Final Weeks of Summer in Japan

On Sunday I attended the 48th annual Osaka prefectural wind band competition (48回大阪府吹奏楽コンクール) in Minoh, Japan. As expected, the bands there were outstanding, and I think the adjudicators also did an excellent job. Particularly memorable were performances of Jun Nagao’s Reminiscence by the Miki Wind Philharmonie and of Masamichi Amano’s The Sea’s Aurora by the Minoh Youth Band.

The bands that received the highest awards at this contest will advance to the regional competition, and those who receive the highest awards at that event will advance to the national level. Since the end of 2004, my research has suggested that the All-Japan Band Association's annual national contest is probably the world's largest music competition in terms of the number of contestants (over 14,000 bands, with a recently estimated total of 800,000 competing musicians). Nowadays, many music scholars in Japan and abroad seem to agree that there appear to be no larger music competitions in the world.

Here is a link to the final results from the Osaka-level event:


Next week I am visiting the headquarters of Yamaha, Kawai, the Keishicho Museum, Showakan Reading Room, Finnish Institute in Japan (at the Embassy of Finland in Tokyo), and Professors at Tokyo Gakugei University and Yokohama National University.

It is a pretty busy schedule, but I expect to acquire some interesting new information and make progress on planning for future research projects.

1 comment:

Widds said...

Dr. Hebert,

I am writing to inquire if your book, "Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools" is available for purchase. I manage the St. Olaf College Band from Minnesota, and we will tour Japan this January. The St. Olaf Band will perform joint concerts with three excellent Japanese High School bands, including a previous finalist and winner of the high school level All-Japan Band Association contest (Saitama Sakae High School and Gakugeikan High School).

I think our students would benefit greatly by reading your work on this subject as they prepare to interact musically and culturally with Japanese high school band students.

If your book is not available, which of your journal articles would you recommend?

Thank you for your consideration.


Terra Widdifield
Assistant Manager of Music Organizations
St. Olaf College
Northfield, MN