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A Study of the Utagoe (Singing Chorus) Movement

  • 日本硏究
  • 2014, (36), pp.311-328
  • Publisher : The Center for Japanese Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Japanese Language and Literature
  • Published : February 20, 2014

Shim SooKyung 1

1서일대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study focused on the Utagoe (Singing Chorus) Movement of the early days. The Utagoe Movement, developed systematically as part of the cultural policy of theJapan Communist Party, is similar to the state-dominated ‘Nation People’s Song’ of theprewar era and ‘National Singing Chorus Movement’. The Utagoe Movement was similar to the state-dominated people’s edification movementof the pre-war period. The latter was developed systematically: the repertory of songs wasdecided by the nation, education was fulfilled through songs, and the emphasis was onthe nation people, through ‘chorus’ singing. In its early days, the Utagoe Movement was not the people-oriented cultural movementit claims to be at present. In the Utagoe Movement, the general public exists as the target to be educated andenlightened by intellectuals. With the spread of this movement, the ‘Utagoe teahouse’ began to appear and gainpopularity throughout the country. However, a fair number of songs sung in these teahouseswere not in the ‘Seinenkashu (youth songbook)’, the collection of which was decided bythe Utagoe Movement. The songs sung in the Utagoe teahouses were different from thosein the repertory of the Utagoe Movement; EnKa popular at the time was sung instead. This state of affairs indicates the general public’s awareness of the Utagoe Movement. That is, the prevailing practices of the time showed the distance between the intellectualsof the Utagoe Movement and the general public. Utagoe Movement can be seen as a political movement aimed at making peoplebetter(edification) after World War II.

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