Home > Publications > NDL Newsletter > No. 207, August 2016

National Diet Library Newsletter

No. 207, August 2016

Music manuscripts and documents related to modern Japanese composers newly available—
a lecture and concert focusing on Japanese composer Hikaru Hayashi

This article is a translation of the article in Japanese
in the NDL Monthly Bulletin No. 662 (June 2016).


From March 1, 2016, The National Diet Library (NDL) began offering its music manuscript collection consisting of 600 items previously owned by the composer Hikaru HAYASHI(1931-2012), and held a commemorative event in the Conference Room of the Annex of the Tokyo Main Library on March 16. In the first half of the event, Ms. Hiroko ISHIWATARI, Director General of the Reader Services and Collections Department, gave the opening address which was followed by a lecture by an outside expert and a report from the NDL. A musical performance of compositions by Hayashi was given in the second half of the event.

*Program and handouts of the event are available on the event page (Japanese).

1. Lecture: Music materials and music manuscript collection

Ms. Shukuki LIN (Chief of the Secretariat and senior librarian of the Documentation Center of Modern Japanese Music) gave a lecture titled "Music materials and music manuscript collection―meaning of collecting music (autograph) manuscripts."

<<Image 1: Lecture by Ms. Lin>>

Music autograph manuscripts are music sheets hand-written by composers themselves. The release of musical works highly depends on performances unlike works of literature which rely on publication. Therefore, music sheets are printed at the final process of production and there are many unpublished musical works which exist only in manuscript form. This is why music manuscripts are significant in conducting research of a musician’s work, and are also highly valued in performing the work again.

The Archives of Modern Japanese Music, Meiji Gakuin University Library, and other private institutions have played a leading role in the acquisition of music manuscripts in Japan until today. Acquisition of music manuscripts in the NDL is expected to be an approach to hand over such cultural properties to future generations by making them widely available to those who need them, as well as preventing musical works from becoming scattered. In closing. Ms.Lin talked about the future direction of acquisition of music manuscripts and focused on the importance of promoting and continuing acquisition activities. She also emphasized the necessity of forming a network of institutions engaged in collection and to establish suitable cataloging for Japanese materials.

To the head of this page

2. Report from the NDL: Provision of music manuscripts and related materials

The NDL gave an overview of the Hikaru Hayashi collection and reported on the background of acquisition and how to use music manuscripts that the NDL began to offer at the Audio-Visual Materials Room on the 1st floor in the Annex of the Tokyo Main Library.

<<Image 2: Stacks for music manuscripts>>

Provision of music manuscripts and related materials

The NDL began to acquire music manuscripts and related materials of Japanese composers such as manuscripts of lyrics, theater scripts, and materials that have to do with the composing process. The first collection of this kind comprises around 400 titles from the materials previously owned by Hikaru Hayashi, which were collected and organized before November 2015. We are going to acquire his collection in installments and make more materials available in the future.

The materials acquired by the NDL are provided for research purposes only. Application is required to use the materials. In addition, prior reservation is required to use music manuscripts. Materials can be searched via the lists on "Music manuscripts and related materials" page (Japanese) on RESEARCH NAVI.

<<Image 3: Examples of music autograph manuscripts>>

18 digitized items of 11 music manuscripts are available within the premises of the NDL. Please be advised that once the material has been digitized, only the digitized copy becomes available for use. (No application required.) Printout service is not offered for digitized materials.

To the head of this page

3. Musical performance of works of Hikaru Hayashi

A musical performance of Hikaru Hayashi’s works was held. The performance was produced by Ms. Itsuko IKEDA, a music critic well-versed in Hikaru Hayashi’s works. She also provided an explanation of the performance. She explained Hayashi’s personality and works at the opening, and introduced each piece of music when performed.

<<Image 4: Musical performance>>

Of Hayashi’s 2,000-odd works, 12 pieces suitable to the venue were selected and performed. Cello, guitar and flute performances were delivered in addition to songs. The performance was a precious experience to understand the world of Hayashi’s musical works and his attitude toward composition.

To the head of this page

4. Personality and music of Hikaru Hayashi (commentary by Ms. Itsuko Ikeda (music critic))

Hikaru Hayashi was a composer who closely kept pace with the time and society in which he lived. This does not mean that he was swayed by the time or social trend. He always gazed into what was happening carefully, multidirectionally, and critically.

He always said that merely writing music themed on social problems was not sufficient. Social themes are hidden in children’s songs, folk tales, juvenile literature, folk songs and even in the music of Bach which praises God.

