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Educational Affairs Annual Report, for the years 1887 (Meiji 20) to 1904 (Meiji 37)

‘Educational Affairs Annual Report, for the years 1887 (Meiji 20) to 1904 (Meiji 37)’

  This document is a collection of the annual reports submitted to the Minister of Education from the dean of the Tokyo Academy of Music, and has been bound into a single document. Each academic year started in October for the time period included in the document.

  The entries recorded include ‘regulations’, ‘overview’, ‘facilities’, ‘staff members’, ‘students’, ‘expenses’, ‘books and music instruments’, and so on but, depending on the academic year, the musical works performed at the concerts and also personnel changes are, in some cases, described in great detail.

  For example, 1887’s report’s entry on ‘staff members’ records that there is one staff coordinator, five teaching staff, one accountant, one general affairs clerk, one student affairs secretary, and one foreign teacher. From this, we can see that there was a total of ten staff members for that year.

  Also, for the same year, 1887, the entry on the book collection of the school states that there were 4382 Japanese books, 1872 Chinese books, 287 books written in English, 97 written in German, 25 written in French, 41 Indian books, and 571 music scores – a total of 7275 books.

  In terms of musical instruments for 1887, the Western instruments listed include pianos, organs, double basses, violins, cellos, violas, flutes, guitars, etc. As for gagaku instruments, the shō, hichiriki, fue, biwa, koto, and wagon (Japanese zither) all have entries. Chinese Qing and Ming musical instruments, also 25-string xianqins, 4-string xianqins, and a shikōkin (small Japanese organ), are also listed. The common Japanese zokugaku instruments recorded were kotos, kokyus, shamisens, and shakuhachis. There are 171 musical instruments listed in total, in cluding a ‘physics instrument’ (details unclear, possibly a tuning fork). If this is divided into the different instrument categories, we can see that the figure includes 48 Western instruments, 16 gagaku instruments, 41 Ming/Qing Chinese instruments, 62 zokugaku instruments, with the shikōkin (designed and built in 1884) and others making up the remaining 4. Western instruments make up a little less than a third of the total number; at the very least, it can be said that, at the time of the founding of the Tokyo Music Academy, the number of Western musical instruments at the school did not exceed the Japanese/East Asian instruments. These numbers support the fact that the Tokyo Music Academy started as the continuation of the Music Research Committee, which undertook projects aiming to ‘combine the music of the West with the East to create new music’.

  Furthermore, from 1889 (Meiji 22) until 1941 (Shōwa 16), the ‘Summary of the Tokyo Academy of Music’ documents were printed – a yearly publication appearing at the end of each academic year. However, from the ‘Annual Report’ document, it is possible to learn general information about the Academy from before 1889. Also, the ‘Annual Report’ is more detailed than the ‘Summary of the Tokyo Academy of Music’, as entries on the wages, personnel changes, and the appointments and dismissals of individual teaching staff are included. The repertory of the concerts and problems relating to the institution and facilities and so on were also recorded. This information is an important clue in understanding the specifics of the general direction of the activities of the Tokyo Academy of Music, including details of the budget and personnel.

As of 2016, the ‘Annual Report’ documents up until 1937 (Shōwa 12) have been collected and verified.

English Translation by Thomas Cressy
Contents developed by KAMURA,Tetsuro

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