Korean Studies Lab Seminar

“二人の日本人研究者による植民地期朝鮮宮廷音楽の調査:田辺尚雄と兼常清佐の比較 (Research of Korean Court Music by Two Japanese Musicologists in Colonial Korea: A Comparison of Tanabe Hisao and Kanetsune Kiyosuke)”

Research of Korean Court Music by Two Japanese Musicologists in Colonial KoreaEvent Details

Start: 29 March 2016 3:00 pm
End: 29 March 2016 5:00 pm
Venue: Room 604, Asian Centre

Speaker: Professor Yukio Uemura (Tokyo University of the Arts)

Open to the public. All are welcome.
Language: Japanese (日本語) and Korean (한국어)


Tanabe Hisao and Kanetsune Kiyosuke, two representative musicologists of early 20th century Japan, conducted field research of Korean music in 1921 and 1911, respectively. Tanabe’s research, as it was well known, helped rescue Korean court music tradition from decline although the colonial government had already decided to preserve it as a conciliatory measure towards the Yi royal family. Tanabe found, through his fieldwork, that Korea’s “Aak” (Confucian shrine music) tradition retained a legacy of ancient Chinese music culture. Taking seriously the elements of shrine music found in the Korean court music, Tanabe tried to theorize the history of “Tōyō (Oriental) music,” but it should be noted that his historical schema of “Oriental music” was, to a great extent, motivated by his desire to protect Japanese music from the intrusion of Western music. In that sense, he was not free from Japano-centrism. Unlike Tanabe’s research, Kanetsune’s fieldwork is by and large forgotten, but the scientific methods he employed as well as his objective and balanced approach to Korean music should be re-examined.