Official Website of Michio Miyagi who is known for his "Haru no Umi". We introduce the deep history of "Koto" and traditional music.

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Life and Works

Birth Michio was born on April 7, 1894 as the eldest son gMichio Sugah between Kunijiro Suga and Asa, in settlement area in Sannomiya, Kobe. He suffered from eye disease 7months after birth. He was separated from his mother at 4 and brought up by grandmother Mine since then.
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Started Koto Blind by the age of 8, Michio became a disciple of the Nakajima Kengyo U of Ikuta Ryu. At 11 he was given the license and stage name from the Nakajima Kengyo V and became Michio Nakasuga , named after the word gnakah of Nakajima.
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Mizu no Hentai During the summer when he was aged 13, Michio moved to Incheon in Korea. He supported the family living by teaching Koto in daytime and Shakuhachi in the evening. At 14 he composed his first work gMizu no Hentaih. With this composition, Michio became recognized by Hirobumi Itoh who promised to bring Michio to Tokyo and support him. Soon after, however, Hirobumi Itoh was assassinated so that the promise to Michio could never be carried out.
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Head to Tokyo Michio moved to Korea where he married and changed his family name to Miyagi. Shortly after, Michio emerged himself as a top player in Korea. At the age 22 he became the master of Koto in Korea, which is Dai Kengyo, the highest rank in the field. Michio however was not satisfied and moved to Tokyo in April 1917 with strong ambitions, where he lost his wife due to sickness.
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New Start In 1918 Sadako Yoshimura married to Michio living in extreme poverty. Sadako's nieces Kiyoko Makise(Kiyoko Miyagi) and Kazue Makise(Kazue Miyagi) both became disciple of Michio.
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The First Concert In 1919, given a suppot of Shigeru Kuzuhara and others, Michio played the first concert at the Central Hall of Harukicho, Hongo, which was Michio's long-time ambition. In addition, Michio made his debut as a composer at age of 25.
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Upgrading and new
fabrication of
instruments
To explore the potentiality of music, Michio stayed innovative by upgrading Japanese classical musical instruments and the fabrication of new instruments. He then newly designed and made instruments gJyu-Shichi Gen (17 strings)h, gHachi-JyuGen (80 strings)h,gTan-Goto (short Koto)h, gDai-Kokyu (large Chinese fiddle)h.

Jyu-Shichi Gen
(17 strings)

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Large type Koto having 17 strings designed for lower keys
Hachi-Jyu Gen
(80 strings)

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Koto having 80 strings designed to maximize Koto's characteristic, also to play both Japaneas and western music.
Tan-Goto
(short Koto)

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Small type Koto designed for an easy carriage and wide diffusion to public
Dai-Kokyu
(large Chinese fiddle)

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Large type Chinese fiddle designed for greater volume and range.
Composer Michio Miyagi continuously explored the potentiality of the musical world by introducing elements of western music into Japanese music and stimulate Japanese musical world, which was later called the gNew Japanese Musich movement. It helped instigate the present progression of Japanese music. In 1932 Michio played gHaru no Umih together with French female violinist Rene Chemet, which received wide acclaim. Later, recordings were sold in Japan, U.S.A. and France, with which Michio made his name across the world.
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Player Michio loved classical Koto music. He succeeded in invigorating classical Koto music with his excellent playing and great subtlety, scrupulous care and verve. People called him gKoto prodigyh. We could know it from his CDs and records.
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Educator Not only training his own disciples, Michio started teaching in 1930 at Tokyo College of Music (current Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music). He practiced a new education program including positive use of staff notation and gGenmeifuh,writing and publishing text books for beginners of Koto and Shamisen, and giving Koto lessons in a radio broadcast.
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Radio Broadcasting In 1925 Michio appeared on the very first test broadcast of radio. Since then he played on air for every new year broadcast, exchange program with overseas and international broadcast programs. He is the first person who gave radio lectures on the Koto. Those superb achievements for broadcasting culture won him the honor of the first NHK Broadcast Cultural Award in 1950.
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Trip to Europe In the summer of 1953, Michio represented Japan in the International Folk Dance Music Festival taken place in Biarritz, France and Pamplona, Spain, where he won the first prize. Michio composed and aired gLondon no Yoru no Ameh in the U.K. by B.B.C.
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Shocking Accident On June 25, 1956 Michio was on the way to Osaka for a rendition of gEtenraku Hensoukyokuh. He fell off the express train Ginga onto the tracks near Kariya station on the Tokaido line. At 07:15 am in the same day Michio passed away at Toyoda Hospital in Kariya. He was 62 years old. The grave is in Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo.
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