Indo-mono musical works in modern Japan - a focus on Kazuo Yamada and Sadao Itō


Hidetoshi Kobinata

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This paper examines the Indo-mono [India-related] musical works of two Japanese composers, Kazuo Yamada (1912-1991) and Sadao Itō (1906-2005), both active in the mid-twentieth century, and the positions of their works in a line of the Indo-mono category. Indo-mono literally means something related to India. This term is used in this paper as a category of musical works related to Indic or south Asian musical and cultural elements, to denote a groupe of such musical works composed in modern Japan. Two case studies on two composers show that these Indo-mono works are the mixture of various writing methods of the Western music and Indian elements, including musical scales and Indian poetry. The general interest of Japan in Nanpō [south] area including India in early twentieth century, and Weserrnized music education system introduced since Meiji era constitute the background of such cultural hybridization found in these works. In addition, a historical connection of Japan to India over 1,200 years since the introduction of Buddhism also played an important role.


Japan-India relationship and India-related musical works
Japan-India relationship from a historic perspective
Music composers in modern Japan
Case study 1: Indo-mono in the pre-WWII period
Case study 2: Indo-mono in the post-WWII period
Sadao Itō as a composer
An overview of Itō's Indo-mono
Itō's Tagore-related works
Uta-no Sasage-mono
Shūkyō-teki kōsei-kyoku - Bārata-no kishibe
References:Archives of Modern
Hidetoshi Kobinata – Brief Bio


  • Hidetoshi Kobinata Tokyo College of Music


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