Month: April 2015

Yurii Kyogoku Collection – Books with inscription by Itsuzo Kyogoku (京極 逸藏)

Yurii Kyogoku was a Serials Cataloger at OSU Libraries until her retirement in 1982. Born on April 13, 1916 near Hiroshima, Japan, Yurii came with her family to the United States in 1919 and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley.

When she retired and moved to Virginia, Yurii donated 523 volumes of Japanese books to the Ohio State University Libraries. Most of them were acquired by her father in California during the 20s and 30s, providing a rare glimpse into Japanese-American history. Continue reading

Focus on Rekion: Noriko Awaya (淡谷のり子)

Noriko Awaya in her fifties. From 「淡谷のり子:わが放浪記」

Awaya Noriko (淡谷のり子) was a Japanese soprano and blues singer born in Aomori, Japan on August 12, 1907. Because her family was quite wealthy, she was able to go to school for a time at Toyo Conservatory of Music (東洋音楽学校, present day Tokyo College of Music). However, her father’s business became bankrupt and she was forced to leave school for a year, working part-time as a nude model. Eventually she returned to school, finished her studies, and began her 70-year long career. Her most famous songs include the 1937 hit 「別れのブルース」 (Wakare no burūsu) and 「雨のブルース」 (Ame no burūsu).

Rekion access in OSUL — Noriko Awaya’s popular songs can be found with the following Rekion identifiers:

  • 「別れのブルース」
    • info:ndljp/pid/2915506
  • 「雨のブルース」
    • info:ndljp/pid/8272244

Continue reading

Focus on Rekion: Motoori Nagayo 本居長世

Nagayo Moto’ori, from 朝日新聞 January 12, 1917

Nagayo Motoori (本居長世) (1885-1945) was a Japanese composer known for children’s songs. Although his grandfather and guardian protested, he pursued a music degree at Tokyo School of Music (present day Tokyo University of the Arts) and began working there as a research assistant studying traditional Japanese music. He was well-known for his talent on the piano (for which he served as an assistant professor) but switched suddenly to composing due to a finger injury. During his employment at the university, he taught other important Japanese musicians such as Shinpei Nakayama. Continue reading

Focus on Rekion: Shōchiku Kagekidan 松竹歌劇団

The Shōchiku Kagekidan (松竹歌劇団) was an all female revue and musical troupe that lasted from 1928 to 1996, and rivaled the famed Takarazuka Kagekidan (宝塚歌劇団). Continue reading