Taito City Culture Guide Book
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Touring Sogakudo of the Former Tokyo Music School
Talk with Sogakudo of Former Tokyo Music School Talk with Tatsuhito Kondo

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Rudolf Dietrich
Rudolf Dietrich

Upon request of Shuji Isawa (the first principal of Tokyo Music School), Austrian musician Rudolf Dietrich (1867-1919) came to Tokyo Music School in 1888. Dietrich contributed significantly to the development of Western classical music in Japan, and had a great influence on Nobu Koda (later, became a music teacher of Tokyo Music School), a sister of Rohan Koda.

August Junker

August Junker and Students

August Junker (1868-1944) came to Tokyo Music School in 1899, and contributed to the improvement of playing techniques of orchestral instruments. Junker was also called a father of orchestras in Japan. The late Meiji Period was just "the time of Junker."

Japan's music history exists here.
A collection of songs for elementary school music classes (Edited by the Music Study Committee of Education, the Ministry of Education)

A collection of songs for elementary school music classes (Edited by the Music Study Committee of Education, the Ministry of Education)

The first edition was copyrighted in November 1881 and published in April 1882. The edition was edited as an educational material for elementary school music classes. It contains 91 songs. In most of the songs, educational, elegant Japanese lyrics are put to Western melodies. One of the songs is considered to be composed by "Reijin," or gagaku musician. Also contained are "Miwataseba (Musunde-hiraite)," "Cho-cho," "Kasumi ka Kumo ka," "Hotaru (Hotaru no Hikari)" and "Kiku (Niwa no Chigusa)," all of which are still sung today.

A collection of songs for kindergarten classes (Edited by the Music Study Committee of Education, the Ministry of Education) A collection of songs for Jinjo elementary school music classes (Edited by The Ministry of Education)

A collection of songs for kindergarten classes (Edited by the Music Study Committee of Education, the Ministry of Education)

This book was edited in parallel with the elementary school songs, copyrighted in July 1887 and published in December 1887. It contains 29 songs, including "Cho-cho," "Kasumi ka Kumo ka," "Uzumaku Mizu (Kira-kira Boshi)," "Mitsubachi," "Kazoe Uta." Shown here is a page of "Cho-cho." [Click to enlarge the picture.]

A collection of songs for Jinjo elementary school music classes (Edited by The Ministry of Education)

This book was published in the period between 1911 and 1914. It was used for about two decades until 1932 as an elementary school textbook. The lyrics and melodies contained in the book were newly made, which are still popular as songs designated by the Ministry of Education. A song "Kouma" is contained. [Click to enlarge the picture.]

Tamaki Miura
Tamaki Miura

Tamaki Miura (1884-1946) graduated from Tokyo Music School in 1904, and assumed the post of assistant professor at the music school. Miura starred in "Madama Butterfly" which was performed at an opera house in London. She was a pioneer of opera in Japan, and became the first Japanese to be an international prima donna.

Nobu Koda

Nobu Koda

Ko Ando

Ko Ando

Nobu Koda (1870-1946) is a sister of Rohan Koda and is a pianist/violinist. She was taught by Luther Whiting Mason at an attached elementary school of a normal school for girls, and entered the Music Study Committee of Education at the age of 13. She graduated from the school in 1885, completing all subjects. In 1889, she studied in Boston for one year as the first music intern from the Ministry of Education, and then studied in Vienna for five years. After returning to Japan, she assumed the post of professor at Tokyo Music School. She, together with her brother Rohan Koda, was selected as a member of the Academy of Arts in 1937.

Ko Ando (formerly Koda) (1878-1963) is a younger sister of Rohan and Nobu Koda, and is a violinist. She learned violin from Rudolf Dietrich at Tokyo Music School, and graduated from the school in 1896. In 1900, she studied at the Hochschüle für Musik in Berlin. She assumed the post of professor at Tokyo Music School in 1903. Following her brother and sister, she was selected as a member of the Academy of Arts in 1942.

Tamaki Miura and Giacomo Puccini
Tamaki Miura and Giacomo Puccini

Composer Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) saw "Madama Butterfly" performed in Rome, and invited Miura to his mountain villa near Lucca. This picture was taken on April 19, 1920, in front of Puccini's villa at Torre del Lago.

Kosaku Yamada and his friends - this picture was taken after a concert commemorating his return from America

Kosaku Yamada and his friends - this picture was taken after a concert commemorating his return from America

From left to right: Ayako Ogino (vocalist), Kosaku Yamada, Sumako Fukao (poet), Hakushu Kitahara (tanka poet, writer of children's songs), Rofu Miki (poet). Kosaku Yamada (1886-1965) went to Germany after graduating from Tokyo Music School, and acquired knowledge of music, theater and dance. After returning to Japan, he organized the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the first symphony orchestra in Japan, and released orchestral music composed by him, which was unprecedented at that time. He lost his father at the age of 9. When he worked for a print shop, he used to get hungry and ate trifoliate oranges on hedges - he later told this story to Hakushu Kitahara so a nice poem "Karatachi no Hana" was created. This anecdote is famous.

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