About histrical recordings



Antonín Dvorák

Mori Ogai

“Yokohama City Song" was first introduced at the Yokohama Port Opening 50th Anniversary event in July 1909. The lyrics were written by Mori Rintaro (1862-1922), a great novelist in the Meiji and Taisho periods known by his pen name Mori Ogai. July 2022 will mark the 100th anniversary of his death.
The Tokyo School of Music (now the Tokyo University of the Arts), in charge of composing, entrusted Ogai with the lyrics. He suggested creating the melody first and then adding the lyrics to it. His proposal surprised the staff since it was the opposite of what they had been used to, but they found the idea appealing. Ogai added lyrics describing the scenery of Yokohama before and after the opening of the port to go with the music composed by Minami Yoshie (1881-1952). To this day, it is sung by people of all ages in Yokohama.
Note: The melody was partially modified in 1966 to make it easier to sing.

(Posted on June 24, 2022)


Introductory Guides to Japanese Historical Recordings: "Listening to The Music of East Asia" and "Yuji Koseki's Melodies to Cheer on All of Japan" are now available in English.
Approximately 500 historical recordings are newly available online.
See also National Diet Library News External link.
East Asian Library, Washington University in St. Louis (United States of America) has joined the Rekion partner libraries since September 7th, 2021.
Introductory Guides to Japanese Historical Recordings: "Wartime Songs in Japan as 'Merchandise'" and "Ainu Traditional Music Recordings in the Historical Recordings Collection" are now available in English.