“Gagaku: Beyond a Thousand Years”

Created by the combination of ancient Japanese music and musical forms from other Asian countries, “gagaku” is regarded as the origin of Japan’s traditional performing arts. Its performance style has hardly changed since the 10th century when it was a performing art mostly enjoyed by the aristocracy. Perhaps they were so fascinated by gagaku because it was imbued with a harmony between Nature and Music. The unique sensitivities of the Japanese, who enjoy the sounds of both the natural world and gagaku instruments, elevated it to a sophisticated art form.
Gagaku came to play an even more important role when it was adopted for Imperial rites to pray for the peace of the country. In this video, gagaku musicians including those from the Imperial Household Agency recreate part of the “Mikagura” rite, gagaku’s very essence, which is still performed today in the Imperial court. While investigating the deeply ingrained and original images of Japanese sounds, we will introduce the worldview of Japanese musical prayer that has been handed down for more than a millennium.

Presented by The Japan Foundation (JF) (https://www.jpf.go.jp/e/)

<Program Credits>
Performers: YAMADA Fumihiko, NODA Tomohiro, IZAKI Yoshiyuki, KUNIMOTO Yoshie, OTAKI Sumio, BUNNO Takeaki
Production Assistance: Imperial Household Agency, Tenri Central Library
Supervision: BUNNO Takeaki
Video Image Production: NHK ENTERPRISES, INC.
Video Image Producers: HAMANO Takahiro, OKAUCHI Hideaki
Video Image Director: KOBAYASHI Yoko

<Subtitling Credits>
English Translation: TOYOZAKI Yoko, Stuart VARNAM-ATKIN
Chinese Translation (Simplified): Hanqing ZUO
Chinese Translation (Traditional): Yunhsien LIANG
French Translation: NAKAJIMA Naoko
Indonesian Translation: Dewi ANGGRAENI
Russian Translation: Tatiana SOKOLOVA DELUSINA
Spanish Translation: Mauricio MARTINEZ (https://www.japonartesescenicas.org)

End date of distribution: 6/1/2027