‘Nature’ in Japanese Traditional ‘Music’
Reflections on hōgaku and Two Euro-American Concepts in Present-Day Japan
In this essay, I want to address the question of whether there exists a relationship between ‘nature’ and today’s Japanese traditional ‘music’, hōgaku. A further point is what ‘nature’ means within the discourses of the hōgaku music-making world. In relation to the issue of nature-music, I will concentrate on two questions among the many possible ones: is ‘nature’ a central element in the material culture of hōgaku, and, is ‘nature’ expressed somehow in hōgaku languages? Holding the position that interviewing traditional music-makers is the most adequate way in which to deal with such questions, as ideas are not separable from the practice of music, my intent is to provide some tentative answers.