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Japan: Flower Dance: Japanese Folk Melodies

Japan: Flower Dance: Japanese Folk Melodies cover art

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News & Reviews

  • Independent (UK): Nonesuch Explorer Series Reissue "Wonderful to Hear Once More"

    The reissue of the groundbreaking Nonesuch Explorer Series titles from Japan is now complete, with the recent addition of two more titles. The Independent exclaims, "It's wonderful that Nonesuch is reissuing the 92-LP Explorer Series, which put ethnomusicology on the map in the Seventies," and says of the recently reissued Koto Classics: "[I]t's wonderful to hear once more koto master Shinichi Yuize in his prime ... and these classic pieces display [the koto's] suggestive power to the full."

  • Scotsman: Return of Explorer Series "Simply Wonderful"

    "Never again will a record company essay what the producers of the Nonesuch Explorers did in 1967, bringing out a series of superb field recordings to make, eventually, a 92-record set," says The Scotsman in its five-star review of the two titles that marked the reissue of a number of Japanese Explorer Series albums on CD this fall: Koto Classics and Geza Music from the Kabuki. "The vinyl LPs ... brought to light a wealth of hitherto hidden traditions," says the review, and their return as remastered CDs "is simply wonderful, because much of this music—four decades on—is now either extinct or grievously debased."

About this Album

This disc presents important Japanese folk melodies, often centuries old—lullabies, children's tunes, and drinking songs, as well as court music still used today in traditional dances. These cherished songs, mainly drawn from ancient folk songs—the most modern of which was composed at the turn of the 20th century—are performed on the koto, shamisen, and various percussion instruments.


The Noday Family (Ikuta school), shamisen and koto
Nakagawa & Oishi, percussion
Kofu Kikusi, musical direction

Originally released in 1968 (H-72020)
Recorded at Nangenji Temple, Kyoto, Japan, and edited by Katsumasa Takasago
Mastered by Robert C. Ludwig
Coordinator: Teresa Sterne
Re-mastered by Robert C. Ludwig

Design: Doyle Partners
Cover photograph: Burt Glinn / Magnum Photos

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