Early Japanese guitar records
I recently acquired a few recordings by Morishige Takei, Shun Ogura and Yoshie Okawara I would like to share.
I have written some about Yoshie Okawara (1903-1935) before, and now I can present both of his only known recordings.
His first recording was Polydor Japan 606, where he performed Schneider’s “Polka op.92” and Henze’s “Nocturne.” I haven’t been able to precisely date this recording, but based on this listing I assume it was early 1931. In 2007 it was included in a CD set by the Rohm Music Foundation.
For his second recording, Polydor Japan 797, he recorded 4 pieces from his 5 song suite “Hanataba”, originally published in 1930. This recording can be dated to June 1931.
Morishige Takei (1890-1949) released many recordings but I don’t have a complete list. The one I am presenting here was recorded in early 1929 based on dating of Victor Talking Machine Co. recordings here and an article in the April 1929 issue of The Study of Mandolin and Guitar. This recording is of him directing his mandolin orchestra “Orchestra Sinfonica Takei.” Side A is “Sing to the Sea” from his suite “Scene d’Estate” Side B is “Children Watching Fireworks” also from “Scene d’Estate.”
The Japan National Diet Library has a copy of this record as well as some other recordings by the Orchestra Symphonica Takei that can be listened to on their website.
I have some recordings by Shun Ogura accompanying shakuhachi that I may post if there is interest, but the National Diet Library in Japan has some of his solo recordings: