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Miki’s ‘Autumn Fantasy’ (1980): International, Japanese Or Asian?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the composition 'Autumn Fantasy' for shakuhachi and 21-string koto in order to explore Miki Minoru's sensibilities and aesthetic goals in his attempts to reconcile differences across traditions of Western and Japanese music. It explores the ways the work performs Japan at two historical moments - in 1980 at the time of its premiere, and then in 2004 during celebrations to mark thirty-five years since the development of the 20-string koto. The chapter argues that while 'Autumn Fantasy' articulates Miki's vision to internationalize traditional Japanese instruments, it both supports and problematizes Japanese notions of identity. In order to situate 'Autumn Fantasy' within this broad issue of the contemporary construction of cultural identity, the chapter also discusses the way that music performance has been a site for the negotiation of cultural identity in Japan at times of national and global change.

Keywords: Autumn Fantasy; cultural identity; Japanese music; koto; Miki Minoru; shakuhachi; traditional Japanese instruments



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