has two shows on each week that have Enka NHK Song Concert, and Songs of Japanese spirit. Dish network, and some cable channels have TV Japan.

JACCC in Los Angeles, CA occasionally has Enka singers; http://www.jaccc.org/directions.htm
If you are in Japan, I think you can get concert tickets online, and at 7-11 stores.

Go to You Tube and type in gEnkah, skip the Manga, and play the ones with the singers in kimonos and you will get a good representation of Enka. Type in minyo and you will be able to listen to minyo.

by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/10/23 09:46
Im sorry if I am being confusing. But I want to know where I can find live enka and traditional music in the cities of Japan. Noy youtube and CA :)
by Jesen rate this post as useful

nothing particular 2009/10/24 09:20

Thanks for your response, but I can't really think of a specific city or region that is particularly "abundant" in pre WW2 Japanese music "overall".

As I've mentioned, if you go to Okinawa you can listen to a lot of Okinawan music, and if you go to big cities you can enjoy everything, not only music from traditional to pop but any kind of entertainment such as cinema, theatre and so on. Also, enka isn't really much of a "pre WW2" thing, by the way.

Probably one of the easiest ways to listen to traditional music is to look for festivals. Things similar to county fairs, that is. There will usually be a small stage where local amateurs do short performances for free. Some of the most unknown festivals can often turn out to be very interesting. These festivals are more abundant during summer and autumn.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

curious about your definition 2009/10/24 09:22

I'm just curious. You say you are American. Is there a city or venue that you can experience all traditional American music and get an overall feel or understanding of pre-WWII American music in America?
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Sorry I misunderstood 2009/10/24 10:14
Sorry I did not understand. Here is an internet ticket site;

If you donft speak Japanese the following site will translate it;

If you are in Japan go to the 7/11 or other convenience stores. I believe they have tickets. Also many hotel front desks can look up the information for you.
Here is a site that may help;

Many concerts that are not sold out will sell tickets at the door. If you know someone that speaks Japanese, and has Japanese language enabled in windows you can go to the Japanese Yahoo site and do a search for tickets;

I have bought tickets in the past from bellworldmusic. I usually call them on the phone to get tickets and send them cash, or postal mo.

Try Shinjuku for entertainment. Your hotel front desk will probably speak English and can help you get tickets. Getting tickets in Japan is much easier, than here.

by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

responses 2009/10/25 16:33
Thank you to both Ken and Uco..

Uco, it would depend on what you mean by pre-WW2 music in America. After all, the main focus of music would be slavery hymns, folk music and jazz. I would consider anything else that is pre-WW2 to be European. So if you are referring to these genres, then yes you can. New Orleans would be a huge central hub of Jazz and Folk. Where as slavery spirituals were never a practiced or transcribed art. But one can find them transferred into churches. So yes, I believe you can find it easily and greatly focused.

But thanks to you both. It seems that I may have to look around some. I guess it might be a bit harder to find good examples of legit traditional music and not just some crappy tourist attraction.
by Jesen rate this post as useful

Thank you 2009/10/25 17:43

Thank you for the feedback. I understand what you mean. But one might say that the music of European immigrants is part of American history, or that definitely the music of Native Americans is pre-WW2 American music. So it really depends on what you want to focus on.

But again, you can visit whatever area you wish to in Japan, and if you seek traditional music there, I'm sure you will at least be able to enjoy a decent amount of whatever the tradition is in that particular part of Japan.

Wherever you go, try to find a shop for traditional musical instruments. They are likely to be able to point out the direction.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Hello,i love j-rock and j-pop, :)
by Noein2009 (guest) rate this post as useful

reply to this thread