The Takei Collection and a Brief History of Morishige Takei

During recent discussions with the Kunitachi College of Music (Tokyo) librarians I learned they plan to catalog the Takei Collection and post the list on their website. I don’t know the schedule for their plans, but it is good to know it is in progress. I visited the library with Jun Sugawara sometime in 1996-97 with only a short list in hand and I was not allowed to see the collection directly. I have a number of articles on the collection published around the time it was given to Kunitachi and when I have time I’ll post translations.

In the meantime I’ll post a short history of Morishige Takei that was included in the introduction to a book on Takei’s music published in 1965 by Zen’on Music Publishing Company (with some clarifying edits). Please see my older article on him for additional details.

1890 (11 Oct.) Born in Tottori City.
1911 (March) Finished the first year grade of the Italian Section of the Tokyo Foreign Language School. Recieved a scholarship fund from the Italian Society.
1911 (10 May) Went to Italy for study.
1911 (19 Oct.) Returned from study abroad and returned to the same school as a second year student.
1913 (28 March) Graduated from the same school first on the list. Given a prize from the Italian Government. Began to learn to play guitar by himself and learned harmony.
1915 (26 Sept) Began an ensemble of mandolin with Mr. Tsunehiko Tanaka and others. Took the guitar part.
1916 (4 May) Named the ensemble “Sinfonia Mandolini Orchestra.” Started publication of a monthly journal titled “Mandolin and Guitar.”
1917 (28 Dec.) Appointed a ceremonial Officer of the Department of the Imperial Household.
1921 (March) Held a guitar concert.
1921 (26 Dec.) Held an additional post as Chief of the Music section of the Department of the Imperial Household.
1922 (7 Nov.) Took over the larger part of the (Philip J.) Bone Library in England and called it “Takei Library.” His guitar music “A music dedicated to Tarrega” and “Picnic” were published.
1923 (21 Jan.) Sponsored the 1st All Japan Mandolin Ensemble Concours. It was the first occurrence of the concours in Japan. (Called in Italian “Concorso”).
1923 (1 Sep.) The Takei Library and musical instruments were burned in a fire started from the Great Kanto Earthquake.
1923 (11 Dec.) The orchestra was restored and named “Orchestra Sinfonica Takei” (abbreviated as O.S.T.).
1924 (1 March) The monthly journal was renamed “The Study of Mandolin and Guitar” and the first issue was published.
1924 (Oct.) The first Concert after the restoration was held to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the orchestra. Published “Mandolin, Guitar and their Orchestra” in book form.
1924 (28 Oct.) Sponsored the First Concours of Composition (called “Concorso” at that time) The prize-winning music was performed in the 16th Concert¬†of the O.S.T.
1924 (30 Nov.) Held the Second All Japan Mandolin Orchestra Concours.
1924 (Dec.) Mr. Calace, a famous Italian mandolinist, visited Japan. A concert was held by the O.S.T.
1925 (April) Four European music libraries were taken over and the “Takei Library” was restored.
1925 (Oct.) The book “Glimpses of Mandolin and Guitar” was published.
1926 (Sept.) A performance was given in the presence of the Swedish Crown Prince and the Princess in the detached palace of Kasumigaseki.
1926 (July) Received the title of Baron.
1927 Sponsored the Orchestra Composition Concours.
1929 (Oct.) Mr. Segovia visited Japan, and by his request wrote the commentary of the program of his recital.
1928 (Nov.) Commemorative Concert of the 15th anniversary of the orchestra was held, and a congratulatory present was given by Baron Aloisi, then the Italian ambassador.
1931 (March) Appointed as a member of the committee of the Second Conference of the International Mandolin Music Federation in Zurich, Switzerland.
1941 (June) The Orchestra was renamed “Takei-Gakudan” and the 43rd Concert was held.
1942 (Jan.) The first issue of “The Material for the Study of Mandolin and Guitar” was published. The succeding volumes were issued every other month.
1943 (Dec.) On account of the war, the 48th Concert of the Takei-Gakudan was held for the last time.
1945 (25 May) His house in Nakano was burned in an air raid. The Takei Library was saved from the fire as it was kept in a cellar.
1946 (1 April) Appointed the Grand Master of Ceremonies.
1947 (27 March) Received an appointment equal to that of the Shinnin rank, and retired.
1949 (6 Nov.) The 49th Concert (The first concert after the restoration) of the O. S.T. was held.
1949 (14 Dec.) Died suddenly, falling ill in the evening on the 12th while he was conducting a rehearsal of the orchestra.
1949 (20 Dec.) Promoted two ranks by special Imperial grace. (To the Junior Grade of the Second Rank).
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