“Let your Lifetime Last Forever and Ever…” From the History of the Creation of the National Anthem of Japan

Natalia F. Klobukova (Golubinskaya)


The article presents a brief exposition of the history of creation
of the Japanese National Anthem “Kimigayo.” It provides the
historical context of the period of its creation, namely, the irst
years of the Meiji period (1868–1912). This time is characterized
by the beginning of the development of the modernized Japanese
state. The author illuminates the role of Western military band
conductors in the writing of the national anthem (such as John
Fenton and Franz Eckert), analyzes the melody of the anthem,
and also brings in a few theories and viewpoints of contemporary
ethnomusicologists on the origins of the melody. It is emphasized
that scholarly arguments concerning the question of the emergence
of the national anthems have not subsided during the course of the
entire history of its creation. The article touches upon questions
of the possible participation of Russian musicians in creation of
the Japanese national anthem. The article includes citations of
historical documents and music examples.

Keywords: Japanese National Anthem, “Kimigayo”, John
Fenton, Franz Eckert, gagaku, Oku Yosiisa, Alexander Tcherepnin

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17674/1997-0854.2015.2.19.060-066


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