Andres Segovia in Japan, 1929

Published by Robert Coldwell on

This article first appeared on my personal site in 2001-2002.

In the last part of 1929 Andres Segovia performed in Tokyo (October) and Osaka (November). It was the first time for a well-known Western guitarist to perform a concert in Japan. There were other Westerners who had performed, but none had any international stature – certainly none to compare to Segovia at the time. The records I have of his performances in Tokyo were at the Imperial Theatre on the following dates: Saturday, October 26, 27 and 28. The only certain date I have for the Osaka performances comes from a program published by Gendai Guitar, A Pictorial History of the Guitar in Japan. It is dated November 2, 1929 at the Asahi Kaikan.

photo taken on November 20, 1929 at the Osaka-do Building Hotel

I had planned to make translations of all the reference material I have regarding these performances, but I have not had time so I am making these copies available. These are images taken from photocopies of the original journals.

R.M.G (Revue Musicale Des Mandolines et Guitares), Number 2, 1927
an article on Segovia translated from Die Gitarre by Hiroshi Kawai

R.M.G (Revue Musicale Des Mandolines et Guitares), Number 24, 1928/29
collection of short comments on Segovia by notable Japanese guitarists including: Hiroshi Kawai, Shun Ogura, Yoshie Okawara and Fuku-ichiro Ikegami

Teigeki (Journal of the Imperial Theatre), Number 83, October 1929
program of his performances, etc.

Teigeki (Journal of the Imperial Theatre), Number 84, November 1929
explanation and interpretation of pieces Segovia performed, etc.

Teigeki (Journal of the Imperial Theatre), Number 85, December 1929
list of Imperial family members who attended, newspaper reviews, etc.

images from Teigeki, Number 85

8/5/2018: I was recently able to acquire scans of some issues of Morishige Takei’s journal “Mandolin and Guitar Research” from 1929-30 which has many articles about Segovia as well as some interviews. There are complete listings of his programs and very detailed reviews of his performances.

1/4/2020: Many articles and advertisements for Segovia’s concerts appeared in the English language Japan Times newspaper around the time of his performances.

Categories: EuropeJapan


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