Perfect Beat, Vol 13, No 1 (2012)

New age music and Japanese tradition: Kitaro Live in Yakushiji

Kimi Coaldrake
Issued Date: 20 Nov 2012

Abstract


This article examines the way that Kitaro, the internationally renowned composer and musician of new age music, recasts resources of traditional Japanese culture in his live performance in 2001 at Yakushiji, a 1300 year-old Buddhist temple in Nara, Japan. It focuses on Kitaro’s deployment of concepts from Japanese tradition and new age philosophies to address different audiences. It then examines his relationship with new age music by reference to a new composition ‘Wa/Peace’ premiered live at Yakushiji. It argues that Kitaro strategically uses his music to explore fundamental narratives of self and tradition in the context of globalization. It concludes that Kitaro’s performance at Yakushiji is used by modern Japanese consumers to make and re-make the cultural world of music and tradition which sustains their own identity in the twenty-first century.

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DOI: 10.1558/prbt.v13i1.49

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