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Title: Multiple identities in Yaeyaman folk music
Author: Gillan, Matthew Alexander
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 6893
Awarding Body: School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2004
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This thesis investigates the importance of local identity in the performance and transmission of traditional music in the Yaeyama archipelago, Okinawa prefecture, Japan. Several local repertories are considered, and the thesis examines their connection to different cultural and political units: individual villages, individual islands, Yaeyama as a region, Yaeyama as a part of Okinawa prefecture, Japan and the world. Chapter one introduces the issue of identity and regionalism in music and the concept of 'multiple identities' with specific reference to the case of Yaeyama. The use of the concept of 'tradition' is also examined, with reference to both Western and local cultural theories. Chapter two introduces historical and cultural aspects of the region in more detail, and gives an overview of Yaeyaman music, and a review of previous studies on this subject. Chapters three to six examine four different traditional music genres, examining historical elements of their formation, current cultural attitudes affecting their teaching and performance, and aspects of the music itself: chapter three deals with the kayo work song repertory with particular reference to local variant forms; chapter four looks at the fushiuta repertory and the move towards a pan-Yaeyaman singing style; chapter five outlines the role of village festivals in the preservation of local ritual repertories; chapter six examines one song, Tubarama, in depth, with reference to issues of preservation. Chapter seven describes the use of traditional musical elements and local identity in the context of Yaeyaman popular music styles which have blossomed since the early 1990s, and have found an audience both throughout Okinawa prefecture and mainland Japan. This musical genre is examined with reference to the commonly held image of Okinawa as a fundamental part of Japan, while also providing a link to both Asia and the rest of the world.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available