Mr. Hayashi did not just write compositions directly on humans’ sorrow, anger, joy or hope. The more serious the themes were, the harder he tried to objectify and accept them as universal themes in order to transform them into works.

Genbaku shokei (Scenes from Hiroshima)

Taking "Genbaku shokei" as an example, Mr. Hayashi encountered Tamiki Hara’s poetry of the same title in 1951 and composed the first suite "Mizu wo kudasai" (Give me water) in 1958. After 13 years he composed the second movement "Hinokure chikaku" (Twilight) and "Yoru" (Night). Moreover, it took him more than 30 years to complete the last movement "Towa no midori" (Green Everlasting).

A concert titled "Festival of August: Concert by Hikaru Hayashi and Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus" had encouraged Mr. Hayashi to complete the work. This concert has been held to sing "Genbaku shokei" every August until the fear of nuclear arms vanishes. The entirety of such performances and activities for teachers and children gave him a supportive push to realize in a convincing manner the universal theme of the poem left by Mr. Hara into a composition.

<<Image 5: Hikaru Hayashi>>

His attitude toward composition

He insisted on using not-too-heavy and not-too-forcible writing styles. He hoped that listeners would receive the truth and universal themes while enjoying his works as music without feeling great rapture or without being struck by deep sorrow. It can be said that his style is not to force his ideas on listeners but to suggest his ideas and ask for criticism. Taking Miyazawa Kenji as an example, whom he had admired since he was young, Hayashi said that he would like to write music of his hopes such as "to realize a tolerant world full of humor and fantasy" and "to swallow the oppressive thesis: ‘No individuals can be happy unless the whole world becomes happy.’ in "Nomin geijutsu gairon"1 (General Theory of Farmers' Arts) in one go without severing it." This is his style.

* "Personality and music of Hikaru Hayashi" was arranged by the Audio-Visual Materials Division based on Ms. Ikeda’s commentary given at the event.

To the head of this page

5. Concert program

  • "Juunitsuki no uta" (The twelve months song) ―from "Mori wa ikiteiru" (The forest is alive)
  • "Sanadatai machi" (Sanada’s warriors march on) ~from "Sanada Fuunroku" (Story of Sanada family and their ten braves)
    Members of the Opera Theater Konnyakuza
  • Funauta (Sea Chantey) ―from quot;Kotei Jounzu" (The Emperor Jones)
    Jun Arai (Vo.), Norio Sato (Gt.)
  • Itteshimatta anta... (You who went away) ―from "Torasto DE" (Trust D. E.)
  • Kurenman no uta (The crane operator’s song)―from "Pinokkio janbaraya (Pinocchio jambalaya)
    Jun Arai (Vo.), Dogen Kinowaki (Fl.), Norio Sato (Gt.)
  • Hadaka no shima no tema ni yoru paraphrase (Paraphrase from the theme of "L’ile nue")
    Tomoki Tai(Vc.)
  • Memento in memory of F.G. Lorca
    Dogen Kinowaki (Fl.), Norio Sato (Gt.)
  • Mirabo bashi (The Mirabeau Bridge ―from "Paris 1923"
    Masumi Yoshikawa (Vo.), Dogen Kinowaki (Fl.), Norio Sato (Gt.)
  • Kodomo to senro (Children and rails)
    Masumi Yoshikawa (Vo.), Dogen Kinowaki (Fl.)
  • Hosoyanagi chugakko koka (School song of Hosoyanagi junior high school) ―from the movie "Hadaka no Juukyuusai" (Live today die tomorrow)
  • Ishiuchi jinjo koto shogakko koka (School song for Ishiuchi common higher elementary school) ―from the movie "Hana wa chiredomo" (Teacher and three children)
  • Iwate Keiben Tetsudo no ichigatsu (The Iwate railroad in January)
    Members of the Opera Theater Konnyakuza

* Members from the Opera Theater Konnyakuza(Vo. Acc. & 2.Rec): Hiromi Umemura, Misako Aoki, Harue Hanashima, Uruo Takano, Hisashi Sato, Toshiyuki Sato, Daisuke Shimada

<<Image 6: Musical performance by Members of the Opera Theater Konnyakuza 2>>

To the head of this page

6. Closing

In the closing, we extended our gratitude to Mr. Hayashi’s bereaved family who donated such a valuable collection. We will keep up our efforts of preservation and provision of music manuscripts and related materials in the NDL to support research activities on Japanese music.

(Translated by Aya Nakazawa)

To the head of this page

  1. Translator's notes: "Nomin geijutsu gairon" was written by Kenji Miyazawa. The phrase "No individuals can be happy unless the whole world becomes happy." appears at the beginning of the conclusion of the work.