prewar music

Yeh Yueh Yu yyyeh
Sat Apr 29 07:13:00 EDT 2000

> To: "'kinejapan'" <kinejapan at>
> Gee, I thought I would start a fun little thread by asking for movie music
> favorites and no one replies! It seems like at least half of the pop music
> records from the 1930's that I have are from some movie. Usually they are
> totally unknown, unremembered, uncelebrated titles, but some are quite well known.
> Then there are the kouta movies.
> Aizen Katsura, one of the most popular movies of the late thirties (and into the forties, too) has a plot that turns on the success of Tanaka Kinuyo in a song contest.
> Surely many of you know much more than I do about this.....
> David Hopkins

I doubt that, Dave.  Anyway, don't get upset.  I'd love to hear a
collection of your prewar and wartime pop songs.  Just wondering if you
had any of the "frontier spirit" anthems of the Manshukoku Youth
Brigade: "We Are the Young Volunteers," "Frontier March" and "Patriotic
Youth Brigade Song"  by songwriters like Hoshikawa Ryoka, Tobishi Aiko,
and Shimao Atsunari.  

One reads the lyrics in Young's "Total Empire" book and wonders if they
sound as "kibishii" as their titles.  As we have talked about before
(and without criticizing Young) there's a historiographical problem in
reproducing lyrics without having heard the songs, just as one might
write film history based on plot synopses or scripts and never watching
films.  I suspect these songs are lot more enjoyable than their titles
would suggest, 
because they were supposed entice their listeners to relocate to
Manchuria.  But we'll never know, will we, unless we can hear the
recordings and watch the films.

Darrell Davis
Hong Kong

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